College Counselor’s Corner: Getting Ready for February

What should a parent of a high school student expect in February? A continuation of what was going on in January! Hopefully, this post will keep you up-to-date with the college process and what we’re doing here at Hudson to support your student.

Hot College (Locations)
Which small-to-medium sized city, also a college town, tops the list of 100 Best Places to Live published by Taking top honors was . . . Ann Arbor, MI, home to University of Michigan. Also among the top ten are Charlottesville (5), home of UVA, and Madison, WI (7), the lakeside location of the University of Wisconsin’s flagship.

Ann Arbor tops the charts.

While seniors are pleased to have the Common App behind them, juniors will become very familiar with the essay portion well before it’s time to apply. Junior Seminar begins on March 2, and a full essay draft is required of each student in May. We’ve learned that the Common App essay prompts will remain unchanged for the next application cycle.

There’s always time to read a good essay, right? This week, the Wall Street Journal reported that “Some Elite Colleges Review an Application in 8 Minutes(or Less).” Citing prominent institutions such as Penn, Georgia Tech, Bucknell and Swarthmore, Melissa Korn explains that the move from an individual to a team-based approach cuts down time per application (no kidding), allowing colleges to get through record-breaking volumes of apps. Reports Korn: “Readers at Bucknell, which gets more than 10,000 applications, used to take 12 to 15 minutes to review each application. Now a team of two is done in six to eight minutes.”  Meanwhile, Georgia Tech, “in up to 12 teams of two, now plows through about 500 applications a day.”

A team of two reviews a Bucknell app in six to eight minutes.

Here’s how it works:

“The officer in charge of a particular region, referred to as the driver in the process, opens a file online and describes the applicant’s school to his or her partner, the passenger. The driver looks over an applicant’s academic transcript and test scores, while the passenger takes on counselor recommendations, essays and extracurricular activities. They make a decision after eight to 10 minutes: admit, deny, waitlist. In about 85% of the cases, the application isn’t reviewed again.”

We can’t change the process. We can’t reduce the volume. So what’s a parent to do? Be sure your student has options and that he receives the best advice possible about how to tackle his favorite colleges’ apps.

Last weekend, prospective Terrapins heard from Maryland admissions. Maryland, as reported in the Washington Post, likes to tell applicants that it makes decisions around 26 factors, which are listed on its website. But according to the Post, “The university says these factors are ‘flexibly applied,’ but the most important are course rigor, student performance, academic GPA and test scores. (U-Md. says it does not consider whether applicants have family who are alumni.)”

Maryland is a highly selective flagship, with a 48% overall admit rate. The most selective include UC-Berkeley, UNC Chapel Hill, Michigan and the beautiful UVA. Remember that the admit rates for these top public research universities are even lower for out-of-state students, so plan accordingly.

Maryland hypes 26 factors but may like some better than others.

February 9 is the last day to register for the March 10 SAT. Noodle Pros, our featured speaker last Tuesday, is offering a host a proctored group at Hudson or, if your student wants to head into Union Square on a weekend, a free proctored test at their offices. They’ll also offer a complimentary consultation with any Pro on their site.

Super Bowl LII
What a story about Brunonian James Develin, now a fullback on the New England Patriots. Sports Illustrated profiled the engineering major in “James Develin’s Outcast-to-Super Bowl Story.” Along his interesting path to the top, Develin was fortunate enough to meet some big names in football, secure an agent, and go with his gut. What a win for Develin and Brown football!

Develin: Brown engineer on the Pats

Seminar Series
Hoboken’s own Beau Kuhn is coming to Hudson on Tuesday, February 27, at 7:00 pm. To register, just submit the form at

The March 20 seminar, College Night for Hudson Families, is mandatory for juniors.

Summer Programs
Stevens has quite the array of topics, including cybersecurity, coding and app design, virtual reality and entrepreneurship. Check them out.

Girls Who Code is offering a free, seven-week Summer Immersion Program in Jersey City and is actively recruiting sophomores and juniors. Use this link for information.

The college process doesn’t end, no matter what groundhogs see! Email me to schedule a call or meeting.

Contact Me
Nina Berler
(201) 859-3665 ext. 119
2018-02-02T13:32:05+00:00 February 2nd, 2018|
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