Our Reaction to the College Admissions Bribery Scandal

We have received dozens of emails, text, and inquiries about the current scandal. We think it is very sad and emblematic of bigger issues. When the going gets tough, the urge to cut corners can be real. And this scandal underscores just how hard it is to get into college. But we need to make it incredibly clear: our practice is both ethical and legal. We don’t condone or endorse anything that happened in the latest scandal. We would never cheat or encourage cheating. In fact, we have been approached by people who want us to fabricate essays or transcripts and we have always, without exception, turned them away. We operate with an incredibly high moral and ethical code.

The Best Schools Systems Science and Engineering Programs

Systems engineers tend to work in technical and human-based engineering industries as the interface between customers, companies, and management in general and specialty engineers. Smart buildings, global networks, and autonomous robotics are all examples of systems that system engineers develop and manage. Systems engineers work in manufacturing, finance, consulting, healthcare, and so many more industries. It’s a critical role within the engineering world and thus necessitates a particular kind of person with specific skills, such as reliability, ability to organize large sets of data and information, management of various teams, and knowledge in testing, design, and risk management. While systems engineers have a solid foundation of knowledge in the engineering sciences, a significant amount of the focus is more big-picture.  

Best Undergraduate Non-BFA Musical Theater Programs

Parents regularly ask us whether or not their artistically inclined kids should forgo their creative urges to study something a bit more practical, like, say, finance. What sets us apart from some of the other college consulting services out there is that we like to encourage kids to pursue their passions. Whether it’s extra-curriculars, essays, or summer jobs, each component of the application process, and ultimately, the majors kids pursue in college, are going to end up being more impressive if the student is committed to what they’re doing. So, if you’re a show tunes junky with a voice of honey, we say go for it. But you better bring you’re A-game, because getting into the nation’s top musical theater programs is hardly as easy as spending a Sunday in the park with George. (We'll see ourselves out. Bye.) 

What Do I Write About for a College Supplement Essay?

The essays are the part of the college application that students resist the most. Classes and tests require hard work, but there’s something intimidating about sitting down and writing several hundred words from scratch that have such a bearing on your future. In this post, we offer a few tips for the intrepid college-applicants who are just getting started.  

What Should I Do in the Summer Between Junior and Senior Year of High School?

There is no shortage of ways you could fill the summer between junior and senior year: sitting on the couch and watching all of Riverdale, sitting on the beach and playing on your phone, and sitting by your friend’s pool and sending snaps are all things you could do. But none of those things are going to get you into college. Fear not. We have a few thoughts on what will.

The Best Entrepreneurship Summer Programs 2019

We encourage our kids to seek the best opportunities possible each summer. Your breaks from school should be seen as time to learn and expand yourself while continuing to craft your portfolio into a body of work that brands you as an expert in some area. It’s never too early to become an entrepreneur. For those who are ambitious and destined for business, these programs might be a good place to start.

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: