Selective admissions: no magic formula

From Eric Hoover, a reporter with over a decade covering admissions for The Chronicle of Higher Education, ten key takeaways for figuring out what selective colleges are really looking for in applicants.

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‘Read me!’: college essays

An informative read about what colleges hope to learn about applicants when reading essays. Keep in mind, that a great college essay cannot compensate for a mediocre academic record. But it can play a significant role in shaping perceptions of an applicant and might tip the balance in a borderline case.

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Plan ahead to be college eligible

Simply meeting colleges’ minimum admissions requirements may get you to the gate but not to the finish line. Planning a four-year high school course sequence is worth the time and effort.

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‘Curate’ your college list

As this helpful article explains, a “well-curated college list should come down to about eight schools with several different characteristics. Any more than that tells me students haven’t really done their job, which includes considering what they want out of college and gaining some understanding of who they are.”

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The college rankings game

Here’s a good read about why students and families should be skeptical about rankings due to the many ways colleges game the ranking system. Develop your own rankings based on your unique preferences and priorities! What might be the perfect school for one student might be a poor fit for another.

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Drumroll…Class of 2017!


6. Graduation B & WCongratulations to College Advisory’s Class of 2017 on their impressive acceptances! Students will be attending Bard College, Brandeis University, Brown University, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Carleton College, Case Western Reserve University, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Pitzer College, San Diego State University, Scripps College, Tufts University, University of Chicago, University of Puget Sound, and Whitman College.

Students were accepted to a wide range of colleges including UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UCLA, UCSB, UCSD, Cal Poly Engineering, Duke University, Georgia Tech, Harvey Mudd College, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, Lewis and Clark College, Macalester College, Northeastern University, Pepperdine, Santa Clara University, Smith College, Union College, U Colorado Boulder (including Engineering Honors Program), University of Pennsylvania, University of Southern California, and Washington University St. Louis.

Exclusive of need-based aid, students received institutional merit scholarships ranging from $2,000-$30,000/year.

College Advisory’s seniors who graduated from high school in 2012 through 2017 have been admitted to the following colleges and universitiesWhat I hope is apparent is the range of options that College Advisory’s students have and the diversity of interests and strengths they possess.


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College admissions advice for parents

6. Graduation B & WParents – Whether it’s your first time or the latest of several, here are some suggestions that may help you avoid some of the most common college planning pitfalls.

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To get to Harvard, go to Haiti?

Essays about expensive “service trips” to exotic countries seldom impress colleges. “In the case of drive-by charity work, the checked box can actually be counterproductive, because application readers see right through it. ‘The running joke in admissions is the mission trip to Costa Rica to save the rain forest,’ [says] Ángel Pérez, who is in charge of admissions at Trinity College in Hartford.” Read on!

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Why can’t college tours tell it like it is?

12.-A.-Contact-photoSpot-on insights from a high school senior after he toured numerous colleges this past summer.

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Raising successful kids (without over-parenting)

teenagers-dating-in-high-school-300x199This TED talk, just released, provides a healthy perspective on parenting and preparing kids for success in college and in life.

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