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July & August 2006 Visits (& News)

on July 8, 2006 in College Visits

northeasternWe recently attended the Higher Education Consultants Association Conference which was hosted this year at Santa Clara University. Here are some highlights of topics covered that are most important to students in the college admissions process:

The application process: Many applications have been posted online and summer is a great time for rising seniors to begin the process and avoid the fall crunch as classes start. Begin by getting a login ID and password, and continue to prepare various sections when you have time. Your information will be saved when you again log on for another session. A good place to start is with The Common Application, where students can choose from 299 colleges and submit one common form. Start by downloading and printing the application form to get familiar with what needs to be completed. Here is a good way to become familiar with the contents of the application. Also, read about the role of parents in the process.

The personal statement: Also known as the college essay, this is your chance to tell colleges more about who you are. Remember the “personal” aspect of this endeavor. Look at it as an intellectual autobiography that provides a vibrant and original portrait of your character and aspirations. Make sure to complete your entire application first without the essays, and then think about the questions that the admissions committee may come up with when reading your application. At that point you can determine which question will enhance your application. Before you start preparing your essays, compile all of your essay questions from multiple applications in one location and look for common themes. When you read the question, capture the key terms such as “explain,” “discuss,” “describe,” “develop,” or “imagine.”

When your essay is ready for review, find someone who does not know you well for the most unbiased assessment. If you are unable to settle on a topic, keep a diary for a few days and see what interests, values, and activities arise throughout your day. This is your chance to tell the admissions committee who you are, and your authentic voice is what matters most. Read more.

Co-op programs: Many students like the idea of a “hands-on” college experience, where they can achieve real world know-how and get paid for work while attending college. Several universities offer this option as students regularly alternate time spent in the classroom with time spent in the workplace as paid professionals. This can reduce college costs tremendously and give students the opportunity to sample different work environments around the world, and possibly land early job offers. Learn more about the co-op programs at some of these universities by visiting their websites.

Here are just a few of the co-op programs available:

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