NS College Consulting Blog

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The ULTIMATE College Packing List

Overwhelmed with the task of packing for college? Relax. We are here to help with a list of the obvious, and not-so-obvious items you may need. Before running out and buying everything, be sure to consult with your roommate to coordinate so you don't end up with two microwaves, but no dishes. Also, check with the residence hall or building management to find out if any items are restricted. Last, don't forget to think about how you are going to transport all of your possessions. Can you ship them? Can you order supplies online and pick up at a local store near your campus? With our list and a little advanced planning, you can reduce the stress of move-in day.  Read more

Summer is coming, and you’re probably daydreaming about vacations and beach days and two months without nightly homework. But before yearbooks go out and finals get underway, high school juniors looking to get a head start on the college application process should think about asking teachers for letters of recommendation. Asking early shows that you’re responsible and respectful of teachers’ time, and also ensures that you’ll get recs from your first choices. Wait until the fall, and the English teacher who can rave about you might already be over-committed.  Read more

We are often asked about honor societies, especially those that charge a fee for inclusion. It’s a timely subject as many of our students are currently being bombarded with solicitations from a variety of “pay-to-play” organizations. Our advice: hold onto your wallet and proceed with caution.  Legitimate high school honor societies are free and don’t charge a fee, whether it’s related to admissions in the society or having access to a directory of members. In addition, these types of pay-to-play accolades will not enhance your college application or resume as college admission officers often regard these types of honors as simply a sign of wealth and privilege. College admissions officers understand what's a legitimate honor and what's not, so trying to buy a resume item is fruitless. According to Dr. Anna Wulik of PrepScholar.com, “parents and students should be wary of organizations that mimic legitimate honor societies and use confusing names that sound similar to legitimate honor societies.” For example, there are a number of pay-to-play organizations whose names are similar to the highly-regarded (and legitimate) National Honor Society, however these “imitators” fail to carry the same cachet.   Read more

When it comes to the college application process, there are few things as useful as an activity resume for it's one of the best ways to highlight your skills, talents and accomplishments while also showcasing everything that makes you unique, special and interesting. We are seeing an increasing number of schools requesting activity resumes as addendums to applications. Note: Sometimes schools offer applicants the option of submitting their resume, in these cases we HIGHLY recommend including the resume because it gives you one more opportunity to accentuate your positive attributes while also helping you remain competitive with those applicants who uploaded their resumes.  Read more

It’s February which means many of our students are knee-deep in the college search process. It’s an exciting time as we watch our students explore different schools and imagine what life will be like as undergraduates. However, the college search process can also be overwhelming especially in the beginning. “Where do I begin,” “What should I look for in a school?” “How do I know if the school is a good fit?” are just some of the questions we are often asked. Although there isn’t a magic formula, there are steps you can take to identify schools that are right for you…  Read more

September 2015, marked the launch of the ACT’s new “enhanced” writing section. The revised test was designed to improve the writing assessment’s accuracy by pinpointing each student’s specific strengths and weaknesses. However, rather than giving a richer overview of a student’s writing abilities, the new section is fraught with issues which are impacting students, parents and admission officers.  Read more

Monday, January 11, 2016

How to Beat Senioritis

Dear Seniors,  Read more

It’s hard to believe but 2015 is about to come to an end which means our children are one year closer to going off to college. As exciting as this might be, it is also bittersweet and for many of us, foreboding. As we start 2016, we wanted to share some of our favorite New Year’s Resolutions which we hope will reduce the angst and keep your homelife calm and stress-free (or at least, as stress-free as possible considering we’re raising teenagers).   Read more

Last week, we discussed the college interview. As we mentioned, a college interview can be extremely beneficial because it helps admission officers see you as a whole person rather than just a name on a page. Sometimes location and logistics make it impossible to have an in-person interview.  When this happens, see if you can schedule a Skype interview instead. Similar to an in-person interview, Skype interviews provide a great opportunity to stand out from the crowd and make a good impression. If you have a Skype interview coming up be sure to keep in mind these Skype-specific tips:   Read more

You took the ACT, asked for letters of recommendation, filled out applications and wrote many essays. All that’s left are college interviews. Still feeling stressed? Don’t worry you got this!   Read more

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Highland Park, IL 60035


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