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What process do you employ to help students narrow down their list of schools where they will apply?

We suggest that students first do some research online about the school to get a glimpse of the area. Then, visit the school personally to get a feel of the environment. They can walk around the campus grounds, and talk to the professors and students. They may also want to explore the classrooms and buildings. It’s good to find out if it’s a place where they will have an enjoyable learning experience. Once we get down to the final options, we create a Decision Tree, which is a list of things that we like the most about each school, as well as those things we like the least. We assign value points to every item, and compare the lists. Finally, we select the highest ranking colleges.

Should students work hard to become an expert in a particular field, or should they try to know a bit about many subjects?

Not all students are able to determine exactly what they want to do at the start of college. In fact, many get confused about which field to focus on. It’s not a bad decision to study different subjects, and then eventually pick the one where the student excels the most. Many successful people today possess a group of skills and know the interconnections among various disciplines. They are flexible and capable of intellectually adapting to change. Even those who are dedicated to a certain field understand and appreciate the importance of other disciplines in dealing with various problems and situations. In today’s modern times, being capable of applying knowledge to different situations and having a versatile, multifaceted background is highly important.

Is there more diversity and variety in larger schools, and are there more opportunities for success?

Generally, larger schools offer a wider selection of programs, opportunities, and activities. Nonetheless, there is also more competition. In some cases, students find it easier to meet new people and build strong, enduring friendships in smaller communities. The main reason for this is the absence of intimidating hierarchy and red tape that is typically present in large schools. Many students actually see less competition for leadership positions and student activities on a smaller campus.

Is there better course selection in large, research-based Ivy League schools, and do these schools attract more skillful faculty members?

While it’s true that bigger schools offer a more extensive course selection, there is limited availability attached to this due to the high competition that these said courses attract. Focusing on faculty, numerous prominent scholars at major universities tend to get busy doing research and/or publishing books outside of the classroom, and as a result they are not able to spend much time on teaching. In addition to this, an up and coming undertaking for students is the opportunity for undergraduate research and independent study, but this only happens in some cases.

What are the most challenging situations that students face during the college admissions process?

Many of our students fear that they will fail to enter a “good” college. Parents also worry about this. We try to explain to them that “good” does not only mean the Ivies, and there are many colleges that offer high quality education. “Good” means a college that provides students with an enjoyable learning experience and opportunities to be successful. Knowing that the cost of a college education is high, we see to it that discussions regarding cost and school selection are opened earlier in the process.

Facebook Privacy and College Admissions

Social media, especially Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat have become an integral part of every high school student’s life. What many aspiring college students often forget is that college admissions officers consider Facebook and Instagram a means of getting a picture of what an applicant is like in real life. Often they check these accounts of prospective students. Even with the highest privacy settings, it’s likely that a search engine can still find some posts about you. With the new Snap Maps additions to Snapchat feature, anyone in the world can see the photos and videos being posted in any location.

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Can students still get admitted into a good college even without outstanding grades, high test scores, wonderful recommendations and numerous extracurricular activities?

This question is not quite applicable to all colleges. If it were, there would be an inordinate number of students who wouldn’t be able to enter college successfully, and schools would be discriminatory. Although some colleges do accept students by formula, the best ones search for well-rounded students who are enthusiastic learners and eager to participate in campus activities. Grades and scores have their significant importance, but there are other factors to consider such as class rank, challenging courses taken, personal statements, and social activities. Students and schools are equally hoping to find the best match for their unique needs.

NINE TIPS TO MAKE THE MOST OF COLLEGE FAIRS

How can I make the most out of college fairs without becoming so overwhelmed by all of the various colleges present?

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How Requesting Financial Aid Affects College Admissions Decisions

Contemplating and applying to colleges can be one of the most stressful times in a student’s life. It is crucial for students and their families to understand the admissions process, especially when applying for financial aid as well.

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Why Standardized Tests Are Still Important

For most colleges standardized tests such as the SAT, ACT , SAT II’s and AP’s are an important part of the college admissions review process. Over the last several years many colleges have seen an increase in applications due to several factors such as college rankings, the ease of electronic submissions, the Common Application (where students fill out one application for several schools) and the increased competition from international students. Colleges like receiving applications not only for the revenue it drives but as a means to increase the quality of their student body. Standardized testing is an efficient and quick way to determine qualified applicants, especially for highly selective schools. Attending a more selective school is seen as being more prestigious since a smaller number of applicants can get in. The supply is lower, therefore more desirable. Selectivity is calculated by comparing the number of people who apply to a school to the number of people they accept. The bigger the disparity in the number, the more selective the school. A school that receives 10,000 applications and lets in 1,000 people is more selective than a college that receives 10,000 and lets in 5,000.

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