Meredith Reynolds - Head Start College Blog

Archive for October, 2010

Early Application: Short Cut or Marketing Gimmick
October 24th, 2010

The furor over early action is growing as schools send out their various Distinguished Applicant, Presidential Scholar, Short App…whatever they call it to entice you to apply early…then they “bagged” an application all good for their numbers. In most cases unless your grades and SAT’s are within their ranges they have no reason to accept you early…they can wait and see what comes regular. For this reason I would recommend that  students apply  to only one Early Action school that you have picked, not that picked you. Don’t get caught up in the marketing work by the schools to just generate nos. of applications. Early action is not a short-cut though they try to make you believe it is….and it often leads to less-polished applications

Rounding the Corner?
October 22nd, 2010

The number of graduating high school students peaked at 3.3 million in 2009 while at the same time the recession made it more difficult for families to afford colleges, according to the National Association of College Admissions Counselors most recent annual report. Twenty-nine percent of colleges report a drop in applications in 2009. The 2010 application numbers will be necessary to determine if the trend of declining numbers of applications was short-term or will continue to grow. In response for the 2010 application season, more colleges are turning back to early action/decision to guarantee freshmen enrollment targets are met.

Demonstrate Interest: Finish the Sale
October 18th, 2010

In the National Association of College Admission Counseling   2008 Admission Trends Survey, 59.6 percent of colleges and universities rated demonstration of interest as either considerably important or moderately important. A student’s demonstrated interest ranked seventh in the highest category of “considerable importance”.

Here are the top six:

1. Grades in college prep courses.

2. Strength of curriculum (how rigorous are the courses you’re taking).

3. Standardized test scores (ACT and SAT).

4. Grades in all courses.

5. Essays or writing samples.

6. Teacher recommendations.

Even if a college or university doesn’t factor demonstrated interest into its decision mix, admissions officials do appreciate when a student understands why their specific college is a good fit for them.

When you push that SUBMIT button…your work is not over. Get out there and meet with the regional rep, alumni, email departments of interest to you, re-visit the campus…finish the sale!


Early Decision Trumps All!
October 10th, 2010

In a recent Washington Post (see, the writer purports to provide a list of 10 schools that students MUST apply early to.
1 Lehigh University (PA)
2 Johns Hopkins University (MD)
3 College of William and Mary (VA)
4 Cornell University (NY)
5 University of Notre Dame (IN)
6 Brandeis University (MA)
7 Duke University (NC)
8 Boston College
9 University of Pennsylvania
10 University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
I have not included the numbers as published because in my experience they are not helpful because:
1. If a student is applying Early Decision, their chances will be improved at any school. Your student says, “School you own me, I will think and research no more.”
2. If a student is applying Early Action, their chances may be improved a bit at any school. Your student says,  “I like your school better than some of the other schools I am applying to but reserve the right to change that opinion after they all make offers to me.”
LESSON: If Early Action/ Early Decision numbers are not separated out they cannot be relied on to predict acceptance chances.

Perhaps most important for the entire family, the Head Start College program paces students to complete their applications by Thanksgiving.


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