The College Whisperer™ | Navigating The Road To College

Browsing Archive: July, 2010

Live from the Common App

Posted by College Connection on Friday, July 30, 2010, In : College Planning 
It's college application time!

Yes, the Common Application is "live" as of August 1. [More on that in a moment...]

First, The College Whisperer sends out a great big thank you to his college planning colleague and compatriot, The College Answer Guy, for the kind words (all true, but still kind ;-) offered up on his blog. Check it out at I Have a Twin!

It's nice to be thought and spoken of highly, especially by one's peers. And, if two heads are better than one, college-bound students will benefi...

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So, you think you have all the answers...

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, July 29, 2010, In : College Planning 
Not so fast, ye olde College Whisperer. [That's THE ye olde College Whisperer, to you!]

Sure, I know quite a bit about college planning, the application and admissions process, and the very essence of college life ["Back where I come from, we have universities, seats of great learning, where men go to become great thinkers. And when they come out, they think deep thoughts and with no more brains than you have. But they have one thing you haven't got: a diploma"], but nobody knows everything...
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Get the inside track on campus life

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, July 28, 2010, In : College Planning 
H.G. of Lido Beach, NY writes:

I've done the college tours, pored over the college websites, and read through the media hype offered by the admissions offices. How do I find out what life -- social, academic and otherwise -- is really like on campus?

The College Whisperer responds:

To really know what college life is like, get the students point of view.

Yes, gather all the reading material you can. Bookmark those college websites. Collect the glossy viewbooks. Take as many tours as budget, time ...
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Yanking the angst out of college admissions

Posted by College Connection on Monday, July 26, 2010, In : College Admissions 
Angst! Hmmm. Sounds like an SAT word to The College Whisperer.

Okay. Let's call it stress, the kind that churns the gut of every high school senior and grays the hair of every parent of a college-bound student.

GPA. SAT. ACT. The alphabet soup of stressors. College Board. Two words that strike fear in the hearts and butterflies in the stomachs of every 17 year old. Applications. Essays. College interviews. Don't even talk about it. Your stress has stress, right?

There's an old maxim that says, "...
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Common Question; Universal Concern

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, July 22, 2010, In : College Applications 
R.J. of East Rockaway, NY writes:

What's the difference between the Common Application and the Universal College Application? Is it better to use the college's own application, when offered? I'm growing more confused and frustrated by the minute. Where do I start?

The College Whisperer responds:

It is always best to start at the beginning, which, lucky for you, is right here at College Connection's blog. ;-)

Simply put, both the Common Application (Common App, to it's friends and admirers) and th...
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Watch the Gap

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, July 21, 2010, In : College Planning 
L.G. of Oyster Bay, NY writes:

What are your thoughts on taking a year off between high school and college?

The College Whisperer responds:

While taking time off between high school and college -- often referred to as the "gap year" -- is commonplace throughout Europe and Oceania [travel anywhere, and you will find students from countries like England, France, Australia and New Zealand, traveling, and working, seeing the world, gaining perspective, and, perhaps earning some much-needed cash to c...
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It's Optimum or it's not?

Posted by College Connection on Monday, July 19, 2010, In : College Prep 
G.S. of North Woodmere, NY writes:

I hear tell that Cablevision is offering FREE online PSAT and SAT courses to Optimum subscribers. Is this true? If so, is it worth it?

The College Whisperer responds:

You hear tell correctly. Cablevision (which is not the parent company of College Connection) is offering Optimum customers in good standing the opportunity to register for a FREE online PSAT or SAT course (said to have a $99 value), offered in conjunction with Kaplan, the test prep people. The off...
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Just who's going to college, anyway?

Posted by College Connection on Sunday, July 18, 2010, In : College Admissions 
The College Whisperer passes along words of wisdom:

Take heed! Some sound advice (this time, to parents), from a college admission's office, via The Choice, the college blog of The New York Times, offering prudent and practical considerations for those on the college search circuit. Caren Osten Gerszberg, blogger and parent, intersperses her own experiences (and those of her college-bound daughter) with the "Top 10 Things Parents Should Remember About the College Search Process."

