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Top Choice News & Blog

December 2, 2019

On Saturday, November 30th, the Wall Street Journal published an article called "How to fix college admissions". Here are my comments on each of the ten ways the WSJ suggested to fix college admissions:

1. Get rid of rankings: DISAGREE. Rankings should be taken with a grain of salt because the underlying calculations are poorly understood. However, ranking...

September 10, 2019

The cost to apply to most colleges ranges from $50 to $80 each, which adds up if your student applies to 8 or more schools this year. However, there are some colleges who do not charge an application fee. Do they do this to be kind to your wallet, or to encourage more students to apply than otherwise would, which will increase the "selectivity" of the col...

June 20, 2019

College rankings can be helpful to students searching for a college fit and for colleges hoping to improve their prestige. Each source of college rankings is based on specific criteria which make them more suitable for certain purposes than others. This article summarizes some of the best-known college rankings and suggests how they are best used by stude...

June 4, 2019

Here are my thoughts of a recent visit to Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston.

Location: Abuts Northeastern University and Mass College of Art. Views of the Museum of Fine Arts, the Prudential tower and Hancock building. Proximity to Harvard teaching hospitals helps students get Co-ops.

Campus: Small, but nice. Good amount of green space for an urba...

June 4, 2019

New England State Universities have a program where students get a discount of about $8,000 at another state university if they choose a major in a subject that is NOT available at their own state university.

For example, a major in Statistics is not offered at U Mass Amherst, but is available at U Conn. A Massachusetts resident who attends...

March 8, 2019

No matter how much research you do with brochures, book, and websites, there really is no substitute for visiting a college in person. You need to see for yourself the area surrounding the campus, the scale of the campus, the vibe you feel, and if the current students look like a community where you would belong.

Here are answers to the most common questio...

March 7, 2019

After all of that work applying to a college, and then waiting to hear a decision, you have been "waitlisted".

Q: Why do colleges have waitlists?

A: Every year, each college has to guess (estimate) how many of the students they accepted will take them up on their offer and submit a deposit before May 1st. If too few students accept their offer, they will ha...

February 4, 2019

Questions: Here are common questions clients ask me about these activities:
1. How important are my outside activities to college admissions officers?
2. Do work or home-based activities "count" towards my list?
3. How many activities to colleges want to see on my list?
4. How should write about my activities on my applications?


1. Extracurricu...

January 7, 2019

I always recommend that students and their parents attend college fairs that are held in or near their home towns. Here is a summary of the benefits of attending a fair:

1. Gather glossy brochures for a lot of colleges at once.

You can see a lot of the same information on the college's website, but the brochure puts a lot of information for perspective stud...

December 3, 2018

Sometimes I like to describe a college list like a house; build one with a strong foundation, and it won't collapse on you. Here's what I mean:

1. Think of the "likely" or "safety" schools on your list as the foundation, or base, of your college "house". We trust that your student will be accepted there, and you are confident that good news will be coming...

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