Meredith Reynolds - Head Start College Blog

“Ease Pressure” …for one type of student?
January 20th, 2016

College admissions officers from many of the most competitive colleges and universities think it will ease students admission’s pressure if colleges de-emphasize activities and SAT scores and replace them with an emphasis on community service. Really?

Wait Lists…a “Tease” for Seniors
April 14th, 2015

Seniors can play along with the “tease” college, but realize that is all it is.

ACCEPT a spot at a college or university that accepted you. Order a t-shirt and wear it to school. Get comfortable with the college that accepted you. Be proud and excited! They think you will be a positive addition to their campus…not a maybe positive.

As for the “tease” college…each college or university has its own Wait List policies. With the University of California campuses shrinking freshman and transfer spacess, more qualified students are being placed on wait lists (rejected or offered admission to Univ. of California Merced). The attached a UC FAQ’s on the Wait List provides you with the IMPORTANT QUESTIONS to ask any college or university you were wait-listed at. NOTE….financial aid should be a major concern for those admitted from wait list.

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Stanford Lays Down the Challenge! Free Tuition
April 2nd, 2015

If you parents make less than $125,000 your tuition at Stanford will be ZERO. That is clear educational opportunity…no promised percentages and outreach programs.

For the complete story..

AP Tests Not Enough for Elite Schools?!
March 30th, 2015

As amazing applicants with 8-10 AP’s receive their rejection letters….This is an important development for future applicants to a highly competitive college or university. And that category includes many more than the “Ivies”. They are called MOOC (massive online open classes) that are free. Check it out!

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports:

Through a nonprofit consortium called edX, Harvard, MIT, the University of Texas, the University of California at Berkeley, Columbia, Dartmouth, Cornell, Caltech, the Sorbonne and dozens of other elite universities have begun offering complete online versions of their highly sought-after classes, free, to anyone with an Internet connection. Among other topics, you can learn about computer science, matrix algebra, poetry and Chinese history from Harvard; engineering, mathematics and jazz appreciation from UT; principles of economics and data analysis from Caltech. Other online education platforms such as Coursera offer thousands of additional courses from elite universities, free.

These are not watered-down classes. I took a genetics course through MITx, the university’s branch of edX. It was the same class taught to freshmen in Cambridge, Mass. — the same lectures, homework assignments, midterms and final exam. MOOC success is much more likely to predict success in college classes than SAT scores, because MOOC success is, in fact, success in college classes.


2014 Fortune 500 Top Ten Companies: Where did their CEO’s go as undergraduates?
March 13th, 2015

These were the schools: the University of Arkansas; the University of Texas; the University of California, Davis; the University of Nebraska; Auburn; Texas A & M; the General Motors Institute (now called Kettering University); the University of Kansas; the University of Missouri, St. Louis; and Dartmouth College.
LESSON: The business world may in fact open up for your high school senior if rejected by an Ivy League school ??.


Winning Questions for Winning the Job/Internship
March 12th, 2015

The following questions were suggested by CEO’s. Their individual discussions of reasons for the recommended question give added insight into “the other side” of any interview. BEFORE your interview learn EVERYTHING you can about the company and/or project and select one or two of these questions to ask when the opportunity presents itself.


2016 SAT: All New. Will you be ready?
March 11th, 2015

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Sophomores and juniors are experiencing the transition to and launch of the much heralded “new” SAT in March, 2016.

1. SOPHOMORES (’17): Starting with the launch, please be aware that ALL March, 2016 SAT scores will be HELD until scores compiled from the May, 2016 SAT. You will have no knowledge of your scores for additional preparation or college planning during those critical months.

2. JUNIORS (’16): current SAT takers are seeing new sections and unscored sections. SAT is testing new formats and comparing scores.

3. SOPHOMORES (’17): “New” SAT:
a. Score: 800 Reading /Writing + 800 Math=1600 scale
b.”Guessing penalty” eliminated
c. A non-calculator math section
d. Arcane vocabulary reduced
e. Essay made option and completely overhauled. Time increased from 25-50 minutes. Some schools expected to require in early years after launch.
f. ACT-like link to Common Core.
RECOMMENDATION: Make sure your review materials and/or professionals are up to date on new SAT.

For more information please check out the College Board site.

Cal State System Shrinks Enrollment
March 9th, 2015

High school seniors are being rejected in record numbers this year from the Cal State system…really? why? The Cal States have decided to shrink enrollment because they claim to not have the money to hire enough professors to serve the students. Adding to the problem for high school students is the fact that Cal States have “local areas”. Put simply, if an applicant lives in Los Angeles, loves the beach and wants to attend San Diego State…he will need to have better grades and test scores than his surfing buddy from Newport Beach. Really? Our taxes all go to Sacramento?? So be sure to apply to some Cal States in your local area…oh yes and based on the information in the article, this is not a one year happening…3 to 4 years in future.


UK Applications at Record Levels
January 30th, 2015

Colleges and Universities in the United Kingdom are celebrating the record number of applications submitted by the January 15 deadline. They are pleased with the fact that:  “Further analysis of the figures reveals that young people from the UK’s most disadvantaged areas are now more likely than ever to apply to higher education.” Given the fixed number of spaces this will necessarily displace other applicants making it all the more important to have a strong application including Personal Statement and recommendations from teachers that know and respect you.

UK Applications at Record Levels

Ebola Increases Applications at Emory
January 29th, 2015

Just when you had figured out your Reach schools, Target schools and Safety schools after visiting the campus and researching the program…ebola breaks out in Africa. Your school treats the first active case successfully and applications skyrocket. More evidence of how much of the process is out of your hands MAKING IT ALL THE MORE IMPORTANT that students maximize the positive impact of every part of their application and interaction with the college.

Ebola Increases Emory Applications

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


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