June 8, 2016

Why Do Standardized Tests Exist for College Admissions?

As a college advisor I am often asked why standardized tests exist for college admissions, even as more colleges have become test-optional, with small numbers becoming test blind or test flexible. I have come to realize that colleges have reasons for requiring prospective students to take standardized tests, especially many where […]
May 24, 2016

How Far Should You Reach On A ‘Reach School’?

College-bound juniors who are about to enter their senior year have often started to make their first college lists, often with “reach schools” that they have yet to visit. The summer might be the best time to do some homework before selecting which reach schools will receive an application. What is […]
May 6, 2016

College Admissions for Freshmen Go Past May 2nd

This week Monday was “D-Day” aka “Decision Day” or “Deposit Day” for college-bound high school students, their parents and college admissions counselors. However, that does not mean that the college admissions cycle for freshmen is totally closed. The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) has released its College Openings Update, which […]
April 12, 2016

Is a Spot on a Wait List Worth It?

Three years ago Lynn O’ Shaughnessy, publisher of The College Solution book, Web site and workbook, posted an excellent column about the wisdom of the college wait list. Rather than copy the piece here, I’m going to link you to it and add some points of my own. Lynn’s piece […]
March 30, 2016

Accepted? Tips to Help You Shorten Your College List

Some of you may have smiles on your faces as letters and online notices of acceptances to college start coming. Remember the first time you made your college list? If you were wise when you made your college list, you might have considered: Academics–Does this school have what I want […]
March 21, 2016

Second-Choice Admissions: Second-Choice Major or Second-Choice School?

  My journey has taken me to public universities of various sizes, some popularly known for a given academic program within their school. It has not been unusual, for instance, to hear that students chose Virginia Tech for their architecture or engineering school, the University of Maryland-College Park for journalism or politics, […]
February 8, 2016

The Secret to Future College Admissions: Keep Cool and Be Kind

In previous post I gave some good reasons why Harvard might not be the best university in America. Now I have another one. With the endorsement of several colleges admissions directors, Harvard’s Graduate School of Education released a report called: Turning the Tide: Inspiring Concern for Others and the Common Good […]
January 18, 2016

AdmitSee and the Value of Peer-to-Peer Marketing in College Admissions

Today’s USA Today had a story in the Money section about AdmitSee, a Web site where college-bound high school students could read successful admissions applications materials from current college students–for a fee between $20 and $150 a month. The high school students can also mentor the college students on how […]
January 18, 2016

‘I Was the Worst High School Athlete Ever’ or ‘How Not to Write a College Admissions Essay’

I never had to use the Common Application when I was applying to colleges. Today, so many schools use it that it probably cannot be avoided when submitting a college admissions essay. Too often I see and read of high school students choosing this prompt (below) for a college admissions […]