A good, fun re...
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Take your toys to college

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, July 14, 2010, In : College Life 
Pat of Port Washington, NY writes:

My daughter will be off to college (Bennington, VT) in a few weeks. Should she take along her laptop, Blackberry, and assorted (sordid?) toys?

The College Whisperer responds:

Toys? Did you say, toys?

Laptops, Blackberries, and those other accoutrements of 21st Century life are not toys, madam (um, er sir? ;-). They are a modern means of communicating, of emoting, of staying in touch with friends, drinking buddies (21 and over, please), Sorority sisters, profess...
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Student-Athletes Need Love Too

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, July 13, 2010, In : The Student-Athlete 
D.G. of Woodsburgh, NY writes:

My son, a high school junior, is really into sports. Which colleges would be best for him?

The College Whisperer responds:

When you say, "really into sports," do you mean playing them, or watching them? Are we talking about a varsity linebacker, one who may well be recruited by a Big Ten school like Purdue, or a fella who would be pleased as punch spending Saturday afternoons taking on the rock climbing wall at High Point University?

Is your son a scholar/athlete, t...
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Whose State U. Is It Anyway?

Posted by College Connection on Monday, July 12, 2010, In : College Admissions 
D.N. of Hewlett Bay Park, NY writes:

The popularity with New Yorkers with other state's public universities seems to grow every year. What's wrong with New York's public universities?

The College Whisperer responds:

Ahh, the grass always appears greener on someone else's state university campus!

I am reminded of a student whose dream college was the University of Wisconsin (Madison). I asked whether he had a certain affinity for cheese (clearly, he was not lactose intolerant) or particularly enjo...
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A Dollar and A Dream

Posted by College Connection on Saturday, July 10, 2010, In : Paying for College 
In fact, this dream doesn't even cost you a dollar.

It's the 3rd Annual $100,000 Upromise College Dream Sweepstakes®. 10 lucky winners will each receive a $10,000.00 college scholarship. Now wouldn't that be grand? Ten, actually.

Forget that little bit of luck fella, cute and cuddly as the lottery's namesake curmudgeon may be. Simply click on the banner below, join
Upromise and get TurboSaver® (it's FREE), and you are automatically entered in the scholarship sweepstakes.

Nothing to buy. N...
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SAT Question of the Day

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, July 8, 2010, In : College Prep 
L.S. of Bellmore, NY writes:

I can't take the studying for the (expletive) SATs. Is all of this really necessary?

The College Whisperer responds:

For years, the SAT (Scholastic Achievement Test cum Scholastic Aptitude Test) has had its detractors -- The College Whisperer among them -- and, of more recent vintage, has come under fire, from college administrators and students alike, as being unfair, biased, and fundamentally flawed, demonstrating neither achievement nor aptitude.

DUH!

Indeed, as any...
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Disorientation U?

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, July 6, 2010, In : College Prep 
D.R. of Floral Park, NY writes:

Is attending a college's orientation really necessary?

The College Whisperer responds:

Yes. Yes. And allow me to reiterate. YES!

You don't say whether you are a student or a parent, but, in either case, taking advantage of all that college orientation has to offer is critical -- and loads of fun.

For the student, hey, this is where you'll be spending the next four, and very exciting years of your life. Check out the facilities, from dorm rooms to lecture halls. Ta...
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What colleges are looking for in a student

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, July 1, 2010, In : College Admissions 
M.L. of Dix Hills, NY writes:

In order of importance, what are college admissions officers really looking for?

The College Whisperer responds:

Show me ten college admissions officers, and I'll show you ten different rankings of the criteria they use to determine the quality of a student's record.

The black and white of GPAs and SAT/ACT scores sometimes yield to the shades of gray (or, with the help of your College Connection counselor, the veritable rainbow) of the personal statement, supplementa...
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