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  • Stephanie Meade

    Title: Owner

    Company: The Collegiate Edge

    • verified

    Years of Experience

    Colleges I Attended
    Stanford University
    Professional Affiliations
    About Me
    Stephanie Meade has been helping teenagers prepare for and apply to college for over twenty years. She advises students on all aspects of the college preparation, selection and application process, and owns The Collegiate Edge, which provides a superior approach to standardized test preparation and long-term academic support. She is a graduate of Stanford University.

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  • Admissions Expertise

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


      College admissions officers are generally way too busy for Facebook but, if they have a question or concern, they may look you up. Since many young, tech-savvy people work in admissions, and because you don’t know who your Facebook friends know, you should never have a comment or photo visible or linkable that does not pass “the grandma test”. That means no pictures, links, or posts (even as a joke) aboutpartying, drugs, sex, guns or anything else that could be misinterpreted bysomeone who does not know you. Keep it clean. An admissions officer (or grandma) may be checking!

    • If I haven’t found the right extracurriculars, can I still appear to be a dedicated student?


      How enthusiastically you engage with your extracurricular activities is more important than which or how many you have, so look for activities that sound genuinely fun and interesting. Do you love sports and get along well with younger kids? Then maybe assisting a coach at a camp or after-school program is a good place to start. You can do something similar with almost any interest. Many students discover an activity they love by volunteering, so take the interests you already have into your community, and you may end up discovering a passion! Try and to get started.

    • Tuition aside, what benefits and drawbacks exist by going to school in-state vs. out-of-state?


      Most students (probably 70-80%) attend college in their home states, but here are some reasons to join the adventurous group that goes further: If you think of education as more than just classes and books, attending college out of state is an easy way to deepen your learning. Simply living in a different area of the country and having classmates from different places will automatically expand your knowledge and understanding of the world. Secondly, a college far from your home may offer you a merit scholarship, as you will make the student body more geographically diverse, which many colleges want.

    • In all of your years working with students, what were some of the most unexpected admissions successes you witnessed?


      Some students who struggled in 9th and 10th grades, or got serious about school a little late in the game have had some surprisingly happy college stories. One student with a gpa below 3.0 was admitted to 3 private colleges in Florida this spring with yearly scholarships of 10, 21, and 24 thousand dollars respectively. Another with a learning disability was accepted to 12 colleges, and almost had a breakdown because it was so difficult to choose just one! Both of these students brought their grades up, built thoughtfully researched college lists, and wrote honest essays about their academic challenges.

    • To find scholarships, where should I look, what's needed of me, and which ones seem craziest?


      Some colleges award generous scholarships or “merit aid” to entice students to bring them something they want. For example, look for private colleges far from your home that have a large percentage of students from their regions—you can contribute to campus geographic diversity. Grades and test scores above or near the top of the school’s averages (which might be lower than you expect) may bring big tuition discounts along with an acceptance letter. In some cases, merit offers reduce private college tuition to near the cost of in-state tuition at public universities, so don’t be afraid to apply!

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