Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog » College Admissions http://blog.accepted.com Admissions consulting and application advice Thu, 23 Apr 2015 18:39:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.3 An Interview With Our Own: Dr. Rebecca Blustein http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/21/an-interview-with-our-own-dr-rebecca-blustein/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/21/an-interview-with-our-own-dr-rebecca-blustein/#respond Tue, 21 Apr 2015 17:55:40 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29919 Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. First up is…Dr. Rebecca Blustein. Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Do you […]

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 Learn more about Rebecca Blustein and how she can help you get accepted!

Rebecca and Alex Trebek. Rebecca was a contestant on Jeopardy in March 2012. She came in second place!

Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. First up is…Dr. Rebecca Blustein.

Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Do you hold any graduate degrees?

Rebecca: I earned my BA at UCLA (with a double major in English and Comparative Literature). After that, I went to Ireland for my MA in Old and Middle Irish. Then I returned to UCLA for my PhD in Comparative Lit. I’m a California native – I grew up in Oakland and now live in Los Angeles with my husband and two cats.

Accepted: What’s your favorite non-school/non-work book?

Rebecca: Hmm…that’s tough – there are too many to choose! I read almost constantly. (My Kindle is my insomnia buddy!) For light reading, I like mystery novels. To cheer me up if I’m having a bad day, PG Wodehouse is unbeatable. (I have a shelf full of his books.) And every once in a while I come across a book I think is so good I flip right back to the beginning and read it again as soon as I finish it. (Most recently: Hilary Mantel’s Bring up the Bodies.)

Accepted: How have your travels around the world influenced you as a writer?

Rebecca: In addition to living in Ireland for a year, I spent a summer in Russia and a month in Israel, and backpacked around Europe. I think that studying languages made me a better writer, and traveling made me a sharper observer.

Accepted: Can you talk about the road that led you to becoming an admissions consultant for Accepted? What jobs and experiences led you to this point?

Rebecca: During grad school, I took a job working as a counselor at the scholarship office on campus. That work – leading workshops, coaching students on their personal statements, helping them find funding for school, etc. – made me realize I really love working one-on-one with students to help them improve their writing and achieve their goals.

Accepted: What’s your favorite thing about consulting?

Rebecca: I enjoy working with people who are really excited about their plans for grad school – and it makes me happy to be able to help them through the process.

Accepted: How did funding applications become one of your specialties?

Rebecca: I worked at UCLA’s Scholarship Resource Center for four years before joining Accepted. I also successfully applied for various types of funding myself – so I know, first of all, what goes into the process, and second of all, what a big difference scholarships can make. With tuition rates what they are – across all disciplines and at all levels of study – scholarships are a great way of lowering loan debts and increasing access.

Accepted: What sorts of applicants do you mostly work with?

Rebecca: Master’s and PhD, across all fields. I also often work with medical and dental school applicants.

Accepted: What are your top 3 admissions tips?

Rebecca: Research your options. Plan ahead. And stay organized.

Learn more about Rebecca and how she can help you get accepted!

Download our free guide: GET YOUR GAME ON: Preparing for Your Grad School ApplicationAccepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

Graduate School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services
Med School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services
Plotting Your Way to a PhD: 6 Topics in PhD Admissions, a free admissions guide by Dr. Rebecca Blustein

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Prepare for the TOEFL With This Infographic! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/07/prepare-for-the-toefl-with-this-infographic/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/07/prepare-for-the-toefl-with-this-infographic/#respond Tue, 07 Apr 2015 15:04:02 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29808 There’s a lot to be tense about when it comes to the TOEFL speaking section–you’ll need to show your comfort level with the English language while speaking clearly into a microphone while surrounded by other test-takers who are also speaking into their microphones, and all of this done under a time crunch. That’s enough to […]

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Don't be afraid of the TOEFL.  Check out this infographic and get prepared!There’s a lot to be tense about when it comes to the TOEFL speaking section–you’ll need to show your comfort level with the English language while speaking clearly into a microphone while surrounded by other test-takers who are also speaking into their microphones, and all of this done under a time crunch. That’s enough to make even the most sophisticated test-taker break out in a sweat!

However, all is not lost. There is a lot you can do to practice and improve on this section of the test. And as a first step, you can study this handy TOEFL Speaking infographic that our friends at Magoosh TOEFL put together! It’s complete with info on the structure of the test, useful strategies to keep in mind, and helpful tips to make this section more manageable.

 So take a look at the infographic below and get confident about your TOEFL speaking skills!
Magoosh TOEFL Speaking Infographic
Learn how to use sample essays to create an exemplary essay of your own!
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• All Things Test Prep: The Test Prep Guru Speaks
• What is a Good TOEFL Score?
• Studying For GRE Verbal and the TOEFL at the Same Time

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A Wharton Grad Rids the World of Bank Fees http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/01/a-wharton-grad-rids-the-world-of-bank-fees/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/01/a-wharton-grad-rids-the-world-of-bank-fees/#respond Wed, 01 Apr 2015 22:38:31 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29958 BankMobile is bank with a vision, ATMs everywhere, no fees, and no branches. Want to know more, right? For the full scoop, listen to the entire recording of our conversation with Luvleen Sidhu, Wharton alum and Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at the mobile-only, fee-free bank for Millennials. 00:01:40 – Introducing Luvleen Sidhu and the […]

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Listen to the recording!BankMobile is bank with a vision, ATMs everywhere, no fees, and no branches.

Want to know more, right?

For the full scoop, listen to the entire recording of our conversation with Luvleen Sidhu, Wharton alum and Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at the mobile-only, fee-free bank for Millennials.

00:01:40 – Introducing Luvleen Sidhu and the many benefits of BankMobile.

00:07:05 – BankMobile is planning to become the “Uber of banking.” True or False?

00:09:09 – Up and coming at BankMobile: The “Can I Buy” feature.

00:10:58 – How BankMobile came to be.

00:13:40 – Did you really learn anything in b-school?

00:17:55 – What Luvleen wishes she knew before b-school: The application process doesn’t end after you are admitted!

00:20:19 – The best and worst about Wharton.

00:26:41 – Advice for Wharton applicants and future entrepreneurs.

Click here to listen to the show!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com

Related Links:

• Bankmobile
• BankMobile Aims to Become the Uber of Banking
• Wharton 2015 MBA Questions, Deadlines, Tips
Get Accepted to The Wharton School

Related Shows:

• CommonBond: How Two Wharton Grads Revolutionized Student Loans
• The Wharton Executive MBA Program: An Insider’s View
• Entrepreneurship at Stanford GSB: Carlypso Drives Down the Startup St.
• Making International Student Loans a Prime Investment
• An HBS Entrepreneur Promoting Career Flexibility
• Entrepreneurship at UCLA Anderson
• Which Schools are Good for PE/VC and VC-Backed Entrepreneurship

Get Accepted to Wharton

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Will the Final 4 be Your Top Choice Schools? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/31/will-the-final-4-to-be-your-top-choice-schools/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/31/will-the-final-4-to-be-your-top-choice-schools/#respond Wed, 01 Apr 2015 02:52:08 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29755 One story-line that pops up frequently this time of year is the idea that a school that does well in the NCAA tournament will see an increase in application numbers, or in the number of students enrolling. This is popularly known as the Flutie Effect, after Doug Flutie of Boston College, whose dramatic game-winning Hail […]

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Click here for the 5 fatal flaws to avoid on your essays

Are college sports more than a game for you?

One story-line that pops up frequently this time of year is the idea that a school that does well in the NCAA tournament will see an increase in application numbers, or in the number of students enrolling. This is popularly known as the Flutie Effect, after Doug Flutie of Boston College, whose dramatic game-winning Hail Mary pass in a 1984 game has been credited with raising the college’s profile among applicants and leading to a dramatic increase in applications.

A 2009 study by economists Jaren and Devin Pope suggested that participating in the NCAA basketball tournament does translate into higher undergraduate application rates the following year: a 1% increase for teams that make the tournament, 3% for teams that make the Sweet 16, 4-5% for teams that make the Final 4, and up to 7-8% for the champion.

A 2013 working paper by Doug Chung at HBS also explored the relationship between college athletics and applications, and found that applications do rise at schools that experience success in basketball and football. Chung regards athletic success as a form of advertising for universities.

Is athletic success a factor in your decision-making process?

If you’re applying to graduate school, are you interested in a field related to athletics, such as sports management or marketing, or sports medicine? Were those interests shaped by your experience of intercollegiate athletics? Let us know!

grad 5 Fatal Flaws

Rebecca BlusteinBy Dr. Rebecca BlusteinAccepted.com consultant since 2008, former Student Affairs Officer at UCLA’s Scholarship Resource Center, and author of the ebook, Financing Your Future: Winning Fellowships, Scholarships and Awards for Grad School. Dr. Blustein, who earned her Ph.D. at UCLA, assists our clients applying to MS, MA, and Ph.D. programs. She is happy to assist you with your grad school applications.

Related Resources:

• Athletic Appeal in Admissions
Preparing for College in High School
• From Example to Exemplary

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March Madness and Story Time http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/25/march-madness-and-story-time/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/25/march-madness-and-story-time/#respond Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:38:36 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29749 Is your bracket busted yet? (Probably.) One of the things that draws even casual sports fans to March Madness is the storylines—the last-minute excitement, the players’ personal stories, the upsets, the Cinderella runs deep into the tournament. And during the tournament, absolutely everything becomes a story. As I write, one of the top stories on […]

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Can your application tell a story?Is your bracket busted yet? (Probably.)

One of the things that draws even casual sports fans to March Madness is the storylines—the last-minute excitement, the players’ personal stories, the upsets, the Cinderella runs deep into the tournament.

And during the tournament, absolutely everything becomes a story. As I write, one of the top stories on Yahoo Sports is about the chair that GA State coach Ron Hunter fell out of in excitement when his son hit a game winning shot. Yes—the chair, which is now a treasured object of superstitious reverence. Of course! But another great story (and one of the enduring images of this year’s tournament, even after GA State was eliminated in the next round).

Stories make the game more exciting by giving us a personal connection to it. That’s how we tend to relate to the world around us. And I think it’s a useful thing to remember when you’re writing application essays: stories matter.

Your personal experiences add depth and interest to your application essays, helping you stand out and illustrating the qualities and goals you’re explaining. As you prepare to write, think about the stories you want to tell. It can be helpful to do some prewriting—think through some of the experiences you want to write about and what you learned from them, as well as how they relate to what you want to do in the future. This will give you some good material to draw on in your essay(s).

And…Go Bruins! (If they’re eliminated by the time you read this—better luck next year.)

Learn how to use sample essays to create an exemplary essay of your own!

 

Rebecca BlusteinBy Dr. Rebecca BlusteinAccepted.com consultant since 2008, former Student Affairs Officer at UCLA’s Scholarship Resource Center, and author of the ebook, Financing Your Future: Winning Fellowships, Scholarships and Awards for Grad School. Dr. Blustein, who earned her Ph.D. at UCLA, assists our clients applying to MS, MA, and Ph.D. programs. She is happy to assist you with your grad school applications.

Related Resources: 

• 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Application Essays
• Telling Your Story in Your Application Essay
• MBA Application Essays: All You Need is a Story

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It’s about Way More than the Grades at the Ross BBA Program http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/24/its-about-way-more-than-the-grades-at-the-ross-bba-program/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/24/its-about-way-more-than-the-grades-at-the-ross-bba-program/#respond Tue, 24 Mar 2015 16:56:45 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29701 Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what are you studying? Danny: I am from West Bloomfield. I am a senior at the University of Michigan studying Business. I also have a passion for technology so have taken various computer science and product design classes over the years. […]

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Download: 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in your Grad School Statement of Purpose Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what are you studying?

Danny: I am from West Bloomfield. I am a senior at the University of Michigan studying Business. I also have a passion for technology so have taken various computer science and product design classes over the years.

Accepted: Why did you choose Ross’s BBA program? How is it the best program for you?

Danny: I chose the Ross BBA program because of my interest in business from a young age. Ross was the best program for me because of its flexibility and variety of classes. While I knew I was interested in business, I had no idea what that really meant or what specifically I was interested in. Ross gave me the ability to figure this out.

Accepted: Which other programs had you considered when you were applying to schools a few years ago?

Danny: Computer Science, School of Information

Accepted: Now that you’re about to graduate, can you share some advice with students who are may be starting out their undergraduate careers in the fall? What do you wish you would’ve known before starting the BBA program?

Danny: It’s about way more than the grades. The people you meet and the experiences you share are more important and valuable than any single class or skill you learn.

Accepted: Can you share some job highlights with us? What are some of your most recent jobs?

Danny: Last summer, I worked at Lightbank, an early stage VC firm in Chicago. I did some traditional analyst work but I spent most of my time as a designer-in-residence. 

Accepted: Do you have a post-graduation job lined up yet? What role (if any) did Ross’s career services department help you in this process?

Danny: Yes, I will be working at Trunk Club in Chicago as a Product Designer. Ross Career Services didn’t play any role directly (I recruited only off-campus) but I have done a few mock interviews/career workshops over the years.

Accepted: Do you plan on pursuing additional degrees?

Danny: Not in the near future, but it’s a possibility down the road. In my current field (technology/design), the degree you have is not as important as experience/skills. However, I could see myself going back to school to get an MBA eventually.

Accepted: Do you have any other tips for our applicants?

Danny: Figure out what you really want to do before applying. A genuine and honest application will get you further than anything else.

For one-on-one guidance on your college applications, please see our College Application Packages.

You can read more about Danny’s journey by checking out his website, http://dannyfreed.com/, or by following him on Twitter (@dannyfreed). Thank you Danny for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

Download 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid to learn how to eliminate the most common flaws in your application essays.
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes
Michigan Ross B-School Zone
• An IE Grad Reflects on Spain, School, and Career Searching

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Reminder: Actionable Postbac Tips Webinar on Wednesday! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/17/reminder-actionable-postbac-tips-webinar-tomorrow/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/17/reminder-actionable-postbac-tips-webinar-tomorrow/#respond Tue, 17 Mar 2015 18:17:42 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29056 If you haven’t yet registered for Wednesday’s webinar, 9 Keys to Postbac Acceptance in 2015, then please take a moment to do so now (it literally will take you a few seconds). The tips that you will learn in this webinar will be instrumental to helping you choose wisely and then apply successfully to the BEST […]

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If you haven’t yet registered for Wednesday’s webinar, 9 Keys to Postbac Acceptance in 2015, then please take a moment to do so now (it literally will take you a few seconds). The tips that you will learn in this webinar will be instrumental to helping you choose wisely and then apply successfully to the BEST postbac program for you.

Postbac CoverRemember, acceptance to a postbac program could make or break your future as a physician. Don’t miss out – this webinar is for you!

Details:
Date: Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Time: 5:00 PM PST/8:00 PM EST

Click Here to Save Your Spot! Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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3 Ways to Make Your Own Student Loan Luck http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/17/3-ways-to-make-your-own-student-loan-luck/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/17/3-ways-to-make-your-own-student-loan-luck/#respond Tue, 17 Mar 2015 15:47:38 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=25942 “Diligence is the mother of good luck.”  – Benjamin Franklin If you’re one of the 37 million Americans with student loans, you know it’s going to take a lot more than a few four-leaf clovers to make your debt disappear. You wouldn’t rely on winning the lottery in order to pay your loans, would you?  […]

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Not sure how to fund your MBA? Listen to this podcast for pointers.

Luck can’t pay off student loans, but YOU can!

“Diligence is the mother of good luck.”  – Benjamin Franklin

If you’re one of the 37 million Americans with student loans, you know it’s going to take a lot more than a few four-leaf clovers to make your debt disappear. You wouldn’t rely on winning the lottery in order to pay your loans, would you?  Unfortunately, neglecting to understand the various loan repayment options can be just as foolish, because you may be missing out on opportunities to reduce or even eliminate your debt burden. Essentially, leaving your loans to chance could mean leaving money on the table.

Rather than wait around for good fortune to find you, take a proactive approach by seeing if one of these three options apply to you:

1.  Spend money to save money
. All education loans, whether federal or private, allow for penalty-free prepayment, which means that you can pay more than the monthly minimum or make extra payments without incurring a fee. Prepaying may sound painful, but the benefits can be huge. The more you do it, the sooner you’re done with your loans – and the less interest you spend over the life of the loan.

Let’s say you have a $100,000 student loan balance at a 6.8% interest rate and 10-year term. If you increased your monthly payment by just $100, you’d save about $5,600 in total interest and pay off your loans about a year early. Or perhaps you pay down an extra $2,000 per year using your annual bonus, saving yourself about $7,400 in interest and paying off your loans about 1.5 years early. Every borrower’s situation is different, but you can do the math on your own loans with a calculator like this.

