Considering a Gap Year? Maybe You Should (Part 2)

Note: This post is a companion post to Considering a Gap Year? Maybe You Should (Part 1). Twenty-two year old Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray (University of Oklahoma) will decide soon whether he’ll go pro as a football or baseball player. That’s a huge professional choice forced on him at a young age. I bet […]

7 Questions To Ask To Find a College Where You Thrive

It’s crazy hard to get into Yale or Harvard or any other elite university. There’s no mistaking that. And the media loves stories about single digit acceptance rates (see, e.g., Washington Post | New York Times) and students with straight A’s or perfect SAT scores who get denied from Stanford, Princeton, Duke, and the like. […]

College Application Pep Talk: 5 Tips For a Strong Finish

For high school students, the first semester of senior year is crazy, stressful and all kinds of other things. With Thanksgiving on the horizon, most seniors applying to college feel only one thing right now: exhaustion. Nevertheless, now is the time for a final push! Parents frequently ask me for advice to help their kids […]

7 Steps To Connect With Your Admissions Counselor

Here is a course of action you can follow to get on your Admissions Counselor’s radar. Please tread carefully. YOU DO NOT WANT TO STANDOUT FOR THE WRONG REASONS! That means: Be polite. Respect their time. Proofread your correspondence. With these guidelines in mind, we encourage you to connect with the Admissions Counselors at the […]

A Framework to Examine College Cost vs. Probability of Admission

It is easy to get caught up in “college application hysteria” where it feels like you need to apply to 15 colleges. The truth is that you don’t need to submit that many applications. To stay calm and prevent things from spiraling out of control, we find it helpful to examine your list of schools […]

3 Steps for Deciding How Many College Applications You Need

Many students wonder, “How many applications should I submit?” The conventional wisdom is to apply to 5-7 schools. The conventional wisdom goes on to say that you should select a mix of Safety Schools, Target Schools, and Reach Schools. That sounds easy enough. But the conventional wisdom is not perfect. In this blog post, we […]

What is Early Decision? Three Questions, Three Answers

In this blog post, we examine Early Decision. We compare Early Decision to Early Action and explain why Early Decision is truly binding – not something that you can easily escape from. What does Early Decision even mean? Early Decision is an application plan offered by some colleges in which a student applies during the […]

Five Steps to Gauge a College’s Career Development Opportunities

As you research colleges, take time to examine the resources they have available to prepare students for future careers. Can graduates find good jobs? What is their starting salary? To put it another way, you need to know if the colleges you are considering can deliver a favorable return on investment. Of course, colleges are […]

Demonstrate Your Interest to Colleges on Your List

Grade point average, strength of curriculum, standardized test scores, essays, activities, recommendation letters. These are many of the criteria that are used to measure a student’s academic strengths and personal qualifications for college admissions. But there is another important factor that colleges often use as an additional important reference point: demonstrated interest. What is demonstrated […]

When Your Dream School is Calling

I still remember the way I felt the first time I walked onto the University of Virginia campus more than 20 years ago.  Golden with sunshine, history, and tradition, the school felt like the only place I could possibly be happy spending my undergraduate years. In 7th and 8th grades, I had prominently displayed my Duke paraphernalia all […]

Advice to High School Seniors, by Patrick Shea (Class of 2018)

Guest Post by Patrick Shea. Patrick graduated from high school in 2018 and is a rising freshman at Providence College. Heading into the college process can be kind of stressful, especially piling it on top of school. It just kind of hangs over your head like a cloud and adds just a little bit to […]

The Importance of the College Essay

Angst about the “college essay” lives viciously in many college bound juniors and seniors.  I believe this angst exists in such magnitude partly because students and parents don’t accurately understand the function and impact of essays in the college process.  After years of coaching students to produce strong essays, I want to share a few […]

College as a Milestone, Not an Endgame

By Leigh Thompson, MBA – Launchgrad Consulting During your child’s junior and senior year of high school, it’s easy to focus everything on getting into a “top choice” college. But what if college is just an important milestone, not the endgame? What if setting our students up to launch well AFTER college is what it’s […]

Get To Know Your School's College Career Counselor

This week, February 5-9, is National School Counselor Week, though few people realize it. This makes sense, because, in general, I find school counselors to be humble individuals.It takes a special type of person to be able to effectively counsel a distressed student or parent, create every student’s schedule, and also write letters of recommendation […]

Lack of Sleep is Hurting Your ACT Score

A guest blog by Scott Hardin, Riverside Academic Tutoring Every year I tutor dozens of students trying to boost their SAT and ACT scores to gain acceptance to the college of their dreams.  Many of them, despite strong motivation and consistent effort, are unwittingly hampering their own efforts by not getting enough sleep. In fact […]

"Fair" Thee Well: How to Make the Most of a College Fair

Many people think of fall as football season, but I think of it as college fair season. College fairs can be a great way to research colleges you know you are interested in and to meet some schools you haven’t yet considered. But getting the most out of a college fair means going in prepared. […]

When Things Get Stressful, Don't Lose Perspective

For many college-bound students, the spring semester and the summer following it will be their last months living at home as a child with their parents. This marks the beginning of your entrance into adulthood. Many students in the fall semester are focused on completing applications, taking the SAT or ACT, and making good grades […]

Dealing with Waitlists and Deferrals

Colleges turn to giving you a Deferral or a Waitlist decision due to some level of uncertainty about your application. Three main uncertainties drive these decisions. 1. Broad Uncertainty The admissions team may not yet knowing enough about their application pool to understand how you compare to their other applicants. This scenario tends to result […]

Wait — a Resume? For College?

If you haven’t applied to college recently, you might be surprised to find something there that wasn’t before — a resume. Whereas this used to be something that was developed after college and when on the job hunt, colleges and universities are finding them helpful in making their final decisions. Every Spring, most of my juniors […]