College 101 Article Archive

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Schools that Require, Recommend, or Utilize SAT Subject Tests

All data provided on this list are current for the 2016-2017 school year. Special circumstances and unusual conditions are indicated wherever known, so please read this list carefully. In all cases, however, be certain to double-check with the school(s) to…

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How America Pays for College

By Sam Rosensohn Students Are Going About it Differently College students – like the rest of the world – are changing the way they go about making ends meet. So, if your high school student thinks that it’s his/her job…

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More on College Admissions Mania

Where You Go is Not Who You Will Be is a good book for parents to take a look at this summer as their high schoolers firm up their college lists. Frank Bruni, a New York Times columnist, helps young…

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ACT Essay Needs More than a Score Change

By Sam Rosensohn ACT Jettisons 1-36 Score Range to Clarify the Puzzling Essay In a bid to make the confounding ACT essay less confusing to students, ACT will swap the 1-36 score range to a 2-12 score range starting in…

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Zac Gets the Call – He’s Going to Wesleyan

By Sam Rosensohn So there we are flying on the Massachusetts Turnpike and there’s the state trooper. He’s out of his car, one knee on the pavement in the breakdown lane to steady his aim, and I’m looking right into…

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What Not To Do On Your College Applications

By Sam Rosensohn Since students are really good at making unnecessary mistakes on their college applications, we’re going to review some of the more prevalent errors that can louse up an application. For starters – don’t skip the directions. Just…

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What Every High School Student Needs to Know About College Recommendations

By Sam Rosensohn Keep in mind that the teacher recommendations that accompany a student’s college applications can make or break a candidacy – that’s because 80 percent of the students who apply to any given school have the grades and…

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What a Student Does at College Counts for More than Where a Student Attends College

By Sam Rosensohn To every high school senior who didn’t get into his or her top pick: I know how much it hurts. I also know that in the long run it’s not about the specific college you’re about to…

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True or False: Straight A’s Are Going Out of Style in College

By Sam Rosensohn News from the college mountain tops to all high school students: A growing number of prestigious colleges want students to focus less on grades, while other famed institutions want to crack down on grade inflation. Princeton University…

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Top Colleges Fight to Win the Hearts of Girls Who Love Math and Science

By Sam Rosensohn If the mean math SAT score for students admitted to John Hopkins University’s engineering program was 746, why did they accept a girl who scored 530 on the math? “I think there is an unwritten push for…

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To Win College Scholarships Start Local and Then Go National

By Sam Rosensohn While everyone knows college scholarships are a painless way to defray the spiraling cost of college, too few students acknowledge that the S in scholarship stands for search – scholarships don’t come knocking, they must be discovered.…

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To Each and Everyone of You that is About to Start Your Freshman Year at College

By Sam Rosensohn Incoming freshmen at Princeton University are advised that the age old adage “well begun is half done” works wonders for college careers. So I thought I’d pass along a loose assortment of useful insights written, rewritten, unwritten,…

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ThickEnvelope.Com Creates Perfect Storm Over College Admissions

By Sam Rosensohn ThickEnvelope.com, a brand-new Web site that produces probabilities for admission into 80 of the nation’s most prestigious universities, has created a perfect storm. On the one hand, there are expert high school guidance counselors make the case…

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The Top Ten Mistakes that College Freshmen Make and How to Avoid Them

By Sam Rosensohn As captain of Valley Regional High School’s basketball team, Jeff Marois understood how good teams came undone, and underdogs manufactured victory. As a freshman last fall at Eastern Connecticut State University, the rookie student thought that because…

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It’s Time to Start Visiting Colleges: Plan that Road Trip

By Sam Rosensohn It’s an ideal time for juniors to start thinking about visiting some colleges; final exams are just over, and the days – believe it or not – are growing longer. A smart college visit is a must,…

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The Solution to Finding the Right Roommate May Be Under That Pile of Clothes in Your Bedroom

By Sam Rosensohn Now that you have found the right college, it’s time to focus on finding the right roommate. The wrong roommate will be a dent in your 24/7 to say the least – so let’s review a few…

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The Professors Guide to Starting College – Works for High School Too

By Sam Rosensohn Recognizing that moms and dads are quick to give their children advice from the heart when they start college, The Chronicle of Higher Education sought answers from parents who double as professors and college administrators. William E.…

