Two qualities that admissions officers are looking for in a student’s admissions profile are genuine interest and demonstrated excellence in the major that they are applying for. The best way to demonstrate these qualities is to craft a unique and compelling Admissions Angle. While crafting an Angle is an important first step in the college admissions process, the strategy must be supported by a strong academic foundation and extracurricular profile.
What do we help with?
To execute on our admissions strategies, our mentorship services focus on providing the following:
We find the most success with students that we’re able to mentor from 9th grade or even middle school, but it’s never too late to start. Each year of high school is faced with different goals and challenges, so it’s important to prioritize and reach each of these goals to ensure that senior year and the application process will not be more stressful than it needs to be.
Freshman year is the best time for students to freely explore their interests and figure out their academic path. It’s important to start off on the right foot and plan the coming high school years, especially in terms of creating good habits and expectations. We provide assistance on the foundations of a great college resume:
- Guidance on what courses to take, in particular, identifying which APs or HL IB courses to take
- Creating a schedule for when to take the SAT/ACT exam along with all SAT Subject Tests
- Identifying academic strengths and proactively addressing weaknesses
- Identifying leadership type and potential along with personality strengths and weaknesses
- Giving suggestions on extracurricular activities based on the Academic Angle
It’s also the best time to preliminarily start thinking about the student’s Admission Angle. We do this through what we call the Admissions Angle Discovery process.
Admissions Angle Discovery
The Discovery process starts by encouraging a student to explore the fields that they believe to be most interesting. Through consistent mentorship, we start a conversation about these interests and allow them to grow or we move on to other interests depending on the student’s aptitude and interest for the subject.
In 9th grade, a student should, at the very least, narrow down whether they are most interested in STEM, the humanities, or business/entrepreneurship. By identifying even this, we can start suggesting useful clubs, activities, projects, or summer programs that the student can start to get involved in.
Primary Goals for 9th grade:
- Adjust to a new environment and get off to a good start with grades
- Build consistent study/time management skills
- Learn how to set manageable goals and achieve them
- Explore various fields of interest and narrow down potential Angles
- Plan out a standardized test/course schedule
- Start to get more involved within the high school community
College Admissions Services
Schedule a Free Consultation
Meet with Alex one-on-one via video chat to talk about your son/daughter’s admissions plan. Afterwards, receive a no-obligation Customized College Roadmap (CCR) with advice on courses, extracurricular activities, standardized tests, and Admissions Angle strategy.
Sophomore year is a great time to start preparing to take some standardized exams. By looking at a student’s freshman year grades and some SAT practice test scores, we can get an idea as to how high the student’s Academic Index can be (Academic Index = SAT Score + GPA). If a student is able to get a competitive SAT/ACT score, we can strongly consider applying to competitive summer programs. Sophomore year usually represents the first time that student’s get to choose their courses and might have access to AP classes for the first time, and we help them make the right choices.
Sophomore year is also the perfect time to identify a specific Admissions Angle. The Discovery process becomes more focused and the suggested activities and involvement start to involve more responsibility and specificity. Students should be getting more involved in their school community and getting to know teachers and faculty. After learning about various fields and figuring out their passion in 9th grade, the student is encouraged to start their own clubs and recruit their friends in projects related to their Angle.
While an earlier start to mentorship is the best way to ensure admissions success, 10th grade is also a great time to start, as it’s not too late to discover a student’s college admissions strategy and make the appropriate choices for academics and extracurricular involvement.
Primary Goals for 10th grade:
- Maintain academic achievement
- Really narrow down the student’s Admissions Angle
- Start projects or clubs related to the student’s Angle
- Start taking standardized tests like Math IIC or SAT/ACT
- If student has test scores, can start applying to summer programs
Beginning of 11th Grade
Junior year is when things get serious. Students needs to take the PSAT, the SAT, and should try to finish both required SAT subjects before the end of the year. It’s also when students start to pile on multiple AP classes and take on more extracurricular responsibilities. It’s also one of the most important years on the high school transcript in terms of GPA, so the stakes are high and students can use any bit of support that they can get. This support usually comes in the form of time management and organization skills, identifying unnecessary time commitments, optimizing extracurricular involvement, and overall, just encouraging our students to do the best they can.
Junior year is also the time to apply for the most competitive summer programs or plan their Senior Community Project. The summer before senior year is a crucial time to shore up any deficiencies in a student’s extracurricular profile and can also be a great time to use everything the student has learned in high school to better their school or local community. Community involvement is crucial for any applicant to a top university and a Senior Project can be a great way to demonstrate their commitment while also staying true to their Admissions Angle.
Grade 11 is honestly a little late for starting a mentorship program, but it can still be useful. Because a student’s extracurricular resume is best comprised of activities that a student has been participating in consistently for 3-4 years, we adjust our strategy for choosing an Academic Angle for juniors. Instead of crafting an Angle from scratch, we oftentimes reverse engineering an Angle based on the activities and courses that the student has already participated in during their first two years of high school. If as student has been participating in mostly STEM-related activities for two years, it would be difficult to sufficiently support an Admissions Angle in the humanities, like creative writing for example, because there is simply not enough time to support that Angle in less than two years. There’s some leeway here, but sharp changes in direction can be counterproductive.
Primary Goals for 11th grade
- Take as many AP or other advanced courses as possible without sacrificing GPA
- Cement student’s role in the high school community through involvement
- Abandon time sink activities
- Finish all standardized tests
- Apply to competitive summer programs
- Cultivate relationships with one STEM teacher, one humanities teacher, and the assigned school counselor
- Plan for Senior Community Project