Presenting Yourself on the UC Undergraduate Application for Admission and Scholarships

The University of California has made available two presentations for applicants, “Presenting Yourself on the UC Undergraduate Application for Admission and Scholarships” — which are a must read if you plan to apply to UC:

Click here for the Freshman Version

Click here for the Transfer Version


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Top Undergraduate Business School Admit Rates

Rank School Admissions Score Acceptance Rate Average SAT Percentage of Top 10%
1 University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) 100.00 6.49% 1486 97.00%
2 Washington University in St. Louis (Olin) 98.37 9.70% 1510 91.00%
3 University of California-Berkeley (Haas) 94.09 4.30% 1490 80.85%
4 Cornell University (Dyson) 92.14 2.90% 1453 83.33%
5 University of Michigan (Ross) 89.58 12.00% 1470 82.22%
6 New York University (Stern) 88.73 8.00% 1468 77.08%
7 Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper) 88.00 12.00% 1473 78.00%
8 Georgetown University (McDonough) 87.64 15.84% 1431 90.00%
9 University of Virginia (McIntire) 86.79 12.15% 1407 90.00%
10 University of Notre Dame (Mendoza) 83.74 19.00% 1429 84.60%
11 University of California-Irvine (Merage) 81.60 22.00% 1359 98.00%
12 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler) 79.60 12.17% 1367 82.70%
13 Southern Methodist University (Cox) 77.50 11.12% 1494 49.00%
14 Emory University (Goizueta) 76.65 17.21% 1470 58.00%
15 Boston College (Carroll) 75.98 25.00% 1402 78.65%
16 University of Texas-Austin (McCombs) 75.71 22.80% 1384 80.00%
17 Villanova University 75.40 22.07% 1408 73.33%
18 Wake Forest University 72.52 24.80% 1378 76.00%
19 Georgia Institute of Technology (Scheller) 70.99 23.70% 1376 72.00%
20 Boston University (Questrom) 69.55 17.76% 1422 53.16%
21 Northeastern University (D’amore-McKim) 68.68 18.68% 1463 43.00%
22 Indiana University (Kelley) 68.35 40.38% 1437 67.97%
23 University of Wisconsin-Madison 65.64 35.00% 1405 64.00%
24 Tulane University (Freeman) 65.46 22.00% 1420 48.33%
25 The College of William & Mary (Mason) 63.67 22.40% 1346 61.00%
26 University of Richmond (Robins) 62.99 30.31% 1363 63.00%
27 Lehigh University 62.71 22.39% 1376.39 52.13%
28 University of Washington (Foster) 62.48 20.95% 1310 64.94%
29 University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana (Geis) 60.15 48.98% 1365 73.37%
30 University of Minnesota (Carlson) 60.00 28.44% 1371 52.80%
31 Babson College 59.21 24.00% 1353 50.91%
32 Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Foisie) 58.01 36.00% 1395 50.00%
33 Fordham University (Gabelli) 55.16 44.90% 1361 59.30%
34 University of Pittsburgh 55.05 44.00% 1345 61.76%
35 University of Miami 52.71 30.44% 1327 48.00%
36 University of Georgia (Terry) 50.90 47.44% 1300 65.52%
37 University of Houston (Bauer) 49.92 25.18% 1309 40.87%
38 Rutgers Business School (New Brunswick) 47.47 46.00% 1349 45.70%
