Monday, June 11, 2018

Ivy League Acceptance Rates Continue to Decline

Numbers don’t lie, and recent statistics support the claim by former Ivy League admissions directors that getting into an elite college or university is more competitive than ever before.

The statistics given for the Class of 2021 reflect declining acceptance rates at the Ivy League schools: Harvard 5%, Columbia and Princeton 6%, Yale 7%, Brown 8%, The University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) 9%, Dartmouth 10%, and Cornell 13%.  For the Class of 2001, two decades earlier, Harvard University (typically the most competitive of the Ivies) had accepted more than 12% of its applicants.

A recent Business Insider article cited reasons for this trend, quoting former admissions directors at several of the nations top colleges and universities. 
“The rise in the number of international applicants to the most selective institutions in the US has inflated the number of overall applicants, as well as, in some cases, the GPA and testing profiles,” according to Cat McManus, a former dean at UPenn and admissions officer at Princeton.  However, McManus added that selective colleges often have a limit on the number of international students that they are seeking for each incoming class. So this trend alone cannot take full blame for the declining acceptance rates.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Unique Skill Set Offers Students an Advantage

One of our SAT prep students recently gained a lot of attention for being accepted to all seven of the Ivy League schools to which she had applied, as well as to Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) She has chosen to attend M.I.T. and major in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Of course, Diana had earned stellar SAT scores and had a most impressive G.P.A.  But I was curious about her other accomplishments, and met with her recently to hear her words of wisdom as to what she believes it takes for a college-bound student, in this day and age, to meet with such success.

Monday, May 28, 2018

The Importance of Having a Productive Summer

“You can steer yourself any direction you choose,” according to Dr. Seuss. The problem, for many students, is that they have no idea how to set themselves on course.  Fortunately, the summer will soon be here and freedom from an academic schedule provides the perfect opportunity for students to immerse themselves in some area of passion that may ultimately steer them towards their ideal career.

No student is too young to pursue an area of interest.  I recall having a love for writing as far back as the first grade, and I often wrote to my favorite authors and other people of interest.  I even wrote to President John F. Kennedy to let him know that I was going to have my tonsils removed.  (I thought he would want to know and, yes, I did receive a “get well” card from the White House!)

Monday, May 21, 2018

Develop a Compelling Resume for College Applications

What’s the best way to make sure that college admissions officers know about all of your accomplishments?  Compose a resume.  That way, you don’t have to worry about fitting in the important details of your activities and achievements on the limited space allocated on most college applications.  

The best time to first compose a resume is early in your high school years. Then you will have time to fill in the gaps that become evident when you put your life story in writing.  Resume categories typically include: Education (listing your G.P.A., SAT scores, A.P. courses, and other academic accomplishments such as summer courses taken on college campuses), Athletic accolades, Volunteer activities, Work experience, Extracurricular involvement, and, hopefully, details of a “passion project” where you are engaged in an activity that demonstrates a talent or interest not common among your peers which will ultimately help you stand out to college admission officers.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Develop Great Writing Skills for College Success

One of the greatest challenges for many college students, regardless of their field of study, is the requirement to write abundant, lengthy, informative essays that are well structured and grammatically correct.  Many students feel unprepared for this undertaking, and dread the impact that poorly written papers will bear on their grades.  They are wise to be concerned as colleges of all levels of competitiveness have, for many years, stressed the importance of writing skills in the college classroom. 

Even Harvard University, typically considered one of most elite colleges in the country, noted a weakness in the writing abilities of its students as far back as 1872 and implemented a mandatory undergraduate writing program.  More recently, the director of Harvard’s Expository Writing Program led a study in which she tracked the college writing experiences of more than 400 students.  After completing a one-year writing program, three-quarters of the students said they had become more involved in class and better understood and applied concepts they had learned.  More than half of the students said they were able to explore and research new ideas in their majors.

Monday, May 7, 2018

400 Colleges Still Have Openings for Fall 2018

More than 400 college and universities still have openings, financial aid, and housing available to qualified freshmen and/or transfer students for the fall 2018 semester.  This information comes from the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) which releases a list, in early May of each year, of schools that still have room for students seeking admission for the upcoming fall semester. May 1st is the national response deadline for most colleges in the U.S.  By that date, students must choose the college they will be attending in the fall and send in a deposit to reserve their seat (and room and board, if they are planning to live on campus).  Since most students apply to a multitude of colleges, it’s impossible for colleges to know for sure how many students will actually enroll until the reply deadline rolls around.  After May 1st, colleges that have not met their target enrollment are anxious to accept additional students in order to bring in the tuition money necessary to keep on budget.

Monday, April 30, 2018

College Internships are the Key to Job Offers

The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) reports that nearly 80% of its business students complete at least one internship or cooperative experience (paid, for credit work temporarily replacing classes) during their college days.  The college attributes this, in part, to the reason that more than half of its business students have one or more job offers in hand by the time they graduate. The companies with which TCNJ students launch their careers include: Bloomberg L.P., Citibank, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, Madison Square Garden, Target, Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.) Morgan Stanley, NBC Universal, Tiffany & Co. and Trenton Thunder.

Of course, TCNJ is not the only college that recognizes the importance of internships. According to a survey conducted by U.S. News, the average proportion of graduating seniors nationwide with internship experience hovers around 42 percent.  But the numbers vary dramatically among colleges. Some schools reported more than 95 percent of graduating seniors had internship experience; some reported less than five percent did.