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The College Essay: ‘Impossible’ Until Students Are Confident About What to Write

By Sam Rosensohn Students should write a college essay that only they can write. To do this they must write in their own voice about what they treasure most. This will separate their essay from the others. A strong college…

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The Advantages to Being the First to Take the New SAT

By Sam Rosensohn The old troublesome SAT, about to take its final shot at high school students this month, will be replaced by the New SAT in March, a test that in some ways is more like the ACT than…

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Summertime is the Perfect Time for High School Students to Restart Their Lives

By Sam Rosensohn Summer is one of the best high school teachers a kid will ever have. Summer offers the opportunity for students to step back, think about what’s most important to them, and then to pursue that interest. Summer…

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Students Get to Know Your Guidance Counselors – Colleges Prize What They Have to Say About You!

By Sam Rosensohn Douglas White, a guidance counselor at Branford High School, wasn’t surprised that he had to twist both his sons’ arms to get them to visit their guidance counselors at Wesbrook High School. “I told them go in…

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Stairway to Select Schools and Good Paying Jobs at a Fraction of the Cost – Community College

By Sam Rosensohn Heather Carlson graduated from Hale-Ray High School in East Haddam and could have started her freshmen year at Central Connecticut State University, but chose instead to go to Middlesex Community College. Two years and a grand total…

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Sixty Percent of All College Freshmen Do Not Graduate in Four Years

By Sam Rosensohn Every fall approximately one million high school graduates begin their undergraduate careers at four-year colleges and universities in anticipation of earning a bachelor’s degree. Fewer than four in 10 students graduate in four years, while just about…

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PSAT Scores – A Roadmap to Scoring Big on the New SAT in March

By Sam Rosensohn The PSAT (Preliminary SAT) scores are in and first reports indicate test scores were lower than many students had anticipated. Is it because this latest PSAT reflects the New SAT questions, people have asked? While there’s no…

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PSAT + Score Report Plus + Immediate Attention = Higher SAT Scores

By Sam Rosensohn Students who took the PSAT (Preliminary SAT) in October just received or are about to receive their scores on a valuable and often overlooked map that will help them to dramatically improve their scores – the map…

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Parents Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Incompetent College Freshmen

By Sam Rosensohn If your college-bound child has been consistently on the Honor Roll, while doing the minimum and devoting the majority of his time to fun and vegging, be aware. It takes a work ethic, skill-sets, and good judgment…

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One Application Works for 255 Colleges: How to Avoid the Most Common Mistakes on the Common Application

By Sam Rosensohn Once students decide on the colleges they’re going to apply to, they should pray that all of their picks accept the Common Application. For more than 25 years the Common Application has been an enormous time-saver for…

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The New SAT Is a Test of Endurance – Train for it Like You Would Train for a Marathon

By Sam Rosensohn It takes approximately four times longer than the average root canal, and many students would opt for the root canal. Make no mistake the New SAT given for the first time on a snowy March 12 here…

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My son, Zac, and the PSATs – ‘I have a Game Today, this Isn’t Helping Me’

By Sam Rosensohn I turned the light on in my son’s bedroom. It was 5:55 a.m., PSAT Saturday. He pulled the down comforter over his head. I sat down on the edge of his bed and nudged his shoulder. Zac…

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Meddling Parents Ruin Their Own Health – Back Off and Life Gets Better

By Sam Rosensohn Ricky Taylor, a superior student and soccer player at Valley Regional High School, called the other day to ask if he should take the SAT test again. Ricky had just got his test scores. He had what…

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Make This a MacArthur Summer – The Reward Is All Yours

By Sam Rosensohn Robert C. Allen, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was talking to a university alumnus and successful venture capitalist, in hopes of persuading him to fund a portion of the honors program…

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Joy Disappears Only to Return After Admissions Meets this Mother and Daughter

By Sam Rosensohn Financial panic started to invade. It was beginning to look like this high school senior might work at a pharmacy instead of going to college, and her mom was ready to take a carving knife to the…

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It’s Time for Freshmen, Sophomores and Juniors to Get Started on Their College Letters of Recommendation

By Sam Rosensohn Freshmen, sophomores and juniors did you get a look at the seniors scrambling around to pull their college applications together? If you don’t want to do that mad, frustrating dance then start on the college application process…

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If You Haven’t Started the College Conversation – You Might Have Done Yourself a Favor

By Sam Rosensohn Have you ever entered a conversation where assured and cheerful parents are sharing what they’ve done over the last four years to position their kids to get into just the right colleges, and you’ve barely started the…

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If Colleges Don’t Advertise Their Troubles, How Do You Spot Them?

