What comes to mind when you think of living on campus? Unlimited freedom? Silly shenanigans? Crazy parties? Understandably, most people associate the quintessential college experience with wild, debauchery-filled times. And in the minds of many, the setting for all that debauchery is usually the college dorm. Contrary to what you’ve seen on television, there’s a lot more to living on campus than just wild parties. In fact, there are many benefits to living on campus that go beyond what’s been depicted in movies about college life. Below are a few of the lesser-discussed benefits of living on campus and a few downsides to consider, as well.
Talk to any high schooler or their parents about the college admissions process and you will hear tales of woe. The prospective student will mention how hard the SAT or ACT was. He or she will complain about the dreaded college interview and their parents will nod their heads in agreement, claiming to have gotten a gray hair or two from helping their child navigate the intimidating world, or gauntlet, rather, that the admissions process is known to be.
But if you listen closely to their responses, you will catch the undertone of excitement in their voices, because the prospective freshman is about to have his dream become a reality. The soon-to-be high school graduate is about to make his parents proud by going off to college. And most likely what’s helping to drive that excitement is not only the idea of independence that’s awaiting the student, but also the student probably has had tangible evidence of what college life can be like because he or she attended a campus visit. A campus visit has a way of making or breaking your view of a college or university. If you haven’t gotten a chance to take one yet, check out a few pros and cons of the campus visit listed below to decide if a visit to the college of your choice is worth it for you.
You’ve taken too many college entrance exams to name. You also made sure to take every Advanced Placement course your high school offered. You’ve been in extracurricular activities since you were in 9th grade and for the most part you’re ready to handle any challenge thrown at you, but that was before you realized the college of your choice highly recommends interviews.
Now you’re nervous. You don’t know what to expect. What should you say? Should you be yourself? Should you be formal? How should you dress? What type of questions will they ask you?
The person most qualified to answer these common questions that most prospective freshmen ask themselves is a private counselor. With the help of a private college counselor, you’ll have the direct assistance of a knowledgeable professional whose life work is dedicated to getting students like you into college. You might be thinking to yourself, is it really worth the money to pay for a private counselor to help you ace the dreaded college interview? And the answer is an emphatic yes.
Let’s say that you’re a top ranking student. You’re in the top 5% of your class due to your high GPA. Your SAT, ACT and AP scores are enviable. You also are well-rounded and your extra-curricular activities are just as important to you as your academic pursuits. You excel in high school. In fact, your guidance counselor frequently tells you that you’re one of the best prepared students in your graduating class. And as a result, you’re going to be recognized with an award for outstanding achievement the following day.
But then you go to school the next morning and you find out that you’re not in the top 5% of your class any more. Confused, you try to find out why. And you’re given a conflicting and arguably ridiculous excuse that the formula used to determine high-achieving students has changed. The school no longer cares that you have a high GPA, your test scores aren’t important, and your extra-curricular activities are just seen as well, extra, but not really necessary. And because of the school’s new ranking system, you go from being in the top 5% of your class, to barely ranking at all.
You’re confused, upset, and outraged. And rightfully so. You worked hard for what you achieved and now a random new way of ranking has made you seem less competitive with your peers.
You’re probably saying to yourself, this won’t happen to me, right? Well, probably not, but for many colleges and universities that were once seen as top colleges, this is exactly what happened, virtually overnight.
Everyone knows that the admissions process can be grueling especially when you have to make so many decisions before you even submit an application. One decision that is especially harrowing is which admissions option to choose. Are you interested in early action, early decision, rolling, or regular admission? And if you do choose to do early action (EA) or early decision (ED), is it really worth it?
The answer to that question lies in how much preparation you’ve put into the admissions process already, whether or noIs it worth doing Early Decision/Early Action?t you have a top choice college, and lastly your (and your parents’) financial situation.
You may have impressive standardized test scores, and an equally impressive GPA and class rank, but those are only numbers. In such a competitive college admissions landscape, if you have the opportunity to stand out from the crowd of freshman hopefuls by completing an in-person college interview, then by all means, seize the opportunity. You want the admissions office to see you as more than just a few numbers on a piece of paper and the way to do that is to impress them through the college interview.
First of all, the college interview isn’t as intimidating as it sounds, so if you’re worried about it---don’t be. Much like your personal statement or admissions essay, the college interview provides you with the opportunity to showcase your personality. More than that, it gives you a chance for the college of your choice to discover more about you than what your scores on various tests reflect. Hence, the college interview can be a great opportunity to let your personality shine and also a great opportunity for those students with less than stellar scores to truly stand out.
Instead of looking at the interview as another obstacle in the gauntlet known as the college admissions process, view the interview as at least one aspect of the admissions process that you can ultimately control. And that control comes from being prepared.
You’re staring at your computer screen trying to come up with the next word to type. You glance over at the time and realize that you’ve been staring at the same sentence for the past hour. And the sad part is, it’s the opening sentence of the introductory paragraph. That means, technically, you’ve done pretty much nothing. But this isn’t because you haven’t tried. You’ve been trying all morning. But you’re struggling with your approach to the topic. You know what you should write, but getting those words on the screen have become a challenge. And the reason? You don’t want to write a run-of-the-mill essay. You don’t want to write anything that the admissions board has already seen. You want your essay to stand out. Well take a deep breath, step away from the keyboard and when you’re ready to write again, try to incorporate the tips below to create a winning essay that will truly stand out from the rest.
You only get one chance to impress the admissions office. After all, the college of your choice will be inundated by countless applicants who have an academic and extracurricular background similar to your own. Hence, it’s important that something about you stands out from the crowd of eager potential freshman. That something should be your personal statement.
Writing a great personal statement is a challenge, but when done effectively, it can be the difference between a no and a yes from the college of your choice. So read on below for a few tips regarding how to make your personal statement stand out among the rest.