Hey Juniors! Get Teacher Recommendations!

by Todd Weaver on May 12, 2016

Time to get going!If you have ever wished that you could turn the tables on your teachers and assign them homework, now is your chance!


If you have not already done so, it’s time for you to request teacher recommendation(s) that will accompany your college applications.   Students are sometimes tempted to leave this part of the process until the fall of their senior year, but that leaves very little time for teachers to complete the recommendations, particularly when confronted with application deadlines as early as October 15th.


Here are a couple of things to know before you ask a teacher:


  • The best recommendation is not necessarily going to come from the teacher who gave you the best grades. Sometimes, a better recommendation can come from a teacher in a class in which you have struggled.  That teacher can then comment on things like your academic drive and perseverance…or other person qualities that college admissions offices love to see.


  • Ideally, recommendations will come from teachers of your “core” academic subjects. Typically this means teachers of Math, English, Science or History, and sometimes languages. It is also important to check with the colleges that you are interested in to see if they require recommendations from specific teachers for some specific majors.


  • Whenever possible, provide your recommenders with an “Activity Resume”. This is a list of the clubs and organizations you have participated in as a high school student as well as academic honors, volunteer experiences and employment.  This enables a teacher to put their classroom experience with you into the overall context of your academic and extracurricular life.


This is a big part of how the colleges view a student’s competitive position in the applicant pool. Remember, the “best” (and/or favorite) teachers at your school are often asked to write many recommendation so don’t get shut out.  Go see them…this week!

This post is presented by admissions specialist MaryPat St. Jean.



The Dreaded Waitlist! What to do.

by Todd Weaver on March 29, 2016

Where will money for college come from?You’ve been offered space on the waitlist!

Ummm, congratulations?

Statistics for being selected off a waitlist, are often miniscule. So much so, that many people think the Waitlist is the “other way” a college is telling you that you’re better off elsewhere.

For example, last year’s numbers at Trinity College in Connecticut:

Wait list Statistics (from the College Board)

Offered place on wait list


Number accepting place 


Accepted from list



And here’s what happened at a highly selective university (less than 10% admission rate) in 2015:

We still model to bring in 7-10% of our class from the wait list so while it may (depending on yield) end up being closer to 7% this year, we still have plans to use it.  That being said, I fully expect far more activity in Arts and Science than Engineering.  We really are not modeling to do a significant amount of wait list activity from Engineering – but that depends on how the yield from Regular Decision plays out.  We don’t know more than that right now in terms of what we’ll be looking for because we always see a big chunk of deposits come during this last week.  Until those arrive it’s a bit of a guessing game in terms of where our specific needs will be.

So in terms of advising your student please make sure they have great plans for next year. 

Well, if you can read between those lines, it seems pretty clear to me that the waitlist is a cold, harsh place to sit.

Take a look at the wonderful opportunities you have in your hand. Realize that the colleges that accepted you, really want you to attend. Isn’t it nice to be wanted?

If you have read this and still feel you want to take a chance on the Waitlist, then there may be some “extra credit” work you can try to do.

  • If you’ve received any honors or awards (for example, named Captain of the hockey team, or named to your All-State Music Festival) since you submitted your application months ago, the college may be very interested in knowing that.
  • Send a quick email to your admissions representative, letting them know you are thankful for an opportunity to be considered for admission – and want to confirm your place on the waitlist.
  • Lastly, make a deposit by May 1 at the top choice school that you did gain admission to. Do NOT “double deposit” as it is highly unethical and could lead to the loss of an admission decision.

Here’s a recent blog post on the subject of the “waitlist” from Georgia Tech.

Remember, get in touch with your counselors at SFC, or your high school, to keep us up to date on your acceptances, waitlists, denials, scholarships, need for appeals, etc., etc.


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It’s Nearly College Decision Time! What to Consider When Making Your Choice.

March 21, 2016

Tweet Tweet Hey Class of 2016, It’s nearly Decision time! We wanted to share a few points of advice from the National Association of College Admissions Counselors in combination with some of our ideas with regards to making your final college decision.  This is a biggie, so don’t be in a hurry to get it […]

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