Monday, November 26, 2018

Benefits of Taking SAT Early in High School Years

December 1st is the last chance for students to take the SAT in 2018.  The next opportunity will be March 9th, followed by the first Saturdays in May and June.  These dates are important not only to high school juniors. The advice of U.S. News & World Report, whose guidebook is basically the bible to the college industry, is for students to start taking the SAT exam early in their high school years for several reasons.

First of all, students can now take the SAT as many times as they want and (most) colleges will never know how many times they have taken the test.  When the time comes for students to submit their scores to colleges, they can choose their highest scores, even “super-scoring” (mixing and matching), to send the test results with the best Math score from one test and the best Reading/Writing score from another test.

Athletes who hope to continue their sport in college particularly benefit from getting early SAT scores.  College coaches often want to see SAT scores before deciding whether or not they are interested in recruiting a prospective athlete.

Monday, November 19, 2018

What All College Bound Students Should Think About

People in search of a new home are often told that the three most important factors are location, location, and location.  Students in search of their ideal college should keep that in mind, as it can greatly help them to narrow their search.  Students can also learn from the experiences of their peers who are just a bit older.

For the last several years, the trend has been that the majority of New Jersey students who leave the state to attend college do not go far away.  The “top 10” most popular colleges with Garden State students are all within a relatively easy drive: Penn State University, The University of Delaware, Drexel University, New York University (NYU), Villanova University, Temple University, Saint Joseph’s University, Syracuse University, Lehigh University and the University of Maryland at College Park.  So college bound students would do well to start the search for their dream school by touring these schools that have, year after year, attracted thousands of their peers.

Monday, November 12, 2018

“Early Decision” II Deadlines Coming Soon

Procrastination is never wise – and that is particularly true when it comes time to apply to colleges.  Students with a top choice college that offers “early decision” ideally met the November 1st (or in some cases, November 15th) application deadline. These students usually have a considerable advantage over regular applicants because, in applying early decision, they guarantee the college that they will attend, if accepted. (Financial strain is the only exception.)  Since most high school students apply to several colleges, it’s extremely helpful to colleges to identify those students who will definitely enroll – and pay tuition – if accepted.

Students who apply early decision usually hear back from colleges by mid-December as to whether or not they were accepted.  Good news can make the holidays a joyful time as families celebrate that the anxiety-ridden college application process is over.

But often times students who apply early decision are waitlisted, or deferred, by the college.  This means that their application has been put in the pool with all other applicants and they will be notified by the regular notification date, which is typically April 1st.  Students who are waitlisted are no longer bound to attend the college, even if accepted later on.

Monday, November 5, 2018

U.S. News 2019 College Rankings Revealed

The 2019 issue of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” – often viewed as the bible to the college industry – has hit the newsstands.  New Jersey’s Princeton University is still in first place (for the 8th consecutive year) as the “Best National University.”  It’s followed by Harvard (2nd), Columbia, M.I.T., University of Chicago and Yale (tied for 3rd), Stanford (7th), Duke and University of Pennsylvania (tied for 8th) and Johns Hopkins and Northwestern University (tied for 10th).

While a college’s overall ranking may be of interest, the best use of rankings, for most students, is to identify the specific criteria that are important to them.  In the U.S. News rankings, for example, each school is rated on its average freshmen retention rate.  This is the percent of freshmen that return to the college for their sophomore year, indicating a level of happiness or satisfaction with their college.  The top 25 national universities all reported first-year student retention rates of 97% to 99%, with the exceptions of Georgetown and University of Southern California (96%) and Emory University (94%).

Another category lists the percent of classes with fewer than 20 students, and another lists the percent of classes with 50 or more students.  A popular New Jersey college with small classes is The College of New Jersey which seldom, if ever, hosts a class in excess of 50 students.