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C2 gives personalized attention to help students achieve their academic goals through a wide variety of enrichment services. Our tutoring services range from K to 12. We’ve helped a variety of students succeed with reading, writing, math, science & other subjects, as well as test prep including TJ, SAT, plus study skills and college planning. C2 Education’s thorough assessment, personalized curriculum, elite, caring and dedicated teachers, and flexible, affordable programs have helped C2 Education become the fastest growing and highest achieving learning centers in the nation. Contact us today for a free consultation!
Strong AP Scores Build Impressive Student Profiles! 🤓
Contact the Professionals Today!:
Call: (703) 642-8880
Text: (703) 546-9365
Email: [email protected]
Need Professional Academic Support? Register today!
Applying to College Early: Is It Worth It?
Many students will start applying to college early through a variety of early application programs. But before you submit that early application, be sure to consider all of your options.
Early Action vs. Early Decision: What’s the Difference?
The biggest difference between early action and early decision programs is your obligation: With early action programs, you are under no obligation to attend the school that admits you, but with early decision programs, if you are admitted, you MUST attend that school.
Early action programs allow you to:
Apply early to more than one college
Receive admission decisions sooner, usually by January or February
Apply to other colleges under regular admission programs
Weigh options and wait until May 1 to make a final decision
By contrast, early decision programs require you to:
Agree to attend that college if accepted
Apply to only one college through early decision
Send a nonrefundable deposit much sooner than May 1
Withdraw all other college applications if accepted
There is a third hybridized early admission program known as single-choice early action or restrictive early action. This type of program limits you to just one early application, but is not binding in the way that early decision programs are. Though this particular program is not as common as early action or early decision, several highly competitive schools use restrictive early action, including Harvard University. Under a restrictive early action program, you may:
Not apply through other early admission programs
Apply to other schools through regular admission programs
Weigh options and wait until May to make a final decision
The Pros and Cons of Applying Early
Early admission programs are popular for good reason. They allow you to:
Make college decisions sooner, eliminating a lot of the senior-year stress later in the year
Spread out the application workload by dividing the work between early and regular deadlines
In the case of early action programs, have more time to weigh options before making decisions
Have time to reassess options and apply elsewhere if not accepted early
But all is not rosy with early admission programs because they can also:
Create a time crunch for regular applications if you wait until you get your early admission decisions before submitting regular applications
Reduce financial aid opportunities for early decision students since colleges know you won’t be able to weigh other options
Increase pressure to make decisions sooner rather than later
Worsen the symptoms of senioritis since students who already know where they will go to college may be tempted to relax standards in spring semester
Does Applying Early Boost Chances of Admission?
One of the biggest reasons that a lot of students choose to apply early is because they believe that doing so will boost their chances of admission. But does it work?
At some colleges, there is a significant difference in the admission rates between early application programs and regular applications programs. At other colleges, there is virtually no difference. And at a few colleges, admission rates may actually be higher through regular admission than through early application programs.
In other words, it’s worth doing your research to determine whether admission rates differ between early and regular admission programs at your potential colleges.
That said, there can be some benefit to applying early at particularly competitive colleges. At highly competitive schools, sometimes it is the smallest details that can make the difference between admission and rejection. By applying early, you send the message that you are incredibly interested in attending that school; this may make a very slight difference in admission decisions. Moreover, if you are deferred into the regular admission pool, your early interest may further emphasize your interest in the school, thereby slightly helping your chances of admission.
To Declare or Not to Declare?
How many seventeen- and eighteen-year-olds really know what they want to do for the rest of their lives? Not very many – which is why so many students worry about declaring a major on their college applications. However, it is important to remember that declaring a major is not necessarily a permanent decision. In fact, some studies show that as many as ¾ of college students will change their majors at least once before graduating.
There are certainly benefits to remaining undecided upon entering college. This allows students the opportunity to explore the available options once in school. Moreover, most schools do not require students to commit to a major until the end of sophomore year or beginning of junior year, which leaves plenty of time to test out various majors without making a solid commitment. This allows students ample opportunities to find the perfect courses of study for their individual needs.
However, there are also distinct benefits to declaring a major, particularly for students who are sure of their career goals. For one thing, a student who declares a major early on has a head start in terms of taking the classes required for that major. It can be helpful to have a clear plan for which courses will be taken in each semester, and declaring a major immediately can help students develop such a plan. In addition, having a head start also allows plenty of time to change majors if a student discovers that his or her interests lie elsewhere.
