fbpx

College Admissions Blog

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

Read More »
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

Read More »
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

Read More »
Essay

From Alpha to Omega: Starting and Ending a Personal Statement

Pop quizzes, piles of homework, and the blank page.  These are just a handful of the tortures high schoolers encounter on a regular basis. Yet, while the first can be overcome with constant studying and the second with intentional planning, the third offers no clear-cut solutions. Every high schooler from Houston to Hong Kong has faced the dreaded prospect of starting a paper without a clue of how to either begin or conclude it.  College applications dial that feeling of uncertainty and anxiety up to eleven. There, high schoolers are expected to compose a piece of personal writing that simultaneously

Read More »
SAT

Why Isn’t My SAT Score Improving?

Have you taken the SAT multiple times and still not reached your target score? Have you dedicated extensive time and money prepping for the SAT, yet find yourself stuck in a specific score range? Do you keep asking yourself, “why is my SAT score not improving?” If your answer to these questions is yes, then you have come to the right place. Here are five things you can do to improve your SAT score. Change Your Mindset Stop worrying about your score, and think of the SAT as a game. Negative thoughts waste valuable mental energy and distract you from

Read More »
Admission

Extracurricular Activities for College Admissions

Every year, high schoolers are faced with a deluge of possible extracurricular activities. From sports to clubs to internships to volunteer opportunities to camps to early-college programs, the options are seemingly endless and often overwhelming. Thus, every year both parents and high schoolers alike come to our office to ask us the same question: how many and what kind of extracurriculars should they do to optimize college admissions success? The question is a good one but also misses the mark. The truth is that college admissions officers don’t use a secret algorithm to count the number and type of activities

Read More »
Admission

What to Do When You’re Waitlisted or Deferred from College

So you did all the work you were supposed to, created a stellar application, and have not received the news you so desperately wanted. The purpose of this guide is to help you determine what to do now, and what your next steps should be after being waitlisted or deferred by your dream school. There are possibilities beyond admission that are not an outright rejection; waitlisting, and deferment. Each of these will be handled in turn, and specific steps will be given to you, to maximize your potential, regardless of circumstances. The most important thing to remember is to stay

Read More »
Admission

A Guide for Parents: Questions to Ask About College Admissions

When should my child start preparing to apply for colleges? Most students begin preparing for college admissions the summer before their senior year and do the majority of their application work the following fall. That being said, there is nothing wrong with becoming familiar with prospective colleges and their requirements before then. One way to get students motivated to be on top of the preparation process is to take them on college tours early in their high school careers. Seeing the bustle of student life on campus along with hearing all the requirements first hand from tour guides can help

Read More »
SAT ACT Differences
SAT

10 Key Differences Between the SAT and ACT

Most people have heard of both the SAT and ACT, but what makes them distinct from each other? In this detailed SAT vs. ACT investigation, we discuss the top 10 differences between the two tests and explain what these differences mean for test-takers. And in closing, we give tips to help you decide which test is right for you. At first glance, the SAT and ACT seem pretty similar. They are both nationally accredited standardized tests that are common admission requirements for schools in the United States. Taken primarily by high school juniors and seniors, they test proficiency in various

Read More »
the evolution and history of the sat
SAT

History of the SAT

The SAT is always evolving. From the scoring system to the content itself, the SAT undergoes a constant process in order to retain its status as the primary standardized test for college entrance. But what is the history of the SAT, and how did we get here, to the current version of the exam known as The Redesigned SAT? To fully answer this question, we must look back in time to 1926, when Princeton professor Carl Campbell Brigham organized the first official SATs, or formally, Scholastic Aptitude Tests. These exams were based upon the Army Alpha/Beta test used in World War I

Read More »
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!