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General Tips and Help

Check here for some general application tips, from legacies to the Common Application.

Successful Admissions is about More than NumbersAdmissions Video
     When I served as an admissions officer at Cornell, I was often asked how we decided between two "identical" candidates. I always responded that no two candidates are "identical" even if they happen to have the same test scores, the same GPA with the same number of AP classes from the same high school, and the same extracurricular activities. In fact, everyone is different and everyone has a different story to tell.

Taking a Gap YearAdmissions Video
     Taking a "gap year" between high school and college to travel and explore potential interests is a popular option that is gaining increased acceptance in the US. You should not fear that a gap year will be judged harshly by the colleges and universities to which you apply, provided that you have valid goals and reasons for doing so, and can demonstrate the value of the time you spent.

3 Surprisingly Common College Applicant Mistakes
     There are many ways high school seniors inadvertently sabotage their admission chances. Here are three that will probably surprise you.

Athletes: Understanding the Academic Importance
     While athletic ability is an important part of the college admissions process for the high-school athlete, it will mean little without the academic strength to back it up.

Handling the WaitlistAdmissions Video
     One of the most difficult situations you might face as a college applicant is how to handle a waitlist decision from a school you really want to attend. Should you bombard the school with additional material, hoping that something you send will convince the school to admit you? Or should you just sit tight, fearing that submitting additional, unsolicited material will annoy the admissions committee?

College Transfer AdmissionsAdmissions Video
     If you are in a position where you started at a school and now it just doesn't fit you, what do you do? You may want to consider transferring. Before you sign up for any class, make sure it can be transferred to the four-year school of your choice. Keep a close relationship with your academic advisor and your target school to verify this.

The Low-Down on Legacy Admissions
     Do you resent the idea that you have to go through all this stress over your college applications, while someone else can waltz into a selective school solely on the strength of their family connections? Well, find out what the real story is – and relax.

Bucknell University Admissions Interview
     Founded it 1846 in the Western Pennsylvania town of Lewisburg, Bucknell is ranked among the top liberal arts institutions in the nation. It offers some of the best characteristics of a traditional liberal arts college, including a range of interesting courses, personal attention from professors, and a close-knit residential community. But Bucknell combines these characteristics with the resources and facilities of a larger university – and offers courses often not found at other liberal arts schools. Here is a recent interview with Robert Springall, Bucknell's Dean of Admissions.

Amherst College Admissions Interview
     Many college applicants aspire to a challenging liberal arts education. Founded in 1821, Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts is consistently ranked amongst the top liberal arts colleges in the United States. The college boasts 203 full-time faculty for 1,697 students and an endowment per student ration of over $740,000. Here is a recent interview with Katie Fretwell, Director of Admission at Amherst College.

RPI Shows How Acceptance Rates Can Fall Far and Fast
     Concerned about those low admit percentages mentioned by the Ivy League schools? See what those numbers really mean and worry no more.

Butler University Admissions Interview
     Founded in 1855, Butler University is an independent, co-ed liberal arts college located five miles from downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. Its 290 acre campus is widely cited as one of the most beautiful in the Midwest.

10 Things That a Spellchecker Won't CatchAdmissions Video
     In case you're wondering why proofreading your application is essential, here are some examples of mistakes that most spell checkers will not catch.

Transfer Students Don't Generally Have the Same Experiences as Native Students
     If you are considering transferring to a different school, you should consider that how much you will likely get out of the experience is partially determined by the kind of school you transferred from.

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