Early Action vs Early Decision to University

Early action and early decision application deadlines are around the corner, usually November 1 and November 15. In advance of these upcoming dates, here are some top questions and answers when deciding if your students should apply – and take advantage – of these early deadlines:

  1. What are Early Action and Early Decision?

Early Action (EA) applications are nonbinding, which means admitted students are not required to commit to attend the university. Students can decide in late Spring. Early Decision (ED) applications are binding, which means admitted students must attend the university. Approximately 450 universities have early action or early decision options.

  1. What is single-choice or restrictive early action?

Many top universities - Harvard, Yale, Stanford - enforce a “single-choice” or “restrictive early action” policy. The policy varies by university, but its restrictions lie somewhere between early action and early decision for...

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2018 Guide for International Students Applying to American Universities

 

If you are planning to apply to an American university as an international student, you probably already have a few ideas on how to start. Many of you will take the TOEFL after years of English classes, but it takes more than excellent TOEFL scores to succeed and thrive. Here is your guide on how to be on top of applying to American colleges.

It’s More Than Just Grades

The United States does not have a university entrance examination system, like the A levels in the United Kingdom or the gaokao in China. Most international students are required to take the TOEFL and sometimes the SAT or ACT depending on the school. A few universities, like the University of Southern California , even allow you to take the SAT or ACT instead of the TOEFL if you are nervous about the verbal section.

However, a high standardized test score won’t guarantee admission. Some American universities are even making standardized test scores optional. It does not mean that your test scores...

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How to Optimize Your Time

 

Whether you’re a student preparing for the SAT in between homework and practice, or a parent trying to get everyone where they need to be while juggling work and chores, scheduling can be a nightmare. There never seem to be enough hours in the day to get it all done!

Carefully planning and managing your time is a key characteristic of successful students. It prevents procrastination on important assignments and cramming the night before the test. By keeping to a schedule, students can recognize areas of concern early and ask for help. High school students have most of their day planned out for them, but university students can struggle with time management, since days are less structured.

My first quarter at college, I only had classes from 8:30am to 11:30am. However, I still managed to procrastinate on projects until the day before. I wasn’t used to having so much free time and having the freedom to structure it as I saw fit. It took me some time to find a...

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7 Ways to Boost Your ACT Score (Without Studying)

The ACT is tomorrow morning, and some of you or your students will probably be taking it! Hopefully everyone has been studying hard. But no matter how much studying you do, the day before a standardized test can be nerve-wracking. That’s why we’re here to give you 7 ways to prepare for the ACT and maximize your score!

 

  1. Organize Ahead of Time What You Need for the ACT

To save yourself some stress the morning of the ACT, it’s best to have your logistics sorted out by the day before. How are you getting to the testing site? If someone is giving you or your student a ride, confirm the time with them the day before so there are no surprises. If the test is being held at a place you’ve never been before, like your local community college or another testing center, look at how long it takes to get there and give yourself some buffer time in case you get lost.

Also, check to see if you have a few good No. 2 pencils with erasers and an approved calculator...

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4 Ways to Make a Big School Feel Small

In last week’s blog, we talked about how to narrow down your list of top universities. One of the aspects we discussed is whether a big school or a small school is right for you or your student. Many people lean on their family and friends for support and motivation, which is why campus community is such a big factor for people determining which schools they may want to attend.

Big schools often cost less and provide more options in terms of majors, which is why they can be a great choice for you or your student. However, people sometimes fear getting lost in the crowd at a school like that. That’s why today’s blog post will be going over how to make a big school feel small!

1. Get Involved Early

Before you even arrive on campus there are steps you can take to join the community. If you live nearby, it’s definitely worth it to check out the campus and surrounding neighborhood. Bring some friends along too if you can! It will feel less intimidating when you...

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How to Make Your Dream College List

A lot of students have a dream university – Stanford, Harvard, MIT, Yale – but smart students strive for options with multiple acceptances. That’s why we’re talking about how to create a dream college list! The perfect list for you includes within-reach, in-range, and safety universities whose profiles match what you want. How do you do that? We will go over some questions you should ask yourself or your child to help narrow down your options when figuring out how to pick the best university for you. 

It’s best to start selecting your top universities now if you haven’t already. Undergraduate early admissions applications are generally due in November. Therefore, if you want to visit a campus or have time to tailor your application to a particular college, you should have your list figured out by September at the latest. For regular applications, the deadline is usually January, so you have an extra few weeks. The exact...

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Back-to-School Lunch Inspiration for Kids and Adults

It’s that time of year again! The leaves are changing colors, Target ads are full of smiling kids wearing cute clothes and cool backpacks, and you’re starting to mentally and physically prepare for the impending school year. Some of you may have even already started school!

A lot of back-to-school preparation can be taken care of early – buying a new lunch box, thrifting for a new fall jacket, registering for SAT or ACT prep courses, and so on – but some activities are a daily struggle. Thankfully, we’re here to help you tackle one of those daily tasks – your back-to-school lunch!

We are going to showcase a few of our favorite sources of lunchtime inspiration, along with specific recipe recommendations and tweaks you can make to improve the flavor or preparation time.

 

The Domestic Geek

The Domestic Geek was launched in April 2014 by Sara Lynn Cauchon to show the world that delicious food can also be no-fuss and fresh, after learning how to...

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3 Tips to Writing an Unforgettable College Application Essay

The Common Application is live! The Common Application is an undergraduate admissions application for 800+ universities in the United States, available in both English and Spanish. To learn more about the colleges that accept the Common Application, check out their website here! Transcend Academy wants to help you kick off writing an unforgettable college essay for the Common App. Here are 3 tips to get you started:

1. Review everything you have done in high school

The college application essay is a chance to share what makes you YOU. Admissions committees want to know what motivates you and what makes you wake up each morning and sing the "Happy" song. If you don't know right away (and most don't), then begin to write down all the things you have done in high school. After that, ask your parents and relatives to remind you of more to add to the list. Be sure to include all academic classes, school activities, outside school events, jobs,...

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