[Podcast] All About The Common App

[Podcast] All About The Common App

Have questions about The Common Application (aka The Common App)? Check out my guest episode on The College Checklist podcast, where we cover best practices for filling out The Common App, the required essays, submission deadlines, early decision vs. early action, and pointers on how to best get organized.

Click here to listen to my guest episode about The Common App on The College Checklist podcast.

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The College Admissions Puzzle: How the 8 Main Pieces Fit Together and Affect Which Schools Your Child Gets Into

The College Admissions Puzzle: How the 8 Main Pieces Fit Together and Affect Which Schools Your Child Gets Into

This article is also featured on The Huffington Post.

To help you better understand the college application evaluation process, I have highlighted the 8 primary elements of most college applications, including what they represent to admissions committees, and what they don’t.

Carefully considering what story will be told through the various pieces of your child’s college application will help your family make more informed decisions when it comes to your child’s academics and extracurricular pursuits. Collectively, better decisions will improve your child’s admissions odds at his or her top-choice schools.

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How the Best College Essays Stand Out From the Competition

How the Best College Essays Stand Out From the Competition

Unfortunately, when the stakes are highest, your child is expected to write college essays that make him or her sound brilliant yet humble, accomplished yet grounded.

That’s a tall order, but the good news is that your child doesn’t have to go through the college essay writing process alone. Better yet, I’ve distilled my knowledge from helping hundreds of students write standout college application essays and get into America’s top colleges, and I’m sharing some of my most key insights in this guest post on Higher Scores Test Prep.

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How to Effectively Write About a Disability in a College Essay

How to Effectively Write About a Disability in a College Essay

*Note: This article appears as a guest post on Dollars 4 Tics Scholars

Parents often ask me whether their student’s college admissions chances will be hurt if they discuss a disability in their college essay.

The answer is a resounding “No.” In fact, disclosing a disability in a college essay or elsewhere on a college application can help your student gain admission to their dream school.

So, how can your student produce a standout essay about their disability? Following the dos and don'ts listed in this article will help your student avoid common mistakes and wow admissions committees the nation over.

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How Your Student Can Build Connections at Top Colleges—Even If You Haven’t Donated Millions

How Your Student Can Build Connections at Top Colleges—Even If You Haven’t Donated Millions

You're well aware that “who you know” is very important when applying for jobs.

So, why should college applications be any different? Why shouldn’t students attempt to build authentic connections with faculty (and admissions staff) to apply like an insider rather than “cold apply”?

This is precisely what many students from elite high schools do. And this is precisely what I help my students do to raise their chances of getting into top colleges.

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[Podcast] How to Appeal a College Rejection Letter

[Podcast] How to Appeal a College Rejection Letter

Upset about getting rejected from your dream school?

I've been there. When I applied to colleges in 2004, I was rejected from UCLA, my top-choice school.

However, that rejection didn't stop me from getting in. I wrote a very powerful appeal letter that ultimately got me admitted.

Now, writing a successful appeal letter is no easy feat. In fact, universities report that less than 1% of students are admitted on appeal.

Was it a fluke that I got in? The reason I don't think so is because I've helped several other students get into their dream schools by appealing. I can help you or your child do the same.

So, how do you successfully appeal a college rejection letter? I would encourage you to listen to my interview with Lauren Gaggioli on The College Checklist Podcast to find out.

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Why Applicants Struggle to Sell Themselves (and How to Fix It)

Why Applicants Struggle to Sell Themselves (and How to Fix It)

I want to share some insights about a very common struggle I’ve noticed with the students I advise, specifically with regard to preparing bland or cliché written materials (e.g., CVs, personal statements). 

We've all been guilty of this at one point or another. So, why do we struggle to write about how great we are and how much value we've added in our applications?

Because we don't want to brag or sound "salesy." We want our work to speak for itself. Moreover, selling doesn’t come naturally to most of us.

The good news: You CAN sell yourself effectively AND authentically.

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