The College Whisperer™ | Navigating The Road To College

Browsing Archive: August, 2011

The Stop, Drop and Roll of the College Application Process

Posted by College Connection on Monday, August 29, 2011, In : College Applications 

In fire safety, everyone knows it's Stop, Drop and Roll. In college applications, the buzz words are Reach, Target and Safety!

We all know the drill --

Reach schools are those whose admissions criteria you don't quite nearly meet, if you meet at all. These are your "give it a shot" colleges.

Target schools are those where your academics, extracurriculars, test scores fit squarely within the range of accepted students. No guarantee, but you feel pretty confident that if you apply, you'll get in.

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The Calm Before -- And During -- The College Admissions Storm

Posted by College Connection on Friday, August 26, 2011, In : College Planning 

Earthquakes. Hurricanes. Locust. [Would you believe a noisy Cicada, falling from a nearby tree? Oh, we hate when that happens!]

All enough to unsettle even those with nerves of steel. And yet, even these natural disasters (not to mention those man-made ones that come our way, seemingly on a daily basis), hardly compare to the terror struck in the hearts of bold men, brave women and unflappable 18 year olds by the onset and ensuing deluge known as the college application and admission process.

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Thoughts On College Planning, Redux

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, August 25, 2011, In : College Planning 

Some advice is well worth repeating. These mental meanderings, from a prior post by The College Whisperer, among them:

A Sherpa's Guide to College Admissions

Excerpted from


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,...

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Calculating The True Cost of College

Posted by College Connection on Sunday, August 21, 2011, In : Paying for College 

So, what will four years -- or more -- on campus (or off) really cost you?

Until now, the cost of a college education -- from tuition, room and board to textbooks and those "incidentals," like transportation and toothpaste -- has been, pretty much, a guesstimate, at best.

Sure, there's an app for this and an app for that. College websites, too, often offer insights, as well as rough figures rounded up (or down) for one-size-fits-all. But what will be the hit to your wallet, bank account, or 529...
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A College Essay Too Far

Posted by College Connection on Friday, August 12, 2011, In : College Applications 

Oh, the lengths college-bound students -- and their angst-ridden parents -- will go to for that perfect college essay experience.

Sojourns to China. Second-seating surgeons in the operating theater. Cult-like 3-day application boot camps in Cambridge at $15,000 plus, not including room and board.

Oh my!

Check out The New York Times piece, For a Standout College Essay, Applicants Fill Their Summers.

If it seems rather extreme to you to mingle with the Ming Dynasty in Beijing or to rediscover the R...
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You Are Your High School Resume

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, August 10, 2011, In : College Applications 

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a clear, concise, well-drafted high school resume -- which may actually be less than a thousand words -- could well set the stage for getting your picture on that coveted college ID.

Your high school resume is, quite literally, a snapshot of your achievements and activities, and the astute applicant will make it part and parcel of his or her college application. [HINT: Attach your resume to the Common Application. Your college planning counselor ...
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In 500 Words, More Or Less?

Posted by College Connection on Thursday, August 4, 2011, In : College Applications 

D.L. of Woodmere, NY writes: The Common App has revised the word count on the personal statement (college essay) to "250 to 500 words." Does this set a limit?

The College Whisperer responds:

Funny you should ask!

Yes, the Common App, Writing section, as modified for 2011-12, now instructs applicants to "Please write an essay of 250 – 500 words on a topic of your choice or on one of the options listed below, and attach it to your application before submission."

This would appear, on its face, to...
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