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College Admissions Blog

Admission

Test-Optional Colleges and You

As we’ve already discussed (twice even), the college admissions process has been heavily impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. SATs were often cancelled, as were  ACTs, and many students around the country were unable to take any standardized tests at all. Those who did manage to take these tests often did so much later than planned, or in otherwise difficult circumstances. College Board requires  testing centers to abide by local Covid regulations, so not every student was affected in the same way.  In this article, we’ll examine how schools have responded, and how you should approach standardized testing, and submitting your

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Admission

How Colleges Judge Applications

As you complete the tests, fill out the required forms, and draft the perfect essays, you may wonder: “What do colleges even think about all this? What does it all really mean?” While the requirements placed on students are clear, the things colleges actually care about in an application are more difficult to uncover. In this article, we’ll explore how colleges judge the applications they receive, and how they weigh each portion of an application. Our hope is that if students understand how colleges judge and interpret their applications, they’ll be more confident about the application process as a whole.

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Admission

COVID-19 and College Admissions

You’re probably well-aware by now of the drastic impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on everyday life. Nearly every facet of society has been upended over the past 9 months, and the college admissions process is no exception. Parents and students have been left confused and under-informed whilst admissions departments work around the clock to try to piece together some semblance of normalcy and fairness under extraordinary circumstances.  While each college and university has generated an individual response regarding their protocol for admissions for the duration of the pandemic, some commonalities have emerged among most higher-ed institutions. In this

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COVID-19

College Essays in the Time of COVID-19

The Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted every aspect of modern life, and as we covered in a previous blog post, that extends to the college application process as well. Even though many things have changed in the process, others have stayed the same, more or less, and among those is the importance of the essay. Due to how the pandemic has impacted college admissions, essays, both the personal statement and supplementals, will be more important this year than previously. In this article, we’ll look at why that is, and how to adjust your application strategy accordingly.  The Importance of Essays College

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Admission

What To Do If You’re Waitlisted

You sent in your application, waited with baited breath for a response, and then got some unexpected news. You’ve been…waitlisted? What does that even mean, anyways? Every year, thousands of talented students are waitlisted by their dream schools, and the same questions arise anew. In this article, we’ll explain what waitlisting is, why it happens, and what you can do to get off the waitlist and into the school of your dreams.  What is waitlisting, and why would a school waitlist me? Every year top schools receive tens of thousands of applications from all over the world. Many of the

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Admission

Conditional Acceptance

There have been any number of stories about students who have had their acceptance to college rescinded after improper or controversial posts they’ve made online go viral. This is due to a little-discussed phenomenon called conditional admissions, or conditional acceptance. So, what is conditional acceptance? Almost all offers of admission are conditional, meaning that the college reserves the right to revoke the offer if a student’s grades fall precipitously, if a student violates the school’s code of conduct, or if admissions officials determine that any part of their application was deceptive or dishonest. Many students know that they should keep their

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Admission

How to Get Into Medical School

So you want to attend medical school… A BS/MD (Bachelor of Science/Doctor of Medicine) program is ideal for students who are certain they want to be doctors before they’ve even graduated from high school. The program allows students to proceed directly from an undergraduate degree into medical school, without needing to endure the arduous med school application process or even take the MCAT.  BS/MD programs are wonderful opportunities for especially driven and focused college applicants. There is, however, one rather large catch: they are notoriously difficult to get into. The highest level BS/MD programs are more competitive than any standard

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Admission

How to Demonstrate Interest in a College

Introduction to Demonstrated Interest Every college wants to know which prospective students are most invested in enrolling if accepted. Universities want to achieve a consistent class size, which can be difficult to accomplish if many accepted students ultimately enroll at other institutions. Colleges use a number of different tactics to address this problem. Some use the supplemental “Why Us?” essay to gauge whether a student has done their research and demonstrated a good fit. Others desire a more substantive metric for prospective student interest. These institutions weigh each student’s demonstrated interest when making admissions decisions in the hopes of greater

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college deferment during COVID-19
Admission

College Deferment in the Time of COVID-19

Introduction Colleges shuttered, classes held online, and no clear sign of when everything will return to normal. While some institutions are pledging to once again open in the new academic year, others are hedging their bets by moving increasing numbers of courses online.  While institutions themselves are uncertain, uncertainty plagues both current and prospective students even more. They may have gotten into a college, but will it even be open when it comes time to attend? Will they be paying for virtual lectures alone; missing out on many of the essential elements of the college experience?  There is, however, a

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types of supplemental college essays
Essay

The 9 Types of Supplemental Essays and How to Write Them

Alongside the personal statement, colleges want all kinds of essay questions answered, from the benign “What do you want to Major in?” to the more outlandish “What’s so odd about odd numbers?” Unfortunately, many applicants struggle with doing more work than is necessary for these essays, trying to write 10, 20, or even 30 different supplemental essays.  There is a better way. In fact, we’ll let you in on a secret: there are actually only nine* types of supplemental essays, and once you can recognize and understand these prompts, writing them becomes a much easier task.  *Terms and conditions may

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5/5
Wendy Y.
Parent
Below is my son's review. He was accepted to his dream Ivy League school!

