TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: College Admissions

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 Jill Tipograph | 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 ...

Posted April 9, 2014, 2:43 p.m. by Rebecca Joseph | View Comments
10 College Readiness Tips

It’s time to get your college readiness plan in high gear for your high school seniors. It is never too early to start planning ahead! Here are 10 tips to get you through the beginning of the year: Push tough senior year schedules. Make sure your child’s schedule is rigorous and does not have more than one core subject missing from last year. Make sure core passions continue through school programs. It’s not too late to make course shifts. Arrange campus tours. All colleges host open houses and special events this fall. Visit a campus with your child. Or send ...

Posted April 9, 2014, 12:42 p.m. by Customer Service | View Comments
Admission Rates Decline Again at Most Elite Colleges

As the college admissions season dies down, statistics have been released about the newest accepted college classes. The data is disheartening—elite schools accept fewer and fewer qualified students each year. Again, following the same trend, the 2014 admissions season was the harshest and most competitive year yet. Download Most Competitive Year Yet For the second year in a row, Stanford University had the lowest admission rate among the top colleges—about 5%. Only slightly higher were Harvard and Yale at 6 percent acceptance, Columbia and Princeton at 7 percent, and MIT and the University of Chicago at 8 percent. To put ...

Posted April 5, 2014, 11 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Are Summer College Visits Worthwhile?

Most parents of high school juniors—or rising seniors—feel some pressure as this summer before senior year rolls around. The college application process looms. The essay topic remains a mystery. Then, there’s the biggest question: Where to apply? As a parent, you may see summer—when your child has no classes, no sports, no extracurricular activities, and perhaps you have some time off from work—as a good time to get a jump on college tours. Campuses in summer are generally sleepier, slow, and far emptier than during the academic year. So, is it worth your time—and your student’s—to take some tours? Here ...

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