Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Teen sets bar high - Silicon Valley Career

Dear Mr. Bradshaw — I really want to be located near the center of technological innovation when I go to college.

I am a junior in high school and have been looking at colleges that offer business and engineering programs.

My question is, which schools are the best for helping to get a job in Silicon Valley? Not everyone can get into Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley.

What makes the Bay Area so attractive to so many technology companies? — Student

Dear Student —

  • The center of the universe. 
  • Brilliantly interesting people.
  • Creativity.
  • Money.

These are frequently used phrases used to describe the area known as Silicon Valley.

Sandwiched between Berkeley and Stanford, it is alive with the scent of eucalyptus trees and with the wine country and the beautiful San Francisco Bay to the north. This is an area that attracts some of the best minds in the world.

If you have an idea that borders on changing the world, you’ll be taken seriously here. And, a lot of money will back you up, if you have what it takes.

But you are right — not all students will gain admission to Stanford and Berkeley. Although these universities are heavily represented at most technology companies, they are by no means in the majority.

Where else do they find their talent? You might be surprised to learn that it comes from all over the country and many parts of the world. The international flavor of Silicon Valley makes it a haven for students who want to be around the very best and brightest. Only diversity of the highest level can produce this kind of culture.

Let’s start at the top of the pecking order with Stanford and Berkeley. Both have strong computer programs and very powerful, influential business schools. The combination of talent and the ability to create and sell innovative ideas that abounds in these institutions quite often leads to the making of very young millionaires.

Consider that Stanford is a stone’s throw away from Facebook, Hewlett-Packard and Google. You might say these companies are an extension of Stanford’s campus.

Berkeley is a few miles north and famous not only for funneling scientific talent into Silicon Valley, but also for the Hass School of Business, one of the nation’s best.

You do not have to attend Stanford or Berkeley to find your way into a major Silicon Valley company or become part of a scrappy start-up.

Santa Clara University, located near Stanford, is also a top producer of talent. Many of its graduates are employed by these companies.

Santa Clara also might appeal to students who are leaning toward Notre Dame, because it is less difficult to get in.

If you are in the top 5 per cent of your class, Santa Clara’s admissions rate of 58 percent — versus Notre Dame’s 24 percent — makes it an attractive choice.

Of particular interest might be Santa Clara’s Leavey School of Business, which ranks highly among undergraduate business schools.

Silicon Valley is a magnet for people who think differently, who are smart and can act on their ideas. The area is saturated with talent and rewards creativity, which is the best reason to concentrate your college search there.

There are close to 3,000 colleges to choose from nationwide and admission to these colleges is complicated.

Bradshaw college consulting takes the pressure off ensuring that your college search experience is one to look forward to rather than dread.

Work with a college consultant that can assist guide you through the proper way to write your essay, conduct your interview, test, and apply for financial aid.

Get help choosing the right college or getting into the college you desire to attend. Call: Toll Free: 866-687-8129

College Consultant - Bradshaw College Consulting - Teen sets bar high Silicon Valley Career

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Personal essays vital to admission

Dear Mr. Bradshaw — I have been putting off writing my college essays, and now it is getting to crunch time.

It is not so much writer’s block as it is that I just can’t find anything interesting about myself about which to write. I am not sure what to say or how to say it. Please help. — Stumped Student

Dear Dear Student —

First, it’s important that you understand the essays are a hugely important part of your application.

If nothing else, let that fact prime the pump and start the adrenaline flowing. Almost every college applicant must write an essay about himself or herself.

I will add a little fuel to the fire by pointing out that essays can make or break your chances of admission.

Applicants must separate themselves from the pack because there are only so many openings. And, when it comes time for the admissions committee vote on your application, my view is that a well-written group of essays will set you apart and get you into the admit file.

Remember, your essays are a chance to show admissions officials a side of you that is not reflected in other parts of your application. It is a chance to talk about your personal traits, plus the values and experiences that helped shape your life and give you inspiration for the future.

Tell them about the person behind the grades and the test scores.

If you aren’t comfortable talking about yourself, the essay task can be daunting.

There are a number of books on how to write college essays. My favorite is “50 Successful Harvard Applications Essays,” published by the Harvard Crimson. It features writing examples from students who were admitted to Harvard, and provide a helpful analysis at the end of each essay.

In my opinion, you must get excited about the task at hand and finding the sound of your voice. I sometimes suggest that my clients read James D. Watson’s “The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure DNA (Gunther S. Stent edition).”

They usually get the message on the first try. Watson wrote about the momentous discovery with the easy pen of a diarist. He found the trick is to use a conversational tone of voice that puts even the most skeptical reader at ease without insulting their intelligence.

His story is interesting because the discovery was revolutionary and met with skeptics and roadblocks. There is drama at every turn, and a huge dose of humor and self-effacement in his prose.

So, start writing. Use a friendly and unaffected tone of voice. Show members of the admissions committee a side of you that made you what you are — happy, sad, funny or serious.

Be yourself and tell them about it.

There are close to 3,000 colleges to choose from nationwide and admission to these colleges is complicated.

Bradshaw college consulting takes the pressure off ensuring that your college search experience is one to look forward to rather than dread.

Work with a college consultant that can assist guide you through the proper way to write your essay, conduct your interview, test, and apply for financial aid.

Get help choosing the right college or getting into the college you desire to attend. Call: Toll Free: 866-687-8129

College Consultant - Bradshaw College Consulting - Personal essays vital to admission

Thursday, November 22, 2012

College rankings worth considering

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Dear Mr. Bradshaw — I am applying to 10 or more colleges, and I came across the latest college rankings published by U.S. News & World Report.

How important are these rankings in getting a job after graduation, and how should I evaluate them? — Applicant

College rankings worth considering

Dear Applicant —

College rankings can be important for several reasons.

The most obvious is, they indicate the quality of the faculty and student body. In a nutshell, the best colleges draw the best students and professors.

Competition among schools is fierce, and the rankings serve as a measure of their success.

For example, the 2012 U.S. News & World Report rankings show the following admission selectivity rates that can used by employers as a gauge in recruiting employees.

  • Indiana University is ranked 82nd with a 72 percent admissions rate.
  • Purdue is ranked 65th with a 68 percent admissions rate.
  • Notre Dame is ranked 17th with a 24 percent admission rate.
  • Harvard and Princeton are tied and rank first with a 6 percent and 8.5 percent admissions rate, respectively.

