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How Colleges Identify Character in Admission Candidates

It is easy to understand the allure of simplicity in college admission. Using strictly objective factors such as SAT or ACT scores and GPA (even though it could be argued that GPA is far from objective or standardized) a simple computer algorithm can easily select candidates to make the cut for the next incoming college class. Yet, it is widely believed that such objective factors only begin to tell the true story of a candidate, let alone their likelihood of beneficial campus integration and an all-around successful college experience....Read More

Will You Get into Harvard? 

In summer of 2022, we will introduce the Avalon College Admission Success Calculator which promises to be the most effective and accurate tool ever created to predict your likelihood of success at the top 100 colleges in America....Read More

Five Ways to Get into Your Top Choice Colleges

Everyone wants to get into a top-choice college but simply wishing for it won’t make it happen. Everything about college admission is strategic, and each individual strategy combines into a comprehensive plan of action that begins as early as ninth grade. However, it is never too late to begin. Whether you are in 9th grade, 10th grade, or 11th grade, there are several things that will increase your chances of getting into one or more of your top choice colleges. Here are the top five. ...Read More

Do Colleges Ask You to Declare a Major at The Time You Apply?

When you start filling out college applications, you will be asked what you intend to study. The question can take many forms, some more daunting than others. How you should answer is neither simple nor universal. It is a bit like peeling back the layers of an onion. The more you do, the more you discover what lies under the surface. In general, it helps to be honest with yourself and with each of the colleges you are applying to. ...Read More

Avalon Insights – Cornell University

Cornell Campus  Cornell is the largest of the Ivy League colleges, both in campus size, which is 745 acres, and undergraduate population, which is 15,000. For comparison, Colombia’s is the smallest Ivy League campus at merely ......Read More

Avalon Insights - Columbia College in the City of New York

Columbia College Campus  There are many colleges in the US named Columbia. The most famous of these is in New York City and to avoid confusion is often referred to as “Columbia College in the City of New York.” You ......Read More

Avalon Insights - Williams College

Williams Campus Of course, Williams has the reputation of being a small New England liberal arts college. Indeed, it lives up to that recommendation. However, students on campus do not feel hindered by the environment. In fact, they say there ......Read More

Avalon Insights - The Claremont McKenna Consortium

The Claremont McKenna Consortium The CMC Consortium, as it is known, is made up of five undergraduate colleges and two graduate colleges that, in effect, all share a single campus in Claremont, California. All seven colleges are located in a 1 square mile area. ......Read More

Avalon Insights - Pomona College

Pomona Campus The Pomona campus is shared with four colleges that together make up the Claremont McKenna College (CMC) consortium. You will have the unique opportunity of taking classes at four other excellent colleges without leaving ......Read More

Are Private Colleges Better than Public Colleges?

Many public colleges offer world class programs while also offering significant savings to families. Do NOT exclude them from your list simply because they are public colleges. They do have commonalities, such as size and setting, that should be considered. Just like people, each college should be considered on its own merits, not only generally, but also according to the quality of specific program or major you are thinking of studying. With careful scrutiny, one can identify several state colleges that are every bit as good as, or better than, most private colleges. In doing so, families can save a significant amount of money especially if the college you are considering happens to be located in your home state....Read More

Avalon Insights: Harvard College

Harvard Campus To say that the Harvard campus is iconic is a dramatic understatement. Even the Harvard name conjures up familiar images of traditional brick buildings, and stressed-out students walking through Harvard Yard and touching the bronze toe of John Harvard for good luck. ......Read More

Avalon Insights: Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon Campus CMU is a mid-sized city campus recently enhanced by new buildings including the Tepper Quad and the TCS Hall. The Tepper Quad is interesting because it is the home to the CMU business program and literally and ......Read More

15 Tips to Make Your College Application Shine

When considering your high school accomplishments, big or small, accomplished over time or in a moment, you must also consider how they will play to your audience: college admissions officials. Furthermore, you must consider how they collectively contribute to an overall narrative that is appealing to that ......Read More

College Interview Tip: Keep your Answers Short and Focused

While most students think that the college interview is intended to provide information about you to the college, in actuality, the interview is more evaluative than substantive. In other words, colleges are not trying to learn more about your activities and accomplishments; they are trying to evaluate ......Read More

How to Combat the Skyrocketing Costs of College

With so many ways to cut down the cost of college, including through various types of scholarships and financial aid offers, only those few super wealthy families whose students are admitted into highly ranked “dream schools” need to pay full price. Even for families who do fall ......Read More

How to Create your College List

It is time again for rising 11th graders to start thinking about their college list, and for rising 12th graders to solidify theirs.  So, where does an intrepid 11th grader begin, and a slightly behind schedule 12th grader turn for help? The truth is that most students begin ......Read More

Getting into Harvard or MIT is about Selling Yourself

Over my 40 years of training students to prepare for college admission, I have come to understand that there is magic inside of every student just waiting to be unleashed. Somewhere along their 12-year academic journey, students who are fortunate enough to encounter a gifted teacher or ......Read More

How Valuable are Internships to College Admission?

