College Admissions Application Strategy

Choosing The Right College (Be Honest)

Applying to College

  • Timing: Start Early. Preferably Early In Junior Year (If Not Earlier)
  • Create Options: Investigate Many Schools and Programs; Just Do Not Follow The Pack
  • Research: Learn As Much About The Schools As Possible (visit, talk to students, blogs etc.)
  • Financing: Make Sure You Research Real Costs, Financing and Scholarships
  • Performance: Make Sure You Keep Up High Academic Performance
  • SAT/ACT: Make Sure That You Prepare For The Test(s) and Do As Well As Possible; The Only Objective Part Of Application
  • Recommendations: Ask Early/People Get Busy


Choosing The Right College

  • Identify career interests
  • Identify the different types of college and potential good matches that fit their needs, interests, and goals
  • Begin to explore the benefits and obstacles associated with getting to college
  • Learn basics of admissions process and about various school system


Be Honest With Yourself

  • Develop Areas Of Academic Interest
  • Realistically Assess Your Credentials
  • Determine What Factors Are Most Important To You
  • Your Academic & Professional Goals
  • Establish Geographic Parameters
  • Determine A Budget (remember college spans four years)

College Admissions: Myth or Reality

  • Marketing Versus Applying
  • Competition Is Stiff
  • Do Not View This As A Process Of Filling Out Forms And Writing Essays, But About Showcasing Your Accomplishments And Potential
  • Make Every Attempt You Can To Learn As Much About The School As Possible; Likewise Have As Many Interactions With Students, Professors, Admissions People, Alumni, Etc.
  • Do Not Be Afraid To Be Creative And Let Your Personality Show
  • Do Not Be Afraid To Interact With Admissions, Send Additional Information, Provide Updates – Just Not Too Much

College Admissions: Timing

  • Timing: Start Early. Preferably Early In Junior Year (If Not Earlier)
  • Create Options: Investigate Many Schools and Programs; Just Do Not Follow The Pack
  • Research: Learn As Much About Schools As Possible (visit, talk to students, blogs etc.)
  • Financing: Make Sure You Research Real Costs, Financing and Scholarships
  • Performance: Make Sure You Keep Up High Academic Performance
  • Information: Get Only From Reliable Sources

College Admissions: Evaluating An Application

  • Grades/Academic Potential - 30%
  • Scores - 20%
  • Extracurricular Activities - 10%
  • Essays - 10%
  • Recommendations - 10%
  • Interview - 10%
  • Other - 10%

College Admissions: Personal Statements

Writing Effective Essays

  • Students will develop visual thinking and imagination
  • Practice writing skills
  • Learn the elements of a good personal statement/essay for college application


Personal Statement

  • Most Schools Require At Least One Admissions Essay; Some Schools Have Very Complicated Admissions Requirements and Multiple Essays
  • This Is One Place Where You Can Show Creativity and Individuality
  • Do Not Be Afraid To Be Creative – But Not So Much That Only You Understand It
  • Make Sure You Provide The Content That They Are Looking For and Answer The Question They Want Answered
  • Remember That The Purpose Of This Essay Is To Learn About You, Your Background, Your Motivations, Your Goals
  • 100% Control Over Content And Quality
  • Very Important Aspect Of The Admissions Process; Do Not Take Lightly – A Poor Essay Will Negatively Impact Your Chances
  • Most Schools Require At Least One Admissions Essay; Some Schools Have Very Complicated Admissions Requirements and Multiple Essays
  • This Is One Place Where You Can Show Creativity and Individuality
  • Do Not Be Afraid To Be Creative – But Not So Much That Only You Understand It
  • Make Sure You Provide The Content That They Are Looking For and Answer The Question They Want Answered
  • Remember That The Purpose Of This Essay Is To Learn About You, Your Background, Your Motivations, Your Goals
  • 100% Control Over Content And Quality
  • Very Important Aspect Of The Admissions Process; Do Not Take Lightly – A Poor Essay Will Negatively Impact Your Chances

