Tips for Creating Your College Application List

Posted on November 4th, 2020 by acsrochester

Seven is a lucky number for many, and it’s also the perfect number of colleges to apply to. As you build your college application list, make sure you have the right mix of colleges: 2-3 “reach” schools, 3-4 “likelies”, and 2-3 “sure things” based on your academic profile and the colleges’ published middle-50% ranges. However, even if your academic profile falls into the colleges’ standardized test and grade point average ranges for admitted students, nothing is guaranteed! Here are a few more tips for creating your ideal college application list… 

 

Find Your Major

You do not need to decide right now what you will do for the rest of your life. However, it is good to include on your college application list schools that offer coursework, majors, minors, or concentrations in academic areas that pique your interest. It sometimes helps to think about your favorite classes and teachers in high school — let that help guide your college search as you narrow down options. If you are undecided, make sure you apply to colleges with a variety of academic options. Seek out colleges that are doing cutting-edge research that excites you. Look for faculty who remind you of your favorite teachers.

 

Picture Yourself

Your college application list should be your own. Ultimately, you will attend college for the next four years. While I recommend you consult with parents, friends, and advisors, this is your college application journey — own the process. You should only apply to colleges where you can picture yourself being happy and intellectually-fulfilled. If school spirit and game days are not your thing, skip those colleges known for diehard fans and top-notch athletics. If it’s not your dream to attend an Ivy-league school, let it be known. Just because a certain college worked for your cousin or parent, it doesn’t mean it’s your perfect match, too. 

 

Think Local

Consider the colleges you may know best! Having attended Duke University, which is only 30 minutes away from my hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina, I definitely appreciated my familiarness with the area and the proximity to my family… but I also made it clear to my parents that they could not just drop by whenever they felt like it! Don’t fall into the trap of overlooking some great local colleges. There are many benefits to attending college closer to home: you may enjoy preferential treatment in the admissions process by being a local applicant, not to mention some financial perks — think about the money you’ll save by not having to purchase plane tickets during school breaks! Even though you’re close to home, you can still have college experience that feels like you’re miles away.

 

Think Broadly

Don’t limit yourself based on geography. If you dream of attending college among the palm trees of California, you should absolutely include some west coast schools in your college application list. In fact, some majors are dependent on their location. For example, it’s hard (but not impossible) to study marine biology without proximity to the ocean. Make sure you do your research to find colleges that are attracting scholars and students equally excited about your interests, regardless of their location.

 

Reach for the Stars

You will regret not applying to your dream school. Even if your test scores and grades fall well outside published mid-50% ranges, you will always wonder “what could have been?” Just make sure you have a few more realistic options to balance out your big dreams. Also spend time getting the application and essays for your dream school just right, to make sure you’re giving yourself every advantage during the admissions process. 

 

Narrow Things Down

The more you narrow things down on the front end, the less angst you’ll have at the end of the process. Applying to more than 10 colleges is delaying the decision-making process. By narrowing things down on the front end, you’ll have an easier spring when you receive admission decisions and ultimately decide where to enroll. Plus, refining the college application list early means you won’t have to write application essays for school that you’re not seriously considering.

 

Interested in chatting with a former Associate Dean of Admission and Director of Selection?

With degrees from Duke, Miami, and Rice, as well as 15 years of selective college admissions experience, please consider Emily Nevinger a resource as you compile your college application list. Emily can set up virtual appointments to discuss what is important about your college search and offer strategic, personalized advice about your application process. 

Emily Nevinger

Emily Nevinger

Emily is Associate Director of Admissions and College Advising Consultant at Allendale Columbia School. After serving as the Interim College Advisor in Fall 2018, Emily took on a role to offer students and families outside AC with guidance in the college admissions process. Her role has since expanded to the Admissions team, where she helps prospective families learn more about AC's innovative education. Emily joined AC from Emory University where she directed the selection process for more than 20,000 freshmen candidates each year. She started working at the university level in 2003 and was a senior member of the admission committees for University of Miami, Emory University, and UNC Chapel Hill. Emily holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from Duke University, a Master of Higher Education Administration and Enrollment Management from the University of Miami, and a Certificate in College Access Counseling from Rice University.
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Posted in: AC College Consulting, College Advising News, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

AC Students Spend Time Face-to-Face with Colleges from Across the Nation

Posted on November 15th, 2019 by acsrochester
AC College Advising provides students with personalized visits from colleges across the nation

Cynara Nelson ’21 and Zoe Crego ’21 meet with Garrett Manning from the University at Albany.

Throughout the fall, more than 70 college admission representatives visited with prospective students at AC. Students in grades 11 and 12 met in small groups to learn about college opportunities, get questions answered about the application process, and educate the admission representatives about their AC experience. By meeting an admission counselor face-to-face, students feel more confident reaching out to the admissions office with questions down the road.

