Submitting Before the Big Jan 1st Deadline

Posted by: Claudine Vainrub, Principal of EduPlan on Dec 1 2014 / Comments (0)

deadline noteBy Claudine Vainrub

It’s not too late yet to push that button, and it’s definitely not too early to click “submit” on your Common Application file. With the Regular Decision application deadline of January 1st (11:59pm) just around the corner, you should be wrapping up your college application, checking it twice and preparing to send it off, leaving yourself plenty of time for any missed documents, forgotten information or technical errors.

Each year, there are an inordinate number of students who seem to think it’s okay to put off submitting their college applications until the very last minute, but these students are taking huge risks when they do this. This application will determine how you will spend the next four or more years, and ultimately, the rest of your life, so it needs to be taken very seriously. It goes without saying that almost all graduating high school students feel pretty overwhelmed around this time of the year what with the upcoming holidays and trying to get good grades, maintain a social life and figure out what they want to do once they graduate. But, somewhere in the stress of daily life, it pays to methodically organize the myriad pieces of your college application, check, check and double check that everything is in order, then submit it well before the January 1st deadline. writes on their blog, “It is not urban legend that websites slow down and servers crash. This happens every year with multiple colleges. Submit early to avoid the stress of seeing your application timeout each time you try to submit.”1 So many students attempt to submit their application at the last minute that the servers actually crash and they miss the deadline.

Another potential technical nightmare can be caused by winter or wind storms taking down lines and shutting down the Internet completely. It’s been known to happen before and it can happen again. In fact, any number of technical glitches could occur when sending off your application, and if you’ve left it till the eleventh hour, you simply cannot try later. You get the picture.

Anyone applying for college knows there are endless strands to tie together in the application process. The more schools you apply to, the more paperwork there is to organize. Good organization takes time. By starting early, you allow yourself enough time to complete your part of the application and make sure everybody else has done their bit. Remember, high school teachers and counselors are very busy people, helping hundreds of students get off to college, but they are also human and may sometimes accidentally neglect to send off a letter of recommendation, transcripts, etc. Also, they go on vacation, just like you, and might be taking a break right before your deadline. Allow yourself enough time to chase up any missing or erroneous documents.

Let’s face it – we all make mistakes every now and then. The college application, however, is not the place for errors. From the minute you start the application process, READ THE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY. Then re-read them. Make sure you complete every form accurately, stick to the word limits on the essays, and get the right people to provide the right documents. Check your spelling and maybe even ask someone else to check it again. Do NOT rely on Word’s automatic Spell Check! Typos happen to the best of us, so proofread carefully to make sure you have really written everything just as you meant to. If you are applying to more than one school you may have cut and pasted some of your information. This can lead to some denials if you don’t go over each application individually to ensure you are sending the correct information to each specific school. A kiss of death is to send to say to Michigan that you would love to attend Virginia, for example. This almost happened to me, when applying for MBA admissions. However, I was cautious and caught the error in time to not only correct it but also comply with the deadline. Make 100% sure the worst case scenario doesn’t happen to you!

January 1st may feel far away, but it is rapidly approaching, so today would be a good time to start wrapping up your college application. Make a tick list and approach it systematically. Your application is your first introduction to the school you hope to attend, so you want to make a good impression. Spelling errors, incomplete or incorrect information and tardiness do not look good in the world of academia and can seriously jeopardize your chances of getting into a college, let alone a good college. Every year hundreds of students miss the Common Application deadline because they left it till the last minute.

If you get busy now, you still have time to submit your application on time, and conquer the intricate admissions process!



1 Mody, Purvi S. “The 6 Worst College Application Mistakes.” (22/11/11)


Eyes on the Prize!

Posted by: Claudine Vainrub, Principal of EduPlan on Nov 17 2014 / Comments (0)

At this time of year it’s not just Christmas presents you should be wrapping up, but also your college applications.  Deadlines are looming and it is not advisable to leave it to the last minute to submit your applications.  Ideally, if you are applying Regular Decision, you will have completed all the necessary forms and essays for each school, made the appropriate requests of your teachers and guidance counselors and will have sent off the completed packages to the admissions offices of your selected schools.   If you’re not at this stage yet, you need to get busy and fire off your applications in before it is too late!

