Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog » College Admissions http://blog.accepted.com Admissions consulting and application advice Fri, 31 Jul 2015 22:36:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Money’s 2015-2016 Top 25 Best Value Colleges In The U.S. http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/24/moneys-2015-2016-top-25-best-value-colleges-in-the-u-s/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/24/moneys-2015-2016-top-25-best-value-colleges-in-the-u-s/#respond Fri, 24 Jul 2015 16:11:40 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32669 Which schools will give you the best bang for your tuition buck? Money ranks 736 four-year colleges based on 21 factors in three categories: affordability, educational quality, and alumni earnings. In terms of affordability the following factors were taken into account: tuition increases, parent and student loans, merit aid, and the length of time it […]

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Stanford University ranks 1 on Money’s list.

Which schools will give you the best bang for your tuition buck? Money ranks 736 four-year colleges based on 21 factors in three categories: affordability, educational quality, and alumni earnings.

In terms of affordability the following factors were taken into account: tuition increases, parent and student loans, merit aid, and the length of time it takes to graduate. (See more on this below under About Price.)

Another consideration was the “value added” grade that takes into account how well students are expected to perform based on their academic and economic backgrounds.

You can read more about Money’s methodology here.

According to a Washington Post article, Money’s list should be getting much more attention than it actually receives. The subject of ROI, the article explains, should be one of the biggest questions prospective students ask, and it’s practically missing from other, better known rankings. The article states:

“Unlike U.S. News, which focuses on several measures that really shouldn’t matter to students – percentage of alumni who donate, for example – Money magazine tries to answer the questions that prospective students should be asking on their college tours this summer: What is the graduation rate, net price (what’s the real tuition they’ll pay), how much do they and their parents have to borrow in loans, and will they learn any marketable skills that will help them get a job in order to pay back those loans?”

[Click here to see the full table.]

About Price

Money provides a more accurate look at school price tags by multiplying the net one-year cost times the average number of years it takes a student to complete their studies. “An expensive college is fine,” the Washington Post article states, “but not if it takes you eight years instead of four years to complete your degree.” According to Money, it takes students on average 4.3 years to graduate college. Student loans and federal PLUS loans (no borrowing limit) are also taken into consideration.

The last, and perhaps most important factor Money measures, is the “outcomes” category. How much will a graduate’s post-degree job pay? (This is measured by using Payscale data and LinkedIn information.)

You can read more commentary by the Washington Post here.

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Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

The Quick Guide to Admissions Resume
• Colleges Use Rejections to Raise Rankings
• PayScale: How Much Can You Earn, and How to Earn It?

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Accepted Consultant Publishes Her First Novella http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/05/accepted-consultant-publishes-her-first-novella/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/05/accepted-consultant-publishes-her-first-novella/#respond Sun, 05 Jul 2015 19:43:43 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32090 You already know that our consultants are admissions experts, eagle-eyed editors, and incredible coaches. You can probably also guess that they’re prodigiously talented in their lives outside of Accepted (we sure think so!). Here’s a case in point: When she’s not helping clients get into law and med school, Jessica Pishko is a writer—and she […]

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Read more about Jessica here!You already know that our consultants are admissions experts, eagle-eyed editors, and incredible coaches. You can probably also guess that they’re prodigiously talented in their lives outside of Accepted (we sure think so!). Here’s a case in point:

When she’s not helping clients get into law and med school, Jessica Pishko is a writer—and she just published her first novella!

Based on a death penalty trial that she worked on as a law student,  A Trial for Grace explores the complicated question of guilt and innocence. It’s available for Kindle (and Kindle apps).

You can download A Trial for Grace here.

Check out the book!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• An Interview With Our Own: Jessica Pishko
• 5 Ways To Start Your Med School Personal Statement
• So You Didn’t Get Into Law School…

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Happy July 4th From Accepted! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/03/happy-july-4th-from-accepted/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/03/happy-july-4th-from-accepted/#respond Fri, 03 Jul 2015 19:02:24 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32018 Tags: College Admissions, Grad School Admissions, Law School Admissions, MBA Admissions, Medical School Admissions

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Happy July 4th from Linda Abraham and the Accepted Team!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Approaching The Diversity Essay Question http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/25/writing-the-diversity-essay/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/25/writing-the-diversity-essay/#respond Thu, 25 Jun 2015 16:27:04 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31871 Many applications now have a question, sometimes optional, geared to encouraging people with minority backgrounds or unusual educational or family histories to write about their background.  If you are an immigrant to the US, the child of immigrants or someone whose ethnicity is a minority in the US, you might find this question an interesting […]

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Learn How to Use Examples to Write an Exemplary Essay

Explain how your experiences built your character.

Many applications now have a question, sometimes optional, geared to encouraging people with minority backgrounds or unusual educational or family histories to write about their background.  If you are an immigrant to the US, the child of immigrants or someone whose ethnicity is a minority in the US, you might find this question an interesting one to show how your background will add to the mix of perspectives at the program you are applying to. If you are applying after having an unusual experience for applicants like joining the military, becoming part of a dance troupe, or caring for an elderly relative, you can use your experience to evoke the way in which you will bring diversity to campus.

Your family’s culture, situation and traditions, and the way they have helped you develop particular character and personality traits are of interest, as well unusual experiences that have shaped you. Perhaps you have grown up with a strong insistence on respecting elders, attending family events or learning your parents’ native language and culture. Perhaps you are close to grandparents and extended family who have taught you how teamwork can help everyone survive. Perhaps you have had to face and deal with difficulties that stem from your parents’ values being in conflict with those of your peers. Perhaps teachers have not always understood the elements of your culture or outside-of-school situation and how they pertain to your school performance. Perhaps you have suffered discrimination and formed your values and personality traits around your success in spite of the discrimination. Perhaps you have learned skills from a lifestyle that is outside the norm–living in foreign countries as the child of diplomats or contractors, performing professionally in theater, dance, music or sports, or communicating with a deaf sibling.

Understanding and explaining how your experience built your empathy for others, a strong will, and character is a good focus for the diversity question.

