A recent New York Times article discussed the value of generalization over specialization. Successful professionals are flexible, adaptable, and able to pull different tools out of their toolkit to get the job done. That versatility comes from having a broad range of skills and experiences under one’s belt, rather than singular expertise honed to perfection. But here’s the thing. In the midst of all these butterflies and roses on the winding path to enlightenment comes the college admissions process. We regularly tell juniors and seniors to commit deeply to a few things, engage in activities where they can have meaningful impact, perhaps let a few activities go so they can prioritize growth within the specific arenas they’ve chosen. How, then, does a college counselor (& parent) reconcile these competing worldviews? Find out in the latest post to the College Coach Insider blog at blog.getintocollege.com.
Michelle Jones, founder of Wayfinding Academy, joins this week’s show to offer her thoughts on how Wayfinding is approaching college from a different perspective. We’ll also discuss this year’s changes to the Common App and talk about how you can prepare your college bound student for the financial challenges ahead.
A strong Common App essay can be written on virtually any topic. Pizza, community service, grandmothers, barnacles, you name it, and admissions officers have probably read an essay about it. And given that thousands of students are admitted to colleges each year, I hope we can all agree there is no one “best” topic on which to write your Common App essay. What makes a college essay strong isn’t necessary its theme, but the personal and reflective story that emerges from that theme. College admissions officers use your personal statement to get to know you as an individual beyond your transcript and test scores, and the essay can be a powerful factor in determining those students who are admitted and those who are not. Despite (or perhaps in light of) all this intellectual and creative freedom, you may find yourself stuck. Don’t worry, one of the most common questions all high schoolers have is, “What should I write my college essay about?” When I help students brainstorm potential essay topics, I usually ask them dozens of questions, hoping to unearth just a single response that will capture the interest of a college admissions officer. For some students, however, the essay prompts themselves can provide a great source of inspiration. If you’re looking for little nudge in the right direction, head to the College Coach blog at blog.getintocollege.com and take our college essay quiz. Based on your responses to 14 simple questions, we can help you identify which of the seven Common App essay prompts may best allow you to share your story with colleges. Ready to find out which Common App prompt you are?
There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. And while the media tends to focus on just a handful of schools, we at College Coach encourage students to think outside the box during their college selection process and explore a wide range of colleges, including this week’s School Spotlight, Hampden-Sydney College. So we’ve all heard about women’s colleges, but what about colleges that cater to only male learners? There are just a handful of traditional men’s colleges left in the U.S., and Hampden-Sydney College is one of our country’s oldest. H-SC has been educating “good men and good citizens” men since 1775, and the College’s student-run honor system continues to play an integral role in day-to-day campus life today. The nearly 1,100 men who attend H-SC come from over 30 states (with the vast majority hailing from Virginia), and they can choose from a broad array of traditional liberal arts and science majors. Economics & Business is the most popular course of study, but preparation for a successful career doesn’t end in the classroom. Thanks to the Flemming Center for Entrepreneurship and the College’s venture fund, students can attend business leader lectures; pitch venture ideas to investors; and learn firsthand about social entrepreneurship. One of the major benefits of attending an all-male school is the opportunity for tremendous leadership development and growth. From athletics and student government to clubs and Greek life, there are countless ways for H-SC students to make a difference in their communities. To learn more about life on H-SC’s campus, check out their YouTube vlog, On This Hill!
There is a scholarship (or many scholarships) out there for everyone. In this week’s Scholarship Spotlight, we look at the Coca-Cola Scholars program. The Coca-Cola Scholars Scholarship is a highly competitive, multi-stage, merit program for strong student leaders who are committed to making positive changes in their schools and communities. Scholars receive support from program alumni and the foundation throughout their entire college experience. Winners become part of a network of future leaders who “hope to make the world a better place” and are invited back (every 5 years) to a leadership conference run by program alumni. For more information on this scholarship and how to apply, check out the College Coach Insider blog at blog.getintocollege.com.
The Common App is here! As of August first, this year’s Common Application is available to all applicants. If you have not yet created your Common App account, or need to roll over an account created prior to August first, head over to the Insider Blog at blog.getintocollege.com for step-by-step instructions, including screen shots, on how to get started on your Common App.
There are a lot of early admissions deadline options: early action, early decision one and two, priority admissions, restrictive early action, etc. How do you know which, if any, is the right choice for you? We’ll help you figure that out. We’ll also help you figure out the college bill that’s coming your way, and discuss what makes a college a safety, i.e., a school where you have a better than 90% chance of being admitted.
Many of us are familiar with the concept of SMART goals—those that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. But have you ever heard of setting SMAAHT goals? It’s not just our Boston accent coming through, but a slightly different way to focus kids’ energy on achieving their monetary objectives. Find out how SMAAHT goals differ from SMART goals, and how the concept can help your kids achieve their money dreams in the latest installment of our “Kids and Money” series on the College Coach Insider blog.
There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. And while the media tends to focus on just a handful of schools, we at College Coach encourage students to think outside the box during their college selection process and explore a wide range of colleges, including this week’s School Spotlight, the University of Tennessee. Celebrating its 225th anniversary, the University of Tennessee continues to be an innovative research university that’s as big on spirit as it is on tradition. From celebratory homecoming festivities (this fall the Tennessee Volunteers will be playing the Alabama Blazers) to a popular mid-winter carnival/circus known as Carnicus, UT proves that the legacy of the Volunteer spirit is alive and well on campus today. The University enrolls just under 23,000 undergraduates, 83 percent of whom hail from in state. Undergrads can choose from nine different academic colleges and nearly 100 majors, including popular options such as psychology, kinesiology, business, and biology. If you were to visit the University’s 900-acre campus in the vibrant city of Knoxville, you’d certainly notice the newly expanded and remodeled student union (completed in spring 2019 to the tune of $180 million), a newly constructed biology building, as well as several other in-progress projects including a new dining facility and two new residence halls. While UT attracts a large number of in-state residents, there are major incentives for out-of-staters to apply. Consider the Volunteer Scholarship Program, which awards between $30,000 and $60,000 over four years to high achieving non-TN students!
There is a scholarship (or many scholarships) out there for everyone. In this week’s Scholarship Spotlight, we look at the Wesleyan Hamilton Prize for Creativity. Most people agree that the musical Hamilton, a story about a founding father who changed the face of history, has changed the face of theater forever. The Wesleyan Hamilton Prize for Creativity, established to honor two Wesleyan alumni (Lin-Manual Miranda, the writer/star of the Broadway hit and Thomas Kail, the director) will change the life of one lucky incoming freshman. The scholarship is awarded to the student whose creative submission best reflects the strength of ideas and passion that are reflected in Hamilton. For more information on this scholarship and how to apply, check out the College Coach Insider blog at blog.getintocollege.com.