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EXPERT INSIGHTS

May
03
Summer Plans—Crafting an Internship

Summer’s nearly here, hooray! But now what? High school summers can be filled with so much, and sadly, so little. As students navigate the summer holidays throughout their high school years, it becomes important to consider two things: 1) how can my summer activity be more meaningful to me? and 2) how can my summer activity help me build a solid resume in preparation for a future college or job application? Initially, students may think that between 9th and 10th grade, fun is the first order of business, and having summer fun is very important. The transition from middle school to high school can be tough, and during a global pandemic, it can be even harder to navigate, with online cla...


Apr
01
Three Types of Campus Visits

With summer fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about which colleges you may want to visit. An in-person visit really is the best way of assessing your interest in a particular institution. Nothing is better than seeing the students and campus facilities first-hand. There is so much to be learned from such a visit. You will want to get a sense of how your life could change when you move on-campus. A visit can tell you if location matters, if you enjoy the local climate, or if you can easily gain access to the beach or mountains. Throughout high school, look ahead to your university future; the summers between 9th and 10th grade and 10th and 11th grade can be wonderful introdu...


Mar
01
The New SAT—Shorter and Online

As has been widely publicized of late, the College Board has announced some exciting updates to their standardized tests. The key parts of these changes include:

  • Testing will be completed online

  • Tests will last 2 hours, not 3

  • Calculator allowed on all math questions

Factors to remain the same:

  • A proctored setting is required

  • Multiple choice questions remain in place

  • Scoring is on a 1600 scale

  • The removal of the Subject Tests and optional essay will remain in effect

Domestic sites will be seeing these significant changes in 2024, and international testing sites in 2023. This means that today’s 8th and 9th grade students in the USA will be the first ones to take the new testing format. The change...


Feb
03
Making a Great College Match

One student loves the non-competitive academic atmosphere at Haverford College that made learning much more enjoyable. Another student praises the intense competition at UC San Diego, which motivates her to do her best work.


Two great schools. But not great for every student. Both of these students had done their homework, made good matches and are thriving.


When a student is in an environment where he feels good about himself, he’s more likely to be successful academically and socially. It seems so obvious. But in this time of high anxiety about college admission, students and parents often pursue the most popular colleges and lose sight of whether those schools are the best matches for...


Jan
05
Is College Admission Really More Competitive?

Each year, the media makes it seem that it is getting harder and harder to be accepted to college. But is that really true? Is college admission today really more competitive?


There is no denying that many parents wouldn't be accepted at their own alma maters if they were applying today. SAT scores have inched up and acceptance rates have dropped. Why is it so much more difficult to be admitted?


The stats each year demonstrate just how much more competitive the world of college admission has become. Stanford rejected more than 96 percent of its applicants and many of them had perfect SAT or ACT scores. It’s obviously not enough to be a strong student with great test scores. Those objecti...


Nov
30
Undergraduate Honors Programs

Most students are confused about the difference between an Honors College and an Honors Program. A simple way of understanding the two academic options is this: an Honors College is typically a separate undergraduate college within a larger university, and an Honors Program is a set or range of coursework that a student completes while part of an existing undergraduate School or College within their institution. Either way, the student will receive an Honors designation on their diploma. An Honors Program typically doesn’t offer separate housing but is still selective in its admission. Students may have the option of submitting a supplemental application during the initial application ...


Nov
01
Why Are You Applying Here?

With so much competition for admission to selective colleges, students want to do everything right in preparing their applications. They often seek to write what they think admission officers want to read. Not a good plan.


Students often think they need to impress the reader with their accomplishments. Well-meaning parents or friends may tell them that this isn’t the time to be modest. But you don’t want to come across as bragging. Confidence is appealing; arrogance is off-putting.


Rather than telling a reader about your qualities, it is much more effective to share an anecdote that illustrates those qualities. Give the facts and allow the reader to come to the conclusion that you ...


Sep
29
The Importance of Likely Colleges

Most students add the names of a couple of ’likely’ schools to their college lists without giving these ‘safe’ colleges much thought, because the applicants don’t imagine they may need to attend one of them. However, students should apply only to colleges that they are willing to attend (and gladly!). Thus, you need to spend as much time researching the schools that are likely to admit you as you do on the schools that are likely to deny you.


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Jun
21
More Ideas for Summer Break

There are so many ways for high school students to engage in summer activities that can have a huge impact on them personally, and on a college or university admission officer. With the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 global pandemic, many traditional summer programs have moved to an online format and, for some students, that just doesn’t hold the same appeal. Typically, students have looked forward to a residential on-campus program that helps them make new friends, engage with university faculty, and learn more about what their life might look like when they attend college. However, there are still other exciting summer opportunities to consider that can also be meaningful, so let&rsq...


Apr
30
Summer Plans—In-Person & Virtual

Summer 2020 was dramatically different for high school students, with in-person programs closed and very few virtual opportunities. However, Summer 2021 already promises great improvements since exciting options are opening up. Some of the most well-established summer programs are offering both a few on-campus courses and many online courses. One excellent example of this is at the wellknown Summer@Brown, on the campus of Brown University. Stanford University is now open for summer 2021 enrollment with special advanced online coursework, and the Phillips Academy Summer Session has a hybrid option with both boarding and online opportunities. Columbia University has a wide range of program typ...


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