National Decision Day is Today

Congratulations on making it this far!

Congratulations on making it this far!

Seniors have until today, May 1, to let colleges know if they will be part of their incoming class this fall. For some students, the decision is easy, while others may still be grappling with a last-minute decision. If that's you, don't panic! Take a deep breath, be thankful that you have choices, and know that wherever you decide, you will make the best of what the school has to offer, and ultimately be happy there or at least learn how to be resourceful. And if things don't work out the way you envision, transferring (or for the most ambitious graduating early) is always an option.

Take a moment to read this post on how one student made his decision to attend UC Berkeley. Whatever your decision turned out to be, last minute or not, congratulations on making it this far, and give yourself some much needed time to relax!

 

 

 

 

 

College Essay Organizer Discussed on Fox News

fox_news_logo_a_lSince the College Board announced that it's revamping the SAT in 2016, there have been questions about what the most important factors are in the college admissions process. Scott Farber, co-founder of College Essay Organizer, recently addressed this stating that colleges place equal weight on standardized test scores and grades, with essays following closely behind.

Don't miss this Fox News interview where Farber also mentions College Essay Organizer, created to give students the edge on their essays and enhance students' ability to tell their story in their own unique way. The stories that students write continue to increase in importance and are most often the deciding factor between two students with similar grades and test scores.

 

 

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January Deadlines Extended Due to Common App Difficulties

The Common App has continued to experience difficulties throughout the college application season, and this past January 1 deadline has been no exception. Despite the Common App's efforts to provide additional support during the holiday, a half-hour before midnight the site went down for about three hours. The support center was overrun with requests which continued to pour in as problems persisted into the next day. As a result, many schools decided to extend their January 1 deadlines so make sure to check in with the colleges on your list if you thought you missed a deadline. Here is s a list of schools with extended deadlines compiled by Nancy Griesemer in this article:

Amherst College: RD to January 10
Barnard College: Extending deadline (no date provided)
Boston College: RD to January 12
Boston University: RD to January 3
Brandeis University: RD to January 8
Brown University: Extending deadline (no date provided)
Carnegie Melon University: RD to January 2
Colby College: RD to January 5
College of William and Mary: RD to January 8
Columbia University: RD to January 6
Cornell University: RD to January 9
Dartmouth College: RD to January 10
Duke University: RD to January 5
Fordham University: Extending deadline (no date provided)
Hamilton College: RD to January 8
Johns Hopkins University: Extending deadline (no date provided)
Lehigh University: RD to January 10
Middlebury College: RD and ED II to January 10
Princeton University: RD to January 2
Stanford University: RD to January 2
Swarthmore College: Winter ED and RD to January 6
Syracuse University: Applications submitted by January 2 will be considered on time; applications received after will be considered on a "space available" basis
Tufts University: Extending deadline (no date provided)
University of Chicago: RD to January 3
University of Virginia: Will be “flexible”
Vanderbilt University: ED II and RD to January 15
Vassar College: RD to January 8
Wake Forest University: RD to January 10

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Topics to Include and Exclude When Writing College Essays

When writing a college essay, it's always necessary to think about which topics are acceptable and which may not be so well received. Since colleges often encourage you to "take a risk," and "show who you really are," choosing the right topic can be a tough call. This New York Times article by Steven Petrow gets to the heart of the matter addressing the charged question, "Should a student conceal her lesbian identity in college application essays?"

Petrow found that student views varied widely with some current students not wanting to mention sexual orientation in case it could affect chances of admission, while others felt that it might even increase changes of admission at schools where diversity was encouraged. A portion of students who had written on the topic during their admissions process felt that it did cause them to be rejected from schools that they should have been admitted to.

Opinions among admissions officers vary widely as well. In the end, it is a personal choice as to what a student considers private vs. a sharable story that is central to a student's identity. According to one comment that was left, what you decide could have an impact at some schools, "I sit on an admissions committee and it's just that - a committee, with all that entails...One or two of our members are not quite with the changing times. We often have to vote, and I can recall several times when the decision was swayed against the candidate on the basis of something they had bravely confided in their personal essay. Touchy issues are certainly not limited to sexual orientation. I don't want people to have too many illusions about the wisdom of admissions committees!"

