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Guidance

COLLEGE TOURING LIST BY REGION

As you begin your college visitations, below on this page is a listing of schools by region to assist you in the process. This is by no means an all-inclusive list of all colleges/universities available to you. The options are endless. This is meant to serve as a starting point and guide for you to use on this journey.
 
Two websites that also have helpful touring information before you go are:

While the college process can be stressful, have some fun on your visits! And remember, should you have any questions or need assistance along the way, do not hesitate to reach out to your guidance counselor. 

College Application Tips
  • Students need to brainstorm really well (What I want colleges to know about me)
  • Use www.collegeexpress.com
  • Use research on admissions data sent to you… ED vs. RD 
  • Think about uncommon activities that really count (do you blog, journal, did you teach yourself a skill, language or something for fun, are you really good at something “outside the box”) See activities tips on pg 3.
  • Use lists, not complete sentences in resume
  • Be as specific as you can in resume (organize and instruct 20 boys ages 6 thru 10 on basketball fundamentals.) 
  • Use active verbs on activity sheet (think images- see list of Action Verbs)
  • Use ADDITIONAL INFORMATION section to explain anything like “why I changed schools”, health issues impacting grades, etc. DO NOT fill it with random stuff….no second personal statement
  • If you have a single parent, English is your second language, are a first-generation college student, low income…these things are important to share somewhere in the application
  • Get a recommendation from someone who teaches a CORE subject taught recently and who really likes you.
  • If you are interviewing PRACTICE…you can see how much a school values the interview by going to the College’s Common Data Set (C-7)
  • Prepare talking points before your interview (information you want to Segway into)
  • Write a “Why Us” Essay before the interview
  • Prepare 3 Questions for the interviewer  - What is something that the students rave about that I should not miss out on?
  •  If you need to ask for more money  - “Financial Aid Appeal”- don’t say the other school gave me…explain why you can’t afford to attend based on package.
  • If you want to create a personal video, use First Cuts. Great way to not have to memorize, just invest in a cheap mike. 
  • When you complete the application do a value scan …see what values, skills, qualities are highlighted. See the list below on pg 2.
  •  Make an essay tracker spreadsheet. You should be able to tweak supplements to fit in prompts for different schools. 
  • In the “Why Us” essay, don’t talk about college size, location, weather or student-faculty ratio.  Don’t talk about rankings. Make a list of things I want…Make a list of things college offers...go from there.
  • Listing your activities - highlight in the description what you accomplished, your skills.
  • Addressing community service - what did you do ...your specific role …what impact you had
  • If you have a Why this Major essay, list 2 or 3 sentences.  Why you are interested and how you will explore your interest on campus. 
  • If you have to discuss DIVERSITY and fitting in…redefine it.  Think about all kinds of diversity - does not have to be racial..political, religious, etc.
  • If you need to address CREATE YOUR OWN CLASS, find a sample syllabus in the college, give your course a title, a hypothetical meeting time. Use colon in the title – be creative 
  • Addressing a change of school - put them at ease by giving them a reason ..tried to make the best of it.
10 TIPS for how to Write the Common App Activities List

The activities section is one of the most important parts of your application. Extracurricular activities are one of the best ways to differentiate yourself from the rest of the applicant pool and make yourself stand out as an exceptional candidate. Colleges want to know what your life is like outside of the classroom. Have you developed strong interests over time? Are you a leader? They are looking for students who are potential pioneers in their future fields.

You should spend some time considering what to include in the activities section of the Common Application. There are certain limits, so it is essential to be selective and concise. Unlike your education and testing, you have control over what to include and how to describe your activities, so you should put some thought into it.

State your role and organization name in the box, so you don’t waste characters in the lower, 150 character box.
Instead of: (top box) School newspaper(description box) I am the editor for the school newspaper
(And don’t repeat words!)
Try: (top box) Editor of International Column, School Newspaper
(description box) Responsible for brainstorming, revising, and supervising articles by other writers for my column.
Emphasize a tangible, measurable impact.  (Think numbers)
Whom did your activity help? How many people? How much money did you raise?
Instead of: Raised money for children in Africa.
Try: Raised $3,000 to provide three uniforms and scholarships for students attending the Joseph Waweru Home School in Kenya http://www.exop.org/home_school.html
Use active verbs to explain what you actually did (list your tasks).
Instead of: Worked at a clinic doing different things.
Try: Organized patient diagnosis notes, sterilized tools for surgeries, assisted with x-ray analysis.
To fit in more info: use lists, don’t use complete sentences, cut extra words.
Instead of: I raised money to donate to a school in Ghana in Africa by selling t-shirts and bracelets.
Try: Arranged advertising events, organized fundraisers, and gave presentations at school meetings.
Use the present tense if it’s something you still do.
Instead of: I helped tour visitors around the campus and presented some information on school history and student life.
Try: I give campus tours, providing info on school history, student activities, boarding life.
Aim for variety in your list, making sure your verbs aren’t redundant.
Instead of: Instructing, helping, teaching children tennis (how are these three different?)
Try: Instructing in proper technique, while imparting lessons in sportsmanship, health, and integrity.
Include any responsibilities where you demonstrated leadership skills.
Instead of: I swim on the swim team.
Try: Responsible for leading swim practices, planning fundraising events; assisting in the recruiting process.
What if there isn’t much to say, or it was a one-time event
Explain the significance of the activity: who did the event matter to and why?
Instead of: Tutored students.
Try: Provided support to fourth graders with particularly difficult math concepts. 
Avoid extreme language e.g. always, never, world-renowned
Instead of: to help all those in need (or) to end poverty in the world
Try: to help those in need (or) to aid in the fight against global poverty
Use bigger/uncommon words e.g. use “inspired” instead of “curious” 
Instead of: “Come up with” (or) “told people about”
Try: Develop, brainstorm (or) advertised, marketed

You be the Evaluator - Does this person actually want to go to this college or not so much:

Given that I am an individual that genuinely enjoys being introduced to new concepts, ideas, and new information, Kalamazoo would definitely be a great fit for me. Being around sophisticated and intellectual students, with similar ambitions as mine, would inspire me to challenge myself on a daily basis. By doing so, I would gradually grow not only as a student but as a human

What do we learn about what makes K-Zoo special in this student’s eyes?  Absolutely nothing.

