• Start researching colleges and universities. Go to college fairs and open houses. Learn as much as you can about colleges online.
  • Begin planning college visits. Try to visit colleges near you over spring break. Include a large, medium size, and small campus.
  • Request recommendation letters from the counsleor and teachers.

Spring to-do’s

Juniors, here are tips on what to do as you embark on your college admissions journey.


  • Develop a preliminary list of colleges that interest you. Go online to request additional information.
  • Take a look at some college applications. Make note of all the pieces of information you will need to compile. Make a list of teachers, counselors, employers, and other adults who could write letters of recommendation.
  • Consider lining up a summer job or internship.

 

 

This Earth Day, we bring you an overview of environmentally-related college offerings. 

 

If you are interested in the environment, many schools have environmental science or environmental studies majors/minors. What is the difference between these two fields? Environmental science is often focused on preserving nature and Earth’s resources, whereas environmental studies looks at the interactions between environment, policy, economics, etc. The courses you can take to fulfill the environmental studies requirements are often interdisciplinary, which helps to build your critical thinking skills. For example, Hobart and William Smith College offers many cool courses in environmental studies, like Intro to Environmental Law and Environmental Change in the Indigenous World.

 

In addition, many colleges have Eco Reps, who promote sustainability through projects and community programs. Tufts University’s Eco Reps sponsor programs like a widespread Zero Waste Week Challenge, during which students are encouraged to carry around all of the garbage they produce in a bag, in order to dissuade waste production. The Tufts Eco Reps also put out an Eat Local Sustainability Guide, to promote nearby restaurants that buy their produce locally.

 

Furthermore, some schools have green living spaces in which students can choose to live. Dickinson College has “The Treehouse,” in which sustainability-minded students may choose to live. The Treehouse takes food from the dining hall that would otherwise be thrown away, and all of their extra foodstuffs go into the compost. In addition, while the house has a washer, they hang-dry all of their clothing to save energy. 

 

If you are interested in the environment, check out your prospective schools’ websites, and see if you are interested in their related majors, clubs, housing, etc. 

 

 

In honor of Alcohol Awareness Month and 4/20, we are dedicating this blog to campus party culture. Whether you would like a school with a vibrant partying culture, or one with no big parties at all, there is definitely a school out there for you. No matter what list you consult, some of the biggest partying schools include the University of Wisconsin, Tulane University, University of Alabama, Syracuse University, and University of West Virginia. On the flip side, Fordham College, Pepperdine University, West Point, and Brigham Young University are generally recognized as some of the colleges with minimal to no partying. 

 

In addition, each school has its own policy on drugs and alcohol. For example, some campuses are “dry” campuses, meaning that even after students turn 21, they are not permitted to drink on campus. Other campuses are “wet,” meaning that once students turn 21, they may consume alcoholic beverages on campus. Depending on your comfort level, these are some factors you can look into to help narrow down your college decision. 

 

Tips

  • Find your passion.
  • Secondly, get involved.
  • Thirdly, leadership doesn’t mean ‘president’.
  • Fourth, show initiative.

Admissions: forget the scatter grams


Times have changed

The pandemic has upended college admissions. The top 20-30 schools have seen their applications increase by anywhere from 20 to 50 percent as a result of going test optional or blind. Nearly 168,000 freshmen and transfer students applied to UCLA for fall 2021 admission, a 24.6% increase compared to last year, according to data released by the University of California Office of the President. Of those, 139,463 applied for first-year admissions, while 28,440 applied for transfer admissions. Applications at Tufts were up 35 percent from the previous year.

What college admissions offices noticed with the test optional/blind policy is that many underrepresented students were now applying. These students sometimes had quite stellar resumes filled with community and school leadership roles and landed some sweet acceptances at top schools.

This leads us to data and scatter grams. By the time data points show up in Naviance, the data is at least one year old. But without community and school leadership roles, those data points on scatter grams are meaningless. The top schools want a diverse student body; they want students who show initiative, leadership, involvement, empathy, business acumen, creativity etc. 

So, a near perfect test score coupled with a stellar GPA alone isn’t going to get a student into a top school – those days are gone. It’s all about strategy.

 

 

Happy National Stress Awareness Month! We know that the college admissions process can be stressful, but we are here to demystify the system and give you the information you need to make the right decision for you. They say a little stress is healthy, but if you aren’t someone who thrives under stressful conditions, then we recommend avoiding these schools with the most stressed students:

 

1- University of Pennsylvania

2- Massachusetts Institute of Technology

3- Cornell University

4- Northwestern University

5- Columbia University

6- Harvard University

7- Vanderbilt University

8- Washington University in St. Louis

9- Stanford University

10- California University of Technology

 

Note: This list was compiled from multiple sources that looked at the schools with the most stressed students. We combined the lists, based on how frequently different schools appeared, to form the list you see here.