For the majority of U.S. universities, the deadline for submitting your application is January 1st, but this is not necessarily the same for all schools.  Some schools set their own agenda that varies from the norm.   Always check each school’s website to verify the deadlines and schedules.  The last thing you want is to be rejected from your preferred school because you missed the deadline.

If you happen to be one of those students who is well organized and have already submitted your applications, you can pat yourself on the back for a job well-done, but don’t relax yet.  You’ve only completed the first part of your job and there’s more work ahead if you want to get admitted to college.  You will have to spend the next few months keeping an eye on your applications to make sure everything is in order and none of your documents go astray. I recently learned about a student who thought she had successfully completed the admissions process to a prestigious Miami school, having sent out the online application, only to find out later on that the school rejected her for not receiving all her supporting documents by the deadline. Her school had not sent out the required transcripts and recommendation letter, and since she did not double check with her school, she lost her chances to gain acceptance to the college in question. Schools do make mistakes, colleges sometimes misplace documents too, so it is up to you to make sure that not only have you sent the correct documentation but also that everyone else involved in your application process has sent out or received the requested documents.

After you have submitted your applications, you should receive electronic and/or written notification of receipt.  At some point, maybe three weeks into the process, it is a good idea to email or phone the school’s admissions office just to confirm that they have all the correct documentation.  Alternatively, many schools have a system where you can track your application status on-line.  Without making a nuisance of yourself, keep an eye on your application until it is up for review.  Colleges receive thousands of applications each year – Penn State already had eight containers full as early as November – so it is no surprise that occasionally one application goes missing.  Don’t let it be yours!

Once you have confirmed that all your paperwork is in the correct hands and nothing is missing, you can prepare yourself for the arduous task of waiting.  Most schools send out notification of acceptance or rejection to Regular Decision candidates somewhere around the first week of April.  That means you have at least three full months of waiting to hear what your future holds for you.  My advice is to keep busy and whatever you do don’t succumb to “senioritis”.  Continue to work hard on your studies and make every day count rather than counting the days till you find out where you will study next. Soon enough, you’ll be heading for college and embarking in your next experience of a lifetime!










SAT Cheating Delays Test Scores Overseas

Posted by: Editor EduPlan on Oct 30 2014 / Comments (0)

SAT Jail

 Students in China and South Korea who took the SAT on Oct. 11 will have their test scores delayed

Here is an interesting article from Time Magazine:

“All students living in China and South Korea who took the SAT on Oct. 11 will have their test scores delayed and reviewed because of allegations of widespread cheating, officials from the College Board and its global test administration and security provider, Educational Testing Service (ETS), tell TIME.

The allegations of cheating, which are “based on specific, reliable information,” according to the officials, could be held up for as many as four weeks, potentially excluding some students for “early decision” or “early action” admissions to U.S. colleges and universities. Each individual test score will be evaluated for evidence of cheating.

“The College Board will make universities aware of the circumstances and can supply students with a letter to share with the schools to which they are applying,” ETS spokesman Thomas Ewing tells TIME. “Students should contact their preferred schools for more information.”

“Universities generally do their best to accommodate late scores from students when there are extenuating circumstances,” Ewing adds. Even if test scores are delivered in November, they will be reported as October scores, he says.

Jeremiah Quinlan, the dean of undergraduate admissions at Yale, confirms that “the administrative delay will not hurt the chance of admission for an individual applicant, since any scores that arrive before our review process is complete will be considered.” He adds that students from countries like China where there are no SAT test centers available are not required to submit SAT scores.


The College Board has faced cheating scandals in the past, although this appears to be the first time “reliable allegations” have affected more than one entire country at the same time. “We have conducted administrative reviews in a number of countries over the years including the United States when we want to assure that no student gained an unfair advantage over students who tested honestly,” Ewing says.

In May 2013, the College Board canceled a scheduled exam in South Korea because of allegations of widespread cheating, affecting an estimated 1,500 students. That was the first time allegations of cheating affected an entire country.

Students from China, India and South Korea now make up roughly 50% of the total number of international students in the U.S., according to a 2013 Institute of International Education report. The number of Chinese students studying in the U.S. has increased by 20% every year since 2008, reaching nearly 200,000 in late 2012.

Under current rules, Chinese students without foreign passports must travel outside of mainland China to take admissions tests for U.S. universities. “Chinese national students interested in taking the SAT are welcome to take it in SAT testing centers in Hong Kong, Macao or any other country such as Taiwan or Korea, among others,” the College Board website reads. Those with foreign passports can take the test in China at international schools.

