Work Experience for a College Admission Application

These days, there’s a lot of pressure on students to cultivate the right suite of extra-curriculars. Often times, kids join too many clubs or take on too many volunteer opportunities and miss the mark on demonstrating that they’ve committed to one area of expertise. But developing depth in an area doesn’t have to be limited to unpaid activity. In this post, we talk about how work experience can be a great addition to the resume.

When Should I Start Touring Colleges?

We get this question a lot, and it’s an important one to ask because oftentimes students come to us the summer before their senior year not having visited one school. To be frank, that is kind of an *almost* worst-case scenario. By that time you should have your school list nearly together and have begun working on your Common App personal statement. For that reason, we encourage our students to begin touring colleges the spring of their sophomore year. But the best time would be to plan a trip during the summer between your sophomore and junior year.

The Best Creative Writing Summer Programs 2019 

The summer goal for every high schooler should be to do something impressive with their time. You want to work hard and show that your hard work paid off. But a lot of people think that creative writing isn’t a rigorous field. We disagree. In fact, we feel that having a strong grasp of the creative process is crucial for writing standout college essays. There’s no reason you shouldn’t explore your passions during your time off of school, whatever they may be. That’s why we’ve identified a list of programs just for creative writers who are too ambitious to spend the summer siting by the pool and reciting poetry.   

Sophomore Year Summer Ideas

Summer is a wonderful time of year. The snow (barring climate change) has melted. Movie theaters market films to kids and teens. Beaches are back open, and perhaps best of all, school is out. We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but unfortunately, if you want to get into a great school spending your time simply lounging and enjoying the bliss of summer isn’t going to cut it. Sorry (not sorry) but in order to be competitive, you’re going to have to be strategic and work hard during your summer vacation.

The Best Computer Science Summer Programs 2019

We get the question all the time: how should I spend my summer? While there’s no one answer, there is a direction in which we recommend our students head during their free time, and that is to spend time doing something in which they can learn and demonstrate their new knowledge on their applications. Granted internships are hard to come by for high schoolers, summer courses are not a bad way to go. If you are going to go the summer program route, keep in mind that the program should be rigorous and should also fall under an academic niche you’ve already been exploring. For kids who intend to study computer science in college, there are an increasing number of great programs each year.

Tips for Junior Year of High School

Junior year is a lot. There’s no way to sugar-coat it. However, there are myriad ways to make all of the ancillary college process items more manageable. So, before you dive-in head first, it’s really important to get organized, create a strategy, and stay on track. That way, when things feel chaotic, you have a plan to refer back to. In this post, we talk about ways in which you can forge a clear path for junior year.

The Best Finance and Economics Summer Programs 2019

Earlier this week, we got an email. It read:

"I am a junior in high school interested in pursuing finance or economics and management in college. Do you know of any summer programs at decent/top tier colleges for high schoolers less than two weeks long in June or July that would help me show colleges my interest in these areas? Thank you very much for your help!"

How to Transfer to Cornell

We recently wrote a blog post on transferring into an Ivy League school and Cornell was a very clear outlier. When looking at the transfer acceptance rate chart from the post linked above, you might think “I want to go to a better school, Cornell is an Ivy, I’m going to apply there!” But in the grand scheme of things, an acceptance rate below 20% is not high. It’s only high when compared to the rest of the Ivy League schools. And it turns out there’s a reason for that figure, explained below:

How do I know when to Transfer Colleges?

It’s not always easy to trust your gut when it comes to decisions about college. For some, intuition might suggest that you’re not at the right school. But for the rest of those students looking for validation that you might be better off elsewhere, we’ve compiled a list of reasons for wanting to transfer. If you can check off five boxes or more, it might be time for you start looking into the transfer process.  

B+/A- Students: What You Need to Know about Top Tier Admissions

The Ivy Leagues schools are the way they are for a reason. That is, they are extremely exclusive. There are a number of really strong students across the country, but only a handful are Ivy league applicant material. Colleges advertise to B+ and A- students. We advise that students who fall into that range be skeptical. You’re clearly smart and successful, but at the end of the day, the Ivies aren’t probably aren’t going to accept you.  

Negatives of Touring Colleges in the Summer

Buying final-sale clothes without trying them on is ill-advised. So to is going through the application process without touring colleges. U.S. News & World, secondhand information from friends, and information packets can only tell you so much about a school. To give yourself, not only a three-dimensional experience of a university, but also a sense of what you want in a school in general, visiting is really the only way to go.

When Do I Send My Deferral Package?  

Getting a deferral is not ideal. But it’s also not game over. We’re sorry in advance for the corny sports analogy, but sometimes, you just need to take a Rudy approach to life and give it the old college try.  If your coach benches you, the last thing you want to do is accept defeat. The moment you are sidelined is the moment to give it everything you’ve got. Train harder than you’ve ever trained, keep up the drills, and get back on that high-protein diet. In this post, we talk about what you can do to stay in the game and how to make sure your timing is on point.

Best Colleges for Nature Lovers

There are a lot of different ways to take advantage of nature. You might love the great outdoors so much that you want to go to a school with access to hiking and skiing, or maybe you’re looking for an environmental studies program with outdoor class offerings. This list has both, but it’s not exhaustive. We’ve listed ten schools we believe are good fits for outdoor enthusiasts, but of course there are more. It’s a mix between east and west coast schools with a short explanation as to why these campuses could be a good fit.