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Five Tips For Improving Your Child’s Chances Of Admission

Stephen Friedfeld, Ph.D.

How do college admissions officers make decisions on applications? What takes place behind closed doors as admissions deans debate whether a student should be admitted or rejected? And what can a student do to improve his or her chances of getting in?

These questions (and more) will be answered at free “Inside the Admissions Office” workshops on September 18 in Shrewsbury and Norwood and on September 25 in Lexington and Westford. For additional details and registration for the workshops, co-sponsored by Lokvani and EqualApp, visit: http://learnmore.equalapp.com/lokvani/.

We will cover the topic in more depth at the workshops – but, for the time being, want to provide parents with five tips on how they can best position and prepare their child for success in the college admissions process.

1) Prepare early. The classes your child takes and the activities that he or she participates in will have a significant impact on admissions decisions. Tailor classes and activities around those academic areas that your child has expressed an interest or high level of competency with.

2) Stay on top of standardized testing. Your child’s first standardized testing will likely be with the PSAT in tenth grade. With the results in hand, you should begin thinking about preparation for either the SAT or ACT (or both!), as well as SAT Subject Tests and Advanced Placement exams.

3) Differentiate your child. Many applicants take the same classes, get involved in the same activities and pursue the same summer engagements. But with college admissions as competitive as it is today, applicants need to think about those classes and activities that will make them unique and different.

4) Get your child excited about college! The college admissions process (and the months leading up to it) can be highly stressful for high school students. This is a critical and challenging transitional time for your child. Be supportive – but also do what you can to provide your child with an outlet.

5) Provide resources that will make a difference. There is a lot of misinformation spread among parents about the college admissions process. Turn to trusted resources, like your school guidance counselor as well as college counselors with admissions experience to help give your child a competitive advantage.

Stephen is the co-founder of EqualApp and former assistant director of admissions at Cornell University and former associate dean of admissions at Princeton University.

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