The College Whisperer™ | Navigating The Road To College

Showing category "College Admissions" (Show all posts)

A Fall Guide For The College Bound

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, November 4, 2015, In : College Admissions 

WELCOME TO NOVEMBER!

Almost time to stick that Thanksgiving turkey in the oven (and can that Christmas music be far behind?). [By all rights, if the heralding of Christmas (1 day) begins the day after Halloween, the festivities for Chanukah (8 days) should start right after Valentine's Day. Just sayin'... Wink]

Anyway...

Early Action. Early Action II (like hitting the snooze button?]. Regular Decision. Now is the time to put those finishing touches on the yet unsubmitted applications. Dot the i's. C...

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Enrollment Management Is The New College Admissions

Posted by College Connection on Monday, June 8, 2015, In : College Admissions 

For most graduating high school seniors, the tale has been told. You've applied and been accepted to college, made your final decision, and, hopefully, searched for and found an abundance of scholarship money to pay for that degree.

There are of course those, who, waking up to the fact that high school is now coming to an end, have yet to apply to college. The procrastinators. The "hiding under a rock" gang. The "I only applied to one school and didn't get in" bunch.

Out of luck? Too late? Afte...


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Hit The Ground Running In The College Admissions Race!

Posted by College Connection on Friday, May 29, 2015, In : College Admissions 

The college application season approaches (and waits for no one)!

Just a brief, yet important, overview as to what high school juniors/rising seniors should be doing at this stage of the college admissions game (batteries sold separately):

1. Naviance - Build that Resume (in the About Me section). Every activity, in school and out; every award, honor, citation, and pat on the back; basically, anything you have done during waking hours from the 9th grade on. [Include senior year activities, etc....


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MAY DAY! MAY DAY!

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, In : College Admissions 


No, not a 
distress call. [Though there were many, throughout the college application and admissions season, from students and parents alike.] Not International Workers’ Day. [Though we do celebrate the labors of the college-bound in their studies and pursuits which have taken them to the ivy-covered gates.] Not Beltane, the ancient Celtic feast ushering in summer. [Though what student doesn’t look forward to those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer?] 

May 1
 is, indeed, May Day -- with a uniq...

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Rankings Matter To Colleges: They Should To You, Too!

Posted by College Connection on Friday, April 10, 2015, In : College Admissions 

“’You can love us or hate us, but we’re not going away,’ says U.S. News editor Brian Kelly. ’University officials realized we’re much more valuable to them than not.’ He deflects criticism, saying, ’It’s not up to us to solve problems. We’re just putting data out there.’ He does, however, admit that the rankings system can be gamed.” - Boston Magazine, How To Game The College Rankings

Colleges care about rankings. A lot.

In fact, they care so much for those seemingly inn...


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Just Because You've Been Accepted. . .

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, March 11, 2015, In : College Admissions 

. . .Doesn’t Mean There’s Not More To Be Done!

Access Your College Web Portals -- Colleges give you web portals for a reason: So you may log on and get additional information, complete forms, check your status, find and accept (or decline) your financial aid award, and so much more. Check the web portal for every college you’ve been accepted to, and do so often!

Update FAFSA -- Submitting your initial FAFSA early is good. Submitting your “Corrected” FAFSA, after you file your tax retu...


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And The College Acceptance Letter Goes To. . .

Posted by College Connection on Monday, February 23, 2015, In : College Admissions 

While watching the Academy Awards, trying to second-guess who would win the Oscar and who would get snubbed, slighted, or sacked, it dawned on me -- the awarding of the Oscars is very much like college admissions: Arbitrary, capricious, and pretty much anybody’s guess, educated or otherwise.

Was Birdman really more worthy than The Budapest Hotel? Eddie Redmayne truly a better actor than, say, Benedict Cumberbatch? Why was Feast the “best” animated short film, and not The Bigger Picture? ...


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A Tale Of Two College Applicants

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, February 19, 2015, In : College Admissions 

It is not always -- or even often -- about the story. How you tell it. What it imparts. Where you’ve come from. Where you hope to go. At least not in college admissions, where the difference between acceptance and denial (or deferment and waitlist) is frequently a random act rather than a conscious effort.

Take the case of two students I worked with this year. Both from a prestigious Long Island high school. One with stellar grades, scores, community service, extracurriculars, and an essay t...


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10 Things I Hate About 10 Things!

