The College Whisperer™ | Navigating The Road To College

Browsing Archive: October, 2012

Common App-Rehension About Hurricane Sandy

Posted by College Connection on Sunday, October 28, 2012, In : College Applications 

As the storm of the century (or so they tell us) advances toward the Northeast, students (and their parents) are concerned about submitting college applications prior to the November 1 Early Action Deadline.

Common App, as per their post on Facebook, advises as follows:

We're watching the brewing Frankenstorm along with everyone else. When unexpected events have upended major deadlines in the past, colleges have responded graciously. As we head toward November 1, we've asked our members to cons...
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The Calm Before -- And During -- The College Admissions Storm

Posted by College Connection on Saturday, October 27, 2012, In : College Planning 

Here comes Hurricane Sandy!

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 17 year olds by the onset and ensuing deluge known as the college applicat...
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"Horses and Bayonets"

Posted by College Connection on Tuesday, October 23, 2012, In : College Applications 

Yes, horses and bayonets have, in our technologically advanced military, been replaced by aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines, much like the paper and pen have been supplanted (if not supplemented to near death) by the Common App and Naviance.

And while we're all pacifists here -- and to borrow from Albert Einstein, we don't know how the next war will be fought, but the war after that will be fought with sticks and stones -- as a strategy and a matter of military advantage, aircraft carri...
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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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If A College Isn't Offering You Money...

Posted by College Connection on Friday, October 19, 2012, In : Paying for College 

...Why Should You Give Them Yours?

We all know that college is expensive (some more expensive than others), with tuition and related costs rising nearly every year (this past year, by about 3% on average). As for college debt -- as they say in Brooklyn, fuggetaboutit!

Recently, Princeton Review came out with a list of the ten schools with the worst financial aid packages. On the flip side of the proverbial coin are colleges that are said to offer the best financial aid awards, which, by the way...
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Say Goodbye to the Common App As You Know It (In 250-500 Words)

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, October 17, 2012, In : College Applications 


It's not only the times that are a changin', but the Common Application as well!

Yes, the wire services and news outlets are reporting that the Common App, as students know (and often despise) it today, will find new ways of considering student's app-titude for college, if not new ways of totally frustrating them.

Among the changes for the 2013-14 Common App will be the eliminations of "A Topic of Your Choice" from the personal statement (essay) -- enter a collective GASP! here -- and stri...

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Early Action Is The New Regular Decision

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

Time was, applying to college was a rather simple, unencumbered process. Fill out a few applications (by hand), write a short essay, send it all in at your leisure (by snail mail) with your check for $5. And voila! No stress. No sleepless nights. No worries over deadlines and selectivity.

Well, those days, my friends, even for the crowd longing for a nostalgic return, are gone if not forgotten.

Enter the era of incredible pressure, unheard of competitiveness, essays wothy of a Pulitzer, and mor...
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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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You May Well Need An Abacus To Calculate The Cost Of College

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, October 10, 2012, In : Paying for College 

Those Net Price Calculators on college websites driving you crazy? Comparing apples to oranges would be easier? Lost in the transliteration?

Maybe what you need is a good old-fashioned abacus. Or a new-fangled abacus of the Internet variety.

Find and compare college costs at As per their Mission Statement, "Abacus provides a free and secure service to its users, enabling them to compare their projected financial aid packages across schools and to identify schools within their...
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National College Affordability Week

Posted by College Connection on Monday, October 8, 2012, In : Paying for College 

An important message from our friends at

This week is National College Affordability Week! From October 8th-12th we’re joining
Young Invinciblesand partners across the country to participate in rallies, town hall meetings, panel discussions and online chats to talk about the cost of higher education.

Follow us @DebtCrisisOrgand @YI_Care all week to voice your opinion!

Monday: The Tuition's Too Damn High

A Facebook video challenge where you answer the question: "What is...

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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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The Polls vs. The Rankings

Posted by College Connection on Wednesday, October 3, 2012, In : Just for Fun 

Another day (another hour?), another Election Poll. State Polls. National Polls. Morning Polls. Evening Polls. Polls of groups, genders, parties, you name it. Presidential Polls. Senate Polls. Polls of Polls. Why, I think I even saw a Maypole thrown in there.

An article appeared in the recent edition of New York Magazine, not exactly extolling polls, but rather, detailing how polls have become as much a part of the daily political landscape as radio and TV spots proclaiming, "...and I approve ...
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One Year Later: Are College Net Price Calculators Working?

Posted by College Connection on Monday, October 1, 2012, In : Paying for College 

P.B. of Plainview, NY writes:

I've been trying to figure out college costs by using the Net Price Calculators as appear on most college websites. Are they accurate?

The College Whisperer responds:

Ah, yes. The Net Price Calculator. Created for the good of the college student (and his/her parents). But have we instead created a Frankenstonian distopia?

Assuming (and you know what happens when we do that) every college used the very same calculator, taking into account exactly the same factors...
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Miss The College Fair? No Worries!

Posted by College Connection on Monday, October 1, 2012, In : College Planning 

The critical information and minutia gained at the College Fair lives on!

Check out the Long Island College Conference Manual, and find out what you need to know before you go -- to college.

- - -
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 College Whisperer knows. . .

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