One thing to note – prepaying is most effective when the extra cash is applied directly to your principal, rather than being earmarked for future payments.  It’s best to check with your loan servicer to see what their policy is before increasing or adding extra payments.

How to get lucky: Commit to increasing your monthly student loan payment each time you get a raise and/or putting a percentage of every bonus toward your loan balance.

2.  Recalibrate your rate
. One of the fastest ways to slash your student loan burden is to lower the interest rate on your loans, which can only be accomplished through the act of refinancing. In addition to reducing the amount of interest you pay on your loan over time, refinancing can allow you to make lower monthly payments or shorten your payment term (so that you can be done with your loans sooner).

Student loan refinancing is still a relatively new option, so many borrowers who could be eligible to refinance aren’t even aware the opportunity exists. Which is unfortunate, because the savings can be significant.  For example, the average SoFi borrower saves $9,400 when they refinance with us.*  In addition, some private lenders offer additional benefits to borrowers when they refinance, such as complimentary career coaching and entrepreneurial support.

How to get lucky: When shopping around for a refinance lender, be sure to compare interest rates as well as other potential benefits.

3.  Ask for forgiveness. What borrower hasn’t fantasized about winning the lottery and paying off their loans in one fell swoop?  Unfortunately, you’re more likely to get hit by an asteroid than win a seven figure jackpot. So what’s the next best thing? How about making your student loan balance magically disappear.

It sounds too good to be true, but this is the basic idea behind student loan forgiveness. Surprisingly, there are quite a few ways to get your loan slate wiped clean, but the most well-known one (and the one that applies to the most people) is the government’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. Under the program, borrowers who work full-time for a qualifying public service organization may be eligible to have federal loans forgiven after 10 years of on-time monthly payments.

Before you skim over this section and assume that PSLF won’t apply to you, consider this: The CFPB estimates that about one in four working Americans has a job that meets the definition of “public service”, and yet they believe a “substantial sum” is left on the table by borrowers who don’t take advantage. This may be because the definition is broader than what most people would expect – for example, soldiers, doctors at non-profit hospitals and public defenders are all examples of professions that may qualify a borrower for PSLF.

How to get lucky: Find out if you qualify for PSLF or other forgiveness programs by contacting your student loan servicer.  

*SoFi average borrower savings assumes 10-year student loan refinancing with a weighted average rate of 7.67% and a loan balance of $86,000, compared to SoFi’s median 10-year rates of 5.875% (with AutoPay).

This post is by Anna Wolf and originally appeared on the SoFi Blog. SoFi connects alumni borrowers and investors to refinance private and federal student loans.

Learn how to use sample essays to create an exemplary essay of your own!

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

• SoFi: Alumni Funded Student Loans
Tips for Financing Your MBA
• PayScale: How Much You Can Earn, and How to Earn It

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Three Topics to Discuss in Waitlist Letters http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/12/three-topics-discuss-waitlist-letters/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/12/three-topics-discuss-waitlist-letters/#respond Thu, 12 Mar 2015 15:44:35 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29324 If you are on a waitlist, Linda Abraham has something to tell you: Related Resources: • College Applicants: Waitlisted or Rejected? • Help! I’ve Been Waitlisted! • How to Write Waitlist Update Letters Tags: College Admissions, College Video Tips, Grad School Admissions, Grad Video Tips, Law School Admissions, Law Video Tips, MBA Admissions, MBA Video Tips, […]

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If you are on a waitlist, Linda Abraham has something to tell you:

Get off that waitlist! Listen how Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• College Applicants: Waitlisted or Rejected?
Help! I’ve Been Waitlisted!
How to Write Waitlist Update Letters

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4 Ways to Show How You’ll Contribute in the Future http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/06/4-ways-show-youll-contribute-future/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/06/4-ways-show-youll-contribute-future/#respond Fri, 06 Mar 2015 17:33:41 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29350 Schools want to see that the applicants will actively participate in and contribute to their student bodies and alumni communities, not to mention the greater community and society. Yet grandiose, declarative statements and promises to be a superlative do-gooder are unpersuasive. So how is an applicant to show what he or she will do in […]

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Click here to learn how to demonstrate leadership in your application

Will your past allow the adcom a peak into your future?

Schools want to see that the applicants will actively participate in and contribute to their student bodies and alumni communities, not to mention the greater community and society. Yet grandiose, declarative statements and promises to be a superlative do-gooder are unpersuasive.

So how is an applicant to show what he or she will do in the future? Point to the past. Most admission committees are firm believers that past behavior reveals abilities and interests and is a good predictor of the future.

Here are four tips to help you relay the message that you plan on achieving greatness by contributing to your school/community/world-at-large, by highlighting your impressive past.

1. Share the story of past achievements and quantify if possible the impact you had. – By showing how you’ve already contributed, you demonstrate that you have the initiative, people skills, and organizational talent to make an impact in the future.

2. Discuss skills you’ve developed that will aid to future contributions. – You can show the adcoms that you’re prepared to give back by proving that you’ve got the skills and the tools needed. Use evidence to support your skill development by talking about how you’ve worked to build your skill set, i.e. by taking a course or through work experience, etc. Analyze your success and failures (when asked for the latter) to reveal that you are a thinking, growing, dynamic individual. And when asked about failures or setbacks, discuss what you learned from the tough times. Demonstrate a growth mindset.

3. Show how your skills are transferable. – To contribute to your classmates or school, you’ll need to show how your unique talents or experiences can be shared with your classmates, professors, or work colleagues. Talk about how your skills, understanding, and ethics can impact those around you.

4. Mention how your target school will help. – Now the adcom readers know that you’ve got skills and that you’re ready to share them. Next, you need to reinforce the idea that their school is THE PLACE to accelerate your upward trajectory.

A good essay on your contributions will cover each of the above topics – what you’ve done in the past, how you’ve developed your skills, how you plan on sharing that knowledge, and how your target school will help you effect change. Remember, the past reveals much about the future, so share the story of what you’ve done and how you’ve reached this point and you’ll be well on your way to proving that you’ve got what it takes to contribute in the future.

The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes: Get your free copy!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

Leadership in Admissions
How to Prove Character Traits in Essays
Does Extracurricular Equal Extra Credit?

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3 Tips for Parents of Grad School Applicants http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/01/3-tips-parents-grad-school-applicants/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/03/01/3-tips-parents-grad-school-applicants/#respond Sun, 01 Mar 2015 17:22:41 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28344 I’ve been working in graduate admissions for almost 20 years so I have witnessed this trend firsthand: Parents are playing a much larger role in the application process these days than they used to. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – parents can provide a lot of much-needed support (financial, practical, emotional) for their kids […]

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Download Get Your Game on Special Report

Make sure your child’s in the driver’s seat

I’ve been working in graduate admissions for almost 20 years so I have witnessed this trend firsthand: Parents are playing a much larger role in the application process these days than they used to.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – parents can provide a lot of much-needed support (financial, practical, emotional) for their kids during the admissions process; but I cringe when I see parents overstepping their bounds, attempting to control their children’s actions and outcomes.

How much involvement is TOO MUCH involvement for parents of applicants? Check out these 3 tips:

• Make Sure Your Child’s in the Driver’s Seat. – When you take the lead in the admissions process, you’re essentially telling your child: “I don’t think you have what it takes to manage this process yourself.” And what you’re telling the school is: “My kid isn’t competent or ambitious enough to apply to school himself.” You can help your child apply, surely, but make sure that’s what you’re doing – helping them, and not the other way around.

• Your Child’s Voice Should be the Sole Voice of this Operation. – All communication with the school should be between your child – not you, the parent – and the school. Likewise, the voice your child uses to write her application essays should be her voice – and not yours. And it should go without saying that this advice relates to interviews as well. Help, guide, coach, and edit, but please never speak for your child.

• Help Your Child Deal with Disappointment. – Be it a rejection or a poor score, a parent needs to understand the role they play here. First, your child is the one experiencing this distress, not you. By showing your disappointment, you will only make your child feel worse, not to mention potentially preventing your child from continuing to move forward. Instead, allow your child time to express disappointment, provide the appropriate amount of comfort (you know your child best), and then encourage your child to persevere.  Suggest that your applicant explore alternatives and examine the factors he or she can change to improve the outcome in the future. Play the role of the motivational coach; don’t play the blame game.

Not sure you can effectively guide your child through the grad school admissions process (in a balanced, non-pushy way of course)? Browse our catalog of services to access professional guidance today!

Get Your Game On: Free Special Report

Linda AbrahamBy Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Related Resources:

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid on Your Grad School Statement of Purpose
• The Biggest Application Essay Mistake
•  Admissions Tip: BE YOURSELF!

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An HBS Entrepreneur Promoting Career Flexibility http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/25/hbs-entrepreneur-promoting-career-flexibility/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/25/hbs-entrepreneur-promoting-career-flexibility/#respond Wed, 25 Feb 2015 17:31:10 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29115 Check out our interview with HBS alum and entrepreneur Allison O'Kelly exploring the Flex Movement, the value of b-school for entrepreneurs, HBS, and more.

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Click here to listen to our conversation with Allison O'KellyPeople looking for traditional 9 to 5 desk jobs almost seem to be the exception in 2015. HBS grad and entrepreneur Allison O’Kelly is all for the change.

Want to know more? Listen to the full recording of our talk with Allison, Founder/CEO of Mom Corps and champion of the Flexibility Movement.

00:01:31 – Introducing Allison O’Kelly and Mom Corps.

00:04:13 – The value of the “traditional route” of spending a few years in the workforce before launching a startup.

00:05:41 – How an I-don’t-know-what-I-want-to-do-with-my-life moment shaped Allison’s future.

00:07:27 – Pros and cons of “staffing up” your small business.

00:10:37 – How helpful is b-school for an entrepreneur?

00:16:10 – What people simply get wrong about Harvard Business School.

00:17:46 –The “flexibility movement” – beneficial for employers and employees.

00:20:52 – Want to join the flex movement? Here’s what you need to do.

00:24:23 – Thoughts on enhancing your profile for HBS admissions.

00:26:56 – Advice for future entrepreneurs. (And a word to those who “don’t have it in their blood.”)

00:29:14 – What the future holds for Mom Corps.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

Mom Corps

Related Shows:

• Entrepreneurship at Stanford GSB: Carlypso Drives Down the Startup Street
• Making International Student Loans a Prime Investment
• Entrepreneurship at UCLA Anderson
Valentine’s Day, Economics, and Stanford GSB
• MBAs Across America: Entrepreneurs with a Heart
• Life as an HBS MBA Student
MBA Search: Matchmaking for MBAs and Businesses

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes! Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!

Check out our free webinar: Get Accepted to Harvard Business School!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Introducing Accepted! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/13/introducing-accepted/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/13/introducing-accepted/#respond Fri, 13 Feb 2015 17:40:06 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28867 The Accepted team is super excited to welcome all of our new blog readers! For those of you who don’t know much about Accepted, here is a little bit about who we are and what we do best: We look forward to getting to know you better too – so keep up the great conversations in […]

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The Accepted team is super excited to welcome all of our new blog readers!

For those of you who don’t know much about Accepted, here is a little bit about who we are and what we do best:

We look forward to getting to know you better too – so keep up the great conversations in the comments section.

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Valentine’s Day, Economics, and Stanford GSB http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/11/valentines-day-economics-stanford-gsb/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/11/valentines-day-economics-stanford-gsb/#respond Wed, 11 Feb 2015 18:22:33 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28838 The Valentine’s Day episode of Admissions Straight Talk — the perfect opportunity to invite… an economist to be our guest on the show. Listen to the full recording of our enlightening conversation with Dr. Paul Oyer, Professor of Economics, at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Dr. Oyer and Linda discuss the common thread between dating, […]

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Listen to our interview with Dr. Paul Oyer!The Valentine’s Day episode of Admissions Straight Talk — the perfect opportunity to invite… an economist to be our guest on the show.

Listen to the full recording of our enlightening conversation with Dr. Paul Oyer, Professor of Economics, at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Dr. Oyer and Linda discuss the common thread between dating, economics, and admissions. Spot-on, right?

00:02:12 – Featured Applicant Question: Do I need to explain my low GPA to the adcom?

00:06:18 – Why Dr. Oyer wrote Everything I Ever Needed to Know about Economics I Learned from Online Dating.

00:11:04 – The limits of economics in explaining online dating.

00:15:49 – How offline dating is like an economic market too. (Yup, economists take the fun out of everything.)

00:17:42 – Signaling: Why education is a waste, but still serves a purpose. How virtual roses signify credibility. And what the college/grad school admissions process has to do with signaling.

00:32:06 – The parallels between economics and dating – Wonderful, but not surprising.

00:33:47 – An interesting aspect of the law and MBA student internship-to-job-offer ratios.

00:38:20 – A Stanford GSB professor’s reflection on the defining characteristic of students at that b-school.

00:40:51 – How Dr. Oyer’s books have changed his teaching.

00:43:36 – What MBA students need to know before they start school.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

• Everything I Ever Needed to Know about Economics I Learned from Online Dating
Roadside MBA: Back Road Lessons for Entrepreneurs, Executives and Small Business Owners 
• How to Be a Better Valentine, Through Economics
• Stanford GSB Zone
• Stanford GSB 2015 MBA Questions, Deadlines, Tips
• Get Accepted to Stanford GSB, a free webinar

Related Shows:

• A B-School Professor on Main Street, USA
• The Stanford MSx Program for Experienced Leaders
• MBA Project Search: Matchmaking for MBAs and Businesses
• Entrepreneurship at Stanford GSB: Carlypso Drives Down the Startup St.

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes! Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!

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Admissions Tip: BE YOURSELF! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/16/admissions-tip/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/16/admissions-tip/#respond Fri, 16 Jan 2015 15:24:40 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28149 Admissions committee members across the board (college, grad school, med school, b-school and law school) want you to do ONE thing in your applications, and one thing only: Introduce yourself. This does NOT include: • Talking about who you WISH you were. • Exaggerating your volunteer achievements. • Making up job titles to boost your […]

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Be Yourself: Everyone Else is Already TakenAdmissions committee members across the board (college, grad school, med school, b-school and law school) want you to do ONE thing in your applications, and one thing only: Introduce yourself. This does NOT include:

• Talking about who you WISH you were.
• Exaggerating your volunteer achievements.
• Making up job titles to boost your employment profile.
Cracking jokes when you’re really not such a funny person.
• Using big words that you found in a thesaurus when you have no idea what they mean.

Instead, when introducing yourself to the adcom, follow these simple tips:

• Use your own, authentic voice in your writing.
• Talk about what’s important to YOU instead of what you think the adcom want to hear.
• Tell things as they are – you don’t want to get the boot because a fact checker shows that you were really an “Office Assistant” instead of an “Office Manager.”
• Use a dictionary/thesaurus to ensure you use words correctly, not to engage in communicative creativity…

In short, if you want to stand out among the throngs of applicants in your field, your goal shouldn’t be to introduce yourself as a superhuman, god-like overachiever; instead introduce yourself as you actually are, with your unique interests, passions, accomplishments, and voice. This will be the most extraordinary, stand-out, note-worthy introduction. Not the introduction that makes the adcom members roll their eyes and say “yeah right.”


Accepted.com: The Premier Admissions Consultancy
Related Resources:

From Example to Exemplary – A Free Guide
6 Tips for Getting Started on Your Application Essays
The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes

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Got Dinged? You Can Handle It! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/14/got-dinged-you-can-handle-it/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/14/got-dinged-you-can-handle-it/#respond Wed, 14 Jan 2015 16:59:55 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28055 It may or may not be fair, but many of you are going to get at least a few rejections. What are you going to do about them? First and foremost—if you’ve gotten dinged at your top choice school, that doesn’t mean that you’re never going to get in. It doesn’t even mean that you […]

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Rejected from your top-choice school?It may or may not be fair, but many of you are going to get at least a few rejections. What are you going to do about them?

First and foremost—if you’ve gotten dinged at your top choice school, that doesn’t mean that you’re never going to get in. It doesn’t even mean that you won’t be going to school next year.

And so my first point is: DON’T GIVE UP.

However, you do need to respond constructively. For the Four Reasons for Rejection and tips on how to do exactly that, please see this video.

For more admissions-specific reapplication advice, check-out:

For all of you, if you don’t know why you were rejected or would you like expert advice on improving your next application, please consider an application review:

Subscribe to the Accepted Admissions Blog!

Linda AbrahamBy Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Related Resources:

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid
• Help! I’ve Been Waitlisted!
5 Ways to Clean Up & Optimize Your Online Presence Before You Apply

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Oh No! A Typo!! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/09/oh-no-a-typo-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/09/oh-no-a-typo-2/#respond Fri, 09 Jan 2015 18:35:08 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27988 Will it doom your otherwise perfect application to the great round file in cyberspace, putting the kabosh on years of effort and nixing your attempt to walk through the hallowed halls of your favored institution? No. A single, minor typo will do absolutely nothing. So don’t sweat one minor spelling mistake, a missed comma, or […]

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Worried about writing your application essays? We've got you covered!

