Some students I meet with have a very definitive answer to the question of, “Do you want to play sports in college?” It’s either a resounding yes, or a clear no. But, for many students, the answer isn’t so clear-cut; I get a lot of “I don’t know yet.” And, while it’s understandable, and it’s a big decision, it could completely change the direction of your college search. The sooner you know the answer to this, the better.
For the first time in many years, the College Board is offering an SAT test date over the summer. Rising seniors will have the option to take either the SAT or SAT Subject Tests in August. But this lends itself to some questions about why the College Board made this change, who benefits and who should take advantage of this test date.
Though we are only halfway through winter, now is the time schools begin planning for next year. In late winter/ early spring, high schools start the course selection process. Since we know that a student’s transcript is the most important part of the college application, many college-related questions can come up during course selection time. Below we have outlined some common questions and provided answers in hopes of helping students choose appropriate courses during high school.
Testing is still a big part of the college admission process for most colleges and students will likely have to take either the ACT or the SAT as part of their applications. The good news is that colleges that require testing have no preference over which one students take. However, that can cause families some stress as they try to decide which one would be best to take, or both!?
It happens a lot these days because more and more students are applying Early Action and Early Decision to their favorite colleges. And if colleges can’t decide whether to accept or deny you from the Early pool, they may defer you, which means hold off and evaluate your application again with the rest of the Regular applications.
The decision of whether or not to hire a college counselor can be a difficult one for some families. Here are some reasons why students and parents often ultimately make the decision to work along side a college counseling professional.
At Campus Bound, our counselors have over 50 combined years of college admission experience. We are passionate and informed about the world of college admissions. Occasionally we like to tap into that expertise and pass along our words of wisdom to families. So this month we asked, “What can students do during a college visit in order to get the most out of the experience?”
Fall… the leaves fall off the trees, the kids go back to school, and admission counselors travel around the country in search of students who would be a good match for their college. Our Advice from Inside blog series continues, as we tap into the wealth of knowledge and experience of our counseling staff to bring you real advice that can make a difference.
This week, we asked our counselors, “When you worked in Admissions, what was one thing students could do at a college fair or during a high school visit, that would make them stand out?” Here are the responses:
“Students who are attending a college fair can print up business cards, with all of their pertinent information to hand out to reps.”
“Read up on the school that’s visiting and ask a thoughtful question whose answer can’t be found on the website.”
“Shake my hand and introduce yourself first.”
“Eye contact. Handshake. Introduce yourself. Ask a question. Ask for a business card.”
“Approach the rep with confidence, and exude enthusiasm about an academic passion.”
“Mention that you have already visited my school.”
“Follow up with a quick thank you email and mention something we talked about.”
“Show me that you know something about my school. Instead of, “do you offer study abroad,” ask “I was reading about your study abroad program in Italy; can you tell me more about that?””
Consider these tips before meeting with Admission Reps during college fairs, or when they come visit your high school. Remember that the Reps you meet will likely be the ones who do the first read of your application. It helps them to put a face to the name on the paper and when they can think back to a positive interaction they had with you.
As Seniors head back to school and their final year of high school is underway, the reality of college may start to hit. Many students are now stressing about impending application deadlines, completing college essays and making sure they have a well-balanced college list. Sometimes, fear sets in and students begin to think about the worst-case scenario: “What happens if I don’t get into any colleges?”
Although the college admission process isn’t an exact science, Campus Bound counselors give each student a good sense of their chances of admission to the colleges they intend to apply to. Using data published by colleges and our accessibility to previous admissions decisions and trends, we sit down with each student and give him or her a clear sense of what to expect. Of course, nothing is a sure thing, but when students have a balanced list, the odds are in their favor!
So what makes a balanced list? Campus Bound recommends that students apply to roughly 8 colleges. Of those 8 colleges, at least two should be “Likely.” It’s also a good idea to apply to two or so “Reach” schools, and the rest should be in the “Target” zone. A description of each category is below.
A “Reach” school is a school where a student’s chance of admittance, based usually on GPA and standardized testing scores alone, is low. Typically a “Reach” school denies students with a profile comparable to yours.
A “Target” school is a school where the student’s chance of admittance, based on GPA and standardized testing scores, is 50%. This means that a “Target” school sometimes admits and sometimes denies students with a profile comparable to yours.
A “Likely” school is a school where the student’s chance of admittance, based on GPA and standardized testing scores, is high. This means that a “Likely” school typically admits students with a profile comparable to yours.
Deciding which category a school falls into for youcan be tricky, and that’s where a trusted college counselor comes in. We have the experience and knowledge to make informed recommendations and take guessing (nearly) out of the equation. Of course, college admission is not an exact science, but students who adopt the 2-4-2 recommendation will ultimately end up at a colleges that they are happy and excited to attend.