• Ten Skills to Highlight in Your College Applications

    In some ways, applying to college can seem like a numbers game. However, competitive colleges aren’t just interested in your grades and test scores. They also base their decisions upon the less tangible, more personal skills that are revealed in the other parts of your college application, including your essay(s), extracurricular activities, and recommendations.

    Skills like these can’t always be quantified in the same way as your grades can, but nevertheless, they help determine whether you’ll be able to flourish in a college environment. While top colleges certainly do want students who have a track record of academic success, they’re also interested in bringing in students who have the qualities that will allow them to use their academic skills to do great things on campus and throughout their lives.

    In this post, we’ll go over ten skills that deserve starring roles in your college applications, and why demonstrating these skills helps to show that you’re a qualified applicant for your colleges of choice.

  • What If My Family Can’t/Won’t Pay the Expected Family Contribution?

    It’s no secret that college is extremely expensive, and it can be daunting to think about finding a way to pay for it. Fortunately, financial aid can help make college financially possible for many students. A majority of college students receive some sort of financial aid, through scholarships, need-based awards, grants, and other means.

    Applying for financial aid is in itself a somewhat complicated process and requires you to fill out several different forms, including the FAFSA, CSS Profile, and, in many cases, institutional forms unique to the schools to which you are applying as well. When you receive your college acceptances, the schools will also let you know the amount of your financial aid award. The awards may vary from school to school and will probably consist of grants, loans, work-study funding, or a combination of these.

  • How to Present Non-Traditional Extracurriculars on Your College Application

    As the college admissions game becomes more and more competitive, most admissions committees at selective schools are now fairly open about the fact that they routinely have to turn away qualified students. Because the academic race has gotten so tight, it is now often secondary factors like extracurriculars that make the difference between acceptance and rejection. Between two students with similar high grades and similar high test scores, it is often the student who has shown exceptional dedication and commitment through extracurricular activities who will gain admission.

    But what if your time and commitments outside of school are focused on something a little less traditional? In this post, we will outline some of the less traditional activities that could be considered extracurricular, and we’ll lend our insight into how you can ensure that these experiences shine through, regardless of how well they fit into the category of a traditional extracurricular activity.

  • How To Thank Teachers Who Wrote Recommendation Letters

    Finally, the grunt work of the college application process is over. You have gathered all of the necessary documents, written stellar essays, and submitted your college applications. Now, while you wait, it is time to reflect on those who helped you in the application process.

    After all, you were not the only one who contributed to your applications. Your parents gave you all of the demographic and financial information you needed, your peers or teachers may have looked over your essays, and most importantly, your teachers submitted those required recommendation letters.

    Now that you have submitted your applications, you ought to think about thanking your teachers for helping you with your application. What is the most appropriate way to show your gratitude? We at CV have the guide to thanking teachers who wrote your recommendation letters for your college applications.

  • What Are the Average High School GPAs of Admitted Students at Ivy League Schools?

    There are a number of factors that influence a college admissions decision. Admissions committees will consider your grades, test scores, extracurriculars, and recommendations. Your strength as a candidate will depend on how these and other factors combine to form a complete profile of you as an applicant.

    We are often asked what GPA is needed to get into an Ivy League school. While there is no exact standard, the answer can be partially found in admissions statistics. The average GPA of admitted students at a particular school gives you a general idea of the standards expected. Of course, there is never a guarantee, and sometimes a student with a higher GPA will be rejected and a student with a lower GPA will be accepted. It ultimately comes down to your overall profile as a candidate, rather than one single number on your application.

  • What is the Ideal Timeline for the College Application Process?

    Applying to college can be a little intimidating with all the deadlines and time-sensitive logistics to juggle. Starting with junior year, there are tests to register for, summer programs to apply to, and college visits to schedule. Beyond that, there are essays to write, recommendations to gather, and applications to complete. Don’t let all the important dates and deadlines get the best of you.

    Here, we’ve compiled the important dates of the college application process into a timeline so that you can keep track of the various responsibilities you’ll need to take care of on your track to college. While some of these commitments may vary from student to student, we’ve covered the basics. With this timeline, you’ll be able to think less about when you need to finish the first draft of your essay, and more about how to perfect it.

  • Meet the Ivy League Class of 2021

    In many ways this year was no different than years past; as usual, hundreds of thousands of Ivy League hopefuls waited anxiously for their fate to be revealed. If this year was different in any way, it was only so because it marked the most competitive Ivy League admissions season ever. Record numbers of students applied to nearly every Ivy League institution and acceptance rates reached all-time lows at the majority of schools.

    By all measures, the Ivy League Class of 2021 is poised for success. Please join us in congratulating the many successful students who received good news from Ivy League schools last week.

    Here, we introduce you to the Ivy League Class of 2021.

  • 12 Benefits of Near Peer Mentorship

    There’s no one road map for success in high school. What works for one student might not work for another, and these unique interests, goals, and priorities lead to broad differences in the life paths of high school graduates.

    While some experiences are nearly universal, like studying for final exams or choosing electives, others are highly specific, like competing in an international science fair or starting your own business as a teen. This can make the current system for student guidance and advising less effective than it should be.

    After all, how can just a few adults have the expertise and insight to help guide hundreds of unique individuals through their high school years and into their lives post-graduation? This is a question we at CollegeVine have long considered in our quest to provide high-quality college guidance and advice to all students, regardless of their unique backgrounds or interests.

    Our solution has come in the form of our unique, time-tested CollegeVine Near Peer Mentorship Program.

  • CollegeVine Student Gains Acceptance to Seven Ivy League Schools

    Luke Kenworthy, 17, of Mercer Island High School in the Seattle area, was rightfully nervous on Ivy Day. He’d taken a chance and applied to all eight Ivy League schools and so far, the only feedback he’d received was from Harvard, who had deferred his early decision application. As he put it, “I was legitimately convinced I wasn’t going to get into any Ivy League Schools.”

    But ironically, it might have been Harvard’s deferral that ultimately shaped the rest of Kenworthy’s admissions success. After receiving his deferral, Kenworthy took a hard look at his application and decided to make some changes. Knowing he didn’t have the expertise to do it alone, he contacted CollegeVine and arranged for a mentorship with essay assistance program.

  • Scholarships for Hispanic/Latino Students

    Paying for college can be a challenge for many students. While financial aid can alleviate some of the burden, many students may need some extra support. (For more advice on how to navigate the financial aid process, check out FAFSA, CSS Profile, IDOC, Oh My: A Guide to Financial Aid.)

    Scholarships can help you out. These monetary awards assist students with paying for postsecondary education. Some are need-based, meaning students must demonstrate that they have a financial need for help paying for college. Others are merit-based, meaning they are given based on students’ achievements. To learn more about the different types of scholarships available, read What You Need to Know for a Successful Scholarship Season.