It was another great year for Strategic College Consulting with many great acceptances including Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Columbia and UPenn to the powerful University of California colleges including many Berkeley and UCLA acceptances to small liberal arts colleges and specialty colleges.
Our students have had many successful college admission outcomes because of following a well thought-out, strategic, and time-tested proven game plan. They worked hard, but more importantly, they worked “smart” while developing themselves to their fullest potential, and were intentional and purposeful about every step they took.
Let’s break down some lessons learned in this successful college admissions application cycle. What worked and what didn’t work.
The college admissions process has become increasingly more competitive and selective in how students are chosen each year to be admitted to the next year’s entering class, especially at the more competitive colleges. The application pool is not only increasing in size, but also in how students have made an impact during their high school years.
Earning acceptance into a great college is the big goal for most students. But what does it mean to be a great student with respect to college admissions, especially in a constantly ever-changing college admissions landscape? We are going to break down how students should develop themselves in a way that leads to success in their college admissions goals.
How to Prepare for College Admissions and Participate in Extracurricular Activities in the Midst of Uncertainty
As we close out a month of social distancing, we, as a collective community, are slowly building a new way of life. We used to set our alarm clocks, prepare for our days, and head out to school or to our prospective places of employment. Now we get up and log on to our computers for distance education, remote meetings, and virtual social interaction. Where we once went to a restaurant to enjoy a night out, we now order in from a local restaurant as a special treat. Instead of meeting our friends for coffee, we set up virtual videoconferences. Our lives have changed drastically in the last month, and we continue to define our new normal, create new routines, and adapt.
As these novel routines develop, one area that has many students confounded is how to continue to prepare for college admissions. Traditionally, admission criteria have centered on elements such as grades, strength of curriculum, standardized test scores, essays, and extracurricular activities, among others. Even today, in the midst of so much uncertainty, students should continue to focus on each of these measures; however, the way you address each of these areas has likely changed. Read how you can best prepare for college admissions and participate in extracurricular activities during these uncertain times.
College admission criteria include a variety of factors including grades and extracurricular activities. Near the top of the list of admission criteria for many colleges are ACT and SAT test scores. While some colleges have moved the importance away from admission test scores in recent years, the ACT and SAT still play an important part of a competitive college admission strategy.
Therefore, to thoroughly prepare for the admissions process, a student must take either the ACT or the SAT. Colleges don’t have a preference for which test you choose, so how do you decide which test is better for you? Read our Act vs SAT blog post to learn more!
In your lifetime, you are going to spend 150,000 hours of your life at work. This is about 40% of your life. Your chosen profession will define you in many ways, describe who you are, identify you, and dominate much of your life. Through your work, you will be able to express your talents, gifts, and abilities to make a contribution, make a living, and give back to the world in meaningful, positive, and significant ways. It is then important to be able to assess as early as possible, through identifying natural gifts and talents, and passions, what key strengths you have, and how to properly nurture those strengths. These key strengths are the foundation, and building blocks, for which a college major will ultimately be chosen, and for which you will be able to identify a career that is best suited for you.
And the very important decision of choosing a college major, and ultimately a lifelong career is formed, and cultivated during your educational years by the clubs and organizations you join, to the courses you take, to all those activities you take part in during summertime. What excites you, is fulfilling to you, and what you feel passionate about during your educational years help shape who you are, and how you will spend the rest of your life in a chosen profession, and how you will best serve your community. Let’s review three important strategies for how you can identify key strengths and interests, and how to best nurture and cultivate your passions so you can best prepare for your future!
AP tests, SATs, ACTs, GPA, extracurricular activities, awards, leadership—it’s enough to make your head spin—and likely to raise your level of anxiety just thinking about it all. Students these days have a lot to keep track of and many directions to focus their attention. Not only that, in terms of college admissions, each of these areas needs to be a priority, all while going through this thing called adolescence that is rife with social challenges, emotional changes, and identity development. If coping strategies are insufficient, stress can actually be counterproductive to academic success. Therefore, to adequately deal with the stressors that come with adolescent life, teens must develop coping strategies at a young age.
School is officially back in session! With classes starting and extracurricular activities getting underway, there will once again be that group of students who outperforms everyone else. Why is it that some students just seem to be smarter, more talented, and more athletic than all the other students? What is it about this group of students that allows them to consistently perform at such a high level? While genetics can sometimes play a role in these factors, in our experience of working with thousands of students over the years, there are defining characteristics that successful students possess over their lesser-performing counterparts…and in many instances, it has nothing to do with genetics. Let’s break down The Success Traits of the high-performing students.
In our previous summer game plan blog article, we discussed how to have a fun, yet strategic summer. We discussed important areas to pursue including taking an extra class, pursuing enrichment opportunities, volunteering, and finding a part-time job.
In this blog article, we are going to discuss additional opportunities you can pursue in the summer that can help you stand out in the college admissions process. Here they are:
Whether or not you should go to college is often an easy decision to make. College attendance has become the norm for many families and is often seen as the expected extension of K-12 education. However, unlike high school, colleges offer an extensive array of courses, and you get to dictate the classes you take. The major you choose will greatly impact your class selection. Therefore, picking a major is a critical decision.
Some people have known they have wanted to study political science and become a lawyer since they were five years old. They found their inspiration at a young age, and their path has not wavered. But many college freshmen have no idea what they want to do for the rest of their lives. That is completely normal!
Health and fitness is a subject not commonly talked about in the realm of college planning and student success, but it is an important, foundational area in a student’s overall success game plan. Research has shown that there are significant benefits to eating a nutritious diet and incorporating a regular exercise regimen into a student’s life. In fact, not adhering to a healthy diet and leading a sedentary lifestyle has been shown to have many negative success performance outcomes. And it is how students intentionally approach the success roadmap by making health and fitness an essential part of their lives that makes all the difference. In this article, we are going to show you what the hard facts are–what the research has shown about how incorporating a healthy diet and regular exercise is crucial, and a game changer, to the success of a student, and his/her ability to reach his/her full educational potential.