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College Admissions Process

Don't Fear General Education

W. Kent Barnds | Posted 12.22.2016 | Education
W. Kent Barnds

I think most of you know that my recent series of blog posts and podcasts was inspired by a review of a leftover box of recruitment materials a collea...

College Apps are Due in Less Than Two Weeks... Last Minute Advice for Applicants

Greg Kaplan | Posted 12.19.2016 | College
Greg Kaplan

You may be stressed out as you run around town for last minute holiday preparation or gifts. Rest assured, your high school senior has much more anxi...

Election Lessons for Every College Applicant

Sara Harberson | Posted 11.16.2016 | Education
Sara Harberson

As pundits and parties sift through the smoldering results of this presidential election, I can't help but think of our high school seniors. Seniors a...

How To Sell That Perfect Fit

Ishan Puri | Posted 10.14.2016 | College
Ishan Puri

We all know the feeling of finding that perfect school. That one campus which you step onto and immediately feel like home. Getting that acceptance le...

Why America shouldn't be the only place you look at schools

Ishan Puri | Posted 10.13.2016 | Education
Ishan Puri

It is a common cliché that you should explore the world while you're young. Study Abroad, Mission Trips, Peace Corps and many other programs provide ...

What Matters Most to Colleges? Good Grades

Kat Cohen | Posted 09.29.2016 | College
Kat Cohen

The National Association for College Admission Counseling recently released its annual State of College Admissions report, revealing that, while consi...

Will The Early FAFSA Get The Worm?

W. Kent Barnds | Posted 09.13.2016 | College
W. Kent Barnds

Beginning this fall, prospective students will be able to submit the FAFSA as early as October 1 rather than the traditional date of January 1. The change has been called "Early FAFSA," or in higher education circles "PPY," which stands for "Prior-Prior-Year."

How Important Are Extracurricular Activities In College Admissions?

Ishan Puri | Posted 09.06.2016 | College
Ishan Puri

Many students ask us how important extracurricular activities are in the college admissions process. It is fairly clear that academics are an importan...

Creating Your College List Using Data

Ishan Puri | Posted 08.19.2016 | College
Ishan Puri

Developing your college list is a challenging task. Many students who approach us at Synocate apply to 7 or more schools and spread those across safet...

Does Volunteer Work Matter For College Admissions?

Ishan Puri | Posted 08.08.2016 | College
Ishan Puri

First you have to find your area of interest. Doing general volunteer work is almost never helpful for admission to the Top 100 colleges.

College Visits: Do They Really Matter For College Admissions?

Ishan Puri | Posted 08.04.2016 | Education
Ishan Puri

We think there are four keys ways to show interest: college visits, reaching out to professors, reaching out students or alumni, and showing specifics in the college application essays.

Guaranteed College Admissions Boost: Extracurricular Story

Ishan Puri | Posted 08.01.2016 | Education
Ishan Puri

Summertime is one of the best times for high school students. Daily routine and structured days give way to sunshine and mostly empty calendars. Apart from taking a much-needed break from academics, students should use their summers to expand on their interests.

Should Your Student Treat The ACT/SAT Like A Class?

Ishan Puri | Posted 07.28.2016 | Education
Ishan Puri

By Adam Lawrence and Ishan Puri With the school year fast approaching, it's time for students to begin thinking about how to prepare for the ACT an...

Is College Admissions The Next Big Sport?

Chase Staub | Posted 07.14.2016 | Education
Chase Staub

Long gone are the days when getting accepted to an Ivy League college was enough; now, welcome a time when getting accepted to all eight ivies is the new benchmark of success.

What Parents Should Do During A Campus Visit

W. Kent Barnds | Posted 07.01.2016 | Education
W. Kent Barnds

Parents are important partners in the college search process, so I wish more parents would ask what they should do during a campus visit. I suspect th...

How to Answer the Common Application Essay for College Admissions

Ishan Puri | Posted 06.25.2016 | Education
Ishan Puri

By Chris Hunt and Ishan Puri The Common Application has long been the hub for applications to U.S. colleges. Every year, more than half-a-million stu...

A Dozen Do's and Dont's for the 2016 Common Application College Essay Prompts

Elizabeth Benedict | Posted 06.21.2016 | College
Elizabeth Benedict

Alongside my college counseling work, I've written six novels and taught creative writing to college students and adults for decades. You don't need to write a novel to get into college, but you do need to adopt some of the essentials of writing creatively to make your application essays sing.

What to Do When Colleges "Recommend" an Interview

W. Kent Barnds | Posted 06.09.2016 | Education
W. Kent Barnds

I noticed that a number of colleges "recommend" or "highly recommend" an admissions interview. My own institution uses this same phrase in our viewboo...

How to Pick a College: Part 6 The Best College Decision

Ishan Puri | Posted 06.07.2016 | Education
Ishan Puri

College decisions should incorporate a good deal of investigative effort. There's a lot of information to sort through and it's difficult to distill useful, accurate content from opinion. You might want to know how to choose a major or find the best college fit.

College Counseling: Public vs. Private School - Which One Is Right For Me?

Ishan Puri | Posted 06.02.2016 | College
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Ishan Puri

Students change, so colleges are instead looking for dynamic individuals that are open-minded, capable of learning, and able to contribute back to their community. These traits can be show at either a private or public school.

How to Pick a College: Part 4 Project Support

Ishan Puri | Posted 05.23.2016 | Education
Ishan Puri

Original research, the hallmark of academic study and a staple of graduating with honors, serves as the cornerstone of the academic world. Universities pride themselves in the groundbreaking discoveries their professors and other researchers contribute to the zeitgeist.

How Important are SAT and ACT for college admissions?

Ishan Puri | Posted 05.20.2016 | Education
Ishan Puri

One of the most frequent questions we get at Synocate is how important academics are for college admissions. Specifically, many students ask us about ...

How to Email Professors for Research Opportunities - College Counseling 101

Ishan Puri | Posted 05.19.2016 | Education
Ishan Puri

Many high school students interested in science would love the opportunity to research in a scientist's laboratory over the summer. Getting an interns...

Do You Need a College Counselor For College Admissions?

Ishan Puri | Posted 05.19.2016 | Education
Ishan Puri

College admissions is a complicated process and it has been reported that at some schools almost 75% of students take tutoring and college counseling help.

What Does a Private College Counselor Do: College Admissions 101

Ishan Puri | Posted 05.13.2016 | Education
Ishan Puri

"Applying for college is not what it used to be. It is insanely more competitive these days and if you can afford the help of a professional, get it" ...