Posts Tagged ‘college admissions tips’

Attend College Information Sessions

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

The Schools are coming! The Schools are coming!!

Attending info sessions can help students learn about colleges and, as importantly, will enable colleges to learn about their interest.

To find out about upcoming info sessions, students should visit the websites of the schools they are interested in, and fill out the online forms to receive more information.  This way they’ll learn when the college comes to town.

At an info session, representatives from a University will present information about their institution and answer questions about the college admissions process. Students, and parents who accompany them, will learn what distinguishes one school from another, what colleges look for in the selection process, and what one can do to enhance the college application.

It’s never too early to start looking at colleges say International College Counselors.  Students who are sophomores or juniors in high school must start now.

Exploring College Options is one upcoming event.  It is hosted by five of the country’s leading universities: Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, Penn and Stanford.
More details on this event are provided on the Exploring College Options website.

If you have any questions, please contact an expert college counselor at International College Counselors. The main office number for International College Counselors is (954) 414-9986

Homeschoolers and college

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

As a college counselor, I know that college is hard to get into for everyone. They are looking for the best and strongest candidates.  Some of those are homeschooled students.

This week I signed three homeschooled students to my college counseling business, International College Counselors.

First I want to say, good news for homeschooled students and their parents — the college admissions process for homeschooled students has become easier, and more and more homeschooled students are entering colleges. 

In the past, homeschooled students had to fight hard for equality in the admissions process because federal government guidelines made it unclear to universities how their eligibility to receive federal funds would be affected by admitting homeschoolers. This changed in November of 2003 when the U.S. Department of Education sent an official letter to all universities. The letter stated that the admission of homeschooled students to college would not jeopardize federal assistance and clarified the position on compulsory age and self-certification of completion of secondary education.

Subsequently, colleges made adjustments in their admissions process and, today, a majority of colleges, including Harvard University, evaluate homeschooled applicants using the same college admission requirements as those for traditional students.

Requirements for college admission vary by institution but the most common requests include a homeschool transcript, SAT, ACT or SAT II test scores, written essays, external recommendations, and an interview. Other requests may include a GED, student portfolios, a list of texts used, and/or entrance examinations. In addition to academics, schools are looking for well-rounded individuals who have participated in varied extracurricular activities.

The key is start early!  If you’re not working with a college counselor, like the ones we have here at International College Counselors, check with the admissions office to find out what the colleges you’re interested in require, and stick to the guidelines.  Keep detailed transcripts and make sure your student takes the classes required. Colleges prefer an ideal four-year preparatory program. Colleges also place more emphasis on other criteria when one, such as class rank, is missing.

Like traditionally schooled peers, homeschooled students can also qualify for federal financial aid like Pell grants, work-study, and federal student loans to

help pay for college.  You will need to check the requirements for these.  Start early so you have the time to prepare. 

On thing to note, the number of homeschooled students is rising.  This means, that like traditional students, they too will have to work harder to set themselves apart. 

 Mandee Heller Adler, Founder and Principal of International College Counselors 

College Advice for Summer Savings and Scholarships

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

 In this economy, it’s understandable that high school students are looking for jobs. As an alternative, if students can’t find a way to earn money, summer can be used to save money. Picking the right summer activities can equal money in the form of a scholarship or big savings at your student’s school of choice. 
Through the dual enrollment program, students can take classes at a local college- free of charge. Dual enrollment allows high school students to earn postsecondary credit toward a career and technical certificate, an associate degree, or a baccalaureate degree. That saves money for a summer activity, and when it comes to paying for college!   Depending on your student’s major, classes in this category may include: languages, maths, sciences and English.  The college credit earned can also be applied to most schools students eventually attend.  This will save them (and you) the cost of the class they took.  

Going further, certain scholarships are available for students who show high interest in pursuing certain careers. By using the summer to take a qualified interest to a higher level, your student may become eligible for these scholarships. Taking classes at a local community college or school can also show colleges a deep interest in a particular scholarly area that may make your student eligible for school scholarships.

If you have any other college questions, I’d be happy to answer them. Please write me here or at my personal email which can be found on my website.

Mandee Heller Adler, Founder and Principal of International College Counselors 

College Admissions: FACTS every high school student should know

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

I just returned from a whirlwind visit to NYC. I met with a myriad of schools and admissions officers, and came back with some interesting information I thought I would share. Some of it may be new news, some simply reminders of what is already known.  But, it’s all very current and helpful to keep in mind as we embark on the college admissions process:
Fact: Due to the collection of email addresses via the PSAT and PLAN, schools are able to reach out to more and more potential applicants via email.  
Rationale:  Schools want to sell YOU too!
What you should do:  RESPOND to emails if they ask you to.  Show interest and get involved.  It will help you learn about the school, and keeps you on the radar.

Fact: A key deciding factor for many admissions reps is how well you can communicate the “Why xxx school question.”  
Rationale: Schools want to know that you’ve done your homework, and they are simply not another checkmark on the common app.
What you should do:  When you visit schools or explore schools via the web, be sure to keep an eye out for programs, professors or clubs that interest YOU in particular.  Take notes (so you don’t forget), and don’t forget to communicate your knowledge in essays and interviews
Fact:  Schools are very focused on “increasing access” to minority groups, first generation students going to college, international students, etc.   
Rationale:  Schools are looking for diverse classes- not just diverse students
What you should do: If you are identified with a minority group, be sure to include it on your application. Also, get involved with something that reflects a connection to the minority group you are claiming to belong to (ie Latino Association, African Association, etc.)
Fact: The SAT scores are often judged in “bands,” especially when combined with a top transcript.  So, for example, Penn considers 1400-1600 a “band.” Below that 1400 and you are in a different category, but anywhere within the 1400-1600 is considered a strong score.
Rationale: Give or take a few points, a 1400 is still a good score, most especially when it is combined with a strong GPA
What you should do: Don’t stress about getting 10 more SAT points, focus on your classes and your career direction. Your transcript means the most!

Mandee Heller Adler, Founder and Principal of International College Counselors 

International College Counselors
3107 Stirling Road, Suite 208
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33312 USA
(954) 414-9986

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