About College Match

The secrets to finding and getting in to the right college.

College Match is the college placement firm that provides a strategic coaching approach to college admission that results in higher percentage of successful admissions, scholarships and awards for students. College Match provides private education planning services to families and students considering college and graduate programs. For more information, please go to www.collegematchus.com

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Commandment Four of College Admission Essay Writing

When it comes to personal statements you rarely need to answer the prompt. College application essays all feature that ubiquitous prompt. Most schools’ prompts play on a common theme for your main college essay. You’ve been told to pay attention to them right? They may seem pretty specific, but this isn’t the SAT. You don’t have to address the prompt. Let us provide you with prompts tailored for a winning college admissions essay! Need help with your college essay writing? Click here

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Commandment 3 of College Admission Essay Writing...

No Hollywood endings. If you can help it, don’t wrap your college application essay up with a neat bow. You should look to create tension and leave your audience wanting to hear more. Knowing where to end your main college essay is a skill we can help you with. Need assistance? Learn more at College Match

Monday, November 19, 2012

Commandment Two of Admission Essay Writing

Consider your audience...the college admissions reader. The average college admissions reader may not have attended the particular college to which you are applying. They may love their job but don’t earn a ton of money. There are dos and don’ts when writing your college application essay so that you persuade rather than offend. We can assist you with the ins and outs.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Commandment 1 of College Admission Essay Writing

Forget everything you thought you knew about writing . We can help you with a more creative approach… Creativity is key when writing your college application essay. Skillfully weaving the personal with a unique voice and unusual approach has been proven to make admissions take a second look. Diction, style and winning content really do make or break this crucial part of your college application. Let us show you how to write the optimal main college essay.

Friday, October 12, 2012

College Essay Help! Finding Your Authentic Voice When Writing Your College Admission Essay There's a common myth about the main essay that we at College Match US would like to dispel: that you should try to sell yourself in the Common App's personal statement. Nothing could be further from the truth. What often results when students try to sell themselves is that it often results in a college admission essay that sounds like it is trying too hard. You improve your chance of catching the eye of an admissions officer by finding your authentic voice in your main essay. How does a college admission essay sound authentic? A creative approach is key here. A main essay that stands out employs a strong story. Signature style in a strong college essay factors in as well. Most students writing their main college essays make the mistake of writing too generally. At College Match, we ensure you avoid this hurdle when writing your college admission essay.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Brains and Brawn - Ivy Olympians

In the spirit of the Olympic Games, I though it might be fitting to look into a personal subject area for me, collegiate athletics. The idea of athletic recruitment, especially at top schools such as the Ivy League and other private institutions can be extremely complex and confusing at first. I am here to answer any questions you might have! Personally, the experience of competing for my collegiate team has not only ignited passion in athletics, but also opened doors in the professional world.

The first thing any interested student-athlete should know, is that you can reach both your athletic and academic goals at a top tier school, with help and support. Just look at these statistics below:

Forty-eight current or former Ivy League athletes have punched their tickets to London for the 2012 Summer Olympics. The athletes hail from all eight Ivy League schools and will represent 11 countries, including the United States, Australia, Canada, Croatia, Dominica, Egypt, Great Britain, Haiti, Nigeria, Serbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Princeton leads the way with 15 participants, followed by Harvard (nine), Columbia (seven), Yale (six), Dartmouth (four), Cornell (three), Brown (two) and Penn (two). The League also boasts four alternates from Columbia, Princeton and Yale who may be pressed into competition should the situation arises.

Moreover, four Ivy League coaches will be performing the same duty in London, including Columbia fencing head coach Michael Aufrichtig, Cornell men's track and field head coach Nathan Taylor, Harvard men's swimming and diving head coach Tim Murphy and Princeton assistant field hockey coach Nate Franks . On top of that, Columbia field hockey assistant coach Caroline Nichols is a member of the US field hockey team, former Penn wrestler Brandon Slay is an assistant with the US wrestling squad, former Cornell rower Dan Fonhofer is a member of the US men's rowing coaching staff and the U.S. Judo squad will be coached by Jimmy Pedro (Brown '94). Former Columbia wrestler David Barry is the Team Leader for the US greco-roman wrestling squad.

