Category Archives: College Admissions

Senior Application Checklist

Seniors, please work toward crossing off all items on this application checklist:

__ SAT (i.e. subject tests)—If you believe that your score is not representative of your abilities, try a different studying method (ex: a tutor, SAT practice online or from the SAT practice book) and retake the test.
__ ACT—Even though your school may not require you to take both the SAT and ACT, it is a good idea to take both. Some students do better on the SAT than the ACT and vice versa.
__ Transcript—Please make sure that either you or your school’s guidance counselor has sent your colleges your transcript.
__ Teacher Recommendation(s)—If possible, you want to ask for recommendations from teachers who not only know your abilities academically but know your character. Colleges like to see these recommendations because they say what grades and test scores cannot.
__ School Recommendation
__ Application

***ALL OF THESE ITEMS MUST BE SUBMITTED PRIOR TO THE APPLICATION DEADLINE.

Hats off to the Class of 2017

As the 2016-2017 cycle comes to an end, it is important to be able to answer the following questions as to why you have chosen your college choice.

1. Location – Is it the best place for you to spend you first semester away from home?
2. Academics – Does the college offer your academic interests?
3. Activities – Do the extracurricular activities allow you to pursue your hobbies?
4. Financial – Will this choice put a financial burden on your family and/or you in the years that follow?
5. Excitement – Why are you so passionate about this college?
6. Growth – How has the college admissions helped you grow?

These six topics are extremely important to think about when finalizing one’s college choice. I am beyond proud of all my students and their acceptances. It makes me happy to know that Williams Educational Consultants is helping students learn about college options throughout the United States as well as careers, college majors and community opportunities. Don’t forget to celebrate your chosen college by wearing your college spirit wear on May 1st, National College Decision Day!

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
Agnes Scott College
American University
Andrew College
Appalachian State University
Auburn University
Augusta University
Bard College
Boston College
Case Western Reserve University
Charleston Southern University
Clark University
Coastal Carolina University
College of Charleston
College of Charleston
College of Coastal Georgia
Colorado School of Mines
Colorado State University
Cornell University
Curry College
Eckerd College
Elon University
Flagler College
Florida State University
Fordham University
Furman University
George Mason University
Georgia College & State University
Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus
Georgia Southern University
Georgia State University
High Point University
Indiana University-Bloomington
James Madison University
Kennesaw State University
Landmark College
Lawrence University
Lesley University
Louisiana State University-Shreveport
Loyola Marymount University
Lynn University
Mercer University
Miami of Ohio
Mitchell College
Muskingum University
North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Northeastern University
Oglethorpe University
Ohio State University-Main Campus
Purdue University-Main Campus
Rhodes College
Rollins College
Rutgers University-New Brunswick
Saint Louis University-Main Campus
Samford University
Sarah Lawrence College
SCAD
Skidmore College
Southern Methodist University
St. Olaf University
Suffolk University
Texas Christian University
The University of Alabama
The University of Tampa
The University of Tennessee
The University of Texas at Austin
Tulane University of Louisiana
UC-Irvine
UC-San Diego
University of Alabama at Birmingham
University of Arizona
University of Georgia
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Kentucky
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Miami
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
University of Mississippi Main Campus
University of Missouri
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of North Georgia
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus
University of Rochester
University of South Carolina-Columbia
University of Virginia-Main Campus
University of Washington-Seattle Campus
Valdosta State University
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Wake Forest University
Wellesley College
Western Carolina University
Western Michigan University

NACAC COLLEGE FAIR – ATL 3/19

Please be aware that the National Association of College Admissions is having a college fair in Atlanta on March 19th. Although this fair can be overwhelming due to the number of college presenters, presentations, high school students, etc., this fair is well worth your time. Check out the registration site here. Read the list of college fair tips below which I have gathered from various college websites:

1. Visit at least 3 schools you’ve never heard of. You’re there to gather information, so gather as much as you can.

2. Print a sheet of sticky labels that have your contact information on them in order to expedite the information card process. Make sure that these stickers include the following: name, high school graduating year, high school name and state, home address, student email address, and date of birth.

3. Ask about the person standing behind the table -Don’t assume that the person standing behind the college fair table is an alumnus of the institution. College Counselors are drawn to representing universities for various reasons and many will work for schools they did not attend! If you’re looking for other ways to connect with current students or alumni, make sure to check out the school’s website.

4. Get business cards. Ask the college representatives for their business cards. You may want to get in contact with them again if you have further questions.

5. Attend information sessions. Many college fairs offer information seminars on topics such as financial aid, the search process, applications, etc. These sessions will give you the opportunity to ask questions about the college planning and admission process.

