College acceptances

For the past 19 years, I have helped students gain admission into the colleges of their dreams.  Each year, I am grateful because my students are accepted into schools that will set the course for wonderful and meaningful careers.  This year was no exception-- so many accomplished exactly what they were hoping for.  Bold schools are 2017-2018 acceptances. 

Alabama   American  U of Arizona   Babson    Bard   UC Berkeley   Binghamton   Boston College   Boston University   Bucknell   Carnegie Mellon    Case Western   Clark    Colgate   College of Charleston   Cortlandt-SUNY    Colby  Columbia University  Cornell   Dartmouth   Drexel   Duke   Elon   Emory Fairfield University   Fordham  Geneseo-SUNY  Georgetown   George Washington University   Harvard   Haverford   Hobart   Hofstra  Imperial College London   Indiana University (Kelley)   Iona College    Ithaca  Johns Hopkins  Kenyon   Lafayette   Lehigh   Loyola-Maryland    Manhattan College Manhattanville   McGill University   Miami University   MIT   New Paltz Northeastern  Northwestern & Kellog School of Mgmt   NYU   Ohio State    Ohio Wesleyan   Pace (Nursing)   Penn State   Pomona   Princeton  Quinnipiac   Rice   Roanoke   Rochester    RPI    Sacred Heart University   Saint John's College-Oxford Skidmore  Syracuse (Bandier, Whitman, Newhouse)   Temple   TCU   UT-Austin   Tufts   Tulane   Union   University of Cambridge   UChicago   UCONN    University of Kentucky   University of Maryland   UMASSUniversity of Miami   University of Michigan (Ross)    University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)   UNC Chapel Hill   University of Oxford, UK   University of Pittsburgh   URI    University of Rochester USC   University of Vermont   University of Virginia   University of Wisconsin-Madison   Vanderbilt University    Villanova   Wake Forest   Washington University Wesleyan   Yale  



A in a regular course? Or a B+ in an AP?

Is it better to get an A in a regular level course or a B in an AP course?

Well, that's probably the most asked question in an admissions office. It certainly is frequently asked in my office.  Honestly, it's best to get an A in an AP course.  That being said... the question remains to be answered. 

Here are my own observations based upon more than a decade of experience with ALL TYPES OF STUDENTS.  Average (GPA) is more important.

Students should maintain as high of an average possible.  If AP's are out of the realm of possibility, then that's ok. But, think of what the competition will be applying with.  Do many of the students coming from the high school have an AP on their transcript?  Two? Three? Seven? Ten? Fourteen?  Are you a competitive applicant?

Whether a high school ranks or not, college's rank the applicants coming from a given high school. So you may have a higher GPA than other applicants-- but if they have many AP's and you don't, your high GPA won't hold as much water as you may have thought.  A top tier college will not accept applicant's with straight B's, unless straight B's represent's a top 15% of the high school class. 

By and large, however, it's your GPA that will 'get you in' in most cases.  Your GPA currently remains more important than the rigor, at most schools. 

Obviously, this blog post can go on forever about all the multitude of degree's of importance on an application, right? You have test scores, and activities, and essays, and so many more individualized layers.  

But, realize this:  when you attend the info session at a college, what do they report about their past applicants and current students?  GPA's and test scores... at every info session. Let me let you in on a secret: admissions offices have a rating system for applicants typically based on a formula composed of GPA and test score, in that very order of importance.  And, those are the facts.  Which is why---- school selection and essay crafting are so critical!  Aim appropriately. 

What is an academic profile?

What is an academic profile and how does an admissions office use this in the decision process?

Developing an academic profile is something that I carefully consider while working with high school freshman, sophomores and juniors (yes, it starts as early as freshman year for the best possible outcomes).  And- the academic profile consists of both a high school record (as documented in a transcript) and performance on standardized test scores. 

Together these two pieces of information function as an indicator on where an applicant will stand in terms of potential success for a given university to consume. There is no way to avoid the fact that for all students, the most important criterion for admission to a university, is intellectual ability. 

Selective universities, ivy league or not, are looking for students who bring ‘it all’ to the table (more than just brains). Having a high GPA is not enough because colleges closely examine the rigor of the school students attend as well as the courses they chose to take over the past four years especially reviewing the number of honors or accelerated classes students opted to enroll in. The way to prove your potential and degree of curiosity is by taking a breadth of courses, at the highest degree of rigor your school offers.  Explore electives.  Find a topic that your truly enjoy.  It’s really important, not only for college admissions, but for general happiness and life long purpose.

In a nutshell, it is essential to get enrolled into the strongest curriculum you can handle in order to gain admission into the top colleges, period.  Academic profile strength is important because it will differentiate you from other applicants.  And, that is what’s key.