Important news about the GMAT!

Posted by: Mass Media on Jul 7 2014 / Comments (0)

Score Preview Added to Graduate Management Admission Test

Test Takers to Be Able to See Scores Before Deciding Whether to Report Them

RESTON, VA–(Marketwired – Jun 25, 2014) – Prospective business students taking the Graduate Management Admission Test® (GMAT®) exam will now be able to preview their unofficial scores before deciding whether to report or cancel them, the Graduate Management Admission Council® announced today. The score reporting feature is available to all test takers and will take effect at all 600 test centers around the world that administer the GMAT exam beginning on Friday, June 27, 2014.

“We are pleased to offer this feature as part of our efforts to make preparing for and taking the GMAT exam easier,” said Ashok Sarathy, GMAC vice president, product management. “The new score reporting feature gives test takers more certainty and control in the testing process and in how their scores are reported to schools.”

The entire article can be found here

The Common Application

Posted by: Claudine Vainrub, Principal of EduPlan on Jul 3 2014 / Comments (0)

common app

Applying for college this year?  Congratulations!  You have a new best friend.  It’s called the Common Application ( and its sole purpose is to make your life easier during these stressful months of preparing for your next stage in life.  You’ve made it to your final year of high school, written your exams and even picked a few colleges you could imagine spending your next four years at.  Now comes the laborious part of actually filling out the applications and convincing the colleges of your choice that they think that you are a good fit for their school.  Thanks to the Common Application, you only need to fill out one application for all your college choices.

So what exactly is The Common Application?  In their own words, “The Common Application is, a not-for-profit membership organization that, since its founding over 35 years ago, has been committed to providing reliable services that promote equity, access, and integrity in the college application process.”1  Put simply, it is a standardized undergraduate college application which, is now accepted by 456 U.S. colleges (private and public).  It can be used by both first-year students and transfer students.   Some colleges are using this service exclusively, while others give the applicant a choice between using the Common Application or the school’s own application.  The Common Application and the school-specific applications are regarded as equals, so you don’t need to worry that one will get preference over the other.  You can complete the Common Application on-line and submit it electronically, or if you prefer, you can download hard copies and send them in the mail.  It is a secure, comprehensive, time-saving system for college applicants.

Of course, the first question is how does it work?  The Common Application is a refreshingly straightforward procedure.  You will need Adobe Reader on your computer in order to download the forms and that’s all.  You can print off the forms if you like, but the real benefits of this system come by filling out your forms on-line, saving you time by only needing to provide your information once.  You can stop and start and even change your information as necessary without losing your application.  There are downloadable forms for your vital statistics, art supplements, athletic supplements, teacher evaluations and school reports.  Many colleges require an additional supplement specific to their institution, and you can download the form for those as well on the Common Application website. It really is a one-stop shop.

While saving you time and preventing writer’s cramp are attractive benefits of the Common Application, there are many more good reasons to use this system when applying to colleges.  According to the Peterson’s College Search website, “Member schools of the Common Application organization are allowed membership only if they adhere to a holistic applicant evaluation process.”  The Common Application is not just about test scores and school reports.  You get the opportunity to clearly portray details about yourself, your life, your personal situation and any other important factor a college may use to see if you are a good fit.  If that isn’t good enough reason to use the Common Application Peterson’s College Search website also suggests that, “As an added bonus, several dozen of these schools will reduce or waive their application fees if you apply online.”3  What’s not to love?

If you’re still not confident that the Common Application forms you submit will get you into the college of your dreams, you may wish to consider using the college-specific application for your top 2 or 3 choices.  “Doing this shows that you care enough to customize your application to those schools.” 4  Another important thing to remember when sending off your applications is to submit them on time.  Each school has varying application deadlines depending on how you choose to apply, but fortunately, the Common Application website provides a comprehensive grid listing all the deadlines for all their member schools so you don’t have to visit each school’s website.  Dates to bear in mind are August 1st when the Common Application goes live each year, and July 15th when they reset all their information and anything pending is wiped clean.

There seem to be very few disadvantages to using the Common Application.  It is a well-respected, widely-used, reliable system that “allows you to spend less time on the busywork of applying for admission, and more time on what’s really important: college research, visits, essay writing, and senior year coursework.”5




1The Common Application Mission. (22/08/11)

2A College Application That’s Easy to Access. Peterson’s College Search. (22/08/11)


4Applying to College: Common, Universal College, and Individual Applications. Ecampus (22/08/11)

The Common Application FAQs. (22/08/11)


UCA goes live for 2014-15 with 5 new member colleges

Posted by: Mass Media on Jul 2 2014 / Comments (0)

Here is some very useful information just published by Nancy Griesemer DC College Admissions Examiner

The Universal College Application (UCA) goes live today for 2014-15, with an upgraded website and five additional member colleges.