Translated into practical terms, if you are applying for a summer internship, the selectivity of your college is a huge advantage. Many companies use these rankings to decide where to recruit and know that top colleges already have done much of the work for them by vetting students through the competitive application process.

In fact, many students are offered full-time employment after completing summer internships.

Take, for example, a student who is interested a career in finance. Despite the recent calamity in the economy, Wall Street still attracts the cream of the crop of economics majors.

To get an internship at one of the top firms is not easy.

The profile of the successful candidate is heavily skewed toward students at schools that score well in the rankings.

Company officials know that he or she must be an outstanding person to be admitted to a top college. The student will have had high scores on entrance examinations and an exemplary extracurricular activity record.

The years of hard work and preparation that precede admission to a top college are considered when employers are considering new hires.

After all, these companies are putting their futures in the hands of these young people, and they will be competing for promotions and greater responsibility throughout their careers.

To be sure, magazine rankings are not perfect predictors of future employment success.

You need to make sure that your college choice is a “good fit” for your career aspirations, and that you dedicate yourself to making the most of your undergraduate experience.There are close to 3,000 colleges to choose from nationwide and admission to these colleges is complicated.

Bradshaw college consulting takes the pressure off ensuring that your college search experience is one to look forward to rather than dread.

Work with a college consultant that can assist guide you through the proper way to write your essay, conduct your interview, test, and apply for financial aid.

Get help choosing the right college or getting into the college you desire to attend. Call: Toll Free: 866-687-8129

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Competition grows for elite admissions

Dear Mr. Bradshaw — My husband and I have three children in grades 9 through 12 and know parents who have hired college consultants to work with their children. Is this a growing trend? I never heard of this when I was seeking college admission. When did this practice begin? — Parent

Dear Parent — There is no “official” history linked to college consultants, but I have a theory based on 20 years of experience.

The main reason parents hire college consultants is, the competition for admission gets tougher each year. The difference between when you were preparing for college and today is, there are more international students and children of immigrants competing for a seat at the table.

Many of these students come from countries where hiring consultants to prepare for college has been practiced for years. Many of the students are from Asia, where families spend thousands of dollars on consultants to prepare their children for college entrance exams

In Japan, they are called “cram schools.” China, Korea and India also are major users of tutors. The pressure is on these students to score well on exams to have a chance to attend a top college and, eventually, a successful career.
Many American parents are familiar with the Japanese term “Salaryman.” These employees work long hours and dedicate their lives to their companies. This dedication develops, in part, because as young students, they attended “cram schools” after their regular classes and full time on weekends. Many students study up to 90 hours a week, with the goal being high scores on admissions tests.

A student from Japan who attends a top American prep school had an interesting perspective on the difference between the undergraduate experiences of students in America and those in Japan who attend well-respected colleges.

He said: “In America, one’s college years are seen as a time to expand your knowledge and prepare for the professional world. In Japan, the prestige and history of a college frequently determines a person’s job placement.
“Once a student has been accepted by a top Japanese university, they are relieved from the stress of attending ‘cram schools’ and decide to party during the entirety of their undergraduate years. They know that the reputation of their school will play a decisive role in their future job placement, and they lose the incentive to perform well and reach their full potential.”

Americans, although many may not know it, are experiencing a true revolution in the way students prepare for college. It starts in preschool and moves on to private coaching and college consultants who prepare students for the SAT and tutor them in writing and leadership skills.

I often am asked if college admissions officers can tell when a student has been coached. The American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers says no.

At top schools, it is expected that students use consultants in test preparation and to help with their essays. One spokesman for a major university said because of the shortage of economic resources in high schools, there is a need for consultants to help students navigate the increasingly difficult admissions process.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Is Admission to an Ivy League School Worth $2 Million?

Two million dollars is extreme, but many parents hire consultants to give their kids an edge. The Independent Educational Consultants Association estimates there are 4,000 to 5,000 such consultants in the U.S., a majority of whom specialize in college-level admissions.

Average income for these experts ranges from $49,000 to $131,000, depending on experience.

The focus for many aspirational parents: the Ivy League. “It’s like going to Hollywood,” says Gerald Bradshaw, president of Bradshaw College Consulting. “Being in the movies, being with the stars.”

Read More

Build learning skills at early age

Dear Mr. Bradshaw —

Our son just started seventh grade. He is an excellent student, and we want him to continue to do well so he can apply to a top college.

When should we start thinking about hiring a consultant or tutor to make sure he stays at the top of his class? — Parent

Dear Parent — The sooner you have an expert evaluate your son’s academic achievements, the better. Many companies provide tutoring services and suggest the best way to prepare for colleges.

There are well-known tutoring companies with offices in Northwest Indiana. Many parents have found their diagnostic evaluations helpful in spotting potential academic flaws. They also help students develop good study habits and testing skills.

Would you believe my youngest client is 3 years old? She is an American who lives in Moscow. Her parents hired me to find the best preschool in New York City or in the San Francisco Bay Area. They want their daughter prepared for a top college and will do whatever is needed to improve her chances for admittance.

We all know the value of preschool, where a child learns at an early age. Students learn how to adapt socially with other children and how to follow instructions from someone other than their parents. The transition from home to school is an important part of what children learn in preschool.

Another less talked-about benefit of preschool is, students learn how to compete with other children. There is a built-in advantage to vying for top scholastic honors.

The positive feedback teachers give preschoolers helps them as they move to grade and middle school. These children are less fearful of making mistakes and look forward to teachers helping them. The sooner they realize making mistakes is part of learning, the better.

You often have read in this column about the importance of earning top grades as a high school freshman. The transition from middle school to high school demands discipline and focus. This means earning a 4.0 grade-point average and not a 3.25.

You cannot average out a poor freshman year, even if you do well as a sophomore and junior.

I tutor seventh- and eighth-graders for the SAT. I also teach a writing program for younger students that focuses on expository writing and essays, including fiction and nonfiction. This training helps them to score well on the writing portion of the SAT.

By the time these young clients reach high school, they have increased their critical reading and writing skills, and are well ahead of their classmates.

In summary, it is never too early to hone a child’s learning skills. Admissions competition at top colleges is growing tougher each year, and anything you can do to increase the odds of academic success for your son is in his best interests.