Ivy athletes have enjoyed great success in the most recent Games with 42 athletes bringing home 14 medals (five gold, seven silver and two bronze) from the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing and 19 athletes securing 10 medals (six gold, three silver and one bronze) from the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada.

Since the 1896 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, Ivy League student-athletes and alums have combined to win 356 medals at the Summer Games, including 147 gold, 116 silver and 93 bronze. This count of 356 medals earned at the Summer Games would rank 13th in the all-time standings for individual countries!

Now that is inspiring!

Thank you to Ivy League Sports for this content

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Three Degrees of College Prestige

In an era where a sour economy is creating a bleak outlook for college grads across the board, it is interesting to consider the varying definitions of a college’s prestige. Defined simply as standing or
evaluation in the eyes of other people, graduates today have to consider what kind of credit they are searching for. Is it “cocktail party” or social prestige, graduate school placement prestige, or prestige with employers who wish to hire you? Given new challenges in the recession, one needs to decide what accolades are of top priority. All things considered, choosing wisely may produce a perfect fit for student and pocket alike.

Cocktail Party Prestige
Ever-powerful social prestige can be hard to combat. Rankings such as US News and Reports consistently use a similar grouping of private national universities in the top 50. Clearly, there are reasons the small class sizes, low acceptance rates, and impressive faculties of the Ivies and top schools like Duke and Berkeley draw a strong applicant pool. The caliber of education received at these schools should not be discredited, but it is important to understand a certain social conscience does not mean another smaller school cannot create equally impressive results.
A study ranking universities by general public opinion gave 75% credit to student opinion polls, professor opinion, and references to the school in the media (in a non-athletic context)[1]. The rankings produce a list so similar to major polls, clearly social ideas of a school play into its reputation. Since 2008, there has been a 10%
decline in starting salaries for new students, without considering inflation.[2] Of course, this is only considering the students that actually got a job. Of the members of the class of 2010, only 56% secured a job by graduation, a huge shift from the 90% in 2007. About half of these graduates stated their first job did not require a college degree.[3] As unemployment rates trickle down, the less academic prestige you have the worse off you are.

Grad School Admission Prestige
Suddenly, a school’s value may be defined more by its ability to create graduate students, or helping to pick a major that acquires a stable job. Assessing a study on colleges producing the highest percentage of doctoral students, institutions such as Harvey Mudd College and Carleton College are in the top 10; above every Ivy League school. Others in the top fifty include Kalamazoo, St. John’s, Occidental, and Mt. Holyoke Colleges.[4]  Another study on feeder schools presents Morehouse College and New College of Florida in the top 50, above top military academies and many private universities. An honors school in the Florida state school system, New College's small school setting allows for very personalized evaluations, which helps students do the type of research as undergrads that attracts the attention of prestigious graduate schools.
Smaller and more locally focused, there can be resources and options available to top students at these regional schools. Additionally, these institutions are often a way to save money while preparing to
move on to higher degrees. Saving money is important, given a 10% pay-cut. Current undergraduate student loan debt has a median of $20,000. Many will only take on more, with 60% of students in the last five graduating classes stating they will need additional formal education to be successful.[5]
Find prestige by searching for a school that has a specialty within your interests.  Whether that is environmental studies, journalism, or teaching often the best schools for these passions are not simply one of the top known schools. First, consider a major that ends in a job. Currently the top ten highest paying majors are in the engineering, marketing, and finance world. Some of the best marketing research schools include Michigan State, the University of Georgia, and the University of Wisconsin.[6] If you are considering business, the University of Texas and Indiana University rank in the top ten.

