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  • Anne Richardson

    Title: Director of College Counseling, International & ESL Programs

    Company: Kents Hill School

    • verified

    Years of Experience
    14

    Colleges I Attended
    Oberlin College, Wesleyan University
    Degrees
    Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree
    Professional Affiliations
    NEACAC, NACAC, College Board
    About Me
    Past President New England Association of College Admission Counseling

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  • Admissions Expertise

    • Can what I post on Facebook affect my chances of getting accepted?

       

      Yes – what you post on Facebook can really hurt your chances of acceptance at college, finding an internship or a job. Why? Because posting anywhere on the Internet is akin to putting up a billboard on every major highway in the world; it’s not private. If you post inappropriate material or denigrate others online, you are letting the world know that this is who you are. College admissions officers, residential life deans and potential employers are watching and checking. And it’s not just Facebook. YouTube, blogs, Myspace – anything that identifies you is accessible. So, post the positive, eliminate the negative

    • I want to make the most of campus visits. What should I do, look for, and ask while I’m there?

       

      Reading the school newspaper is a great way to discover the hot issues on campus.  You can always find copies in the student center – the place to go after the tour to check out the student hub of the campus.   Read the bulletin boards, talk to the students staffing tables.  There you can also find some students and ask them if they mind if you ask some questions – what are the hot topics on campus, what’s best about the campus, what would you change, etc?  Finally, to connect with someone specific – a professor or club president – ask Admissions to help you.

    • What makes a school large or small and what are some advantages and disadvantages of each?

       

      Are you a student who likes contact with professors? Are you a student who likes lectures or discussions? Is access to research and internships an important part of your college experience? Students who like small classes, access to professors and discussion classes may fare better at a smaller (2,000-5,000) institution. Students who want to do research, who like lecture classes and who thrive in large classes may do better at a larger school (5,000+), although you will need to check whether undergraduates have access to research and professors. The bottom line? Visit both and see what fits.

    • How many schools should I apply to?

       

      The number is not as important as the range of schools. It is always important to apply to a range of schools - some reaches on down to some likely schools. A range is especially important if finances are going to figure into your choice of schools. Again, apply to a range of schools, remembering that some of the more expensive private schools have much better aid packages than state and public schools. Above all, each school on your list should be a school that you have researched; each school on your list should be a school where you can see yourself happily studying and living next fall.

    • Is early decision important for international students?

       

      Early decision is a wonderful for option for any student who knows that this school is the right fit for him or her. That is the reason to go early decision. Unfortunately, these days, going early decision does give you an advantage at some schools, especially if you do not have to worry about finances. In this sense, going ED can help tip the balance in your favor in some instances. But the most important part about going ED - international or domestic - is that the school is the right fit for you.

    • I am an international student applicant, how do I write an effective college admissions essay?

       

      The most important part of the essay is that it is a window into who you are. The essay has to be authentically you - about you and written by you. Many international students are prompted to write about why they want to study in America; that is not always the best idea. What is better is to write about something that really interests you, that you are passionate about, that shows a piece of you that is not apparent anywhere else in the application. So write about yourself - and remember that college admissions officers want an essay written by and about you!

    • How can parents help students with the college search and application process?

       

      Facilitate, but allow your student to own the process. Helping your student to get started with visits, driving the car to campuses, accompanying her on tours and to interviews and helping him to break the process down into manageable, timely pieces are all parts where you can be hugely helpful. The most important piece, however, is to help your student find the college that will be the best fit; the place where s/he will be most successful scholastically and socially.  Support your student and validate his/her choice. It’s all about the fit and the feel … for your student and no-one else.

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