Learn how to use sample essays to create an exemplary essay of your own!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes [Free Guide]
Writing About Overcoming Obstacles in Your Application Essays [Short Video]
• How To Write About Overcoming Challenges Without Sounding Like A Whiner

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Venture For America: Champion Of U.S. Entrepreneurship http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/24/venture-for-america-champion-of-u-s-entrepreneurship/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/24/venture-for-america-champion-of-u-s-entrepreneurship/#respond Wed, 24 Jun 2015 16:17:47 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31837 Entrepreneurship among 18 – 30 year olds in the USA is at a 24 year low, but the founder of Venture for America, is on a mission to spur economic growth through entrepreneurship. Listen to our talk with Andrew Yang, Venture for America’s founder, for great insights into the state of entrepreneurship today, the case […]

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Listen to the show!Entrepreneurship among 18 – 30 year olds in the USA is at a 24 year low, but the founder of Venture for America, is on a mission to spur economic growth through entrepreneurship.

Listen to our talk with Andrew Yang, Venture for America’s founder, for great insights into the state of entrepreneurship today, the case for why you should become an entrepreneur (and not a management consultant), and more.

00:02:14 – What is Venture for America?

00:04:20 – The story of how Venture for America came to be.

00:06:35 – How to create 100,000 jobs by 2025.

00:09:00 – Becoming a Venture for America fellow.

00:11:04 – What VFA Fellows do after boot camp.

00:14:27 – A look at where grads of the program end up.

00:19:20 – Chickpea pasta: A Venture for America success story.

00:22:18 – What inspired Andrew to write Smart People Should Build Things.

00:23:34 – Society aside, what is the benefit of becoming an entrepreneur to the individual.

00:28:45 – Do entrepreneurs need business school?

00:30:30 – Why the best and brightest should be kept out of consulting.

00:35:17 – Advice for making the transition from the corporate world to the start-up world.

00:37:20 – The definition of entrepreneurship and what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

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

Related links:

• Venture for America
• Smart People Should Build Things: How to Restore Our Culture of Achievement, Build a Path for Entrepreneurs, and Create New Jobs in America
Smart People Should Build Things: The Venture for America Podcast
• The MBA and Entrepreneurship
Which B-Schools Send the Most Grads into Entrepreneurship?

Related shows:

• Jon Medved & OurCrowd: The Remarkable Story of an Entrepreneur
• A Wharton Grad Rids the World of Bank Fees
• An HBS Entrepreneur Promoting Career Flexibility
• Entrepreneurship at UCLA Anderson
• Entrepreneurship at Stanford GSB: Carlypso Drives Down the Startup Street
• A B-School Professor on Main Street, USA
• MBAs Across America: Entrepreneurs with a Heart

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An Interview With Our Own: Natalie Grinblatt Epstein http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/16/an-interview-with-our-own-natalie-grinblatt-epstein/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/16/an-interview-with-our-own-natalie-grinblatt-epstein/#respond Tue, 16 Jun 2015 15:50:09 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31580 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. Next up is…Natalie Grinblatt Epstein. Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Do you […]

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View Natalie's bio page!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. Next up is…Natalie Grinblatt Epstein.

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

Natalie: I’m a first generation immigrant who grew up in suburban Detroit surrounded by aunts, uncles and cousins (we have a large family) that didn’t speak English, so I picked up Yiddish, French, and a little Hebrew along the way. My parents felt travel and community service were both extremely important to our upbringing and by the time I was 18, I put in over 1000 hours of community service for organizations ranging from the American Cancer Association to UNICEF. We also traveled to 20 different countries before I began university (that count is closer to 80 now).

I attended the University of Michigan and my closest friends and I lived in the same dorm, so we created our own sorority without having to go through pledging. We are best friends to this day.

I waived out of a lot of courses through AP and university testing, so I actually started as a sophomore, but decided to use that to explore the sciences, the arts and a lot of literature. I was active in theater groups, political action groups and I was lucky enough to be assigned on a research project that changed my world. I studied the Elizabethan period in depth and dropped pre-med having fallen in love with Shakespeare instead of Jonas Salk.

Theater enabled me to be fearless, but it didn’t lead to post-BA careers, so after spending two years in retail, I returned to Ann Arbor for my MBA.

Accepted: Can you walk us through the jobs and experiences that led you to become an admissions consultant for Accepted?

Natalie: I initially pursued the MBA for a career in CPG, but again, a research project turned my world upside down and my marketing professor/mentor suggested I implement my research at Michigan. I thought I would stay for a year, I stayed for 11. Understanding that I needed to diversify my resume, I was offered and accepted the role of Admissions Director at Cornell.

My first day was memorable: I walked in from orientation and 75% of my staff had resigned (I hadn’t even started yet), I negotiated to move Financial Aid under my charge, I discovered 10,000 “inquiries” that were still being hand entered and then automated the system. That year we broke all prior records despite being short staffed, and I created a team that I knew could navigate the most rigorous rapids.

I worked my way up at Michigan from Assistant Director, to Associate Director and finally Director managing not only admissions, but also students services, student affairs, events, marketing (now each of those has separate departments, but I was a one woman shop under the guidance of amazing mentors). I created my own roles at both Michigan and Cornell. They trusted me to make the school better, and I used intra and inter university relationships to do so. I created recruiting teams out of multiple schools to share costs and also data. It worked well for all schools who are now solidly placed in the top 15. Moreover, I volunteered for GMAC (the Graduate Management Admissions Council) for 9 years in order to strengthen those relationships. At Cornell, no one thought it possible to work together with the Fundraising offices at other schools to pipeline students. I institutionalized this at Cornell and again, it works well for all parties involved.

I loved Michigan and Cornell, but on a snowy day in Ithaca, I received a call from Arizona State University. My best friend lived in Phoenix, and I was missing the sunshine. I accomplished a lot at Cornell and felt like it was time for a move. So I did.

