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College Planning Blog
Category: College Admissions Counseling

Legacy Boosts College Admissions

Written by Tracy Mehr on January 11, 2019

When it comes to college admissions, “legacy” means the applicant potentially receives some sort of preferential treatment by having had a parent graduate from that school, and sometimes a grandparent, sibling or even an aunt or uncle. There’s no question it’s an actual thing.   Legacy noted   That said, there are no guarantees that […]

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Students’ Social Media Matters to Colleges

Written by Terri Houston on July 19, 2018

If you don’t think colleges are paying attention to what you’re posting on social media, you’re mistaken. For proof, look no further than Harvard University. In 2017, Harvard rescinded at least 10 acceptances after learning about offensive content those students had shared on Facebook.   I expect this type of pattern to continue. Look for […]

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How to Stand Out on Highly Selective College Applications

Written by Karen Daluga on July 12, 2018

If you’ve determined you might be a good fit for applying to highly selective schools, there’s more to consider than your GPA and test scores. Those types of colleges look beyond pure academic achievement. They also pay close attention to demonstrated intellectual interest or curiosity, also called the standout factor.   Highly selective schools expect […]

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What is Demonstrated Interest?

Written by Kevin Krebs on June 26, 2018

In many ways, the college admissions process is a game. You need to understand all the rules of the game in order to maximize your chances for success, and “demonstrated interest,” or taking extra measures to show that you want to attend a particular school, is among the key aspects.   Colleges are always concerned […]

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Requesting Teacher Recommendation Letters

Written by Jennifer Taylor on April 12, 2018

High school juniors winding down from what is traditionally considered one of the most academically challenging years should shift their focus before the end of the school year to which teachers could provide positive recommendation letters for college applications.   When applying to colleges, commonly two recommendation letters are required. On many applications, a letter […]

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Five Fast Tips to Help With Decision Day

Written by Kendall Hayes on April 10, 2018

Decision Day—May 1—is rapidly approaching, but we don’t need to tell you that. It’s probably been circled on your calendar for months, if not at least a year.   If you’re anxious about making your college choice, you’re certainly in the majority. There’s good reason for this to be a stressful time. You’ve been building […]

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Deferred? Waitlisted? Now what?

Written by PFA Staff on March 30, 2018

As the current college application season starts winding down with Regular Decision announcements being released, it’s important to understand the difference between being deferred and waitlisted.   I’ve been deferred   If your application is deferred, don’t panic. It means your application hasn’t been accepted, but it still could be, albeit later. For students who […]

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Deciphering Financial Aid Award Letters

Written by Kevin Krebs on March 14, 2018

One of the most important undertakings this time of year at Partners For Achievement is helping families get a handle on all the financial aid award letters they’re receiving from colleges. Since each school lays out its letter differently, families often have difficulty figuring out what’s what.   The first order of business is to […]

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Standing Out is a Factor on College Applications

Written by Jennifer Taylor on February 8, 2018

When a 17-year-old Partners For Achievement student recently considered what topic she might write about for her Common Application essay, she instantly thought of her seventh-grade year when her family took time out from their traditional suburban lives and spent the school year living on a sailboat while traveling throughout the Bahamas island chain. The […]

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You’ve Been Deferred—Now What?

Written by Kendall Hayes on December 29, 2017

If you’ve been deferred from a university, don’t panic. The world isn’t coming to an end. For some reason, students often get really down following a deferral—they’re so disappointed that it paralyzes them. To that I say: A deferral is infinitely better than a denial. You’re still in the game, and the key is to […]

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