Posted by College Connection on Monday, February 9, 2015, In : College Admissions 

You’ve seen them. In the newspapers and magazines. On Internet search engines and online tutorials. Even on your Twitter feed.

“10 Things You Must Do Before Applying To College”

“7 Myths About FAFSA”

“8 Reasons Why Your SAT Score Matters”

“The 5 Best College Dining Halls”

Yes, along with those inane college rankings (the ones that prompt colleges to extend their application deadlines, so they can have more applications to deny, thus decreasing the acceptance rate, and moving them...


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Heads You're In. Tails You're Out.

Posted by College Connection on Saturday, January 31, 2015, In : College Admissions 

The following posts should be of interest as college admissions decisions begin to roll in:

The Truth About Admissions

For Anyone Who Has Ever Received A College Rejection Letter

Beware Monkeys Throwing Darts!

Remember, very often, it’s not you... It’s them!

Plan. Prepare. PREVAIL!

College Connection on Twitter download.php?rand=270925&folder=INBOX.Se Follow Us

The College Whisperer download.php?rand=394537&folder=INBOX.Se Like Us On Facebook

Call us at COLLEGE CONNECTION for all of your college planning needs! 516-345-8766.


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It's Only College!

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, November 11, 2014, In : College Admissions 

The one word I hear most in my college planning and counseling adventures is "overwhelmed." Followed, in many instances, by "frustrated," "frightened," and "flabbergasted." [The latter probably being a good SAT word! :-)]

How something so seemingly simply (it actually was just that, back in the days when applications were written by hand and submitted via the United States Postal Service) could be turned into something so complex, complicated, costly, and, in almost every respect, inane.

The in...


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SAT Scores; Early Action; Financial Aid; Upping The Ante

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, October 28, 2014, In : College Admissions 

SAT Scores: A reminder that scores for the October SAT are now posted at www.CollegeBoard.org. Official scores must be sent to those colleges requiring same via the College Board website. [Note: If the Early Action Deadline is November 1, scores should be sent "RUSH" (additional fee applies).] 

Early Action Deadlines: Be aware of Early Action (EA) Deadline dates. Do NOT wait until the actual deadline date(s) to submit your applications. 

Naviance: For those high schools utilizing Naviance, be s...

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For The Love Of Money!

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, September 23, 2014, In : College Admissions 

Typically, when we mention "money" here at The College Whisperer, we're talking scholarships -- free money for college. Where to search for it and how to get your hands on it. After all, financial freedom beats student debt every time!

Today, however, we are constrained to blog about the megabucks that is the world of college applications and admissions. A tale of collusion and conspiracy, piracy and profiteering, patting you on the back with one hand, while picking your pockets with the ot...

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Your Sherpa Guide To College Admissions

Posted by College Connection on Saturday, September 6, 2014, In : College Admissions 

M.S. of East Williston, NY writes: 
Do I really need a college planning counselor for my child? Aren’t the resources available through her high school guidance counselor, the colleges, and the Internet, sufficient? It all seems so expensive. 

The College Whisperer
™ responds:
 
Back in the day, when the earth was young, and college applications were written by hand and mailed to one or two schools along with a check for $15, a visit to your guidance counselor, along with a thumb-through of the...
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Don't Be Frightened By The Numbers. Or Fooled By The Stats.

Posted by College Connection on Friday, April 11, 2014, In : College Admissions 

They used to say, "there are lies, damned lies, and then there are statistics..."

Today, the code words are Metrics and analytics.

You hear those words often these days. Well, you do, if you watch professional baseball games, or do almost any reading -- or browsing -- of how data-driven we have become in everything from "the shift" to deciding who gets in to college.

Yes, data. The stuff that pushes high stakes standardized test scores to the fore in the minds of the mindless, and takes the mana...

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The Waitlist

Posted by College Connection on Saturday, March 29, 2014, In : College Admissions 

The waitlist, more often than not, is that great void known as the Black Hole of college admissions, where applications go to die.

You, as the applicant, must get your applications in by deadline, or else. You must file for financial aid and scholarships by dates certain, or else. You must notify colleges of your acceptance decisions by May 1, or else.

Colleges, on the other hand, are not so much bound by deadlines. Apply Early Action, expecting a definitive answer sometime bet...


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REJECTED!

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, March 27, 2014, In : College Admissions 

Forlorn? Depressed? Inconsolable?