College Admissions: Extracurricular Activities

Being Active

  • Schools Like Well Rounded Students
  • Shows Passions And Interests
  • Many Different Ways To Define
  • Schools Especially Look For People Who Excel Or Innovate
  • Leadership Positions Particularly Important
  • Better Not To Over-Extend Oneself Or Spread Too Thin

College Admissions: Recommendations

Third Party Assessments

  • Be Strategic Who You Choose To Write
    • Teachers, Counselors, Alumni, Employers, Mentors
  • Help Them Out As Much As Possible
    • Write Summary Showcasing Work, Goals, Activities, Community Service
  • Ask Early
    • Keep People Updated On Deadlines
    • Do Not Be Afraid To Send Reminders

College Admissions: Financial Aid & Scholarships

  • Learn the different types of financial aid available: grants and scholarships, loans, work-study.
  • Learn the basics of the FAFSA application
  • Identify the information they will need from their parents to complete the FAFSA application.

College Admissions: Support System (Managing The Stress)

  • Advisory process: Does Your School Have A Supportive Advisory System? Are Your Counselors Over-Worked? Alternatives?
  • Teachers: Often The Source Of Good Information And Encouragement
  • Parents: Want The Best But May Not Know A Lot About The Process
  • Friends: Going Through This Together; Sometimes Supportive Sometimes Competitive
  • Mentors: Good For Encouragement And Information

College Admissions: List of Elite Colleges

Ivy League Universities

  • Brown University
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Harvard University
  • Princeton University
  • University of Penn
  • Yale University


West Coast Universities

  • California Institute of Technology
  • Claremont McKenna College
  • Harvey Mudd College
  • Occidental College
  • Pitzer College
  • Pomona College
  • Reed College
  • Scripps College
  • University of Southern California

Elite Universities

  • Amherst College
  • Barnard College
  • Georgetown University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Stanford University
  • Swarthmore College
  • University of Chicago


Midwestern Universities

  • Carleton College
  • Grinnell College
  • Macalester College
  • Northwestern University
  • Oberlin College
  • University of Notre Dame

East Coast Universities

  • Bucknell University
  • Colgate University
  • Franklin & Marshall College
  • Hamilton College
  • Haverford College
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Vassar College



Southern Universities

  • Davidson College
  • Duke University
  • Emory University
  • Rice University
  • University of Richmond
  • Vanderbilt University

New England Universities

  • Boston College
  • Bowdoin College
  • Colby College
  • College of the Holy Cross
  • Connecticut College
  • Middlebury College
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • Smith College
  • Trinity College
  • Tufts University
  • Wellesley College
  • Wesleyan University
  • Williams College
 

College Admissions: Why Hire A College Admissions Consultant

  • College is one of the largest financial commitments of a lifetime
  • Wide variation in costs among colleges
  • Experts will
    • Identify cost-cutting opportunities, saving time and money
    • Provide important knowledge on scholarships
    • Reduce stress and obtain better outcomes for the whole family


Limitations of Guidance Counselors

  • Guidance Counselors play key, but limited, role in college application process
    • Aren’t trained to deal with complex financial aid & cost-reduction strategies
    • Are reluctant to work with parents on family finances
    • Experts fill this hole


When to Hire a Consultant

  • The earlier the admissions process starts, the more cost-reductions opportunities there are
  • Many college savings options begin up to a decade or more before the student starts college
  • Last minute cost-reduction strategies for high school students include
    • Timely and accurate submission of financial aid application materials
    • Scholarships

 

*We strongly recommend that you speak to one of our college admissions consultants for a free 20-minute consultation to better formulate your application strategy.

Admissions Consulting Registration & Payment

To register and make payments for our Admissions Consultation Services, please visit our Admissions Consulting Page.
For more information please email us at admissions@manhattaneliteprep.com.