In college admissions, buzz words rarely survive the time it takes to utter them. In the swiftly moving cat-and-mouse game between admissions officers and counselors, as well as the multitude of organizations that prey upon students caught in the middle, the rules are continually changing. “Legacy” has ......Read More

The Key to Ivy League Admission

In 2022, Harvard received over 60,000 applications for less than 2000 seats. Of those 2000, approximately 700 are reserved for students with special talent in fields such as music, sports, acting, writing, as well as for those with striking accomplishments such as Olympic gold medals, best-selling books, ......Read More

If You Want to Get into a Top College, Keep Your Eyes Far Down the Road

A collection of 100 decisions you make will determine where you get into college. But unless these decisions collectively produce a magnificent picture of you as a compelling college admission candidate, they may fall short of the potential impact they could otherwise have.  Advice when making choices: Keep your eyes fixed upon the future. ...Read More

11 Tips for Your College Campus Visit

Summertime is a great time to visit college campuses, sit in on summer classes, speak to students, check out dorms and dining halls, and meet with an admissions officer. However, like everything else in life, the careful planning of the college visits is imperative and crucial. Think ......Read More

Five Ways to Get into Your Top Choice Colleges

Everyone wants to get into a top-choice college but simply wishing for it won’t make it happen. Everything about college admission is strategic, and each individual strategy combines into a comprehensive plan of action that begins as early as ninth grade. However, it is never too late ......Read More

Should I be applying to college using the early decision admission plan? 

There are advantages and disadvantages to applying to college using the early decision (ED) option. The two big advantages are that you can increase your odds of admission and you get the decision as many as three months earlier than regular admission. Knowing in December where you ......Read More

More Frequently Asked Questions About Grades 9-10

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Building the Honors Section of Your College Application

Every day, students must make decisions that range from the mundane to the sublime, from which socks or stockings to wear to which summer activities to choose. Many high school students, particularly those who are focused on boosting the impact of their college applications, choose activities that ......Read More

Is Harvard’s Restrictive Early Action Admission Program Binding? No!

In this article, college admission expert Neil Chyten explains the differences between Early Decision, Early Action, and Restrictive Early Action programs, and the advantages and disadvantages associated with each.  It seems counterintuitive that any early admission program offered by Harvard would not be binding. ......Read More

Do All Ivy League Colleges Give Credit for AP exams? No, They Don’t!

It is a fact that five out of the eight Ivy League colleges give college credit for AP exams in which students have scored at least a 4, or in some cases, the score must be a 5. While the AP credit policies vary from school to ......Read More

The Truth About How Much Time You Will Spend With Your College Admissions Counselor

There are lots of things that you can do in 45 minutes but providing students with all the advice and information they need to successfully apply to college is not one of them. Yet 45 minutes is the amount of time, on average, that college counselors spend ......Read More

The Pros and Cons of Taking the ACT Writing Test?

Is it a good strategy to opt into the ACT Writing Test? While the answer to this question can be somewhat complicated, the simple answer is, “Yes, but only if you are an excellent writer and you are familiar with the format of the test.” ...Read More

11 Questions to Ask College Admissions Counselors

11 Questions to Ask College Admissions Counselors How many students do you work with each year?Where do most of your students matriculate?How many years of experience do you have?How much essay writing assistance do you provide?Do you help ......Read More

What Are the Components of a Successful College Application? Part Five: How Valuable are Internships to College Applications?

The importance of an internship as a standalone activity has been severely diminished. Internships that serve no purpose other than to take a position on a college application will not positively impact a student’s candidacy. In fact, they could have the opposite effect of red flagging an ......Read More

What Are the Components of a Successful College Application? Part Four: Boosting Your Academic Honors Section

On the Common Application under the Education tab is a subsection entitled “Honors.” It begins with the following question: Do you wish to report any honors related to your academic achievements beginning with the ninth grade or international equivalent?” What counts ......Read More

Obtaining Strong Recommendations

Whenever students and parents discuss the common application and other college applications, all they seem to talk about is the personal narrative and college-specific essays. While these essays are critically important parts of a student’s application, the truth is that there is a lot more to an ......Read More

The Activities Section of College Applications

A preponderance of strong and highly advantageous activities begun early in high school will dramatically improve a student’s chance of receiving offers of admissions from elite colleges. The issue is not whether the right set of activities will improve ......Read More

What Are the Components of a Successful College Application? Part One: The Essays

Whenever students and parents discuss the common application and other college applications, all they seem to talk about is the personal narrative and college-specific essays. While these essays are critically important parts of a student’s application, the truth is that there is a lot more to ......Read More

Get the Most from Your Tutor

If you are like millions of other families across America and across the world, you hire tutors to help your child with a difficult subject, to write a paper, or to pass a test. Indeed, tutoring in America is a $15 billion industry. Most tutoring is done ......Read More

Building the Honors Section of Your College Application

Every day, students must make decisions that range from the mundane to the sublime, from which socks or stockings to wear to which summer activities to choose. Many high school students, particularly those who are focused on boosting the impact of their college applications, choose activities that ......Read More

Does Your Child Qualify For The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth?

How proud of your child would you be if she qualified for the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY) program? How proud would she be of herself if she were part of this highly-regarded program? How impressed would colleges and/or private schools be, knowing that she ......Read More

Colleges That Require The Essay Portion of ACT or SAT for Admission

Founded in 2017 by industry icon Neil Chyten, NC Global Education is one of the most revolutionary tutoring and test prep companies in the nation. Mr. Chyten has been a tutor and college and private school admission onsultant for 35 years. He has written or co-written 12 ......Read More

The Character Skills Snapshot for Private School Admission

Last year (2017) a new test was introduced by the Enrollment Management Association (EMA), the producer of the SSAT. The test is called The Character Skills Snapshot and was designed to provide additional information about students applying to independent secondary schools. This new tool is a 20-30 ......Read More

The Ivy League: Eight Colleges. Eight Distinct Experiences.

At Avalon Admission, we specialize in making strong cases for Ivy League acceptance by presenting students as individuals likely to make a positive difference in the world. We expertly weave together seemingly disparate elements of a student’s academic accomplishments and life experiences into a cohesive narrative that ......Read More

Ivy League Acceptance

Ivy Day—the day when Ivy League admissions decisions are handed out, is right around the corner at the end of March. As you know, applying to Ivy League schools can produce three different outcomes: acceptance, rejection, or waitlist. None of these three outcomes is based on absolute ......Read More