“The scores under question are for Chinese test takers who tested outside of China (not Hong Kong) and NOT for those taken at the international schools in China,” Ewing says in an email.


“Based on specific, reliable information, we have placed the scores of all students who are current residents of Korea or China and sat for the October 11th international administration of the SAT on hold while we conduct an administrative review,” according to a statement from the College Board and ETS released Wednesday to TIME. “The review is being conducted to ensure that illegal actions by individuals or organizations do not prevent the majority of test-takers who have worked hard to prepare for the exam from receiving valid and accurate scores.”

The College Board sent emails this week to all students affected by this round of allegations of cheating. “Dear Test Taker: We at ETS are highly committed to quality standards and fairness,” the email reads. “After every test administration, we go to great lengths to make sure each test result we report is accurate and valid. It is with this objective in mind that we sometimes take additional quality control steps before scores are released. For the reasons stated above, your October 2014 SAT scores are delayed because they are under administrative review.”

The email ends by denouncing “organizations that seek to illegally obtain test materials for their own profit” and asks that individuals share any information with the College Board that could help in the investigation. “We take action on all credible information and go to great lengths to ensure each test result we report is accurate and valid,” the email says.

— With reporting by Tessa Berenson”

Author: Haley Sweetland Edwards

Original Post:

New SAT Focuses on Vocabulary Change

Posted by: Editor EduPlan on Oct 30 2014 / Comments (0)


According to a new article in TIME magazine, a redesigned SAT due out in the spring of 2016 will no longer reward students for the rote memorization of semi-obscure word definitions, but instead emphasize “high utility” words they’re more likely to encounter in life

“Graduating seniors can throw their flash cards on the celebratory bonfire next year. When students sit down to try their pencils at the redesigned SAT in spring 2016, the questions about vocabulary are going to be different — remodeled and revised, and for champions of obscure words, perhaps transmogrified.

Students will no longer be rewarded for the rote memorization of semi-obscure definitions. Instead, the words that the SAT will highlight in vocabulary questions will be “high utility” words that students are likely to encounter in life and reading beyond those four hours in the testing location. Even the most studied students won’t be able to breeze through vocab sections, matching a word with definition B by reflex; they’ll have to read and gather from the passage exactly what a word means.

Here is an example of a old-style SAT question that students will not be seeing on the new exam:

There is no doubt that Larry is a genuine ——- : he excels at telling stories that fascinate his listeners.

(A) braggart

(B) dilettante

(C) pilferer

(D) prevaricator

(E) raconteur

You may have identified that (E) would be the right answer,raconteur coming from the old French word for relate. But answering such a question won’t be expected of aspirational high school students in the future.

One reason is that the one-sentence question provides little context, so it tests knowledge of knowing a word’s definition, not necessarily how to gather meaning from reading something. As Jim Patterson, executive director of assessment, says, “Students might well only know the word’s meaning from studying it in isolation, perhaps from an unofficial SAT preparation word list.” And memorization skills, the kind that would also put students in the position to know the definitions of the wrong answers in the above question, are not the skills the College Board wants to be testing.


In materials released today, the College Board says they’ll be concentrating on what are known as “Tier Two” words. That terminology comes from academics at the University of Pittsburgh, particularly Professor Margaret G. McKeown and Isabel Beck, who devised a system for classifying words into one of three tiers. Tier One words are those that kids will encounter naturally as they’re beginning to talk, like mother, ball, cup, food, run, walk, sit or bed. Tier Three words usually teach a new concept, are relevant only in a particular discipline and have one meaning, like isotope or asphalt or even piano. The Tier Two words go across domains and might have many meanings in different contexts. They appear more in text than in conversation, and they repackage concepts a child could understand on a basic level with more nuance.

In sample questions released today, the College Board gives this example:

[. . .] The coming decades will likely see more intense clustering of jobs, innovation, and productivity in a smaller number of bigger cities and city-regions. Some regions could end up bloated beyond the capacity of their infrastructure, while others struggle, their promise stymied by inadequate human or other resources.

As used in line 55, “intense” most nearly means

A) emotional.

B) concentrated.

C) brilliant.

D) determined.