Read this article by journalist and author Joan Didion on being denied admission to Stanford in 1952. As timely today as it was when first published in 1968 in the Saturday Evening Post!

On Being Unchosen by the College of One’s Choice

“Dear Joan,” the letter begins, although the writer did not know me at all. The letter is dated April 25, 1952, and for a long time now it has been in a drawer in my mother’s house, the kind of back-bedroom drawer given ov...


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Educate America First!

Posted by College Connection on Monday, March 24, 2014, In : College Admissions 

Recently, I spent the better part of a day assembling furniture that was “Made in China.” Leaving aside the fact that the instructions were clearly lost in translation, and the pictures of the nuts, bolts and assorted parts looked nothing like the content of the carton (not even the ones that were left over after final assembly), I got to thinking about why we can’t – or simply won’t – make things like tables, chairs, and dressers here in this country.

Could it be, as we are told...


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Beware Monkeys Throwing Darts!

Posted by College Connection on Friday, January 31, 2014, In : College Admissions 

Ever wonder how college admission decisions are really made? Think the difference between getting in and that rejection letter is skewed toward grades? Could it have been too few hours in the soup kitchen, or that college essay that echoed so little emotion, it wouldn't even have brought a tear to John Boehner's watery eyes?

And who's making those decisions, anyway? A committee (so no one individual will have to own it)? A college admissions officer, barely out of college herself? A monkey thr...
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"Congratulations! You've Been Accepted To College." Or Not!

Posted by College Connection on Friday, December 13, 2013, In : College Admissions 

Well, folks, They've done it again! Sending out letters of acceptance to prospective college students, when they meant to say, "deferred," or worse still, "denied." Ooops!

This time, it was Fordham University, which, through a third party contractor, mailed out 2,500 letters to applicants telling them they had been accepted, when, in fact, they had not.

READ, 2,500 Applicants Get False News of Acceptance to Fordham 


Bummer!


First of all, a third part contractor? Since when do colleges outsource a...

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"It's Not The End Of The World. . ."

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, December 3, 2013, In : College Admissions 

For all those with "end of the world" anxieties, here are just a few things that the college-bound shouldn't worry about:

-You missed the Early Action deadline. "It's not the end of the world..." There are literally hundreds of colleges and universities with regular decision deadlines yet to come, not to mention (though we always do) the legion of schools with rolling admissions.

-Your Common App essay lacks formatting and pagination. "It's not the end of the world..." No worries here. If y...


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In Defense of The New Common App. Really?

Posted by College Connection on Friday, September 20, 2013, In : College Admissions 

In response to public comment to The College Whisperer's recent blog post, Oops! Common App Has Done It Again!!!, that which has been said -- not to mention all that has been left unsaid -- bears, we believe, repeating.

Below is the commentary, verbatim, for your consideration, pro and con. Your further comments, on either side of the argument (or on the fence, for those who, like Switzerland, choose to remain neutral), are most welcome.

Allow me to simply say here, and for the record, that ...
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"White Only" At The New Common App

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, August 6, 2013, In : College Admissions 

All right. We've gotten used to the racial profiling cum Affirmative Action in college admissions. "Are you Hispanic or Latino?" "Indicate how you identify yourself -- American Indian or Alaska Native (does this give Sarah Palin a preference?). Asian? Black or African American? Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander? White?"

Heaven forbid you should identify yourself as neither one nor the other -- or perhaps some hybrid mix, as in, "out of many, one." [Where have I heard that phrase before...
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College Admission: More Than The Sum Of Its Parts

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, June 25, 2013, In : College Admissions 

The College Whisperer is often asked, "What is the most important factor in deciding college admission?" Grades? Test scores? The essay? Is it making the right choice of colleges to apply to in the first place? And what about cost? That should be considered in the mix, right?

Kinda like asking, "What's the most important ingredient in Grandma's out-of-this world soup?" Leave one out, or put in too much or too little of another, and it doesn't quite taste the same, does it?

Clearly, getting i...
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Waitlisted At Monsters University

Posted by College Connection on Monday, May 13, 2013, In : College Admissions 

Imagine that Monsters University was your dream school. The only college you really wanted to go to.  Top choice. None to compare.

And then, your absolute worst nightmare (as if living and dining at Monsters U wouldn't be scary enough): You are notified by admissions that you are on the wait list.

