Posts Tagged ‘college application’

Juniors, Here Is A List of What To Expect When You Are Expecting to Go To College

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Most college admission officers will tell you, from the spring semester of a student’s junior year through the fall semester of that student’s senior year, they should be heading full tilt towards college.  What does that mean?  It means this is the time for students to get serious about the college selection process.  Here is a timeline, to help you know what to expect when you are expecting to go to college.


If possible, start visiting colleges.  In order to do that, you need to speak with your guidance counselor or college adviser and craft an initial list of schools.  Possibly take the ACT for the first time, if you haven’t yet.  Register for the March SAT.  Prepare for both tests.


Most high schools begin their course selection for senior year.  Remember to take a challenging curriculum.  Register for the April ACT.  Continue studying for both tests.  College Visits!  If you want to play sports in college, start contacting coaches.


Register for the May SAT or SAT II’s.  You will need to take the SAT II Subject Tests if you are applying to some colleges.  If you are taking an AP test that correlates with an SAT II test, then I recommend you take the SAT II in May, as the May test date is right in the middle of AP Exams, and all the content will be fresh in your head.  If you have registered for it, take the ACT test.  Continue your college visits and start to narrow down your list of schools.


Take the SAT or SAT II’s, if you have registered for the test.  Register for the June SAT or SAT II, or ACT.  Study for the tests!  Get your results back from the April ACT or the May SAT.  Decide if you need to take the test again, and what you need to study.  Start studying for your final exams.  Junior year is the last full year of classes that the colleges will see.  Your grades are always the primary factor in the decision whether to admit you to college or deny you.  Start planning what you are going to do over the summer.  If you think might want to have one of your current teachers write you a letter of recommendation, ask now, so he or she can write the letter over the Summer.


Take your high school exams, if you haven’t yet.  Take the SAT or SAT II, or the ACT.  Most colleges are out of session now, so visits might not be as effective as when classes are in session.  But, it is better to visit in the Summer than to never visit at all.  Review your test results and plan which tests you need to retake in the Fall and how you are going to prepare.  Contact college coaches again to let them know which camps, tournaments, etcetera you will be attending over the Summer.


Have a little fun!  OK, now back to work.  Review your of schools and start narrowing it down to the final schools to which you are going to apply.  Start writing your personal statement or college essay.  Work a summer job, go to a summer program, or perform some community service.  Make certain to stay active.


The Common Application becomes available.  Start an account online, and start filling out your application.  Work on your college essay!  The best writing takes abundant rewriting, so be sure to give yourself enough time to write a good essay.  Get a list together of all school requirements for the schools to which you are applying (how many teacher recommendations, extra essays, interviews, et cetera).  Touch base with any teachers you have asked to write a letter of recommendation for you.  You can now provide them with the Common Application’s Teacher Evaluation form.  Visit colleges.  Interview for college.  Decide if and where you will apply Early Decision and or Early Action.  Study for standardized tests.  Register for September ACT.


Keep up your grades.  Put finishing touches on applications.  Continue college interviews.  Request teacher recommendations.  Finalize your college list.  Review the list to make sure you have at least one admission “safe” school and one financial “safe” school.  If you do not have a financial “safety”, use to find one.  Take ACT again if necessary. Register for October SAT, if necessary.  Study for standardized tests.


Take SAT and ACT if necessary.  Request transcripts from your guidance office.  Finalize and submit applications for your Early Action and Early Decision schools.  Continue visits and interviews.  Send thank you notes to anyone you had interviewed with previously.  Make certain you have requested your letters of recommendation.  Send thank you letters to teachers who have written you recommendations.  Check on financial aid deadlines to the schools to which you are applying.  Register for November SAT, if necessary.

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Avoiding the Summer Daze: Rising Seniors Use Your Summer Wisely

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Now that the school year is wrapping up (or has already been wrapped up), it is easy to just kick back, relax, and allow half the summer to go by without doing anything to get your self ready for college.  The fall of senior year can be a very stressful time, so I recommend you use the summer to get a jump on your college applications.  Here is a list of things that you need to get done this summer.