If the readers see a lot of mistakes they will assume you are careless and sloppy.

Will it doom your otherwise perfect application to the great round file in cyberspace, putting the kabosh on years of effort and nixing your attempt to walk through the hallowed halls of your favored institution?

No.

A single, minor typo will do absolutely nothing. So don’t sweat one minor spelling mistake, a missed comma, or a couple of transposed letters.

You have cause for worry if you find any of the following after you have hit SUBMIT or put the envelope in the mailbox:

1. You find several typos or mistakes. If the readers see a lot of mistakes they will assume you are careless and sloppy. Not exactly the impression you are aiming for, and one that will definitely hurt you.

2. Your typo changes the meaning. For example, a client years ago submitted a draft to me in which he wrote, “Through research I exorcised my mind… ” I have never forgotten this one because I almost fell off my chair laughing. He meant “exercised.” If this only happens once, I don’t think it would necessarily be fatal, but you don’t want to be remembered for rib-splitting typos either. In his case, I just had a good laugh and it was never submitted.

 3. You forget to change the school’s name somewhere in the essay. Ouch. Adcoms universally hate that. It isn’t really a typo either, and it usually results in rejection.

What should you do if you find any of 1-3 in your application after submitting. It’s a tough spot. If you find the error(s)–especially if you find 1 or 3 — soon after hitting SUBMIT, you can contact the school and say that you accidentally submitted the wrong draft of your essay(s). Maybe, just maybe, someone will have mercy on  you and let you submit the corrected draft.

Download 5 Fatal Flaw to Avoid in Your Application

Linda AbrahamBy Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Related Resources:

The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes
5 Ways to Clean Up Your Online Presence for When You Apply
How to Deal with Deadlines

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Essay Tip: The Devil is in the Details http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/07/essay-tip-the-devil-is-in-the-details/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/07/essay-tip-the-devil-is-in-the-details/#respond Wed, 07 Jan 2015 15:01:18 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27983 You can argue about the devil, but certainly the substance, distinctiveness, and success of your essays depends on the details. Many applicants tend to bury their uniqueness and success under vague assertions. You don’t want to hide your achievements; you want to trumpet them loudly and clearly. For instance, if you led a team working […]

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Trumpet your accomplishments loud and clear!

Don’t hide your achievements; trumpet them loudly and clearly!

You can argue about the devil, but certainly the substance, distinctiveness, and success of your essays depends on the details.

Many applicants tend to bury their uniqueness and success under vague assertions. You don’t want to hide your achievements; you want to trumpet them loudly and clearly. For instance, if you led a team working on a software development project, was it a three-member team or a thirty-member, cross-functional team with representatives from five different divisions and two continents? Was the potential market for the product $5 million or $200 million? Did you launch the product on time and in budget? Did it zoom to the top of the market-share charts? The details reveal the level of your responsibility, the confidence others have in your abilities based on their prior experience with you, and the significance of your accomplishment.

What about your volunteer work? Do you simply “volunteer”? If you do, you aren’t saying anything distinctive or substantive. Are you an EMT working five hours per week? Do you volunteer at a legal aid clinic? What have you seen or experienced? What have you learned? Have you launched a bereavement group in a country where such services were previously unheard of? What were the challenges you overcame to establish that group? What did you learn from the experience? How has it influenced you?

You may ask, “How can I fit all these details into a short essay?” Good question. Include many of the specifics in the work history sections — the boxes — of the application or in an attached resume if allowed. Then in the essay, provide enough detail to provide context and create interest. Balance your profound insight and reflection with devilishly dazzling detail.

How can you show the adcom that you will be a leader in the future? Click here to find out!

Linda AbrahamBy Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Related Resources:

5 Fatal Flaws To Avoid
6 Tips for Getting Started on Your Application Essays
Personal Statement Tip: Story Time

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France to Open Giant Global University http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/04/france-to-open-giant-global-university/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/04/france-to-open-giant-global-university/#respond Sun, 04 Jan 2015 18:28:29 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27724 There were no French universities in the top 20 of the most recent QS World University Rankings, and there were only two in QS’s top 100. According to a recent BBC News article, France plans on changing those stats with the new Paris-Saclay University, a government project that will unite 19 French institutions under the […]

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Traveling abroad to study? Here's the scoop on financial aid & health insurance.

Ariel view of the planned Paris-Saclay University

There were no French universities in the top 20 of the most recent QS World University Rankings, and there were only two in QS’s top 100. According to a recent BBC News article, France plans on changing those stats with the new Paris-Saclay University, a government project that will unite 19 French institutions under the same roof, “with the aim of building a university of a size and scale that can compete with global giants like Harvard or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).”

This new “hi-tech knowledge hub” is expected to boost the French economy and, according to Paris-Saclay president Dominique Vernay, to become a top-10 institution, if not in the “top two or three.” It will be a meeting point of research, hi-tech businesses, and startups, not unsimilar to how Stanford University served as the launch pad for Silicon Valley.

Here are some highlights from the BBC article:

The university will have 70,000 students, 10,000 researchers, and a 1,300 acre campus. The entire institution will be twice the size of UC Berkeley.

There will be a heavy focus on graduate courses and international recruitment (of students and staff).

The “federal university” model upon which the university will be built will be similar to that of the Oxbridge model.

Some master’s classes will be taught in English and some in French.

See the BBC article for more details.

Get Your Game On: Preparing for Your Grad School Application, a free guide

Accepted.com: The Premier Admissions Consultancy

Related Resources:

The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes
Financial Aid & Health Insurance for International Students
An Inside Look at INSEAD

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Help! I’ve Been Waitlisted! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/02/help-ive-been-waitlisted/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/02/help-ive-been-waitlisted/#respond Fri, 02 Jan 2015 14:56:13 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27855 In honor of New Years we’ve decided to repost one of the most popular episodes of 2014. If you didn’t hear it the first time, or if you just want to review, now is the perfect time to listen to our highly informative podcast with Linda Abraham discussing the timely topic of being waitlisted. *Theme music is […]

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Need waitlist help?In honor of New Years we’ve decided to repost one of the most popular episodes of 2014.

If you didn’t hear it the first time, or if you just want to review, now is the perfect time to listen to our highly informative podcast with Linda Abraham discussing the timely topic of being waitlisted.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!

*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Relevant Links:

•  MBA Waitlist Advice 101
•  Med School Waitlist Advice 101
•  Grad School Waitlist Advice 101
•  College Waitlist Advice 101 
•  The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on an MBA Waitlistan ebook
•  The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on a Med School Waitlistan ebook
•  The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on a Law School Waitlist, an ebook

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes! Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!

Subscribe to the Accepted Admissions Blog!

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Favorites in 2014 at Accepted! http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/31/favorites-in-2014-at-accepted/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/31/favorites-in-2014-at-accepted/#respond Wed, 31 Dec 2014 15:00:59 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27902 What admissions issues were keeping you up at night? Here are the five articles and posts that you were most interested in this past year. 1. Harvard Business School 2015 MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines 2. Boost Your GPA for Medical School Acceptance 3. Writing Your Graduate Statement of Purpose or Personal Statement 4. Dealing with a Low […]

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Celebrating the best of Accepted in 2014What admissions issues were keeping you up at night? Here are the five articles and posts that you were most interested in this past year.

1. Harvard Business School 2015 MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines

2. Boost Your GPA for Medical School Acceptance

3. Writing Your Graduate Statement of Purpose or Personal Statement

4. Dealing with a Low MCAT or GPA

5. MBA Admissions: Low GMAT or GPA

Conclusion: You’re aiming for Harvard, but worried about low stats. And you’re writing your application essay.

However, Accepted’s most visited pages aren’t even articles. They are sample essays.

Those Sweet Sample Essays

1. Most popular medical school AMCAS essay: The Story

2. Most popular sample college personal statement: While the World Sleeps

3. Most popular sample grad statement of purpose: MPH Essay

4. Most popular sample law school personal statement: Change

5. Most popular sample MBA essay: Goals Essay

Speaking of goals, I wanted to grow Admissions Straight Talk, Accepted’s podcast, this year. Thanks to you, my listeners, and to the wonderful guests whom I’ve been privileged to talk to, it has busted through every goal I had for it. Thank you for listening! And thanks to the remarkable guests who did most of the talking.

The Most Popular Podcasts in 2014

1. GMAT, GRE, SAT, and All Things Test Prep with Magoosh’s CEO and founder, Bhavin Parikh.

2. Waitlisted! What Now? in which I discuss what to do when waitlisted.

3. Is a Ph.D. a Good Idea? with Dr. Karen Kelsky of The Professor is In.

4. The Stanford MSx Program for Experienced Leaders with program director, Mike Hochleutner.

5. What You Need to Know About Post-bac Programs with Dr. Barry Rothman, medical post-bac expert extraordinaire.

6. A bonus: How to Become a Management Consultant with Michael Boricki, currently Managing Partner of Firmsconsulting.

The Greatest Free Admissions Guides of 2014

1. Medical School Secondary Essay Handbook

2. Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One

3. Top MBA Program Essay Questions: How to Answer Them Right!

4. 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Med School Essays

5 . 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your College Application

Now that I’ve revealed your favorites, I’ll tell you a few of mine as I review 2014 and prepare for 2015:

5. The increasing dialogue taking place on this blog. I’m particularly appreciative that the conversation is civil, cordial, and collaborative.

4. The guests who have contributed to this blog, Admissions Straight Talk, and our webinars. What wonderful people have taken the time to share their insights and experience with us all!

3. The people behind the scenes who make this site and this company work: Rachel, Miriam, Sara, Michal, Yael, Sarah, and Lisa.

2. Accepted’s consultants, who generously share their admissions savvy on this site and tirelessly and expertly guide Accepted’s clients.

1. You – our clients, readers, fans, listeners, video viewers, participants, questioners, and commenters. In short, the Accepted community.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2015.

A year filled with “Yes! I’m in!”

Subscribe to Our Blog!

Linda AbrahamBy Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

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Happy Holidays from Accepted! http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/24/happy-holidays-from-accepted/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/24/happy-holidays-from-accepted/#respond Wed, 24 Dec 2014 17:03:08 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27742 Tags: Admissions Consulting, College Admissions, Grad School Admissions, Law School Admissions, MBA Admissions, Medical School Admissions

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A happy holidays message from Linda Abraham, president of Accepted

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Your Holiday Gift Awaits! http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/23/your-holiday-gift-awaits/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/23/your-holiday-gift-awaits/#respond Tue, 23 Dec 2014 15:53:19 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27674 We’d like to wish you a joyous holiday season by offering you a gift – a free copy of The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes, a guide that will teach you how to create a stand-out resume that will help you get accepted! In The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes, you’ll learn important tips and […]

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Get your free admissions gift!

Grab your holiday gift!

We’d like to wish you a joyous holiday season by offering you a gift – a free copy of The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes, a guide that will teach you how to create a stand-out resume that will help you get accepted! In The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes, you’ll learn important tips and tricks for marketing yourself in your resume – putting your most impressive experiences and qualifications front and center so that when the adcoms take that initial glance at your resume, they’ll want to immediately read on to learn more about who you are and what you’ll contribute to their next class.

Get your free resume admissions guide!

Grab your gift of The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes now and have a very happy holiday!

Accepted.com: The Premier Admissions Consultancy

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5-Step Checklist Before Submitting Your Applications http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/22/5-step-checklist-before-submitting-your-applications/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/22/5-step-checklist-before-submitting-your-applications/#respond Mon, 22 Dec 2014 20:41:03 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27664 Whether you’re applying to b-school, law school, med school, grad school, or college, this checklist will be the same. Don’t hit that “submit” button until you’ve completed the following 5 steps: 1.  You’ve made sure that your application presents a holistic, multi-dimensional picture of you. Each section of your application should not just present you as a strong candidate on its own, but should complement the other application components as well. […]

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Have a professional give your application a final check before you submit.

Give your application a final check before submitting

Whether you’re applying to b-school, law school, med school, grad school, or college, this checklist will be the same. Don’t hit that “submit” button until you’ve completed the following 5 steps:

1.  You’ve made sure that your application presents a holistic, multi-dimensional picture of you.

Each section of your application should not just present you as a strong candidate on its own, but should complement the other application components as well. When the admissions readers have finished reading your entire application, they should have a clear picture of who you are as a well-rounded and unique individual.

2. You’ve demonstrated fit with the program.

To demonstrate that tight fit that adcoms are seeking, you’ll need to have done some serious thinking about who you are and about how that person is compatible with the school’s mission, ideals, and culture.

3. You have selected the best recommenders.

The best recommenders are those people who really know you well and who will be able to draw from their unique experiences with you in composing their LOR. If your recommender doesn’t know you well, then his or her assessment of you may end up sounding generic and superficial. Plus, it may not be accurate.

4. Proofread, edit, and then proof some more!

Read your essay, as well as all other application components, aloud to make sure that you hear mistakes that your eyes may have glossed over. You may also want to recruit a friend, colleague or family member, or hire an admissions consultant, to help you edit your essays to perfection.

5. You’ve given yourself some time.

Don’t submit your app at the last minute. Rushing your application will create more room for error, the schools’ servers may be overloaded just before the buzzer, and you may lose your chance to apply on time if you wait until the last minute.

Think you’re ready to submit? Why not run your application by the experts for a final stamp of approval? Our admissions consultants and editors are standing by, ready to help you construct an application that shines, one that shows off your greatest achievements and talents, one that you’re truly excited and ready to submit. Contact us now for more details on how we can help.

Give Your MBA Application that Final Check!
Accepted.com: The Premier Admissions Consultancy
Related Resources:

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Essays!
The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes
How To Edit Your Application Essays

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10 Facts About International College Students http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/27/10-facts-about-international-college-students/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/27/10-facts-about-international-college-students/#respond Thu, 27 Nov 2014 17:57:26 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27051 In the last academic year (2013-2014), enrollment of international students at U.S. colleges increased 8% to a record high of 86,052. Here are some highlights from a recent article by The Chronicle of Higher Education: 1.  One-third of the foreign students in 2013-2014 came from China, accounting for nearly 60% of the growth of the […]

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Click here for must-know info and advice for students abroad!

Enrollment of international students at U.S. colleges has reached a record high.

In the last academic year (2013-2014), enrollment of international students at U.S. colleges increased 8% to a record high of 86,052. Here are some highlights from a recent article by The Chronicle of Higher Education:

1.  One-third of the foreign students in 2013-2014 came from China, accounting for nearly 60% of the growth of the foreign student population at American colleges.

2.  The Chinese student demographic in the U.S. has gotten younger. Ten years ago, more than 80% of Chinese students were in graduate school, whereas now the split is closer to 50-50 between undergrad and grad students.

3.  There has even been growth among Chinese high school students studying in the U.S. (about 23,500 students). This means that in the future, a) U.S. colleges will be able to recruit Chinese students from U.S. soil, and b) Chinese college students will have an easier time adjusting culturally and academically to college life in the U.S.

4.   Possible reason for increase in growth of Chinese student population: dissatisfaction with the Chinese school system.

5.   The second largest source of international college students in the U.S. is India, with foreign student volume up 6%.

6.  Possible reason for increase in growth of Indian student population: a stronger rupee, making overseas study more affordable. Many of the Indian students attending university in the U.S. were recruited from other countries where Indian families work or study.

7.   The countries with the largest percentage growth in foreign students were Kuwait (43%), Brazil (22%), and Saudi Arabia (21%), all three of which have large government-sponsored scholarship programs in place to send students abroad (and pay in full for their studies). This makes them very attractive to American universities.

8.   Most of the Saudi and Kuwaiti students who study abroad go to the U.S. (86% and 68% respectively), compared to just under 50% of Brazilians.

9.   More than 10% of student visa holders in the U.S. are on the Optional Practical Training program (OPT) which allows students in the STEM fields to stay and work in the U.S. for up to 29 months after completing their studies.

10.   In terms of American students studying abroad, those numbers are barely moving. In 2012-2013, the number of students who went abroad went up just 2%, with an increase in the number of non-white students and an increase in those students studying in STEM fields.

For more details, see The Chronicle of Higher Education article, as well as the Wall Street Journal article on the same subject.

International_Students_Tips

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Related Resources:

College Admissions 101
5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your College Application
• School-Specific Common Application Supplemental Essay Tips

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Top 5 Things I Learned From Business That I Wish I Would Have Known as a Premed http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/27/top-5-things-i-learned-from-business-that-i-wish-i-would-have-known-as-a-premed/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/27/top-5-things-i-learned-from-business-that-i-wish-i-would-have-known-as-a-premed/#respond Thu, 27 Nov 2014 17:24:15 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26981 I’ve been working at a company called Pinfinity for about two years. The field of business is one where guts matter just as much as brains and where the people that win in the end are the people who are willing to look far ahead into the future and be willing to ride it out […]

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Trying to Navigate the Med School Application Process? Click here for your free medical school admissions guide!

