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Elite Colleges Acceptance Rates Drop

Almost all elite college acceptance rates dropped across the board this year to record lows. There are numerous takeaways from this but the most important one is that it is getting harder and harder to get into an elite college in America. Here are some links to prove my point.

What that means to you

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while now then you know that I have a son who is a high school student. We just went through the whole college application and college acceptance process this year. It finally ended and it was brutal for him and most of his friends. Let me discuss the process and breakdown everything from A to Z.

The Applications

It’s relatively easy but extremely hard at the same time. First go to the common application portal and fill out the information. Then look at the schools that you want to apply to for admission. Everything is very straight forward. The difficult part for the student is then applying to each school. The most important thing to do is to write the common app essay. This will take the most time for your kid.

Then each school has their own mini essay portions that have to be written. This can be extremely time consuming.

Tip 1.Have your child research each school so when answering questions, they can show intimate and detailed knowledge of the schools.

There are deadlines for each school that must be met and each school has different deadlines as well. Make sure your child knows them exactly!

Tip 2:Do NOT procrastinate writing the essays. The more schools that you apply to the more writing that will be needed to be done. On top of your senior year course load, extra-curriculars,etc.. Writing perhaps 60 smaller 300 word essays takes a lot of time!

Financial Aid

Financial Aid is time consuming and tedious but if it means tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships and grants then it is worth every dime. There are two main components of doing financial aid for the parent.

FAFSA – This is short for The Free Application for Federal Student Aid. I recommend that every family fills this out no matter what the family’s income is. You never know how much money that will be available for each child. You don’t want to close the door on free money. Here is the link.

The technical stuff

I wish I ALL knew this stuff before hand but I got this info from googling like crazy and lots of trial and error.

A.Log in and enter all the information that is requested

B.You can fill out up to 10 colleges at a time.

C.Once that is done wait a few days till you receive an email confirming that the government has everything on file

D.Then you can go back into the site go to the link that says you want to make changes. Then you can delete the previous ten and add another ten if you want. Rinse and repeat the process if you really want to add more.

CSS – College Scholarship Service

This is done on the same page as the College Board site. Your child most likely has an account from doing the following:PSAT, SAT, AP Tests and SAT Subject Tests. Get their account info and create a CSS profile through this link.

Steps for CSS

A. Log into and create a CSS Profile for your child

B.Unlike the FAFSA process you can add as many college choices as you want at one time. Which is much more convenient.

C.Once you submit you information you should be ready to start providing information to each school. Each school will need different docs and information that you upload on the idoc link.

Here you can see a sample of what is looks like

D.Know what each school’s code is so you know which school is requesting certain information.

(Remember each school is different and some schools request hard copies that need to be actually mailed to the school i.e.(Boston College)

Unless you are doing Early Decision or Early Action most deadlines for all school pertinent information will be around January or February. Know your deadline dates. This is very important.

Tip:Make sure you child reads up on every school’s requirements. Such as self reported vs. official reports. Once the deadline is passed so is your child’s chances at that school.

The Wait

If your child applied Early Decision and was accepted then there is an extremely short wait and turn around. Once the deadline passes for ED or EA then the decision comes out in less than a month.

If your child doesn’t do that or they were deferred then you must wait till March. Each school differs. Many state schools have rolling admissions so they come out the fastest. While others start coming out in February with the majority of schools coming out in different times in March.

Likely Letters

This is something that I never even heard about till this year. These are letters that are sent out by many top tier schools to students that are exceptional and the schools want to show their interest in them. Though I’ve heard that a small percentage of these kids are denied almost 99% of them are admitted.

The Acceptance Rates for Top Tier Schools in 2019

As mentioned in the beginning of this article, the acceptance rates for almost every top tier school dropped. Many of them getting record amounts of applications this year. This trend is only increasing every year. Harvard’s acceptance rate dropped to 4.5%! The only school that did not report worth mentioning is Stanford which stopped reporting last year.

The Takeaway

If you want to go to a Top Tier School in America you need to know that it will take a Superhuman effort to gain admission into one of these schools.

What steps needs to be done to get into these schools?

1.High GPA – This is a really important factor that should not be underestimated

2.High Standardized Test Scores SAT/ACT – Check what the Score range is for each school and make sure it is at least meets the median. Here is the SAT/ACT Prep that my son took and we recommend Prep Expert.

3.Extra-Curricular activities – You need to participate in an activity for an extended amount of time that shows great passion to these schools. It is NOT important on how many you do but how long you do it.

4.Great Recommendations from two teachers and one from your counselor. This is very important and most people don’t seem to realize the power of the recommendation, especially from the counselor. Get to know your counselor well!

5.Write a great essay – This is the most important aspect of the college application in my opinion. If you have all the above down pat, that only gets your foot in the door. A great essay is the only way that the college admin officials know who you really are because they won’t every meet you in person.

6.Write great college specific essays – Show the schools that you’ve taken the time to really get to know the school and weave that into the essays.

If your child is in 11th grade this year and you are preparing for senior year good luck! It is extremely stressful so as Tiger Parent don’t wait! Start NOW preparing and get ready for the”Fun”.

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