Think you have to be a straight-A student or have income below the poverty line to qualify for a college scholarship? Think again! Thousands of scholarships are awarded annually with requirements based not upon academics or family finances, but upon talents, interests, activities, fields of study, commitments to causes, physical characteristics, medical conditions, or simple creativity.
On the last episode of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation, host Beth Heaton and guests discussed how much is too much to borrow when it comes to paying for college, reviewed essay brainstorming homework and discussed starting a college list in our School’s Out: College Application Workshop segment, and finally wrapped up with Office Hours to address listeners’ admissions questions.
Have you always known you wanted to be a doctor? Maybe you have always been fascinated by medicine, or perhaps this is a more recent but intense interest. As you begin your college search, you may become interested in an accelerated medical program where you apply in high school and could be admitted to a seven- or eight-year track to obtain both your Bachelor’s degree and your Doctorate in Medicine. But is this type of program the right fit for you?
You’ve identified your dream school(s) and you have a strong list of other colleges to apply to. Your numbers (GPA, standardized test scores) are where they need to be. You’re working on an essay that’s going to show your admission officer (AO) who you are and how you’ll fit into her school.
But have you shown them the love?
At a significant number of schools, demonstrating interest matters in the admission process—if you don’t show the AO that you are very interested in their school, they won’t show their interest in you (in the form of an acceptance letter).
‘Tis the season for college finance, and last week’s episode of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation, was chock full of great information about paying for college.
The Parent Perspective
Beth’s first guest was Rita Boyd, mother of three: a first-year college student; a high school senior (who is in the midst of college decision time); and a high school freshman. Rita offered some honest and thoughtful insights on how she and her husband approached the college finance process with their kids, including tough conversations about how much they were able to contribute to each child’s education.
The Coalition Application is a new college application platform currently described by the popular media as a direct competitor to the Common Application. The group behind its creation is the “Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success.” According to their website, the Coalition is a group of schools “that share a commitment to providing students with the best possible college experience, beginning with the college application process.”
The Coalition states they came together because:
A growing amount of research has shown that students from disadvantaged backgrounds often do not participate effectively in the college application process, struggle with applying for financial aid, and often do not get awarded all the financial aid for which they qualify.
Early Action (EA) has become more confusing in recent years with the advent of “Single-Choice Early Action” or “Restrictive Early Action.” In today’s post we are going to break down what Single Choice Early Action/Restrictive Early Action mean so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not you should apply under this application plan.
What is Single-Choice/Restrictive Early Action?
Unlike Early Decision, Single-Choice/Restrictive EA allows students to apply earlier in their senior year without having to make a binding commitment to enroll at the institution if admitted. Additionally, students who apply via Single-Choice/Restrictive EA are welcome to apply to non-binding programs at public colleges/universities and international institutions at the same time.
In my former life as an admissions officer, I was often cornered at the end of my information sessions by a student or parent who wanted to know the “secret” formula, the undisclosed algorithm, for getting into MIT or Caltech:
Do Asians face discrimination when applying to Ivy League schools? Do they need to appear less “Asian” when submitting their college applications in order to be admitted? These are questions I often receive when counseling students on competitive admissions — usually when students learn I worked as an admissions officer at MIT and Caltech. They’re questions I’ve come across in articles such as “’The Asian Penalty,’” most recently featured in The Boston Globe. And while the questions posed might sometimes lessen the sting one might feel at the possibility of not getting admitted to one’s dream school, the reality is much more complex.