Just focus on one step at a time.

I’ve been working at a company called Pinfinity for about two years. The field of business is one where guts matter just as much as brains and where the people that win in the end are the people who are willing to look far ahead into the future and be willing to ride it out through the bumps and loops that you have to go through.  You have to adapt and change on the go, and when things get tough, quitting is not an option. There is a lot more in common between medical school and business than I anticipated, and I have realized that there are some things that I learned from business that I would have benefited from during college, and even into medical school.

1.  Procrastination: Do not get into the habit!  It is bad in college, it is worse in medical school.  There at just days, I know, where getting started is the most difficult thing to do.  Looking at the huge task at hand makes it easy to get overwhelmed so try by just making one tiny move in the right direction such as writing one sentence down, then one paragraph, etc. Do not look at the end, just focus on one step at a time.

2.  Time management: This is of key importance to getting through medical school and those heavier courses in college. Pay attention to where you’re focusing your time.  Now pay attention to the number of hours in the day that you are spending watching TV, playing video games, or looking though Facebook. You’ll be surprised how much time is wasted, and if you were to restrict that wasted time, your productivity would skyrocket.

3.  Multitasking: Somebody told me once that multitasking is the best way to do multiple things wrong really quickly.  Try to focus on one thing at a time, be it studying, writing, or watching TV. This will allow you to get things done efficiently and with a better end result.

4.  Leadership: Medicine is leadership, no matter how you cut it.  The main goal of the career is to become an attending physician, the doctor who is making all of the big decisions, caring for patients and having the responsibility of keeping the sick from getting sicker. Commonly they are asked, “What do you want to do Doctor?” with everybody expecting the next step in care from them.  Developing this skill now is a great way to get ahead of the pack. Start and run groups at school, get high positions in current clubs, or excel in sports. Become a strong leader now, and it will help you greatly in your road to medicine.

5.  Research: Research, both in small and large scale is a must. Being good at efficiently figuring out answers on your own, be it via reading or searching on the net, is of extreme importance.  Any team will see you as a key part of it, other students will trust your judgment, and you will get respected in the wards and by your supervising physicians.  In the long term, a CV that shows your interest in research as a component will always be looked highly upon, both on your medical school application and beyond.

By keeping these things in mind, making that jump into medical school won’t be as daunting as it can be.

Have any of your other life experiences taught you something about excelling in your path to medicine? Tell us about it!

Download your free special report: Navigate the Med School Maze!

Carlos Guzman is a 4th year medical student at UCLA and the VP of Content Management at Pinfinity, a company aimed at providing study materials for starting medical students and beyond.  Get published now! Contact him at Carlos@pinfinity.co

Related Resources:

Free Guide to Demonstrating Leadership in Admissions
Medical School Admissions 101
5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Application Essays

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The Test Prep Guru Speaks http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/26/the-test-prep-guru-speaks/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/26/the-test-prep-guru-speaks/#respond Wed, 26 Nov 2014 20:11:18 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27069 In honor of Thanksgiving, we’ve decided to repost one of the podcast episodes that our listeners have been most grateful for. If you didn’t hear it the first time or you just want to review, now is the perfect time to listen to our highly informative (and super-popular) interview with Bhavin Parikh, CEO and founder of Magoosh, the […]

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In honor of Thanksgiving, we’ve decided to repost one of the podcast episodes that our listeners have been most grateful for.

If you didn’t hear it the first time or you just want to review, now is the perfect time to listen to our highly informative (and super-popular) interview with Bhavin Parikh, CEO and founder of Magoosh, the leading online test prep company for the SAT, GRE, GMAT, and TOEFL. 

Click here to listen to the show!

*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

• Magoosh
• The Hansoo Lee Fellowship
• How to Put Your Best Foot Forward on Test Day
How to Get Accepted to B-School with a Low GMAT Score

Related Shows:

• The GMAT Score Preview and Application Boxes
• The GMAT, the GRE, and the Guy Who Knows them Well
• Which Graduate Schools Should You Apply To? 

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:

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

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What You Need to Know for SAT Writing http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/23/how-to-prepare-for-the-sat-writing-section/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/23/how-to-prepare-for-the-sat-writing-section/#respond Sun, 23 Nov 2014 18:47:50 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26962 When the SAT was first changed to the format it’s in now, back in 2005, many schools didn’t pay any attention to the writing section; they only looked at students’ reading and math scores. Since then, there’s been a slow change, although not a universal one. It depends on what school you’re applying to, of […]

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Applying to college? Check out our College Admissions 101 Pages!

Get to know the SAT’s favorite grammar topics.

When the SAT was first changed to the format it’s in now, back in 2005, many schools didn’t pay any attention to the writing section; they only looked at students’ reading and math scores. Since then, there’s been a slow change, although not a universal one. It depends on what school you’re applying to, of course, but in general, gone are the days when you can just dismiss a third of the test completely.

Nowadays, it’s wise to brush up on your grammar before taking the test, because that’s what SAT writing is largely about. That’s not going to change with the 2016 redesign, either: a large chunk of the “reading and writing” section (a hybrid of today’s critical reading and writing sections) will be made up of the same types of questions that are on the SAT now. That means grammar, grammar, grammar.

Here are a few examples of the SAT’s favorite grammar topics:

1. Misplaced modifiers

2. Parallelism

3. Subject-verb agreement

4. Pronoun agreement

5. Verb tenses

6. Passive voice

That’s not exactly an ordered top six, but it’s roughly in order of importance—the test-makers love misplaced modifiers, for example—and it’s all stuff you should be familiar with before that fateful Saturday morning. If you don’t know what any one of those means, look it up!

But I’d be lying if I said grammar was the only important part. The SAT essay counts for nearly a third of your writing score, and grammar is only a piece of that puzzle. You can write an outstanding SAT essay with a number of grammar errors; it mostly just has to be long enough, include some high-level vocabulary, and have clear examples that relate back to the topic. What you learn when studying for the multiple choice part of the test can help, of course, but that knowledge alone won’t bring you to a perfect score. You’ve also got to be able to write like a madman—to put ideas down on paper fast, and work in some good examples while you’re at it. That takes practice and preparation outside the grammar. One of the most helpful things you can do is come up with a list of sources for your examples: stories from history, literature, or even pop culture that you know particularly well. Use old essay prompts to then practice coming up with examples from that pool of resources.

If you know the grammar rules, which are relatively easy to learn, given a bit of time, and you get yourself comfortable writing a 2-page, 25-minute essay with concrete examples, then you’re on your way to nailing SAT writing (time to focus on one of the other sections!).

Download 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid to learn how to eliminate the most common flaws in your application essays.

magooshThis post was written by Lucas Fink, resident SAT expert at Magoosh, a leader in SAT Prep. You can learn more about Magoosh on our SAT blog, and you can get $50 off 1 month of prep here!

Related Resources:

• Preparing for College in High School
• GMAT, GRE, SAT, and All Things Test Prep (podcast)
• Writing an Interesting SAT Essay in 25 Minutes

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Tips for Answering the University of California Essay Questions http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/16/tips-for-answering-the-university-of-california-essay-questions/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/16/tips-for-answering-the-university-of-california-essay-questions/#respond Sun, 16 Nov 2014 18:09:25 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26798 The University of California undergraduate system is comprised of nine different campuses located throughout California– Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz. These schools pride themselves on attracting the best and the brightest students and are consistently ranked among the best in the world. All the UC campuses […]

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Need more college application essay tips?

The UC system is waiting to find out more about you!

The University of California undergraduate system is comprised of nine different campuses located throughout California– Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz. These schools pride themselves on attracting the best and the brightest students and are consistently ranked among the best in the world. All the UC campuses use the same undergraduate application that requires two essay responses. These required essays help the admissions committee to gain a deeper understanding of each applicant. They are your chance to demonstrate to the admissions committee how you might fit into and contribute to the UC system. How will a UC education support your lifelong aspirations?

Although you will use a single application for all the UC schools, each campus is distinctive. Make sure to research each school to get a better idea of what each has to offer. Each campus has a particular character and provides different opportunities. Many have smaller college systems within the larger university structure. Consider general education requirements, majors, extracurricular activities, locations and overall fit of each campus.

Applications for admission to the UC system are accepted from November 1st to November 30th.

As you prepare your response to each essay prompt, think about your unique experiences and their relationship to your personal objectives and how attending a UC school will help you to achieve your objectives or support your interests. As you decide how to approach your essays, you should survey your entire application and consider what the admissions committee might want more information about. What can you tell them that will help provide a more comprehensive picture of you? Your responses to both essay prompts must be no more than 1,000 words in total. You can allocate the word distribution to meet your needs but the shorter response should be no less than 250 words.

Freshman applicant prompt:

Describe the world you come from — for example, your family, community or school — and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

This response allows you to tell your individual story. Think about significant factors in your life that influenced your identity (sense of who you are) and in turn what you hope to achieve in the future (who you hope to be). You can discuss your particular family history and how that collective experience impacted you. You can reflect on a specific community that is meaningful to you, then go on to discuss how your role in that group inspired your dreams for the future. The subjects of family, community and school are cited as examples but you can discuss anything that is meaningful about your life experience, including your culture. The key is to describe your world from your perspective and talk about how those experiences helped to shape your goals. Consider how you reacted in different situations. What might that reflect about you? How might what you learned from your world support your future success? These are general suggestions for reflection; you must present specific examples and discuss them clearly in terms of their impact on your ideas about the world and your hopes for the future.

Prompt for all applicants:

Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?

This is a great opportunity to highlight a particularly outstanding or unique talent or accomplishment and to discuss why it is important to you. Keep in mind what makes your example significant to you and what that might say about the sort of person you are. You might elaborate on an extracurricular activity that illustrates some of your personal characteristics. Or you may consider a quality that you value and what that suggests about the way you interact with the world around you. Think about something you did that reveals positive qualities about yourself. Is there a particular challenge you overcame? Did you push yourself outside of your comfort zone? What did you learn about yourself in the process?

It is no surprise that the applicant pool for admission to the UC system is competitive. This is especially true if you are not from California since only about 13% of undergraduates expected to enroll for 2014-2015 are from out-of-state. The overall admission rate and freshman profile for individual schools varies. The overall admission rate ranges from 17.3% at UC Berkeley to 64% at UC Merced. The percentage of students admitted from California range from 57.9% at UC Los Angeles to 92% at UC Merced. High school grade point averages range from 3.61 at Merced to above 4.0 at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Los Angeles, UC San Diego, and UC Santa Barbara. The average ACT scores range from 24/25 at UC Merced and UC Riverside to 30/31 at UC Berkeley, UC Los Angeles, and UC San Diego. Your essays responses help to make you more than just a number.

Do not be overwhelmed by the statistics. Remember your essays are your personal statement, meaning they should reveal more about the person behind the numbers. Dig deep and put your efforts into communicating what makes you the individual you are. Share your personal examples, stories and life experiences. Pay close attention to deadlines and designated word limits. Allow enough time to write to the best of your abilities and to present an application that reflects your finest self. The UC system is waiting to find out more about you!

Download 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid to learn how to eliminate the most common flaws in your application essays.

Marie Todd By , Accepted’s college admissions specialist. Marie has worked in college admissions for over twenty years. She has both counseled applicants and evaluated applications. Most recently she evaluated 5000+ applications for the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts; College of Engineering; School of Kinesiology. She is available to assist you (or your child) with your applications.

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An NYU Stern Grad and Strat Consultant Helping Vets Get Into School http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/13/an-nyu-stern-grad-and-strat-consultant-helping-vets-get-into-school/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/13/an-nyu-stern-grad-and-strat-consultant-helping-vets-get-into-school/#respond Thu, 13 Nov 2014 17:58:19 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26757 West Point grad. Iraq war vet. NYU Stern MBA. Engagement Manager and Senior Associate at Strategy&. Co-founder of Service to School. Gus Giacoman, our guest this week, is a fascinating individual, dedicated to helping vets get into schools of all kinds – everything from community colleges to law school, business school and diverse graduate programs. […]

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GusGiacomanWest Point grad. Iraq war vet. NYU Stern MBA. Engagement Manager and Senior Associate at Strategy&. Co-founder of Service to School.

Gus Giacoman, our guest this week, is a fascinating individual, dedicated to helping vets get into schools of all kinds – everything from community colleges to law school, business school and diverse graduate programs.

Tune in to our conversation with the highly accomplished and tireless Gus for the low-down on how he helps vets get into school, advice for vets and other MBA applicants, as well as tips for future management consultants. Oh, and he tells some great stories.

00:02:38 – Service to School: Networking and guidance for veterans headed to college and grad school.

00:05:55 – The revenue model (you can’t charge family, right?).

00:06:55 – A breakdown of where Service to School applicants are applying.

00:10:28 – What success looks like (How about 3 Wharton/HBS admits!).

00:12:29 – Business school as the path returning vets to civilian life.

00:17:33 – The advantages and challenges of being a veteran in b-school and consulting.

00:21:41 – Why NYU Stern? And why consulting?

00:25:49 – The best skills for a future consultant to cultivate.

00:27:30 – 3 things Gus looks for in choosing a consultant for his team.

00:28:57 – What a college grad should do pre-MBA to prepare for a career in consulting.

00:33:01 – A great piece of advice for b-school applicants.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

• Service to School 
Service to School on Twitter 
Service To School: Helping Veterans Get Into Top Schools

Related Shows:

• Breaking Some HBS Stereotypes: An Interview with Ben Faw
• How to Become a Management Consultant
• Case Interview Secrets and More with Victor Cheng

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Businessweek Rankings 2014 http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/12/businessweek-rankings-2014/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/12/businessweek-rankings-2014/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 20:24:25 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26730 Let’s see how full-time MBA programs in the U.S. fared this year on the BW rankings… There were some huge changes this year! Let’s take a look at some of the highlights: • Newcomers to the top 20 this year are Yale SOM, which made a huge jump from 21st place to 10th place; Maryland […]

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Let’s see how full-time MBA programs in the U.S. fared this year on the BW rankings…

Check out our Zone Pages for more info about the top MBA programs!

There were some huge changes this year! Let’s take a look at some of the highlights:

• Newcomers to the top 20 this year are Yale SOM, which made a huge jump from 21st place to 10th place; Maryland Smith which went from 24th to 17th place; and Emory Goizueta which jumped from 22nd place to 18th place this year.

• There are three new schools in the top 10 this year – Yale SOM, as mentioned above; Columbia Business School (13th in 2012 and 5th this year); and CMU Tepper (which moved just one place from 11th place to 10th place).

• Beyond that, there was some major shifting in the rankings. The top 3 schools were all different this year (Wharton and Booth still there, but rearranged), with Harvard Business School falling from 2nd place to 8th place.

UVA Darden also fell significantly this year, from 10th place to 20th.

• Big jumpers further down the rankings include Rice University Jones (from 34th to 25th); UC Irvine Merage (43rd to 31st); and Rochester Simon (50th to 38th).

• The schools that fell the most in the rankings include Texas A&M Mays (26th to 42nd); University of Wisconsin-Madison (33rd to 44th); Boston University (39th to 57th); Babson Olin (from 42nd to 58th); Thunderbird (45th to 62nd); and Arizona Carey (49th to 67th).

And here’s the scoop on the best U.S. undergraduate business schools in 2014…

Do MBA rankings really matter? Click here for the 2-min answer.

Some highlights include:

• Newcomers to the top 20 are Northeastern (from 25th last year to 19th this year) and CMU Tepper (from 24th last year to 17th this year).

• The only new school in the top 10 this year is Indiana Kelley, which jumped from 13th place last year to 8th place this year.

Michigan Ross fell from the top 10, from 8th place to 12th place.

• Big jumpers include Southern Methodist Cox, which jumped from 30th to 21st place; Babson, which jumped from 36th place to 26th place; UM Amherst Isenberg, which jumped from 45th to 36th; Bryant, which jumped from 63rd to 49th; and Case Western Reserve Weatherhead which jumped from 69th to 50th.

• Big falls include Villanova, which fell from 15th place to 24th; U of Illinois Urbana-Champaign which fell from 21st to 34th; and James Madison University which fell from 29th to 40th place.

For details on how ranking methodology see:

Best Business Schools 2014: How They Were Ranked

Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2014: How We Ranked Them

Analysis of the 2014 Businessweek Rankings

Businessweek made changes to its methodology (presented here and analyzed here by John Byrne, the founder of the BW rankings) this year.

