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Applying to College

Help for the 6 Most Confusing Parts of the New 2014-15 CommonApp

Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz | Posted 11.09.2014 | College
Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz

Everyone -- students, parents, high school counselors, teachers and college admissions officers -- were all in agreement last year that the Common Application offered many challenges. Things seem to be much better this year; but here and there, directions are left out, and there are areas that are not explained as thoroughly as they might be.

Applying to College Is Different This Year--Here's How

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 10.25.2014 | College
Patrick O'Connor

School hasn't even started for most students, but the college application process is in high gear for the Class of 2015. Students, parents, and couns...

Top 5 Reasons to Apply to a Liberal Arts College

Alexandra Rice | Posted 10.08.2014 | College
Alexandra Rice

With the growing popularity of careers in the sciences, technology, engineering and math fields -- also referred to as STEM -- some might question why a liberal arts education is useful for today's incoming college students.

Bracing for the Common Application: 10 Tips for Staying Sane While Applying to College and Writing App Essays

Elizabeth Benedict | Posted 10.04.2014 | College
Elizabeth Benedict

Many schools have a calculator on their websites you can plug your numbers into and learn how much aid you might qualify for. Remember: Aid includes outright scholarships as well as loans and work-study opportunities.

White House Counseling Summit Raises Hopes, Questions, and Possibilities

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 09.29.2014 | College
Patrick O'Connor

This week's White House Summit on College Access was an historic day of recognition and reflection for school counselors. Held less than six weeks aft...

White House to States: Help School Counselors Now

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 09.01.2014 | College
Patrick O'Connor

The profession that has spent decades discussing student assessment and teacher tenure must radically improve the way school counselors are viewed and able to do their work in eight weeks.

Get Ready, College: I'm Coming For You

Ashley Castillo | Posted 08.16.2014 | Teen
Ashley Castillo

The way high school is set up (or at least how mine is) lends for a very repetitive schedule. As a senior who has one month of high school left, and already knows where I'm going to college, that is exactly what I am: tired of it.

4 Things Rising Seniors Can Do This Summer to Get an Upper Hand On College Admissions

Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz | Posted 08.02.2014 | College
Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz

Once you've gotten some energy back, then start your summer activities, whether that's work, volunteering, summer school, something else, or more likely, a combination of several things.

So You're Going to Your Safety School... Now What?

The Prospect | Posted 07.27.2014 | College
The Prospect

The sad truth of the college application process is that few students are actually admitted to the school of their dreams. Virtually all applicants receive rejection letters and ultimately end up compromising in one way or another.

The One Thing I Regret During The College App Process

Shi Hui Ng | Posted 07.14.2014 | Teen
Shi Hui Ng

If you're still deciding between colleges, make a list! Now is a good time to slow down and look into the nitty-gritty details. Put down statistics that matter to you, like costs, student body ratios, programs or subjects that you would like to pursue.

What Getting Into My Dream School Made Me Realize

Ashley Castillo | Posted 07.13.2014 | Teen
Ashley Castillo

All I could do was yell, "I got in! I got in! Mom, I got in!" Tears of joy streamed down my face and it hugged my mother. I couldn't believe it. I actually did it.

Marty O'Connell on the Lessons this College Season Offered

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 07.08.2014 | College
Patrick O'Connor

College admissions offered a number of twists and turns this year to veteran college counselors-- but how was this year perceived by a college counsel...

A Plea To Everyone Asking Me Where I Want To Go To College

Lilian Klatskin | Posted 06.29.2014 | Teen
Lilian Klatskin

You will ask me if I remember you, even though the last time you saw me, I was two months old. You will ask me what grade I'm in and I will tell you I'm a junior. And it's downhill from there.

Better College Advising? In Michigan, There's a Bill for That

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 06.24.2014 | Detroit
Patrick O'Connor

April is college decision month, and it's bringing more than its share of anxiety this year. Applications are up at many popular colleges, which mean...

The Life-Changing Decision I'm Prepared To Make

Stephanie Orozco | Posted 06.22.2014 | Teen
Stephanie Orozco

I read and read, and re-read again for clarity; my eyes were slowly adjusting to the hard and truthful fact that I was staring at an early acceptance letter from Smith College

A High School where Every Counselor is College Ready

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 06.22.2014 | College
Patrick O'Connor

It' s time to make good on a debt. Last fall, I challenged America's school counselors to improve college advising in their building by requiring eve...

It's Been A Roller Coaster Of A Ride

Shi Hui Ng | Posted 06.21.2014 | Teen
Shi Hui Ng

Looking back at senior year in retrospect, it was an emotional roller coaster where I almost lost all my motivation. In December, I was so worked up with not being accepted to my top choice school. Four months later, I'm a lot calmer.

Six Words of Advice for Parents of College-Bound Juniors

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 06.10.2014 | College
Patrick O'Connor

It may be hard for parents to watch students struggle at first with this important task, just as it wasn't easy to watch them strike out at the plate, listen to their first violin solo or feel them let the clutch out too soon.

Don't Count on a 'Hook' to Get You Into College

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 06.08.2014 | College
Patrick O'Connor

Interests can make for a richer college, so they can make for a richer application; but if this year's admissions decisions have taught us anything, nothing is a sure bet.

What This Year's College Results Mean to Next Year's Seniors

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 06.03.2014 | College
Patrick O'Connor

The smoke is still clearing after the last college notifications were sent to the Class of 2014, but it isn't too early to use this year's results to ...

What to Do When You Hear From Colleges

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 05.27.2014 | College
Patrick O'Connor

You have it all pictured in your head. The bell rings, you calmly open the email from the college of your dreams, and -- you're admitted! You receive the accolades of your teacher and your classmates. But remember -- that's what happens in your head, not in your school.

Defending the SAT. Really.

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 05.20.2014 | College
Patrick O'Connor

Past changes to SAT (originally an aptitude test) have made it a little more like the ACT (an achievement test), and these new changes are likely to make it even more so. If these changes really make them alike, fewer students will take both tests, leading to less time on testing and test prep, and more time on going to school. That's a win.

Why I Can't Relax About College (Just Yet)

Shi Hui Ng | Posted 05.17.2014 | Teen
Shi Hui Ng

While trying to calm me down, my mother called this ordeal the test to become an accountant, and that it's just one of the things that I'll have to deal with as an adult. After this whole fiasco, I don't think I'm fit to be an accountant.

SAT Changes, and Advice for Ninth Graders

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 05.14.2014 | College
Patrick O'Connor

There's been a good deal of news about the changes to the SAT--so much news that it seems to be causing confusion among students and their parents. ...

What I Wish I Could Change About The College App Process

Ashley Castillo | Posted 05.11.2014 | Teen
Ashley Castillo

I also wish schools had a better way to communicate with applicants. Like, calling you or emailing you and telling you the next step in the process so you can be sure you're on top of things. But I guess that's just the high school student in me talking.