JRA Educational Consulting Blog

The Complete Guide to Applying to College

Last Updated by Judi Robinovitz on July 9, 2021

In our role as educational consultants, we receive most frequently questions about applying to college: When do I start? What do I do? When should I be finished? The list goes on. Our recent posts have focused on various aspects of the college application, including what’s needed and how long applications take to complete. We’ve put together a short, yet sweet, complete guide to applying to college. Today’s post will cover the following:

Topics: College Admission, College Application, College Counseling, College Planning, Going to College

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Topics: College Admission, College Application, College Counseling, College Planning, Going to College

6 Steps to Create A Final College List

Last Updated by Barbara Leventhal on July 5, 2021

Creating a college list is akin to chiseling away at a piece of stone to create a sculpture. You don’t have to do it all once; you can chip away at it little by little and eventually – optimally by August before your senior year – you’ll have a strong, workable list that will lead you to your best buffet of options when decision day arrives.

Topics: College Counseling, College Planning, Going to College, College Visits

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Topics: College Counseling, College Planning, Going to College, College Visits

How to Find Your Best-Fit Colleges

Last Updated by Barbara Leventhal on July 2, 2021

You open your laptop to create your college list, then your head begins to spin. Seems everybody’s got opinions about where you should go to college. Your mom was a Florida Gator and likes the idea of you staying in state. Uncle Joe is a proud Ohio State Buckeye and tells you there’s nothing like being in the stadium for a Big Ten showdown. Your guidance counselor is extolling the benefits of attending Oberlin, a small liberal arts college. Google searches are little help. The options are dizzying and you’re not sure where to begin.

Topics: College Admission, College Counseling, College Planning, College Choice, Going to College

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Topics: College Admission, College Counseling, College Planning, College Choice, Going to College

A Detailed Timeline of When to Start Applying to College

Last Updated by Judi Robinovitz on June 24, 2021

“When should I start applying to college?” is a question we hear frequently from our rising seniors at the beginning of summer. Should I apply now, before I go back to school? Should I wait until the fall? In today’s post, we’ll answer these questions – and more – about the college application timeline, and share some tips to help you stay on track in order to apply in a timely manner.

Topics: College Admission, College Counseling, College Planning

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Topics: College Admission, College Counseling, College Planning

How to Get Into Your Dream College: 7 Tips from the Top

Last Updated by Barbara Leventhal on June 13, 2021

Students and their families often ask us how to get into college. Whether it’s into a small private college or a large public university, the steps are the same—adhering to purposeful planning, and getting an early start. Below, we’ve provided our top seven tips to help make admission to your dream school a reality. Let’s get started.

Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission, College Planning, Educational Consulting

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Topics: College Application Essay, College Admission, College Planning, Educational Consulting

What Does Harvard Look For In Its Applicants

Last Updated by Judi Robinovitz on April 19, 2021

In the world of college admissions, the most selective colleges usually set the tone for everyone else. For example, when Harvard went test-optional, other colleges quickly followed suit. Brown University president Christina Paxon just announced that all students who have been vaccinated for Covid-19 will be welcomed back to campus this fall to attend classes and activities in person; many other colleges jumped on that bandwagon. Northeastern University (MA), Cornell University (NY), Fort Lewis College (CO), Nova Southeastern University (FL), Roger Williams University (RI), Rutgers University (NJ) and St. Edwards University (TX) are also requiring COVID-19 shots for students who wish to return to campus in the fall.

Topics: College Counseling, College Planning

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Topics: College Counseling, College Planning

How Do I Find My Best Fit College?

Last Updated by Joseph Corace on September 5, 2020

Ranking, selectivity, major, location! Is this college too big, too small? Can I even afford to go to college? Many students and their parents are overwhelmed by the number of decisions they face when choosing a college. Indeed, the process seems mystifying, and families wonder how they can wade through the data -- from national rankings to “best of” lists to college affordability tools. In today’s post, we’ll tackle some of these common questions to help you break free from the endless lists and get a better understanding of the selection process.

Topics: College Admission, College Counseling, College Planning

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Topics: College Admission, College Counseling, College Planning

News Flash! Colleges Are Releasing Their Supplementary Essay Prompts!

Last Updated by Joseph Corace on July 7, 2020

News Flash! Colleges are Releasing Their Supplementary Essay Prompts!

Here are a number of supplemental essay prompts that colleges have recently made public, along with our comments – shown in bold, red font – about some of them. As a general principle, we consider prompts presented as “Optional” to be optional only for students who have no real interest in attending the school! If you’re serious about applying to the school, then Optional = Mandatory. So, beginning in alphabetical order, here’s what we can relay to you. As you read through these essay prompts, you’ll see some common themes (Why do you want to attend our school?) and unique prompts, such as UChicago’s. In every case, your responses are important for the essay reader, because what you write reveals whether you’ve done your homework about the school, and how mature and thoughtful you are as an applicant for admission to a particular academic community.

Topics: College Application Essay, College Planning, Supplemental Essays

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Topics: College Application Essay, College Planning, Supplemental Essays

COVID-19 and College Enrollment: Uncertainty and Trepidation Revisited

Last Updated by Joseph Corace on June 4, 2020

On April 20th, we posted a blog titled “The Coronavirus and College Admissions: Uncertainty and Trepidation: Part I,” in which we discussed the serious economic and related consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic on college finances and admissions, and we followed that blog post with others on the same topic.

In this post, we’ll discuss the findings of McKinsey & Company, a broad-based provider of information to business and industry leaders, as presented in their May 21st mckinsey.com article titled COVID-19 and US higher education enrollment: Preparing leaders for fall. While the article was aimed at higher education administrators, much of its information is also highly relevant for students, parents, and high school educators and counselors.

Topics: College Admission, College Counseling, College Planning

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Topics: College Admission, College Counseling, College Planning

Fall 2020 College Applications: The Impact of COVID-19

Last Updated by Joseph Corace on May 15, 2020

In several recent blogs, we enumerated the effects of the Coronavirus on colleges and applicants. This blog will expand and summarize our findings.

Application deadline and decision dates: Despite the pandemic, most colleges are not changing their application deadline and decision dates for next year, at least at present, and the “at present” is an important proviso.

Topics: College Admission, College Application, College Counseling, College Planning

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Topics: College Admission, College Application, College Counseling, College Planning