Soon after moving to Phoenix, I met the man who became my husband. He sent me a business plan before our first official date. I wasn’t sure if he wanted to date me or hire me. He did both. We launched a business together and then tied the knot. I became a mother instantly to two wonderful boys (my stepsons) and a technology venture.

We sold the business two years later, and I missed higher education, so I called Linda Abraham and asked her if she needed another consultant. I knew Linda because she was running chats for us that benefitted Cornell and Accepted.com, and I really enjoyed working with her. I knew she was sharp and I always want to surround myself with brilliant and positive people and Linda certainly fits that definition. I’ve been with Accepted.com ever since that phone call in 2008 and I enjoy being on the other side of the table helping clients understand the inner workings of admissions. Transparency helps everyone, and my knowledge has been a powerful tool for my clients. I also brought on two of my former admissions colleagues and have been conducting some business development for Accepted.com when I have time.

Accepted: What is your favorite book?

Natalie: My favorite readings are Shakespeare’s canon. I still love to read the history plays. Currently, I’m reading The Swerve, by Stephen Greenblatt (no relation), but this Harvard professor writes eloquently and I’m learning a lot about how once lost classical literature was found again and created the entire Renaissance movement.

Accepted: What’s your favorite thing about consulting?

Natalie: My favorite thing about consulting is helping others make their dreams come true. I find it so gratifying to hear, “I’ve been accepted and I couldn’t have done it without you.” It’s a great boost to my ego, but more importantly, I love to see my clients blossom and grow. Education is vital to growth and if I can help clients gain the education they deserve, I feel I’ve accomplished my vision for the future.

In terms of the nuts and bolts, I love brainstorming ideas with my clients and preparing them for interviews. I believe I have the greatest impact in helping my clients shape their stories both in their application and in person.

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

Natalie: Given my business school background, I work mostly with MBAs and EMBAs, but I also work with high school students (because I did work with undergraduates at Michigan), PhDs (because I did work with the PhDs at Cornell), MF or MFEs (because I had experience reviewing those candidates files as well) and MPH or EMPH because they are similar to MBA candidates and I have a personal interest and read a lot about healthcare. I also work with a variety of dual degree candidates because I’ve had that experience as well.

Accepted: What are your top 3 admissions tips?

Natalie:

1. Keep it simple (many clients want to cram everything into an essay and it doesn’t work).

2. Show your multi-dimensionality. For example, I love Columbia Business School’s question, “What would your cluster be surprised to learn about you?” Surprise them. Many clients think this is business only, but as an admissions director, I loved reading about other things that motivated my candidates: athletics, cooking, unique travel; musical instruments; standup comedy (Twitter’s CEO, a fellow Michigan graduate, spent many years as a standup comic). Don’t be a one trick pony.

3. Use relationships you have to put in a good word for you (not too many or that becomes desperate, but a shout out coming from a faculty member, student or alum will gain the attention of the admissions director).

4. I know you asked for three, but I have 5 suggestions: Seek the help you need (consulting, tutoring, editing, proof-reading, resume-writing, interview rehearsals).

5. Finally, don’t wait until the last minute. Applying to school takes time, introspection, and a realistic outlook. Cast the net widely and you will land softly and in the right place for you.

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

See how Accepted can help you succeed!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

MBA Interview Prep: How to Ace Your Interviews [Free Guide]
• MBA Admissions Consulting and Editing Services
MBA Admissions According to an Expert [Podcast]

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I’m About to Make Your Day… http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/14/im-about-to-make-your-day-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/14/im-about-to-make-your-day-2/#respond Sun, 14 Jun 2015 16:24:39 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31493 …by giving my essay a catchy opening line that doesn’t turn you away or bore you to tears. See, I could have started this tip post with “Today I am going to tell you how to create a compelling essay opening,” but you probably would have skipped over something as drab as that. How about […]

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Download Your Free Guide to Crafting a Killer Admissions Resume

Does your opening line catch the reader’s attention?

…by giving my essay a catchy opening line that doesn’t turn you away or bore you to tears.

See, I could have started this tip post with “Today I am going to tell you how to create a compelling essay opening,” but you probably would have skipped over something as drab as that. How about these?

It is the art of philosophical car washing that got me thinking about pursuing an MBA.

or

There are numerous ways to make a banana split cry.

…now THOSE are essays or personal statements I’d like to read!

Yes, you want an engaging opening for your admissions essay or personal statement, but you also want to make sure to avoid anything obvious or chock full of clichés.

A good essay opening is one that:

• …sets the tone. A serious essay should be introduced by a serious opening line. If an intro sentence makes you chuckle, on the other hand, then you can assume the essay itself it humorous as well.

• …raises intrigue. Your essay’s opening line should encourage questioning or engender curiosity. Like for our first example above, “What is philosophical car washing?” or “What is the art form of this activity like?” or, as per our second example above, “Huh?” And that’s okay too!

• …surprising, shocking, or suspenseful. Causing your reader to flinch, raise an eyebrow in surprise, jump with shock, or furrow her forehead from suspense is a good thing. That reader will want to read on.

Grab your readers’ attention so they will read your essay because they want to and not because they have to.

NOTE: If you can’t think of a catchy opening, but know what you plan on writing, feel free to write your essay first and add a catchy hook at the beginning of the essay once you’re done, or sometime along the way.

Download your free Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes! Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Application
• From Example to Exemplary – A Free Guide
• Writing The MBA Application Essay

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Get To Know Accepted! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/12/get-to-know-accepted/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/12/get-to-know-accepted/#respond Fri, 12 Jun 2015 16:39:22 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31490 As the dynamic and thoughtful community at Accepted continues to grow, we’d like to take a moment to thank you for your engagement and to introduce ourselves to those of you who may not know what we are all about. Keep up the great conversation in the comments section! We love hearing from you. Related […]

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As the dynamic and thoughtful community at Accepted continues to grow, we’d like to take a moment to thank you for your engagement and to introduce ourselves to those of you who may not know what we are all about.

Keep up the great conversation in the comments section! We love hearing from you.

