Admissions Expertise Are guidebooks, relatives, and rankings useful in choosing a school? Outside "help" in shaping your college search is okay in the beginning, but just your own experience is what matters when it comes to making the final solution. Consider your college choice to be a four-year "real estate purchase": the amenities you need, the comfort you feel, the availability of programs, services, and facilities can only be determined to be right by the ultimate consumer-YOU.Your happiness is what matters, so trust your own senses, and take advice from outside sources with a grain of salt.Best of luck!Darryl Likes Like This Answer Already Liked This Answer Thank you, this item will be reviewed. Are there activities/organizations that impress highly selective colleges? The way to impress admission staff members of highly selective colleges is to be AUTHENTIC. Being involved with activities/organizations for which you have a true passion is impressive. Sadly, too many students and their parents try to find the "magic formula" of involvement, when in fact, doing what you love is what allows you to speak enthusiastically about it during interviews, and write effectively about it when doing essays.Be comfortable being YOU-we don't need for ONE person to do all activities, but will use talented and dedicated students to construct a well-rounded entering class. Likes Like This Answer Already Liked This Answer Thank you, this item will be reviewed. How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process? It is important for parents to recognize that students have to be happy with the college choice, and that at some point, parents need to allow students to "fly free from the nest". We separate the behavior of parents from what we know to be true about students, and we realize that overbearing parents are probably experiencing separation anxiety. We often mention that we like to have the college selection be a family process, but the STUDENT needs to be his or her own advocate!Good Luck!Darryl Likes Like This Answer Already Liked This Answer Thank you, this item will be reviewed. We don't have time or money to visit some schools I’m really interested in. What can I do? If you lack the funds to visit a school in which you are interested, you can always contact regional representatives from colleges and universities via e-mail and telephone to let them know of your interest. For colleges that use alumni volunteers, ask to have contact, interviews, and the like from people in your area. Ask if anyone from the staff will be visiting your high school or attending college fairs near where you live. It is best to be honest about not being able to afford visiting for those places that value demonstrated interest, but most value demonstrated interest realistically.Good luck!Darryl Likes Like This Answer Already Liked This Answer Thank you, this item will be reviewed. How can I work with schools to boost my financial aid? Are there other sources of student aid? Consider the following: 1) Ask if the financial aid office employs the practice of “gapping”, the practice of giving a family less than the amount necessary to afford college costs. For example, if a student needs $25,000 to cover the gap between what he or she can afford and what the total cost of attendance is, a student may only receive $20,000 in a financial aid package. If you receive a “yes” answer, then ask how the “gap” may be closed. 2) Have documents available that show any additional unexpected circumstances such as a recent medical bills, a job loss or lay-off, or any substantive event or circumstance that has had an impact on the family’s finances. 7 Likes Like This Answer Already Liked This Answer Thank you, this item will be reviewed. What are the best ways for students to manage their college expenses? The best ways for students to manage their college expenses involves actually knowing what money you have, what your necessary expenditures are, what your "fun" expenditures are, and then doing simple subtraction. Whether you use a smartphone app, a piece of paper, or a spreadsheet, you'll find that keeping track of your money means never having the feeling of being broke. Limit impulse buying! Likes Like This Answer Already Liked This Answer Thank you, this item will be reviewed. How many schools should I apply to? I think the number of schools depends on how many you can honestly see yourself applying to and potentially attending. Seeking the proper fit in a college or university academically, personally, and socially will give you the best opportunity to thrive. There are realistically several places that will suit your needs, but as far as choosing the best matches for you, probably ten applications will suffice. Good Luck!Darryl Likes Like This Answer Already Liked This Answer Thank you, this item will be reviewed.