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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Seniors: October Checklist

Oh yes, October is busy

  • Finalize your college list and complete your applications for early decision and early action schools. If you are applying early, make sure your Naviance is updated and tell your counselor and recommenders of your plan.
  •  See which schools on your list have Rolling Admissions. Make a plan to send these applications in early and make sure you request transcripts and test scores to be sent so your application is complete.
  •  Make sure you have established an application account online for each college on your list.
  • Request official transcripts be sent to each college on your list, except UC and CSU campuses. For schools on the Common Application, your counselor should send a transcript as part of the SSR (secondary school report). Your high school counselor will likely give you instructions on how to request transcripts. Be sure to follow all instructions and meet all deadlines. (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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The Basics of Financial Aid

Now is the time to start thinking about how you and your family will deal with financial aid. From filling out the FASFA to checking the box on the Common Application, this process can be a bit complicated. Read on to learn about things you can do to make the process much easier.

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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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APRIL- COLLEGE VISITS

APRIL- COLLEGE VISITS
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As spring break approaches, we want you to take some time to focus on your college visits. In our sessions this month we will be going over, “Top Ten Ways to Test Drive a College,” originally published by IECA and a list of questions we put together that goes beyond asking things you can find on any college website.

Sample Questions for Tour Guides:

– Why did you decide to come to this school?

– What have you been most surprised about in your time here?

– How do students interact with faculty- inside and outside the classroom?

– Do students tend to stay on campus or get involved in activities in the surrounding area?

Sample questions for Admissions Officers:

– What impresses you the most in a student’s application?

– Is demonstrated interest a factor in your admissions decisions?

– What changes do you see taking place on campus in the next five years?

– Are the admission standards higher for certain majors? (more…)

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