See how Accepted can help you succeed!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• Get to know our admissions consultants
Download a free admissions guide
Check out the Admissions Straight Talk Podcast

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Tips For Answering Common Application Essay Prompts http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/11/tips-for-answering-common-application-essay-prompts-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/11/tips-for-answering-common-application-essay-prompts-2/#respond Thu, 11 Jun 2015 16:18:41 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31460 If you are beginning your senior year of high school, this is the prime time to write your Common Application essay. The sooner you get started, the better. If possible, use the summer to focus your efforts on writing your essay. There are over 500 Common Application members in 47 states and the District of […]

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Find out how to do it right by downloading our special report, Ivy League and Common Application Tips: How to Get Accepted!

Give yourself time to think about the information you are conveying and what it reveals about you.

If you are beginning your senior year of high school, this is the prime time to write your Common Application essay. The sooner you get started, the better. If possible, use the summer to focus your efforts on writing your essay. There are over 500 Common Application members in 47 states and the District of Columbia, as well as in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Qatar, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. All these institutions have a common commitment to a holistic approach to the admissions process. This commitment means they look at more than just your test scores and GPA. They also give significant weight to your essay responses.

Keep in mind your essays help round out the picture of who you are and what is important to you. They also provide insight into the sort of student you might be in college. Regardless of which essay prompt you address, it is essential to give yourself time to think about the information you are conveying and what specifically it reveals about you. It is also important to invest the energy to revise your responses. Each rendition of your essay should work to clarify your intentions while projecting something meaningful about yourself. Your goal is to tell the admission committees something that is not already conveyed elsewhere in your application.

In addition to the main Common Application essay, many of these schools require additional supplemental essay responses. Those are the subjects of other blog posts.

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

Describe your unique background, identity, interest, or talent and explain in detail what it reveals about your values. Why is it so meaningful to you? This is an opportunity to talk about various topics that are unique to you—cultural heritage, burning interests, outstanding talents, sense of identity, or unusual circumstances. Then discuss how this information/revelation/reflection/experience/talent/interest plays out in who you are and the way you look at the world. What motivates you? In short, why is the information you selected significant to you and how is it central to the way you view yourself? How does the meaningful information you shared help to prepare you for your future?

The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

How do you deal with adversity and what does that say about you? Clearly describe the specific failure you experienced. Discuss what you learned from the experience and how it affects you in your day-to-day life as well as its impact on your way of thinking. Don’t focus on the setback itself; rather emphasize what you learned about yourself and how that changed your perspective or behavior. Maybe you learned that hard work pays off? Or that balance is important in your life? Or that you want to make different decisions in the future? As you reflect on this experience remember your goal in this response is to demonstrate resilience.

Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

Recount a time when you stood up for something. Explain what created the conflict that motivated you to take action. Discuss why this so meaningful to you. What do your actions reveal about you? Then think about whether or not you would make the same decision again and why. Make sure you clearly communicate your values and beliefs. What did you learn from this experience?

Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.

Clearly articulate the problem. Remember the scale is not a factor, it is important to focus on why it is significant to you. This could be an issue on a personal level, in a local community, or with worldwide impact. Did you learn anything in particular about yourself as you reflect on this problem? Consider what your concerns about this problem reveal about the kind of person you are or hope to be. Discuss what you did or what you might do to find a solution. The essence of this question relates to your values, character, creativity and sense of identity. It also examines how you problem-solve and your ability to conceive solutions. Your response demonstrates a number of personal characteristics—What is important to you? How do you process the world around you? What are some of your perceptions and assumptions? To what extent do you actively engage issues? How do you overcome challenges? Can you come up with creative/effective/unique solutions to problems?

Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

This prompt asks how you gained independence and became more self-aware. Provide a rich context as you detail your selected accomplishment or event and then focus on how it demonstrates a significant transition in your life. Why was this event so important to you? Take it a step further and discuss how this new phase or different status can serve as a foundation in the future.

If none of the essay prompts immediately jump out at you, give yourself some time to reflect on your life experiences. Talk with your parents and teachers about your ideas. Eventually you will discover a topic that excites you and reveals something significant about you. The subject of your essay doesn’t have to be completely novel. However, it should reflect your unique perspective while clearly communicating your best self. Think about what is important to you and why. This is your opportunity to differentiate yourself from other applicants.  Remember, all the Common Application member schools are interested in learning more about you through your essays!

Find out what you can do NOW to make applying to college go as smoothly as possible!

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:

• The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes
College Application Tips for Parents
• 4 Ways to Show How You’ll Contribute in the Future

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Record-Setting Donation For Harvard Engineering School http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/09/record-setting-donation-for-harvard-engineering-school/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/09/record-setting-donation-for-harvard-engineering-school/#respond Tue, 09 Jun 2015 16:50:20 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31351 Billionaire hedge-fund manager John Paulson has donated $400 million to Harvard for its engineering school—the largest donation in the university’s history. The engineering school will be renamed the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. According to the university, the gift will be used to fund research, teaching, financial aid, and faculty development […]

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Click here for more info about Harvard Business School.Billionaire hedge-fund manager John Paulson has donated $400 million to Harvard for its engineering school—the largest donation in the university’s history. The engineering school will be renamed the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. According to the university, the gift will be used to fund research, teaching, financial aid, and faculty development at the school of engineering.

Paulson is an alumnus of Harvard Business School who has made billions operating Paulson & Co, his hedge fund.

Harvard is the world’s richest university, with an endowment of $36.4 billion. The university is two years into a 5-year, $6.5 billion fundraising campaign, that has already brought in significant gifts (totaling over $5 billion by the end of 2014).

Admissions Resume GuideAccepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes
Harvard’s School of Public Health Receives $350 Million Gift from Hong Kong Group
• UCLA Anderson Bags $100 Million Gift

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An Interview With Our Own: Marie Todd http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/02/an-interview-with-our-own-marie-todd/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/02/an-interview-with-our-own-marie-todd/#respond Tue, 02 Jun 2015 16:11:25 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31204 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. Next up is…Marie Todd. Accepted: Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Marie: I studied Communication Arts with a minor in Cultural Anthropology […]

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Read Marie's Bio to see why she's the consultant for you!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. Next up is…Marie Todd.

