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New Essay Topics for ApplyTexas 2013-2014

Application, Blog, Colleges, General, News, Students, Uncategorized

ApplyTexas Essay Prompts A, B and C (applicable to FR, TR and other app types)  Slated to replace current ApplyTexas essay choices A, B and C.  For inclusion in ApplyTexas applications for the 2014 cycle (opening 8/1/13)

 Essay A:

Describe a setting in which you have collaborated or interacted with people whose experiences and/or beliefs differ from yours.  Address your initial feelings, and how those feelings were or were not changed by this experience.

Essay B:

Describe a circumstance, obstacle or conflict in your life, and the skills and resources you used to resolve it.  Did it change you?  If so, how? 

Essay C:

Considering your lifetime goals, discuss how your current and future academic and extra-curricular activities might help you achieve your goals.

College Degree – the New Minimum Requirement

Application, Blog, Career, Colleges, General, Information, Students

“The college degree is becoming the new high school diploma: the new minimum requirement, albeit an expensive one, for getting even the lowest-level job. ” reports Catherine Rampell of The New York Times.  Many employers with positions that traditionally have not needed any education past high school are now requiring a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree.  The upside is that these positions can be openings to much more lucrative opportunities within the company with little risk to the employer. [read more]

After the FAFSA…What Happens Next?

Application, Blog, Colleges, Financial Aid, General, Information, Parents, Students

Many colleges/universities post March 1 as the Priority Deadline for financial aid.  This designation usually means that the college has limited funds however they will usually be able to meet those established needs if all paperwork including the FAFSA are completed prior to the priority deadline.  Applications for aid are usually filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Federal Student Aid has put together a video to help students and parents what happens after the FAFSA has been filed.  [watch video]

800+ Colleges on FairTest List – Not Quite Accurate

Application, Blog, Colleges, General, Information, Parents, Students

There has been a lot of press recently citing FairTest’s list of 800+ colleges/universities that do not require SAT/ACT testing for admission purposes.  Top Score, a test preparation service in North Carolina, has analysed the list and has found some very interesting issues.

“School after school turned out to be, upon closer examination, a school of the arts, a theological seminary or a for-profit institution…It seems that some schools are willing to let you opt out of submitting SAT or ACT scores if you submit your SAT II, AP or IB test scores instead…Let’s remove from the list those schools that are not “selective” …This leaves us with 20 or so schools. ”  [read more]

Fair Test – National Center for Fair and Open Testing

Application, Blog, Colleges, General, Information, News, Parenting

FairTest, otherwise known as the National Center for Fair & Open Testing “works to end the misuses and flaws of standardized testing and to ensure that evaluation of students, teachers and schools is fair, open, valid and educationally beneficial…FairTest also works to end the misuses and flaws of testing practices that impede those goals.”  This organization is committed to affecting a change in testing biases such as racial, class, gender, and cultural barriers that affect a student’s assessment, particularly with tests that affect enrollment  in college or specialized programs.

FairTest has led the charge challenging colleges and universities to consider ACT/SAT scores optional in the college admissions process.  To date more than 800 colleges and universities have taken on that charge and they are referred to as TEST OPTIONAL SCHOOLS.  Here is an up-to-date list of TEST-OPTIONAL SCHOOLS.

CommonApp Announces New Essay Topics

Tags: , , , Application, Blog, General, Information, News

The Common Application has made some significant changes to the application that current high school juniors will complete when applying to colleges for the fall of 2014.  This application is used by more than four-hundred college and universities.  Students simply fills out a single application and then directs that application to several colleges.  Many of these colleges also require students to fill out a supplement designed to provide that institution with information that helps the admission committee to find those students who will make a good fit.

Many juniors try to relieve some of the stress of the senior year by writing essays in the junior year, but the changes in the topics on CommonApp have been a carefully held secret until now. has posted the topics in a recent article.

“And without further ado, here they are:

  • Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  • Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?
  • Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
  • Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
  • Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.”