This year’s college visits to campus included:

Alfred University
Allegheny College
American University
Bard College
Boston College
Boston University
Bucknell University
Canisius College
Carleton College
Carnegie Mellon University
Case Western Reserve University
Champlain College
Clarkson University
Cleveland Institute of Art
Colgate University
Davidson College
Denison University
Dickinson College
Drexel University
Fairfield University
Furman University
Gettysburg College
Hamilton College
High Point University
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Ithaca College
Johns Hopkins University
Kenyon College
Keuka College
Le Moyne College
Marist College
Maryland Institute College of Art
Muhlenberg College
New York University
Niagara University
Northeastern University
Pennsylvania State University
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rochester Institute of Technology
Saint Joseph’s University
Salve Regina University
Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
Southeastern University
St. Bonaventure University
St. John Fisher College
St. John’s College
St. Lawrence University
Stonehill College
SUNY Albany
SUNY College at Brockport
SUNY College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill
SUNY New Paltz
Syracuse University
The College of Saint Rose
The New School
The University of Alabama
The University of Tampa
Trinity College
Trinity College Dublin
Union College
University at Buffalo The State University of New York
University of Chicago
University of Connecticut
University of Rochester
University of St Andrews
University of Vermont
Vanderbilt University
Vassar College
Wentworth Institute of Technology

Learn more about AC’s College Advising Program

DID YOU KNOW AC College Consulting serves non-AC students? Learn more 

 

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Posted in: College Advising News, The Birches, Upper School, US Birches

AC Class of 2019 Celebrates Decision Day

Posted on May 3rd, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

Allendale Columbia’s Class of 2019 celebrated the May 1st Decision Day by wearing apparel from their future schools. They plan to attend colleges in all corners of the United States, including the University of Southern California, the University of Texas at Austin, Middlebury College, Berklee College of Music and 15 different colleges and universities in New York state. (more…)

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Posted in: College Advising News, Highlights, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

Get Knowledge for College on March 19th

Posted on February 28th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

Allendale Columbia School’s Knowledge for College program, to be held on Tuesday, March 19th, 2019, in the Curtis Performance Center, 7-8 p.m., was created for families in grades 6-10 to provide an overview of the college search and application process and the College Advising program at AC. A panel of college admission counselors will be present to answer questions. AC families are welcome to bring friends from other school communities to this event.  Click here to RSVP.

 

Kristin Cocquyt

Kristin Cocquyt

Unlike most of our peer schools, we have a dedicated full-time college counselor. Kristin Cocquyt's primary focus is to support, guide, and advise AC students on their college search and application process. She has been in the field of education for 13 years and has visited over 160 colleges, giving her a solid basis for recommending colleges that are great matches for our students. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Policy from Hamilton College and is a member of both the New York State Association for College Admission Counseling and the National Association for College Admission Counseling.
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Posted in: College Advising News, MS Birches, The Birches, US Birches

Visit Rochester National College Fair on March 17th

Posted on February 28th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

Students and parents in grades 9-11 are welcome to attend the Rochester National College Fair on Sunday, March 17th, 2019, 1-3 p.m., at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center. Gather information and interact with admission counselors from over 200 colleges and universities. Click here for registration and list of participating colleges. To avoid long entry lines, students are strongly advised to register in advance!

 

Kristin Cocquyt

Kristin Cocquyt

Unlike most of our peer schools, we have a dedicated full-time college counselor. Kristin Cocquyt's primary focus is to support, guide, and advise AC students on their college search and application process. She has been in the field of education for 13 years and has visited over 160 colleges, giving her a solid basis for recommending colleges that are great matches for our students. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Policy from Hamilton College and is a member of both the New York State Association for College Admission Counseling and the National Association for College Admission Counseling.
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Posted in: College Advising News, Eleventh Grade, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches

Coffee Klatch for Parents of Juniors

Posted on January 30th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

Parents of 11th-grade students are invited to AC for an informal coffee klatch with College Advisor Kristin Cocquyt to answer questions and share in the excitement with fellow parents as you plan for your student’s college search and application process. In Mrs. Cocquyt’s experience, this is an especially timely opportunity for parents who are navigating the college search with a child for the first time.

The following Junior Parent Coffees will be offered for the Class of 2020:

  • Thursday, January 31st, 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the Founders’ Lounge

  • Thursday, February 7th, 9-10 a.m. in the Dining Commons

RSVP here: https://goo.gl/forms/Lkkv7aD6PCKcoq912

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Now in College, AC Grads Sound More Like Their Parents and Teachers

Posted on January 10th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

By John Palomaki

Get to bed earlier.
Don’t wait to the last minute to start your homework.
Get out of your room and make friends.
Do your laundry.
Talk to your teachers.
Manage your time.
Find your passion.
School work comes first.
Surround yourself with good people.
Turn your homework in on time.
Make sure you get enough sleep.
Just do the work.
Think about who you are.

Admonitions from parents or teachers? Not this time. These are some of the many tips Allendale Columbia graduates gave Upper School students based on their college experiences. (more…)

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Posted in: Alumni News, College Advising News, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

Fall 2018 College Fairs

Posted on September 7th, 2018 by cnickels

College Fairs are an excellent opportunity for students and parents to engage in the college search process through conversations with college admission counselors. Students are advised to take advantage of advanced registration, when available, and families are encouraged to check out the attendee list before attending a college fair so that you can make a plan for the event.

Happy searching!

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Posted in: College Advising News, Eleventh Grade, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School