Tuck Announces New December Business Bridge Program

Check out our Dartmouth Tuck b-school zone!

Tuck Hall at Dartmouth

Tuck Announces New December Business Bridge Program Liberal arts undergrads have been attending the Tuck’s summer Business Bridge program for the last 18 years. Now the Tuck Business Bridge program will be adding a December option for students, starting December 2014.

This new session will be open to any undergraduate or graduate student, but it is designed for Dartmouth undergrads and will run December 1-19 and will cover (for the most part) the same topics covered during the four-week summer program (and will therefore be more intensive due to the shorter period of time). The program will introduce students to important business and managerial subjects (corporate finance, managerial economics, financial accounting, marketing, etc.), and will feature team projects, industry explorations, and career coaching.

4,000 undergrads have attended Bridge since its inception in 1997. About 30% of alumni have gone on to attend top b-schools.

Application deadlines for December Bridge are June 1, August 1, and October 1. There will be financial aid available for the December program.

Learn more about the program here.

Learn how to use sample essays to create an exemplary essay of your own! Click here to download our free report!


College Planning: May is for Making Your Case

Start your college applications off right by downloading our free special report!

The keys are incorporating your challenges into your college search.

Are you a high school junior planning to apply to top colleges and universities next year? This post is part of a series of posts that will help you prepare for next year’s application process. 

Oh, and if you don’t want to wait for the monthly posts, please download Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders. It’s all there.

Your high school path suddenly takes a detour. Your grades, which had been steady and consistent, take a nosedive. Perhaps it’s due to illness, personal or family issues, or a learning disability that eventually made itself clear. As you move forward into the summer before your senior year, it is time to consider whether or not this impacts the colleges you plan on applying to.

For most students, the answer is yes. Sometimes, the circumstances change your mind about how far you would like to be from home. In other cases, illness or other family issues have a financial impact that necessitates finding financial safety schools, or looking first to a nearby community college for a period of time. If your challenges impacted your GPA or course selection, then that also may impact the schools you choose to apply to.

Yes, you will have opportunities to explain your circumstances, and many times, you will be met with  a sympathetic reader on the other side of your application. Sympathy, however, does not guarantee  admission. Be prepared to discuss your situation. You can do this through your essay, an additional  statement, your guidance counselor recommendation, or, in some cases, a personal interview on campus with an admission counselor. In most situations, the admissions staff will be evaluating your response to the challenge. Did you overcome adversity? What did you learn from the situation? Is the college going to be able to meet any future needs you might have?

In most cases, it is to your benefit to discuss any aberrations or weaknesses in your academic  performance. The keys are incorporating your challenges into your college search and then finding the  appropriate avenue to explain your record.

Download Free: Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders


How Does the Essay Affect Your SAT Score?

Download Free: Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders

Love it or hate it, your essay will influence your SAT score.

Although the SAT essay is going to be optional before long (when the test changes in 2016), as of right now it’s a must. So, love it or hate it, your essay will influence your SAT score, and the admissions offices at the colleges you’ll apply to will see that score. So let’s answer one key question: how much does the SAT essay actually count for?

The Numbers

First, the essay is scored according to its own grading system. There will be two readers—real people, not a Scantron machine!—who read and judge your writing, each assigning a mark of zero to six. Zero is the worst (in case that wasn’t totally obvious), but it’s only used for the absolutely ungradable essays. If you write on a completely different topic than what’s assigned, for example, you will get a zero. That means no memorizing a fantastic essay ahead of time! You have to write on the topic they give you. You’d also get a zero if you wrote in another language, say, or simply put no clear thoughts on paper.

A six, on the other hand, is reserved for long, structured essays that are full of clear, concrete ideas, high-level vocabulary, and correct grammar. There’s a bit more to it, but that’s the gist.

After each reader goes through and marks your essay, the two scores will be added to give you a score of 0–12 (if you actually wrote anything remotely relevant, that’s 2–12).