6. Follow up. Once the college fair is over, you should read over the college pamphlets that you received and the notes that you took. For the colleges that you are really interested in, follow up by taking virtual tours of the campuses and scheduling onsite college visits.In addition, if you have the Admissions Representatives information, send them an email and thank them for the information they provided you.

In addition to the above tips, try to learn the layout of the program. Be sure to know the programs that are being offered and where most of your colleges of interest are located. This information should be on the NACAC site. Be sure to post your experiences here!

Subject Tests

How many of you have heard the words, “Subject Tests?” These are assessments that can be recommended, required or highly suggested to take for college admissions. The goal behind these exams is to showcase a student’s strength and interest in a subject matter. College Board has created over 20 subject tests in five subject areas: English, history, languages, mathematic and sciences. Each test is an hour long and consists of all multiple-choice questions. The score ranges from 200 -800 points. The best preparation that one can get for this type of exam is to take the relevant course needed, work hard and do well in that class.

Subject tests are given approximately six times during the school year. However, there are some tests that are only offered during specific months. For example, Language with Listening is only offered during November. You do have the choice to take whichever exam you feel you will do well on, but you can only take up to three tests per test date. In addition, you cannot sit for the Subject Test and regular SAT on the same test date.

Not all students take the Subject Tests, in fact there is a smaller percentage that sits for this exam, then the regular SAT Test. If you want to further show a college your deep passion and interest in a particular subject matter, than this test might be useful for you. If you score well, in the 700 -800 range, then you can help yourself stand out in the College Admissions process. Not to confuse you, but some colleges will accept the ACT in lieu of the Subject Tests. This is yet another reason why starting the college admissions process early is important!

Again, not all colleges require the Subject Tests. It is important to reach out to schools of interest to inquire about subject tests requirements. In my past years experiences, colleges like Georgetown, the Ivies, top tier liberal art schools and schools that are recruiting student athletes recommend students to take 2 to 3 subject tests.

Please click on this link to learn more about these standardized tests. Reach out to Wendy at Williams Educational Consultants to learn more!

Decision Letters, Now What?

I hope that each of you have enjoyed 2017 thus far. With February approaching in just a few days, I wanted to remind each of you that decision letters and notifications are coming your way! I get a lot of questions around this time about these notifications and I thought blogging about this part of the process would be a great way to answer some questions…and also give some advice. The most popular type of admissions letters include words like, accepted, waitlist and denied. Below are the three most common phrases that students read in their admissions letters:

“Congratulations, you have been accepted!”

If your letter reads these words, then congratulations! You are officially going to college! Unless you applied Early Decision, you do not need to let the college know that you will be attending their institution until May 1st. However, if you know that you want to attend this university then you should go ahead and send in your deposit in order to start your housing process. Remember, you should not send in multiple deposits. Please be cognizant when making this decision as it is an important one! In addition, some students might let his or her other schools know that they are attending another university and wish to withdrawal their application. Only do this if you are 100% certain that you agree with your financial obligations to attend the school that you have chosen and be sure that you love that school too!

“The admissions committee has met and your credentials meet the requirements that we are looking for in our upcoming class. However, we received a record number of applications and at this time are placing you on our waitlist.”

If your letter reads these words, then you need to read the letter carefully to understand what steps the college wants you to take. For example, they might ask you to place your name on the waitlist portal that they created or they might ask you to send in additional information. For students who are waitlisted, if this is your top school, it is critical that you think through this process carefully. I might suggest that you do one of the following steps, if not all:

Remind your regional admissions officer that you are still interested.
• Write an additional essay
• Request a teacher or community member to write another letter of recommendation.
• Be yourself, but let the school know if you have received any additional accolades or how you are excelling in your senior year.
• Request that your counselor reach out to the school directly.

“After careful consideration, I am sorry to inform you that we are unable to offer you a place in the class of 2017.”

If your letter reads these words, do not get upset or angry. It is okay to be disappointed. You worked hard and I am sure that your application was great. I have no explanation as to why you were not given a seat, but I can tell you that this process works out exactly the way it should. Stay strong, believe in yourself and know that you will have plenty of options.

Although the above statements are the most common in admissions decision letters, you might receive a letter with something a little different. Some colleges offer acceptances in the spring instead of the fall. Other colleges might offer an opportunity to start at a community college and others might offer a conditional acceptance. I have even seen letters that offer study abroad options during first semester prior to joining the class on campus in the spring! Regardless of what you received, know that this process does not define you or your future. You define your future, not some admissions coommitte in a conference room reading an application! Stay strong and know that soon this process will be over!

Written by Wendy Williams, MA ~ Educational Consultant & Advisor

Important Tips For Summer

Congratulations on completing your junior year and becoming seniors! As you begin your summer, I want to remind you of a few things that are important for you to be working on this summer.

