Oh, the dreaded "Activities" section of the college application where our students list their clubs, sports, awards, leadership, and everything they do when not studying, eating, and sleeping. The directions are often vague and unclear. But the truth is that admissions officers are looking for something specific. This week, three admissions officers share how extracurriculars are evaluated. Hint: More extracurriculars is not always merrier, and position titles have less weight than most people believe.
For all the talk about the “back door” or “side door” to college admissions that involve bribery and other illegal acts, many students don’t know about one that is actually legal and possibly fun. This one was tailor-made for seniors with lower GPA’s who wouldn’t qualify for admission — and who are ready for a bigger adventure.
Your teenager stays up ’til 1 a.m. finishing homework, turns in assignments late, and hardly has time to eat. You suggest joining clubs, getting a job, or adding more activities to their schedule. When college applications are left until the last minute, we assume it’s those darned time management skills — or lack thereof — to blame. But what if time management simply isn’t the problem? A new idea proposes energy management as the key to high performance and success. Here’s how college applicants can manage their energy — not time — for personal happiness.
I’ve seen a lot of online resources floating around on how to write college essays. From outlines to brainstorming journals to YouTube video tips to $85k hotel lobby bootcamps, the options for college essay writing prep are boundless. But among these endless options is one that I find simple and approachable (and you’ll address what admissions officers look for). It’s called the three-part college essay. The three-part college essay involves — yup, you guessed it — three parts. We can do anything when it’s only three little parts, right? Read details of the simple three-part college essay.
The truth is that acceptance rates are like traps. They give applicants a false illusion about their admissibility or lack of admissibility into a school. Read our simple analogy and analysis on why a 6.8% acceptance rate to Northwestern does NOT mean your student has a 6.8% chance of getting in.
If your student wants to be a Trojan, but doesn’t make the cut, can they still get into USC (University of Southern California)? It’s possible. Enter the USC Trojan Transfer Plan with a 10% higher acceptance rate than regular admission. This is a lesser-known admission decision offered to select freshmen applicants who do not get admitted.
Is your high schooler sure she wants to go to medical school and has the 3.8+ to prove it? She might be a great candidate for a program offered by select universities. High school applicants get admitted to grad school at the same time they get admitted to undergrad. With a guaranteed spot in medical school or dental school and the potential to skip the MCAT / DAT, these programs are typically geared toward health professions, like medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, or physician’s assistant. Read our overview, recommendations, and analysis of these programs here.
Common App. It makes college apps easy, right? Just write one personal statement, hit submit, and 15 colleges see the same personal statement? Or write one personal statement and one supplement essay tops per college, right? Sorry, not exactly. It turns out that your student may be stuck writing 9 different personal statements just to apply to 4 colleges — not including supplements. To most parents’ surprise, your student should prepare to write more than one personal statement for college, before even counting supplement essays. This week, we do the math and explore why.