Nooooooooooooo. It can't possibly be. After all, those awful monsters in your AP Bio class got in. And to the School of Science, no less! You visited -- and fell in love with -- the campus. You met wi...
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For Anyone Who Has Ever Received A College Rejection Letter

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, April 24, 2013, In : College Admissions 

Forlorn? Depressed? Inconsolable?

Read this article by journalist and author Joan Didion on being denied admission to Stanford in 1952. As timely today as it was when first published in 1968!

On Being Unchosen By The College of One's Choice

Cheer up. Your very best days are yet to come! :-)

Plan. Prepare. Prevail!

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of The College Whisperer.

Who knows what peril lurks in the college application and admissions process? The Col...


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Keep Calm And Carry On. It's Only College!

Posted by College Connection on Friday, April 5, 2013, In : College Admissions 

There are many women The College Whisperer knows -- and many more he does not -- who are tough as nails. Smart. Courageous. Undaunted by the most pressing challenges of our times.

Take Linda Flanagan. Ms. Flanagan is a freelance writer (frequently, at The Huffington Post), researcher, and editor, specializing in national security issues. Most recently she was Executive Editor for the HELP Commission, a federal body mandated to produce recommendations to reform foreign assistance. Before tha...

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Speaking of College Essays. . .

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, April 3, 2013, In : College Admissions 

Our good friend and most knowledgeable colleague, Randy Levin of WriteToCollege.com will be offering FREE (yes, we said FREE) workshops on writing that perfect college essay.

Believe me, The College Whisperer™, in the scheme of what's critical in the college application and admissions process, the college essay is right up there with the Common App and FAFSA. And when it comes to what to write on those college essays, and how to write it, few people can put it all together like Randy Levin....
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What High School Students Should Do During Spring Break

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, March 19, 2013, In : College Admissions 

Assuming the beaches of Cancun aren't on the agenda for the coming Spring Break, high school students are likely to have some free time on their hands.

Here's a few things high schoolers (and not just Seniors) can -- and should -- do to prepare for college:

1. Visit Colleges. Seniors should visit or revisit colleges to which they were accepted, with a view toward deciding which school(s) would be the best fit. Sit in on a class. Stay overnight in a dorm. Check out the library (you may as well k...
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Deciding On A College, And Finding The Money To Pay For It

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, March 12, 2013, In : College Admissions 

As college acceptances (beyond those already in hand) begin to trickle in by snail mail and email, thoughts turn from "applying to college" to "which offer of admission do I accept?"

Decisions. Decisions. And all of them good!

Before making any decision [National College Decision Day is May 1], consider your options, giving weight to factors that are important to you and your family (including financial aid, academic programs, home or away), and give a read to an interesting and informativ...


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You Got Into College! Now What?

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, January 15, 2013, In : College Admissions 

January. Those who applied Early Action anxiously await that envelope -- or e-mail, as is often the case in the information age -- the "We welcome you to xyz U, class of 2017" or "We regret to inform you.." from colleges offering the comfort (or further angst) that comes with knowing where you stand -- even if it's on a waiting line.

If rejected, well, there's still time to apply elsewhere. [You didn't want to go there anyway, right? Mom made you apply. ;-)]

Assuming you are accepted, now what?...
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College Admissions - The Exciting Game Without Any Rules

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, January 3, 2013, In : College Admissions 

For those of us old enough to remember the movie, Bang The Drum Slowly, or, for that matter, the crafty card games of The Sting, TEGWAR is a familiar, if but somewhat unsettling, word.

Yes, TEGWAR -- The Exciting Game Without Any Rules -- where a good old game of Poker turns into a time-honored way of separating suckers from their money.

Oddly enough (and quite the perfect segue, really), that brings us to college admissions. A process where suckers, if not (yet) to be separated from their mon...
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Deferred Is Not Denied

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, December 18, 2012, In : College Admissions 

The agony of defeat has been well documented, at least by ABC Sports. The agony of deferral? Not so much.

Those who apply to college Early Decision/Early Action wait with great anticipation -- not to mention high anxiety -- for that early word from colleges. The "yea" or "nay." The official "thumbs up" or "thumbs down."

Then comes that letter -- or email. "Congrats. You're in!" Jubilation. "Sorry. You're out." Devastation.* Or that vast chasm of uncertainty, the dreaded, "We can't make a decis...
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The "Test Optional" Option

Posted by College Connection on Monday, October 22, 2012, In : College Admissions 

M.S. of Rockville Centre, NY writes:

While my high school GPA (96.40) is indicative of the work I'm capable of doing, my SAT scores (1490 combined), on the other hand, are not. What do you think about applying to colleges that are SAT/ACT optional? Will opting not to report my scores be considered suspect, hurting my chances of getting in?

