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March, 2014

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March, 2014

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Congratulations!

Magellan clients have already been accepted this year to these colleges:

  • Agnes Scott College
  • Arizona State University
  • Cal Poly Pomona
  • Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
  • Duquesne University
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Fordham University
  • Humboldt State University
  • Indiana University
  • Loyola Marymount University
  • Mass. Institute of Technology
  • Michigan State University
  • Ohio State University
  • Ohio Wesleyan University
  • Oregon State University
  • Portland State University
  • Sonoma State University
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Colorado at Boulder
  • University of Denver
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of San Francisco

Save the Date:  Presentation in Pacific Palisades

Join Evelyn Alexander and psychologist Dr. Lauren Wecker for an interactive workshop designed to help you get through the frustration of the college search process.

Thursday, April 17th, 5:30 – 7 pm
Palisades Library, 861 Alma Real Drive, Pacific Palisades

FREE AND OPEN TO ALL!

Well-Rounded, Passionate, Pointy:

What Are Colleges Really Looking For?

Remember the good old days, when we knew that colleges were looking for “well-rounded” students?  As college admissions have grown more competitive, colleges have redefined what they are looking for.  Colleges are building a well-rounded CLASS, not necessarily looking for well-rounded students.

When I interviewed students for Johns Hopkins, I used to ask them what they could bring to the class and how they could enrich everyone else’s experience.

In summary, think of types of students in three categories:

  • Well-rounded:  these students dabble in a number of activities, but they may not have expertise or leadership in any of them.
  • Passionate:  these students can demonstrate real passion about an issue or a subject, and who have spent time, both in and out of high school, learning more and taking action on that issue.  [It doesn’t matter what the issue is!  It matters that you care about it.]
  • Pointy: these students are exceptional in their talent or ability – they may be Olympic athletes, published researchers or super-talented musicians, or the national champion of something.  These are not metaphors; there really are applicants who fall into this category each year.  More information on this and my conversation with a Princeton admissions officer on this subject is here.

Passionate students make great roommates, teammates, classmates and friends – and THAT’S what colleges are really looking for!!  Assuming you are not a pointy applicant, you should aim to be a passionate one!


SAT Announces Changes for 2016

The College Board, the organization that owns the SAT and the Advanced Placement courses and tests, announced last week the specific changes that will take place in the spring of 2016, when students who are currently freshmen are in their junior year of high school (the year that most students take the SAT).

The changes, in a nutshell:

  • The essay will become optional (expect highly selective colleges to continue to require this section)
  • For students who choose to take this optional section, the essay will involve more analysis and rely less on students’ expressing their personal opinion
  • Vocabulary words will be more relevant
  • Wrong answers will not be penalized

The Washington Post’s article on the SAT changes is here; the New York Times has an article as well.


Magellan’s College Visits

I was in Houston 2 weeks ago; here are reviews, photos and short video clips from Rice University and the University of Houston.   As always, you can find my reviews of California colleges here, and out-of-state colleges I’ve visited here. You can also learn about the colleges whose information sessions I’ve attended by searching for posts with the “college knowledge” tag on this website’s blog.

I’ll be visiting colleges in Boston, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Illinois in the next month!


Host a College Admissions Seminar for Friends!

Are your kids in 9th, 10th or 11th grades? I am available to give a free “College Admissions 101” seminar for you and your friends who with college admissions anxiety!  You provide the location and a dozen (or more) parents.  Your friends will thank you for the opportunity to learn more about the process.  Call or e-mail for more information.

Free Initial Consultation policy:  Magellan is happy to meet with students and families for a free 60-minute consultation.  All subsequent meetings will be subject to hourly rates, which will be credited back for those who sign up for Magellan’s comprehensive college counseling plan.
Copyright © 2014 Magellan College Counseling
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