  • Finalize Your College List
    —Narrow list down to 8 to 10 schools
    —Revisit your original criteria, has anything changed?
    —Check application requirements at your list of schools
    —Have you met testing requirements?
    —Do you have teachers lined up for letters of recommendation?
    —When are the deadlines?
  • Visit Colleges Again
    —This will help you narrow down the list and come up with your own ranking of the schools
    —Demonstrated interest is becoming more important in the admission process. This is one of the best ways to show interest.
    —If possible, interview when on campus.
  • Prepare for Fall Standardized Tests
    Take practice SAT or ACT tests
    Review performance results from your spring tests, and study up on areas where you are weak
    Consider tutoring, a course, or a book to help you improve
  • Start Your Applications!
    —The Common Application accounts open on August 1, but you can print a draft and get started earlier
    —Write a resume
    —Start your essay!
    —The Common Application has reinstated the 500 word limit on the long essay.
    Work on the Common Application short answer
    Make certain you know your school’s policy regarding transcript requests
  • Develop a List of Financial Aid Deadlines
    —When are the filing deadlines?
    —What forms are required?
    —Do you have a financial safety school?

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What to do when you get deferred from your Early Action/Early Decision application

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

Nichols College in Dudley Massachusetts.  Click the image for your chance to win a $1,000 Spotlight Scholarship to Nichols!Is it a disappointment?  Of course it is, but it is not a time for despair.  It is a time for action.  It is time to regroup and continue to put your best foot forward.  You’ve done your research, and made your Early Action/Early Decision commitment to your college, but unfortunately they have not reciprocated.  The first course of action is to continue your demonstrated interest that you’ve established over the past several months.  Write a letter to the college expressing your continued interest.  This letter is also an opportunity to update them as to any new developments since you submitted your application.  Have you won any awards?  Are you involved in any new activities?  Inform and update the admissions commitment of your new activities or interests since you submitted your application.   An example of an introduction to such letter is as follows: "While I am disappointed that I wasn't accepted at this time, I am excited that I still have an opportunity to be a part of the class of 2015 at First Choice University.  You are my first choice for college, and remain so...” Don’t hesitate to call the admissions office and ask them if there is anything additional you can do to enhance your application.  Perhaps, they may suggest retaking the SAT.   If you haven't had an alumni or an on campus interview, ask if it is possible for you to schedule one.  Consider asking if they would accept an additional letter of recommendation or an additional writing sample. Understand that every situation is unique, and doing all of these things might not make a difference, so make sure that you have a solid back up plan in place.


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Being Good at Everything is Not Enough for College Admissions Officers

Monday, September 20th, 2010

The college admissions officers at some of the top schools in the nation are bored with the typical cookie-cutter, well-rounded student. These days, they are on the prowl for students with more personal flair and individuality. One of the ways that they are searching for these students is through looking at the admissions essay that applicants send in.

The generic “perfect” college applicant is no longer desirable. Instead, admissions officers now actively seek out those who display a genuine passion for something, whether it is break dancing, the saxophone, building computers, or knitting, according to Rachel Toor, a former admissions officer at Duke University and the author of Admissions Confidential: an Insider’s Account of the Elite College Section Process. This is because it is often the interests that we pursue outside of academics that make us unique from one another. Admissions officers want to find that nugget of individuality to get to know the person behind the grades, clubs, and recommendation letters. To do so, try to incorporate a tale of how one of your greatest passions shaped you to be a better person into your college essay. For example, if you have been playing the violin for years and have a great love for it, talk about a time when you prepared for a recital, took part of an orchestra competition, or taught your little brother how to play his first song. If you write about an experience where you showed admirable qualities such as leadership, patience, and commitment, and that experience also involves something you love, your writing will invariably be more enthusiastic, lively, and compelling, which will benefit your overall essay.