As for benefits in the application process, declaring a major tends to send a clear message to the school regarding a student’s passion, motivation, and commitment. A student who is certain of his or her path, who has already taken steps toward a specific career field, and who is ready and willing to commit to a specific course of study demonstrates strong motivation and clear goals. Because there are nearly always opportunities to change directions once in college, it may well be worth it to declare a major on the college application.
Choosing the Right Major
The first things to consider when choosing a major or a course of study are a student’s strengths and weaknesses. No matter how much she might long to become a pediatrician, a student with terrible performance in science classes probably shouldn’t pursue a degree in biology. Colleges look for students who they feel will succeed; thus, students who declare a major ought to make sure that the major is one in which they are likely to succeed.
Many students voice concern about potential competition among students choosing the same major, reasoning that colleges seeking diversity will only want a certain number of students in a particular field of study. They worry that choosing a popular major will harm their chances of admission. However, the popularity of various majors changes over time. For example, only a decade or two ago, Harvard’s most popular major was government while economics ranked a distant second. Today, the two majors have swapped positions, with economics becoming the most popular major and politics trailing behind. In addition, schools know that students will change during the four years spent in college, and so they do not take a declaration of a major on the application as something set in stone. Choosing a major will only result in increased competition if that major falls within the purview of a particularly selective school or college within the university. We discussed the difference between choosing a major and choosing a school last week.
While choosing a particular major generally will not harm a student’s chances for admission, it is possible for certain majors to lend a certain edge to an application. For example, in recent years many schools, including Harvard, have begun to encourage students to focus more on the humanities and the classics, fields which have seen a severe drop in interest in recent decades. In such cases, choosing to major in a somewhat more obscure field may offer a slight advantage as schools are often eager to garner support for such programs.
However, it must be noted that any choice of major absolutely must align with the rest of the application – a student should never choose a major solely to add a slight edge to his or her application. A student who claims to want to major in folklore and mythology, but who spent four years on math team, excelled primarily in math and science courses, and wrote an essay about the wonders of modern engineering, probably won’t have much success with his application. When students begin the process of selecting a major or a course of study, they should do plenty of research. Students should be aware of the required courses for their intended majors as well as potential career paths for their chosen field. With this information in mind, the student should then consider his strengths and his interests. Just as a student should choose a course of study that plays to his or her strengths, a student should also choose a major which interests him or her. A student who finds history to be boring will not perform well as a history major, because academic success depends, at least in part, on interest and passion for the subject material.
Choosing a major is a personal choice. It is absolutely vital that students consider both their academic strengths and their personal interests when selecting a major; everything else is secondary. This will ensure maximum success, both in the application process and in the years of schooling to come.
What Is a Good SAT Score?
One of the most common questions about the SAT is, “What is a good SAT score?” Well, the answer may not be the one you’re looking for. The truth is that a “good” SAT score depends on how you define “good.” After all, if your goal is to earn admission to Yale, a “good” score will be significantly higher than it would be if your goal is to earn admission to the University of Connecticut.
To determine what “good” score will be for you, you first need to decide on a handful of potential colleges where you’d like to apply. For each college, you should determine the median SAT scores. The median SAT scores tell us where the middle 50% of previously admitted students scored.
For example, at the University of Connecticut, the middle 50% of admitted students for the class of 2022 scored between 1210 and 1390.
The median SAT scores give us some idea of what a student needs to score in order to be competitive for admission at a certain college. So, for a student hoping to earn admission to UConn, we might say that a “good” score falls at the top end of that median range – a student scoring 1300 to 1390 will have a good chance for admission, assuming that his grades, extracurriculars, and essays also stack up. A “great” score would fall above the median range – a student scoring above 1390 would have a great chance for admission (again, assuming that grades and other factors are similarly impressive).
One excellent resource for determining the median SAT scores at a college is the College Board’s Big Future website. We’ve also compiled recent test score data for some top colleges here.