I tutor a number of middle school students who plan to apply to top prep schools for high school. Prep schools have admissions requirements, including SAT-type tests and personal interviews.

The percentage of prep school graduates admitted to Ivy League schools is much higher than public schools. An interesting statistic is, on average, 60 percent of prep school students receive financial aid. This dispels the myth that only rich kids attend prep schools.

There are close to 3,000 colleges to choose from nationwide and admission to these colleges is complicated. Bradshaw college consulting takes the pressure off ensuring that your college search experience is one to look forward to rather than dread.

Work with a college consultant that can assist guide you through the proper way to write your essay, conduct your interview, test, and apply for financial aid.

Get help choosing the right college or getting into the college you desire to attend. Call: Toll Free: 866-687-8129

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Start early on application process

Get some tips from a top college consultant on how to be ahead of the game in the college application process! Gerald Bradshaw works with hundreds of students a year helping them achieve their goal of getting into the college of their choice!

— Here are some tips that will give you a leg up on applications.

† Because the fall semester of your senior year is normally the busiest time in your high school career, the earlier you start the application process the easier it will be to meet deadlines. The worst thing you can do is get bored with the process, which happens more often than students realize. The best way to avoid this is to finish mundane things first.

Start early on application process

Start by filling out the basic information required in the Common Application, which allows you to complete the document online or in print.

The College Board started accepting applications Aug. 1, so you need to get started quickly. Explore the websites of the colleges and universities in which you are interested to get as much background information as possible about the school and the academic areas that interest you. You also need to look for the special essay questions required by the schools of your choice.

† Make a list of extracurricular and civic activities, because admissions offices look for more than top test scores and grades. There is intense competition for the few openings in top colleges, and they want well-rounded students who have a global perspective and interests beyond academics.

† If possible, visit the schools that interest you. If this isn’t possible, college admissions offices are more than happy to take email or phone inquiries. I frequently call Harvard’s admissions office, and someone always answers on the first ring.

† Two warnings — be aware of your posts and those of your friends on social networking sites.

College admissions officials understand the need for individual expression and might never look at them. But there is no rule that prohibits them from doing so. Be on the alert for anonymous comments placed by jealous classmates. The competition can be cutthroat when it comes to top colleges.

Clean up your email address. Names like “hotbabe” or “Ihatetests” will not impress admissions people.

Use your real name, or at least part of it, in your email address. This will make it easier for admissions committees to search for your correspondence.

If your name is taken, add a few numbers after it. Believe me, this will help when school officials sort through all the emails you send.

† Always be honest about your academic record. Letters of acceptance can be revoked. I know of one college that confirmed an anonymous tip that a teacher had caught a student plagiarizing an assignment in high school. This led to that student’s offer of admission being revoked.

I suspect if the applicant had disclosed the infraction, which occurred during his freshman year, and explained the circumstances and detailed what he learned from the experience, there may have been a different outcome.

† Essays are pivotal in the application process. Most top colleges require a personal essay, and some require as many as 10 or 15.

Essay answers give you a chance to tell the school something about you that is not reflected in other parts of the application. Never leave blank a request for an essay.

Many students do not know that each essay is given a numerical score and could be critical to your acceptance. I suggest writing about some interesting quirk that reveals a unique facet of your personality.

I had a client who wrote about her ability to identify a song after hearing just a few notes. The subject was trivial, but charming, and she was accepted at a top school.

Remember, you are responsible for marketing yourself, and no one can do it for you. Brush up on your writing skills and use the essays to your advantage. I promise you won’t be sorry you did.

There are close to 3,000 colleges to choose from nationwide and admission to these colleges is complicated. Bradshaw college consulting takes the pressure off ensuring that your college search experience is one to look forward to rather than dread.

Work with a college consultant that can assist guide you through the proper way to write your essay, conduct your interview, test, and apply for financial aid.

Get help choosing the right college or getting into the college you desire to attend. Call: Toll Free: 866-687-8129

Friday, September 28, 2012

Factor global economy into major

Friday, September 28, 2012

My role as a college admissions consultant has increasingly become that of a career adviser, as students have become aware it is not just where they study but what they study that prepares them for success.

The global economy and shifting of our manufacturing base overseas means being smart and ambitious is not enough anymore, especially if you grew up in one of the older industrial areas of the country, such as Northwest Indiana.

First-generation college students from blue-collar families are especially vulnerable because they have limited chances to learn about professional careers outside their communities. Often lacking is access to professional advice and information that can help them link their educations to careers.

If the global economy is affected it is similar to a domino effect. Budgets dry up and infrastructure crumbles, university enrollment rates double. The quality of education globally is damaged.

High school seniors are applying to colleges more than ever before. Top-tier colleges are also rejecting more applicants more than ever before, leaving disappointed students and parents questioning “why?" What could I have done differently?”, “Did I miss something?”

Before you get into that position contact a college consultant that know what colleges expect. Your chances are high with the right preparations when applying to the college of your choice.

College Consultant - Bradshaw College Consulting - Factor global economy into major

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Leadership, service projects vital

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dear Mr. Bradshaw —I still am mystified that my neighbor’s child was denied admission to all the top colleges he applied to last year. He is a brilliant student with an outstanding academic record.

My son is a sophomore, and I don’t want that fate for him. Tell me, what are colleges looking for in an applicant? Is it more than just good grades and test scores?

We have asked many people, and no one seems to have an answer that would account for an excellent student not getting in. I hope there is still time to adjust my son’s curriculum, if that is the issue. —Concerned Parent
Leadership, service projects vital.

Read Mr.Bradshaw's, America's Top College Consultant, Answer To This Concerned Parent!

College Consultant - Bradshaw College Consulting - Leadership, service projects vital

Monday, August 20, 2012

Confidence paves way to Harvard

Jennifer’s dad dropped her off at the downtown Chicago office building where she was scheduled to meet with her Harvard alumni interviewer.

Confidence paves way to Harvard

This could be the most important interview of her life and she was only 17 years old. A knot tightened in her stomach.

“This is it,” she said to herself. “I’m on my own.”

Objectively there was no reason for Jennifer to be nervous. She was number one in her high school class and had nearly perfect scores on her SATs. She was editor of the school newspaper, president of the regional French club, a Thespian honoree, a member of the math and science Olympiad and, most recently, had earned an “A” from Stanford University’s online introductory physics course, her intended major at Harvard.