The College Whisperer replies:

When a college says, "Test Optional," we'd like to think they actually mean it! No looking askance. No raised eyebrows. No ...

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Some More Things The College Admissions Office Won't Tell You

Posted by College Connection on Monday, October 15, 2012, In : College Admissions 

Last month we gave you some college admissions food for thought (as if those applying to college, and their weary parents, needed more to think about), in our post, Ten Things The College Admissions Office Won't Tell You.

Now, just when you thought it was safe to wade back into the Common App, a few more things admissions officers know but are not saying, via a timely piece in Business Insider, out of the mouth of an admissions officer at Dartmouth College (speaking on the condition of anonym...
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In October, What Could Be Spookier Than Applying To College?

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, October 4, 2012, In : College Admissions 

The ghostly apparitions that appear at your front door disguised as the Common App. Goblins that stealthily roam your laptop at night, scrambling the letters on your personal statement and supplemental essays. And fear of all fear, as witches and warlocks gather 'round the cauldron at the college admissions office.

Be afraid. Be very afraid. The college application season is upon us!

And if the process of applying to college wasn't itself haunting, then surely the selectivity that has become th...
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Ten Things The College Admissions Office Won't Tell You

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, September 4, 2012, In : College Admissions 

1. Your Application Is Incomplete. Yes, most colleges have so-called "Application Checkers" which allow you to see (though not always in real-time) what, if anything is missing from your application. Test scores. High school transcript. Supplements. Recommendations. Colleges will not even review your application until it is deemed complete, and it is entirely up to you to make sure it is -- as in, "signed, sealed and delivered."

2. You Missed The Application Deadline. A candidate for Early Act...
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Once Safe Colleges Now Out Of Reach

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, May 24, 2012, In : College Admissions 

Acceptance rates at many colleges are lower this year than in the past, and the prediction is for those percentages to drop further still next year.

College-bound students, and their parents, are scratching their heads. Why is a college that was a "safety" school, just a few short years ago, now a "reach," or even beyond?

Are college applicants becoming smarter? Are colleges recruiting too many international students? [Colleges spend millions each year recruiting foreign students, and while In...
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You Still Haven't Applied To College???

Posted by College Connection on Friday, May 4, 2012, In : College Admissions 


You're a high school senior, about to graduate, and the Common App is about as uncommon to you as 365 consecutive days of sunshine are to the rain forest.

Somehow, for reasons only known to, um, well, who knows -- you are just now starting down that long and winding road that leads to the ivy-covered gates known as college. Game Over, or good things come to those who wait?

As The Choice, The New York Times' informative college admissions blog attests, Many Colleges Are Still Taking Applications...


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D-Day: The College Decision

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, April 25, 2012, In : College Admissions 

As the deadline for accepting college admissions approaches (May 1 for most schools), now would be a good time to revisit our previous post, You're In! Now What?

Take a good look, a deep breath, and then, it's first star to the right and straight on 'til morning! [Or was that the second star? Hmmm...]
- - -

You're In! Now What?

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, April 6, 2011 Under: College Admissions

WOW! You made the cut. You've gotten into college - several of them, actually. Con...

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"POPULAR! You're Gonna Be Popular!"

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, January 31, 2012, In : College Admissions 

Hold onto your hats, boys and girls. Here's another list to add to your list of lists: The Most Popular Colleges In America.

Yes, U.S. News & World Report is at it again. Now it's a popularity contest. [Wasn't it always?]

It was Albert Einstein (though the quote is often misattributed to everyone from the late Senator Everett Dirkson to Muhammed Ali) who once said, “What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right.”

How very true!

So, a college that may be extremel...
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Please Listen Carefully As Our Menu Items Have Recently Changed. . .

Posted by College Connection on Monday, December 19, 2011, In : College Admissions 

Ever notice how every company, from the largest corporation in America to the smallest Mom and Pop store on Main Street, has relinquished control of their telephone to the relentlessly annoying and endlessly mind-boggling automated answering systems?

"For billing, press 6." "To check the status of your order, press 7." "For repairs and technical support, press 9."