Joining recent additions to the UCA roster, which now includes the University of ChicagoBrandeis and Duke in addition to Harvard,Johns Hopkins and Princeton, are Agnes Scott College, American University, Rice UniversityUtica College, and Vanderbilt University.

Rice University is pleased to announce our decision to become a member of the Universal College Application,” said Julie M. Browning, Dean for Undergraduate Enrollment at Rice University. “We believe that the expanded access and ease of use of the Universal College Application will be beneficial to many students, counselors, and teachers involved in the college search process.”

And this year’s application goes a step further by offering more resources than ever.

Rather than seeking feedback from “select” communities of users, the UCA provided a beta test site for any counselor—school based or independent—to explore the software and make recommendations for improvement. In addition, a survey was circulated to the entire admissions community for input on how to make the application more user-friendly particularly for low-income and/or first generation students.

As a result, changes were made to the website in ways designed to make the process of applying to college easier and much moreaccessible.

For example, knowing that not everyone has access to the internet 24/7, the UCA added lots of print buttons with downloadable materials and explanations, including clearly stated requirements and deadlines. The materials can be printed for hardcopy files or moved to virtual folders to help students keep track of what colleges want when.

The UCA has also added several new college search functions to make it easier to find colleges based on location and majors. These additions are works-in-progress, but applicants can expect to find an increasingly more robust search engine based on data colleges provide to the UCA.

And for applicants who need a little reminding, the UCA has introduced a new feature linking deadlines to online calendars. Simply search for UCA colleges on your list and click on the appropriate deadline—Early Action (EA), Early Decision (ED) or Regular Decision (RD)—to generate a reminder.

While making small adjustments to the application form—the suggested word limit for the personal statement has been increased to 650—features that differentiate the UCA from other application products remain part of the attraction for member institutions and applicants.

“Applicants can choose to upload an essay instead of typing it online. They can upload Additional Information, whether it’s a resume or something else they feel is essential to promoting themselves to the colleges. They can easily edit their application if they wish to submit different information to different colleges, such as an essay or major,” said Brian Ejsmont, head of Product Development for the UCA. “The applicant can choose to do what is best for them.”

And applicants are free to start submitting forms as early as July 1—getting a solid start before August sports and marching band take over.

The UCA will be uploading essay supplements as they receive them over the next few weeks from member colleges. A number are already available including prompts for the University of Chicago, Goucher College, and Emerson.

For more information and a, introduction to the Universal College Application, visit the UCA website. And watch for new colleges as they are added to the membership list throughout the summer.

The original article is found on

Ranking Colleges by Selectivity

Posted by: Claudine Vainrub, Principal of EduPlan on Jul 2 2014 / Comments (0)
Here is a list of colleges as classified by their selectivity, according to criteria developed by Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges (2009). The list can be sorted alphabetically, by state or by selectivity group. For selectivity categories, 1 indicates “most competitive,” 2 is “highly competitive plus,” 3 is “highly competitive,” and 4 is “very competitive plus.” Related Article »
Institution Name
Barron’s Selectivity Category
Amherst College MA 1
Barnard College NY 1
Bates College ME 1

To view the entire list, visit the original article by The New York Times, Here

What’s the Noodle?

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


Noodle is an extensive that helps you find the perfect educational opportunity. From k-12, to tutors, to graduate degrees, to weekend classes, Noodle connects people with each other and educational options.

“Noodle will tell you not just a list of colleges matching your search criteria—if you enter your grades and transcript information, it can tell you which ones you are likely to get into, and which ones are rated most highly by students like you.” -NPR

Check out Noodle for more information!

What to do and what not to do when visiting colleges

Posted by: Claudine Vainrub, Principal of EduPlan on Jun 30 2014 / Comments (0)


Before accepting an admissions offer from a college, a college visit can provide valuable feedback on whether that institution provides the best fit for you as a college student. Rather than banking on a college website, make sure that you visit colleges. The main advantage of doing this is that you are going to get first-hand information and also get a feel of the college which is quite important as you are going to spend plenty of your time there. It is very different to hear opinions, see the website and even read books regarding a college. Everything can seem ideal when reading about it, until you get there. What to do, when to visit, which colleges should I visit? Here are some answers regarding this important topic in college admissions.


“In my opinion, summer is an ideal time to visit colleges. It is not only convenient for students but also for their family members. Further, majority of colleges run courses during the summer months, you can visit classes and talk to enrolled students,” pointed out Hadim Nazar. However, some will refute this statement by saying that you cannot grasp the true college spirit in the summer, when most students are away. Either way, if you have no other better choice, visiting during the summer will ensure that you have more time to devote to the visit, as opposed to rushing so that you can get back home without missing school days.