39 Texas A&M University (Mays) 47.13 34.07% 1281.72 48.80%
40 Syracuse University (Whitman) 46.42 38.10% 1304 46.00%
41 University of Massachusetts-Amherst (Isenberg) 45.56 30.60% 1336 30.10%
42 University of Utah (Eccles) 44.75 40.80% 1270 52.24%
43 American University (Kogod) 44.43 31.60% 1256 46.15%
44 Ohio State University (Fisher) 44.41 38.60% 1340 34.00%
45 Brigham Young University (Marriott) 43.12 63.16% 1325 57.01%
46 Pennsylvania State University (Freeman) 42.55 37.00% 1319 33.00%
47 University of Denver (Daniels) 42.15 46.30% 1299.3 45.00%
48 Texas Christian University (Neeley) 40.43 46.56% 1265 48.94%
49 University of Kentucky (Gatton) 39.70 69.79% 1395 40.00%
50 Hult International Business School 39.39 50.00% 1264 50.00%
51 Purdue University (Krannert) 39.32 62.00% 1268 60.00%
52 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Lally) 38.20 42.00% 1291 34.00%
53 Michigan State University (Broad) 34.82 32.19% 1241.77 28.27%
54 The College of New Jersey 34.52 41.00% 1254 33.00%
55 University of San Diego 33.89 53.00% 1275 38.00%
56 Santa Clara University (Leavey) 32.48 43.50% 1366 6.00%
57 Miami University (Farmer) 31.38 62.60% 1323 30.60%
58 St. John’s University (Tobin) 31.09 59.00% 1208 52.00%
59 Christopher Newport University 28.58 74.60% 1270 47.06%
60 University of South Carolina (Darla Moore) 27.02 65.10% 1299 28.41%
61 University of Delaware (Lerner) 26.53 46.40% 1285 13.20%
62 Seton Hall University (Stillman) 26.45 57.60% 1257 29.50%
63 University of Texas-Dallas (Jindal) 24.66 60.00% 1242 31.00%
64 Providence College 24.65 51.00% 1247 21.60%
65 Rutgers Business School (Newark) 22.92 55.00% 1157 41.25%
66 University of Tennessee-Knoxville (Haslam) 22.86 85.00% 1212.6 56.44%
67 St. Thomas University (Opus) 21.04 83.00% 1215 50.00%
68 James Madison University 20.13 68.31% 1217 34.00%
69 Drexel University (LeBow) 19.55 74.00% 1262 28.00%
70 University of Akron 19.19 73.99% 1154 51.02%
71 Elon University (Love) 17.71 72.10% 1249 25.00%
72 University of Missouri-Columbia (Trulaske) 15.62 69.17% 1220 24.00%
73 Florida Southern College 15.57 50.00% 1203 10.00%
74 Lipscomb University 15.35 61.00% 1156 30.00%
75 University of Oklahoma (Price) 14.39 61.77% 1212 16.20%
76 Rochester Institute of Technology (Saunders) 13.29 72.10% 1204 25.00%
77 University of Arizona (Eller) 13.13 79.00% 1110 51.72%
78 University of North Carolina-Wilmington 9.39 61.00% 1177 12.00%
79 University of New Hampshire (Paul) 8.02 64.10% 1171 13.10%
80 Ithaca College 7.82 80.18% 1221 16.40%
81 St. Louis University (Chaifetz) 7.28 83.03% 1241 13.40%
82 Sacred Heart University (Jack Welch) 6.39 60.80% 1156 9.70%
83 Northern Illinois University 6.01 53.84% 1110 12.60%
84 University of Michigan-Dearborn 5.13 62.00% 1147.8 9.80%
85 Duquesne University (Palumbo Donahue) 5.12 76.00% 1197 11.80%
86 Texas Tech University (Rawls) 4.53 76.40% 1093 33.78%
87 Bowling Green State University 1.09 70.00% 1128 12.46%
88 Evansville University (Schroeder) 0.00 88.60% 1171 17.64%