By Sam Rosensohn The college marketing blitz aimed at undecided teenagers wondering where to spend four years of college tuition is big business, and colleges are not about to advertise their flaws. And when prospective students arrive on campus the…

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How to Write a Winning College Essay That Admissions Will Admire

By Sam Rosensohn Most seniors will tell you the hardest part of the college application is the essay. And I think they’re right, since most of them start to write the essay weeks before the application is due, and without…

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How to Win College Scholarships and Avoid Scholarship Rip-Offs

By Sam Rosensohn This is the time of year when high school seniors are likely to be approached by unscrupulous companies guaranteeing scholarships, grants, or financial aid packages that promise tens of thousands of dollars. It’s legitimate for a company…

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How to Visit College Without Leaving Town – Get an Electronic Copy of The Students’ Intelligence Report

By Sam Rosensohn TIME. I bet if you had four more free hours daily, you still couldn’t get to everything on the to-do list let alone find time to make the vital college visits. So I offer two timesaving suggestions…

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How to Score Big on the Writing Portion of the New SAT

By Sam Rosensohn I rushed to Boston in a downpour before dawn to spend the day with a man from the College Board, who’s working to launch the writing section on the new SAT. Starting next March, for the first…

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How to Find Local Scholarship Money: Talk to Your Guidance Counselor

By Sam Rosensohn Scholarship money… Say it loud and there’s music playing Say it soft and it’s almost like praying Scholarship money… It’s time to get your kids on the hunt for local scholarships. We’re talking free money this week,…

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How to Figure How Much College Financial Aid Awaits You – Despite a Congressional Snafu

By Sam Rosensohn It took crazy college tuition bills to drive Deep Throat out of the weeds. Mark Felt’s grandson couldn’t pay for college so the man who helped to change the course of American history struck a deal with…

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How to Complete Eight College Applications and Still Enjoy the Holidays with Friends & Family

By Sam Rosensohn This column is for all the high school seniors who have yet to complete their college applications – we’re going to set up a highly efficient 10-step assembly line. 1# Find a large table in the house…

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How They Got into Harvard and Eight Key Strategies for Getting into the College of Your Choice

By Sam Rosensohn Leave it to the stellar staff of my favorite college newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, to put together a book that offers high school students eight key strategies for getting into the college of their choice. “We have…

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How Do You Spell Cash Relief for College Tuition? Big SAT Sores

By Sam Rosensohn The dreaded SATs take on entirely different look when students realize that they are an opportunity to win meritorious scholarships – and not just for the top scorers. “More and more merit-based scholarships are being offered to…

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Home Cooked Plan to Spot College Boozing and Improve College Learning

By Sam Rosensohn The meeting of university and college presidents captured headlines primarily because of Walter Harrison, president of the University of Hartford, who told a riveting story about his guzzling days as a student at Trinity College. The year…

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Americans Say High Schools Aren’t Challenging Our Students

By Sam Rosensohn Survey Reveals Americans Believe High Schools Need to Be Overhauled Not that you needed a national survey to tell you this one – nine out of ten parents do not believe that American high school students are…

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High School Seniors Have Made Their Final Decisions – Here’s Where They’re Going to College!

By Sam Rosensohn The thick envelopes are in and area high school seniors have made their final decisions on where they’re going to college next fall. What follows is a list of 10 area high schools and what their seniors…

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For Those Who Love to Play and Don’t Want to Work at Anything Else

By Sam Rosensohn Do you happen to know a student who would prefer to play an electronic game than crack a physics, history or math book? You say you know a couple dozen. Well then, I’d like you to introduce…

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Five Proven Ways to Get into a College of Your Choice

By Sam Rosensohn The University of Vermont has created a Christmas gift for college bound students everywhere entitled, Five Proven Ways To Get Into A College Of Your Choice. So I thought I’d pass on what the brochure trumpeted and…

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Gap Year Can Be the Best Year Yet

For years now, more and more schools have been advising the students they’ve accepted to consider taking a year off and starting a year later. The Gap Year like any year can be highly worthwhile or just another year. If…

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Early Decision College Applications Glitter Like Gold