The Basics of BW’s Rankings Remain Unchanged

This year, as in the past, BW surveyed recruiters and students. The recruiter satisfaction results comprise 45% of the ranking. The student satisfaction survey results comprise another 45% and the remaining 10% is determined by “expertise of each school’s faculty” as evidenced by faculty research published in prominent academic journals AKA intellectual capital.

What’s New in BW’s Rankings Methodology?

• The employer ranking reflects this year’s data only. Previous rankings used data from the last three surveys or six years of biannual rankings data while weighting the most recent year most heavily.

BW surveyed fifteen times the recruiters this year than it did in previous years. Previously, BW surveyed major recruiters who tended to recruit at multiple business schools. This year, BW attempted to survey as many MBA recruiters as possible, including “recruiters” who recruit primarily if not exclusively at their alma mater. The increased survey size is a major methodology change. The alumni recruiters may have a certain bias towards the school they attended. BW attempted statistically to reduce the impact of that bias, but it probably helped smaller schools like Duke, Tepper, and Yale, and hurt the traditional leaders, like Harvard, Wharton, and Chicago.

Impact of the Methodology Changes

• Surprise! The results will shock many applicants. Seven programs, including Duke and Yale, rank above HBS and MIT. Indiana Kelley and Maryland Smith rank above Haas, NYU Stern, and Darden. These are unexpected results.

• Reemphasizes the importance of understanding methodology. The changes highlight the need for anyone using the rankings as indications of “quality” or even reputation and brand value (a bad idea in my book) to look at the underlying data. Smith is ranked overall at 17. It was ranked #1 for student satisfaction and #51 in the employer survey ranking. Applicants to Smith should inquire about what is changing in its career management center. Clearly there is a satisfaction gap that has to be addressed.

• Increased volatility. Since BW has removed older rankings data from the ranking and has dramatically widened the survey pool while incorporating alumni recruiters, you are guaranteed to see more changes and more radical changes than with the previous methodology.

• Cognitive Dissonance. Either BW rankings will lose credibility because they don’t conform to expectations and will be more volatile, or people’s perception of the programs will change because of the BW rankings.

My money is on the former: loss of credibility. If BW’s results become less stable and predictable (like The Economist’s), they are more likely to lose credibility than to contribute to changes in school reputation.

As always my best advice to applicants reviewing the rankings is to:

• Use specialty rankings to get a sense of what schools excel in your areas of interest.

• Use the data that the ranking databases provide.

• If you have any thought of actually using the overall rankings, understand what they measure, and ask yourself if those qualities are of paramount importance to you. BW has been wonderfully transparent and even shared the questions actually asked in the survey.

• Layer in reputation and brand, i.e. ranking, after determining what schools best support your goals and are most likely to accept you.

Learn How to Choose the Best MBA Program for You!

Linda AbrahamBy Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

 

Related Resources:

• 2014 Economist MBA Rankings
• MBA Rankings: Why Should I Care?
• U.S. News 2015 Best Colleges

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Tips for Answering the University of Pennsylvania Supplemental Essay Prompts http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/07/tips-for-answering-the-university-of-pennsylvania-supplemental-essay-prompts/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/07/tips-for-answering-the-university-of-pennsylvania-supplemental-essay-prompts/#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 18:32:29 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26440 This post about the Penn supplement to the Common Application is part of a series of posts written to help you complete the 2015 Common Application supplement for Ivy League and other top schools.  The prestigious University of Pennsylvania, or Penn, is among the elite Ivy League schools. Established in 1740, Penn is one of the oldest universities […]

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Want more school-specific common application supplemental essay tips?

“Ideal candidates are inspired to emulate our founder Benjamin Franklin”

This post about the Penn supplement to the Common Application is part of a series of posts written to help you complete the 2015 Common Application supplement for Ivy League and other top schools. 

The prestigious University of Pennsylvania, or Penn, is among the elite Ivy League schools. Established in 1740, Penn is one of the oldest universities in America. It is know for its top-notch research as well as its undergraduate programs that focus on practical applications grounded in a strong liberal arts foundation. It accepts the Common Application and requires an additional Penn writing supplemental. Penn wants to know more about you in order to gain a more holistic view of you as a potential student. It states: “ideal candidates are inspired to emulate our founder Benjamin Franklin by applying their knowledge in ‘service to society.’” Through your Common Application, the admissions committee is aware of your grades and test scores, and understands the level of rigor in your curriculum within the context of your high school environment. Use the supplemental essay as an opportunity to demonstrate how you are an ideal match for Penn and how Penn will help you to accomplish your life goals. Illustrate how you engage with and think about the world around you. Tell them more about what is important to you.

Penn offers a binding early decision option with a November 1st deadline. Consider this option if Penn is your first choice because there is a higher rate of admission during early decision. In addition, if you have family alumni ties to Penn early decision may be the best approach. Alumni affiliation receives the most consideration during the early decision program. You are allowed to apply early decision to Penn and early action to other non-binding or non-restrictive early action programs. Always check with the specific schools for guidelines.

Before you sit down to begin your essay, get to know as much as possible about Penn’s approach to education. Familiarize yourself with the unique character of the school, go through the website, get a sense of the campus and academic atmosphere, if possible visit the campus, speak with current students, and imagine yourself as a student at Penn.

Located in the city of Philadelphia, Penn offers an exceptional education in a diverse urban setting on a primarily residential campus. Penn provides many opportunities for students to investigate assorted areas of interest. The numerous learning hubs are an example of how it fosters an active and dynamic exploration of ideas. Think about how you fit with this approach and the overall academic climate at Penn.

Penn is steeped in tradition. Although the curriculum at Penn is flexible, it is grounded in a high quality liberal arts and science foundation. The four undergraduate schools (College of Arts and Science, Penn Engineering, School of Nursing, and the Wharton school) pride themselves on providing an integrated and functional education. “Penn students combine theoretical and practical thinking while developing the tools they need to innovate and lead in a world that demands an increasingly broad perspective.”

Penn Writing Supplement on the Common Application: “The Admissions Committee would like to learn why you are a good fit for your undergraduate school choice (College of Arts and Sciences, School of Nursing, The Wharton School, or Penn Engineering). Please tell us about specific academic, service, and/or research opportunities at the University of Pennsylvania that resonate with your background, interests, and goals.”  400-650 words

This prompt allows you to discuss how much you actually understand about how the undergraduate school of your choice and how it will help you to flourish. Include examples of how your experiences make the programs at Penn a good fit for you. How will the opportunities at Penn expand, nurture, and support your interests and aspirations? How do you hope to contribute to the collegiate environment at Penn? Consider how you might positively impact the overall Penn campus community. You need to address why you are driven to attend Penn and how a Penn education will help you to affect change in the world.

Note that additional essays are required if you are applying to one of the Coordinated Dual Degree and Specialized Programs offered at Penn (Huntsman: The Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business, LSM: The Roy and Diana Vagelos Program in Life Sciences and Management, M&T: The Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology, NHCM: Nursing and Healthcare Management, VIPER:  The Roy and Diana Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research, NETS:  The Rajendra and Neera Singh Program in Networked and Social Systems Engineering, and The Seven-Year Bio-Dental Program). These responses have limits that range from 400 to 650 words. Although these individual prompts are not addressed in detail here, keep in mind that each one asks you to share specific examples and experiences that demonstrate your potential for success along with your enthusiasm for and attraction to the particular program. These programs are a significant commitment and you need to convey your genuine dedication. The admissions committee uses your essays to determine whether you will be a good fit for the particular dual degree or specialized program to which you seek admission.

You are up against an extremely competitive group of applicants. Penn received 35,866 undergraduate applications for the class of 2018. Only 3,718, or 10%, were offered admission and over 90% of the students admitted were in the top 10% of their high school class with average SAT scores of 720 in critical reading, 735 in math, 735 in writing and an average ACT score of 32. The best way to differentiate yourself from the crowd is by communicating the intangibles through your essays. Use your essay responses to discuss what is meaningful to you and how Penn is the ideal place for you to achieve your dreams for the future!

Try not to be intimidated by this process. Start early to allow yourself enough time to thoroughly research, prepare, and complete all aspects of your application. All these factors must come together in a compelling way to present you as a highly competitive applicant. Penn is interested in your personal stories, life experiences, hopes and dreams. It seeks to attract and foster great thinkers and future leaders who will play a constructive role in society. Take the time and invest the energy to put your best self forward!

Download 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid to learn how to eliminate the most common flaws in your application essays.

Marie Todd By , Accepted’s college admissions specialist. Marie has worked in college admissions for over twenty years. She has both counseled applicants and evaluated applications. Most recently she evaluated 5000+ applications for the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts; College of Engineering; School of Kinesiology. She is available to assist you (or your child) with your applications.

Related Resources:

• New LinkedIn University Rankings
• School-Specific Common Application Supplemental Essay Tips
• 4 Ways to Show How You’ll Contribute in the Future

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PayScale: How Much Can You Earn, and How to Earn It? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/06/payscale-how-much-you-can-earn-and-how-to-earn-it/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/06/payscale-how-much-you-can-earn-and-how-to-earn-it/#comments Thu, 06 Nov 2014 17:15:20 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26604 Trying to figure out if grad school will pay off? How much you’ll earn with your career of choice? Which graduate program will position you to for the best payoff? If so, tune in to our conversation with Lydia Frank of PayScale to find out how to get the stats and info that you need […]

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lydia-frank-payscaleTrying to figure out if grad school will pay off? How much you’ll earn with your career of choice? Which graduate program will position you to for the best payoff?

If so, tune in to our conversation with Lydia Frank of PayScale to find out how to get the stats and info that you need to make an informed financial decision.

00:03:11 – PayScale: who they are and what they do.

00:04:35 – The College Salary Report (and the recent inclusion of grad school data).

00:05:53 – How PayScale collects data (and why you should complete their survey, too!).

00:09:13 – Helpful resources for folks in the research stage.

00:12:47 – What surprises people about the PayScale survey results.

00:16:46 – Different uses for the (many!) resources at PayScale.

00:24:28 – New data we’ll be seeing in the future reports.

00:29:03 – Accounting for the opportunity cost of education in the salary report. (Yes, they do.)

00:30:28 – Advice from Lydia for balancing what you love with what pays.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

• Which Grad Schools Produce the Highest Earners?
• Lifetime Earnings by Degree & Major
Social Mobility Index

Related Shows:

• Career Direction: It’s Ok to Love Your Job!
• How to Become a Management Consultant
• The Facts About Financial Services
• Is a PhD a Good Idea?
• Which Schools are Good for PE/VC and VC-Backed Entrepreneurship
• Interview with Anna Runyan of Classy Career Girl

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes! Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!

The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes: Get your free copy!

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Tips for Answering Yale University Supplemental Essay Prompts http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/03/tips-for-answering-yale-university-supplemental-essay-prompts/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/03/tips-for-answering-yale-university-supplemental-essay-prompts/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 19:38:25 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26442 This post about the Yale supplement to the Common Application is part of a series of posts written to help you complete the 2015 Common Application supplement for Ivy League and other top schools.  Yale University is consistently ranked among the top universities in the world. It requires the Common Application essay plus additional Yale-specific short answers and […]

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Click here for more school-specific supplemental essay tips!

Get excited about the prospect of attending Yale!

This post about the Yale supplement to the Common Application is part of a series of posts written to help you complete the 2015 Common Application supplement for Ivy League and other top schools. 

Yale University is consistently ranked among the top universities in the world. It requires the Common Application essay plus additional Yale-specific short answers and a Yale writing supplement. For applicants interested in engineering, there is a third optional essay. This prestigious Ivy League school prides itself on providing undergraduates with an exceptional foundation in liberal arts education that focuses on cultivating knowledge and leadership skills. “Yale’s commitment to each student – to challenge, expand, and ultimately better understand the life of one’s own mind through undergraduate study.” The supplemental writing response is a chance for you to convey how the Yale experience augments your passions and perspectives in terms of learning, living, and your future.

If Yale is your first choice, it offers a single-choice early action program for freshman applicants (November 1st deadline). If you choose to use this option, you may not apply to early decision or early action programs at other schools. There are a few exceptions to this rule, check the Yale admissions website for details. Under this program, Yale will notify you of its admission decision by December 15th. The deadline for submission of applications for regular action is January 1st.

Before you begin writing your essay(s), thoroughly research all that Yale has to offer and consider how those opportunities bolster your objectives. This is a time to get excited about the prospect of attending Yale! Visit the website, speak with current students and alumni; envision yourself as a part of its exceptional learning community. The curriculum at Yale is designed to provide both breadth and depth of study as the foundation for students to pursue inspired lives and careers. It strives to foster independent critical thinking. Yale is one of the only universities that allow you to try-out your classes before you finalize your schedule. The first ten days of each semester are an opportunity to visit a number of classes to determine which are most interesting to you!

Located in the small town of New Haven, in an urban setting that is primarily a residential campus, Yale offers a supportive community-feel through its system of twelve residential colleges. This configuration, complete with its own residential deans and masters, creates a sense of intimacy within the larger university. Residential deans serve as primary personal and academic advisors. Masters work with students to shape the residential community. This is a powerfully dynamic way of bringing together students and faculty. Think about how this structure can support your intellectual growth.

Yale’s essay question are required for all freshman applicants:

In this second essay, please reflect on something you would like us to know about you that we might not learn from the rest of your application, or on something about which you would like to say more. You may write about anything—from personal experiences or interests to intellectual pursuits (500 word limit).

This is a completely open-ended prompt! Consider your overall application, what sort of picture does it paint? Do you feel there is something significant missing? This is an invitation to present a more complete image. Is there something essential that you feel compelled to discuss further? Are there elements of your culture or life experience that are meaningful to your identity? What really matters to you? Your response to this question reveals your character and values. It also touches upon how you make sense of the world around you and how you see yourself within that world. Think about your goals for the future. How do your personal experiences, interests, or intellectual pursuits relate to your potential as a student at Yale?

Optional essay for prospective engineering majors:

If you selected one of the engineering majors, please write a brief third essay telling us what has led you to an interest in this field of study, what experiences (if any) you have had in engineering, and what it is about Yale’s engineering program that appeals to you.

This is your chance to share your excitement about engineering and Yale. What sparked your interest in the field? How did you nurture that drive to expand your exposure to engineering? Elaborate on extracurricular activities that support your intellectual curiosity. Can you demonstrate leadership in your pursuits? How did you invest yourself in engineering-related experiences? How will an education in Yale’s engineering program support your aspirations? Think about this question in both broad and specific terms. Connect your discussion to specific aspects of the engineering program at Yale. What sort of Yale engineering student might you be?

The tone of your essays should reflect your drive and enthusiasm for learning in general and at Yale in particular. Convey your perspectives in your own voice. Be thoughtful and reflective.

In addition to the supplemental essay(s), Yale also requires five short answer responses with limits ranging from 40 to 100 words. These are another a way to help the admissions committee to get a better idea of who you are as an individual. These responses reveal aspects of your personality, interests, character, and ways of thinking about the world around you.

What in particular about Yale has influenced your decision to apply? (100 words or less)

This is a direct question, so answer it directly. Why do you want to attend Yale? Write clearly and honestly. Articulate your motivation for applying to Yale with gusto. How will an education at Yale make your life more meaningful?

Please respond in 250 characters (roughly 40 words) or fewer to each of the questions below:

 • What excites you intellectually, really?

• Think about a disappointment you have experienced. What was your response?

• Suite-style living – four to six students sharing a set of rooms – may be an integral part of your Yale College experience. What would you contribute to the dynamic of your suite?

• What do you wish you were better at being or doing?

Yale is looking for the best and brightest students with diverse interests and life experiences. The admissions committee wants to evaluate “qualities such as motivation, curiosity, energy, leadership ability, and distinctive talents.” Consider how your responses to the above questions express your personality, resilience, and disposition. What do your answers indicate about how you engage with your others?

Applicants to Yale have an exceedingly competitive profile. Yale received 30,932 undergraduate applications (single choice early action: 4,750; regular decision: 26,182) for the class of 2018. Only 7% of applicants were offered admission, the freshman class was comprised of 1,361students and 95% of them ranked in the top 10% of their high school class. In addition, consider average SAT scores of 755 in critical reading, 750 in math, 760 in writing and an average ACT score of 33 and you get a sense of your cohort.

It is easy to get overwhelmed by the numbers. At this point, it is heartening to bear in mind that Yale is dedicated to a holistic application evaluation process for admission. Your short responses and supplemental essay(s) facilitate a more comprehensive review of you as a prospective student at Yale. The admissions committee takes the time to read your responses carefully. Make sure you allow yourself appropriate time for thoughtful reflection and effective writing. Use your writing supplement to set you apart from your peers. The best approach is to be true to you and communicate your thoughts, experiences, hopes, and dreams in a way that highlights your genuine enthusiasm for the extraordinary educational journey at Yale!

