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Score At The Top Blog

The latest tips, tricks, and education to help you get into your top college.

Finding that Perfect Match: How to Evaluate an Online School

Last Updated on Jul 15, 2020 11:09:00 AM

Covid-19 has roiled our lives – and permanently changed education. Even assuming that school systems institute changes that make a return to classroom instruction safer, what does “safer” mean? It certainly does not mean “safe.”

And if one can get past subjecting students to the relative risk of contagion on returning to schools and classrooms, exactly how rules on testing, social-distancing, and mask-wearing will be promulgated and enforced are completely open questions.

Topics: College Counseling, Score Academy, Homeschool Support, VirtualSchool, ScoreTips

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Topics: College Counseling, Score Academy, Homeschool Support, VirtualSchool, ScoreTips

Covid-19 has infected the Coalition Application!

Last Updated on Jul 9, 2020 10:54:01 AM

In our recent blog, Covid-19 Has Infected the Common App!, we discussed the Common App’s Covid-19 essay prompt. Since then, the Coalition App released its own Covid-19 essay prompt:

Topics: College Admission, College Application, Application Essays, Supplemental Essays

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Topics: College Admission, College Application, Application Essays, Supplemental Essays

News Flash! Colleges are Releasing Their Supplementary Essay Prompts!

Last Updated on Jul 7, 2020 9:35:15 AM

News Flash! Colleges are Releasing Their Supplementary Essay Prompts!

Here are a number of supplemental essay prompts that colleges have recently made public, along with our comments – shown in bold, red font – about some of them. As a general principle, we consider prompts presented as “Optional” to be optional only for students who have no real interest in attending the school! If you’re serious about applying to the school, then Optional = Mandatory. So, beginning in alphabetical order, here’s what we can relay to you. As you read through these essay prompts, you’ll see some common themes (Why do you want to attend our school?) and unique prompts, such as UChicago’s. In every case, your responses are important for the essay reader, because what you write reveals whether you’ve done your homework about the school, and how mature and thoughtful you are as an applicant for admission to a particular academic community.

Topics: College Planning, Application Essays, Supplemental Essays

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Topics: College Planning, Application Essays, Supplemental Essays

Attention, Students Who Want to Apply to Test-Optional Colleges!

Last Updated on Jul 6, 2020 1:13:19 PM

Colleges are businesses, and they like to get lots of admission applications because that makes it easier to fill classes with in-coming students. One way that a college can increase its number of applicants is by improving its ranking in the annual US News College Rankings.

In fact, a study published on the Harvard Business School’s blog found that “When explicit rankings of colleges are published in U.S. News, a one-rank improvement leads to a 1-percentage-point increase in the number of applications to that college.”

Topics: ACT/SAT, College Counseling, Test Optional

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Topics: ACT/SAT, College Counseling, Test Optional

Test-Optional and College Admissions: Think Twice

Last Updated on Jun 15, 2020 11:09:35 AM

Coronavirus-related disruptions of high school education have extended to disruptions of SAT/ACT testing. Colleges are being propelled toward making SAT and ACT test score submission optional. But beware! Just because a school “goes test-optional” doesn’t mean that a student can summarily dismiss submitting SAT or ACT scores. We’ll explain why. And it’s important to know, so here’s some background.

Topics: ACT/SAT, College Application, Test Optional

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Topics: ACT/SAT, College Application, Test Optional

College That Have Gone Test Optional as Result of the Coronavirus 

Last Updated on Jun 13, 2020 10:24:57 AM

Some colleges have decided to waive their admission requirement to submit SAT/ACT test scores. For most of these colleges, the new policies will go into effect for the 2020–21 admission cycle and be re-evaluated after the close of admission cycle to determine whether to extend the policies or not. Here’s a list of the more selective colleges that have recently transitioned to test-optional:

Topics: ACT/SAT, Test Optional

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Topics: ACT/SAT, Test Optional

COVID-19 and College Enrollment: Uncertainty and Trepidation Revisited

Last Updated on Jun 4, 2020 1:04:55 PM

On April 20th, we posted a blog titled “The Coronavirus and College Admissions: Uncertainty and Trepidation: Part I,” in which we discussed the serious economic and related consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic on college finances and admissions, and we followed that blog post with others on the same topic.

In this post, we’ll discuss the findings of McKinsey & Company, a broad-based provider of information to business and industry leaders, as presented in their May 21st mckinsey.com article titled COVID-19 and US higher education enrollment: Preparing leaders for fall. While the article was aimed at higher education administrators, much of its information is also highly relevant for students, parents, and high school educators and counselors.

Topics: College Admission, College Counseling, College Planning

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Topics: College Admission, College Counseling, College Planning

Covid-19 Has Infected the Common App!

Last Updated on Jun 2, 2020 12:22:57 PM

This year’s Common App will include a Covid-19-specific writing prompt for students who would like to share with colleges how the pandemic has impacted their lives, personally and/or educationally. The goal is to reduce anxiety for applicants affected by these extraordinary circumstances and provide them with a way to share their experience with colleges. Responding to this prompt is optional – truly optional – not “optional” the way some colleges’ supplemental essay questions are optional, but to which you should nonetheless respond. One thing’s for sure: you don’t want to write a response that doesn’t stand out, that sounds like everyone else’s response, or lacks sensitivity. We’ll explain. But first, let’s look at the wording of the optional prompt:

Topics: Common Application, College Counseling, Common App, Personal Statement

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Topics: Common Application, College Counseling, Common App, Personal Statement

Three Good Reasons to Start Prepping for the GRE

Last Updated on Jun 1, 2020 5:15:00 AM

All three reasons share one key element, time.

Reason #1: There are two upcoming GREs in the near future. 

The next two test dates are September 12th and October 17th. Students who miss those administrations – or sit for them but don’t do well (possibly due to lack of proper preparation) will have plenty of time to work on practice test questions, and sit for full simulations, which we can provide, in order to learn where you most need to improve. Identifying your weaknesses is critical to improvement; both learning and improvement work take time.

Topics: Study Tips, Test-Prep, College Counseling, Coronavirus, College Tips, GRE

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Topics: Study Tips, Test-Prep, College Counseling, Coronavirus, College Tips, GRE

How Parents Can Help Stem a COVID-19 Learning Slide

Last Updated on May 23, 2020 6:00:00 AM

It’s often the case that following the long summer break, students return to the classroom, seemingly having forgotten what they learned the previous academic year. This phenomenon, known as “summer slide,” is real, and could be magnified, say educators and parents, by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s a genuine concern. In today’s post, we’ll look at the current situation and share tips to help slow – or even prevent – academic loss. 

Topics: Summer School, Learning Loss, Coronavirus

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Topics: Summer School, Learning Loss, Coronavirus

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