By Sam Rosensohn Applying to college Early Decision is like adding 100 points to your SAT scores, wrote Christopher Avery, the Harvard professor and co-author of The Early Admissions Game: Joining the Elite. “We’ve seen quite a bit of research…

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Acceptance without Strings: Early Action College Applications

By Sam Rosensohn How to apply? When to apply? Early Decision? Early Action? Regular Admission? What to do!!!  Students nationwide have answered: Early Action applications are on the rise nationally and Early Decision applications are on the decline. Early Action…

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Face it: You’re Richer than You Thought

By Sam Rosensohn If you were to look at me closely you’d see sand around my collar, on my tie, and in the hair that’s left on my head. I don’t know about you, but I’ve not wanted to face…

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College Tuition Goes Up; Learning Goes Down – What to Do About It!

By Sam Rosensohn Despite an abundance of laptops on wireless campuses and many more courses in college catalogs, it is not clear that undergraduates today are learning more or becoming more proficient in writing, speaking, and critical thinking than their…

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College Promotions Step Up as Application Deadlines Move Up

By Sam Rosensohn Dear High School Freshmen, Sophomores and Juniors, It’s important that you know that senior year doesn’t count for as much as your first three years in high school, and that colleges are moving up their application dates…

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College Message Boards Can Save You Time, Money – Maybe Even Pinpoint the Right School

By Sam Rosensohn I just got a letter from Natalie White, who graduated from Guilford High School last June, and who’s currently a freshman at one of the nation’s great universities. “School’s going really well,” wrote Natalie who scored 800…

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College Applications: Enough to Make a Family Nuts

By Sam Rosensohn Just because you completed and mailed your college applications doesn’t mean the miserable, nasty process is behind you – as my good friend Tim Napier, who also happens to be a college counselor extraordinaire at Hopkins School…

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College Admissions: How We Decide When We Have So Many Equally Qualified Candidates

By Sam Rosensohn For everyone enrolled in College 101, we’re going to start class today with a pop quiz – no reason to growl; there’s only one question on this assessment. While grades and SAT scores remain the top factors…

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College Admissions: Through the Eyes of a 23-Year-Old Dean of Admissions

By Sam Rosensohn I was so excited to talk to Leigh Weisenburger, who was in one of my American History classes at John Winthrop Jr. High in the bad old ’90s, and I was even more excited when I finished…

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College Admissions: Through the Eyes of a 27-Year-Old Dean of Admissions

By Sam Rosensohn I was so excited to talk to Leigh Weisenburger, who was in one of my American History classes at John Winthrop Jr. High in the good old ’90s, and I was even more excited when I finished…

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Chat Electronically with College Students at the Schools You’re Thinking of Attending

By Sam Rosensohn It’s a way for instant communication, instant feedback, and students often ask questions they would not ask if they had they been in the office of Chris Lewis, the assistant director of admissions at Binghamton University, or…

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Beware of Fancy Envelopes for Summer Programs – They Don’t Become Thick Envelopes in the Spring

By Sam Rosensohn About five years ago, I happened to notice an opened letter from the President of the United States on our washing machine. It was part of a ritzy invite that the Congressional Youth Leadership Council had sent…

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Betraying the College Dream: What College Myths Do You Believe In?

By Sam Rosensohn While watching football with friends the subject of college came up and a buddy who happens to be a college counselor noted that one in four college freshmen at four-year universities don’t make it back for sophomore…

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Area High School Librarians Note 35 Books That Are Big With Students

By Sam Rosensohn Faye Prendergast has had some of the best dinner conversations with her sons based on books they were reading, while Anne Easton, a self-professed bookaholic, has traveled the world from a hammock. Prendergast, the head librarian at…

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An Essential College Question that High School Students Often Don’t Think to Ask

By Sam Rosensohn The headline blared:  Piggybacker Assailant Attacks Woman in Peabody Terrace Vestibule in Broad Daylight, Then Flees Scene. “Thinking that he was a resident, she let him in the inner door,” read Adam M. Guren’s account in Harvard’s…

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Academics Flunk College Rankings: It’s The Fit Not the Label that Counts

By Sam Rosensohn Washington and Lee University’s president is furious with college rankings – I think largely due to the Princeton Review, which ranked his school as one of the nation’s finest party schools. President Thomas Burish’s anger drove him…

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