Have you ever played the board game, Risk®? I never won, nor fully understood the game. But, I did recognize that a well-thought out strategy was important to winning. Much like Risk, strategy is an important component of the college search and application process. A college contact strategy is a vital plan to ensure that a college knows who you are beyond your college application and knows that you are serious about attending their institution.
Most college admissions offices have software that tracks your contact with them. So, each time you place your college contact strategy into action, you should remember to inform the admissions department whom you spoke with, when and where—and be ready to explain why the meeting was so important to you—in order for your meeting to be tracked by the college. But remember, you can’t get tracked unless you have a strategy in place: Read the rest of this entry »
I am 5’9”. Not obscenely tall, but I’ve got some substantial height. During my college orientation week, a stoic woman approached me, and without smiling, said, “You’re tall. I need you.” She handed me a flier, turned and walked away. Confused, I skimmed the flier and realized it was for crew tryouts. Growing up in Nebraska, a land-locked state, I was slightly bemused. But I figured, why the heck not. So I joined the team, and I immediately became enamored with the sport and my team.
Earlier this week, I got together with my old crew team during spring break training, but this time as a supportive alum. Over lunch, I asked the team how college sports added to their overall college experience. Here’s what they said: Read the rest of this entry »
I applied to a fair number of colleges; nine, I think. I was fortunate enough to get into all of them which was gratifying, but left me with some tough decisions.
First, I weeded-out the colleges I knew I didn’t really want to attend; I had considered them “safety” schools from the get-go. Then there was the school that my boyfriend was going to, but my parents put the kibosh on that one. A couple of my other choices offered me small academic scholarships, which put them in the forefront.
Ultimately I got into my original first-choice school. But, since I had submitted my application for that school, another college rose to the top of my list. I had to decide if I would go to my original choice or to the other school. I opted for the other. Read the rest of this entry »
“Congratulations, you won!” Ever seen that on an envelope in your mail or in the subject line of an email? Usually they are just advertisements promising something too good to be true, but would you believe some colleges use this same advertising technique?
As soon as you take the SAT or even the PSAT*, colleges will start sending you information. You’ll receive emails, brochures, even applications. Some of the information might be generic, but some of it might be personalized just for you. It’s easy to read a letter with your name on it inviting you to visit the school or some other personalized offer and think that the school is holding a spot for you. But don’t be fooled! Read the rest of this entry »
One of the best things about college life is getting caught up in school spirit. And right now school spirit is rampant and brackets are everywhere – it’s March Madness! The great thing about the NCAA tournament is that nearly every school, big or small, with a Division-1 basketball team participates. There are always the upsets and the little known teams that make it farther than expected. There’s the heartache of the seniors who lose in the Final Four and the triumph of the young team that beat all odds. It’s a competitive tournament wrought with spirit, drama, and talent.
College sports, more so than professional sports, have heart. The arena is packed with students. Pride and electricity fill the air. There’s really nothing else like it. In my junior year, my college team, University of Maryland, made it to the Final Four and suffered a devastating loss to our rivals I will never forget the friends who decided to randomly drive to the tournament in Minneapolis and try to get tickets. Read the rest of this entry »
Welcome to college admissions limbo, aka, the wait list. You aren’t quite accepted, but you aren’t quite denied either, ergo, limbo. First, it is important to understand what is a waitlist. Colleges employ waitlists to protect themselves against the uncertainty of accepted students. When students who have been accepted opt not to enroll, the college examines their waitlist for the next student to be admitted.
So what should you do if you are waitlisted?
First, you need to decide if you really want to stay on the waitlist. That is, would you be content with attending another school that you have been accepted to? If you are satisfied attending elsewhere, don’t bother with the waitlist. You are potentially taking someone else’s spot that you don’t want anyway (and increasing the anxiety level of another soon-to-be freshman elsewhere). Read the rest of this entry »
Get the video camera out; it’s time to apply for college! Nope, that’s not a typo; your eyes do not deceive you. Several colleges this year are allowing students to supplement their applications with a short YouTube video. The video below, from a Tufts University applicant, actually went viral. (And as of this post, the video has been viewed 102,261 times!)
So what does that mean for you? Read the rest of this entry »
I distinctly remember the entire month of April 2005. That was the month when I received all of my college acceptance and rejection letters. Afternoons were spent watching the mailbox, hoping and praying for thick packets, and dreading slim envelopes (Side note: these slim envelopes may be deceiving. Sometimes colleges send out brief congratulatory notes, so don’t be alarmed if your child receives a thin envelope). I was the first of three children in my family to attend college, meaning that my parents were relatively unprepared for the emotional roller coaster ride that their 18-year-old daughter was about to drag them on. Faced with mixed emotions and a general terror about the next four years of my life, I turned to my parents, who unfortunately had no idea how to respond to my constantly changing emotions.
No parent wants to see his or her child in pain, or feeling upset and rejected. Unfortunately, during college admission season, this may very well happen. While it may seem like the end of the world for your child, there are some things that you can do to help ease their pain. Read the rest of this entry »
Your own rules, a full-size fridge, a dishwasher (if you are lucky), convenient parking (if you are really lucky), and a shower you don’t have to wear shoes in. Those are just some of the perks that come with living off-campus. But life off-campus isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.
Don’t get me wrong, living off-campus can be a very freeing experience. It’s kind of your trial into the real world of adulthood, a world where dining halls aren’t simply a few steps away. But with that freedom comes responsibility. Read the rest of this entry »
Solve for x. College Experience = Academics + x. (Alright, there are many possible x’s, but for the sake of argument, go along with just one x). Yes, fueling your hunger for higher learning is a valid reason to attend college. But you’d be lying to yourself if the overall college experience was not an appealing reason to attend. Living on-campus is arguably an essential x factor in the collegiate experience.
The benefits of living on-campus are three-fold.
1. First, living on-campus gives you easy access to the school and the school’s resources. Oops, forgot to pick up a book from the library? Just run back over to the library and grab it. You don’t have to worry about driving to and from campus, finding parking, and all the responsibility that comes with a car. And living on-campus is a great time saver. Read the rest of this entry »