college application

college application

Advanced Placement May Not be so Advanced

Inflated resumes for college applications are a trend of the current age. Students are forced to compete with the best of the best and spend most of their high school careers building their appeal. With college application rates soaring and less students being accepted, the pressure is growing for high school hopefuls. Advanced Placement courses were created for students performing at superior levels and soon became a status symbol on applications. But with more and more students taking these exclusive classes questions are raised about the validity of the course content as “advanced”.

Since the creation of Advanced Placement courses there has been no significant increase in high school standardized testing scores. It would seem that students studying more rigorous material would score higher than their counter-parts in “average” classrooms. A recent study by the Federal Department of Education demonstrates that participation in Advanced Placement coursework does not indicate a measureable higher level of learning for most students.

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College Week Live Offers Virtual Campus Tours

I wanted to apply to colleges across the country, but I had no idea how to contact those colleges nor did I want to drive to four different states. I ended up applying to only a few colleges, and only after I talked with college advisors for at least an hour each. It was a stressful, time-consuming process.students-laptop

College Week Live is trying to make this process easier for students. College Week Live allows students to get college application tips and advice from college admission officers from the USA, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, all in one web-based location. College Week Live features college application experts who give presentations on everything from preparing for the SAT to paying for college. There are also actual college students available for video chat, so prospective students can hear what campus life is really all about. Read the rest of this entry »

Viral Videos and the College Application Process

videoThe newest trend in the college application process is submitting your application virally. No, this does not mean coughing on the college admissions committee, but rather submitting a video explaining who you are and why you want to attend the school. first brought this new trend to your attention in February, 2010. Several major universities are accepting these viral videos instead of the dreaded application essay.

Also see how you can incorporate memes into videos: Check out “Harnessing the viral power of memes. The rise of the “Super Memes” – Robert Derow

However, the trend is not catching on as quickly as some expected. At four of the schools that are offering this option – Tufts University, College of William and Mary, George Mason University, and St. Mary’s College of Maryland – only five to ten percent of students submitted a video instead or along with the standard college essay. Tufts University, for example, still requires that any applying student submit two written essays as part of the application process.

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MyPeterson’s Makes Applying for School Easier

peterson'sDeciding where to go to school is difficult. Even when you narrow it down to a few top choices, you have to consider all of the pros and cons for each school. And then you have to figure out how you will pay for it.

No wonder so many students dread the whole college application process.

You’re deciding where you will go to school, and that is a major decision. You should be able to pick a school that fits your needs, and it shouldn’t be so hard to do that, right?

MyPeterson’s is helping to make the process of finding a college a little less stressful – and dare I say – even slightly enjoyable.

MyPeterson’s gives you “everything you need to stay on top of things,” while applying to school.

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The Newest Part of the College Application: YouTube!

videoWhen I filled out my college application form, the worst part was the essay. I struggled with it for days: “Tell us about yourself. What’s your typical day like? What are your interests? Who are you, really?”


How can I fully describe myself in 500 words? How can my dynamic personality pop off a page that only has black ink on it? That’s quite a challenge, if you ask me.

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How to Choose a College, Part Two

college campusGuest blogger Vivian Kerr has been teaching and tutoring standardized tests since 2005. She has taught throughout the greater Los Angeles area and is a proud member of the Grockit team. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Southern California and has studied abroad in London.

In part 1 of choosing a college, we discussed a few things to keep in mind when researching colleges. Next, you’ll need to think about a plan before working on all the applications in front of you.


Applying for college can be a bit like gambling in a casino. To ensure that you “win” (i.e. get into at least one good school), it’s important to divide the schools into three categories: Safety, match and reach.

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How to Choose a College, Part One

college campusGuest blogger Vivian Kerr has been teaching and tutoring standardized tests since 2005. She has taught throughout the greater Los Angeles area and is a proud member of the Grockit team. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Southern California and has studied abroad in London.

Applying to college can be a daunting process, but it is also an incredibly exciting time.