Employer Prestige
A third type of prestige is employer prestige. At the end of the day, which schools are handing out the best graduate pay checks? Often, this may have much more to do with networking or strong alumni
connections, not just social conscious. According to the website, Pay Scale, and its annual rankings showing what recent graduates make, Manhattan College, SUNY Maritime, Colorado School of Mines, Babson College, and Santa Clara University all rank in the top 25 given both starting median salary and mid-career median salary of graduates.[7] Knowing you want to live in a certain city or region long-term may be crucial in choosing a school. Finding an alumni network nearby and a specified job industry can mean high dividends later.
Overall, the way other people view a school when you state where you attend college has nothing to do with how that institution sets you up for the future. “Cocktail party” prestige is not enough to ensure a good paying job after college and certainly not a high rate of admission to top flight graduate programs.

My advice: work hard to find an area of focus that may lead you down a unique path, searching for graduate school placement, a job, or social prestige. In the end, if you find a path that is more specific to your needs it may prove to be the best cocktail party story of all!

[1] http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-search-selection/880855-universities-ranked-prestige.html
[2] http://www.heldrich.rutgers.edu/sites/default/files/content/Work_Trends_May_2011.pdf
[3] http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/19/business/economy/19grads.html?_r=2
[4] http://web.centre.edu/ir/student/OverallBaccOrigins.pdf
[5] http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/19/business/economy/19grads.html?_r=2
[6] http://education-portal.com/articles/Top_Schools_for_Marketing_Research.html
[7] http://www.payscale.com/best-colleges/top-us-colleges-graduate-salary-statistics.asp

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Summer To-Do List –Potential Student Athletes.

With school ending and the summer just getting started, there is always work that can be done to help prepare a student for the next school year. When it comes to extracurricular activities, the summer months can be an especially great time to add to an application while having some fun! This segment focuses on potential student-athletes who are considering playing a sport in college. What can you do to improve your chances of being noticed?
1.       First and foremost, remember: you need to sell yourself! Even the best high school athletes may be hard to spot at times. Especially in team-sports that don’t make individuals marks easy to find, a coach may just not know about your school or is waiting for you to make the first move. Many smaller schools, less populated states, and perhaps public schools without programs to reach out to colleges have more difficulty getting their athletes noticed. So what can you do?
2.       Go to a camp. Many collegiate athletic programs hold camps for high school students, as a way for a coach to look at potential athletes for their teams. If there are some schools that may interest you at any level (D1, D2, or D3) check if they have a camp you can attend. I started attending track camps the summer of my sophomore year and I think it made a large difference. Not only do you have the chance to get noticed, you also have an opportunity to truly live at and get to know if a campus is right for you!
3.       Send out a few e-mails: The NCAA has many guidelines that reserve quiet periods, times where a college coach is not allowed to speak with a prospective athlete. Thus, sometimes a coach might be interested in you, but needs to wait to contact or speak with you. However, that doesn’t stop you from contacting them. I knew I wanted to play college sports from the beginning of high school. I started e-mailing coaches after my sophomore year! Most of the time, it was a simple e-mail showing my interest in the school. Additionally, I went on some college visits with my parents and e-mail those schools in hope of introducing myself to the coaching staff. Do not be discouraged if the coach is not yet prepared to begin a conversation, but often you will find that they will message you back with honest and great advice!
4.       Visit some schools. Start getting a feel for where you might want to focus your attention and concern. While on vacation with the family, it might be nice to check out a few schools and get accustomed to different regional flavors or types of campuses. Starting to sift through the many types of schools that might be right from you can be a large help later.
5.       You’ve got mail? Fill it out! I remember getting some bio pamphlets in the mail from a few schools as early as sophomore year. While they seem like simple form letters and may not mean much as to how interested the school truly is in you, it is important to fill out your information and send it back if you think you might be interested in the future. Those letters begin a database of athletes that a coach will eventually contact. I know that you can be left out, because one school I was very interested in never called me at all two years later because I didn’t fill out my information! When it comes to finding the right school for you, you need to dot the i’s and cross your t’s!
Are you a potential collegiate athlete? Need advice or guidance in getting noticed and learning the NCAA rules and regulations? Feel free to contact me!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Personal Essay – Freedom, Not Formula