Why then was she so worried about the alumni interview?

She knew that her interviewer was a senior partner in a major Chicago law firm.

Jennifer introduced herself to the receptionist and was invited to be seated on one of the soft leather couches. She had only spent a few minutes thumbing through The American Lawyer before a door opened and her interviewer greeted her.

The first thing she thought to herself was she had not met anybody like him. He projected real power. He reached out to shake her hand and introduced himself while guiding her to his office. The interview was about to begin.

“What makes you think you are good enough to get into Harvard?”

There was no preamble to his question. She had thought he might ask a few warm up questions — about her grades, test scores, intended college major, but not this. It never occurred to her that anyone would ask such a question.

One thought flashed through her mind, “If I blow this interview I’m a goner. Twelve years of preparation will have gone down the drain and I will have let down parents, friends, teachers who believe in me.”

She composed herself and said, “My grandfather asked me that same question when I was in the ninth grade.” For a split second Jennifer thought she had flubbed the interview, but she remembered her grandfather’s probing question and used it to her advantage.

The interview became conversational from that point on and Jennifer felt comfortable asking him questions about his experiences at Harvard.

In his alumni evaluation the interviewer said that if she had been a potential candidate for employment he would have hired her on the spot. He wrote that she had that rare quality that would make her a competitor, something that many applicants lack when they discover that they will have to compete against other students who are as gifted as they are academically.

During the first week in April she received her letter of admittance to Harvard. She showed it to her grandfather and told him that she could not have done it without him.

There are close to 3,000 colleges to choose from nationwide and admission to these colleges is complicated. Bradshaw college consulting takes the pressure off ensuring that your college search experience is one to look forward to rather than dread.

Work with a college consultant that can assist guide you through the proper way to write your essay, conduct your interview, test, and apply for financial aid.

Get help choosing the right college or getting into the college you desire to attend. Call: Toll Free: 866-687-8129

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Personal essay should set you apart

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Nearly every college applicant must write a personal essay as part of the admissions process. This is often a daunting task because students are uncomfortable responding to the statement, “Tell me about yourself.”

Personal essay should set you apart

Many students ask if anyone in college admissions reads the essays. My answer is an emphatic “Yes!”

It is an essential element of an application. The admissions committee reads your essay, and how well you express yourself can make the difference in whether or not you are accepted when competition is intense.

Picture yourself in the admissions office with thousands of applications stacked around you. Soda cans and coffee cups are piling up, and members of the committee have grown glassy-eyed from looking at hundreds of applications.

The applications start to look alike — same grades, test scores and extracurricular activities. Top-tier colleges have limited openings, and each applicant must somehow separate himself or herself from the pack to be admitted.

For example, Harvard accepts 1,650 students out of 35,000 applicants. What will set you apart from the others?

In my opinion, a well-written essay will get the most attention from the admissions committee. A 250- to 500-word essay becomes increasingly important as the competition gets tougher each year.

The essay is a chance to show the committee a part of you that isn’t reflected in the formal rankings. It is a chance to talk about yourself — your traits and values, the experiences that helped shape your life, and the experiences that inspire you for the future. The personal essay is a chance to tell them about the person behind the grades and test scores.

When I wrote my personal essay, I knew the competition would be tough, and I wanted to stand out. I spent hours thinking about it before I started writing.

With my initial draft finished, I gave it to some friends to read. Most of them were polite and said positive things: It was well-written, this is the real you, etc.

But my best friend threw it back at me and said he didn’t like it. It wasn’t me. He said I looked like everyone else applying. In short, he said it was boring.

He was right.

My initial personal essay made me look vanilla. In no way did it represent me as a person, nor did it bring out the personal accomplishments I valued most — my military service with the 101st Airborne, my time stationed at West Point, my maverick high school education or my upbringing in the South.

These were the things that made me interesting to my friends. I got the message.

I wrote and rewrote the essay at least a dozen times. It took me three weeks and a lot of introspection before I got it right. I knew when I finished my final draft that this was the one. I didn’t need anyone else read to it because I recognized the sound of my own voice.

Do not look at the preparation of your college essay as a waste of time. It is your opportunity to blow the competition out of the water.

There are close to 3,000 colleges to choose from nationwide and admission to these colleges is complicated. Bradshaw college consulting takes the pressure off ensuring that your college search experience is one to look forward to rather than dread.

Work with a college consultant that can assist guide you through the proper way to write your essay, conduct your interview, test, and apply for financial aid.

Get help choosing the right college or getting into the college you desire to attend. Call: Toll Free: 866-687-8129

Monday, July 16, 2012

College rankings can matter

Does it really matter where you go to college? It might.

When making a higher education decision, you have many questions to answer. What can I afford? What do I want to study? What school will best prepare me for my career choice?

U.S. News and World Report’s annual ranking of universities should be required reading for all college applicants and their parents. Although many college officials say the tier in which a school is placed does not matter in recruiting, the report does make a difference.

Dropping even one notch below where it was on the list the previous year can affect corporate fundraising efforts, and alumni donations might plummet. Potential applicants read the rankings as a mark of quality, often making their decisions based upon the magazine’s findings.

College rankings can matter

High school guidance counselors, students and parents use the rankings as a measure of prestige and academic quality. Corporations always begin their recruiting efforts at top-ranked schools, and the best job offers generally go to the graduates of those institutions.

Alumni of highly ranked colleges often have better chances to get into medical school, law school and top graduate programs. Fellowship and grant money also flows uphill to the higher-ranking institutions.

I always tell my clients that attending a small, bachelor-degree granting institution is fine. However, if you want an advanced degree on your curriculum vitae, attending a highly ranked university will give you a leg up in the graduate school application process.

You’ll find that graduation from a top university will reap benefits when the time comes to ask your professors for references. Without excellent references, the fellowship money you need to stay in graduate school will be harder to attract.

The more prestigious the school, the easier it will be to obtain financial support, take advantage of foreign study programs and teaching opportunities.

Should you not attend a top-tier college, it does not mean the end of the world.

There are close to 3,000 colleges to choose from nationwide and admission to these colleges is complicated.

Bradshaw college consulting takes the pressure off ensuring that your college search experience is one to look forward to rather than dread. Work with a college consultant that can assist guide you through the proper way to write your essay, conduct your interview, test, and apply for financial aid.