Assuming you have figured out the correct menu item (which, by the way, has never really changed), you are, more often than not, no ...
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Getting Into College Isn't Rocket Science*

Posted by College Connection on Monday, November 28, 2011, In : College Admissions 

*It's actually more difficult!

Rocket Science.
More appropriately, aerospace engineering. The time-honored term used to describe a task or idea as being easy as compared to rocket science, which is perceived as a very difficult field. Usually used as a statement such as "It's not rocket science!"

So, why even attempt to make a connection between, say, the science of putting a man on the moon and the college application and admissions process?

Let's put it this way. The former deals with the desi...
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What Are Colleges REALLY Looking For?

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, October 27, 2011, In : College Admissions 

Neil Rosen, of Orange County, California, writes (via LinkedIn): What are some of the areas college admission officers are looking at besides GPA, SAT scores, ACT scores, and extra-curricular activities?

The College Whisperer responds: Great question, Neil!

The long and short of it is that colleges are looking for more than academic prowess (though, believe me when I say that grades and test scores count, so no slacking off there!). That's why, in examing the matrices and databases on admitted...

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Miss The FREE College Admissions Webinar?

Posted by College Connection on Monday, October 10, 2011, In : College Admissions 

Launch Newsday's FREE College Admissions Webinar right HERE.


Then, call College Connection at 516-345-8766 to launch your plans for college admissions success!

* * *
Comments? Questions for The College Whisperer?
Write us at info@TheCollegeWhisperer.com


The road to college begins at College Connection. Call us for a FREE telephone consultation. 516-345-8766.

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FREE Newsday College Admissions Webinar

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, October 5, 2011, In : College Admissions 

Who doesn't like free?

Add "FREE" to Newsday's College Admissions Webinar (this Thursday, October 6 at 8 PM) and you've got yourself a winning combo!

Supplement our face time with this informative online session covering important and relevant topics such as college applications, the admissions process, and, as not everything in life is free, the ins and outs of financial aid.

Registration for the Webinar is required.

And please be so kind as to clue in friends, neighbors, classmates and c...

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Are You On "Target" For The Colleges You're Applying To?

Posted by College Connection on Saturday, October 1, 2011, In : College Admissions 

See Who Got In, Who Didn't, and How You Compare


No, it isn't foolproof, and it won't guarantee that your "target" school is a sure thing, or that "reach" school is beyond yours. Still...

Would you like to see the qualifications of thousands of real students who applied to college? See who got in, and who didn't? How about an inside look at the students applying this year?
Now you can, with the College Admissions Tracker, a free tool from COLLEGEdata.com
With the Admissions Tracker, you ca...

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The Rancor Over College Rankings

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, September 13, 2011, In : College Admissions 

We never put much stock into the annual ranking of colleges and universities -- by U.S. News & World Report, or otherwise. The beauty contest slash marketing push, oft times leaving students and their parents baffled, bewildered and blindsided, really doesn't mean all that much.

Certainly, it sells magazines and makes for sensational headlines, but such jockeying for first place between the likes of Harvard and Princeton will have little, if any, bearing on where the majority of college-bound...
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You're In! Now What?

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, April 6, 2011, In : College Admissions 

WOW! You made the cut. You've gotten into college - several of them, actually. Congrats! Now comes what you thought would be the easy part: deciding where to spend the next four years of your life.

Hmmmm. Decisions, decisions...

Our friends at University Language Services have some sound advice to help you make that all-important decision. Read on...

The daunting application process has paid off, and now you can relax - sort of.

These colleges may have chosen you, but how do you choose a colleg...


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Don't Rush To Decision On College Acceptance

Posted by College Connection on Friday, December 3, 2010, In : College Admissions 

December. Those who applied Early Action anxiously await that envelope -- or e-mail, as is often the case in the information age -- the "We welcome you to xyz U, class of 2015" or "We regret to inform you.." from colleges offering the comfort (or further angst) that comes with knowing where you stand before the new year.

If rejected, well, there's still time to apply elsewhere. [You didn't want to go there anyway, right? Mom made you apply. ;-)]

Assuming you are accepted, now what?

Okay. Unlike ...
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What High School Seniors Should Be Doing Now

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, November 3, 2010, In : College Admissions 

With the deadlines for applications (most colleges) -- many as early as December 1 for Regular Admission, Fall 2011 -- fast approaching, it's crunch time for most college-bound high school seniors.

