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  • Jim McCorkell

    Title: CEO

    Company: Admission Possible

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  • Admissions Expertise

    • How important are college rankings when choosing a college?

       

      At Admission Possible where we are college coaches to students from low-income backgrounds, we don’t spend much time pouring over traditional rankings.  Rankings can help you identify unfamiliar schools to research. However, they cannot capture the most important factor – YOU – and your personal fit with a college. You have to look beyond the rankings list to find the campus that will support your academic and social connection needs.  And don’t get sticker shock, especially when looking at ‘ranked’ colleges.  Just because a school appears expensive, doesn’t mean it is.  Scholarships and aid are more plentiful than you might think!   

    • We don't have time or money to visit some schools I’m really interested in. What can I do?

       

      All the time I hear students say they knew they wanted to attend a particular college the minute they stepped foot on campus. You can read all about a college, but often it’s not until you are on campus that you can tell if it’s the right fit for you. Make sure to invest time in the decision up front, because transferring colleges later can lead to a lot of extra work in addition to managing your academic load. If money is the issue, see if your college of choice has a budget to assist students who can’t afford travel expenses.

    • What are the most significant, avoidable mistakes students make in the admissions process?

       

      Many students pass up the opportunity to submit optional essays without realizing they give an admissions representative a better sense of who they are and the diversity of experience they can bring to campus. Students should also not get scared off by the “sticker shock” of an institution’s tuition, but keep in mind that colleges with expensive price tags often have large endowments to match, and can thus offer competitive financial aid. Lastly, visit campus! If you plan to spend four years of your life there, it’s worth making sure that it feels like a good fit.

    • What are the best ways to prepare for the SAT and which study methods are worth paying for?

       

      We recommend that students take their college entrance exam in April of their junior year. If you decide you want to take the test a second time to improve your score, we have found that the greatest gains have occurred by taking the test again in June when the test experience is still fresh in your mind. The one exception is for students with English language barriers who tend to do better retaking the test later (October of their senior year, ideally). This gives you the benefit of several extra months of speaking, reading and writing in English. 

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

       

      As a parent, one easy way to give your child an advantage in the college application process is to file your taxes early. The forms required to apply for federal financial aid include parent’s tax returns in order to be complete. Because the money awarded by the government is a finite amount, those who apply early have a better chance of receiving aid. This is particularly important advice for middle- and low-income families.

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