FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When is the best time to begin the college search and preparation?
Our philosophy is that “the earlier the better”. We prefer to begin working with students the summer between eighth grade and high school to help optimize the high school experience. At the latest, we like to work with students before their junior year begins to ensure all of the necessary testing, course work and activities will present the students at their best.
What kind of testing is required for college applications?
While some colleges are moving toward some “test optional” policies, the reality is that college admissions are competitive as ever. A student who prepares for and takes the standardized testing that shows their academic strengths stands a much better chance to gain admission to his or her best-fit and top choice schools.
When should college visits begin?
Students and families can begin informal college visits as early as eighth grade; not to put pressure on the student but to get them excited about the future and begin to think about what their “best-fit” colleges look like.
For example, is a large research university a better fit than a small liberal arts school? Does the student prefer an urban setting to a suburban or rural setting close to home? These early visits during should focus on these general questions, whereas visits Junior and Senior year should focus on specifics, such as majors and special programs offered, athletic and or artistic opportunities, etc.
Should the college search be focused only on top-ranked schools that are well-known?
The search should always be focused on fit and the kind of schools that will help students thrive, develop into happy and healthy adults and prepare for their chosen career or profession. Often the best fits are colleges that don’t necessarily get a lot of publicity. Students and families should approach this process as consumers and consider all aspects of purchasing a “big ticket item”.
What is the Coalition application and should I complete that instead of the Common Application?
The college admissions landscape is always changing, but now more than ever. The 2016-2017 cycle in undergraduate admissions included major changes to the SAT, ACT, Common App and the introduction of the new Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success Application. CEC’s team of consultants keep up with all of these changes and will effectively guide students and families through this rapidly-changing process.
What steps do I need to take if I want to consider a transfer?
Over 30% of college students seek to transfer college sometime during their undergraduate years. Students should carefully examine their reason for seeking a transfer, demonstrate that they have given every effort to succeed at their current school, have a strong relationship with at least 2 professors and demonstrate deep engagement in their current college community. CEC’s team of experts can successfully guide students through the crucial step of finding a better fit college.