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Success Tips for Freshmen
What to do in 9th Grade

  • Meet your high school guidance counselor at the beginning of the school year.
  • Take the right classes.
  • Colleges will evaluate you based on the classes you’ve taken.
  • Develop the skills and habits that will allow you to continue to be successful academically.

Success Tips for Sophomores
Ramping Up in 10th Grade

  • Take charge of your study skills.
  • Developing excellent reading comprehension skills is key to success in 10th grade.
  • Superior time management skills are key to success in 10th grade.
  • Continue to be involved in extra-curricular and community service activities.

Success Tips for Juniors
Critical Steps in 11th Grade

  • Take academically challenging courses.
  • Prepare for and take standardized tests.
  • Your junior year grades are the most important for college admissions.
  • Stay or get involved in extra-curricular activities.

Success Tips for Seniors
Understand How to Pick Your College in 12th Grade

  • Finish and submit all your college applications.
  • Continue making campus visits.
  • Complete your college essays the college essay is an important part of the application process.
  • Meet with your high school counselor to make certain you are on track for graduation.


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6 Myths About College Admission

December 12th, 2019|

6 Myths about College Admission Myth #1:  Only Top Tier Schools Prepare People for Success The most pervasive myth is if your teen doesn't attend one of the top 20 Newsweek-rated colleges  (aka Ivies), then they won’t have an opportunity for jobs, promotions and influence. Over half of our U.S. Senators graduated from public universities. 43 of the top 50 CEOs in the world graduated from schools other than Ivies. Part of the fabric of the American dream is the opportunity presented to you and what you do with it, not where you went to college. Myth # 2:  A College Brochure in the Mail Means Something Many colleges send out glossy brochures trying to attract students to apply. Receiving a brochure does not mean a letter of acceptance will ensue. The truth is the college only wants the student to apply. The more applications it receives, the more it can reject. The more it rejects, the higher the school’s ranking goes up in Newsweek. Ranking sells and is highly valued by the colleges. Myth #3:  Applying to More Schools Increases One’s Chances Many parents think that if their teenager applies to more highly selective colleges, it increases her chances of getting accepted. That is not the case. Your teen should apply to more schools where her GPA and test scores (ACT and SAT) fall into the median range. Your teen will then apply to at least six schools where she is competitive. By doing so, she increases her chances of getting in. Myth #4:  Once You Send the Application In, You’re Done Once your teen hits the send button, it is a great relief. However, the process of getting admitted has just started. Colleges care about two things, demonstrated interest and yield. Demonstrated interest means your teen lets the college know she likes them. She visits the campus. She meets the admission officer. She stays in contact via e-mail or phone. Yield involves the likelihood a student will get enrolled. By following the above suggestions, your teen increases the likelihood of acceptance, especially if she is on the bubble (grades and scores are just borderline on the acceptance curve). Colleges do keep track of this stuff. Myth #5:  Large Universities Offer More Opportunities than Small Liberal Arts Colleges There is a common misconception that small liberal arts colleges have fewer resources than those offered by a big university. Often the opposite is true. It is important to look beyond the advertised opportunities and ask how many students use them. It is also significantly easier to build relationships with professors and get involved in research at a smaller college. Myth #6:  Colleges are Looking for Well Rounded Students While it is true colleges want students who aren’t focused on one thing, the truth is, “well –rounded” students are not what college admission officers are looking for. The reality is they are looking for well-rounded classes. They care mostly about the freshmen class profile. They like students from all parts [...]

3 Ways to Make Your College Application Stand Out

November 17th, 2019|

A few years back I published this article on my website.  It is still relevant today, so I am publishing it again for my current readers. Enjoy!Getting an early jump on college prep is the key to getting ahead in the competitive field of college applications. Each year, the number of applications at a wide range of institutions have increased over the previous year and the acceptance rate has dropped.The stiff competition can be blamed in part on the popularity of the Common Application, which is currently available for use by more than 600 colleges. This makes it easier for students to apply to multiple colleges swelling the application pool. Plan way ahead: Start designing your academic route early, even before high school.In order to plan appropriate high school course selection, you need to determine the level of difficulty required to enter a selective college. Students interested in math or engineering need to complete calculus senior year. In order to do that, students need to be ready for geometry or algebra II as a freshman.If it is too late for that head start, you can get there by taking the classes needed in summer school. The key is showing a genuine interest in the areas of study you truly love. At the same time, start thinking over your criteria for college. Getting a jump on the research allows students to build relationships with admissions counselors from colleges of interest who make recruiting visits to high schools or college fairs in your area.  Weigh the early options choices carefully: Early admission programs, ranging from non-binding early action, which allows the student to defer acceptance until May 1, to binding early decision, which does compel you to attend, are more popular than ever.Many schools report a huge increase in early applications over last year. Early decision can allow colleges to secure more than half of their incoming freshmen before December 15, and give applicants an edge over those who apply in the regular round. Be aware that committing to a school in the fall means you won't be able to compare financial aid offers, which are made in March. When nudged, financial aid offices will estimate a package before a student applies early decision, and if the award does not meet the family’s need, colleges will release them from the commitment. However, it may be too late to apply to your next favorite choices. Make certain you are really determined to attend a particular college before applying early decision. Otherwise, hold off. Demonstrate your interest: The rising tide of applications has college admission counselors questioning a student's desire to attend.Sign up for an official campus tour and meet the regional director of admissions. Make your desire to attend known. She/he will be the first one to review your application and the last to defend it before decisions are final. Follow up throughout the admission process to demonstrate continued interest. Like the college's Facebook page and begin a dialogue with the regional director of admissions. If you receive recognition [...]


Isabelle Yang

With Andi's help, my daughter's college application process was well-organized and stress-free. We actually started a bit late, September of her senior year, Read More

Isabelle Yang



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