Washington Post: Applicants Apply to Many, Many, Many Schools

Washington Post. Get it? A post? Me neither.

Washington Post. Get it? A post? In Washington? I guess? You have no idea how long we spent looking for an image to put here.

This terrific article over at the Washington Post describes in detail the process that CEO simplifies every day. Top applicants, facing ever-increasing odds against their getting into top schools, diversify their applications and increase the chance they'll land an acceptance from a school at or above their academic level.

Sounds like a plan, right? And why not? There are plenty of horror stories to be had in that article. Perfect SATs. Top grades. Conservatory-level piano skills. A deferral.

But what the Post doesn't address here is that if the process is being made easier and top schools are becoming ever-more selective, what's the downside to applying to more schools?

There isn't one, except for the cost of the applications, which is far outweighed by the potential reward of ending up at a school that brings you up academically, and eventually, professionally and financially.

Take a look at the last line from the article: "I'm feeling it was really smart of me to apply to so many," she said, "because now I have enough options." Speaks for itself.

And with CEO, you can get this work done before that rerun of Seinfeld comes on.

Keep your eye on the ball and you'll see that tools already at your fingertips like CEO make this task easier than ever, often at a very low cost.

CEO In The News: New York Times Education Section

Our CEO and founder Daniel Stern is quoted in this New York Times article on plagiarism. One of the unexpected - but great - side effects of CEO's service is that it cuts down on plagiarism. And maybe better yet for the more ethical time-strapped teens we help, it cuts down on that nagging urge to plagiarize.

I mean, it's right there. Copy. Paste. Done. Why not? It's a time saver. And the colleges aren't doing you any favors there by making their applications so similar, yet not identical. Why not take just a little help from your friends?

It's an ethical issue everyone wrestles with, especially when doing work you're not necessarily pouring your heart and soul into. But where CEO comes to the rescue is in the focus and ethical re-application of the work you've already done for your other apps. It cuts down on the work you need to do, making the apps especially easy for those sure-bet and safety schools you have on your list. For sure, by the time you get to those apps, you've outlined your grand life plan in five hundred words or less enough times. No need to do it again, right? Right.

Now thank CEO instead of the command-v.

New York Times: Applications To Elite Universities Rise Again

...Maybe don't apply early here.

...Maybe don't apply early here.

A brief article posted last week by the New York Times' Education desk confirms that applications to elite American universities rose again this year despite economic hardship. But as always, the number of available spots isn't budging, so the selectivity of those schools continue to increase, and the need for applicants to diversify their applications increases.

Though it might seem dire, there are a number of pieces of good news to take from this. Selectivity increasing at the top means that those schools are stronger than ever. It also means that schools that used to be considered good (or at the very least, good enough) are also improving. Better and better students will find themselves at lower-tier schools, thus raising the quality of the student bodies there.

And what really makes this whole thing not as bad as it seems is that the tools at your disposal have never made applying to school easier or more efficient. Though you'll definitely need to apply to a broader selection of schools to increase the chances you'll be somewhere that satisfies you, tools like CEO can make that task a much more manageable one, often times requiring no additional work from you.

Organizer For Juniors

Wasn't I Supposed To... Do..... Something.......

Wasn't I Supposed To... Do..... Something.......

It's March 1st, which means most if not all of the applications are out the door for seniors by now. But if you're a junior, now is the time to get started with CEO and have a look at the benefits it provides if you've still got a year in front of you.

When you think about your senior year, what do you think about? Probably not your bright and shining desire to achieve. In fact, you may think of it as a time for doing... absolutely nothing at all. Wanting to get out from under your work will surely include avoiding the avalanche of application requirements that'll be coming at you in the fall. CEO can make that workload shrink, and with our new email notification system, you don't even need to check to see when the applications have been released by the schools. We'll shoot you an email each week telling you which ones have been updated, so you can get going when you need to and not a second earlier.

Here are a few of the benefits juniors get from using CEO:

  • Know in advance how many essays are expected from the colleges you're considering
  • Manage all essays simultaneously, rather than one at a time
  • Receive notification over the summer each time a college updates its essay requirements
  • Finish some essays over the summer
  • And avoid the onslaught of work when the madness of the fall begins!

More than anything, CEO is about making it easy - now - and getting it done sooner rather than later.

Check out our new demo on the front page and see for yourself.

Knewton Blogs: The Most Important Parts Of Your College Application

Today's blog post comes courtesy Josh Anish over at Knewton. Enjoy!

I tutored for years before joining the tremendous team here at Knewton. And during those salad days spent lugging the Big Blue Book around Gotham, parents always asked me to prioritize the components of the college application for their students. Here was/is my unscientific answer that I nonetheless feel strongly about, ranked in order from greatest in importance to least.

Josh From Knewton, Sayin' Hey.

Josh From Knewton, Sayin' Hey.

1) Grades. There’s no substitute on your college apps for a strong GPA. Colleges are looking for good students, and the best way to show that you’re a good student is, well… to get good grades. Obviously you should strive to have an impressive GPA throughout your high school career, but if you had a few slip-ups early on, don’t worry too much; colleges give more weight to your performance during your junior and senior years.

2) SAT score. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the SATs still mean something. The SAT is not an intelligence test; students’ scores can jump up to 400 points if they prepare diligently and correctly. Hence the need for a good SAT course.

3) Personal statement. This is your one shot to really introduce your personality to an admissions board. It’s like you’re running for President and you’re on national TV at the convention: You get a podium and only a few minutes to make your case to the voters. The task of organizing all the admissions essays you need to write is a notoriously difficult one, but the good folks here at College Essay Organizer provide a tremendous tool that is extremely helpful.

4) Extracurricular activities. These might have ranked higher a decade ago (before Rushmore came out), but now they’re in their rightful place at #4. The marketplace is very crowded, and you can only start so many clubs. Nevertheless, colleges really want a vibrant campus, filled with students trying and doing new things. Show focus; do a couple of things and do them well. Don’t spread yourself too thin and/or try to preen for admissions officers.

5) Teacher recommendations. The challenge here is to choose your recommenders wisely. Colleges have seen great recommendations of all shapes and sizes, and a sweet letter surely works in your favor. It is more important, however, to be cautious of a bad or— more likely—a lukewarm recommendation. In short, play it safe and ask the teachers who really seem to have taken an interest in you, instead of the aloof teacher who has a reputation for writing flowery letters.

Josh Anish is the Senior Editor at Knewton. He’s getting fired up to help students with their SAT prep.