TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: College Admissions

Posted May 29, 2014, 1 p.m. by Andrew Belasco | View Comments
Before Applying, Consider a College’s Career Services

With college costs and education debt at an all-time high, an increasing number of families are beginning to scrutinize the value of a college education. They are right to do so. The throngs of unemployed and underemployed college graduates are testament to the fact that a college degree no longer assures financial security or professional success. Look Beyond College Acceptance In a previous post, we encouraged our readers to think big picture, and look beyond acceptance to explore whether, and how, their prospective colleges could provide returns on their postsecondary investment. We received a number of inquiries in response, many ...

Posted May 26, 2014, 11 a.m. by Nate Giess | View Comments
10 Tips for Managing College Application Stress

Applying to colleges can be an extremely stressful ordeal. As someone who just completed the process, I would be lying if I told you anything else. However, while the stress of applying to colleges cannot be completely eliminated, you can manage it and prevent it from becoming overwhelming with these tips. 1. Start in the summer. Seriously. If you have not started on the process yet, finish this article and get to work! While it might seem like there are weeks or months until you really need to buckle down, any work you do early will pay huge dividends when ...

Posted May 21, 2014, 11 a.m. by Sara Zhou | View Comments
How to Write Perfect SAT Essay

The SAT Essay is a very important part of the college admissions process. Here are 5 steps to writing the perfect essay. 1. Know the format This is the easy part. You have 25 minutes to answer a prompt, like “Are happier people more likely to succeed?” CollegeBoard prompts usually share a theme of success, and people's motivations for it. Prompts in past years have included "Do people truly benefit from hardship?”, "Is there too much emphasis on winning?", and "Do we benefit from learning about flaws of people we admire and respect?". While these questions may seem abstract, the ...

Posted May 20, 2014, 11 a.m. by Sara Zhou | View Comments
One Piece of Advice No SAT Tutor Will Give You

Rosa Parks, Copernicus, and Hamlet. What do all of these have in common? According to graders of standardized tests, these subjects are some of the most commonly given examples in the SAT Essay Section. In my work as an SAT tutor, I'm often asked how to write a "perfect" essay, that is, how to write a detailed, informative, clever, and intriguing essay, all in under 25 minutes. How to Write a "Perfect" Essay What students often fail to realize is that SAT test graders are human—and they realize you are human, too. These test graders are required to read stacks ...

Posted May 19, 2014, 3:09 p.m. by Customer Service | View Comments
NACAC Provides a Second Chance for College Admission

Every year, NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling) publishes the College Openings Update (The Update), a list of more than 250 colleges and universities that still have openings. Now in its 27th year, this tool offers support and information for counselors, teachers, parents, and students. High school seniors who have not yet completed the college application process or have been rejected from all schools still have a chance to go to college starting in the fall of 2014. The Update is a "Win-Win" Joyce E. Smith, NACAC CEO, says, “This announcement is a ‘win-win’ for all parties, if students ...

Posted May 17, 2014, 11 a.m. by Andrew Belasco | View Comments
How to Ace Your College Interview

In today’s college admissions climate, successful applicants need to present more than just the contents of their application. Sure, strong academic credentials are necessary, but they are no longer sufficient to earn admission into many selective institutions. In addition to excellent grades and test scores, students must be able to prove that they are a good “fit” for their prospective schools. Along with the college essay, the college interview provides applicants a golden opportunity to demonstrate that they are not only qualified but suitable for admission into the college of their choice. Download For many applicants, the prospect of meeting ...

Posted May 10, 2014, 1 p.m. by Andrew Belasco | View Comments
Do Colleges Really Care About Your Facebook Account?

The vast majority of college admissions officers rarely, if ever, Google applicants names, rifle through their Facebook accounts, carefully pore over their archived tweets, or analyze their “selfies” on Instagram for artistic value. For some officers, this is a moral issue; your social media should be your private space. For others, such as those at universities receiving 80,000 plus applicants, stalking old Myspace pages for evidence of middle school misdeeds would be a terribly wasteful use of precious time. Social Media is Now More Prominent in Admissions While most admissions offices steer clear of online snooping, the practice has trended ...

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. 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 issues ...

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