Class of 2026- any advice?

Hello. My D is highly considering applying in the fall. Looking back, do you (current parents/students, class of 2025) have any advice? Would you have done anything different regarding type of application used, essays, interviews, visits, submitting scores, scholarships, etc. Thanks!

It’s been far too long since I attended college and everything has changed, so I had my daughter work with a college coach (NOT the “Varsity Blues” type!) starting the summer before her senior year. It’s the best money I ever spent! She received wonderful guidance on essays, listing extracurriculars strategically, etc. While she hasn’t yet committed, she’s been accepted to the 4 schools that we’ve heard from (without submitting test scores, but grades were very strong). Encourage your child to apply for all applicable scholarships. There’s much to learn about each online on message boards. Good luck!

I think demonstrated interest is something we should have focused on more. With Covid, we were not able to visit campuses, but if you have the opportunity to do so I think it’s important. Check in, take a tour, follow up with your admissions officer. Stay in touch and ask real questions.

I agree with the demonstrated interest situation. I was deferred from 2 schools and found on their website that they track demonstrated interest. I started going to the virtual information sessions and I can tell that they record my attendance, so hopefully that improves my app in RD. I had no idea that you needed to pay to send scores after paying to take the test, its such a scam. Most of my schools allowed my to self report the scores. Another interesting thing I have realized is Early Action is not as good as it sounds. I applied EA for all my schools, but I still haven’t heard back from financial aid/scholarships to many and I have to make a decision in one month!!

Completely agree with the demonstrated interest point. I also just want to say that the applicants these days are … amazing. My daughter had great stats and I went into the process assuming she was a great candidate for good merit money at the 2nd tier schools. She did fine, but it was WAY more competitive that I expected. Everyone has amazing stats and experiences, so make sure the programs are truly a good match because I believe that will show on the application. We are thrilled with Elon (da is a freshman now). Good luck!

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  • Apply to all scholarships available to you!
  • Reusing essays isn’t cheating (work smarter not harder)
  • Common app worked well for me, cuz all the schools I wanted to apply to used it. Try to use 1 application to avoid inputting general info in over and over
  • If you think you can handle/afford it, apply to schools that you may not think you have a chance at. Shoot your shot!!
  • Make sure you have at least one safety that you would be happy to go to
  • Ask people you trust for advice on your essays, but make sure that you evaluate that feedback. Only incorporate what you genuinely want to, cuz it is your essay. You’re absolutely entitled to stylistic choices. Don’t let editors suppress your individuality/voice.
  • One thing that really helped me was reaching out to current students at the schools I was interested in/applying to. Ask them questions that you can’t ask admissions officers. Get an honest review

Elon gives a lot of consideration to demonstrated interest. Make sure she visits at least once and connects with admissions. Have her ask a lot of questions, participate in online info sessions, etc.

This year, in general, high stats haven’t always been enough to get an applicant into a college, so my advice for Class of 2026 would be to find a way to specifically demonstrate why and how a college is the right fit for your child. Research their programs and integrate them into the application, essay, etc. Going forward, I think it will be important to prove to a college that your child really wants to be there.

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