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  • Michael Goran

    Title: Director & Educational Consultant
    Company: IvySelect College Counseling

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  • Admissions Expertise

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


      Using “The Social Network” can have consequences in the college admissions process! Although admissions officers don’t have time to regularly access applicants’ Facebook walls, a fair percentage of them do look at prospective students’ profiles. Still, students need to realize that if it’s public, it’s possible to see compromising items. If told about something that adversely reflects on your integrity or your behavior, admissions officers may go to Facebook to check it out. If you think it’s inappropriate – whether it’s a photo or a comment – don’t post it! The best advice is to clean things up and keep things private.

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


      The college visit is the best way to get a feel for a school and determine if it’s a good fit for you. The key to your visits is simple…plan ahead! Contact admissions offices to see if they offer overnight programs. Make tour reservations far in advance. Contact faculty members to meet and explore undergraduate research opportunities. If appropriate, contact coaches, music or theater department professors to discuss special requirements. Ask to sit in on classes. Research colleges through your high school’s resources, college web sites, and student newspapers. Prepare questions for students, faculty, admissions officers and financial aid staff.

    • What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?


      Many students believe their college admissions essays need to be funny, or evoke sympathy. A misplaced attempt at humor can come across as a sign of immaturity. Likewise, trying to gain sympathy by talking about an illness or a death may be seen as a cheap attempt to gain acceptance. Another common myth is that essays need to be shockingly different. For example, writing a personal statement with backwards lettering will no doubt annoy admissions officers rather than entertain. Perhaps the biggest myth is that longer essays are better. Make your essays “muscular” and get rid of the “flab”!

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


      The best thing parents can do to aid their students in successfully navigating the college admissions process is to allow students to take ownership of the process!  This encouragement allows students to engage, to become more informed, to gain confidence and to instill independence for college.  Parental encouragement can extend to diverse activities like helping their student define their strengths for college applications, suggesting time management mechanisms, and acting as a sounding board when considering the development of a college list.  Taking students to visit colleges is perhaps the most obvious way parents can help students in the process.

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