Protecting the #Classof2015: Social Media Readiness

As high school juniors enter the full swing of the college readiness season, counselors need to remind them to manage their social media presences. Last year, 31 percent of college admissions officers who participated in a Kaplan phone questionnaire claimed that they visited applicants’ social media pages, up five percent from the previous year. Combine that statistic with the extraordinary voyeurism teens engage in on a daily basis through Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, and Twitter, and we have a growing challenge. With that said, below are some tips to offer teens and their families. If your students scoff at your recommendations, ask parents or other mentors to join your efforts. Use a professional email address for communicating with colleges. Last year, I met a young man whose first choice college was USC. I was quite surprised to see his bruinboy1 email handle. When I mentioned the potential irony of his email address, he agreed to use his school email address for … [Read more...]

Demonstrating Their Interest: Strategies for Students to Learn About Colleges on a Budget

Colleges seek students who are a great match. With online applications, colleges have more and more applicants and, thus, need ways to differentiate amongst them. As a result, an increasing number of schools are using demonstrated interest as a factor in the admissions process. We need to help high school juniors understand that, while demonstrated interest can be a significant factor in the admission process, they do not have to spend a ton of money to learn more about or even visit many colleges on their list. This spring, high school juniors can begin the process of getting to know colleges all around the country--and for little or no money. Remind students that there is no substitute for an on-campus visit. Help students learn how to plan a college visit. Have them go directly to each college’s website to schedule appointments for tours and information sessions. They can also attend classes, spend the night in a dorm, meet with professors, eat in the cafeteria, and more. … [Read more...]

Design a Gold Medal Senior Year Schedule

February/March is "prime time" for helping high school juniors pick their senior year schedules. Colleges are looking for academically committed and passionate students. The senior year schedule should take the shape of a peak, not a plateau or downhill slope, when looking at a student's academic experience in high school. Understanding that the rigor of a student's high school curriculum is a core factor in the college admission process, below are several tips to help guide you and your students through the scheduling process. Tips also include how to help students make the most of their academic experiences throughout the senior year. Create powerful senior year schedules. Even though the University of California and Cal State campuses do not see their applicants’ senior year grades usually until the end of senior year, these colleges do require students to: Complete their A-G requirements with Cs or higher. They no longer allow students to make up any missed or failed … [Read more...]