How Many Campus Visits Do You Need To Make?

You may be in the midst of campus visits as you attempt to finalize your list of schools.  It’s helpful to visit a mix of schools, if possible, to identify the type of college thats a good fit for you. Although, it may seem like a good idea, it’s unreasonable to plan to visit every school you’re considering. Ann Carrns in Your Money Advisor column in The New York Times offers some good advice on how to get the information you need without breaking the bank. Some tips include:

  1. Start out by visiting a mix of schools that are close to home, including, if you can, ones that differ in setting and size.
  2. If your budget allows for only one visit, make sure it’s one of your top choice schools.
  3. If you’re considering applying early decision, make the effort to visit the school as your acceptance will be binding.
  4. Take virtual tours on schools’ websites.
  5. Use online tools, such as Naviance, to help define schools that are safety, target and reach schools for you.
  6. Contact the admissions office to see if you qualify for free fly in visits.
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Another Option

Community college offers an alternative track to earning a bachelor’s degree.  For students who are not ready to commit to a four year program, are looking to stay close to home or would benefit from the reduced tuition, community college may be the answer.

Many four year colleges and universities have formal programs providing a path for qualified community college students to then transfer with little or no loss of academic credit. Students who are then ready to earn their Bachelor’s will find many agreements and innovative partnerships that allow community college students access to top-ranked programs in nursing, technology, business and science programs as well as a seamless transfer and little or no loss of academic credit.

An impressive 73% community college transfer students graduate from selective four year institutions as compared to 61% students who enter as freshmen.

So, if you are applying to college this year, you may want to add a community college to your “list”. Laura Pappano of The New York Times offers some insightful thoughts.

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Registration Reminder

Remember, today is the registration deadline for the December 14th ACT.



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Registration Reminder

Remember, today is the registration deadline for the December 7th SAT and SAT Subject Tests.

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Consider This

Honors colleges and honors programs are another path to consider for college bound students. These programs function as schools-within-schools, offering the chance to study in a smaller program within a large, often public, university. Typically, selective and academically challenging, this is an option worth considering for high achieving students or those looking for an alternative to costly private colleges and universities.

There are many honors colleges and programs offering the following advantages:

  • Reduced state tuition and/or scholarship opportunities
  • Special perks such as preferred housing and teaching facilities
  • Study among high achieving peers
  • Smaller classes
  • Internship opportunities
  • Research opportunities
  • Socioeconomically diverse population of students as part of a larger university

If you qualify, honors colleges and programs provide an opportunity to receive an excellent education as well as a springboard to graduate programs. Consider the pros and cons of these schools as you add them to your list and keep in mind all the factors important to finding the best fit school for you.


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Get Ready For Tomorrow’s SAT and SAT Subject Tests

A few thoughts if you’re scheduled to take tomorrow’s SAT and SAT Subject Tests.

To minimize your stress tomorrow morning, it’s a great idea to get organized ahead of time. The last thing you need on test morning is a desperate scramble. These are some of the things you can do tonight to get your big day off to a great start:

First, check with your parents to make sure they know when and where you’re scheduled to take the test, and arrange how you’ll get to the test center. Next, gather and pack all the things you’ll need to take with you. Some of the things on this check list are “must-have” items, while others are optional.

REQUIRED: Don’t forget any of the following items or it will be a long ride home!

  • An approved calculator
  • Sharpened #2 pencils
  • An acceptable form of photo ID
  • Your admission or standby ticket

SUGGESTED: These are things you may want to bring along.

  • Water
  • Snack
  • Sweater
  • Back-up calculator
  • Extra batteries for your calculator
  • Watch (to keep track of time)

alarm clockSet your alarm, get a good night’s sleep and have a healthy, satisfying breakfast.

Good luck!

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Tips to Ace Your Interviews

Get ready to prepare for your college interviews! While interviews are just one small piece of the interview process we think interviews are a great opportunity for a student to get to know more about the school and also to introduce themselves and share something that isn’t revealed in their application. Most schools offer, and some even require interviews, either on-campus or with interviewers at your school, or with alumni.

Here are some tips to help you prepare:

Schedule your interviews

Once you’ve decided to apply to a school, schedule your interview as interview slots are often limited. Many schools also offer or require alumni interviews. Check the school website to know whether an alum will contact you or if you are responsible for requesting an interview.

The goal of the admissions office is to build a well-rounded entering class of qualified students. Your interviewer has already reviewed your transcript and activities resume. This is your opportunity to share what interests you and why you want to join their  campus community.

Get ready for your interview

Do some research.  Look through the school’s website to learn more about the school. Be prepared to talk about yourself: what you do in your free time, what differentiates this school and why you’d like attend, what you hope to achieve at their school.  This is also your opportunity to ask questions and learn more about specifics about the school that are not easily conveyed online.  Think of a few questions in advance. Practice by asking a parent, sibling or friend to role play. This is also your chance to bring up anything in your record that you’d like to explain, like a temporary drop in your grades.

Its time for your interview

Arrive a few minutes early, dress appropriately, turn off your cell phone,  shake hands, make eye contact and be confident. Most important, be yourself.

Your interview

Try to relax and keep in mind this meeting is a chance for both you and your interviewer to get acquainted and see if this is a good fit.

After the interview

Remember to send a thank you note or respond to any requests for information.





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