Get help choosing the right college or getting into the college you desire to attend. Call: Toll Free: 866-687-8129

Monday, June 4, 2012

Start early when goal is top college

Monday, June 4, 2012

 Dear Mr. Bradshaw --

My daughter will be a high school freshman in August.

Each year, we hear about students who have nearly perfect grades and who have taken several Advanced Placement classes being rejected by top colleges. We want to make sure she has the right preparation and advice about her options. How can we better prepare her for the college selection process?

-- Parent

Start early when goal is top college

Dear Parent --

Excellent grades and test scores, plus strong leadership skills, are key to gaining admittance to a top college.

State colleges tend to be more lenient when it comes to grades and classroom performance, but not top-tier colleges.

Harvard had 35,000 applicants last year, and 81 percent of those accepted chose to enroll. More than 14,000 applicants to Harvard scored above 700 on the critical reading, math and writing portions of the SAT, and more than 3,800 were ranked first in their respective high school classes.

Freshman statistics show 41 percent of the students admitted excelled in extracurricular interests, including music and other expressive and performing arts; 35 percent in debate, political activities and student government; 21 percent in social services, and 20 percent in writing and journalism.

In addition, 57 percent said they intend to participate in recreational, intramural or intercollegiate sports.

The question is, how do you prepare for a top college in a way that will separate you from the pack?

Start studying for the SAT as a freshman, because SAT scores play a huge roll in admissions. In addition, you will need to take two or more SAT II Subject Tests if you plan to apply to a top-tier college. That means you need to do well on five or more tests.

Take the SAT in the freshman year. It will establish a benchmark and a guide to the student’s strong and weak points.

I offer a five-week SAT boot camp for juniors. The courses are taught by Harvard students who had perfect scores on the tests they tutor. If you hire a tutor, ask to see his or her test scores. If they haven’t scored 800, it is unlikely they are competent to guide you to reach a higher level.

Besides the SAT boot camp, I have developed a leadership skills program that will help a student develop the techniques, skills and confidence needed to succeed. America’s leading colleges no longer look just for students with great grades and top test scores. They look for students who make the most of opportunities and resources around them and meaningful impacts in the community.

As we were developing the leadership curriculum, we asked ourselves what we wish we had known about how to develop leadership skills in high school. The program includes instruction in time management, public speaking, presentation preparation, writing, interviewing and listening effectively, running meetings, basic and advanced computer skills, and fundraising techniques.

I applaud your interest in getting an early start on the college selection process. Establishing an educational framework that will support your daughter’s interests and eventually intrigue college admissions officers is nothing to leave to chance.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Competition grows for elite admissions

Dear Mr. Bradshaw — How do top colleges decide who gets admitted?

I plan to apply to Harvard, Yale, MIT and Stanford next year. I’m worried about the role of demographics. — Concerned student

Dear student — There is no question it is getting more difficult for all students to get admitted to an elite college or university. The admissions rate at all top colleges is tightening, approaching single digits.

First, let’s look at how things used to be. Ted Kennedy and George W. Bush made it into Harvard and Yale, respectively, mainly because their fathers were famous alumni. Although one might not call them the “best and the brightest” of their generations — to borrow a term — they were born into rich, famous families and were white males. It should be noted there were no diversity regulations in those days.

Many students are turned away from Harvard, Yale and Princeton, while less-qualified legacies are admitted. The number of admitted legacies is falling, and lawsuits are expected to put an end to this historic practice. Almost every student must now meet the same academic standards.

Other changes have made white males less dominant at top schools. Males must compete against female applicants, and most schools are at parity with male and female admissions.

Elite colleges steadfastly have refused to expand the freshman class to accommodate the growing number of qualified applicants. The faculty opposed Harvard’s past president, Larry Summers, when he wanted to increase freshman enrollment. Harvard’s new president has been mum on this issue.

Admission preference is given to under-represented demographic groups. Students typically admitted under this policy generally have lower academic qualifications than students admitted under regular standards. According to Harvard and other top schools, about 25 percent of the student body is in this category — about the same number that legacies used to be.

There are increasing numbers of well-qualified applicants in every admissions category. High schools do a good job of preparing students for top colleges. The number of students taking Advanced Placement classes and scoring in the top 5 percent on admission tests has increased two-fold over the 1980s, according to a recent issue of U.S. News and World Report.

No matter which demographic category you fall into, the competition is getting tougher.

So what is the defining factor? Top grades and test scores still count the most. Your extracurricular involvement is also important.

In my 15 years interviewing candidates for Harvard, I always found there was “something about” the students who got in that stood out, no matter what category in which they fell.

When the interviews were over and I wrote my evaluations, the one defining quality that set some students apart was, the high scorers seemed to have a grasp of the big picture and concrete career goals.

The top students wanted to succeed in the world, not just in a small community. This is what sets you apart and puts you at the head of the admissions list.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Performance more critical than ‘name’ school

Dear Mr. Bradshaw — I have been accepted by the University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Notre Dame, California-Berkeley and Northwestern.

I have a big decision to make, and I had no idea it was going to be this difficult.

How do I choose the college that is best for me? Should I choose the most elite college based on rank? — Confused

Dear Confused

— Congratulations on being accepted by so many elite colleges.

It is important to choose a school that is right for you, but in offering my advice, I want to downplay the notion that selecting a college amounts to a defining moment in your life.

It does not.

Would you be better off at Penn than at Berkeley, or at Columbia rather than Chicago? College ranking or name recognition is not a predictor of the personal fulfillment you will gain at a school. It is the area of study you choose and your accomplishments (social and academic) at the college of your choice that matter.

Is there a measurable tool that can help you make a decision?

In my opinion there is not.

Each year, I have parents who use a spreadsheet to plot the value of attending a potential college to within a thousandth of a percentage point. Categories include a school’s place in the national rankings, the quality of the faculty, department name recognition, powerful alumni — the list is almost endless. I even have had clients rank the number of parking spaces set aside for students!

For geographical location, diversity and the number of Nobel Laureates, Chicago ranks third, while Cal-Berkeley is sixth. Does that mean Chicago is better than Berkeley? Not necessarily.

Adding to the pressure of students choosing colleges are parents who are obsessed with getting their children into specific schools.