From an admitted student's perspective, I am incredibly grateful to have met Sasha - he has been instrumental in helping me achieve my educational dreams (Ivy League), all while being an absolute joy (he's a walking encyclopedia, only funnier!) to work with.

Many people are dissuaded from seeking a college counselor because they think they can get into their desired college(s) either way. Honestly, going that route is a bit short-sighted and can jeopardize your odds of acceptances after years of hard work. The sad truth is, the American education system (even if you attend a fancy private school and ESPECIALLY if you go to a public school) doesn't really tell students how to write a compelling and authentic application. Going into the admissions process alone, without speaking with an advisor, is like going to court without a lawyer - you put yourself at a significant disadvantage because you don't have all the facts in front of you, or the help you need to negotiate the system.

That said, you need a good lawyer just like you need a good college counselor. And that's where Sasha distinguishes himself from the crowd of people claiming they'll get you into Harvard. I came to Sasha worried about and frankly dumbfounded by the college admissions process. I was unsure what to write about and how to go about drafting the essay that perfectly captured my passion, interests, and self. And I was highly skeptical that anyone could really help me. But, damn, did Sasha prove me wrong. From the beginning, Sasha amazed me with his understanding of the process, and ability to lend clarity and direction to me when I desperate needed it. After interviewing me about my background, experiences, activities, outlook, and vision, he helped me see qualities about myself I had not previously considered 'unique' or 'stand-out.' This process of understanding myself was so incredibly important in laying the groundwork for the essays I eventually wrote, and I'm certain I would've drafted boring, inauthentic essays without it.

Looking back, Sasha's talent is that he can see where your strengths lie, even when you don't see them. The truth is, although we don't always realize it, everyone has a unique story to tell. Sasha helped me see mine, and with his big-picture insight I was able to write the application that truly encapsulated my life and vision. He inspired me to dig deeper and write better, challenging me to revise and revise until my essays were the most passionate and authentic work I had ever written. As clichéd as that sounds, that's really what universities are looking for. In retrospect, it makes sense - in the real world passionate (not simply intelligent) individuals are the ones who make a difference in the world, and those are the individuals colleges would like to have associated with their brand.

In the end, I was accepted to the college of my dreams, a feat I could not have achieved without the direction Sasha lent to me. Essays (and the personal narrative you develop through your application) matter so much, and can literally make or break your application. I have seen so many of my 'qualified' friends receive rejections because they wrote contrived essays that didn't truly represent who they were; conversely, I have also seen so many friends with shorter resumes accepted because they were able to articulate their story in a genuinely passionate and authentic way - I fall into the latter category.

As a former admissions officer at Johns Hopkins, Sasha knows what types of essays jibe well with universities, an invaluable asset to have in the admissions process. He is responsive, flexible, creative, positive, and witty. For anyone who is serious about going into the college admissions process informed and prepared, I highly recommend Sasha.
5/5
Arda E.
Student
I used Ivy Scholars to mainly help me with college applications. Within weeks of using this service, Sasha was able to simplify the already complex process. When it came to writing the Common App essay, Sasha didn’t just help with grammar and syntax, he brought my essays to life. Sasha also worked tirelessly to help solidify my extracurricular activities, including research and internship opportunities. Without his help, I would have never had an impressive resume.

Sasha is not only an extremely knowledgeable tutor, but also a genuine brother figure. His guidance, throughout my last two years of high school, was everything I needed to get me an acceptance letter from my dream schools (UC Berkeley, Tufts, Emory).

When it came to testing, Ivy Scholars worked like a charm. Sasha offered a very comprehensive plan when it came to completely acing my standardized tests. Without his test taking strategies I would have never gotten straight 5s on my AP tests and a 35 on the ACT.

Working with Sasha, I didn’t just become a good student, I became a genuine scholar.
5/5
Samson S.
Parent
We worked with Ivy Scholars during my son's senior year. I was concerned that we may be too late to take advantage of college advising but the Ivy Scholars team quickly and confidently directed us through the steps to ensure no deadlines were missed. Sasha's knowledge about schools, what they looked for in candidates, and how to maneuver the application process was invaluable. Mateo and Ryan worked with my son to help him create an essay that would get noticed and I am so appreciative he had their guidance.

Prior to securing Ivy Scholars, we tried using a less-expensive online service which was a terrible experience. As a parent, Ivy Scholars brought peace of mind to an area that was frankly overwhelming. This service was invaluable in the knowledge that we gained throughout the process. He has also met with my freshman daughter to provide guidance for her high school courses, career paths, extracurricular activities, and more.

Prior to signing with Ivy Scholars, I tried a less expensive online service and was very disappointed.

As a result of our work with Ivy Scholars, I am pleased to say that my son will be attending Stern Business School at New York University this fall! I highly recommend Ivy Scholars. Highly recommend!