Juniors: Prep Now to Write Your Story for College

My January recommendation for juniors?

Sign up for YouSchool’s new Backstory course. Over four weeks, you will be guided through a series of video exercises with questions and prompts to self-reflect about all the foundational elements of your backstory. From it, you will better you understand how the elements of your backstory have set you on your path in life.

The process works: YouSchool has taken thousands of people through it and knows that if you do the work, you’ll gain a clear sense of what story you’re living in. You are also provided the structure to engage in deep conversations with people you trust (parents, teachers, friends, college counselors!). Backstory is a fantastic way to gear up for personal statement writing.


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January Action Plan – By Grade


  • If you have RD applications due in mid-January that you did not submit, finish those up ASAP. Same goes for 2/1 deadline apps; there is no reason to wait!
  • For RD schools, consider writing interest letters, and make sure your school sends midterm grade reports where required.
  • If you were deferred, work on your deferral letter this month and aim to send it mid-month.
  • Thank everyone who helped you with your college process, and take some time to enjoy what is left of high school.


  • Testing: Once you are in prep-mode it is best to just keep going. The sooner you are finished testing, the sooner you can begin to finalize your college list. If you have a preliminary list, February break is a great time to visits colleges. Plan some visits.
  • Confirm your summer plans. Next summer is a wonderful opportunity to do something really meaningful (and perhaps even fun!) that will help you tell your story to colleges.
  • Open a Common App account. Accounts rollover year-to-year, so there’s no better time than now to open an account and familiarize yourself with the system.
  • Start to think about your senior year schedule. Do you know what you will be taking? Your senior classes should be the most challenging of your four years.
  • Resolve to check your email daily. Why? Colleges communicate with students via email. Most schools track whether you open emails and if you click through them; more engagement is seen as more interest (schools use interest in the admissions process). Make checking and engaging with any college-related email a habit in 2019.
Sophomores & Freshmen:
  • Are you planning to take SAT subject tests in May or June? If so, come up with a prep plan now.
  • An impressive academic record is the most important admissions factor at most colleges. Study hard.
  • Speaking of courses, when do you pick your courses for 11th grade? Keep in mind you want to take a more rigorous course schedule each year.
  • Now is the time to build your story for college! Have you gotten more involved with any of your extracurricular activities? Have you thought about what you might want to major in? A great place to start exploring your academic interests is Khan Academy.
  • One way that your “story” is conveyed in your app is through your resume. Work on your resume now.
  • Many 2019 summer program applications will open soon. Begin thinking about your plans for summer 2019 now so you can get ahead of deadlines and work on applications if needed.
  • Replace one hour of social media, Netflix, or TV per week with time on Ted ED. Explore what intrigues you! Maybe it’s the history of cheese, particle physics, or what makes a poem a poem. Whatever you find interesting, take some time to be intentional about learning more in the new year!


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One Weekend = Finish Your Personal Statement

Who you are doesn’t change between the second half of junior year and the time you apply to college, so why wait any longer to write your personal statement?

For the past couple of years, we had a small group of students write their personal statements over their winter break or shortly after the new year. The result: far less stress later in the year because one of the most important parts of their application was already complete. Same amazing writing we always help students produce, even less stress. That is what we are all about!

This year we are formally offering weekend-long personal statement bootcamps for motivated, spring/summer-time-crunched, or any juniors who simply want to get ahead.

Space is limited for winter 2019. Contact us today to discuss scheduling!

Conquer the Common App: Additional Information Section Advice

Georgia Tech’s admissions blog is quickly becoming one of my new favorites. You can read the full post “WHAT THE…?!,” but I wanted to include just the end of it below. Many applicants want to try to include information in the Additional Info section of the Common App (and other apps), but it is not always appropriate. That section is not there to explain something they won’t care much about (why you dropped a club senior year that is not a significant part of your profile), or to include an extra essay or piece of creative writing (you can do this on many portals AFTER you apply), or to paste in your full resume (warning: this never works with the simple formatting of the CA and other apps so please do not do this). See part of Rick Clark‘s article below for what I agree is appropriate:

Significant Life Events

You had mono as a junior and missed the first two months of school. Your parents’ divorce was finalized in the summer before senior year but the end of eleventh grade was filled with turmoil. You moved three times during high school due to a parent’s job transfer, promotion, or loss. These are just some of the examples we see in this section. Readers appreciate the perspective you can provide and they will make notes or highlight pertinent pieces they believe are relevant to their review and admissions decision, especially as it relates to overcoming challenges, persevering, or demonstrating tenacity/grit. In some cases, this information may lead them to add to or revise their notes from prior sections.

Academic Context

Readers want to know if your schedule choices were impacted during high school. Are some courses only offered at certain times? Was a class you had hoped to take canceled due to low enrollment? If you moved multiple times during high school, readers will see that on your transcript, but you also have an opportunity to tell them what impact that may have had. If your move precluded you from being able to take a certain course or begin on a particular curricular track upon arriving at your new school, feel free to elaborate in this space.

Additional Activities

There are times when the activity section is too limited in space for you to demonstrate the extent to which you contributed. Often this surrounds a business you started, a fundraiser you need to provide more details about, or additional levels of achievement from an activity you listed earlier in the application. Remember, this is “additional” for you—and to an extent it is additional for admission committees. HINT: Put your strongest, most compelling information FIRST in the activity section. Do not intentionally bleed over into additional information unless it is absolutely essential to convey the depth of your work or time.

Still unsure?

Ask your school counselor for their advice. See what their experience has been in the past with students who have used this section. You can also simply call or email the school you are applying to and ask them for their advice.

This is a section about necessary whys or what else—not the place for another essay. Instead, readers evaluate this section looking for pieces of information that provide valuable context (inside or outside the classroom) that you cannot convey elsewhere. Do not over think it! If you believe you have something noteworthy to add, then use this section. Readers will incorporate what they deem helpful and dismiss what they do not. It is as simple as that. It will not hurt you if you do not complete this section (again, most students do not), or if you include something that is deemed irrelevant.

