Every year getting into the most elite and well-known colleges becomes more challenging. Many colleges to which admission used to be a near guarantee are now very selective. To receive acceptances to recognized colleges and universities students need to focus on their grades, work toward high standardized-test scores, show dedication and uniqueness in their extracurricular activities, and receive meaningful teacher and counselor recommendations.  This year my students were accepted to these institutions:

Duke, Georgetown, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill – Honors Program, University of Virginia, Northeastern, American University – Honors Program, Georgia Tech, Boston University, Boston College, Davidson, Colgate, Hamilton, Penn State, Babson, Scripps, University of Marland – Honors Program, Purdue, Virginia Tech, University of Delaware, Clemson – Honors Program, Emerson, Gettysburg, Rhodes, Case Western Reserve, Villanova, University of Maryland, N.C. State, University of Georgia, University Pittsburgh, University of South Carolina, Florida State, Colorado State, Temple University, James Madison University, University of Vermont, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, George Mason University, Goucher, Ohio University, Auburn University, High Point University, Providence College, Roger Williams University, Xavier University, St. Josephs, Bellarmine, University Alabama, University of Kentucky, Louisiana State University, Tennessee University, UMBC, Towson, York College, Frostburg, and Salisbury.

All of my students who applied Early Decision were accepted into their ED college or university.

Make decisions that allow you to enjoy most classes and be excited about your activities. This will help you reach your goals and lead you to academic excellence.  You do not need to have perfect grades, but know that your grades and the rigor of your curriculum are the most important elements in the evaluation process.

The grades juniors are earning right now are extremely important in the college admission process. Be aware that a student’s high school transcripts will only show six semesters of his or her grades through junior year. A student’s first-semester grades aren’t available to colleges until February of senior year, which is after Early Action and Early Decision notification dates. A student’s second-semester grades aren’t sent to the college until July, which is after the admissions deposit deadline of May 1.

Even a sophomore’s college transcript is two-thirds completed in June. Please get the best grades that you can, focus on the work and communicate with your teachers to see if extra credit is available.

This is from my article, What Your Guidance Counselor Won’t Tell You

Valedictorians are denied admission by elite institutions frequently.  According to 2009-2010 NCES data, there are more than 23,000 high schools in the U.S. and each one has a valedictorian. Further, according to the U.S. Dept. of Education, more than 35% of graduating seniors have an A average. There are a LOT of well-qualified applicants to Ivy League institutions and other elite colleges that don’t get in!  In-depth and unique extra-curricular involvement, excellent SAT/ACT scores, demonstrated leadership and awards for your talents may not be enough to secure a spot at a top-tier institution. These schools also look for passionate students who are already very accomplished in research, the arts, sports, academics, or philanthropic endeavors.

It’s almost always better to apply early. College admission offices want to put together their class as efficiently as possible. For some colleges, that means they’ll fill more than half of their freshman class with Early Action and Early Decision applicants. Read More…

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