Some help arrived Tuesday in the form of a report showing that more than 275 colleges still have room for new students in the fall and are still accepting applications. The annual College Openings Update from the National Assn. for College Admission Counseling shows that many of those schools will look at applicants for both first-year and transfer status and also have housing and financial aid available.
READ THE UPDATED LIST OF COLLEGES HERE.
Exploring College Options is a unique program featuring five of the country’s leading universities: Duke University, Georgetown University, Harvard College, Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania. At each event, representatives from the five schools will offer brief slide presentations about their institutions and answer your questions about the sometimes-mystifying world of college admissions. You will learn about what distinguishes one fine university from another, what competitive colleges look for in the selection process, and what you can do to enhance your college application.
The next NC presentation will be held on May 4th at 7:30pm at the Embassy Suites in Cary, NC. The address is 201 Harrison Oaks Blvd, Cary, NC, 27513. For more information and registration, please visit www.exploringcollegeoptions.org.
One group is more anxious about this year’s college admissions decisions than the parents of this year’s seniors — and that’s the parents of next year’s seniors. Junior parents love their children, and they would welcome any advice colleges could offer that would give their child’s application an inside edge.
To support that effort, here’s what a college admissions officer told me when I asked for advice I could give to junior parents:
“Let your child drive the bus.”
The explanation she offered for this counsel, combined with long-standing conventional wisdom, gets to the heart of the college application process, and shows what admissions officers are looking for in a successful applicant beyond the numbers:
Initiative. From start to finish, a college application has to send the message that applying to this school was the student’s idea, and the student is excited enough to do something to bring that idea to life. This is why so many colleges want students to visit campus or meet the admissions representative at a local college fair; it shows the student is serious about their application.
That seriousness is questioned when the application is completed in what is clearly the handwriting of an adult, or when parents call the admissions office to ask questions. This is particularly true if the parent starts the call by saying “We’re applying to your college next year.” If the student wants to start building a meaningful relationship with the college, they make the calls, and speak in first person.
- Carefully read the instructions on the cover of the test booklet.
- Read the directions for each test carefully.
- Read each question carefully.
- Pace yourself—don’t spend too much time on a single passage or question.
- Pay attention to the announcement of five minutes remaining on each test.
- Use a soft lead No. 2 pencil with a good eraser. Do not use a mechanical pencil or ink pen; if you do, your answer document cannot be scored accurately.
- Answer the easy questions first, then go back and answer the more difficult ones if you have time remaining on that test.
- On difficult questions, eliminate as many incorrect answers as you can, then make an educated guess among those remaining.
- Answer every question. Your scores on the multiple-choice tests are based on the number of questions you answer correctly. There is no penalty for guessing.
- If you complete a test before time is called, recheck your work on that test.
- Mark your answers properly. Erase any mark completely and cleanly without smudging.
- Do not mark or alter any ovals on a test or continue writing the essay after time has been called. If you do, you will be dismissed and your answer document will not be scored.
- If you are taking the ACT Plus Writing, see these Writing Test tips.
- via Tips for taking the ACT | ACT Student.
Visit http://www.actstudent.org/testprep/ for sample test questions, calculator tips, a Questions-of-the-Day, and more.
(The next ACT is April 12; the next SAT is May 3. A few spots remain in our next class. Register & get ready now!)
Vacation may seem like the worst time to study, but blocking out time for SAT or ACT prep can give students a leg up on test day.
If you, like many high school students, put off studying for the ACT or SAT because the prospect of college seems distant, you aren’t alone. When students take on schoolwork, extracurriculars, athletics and a whole host of activities, it can be challenging to find the time or energy to review for standardized tests.
Spring break may seem like the worst opportunity to increase your preparation time, but there are several advantages to using that week of vacation to study. You will be able to study during typical class times as well as have a reprieve from extracurriculars and a change of scenery, even if it’s simply escaping your high school.
You will likely have a full week of break plus the weekends before and after to study. But even this is not unlimited time, which means that you must devote yourself wholeheartedly to readying for a spring or summer test date. Follow these suggestions to maximize the days you do have.
1. Gauge your learning needs: Completing a full exam under realistic testing conditions is a task you will need to cross off your checklist on the first day of your break. Knowing from the outset where you stand on the various sections of the test will aid you in developing your spring break study plan.
If your first day off is a Saturday, purchase a study guide before that date and sit for a practice exam on Saturday morning. You will need several hours to do so.
Once you complete the test, grade yourself. Grading is just as important as taking the test. You only grow from mistakes if you know you committed them and take steps to learn what the right answer should have been.
Kwasi Enin [is] the 17-year-old Long Island student who was accepted to every Ivy
League school and whose own essay is now public, thanks to the New York Post. It is very much a college essay — flowery language, Big Ideas, lessons learned — but it also worked.
Enin writes about his love of music — he plays violin, bass, and has a good voice, too — stretching the refined extracurricular into a story about leadership, community, and bringing joy to the world by singing and dancing in a production of Guys and Dolls. “Music has become the spark of my intellectual curiosity,” he writes. “I directly developed my capacity to think creatively around problems due to the infinite possibilities in music.” (Don’t be jealous.)
Read the essay & more via Kwasi Enin College Essay Worked on Every Ivy — Daily Intelligencer.
A student’s score on either of the best-known exams — the ACT or the SAT — won’t exclude him or her from higher education, said two Omaha-area high school counselors. But it’s vital to approach the tests seriously, they added, the better to enter one’s preferred school, avoid remedial courses and land scholarships to reduce or avoid debt after graduation.
“People think the ACT’s (needed) just to get into college,” said Jeanne Simmons, guidance director at Bryan High School in Omaha. “It is, but it also can decide where you start.”
Read more via ACT, SAT scores also a factor in financial aid – Omaha.com.