Accepted: Where and what did you study as an undergrad?

Marie: I studied Communication Arts with a minor in Cultural Anthropology as an undergraduate at the University of California, San Diego (Muir College).

Accepted: Where do you currently live?

Marie: Currently I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I have also lived in San Diego, CA, Los Angeles, CA, Madison, WI, and Philadelphia, PA.

Accepted: Can you share 3 fun facts about yourself?

Marie:

1. I have traveled to: Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, India, Nepal, Israel, Ireland, Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

2. I went scuba diving on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef prior to El Nino.

3. I went skydiving over Lake Taupo in New Zealand.

Accepted: Can you walk us through the experiences that led you to become an admissions consultant?

Marie: I have always gravitated toward working with students and parents in educational settings. During my time in college, I was an Orientation Leader, Resident Advisor and Assistant in the Academic Advising Office.

My professional experience is primarily in higher education in capacities that allow me to work closely with faculty, staff, and undergraduate students. These roles include: academic advising, teaching, and mentoring. I took several years off to be home with my children and indulge in school-related volunteer activities.

Beginning in 2009, I spent five seasons reviewing applications for undergraduate admissions to the University of Michigan. Becoming an admissions consultant brings my work experience around full circle. Now I have the opportunity to work with and guide students as they approach the undergraduate application process.

Accepted: Do you hold any graduate degrees?

Marie: MS, Curriculum and Instruction: Educational Communications and Technology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Accepted: What’s your favorite thing about consulting/editing?

Marie: I like helping students and their parents to gain a better understanding of how the college admissions process works. I also enjoy guiding students as they craft their essays to better represent their unique voice and perspective.

Accepted: What are your top 3 admissions tips?

Marie:

1. Identify appropriate range of schools that are a good fit for you and will help you achieve your long-term goals.

2. Start working on your applications early to allow time for reflection and revision.

3. Ask for help when you need it!

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

View our catalog of college admissions!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders
• Why Is The SAT Scored From 600 To 2400?
• College Application Tips for Parents

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5 Mistakes To Avoid In A Cover Letter http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/14/5-mistakes-to-avoid-in-a-cover-letter/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/14/5-mistakes-to-avoid-in-a-cover-letter/#respond Thu, 14 May 2015 15:55:35 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30704 You only have one chance to make a first impression. If the first impression you need to make is through a cover letter to a prospective employer, school admissions office, or internship sponsor, make sure it shines a light on your qualifications and displays your enthusiasm for the position or that seat in the class. […]

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Click here to download your quick admissions guide

Think of your cover letter as the appetizer for what you know will be a great meal.

You only have one chance to make a first impression. If the first impression you need to make is through a cover letter to a prospective employer, school admissions office, or internship sponsor, make sure it shines a light on your qualifications and displays your enthusiasm for the position or that seat in the class. Unfortunately, too many cover letters I see are dull as dust, containing only generalities or jargon and lacking confidence. These letters hurt your cause.

Here are 5 common mistakes in cover letters. Don’t make them in yours!

1. Sound as if you’re bored.

“I am writing in response to your opening for a marketing manager, listed on Job Site website.” This response is honest and to the point, but it also lacks a sense that you really want this gig. Better: “I am enthusiastically applying for the position of marketing manager for Best Company Ever. My experience as a top saleswoman for the last three years for an organic beauty supply is an ideal match for your needs.” Feel the energy of the second sentence? The reader will, too.

2. Don’t make any effort to get inside knowledge about the company or school, or explain why you want to attend their program/get hired by them. Also omit your most relevant experiences that should make them want to give careful consideration to your resume.

There could be a dozen different reasons why you’ve chosen to apply for this job or to attend this program. For example, if it’s a start-up, you’ll have more opportunity to perform multiple roles and gain a broader view of small businesses. In a larger company, you may have more chances for travel or longstanding career growth. Perhaps the company has innovated a technology, product type, or employee-friendly atmosphere that you strongly admire. Identify these things, as well as your most relevant experience/qualifications that match what they are looking for. Don’t go into too many details; keep it short. For example:

“My friend Bonnie V. told me how much she learned about digital media sales and marketing as a result of her internship with Best Company Ever last summer. My experience with the Streaming Live Network in building their salesforce over the last year will make me an ideal fit for your team.”

“As a future entrepreneur in green technology, I admire Live Green Now’s innovations in environmentally friendly plastics and am eager to learn more about these innovations from the inside. My master’s degree in Environmental Studies and research into new techniques for recycling plastics without water makes me a strong candidate for this position.”

3. Ignore the stated requirements for acceptance or position.

If a company says that knowledge of a particular software knowledge, skillset, or academic record is required for a position, don’t waste your time or theirs by submitting a letter if you don’t have it. If you feel you are still qualified, you had better have a compelling explanation and say so up front. Otherwise move on. Pay attention to what companies and schools say they are looking for. They mean it.

4. Sound needy or wishy-washy about getting a call back for an interview. 

A recent cover letter I edited – by someone whose professional experience spanned more than 20 years, numerous awards and 10 patents in his name – ended his letter like this: “If after reviewing my materials you believe that there is a match, please contact me.” This sentence is passive and sounds insecure, as if he doesn’t really expect them to call. And they probably wouldn’t.

I suggested he end the letter like this: “I look forward to the opportunity to meet you to discuss this position and how I can add value to Best Company Ever.” See how the simple change of writing in active voice (“I look forward. . . “) exudes confidence in his ability to demonstrate value.

5. Make them take the extra step of going back to you to get references.

This is one of the mistakes that drives me crazy every time I see it, which is often. Why in the world would you write “References available upon request” instead of providing the actual references in the letter, and/or the resume? List names, titles, phone numbers and emails. If a reference doesn’t have a title, put the person’s relationship to you so the caller will know in what context he or she is providing the recommendation.

