Valuable insights from Lynn O’Shaughnessy
a nationally recognized college expert.
August 9, 2013
Seniors Applying to College: You Need a Plan!
Today’s college blog post was written by Alison Cooper Chisolm, who heads the college admissions consulting practice at Ivey College Consulting. Prior to becoming a college consultant, Chisolm worked in admissions for more than 10 years at three selective universities (Southern Methodist University, University of Chicago and Dartmouth College). Chisolm is the co-author of How to Prepare a Standout College...
April 24, 2013
The Admissions Arms Race: 6 Ways Colleges Game Their Numbers
I’m sharing this excellent story today from ProPublica, a public service organization that produces excellent journalism which is freely shares with other media outlets. A friend of mine used to be an editor at ProPublica and she earned a Pulitizer Prize there. I hope you find the piece eye opening and that you never loose sight of the fact that...
September 24, 2012
Don’t Be Fooled by Priority Applications
Note: I wrote this post about priority applications a year ago, but it’s just as timely now. LO I received an email yesterday from a friend of mine whose son is a brilliant high school senior. She wanted to know what they should think about invitations her son has received to apply to colleges through VIP or priority applications. Here...
February 6, 2012
Surprising Facts About College Freshmen
During my college workshop at the University of California, San Diego, on Saturday, I asked the parents in attendance this question: What percentage of high school seniors do you think got accepted into their No. 1 college last year? One dad blurted out, “Six percent.” From the other side of the room, a mom provided this answer: “Two percent?” I...
June 24, 2011
The Perfect Class: What Are Colleges Looking For?
Today I’m sharing a guest post written by Daesun Yim, a student at MIT, who earned a perfect 2400 on his SAT test. Yim has served as president of MIT’s Class of 2014 and has won a slew of math contests at Harvard, MIT and Princeton and elsewhere. Yim somehow found time to co-found Uncommon App, a firm that helps...
October 1, 2010
Why Colleges Can Be Nosy
Before I left for St. Louis, my hometown, to attend the annual conference of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, I asked my college blog readers to pose questions that I could ask to college experts here. Here was one of my reader’s questions: Why do schools ask applicants where else they are applying? Are students obligated to answer?...
May 2, 2010
College Applications: What If You're Not a Leader?
Colleges love applicants who are leaders. This collegiate desire to find leaders doesn’t jive with the fact that most teenagers — or Americans in any other age group — just aren’t leaders. But here’s the good news: A teen doesn’t have to be the president or v.p. of his or her class to be considered a leader. In fact, teenagers...
December 13, 2009
A Clever Way to Get Into Harvard
Want to get into Harvard? Consider taking a gap year. It’s not easy getting into Havard or other elite schools, but some high school seniors manage to get into their dream schools by taking the year off and pursuing other interests through a gap year program here or overseas. I wrote about gap years experiences last week for my college...
November 5, 2009
College Applications: Should You Apply Early Action?
A friend of mine called me last week to ask whether her daughter should apply early action to Boston College. For a lot of high school seniors, applying to a college early action is a great idea. But early action isn’t for everyone including my friend’s daughter Julia. I’ll explain why momentarily. First of all, I want to emphasize that...