The College Essay Approach Sam L. Used to Get Into Georgetown (Including Sample Essays)

    Posted by Kimberly Hewitt on Saturday, August 10, 2019

     

    Of everything you include in your college applications, the essays are the single element over which you have the most control—make the most of this opportunity to define your narrative.  You know you’ll need to write a variety of essays for your college applications. The real question: How will you craft effective messaging that demonstrates your talent and character in order to maximize your chances of admission?  In this post, we will provide an overview of the college application essay planning and writing process, including:

     

    • What kinds of college application essays you will need to write

    • The Frontier Tutoring essay planning formula for strategizing your topic and planning your structure, regardless of the prompt

    • Keys to success for essay planning and writing

    • When you should start planning and writing—including how to get a head start during junior year

    • Actual draft essays—from first draft to final—from Anja L. and Sam L., two Frontier Tutoring college admissions consulting students.  Anja was admitted to Middlebury (17% acceptance rate), while Sam was admitted to Georgetown (11.7% early action acceptance rate).

     

    Ready to write?  Let's begin!

     

    -Kimberly Hewitt - Business Unit Manager, College Admissions Consulting

     

     

     

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    Topics: 11th Grade - Juniors, 12th Grade - Seniors, College Admissions: Apply Right, Anchorage

    Rising Seniors College Admissions Checklist: 5 Focus Areas to Start Working on Now

    Posted by Kimberly Hewitt on Saturday, August 10, 2019

     

    After three grueling years of academics, senior year has finally arrived!  Of course, there's important work still to be done.  Now is time for rising seniors to roll up their sleeves and lay the foundation for a successful college application season.  In this post, we’ll run through a checklist of five college admissions priorities for rising seniors to work on starting now.  Specifically, we’ll discuss how to:

    1. Finalize your college list—the single most important factor upon which nearly all of your other decisions over the next four months will depend

    2. Identify and achieve your target SAT/ACT score before application deadlines

    3. Begin essays and applications

    4. Identify financial aid and scholarships

    5. Determine whether you need to take SAT Subject Tests

     

    The checklist includes links to many of our other resources, including our College Essay Planning Formula, which many of our students have used as the basis for highly successful college application essays.  Let’s get to work!

     

     

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    Topics: Financial Aid & Scholarships, ACT, SAT, College Admissions: Explore Early, College Admissions: Excel Academically, College Admissions: Build Your Application Assets, 12th Grade - Seniors, College Admissions: Apply Right, College Admissions: Test Well, Anchorage

    Should You Take the SAT/ACT Essay? Making the "Write" Choice

    Posted by Kimberly Hewitt on Thursday, August 01, 2019

     

    Updated August 3, 2019 - Over the last two years, a variety of high-profile colleges have announced that the SAT/ACT essay will now be optional for applicants to their schools because they believe a single essay cannot reliably predict a student’s college writing capabilities. As of this posting, only about 10 colleges still require the SAT/ACT essay—but those colleges include popular powerhouses such as all University of California schools. Additionally, an additional 15+ colleges, including competitive schools like Duke, recommend that applicants submit an SAT/ACT essay score.  Finally, Princeton, in a move mimicked by Brown (and likely other colleges soon), has made the SAT/ACT essay optional, but instead requires all applicants to submit a graded writing sample. Should YOU plan to take the SAT/ACT essay? Here’s how to decide.

     

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    Topics: ACT, SAT, College Admissions: Explore Early, 11th Grade - Juniors, 10th Grade - Sophomores, 12th Grade - Seniors, College Admissions: Test Well, Anchorage

    Building Your College List: A Five-Step Process, Plus Tips from a Successful Dimond High School Grad

    Posted by Kimberly Hewitt on Wednesday, June 19, 2019

     

     

    Developing a working college list no later than junior year, and finalizing it before senior year begins, is what sets the most competitive applicants apart.  If there's one thing about college admissions that high school students should learn upfront, it's that all roads in high school lead from where you intend to apply to college.  The colleges on your list will determine the minimum GPA you should aim for, which standardized tests you need take (and the scores required to make you a competitive candidate), how many essays you will need to write, what kind of scholarship opportunities may be available, which other application deliverables you may need to prepare, application/testing/scholarship deadlines, and much more.

     

    Whether you're a sophomore or a senior, it's never too early to start thinking about where you aspire to attend college, and how you can start building your application assets to be a competitive candidate by the time you apply. In this post, I'll explain our five-step process to identifying your colleges of interest.  I'll also describe how I work with my college admissions consulting students to professionally guide them in developing their preliminary and final college lists.

     

    Step 1: Start Early

    Step 2: Consider Your Assets and Preferences

    Step 3: Research Colleges

    Step 4: Develop Your Preliminary College List

    Step 5: Finalize Your College List

     

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    Topics: College Admissions: Explore Early, 9th Grade - Freshmen, College Admissions: Excel Academically, College Admissions: Build Your Application Assets, 11th Grade - Juniors, 10th Grade - Sophomores, 12th Grade - Seniors, College Admissions: Apply Right, College Admissions: Test Well

    Should You Retake the SAT/ACT? Four Questions to Help You Decide

    Posted by Kimberly Hewitt on Thursday, June 06, 2019

     

    While everyone hopes they'll be able to take the SAT or ACT just once and be done with the process, the reality is that about half of all students take the official test again—even if they had completed an SAT/ACT prep program before their initial testing attempt.  If you’ve taken the official SAT or ACT, and your score has left you wondering whether you should retake the test, what should you do next?  We'll help you answer that question in this post.

