Making It Into a Top College: 10 Steps to Gaining Admission to Selective Colleges and Universities (Greenes' Guides to Educational Planning Series)by Howard Greene, Matthew W. Greene
Let America's premier college consultants take the mystery out of admissions.
As seen on PBS, this proven, ten-step program offers a comprehensive inside view of the state of college admissions today. Educational consultants Howard and Matthew Greene have mastered the science and art of college admissions, helping tens of thousands of students get into their… See more details below
Let America's premier college consultants take the mystery out of admissions.
As seen on PBS, this proven, ten-step program offers a comprehensive inside view of the state of college admissions today. Educational consultants Howard and Matthew Greene have mastered the science and art of college admissions, helping tens of thousands of students get into their schools of choice. This highly effective program is now available to all students who want to attend an outstanding college or university. The Greenes' cutting-edge approach will teach you to:
- Think like an admissions officer
- Plan a comprehensive admissions campaign
- Understand and take advantage of current trends
- Implement the best strategies for standing out
Whether it's choosing the best college for you, writing a winning personal statement, or planning your college financing, this fully updated new edition gives you the latest in admissions secrets, statistics, tactics, and facts.
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A Word About Our Ten-Step Plan
Since 1968 the professional team of the Educational Consulting Centers has used the concepts behind the Ten-Step Plan to help students make the transition from high school to college. As we have counseled scores of young men and women each year, we have studied the results of our approach to be certain that it continues to work successfully. We believe it accomplishes the goal of guiding motivated college-bound students to the right college. We have modified and added procedures and guideline materials continuously to keep in step with the changes in the colleges and the admissions process. You can rest assured that the program presented here is based on the latest trends and the strategies required to compete successfully for a place in a selective college or university. We are always sensitive to the individual qualities and abilities of applicants as we guide them through the complicated maze to the front gate of the campus. In no way have we ever attempted to fit the round student into a square hole strategic plan.
You will learn how to prepare yourself intelligently and skillfully for admission. However, it is you who must take command of the process and use the Ten-Step Plan to your advantage. All of the factors that go into the selection process are here for you to study and to use to position yourself accordingly. The worksheets and checklists can prove invaluable if you will employ them thoughtfully. Ultimately, it will be your hard work, your abilities, and your performance as a student that will gain you admission to a top college, and your preferences that will lead you to the rightplace.
Two Applicants Who Made It
Before you begin to acquaint yourself with the Ten-Step Plan, we would like to tell you about two different students recently admitted to top colleges who came to the Educational Consulting Centers filled with the normal anxieties about their prospects for admission. The young man and woman had much to commend them, but they were unfamiliar with the factors in the selection process and the essential steps they needed to take if they were to have a chance for acceptance. While they have different capabilities, interests, and backgrounds, they followed our recommendations with the Ten-Step Plan as their operational guideline.
Jennifer first visited us during the summer before her junior year. She and her parents were concerned that the small, semirural high school in Pennsylvania she attended was unknown to any of the top-tier colleges she hoped to attend. Further, while the family expressed their respect for the high school, they noted that the great majority of graduating seniors each year enrolled in local colleges. There were few applying to national-level institutions and fewer still getting accepted. Their first question, therefore, was whether a very strong student with many interests and talents could convince a selective college's admission committee that she was well prepared for the academic rigor that she would face. Their ensuing questions had to do with the relative importance of academic course load, grades, testing, and any other factors that would persuade the admissions committee to select her over thousands of other qualified candidates. The answer from us was a reassurance that it was the quality of the student and her overall profile that could win the day, rather than the size and reputation of the high school.
After we reviewed all of the key factors in the selection process, we then challenged Jennifer to commit to taking on the work required to improve on them. Here is what she had to do to enhance her profile. Since Jennifer's high school graduated only 104 students each year and did not have a high recognition factor with top colleges across the country, she needed to distinguish herself academically by taking the most demanding courses her school could offer, and doing well in them. Thus, she enrolled in five Advanced Placement courses over her junior and senior years. All her other courses were honors-level. While there were moments of concern on her part that she could not meet the demands of this schedule with top grades, she persevered and succeeded by organizing her work schedule more efficiently and dropping several extracurricular activities that, in combination, took much of her time but were not especially rewarding to her. We recommended that her courses be well balanced by subject, that she not overload in any one area of study. The resulting combination of math, science, English, history, and language was an excellent foundation for any selective college.
The next issue was her average results on the PAST and several SAT IIs taken in the sophomore year. Jennifer was concerned that substandard testing would automatically disqualify her for admission to the colleges whose admitted students had median scores on the SAT in the 1350 to 1450 range. Jennifer was 200 points below this target at that time. "What should I do?" was her urgent question. From our years of experience we knew that outstanding test scores could be vital for an applicant from a small and less well-known high school. We recommended, therefore, a two-part plan: first, that she begin a self-study program of reading intensively and working on vocabulary enrichment to ready herself for the April SAT I; then, with her results in hand for review, undertake a test preparation course that emphasized frequent practice with simulated tests. Because her school courses were so enriched and demanding, she was positioned to take four SAT IIs by using the May and June test dates as well as two Advanced Placement exams in May of her junior year. We could sense that Jennifer was an excellent performer in the classroom and that she worked hard to master the material in all of her courses. The subject tests would give her the vehicle to demonstrate both her ability and her intellectual commitment...
Meet the Author
Howard Greene, M.A., M.Ed., is the president of Howard Greene & Associates, the nation's leading independent educational consulting company, and is a former Princeton University admissions officer and member of the Faculty Board of Advisors. Howard has counseled thousands of students for almost forty years and has been a consultant for numerous schools, colleges, and corporations. A graduate of Dartmouth College, he holds master's degrees from Harvard and New York University. He lives in Wilton, Connecticut.
Matthew W. Greene, Ph.D., is Educational Director of Howard Greene & Associates. Matthew has consulted with families for a dozen years and often writes and speaks on educational planning and college admissions issues. A graduate of Dartmouth College, Matthew has taught and advised students at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he earned his doctorate in public policy. He lives in Wilton, Connecticut.
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