Finally, keep the letter short – preferably only a half to three-quarters of a page. This is an appetizer only to get them to want to give your resume careful review, and then call you for the next step. Using active voice, specific facts about your qualifications and the reasons you like the company or school, will demonstrate you are not sending cover letters in a scattershot way, but in a thoughtful, carefully considered manner. And this should help you bring your job search to a swifter and happier conclusion.

Download your free copy of the Quick Guide to Admissions Resume now!

Judy Gruen

By , MBA admissions consultant since 1996 and author (with Linda Abraham) of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

 

Related Resources:

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Application Essay or Personal Statement
Ten Do’s and Don’ts for Your Resume 
Sample Resumes and Cover Letter

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Why Is The SAT Scored From 600 To 2400? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/13/why-is-the-sat-scored-from-600-to-2400/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/13/why-is-the-sat-scored-from-600-to-2400/#respond Wed, 13 May 2015 16:22:42 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30751 There are only a few times in your life when you’ll look at test scores and see a number like 1200 or 2000. Wait, wait—there’s only one time, really: that’s the SAT. Ninety-nine percent of the tests you take are scored as a fraction or a percentage, so what gives? What’s the point of putting […]

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Download your copy of: Preparing for college in high school: A to-do list for 11th gradeThere are only a few times in your life when you’ll look at test scores and see a number like 1200 or 2000. Wait, wait—there’s only one time, really: that’s the SAT. Ninety-nine percent of the tests you take are scored as a fraction or a percentage, so what gives? What’s the point of putting SAT scores in this bizarro range of 600 to 2400?

There are a few reasons:

1. The Wrong Answer Penalty:  The SAT isn’t scored just by counting how many correct answers you got; your incorrect answers also count to your total score. That’s right—you’re punished for your mistakes. In theory, it’s better to leave an answer blank than it is to get it wrong. In practice, that ends up not really being the case; you’ll definitely want to guess if you’re stumped on the test, especially if you can rule out one of the wrong answer choices.

Anyway, the system is pretty simple. A wrong answer is worth -¼ of a right answer. So if you get 1 question right, then 4 wrong, the correct answer is completely canceled out. Now, imagine you had a really hard time on the test and got more than four times as many incorrect answers as you did correct answers. That would lead to a negative score, right? But that’s nonsense. Test scores don’t go negative. So the raw score, calculated by the number of correct and incorrect answers you got, has to be converted into a different scale, a scale that is only positive.

2. Standardization:  If you take the SAT in May, then again in October, there’s a chance you’ll see harder questions on one test or the other. It’s not a pattern, though—it’s not as though SAT Math is always harder in the spring (that’s a common myth, but it is just a myth). Instead, there are just normal variations in the test difficulty. It’s pretty much impossible to create two tests with the exact same difficulty level. So if you answer 70% of the questions correctly on SAT critical reading one month, but only 65% correctly four months later, it’s likely the second test was just a bit harder by chance. To deal with that, the College Board, who makes the SAT, scales scores according to how hard the test was—you could end up with the exact same score on the 200 to 800 scale for that section from both test dates.

3. Distinction: This is the biggest reason, really. A high score on your algebra final might be a 95% or even 100%. The average score in the class might be closer to 80%. But if the SAT were on a 1 to 100 scale, the average score would be more like 50 (the average SAT score is near 1500, which is halfway between the minimum 600 and the maximum 2400). It would give the wrong impression of how well you actually did on the test, because people would immediately associate that 50 with a 50%, a failing grade, which an average SAT score absolutely is not.

So taking the score out of the 1 to 100 scale is necessary. But why 600 to 2400? The truth is that it’s pretty arbitrary. If you’ve taken or studied the ACT, you know that test is scored on a scale of 1 to 36. The PSAT, meanwhile, is from 60 to 240. The GRE is scored from 260 to 340, the LSAT from 120 to 180, and the TOEFL paper test from 310 to 677 (just to screw with people, I’m sure). Any standardized test has to pick a range of numbers to use. Test makers don’t want the scores of their test to be easily confused with the scores of another test, so they choose number ranges that don’t look like those of other tests’.

Get calibrated: If you’re not sure how to read your score, then forget about the actual number: just look at the percentiles. That shows you what percentage of people you scored higher than. If you’re in the 60th percentile, for instance, you scored higher than 60% of the other SAT takers. That gives a much better picture of where you stand and exactly how good your score is.

Find out what you can do NOW to make applying to college go as smoothly as possible!

This 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.

Related Resources:

• 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your College Application Essays
• GMAT, GRE, SAT, and All Things Test Prep
• College Application Tips for Parents

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Magoosh Guide To The TOEFL eBook http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/08/magoosh-guide-to-the-toefl-ebook/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/08/magoosh-guide-to-the-toefl-ebook/#respond Fri, 08 May 2015 16:21:15 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30184 Feeling overwhelmed by the TOEFL test? Don’t know where to start? Or have you taken the test 5 times before and just need a quick refresher before you take it for (hopefully!) the last time? Either way, it can be tough to find quality resources that provide everything you need to know for the test […]

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Click here for help on your TOEFLFeeling overwhelmed by the TOEFL test? Don’t know where to start? Or have you taken the test 5 times before and just need a quick refresher before you take it for (hopefully!) the last time?

Either way, it can be tough to find quality resources that provide everything you need to know for the test while also being easy to understand. But that’s where our friends at Magoosh TOEFL come in!

They’ve put together this new (and free!) TOEFL iBT eBook to help you prepare for and succeed on your TOEFL test! So no need to spend hours browsing the web for TOEFL practice questions, test strategies or problem explanations–you can find all these resources and lots more in the Magoosh TOEFL eBook.

Go ahead and get to studying–and of course, good luck on your test!

Click here to download your TOEFL iBT eBook!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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An Interview with Our Own: Jennifer Weld http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/05/an-interview-with-our-own-jennifer-weld/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/05/an-interview-with-our-own-jennifer-weld/#respond Tue, 05 May 2015 18:02:23 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30522 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. Next up is…Jennifer Weld. Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Do you hold […]

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Learn more about Jen and see if she is the consultant for you!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. Next up is…Jennifer Weld.

