US News: 8 Strategies to Launch your College Application into Full Gear

It’s almost July. Have you started your college search yet? Whether you are still in the process of narrowing down your list of potential schools or if you have honed in on the “short list,” there are several tips and tools that can help your application process move swiftly and smoothly—rather than turn into a race against the clock.

Writing for U.S. News and World Report, college admissions veteran Peter Van Buskirk this week lists his 8 strategies for starting the process. From visiting campuses to starting a resume and researching financial aid, Van Buskirk hones in on what best to do this summer as students gear up for fall deadlines.

Find out how to get started now. View the list.


Admissions Officers on Application Dos and Don’ts

From deadlines to follow ups, the New York Times took a recent survey of college admissions officers to find out what they wish they could tell every applicant. 

Among their tips: Choose wisely and parents need not apply. 

“Put yourself on the mailing list. Contact a current student, alumnus, or admission representative. The more you know about the university and what it offers academically, socially, and financially, the better informed you will be. This also helps you set and manage realistic expectations concerning the university that you ultimately choose,” Linda Sanders-Hawkins, director of admission for Howard University told the Times. 

Read the article for the full list of tips


Common App Essay Prompts: 2013-14

The Common Application updates its essay prompts each year. The 2013-2014 prompts are as follows. Remember word count maximum is 650 words!

Choose one:

• Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

• Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?

• Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

• Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?

• Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.