When visiting colleges, your focus should be on finding important details such as what degree programs are being offered by schools of your choice, what are specific admission criteria that might apply in your case, such as the need to conduct an interview, an audition, provide a portfolio, or others. During your visit, try to talk to admission officers and inquire what types of student characteristics they are looking for in their students. Do not be afraid to ask questions, it is important for you to interview them, as much as they are interviewing you – there needs to be a fit. It is the responsibility of admission officer to guide you through the entire admission process. If you do not satisfy the eligibility criteria, chances are that you are not going to get an admission in the degree program of your choice.


Take your visit seriously!


“One out of four college freshmen do not return sophomore year to the same college they first enrolled in? Some students don’t return after the first semester. There are plenty of reasons for this, but significant one is that they don’t “like” the college that they chose. That is where students must take college visit seriously,” said Richard Jenkins. Often, students and their parents didn’t know enough about the college before making a decision regarding the admission. The college visit will help you assess with a better understanding what your chances are of excelling while immersed in that college’s environment.


How many colleges should you visit?


Even before you make any college visits, make sure that you interact with your parents and high school counselor about the colleges that can give your academic future a boost and why you think they might be tailor made for you. “Do not settle on just one college. This is a mistake commonly made by many students. Even if you have a first choice in mind, your decision is only going to be fruitful when you compare your first choice college with at least three to four other colleges,” pointed out Wridhaman Saha of Progressive Institute. You may not believe at first, but there can be more than one college presenting a great fit for you, and keeping your mind open to different and varied alternatives can be favorable. My suggestion is to choose a portfolio of colleges to visit, just like you are choosing a portfolio of colleges to apply to. Out of your list of colleges to apply to, find at least one that is larger, one mid-size and a smaller school. Take a look at the three and assess in which environment you would feel more comfortable. Look for a school located in a rural area, and one in a city. Are collegiate sports important for you? Do you want to be in a city? If so, what are the advantages and disadvantages of going to a college located, for example, in New York City. These are questions you need to ask to yourself not only to choose schools but once you visit, to the admissions staff.  You can be happy at number of colleges — if you chose them carefully. In short, make sure that you don’t limit yourself to a single choice. If it falls through, you’ll be scrambling.


Role of Admissions office:

College visits are normally done through an Admissions Office. As a student, you need to call or e-mail Admissions Office and get the name of the admissions counselor you talk to, as well as schedule a tour. Going forward, you are going to deal directly with the admissions counselor. Parents should ask if they will get printed details before the visit. Let the counselor know well in advance that you are interested in visiting. The admissions officers are there to market the school and find students that will have a great fit. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, while being formal as a job interview and making sure to have done your homework. Show your interest while being thorough on the things that are important to you. In this way, both the admissions officer and you will ensure making the right decision on fit, helping you become successful in the admissions process and in your future at the school of your choice.




How Early Can You Start Planning For College?

Posted by: Claudine Vainrub, Principal of EduPlan on Jun 27 2014 / Comments (0)

Untitled design

Most people think that starting for college is something to be considered when they are their senior years of high school. It’s actually better to start plans and preparations for college much earlier. Actually the right time to being thinking about college is around the sixth or the seventh grade.  Why?

This is the time when a student’s skills and abilities start getting shaped up. They are given opportunities to enhance their talents and skills, as this is the time for joining extracurricular activities. This is also the time when they would start to like certain subjects and probably not like others, which is a point to be corrected right here itself.

If you start planning about how to get best prepared or college, right here, you are more focused, sharp and develop life  skills sooner than otherwise. All this helps when the time comes for you to begin vigorous preparations for college.

Planning early for college needs considerable thought. Here is a look at how you need to prepare yourself throughout your high school years, so that you come out with the best grades and enroll into a college of your choice.


Preparations in Sixth Grade

Freshman year in school is the time to get organized about studies and prepare yourself mentally for what’s ahead for you. Your study time must be well organized, as such habits set in clearly now and become high useful in later years.  You also need to:

  • Enroll in extracurricular activities that will be helpful for later, and especially when you apply for college. The sixth and the seventh grade is the time to think and get started in this.
  • Enroll in school programs that help to enhance academic skills. Some subjects are easy, while some take time to understand. A strong foundation is very important to get good grades throughout high school. So, check out academic programs that enhance your skills and abilities equally in all subjects of study.


Preparations in Eighth Grade

In the eighth grade it’s time to think about taking challenging academic courses. At this point it is important to consult with the school counselors so that you can take the right decision. This is also the time to take up AP courses.


