iOS app Android app

Applying to College

Topic of Your Choice as a College Essay. Just Because You Can...

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 02.08.2017 | College
Patrick O'Connor

"Dr. O'Connor?" "Hello, James. How are you?" "Well, I was doing OK, until I heard you wanted to see me." "Why, James--is it my breath?" "Sir?" "...

Mr. Obama, We'd Like to Reach Even Higher

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 02.01.2017 | College
Patrick O'Connor

Mr. Obama, I've written you from this space on more than one occasion to thank, beg, and plead for your support for school counselors when you were Pr...

The Most Important Part Of The College Application Process

Dawn Q Landau | Posted 12.12.2016 | Fifty
Dawn Q Landau

'Tis the season! While that statement inevitably makes many people think of holiday lights, or dreidels and menorahs, and gift buying, for thousands of high school seniors and their parents, December is the advent of college application deadlines.

Apply by 10, Get Admitted by 2: College Decision Day is a Hidden Motown Gem

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 11.07.2016 | Detroit
Patrick O'Connor

The Saturday morning soul of the city usually belongs to Eastern Market, but Motown's epicenter of energy moved a few blocks up Mack this Saturday, th...

How to Stand Out When Applying to STEM Programs

Kat Cohen | Posted 10.25.2016 | College
Kat Cohen

The demand for STEM degrees is growing, and more and more students are applying to top universities with the goal of pursing a STEM education. As more...

The College Application Advice I Wish Someone Had Given Me

The Huffington Post | Ann Brenoff | Posted 10.11.2016 | Fifty

So your high school senior is in the throes of preparing his college applications. He’s retaking the SATs for the umpteenth time, hoping to squeeze ...

Skilled Trades in Michigan: A Tale of Two Senators

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 09.13.2016 | Detroit
Patrick O'Connor

As Michigan students head back to school, Michigan families need to take a minute to contact two state senators, to thank one for looking out for thei...

How Much Do Colleges Care About Legacy In College Admissions?

Ishan Puri | Posted 08.22.2016 | College
Ishan Puri

Legacy is a controversial term in college admissions. If your family went to the university, legacy can help you in the admissions process at some universities. But often we get questions about how much it helps, what legacy is defined as, and how you can maximize your chances given legacy. In this article, we will go over these questions using data that we have extracted at Synocate over the past 6 years.

College Readiness Checklist Fails to Make the Grade

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 08.01.2016 | College
Patrick O'Connor

While we've been away this summer, the School Superintendent's Association (AASA) has released a series of National College and Career Readiness Indic...

The Visit Every Female College Applicant Should Make

Kimberly Cassidy | Posted 06.29.2016 | College
Kimberly Cassidy

For many rising high school seniors, the summer between the 11th and 12th grades includes visits to a variety of colleges and universities to learn about options, see what fits, and decide where to apply.

An Open Letter To High School Graduates

Eva Lesko Natiello | Posted 06.29.2016 | Teen
Eva Lesko Natiello

While I wish you a great future, what I really wish for you is a great summer. Because if you learn to appreciate the now, you'll always have it to reflect on. If you forever focus on tomorrow, you'll never truly have today. Congratulations and good luck!

Five Things You Must Do Before Even Attempting To Write Your Common Application Essay

Robert S. Schwartz | Posted 06.17.2016 | College
Robert S. Schwartz

"The scariest moment is always just before you start." Stephen King on writing.

A Word of Advice to School Counselors and College Counselors. Relax.

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 06.08.2016 | College
Patrick O'Connor

It's easy to understand why some school counselors are nervous about next year. SAT changes, a new multi-school college application, and major change...

Heads Up! Essay Prompts From the Common App, University of California App, the Universal Application and the New Coalition App

Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz | Posted 05.20.2016 | College
Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz

I was just about to send out a "What the new application essay prompts are" email to students with whom I work. Right in the middle of writing it, it dawned on me that everyone should have access to this information, especially since it's not that easy to find.

College Testing Wars are Building. How Can Students Find Peace?

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 05.17.2016 | College
Patrick O'Connor

It was supposed to be a quiet week in college admissions, but a story was rumbling beneath the typical spring headlines of "Colleges Receive Record Apps" last week that, if left unchecked, could trash the serene summer of many a rising senior--and it all has to do with guessing.

College Admissions and the Game of Yield

Sara Harberson | Posted 04.06.2016 | College
Sara Harberson

College applicant pools are deeper than ever. The slightest thing -- a B instead of an A or a typo in the essay -- is enough to push an admissions decision from a yay to a nay. Over the last few years, the competition has only become stiffer, especially at elite colleges.

Didn't Get Into an Ivy? Consider This

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 03.03.2017 | College
Patrick O'Connor

Facts have their limits when it comes to matters of the heart, and college admissions is certainly one of those. At the same time, sharing some of these facts now might create an opportunity for the head to drive the college admissions bus for just a little while.

How to Succeed at College and Beyond: The Art of Learning

Daniel R. Schwarz | Posted 03.02.2017 | College
Daniel R. Schwarz

I. Preparing Students for the College Experience and Responding to Critics of the American University I have just published my How to Succeed at C...

How Applications are Evaluated and Decisions are Made

Jeannie Borin | Posted 02.15.2017 | College
Jeannie Borin

Here are some of the important variables in the process. When competition is as keen as it is with highly selective colleges, many factors play a role in the admissions process, but the basic factors continue to be exceptional academics, character and personal accomplishments.

Colleges Dared To Care More About Passion, Less About Tests

Reuters | Tyler Kingkade | Posted 02.02.2017 | College

BOSTON, Jan 20 (Reuters) - U.S. educators on Wednesday endorsed a Harvard University-developed proposal to reform college admissions by relying less o...

A Change in Store for College Admissions?

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 01.20.2017 | College
Patrick O'Connor

Thanks in large part to the ridiculous idea that there is one best college for everyone, applying to college has turned into a parody of Reality TV, where students spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours preparing for a four hour test that, in the eyes of many, holds their future well-being in the balance.

Better Career and College Advice Is a Phone Call Away

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 12.10.2016 | Detroit
Patrick O'Connor

Saddled with the fifth largest caseload in the country (with 704 students per school counselor), the counselors in our state are used to being overworked and under appreciated, but they've been hoping things might change that would make their work easier.

Before You Scream At Your School Counselor

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 12.02.2016 | College
Patrick O'Connor

You've worked so hard to schedule, prepare, and nudge your high school senior to apply to college on time. You shared that small thrill when they hit...

5 Things Parents Must Do To Survive The College Application Season

The Huffington Post | Ann Brenoff | Posted 11.22.2015 | Fifty

Technically speaking, we are at half-time in the big college application game. The first batch of early action and early decision applications have be...

The Truth about Applying to 'Reach' Colleges

Kat Cohen | Posted 11.11.2016 | College
Kat Cohen

When applying to reach colleges, target those reach schools that would show an interest in an applicant like you. For example, a selective liberal arts college might be recruiting more students interested in studying a science field like chemistry or physics.