What is the difference between a liberal arts college and a research university?

Below are definitions and examples of different types of colleges (liberal arts colleges, research universities, specialty schools and comprehensive colleges). Much of the content is from College Admission: From Application to Acceptance, by Robin Mamlet and Christine Vandevelde. This is a great book if you are looking for a comprehensive and easy to read book for both parents and students about the college process.

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What’s in a College Mission Statement?

Choosing the type of college that matches your educational priorities and goals is just one step in the process of finding schools that are a good match for you. One of the best places to start is to look at a school’s mission statement or letter from the President. The language, tone and content of a mission statement can tell you about university priorities, values and strengths.

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What is Demonstrated Interest?

In the world of the Common Application, demonstrating interest is showing colleges that you are truly interested in their institution and not just checking a box. Why do colleges care?  Colleges are very interested in yield, or the number of students who are admitted that choose to enroll. Yield is important because it has become a proxy for popularity—the higher the yield, the more popular the school. Yield is also an important number in the US News and World Report rankings. If colleges want to move up the ranks, increasing yield numbers is very important.  In general, the highly selective colleges (think Stanford and the Ivies) do not need to measure if students are interested, they are always going to have high yield numbers. However, many other private institutions use demonstrated interest as a factor in admissions. Keep reading for 5 specific things you can do to demonstrate interest right now. (more…)

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Building your Team

BUILDING YOUR TEAM

Getting into college is a team effort. You are the captain of your college application team, but you will need to surround yourself with individuals who can help make your college application shine. Your team should include your family, counselor, teacher(s) and College Calm! Below are some ideas regarding the roles that each group can play in helping your application be the best it can be. (more…)

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Find Some Time to Play

It is now officially SUMMER!!! I know here at College Calm we talk about how much we can “get done” over the summer for the college process, but the article below serves as a reminder that summer is also a time to play — for everyone — young, old, adolescent or middle aged.  We encourage everyone to leave some space this summer to PLAY.

This article was originally written for Patch.com by one of our wonderful students (before we even starting working together). It is a great synopsis of how we know many of our high school students are feeling, but cannot always articulate. Read this with your child/parent/friends and talk about your experiences and observations. Then you should read the article, “Who Fares Best in the College Process,” by Alice Kleeman, who references Laurel’s article and advocates for doing things you enjoy.

” I had a really hard time figuring out what to write about this week. I went back and forth between two other article ideas, wrote them out, but they didn’t sound like me. They were too critical and condemning for my taste. I took breaks in between these episodes of writers block to watch some TV, do some math homework, and just have time to be a teenager.

I realized then that I don’t really get that much time to just have moments to myself and to just rock out to music in my room. It seems that I always have another essay to write, another history chapter to read, or another chemistry test that needs to be studied for. (more…)

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Building a Balanced College List

Foundation, Target, Reach and Lottery Schools

As juniors are beginning to investigate colleges and make an initial college list, we want to define the different categories potentially included in a balanced college list. A balanced college list should have at least 2 foundation, 2 target and 2 reach schools. Many students will also have a few lottery schools. The typical student applies to between 8-12 schools, depending on the number of UC/CSU schools on his/her list. All of our students begin with a list of at least 20 schools to investigate in an effort to determine personal priorities. By mid summer, students should have a balanced list of 8-12 schools. .

FOUNDATION SCHOOL

  • The college possesses most of the significant features you desire and are important to you.
  • You meet all the requirements for the recommended coursework.
  • Your SAT or ACT score is significantly above the average that was accepted last year.
  • Your un-weighted GPA is significantly above the average accepted last year.
  • Your objective academic credentials fall at the top of the college’s admitted class. (more…)

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