College Admissions Advice

Look beyond the obvious.

Some college admission advice for students applying regular decision:

Obviously, it’s best to have gotten off to an early start on apps.  But we all know things don’t always go according to plan.  Which means for many there’s still a lot of work to be done, with deadlines looming.  That scenario leads to rushing, which in turn leads to missed opportunities and costly mistakes.  As you rush to apply to the college of your dreams, here are some useful tips to keep in mind. 

 Look beyond the obvious.

We recommend that students investigate at least one school they have never heard of for every local school they are considering.  The more a student looks beyond the most familiar choices, the likelier they are to find a uniquely good match.  Knowing there are great colleges beyond the Ivies or the Big Ten will help reduce the stress and pressure of the application process.  It may even help to find a hidden gem of a school that’s even more uniquely right for them.

Applying to a few “extra” schools.

Students now face more competition than ever. Their generational population is huge.  Acceptance rates are down and more and more talented international students are applying.  The whole world is competing to get into top U.S. schools.

The application doesn’t leave much room for you to work with.  Be sure you maximize every bit of it.

Many students leave important details out either because they simply forget or became in such a rush to finish.  This is an important opportunity to distinguish your self from the other applicants. You need to understand how to take full advantage of it. 

List all of your honors and achievements, such as AP Scholar, IMEA Recognition, Science Olympiad Winner, USAMO Qualifier or National Latin Exam Medalist.  This is not the time and place to be shy.  In the activities section, remember to list all of the extracurricular activities you’ve enjoyed throughout high school.  And please note:  do not mention activities that “you did not enjoy.” 

Bonus Tip:  Remember to thank everyone that helps you.  Your teachers, guidance counselors, coaches and the person conducting the college interview should each receive a nice hand-written “thank you.”









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