Rich Educational Opportunities at College

Rana Slosberg Rana Slosberg
Posted at 5/26/2021

Rich educational opportunities support student learning and development at college according to the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) at Indiana University for Postsecondary Research. NSSE suggests that students ask colleges the following questions to learn about the college’s rich educational opportunities:

“How many courses include community-based service-learning projects?
What types of honors courses, learning communities, and other distinctive programs are offered?
How many students get practical, real-world experience through internships or off-campus field experiences?
How many students study in other countries?
What co-curricular activities are most common (performing arts, athletics, fraternities and sororities, guest speakers, etc.)?”

Here are examples of rich educational opportunities at colleges and universities:

  • 91 percent complete internships (American University).
  • All students study abroad (Goucher College).
  • More than seventy courses combine academics with

Categories: College Selection & List Development  |  Comprehensive College Guidance

Dream School vs. Best Fit

Mark Cruver Mark Cruver
Posted at 3/20/2019

Somehow this notion of attending your dream school became synonymous with the perfect place to receive a degree. This idea of getting into a college or university of notoriety would, by default, propel students into stardom, ultimate success, or even riches. How utterly absurd.

But what if the "dream school" had nothing to do with notoriety, fame or fortune. But instead, the college was a good fit because it met the student's needs, bringing happiness and a prosperous environment. 

This is the true and honest nature of healthy college selection. A student who pursues their future by identifying meaningful characteristics of a college, recognizing personal strengths and challenges, and strives for excellence has actually constructed a foundation for building a solid list of colleges.

This idea of matching colleges to students based on specific criteria unique to the student is something many IECs (Independent Educational Consultant) have been doing for decades. The...more

Categories: College Selection & List Development
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Why Was I Rejected From My Dream School When Less-Qualified People Got In?

Lessa Scherrer Lessa Scherrer
Posted at 1/5/2018

 First off, life isn’t fair. Second, unless you were in the room where the admission decision was made, you don't know that the other student was less qualified than you. Sure, he might have similar, or even lower, grades and test scores, but numbers aren't all there is in holistic admissions.

     Simply put, college admission has never been fair to the applicants. Admission to a particular college is not something you earn or deserve. If your abilities match their institutional priorities, then you will be admitted. One of those priorities might be “We need more students whose wealthy families will give us money.” C’est la vie. Those students’ families are paying for other students’ scholarships.

     But, if I’m correct in assuming that your “dream college” is one of those top 20 name-brand colleges, you need to face the facts that admission to those schools is not a given for anybody. There ar...more

Categories: College Selection & List Development  |  Application & Essay Guidance  |  Comprehensive College Guidance
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Some of My Favorite College Planning References

Rana Slosberg Rana Slosberg
Posted at 10/27/2017

Here are a few of my favorite college planning reference books and websites organized by category.  What other references do you like and use?

What makes a college right for you - College Match 

College Majors - Book of Majors

College Guides:

  • The Princeton Review, The Best 3xx Colleges
  • Fiske Guide to Colleges
  • America’s Best Colleges for B Students
  • Colleges That Change Lives
  • Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers
  • The K&W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Differences
  • Rugg’s Recommendations on the Colleges 

College Search Sites:

Chance for acceptance - Naviance scattergrams from your high school

Financial Aid:


Categories: Application & Essay Guidance  |  Career & Major Guidance  |  Financial Aid & Affordability  |  Fine & Performing Arts  |  College Selection & List Development  |  Students with LD

Why You Shouldn't Apply to all Eight Ivy League Schools

Evelyn Jerome-Alexander, M.A., CEP Evelyn Jerome-Alexander, M.A., CEP
Posted at 7/31/2017

Many people mistakenly believe that applying to a larger number of “reach” or top-tier schools increases the chances of being admitted to one.  There are two big reasons why this belief not only is wrong, but jeopardizes students’ chances of admission to even one of the top schools on their lists.

Reason #1 Why You Shouldn’t Apply to All 8 Ivies

The first reason you shouldn’t apply to all 8 Ivy League schools, or limit your list to the top of the US News list, is that they are different in fundamental ways!  If you love and fit at Columbia, then Brown would probably not be a great match for you!  If you think Duke or Johns Hopkins would be perfect for you, it’s unlikely you’d fit well at Yale.  And if you aren’t a good fit, that’s probably going to come through in your essays – or at least other applicants’ essays are likely to be stronger than yours.  Top-tier colleges aren’t interested in students who are only interested in their top ranking, and the bumper...more

Categories: College Selection & List Development  |  Application & Essay Guidance  |  Featured  |  Comprehensive College Guidance
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Q&A With A College Admissions Expert

Evelyn Jerome-Alexander, M.A., CEP Evelyn Jerome-Alexander, M.A., CEP
Posted at 5/17/2017

This interview was originally published on the Varsity Tutors website.

Varsity Tutors brings you insider tips and advice straight from nationally recognized admissions experts. Evelyn Alexander provides college admissions counseling services to a number of students and their families through Magellan College Counseling. She is an alumnus of Johns Hopkins University where she also served as a volunteer admissions recruiter for 15 years.

VT: How far ahead of time should a student begin working on his or her college application?

Evelyn: College applications are generally available the summer before the student’s senior year. The Common Application, for example, should open in August for the Class of 2015. While I would advise students to start their applications as early as possible, I would also encourage them to start exploring colleges long before the summer before senior year. I start working with students at the beginning of junior year, digging into possible majors and car...more

Categories: Comprehensive College Guidance  |  Application & Essay Guidance  |  College Selection & List Development
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