Your educational resume can only say so much about you. While your GPA, honors courses, and volunteer activity is certainly important, it also does not tell the admissions officer too much about your work ethic and personality. In addition, many student academic resumes look the same. After generations of students have applied, been rejected, and gotten accepted, applicants have gotten the hang of what it is that college admissions officers seek. As a result, many high school students accomplish exactly what they think admissions officers want, such as joining as many clubs as possible, taking on typical hobbies, and doing the bare minimum of volunteer work in order to boost their academic resumes. To stand out from a sea of homogeny and monotony, write about a time when your passion allowed you to perform at your best and you can be sure that admissions officers will take notice.


This guest post is contributed by Jessica Cortez, who writes on the topics of online degree programs. She welcomes your comments at her email Id:

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9 Things You Need To Know About College Planning: Lesson #1

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

In this video James Maroney, founder of First Choice College Placement and, talks about college as a valuable lesson in the decision making process.  He covers the factors students should use to help choose a school as well as the sources they should use to evaluate the colleges.

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October 14, 2009 edition of carnival of college admission

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Choosing the Right College

Now that summer has officially ended we are in the midst of many of the annual rites of fall: changing colors of the leaves; college football; and college applications.  For many, the debate rages over whether or not they should apply Early Decision.  Todd Johnson tells you what you need to think about before applying early decision to a college in his post Is Early Decision Right For You? at College Admissions Counseling.  Another hotly debated issue is that of college rankings. Admissions expert Brady Norvall shares his perspective on whether you should consider us college rankings when choosing a college in his post Ranking the US College Rankings posted at myUsearch blog.   Also, as students stare at their college applications they are often faced with the question of “What do you want to do after college?”  Nissim Ziv presents What Career is Right For Me? Finding the Right Career Path posted at Job Interview Guide.  Just as there are many new career paths, there are also many new majors available at universities.  Saying, “Some of the hottest new college majors need some decoding — learn what subjects like sustainability and health informatics are all about,” Dawn Papandrea does just that in Decoding Emerging College Majors posted at CollegeSurfing Insider.

Deidre Laverriere presents Top 10 Free Open Courseware Directories posted at Online University Rankings.

Dickon Ervin presents Top 10 Free Open Courseware Classes for Teachers posted at Masters in Health Education.

Wikholm Nelida presents Top 10 Free Open Courseware Classes About Science posted at masters in health science.

Susie Cortez presents Top 10 Free Open Courseware Classes About Criminal Justice posted at Online Masters in Criminal Justice.

Nancee Dietrick presents Top 10 Free Open Courseware Classes about Career Management posted at Masters of Nursing.

Lisa Taylor presents 100 Best iPhone Apps for Academic Types posted at Accredited Online Degrees.

Shannon Wills presents 100 iPhone Apps to Seriously Boost Your Brainpower posted at Online Bible Colleges.

Chris presents Distance Learning Colleges and Universities posted at MJJ Party, saying, “Distance learning colleges and universities offer unique solutions to unique situations, and may be worth looking into for many.”

Ulysses Erwin presents How to Choose the Best Medical Billing School for You? posted at online medical billing courses.

JoeDale presents Accelerated College Degrees Online posted at Online Accelerated Degree Colleges, saying, “Are you interested in Accelerated College Degree Programs that allow you to earn an accredited degree at an accelerated pace? Compare universities offering accelerated classes and programs now.”

JoeDale presents Top Christian Universities | Online Christian Colleges and Universities – Christian Counseling Degree posted at Online Christian Colleges and Universities – Christian Counseling Degree, saying, “Christian Colleges and Universities finds, reviews, and discusses accredited universities offering accredited Christian Universities offering degrees online.”

Sandra Lopez presents 100 Educational Twitter Feeds for Med Students posted at RN Central.

