Monday, August 27, 2018

10 Tips for Filing Impressive College Applications

1) Know why you are applying to each specific college, and clearly express those reasons. Does the college have a great program for your intended major? Does it offer impressive internships, or have a high acceptance rate to med school? Does it host a study abroad program in a particular country that would benefit your academic interests?  Let each college know the specifics as to why it’s a great fit, as colleges strongly favor applicants whom they believe will attend their school, if accepted.

2) Cover the basics – which means earning a great GPA while taking a competitive course load and posting impressive SAT scores.  Many high schools in New Jersey offer twenty or more AP courses, and colleges consider how competitive a course load you took based on the options you were provided.  As for SAT scores, the “average” SAT score at several New Jersey high schools, including Montgomery, Princeton and West Windsor-Plainsboro North and South, all topped 1,300.  So the bar is set high for students who want to stand out among their peers.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Money Magazine Names Princeton University #1

Money magazine, just this month, released its rankings of  “The Best 25 Colleges in the U.S. Right Now.” In compiling its rankings, Money considered criteria in three specific areas: educational quality, affordability, and alumni financial success. For the third straight year, Princeton University was #1.  No other college in New Jersey made the list, although one did in Pennsylvania (University of Pennsylvania) and one in New York (CUNY Bernard Baruch College). 

Princeton continuously stands out for its academic excellence, its outstanding financial aid program (which is much more generous than that of most other schools), and its success in producing graduates who snag competitive, high-paying jobs soon after leaving the renowned ivy-covered campus.  The statistics that garnered top honors for Princeton include an estimated price tag, for the 2018-19 academic year, of $19,000 (with average aid) that includes room, board, and fees, $7,500 median student debt, and $69,800 annual early-career earnings. 

Money is not the only magazine that is singing Princeton’s praises.  For the past seven years, U.S. News and World Report has also ranked Princeton University #1 in its “Best Colleges” rankings. The U.S. News rankings also focus on academic excellence, with particular emphasis on outcomes such as freshman retention and graduation rates.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Summer Launch of the “Common App”

Back in 1975, administrators from fifteen colleges got together and decided to create one application that students could use to apply to any or all of their colleges. This was the birth of “The Common App” which, as of 2018, is accepted by more than 800 colleges and universities across the United States.  More than one million students are expected to use this year’s Common App – which went live with its latest updates on August 1st – to apply to more than four million colleges and universities.

The Common App is an online application that asks a series of questions in several categories, including: parents’ educational history and current employment, students’ SAT/ACT/AP test scores, senior year courses, high school activities, and intended college major.  There is also an essay of 250 to 650 words that is required by the majority of Common App colleges. Students, this year, have a choice of seven essay topics, one of which states, “Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.” So the topic options are truly limitless!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Elon Musk Inspired by Internships

Students who want to follow in the footsteps of Elon Musk would do best to seek out an internship.  Elon Musk actually did three internships on the early steps of his road to success, first gaining experience with a summer internship at Bank of Nova Scotia, and later doubling up with a daytime internship at Pinnacle Research Institute and a nighttime one at Rocket Science Games.

To this day, interning within your preferred industry is considered to be one of the most important things a student can do.  According to a 2018 Job Outlook survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), it’s often more important than your college major or GPA.

New Jersey colleges are well aware of the importance of internships and most work hard to provide students with such opportunities. 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.