Category Archives: College

It is no easy thing to be a high school senior waitlisted at his or her top choice college or university. Waiting lists create a tremendous amount of uncertainty. Some schools never need to go to their waiting lists to fulfill their desired enrollment numbers. Other colleges may invite a handful of hopefuls from a waitlist of several hundred students. Still others may invite a considerable number of waitlisted students to join the incoming class. Both strategically and emotionally, it can be difficult for students and parents to know how to handle waitlist situations! For the student motivated to attempt to change a waitlist situation into an offer of admission, here are some tips: Firstly, once included on the waitlist, the student should contact the college’s office of admission by phone and by email to express strong interest. If this is the top choice school, by all means say so!…

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The State University of New York Board of Trustees recently affirmed the SUNY admissions policy regarding optional submission of SAT and ACT scores, which has triggered a spate of inflammatory articles suggesting that SUNY has adopted the same testing policy as the University of California system. That is absolutely false. Test optional is definitely not the same as test blind or test free. For the sake of clarity, here is SUNY’s testing policy with relevant parts bolded: SUNY has temporarily [now permanently] suspended SAT/ACT testing requirements for students applying for admission to a SUNY bachelor’s degree-granting college. You may now decide whether or not to include your scores for admission consideration at each college to which you apply. If you believe your scores are an accurate representation of your ability, SUNY colleges can consider them along with all other materials in your application file. If you think your scores do…

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Anyone who tells you that the college admissions process doesn’t involve at least some anxiety and effort probably applied to an open-admit school. Everyone else accepts a risk, no matter how slight, of rejection. Putting yourself out there can be scary. The most constructive way to mitigate that fear and risk is to make sure you meet the highest academic, extracurricular, and testing standards of the institution to which you seek admission. In fact, treating the college application project as a transformational journey designed to clarify your goals for life after high school graduation is the smartest way to approach this crucible. Yet, when all is said and done, your best may not be good enough. My insightful friend and colleague Aly Beaumont has a lot to say about how The Admissions Process Is Not Necessarily About You! At this time of year, social media is filled with posts of…

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What are the SAT and ACT, why do they matter, and what can and should teens and their families do about them during this dynamic moment in college admissions history? The admissions landscape has shifted dramatically over the last five years, so make sure you stay on top of the newest developments: — Why do the SAT & ACT still matter in the test optional era? — Does it make sense to take the SAT or ACT if a student has a strong GPA? — What does test optional really mean? — When is the best time to take the SAT or ACT? — What is the best preparation for the SAT, ACT, or PSAT? — When will the SAT be moving to a digital adaptive test?

Does your inclination, endearment, and infatuation for the English language lead you to consider yourself a word nerd? My dear friend Jeanne Lucas was a self-professed word nerd herself. Jeanne was also a spirited educator and supportive friend who left this world far too soon. The National Test Prep Association, the non-profit organization of which I am the founding president, is proud to commemorate the life and legacy of a tremendous teacher through the Jeanne Lucas Memorial Scholarship. One-time $500 scholarships will be awarded to multiple students, and all language lovers in the high school graduating class of 2023 are invited to apply by submitting a response to the following prompt in 300 to 500 carefully selected words by May 1, 2023: Our dear friend Jeanne Lucas frequently referred to herself as a word nerd. She reveled in using lesser-known vocabulary in everyday settings. Jeanne’s love of vocabulary and grammar…

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A hook is useful to have on hand (definitely not in hand, though) in all manner of scenarios from fishing to songwriting. Surprisingly, the newest market for hooks happens to be in college admissions. This begs, the question, of course, “What is a hook?” Hooks are basically all the factors beyond grades and test scores that might engage interest and secure college admission. We’ve always recognized that certain traits or activities helped applicants stand out from the crowd. What may surprise you is just how many hooks there are. College expert Aly Beaumont of Admissions Village joined me on the Tests and the Rest podcast to share what may be the world’s most thorough inventory of application hooks: Okay, so let me start first with what an institutional priority or a hook is. So I think of things that are beyond academics, test scores. There’s both inherent ones that are…

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