Download 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid to learn how to eliminate the most common flaws in your application essays.

Marie Todd By , Accepted’s college admissions specialist. Marie has worked in college admissions for over twenty years. She has both counseled applicants and evaluated applications. Most recently she evaluated 5000+ applications for the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts; College of Engineering; School of Kinesiology. She is available to assist you (or your child) with your applications.

Related Resources:

School-Specific Common Application Supplemental Essay Tips
Leadership in Admissions
• U.S. News 2015 Best Colleges

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What’s an MBA Really Worth? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/02/whats-an-mba-really-worth/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/02/whats-an-mba-really-worth/#respond Sun, 02 Nov 2014 18:17:33 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26383 This is the question tackled in a recent Poets & Quants article in which John Byrne presents PayScale data provided exclusively for P&Q. In the analysis, PayScale calculates the estimated median pay and bonuses (not including stock-based compensation, retirement benefits, or non-cash benefits like healthcare) of graduates from the top 50 U.S. MBA programs from […]

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Applying to top MBA programs? Download your free copy of Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One

How much do MBAs really earn?

This is the question tackled in a recent Poets & Quants article in which John Byrne presents PayScale data provided exclusively for P&Q. In the analysis, PayScale calculates the estimated median pay and bonuses (not including stock-based compensation, retirement benefits, or non-cash benefits like healthcare) of graduates from the top 50 U.S. MBA programs from 2004 to 2014. Here are some of the highlights from the article:

Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton earn the most over a 20-year period (at $3,233,000, $3,011,000 and $2,989,000 respectively), with average income at the former nearly doubling the average income of graduates from Texas A&M’s Mays Business School (at $1,781,820.)

• Some schools “punched above their weight class” like Boston University, whose graduates earned an average of $2,329,000, making the school rank in 19th place on this list, while ranked overall (in the regular MBA full-time rankings) by P&Q in 40th.

• Another high roller from lower down on the list is UC-Irvine Merage, where MBAs earn $2,319,932 over 20 years, putting them in 21st place, though generally ranked in 47th.

• More food for thought: At HBS, the average age of graduation is 29 years old. Our 20-year payout here brings these MBAs up to 49 years old, giving them another 16 years until retirement at 65. Based on their 20-year earnings, they may earn another $3.2 million, which combined with their 20-year earnings, brings their total up to $6.5 million. (Remember, this is a conservative estimate as it doesn’t include stock and non-cash compensation.)

• Compare the above HBS figures to the $2.5 million estimated lifetime earnings (age 24 to 64) of people with a master’s degree (non-MBA). (Data from the U.S. Census Bureau.) Someone with an MBA from Harvard will earn nearly three times as much as someone with a master’s degree. And someone with an MBA from Texas A&M will still earn about $1 million more than the average MA/MS holder.

• More comparisons (based on U.S. Census Bureau data): The average high school graduate can expect to earn $1.2 million in a lifetime, compared to the $2.1 million of someone with a bachelor’s degree. PhDs earn $3.4 million on average during their working lifetime. Doctors and lawyers can expect lifetime earnings of about $4.4 million – still less than the lifetime earnings of MBAs from at least 28 business schools.

• According to PayScale data, graduates from BA programs earn a median $1,301,000 20 years post-graduation. All MBAs, on average, earned $1,771,000, with those in the top 50 earning a median $2,266,000. An MBA in general will earn you about half a million more than a BA; an MBA from a top 50 school will get you yet another half a million more.

Looking for admissions advice?
Source: PayScale for Poets&Quants

For MBA admissions tips, check out our MBA Admissions 101 Pages!
Source: Payscale Inc. for 20-year estimate, business schools reporting to U.S. News for 2013 starting pay and bonus.

Click here for the complete Poets & Quants article.

Learn How to Choose the Best MBA Program for You!

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

MBA Rankings: What You Need to Know
• B-Schools with the Highest ROIs
PayScale: How Much You Can Earn, And How to Earn It

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New LinkedIn University Rankings http://blog.accepted.com/2014/10/31/new-linkedin-university-rankings/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/10/31/new-linkedin-university-rankings/#respond Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:46:52 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26176 Exciting news! LinkedIn just launched new rankings that connect prospective students to universities based on career outcomes. Here’s how they did it (in their words) using software developers as an example: 1. First, we identified the top companies where software developers are choosing to work. 2. Next, we found people on LinkedIn who work as software developers and […]

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Need college admissions advice? Check out our College Admissions 101 Pages!

LinkedIn Joins the Rankings Scene.

Exciting news! LinkedIn just launched new rankings that connect prospective students to universities based on career outcomes. Here’s how they did it (in their words) using software developers as an example:

1. First, we identified the top companies where software developers are choosing to work.

2. Next, we found people on LinkedIn who work as software developers and saw where they went to school.

3. Finally, for each school, we found the percentage of these alumni who’ve landed software development jobs at these top companies, then compared the percentages to come up with the list.

You can look up your prospective career, and then view the top universities with the most graduates in top companies in that prospective career. LI defines the most desirable companies as those “that are the best at attracting and retaining talent in that profession.”

For example, let’s take a look at finance professionals. The following schools were ranked based on how successful recent graduates were at landing desirable finance jobs.

Finance Professionals

1. University of Pennsylvania

2. Yale

3. Georgetown

4. Princeton

5. Columbia

6. NYU

7. Duke

8. Harvard

9. Cornell

10. Dartmouth

For marketing professionals, the list goes as follows.

Marketers

1. University of Pennsylvania

2. University of Michigan

3. Harvard

4. NYU

5. Cornell

6. Georgetown

7. Stanford

8. UC Berkeley

9. Northwestern

10. University of Texas at Austin

One quick flaw that I see here is that you don’t know the difference or magnitude of difference between the schools. Also some of the categories are very broad, like “media professionals.” That could include writers, actors, musicians, business people – these are all people involved in media.

But the concept of ranking which schools send the most grads to specific fields, or even better yet, to desirable employers in those fields is a good one IMO.

You can read more about their methodology here.

Download 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid to learn how to eliminate the most common flaws in your application essays.

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Related Resources:

• Top 10 Colleges with the Highest Paid Grads
• U.S. News 2015 Best Colleges
College Admissions 101

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Tips for Answering Princeton University Supplemental Essay Prompts http://blog.accepted.com/2014/10/30/tips-for-answering-princeton-university-supplemental-essay-prompts/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/10/30/tips-for-answering-princeton-university-supplemental-essay-prompts/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:18:37 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26446 This post about the Princeton supplement to the Common Application is part of a series of posts written to help you complete the 2015 Common Application supplement for Ivy League and other top schools.  Princeton University is among the top schools in the nation and is recognized globally for academic excellence. This Ivy League school is renowned as […]

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Check out the rest of our school-specific Common App supplemental essay tips!

Show your engagement with the world.

This post about the Princeton supplement to the Common Application is part of a series of posts written to help you complete the 2015 Common Application supplement for Ivy League and other top schools. 

Princeton University is among the top schools in the nation and is recognized globally for academic excellence. This Ivy League school is renowned as a major research university as well as an outstanding liberal arts college. Princeton requires supplemental essays in addition to the Common Application or the Universal College Application essay. These additional essays help the admissions committee to get a more comprehensive understanding of your particular strengths and how you might contribute to the Princeton community. Princeton prides itself on the diversity of talents, achievements, perspectives, and interests of its student body. It is looking for a freshman class that shares the following qualities: “integrity, a deep interest in learning and a devotion to both academic and non-academic pursuits.” Think about how you can contribute to Princeton as well as how Princeton can support your aspirations.

Princeton offers a nonbinding, single-choice early action program, listed on the Common Application as restrictive early action. Under this program, you may not apply to any other early program at a private college or university however; you may apply to any non-binding early program at a public institution. This is a good option if Princeton is your first choice. The early action deadline is Nov. 1. Students admitted early may defer their admission decision to May 1st, which is the deadline to accept Princeton’s offer for regular decision. The deadline to submit regular decision applications is January 1st.

Begin by doing your research. Adhere to deadlines and word-limits. Spend time looking over the Princeton website, get to know what current undergraduates are saying about the school, familiarize yourself with the various majors, imagine yourself there, if possible visit the campus, allow yourself to get excited about this opportunity, and make every effort to gain a sense of why Princeton is the ideal academic environment for you!

Located suburban setting, Princeton is primarily a residential campus with a strong liberal arts focus. Its residential college structure, freshman seminars, and preceptorial system support the tight-knit student community. These are hallmarks of an education at Princeton and demonstrate the university’s commitment to student centered learning within the context of a diverse student body, faculty, and staff.

As you address the following Princeton supplemental questions, consider how your responses reveal your intellectual curiosity, passion for learning, and engagement with the world.

Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences that was particularly meaningful to you. (About 150 words)

Use this opportunity to discuss an interesting aspect of an extracurricular activity or work experience that imparts something significant about your character. For example, if you were involved with the Boy Scouts, many students talk about leadership in general terms instead; focus on a particular event in Boy Scouts where you took on a leadership role and why that was meaningful to you. Or perhaps there was a specific incident in your job that required you to take on additional responsibility, showcase what that reveals about your values. Consider what makes this activity or work experience distinctive and what it demonstrates about your character.

Please tell us how you have spent the last two summers (or vacations between school years), including any jobs you have held. (About 150 words)

This prompt asks you to share what you do when you are not in school. This may include just about anything you do outside of school. Don’t panic if your summer experiences were not exotic. The key here is to express your interests and perspectives about how you spent that time. What did you learn? This response provides insight about your life experience and background.

Your favorite book and its author

Your favorite movie

Your favorite website

Two adjectives your friends would use to describe you

Your favorite recording

Your favorite keepsake or memento

Your favorite source of inspiration

Your favorite word

Your favorite line from a movie or book and its title

As you consider how to answer the questions above, remember that Princeton is looking for independent thinkers with creative minds who are engaged with the world around them. Make sure to consider what your answers might indicate to the admissions committee. These responses provide clues about the kind of person you are and the kind of prospective Princeton student you might be. They also reflect the way you think and what you find interesting, fun, and motivating. Be truthful but also try not to mention anything that might be considered offensive.

In addition to the Common Application essay and Princeton-specific short answer responses, a themed essay of 250 to 650 words is also required. Be aware that you should not reiterate any portion of the essay you used for the Common Application.

Using one of the themes below as a starting point, write about a person, event, or experience that helped you define one of your values or in some way changed how you approach the world. Please do not repeat, in full or in part, the essay you wrote for the Common Application.

Tell us about a person who has influenced you in a significant way.

Discuss a person who has made a difference in your way of thinking that subsequently influenced your actions and/or behavior. This is someone who has inspired you, convinced you, and/or challenged you in some way. As you choose a person who has influenced you, also consider what you value about that person and what that might reflect about the sort of person you are. This response tells the admissions committee the kind of person you aspire to be and what characteristics you hold dear. It is okay to compare yourself directly with this person. Just be sure to avoid being boastful- focus on how they inspired you to define your values and the way you approach the world.

“One of the great challenges of our time is that the disparities we face today have more complex causes and point less straightforwardly to solutions.” Omar Wasow, Assistant Professor, Politics; Founder, Blackplanet.com This quote is taken from Professor Wasow’s January 2014 speech at the Martin Luther King Day celebration at Princeton University.

This prompt lends itself to a discussion of civil liberties and civil rights. Your response can tie to local or global issues. Begin by considering a broad range of inequalities, but focus on something specific and significant to you. Consider the current state of inequalities– racial, sexual, political, economic, gender. Consider old approaches and new solutions. Think about the complexity of solutions in day-to-day interactions/business as well as the bigger picture (actively promoting equality). This response illustrates to how you think through complex issues and how you interpret varied sources of information. How do you make sense of the world around you? How does this impact your personal values? What sort of solutions do you have in mind to address the disparities? What issues or aspects of these topics will you explore further at Princeton?

“Princeton in the Nation’s Service” was the title of a speech given by Woodrow Wilson on the 150th anniversary of the University. It became the unofficial Princeton motto and was expanded for the University’s 250th anniversary to “Princeton in the nation’s service and in the service of all nations.” Woodrow Wilson, Princeton Class of 1879, served on the faculty and was Princeton’s president from 1902–1910.

A response to this prompt will likely address leadership, service to your community, and/or service on an international level. What will a Princeton education allow you to do as a leader in your field? How do your previous leadership roles create a foundation for the sorts of leadership roles you will pursue at Princeton? What does service to others mean to you? This is a great place to discuss your involvement with community service projects. You can tie your response to local and international concerns. Focus on how the experience influenced your values or approach to the world. What are your visions for the future and how does Princeton support those plans?

“Culture is what presents us with the kinds of valuable things that can fill a life. And insofar as we can recognize the value in those things and make them part of our lives, our lives are meaningful.” Gideon Rosen, Stuart Professor of Philosophy, chair of the Council of the Humanities and director of the Program in Humanistic Studies, Princeton University.

This prompt illustrates the sort of things you find valuable– traditions, family, religion, etc. This is about how you appreciate/perpetuated/embrace culture in day-to-day routines as well as lager patterns of thoughts and behaviors. It is also about where you come from and what impact that has on you. This is a good place to discuss your family’s history and culture. How do you see yourself within a specific world context? Discuss your culture and what is meaningful to you. Remember to relate this back to how culture defines your values and the way you approach the world. Also discuss how a Princeton education fits into the picture.

Using a favorite quotation from an essay or book you have read in the last three years as a starting point, tell us about an event or experience that helped you define one of your values or changed how you approach the world. Please write the quotation, title and author at the beginning of your essay.

This prompt sets the stage to discuss just about any topic! As you select your favorite quotation, consider what it reveals about your values and how you look at the world. This response hones in on the process of critical thinking and evaluation. It allows you to discuss your identity and perspectives and asks you to articulate how you approach the world around you. It tells the admissions committee more about who you are and what is important to you. Remember to discuss how your values and world perspective make Princeton a place where you will flourish.

Each of these essay prompts ask you to share something personal about yourself, discuss how the experience impacted you, and how you make sense of your world. They ask you to articulate your values and provide insight into your thinking process. They also reveal how you evaluate information and make decisions. Select the themed essay topic that strikes a cord with you. Make sure to convey your enthusiasm for that subject and for Princeton.

It is no surprise that Princeton has a highly competitive and impressive applicant pool. It received 26,641 undergraduate applications for the class of 2018. Only 1,983, or 7.4%, were offered admission and 96% ranked in the top 10% of their high school class. Add to that, average SAT scores of 745 in critical reading, 755 in math, 750 in writing and an average ACT score of 33 and you get an better sense of the level of competition. However, keep in mind that Princeton is committed to a holistic approach to the admissions process. This means they use your essay responses to round out the picture of you as a prospective student. The supplemental essays are your chance to share critical information about yourself. There is no magic formula to gain admission to this prestigious Ivy League school. As you survey the numbers, it is clear that you must use your essays as an opportunity to differentiate yourself from your peers and to demonstrate that you belong at Princeton!

Download 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid to learn how to eliminate the most common flaws in your application essays.

Marie Todd By Accepted’s college admissions specialist. Marie has worked in college admissions for over twenty years. She has both counseled applicants and evaluated applications. Most recently she evaluated 5000+ applications for the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts; College of Engineering; School of Kinesiology. She is available to assist you (or your child) with your applications.

Related Resources:

• School-Specific Common App Supplemental Essay Tips
• Common App Supplemental Essay Tips
• From Example to Exemplary, a free special report.

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Magoosh’s New eBook: Lightening the SAT Math Load http://blog.accepted.com/2014/10/28/magooshs-new-ebook-lightening-the-sat-math-load/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/10/28/magooshs-new-ebook-lightening-the-sat-math-load/#respond Tue, 28 Oct 2014 16:39:29 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26399 For some high school students, SAT math is the bane of their existence. You need to learn all these foreign strings of numbers and letters, and then magically recall them once you’re sitting in a hot room for hours with your entire future weighing down on your tired shoulders. Yeah – SAT math…not the funnest […]

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Magoosh_SAT MathFor some high school students, SAT math is the bane of their existence. You need to learn all these foreign strings of numbers and letters, and then magically recall them once you’re sitting in a hot room for hours with your entire future weighing down on your tired shoulders. Yeah – SAT math…not the funnest thing in the world.

Our friends at Magoosh SAT have released a new ebook, Magoosh’s SAT Formula eBook, loaded with all you need to know to lighten the load and ace the math section on the SATs. The book is free with interactive elements, and comes complete with all the math formulas, study strategies, time-saving tips, and practice problems you’ll need for the SAT.