Preparations in Junior High School

Junior high is the time to study and prepare for PSAT exams and AP exams. This is also the time to check about the various majors offered in colleges.  This gives you a better idea of the kind of courses you want to take from now onwards and help you focus more on that.  Here what you also need to look into:

  • If you are a member in a club, consider taking on leadership roles here. This will help to bring out your personality and help you to understand how to plan and be well-organized. Junior high school is the time to take on such roles and responsibilities.
  • Junior high is the time to concentrate more in academics and personality development. Doing voluntary work is a good thing at this time, as this gets you across to different social situations and people.


Preparations in Senior High School

Once you come to senior high, it is time for you to narrow down the list of colleges you want to apply. High importance needs to be paced in getting good academic score in your subject of study.  Extra curricular activities are important but not the only and only thing that you should concentrate. So keep this in mind

Now is the time to take the SAT test and collect letter of recommendation.  As soon as parents file their income tax form, you have to put in your FAFSA.

Those looking into scholarship should look into the various programs available and single out those that they want to take.  Taking to college recruiters for fee waivers is a good option.

Referred Links:



Taking Advantage of your Summer

Posted by: Claudine Vainrub, Principal of EduPlan on Jun 27 2014 / Comments (0)

Internships and other ways to make a use of your summer vacation

By Claudine Vainrub


1443876_70286320Gone are the days when summer vacation time was solely used for going to the beach, being lazy and relaxing around the house. With the competition evident in the college admissions race, it pays off to think about doing something more useful with your time of leisure.

Preparing for the college admissions race requires a lot of time and effort. However, it does not mean that high school students should deprive themselves from taking time off to relax from their daily routines. Recharging batteries for the next year of their high school education is as important as working towards their mid-term goals. However, there are many advantages to doing something useful also during the summer, and taking advantage of this time to learn new things in different environments can prove rewarding in many ways.

Taking on a summer job occupation can support your college goals by:

1-      Proving that you are a hard worker, willing to go the extra mile to show others that you are committed to your goals

2-      Providing the opportunity to experience a field of work you have interest in. This can also help you really know with more certainty if the industry which you are trying out and also the profession you are reviewing meet your expectations in terms of interests, career wants and needs. Most of the times, third party opinions are not as valid as making your own opinion regarding an occupation by having “been there, done that”

3-      Gain a leadership opportunity by undertaking a special assignment in your work environment, and completing it before the summer’s end. This will not only have the potential of becoming a great life lesson in completing tasks, time management and results delivery, but also, you will be making a difference for the affected group of people, and maybe even leaving a legacy

4-      Keeping your mind going throughout the summer, as opposed to getting lazy and becoming passive in your life. Living at a slower pace is sometimes needed, however, when doing so for long periods of time, it can be counterproductive, and you can easily form bad habits that stick. Maintaining a balanced level of activity during the summer is useful and beneficial your any high school student

5-      Providing opportunities for creative thinking as you go outside your bubble to learn about something completely different from what you devote yourself on a daily basis

6-       Experiencing new things that can lead to analysis on your career, goals and future

From the college admissions process perspective, taking on an internship, thinking creatively about what to do during the summer, and taking new action can become very rewarding for you as an applicant. The admissions committees of colleges and universities throughout the U.S. look for individuals that can contribute to the classes by bringing their own insight, initiative and creativity.

Every day more, classes become participative, leaving the lecture format almost entirely in a class of the old and discontinued ways to teach. With the more modern teaching methodologies such as case study, team projects and even cold-calling to enhance class participation, student input becomes invaluable to enrich instruction and the classroom experience as a whole. This is why colleges seek leaders, students with diverse experiences that will bring their own perspectives and thought processes to the discussions to take them to the next level.

To become a contributor of this class experience, we must seek new experiences that encourage creative and analytical thinking. The summer is the perfect time to seek these adventures, which will make a difference to us as individuals, and to the ones surrounding us, as we inspire them to think differently and profoundly about new topics in mind. Work and obligation can be fun too, especially when choosing a career you love. If you missed, the experience was also good as you might have saved yourself from studying for four years about an area you would not directly use in your professional future.

Here are some ideas of interesting summer internships:

1-      If you are a tennis/baseball/other sports player: Opening a tennis/baseball/sports league for underprivileged kids

2-      If you are an actor/singer/musician: Producing an amateur musical play or drama

3-      If you are good in sciences and interested in pre-med: Shadowing a doctor for a month

4-      Any student at all: Developing a small non-profit organization to support a specific cause (does not need to become large or fundraise large amounts of money)

5-      If you are interested in international relations, languages and other related fields: Forming an organization to cater underserved populations tutoring them in Spanish

6-      If you are interested in finance: Joining a bank, developing and executing a program to open small loans for lower income individuals and their small businesses.

With a little creativity and passion for a specific occupation, your summer can end up being so much more than expected, opening your eyes to new horizons and changing your life forever. Get ready to jump out of the couch and work to make your dreams a reality.

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