College Admissions

Let our experts help you:

  • Make good choices in 9th-12th grades 
  • Navigate the testing maze (which tests, when to take them, how to prepare)
  • Help you pick schools (where to apply)
  • Map out a customized application strategy
  • Write essays that make you stand out
  • Prepare for interviews
  • Handle disciplinary and other disclosures
  • Make the best use of every single line in the application forms
  • And do it all with a minimum of stress and drama! We are former admissions officers from top schools on stand-by to help you every step of the way.

Featured Blog Posts

October 19, 2017

What's Your Favorite Food?

Every year, we’re fascinated to read people’s answers to the Really Short Answer questions on college applications.

What’s a Really Short Answer question? That’s what we’re calling the application questions that ask you to respond to a question in 25 words or less. Kids agonize over these.

Here's the secret: Usually, your quick, gut-level response is your best response, so you really don’t need to agonize.

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March 14, 2017

The Decision Zone

March is the cruelest month, right? (Sorry, Shakespeare.) Now that you've entered the home stretch of the college application process, here is some advice to get you through it.

1.

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January 10, 2017

What to Do if You Applied Early and Were Deferred

If you have applied early to one or more colleges, the decision letter you received might not have contained a final decision.

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December 13, 2016

How to Help Your Recommenders Help You

Have you already lined up your recommenders? If not, get cracking, because they are your key allies in the application process. Best case scenario, you already talked to them at the end of 11th grade about writing recommendations for you. But if you’re a senior and you haven't already done so, it’s not too late.

Your core recommendations typically come in the form of a school report from your school-based college counselor and two academic recommendations from your teachers.

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October 17, 2016

"Other" Recommendations for Your College Applications

Colleges typically require academic recommendations, which are recommendations from your teachers in high school, and some don't let you submit any others. But other colleges also give you the opportunity to submit "other" (non-academic) recommendations from people who aren't your teachers. Examples of non-academic recommenders include mock trial coach, rabbi, or mentor.

When is it a good idea to submit those?

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April 20, 2016

It's that Frenzied Time of Year

Wise words from the dean of admissions at Smith College:

Students have many options. Focusing on the narrow list of so-called top colleges ignores the rich diversity of the nation’s higher education choices — including community colleges, online courses, residential colleges and large research universities.

Students often combine study at different types of colleges and accrue credit for all of these varied experiences.

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April 19, 2016

Standardized Tests: Should You Take the SAT or ACT or Both?

So many tests, so little time. When it comes to standardized testing for future college applicants, there are some decisions you have to make before fall of Senior year in high school to help you maximize your options when the time comes to apply. But there are ways to "work smarter, not harder."

When we talk about which tests to take, we realize that these are moving targets because of changes on the test side of the world, particularly on the SAT side.

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April 5, 2016

College Decisions! Now What?

HAPPY DANCE HAPPY DANCE HAPPY DANCE

Big congratulations to our amazing students this cycle! The news is still coming in, but here's a sample of colleges they've gotten into: 

Amherst
Berkeley
Brown
BU
Case Western
Chicago
Columbia
Cornell
Duke
Emory
Harvard
MIT
Occidental
Rice
RPI
Smith
USC
UCSD
WashU
Williams

We've also gotten some great feedback from you, our readers.

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March 1, 2016

Tip for Older Students Taking New SAT This Weekend

Are you a non-traditional (read: older) student planning on taking the new SAT (aka rSAT) this weekend? If so, our friends at ArborBridge test prep are reminding us that there are special rules you need to be aware of, and might need to work around asap:

All of us adults who registered to take the March SAT this weekend so we could see the new test received an email from the CB [College Board] today telling us we had been booted to May instead.

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February 11, 2016

Math Is a State of Mind

Are you struggling with math? There is hope for you, and "hope" is the key word here. 

I came across a great post on the Education Week blog that summarizes the findings of a recent study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a big international organization that tracks things like math performance country by country.

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February 3, 2016

Taking a Standardized Test? Protect Your Personal Information

Were you under the impression that the College Board and the ACT are primarily in the business of making and administering those standardized tests that drive you batty? 

Actually, their real bread and butter is mining students' personal information and selling it for a lot of money.

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June 24, 2015

Pro Tip: Don't Disclose Your Grades, Courses, or GPA When Registering for the ACT

If you're a high school student (or the parent of a high school student), you probably thought that the ACT is just in the business of creating and administering the ACT test, right?

Actually, they do quite a bit more, and one of their "side" businesses can affect your college applications without you even knowing it. Please read the following advice carefully:

In order to increase its profitability and market share, the ACT has been developing other "predictor" tools to sell to colleges.

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June 23, 2015

Pro Tip: Register for the October SAT (Reasoning or Subjects) by June 24

As you may already know, there were problems with the June 6, 2015, SAT Reasoning test because of misprints in the instructions on some of the test booklets. It took a little time for the dust to settle and for the College Board to decide how it was going to respond. As of now, the College Board has decided to do the following:

  1. Score the tests without including the scores from the affected sections (the affected sections were the last reading or math section – you might have had reading last or you might have had math last, but neither will be scored).

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March 31, 2015

Juniors: Common Application Essay Topics are Out, But Don't Start Writing Until July!

Juniors, have you been on pins and needles wondering what the essay topics will be for next year? If so, your agony is over. The Common Application released the 5 essay topics that will appear on next year's Common Application today. They are:

  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it.

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January 14, 2015

10th Graders - How To Plan Ahead For the New SAT

You may have heard that the SAT is in the process of being overhauled. If you're a 10th grader now, what does that mean for you?

The first administration of the NEW SAT will be in March of 2016.

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