Apply. Compete. Succeed.  Blog

Category: For Students

9 Tips for Writing a Great Personal Statement

July 6, 2016

You only get one chance to impress the admissions office.  After all, the college of your choice will be inundated by countless applicants who have an academic and extracurricular background similar to your own.  Hence, it’s important that something about you stands out from the crowd of eager potential freshman. That something should be your personal statement.  

Writing a great personal statement is a challenge, but when done effectively, it can be the difference between a no and a yes from the college of your choice.  So read on below for a few tips regarding how to make your personal statement stand out among the rest.

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10 Tips to Start Your Scholarship Search

June 14, 2016

In the news, all over social media and everywhere else in between, you’ll see posts or articles about the rising cost of college.  For many people, the trouble isn’t getting into the college of their choice, the issue is being able to afford it.  College can be expensive: Between books, tuition and housing, the average American college student is looking at spending tens of thousands of dollars on their college education.  It is extremely common to hear college graduates speak of the debilitating, anxiety-inducing student loans that they struggle to pay month to month. Crippling student debt is a scary reality for many college hopefuls, but don’t fret!  There are ways to offset the burden of college expenses and arguably the best way is to apply for and hopefully, be awarded scholarships.  Below are a few tips to help you begin your scholarship search.

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Top 10 Considerations in Finding the Right College Fit

May 3, 2016

You’ve probably spent hours poring over various college websites.  You’ve studied all the information available regarding college rankings, faculty-to-student ratios and even probably visited a campus or two.  You think you have an idea of what you want in a college, but ultimately you’re not sure.  Deciding what college to attend is a difficult decision to make and kudos to you for not taking it lightly.  However, instead of feeling stressed out or anxious about the decision you’ll inevitably make, take a deep breath and read on below for a few things to consider when choosing a college that will ultimately be the right fit for your personal and academic goals.  

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Good Intentions, Bad Idea: “Free” Community College

March 9, 2016

During this campaign season, we have seen an extraordinary battle of ideas regarding higher education. One of the more interesting ideas currently being promoted actively by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (and supported by President Obama) is a policy proposal to make community college free for everyone.

On its face, this seems to be a no-brainer – after all, what could possibly be wrong with offering free community college to every American citizen? In theory, it should increase not only the lifetime income potential of students who take advantage of this, but it would also greatly increase the skill set of millions of current and future workers.

Despite these benefits, I think this is a bad idea for a number of reasons.

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The Top Four Mistakes Students Make on College Essays

April 21, 2015

This is a time of year when parents and students are starting to worry about college applications, especially if you are a junior. There are certain things that you cannot control at this point, such as your GPA and to a certain degree your ACT or SAT scores. But you have absolute control over the college essay.

And this is where a lot of students make some major mistakes.

In my private college consulting practice, about 90% of what I do is essay review. Although every essay is unique, with a combination of unique strong points and distinct challenges, I have noticed four significant problem areas with the vast majority of students I work with. These are all correctable. Let me explain these problem areas.

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One Thing to Know about the Upcoming Summer

April 15, 2015

This is the time of year when many high school juniors look forward to summer “vacation.” Who can blame them? After all, images of going to the beach or lakeshore, socializing with friends, and simply hanging out are very attractive. And frankly, for many highly-stressed high school students, a nice break in the summer is something to rightfully look forward to.

I’m certainly not someone who is anti-fun, but let me strongly recommend to all high school students that using your summer wisely has become an integral part to improving your college application.

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Application Year in Review: Putting the Ivy League in Perspective

April 10, 2015

After concluding my 15th year of working with high school seniors, with many of them getting admission letters into Ivy League schools, including Harvard, Princeton, Dartmouth, Brown, and Yale – it’s becoming increasing apparent that top students are obsessed with the Ivy League. For many parents and students, admission into an Ivy League school is a stamp of approval of their hard work in and out of the classroom. In many instances, students and parents see an Ivy League admission letter as a punched ticket to success for future aspirations. I often joke with my students that getting into an Ivy League school today is like unwrapping the golden chocolate bar from Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

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Top Five Things to Know About International Travel for College Applicants

February 12, 2015

One of the most frequent questions I get from the students I work with is whether or not they should spend their summers going to faraway places to enhance the college application. In fact, the number of students who have been asking about this has grown exponentially in the last 10 years.
As a general rule, I counsel my families to not spend inordinate amounts of money on travel just for the sake of enhancing the college application. There are five considerations I think you should consider if you are only travelling internationally to enhance the college application:

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