     

    "When Anna got a great practice test score after her prep class, then her real test was a drop from that score, yes, it was a little disappointing.  But you have to know that you could have a bad test day any given day, right?  There's no downside to retaking the test...so just keep [trying] until you've got a good test [score]."

    -Ransom J., parent of student at West Anchorage High School who

    • took the official ACT three times, ultimately earning a 94th percentile score
    • is matriculating at Washington and Lee University

     

    Note: This article is for students who have already taken the official SAT/ACT at least once.  If you haven’t taken the official SAT/ACT yet, see this blog post: 

    When to Prepare for and Take the SAT/ACT: 3 Questions to Help You Decide.

     

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    Topics: College Admissions, ACT, SAT, 11th Grade - Juniors, 10th Grade - Sophomores, 12th Grade - Seniors, College Admissions: Test Well, Anchorage

    When to Prepare for and Take the SAT/ACT (Including PSAT/National Merit Info): 3 Questions to Help You Decide

    Posted by Kimberly Hewitt on Friday, May 03, 2019

     

    10th and 11th graders: Your SAT or ACT scores will likely play a significant role in your competitiveness when applying to colleges, with 88% of colleges placing considerable or moderate importance on students’ standardized test scores for admissions purposes.1  Given the importance of your SAT/ACT scores, how should you develop your testing calendar and plans?  In this article, we’ll review three questions to help you decide when you should prepare for and take the official SAT or ACT—including what sophomores should do over the summer to determine whether they may be competitive for National Merit recognition on their junior year PSAT.

     

    Here's everything covered in this post:

     

    First, let’s start with a high-level overview of SAT/ACT testing strategy.

     

     

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    Topics: SAT Subject Tests, ACT, SAT, 11th Grade - Juniors, 10th Grade - Sophomores, 12th Grade - Seniors, College Admissions: Test Well, Anchorage, PSAT

    SAT Subject Tests: Six Things to Know

    Posted by Kimberly Hewitt on Thursday, May 02, 2019

     

    SAT Subject Tests could be an important part of your college admissions profile.  In this post, we'll cover critical things to know about SAT Subject Tests—like the fact that there is still a penalty for guessing, unlike the regular SAT.  We'll also discuss other FAQs from Alaska students, including which colleges require SAT Subject Tests, what makes for a competitive score.

     

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    Topics: SAT Subject Tests, 11th Grade - Juniors, 10th Grade - Sophomores, 12th Grade - Seniors, College Admissions: Test Well, Anchorage

    A Note from Kimberly Hewitt About Frontier Tutoring's College Counseling Philosophy

    Posted by Kimberly Hewitt on Tuesday, March 12, 2019

     

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    Topics: College Admissions, 9th Grade - Freshmen, 11th Grade - Juniors, 10th Grade - Sophomores, 12th Grade - Seniors, College Admissions: Apply Right

    Taking Practice SAT/ACT Tests: Why, When & How—And What to Do After

    Posted by Kimberly Hewitt on Tuesday, October 16, 2018

     

     

    At Frontier Tutoring, we encourage every college-bound high school student in Anchorage to take advantage of our free practice SAT/ACT testing at the right time as part of their test prep strategy.  And many do—last year, over 40% of Anchorage School District students who took the SAT/ACT electively signed up for a Frontier Tutoring practice test first.  But why, when, and how, exactly, should you sign up for practice tests?  We’ve put together a few tips to help you get the most out of this important resource and navigate the standardized testing and college admissions process.

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    Topics: ACT, SAT, 11th Grade - Juniors, 10th Grade - Sophomores, 12th Grade - Seniors, College Admissions: Test Well, Anchorage, PSAT

    How I Did It: Getting into University of Pennsylvania & Working with Frontier Tutoring – Matt’s Story

    Posted by Kimberly Hewitt on Friday, October 20, 2017

     

    Matt F. is a 2017 graduate of South Anchorage High School who completed a College Admissions Consulting program with Frontier Tutoring during the 2016/17 school year.  He also improved his ACT score by four points after taking our ACT Prep Class during his junior year.  Matt is now a freshman at Penn, where admitted applicants have an average high school GPA of 3.84 and SAT score of 1520/ACT score of 34.

     

    In this second installment of our How I Did It series, we're giving you a first-hand account of what it's like to go through the college admissions process with a professional advisor.  Now, let's hear from Matt, along with his mom, Melissa, as they tell us about their experiences working with Frontier Tutoring in a College Admissions Consulting program.

     

     

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    Topics: College Admissions, ACT, SAT, College Admissions: Explore Early, College Admissions: Build Your Application Assets, 11th Grade - Juniors, 10th Grade - Sophomores, 12th Grade - Seniors, College Admissions: Apply Right, College Admissions: Test Well, Anchorage