TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: College Admissions

Posted May 9, 2014, 2:36 p.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Taking the SATs

Everyone knows how important standardized tests are in the college application process. But what about SAT Subject Tests? How important are they to college admissions and should everyone take them? What are SAT Subject Tests? SAT Subject Tests are hour-long content based tests, which allow you to demonstrate proficiency in a specific subject. There are 20 Subject Tests in all and unlike the SAT where you have to complete all three sections, you get to choose which Subject Tests you would like to take. Subject Tests are offered on the same dates as the SAT and you can take up ...

Posted May 7, 2014, 11 a.m. by Elly Swartz | View Comments
5 Tips on Starting the College Essay

Junior year is almost behind you and the college essay looms on the horizon. Its importance has been shared with you in meetings with your college counselor, in the too-many-to-count information sessions, and, of course, in family discussions over lasagna at the dinner table. You’re told this is where you can share your voice, tell your story, and make a difference in the eyes of admissions officers. You stare at your blank screen and wonder where to start. How do you dig through eighteen years of experiences and select the one that shares your voice, your vision, and your passion? ...

Posted May 6, 2014, 11 a.m. by Customer Service | View Comments
Unique College Essays

The college essay: the longest, hardest, and most feared factor of the application process. You’re a smart, well-traveled, interesting high school student, so this should be easy, right? The only problem is that once you start writing, you may realize your topic isn’t that original after all. Download Here are some ideas for unique, one-of-a-kind college essays. Advocate for an issue you believe in. Arguing for or against a cause that’s important to you is bold but very interesting. You could discuss your beliefs on federal minimum wage, cigarette smoking and taxes, or environmental policy, for example. All of these ...

Posted May 5, 2014, 3:02 p.m. by Magoosh | View Comments
5 Facts Every Parent Should Know About the SAT

Parents are so inundated with information regarding the SAT that they often have trouble knowing fact from fiction, truth from hyperbole. For years, I’ve dealt with such misconceptions and uncertainty any time I talk to a parent. If I had to think of five things I wanted every “SAT parent” to know, five important facts to help them navigate through the welter of confusion, I would tell them the following. Students can improve on the SAT. There is a myth that the SAT is a glorified IQ test, and a student’s score is impervious to change: it is as hard-wired ...

Posted April 24, 2014, 11 a.m. by Andrew Belasco | View Comments
Paying for College: How to Win Merit Aid

At the risk of sounding like Matthew Lesko, the question mark suit-clad lunatic of early 2000s infomercial fame, COLLEGES WANT TO GIVE YOU FREE MONEY!!! Okay, so schools aren’t exactly looking to send cash to any freeloader with a self-addressed stamp envelope, but each year, billions upon billions of dollars are indeed handed out by institutions for the purpose of luring desirable students onto their campuses. The top factors in netting merit aid As usual, it starts with the good ol’ meat and potatoes of the application—strong test scores and a high grade point average. Some colleges literally have formulaic ...

Posted April 17, 2014, 11 a.m. by Andrew Belasco | View Comments
How Many Advanced Placement (AP) Classes Should You Take?

Most students are familiar with the basics of Advanced Placement (AP) courses: They offer a chance to experience a college-level curriculum while still in high school, earn college credits, and boost your college admissions chances by showing your rigorous course load. From there, questions typically abound. We’ll do our best to answer the most frequently asked questions we receive from clients about Advanced Placement classes, starting with the most frequent one. How many AP classes should I take? Let’s begin by saying that taking too heavy an AP course load (relative to the caliber of student you are) is never ...

Posted April 15, 2014, 11 a.m. by Andrew Belasco | View Comments
Is There a Private School Advantage in College Admissions?

Prior to the 1920s, attendance at a top-flight prep school was nothing less than a prerequisite for admission into an Ivy League college. Absurdly, a diploma from a blue-blood boarding school actually trumped academic superiority in the elitist admissions landscape of early 20th century America. Today, nearly 100 years later, 65 percent of Harvard students hail from a public high school. For a less Ivy-centric view, consider that fewer than 6 percent of college students in 2012 had attended private, non-religious high schools. So this begs the question: Do private schools still offer an admissions advantage at our nation’s most ...

Posted April 10, 2014, 11 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Helping Teens Deal with College Rejection

Years ago, when parents told their teens that a letter had arrived from the college admissions office, the immediate question would be “thick or thin”? A thick envelope meant “acceptance” and a “thin” one unfortunately meant rejection. While many schools have gone environmentally friendly and send out their initial decision letters online, there is nothing friendly about finding out that the college you are really into is just not that into you. Rejection hurts, especially when a teen has worked hard and has a strong desire to attend a particular school. How Parents Can Help with College Rejection How can ...

Posted April 9, 2014, 3:13 p.m. by Main Contact | View Comments
Community Service and Summer: Steps to College

The simple fact is that colleges want good citizens. That's why high school community service is an important factor for college admissions. And there are places where teenage volunteers can make a difference, in their own towns and around the world. // Summer Service Programs Many summer community service programs for teens are based in impoverished or rural areas in the United States or Third World countries. They vary in size but usually include 12 to 25 students. Service in these sorts of programs typically involves different projects: physical work (construction of schools, clean up, restoration); teaching; working with underserved ...

Posted April 9, 2014, 3:07 p.m. by Stephen Friedfeld | View Comments
Parents of Rising Freshmen: Start the College Admissions Process Now

It’s never too early for you and your child to start thinking about college admissions. In reality, most freshmen and sophomores consider college to be far off, and don’t get serious until it’s too late. But the right time to start seriously thinking about college is now. Download What can you and your child do to get a head start in the college admissions process? Prepare your class schedule in advance. Even as early as freshman year (or eighth grade), college-bound students should think strategically about the classes that they want to take in their junior and senior years. If ...

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