Harvard ranks at the top of every list for the Ivy League. The aura surrounding Harvard and the perceived benefits afforded students are greatly exaggerated and, in particular, are unsubstantiated if comparing income differentials with other college graduates.

Notre Dame ranks near the top for sheer alumni loyalty in the Midwest, but is that a reason to go there?

Ultimately, no matter where you choose to go to college, a degree from an elite school will not put you ahead in life if you are lazy and unimaginative.

An outstanding performance at a lesser-known college will trump a lackluster effort from a top college, and this levels the playing field.

Keep this in mind as you weigh your options.

Your college choice will not define you; it only will make it possible for you to discover yourself and prepare for a fulfilling career.

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Applicants on waiting list can improve odds

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bradshaw College Consulting
(219) 663-3041

Question: -- “I received word that I am on the waiting list for one of my preferred universities. What are my chances of getting admitted, and is there anything I can do to move myself up on the list?”

Applicants on waiting list can improve odds

Answer: -- Most students who apply to top colleges and universities generally apply to 10 or more schools.

Chances are, you were admitted to some schools, rejected by a few and put in limbo by being placed on a waiting list at others.

If you are on the waiting list, you might be accepted at a later date, depending on the number of openings the school has left after admitted students confirm their decisions to attend.

Although most colleges notify wait-listed students of their decisions by early May, it could take until the end of summer before you receive a decision.

Most colleges do not place students on a waiting list if there is not a realistic chance of getting admitted after a second round of evaluations. This means students who want to remain on the waiting list have work to do.

I suggest you send the university a letter renewing your interest in the school and sharing any new milestones in your life since applying last fall. This information is often the deciding factor in wait-list decisions.

Many applicants look stronger in the last semester of their senior years after receiving an academic award or finishing first in a national competition. Colleges need to be notified about these honors.

It is important to emphasize the fact that the college where you are wait-listed is your first choice. You need to convince officials that if you are admitted, you will attend.

If possible, I highly recommend that you schedule an in-person interview with the admissions office at your preferred school to convince officials of your sincerity. This especially helps students who have strong interview skills.

Wait-listing is a legitimate way to tell students they will be reconsidered if space in the class becomes available.

If you really want to attend the college or university of your choice, it is best to do everything you can to stay on the waiting list.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Acceptance time tough on high school seniors

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Bradshaw College Consulting

(219) 663-3041

Acceptance time tough on high school seniors

It is again the time of year when high school seniors eagerly await letters notifying them of acceptance or rejection from the colleges of their choice.

It is seldom more nerve-wracking than when the college of choice is among the eight schools in the Ivy League. A record number of students applied to Ivy schools this year, and the odds of getting in are staggeringly low. Here is my 2012 admission-rate report.

Harvard: The acceptance rate was the lowest in the Ivy League, despite a slight decline in applications.

Harvard admitted 2,032 of the 34,302 students who applied — an acceptance rate of 5.9 percent. That is an all-time low, and down from last year’s rate of 6.2 percent.

William Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid, told the Harvard Crimson: “We have always been conservative about the number of acceptances sent out at this time of year, in order to avoid the possibility of overcrowding. Harvard’s high graduation rate — typically 97 to 98 percent — leaves little margin for error.”

Fitzsimmons said more than 14,000 applicants had scores of 700 or higher (out of 800) on the SAT critical reading test; 17,000 had scores of 700 or higher on the SAT math test, and 15,000 scored 700 or higher on the SAT writing test. He added that 3,800 applicants were ranked first in their respective high school classes.

Yale: It admitted only 1,975 of the record-high 28,974 students who applied this year, a 6.8 percent rate that was down from 7.4 percent last year.

CNNMoney reported that Jeffrey Brenzel, Yale’s dean of undergraduate admissions, said: “We had another extraordinary applicant pool, and another challenging selection process. We could not make offers to a large number of immensely talented young men and women.”

Cornell: It admitted only 16.2 percent of the record 37,812 applicants this year — its lowest rate ever.

Dartmouth: It had a record-low 9.4 percent acceptance rate.

Princeton: It accepted only 2,095 students of the 26,664 who applied, bringing its acceptance rate to a historic low of 7.9 percent.

University of Pennsylvania: It accepted 12.3 percent, also a record low.

Brown: Its admittance rate rose to 9.6 percent, compared to 8.6 percent last year.

Columbia: It admitted 2,363 students, or 7.4 percent of the 31,851 applicants — up from last year’s rate of 6.9 percent

Brown and Columbia were the only Ivy schools to accept a higher percentage of applicants this year.

Students admitted to Ivy League schools normally have until May 1 to accept their offers.

My next column will deal with how to get off of the waiting list.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ivy schools more affordable

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Bradshaw College Consulting

(219) 663-3041

Dear Mr. Bradshaw:--

I plan to apply to Harvard and several other Ivy League schools this fall. Is it true that they offer generous financial-aid packages? If I have to borrow thousands of dollars to attend, I will opt for a state school where I am sure to be admitted. —

Ivy schools more affordable

Dear Student: 

After the Ivy League got stung with bad publicity because many of their graduates ended up with more than $150,000 in debt, Harvard took the lead and revamped its financial-aid packages to replace student loans with grants.

Other colleges quickly followed suit.

Today, 70 percent of Harvard undergraduates receive some financial aid. This is typical at most of Ivy League schools.

Students from families with annual incomes below $65,000 are not required to contribute to their educations. And families with incomes up to $150,000 pay no more than 10 percent of their income.

At Harvard, the average financial-aid recipient’s family pays only $11,500 annually.

This new policy has resulted in greater economic diversity in the Ivy League. No longer the exclusive bastion of upper-class privilege, the financial-aid program has made the Ivy League more affordable to attend than many state colleges and universities.

As might be expected, the number of students applying to the Ivy League has increased because of the new policies. However, at Harvard, the number of applications this year started to level off. A total of 34,285 applications were received, down from last year’s record of 34,950.

Two years ago, 30,489 applied and, 10 years ago, there were 18,932 applications. One change worth noting is the modest (5 percent) increase in international applicants this year, compared to a 20 percent increase last year.

According to Harvard’s admissions office, outreach to international students by American colleges and universities normally has produced large annual gains, as relatively few international students had considered coming to the United States for college.

Today, an American college education is considered an option by more international students than in the past.

Along with the new generous financial-aid offerings, expect the admissions competition to show an increasing number of international students who have stellar academic credentials.