The key point, as far as the College Board is concerned, is that intense is not only a word that students will regularly encounter but one that could mean A, B, C or D, depending on the context. A raconteur, by contrast, is a raconteur. The redesigned test will focus on deeply understanding more common words rather than being familiar with linguistic gems. Other Tier Two words, McKeown says, might be alleviate, consistent, coincide, congenial, indelible, discord, occur, mention, emerge, admit, perform, fortunate, require or maintain.

Though not consulted, she applauds the SAT shift. The method of teaching that she has championed for more than 30 years is that students need to go through three stages to learn a word: be taught a definition, be shown how the word is used and then use it themselves. McKeown believes Tier Two words are the ones that kids should be taught in school, given there is no “infinite time or brain space.”

“We don’t need to have a bunch of memorized definitions in our head,” McKeown says. “It’s an integration of the sentence and the word that’s going to help us. The more they have to integrate, the more that reflects what you need to do with a vocabulary as a reader.”


Ben Zimmer, executive producer of, a site with the mission of fostering and expanding vocabularies, also sees worth in the SAT changes. He is sympathetic to the College Board’s explanation that they can only test students on so many words and being able to understand the many meanings of intense is more pressing than understanding the single meaning of dilettante. “It’s necessary for them to be a little selective in what they emphasize,” he says. “You really need to appreciate the full range of meanings that a word can have.”

Zimmer, like the College Board, emphasizes that eliminating lachrymose or obsequious or punctilious from the SAT doesn’t denigrate the value of knowing such words. But it does mean that students will have to be inspired to want to know those words without necessarily getting points in return.”


Original Post:

Some Colleges Do Not Neatly Fit College Rankings

Posted by: Editor EduPlan on Oct 9 2014 / Comments (0)

MULast week I visited a school, Philadelphia University (aka “PhilaU”), which is difficult to consider within the context of college rankings. PhilaU has some very interesting programs that combine design, engineering and business education as well as a five-year Physician’s Assistant degree.

There are some traditional majors; you can earn a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Chemistry, Communications or Psychology as you would at a liberal arts college or a small or mid-sized university. But the rest of the programs are where PhilaU separates itself from other small (less than 3,000 undergraduates) schools.

The pre-professional options available  at PhilaU are incredible. You can combine, for example, a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with Masters programs in Community and Trauma Counseling or Occupational Therapy. You can receive degrees in several design programs focused on the built environment (Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Historic Preservation, being only three examples), the fashion industry, textiles (inside and outside of the fashion world), Industrial Design or Graphic Communications. You can also study Construction Management, or Mechanical Engineering. Or you can earn a business-related degree in Accounting, Finance, International Business, Management or Marketing. So, PhilaU is not a liberal arts school; the majority of degrees are in the pre-professional specialties and it has relatively few (around 700) graduate students. Nor is it an art and design school; it does not offer majors in the fine arts such as ceramics, painting, jewelry making, photography or sculpture. It is not a research university; there are only two doctoral programs, a Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy and a PhD in Textile Engineering. Nor is it a business school like Babson, Bentley or Bryant.

maria-college-guides-editSince PhilaU is none of these things it is ranked in a category: Regional Universities–North, a catch-all for schools located from Maine to Washington D.C. that are neither liberal arts colleges nor research universities nor specialty schools such as colleges of art and design or business. Some of these schools have more than 10,000 undergraduates such as West Chester University (PA), Towson University (MD) and Rowan University (NJ). They offer most of the majors that you will find at much larger schools, although they will have more comprehensive teacher education programs. These schools were founded as “normal schools” aka teachers colleges. The freshmen retention and graduation rates are improving because they attract students who could not gain admission or were scared off by larger public schools. Or they could not afford the private university that they wanted to attend. Yet because these schools have attracted better students they have risen in U.S. News’ college rankings. They have also risen in the esteem of college-bound students and their parents. But other Regional Universities such as Alfred University (NY)  have fewer undergraduates than PhilaU, and they, like PhilaU, have their own specialties. For example, you can study Ceramic Engineering at Alfred. But you cannot get a degree in this subject at other small or mid-sized schools, even those that are oriented towards engineering such as Case Western (OH), Kettering (MI), Lehigh (PA) or Rose-Hulman (IN). You have to go to a much larger school such as Rutgers-New Brunswick. What happens to schools like Alfred or PhilaU in these college rankings?

