Friday, June 20, 2014

Social Media Is A Powerful College Admissions Tool

Colleges care that a prospective student demonstrates interest in them and many go to great lengths to measure interest. FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram, to name a few, are programs that allow easy access to information promoted by the college in order for a prospective student to stay updated on current events. Following any variety of academic or extra-curricular offerings a college may provide also enables a student to demonstrate interest in ways that are highly valued and tracked by many colleges.

The admission process is all about determining "fit" from both the college's and prospective student's perspective. Students who use social media tools to promote their passions can have a big leg-up on their competition. Tactfully sharing one's passions and experiences allows followers to better understand who you are and how you may be uniquely qualified for a particular college environment.

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Few Summer To-Do's - Rising High School Seniors

With summer in full swing and the school year behind, rising high school seniors should be fully engaging in preparing for college applications and narrowing down your list of prospective colleges. Since you will soon be a college student you need to start thinking like one!

Visit college campuses. Although the best possible scenario would be to visit a college when classes are in session, making the most of your summer campus visit just takes some planning and proactive coordination with the college. For many, summer is the last opportunity to visit a campus and evaluate things like the setting (urban, suburban or rural), geographic proximity (to airports, grocery stores, urban areas, home), Greek life community, academic learning environment and whether you will flounder or flourish.

"Needs vs. Wants". Evaluate what you "need" to have at your target schools and what you "want". For instance, colleges offer cafeterias and meal plans. Do you have a health or dietary need that must be accommodated? Are you the kind of student that "needs" to drive through your preferred coffee vendor in order for the gears to get moving in the morning? Are you on the fence regarding your major and, for now, "undecided" will suffice or do you require that your future college have a specific accredited undergrad program in your specific specialty area?

Use your summer time wisely and begin to familiarize yourself with the Common Application or other college specific applications. Additionally, many colleges have made their essay prompts available. Starting your essay prep work early in the summer allows time for the important pre-work of brainstorming your topics and thinking through life events or elements to support the points you want to convey about yourself or your subject matter. Multiple rough drafts and honing your message takes time but is critical to a quality end product. Most important is to revisit the prompt request often to ensure your essay response is on-point.