Here’s an excerpt from the intro of the book:

While formulas can be really helpful on the SAT, there are very, very few that you absolutely need to have memorized to score well. That might come as a surprise, but it’s true, and it leads us to an important thought: understanding how and why a formula works is as useful as rote memorization. In fact, it’s much better. You’ll have a better sense of when to use a formula and be more accurate in executing it if you understand the math behind it. Let’s look at a concrete case to illustrate. The distance formula is a prime example. It’s ugly…

MagooshSAT_DistanceFormula

…but it actually represents a pretty simple idea. If you have any two points on a graph (on the coordinate plane), you can make a right triangle that connects those two points as the ends of the hypotenuse. That is, you draw a diagonal line between the two points, then a straight horizontal line and a straight vertical line going through each point to make the legs of the triangle.

MagooshSAT_Triangle

Then, since you’re trying to find the length of the hypotenuse, you just use the Pythagorean theorem:

MagooshSAT_PythagoreanTheorem

(Notice that a couple very basic formulas like this one do need to be memorized.) The lengths of those legs are a and b, and the length of the hypotenuse is c.

So let’s find the length of c:

MagooshSAT_LengthofC

And if you’re trying to find the length of the legs (the shorter sides), you just need to know the horizontal distance between the two points, [more math], and the vertical distance between the two points, [more math]. If you replace a and b with those values, voilà: you have the distance formula.

Check out the Book!

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Introducing NEW Consulting CEO Rankings http://blog.accepted.com/2014/10/22/introducing-new-consulting-ceo-rankings/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/10/22/introducing-new-consulting-ceo-rankings/#respond Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:54:45 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26115 Firmsconsulting just released new rankings that compare the performance of CEOs from six top consulting firms, McKinsey & Co., BCG, Bain & Co., Deloitte S&O, PwC Strategy& and Roland Berger. Each Sunday, the rankings will be republished based on new performance findings. Here are some points to keep in mind: 1. How a CEO fares […]

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FirmsconsultingCEORankingsFirmsconsulting just released new rankings that compare the performance of CEOs from six top consulting firms, McKinsey & Co., BCG, Bain & Co., Deloitte S&O, PwC Strategy& and Roland Berger. Each Sunday, the rankings will be republished based on new performance findings.

Here are some points to keep in mind:

1. How a CEO fares does not correlate to the prestige of the firm.

2. Feedback is collected directly from firm partners.

3. The real-time ranking updates allow Firmsconsulting to track weekly changes. For consulting firms, a yearly ranking would simply be outdated by the time it was published, taking into account data from a bygone era.

4. Based on a CEO’s past performance, Firmsconsulting believes one can infer from these ranking the likely future performance of a CEO.

You can view the real-time rankings and check out CEO profiles here.

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Related Resources:

• How to Become a Management Consultant
• Consulting at Top MBA Programs
• MBA In Sight: Focus on Management Consulting

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Princeton Approves Grading Policy Changes http://blog.accepted.com/2014/10/19/princeton-approves-grading-policy-changes/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/10/19/princeton-approves-grading-policy-changes/#respond Sun, 19 Oct 2014 16:32:30 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26117 Last week Princeton faculty approved changes to their undergraduate grading policy, including the removal of “numerical targets and replacing them with grading standards developed and articulated by each department.” The committee concluded that the previous system (adopted in 2004) is a large contributor to psychological stress, making students “feel as though they are competing for […]

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Will Princeton’s application volume go up?

Last week Princeton faculty approved changes to their undergraduate grading policy, including the removal of “numerical targets and replacing them with grading standards developed and articulated by each department.” The committee concluded that the previous system (adopted in 2004) is a large contributor to psychological stress, making students “feel as though they are competing for a limited resource of A grades.”

New policies will emphasis “quality of feedback” rather than numerical grades. The previous faculty committee on grading will be dissolved, and a new committee – the Council on Teaching and Learning – will advance this new focus. The committee believes that these changes won’t negatively impact competitiveness of Princeton students when it comes to post-college education.

The recommendation proposes that at the beginning of each year, the Faculty Committee on Examinations and Standing will “review the grading history for each department and program, and the dean of the college would continue to report to the faculty on the grading record of the previous academic year.”

(Source: “Princeton faculty approves changes to grading policy” by Princeton Office of Communications)

My Prediction

The grading policy adopted in 2004 reflected concern among Princeton faculty about grade inflation. I predict that the new policy will exacerbate grade inflation at Princeton while reducing student “stress.” It may just also increase Princeton’s application volume and yield by removing the perception that Princeton students suffer from a more rigorous grading scale and are at a “disadvantage” when applying to graduate schools because their grades may be a tad lower.

Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Related Resources:

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your College Application Essays
• Common Application Supplemental Essay Tips
• U.S. News 2015 Best Colleges

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Why Your Resume Deserves Your Attention http://blog.accepted.com/2014/10/13/why-your-resume-deserves-your-attention/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/10/13/why-your-resume-deserves-your-attention/#respond Mon, 13 Oct 2014 18:52:32 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=26113 Many adcom readers will begin their review of an application by going over an applicant’s resume. That’s right – your resume isn’t just some quick document that’s there for show! It’s really your unique one-page introduction to the admissions board. This is not something you want to put on the back burner! In our newest […]

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Many adcom readers will begin their review of an application by going over an applicant’s resume. That’s right – your resume isn’t just some quick document that’s there for show! It’s really your unique one-page introduction to the admissions board. This is not something you want to put on the back burner!

Download your copy of The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes!

In our newest special report, The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes, you’ll learn important tips and tricks for crafting an admissions resume that’s interesting, clear, and highly readable. A messy resume equals a messy applicant – not the first impression you want to make!

Download your free copy of The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes now and get started with the resume that will determine your future: acceptance to your top choice program!

Click here to download your guide!

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Top 10 Colleges with the Highest Paid Grads http://blog.accepted.com/2014/10/07/top-10-colleges-with-the-highest-paid-grads-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/10/07/top-10-colleges-with-the-highest-paid-grads-2/#respond Tue, 07 Oct 2014 16:47:35 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=25909 Forbes just released some rankings on the colleges whose graduates earn the most money. We’ll provide two charts below – one of colleges with high earning grads with bachelor’s degrees only, and one of colleges with high earning grads who went on to complete additional degrees. Colleges with the Highest Paid Grads (BA Only): Colleges […]

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Forbes just released some rankings on the colleges whose graduates earn the most money. We’ll provide two charts below – one of colleges with high earning grads with bachelor’s degrees only, and one of colleges with high earning grads who went on to complete additional degrees.

Colleges with the Highest Paid Grads (BA Only):

Looking for college admissions advice? Check out our College Admissions 101 pages!

Colleges with the Highest Paid Grads (BA and Higher Degrees):

Check out our College Admissions 101 Pages for great tips!

Click here to view the Forbes article.

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

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Related Resources:

• The Most Economically Diverse Colleges in the U.S.
• U.S. News 2015 Best Colleges
Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders

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Big SAT Changes Favored More by Adcom than by Students http://blog.accepted.com/2014/10/05/big-sat-changes-favored-more-by-adcom-than-by-students/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/10/05/big-sat-changes-favored-more-by-adcom-than-by-students/#respond Sun, 05 Oct 2014 17:03:53 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=25968 Kaplan asked 403 admissions officers from top schools and 684 high school students their opinions on the new SAT. Survey results show that the admissions officers are more supportive of the changes than the college applicants. 79% of officers support the changes, up from 72% last year. Big changes include reverting back to the 1600 […]

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Looking for more college admissions resources? Check out College Admissions 101!

71% of admissions officers, but only 41% of students support the inclusion of calculator-forbidden math questions. 

Kaplan asked 403 admissions officers from top schools and 684 high school students their opinions on the new SAT. Survey results show that the admissions officers are more supportive of the changes than the college applicants. 79% of officers support the changes, up from 72% last year. Big changes include reverting back to the 1600 point scale; adding historical reading passages; making math sections more difficult; shifting the essay from required to optional; getting rid of wrong answer penalties; eliminating fill-in-the-blank vocabulary questions; and adding a computer-based test taking option.

Here are some highlights from the results:

 • 87% of admissions officers and 67% of students support the inclusion of history-related reading passage.

 • 71% of admissions officers support the inclusion of calculator-forbidden math questions, compared to the support of only 47% of students. (On the new exam, calculators won’t be allowed for 20 of the 57 math questions – currently calculators are permitted for the entire exam.)

 • 67% of admissions officers support shifting the essay from required to optional, compared to 51% of students. Additionally, 73% of admissions officers say they don’t plan to require applicants to submit the essay.

 • 70% of admissions officers and 73% of students support getting rid of the wrong answer penalty.

 • 88% of admissions officers and 85% of students support the elimination of fill-in-the-blank vocabulary questions. Instead of these question, the SAT will include more contextual vocab questions, as well as editing write-in sections.

 • 82% of admissions members support the option of taking the SAT on a computer. This is compared to only 36% of students surveyed. Students report concern about staring at a computer screen for four hours, encountering technical difficulties, and not having space for “scratch work” for math questions.

See the Kaplan press release for more details.

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

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Related Resources:

• Writing an Interesting SAT Essay in 25 Minutes
• SAT Myths Debunked
• U.S. News 2015 Best Colleges

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5 Tips to Find a Satisfying Career http://blog.accepted.com/2014/10/03/5-tips-to-find-a-satisfying-career/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/10/03/5-tips-to-find-a-satisfying-career/#respond Fri, 03 Oct 2014 16:44:38 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=25955 Work becomes such a big part of your life after college that it is really important to find a career you will be happy in. Don’t just jump into the first job that comes your way after graduation. No matter what anyone else says, you really have to look within yourself and decide what is […]

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Get the details about "How to Ditch Your Dead End Job and Find a Career You Love!"

Don’t get stuck in a career you really don’t like!

Work becomes such a big part of your life after college that it is really important to find a career you will be happy in. Don’t just jump into the first job that comes your way after graduation. No matter what anyone else says, you really have to look within yourself and decide what is going to make you happy and what you are going to enjoy doing for the rest of your life.

The truth is that you will be more successful when you are happy at work. So here are five tips to find a satisfying career:

1) Do what you want to do instead of what you feel like you should do.

It’s so easy to just go along that path of what you should do. You can save yourself so much time and trouble if you just start with what you want to do. The career you started in doesn’t necessarily have to be the career you end with. There is freedom in your career and you don’t have to stick with one career. You can be so many things. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.

2) Do one small task daily that helps you get closer to your big goal.

If you do something daily on your way to your big goal, totally amazing things will start happening. Wake up earlier or schedule 30 minutes every evening to work on your passion. And don’t forget that the best investment you can make is always in yourself. Take a course or find a coach. It’s always worth it.

3) Learn more about yourself.

Once you recognize what your personal values are, it will feel like everything just comes into place so much more quickly as far as choosing a career that magnifies who you are. As you start to know your personality, motivations and interests more, you will learn what is important to you in the career that you pick. Then you can start searching for a career that will meet your personal and professional needs.

4)  Get clear about what you want.

If you don’t know what you want, you will probably just take the first job that comes your way. This can have bad consequences leading to becoming stuck in a career that you don’t really like. Instead, get clear on what it is you want so that you can job search more effectively. Dream up your ideal workday and create a vision board that you look at everyday to remind you of your career goals and dreams.

5) Ask for help.

It’s OK to ask for help. One of the best and easiest ways to gain experience is by asking others. There are so many people out there in the world who are simply waiting to help you, and all you have to do is ask.  It’s OK to seek out mentors, and it’s OK to boldly ask people for career guidance and insights. You have to be grabby. Don’t wait for opportunities to happen to you.

Take this opportunity now to decide what you want to achieve and start taking action to make your ideal career happen.

Anna Runyan is the creator of the “Love Your Career Formula.” She has an upcoming free online workshop on October 9th, 2014 called, “How to Ditch Your Dead End Job and Find a Career You Love.” If you want Anna’s proven step-by-step system to find a fulfilling career, grab your spot here!

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Tips for Answering Dartmouth College Supplemental Essay Prompts http://blog.accepted.com/2014/10/01/tips-for-answering-dartmouth-college-supplemental-essay-prompts/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/10/01/tips-for-answering-dartmouth-college-supplemental-essay-prompts/#respond Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:08:16 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=25847 This post about the Dartmouth supplement to the Common Application is part of a series of posts written to help you complete the 2015 Common Application supplement for Ivy League and other top schools.  Dartmouth College, like the other Ivy League schools, accepts the Common Application essay. It also requires a supplemental essay response. The extra essay helps […]

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“Challenge yourself. Be yourself.”

This post about the Dartmouth supplement to the Common Application is part of a series of posts written to help you complete the 2015 Common Application supplement for Ivy League and other top schools. 

Dartmouth College, like the other Ivy League schools, accepts the Common Application essay. It also requires a supplemental essay response. The extra essay helps the admission committee round out the overall picture of the applicant. Don’t approach this as just another essay you have to write. Look at this as a wonderful opportunity for you to make a convincing statement about why Dartmouth is the ideal school for you to achieve your aspirations!

As you prepare to address one of the essay prompts, think about Dartmouth’s comprehensive character. Consider its location in Hanover, New Hampshire; if possible visit the campus and imagine yourself there as an undergraduate. Research the different ways that Dartmouth’s curriculum and approach to education are a good fit for your goals. Think about the specific activities, programs, or organizations that attract you to Dartmouth.

Beyond the information contained in the Common Application, the admission committee strives to gain a deeper understanding about the applicant through the supplemental essay response and its peer review requirement. You must include a letter of recommendation from a friend, classmate, family member, or someone else you regard as your peer. This requirement provides insight into how you might fit in at Dartmouth.

Dartmouth prides itself on learning with no boundaries. The year round quarter system offers flexibility for you to design your own calendar. You can enter any major without a need for institutional approval (this includes Engineering). It encourages students to: “Challenge yourself. Be yourself.” Don’t worry about choosing a common topic. Instead, focus on discussing that topic from your point of view. Your essay responses should express your individual story.

Your response should be between one paragraph and a page in length. Select from one of the prompts below.

Every name tells a story: Tell us about your name–any name: first, middle, last, nickname–and its origin.

This is your chance to tell your unique story. Your discussion can relate to a specific family history or set of assumptions. How is the origin of your name significant to you? Does your name hold strong family ties to other countries/movements/beliefs? Are you named after a relative or famous person? Spend a good portion of your essay discussing how this story relates to your sense of identity. What does the story of your name reflect about you? How do you feel about what your name represents?

Tell us about an intellectual experience, either directly related to your schoolwork or not, that you found particularly meaningful.

Your response to this prompt helps shed light on your thinking process and what is important to you. Your discussion should illustrate how you approach learning new things. You can select to share any intellectual experience. Why is this experience significant? Did this experience cause you to move out of your comfort zone? What did you learn about yourself?

When you meet someone for the first time, what do you want them to know about you, but generally don’t tell them?

This is an interesting question that asks you to share something fundamental about yourself. Something, that is central to your being that you want others to honor. This is an opportunity to talk about your identity and perspectives about the world. Do you feel pressure based on a set of outward characteristics? Do you feel judged or liberated in some way? What is important to you? What is your reaction to these feelings and why is it significant for others to know this secret about you?

Describe the influence your hero has had on your life.

As you select your hero, think about what this person reflects about you. What are his ideals? Why do you see her as a hero? The bulk of your discussion should focus on what impact your hero has had on you. How has he motivated you? How do you try to emulate her approach, commitment, passion, or way of being? Your response to this prompt, provides insight for the admissions committee about your values and aspirations.

We believe it is critical that your candidacy reflect the interests, experiences and pursuits that are most important to you. To this end, is there anything else you would like us to know?

This prompt is an open-ended question. The admissions committee doesn’t want to overlook something you hold dear. You can choose to discuss just about anything! Remember, they already have your letters of recommendations (counselor, teachers and peer), grades, SAT/ACT/AP/IB scores, curriculum, and list of extracurricular involvement. Tell them something important that is not included elsewhere in your application or highlight something significant to your identity/goals/life. Remember to relate this discussion to how Dartmouth is a good match for you and vise versa.

Note, if you have unusual curricular patterns, your counselor can mention this in the Secondary Education Report or you can discuss your circumstances in the “Additional Information” section of the Common Application.

The context of your academic success is a significant factor in determining your overall competitiveness as an applicant. The top applicants take the most rigorous curriculum available at their high schools. Furthermore, by achieving high grades, they demonstrate their ability to thrive in Dartmouth’s challenging academic environment. Dartmouth embraces a holistic approach to the admission process and is committed to reviewing all aspects of your application. However, keep in mind, it received 19,296 undergraduate applications for the class of 2018. Only 2,220 or 11.5% were offered admission and 93% were ranked in the top 10% of their high school graduating class with an average SAT score of 2,190 and ACT score of 32. Your essays are your opportunity to pull away from this extremely competitive applicant pool.