In looking back at the hundreds of applications I read this season, the personal essay was always my favorite part. Sure, grades and extra-curricular activities are vital to the application. Yet, the chance to sing in your own voice adds a flavor unlike any other portion of the admission process!
I scanned the internet to find 101 different ways to make the perfect admission essay and believe me I saw them all while reading! Many of the tips and tricks stressed for the personal essay are important to keep in mind, but here are some personal Do’s and Don’ts given my own reading experience.
Do – Take time to prepare the essay. Summer is a great time to sit outside and think about a great topic or story to use in this segment. Once school starts, you may fall into the same routine; lots of homework and rushing to get things done. With your essay out of the way before September rolls around, you will automatically worry less! Summer offers the ability to remember fond memories and think with a more care-free attitude. Take advantage of it.
Do – Write about you! Nothing is more disappointing than to read a magnificent essay about someone’s favorite character or their eloquent description of the sky. Admissions officers want that small essay to explain something about your personality that won’t be seen in the rest of the application. You favorite Shakespearean sonnet may be the perfect way to define your life, but show us how!
Do – Use first person! While many essays in high school ban any personal thoughts, this essay should be about you.
Don’t  - Use a thesaurus to make every word seem more impressive. Application readers can tell and often words don’t quite fit what you are trying to say!
Don’t – Use a generic or prepared theme. It is amazing how many people have had personal moments with Legos – realizing in turn they want to become engineers! Not that these generic themes will count against you, they just will not stand out or make for a memorable piece of writing.
Don’t – cut corners. Writing a great personal essay is so important, but it should be equally as impressive in style as other smaller parts of your essay. If your shorter sections are poorly written, it makes the personal essay seem as if it had quite a bit of help! This is your application, treat the entirety of it with respect!
In the end, taking some time and consideration to write your personal essay is very important! Yet, overwhelmingly, there is no formula. The essays that stood out to me were often simple. A personal experience, the willingness to let a stranger look into your life for just a bit, can add a dimension to your application that your resume and activities cannot.

A prospective student who views the world just slightly different than many others… that is exactly what universities are looking for. Readers can read up to 50 essays in a day, don’t make them guess where you fit in. Show them!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Just for Fun - Which Ivy are You?

Just for fun, a quiz to see where your personality might fit best in the Ivy League! Of course, every school has its stereotypes, but with a few questions this might be a good way to get a head start!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Lessons Learned from Admissions 2012

Admission rates are out for 2012 and as expected applicant numbers have only continued to increase across the board at almost every institution! Nearly every Ivy League School, as well as a few other top institution rates have lower than 10% admission rates, as seen in the chart below. Now, what do these numbers mean? How can we help the next applicant pool become a member of the class of 2017? Sometimes it is good to know what one is up against before preparing an action plan

1. Do your Research and Apply Early. As you can see when comparing early versus regular decision applicants, in nearly every institution it is advantageous to apply early. At the very least, there is no disadvantage. Think about it; schools want to accept students they think will assuredly come, to help with their own statistics. Additionally, timeliness and a willingness to commit proves to be a stronger application. In many cases, a college is early action, rather than decision. Additionally, many private schools will allow a student to apply to state or public schools where they may receive a scholarship. Lastly, won’t it feel great to know where you are going to school next year as soon as possible?

2. Wait Lists. Schools vary on their wait listing policies, ranging from handing out almost as many wait listers as admitees to hardly any at all. College Match does a great job of an action plan if you do happen to fall into this category. Depending on the school, it may mean that no hope is lost at all! With others, perhaps where many admitted students do choose their school in the end, it may mean a more difficult road. Either way, it is sometimes good to know what you are up against, in order to accept scholarships or opportunities elsewhere if they are presented.
3. More Students Less Seats. Upon looking at acceptance rates, clearly many more students are applying and acceptance percentages are going down. Yet, it is less easily noticeable that there are less seats being offered! Perhaps, admissions offices in 2011 were unprepared for the quality and numbers of candidates received. We will have to see if the numbers of students admitted in general is also decreasing, or if this is just an unfortunate circumstance for the 2012 class. Ideally, there will be more places for next year’s class to claim!