Let’s try again:

SMU has a program called the NCA, which stands for the National Communication Association, and it helps support students to be able to solve problems by communicating. SMU also has over 90 student organizations for students to get involved with that can complement their academic pursuits, which will allow me to join organizations I really enjoy.

…..Oh, as opposed to that other university where the professors aren’t dedicated to helping students succeed

So how do you write sentences that sound like you actually want to go to school?

Like this:

I believe USC is perfect for me because, though other schools offer a Judaic Studies major, I have yet to find a program as comprehensive as USC’s. Take, for example, courses like “Biblical Hebrew” (as opposed to just Modern Hebrew ) and “Why be Jewish?”

Look how specific

Here’s another:

Though the CogSci program at USC is in its inaugural year and little information was available during my open house visit, I was able to contact Associate Professor of the Psychology and Linguistics Toby Mintz through email and was happy to discover that USC’s program is extremely interdisciplinary in nature, cross-cutting traditional disciplines such as psychology, philosophy, linguistics, computer science and anthropology. I have always been interested n languages (I speak three), consider computer science strength and am drawn to the “Philosophy of Language” courses, as I recently wrote a research paper addressing the potential implications of applying for JL Austin’s work with “performative utterances” to smartphone technology.

While this is beyond amazing….you can see clearly why he is specifically interested in USC while at the same time REVEALING MORE ABOUT HIMSELF.

COLLEGE TOURING LIST BY REGION
Princeton University, Rutgers University, The College of New Jersey, Stevens Institute of Technology, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rider University, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Monmouth University, Richard Stockton University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Montclair State University, Seton Hall University, Saint Peter’s University, Felician College, Wagner College, Rowan College, Drew University, Kean University
Columbia University, New York University, Fordham University, Manhattan College, Barnard College, The New School, Marymount Manhattan College, St. John’s University, Hofstra University, Adelphi University, Pace University, CUNY schools, Pace University, Baruch College
Marist College, Vassar College, Union College, Skidmore College, Colgate University, Hamilton College, Cornell University, Ithaca College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, St. Lawrence University, Syracuse University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Rochester, Wells College, Rochester Institute of Technology, SUNY schools
Wesleyan University, Trinity College, Yale University, Connecticut College, University of Connecticut, Quinnipiac University, University of New Haven, Fairfield University, Sacred Heart University, University of Hartford, University of Rhode Island, Salve Regina University, Providence College, Brown University, Bryant University, Roger Williams University, Rhode Island School of Design  
University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, Villanova University, St. Joseph’s University, Swarthmore College, Haverford College, Bryn Mawr College, LaSalle University, Temple University, University of the Arts, University of the Sciences
Lehigh University, Lafayette College, University of Scranton, Marywood University, Gettysburg College, Dickinson College, Bucknell University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Muhlenburg College, Franklin and Marshall College, Allegheny College, Moravian College, DeSales University
Georgetown University, Catholic University, American University, George Washington University, University of Delaware, University of Maryland, Loyola University in Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, Towson University, Goucher College, George Mason University, Washington College
Amherst College, Williams College, Hampshire College, Smith College, UMass Amherst, Olin, UMass Lowell, The College of the Holy Cross and Worcester Polytechnic Institute Others: Springfield College, Clark University
Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern University, Tufts University, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Emerson College, Bentley University, Babson College, Wellesley College, Regis College, Suffolk University, Simmons College, Brandeis University, Stonehill College, Merrimack College
University of New Hampshire, Dartmouth College, Middlebury College, University of Vermont, Franklin Pierce University, St. Anselm College, St. Michael’s College
University of New England, Bowdoin College, Bates College, Colby College, University of Maine Orono, College of the Atlantic
University of Virginia, University of Richmond, Washington and Lee University, Virginia Tech, James Madison University, College of William and Mary, Duke University, Wake Forest University, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Greensboro, Elon University, Davidson College, University of North Carolina Charlotte, High Point University
Case Western Reserve University, College of Wooster, Kent State University, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, University of Dayton, Miami University of Ohio, Ohio State, Xavier University, University of Michigan, Michigan State University
University of Chicago, DePaul University, Northwestern University, Lake Forest College, University of Notre Dame, University of Wisconsin, Loyola University of Chicago, St. Xavier University, Purdue, University of Illinois
University of California Los Angeles, University of Southern California, Loyola Marymount University, Occidental College, Claremont Colleges, Pepperdine University, University of California Santa Barbara, University of California San Diego
The University of California Berkley, University of California Davis, Stanford University, Santa Clara University, University of California Santa Cruz, University of San Francisco

SKILLS TO HIGHLIGHT ON COLLEGE APPLICATION:
  • Commitment
  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking
  • Initiative
  • Intellectual Curiosity
  • Good Judgment
  • Leadership
  • Open-Mindedness
  • Social Consciousness
  • Teamwork
QUALITIES TO HIGHLIGHT ON COLLEGE APPLICATION:
  • Leadership
  • A willingness to take risks
  • Initiative
  • A sense of social responsibility
  • A commitment to service
  • Special talents or abilities
  • Empathy
  • Generous
  • Compassionate