Monday, April 23, 2018

Should High School Students have a LinkedIn?

Do college admission officers look up the social media accounts of their applicants when deciding whom to accept and whom to reject?  Some do and some don’t, but according to a recent article on “U.S.,” a substantial number of colleges and universities pay attention to what applicants have posted on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. In fact, statistics from a recent study indicate that 35% of college admission officers in the U.S. have reported looking at the social media accounts of their prospective students to learn more about them.  According to the study, they believe that  “social media can provide a more authentic and holistic view of applicants beyond the polished applications.”

College-bound students, therefore, should be very careful of the images they are projecting of themselves on social media sites.  Among the type of posts that admission officers view negatively are those of students brandishing weapons and those where students use obscene language.  After all, the job of college admission officers is to identify students who will not only succeed academically, but will also reflect positively on their institution.

Monday, April 16, 2018

5 Strategies to Stand Out on Your College Applications

When college admission officers are deciding whom to accept (or reject) from their school, there are certain criteria they are keeping in mind while evaluating stacks of applications.

1) What special talent will the applicant bring to the college campus?  The student body, at most colleges, consists of thousands of students.  What a college typically needs is not thousands of well-rounded students, but thousands of students who each have a talent that contributes to an accomplished student body.  The more unique the talent that an applicant highlights on his/her application, the more attention it will likely garner from the admission staff.  While colleges typically have many applicants eager to play football, basketball or soccer, there are many fewer applicants featuring talent in synchronized ice skating, fencing, women’s golf or men’s gymnastics.

Monday, April 9, 2018

One Stop Shopping for 350+ Colleges Worldwide

Where should students start the information gathering process in their search to find the perfect college? The answer may be very close to home. 

Hillsborough High School is hosting its 13th annual College Fair this Monday, April 16th, from 6:30- 8:00 pm.  Representatives from more than 60 colleges and universities, mostly in the NY/NJ/PA area, will be hosting tables filled with materials and will be available to answer individual questions on any college-related topic. All local and neighboring high school students and parents are welcome to attend.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Are AP Courses Really Necessary?

Advanced Placement (AP) courses are college-level courses, with the curriculum written by The College Board – the same folks who bring you the SAT exam – and offered to high school students. AP courses are offered in 36 subjects in the Arts, English, History & Social Science, Math & Computer Science, Science, and World Languages & Cultures.  AP exams are offered each May and students who score 3 or higher (on a scale of 1 to 5) are offered college credits by many of the nation’s colleges and universities.  Last May, more than a million students nationwide took close to 4 million AP exams.

Parents and students often ask, “Are AP courses really necessary?”  The answer is both yes and no – depending on the student’s ambitions and college goals.  When students apply to college, they are basically in competition with their peers.  Most colleges want a geographically well-rounded student body. So college admissions officers will compare all of their applicants from the same high school and favor those with the most impressive academic record based on SAT scores, GPA, and competitive course load.  While there is no college in the country that outwardly states a requirement for AP courses, students are well aware that these higher-level courses, that indicate an ability to successfully complete college level work, are viewed most favorably by college admission staff.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Proven Strategies to Score High on the SAT Exam

It’s not a secret as to what’s on the SAT.  In fact, several actual SAT exams, that were administered over the past two years, are available online at Khan Academy and in print in The Official SAT Study Guide by The College Board. So the most basic strategy for acing the SAT is to become thoroughly familiar with the test material ahead of time.  By taking prior exams, and learning how to correctly answer past questions, students will be well on their way to earning an impressive score on the day of their real test.

Students should also know, and understand, the directions for each test section in advance so they can use all of the allotted time to earn points rather than to figure out what they need to do.  This is particularly important for the open-ended math questions where students have to solve problems and then correctly bubble in their answers.  Students need to know, for example, that if their answer is one-and-a-half they need to record their answer as 3/2 or 1.5.  If they bubble in 11/2 the computer will read it as eleven halves and they will not get credit.  

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Five Strategies to Save Thousands on College

When talking about college debt, the statistics are never encouraging. In fact, the story gets sadder each year.  The average recent college graduate has amassed a debt exceeding $35,000 and joins the ranks of 44 million borrowers who collectively owe $1.3 trillion in education debt. The key is to avoid being a part of this grim statistic by considering some highly effective strategies.

1) When choosing potential colleges, high school students should consider a wide range of schools.  Students will find that if they apply to a college that is a tier below the level of school to which they could likely get accepted, the scholarship money will almost certainly be much greater.  Students planning to major in business, for example, often seek to gain acceptance to NYU’s Stern School of Business where the cost hovers around $70,000 a year for tuition, fees, room and board. These same students could reasonably expect to be welcomed at St. John’s University in New York, St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, and a host of other institutions with impressive business schools, substantially lower costs of attendance, and generous merit money (to attract strong students) which does not get paid back.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Top Tips for Spring Break College Tours

Spring break offers a unique opportunity. It’s one of the few times during the school year when college classes are in session while high school classes are not.  Typically, colleges schedule their spring break in early March while high schools hold theirs in late March to early April.  This provides the ideal opportunity for high school students to visit campuses while college life is in full swing.

If parents are available during a student’s spring break, it’s the perfect time for a road trip to visit out-of-state colleges.  The vast majority of students attend college within five hours of home, so the destination does not need to be a far off locale.  If a student dreams of attending a big city school, then a tour of colleges in the Boston or Washington D.C. areas may prove fruitful.  If a student prefers a suburban or rural environment, then a drive through Pennsylvania offers an option of touring close to 100 different colleges and universities.