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This course is designed to orient and assist both undergraduate and graduate students in all phases of the process of finding, evaluating and gaining entrance to the degree program each student needs. On this page you will find materials, links and assignments related to the course.



Introductory Video: High Stakes College Admission





Video Essays


Grammar Help Page


College Profiles

   Which schools offer which majors? 


Links and Articles:




Resumes and CVs





Student Reviews




News and Reviews


Paying for College


Testing and Test Prep



College Planning Websites



'What's Student Life Like on Campus?'






Outline of Topics



Week (exact dates t.b.d.)


Reading and activities

Week 1


Overview of the course

Begin self-analysis

Academic Self-Assessment for the college bound

Week 2


Finish self-evaluation

Begin evaluation of the schools

The Truth About Building a Balanced College List

Sites to match and find the right programs for each student

Week 3


Researching the schools

Writing your finalists list

4 C's Assessment of Colleges

Getting the applications for your schools

Week 4


Overview of the Application, section by section

College Essays That Stand Out in a Crowd (New York Times)

First look at common essay topics

Week 5


Factual , Education, Academic & Activities Questions

The Essay Question: Why College "X"?

Planning and outlining the first essay

Writing the first essay

Purdue Online Writing Lab

Week 6



Short Answer Questions



How does Stanford's undergraduate admissions staff decide who gets accepted? Short answer: It's complicated.


Week 7


Midterm Evaluation


5 College Admissions Mistakes Foreign Students Can Avoid

Midterm writing conferences

Week 8


Testing and test scores

(see Wiki for links)

Do Test Scores Matter?

Register with the Common Application

Essay conferences and rewrites

Week 9


School reports, Academic record

Common App Instructions

Writing a C.V. or resume

Week 10


Essay 2: Overcoming adversity Questions

The Order of Things (New Yorker)

Advancing on the Common App

Week 11


Recommendations resumes and final touches

Writing Recommendations from MIT

Week 12


Preparing for Interviews

Typical interview questions

Why are interviews important?

Most Common Interview Questions

Week 13

Acceptance package

Post-acceptance decisions

College Confidential

What to do if you don't get in

Week 14


Finish applications, submit and print out





According to a speed-reading test sponsored by Staples as part of an e-book promotion (brilliant marketing, by the way), here are the typical speeds at which humans read, and in theory comprehend, at various stages of educational development:


  • Third-grade students = 150 words per minute (wpm)
  • Eight grade students = 250
  • Average college student = 450
  • Average “high level exec” = 575
  • Average college professor = 675
  • Speed readers = 1,500
  • World speed reading champion = 4,700



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