College Life

While most students are focused on what they hope to do in the new semester, Brett J Callahan presents Five Back-to-School Do NOT’s posted at 2East: The College Living Blog.  Also, back on campus many students are feeling a financial pinch and might be tempted to look for credit cards.  For these students, Jim presents Best Student Credit Cards posted at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.  In order to save money, many students are considering moving off campus.  Across the country, many new students are just tussling with their first college exams and term papers.  Don’t worry freshman,Carolyn Friedman gives you useful web tools that will help you earn the grades your parent’s will be proud of while you are secretly having the time of your life as a freshman at 75 + Useful Web Tools for Your First Year of College posted at Online Christian Colleges, Tom Tessin gives tips you can use if you’re looking to find an apartment around the college campus in Apartments for College Students ? Finding One posted at FCC Student Blog.  With the recession, many non-traditional students are heading back to school as well.  Read about going back to school at age 40 when softmelon presents Back to School posted at The Den of Psychosis.  Here are some other resources:

Linda Jones presents 100 Educational, Entertaining Twitter Feeds Everyone Should Read posted at

Carol Brown presents 100 Awesome Bookhacks for Students & Bibilophiles posted at online

Anne Simone presents 100 Best Blogs for Econ Students posted at Online Universities Weblog.

Gene Desrosiers presents Top 10 Free Open Courseware Classes about Healthcare Policy posted at Masters in Health Administration.

Mayra Forbes presents Top 10 Free Open Courseware Classes About Statistics posted at Masters in Health Informatics.

Ayomide Astley presents Top 10 Free Open Courseware Classes About Nutrition posted at Online Masters in Health.

Financial Aid

Need-based financial aid deadlines are just around the corner, but there is no time like the present to start researching scholarships.  Chris presents All About the Tylenol Scholarship posted at MJJ Party.  One of the keys to financing a college education is to start saving early.   Patrick @ Cash Money Life presents Open New Ohio 529 Account to Get $200 in Bonuses posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “The Ohio 529 College Savings Plan, CollegeAdvantage, is offering a generous sign up bonus for new accounts. You can easily earn a couple hundred dollars to go toward your college savings.”

Getting Admitted

To ED or not to ED, that is the question.  Mark Montgomery tackles this question in his post Early Decision or Regular Decision in College Admission–Which is Better? posted at Great College Advice, saying, “Students and parents are often confused about whether to use early decision as a strategy for admission. This post clears up that confusion.”  There is a lot of talk about the growing gender gap at America’s college campuses.  Andrew Syrios tackles this issue in Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics: The Female-Male College Gap | posted at

Susan White presents 100 Incredible, Cutting-Edge Lectures for Medical Professionals posted at RN Central.

Alex Filley presents Top 10 Free Open Courseware Classes About Health Care posted at Masters in Health Care.

Stacie Young presents 100 Best Blogs for Your Liberal Arts Education posted at Online Schools.

Linda Jones presents 100 Awesome iTunes Feeds for Every Kind of Teacher posted at

Graduate Schools

Unfortunately, not every application has a happy ending.  Adam Markus presents A Happy Story of HBS Rejection posted at Adam Markus: Graduate Admissions Guru, saying, “A MBA admissions consultant reflects on The Snowball by Alice Schroeder”

Kawi presents Nazi Pogroms at University of Kassel, Germany posted at Neo-Nazi Global Labour University (GLU), Germany, saying, “There have been rape attempts on international students at Kassel University, Germany; yet the government of Germany has never wanted to take notice of these ongoing complaints. Hence, students have been warned against applying there.”

Sidney Phipps presents Top 10 Free Resources for Digital Learners posted at Online University Reviews.

Akilah Honanie presents How to Choose the Forensic Science Degree for You posted at Best forensic science schools.

Jess Viengxay presents 7 Excellent Career Tips for Criminal Justice Professionals posted at Best masters in healthcare.

Farias Andrew presents 7 Excellent Career Tips for Work-at-Home Moms posted at Best ultrasound schools.

Watches Jacob presents How to Choose the Best MHA Degree Program for You? posted at online MHA degree.