rankThey get ranked down. The demanding majors that set them apart from other schools bring down the freshman retention rate as well as the graduation rate. Worse, because these are private schools, the six-year graduation rates will be low. It can too expensive to “back-track” from one major to another at one of these schools if the demanding program you started proves too difficult to finish and you don’t have a similar program to move into. Alfred University, according to the 2015 U.S. News Best Colleges Guide, ranks only 38th among Regional Universities-North. It loses just over a quarter of a freshman class. Nearly 40 percent of the freshmen who entered in 2007 had not graduated six years later. PhilaU fares poorly in these college rankings, too. It ranked 79th while having a longer list of demanding pre-professional majors than Alfred. It lost about a quarter of the freshmen who entered last year. Only 58 percent of the freshmen who entered in 2007 had a degree six years later. Does Alfred or PhilaU deserve the lower “ranking” within such a broad, catch-all group? No, and the low ranking serves as a “punishment” for standing out by trying to offer programs that fulfill a demand whether it be from students seeking an education or industry looking for future employees. A Ceramic Engineering graduate from Alfred who completes the degree with a ‘B’ average or better will have their choice of job offers. So will the graduate of the Occupational Therapy, Physicians Assistant, Textile Engineering and several other programs at PhilaU.


The shame is that schools such as PhilaU have tried to separate themselves through innovations in their academic programs, yet those initiatives are not something you will learn about in college rankings. They have often come about based on the advice of executives and professionals with the power to influence and hire new graduates. It becomes up to the school, often at great expense, to convey that message. PhilaU went in this direction in their advertising campaign, headed ‘Power to Do.’ One would hope that a college would be able to put the money it spends on advertising into academics or student-related benefits. On the other hand so many schools benefit from the “free advertising” generated from college rankings, and exploit it to the max. Given these circumstances, I cannot blame a college for adding the marketing muscle it needed to get the students it wanted. In the case of PhilaU there is a message worth learning about, and a school that deserved my time.


Original Article by Ed Quest:

PSAT – A Path to Success

Posted by: Claudine Vainrub, Principal of EduPlan on Oct 7 2014 / Comments (0)

psatThey say that practice makes perfect. It makes perfect sense, therefore, that students hoping to get a perfect score on their SAT (and who wouldn’t want a perfect score?) should take the PSAT once or twice to prepare for the real deal. Geared towards high school sophomores and juniors (though you can take it earlier than Grade 10), the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, is cosponsored by the College Board (the good people who bring you the SAT) and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Not only is it a means to allow you to prepare for the test that really matters, but it also increases your chances at winning a merit-based scholarship. This is your golden opportunity to give the SAT a try without worrying too much about what the colleges will think, and to get your name entered for potential scholarship money. This year, the PSAT/NMSQ will be offered on October 15th, so go see your school counselor ASAP to get yourself registered.


Every year, approximately 3.5 million high school students take the PSAT.  The main reason why so many students feel inclined to take this test is that it gives them the chance of a dry run through of the SAT without their scores showing up on their college application. While, accounting for the younger students, the PSAT/NMSQ is easier and shorter than the SAT, it still gives you a good idea of what kind of questions to expect and the test format.1 The PSAT/NMSQ is composed of three sections: Math, Critical Reading, and Writing Skills. Most of the questions are multiple choice, though be prepared for some open-response math questions. You can get a feel for what to expect by trying the PSAT/NMSQ practice questions on the College Board website.2


Once you receive your results, you get a clear picture of your strengths and weaknesses, so you know what subjects need more work. The College Board provides in-depth, personalized feedback for each question. You can also see how your scores compare to your peers on a national level. It is only in Grade 11, however, that your PSAT/NMSQ scores will be sent to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation who will determine if you are scholarship material. If you do particularly well on your PSAT/NMSQ, the NMSC will send scholarship applications to you through your school.3 It stands to reason that taking the PSAT/NMSQ in Grade 10 can only work in your favor.  Not only does it give you a practice run for the PSAT/NMSQ in Grade 11, which flags you up for free money, but, it is also good practice for the SAT in Grade 12.

Yet another advantage of taking the PSAT is that, by ticking a box on the test sheet, your name ends up on a host of college mailing lists and you will find yourself receiving information from a vast array of universities from all over the country. This could be very useful if you have not yet decided where you want to study. Even if you think you know where you would like to apply, it is good to know your options. It never hurts to broaden your horizons and you just might discover a university or two you hadn’t previously heard of.