Although you can afford to attend if admitted, the competition will be tougher because international applicants are not considered separately for admission.

Schools now pick the best applicant, regardless of nationality.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

AP classes not for everyone

Saturday, March 17, 2012
Bradshaw College Consulting
 (219) 663-3041

Dear Mr. Bradshaw:--

I enjoyed speaking with you recently. Your comments echoed those of my biology teacher, who said I should consider a career in medical research, rather than as a surgeon.

I hope to be accepted at Stanford University because of its diverse student body and the research, internship and job opportunities that abound in the Silicon Valley and San Francisco. Stanford boasts brilliant professors, a world-renowned academic structure and study-abroad opportunities.

Although I want to study medicine in graduate school, I also am interested in pursuing another Ph.D. I have applied for biology, chemistry, biochemistry and biomedical engineering majors at the universities to which I have applied. I’m doing an International Baccalaureate in high school and take four higher-level subjects, so I am working hard to get top grades so I can get advanced standing and avoid at least a year of undergrad studies. I hope this will lead to a double major in three years or triple major in four.

My question is, based upon what you know about me and your knowledge of economic trends, which double major or major combinations would you suggest? —A student

AP classes not for everyone

AP classes for some, just too much to handle .

Dear Student:

Your question really has two distinct questions that must be answered — pursuing multiple majors and, the sleeper question, whether to take advantage of advanced standing and skip most of your freshman year.

Based on my experience, any of the majors on your list should bode well for the future, whether you go to grad or medical school. All are tough programs and will impress admissions committees if you do extremely well in them.

I have a tutor for the SAT who is taking triple majors in physics, chemistry and math. Another one of my tutors is taking a double in philosophy and economics.

You might cluster majors close together, which has the added advantage of cross fertilization; the skills learned in one major often can be used in the other.

The other question I want to address is the sleeper: whether to take advantage of Advanced Placement classes. Most college freshmen do not have a good strategy in mind for evaluating the advantages or disadvantages of taking AP classes. Certainly, by taking advanced classes, it is possible to skip a year of college.

But this might not be the best decision for all students. Loading up on AP classes — in practice, becoming a sophomore in your freshman year — often leads to lower grades and a lower grade-point average that is impossible from which to recover.

I advise students that the freshman year is all about earning top grades. Not to be cynical about it (you do learn while you earn), but in the final analysis, you will need top grades in order to apply to medical or grad school.

The grades you earn in the first year, as a freshman or sophomore, are critical in establishing your overall GPA. If you have a bad semester or even dip to a B in a single class, it will have a negative effect on your GPA and, statistically, it is impossible to average it out in the second and third year.

Remember, if you take AP classes, you eventually will compete with second-year students, many of whom will have taken the introductory class that you skipped. And, in most cases, they will be better prepared for the second year.

In other words if you opt for AP, you forgo the chance to earn a relatively easier A.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Course guide could be problematic

Dear Mr. Bradshaw:--

I am a junior in high school and want to participate in an extracurricular activity that will benefit students as well as help me develop my leadership skills.

I came up with the idea of publishing a course evaluation guide created by students. I would like to see an evaluation at the end of each semester so that the information is available for students and teachers when it comes time to select classes.

Many students have had bad experiences picking classes and I feel their voice needs to be heard. Any suggestions?

Course guide could be problematic

Dear Student:

While an evaluation guide developed by students might prove valuable in selecting a class I find it hard to suggest a way that you could gather the information necessary to publish it. It would take cooperation from your school administration and teachers and the process would invite evaluators to critique classes and ultimately the teachers who teach them.

Because teacher evaluations have been the subject of debate for many years I am not sure that you want to get in the middle of what is a really sticky situation. I am familiar with the public school system and teacher contracts.

Administrators believe that teacher evaluations are in their purview and teachers believe that their contracts and tenure are sacrosanct. There is already a ton of controversy without students becoming involved in the evaluation process. Even if you decided to take your project off-campus it could be controversial.

This is not to say there is not a need for a student led course evaluation. The problem will be in coming up with an instrument that is useful to the student, fair to the teachers and meets the guidelines of the administration.

Students would tend to give high ratings to classes that are enjoyable and not particularity difficult. Classes that require a lot of homework and testing would get lower scores.

As a result, far from acting as a resource for teachers, the evaluation process you are proposing is more a guide for students, helping them to select the courses that are fun and manageable at the same time.

If you intend to go forward with your project you might think about working with a select group of teachers to develop an evaluation system. Perhaps you can help them develop a survey, which can be adapted specifically to the parameters of a particular class with questions chosen by the teacher.

If a teacher agrees to allow an evaluation of his or her class at least their input will have a role in the development of the survey.

To be successful, the evaluation should avoid adopting an overly professional and impersonal tone. The more informal the tone the greater the number of students respondents. Instead of asking whether a class has turned a student into a better citizen, the questionnaire should ask questions that speak directly to student feelings about the atmosphere in the classroom and the level of difficulty.

The best way to make the evaluation tool effective would be to make it mandatory for all students and teachers. By making it mandatory you will eliminate the bias that is inherent in any voluntary response system.

Students with particularly strong opinions about a class, as opposed to those students who are more or less satisfied with their experience, are inevitably more likely to respond and therefore skew the evaluations.

In the end, putting all of this together and getting students, teachers and administrators to sign-up for your idea will take a lot of creativity and perseverance. Be prepared for criticism and there could be backlash. But if you do succeed it could be a useful guide for all concerned, both in the process and the outcome.

Course guide could be problematic

Thursday, February 16, 2012

College Admissions Consulting Articles - One major can complement another


Bradshaw College Consulting

(219) 663-3041

Dear Mr. Bradshaw:--

I read your last column about the stress students are under when they apply to college. I have another other issue: the stress of choosing a major.

I have a general idea that I want to study business or history, but no firm convictions either way. I may even decide on law school, but I want to wait until I am in college before I choose a career.

How important is it to decide on a major early on? My parents are worried that I might make the mistake of choosing a major that is unmarketable.

— Undecided

Dear Undecided:

— What is a marketable degree? The answer is in the eye of the beholder.

To choose history does not mean you are locked out of a business career. To choose business does not mean you must be a business person.

Either major will open doors to a whole range of career options. Law and medicine are attainable with either degree, as are other careers such as financial planner, teacher or the military.

