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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Maximizing your College Visits

17 things you can do to Maximize your College Visits

* to review our 30 minute talk click here and start at minute 11.

6 things to do BEFORE you visit

  1. Research the school and major options
  2. Email local Admissions Counselor or Regional Representative to personalize your visit with a class visit or interview
  3. Contact coaches, departments, professors or current students
  4. Prepare a list of questions you want to ask
  5. Schedule time to sit in on a class or department specific tours
  6. Look at last year’s supplement questions

6 Things to do ON your visit (more…)

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Preparing for a College Interview

Below is the text from a great article by Audrey Kahane that was originally posted on www.northjersey.com.

Whether you are making a college list or completing your applications, being introspective is an important step in the college admissions process. When preparing for an interview, think about who you are and what you’re looking for in a college. Try to start your essays before any interview so that you have articulated your thoughts and are more ready to talk about yourself.

Once you have a name, Google the interviewer. If you know something about the person, it can help you feel more comfortable going into the meeting. You also may be able to discover interests you have in common, and that can help you create a bond in the meeting. For example, if you are interviewing with an alumna who serves on the board of directors of an orchestra and you love classical music, there’s a potentially interesting topic of conversation. (more…)

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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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Understanding Your GPA

Understanding Your GPA
Understanding Your GPA

Most students will have a GPA summary box on their transcript. Each GPA is interpreted by colleges and universities in different way. While some universities and colleges take your GPA on your transcript into consideration when reviewing your application, such as the UC’s and CSU’s, other schools will recalculate your GPA based on their needs. This may mean the college omits PE, Dance, Religion or Art classes from the GPA to focus in on the core academic classes. Many colleges and universities will not re-calculate your GPA, but will also  look carefully at the strength of your coursework and number of courses of college prep, honors, AP, and IB courses taken while evaluating your application. Your School Counselor submits a school profile with your application so that the admissions officer fully understands the grading scale of your school, as well as the rigor of coursework your high school offers. (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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