College Admissions: Be resourceful
I get questions all the time, ranging from the obvious to the obscure. You may be surprised to know that I actually do not have all the information stored in my brain. Just like everyone else, I use technology and other compiled resources to answer questions and provide students and families with the information they need. Some resources are better than others, so today I’ll share my favorite picks with you. I hope that as the next application cycle begins, around July this year, readers can use this list to help them get started and answer basic questions.
Poets and Quants
Poets and Quants is an independent resource that offers news on the latest trends in MBA and graduate programs. I use P&Q to stay on top of trends in admissions, for example they recently featured an article on the 30% increase in applications to Yale and Ross MBA programs. P&Q also offers its own ranking which aggregates the rankings from US News, Forbes, Business Week, Financial Times and The Economist is one of the better attempts at helping to define ‘top’ business schools.
Clear Admit says it offers “news, advice and resources for business school applicants.” In many ways it is similar to Poets and Quants, but among its most valuable differentiating features is its MBA planner app for ios devices. This app helps you plan and organize your applications for business school by providing deadlines and essay questions for each program on an easy-to-use mobile platform. The Clear admit website also features interview reports where users can submit a summary of their interview experiences at top business schools. This is an essential resource for applicants who are preparing for MBA interviews.
Allan Grove’s collegeapps.about.com
Allan Grove’s website provides thorough information on different US colleges, including objective statistics (average GPA and SAT scores) as well as articles on how to choose the perfect college or what to write in your essays if you have not been active in any extracurricular activities. Grove’s approach is fairly objective – he does not promote or rank colleges, instead he gives listings alphabetically within categories. Besides essays, Grove also offers tips on how to prepare for interviews, campus visits and lots more.
The College Board
The College Board is best known as the organization that owns and administers the SAT. Besides this, College Board has terrific resources for college planning through its ‘big future’ portal (bigfuture.collegeboard.org). Big future even helps with planning for students who are several years from applying, so you can start using their site from grade 8 onwards.
College Essay Guy
In his own words the College Essay guy says “I’m here to make counselors’ lives easier, relieve parents’ worry and help students write amazing college essays.” What I really love about his website are the exercises he has for students who are struggling with essay writing. The exercises are time consuming, but they produce great results if students take them seriously. Though many school and private counselors offer brainstorming exercises and writing tips, the self-directed nature of this website helps students take ownership of the process – a crucial piece of the puzzle.
UCAS provides the application platform for students who wish to study in the UK. The UCAS website also provides links to planning resources beginning directly after GCSE’s and offers tips on writing a personal statement and guidance on choosing courses. The UK application process is fairly straightforward and this site has all the resources and applicant needs to manage the process smoothly.