Of course, nobody really likes to take tests, but the advantages of taking the PSAT/NMSQ make it a thoroughly worthwhile endeavor.  You know you will need to study and prepare for the SAT anyway, and the PSAT/NMSQ is an ideal way to get a feel for the SAT.  It will help you determine which subjects require those extra hours of study, and, with enough practice and high scores, this test could even be your ticket to a handsome scholarship.  Whether you are a sophomore or a junior, let October 15th be the day you take yourself one step closer to a perfect SAT score.



1 Ivy Global SAT. Canada. (24/09/12)

2 PSAT/NMSQT. Preparing. College (24/09/12)

3 National Merit Scholarship Corporation. (24/09/12)



Online Platform “EdX” To Offer High School Level Courses

Posted by: Editor EduPlan on Oct 2 2014 / Comments (0)


EdX was created for students and institutions that seek to transform themselves through cutting-edge technologies, innovative pedagogy, and rigorous courses.

Through its institutional partners, the xConsortium, along with other leading global members, we present the best of higher education online, offering opportunity to anyone who wants to achieve, thrive, and grow.

Thousands of students around the world have already registered for the first edX courses designed specifically for high school students.

The initiative, which was launched Sept. 9, includes 27 courses that cover primarily Advanced Placement program material and are available for free to anyone who wishes to enroll. The first new course, an edX version of AP Biology, will launch on Oct. 13, while the others will launch shortly after and into 2015.

EdX CEO Anant Agarwal wrote on the platform’s blog that the high school initiative will address what he called a “crucial need”―preparing high schoolers for the coursework they will encounter in college.

“This readiness gap between college eligibility and preparedness is costly not only to students, but also to families and institutions,” he wrote. “Our new initiative will address this severe gap and help alleviate these costly disparities.”


Eleven edX member schools, including MIT and the University of California, Berkeley, now offer high school-oriented MOOCs. Additionally, two American high schools and several other institutions of higher learning will also contribute courses and instructors to the platform. Harvard has not joined the initiative.

“We are interested in high school level courses and there are some initial conversations happening about building suitable content…but nothing is imminent,” HarvardX spokesperson Michael P. Rutter wrote in an email.

According to Teppo Jouttenus, a program manager for edX who oversees the high school initiative, edX began planning the launch of the high school platform in late 2013 and officially moved forward in May 2014 by asking edX members to propose intro-level and high school online courses.

“Even though edX was launched with the focus on college education, it was clear to everyone involved that this really could have potential for all kinds of learning,” Jouttenus said.

Daniel D. Garcia, a professor of computer science at UC Berkeley who has adapted one of his college courses into an edX course designed to fulfill requirements for AP Computer Science Principles, said that although the material in his edX is similar to what he offers at Berkeley, necessary changes must be made to accommodate high school learners.

“At ten miles up, time doubles,” said Garcia, who will be taking the year off to focus on developing the course.  “We’ll take a one-semester class and when you move it to a high school space, it becomes a one-year course.”

Jouttenus said he believes the new courses will cater to a variety of audiences, including high school students whose teachers may use the edX material as a supplement to their normal class and students from schools that do not offer AP courses.

Jeneen Graham, an AP Psychology teacher from St. Margaret’s Episcopal School in California, agreed and said that students from 45 different countries have already signed up for her new edX course, “Introduction to Psychology.”

“These are often students who don’t have access to this kind of material,” Graham said. “This is the first [initiative] of its kind to be speaking to a high-school level student.”

—Staff writer Meg P. Bernhard can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @Meg_Bernhard.

Original Article:

College Admissions……PART 2

Posted by: Claudine Vainrub, Principal of EduPlan on Oct 1 2014 / Comments (0)

Steps in the Admissions Process you Cannot Afford to Miss!


Now that you have submitted your applications, you are in the finish line for college admissions! It is time to work hard to be able to meet all college deadlines in full. The following requirements are essential in the application process and must be addressed in order to successfully complete the admissions process:


Be aware that the first deadline to submit some applications is October 15 (Georgia Tech, FSU, Yeshiva University and UNC Chapel Hill, among others). The second deadline is November 1st (this applies to all students who are pursuing Early Decision or Early Action decision options). Make sure you submit all your materials prior to the dates indicated, to be considered for admissions in your preferred deadline.