Take a College Personality Quiz

Often, when starting to discuss college admissions and choices with students, I am sad to see so many things become more important than their own needs! Sure, finding a college that is prestigious may seem necessary and certainly you want to make family and friends proud. Yet, all of this should be secondary to an understanding of your unique academic personality. The quiz below is a great resource in looking internally see assess your academic, social, and personal consciousness.

This quiz is important to keep in mind as you move forward in assessing goals and needs from a school. After looking in, then you can look outwardly to see what schools match you! Only then is it time to start applying and proving your worth in securing a place in an incoming class.

Price Check in Aisle Ivy

My dad always wears the Princeton baseball cap that I gave him freshman week, right when I started school. Whenever people ask about the tattered, sweat and bleach stained thing, he has the same response;“I paid to wear this hat”. It is probably the most expensive piece of clothing he owns! When considering a student’s four year college experience and the financial commitment necessary for a degree, images of a second mortgage may cause uneasiness in every parent. The Ivy League especially is preconceived to mean an even larger price tag. I am not here to take sides on how much an Ivy education should be worth. I do however know that financing it will work if you want it to!

A scholarshipis money that a university may offer a student based on their performance. This may be merit-based in academics, or for another arena, such as sports or the arts. In the world of athletics and the arts, Division 1 and 2 schools may offer scholarships. The only exception is the Ivy League. No, the Ivy League does not offer athletic scholarships. Yes, I am sure. Yes, the person who told you someone got a full athletic scholarship to an Ivy is wrong.
If the Ivy League were allowed to offer any type of performance based scholarship, imagine the difficulty in finding which students would deserve money based on sports or their academics! Every year, many perfect 2400 SAT scores do not get into these top schools. With acceptance rates under 10%, every student admitted might be deserving of some type of performance-based scholarship elsewhere, but rest assured, these schools will fill their seats without any scholarship offers.
That does not mean that acceptance to an Ivy immediately means giving up your retirement fund! The Ivy League, given huge endowments to work with, wants to ensure that once a student is admitted to their institution it becomes a manageable expense. All 8 schools have a need-blindadmission process to promote low-income students to apply, without concerns of the expenses. Additionally, all the aid available is used on a need basis. Need in Ivy terms may not seem “needy” to our preconceived notions. Across the board, all the Ivies offer some type of need-based aid to 50-60% of their students. Princeton has a no loans policy, allowing all students to graduate debt-free [FinAid]. In 2008, Dartmouth eliminated tuition for students from families with incomes of under $75,000 [Dartmouth Public Affairs]. Harvard and Yale have incremental expectations of how much a student should pay, from 0 to 10 percent, with family earnings of $60,000 to $120,000 a year [Fitzsimmonsand Yale Public Affairs].

While the Ivies may be prohibited from offering talent based awards, they certainly ensure the cost of tuition will be manageable; given it is a worthwhile endeavor for the student. Students are free to win merit based scholarships from outside institutions and organizations. Sure, my middle class parents were uneasy at first, but slowly we saw as a family how this worthwhile investment could become manageable. Overall, my first year of tuition was cut in half with a diligent search for a variety of national and state scholarships. Additionally, combining a part-time job, my parents’ contributions, and a very accommodating aid package from Princeton, I am looking forward to law school with no debt!
Sure, it can be a blow to feel desired elsewhere and be offered nothing but admission to the Ivies. Yet, long-term, I felt Princeton offered me the opportunity to reach my potential athletically, academically, and personally. To me, it seemed like an opportunity many are not granted and I would be foolish to pass up. If it’s worth it, the investment works out – I promise!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Attend CollegeWeekLive Spring Show. The World's Largest College Fair!