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

Jennifer: I spent most of my formative years in Michigan, with the exception of my junior and senior years of high school, which I spent in Japan. My father worked at Ford, and we moved there for the Ford/Mazda joint venture. I graduated from an international school in Kobe.

By no means while living in Japan did I master the Japanese language, so I majored in it at the University of Michigan. My first job after college was at a Japanese trading company, but since then I haven’t used the language much and have gotten rather rusty!

I have an MBA from Cornell University (The Johnson School), and currently live in Durham, North Carolina.

Accepted: What’s your favorite book?

Jennifer: Since I have two young children, I don’t have time to read much other than children’s books these days, so I’d have to say, The Gruffalo, The Pout Pout Fish, and, Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent.

Accepted: What was your role with the Cornell Executive MBA program? How has that experience contributed to your role as an Accepted admissions consultant?

Jennifer: I was the Assistant Director of Admissions and Marketing, so in addition to serving on the admissions committee and all that entails (vetting prospective students, interviewing, making decisions on applicants, etc.), I also was responsible for the marketing messaging that we put forth to prospective students.

As a result of my role at Cornell, I am confident I have a good sense of what makes a successful applicant, and I make sure to get to know my clients well enough so that they present a multi-faceted view of themselves, not one that they “think” an admissions committee wants to hear (because trust me, they don’t!).

Admissions committee members read A LOT of essays, and you want yours to be the ones they can’t put down, not the ones that put them to sleep!

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?

Jennifer: My road to Accepted was a bit unexpected. After I received my MBA from Cornell, I was happily developing a career in brand management at Unilever when my husband decided to go back to Cornell for his PhD. Since I didn’t want to have a long distance marriage, as well as the fact I wanted to support him in this endeavor, I looked for a job in Ithaca. With the emphasis on marketing with the Cornell EMBA position, it was a good fit. While in the role I discovered how much I enjoyed my part in helping others reach their goals.

Once I had kids, and after my husband graduated, I wanted to find something more flexible than a traditional 9-5 job. Natalie Grinblatt Epstein, who was at Cornell when I was a full-time student, was already working at Accepted, and suggested I consider a position there. And the rest, shall they say, is history!

Accepted: What’s your favorite thing about consulting?

Jennifer: My favorite thing is when some advice or knowledge I share with clients really hits home, and they take it to heart. As I mentioned earlier, one of the common misconceptions applicants have is that essay topics should always stick to work-related experiences. While the content provided in those types of essays is always informative, it might not be very attention-grabbing.

When I challenge clients to come up with alternative topics they are almost always spectacular. For example, one of my recent clients came back to me with an answer to “What’s the most challenging experience you’ve ever faced?” with a perfectly reasonable work story about developing the first app in his company, which wasn’t app-savvy. It showed all of the hurdles he surmounted and that he no doubt was a valuable employee, but the essay was thoroughly boring. When I encouraged him to share with me some other examples of challenging experiences in his life, one of them was a time he broke his ankle on a remote hiking trail with his family. Pay dirt!

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

Jennifer: I work with MBA applicants, those looking to enter full-time, part-time or EMBA programs.

Accepted: What are your top 3 admissions tips?

Jennifer:

1. Be sure. If at all possible, visit the schools you are considering applying to. Sit in on some classes, speak with students, and see what environments feel right to you. That is the best way to decide if the school is a good fit, and those visits often provide rich material for essays where you are supposed to discuss the whys of a particular school.

2. Be yourself. Own up to who you are, warts and all. No one is perfect, and don’t try to present yourself as such in your application. If you have extenuating circumstances that can help explain a poor semester, share them. If you have a gap in your resume, clarify it. If your GMAT score is not as high as you’d like it, present other evidence as to why the lower score should not be a concern.

3. Be selective (with your recommenders). Choose people who know you well and can speak to your strengths, weaknesses and how an MBA will help you succeed in your chosen profession, not those who may have impressive titles but have little to no insight into you as a working professional.

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

MBA catalog CTAAccepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• MBA Admissions Consulting and Editing Services
Grad School Admissions 101
• Why MBA?

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Scoir: The App For College Applicants http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/30/scoir-app-for-college-applicants/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/30/scoir-app-for-college-applicants/#respond Thu, 30 Apr 2015 16:21:30 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30363 What if the college admissions process could be transformed from its current form into a longer conversation between students and colleges, aimed at helping students find the best fit and colleges identify students with the potential to succeed in their programs? What if the process could identify students’ strengths at a level deeper than their […]

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Check out our College Admissions 101 pages!

Can the college admissions process be transformed into a conversation?

What if the college admissions process could be transformed from its current form into a longer conversation between students and colleges, aimed at helping students find the best fit and colleges identify students with the potential to succeed in their programs? What if the process could identify students’ strengths at a level deeper than their GPAs and SATs? This is the goal of Scoir, a new software platform. I recently spoke with the project’s developer, Gerry McCrory, about Scoir.

McCrory envisions Scoir as a way to capitalize on social media tools to transform college admissions from a relatively brief, quantitatively based process (dependent on test scores and GPAs) into a qualitative engagement stretching throughout high school. Students will be able to use the platform to research and interact with colleges, while also developing a cloud-based portfolio of their own best work. Later in high school, when students narrow the list of their target schools, they can give those colleges access to the materials in their portfolio—allowing admissions officers a more nuanced perspective on student achievement than an SAT score.

Scoir has just launched the first phase of what McCrory intends will be a “full-blown holistic admissions network.” This first iteration, according to McCrory, provides students a college search experience that’s “social, visually immersive, and highlights unique aspects of a campus culture that can be used to discover colleges based on students’ personal interests.”  By June, students will be able to begin building their “digital portfolios” to showcase interests, abilities and achievements that they can then choose to share with college admissions offices.  He expects the full platform to be completed in time for the upcoming college admissions cycle.

