Accepted, Rejected, Deferred: Holiday Recommendations for High School Seniors

During this last week before winter holidays, emotions ran high for many high school seniors. Many couldn't focus on critically important final exams or projects, because they were awaiting college admissions decisions as dozens of colleges across America released early decision or early action notifications. With record numbers of students applying early, top colleges could fill their freshman classes right now -- five to 10 times. Over the past two weeks, rather than deny the majority of applicants they will never ultimately admit, colleges deferred thousands upon thousands of candidates into their regular admissions pools, which again will reach record numbers. Of course, many ecstatic st

Improve Your Financial Aid Eligibility

Can you get a great aid offer by crossing your fingers? Probably not, but you can take steps to improve your chances. Before you tackle your financial aid applications, consider what you can do to improve your eligibility for the best kind of aid Be an excellent student in high school (and college) Applying to colleges where you stand out academically can pay off. Students whose grades and scores put them within the top fourth of the current freshman class are more likely to get better awards. These students need to keep up the good work in college. Some aid requires the student to earn a minimum GPA each year of college. Find colleges that are generous with aid Research the financial aid tr

10 Colleges Where Applicants Are Least Likely to Get In

This article comes to us courtesy of U.S. News & World Report, where it was originally published. The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College and The Short List: Grad School to find data that matter to you in your college or grad school search. The acceptance rates at the top U.S. colleges and universities continue to plummet, bringing ever more fear into the hearts of ambitious teens. Whether the trepidation is completely warranted,

The Powerful College Application #Selfie

In this era of shameless teenage self-promotion through selfies, Instagram and Snapchat, it is remarkable how much difficulty many high school seniors experience in writing effective college application essays. For the past several months, I have mentored hundreds of high seniors throughout their college application preparation, especially in conceptualizing, writing and revising their college application essays. For the large majority of them, I have had to tell them: "You need to show up more in your essays." College admissions officers read application essays because they want to know the applicants personally. They want the applicants to share, reflect and stand out. They are looking for

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