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Rebecca Joseph
An Associate Professor at California State University, Los Angeles, Dr. Rebecca Joseph believes that college should be an option for all and devotes her teaching, research, presentations, evaluations, and service to helping all students receive a high quality, college ready education. She also helps students and schools focus on empowering students throughout the college readiness, application, and admissions process. She is an expert on helping student write powerful college application essays to communicate their unique stories as well as helping kids prepare to transfer to four year colleges. Dr. Joseph is a member of NACAC, WACAC, AERA, and NCTE and an expert for Unigo. She can be followed on twitter @getmetocollege and on her website

Entries by Rebecca Joseph

Stop the Cheating: An Open Letter to the College Board and ACT

(7) Comments | Posted October 14, 2014 | 1:57 PM

This is high season for high stakes standardized testing. Anyone who knows a 17-or 18-year-old high school senior knows how important the SAT, ACT, and SAT Subject Tests are to college applicants. While there is limited evidence that these tests actually predict anything more than the socio-economic level of the...

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5 Ways to Move From College Rejection to Acceptance

(0) Comments | Posted April 3, 2014 | 1:57 PM

This week, I have received several phone calls from families mourning the college decisions their high school seniors received in March. They rarely open with the wonderful colleges that did accept their children. That's where I begin my advice, but it is always a challenging phone call.

April is...

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Don't Wait to Try to Get Off a College Waitlist

(1) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 11:50 AM

First of all, congratulations for making it this far in the college admissions process.

You will most likely have many good colleges options already, but if you really want to go to a college that waitlisted you, follow as many of these 10 tips as possible.

1. Be happy...

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March Madness for College Admissions Decisions

(0) Comments | Posted March 29, 2014 | 6:51 PM

Just as the top college basketball teams are competing their way towards the April 7 National Championship Game, so are high schools seniors as they learn which colleges have accepted, waitlisted or rejected them.

If only the college admissions notification process were as simple as the elimination process for the...

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A Spoonful of Sugar for Waiting College Applicants

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2014 | 3:32 PM

Perhaps just a spoonful of sugar will help the college admissions decisions go down.

Take a cue from the popular children's song in the movie, Mary Poppins; the "A Spoonful of Sugar" song could very well be a metaphor for life, reality and pain -- or the college admissions process!...

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We Must Inoculate Against Senioritis

(2) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 5:44 PM

You would think colleges would send out senioritis alerts to remind those of you who have been accepted that you still have work to do. But they do not.

Freshman through junior years get you in; senior year performance keeps you in. So I will share a few stories...

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10 Ways to Have a Gold Medal-Worthy Senior Year

(0) Comments | Posted February 19, 2014 | 4:57 PM

Just like the Olympics are a demonstration of athletic superiority, so is senior year of high school for college readiness. Colleges want students who take their academics to the next level. Senior year of high school should be a time for mastery, of exploration and of rigor.

Below are...

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Surviving Early Decision Blues

(0) Comments | Posted December 13, 2013 | 12:36 PM

What a day. I've seen the highs, mediums and lows of college admissions as high school seniors found out all day whether they had been admitted to their dream colleges.

Yes, there are dream colleges for students. High school seniors can apply Early Decision in November, and if they...

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A Thanksgiving Lesson From My Cleaning Lady's Daughter

(2) Comments | Posted November 27, 2013 | 2:14 PM

When I read Angela's college application essays this week, my heart broke. She revealed information that I never knew about her and her family even though her mother has worked as my cleaning lady for almost 10 years. Her essays and entire application made me think how my life in...

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Surviving Hurricane Common Application

(0) Comments | Posted October 24, 2013 | 8:53 AM

Last year it was Hurricane Sandy. This year it is Hurricane Common Application. Both have prompted many colleges to push back some early deadlines, yet thankfully in this case no lives or homes have been lost or irreparably damaged.

The cause of this hurricane is the new...

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A Plea to Those Helping Students With College Application Essays: Let the 17-year-old Voice Take Center Stage

(10) Comments | Posted October 16, 2013 | 2:05 AM

Recently, I saw a private coach inside a Starbucks using a thesaurus to help a high school senior make a college application essay sound "more mature." Another counselor encouraged one of my students to write about a troubling failure without focusing on the lessons learned. This season, yet another of...

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Let Your Children Live in College Dorms

(10) Comments | Posted May 15, 2013 | 2:40 PM

I have spent my week trying to convince many parents of high school seniors accepted to four year colleges to let their children live in college dorms. They all have reasons why they want their children to commute. Surprisingly, for all social-economic levels, finances are not the major obstacle as...

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Making Lemonade Out of College Admissions Notifications

(2) Comments | Posted March 29, 2013 | 6:35 PM

All day today and yesterday, I have talked, emailed, and texted with teens and their parents about college decisions, many of which have cut the high school seniors to the core. Most have been admitted to several amazing colleges. Yet the pain of their rejections seems to prevail.

These are...

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What's in a Name? Helping High School Seniors Choose the Right College

(2) Comments | Posted March 27, 2013 | 10:43 AM

April is college decision month for high school seniors who have until May 1 to decide which college to attend. The brutal process of applying to college and waiting for acceptances is over. Now, seniors get to decide which college's offer of admissions to accept. While many adults and students...

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March Madness for College Admissions Decisions

(4) Comments | Posted March 13, 2013 | 6:42 PM

Throughout March I empathize with nervous high school seniors and their families as they await college admissions decisions. The seniors have dedicated so much time and effort into their high school experiences, their decisions of where to apply, and their actual applications. The waiting process naturally causes feelings of extreme...

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Spring Into Great College Visits

(0) Comments | Posted March 12, 2013 | 5:15 PM

Spring is the time of year when many juniors and their parents start visiting prospective colleges. This is the ideal time of year to visit colleges as they are still in session and you can see authentic college life. By doing an official visit, you also let the colleges know...

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A New World for College Applicants

(3) Comments | Posted February 6, 2013 | 3:28 PM

For the first time in its recent history, the Common Application has changed its essay prompts for the 2013-2014 school year. More than 2 million high school seniors and 560 colleges use this college application platform; it enables students to send out the same application to member colleges. It requires...

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9 Tips for Turning Freshmen Blues Around

(1) Comments | Posted December 20, 2012 | 11:01 AM

Many college freshmen had a challenging first semester of college. It was hard being away, classes were not as interesting or easy as expected, friendships were hard to make and activities hard to find. They came home moaning and groaning, and many want to transfer to another college. Yet for...

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To Apply Early or Not Apply Early

(0) Comments | Posted October 18, 2012 | 6:52 PM

If you are the parent of a high school senior, you have my congratulations for making it this far and my sympathy for the chaos the college admissions process can bring.

Right now, I truly empathize with families weighing the pros and cons of applying early to colleges. Remember, Early...

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A Broken College Pipeline in Dire Need of Repairs

(4) Comments | Posted September 25, 2012 | 3:45 PM

"My mother works at McDonald's, and so do I," said Elsie. "My mother knows I won't be there for much longer. She says, 'I know college will make your life better.'"

I am more tired than I have been in months. Joined by Elsie and two other first-generation college students,...

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