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    Quick Tips On Applying To College
    Eva Ostrum
  Founder and CEO of College Broadband, Inc.

Tip #1: Take the SAT1 twice. Take it once in the spring of your junior year with no preparation, and again at least eight to 12 weeks later, after rigorous preparation. Students need to familiarize themselves with the test the first time - and concentrate on raising their scores in their areas of weakness the second time.

Tip #2: Apply to two "reach" schools, four schools within your range and one "safety" school. You don't need to apply to more than one 'safety' school if you've chosen it well.

Tip #3: Do not set your heart on one school. Rather focus on a type of school you like -- say small suburban schools with strong liberal arts programs -- and identify several schools in the category to target.

Tip #4; Begin asking teachers for letters of recommendation at the end of high school junior year. At that time, your teacher's recollection of you is fresh, and plenty of lead time means your letter will be written when the teacher is not inundated with requests from other students.

Tip #5: Once a teacher writes a letter of recommendation for you, have the teacher give it to a guidance counselor to read before it goes off to the college admissions office. Never send a letter blind. Make sure it is screened so it emphasizes your strengths.

Tip #6: Do not take more than one SAT2 -- formerly known as "the achievement tests" -- in a single sitting. Fatigue, anxiety and diminished concentration could depress scores on tests taken immediately following the first.

Tip #7: Visit schools overnight on your own once you've received letters of acceptance from them. A night in the dorms and visits to classes tell you more than receptions and tours organized by the school.

Tip #8: Do purchase a college guide book that describes the different colleges and universities.

Tip #9: Before you mail it, do seek outside consultation on your college application from someone who has a proven track record of success advising students.

Tip #10: Avoid using a consultant who charges more than $1,000 for these services.



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