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What's the Secret to Successful College Admission?

Remember the Wizard of Oz? The wizard behind the curtain wasn't really what people thought. Similarly, what we think is happening in the admissions process is not what is really going on. Parents and students who have worked for years toward the goal of gaining admission to desired colleges believe that the admissions officers study and review their student's files. The sad reality is that most of the time, the officer has limited time and can only spend a few minutes on each. The key here is making your application stand out from the rest, and to get that admissions officer to really fall in love with you. Many officers have to argue for the students that they believe should be accepted. Who's going to do that if they haven't been totally convinced by the application?

  • Clearing it up! Present your Academics, Activities, and even declare your major while giving clear evidence as to why you would be a good fit in that program including recommendations toward that end (limit to 3 or 4). Don't just list activities, describe the duration, milestones, and how you stuck with it. But, remember that most officers say "The thicker the application, the thicker the student."
  • Essay mistrust? In a world where you can buy a personalized, ghost-written essay in under 5 minutes, colleges just aren't trusting essays. Many are requiring an additional example of graded school writing. Even with this concern, the essay is the place where the admissions officer can get to know you. This is where you can sink the hook! But, remember not to talk about your disease, anything depressing, or poetry - keep it positive and engaging.
  • SAT doubts? More students than ever are taking the SAT (over 1.7 million at last count) but more colleges are not requiring it. In fact, many colleges are creating their own entrance exams to test students by their own standards. Be prepared to take one even if you've taken an SAT or ACT.

For more information visit our College Information section at Let'

- Jamie @ Let's Homeschool Highschool

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