He believes that this type of engagement—a social media platform that encourages students to go beyond the rankings and learn about what might really make a school a great fit for them, along with opportunities for colleges to see students’ achievement and potential across a range of disciplines—has the potential to improve the process for both sides. Currently, he told me, 17% of students transfer colleges after their freshman year, and 33% transfer before they graduate. Each of these transfers delays graduation by an average of 8 months, adding costs to tuition and to students’ debt burden. He believes that if the process could be made more transparent to begin with—if students had a clearer sense of where they were deciding to go, and colleges a clearer picture of the students they were admitting—everyone would benefit.

Scoir enables students to identify schools they may be interested in based on any number of variables—location, academic interests, hobbies, etc—and allows them to use information drawn from social media and the voices of students on campus, not just colleges’ marketing materials. The software platform would help students to learn about colleges they might otherwise overlook, and seek a great fit. Another goal is to promote transparency about the real cost of college.

The platform also employs principles of sharing and crowdsourcing to help students polish their work and demonstrate skills and creativity that aren’t currently showcased by standard college applications. For example, students will have the opportunity to engage in anonymous peer review of their creative work. And students will have the opportunity to participate in challenges/competitions (creative, academic, and technical) set for them by college representatives and industry experts, once again giving them the chance to demonstrate types of achievement and intelligence that are not recognized by metrics such as the SAT.

McCrory points out that the students most poorly served by the current admissions system are, on the one hand, those who come from poor families and under-resourced schools (where they may not get any college counseling) or who are the first in their family to apply to college; and on the other hand, those whose creative intelligence is not reflected by GPAs and test scores. By creating a qualitative engagement between applicants and admissions offices, he hopes Scoir will help both students and colleges make great matches.

The Scoir app is available through the itunes app store, and the web platform is available at scoir.com.

Find out what you can do NOW to make applying to college go as smoothly as possible!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

College Application Tips for Parents
Will Facebook Destroy Your Admissions Chances?
• 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your College Application Essays

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Jon Medved And OurCrowd: The Remarkable Story Of An Entrepreneur http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/29/jon-medved-and-ourcrowd-the-remarkable-story-of-an-entrepreneur/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/29/jon-medved-and-ourcrowd-the-remarkable-story-of-an-entrepreneur/#respond Wed, 29 Apr 2015 17:57:22 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30381 Time flies. The Admissions Straight Talk podcast has hit the 100-episode mark! And in honor of our big milestone we invited a  most exciting guest yet. Want to know what one of the most prominent entrepreneurs of our times has to say about leadership, graduate education, and bodysurfing? For all this and more, listen to […]

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Listen to our conversation with Jon Medved!Time flies. The Admissions Straight Talk podcast has hit the 100-episode mark! And in honor of our big milestone we invited a  most exciting guest yet.

Want to know what one of the most prominent entrepreneurs of our times has to say about leadership, graduate education, and bodysurfing?

For all this and more, listen to the recording of our interview with Jon Medved – CEO and founder of Our Crowd, venture capitalist, and serial entrepreneur.

00:03:43 – Jon’s solution to having too many shoeboxes: The world’s largest equity crowdfunding platform.

00:08:14 – What really matters to a VC when choosing a company to invest in.

00:10:17 – How a history major made it to the top of the business world with no formal business education.

00:14:09 – Qualities that young professionals need to cultivate. (Is luck quality?)

00:21:08 – Graduate education vs. common sense.

00:22:33 – Exciting new partnership between Wharton’s Social Impact Initiative and OurCrowd.

00:24:02 – A preview of the future of business and the world.

00:27:11 – Why Jon loves his job. (Who helps more people, Jon or Linda? Linda says “Jon.”)

00:28:28 – Entrepreneurs: Here is the best piece of advice you are going to get!

Want to leave us a Happy 100th message? We’d love to hear from you!

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

Related Links:

Our Crowd
OurCrowd Partners with Wharton Students to Launch Impact Investing Platform
• Wharton Essay Tips
Jon Medved, OurCrowd CEO, Interviewed (Video)

Relevant shows:

The Stanford MSx Program for Experienced Leaders
Which Schools are Good for PE/VC and VC-Backed Entrepreneurship
• Entrepreneurship at UCLA Anderson
Jeff Reid on Entrepreneurship
• Business, Law and Beyond: An Interview with John Engelman

MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Great Tips - Download your free copy!

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Interpreting Your SAT Scores [Infographic] http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/28/interpreting-your-sat-scores-infographic/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/04/28/interpreting-your-sat-scores-infographic/#respond Tue, 28 Apr 2015 16:02:11 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30300 If you already took the SAT test, then the next challenge you have to face is enduring through the 3 long weeks it takes to receive your SAT score. But by the time you’ve made it through those drawn-out weeks and can finally log into your College Board account, you might find this to be […]

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Getting ready for your SAT? Check out our podcast episode GMAT, GRE, SAT, and All Things Test Prep!If you already took the SAT test, then the next challenge you have to face is enduring through the 3 long weeks it takes to receive your SAT score. But by the time you’ve made it through those drawn-out weeks and can finally log into your College Board account, you might find this to be the beginning of yet another challenge–how on earth am I supposed to understand what this score report means?

The good news: this is actually not as difficult as it may seem at first glance! You will just need to know a few key pieces of information to successfully dominate the SAT score report challenge, and our friends at Magoosh SAT have made this even easier with their new Interpreting Your SAT Scores infographic.

Take a look at that infographic below and learn–once and for all–how to understand your SAT score report:

Interpreting Your SAT Score

Download Free: Preparing for College in High School: A To-Do List for Eleventh Graders
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

GMAT, GRE, SAT and All Things Test Prep
• Preparing for College in High School
• College Application Tips for Parents

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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?

00:10:03 – Up and coming at BankMobile: The “Can I Buy” feature.

00:11:04 – How BankMobile came to be.

00:14:00 – Did you really learn anything in b-school?

00:18:07 – What Luvleen wishes she knew before b-school: The application process doesn’t end after you are admitted!

00:20:30 – The best and worst about Wharton.

00:27:10 – 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

Register to learn how to 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

Watch the webinar of 'How to Get Accepted To Harvard Business School' today!
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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 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/#comments 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

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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? 

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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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