Then that score, in turn, is added to the raw score from the Writing multiple-choice questions, since the essay is just a part of the Writing Section. The multiple-choice sections count for more points, altogether.

Then, once they have the raw total of your essay score and your multiple-choice score added up, they convert that score into the scaled, 200–800 score.

The Importance of the Essay

The scaled score is a little bit hard to explain—how it’s calculated, I mean—and it’s not worth really getting stuck talking about. All that matters is the zero to twelve score ends up affecting how many hundreds are in that scaled score. And I did say that the multiple-choice counts for more than the essay, but that doesn’t mean the essay isn’t important.

In truth, the SAT essay score counts for around 30% your total writing score—in the ballpark of 200 points, altogether. It’s not the only thing, but it’s a significant piece of the puzzle.

And what about those who say the essay doesn’t matter? Simply put, they’re usually wrong. Most schools were really skeptical of the Writing Section when this version of the SAT first debuted it back in 2005. And sure, some are still not totally signed on, but for the most part it does factor into your admissions. And 99% of the time, you’ll have no idea how much that lady who works in the admissions office cares about your Writing score—you’ll just have to trust that a high score is better than a low one.

And for that high score, you need to put some energy into preparing to write your essay!

Download Free: Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders

Magoosh SAT This post was written by Lucas Fink, resident SAT expert at Magoosh. For more advice on SAT prep, check out Magoosh’s SAT blog.

Can I Use Humor In My Application Essays?

Want to let your funny side show in your application essays? Here is what Linda Abraham has to say about humor in admissions:

For more application essay advice, download a free copy of our popular special report Five Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Personal Statement.


Get a GRIP on Team Questions

Learn 4 tips for displaying teamwork in your application essays.

Remember that a tight GRIP = a tight team

I took away a lot of wonderful concepts, frameworks and strategies from my MBA education that led to a successful admission career. In fact, one of the most powerful lessons I learned at Michigan (now Ross) was how to lead and work effectively on teams.

Professor Noel Tichy, one of the gurus of Organizational Behavior and Leadership offered us a simple acronym that has stuck with me to this day: GRIP.  His theory was as follows:  if everyone on the team works toward a common goal that each individual fully understands and to which he/she commits; and everyone on the team understands and has the skills to carry out his/her roles and responsibilities; and everyone on the team shares information in a way that is productive; and the team has agreed to a process by which they will accomplish the goal, then the team will be effective.  In fact, our teams would periodically do a GRIP check to make certain that our GOALS, ROLES, INFORMATION and PROCESS would align to keep the projects moving forward.  When a team has only one GRIP element out of place, the team will be dysfunctional.

I use this framework with my clients when they need to describe their own teams’ successes or failures.  It helps them pinpoint what really happened to the team and not point fingers at an individual that may not have carried or had the skills to carry his/her weight because the “R” was out of alignment.  It helps them understand that by not having a process “P” in place, misunderstandings may occur.  It helps them understand the importance of working towards a common goal.  And it helps them understand the importance of transparent and effective communication “I”.

So when you are asked about teamwork, remember that a tight GRIP = a tight team and I will remember to thank Dr. Tichy for his wisdom and insight and for telling me to get a GRIP on my team.  Thank you Dr. Tichy.

Download our special report- Leadership in Admissions

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein By , an accomplished Accepted.com consultant/editor (since 2008) and entrepreneur. Natalie is a former MBA Admissions Dean and Director at Ross, Johnson, and Carey.

GMAT, GRE, SAT, and All Things Test Prep

Bhavin-1-closeup-500x500GMAT, GRE, SAT… If one of these tests graces your future, tune in to our interview with Bhavin Parikh, CEO and founder of Magoosh, the leading online test prep company.

Listen to the recording of our conversation with Bhavin for great test prep advice and the lowdown on Magoosh.

00:02:17 – The story behind Magoosh and a word about it’s future.