Standardized Testing: It is important to continue studying for fall exams. As a senior and depending on your college application timeline and college choice, you have opportunities in the fall of your senior year to take a few more tests: SAT: October 3, 2015 – Register by September 4; November 7, 2015 – Register by October 8; December 5, 2015- Register by November 6. ACT: September 12, 2015 – Register by August 7; October 24, 2015 – Register by September 18 or December 12, 2015- Register by November 6.

College Visits: As you start to narrow your college list, you will need to visit at least 3 to 5 schools if possible. This summer is a great opportunity to see the campus, take a tour and get a feel for the college experience offered. If you like the campus, you can always go back when it is in session to see all the students who learn there.

Summer Plans: By now, you should have your plans for your summer mapped out. All I ask is that you look at your calendar and make sure that you are not spending more than one week of time doing nothing active. Summer is a great time to build your resume. Think about a job, volunteering, academic opportunity or taking dance or music lessons. Think outside of the box this summer and get creative!

Engage Colleges: Summer is a great time to request information from the colleges that you find interesting. Requesting information will add you to their mailing list and show that you are interested in their campus. You can take this a step further and contact the Admissions Representative for your area and find out if he or she will be here in the fall! Try to setup a meeting time and if nothing else, find out what campus fair the Representative will be attending.

College Applications: Do not register for the Common Application yet. If you register now for the common application, it will be deleted as they take it down every year to reboot the portal for the next application cycle. Some colleges release their application early. As I get updates, I will post information here. However, summer is a good time to call the admissions team and ask when they will release their application. I encourage you to do this so that we can setup a timeline for your applications!

Scholarships: Summer goes by fast and one thing that can slow it down is researching scholarship opportunities. I encourage you to take this very seriously. Please look for 5 to 10 scholarships that you might be able to apply for.

College Majors: Take time to research the college majors of interest and be aware of what courses one would need to complete their major. One of my favorite websites is mymajors.com.

Resume: Sit with your parents and talk about the last 3 years. Begin drafting your resume. If you have accomplished any unique research papers or projects or have been featured in the newspaper, etc., this is the time to gather all of that information so that you can send it to your colleges in the fall.

Informational Interviewing: Talk to your friends who just graduated. Ask them how they made their decision and what they chose. Ask them for any tips for your senior year; advice for your applications; recommendations on interviewing skills, or things they wish they had done differently. Ask your parents to connect you to anyone who might be in a career that you are interested in looking at further. Take time to find out why he or she chose their career and how the choice was made. Summer is a great time to get advice from others!

Print this list and put it somewhere you can see daily or set reminders for you to complete each item by a certain day. Summer will be over before you know it and application season will be in full gear. Take time this summer to get ahead and stay on top of your to do list!

THE COLLEGE CLUB

Williams Educational Consultants is excited to announce the most important club of your student’s high school career – The College Club.

This club is for students who are motivated, excited and eager to begin their college admissions process. Wendy Williams, Educational Consultant, will be teaching students what that they need to know about college admissions, application secrets and more. This club begins in March and is a 10-week commitment.

A small group of students will gather every Thursday to discuss hot topics in college admissions and prepare their college list. Wendy Williams hopes to bring in great speakers like successful graduates or college admissions representatives. Also, students will have access to the Myers Briggs – College Profile and Strong Interest Inventory – College Profile. These assessments will help your student learn more about his or her strengths, interests, talents as well as personality traits and possible college majors.

Students must apply to become a member and space is limited. For more information, please contact Wendy@williamseducational.com.

GA College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI)

We all know the importance of selecting great schools for children to attend. Today, the Georgia Department of Education released breaking news about a new school ranking system! It is called the Georgia College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI)

It grades schools on a 100 point scale of preparedness students gain graduating from high school with rigorous content knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge. Read more about this below!

Application Timeline – EA, RD, ED, EA-R

Students are getting back into the swing of school this month and are gearing up for the college application season. With September coming in just a week or so, I wanted to take time and clarify some terms that might be confusing for families who are applying for college in 2015. I hope the below information helps you and your student when choosing which option to choose for deadlines. Regardless of your decision, students need to complete and submit their application before December 1st in order to be reviewed for scholarships. In fact, in some cases, students need to be applying by November 1st! Please be sure to read through each of your colleges to be clear as to their scholarship policies and deadlines. Remember if merit scholarships are important to you then you might NOT want to apply ED to any institution.

EARLY ACTION (EA)
This is a non-binding agreement. Early Action Deadlines for most colleges are typically October 15th or November 1st. Applying Early Action will eliminate the college from looking at the student’s senior year first semester grades. This admission plan is non-binding and offered by a lot of colleges. The student will receive a decision notification around mid December. Students applying under Early Action may also apply to other colleges and does not have to accept or refuse the EA offer of admission until May 1. Some examples of EA colleges are University of Georgia, Georgia Institute of Technology and University of South Carolina.