Edwin Campton presents How to Choose the Best Online University for You? posted at Best online university reviews.

Lara Bailey presents How to Choose the Best Medical Coding Program for You posted at online medical billing careers.

Shanon Hofmann presents 7 Excellent Twitter Tools for Lawyers posted at Best masters in criminal justice.

Other Cool Stuff

Candice Arnold presents AIESEC Internships Foster Understanding and Improve Students’ Marketability : Insights by Internship Experts Blog posted at  Lynn Mattoon presents Gearing Up for the Careers of Tomorrow posted at My College Admissions Blog –, saying, “Today’s college students may be preparing for jobs that don’t exist yet!”

Kathy Wilson presents 100 Best Blogs for Photography Students posted at online

Diane Steward presents 25 Excellent “Dot Gov” Tools to Research Any Online School posted at Online University Data, saying, “From search tools to financial aid resources and more, these 25 Web resources from the government will help you in your quest to earn any degree.”

Kathy Wilson presents 10 U.S. Presidents Who Got Their Start in Teaching posted at Online Schools.

OnlineCollege presents The Top 100 Colleges on Twitter posted at Universities and Colleges.

Jacqueline Gharibian presents Top 10 Education Apps|iPhone Application for Students posted at Ipod Instructions-Ipod 101.

Rose King presents 100 Free Tools to Tutor Yourself in Anything posted at online

Hannah DeMilta presents Thinking in A Foreign Language | Al Jamiat Magazine posted at Al Jamiat Magazine.

Mai Melvin presents 7 Excellent Twitter Tools for Nurses posted at Masters in nursing.

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Asking for a Letter of Recommendation

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Typically, colleges are looking for letters of recommendation from your junior or senior year.  Since many people will be applying early decision or early action, they are required to send their applications out in October.  Most senior year teachers will not know you well enough by then to write you a good letter of recommendation.  Thus, the end of junior year is a perfect time to start asking for a letter of recommendation.  We have included this article to help you in your quest for “good” letters of recommendation.  

Many students don’t give much thought to asking their teachers for recommendations, they just think about who they might ask. And even that decision doesn’t always mean that much to students. Recommendations can really work to your advantage in the college admissions process if you choose carefully, and offer teachers the same courtesy you would hope for if someone was asking a favor of you. Keep in mind the following tips when asking a teacher, peer, or family friend for a college recommendation:


  • It is better to ask the teacher whose class you worked extra hard in but received a “B” rather than the teacher of a a class where you received an “A” but she knows you put in little to no work.
  • You should ask a teacher you had in your junior year, or a teacher you had more than once.
  • You should ask a teacher who you feels knows you, and you have participated in his class. If you received an A but didnt offer any information or answer any questions, you may want to choose a teacher you know feels you participate.
  • Give them time. Just like you wouldnt want someone to ask you a favor at the last minute, dont do the same to them. Some teachers will have quotas for how many recommendations they will write in a given semester, so even if your teacher likes you and you have done well in her class, if she is already writing a dozen others then she may tell you no.
  • Make it easy. Remember, your teacher, coach or community leader is doing YOU a favor. Give each person packets for each school they need to mail your recs to. Label and put stamps and addresses on each envelope and paper clip the forms they need to fill out. Do not make them guess or organize your information.
  • More recs is not necessaily better. Send as many as your school asks for. If you have one more shining recommendation from someone else, ask the school if they accept extra information. Make sure admissions will read it before that person puts in the effort.
  • If the school “suggests” recommendations but doesnt require them, send them anyway. It will only help you if you have a letter decribing your strengths.
  • If you are not sure if you should ask a teacher for a letter of recommendation or not, start by telling the teacher, “I am beginning to think about whom I am going to ask to write me a letter of recommendation, would you be willing to write one for me?”  If they teacher hesitates, don’t ask that teacher.  If he or she sounds very excited, then this is probably a good person to ask.

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