Throughout the application process, it is crucial to stay focused on your goals. Allow yourself enough time to reflect on your experiences in a unique way. Meet all deadlines and word limits. Be sure that your overall application clearly reflects your interests and motivations and enthusiastically demonstrates why Dartmouth is the best school to help you achieve your objectives!

Download 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid to learn how to eliminate the most common flaws in your application essays.

Marie Todd By , Accepted’s college admissions specialist. Marie has worked in college admissions for over twenty years. She has both counseled applicants and evaluated applications. Most recently she evaluated 5000+ applications for the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts; College of Engineering; School of Kinesiology. She is available to assist you (or your child) with your applications.

Related Resources:

• Common App Supplemental Essay Tips
• Tips for Answering Common Application Essay Prompts
Admissions Tip: Be Yourself!

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Tips for Answering Cornell University Supplemental Essay Prompts http://blog.accepted.com/2014/09/29/tips-for-answering-cornell-university-supplemental-essay-prompts/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/09/29/tips-for-answering-cornell-university-supplemental-essay-prompts/#respond Mon, 29 Sep 2014 16:52:24 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=25808 This post about the Cornell supplement to the Common Application is part of a series of posts written to help you complete the 2015 Common Application supplement for Ivy League and other top schools.  Although the Ivy League schools review the Common Application essay, they also require supplemental essay responses. These help you to convey in […]

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The Goal: Demonstrate that Cornell is the right school for you and that you are the right student for Cornell!

This post about the Cornell supplement to the Common Application is part of a series of posts written to help you complete the 2015 Common Application supplement for Ivy League and other top schools. 

Although the Ivy League schools review the Common Application essay, they also require supplemental essay responses. These help you to convey in greater detail how the specific school is a good fit for you and how you can contribute to the collegiate environment. The additional essays prompts are geared to help these elite schools gain a better understanding of you as a potential student. Think about your future goals and how attending Cornell will help you achieve them!

It is important to familiarize yourself with the specific character of the school before sitting down to write your essays. You can begin by visiting the school website. Whenever possible, a campus visit is also helpful to get a feel for the school and gain a sense of how it supports your interests.

Cornell’s curriculum focuses on the collaborative nature of liberal education and fundamental knowledge through a practical educational approach to impact societal and world problems. As you respond to each prompt, think about your personal objectives, the mission of the school, and why Cornell is the best place for you.

Cornell boasts 14 undergraduate colleges and schools with over 80 majors. Through the broad scope of majors and the individual course of study options, it prides itself on being “a place where any person can find instruction in any study.” It fosters creative collaborations with a bottom-up approach. If you are unsure of which major is right for you, the Courses of Study catalog provides degree requirements for each college.

The Common Application Writing Supplement is based on the undergraduate college(s) or school(s) to which you are applying. Each essay response should be between 250-650 words. These questions are fairly straightforward and the content is somewhat similar between colleges/schools.

Note, if you are utilizing the Primary/Alternate admission option, you must complete an essay for both colleges/schools that correspond to your primary and alternate selections.

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: How have your interests and related experiences influenced the major you have selected in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences?

College of Architecture, Art, and Planning: Why are you excited to pursue your chosen major in AAP? What specifically about AAP and Cornell University will help you fulfill your academic and creative interests and long-term goals?

College of Arts and Sciences: Describe two or three of your current intellectual interests and why they are exciting to you. Why will Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences be the right environment in which to pursue your interests?

College of Engineering: Tell us about an engineering idea you have, or about your interest in engineering. Describe how your ideas and interests may be realized by—and linked to—specific resources within the College of Engineering. Finally, explain what a Cornell Engineering education will enable you to accomplish.

School of Hotel Administration: Hospitality is the largest industry in the world and includes sectors such as hotel operations, food and beverage management, real estate, finance, marketing, and law. Considering the breadth of our industry, please describe what work and non-work experiences, academic interests, and career goals influenced your decision to study hospitality management? How will these contribute to your success at the School of Hotel Administration?

College of Human Ecology: What do you value about the College of Human Ecology’s perspective, and the majors that interest you, as you consider your academic goals and plans for the future?

School of Industrial and Labor Relations: Tell us about your intellectual interests, how they sprung from your course, service, work or life experiences, and what makes them exciting to you. Describe how these interests may be realized and linked to the ILR curriculum.

These essay prompts ask you to discuss specific examples from your life experience (academic and otherwise) that support your interest in a particular school/college. In addition, they ask you to look toward your future and how your educational experience at Cornell supports your goals. They also want to know how you can enrich the collegiate environment at the school. These questions allow you to focus on what excites you about certain subjects and how studying at Cornell makes sense for you. Consider academics, campus atmosphere, location in Ithaca, and your long-term objectives. This is your opportunity to convey your passion for Cornell!

Cornell has a highly competitive applicant pool. It received 43,037 undergraduate applications for the class of 2018. Only 6,105 were offered admission and 87% of the students admitted were in the top 10% of their high school class with average SAT scores of 690 in critical reading, 730 in math, and an average ACT score of 32. The best way to distinguish yourself from your peers is through your essays.

Applying to an Ivey League school can seem like a daunting process. It is reassuring to keep in mind that these supplemental essays are a chance for you to share your personal stories and real-life experiences. Pay attention to deadlines and word limits as you craft each response to represent your unique perspectives. Start early to allow time for reflection and revision. Your goal is to demonstrate that Cornell is the right school for you and that you are the right student for Cornell!

Download 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid to learn how to eliminate the most common flaws in your application essays.

Marie Todd By , Accepted’s college admissions specialist. Marie has worked in college admissions for over twenty years. She has both counseled applicants and evaluated applications. Most recently she evaluated 5000+ applications for the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts; College of Engineering; School of Kinesiology. She is available to assist you (or your child) with your applications.

Related Resources:

Common App Supplemental Essay Tips
What is Passion in Admissions?
• College Application Essays: Writing Tips from the Pros

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I Stink At SAT Math: What Next? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/09/28/i-stink-at-sat-math-what-next/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/09/28/i-stink-at-sat-math-what-next/#respond Sun, 28 Sep 2014 16:56:26 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=25854 It’s pretty much inevitable that at some point during your SAT, you’re going to look at a problem and think, “Nope. Not happening.” Or maybe it will be a few moments after, which can be even more frustrating—you work through what seems like the best way to attack a problem, but then after a good […]

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Looking for more SAT tips? Check out our SAT blog posts.

Help! I Stink at SAT Math!

It’s pretty much inevitable that at some point during your SAT, you’re going to look at a problem and think, “Nope. Not happening.”

Or maybe it will be a few moments after, which can be even more frustrating—you work through what seems like the best way to attack a problem, but then after a good minute or so of work you’re still nowhere near an answer and don’t know what you’re even trying to do anymore.

What you do at that point is key, because the SAT is timed, after all. Every moment you spend looking blankly at a question is a moment gone to waste.

That’s part of why SAT math isn’t really like the rest of the math you do in school. One of the most important skills in the math section is knowing when to guess. That’s one thing you don’t really get from math class.

The principle is pretty simple: if you’re just starting to answer a question and you don’t know what to do, spend ~15 seconds exploring (don’t worry too much about the exact time, but realize this step has to be quick). Rework any equations you have. Label any measurements of a figure that you can infer. Write out the first elements in a series or look for other patterns.

And if, after exploring, you don’t know what to do next, don’t go back to square one and re-live your frustration. Instead, look first at whether there are any answer choices you can definitely rule out. Then circle the question in your test book, select a your best guess the answer sheet (this is why ruling out any answer choices you can is so important), and move on to the next question. Remember that every question in a section is worth the same, so it’s key that you give yourself enough time to get right every question that you can get right. Only after you’ve done that should you resume chewing your pencil and loathing that roadblock question.

As a side note, though, if you find yourself getting stuck on SAT math questions often but, at the same time, really think you know all the material that you need to for the test, then you might want to take a stab at the ACT instead. There’s a huge overlap between the tests, but there’s also a pretty subtle difference in SAT vs ACT math: the ACT tends to be a little bit more straightforward, so knowing the material is enough to answer most questions—it’s less often that you need to figure out subtle twists like what the SAT might throw at you.

Download 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid to learn how to eliminate the most common flaws in your application essays.

MagooshThis post was written by Lucas Fink, resident SAT expert at Magoosh, a leader in SAT Prep. For more SAT resources, check out Magoosh SAT vocabulary flashcards and the Magoosh SAT Blog!

Related Resources:

• Writing an Interesting SAT Essay in 25 Minutes
• Getting Ready to Apply to College Series
• GMAT, GRE, SAT, and All Things Test Prep

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Writing About Your Experiences Abroad http://blog.accepted.com/2014/09/22/writing-about-your-experiences-abroad/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/09/22/writing-about-your-experiences-abroad/#respond Mon, 22 Sep 2014 18:25:17 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=25755 You’ve done it – you studied, worked, or volunteered abroad and now you want to include part of this in your personal statement. Maybe you want to show that you’ve experienced a different culture or that you’ve managed to go outside of your comfort zone. Maybe you’ve had interesting experiences – met people, climbed mountains, […]

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Learn how to use sample essays to create exemplary essays of your own! [Free Downloadable Guide]

Ensure that your study abroad experience serves a role other than window-dressing.

You’ve done it – you studied, worked, or volunteered abroad and now you want to include part of this in your personal statement. Maybe you want to show that you’ve experienced a different culture or that you’ve managed to go outside of your comfort zone. Maybe you’ve had interesting experiences – met people, climbed mountains, or lived without air-conditioning. Or maybe you had the opportunity to help people who genuinely needed it.

But, at this point, you’ve also realized that many other applicants have similar experiences, and you are right. While the experience may have been transformative for you, requiring you to learn how to operate without your usual safety net in a foreign environment, you need to ensure that your study abroad experience serves a role in your essay as something other than window-dressing.

There’s an Onion article which jokes that someone’s short work experience in Africa allowed her to post a better Facebook photo, and, without the proper analysis, descriptions of abroad experiences can feel the same way in an admissions essay. Often, I read essays with lush descriptions of exotic scenery and people who speak different languages, yet you the writer – the most important person – stays the same. Without showing admissions committees why a study abroad experience was transformative, these types of stories simply blend together and give the impression that you were there simply to add another notch to your resume.

So, what should you do? Studying abroad can be a pivotal moment in your personal journey, but a personal statement needs to explain exactly why. If, indeed, gaining experience with other cultures was important to you at that stage, what exactly did you learn? It can’t be enough to just give a story about someone you met while traveling, you have to explain why that person changed you. An admissions committee member once told me that it mattered less what an applicant’s experience was, what mattered was how she talked about it. Even the most seemingly dull experience can be transformative to someone who is really paying attention.

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

Jessica PishkoCheck out Jessica Pishko's bio! graduated with a J.D. from Harvard Law School and received an M.F.A. from Columbia University. She spent two years guiding students through the medical school application process at Columbia’s PostBacc Program and teaches writing at all levels.

 

Related Resources:

• Two Ways to Reveal Leadership in Your Applications
What is Passion in Admissions?
7 Signs an Experience Belongs in Your Application Essay

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The Most Economically Diverse Colleges in the U.S. http://blog.accepted.com/2014/09/22/the-most-economically-diverse-colleges-in-the-u-s/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/09/22/the-most-economically-diverse-colleges-in-the-u-s/#respond Mon, 22 Sep 2014 17:13:48 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=25706 According to the New York Times recent diversity rankings, the following colleges and universities have made the greatest efforts to admit students from economically diverse backgrounds, meaning, a larger share of low-income families. The schools were chosen based on the number of students receiving Pell Grants (students must be in the bottom 40% of the […]

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Check out our College Admissions 101 Pages!According to the New York Times recent diversity rankings, the following colleges and universities have made the greatest efforts to admit students from economically diverse backgrounds, meaning, a larger share of low-income families. The schools were chosen based on the number of students receiving Pell Grants (students must be in the bottom 40% of the income distribution to be eligible) and the net price of attendance for low- and middle-income families.

Top 20 Economically Diverse Colleges

1. Vassar

2. Grinnell

3. UNC – Chapel Hill

4. Smith

5. Amherst

6. Harvard

7. St. Mary’s (Indiana)

8. Pomona

9. Susquehanna

10. Columbia

11. Rice

12. Kalamazoo

13. Wesleyan

14. Denison

15. Barnard

16. Brown

17. Williams

18. Stanford

19. MIT

20. Haverford

The New York Times lead article on these rankings states the importance of the efforts made by these schools:

“This education gap is a problem not only for the teenagers on the wrong end of it. It’s a problem for the American economy. The economic differences between college graduates and everyone else have reached record levels. Yet for many low-income children – even many who get A’s in high school and do well on the SAT – college remains out of reach. No wonder that upward mobility is less common in the United States than in many other rich countries.”

A few more highlights:

 • 23% of students at Vassar’s freshmen received federal Pell grants. In 2007, that number was only at 12%. Lower income students pay roughly $6,000 per year for tuition, much of which is earned through loans and campus jobs.

 • Only 8% of students at Washington University in St. Louis receive Pell grants (compared to 6% and 5% in the last few years), even though this school is ranked as one of the top 25 riches colleges in the U.S. The point: Just because a school has a high endowment, that doesn’t mean that it is more likely to open its doors to lower-income students. In fact, Susquehanna (who has the highest number of Pell-eligible students at 25%) and Wesleyan (at 18%) have relatively small endowments and students from lower-income families make up a rather large part of the student body.

 • In 2008, only one out of three high achieving (top 4%) low-income high school seniors attended a selective college.

An Inside Higher Ed article on the subject offers the following points:

 • To make the list, schools had to have a four-year graduation rate of 75% or higher; therefore, some schools with high Pell-eligible student populations weren’t ranked, in particular, UC Berkeley which has more than 27% of students on Pell Grants. (But only a 71% four year graduation rate.)

 • 46% of students at CUNY Baruch receive Pell Grants, but they too were under the 75% limit (by far, at 39%).

 • The article points out that only three public institutions made it to the list – University of Virginia, the College of William and Mary (also in Virginia), and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Download 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid to learn how to eliminate the most common flaws in your application essays.

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

• Tips for Answering Common Application Essay Prompts
• Preparing for College in High School
College Admissions 101

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Hints for Admission to Combined BS/MD Programs http://blog.accepted.com/2014/09/21/hints-for-admission-to-combined-bsmd-programs-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/09/21/hints-for-admission-to-combined-bsmd-programs-2/#respond Sun, 21 Sep 2014 16:27:19 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=25411 “Hints for Admission to Combined BS/MD Programs” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, Am I Cut Out for a Combined BS/MD Program? To download the entire free special report, click here.  If you are planning to apply to combined BS/MD programs, early planning is essential. These programs vary in their admission requirements and developing the extracurricular resume that […]

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Click here to download your full copy of Are You Cut Out for a Combined BS/MD Program?

Outstanding grades are a must.

“Hints for Admission to Combined BS/MD Programs” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, Am I Cut Out for a Combined BS/MD Program? To download the entire free special report, click here

If you are planning to apply to combined BS/MD programs, early planning is essential. These programs vary in their admission requirements and developing the extracurricular resume that will make you a competitive candidate will take advance planning.

• Consider your math and science curriculum. Outstanding grades are a must, as is a commitment to maintaining them in college. Your grades, however should come from many of the more challenging course offerings in your high school. Many BS/MD programs will look carefully at your entire curriculum, but also pay extra attention to your math and science preparation.

• Plan for Standardized Testing. The test requirements for these programs also vary. Some will require SAT II exams, and might specify which ones. As you consider your long-range plans, it is best to take the SAT II exams while the material is fresh in your mind. Are you taking chemistry in school this year? If so, think about taking the chemistry SAT II next spring. For the most selective of the combined programs, successful applicants are presenting excellent test scores as well as grades. If you need time to prepare for the SAT or ACT, then allow for it and research your test prep options.

• Focus on research or health related experiences. Your exposure to the health care field is paramount in confirming your commitment to the field of medicine. Volunteer experience and physician shadowing are two ways that you can gain experience in a health care setting. Scientific research will give you the tools you need as a medical student to understand the changes in the field of medicine. While many science fair projects will guide you through the scientific method, a more complex, longer term project under the mentorship of a local college professor will offer more exposure to the type of scientific study you will undertake in medical school.

If you think these combined and/or accelerated programs interest you, begin planning as early as possible and keep an open mind regarding all of your undergraduate and graduate school options.

Am I Cut Out for a Combined BS/MD Program?

Accepted.com

 

Related Resources:

• How to Select Extracurriculars that will Set Your Medical School App Apart
How to Get the Most out of Shadowing a Doctor
• GMAT, GRE, SAT, and All Things Test Prep

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