00:04:10 – Why Bhavin is on a “mission to change the way people learn.”

00:06:09 – More effective than traditional test-prep: How do you know?

00:07:44 – What makes Magoosh different.

00:11:39 – The risks of self-study (Magoosh is like a gym membership).

00:14:24 – Best GMAT (and GRE) prep tips.

00:18:29 – The million dollar question: GMAT or GRE?

00:22:15 – SAT changes ahead.

00:25:43 – The Hansoo Lee Fellowship for Haas entrepreneurs.

00:27:58 – Bhavin’s stand on the debate about the value of the MBA to entrepreneurs.

00:30:18 – Last pieces of advice for applicants.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!

Admissions Straight Talk Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes so you don’t miss a single episode! *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Relevant Links:

•  Magoosh
•  Should You Retake the GMAT?
•  How to Put Your Best Foot Forward on Test Day 
•  The Hansoo Lee Fellowship
•  7 Steps to a Successful MBA Application

Related Shows:

•  Interview with Chris Ryan of Manhattan GMAT
•  Linda Abraham on Overcoming Weaknesses
•  MBA Admissions According to an Expert
•  CommonBond’s Story: A Revolution in Student Loans

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes!     Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!

5 Million to Share: The 43North Competition

Want to know more? Listen to the full episode!Do you have a great business idea but need 1 million dollars to get yourself started? Meet Peter Burakowski, Senior Marketing Manager at 43North.

Listen to the recording of our fascinating conversation with Peter to find out why 43North is going to give away $5 million dollars to eleven promising entrepreneurs and what you need to do if you want to be one of the winners.

00:01:43 – About 43North (and why you really want to win).

00:10:06 – Who can apply.

00:11:21 – Why retail and hospitality are excluded.

00:12:25 – The 43North application process.

00:14:30 – What are the judges looking for?

00:16:33 – Setting up shop in Buffalo.

00: 21:49 – How many applicants are vying for the gold?

00:23:37 – About the judges. (Will you be one of them?)

00:27:32 – Mentorship and community.

00:31:03 – A lot more than a t-shirt: what happens to the semi-finalists.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!

Admissions Straight Talk Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes so you don’t miss a single episode! *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Relevant Links:

•  43North
•  Which Universities Contribute the Most to VC-Backed Entrepreneurship?
•  MBA Admissions Special Reports
•  Grad School Admissions Special Reports
•  Med School Admissions Special Reports
•  Law School Admissions Special Reports

Related Shows:

•  MBAs Across America: The Coolest HBS Internship
•  Which Schools are Good for PE/VC and VC-Backed Entrepreneurship
•  Business, Law and Beyond: An Interview with John Engelman
•  Dr. Douglas Stayman Shares the Scoop on Cornell Tech NYC
•  Jeff Reid on Entrepreneurship
•  CommonBond’s Story: A Revolution in Student Loans

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes!     Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!

The Likely Letter

Check out Linda Abraham's 6 Tips for Waitlisted Applicants

April 1st is only a few weeks away.

I shared lunch today with a group of mothers of high school seniors.  Some of the students had applied and been accepted early decision; most had at least one acceptance from an early action or rolling admission college.  Their parents were anxiously waiting for the April 1st decision date.

The April first date used to loom large, like tax day, or your birthday, circled in red for all the significance it implied.  Were decision letters mailed on April first, or would you receive it on April first?  Then, like in other aspects of college admission, the arms race started.  “If only we could get our letters out a few days ahead of the others, our admitted students might be more inclined to matriculate,” one admissions office thought.  I don’t doubt their psychology.

Decisions began to trickle in during that last week of March.  A few even hit the email inbox in early March.  But for a few students, the surprise comes in the dead of winter: the likely letter.  The likely letter has its roots in the Ivy League; it was a tool used by Ivy League athletic programs to maintain interest in the absence of athletic scholarship. Currently, a number of colleges use some form of this letter to try and attract SOME of their most promising applicants.