EARLY ACTION SINGLE CHOICE or RESTRICTIVE (EA-Single Choice)
This is a non-binding agreement and should only be used if the student is confident about their college who offers this plan. Early Action Deadlines for most colleges are typically November 1st. This is when a student applies before the regular decision deadline as well as applies only Early Action to ONE college. There are exceptions to this rule. Students may apply to another college with early deadlines for scholarships or special academic programs as long as it is non-binding. In addition, students may apply to public universities with a non-binding early application or rolling option. Applicants may apply to other colleges and universities under their Regular Decision Option as well. Applying Early Action will eliminate the college from looking at the student’s senior year first semester grades. If you feel that your grade point average will improve and that you need to show another semester of good grades then applying early could hurt your chances of acceptance. The student will receive a decision notification around mid December. Students do not have to accept or refuse the EA offer of admission until May 1. Some examples of EA Single Choice colleges are Stanford, Yale, Harvard, Columbia, etc.

EARLY DECISION (ED)
This is a binding admission plan that requires an early application (typically October or November) and promises a reply by December or January. There are two types of ED plans: (1) Single Choice, in which the student is allowed to apply to only one college and (2) First Choice, in which the student may apply elsewhere but agrees to withdraw other applications if accepted by the ED school. This plan is recommended only if the applicant is absolutely sure of his or her college choice. If accepted, the student is ethically obligated to attend if sufficient financial aid is offered. Some schools like Emory and Vanderbilt have two rounds of Early Decision allowing a student to have flexibility.

ROLLING or EARLY NOTIFICATION
This admission plan does not have an actual hard deadline. Therefore, it is important to apply as early as possible. University of Alabama is an example of a rolling deadline. Rolling or early notification is an admission plan that promises an early notification to the applicant. The student is not obligated to attend, if accepted.

REGULAR DECION
Regular Decision is the normal process by which students apply by published deadlines, like January 1st, with promise of receiving an admissions offer by April 1st.

Please be aware that it is your student’s responsibility to decide when to apply to his or her college choices. If your student decides an ED or EA SINGLE CHOICE plan then he or she will need to have your signature and their Counselor’s signature stating they understand the ED or EA Single Choice Agreement. This is a form that will be part of the college’s application.

Tips For The 2014-2015 Application Season

The Common Application went live this morning at 8:00 a.m. ET. Today is a great day to login to their website, www.commonapp.org, and create your account. You can even add a few schools that you plan on applying to this fall. As the application season begins, it is important to remember that your applications take time and require additional documents like teacher recommendations, college supplements, activity lists, standardized tests scores, high school profile, etc. Therefore, you cannot wait until the last minute to start this process.

Here are some tips when beginning your application(s):

1. Keep Track – Be sure to keep record of all your usernames and passwords. I would encourage you to create a word document that is labeled College Usernames/Passwords and use it to record all of your important login information.

2. Create A Calendar – Make a calendar of all your deadlines either on a desk calendar, a word document, an excel spreadsheet or on your telephone. If you use your calendar on your phone then I would recommend creating alerts in that calendar so that you are reminded of deadlines at least 2 weeks earlier than the actual college deadline.

3. Find A Quiet Place – Find a place to work on your applications either in your home, a coffee shop or your local library where you can concentrate. Having this designated work environment will give you structure.

4. Create A Folder For Each School – This will be a great place to store your completed applications as well as any information that you might receive from that college. It is also a good idea to put a label on the outside of the folder with information like the Admissions Officer’s name and contact, deadlines, applications requirements, etc.

5. Fill In The Mindless Questions First- Begin filling out the information on the application(s) like your family background, academic history, testing information, etc. now. This part of the application requires little thought and is easy to complete.

6. Start Your Essay(s) Now! – There is no reason to wait. The writing portion of the application is the hardest and will take the most time.

7. Know The Requirements – Double-check all application requirements, especially for standardized testing. October might be the last time for you to be able to take SAT Subject Tests. Please be certain that you are aware of all of your school’s requirements and their testing policies.

In addition to the above tips, you might want to check out a few cool apps that can be downloaded to your phone. However, if you use any phone application that has a list of college essays and or deadlines, it is imperative that you also check the actual college website to verify all information.

Take a look at the below:

1. All College Application Essays
2. Naviance Student
3. ACT College Search
4. Things
5. Dictionary
6. College Guide
7. College Confidential
8. Peterson’s College Guide
9. Dropbox
10. Pages

The above apps might help you stay organized and give you helpful information. Please remember to always look at the college specific website for the most up to date and correct information.