It is best to send letters of recommendations electronically via CommonApp.  The following explains in detail the electronic submission process:

a. To send the letters online, please submit the request directly from the CommonApp.  Please enter the information about the person who will be recommending the student in the section of the CommonApp called “School Forms”. The information to be entered is: name, last name, email and subject taught (teacher or counselor). The request will arrive electronically to the teacher or counselor. The student will not be able to see what the teacher writes but only when the recommendation was sent out.

b. If for any reason the letter of recommendation is sent out via regular mail, the procedure will be as follows:
i. Ask the counselor (in some cases especially with international students, the school’s principal) and two teachers to write the letters of recommendation. First, ask for them to complete the recommendations online. If that is not possible, ask them to write one letter of recommendation and have them print out the necessary copies for each one of the colleges or universities and then have them sign each of the original copies. If the signature is not original on all of them, the letters will not be valid.

ii. Ask them to fill out the original forms without their signature. Make as many copies as you need of the unsigned forms and then ask them to sign the 15 copies of each original. If the signature is not original, the form will not be valid.

iii. After having all these letters and  forms signed by each counselor or teacher, a packet must be put together that contains: letter from each recommender (counselor letter with form SSR, on one side,  then, letter of teacher #1 with form of teacher #1, and on the other side,  letter from teacher #2 with form of teacher #2). Then place each set in a sealed envelope with the school letterhead.


It is extremely important to understand how to send school transcripts to universities in the application process. Some colleges require ORIGINAL TRANSCRIPTS in sealed envelopes sent by the school. Others (especially colleges in the CommonApp and others with their own online applications, like University of Florida and Georgia Institute of Technology) want you to fill out a self-reported transcript within their application. Make sure that your transcript has been reported as received by the university/college where you sent it. This is a CRUCIAL part of the admissions process and you MUST make sure your colleges receive your transcripts in order to have complete applications for review. If your colleges do not receive your transcripts, they will not review your application. Check with each school to make sure they do receive your transcripts as they are requesting them.

Also request in your school information on the method to make requests for college transcripts. Follow the steps indicated by the school in order to complete the process.
If the colleges you are applying to are requesting official transcripts over the mail, DO NOT send COPIES of the ORIGINAL. Universities ask for ORIGINALS in sealed and stamped envelopes.


Always ask for extra sets of transcripts for yourself from your school, in case any university or college requests them.

Please submit your CSS Profile immediately. The FAFSA application for financial aid will have to wait until January 1st, since the new year application is the one colleges require, even when applying early.  If applying early, many colleges accept the CSS Profile, and this application is available for you to send anytime, even in October.

It is IMPORTANT to fill out the FAFSA application regardless of whether the student qualifies for financial aid or not. Submitting financial aid applications may also qualify the student for other financial aid or merit based scholarships. Students submitting these applications early, may use information of the income taxes of the current year. New financial aid forms come out on January 1st.

Parents whose children are in college, should begin tax preparation as early as possible to be able to submit accurate financial information.


Send the HIGHEST test scores. In the event you have different tests scores, make sure to send out the highest one of the SAT’s and ACT’s. Send them via College Board, or ETS. The scores are not sent out automatically to the colleges and universities that the student applies to, unless it is indicated in the original test application. If a test was retaken, make sure that you send out only the highest score achieved.


To send scores, contact CollegeBoard or ETS directly by going to their websites and login to your account. The order process is electronic. You can also reach both test providers over the phone.



Please call the college to find out if they require an interview with the prospective student. If they do, schedule one as soon as possible and schedule a visit on campus. Usually, Universities have an October 15 deadline to schedule interviews with the student.



Consider attending events in your area, related to the college you are applying for. By doing so, it will let the admission staff know your genuine interest in your school of choice.

It is IMPERATIVE that you do follow up of your application process. Once you submit your electronic application, colleges will send you a website, a login and password to do follow-up of the process. In that website, they will provide information on what you are missing in order to finalize the submission of your application process. You need to login to this site EVERY WEEK AT THE VERY LEAST!!! Failure to login and follow up your admission process can cost you a denial (if all documents are not received by a certain date, they will either deny you or move you to the next admission deadline). If the college website indicates you are missing any of your application materials, IMMEDIATELY contact the school in order to send the missing requirements right away or provide information regarding the college’s request.


In order for the application process to be considered as COMPLETE, it is imperative to send the application online AND all the requirements explained herein. If colleges receive one and not the other, the application will be considered INCOMPLETE and the student will not be evaluated for admission.

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