Some “likely letters” are obvious indicators of admission; others are more veiled.  Colleges handpick these students carefully, and receipt of such a letter should imply forthcoming admission. Is it a guarantee of admission?  No, although a change in status would be unlikely without disastrous grades or disciplinary action in your current school.  Should you expect a likely letter?  No.  Some colleges send out only a handful.  The timing varies, and there is always a chance that your application hasn’t even made it through the reader queue yet. If you do receive one, yes, it’s good news.  If your neighbor, lab partner, or best friend receives one, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be admitted to the college of your choice.

Regardless, April 1st is only a few weeks away.  Your wait time is limited.  Hang in there.


Can You Get Accepted After Doing Something Stupid?

Check out our MBA Admissions 101 Pages!

Don’t try to hide a conviction.

The point of this article is not to tell you that you shouldn’t engage in disorderly conduct, petty theft, or other minor (or major) infractions (though you really shouldn’t…); what we want to discuss here is how you should overcome the obstacle of a criminal record when approached with the application question: “Have you ever been convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain.”

If you did something stupid, something deserving of a conviction or suspension, how do you prove to an admissions committee that you are worthy of their acceptance?

First, don’t try to hide a conviction. Clients often ask me if they really need to bring up their troubled past, and I tell them they do. Admissions committees (and the firms they hire) conduct background checks on applicants, and an unexplained discrepancy gives them an easy reason to reject your application or withdraw an offer of admission, so, when asked, own up to your behavior on your application.

Don’t make excuses. The biggest struggle I face when helping troubled clients is getting them to move past their tendency to justify their behavior: their writing tends to get overlong with explanations. Even very subtle self-serving statements can be read by an admissions committee as failure to take responsibility for your behavior, so leave out the excuses and directly address what you did.

Don’t go overboard addressing the infraction. The second biggest struggle I face is keeping clients from turning their applications into overblown mea culpas. A client once came to me having written two required essays and an optional essay all addressing a mistake from the past—too much! Often, a well-written response to an application’s “failure” essay question is enough.

Do show that you learned your lesson and that your past behavior won’t happen again. This step tends to be less of a struggle for clients, because usually they can show remorse, they can show the actions they took to atone for their behavior, and they can show how they matured from their experiences. Often such clients become heavily involved with their community, counseling others who tend toward their same behavior and managing to turn their failure into a success benefitting others.

Perfect execution of these suggestions certainly will increase your chances of admission, but they may not be enough to gain you acceptance to a top school. So avoid having to deal with this situation altogether: think twice and three times before you do something that you could regret for a very long time.

Learn how to use sample essays to create an exemplary essay of your own! Click here to download our free report!



SAT Aims to Reconnect with the Classroom

Download "Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders"!

The essay, which is now required, will become optional.

The College Board announced this week that it would be taking measures to restructure the SAT so that it becomes more connected to high school work. Here are some highlights outlined in the New York Times article on the subject:

• Students will no longer be tested on obscure, little-used vocabulary words.
• Math problems will focus mainly on proportional thinking, linear equations, and functions.
• A calculator will not be allowed for all sections of the exam.
• Low-income students will receive fee waivers and will be allowed to send scores to up to four colleges at no charge.
• The College Board in partnership with the Khan Academy will provide practice problems and tutorial videos online for free.
• The test will switch back to the 1600 scoring system from the current 2400 system.
• The exam will be available via computer or on paper.
• The essay, which is now required, will become optional.
• Test takers won’t be penalized for an incorrect answer (i.e. points won’t be deducted for guessing).

According to College Board president David Coleman, the exam should reinforce the skills that students are learning and using in high school, and shouldn’t simply be used to test test-taking tricks.

Many observers view these changes as steps that will make the SAT more like its competitor, the ACT, which has gained market share in recent years.

Download Free: Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders