Applications

Optimizing Your Recommendations

Teacher recommendations can make a difference. Frankly, however, the vast majority sound quite a bit the same. After all, few students are going to request references from teachers for whom they did lousy work. Most  teacher “recs” mention what a fine (or reliable, conscientious, hardworking, intelligent, etc.) person you are. While these very typical recommendations ...

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The Common Application

Some of you have already set up your Common Application accounts. But if you haven’t done so, you had better get going! Don’t put off this important aspect of your college process. First go to the Common Application site. The instructions should be clear. Once you’ve picked your user name and password, be sure to ...

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Is Applying to College DURING a Gap Year a Disadvantage?

Question: I want to take a gap year and apply to college during my gap year. Will I be at a disadvantage? I’m looking at top schools! I’m in my last year of A levels right now which is equivalent to 12th grade in high school. I emailed Princeton and they say it’s alright with ...

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A Brag Sheet to Brag About

How do you tell a college all about the many “activities” you’ve done and currently do, when you’re filling out your applications? This falls under the umbrella of what I call “student profile marketing.” Why should you do an “annotated” Activities List? As you may already know, college application forms don’t offer active students enough ...

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Annotate Your Activities List

How do you tell a college all about the many “activities” you’ve done and currently do, when you’re filling out your applications? This falls under the umbrella of what I call “student profile marketing.” Why should you do an “annotated” Activities List? As you may already know, college application forms don’t offer active students enough ...

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Will New and UNimproved SAT Scores Mean Denial?

Question: I applied to my dream college in September and had my spring SAT scores sent. They contacted me a few weeks ago and said they had made a preliminary decision on my application, but were waiting to see my new SAT scores from October 5 before they made a final decision. This made me ...

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Can I Get Into UC Schools I Didn’t Apply To?

Question: If I apply to one UC and get rejected, will other UC’s accept me even if I did not apply to them? It’s always nice to get good news when you don’t expect it … kind of like winning the lottery when you never even bought a ticket. 😉 But, unfortunately, in this case, ...

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Should My Teacher Mention Each College By Name in My Recommendations?

Question: My teacher is writing a recommendation letter for me. In the first paragraph of the letter, my teacher writes that “It’s my great pleasure to recommend this student to your renowned school.” Is it okay for him to just write “to your renowned school”? Or should he write the specific school I am going ...

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Will I Be Penalized if My Counselor Sends My Recommendation Late?

Question: I am applying Early Decision to UPenn. I am using the Common App. My HS counselor says it’s all right for her to submit her recommendation letter after the Nov. 1 deadline. But don’t the universities wait to have the complete application before they even consider it? Thanks Colleges won’t penalize students if materials ...

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Do Colleges Recruit Cheerleaders as They Do Other Athletes?

Question: My daughter is a cheerleader in middle school. She has a 3.9 GPA. She has not taken the SAT yet but her state test scores are about 80% of a perfect score so I am assuming that will translate to about 1272/1600 for the SAT (Is this a reasonable translation?) Do colleges recruit for ...

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