Grit Becoming a New Factor in College Admissions

Take those failures in stride. They're just stepping stones on the path to building true grit.

At a time when seniors are worrying about their test scores and grades, it may be refreshing to know that there is a quality superior to pulling off stellar numbers, which is slowly being recognized as a much more telling sign of future success--and some larger colleges are beginning to acknowledge this too! It has even become formal policy at universities such as DePaul, Tufts and Wake Forest.

In case you haven't yet heard the new buzz word, it's called "grit." Angela Duckworth, a University of Pennsylvania assistant professor of psychology, recently described grit as, "perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Grit entails working strenuously toward challenges, maintaining effort and interest over years despite failure, adversity and plateaus in progress. The gritty individual approaches achievement as a marathon; his or her advantage is stamina. Whereas disappointment or boredom signals to others that it is time to change trajectory and cut losses, the gritty individual stays the course."

So, for those who continue to be frustrated by the numbers side of the application process, be sure to take advantage of your interview and essays to highlight examples of the much more important quality of grit. To read more about grit in the admissions process, click here.




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Columbia University offers Score Choice for 2012-2013 Academic Year

Columbia University has officially instituted the Score Choice policy for the 2012-2013 academic year. Score choice refers to the applicant’s decision to withhold certain SAT and ACT scores from their college application; previously, Columbia required each applicant to submit all SAT and ACT scores. Cornell University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University remain the only Ivy League schools not offering the score choice policy.

If current students still submit multiple test scores, Columbia University promises to evaluate the student based on the highest score. And Columbia now allows students to submit the ACT plus Writing instead of the SAT plus two subject tests.

Students: remember to do your research! Go directly to the college website to discover exactly what test scores and materials are needed or not needed for your application. Do not make the careless mistake of submitting mediocre SAT or ACT scores if they are not needed. The college admissions process is an organic process that changes every day – and you can stay ahead of the game if you do your research.

Click here to see the entire article.


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Students Using College Essay Organizer Accepted to Top Colleges

Students using College Essay Organizer have been accepted to the top colleges. Here are just a few of them:

Yale University
Harvard University
Stanford University
University of Pennsylvania
Cornell University
Princeton University
Columbia University
Georgetown University
Brown University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of Virginia
Williams College
George Washington University
University of Maryland-College Park
New York University
Boston University
University of California-Los Angeles
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Boston College
Emory University
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Johns Hopkins University
Syracuse University
University of Miami
Pennsylvania State University
University of Chicago
Carnegie Mellon University
Wake Forest University
Indiana University
Lehigh University
University of Colorado-Boulder
Bucknell University
Bowdoin College
Northwestern University
Duke University
Tufts University
American University
Bates College
University of Vermont
Claremont McKenna College
Amherst College
Barnard College
Brandeis University
Florida State University
State University of New York at Binghamton
University of Pittsburgh
Trinity College
Tulane University

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Colleges Updated in College Essay Organizer for the 2012/2013 Season

Here is a list of colleges that have been updated through July 3 in College Essay Organizer for the 2012/2013 application season. Expect many more updates in the coming weeks.

  1. Beacon College
  2. Belmont Abbey College
  3. Bemidji State University
  4. California Maritime Academy
  5. Capital University
  6. The Citadel
  7. Carroll College
  8. College of the Ozarks
  9. Concordia University-Austin
  10. Georgetown University
  11. Georgia College and State University
  12. Georgia Institute of Technology
  13. Hardin-Simmons University
  14. Louisianna State University-Shreveport
  15. MidAmerica Nazarene University
  16. Norwich University
  17. Otis College of Art and Design
  18. Rockland Community College
  19. University of Georgia
  20. University of Pennsylvania
  21. University of Pittsburgh
  22. Wesleyan College


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2012-2013 Essay Questions Released by University of Pennsylvania

U Penn is the first Ivy School to post a pdf of its supplement on its website. Check it out here.

There are lots of changes in the questions, including a quote by Ben Franklin:

Ben Franklin once said, “All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move.” Which are you?

This is sure to inspire lots of brainstorming while laying out on the beach this holiday weekend!

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Early Decision vs. Regular Decision Acceptance Rates

As students are narrowing down their list of colleges, and trying to come up with their top choices, it’s important to keep in mind the significance of applying early. Here are some statistics for popular schools which clearly show the benefits of being proactive with applying to your dream colleges.

College or University Early Admissions (2011) Overall Acceptance (2010)
Amherst College 36% 15%
Brown University 23% 9%
Columbia University 20% 9%
Harvard College 22% 7%
Princeton University 26% 8%
Tufts University 32% 24%
University of Pennsylvania 26% 14%
Williams College 40% 19%
Yale University 14% 7%

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University of Pennsylvania Sends Out More ‘Likely’ Letters This Year

Colleges wanna know.

As students wait to hear from colleges, many of which notify students in early April, a lucky few will receive ‘likely’ letters. A ‘likely’ letter issued by Ivy League schools toward the end of February/early March lets students know that they have been admitted. A practice that began as a way to curry favor with coveted applicants, it is now becoming increasingly more common.

According to this article in the New York Times, University of Pennsylvania sent out many more ‘likely’ letters than in previous years. Other colleges are also following the trend, creating their own versions of these letters, often with an invitation to a campus event geared toward accepted students.

Whether you receive an early indication of admission or not, don’t be alarmed. It can be a random decision, based on the timing that your application is read, and it in no way indicates that you have not been admitted. Pretty soon all the decisions will be in, and we will all breathe a sigh of relief just to know that it’s over and the next phases of student life have begun.

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