Archive for the ‘Admissions Advice’ Category

Getting Help with College Search: Identifying Your College Dream Team

Categories: Admissions Advice

officeNavigating the college and financial aid process can be overwhelming. That’s why it is important to identify your College Dream Team.

What is a College Dream Team?

These are the people and resources who are there to help make your college dream a reality. You trust them, they have your best interests in mind, and, most importantly, they believe in you.

Who should be on your College Dream Team?

  • Parent(s)/Guardian(s) – Who better to have on your team than the people who have known you most of your life? Plus, there’s a chance you may need their assistance with choosing a college and figuring out how to pay for it.
  • Teachers – Teachers are a great resource for recommendation letters and reviewing personal statements. Not to mention, all of your teachers went to college, so they will probably have some useful advice!
  • Counselors – Counselors can be some of your biggest resources for navigating the college process. Reach out to your counselor for information on summer programs, recommendation letters, college visits, and local scholarship opportunities. Chances are if your counselor doesn’t know you personally, they won’t know to recommend you for any amazing opportunities they know about.

Connecting with your counselor on Cappex

Connecting with your counselor on Cappex is a great way to recruit them for your College Dream Team. They’ll have a better idea of the colleges and scholarships you’re interested in and be able to send you new opportunities directly.

To send a connection request to your counselor, simply edit your ‘Basic Information’ section of your Cappex Profile. Below your high school name, you’ll see the option to connect with your high school counselor.

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If your counselor has an account on Cappex, you’ll see their name in the drop-down menu. If you don’t see their name, enter their email address to invite them to connect with you on Cappex. You’ll be thankful that you did.

Best of luck on your college journey. Thank you for making Cappex Your College Decision Headquarters!

 image credit: higheredlive.com

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Benefits of the Early Decision Application

Categories: Admissions Advice

It’s deadline time for Early Decision (ED) applications to college. Early Decision is a college admissions process in which high schools students send their application to their preferred college “early” (usually in November) and receive a decision from the college by December. If you know without question which college you want to attend, the Early Decision process might be for you. Consider these additional benefits of an Early Decision application:

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Less stress.

Students accepted through Early Decision can stop stressing about getting into college well before their peers who apply through the traditional process. They will be free to focus on other things for the rest of senior year.

Improves your chance of getting accepted.

Keep in mind the school’s standards and the overall strength of your application are important factors in whether you get accepted- regardless if you choose Early Decision or apply though the traditional process. However, if you apply early you may have a better chance of getting into your college of choice. Typically, early admission rates are higher than regular or overall admission rates for most schools. At some schools, the admission rate can be substantially better for early admission candidates. In fact, of the students who applied early to the University of Pennsylvania, nearly 25 percent were accepted, compared to only 9 percent who were admitted through the regular application process. Currently, about 450 colleges offer some sort of early admission program.

Time to explore other options if you don’t get in.

There’s no doubt you’ll be disappointed if you don’t get accepted into your top-choice school. But the good news is you’ll be left with plenty of time to apply to other schools or explore additional academic or career options. Before you apply via Early Decision, it’s a good idea to create an action plan that outlines what you’ll do if you don’t get in. That way you won’t waste any time getting back on track should you be denied or deferred.

Start becoming familiar with your new school.

Of course you need to keep focused on finishing up your high school studies, but one of the most exciting aspects of Early Decision is that you can start getting acquainted with your college months before you arrive. Whether it’s through social media, a summer internship or an informal chat session with other incoming freshman, you can start to feel like you fit in long before you step on campus. Consider learning about what clubs, sports and special events your college offers and which ones you might want to take part in. You may even have the chance to get advice from upperclassman and ask them questions about campus life. In addition to having more time to get familiar with your school, early admission could improve your chances of landing premium student housing and the most desired on-campus job. Finally, when it comes time to create your class schedule, you may have a better chance of getting the classes you want at the times that suits you best.

Understand early decision policies thoroughly before applying.

As we’ve pointed out, if you know what college you want to attend and you have your academic materials ready, applying early to college offers a slew of advantages. Also, it’s very important to note that early decision applications differ from other accelerated admissions processes in that they are binding. That means the application serves as a contract of sorts and you must enroll in that school if you’re accepted. Also, you can only enroll in one early decision school. But keep in mind that early decision policies vary from school and school, so you need to find out exactly what you’re agreeing to before you click the send button.

Deciding where to go to college is a major decision with life-long implications. It’s important to do your homework and learn all you can about the schools you’re considering. Tour your most desired schools, chat with current students and decide whether the schools are a good fit for your personal and academic needs. Then narrow down your list to your top choice, and if you’re confident you want to be a member of the next freshman class, don’t wait – apply early.

If you’re still looking for your perfect fit college, create your free account on Cappex today!

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Questions to Ask Your College Tour Guide

Categories: Admissions Advice

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Visiting the campus of a school you’re interested in attending is a great way to help you decide if the school is a good fit for you. You can find a ton of information on college websites and admissions materials, so when talking with a current student, such as a campus tour guide, stick to questions that only a student can answer. Here are a few questions that will give you valuable answers.

1. How often do you go home?

Find out how often students go home—especially if you are going far away for school. Some regional colleges and universities clear out on the weekends as students living nearby head home. If you’re not heavily involved in athletics or another time-consuming activity, your weekends could get pretty lonely if you’re the only one around.

2. How often do you go to the dining hall?

You know you’re curious, go ahead and ask how the food is. The dining hall is the social center of campus at some schools, others have so many options that students will typically eat on their own and switch up their routines regularly. Discussing dining with a student will give you an idea of what a typical day on campus is like.

3. What other schools did you apply to?

Ask current students what other colleges they applied to and why they ended up choosing this particular school. They may have applied to some of the schools that you are considering. Hearing why they chose this school over others may help you when the time comes for you to make the same decision.

4. How many hours do you spend studying a week?

The average amount of time students spend on class work varies among colleges and universities. Also, schedules and workloads will vary among programs and majors within the same school. A current student will probably be able to give you insight on what you can expect from the program you’re interested in, or at least point you in the right direction.

5. How often do you go off campus?

Is it easy to get off campus? Is it common? Students at some schools, especially when they are freshmen, rarely go off campus. Others see the surrounding community as an extension of campus and can even use their meal plans at select off-campus restaurants and stores.

6. What is dorm life like?

If you’re planning to live in on-campus student housing, dorm life will be a very important aspect of your college experience and you’ll definitely want to get a student’s perspective on it. Find out if all the dorms are pretty much the same, or if the atmosphere in each is unique. Will you get to choose your roommate or dorm, or does that have to be assigned? If the school offers overnight stays with a student host, take advantage of the opportunity to get a feel for what life in the dorms is like.

 image credit: ivywise.com

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