Inside the Admissons Process

Seth Allen, dean of admission and financial aid at Grinnell College, answers questions from a TODAY producer about what really goes on when admissions officers decide applicants’ fate in this video/article. I am not surprised that a good deal of my own experience and knowledge is mirrored and supported in Mr. Allen’s commentary. A helpful read.


High School Junior January-June Checklist

Spring of Junior year is a crucial time. Getting started on the application and admissions process now is a must-do. Check out this January-June checklist from Marjorie Hansen Schaevitz’s HuffPost blog for a more in depth look at what you should be doing now and over the next five months.

SAT, ACT No Longer Required For Admission To 800 U.S. Colleges And Universities

A growing number of colleges are stepping away from the standardized exams traditionally required of admissions applicants. More than 800 colleges and universities across the country no longer mandate score submissions from SAT or ACT college admissions exams, according to the latest survey by the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, otherwise known as FairTest and a longtime critic of the SAT.

Read more via the HuffPost Education article here.

Affordable SAT Prep Options

From Lynn O’Shaughnessy @CNN Moneywatch:

Studying for the SAT testcan be extremely expensive.

Some private tutors charge $150 or more an hour and it is not uncommon to pay at least $1,000 for an SAT prep course.

The good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune for test prep. Here are five free or nearly free resources that teenagers can use to boost their scores.

1. College Board

The test maker’s website is the only place where a student can practice by taking an official, full-length SAT test and get his/her scores right away. Students can also sign up for daily SAT questions. I recommend that students buy the College Board’s Official SAT Study Guide, 2nd Edition, which is only $12.08 on Amazon.

2. PWN the SAT

If your child wants to improve his math SAT scores, head to PWN the SAT. Concerned about how pricey test prep has become, Mark McClenathan, a math tutor in New York, launched this extremely helpful site last year. You may also want to check out McClenathan’s book, PWN the SAT: Math Guide, which has received rave reviews on Amazon.

3. Perfect Score Project

Believe it or not, this test-prep site was created by a mom of two teenagers who took the SAT at every available testing date (seven times) for an entire year. The mom (or should I call her a masochist?) has loads of SAT tips on her site.

4. Erik the Red

This great site belongs to Erik Jacobsen, a math/physics tutor and PhD in Summit, N.J., whose specialties include preparing students for the math section of the SAT and ACT. You’ll find a tremendous amount of free materials to download for the SAT test including quizzes, formulas and strategies.

5. The Critical Reader

Erica Meltzer, who is a test-prep tutor from New York, provides a great deal of information on her website that’s aimed at helping student improve on the reading and writing sections of the SAT. She offers free study guides on her site and if you want more advice, check out her book, The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar.


The Three Biggest Lies in College Admission

Steve Cohen via Forbes provides some excellent insight into three common misperceptions in college admissions. They are:

  • Standardized test (SAT and ACT) scores are less and less important.
  • Asking for financial aid won’t have an impact on the admission decision; and
  • There is a level playing field in college admissions.

Read Steve’s full article here.

Junior Year Prep

How to spend Junior year preparing for college from Julie and Lindsey Mayfield @ Twice the Advice.

1. Contact the high school counseling office

2. Schedule an SAT or ACT exam

3. Keep grades up

3. Compile a college list

4. Earn AP or junior college credits

5. Meet college admissions representatives

Read the full article here.