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College Essay Organizer's Protocol with Respect to the Common App (CA4)

 

With the significant changes to the Common App (CA4), we have received many inquiries regarding how College Essay Organizer will operate this year. After much research via the Common App and the colleges directly, we're glad to tell you that we'll be as proactive for you as ever this season -- and even more valuable! Below are three key points we wanted to highlight:
  • We won't wait until August 1. We will continue to update essay questions before the August 1 launch of the Common App. Last year, through our special protocol, we updated 286 schools (many of them Common App schools) prior to August 1 and we expect to be just as aggressive this season.
  • We'll give you all the essay questions for different programs and departments in one easy place. As we understand it, the Common App supplement will require students to select their majors/interests in order to first view those essay questions. This would make it incredibly time-consuming and cumbersome for you to locate questions on your own for all of your students with all their different majors/interests, so you can instead rely on us to do it for you. We will list all of these particular essay questions under each college; you can then simply remove any questions that are not relevant to a given student (or the student can do so on his or her own). Several of you have noted your skepticism regarding whether the Common App will indeed have all of the program- and major-specific essay questions; after all, a few colleges last season claimed to have all such questions listed on their supplements but were in fact missing several questions. College Essay Organizer had each and every one.
  • We've got all the scholarship essay questions the Common App doesn't. As usual the Common App will not list the hundreds of scholarship essay questions for the colleges -- no change there. So, as always, we'll have them for you. College Essay Organizer had more than 1,000 scholarship essay questions last season, and that number will continue to grow.

 

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College Decisions Are on the Way

Don't let the stress get to you.

The pressure is mounting for high school seniors as they await decisions from colleges. Many schools post notification dates of early April on their websites, while some, like Brown which promises March 28, will let students know even earlier. For many, the pressure can be almost unbearable. Jack Brodsky, a senior at Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, has been doing his best to focus on his other interests, but finds it harder as the day approaches.

Hillary Hewins, director of College Counseling at Leman, explains this anxiety: "This is the first time that they're no longer in control of the process." A decrease in admissions rates has also added anxiety to the process, leading many to apply to more schools than ever before.

To read more, click here.

 

 

 

 

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The Common App Announces 39 New Members

The list of schools using the Common App has grown steadily over the years, with new members joining every admissions season. The 2013-2014 admissions season will see 39 additional colleges using the application, bringing the total number of Common App users to 527.

Member schools make up a diverse group of colleges representing 47 states including Hawaii, and include 16 international members from 7 countries outside the United States, 81 public institutions, and 7 historically black colleges and universities.  Here is a complete list of new members for the coming season:

American International College
California College of the Arts
Central Connecticut State University
Chicago State University
Eastern University
Felician College
George Fox University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Georgian Court University
Hawai'i Pacific University
Kettering University
King's College London (UK)
Lexington College
Mary Baldwin College
Marywood University
Mercy College
Modul University Vienna (Austria)
Monmouth University
Newberry College
Pine Manor College
Purdue University
Saint Joseph's College (IN)
St. John's University
Sterling College
Temple University
Trinity Christian College
Unity College
University of Aberdeen (UK)
University of Birmingham, England (UK)
University of Bristol (UK)
University of Cincinnati
University of Colorado Boulder
University of Maine at Presque Isle
University of New Hampshire Manchester
University of North Carolina
Greensboro University of Oklahoma
Virginia Commonwealth University
William Paterson University of NJ
William Peace University

 

 

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Get your own questions answered by the expert - FREE Webinar

We know students have lots of questions about their college essays. Now is the chance to get your own questions answered and discover how to write truly compelling essays that get you accepted to your top-choice schools.  

This one-hour webinar with the founder of College Essay Organizer will be an open forum, so prepare all your questions in advance. For example, are you curious if the essay topic you chose is a great one? Struggling to figure out how to answer a particular question? Wondering if and how to use the Common App Additional Information space?

The webinar will be held on Tuesday, October 9, at 9pm EST. Click this link to reserve your spot (space is limited, so register now):

https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/802814678 

One lucky participant will be selected to receive personalized feedback on his/her essay. 

If you work for a school or educational organization, feel free to attend our webinar and/or forward this invitation to seniors and their parents.

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Bringing Reality into the Admission Process

Janet Lavin Rapelye, the dean of admission at Princeton University, continues to answer questions for The Choice Blog readers. One of her latest responses focused on parents' need to have a "guarantee" that their child will get into the Ivies. She states that there is none, and offers a realistic approach to the admission process:

"If students are applying only to highly selective schools, they will encounter steep competition. Spreading a wide net in terms of the selectivity of the colleges where they apply will greatly enhance the number of admission choices they will have in April."

Her take-home point: "Be realistic about the competition and set your son or daughter up for success in the process."

For more of her insights on the college process, click here.

 

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Attend Our FREE Student Webinar TONIGHT - Write Winning Essays

Now that you're nearing the end of summer, it's time to really dive into your college essays. Get the inside scoop from the nation's leading experts on how to write winning college admissionsessays that get you accepted to your top-choice colleges.

You are invited to attend a live webinar with the founder of College Essay Organizer tonight at 8 pm EST. We'll cover key college essay tips and answer your own questions about writing essays, filling out the Common App, using College Essay Organizer, and anything else.

Two webinar participants will be selected to receive personalized essay feedback.

Click this link to reserve your spot (space is limited, so register now):

 https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/647872230

If you work for a school or educational organization, feel free to attend our webinar and/or forward this invitation to seniors and their parents.



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