SAT Scores at Top Colleges
U.S. News Ranking School - Median SAT Scores
1 Princeton University - 1430-1570
2 Harvard University- 1460-1590
3 Columbia University - 1450-1580
3 Massachusetts Institute of Technology - 1490-1570
3 University of Chicago - 1480-1580
3 Yale University - 1420-1590
7 Stanford University - 1390-1540
8 Duke University - 1490-1570
8 University of Pennsylvania - 1420-1560
10 Johns Hopkins University - 1460-1580
10 Northwestern University - 1420-1560
12 California Institute of Technology - 1530-1590
12 Dartmouth College - 1430-1560
14 Brown University - 1410-1570
14 Vanderbilt University - 1400-1550
16 Cornell University - 1390-1550
16 Rice University - 1490-1580
18 University of Notre Dame - 1370-1520
19 University of California – Los Angeles - 1240-1490
19 Washington University in St. Louis - 1470-1570
High School Time Management – The Balancing Act!
High school time management. It may not be something you’ve put too much though in. Well, does this scenario sound familiar? You have about eight or nine hours between the last school bell and a (reasonable) bedtime. In those eight or nine hours, you have to squeeze in meetings and practices for multiple extracurricular activities. You also have several hours’ worth of homework and studying for that full load of AP courses. Don’t forget the couple of hours a week for SAT/ACT prep. What about a little bit of quality family time? Now you can squeeze in some semblance of a social life.
Getting into a top college means earning good grades in tough classes, getting top SAT or ACT scores, and remaining active in multiple extracurricular activities, all of which takes time that you might feel like you just don’t have. The key to success is balance. Read on for some time management tips to help you get through the high school balancing act.
Sometimes it feels like you have to do it all: six AP courses, a dozen extracurricular activities, three or four test prep sessions a week, every social event your friends host, and anything else that lands on your plate. But here’s a secret: it’s okay to say no.
When you’re juggling everything that goes into building an awesome college application, you have to prioritize. Maybe that means taking five AP classes instead of six because you know you can’t handle that much studying during basketball season. Maybe that means focusing on just two or three of your favorite extracurricular activities and dropping the others. Maybe that means doing your SAT prep on the weekends so that you can use weekdays for homework.
The key is to know which obligations are really important and which ones you can let go of. Colleges know that you aren’t superhuman and that there are only 24 hours in a day. You’ll do yourself (and your college aspirations) no good by burning out before you ever step foot on a college campus.
Things suddenly become much more manageable when you put them down on paper. Look ahead each week and create a schedule for yourself. Include everything from team practices and club meetings to study time and test prep. Don’t forget to pencil yourself in for some “me time” and social time – balance means giving yourself breaks, too.
A successful schedule is realistic and flexible. Give yourself more time than you think you’ll actually need for each item to avoid feeling rushed and overwhelmed during the week, and make sure your schedule is flexible so that you can go with the flow when things inevitably don’t go exactly as planned. The point of a schedule is to reduce stress, not to create more stress if you can’t follow your schedule to the letter!
Daily to do lists can help keep you on track, prioritize your obligations, and end the day with a sense of accomplishment. Each day, make a list of the things you need to do. Put your items in order of importance so that you take care of the most vital things first. Include some low-hanging fruit – easy tasks that you absolutely know you’ll get done. As you complete each task, take pride in checking it off the list. At the end of the day, transfer anything that didn’t get done to tomorrow’s to do list and enjoy a sense of accomplishment in looking over all the things you did get done.
There are dozens of apps to help you make and follow through on schedules and to do lists. Pick your favorite so that you can have your plans with you at all times. Be sure to add test dates and project deadlines and to set multiple reminders so that you leave yourself plenty of time to study or to finish projects.
Get enough sleep.
Sleep is too often the first thing to be sacrificed to an overly full schedule, but without enough sleep, everything else gets a lot harder. Schedule in your full eight hours of rest just as you schedule in everything else. Getting enough sleep helps you handle stress, remember information, and stay healthy – all of which helps you succeed during busy high school years.
Bonus tip: Think outside the box.
Let’s say you really want to take AP Psych as an elective to boost your college applications, but you know that you won’t have time for another AP class during the beginning of the school year when you’re running varsity cross country. Come November, you’ll have plenty of time, but by then you’re more than halfway through the semester. Looks like AP Psych will have to be one of the things you sacrifice, right?
Not necessarily. There are course options outside of high school that you can use to augment your transcript. C2 Education has partnered with K12 International Academy to offer AP Complete, a blended learning solution that combines the flexibility of K12’s top notch online courses and the support of C2’s personalized in-person tutoring. AP Complete allows students to take AP classes on their own schedule, so the student who won’t have time for an extra AP class until November could simply wait and start AP Psych after the cross country season is over.
With a little creativity, there’s almost always a solution to a full schedule. Visit your local C2 Education center today for help with the high school balancing act.
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