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Siblings: A College Counselor’s Reflection

Much of the staff at Campus Bound has worked here for several years.  It’s a fabulous place to work for many reasons, including: the collegiality among the staff, the guidance of the senior staff and supervisors, and, most importantly, the clients we serve.  One of the great things about working at Campus Bound is the honor of being able to work with a family over several years.  It’s one of the true joys of my job.

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Advice From Inside

Advice From Inside: What If I Have Low Grades?

From time to time, we like to utilize the well over 50 years of combined college admissions experience of the Campus Bound staff to provide students and parents with some inside scoop.  These counselors have been on the other side of the desk, so their advice is priceless.

 

This time, we asked our former College Admission Counselors, “If a student has less than stellar grades, how can they enhance their application in other ways?” 

Here are their responses.:

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Advice for Juniors, Advice From Inside

What I Wish I Had Known…

Unfortunately, this happens quite a bit: we’ll have our first meeting with student and then they say the words we dislike hearing, “I wish I had known that…”

We wish the college process wasn’t confusing or difficult, but the truth is, it can be. Here are some of the most common scenarios, by school year, in which we hear students say “I wish I knew that!”  Pay attention… don’t let it be you!

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Testing

Superscoring… All You Need to Know

What is Superscore? 

Superscoring is a policy some schools have by which they will consider a student’s highest section scores from any test date of the same test.  Many students take college admission tests more than once.  If a college superscores, they will take the highest scores from Reading & Writing, and Math (from the SAT, for example) to calculate a new total score.

 

Example

Consider this scenario: a student took the SAT for the first time and scored a 500 on Reading & Writing and a 580 on Math. The second time, the same student scored a 600 on Reading & Writing and a 550 on Math.  If a student sends both score reports into a college that superscores, the college will take the 600 R&W score, and the 580 M score, for a total superscore of 1180.

 

Check College Policies

Not all colleges practice superscoring, so it’s recommended that students check each college’s application and testing policies to find out if they do. For colleges that do superscore, we typically advise sending all scores.  For colleges that don’t, it might be in a student’s best interest to consider Score Choice (rather than sending all scores, students can send just scores from their best test date).  And, there are some colleges that require students to send all of their scores no matter what. It’s important to know each school’s policy and follow it.

 

Why Do Colleges Superstore?

Colleges know that students aren’t perfect.  They can have bad days, or they can perform poorly on certain sections of college admissions tests.  Colleges that superscore want to know what students are capable of, rather than punishing them for being “off.”  As MIT says, “We do this in order to consider all applicants in their best light.”

 

How We Can Help

It can make sense for students to get advice from a professional college counselor about which scores to send to which schools. For more information about how Campus Bound can help you, contact us today.

Advice for Parents

Pros, Cons and Practical Advice About Taking a Gap Year

It’s no surprise that taking a year off between high school and college is a growing trend in America.  The rising number of gap year programs and increase in information about taking a gap year are leading parents to ask the question, “Could a gap year program be right for my son or daughter?”  The gap year trend has seen a 20 percent increase since 2006 and the initial data is coming back with overwhelmingly positive indications for student success in college.  Yet, many parents are still hesitant and anxious about their student taking a year off.  Being informed and seeking help from trusted professionals will help you will make the right decision about whether or not this rising trend is right for your child.

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Admissions, Advice for Seniors, Applications, Essay Writing

How to Write the “Why Us” Essay

Many colleges ask students to write a supplemental essay with the prompt, “Why are you applying to Amazing University?”  Chances are you will have to write one or more of these during the application rush. Easy, right?  Not so fast!  This essay can be one of the more challenging essays to do correctly.  It requires careful reflection and should not be put off until the last minute.

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Advice for Juniors

Fall To-Do List For Juniors

While the majority of the college admission world is focused on seniors right now, and understandably so, we don’t want juniors to feel that we forgot about them.  There are important items on their to-do list right now as well. Below are 5 things juniors can be doing now to get a head start on the college application and admission process.

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Admissions

When Colleges Pursue YOU

The college admission process can seem like a cat and mouse game, whereby the student is always chasing and trying to appeal to their colleges of interest.  And, it is like that to some extent; we’ve talked a lot about Demonstrating Interest in previous blogs and why it’s important (read more here). But, there are times it can also feel like the colleges are chasing YOU.  It’s a good thing, of course, but sometimes it can get a little overwhelming. Here is how to deal with some common scenarios.

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