Presuming you have not already conquered the Common App, Universal App, or your intended college of choice proprietary app, you should be working, diligently, on writing and tweaking personal statements and supplemental essays, accurately and completely filling in the blanks on each application and ...
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The State of College Admission

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, October 28, 2010, In : College Admissions 

While frustrated high school students and their nervous parents often find themselves in a state of confusion, as the college application process wends its way down that circuitous and sometimes precarious road toward the admissions office, our friends at the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) have compiled a comprehensive report on the State of College Admission.

For those still trying to figure out why colleges on the Common App can't agree on seemingly simple mat...
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Support The Pathways To College Act

Posted by College Connection on Friday, October 22, 2010, In : College Admissions 

As if getting into and paying for college weren't difficult enough!

From our friends at National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC):

Background
The primary policy goal of NACAC members is the improvement of college access for all students. NACAC’s recommendations for solving the college access crisis fall under three research-based policy principles: access to college preparatory coursework, investment in need-based student aid, and access to quality school counseling. NACAC...
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The Choice

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, October 7, 2010, In : College Admissions 

No. Not which college or university to apply to, or, ultimately, which school to attend. [Though the former (application) is certainly on the minds of many a high school senior this month, with the latter (admission) the desired goal. We're talking about the blog -- The Choice at The New York Times.

The College Whisperer tips his cap (tassel sold separately) to the writers and editors at The Choice, who truly do their part (as we do ours) in "Demystifying College Admissions and Aid."

Today, we...
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What are my chances?

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, September 29, 2010, In : College Admissions 

P.B. of Greenvale, NY writes:


I know that there are many variables in college admission decisions, including grades, test scores, extracurriculars, and, of course, the personal statement. That said, are there any websites where students/parents can plug in the "cut and dry" and, while far from absolute certainty, at least get an idea whether they are in the ballpark for admission at a particular college?

The College Whisperer responds:

As you so aptly acknowledge, with so many factors to b...

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How College Admissions Works

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, September 23, 2010, In : College Admissions 

Sure. The college admissions process is as shrouded in mystery as the road to college is full of twists, turns, detours, and, yes, the occasional pothole.

Still, there are some general observations that can be made about the process, and particulars that every college-bound student -- and his/her parents -- should be aware of.

Here are some thoughts -- and prudent pointers -- from the folks at Howstuffworks.com:

Introduction to How College Admissions Works


Students
Photo courtesy Duke Photography
Studen...

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The College Essay: Striving To Distance Yourself From The Madding Crowd

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, September 14, 2010, In : College Admissions 

Two high school seniors, college bound. One from an affluent school district on Long Island. The other from a small town nestled in the foothills of the Adirondacks. Both with stellar academic records, sufficiently proficient SAT and ACT scores, exemplary extracurricular activities, and abundant community service.

What distinguishes these two students, one from the other, in the eyes of the all and powerful college admissions officer at XYZ University?

Demographics, yes. All things being equal ...
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The Great Procrastinator

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, August 5, 2010, In : College Admissions 
L.T. of Garden City Park, NY writes:

My son, the great procrastinator, graduated high school last June, never bothered to apply to college, and had absolutely no idea what he wanted to do with his life. Suddenly, a light bulb went off over his head and he wants to go to college -- this fall! Can he still get in to a college starting in just a few weeks? Any colleges here on Long Island accepting students at this late date?

The College Whisperer responds:

So, The Great Procrastinator was p...

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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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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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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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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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Late Doesn't Mean Never

Posted by College Connection on Monday, June 28, 2010, In : College Admissions 
S.F. of Syosset, NY writes:

My son, who graduated high school last week, has yet to apply to college. Is it too late to get into college for fall 2010?

The College Whisperer replies:

While last minute applications are frowned upon, and often mean forgoing a college of first, or even second choice, there are literally hundreds -- yes, hundreds -- of top-ranked colleges and universities still accepting applications for admission in the fall of this year.

And not just third and fourth tier universit...
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College Admission Boot Camp?

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, April 28, 2010, In : College Admissions 
J.R. of Great Neck, NY writes:

I saw an ad in The New York Times for what is being billed as a college application boot camp -- an intensive 4-day "event" where students may complete their college applications with "leading admission pros." The cost is $14,000 for the 4 days, not including food or lodging.

My daughter will be a high school senior this fall, and I was wondering whether a boot camp such as this would be a wise investment?

The College Whisperer responds:

The Few. The Proud. The Angs...

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