Consider Chief Justice John Roberts of the U.S. Supreme Court as an example. He was a history major at Harvard College and went on to Harvard Law School. Roberts was editor-in-chief of the Harvard Law Review, so, clearly, the writing skills he learned as a history major helped prepare him for law school.

Roberts graduated from La Lumiere School near LaPorte, a small Catholic boarding college-preparatory high school.

Conor S. Tochilin, the newly selected editor of the Harvard Law Review and a second-year law student, has a similar background. He graduated from Westminster School, a small Christian high school in Atlanta.

Tochilin started as a math and philosophy major, switched to history after reading Adam Smith and Karl Marx, and finally decided to major in economics and philosophy.

These two examples show that students can end up at the same place, but take different approaches to choosing a major. Roberts remained focused on history as an undergraduate; Tochilin needed to experiment with several fields before making a decision.

My professional suggestion is to deviate slightly from Roberts and pick a major that requires some math.

If that approach is not for you, I suggest taking at least a core of applied math classes, including statistics.

Math will sharpen your critical-thinking skills while giving you an edge on the competition if you decide to go to graduate or professional school.

Students excel on the GRE, LSAT and GMAT if they have a strong background in math.

College Admissions Consulting Articles - One major can complement another

Thursday, February 2, 2012

College Common Application Changes Coming

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bradshaw College Consulting
(219) 663-3041

Dear Mr. Bradshaw: --

My older sister just completed her college applications, and had a really stressful time. She applied using the Common Application for most colleges and was in tears over the deadlines and the number of college essays she had to write.

She would have given up if it wasn’t for our parents helping out and keeping track of everything. It was the most stressful time of her life. My question is, what will I have to look forward to when I apply in 2013?

College Common Application Changes Coming

Dear Student: --

Many students say the college application process is the most stressful time in their lives. If you apply to 10 colleges, several dozen essays must be written — almost all having word limits and even some with character and space limits.

Pay close attention to the prompts, and approach each essay with extreme care. Each section of the application receives a score, and your success or failure could hinge on making just one mistake fewer than the other candidates.

Most colleges use the Common Application, which streamlines the process by allowing the 456 member colleges to share basic information about you. Name and address, test scores, extracurricular activities and primary essays have only to be entered once and the Common Application is sent to all the colleges on your list.

Most colleges also require that you fill out a supplemental application to the CA in an effort to individualize the admissions process for their school.

The whole process is demanding and, for many students, confusing. The stress factor goes up because you must complete all of this during the first semester of your senior year. The good news is, in 2013, there will be a big change in the CA. Known by its preliminary name as Common App 4.0, the new application should take some of the stress out of applying.

Applicants long have struggled with the quirks of the current form. The new CA will be easier to complete. For example, the application now displays all the questions in a particular section on a student’s computer screen — as many as several dozen at a time. Only a fraction of these questions may be relevant to the student. The new 4.0 will change the display so only one question at a time (or, at most, a handful) will be visible, and the particular answers to each will determine what subsequent questions will be asked.

Tablets such as iPads may not be supported, at least initially. But, as with the current version, students will be able to check the status of their applications on a cell phone or iPad.

The proposed changes should help make your experience a bit easier than your sister’s.

College Common Application Changes Coming

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Interview can make or break college admission

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bradshaw College Consulting
(219) 663-3041

Dear Mr. Bradshaw:

Skype Interviews -- Big Hit
I have applied to several colleges; now, I am preparing for my interviews. Some schools are willing to conduct interviews over Skype; others say I still have the option to be interviewed on campus or by an alumnus.

A Skype interview is the most convenient, but I am concerned it might not be as effective as a live interview, and I am not sure how I would do on camera. If I go with Skype, should I prepare differently than for a live interview?

Dear Student:

Interview can make or break college admission

— The college interview typically is the last step in the application process. Most top colleges use the interview to help fill in the blanks, to “humanize the process” and to glean information not reflected in other parts of the application.

The undergraduate interview is not designed to trip you up or make you defensive. Interviewers are instructed to advocate for the student and not to act as antagonists.

It is important to do your best and develop a strategy on how to approach the interview. It will be given a numerical rating and scored just like other parts of your application, and it often is used as a tie-breaker. In a tight race, the interview can make or break a candidate’s chances for admission.

The keys to success are similar for Skype and live interviews, but with Skype, there is the additional need to look presentable and speak clearly on camera. There is a bit of Hollywood here; you want to engage the interviewer.

Let’s start with the setting. Most likely, the Skype interview will be conducted in your bedroom or another room in the house where you use your computer. Everyone in your home must take the interview seriously and stay out of sight — including pets.

Good lighting is essential. Turn on all the lights in the room and make sure that you don’t appear as a dark silhouette in front of the camera. Bring in extra lighting if necessary. You need a light on your face as well as behind you.

Check your speakers and ask the interviewer if he or she can hear you clearly. Lower the volume of your speakers to avoid audio feedback. Headphones and earplugs are permitted.

Be sure the room you are Skyping from is free of clutter — no posters of the Grateful Dead (my favorite) on the wall. This is business.

The more it looks like a den or office the better, so stay away from the kitchen with notes stuck on the refrigerator. Remove anything that will be on camera that will keep the interviewer from focusing on you.

The key to preparing is to understand that the interview will be about shared experiences and values. In an age of increasing diversity, this can be a sensitive issue. Keep in mind you want to become part of the interviewers’ experience — you need them more than they need you.

These rules are based on several years of interviewing on Skype and doing live interviews for Harvard.

Dress: Business attire; do not break this rule. For young men and women alike, the time-honored colors are black, gray or navy blue.

Men: The No. 1 rule for hair is clean. The “dirty hair” look may be fashionable, but not for an interview. Get a regular haircut and avoid the spiked peak. Facial hair is discouraged, but if you insist, keep it short and neat. This may seem obvious, but leave your chains and earrings at home.

Women: Hair must be off your face and out of your eyes. Above all, do not fidget with your hair and do not show up looking as if you just stepped out of a shower. The goal of makeup is to look natural and professional. Avoid bright colors and too much eye makeup. Choose accessories that complement your outfit. Simple jewelry will do nicely.

One final check: You do not want to be remembered for how you dressed, but for what you said.

College Admissions Consulting Articles - Interview can make or break college admission