Attending university is an experience that will shape the rest of your life so it’s important to put some serious thought and consideration into your application choices.

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How to Get off the College Wait List

important-letterJust because April 1 has slipped by on the calendar, does not mean that you are necessarily stuck.

If you did not get accepted to your choice college, one possibility to consider is the wait list. If you got wait listed at a school you would love to go to, there is still a chance! Be sure to send in the notice you get with your decision letter and also try to send something in that will set you apart. Send in a picture of yourself doing something you love, send multiple pictures, or have another teacher write you a recommendation letter. Another great way to show interest, is by writing the school a letter yourself explaining why you are still interested in the school and why you should be considered to be taken off the wait list. Just don’t be too pleading or whining in this letter, because it may come across badly. Read the rest of this entry »

Does the College Application Process Ever End?!

Monday morning I sat down with my college folder and thumbed through all its contents, going through a mental checklist of everything I was supposed to have in my folder. I looked over everything two (OK, maybe three times!) making sure nothing had dropped out or gone missing. I then proceeded to my College Adviser’s office (who also happens to be my IB counselor), ran inside and placed the folder at his desk. He slowly went through the file folder just as I had and made sure I had everything in my folder. When he told me good job and said I had everything in my folder, I couldn’t help but smile and do a little happy dance. The folder I had worked on for so many hours was finally complete and turned in.

guidance counselor

Of course this isn’t anywhere near the end of the college application process, unfortunately.

Another great thing about the Common App website is that on the website you can find not only schools’ applications, but also their supplement, if they require one.  So now that I have picked my schools, turned in my college folder, and almost completed all the little boxes for my common app, I now get to begin my supplements for all my schools! Exciting, I know…

For most schools, the supplement is simple and asks a few short questions such as “Why are you considering -insert school name here-?” or “What makes you think that -insert school name here- is a good match for you? What can you bring to the school?”. Whereas other schools have much more in-depth supplements that involve mini-essays and even a full blown essay. The point of these supplements is to add a more personal touch to your application. So rather than just viewing numbers and letters from teachers and your counselor, the supplements allow the schools to see you within the application, you get to give your application a personal touch!

So when it comes to supplements, be sure to put a lot of thought and effort into each one. Remember that a supplement can set you apart from all other applicants because this is the most personal and insightful part of the application for each school you intend on applying to.

Facing An Early Dose of Senioritis

I’ve been back to school now for a week and a half and already it seems the teachers enjoy piling on the homework! Not only do I have homework to manage, but golf and other outside (yet school related) projects that need to be finished! Here’s where my time management skills pay off right? Well there is also something that most seniors deal with at some point in their final year of high school and I don’t think time management skills can really help with this ‘disease’.senioritis

I’m sure for those who know how I feel (and by the title of my blog!) have already labeled this so-called ‘disease’: Senioritis. Symptoms include: not wanting to do school work, avoiding homework, and overall procrastinating more so than usual. I know this is something I shouldn’t have to face until my second semester, but it’s already starting to nip at my heels. Of course, first semester is much easier to deal with. You must keep your grades up, you must apply to your schools, there are so many things you must accomplish first semester that you don’t have time to let senioritis sink in and really effect you. It’s second semester most students struggle with.

The biggest problem a lot of seniors see is their grades slipping second semester. They assume that once they are accepted to a school, they have it made. Well keep in mind that your college will not only want a midyear report, but also a final report. The final report shows your second semester grades because the college wants to be sure you are still the same hardworking person that applied. Colleges have been known for revoking scholarships from students because they didn’t manage to keep their GPAs up to par with what the scholarship requires. Keep in mind then second semester than you aren’t totally set in stone going to a college with a set amount of money, things can easily change!

So the next time I decide to blow off a psych assignment or put off a calc assignment, I’ll be sure to recheck myself and make myself do the work. I hope all of you that face the same problems do the same! Don’t let senioritis cause too many problems!


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