Join CollegeWeekLive for the world's largest college fair on March 21st & 22nd from 10am-10pm EST, where you can have live conversations with universities of interest to you, and gain advice from admissions experts. Watch live video presentations from current college students that have already been through the college search process... And enter to win a $1,000 scholarship!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The SAT vs. The ACT and SuperScoring: How to Do It Right

Guest blogger and President at http:///www.TestPrepAuthority.com Anthony-James Green offers students some pertinent advice for the upcoming SAT and ACT season:

We all know that you can take the SAT and the ACT more than once.  For most students, taking these exams multiple times is a wise call, since as they continue to study, they continue to see score improvements.  But if you're one of many who's planning on taking multiple SATs or ACTs, make sure you know HOW your scores will be submitted to colleges when you take multiple tests.

The SAT SuperScore:

When you take the SAT more than once, you get the best of all three sections submitted to your colleges of choice.  Let's look at an example:

On your first SAT, you get a 750 in Math, but a 500 in Writing and a 500 in Critical Reading.

On your second SAT, you get a 680 in Math, a 600 in Writing, and a 410 in Critical Reading.

On your third SAT, you get a 710 in Math, a 580 in Writing, and a 610 in Critical Reading.

Your total score submitted will be: Math:750 Writing: 600 Critical Reading 610

Colleges do see that you've taken multiple tests, but at the end of the day, most of them don't care so much.  You obviously shouldn't take 14 SATs and expect universities not to notice, but if you take 2-3 exams, you'll probably be seriously boosting your chances of admission.

The ACT "SuperScore"

The "little cousin" of the SAT isn't quite as generous when it comes to retakes, but it's still very, very worth your time to repeat the ACT if you weren't happy with your first round of scores.

While ALL colleges take the best scores from each section of the SAT, on the ACT, most colleges just take your best overall score.  So if you take these two tests:

Test One:

Reading: 26
English: 20
Math: 20
Comp: 21

Test Two:

Reading: 20
English: 22
Math: 25
Science: 28
Comp: 23

You're only getting a boost of two points, even though you did much, much better in multiple sections.  This is because the overall score on the ACT is calculated using a formula that's more complicated than simply adding the three 200-800 scores that you get on the SAT.

It's important to note that SOME colleges do "SuperScore" the ACT as well, and you'll need to call their admissions offices to find out whether or not they do.

You can find out the expected SAT and ACT scores of America's top colleges by using our free SAT/ACT score generator at any time.

What This Means For You:

Once you understand how multiple scores are combined, you have one big advantage: you'll know what to study before you take your second or third test.

On the SAT, focus specifically on your worst score and put ALL of your effort into it./ Of course, if you have something like a 520/510/530 split, then you can do an overall effort.  But if you have a 670/500/780, you should be putting almost all of your time into studying for the "500" section.  

Since you'll keep your old, good scores, you'll want to focus exclusively on bringing the bad sections up to par.

On the ACT, you'll need to focus on the entire test.  You'll still have the most room for improvement in your weakest areas, but you can't let everything else falter without risk.  Call your target schools and see if they SuperScore or not - if they do, you can treat your ACT just like an SAT, but if not, you need to be more holistic.

However, At the end of the day, you should still spend most of your time on your weakest areas, since that's where you have the most opportunity to improve.

Visit Anthony's website, Test Prep Authority, for more free SAT and ACT practice and advice .

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

College Week Live Transfer Day - Wait List Reversal Strategy

CollegeWeekLive Transfer Day
Watch live video presentations from David Montesano of College Match, Inc. on how to improve your transfer admission chances--especially if you are on a wait list. Here's the video

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

CollegeWeekLive Transfer Day

On Thursday February 2nd @ 4pm PST is a free & online event to help community college students and current four-year college students transfer to another four-year institution to complete their bachelor's degree.

Chat live with admission reps, including David Montesano of College Match, Inc., from transfer offices of 60+ colleges and universities.

Watch live video presentations from experts on topics like transfer admissions, financial aid, and scholarships. Plus, login to be eligible to win a $1,000 Scholarship!

Visit: http://bit.ly/zCmMjx