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Summer Plans: How To Get the Most Out of My Summer

There are countless opportunities to pursue as a high school student during the summer months. Although there is the desire to zone out, binge Netflix, go to the beach and hangout with friends until the wee hours of every hot summer night, there are actually some really valuable ways to use your time in the summer:

  • Attend a summer program

  • Build your community service hours

  • Take a class at your local community college

  • Job Shadow

  • Get a job

Some of you may have family commitments that include watching your siblings, caring for a family member or traveling with your family. There are still options you can pursue that will give you valuable experiences. Consider the following:

  • Create a math workbook for...

College Tours 101

If you are reading this, you and your parents have probably already made the decision that you are going to college, and you have a list of colleges or universities you are considering. Websites, counselors, family friends, and relatives are all valuable resources when it comes to fine-tuning your ideas on what type of college you are looking for, and it is the best time to determine if a college or university is going to be a good fit for you. If you spend time preparing for your visits, you will have a much more meaningful and productive visit. Once you have come up with a list of colleges you are seriously considering, it is time to schedule your campus visits.

Why Visit A College?
Your col...

March 2023 Newsletter

Autor: Gail Grand, The College Advisor, Inc.


College Visit Tips for Students

There’s no substitute to visiting a college and spending time on campus to tell you whether a particular college is right for you. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your campus visits.

Talk to students besides the tour guide. Although it may be tough to strike up a conversation with students on a busy campus, make the effort. Tour guides give you the “official” story of life on campus, but you want to know what it’s really like to go to school there. Two good questions to ask: “If you could do it over, would you pick this school again?” and “How do you spend y...

Standardized Testing

GPA Matters In The College Admission Process

Autor: Danielle Ticherich, The College Blueprint’s Testing & Tutoring Coordinator

As college planning and admission experts, we know first-hand that a student’s GPA and academic preparation is the #1 factor in the college admission decision.

Recently, Stanford and Harvard conducted a research project to determine the impact COVID and online teaching had on student learning. The results were staggering: Most California students are experiencing at least 6 months of “Learning Loss”.

If your student is struggling with a subject, as the Test Prep & Tutoring Coordinator at The College Blueprint, I can assure you that our robust and ...

How College Admission Has Changed

The college admission process wasn’t nearly as anxiety-producing thirty years ago. Parents who haven’t been through it yet have heard horror stories from friends and relatives, but they don’t understand why things are so different now.

For one thing, more students are applying to college. Thirty years ago, half of high school graduates applied to college, but today more than two thirds submit applications. Back then, those who did apply usually stayed closer to home, often only applying to public universities in their state. Today’s students apply more widely.

They also end up with more debt. The continuing increases in applications at expensive schools suggest that des...

Prepping for Spring SATs/ACTs

Although many colleges remain test optional, there are good reasons to prep for and take the SAT or ACT. Most students feel some anxiety about taking college entrance exams. A good test prep course or working one-on-one with a tutor can help alleviate some of this anxiety by allowing students to become familiar with the exams and test-taking strategies. Here are some questions to ask if you are shopping for a test prep class:

Who will be teaching the class? Some test prep companies use recent college graduates who had high SAT/ACT scores when they took the exam in high school. Be cautious if this is the case. There is a difference between scoring well on an exam and being able to teach others...

Honors Programs Offer Special Benefits

As seniors review their college lists, they might find themselves caught between their desire for the intimate learning environment of a liberal arts college and the options and experiences available at a large university. One way to have the best of both worlds is through a university honors program. Many public and some private universities offer honors programs that provide great benefits, including preferential class registration, special honors classes, enhanced advising and enrichment programs.

Honors classes attract top professors who enjoy teaching bright, motivated students. In most programs, students are not required to take all honors courses, and often take one or two honors class...

Answering the Unasked Questions

How will you benefit from attending our college? What will you contribute t our college? While you may not see these questions appearing on your college applications, if you address these topics in your applications, you will set yourself apart from other applicants and make a persuasive case for your admission.

It may seem obvious, but students sometimes lose sight of the fact that colleges are academic institutions, and they are looking for people who love to learn. Someone whose idea of fun is discussing Kant’s moral philosophy will take full advantage of the opportunities for intellectual engagement in college. When admission officers read an application from a student who has demon...

How Much Should You Disclose?

Students often worry about calling attention to anything that is a negative on a college application, but just because you ignore something doesn’t mean admission officers won’t notice it. They might see that your math scores on the SAT and your grades in Algebra and Pre-Calculus are low. But you won’t be in the room to explain that despite the fact that math has always been a struggle and you have such anxiety about math that you freeze on tests, you pushed yourself to take a fourth year of math because you didn’t want to avoid difficult courses. If you don’t tell them, admission officers won’t know that you stayed up past midnight studying each night and...

Making The Most Of Your High School Years

Entering high school can be overwhelming; you’ll have far more options and opportunities as well as greater expectations. The choices you make through high school will have an impact on your future education. It is important to choose wisely both classes and extracurricular activities so that you can enjoy your high school years.


Each year, try to increase your level of academic challenge in your coursework. However, while AP, IB, and honors level classes are impressive to universities, so are good grades. If taking every subject at the highest level will start to drop grades below a B, students should prioritize taking difficult classes in subjects they are either best at or m...