It is called “extra” or “special” because it is not standard. Readers will not combine those two words in their head and assume any applicant completing this section is “extra special.”


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Mid Year Report Reminder

Mid Year Reports should be submitted as soon as possible after first semester or trimester grades are available. Your counselor will be asked to provide information like your class rank, some details about GPA, and to provide an updated transcript.

The Common App recommendation system doesn’t send your counselor a reminder to complete this form. It is your responsibility to keep track of this requirement and ensure that the form is completed.

Once you have applied, many schools “portals” will note if you need to provide the mid-year report. You can also check on each schools website, as well as consult this list.


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ED II and RD – Quick Checklist

As you finish up apps for 1/1:

  • Have you interviewed everywhere you can interview?
  • Have you followed up/checked in with your regional rep?
  • Have you completed all optional materials (essays, resume uploads, videos, portfolios)?
  • Have you obtained an extra LOR?
  • Have you started to plan out your interest letter research and outreach?
  • Have you been opening up and clicking through the emails the schools on your list send you?
Contact us if you would like to discuss how we can help you get to the 1/1 finish line!


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How to Navigate a College Deferral

Some colleges and universities just can’t admit all of the students they would like to via early decision or early action (“ED” or “EA”), so they defer some and evaluate them again during regular decision (“RD”). These candidates have a shot (albeit small at many top schools) at getting admitted RD. However, some schools just defer everyone or almost everyone! A nasty practice. Most students that fall into this category should move on. A few notes before doing anything to “work” a deferral:

1. Stay positive for RD, or preferably, early decision II (“ED II”), and keep moving forward!

2. Consider ED II if you are currently not. Not all schools have ED II; check your Common App to see if ED II is offered at any schools on your list. Why? because….

3. The RD round is tough and this year’s early numbers demonstrate it might be even tougher than before; it is smart to get familiar with the ED I and RD numbers and understand why ED II can present a significant advantage over RD. Read this chart. Pay particular attention to the percentage of the class filled by early plans.

4. Don’t make the same mistakes again (or again, and again…). You should be very open to doing a thorough evaluation of what might have gone wrong with your early app(s). With fresh eyes, you might find a few things you would change. Or, with the feedback from someone else, see that you missed the mark. If you’d like an expert evaluation of your deferred app, contact us.

Other Tips:

Get your guidance counselor’s support. Have your guidance counselor advocate for you.

-Make sure updated grades/transcript are sent promptly. Your grades should have remained the same or improved, not dipped.

Get an extra letter of recommendation*. This letter could be written by a teacher, coach, or someone else close to you who can speak to your background, performance, and potential.

*Side note on alumni letters and letters from well-known or famous people. Many students ask if these are helpful to send, and the answer is no unless the person really knows you or they have a solid connection to admissions.

Make contacts locally and talk to students and alumni. Reach out to local alumni chapters and ask if there is anyone willing to meet with you for an informal informational interview. Use this meeting as an opportunity to learn more about the school, and demonstrate your interest in attending. Information learned in these meetings are beneficial to include in your deferral letter.

 -Connect with your regional rep and consider sending a deferral letter. You should have connected with them prior to applying, so this email won’t be out of the blue. Ask if they have any specific advice for deferred candidates. Are reasons for the deferral that you can address in the coming months (grades, test scores, lack of interest or understanding the mission and values of the school)? If you had an interview, and established a good relationship with your interviewer, you can also reach out to them to see if they have any tips. A deferral letter should contain information updating the school on what you’ve been up to both inside and outside of the classroom since the time you applied as a way to show your fit for the school, how you will add value, etc. It should not be a list of your accomplishments or a brag sheet. Contact us if you would like help with your deferral letter.

Secondary Efforts:

-Visit the school and swing by admissions to reiterate interest. Sit in on a class and take advantage of any admissions events and/or programming you may not have the first time around. Keep in mind that if you already visited and the school is more than a drive or train ride away, this might seem extravagant.

-Use social media to your advantage. Don’t be afraid to follow your top choice schools on Facebook, Instagram, Snap or other social channels. Most schools also have LinkedIn pages you can follow. These touch points likely won’t help significantly, but can’t hurt as a way to demonstrate interest.


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Congrats to Our Students!!!

Not one of our students, but a photo we have not had time to share: Brittany visiting LSE last month.

Our students rock—and we are so proud of them! Check out where our seniors have been admitted so far:

UT Austin
U. Miami
University College, London
Ohio State
South Carolina
Penn State
Michigan State

And more to come this week! We will update/repost as more results come in.


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