Posts Tagged “jaye fenderson”

With the economy making it especially hard right now to afford college visits, College Week Live (the world’s largest online college fair) provides students the opportunity to virtually visit hundreds of colleges across the country and speak to admissions officers, college counselors, and experts in the areas of applying, paying for, and choosing the right school for you.  It’s totally free and a truly cost-effective way to learn more about your favorite schools or even discover some that weren’t initially on your radar.

It all starts next week, (March 25th and 26th), and yours truly will be doing a session on “Writing A Great College Essay” on Thursday, March 26th at 11am PST/2pm EST.  I’ll be answering your questions about what college admissions officers look for in essays, pitfalls to avoid, and tips for writing to stand-out. And everyone who logs in during my session will have a chance to win a copy of my book “Seventeen’s Guide to Getting Into College.” You can register and view the full line-up of college and speakers at College Week Live.com.  Hope to see you there next week!

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There are some exciting things happening over at Seventeen.  They recently launched Seventeen Get Advice! which allows users to ask and answer questions to their heart’s content with sections covering guys, beauty, fitness, prom, sex, money, family, fashion, entertainment, and, of course, college!  I’m a featured college expert, so you can check out my advice and ask me questions by looking up 17collegeadvicegirl on the site. The thing I’m most excited about is the chance to answer specific questions about college from girls across the country (and world) in a real-time manner.  Hope you’re having a great week, and maybe I’ll see you soon on Seventeen’s Get Advice!

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Q: What are some things that will help me stand out on my application and also give me a better chance of getting in?

–Anonymous, Woodinville, WA

A: Applying to college is kinda like dating. First, you get to figure out which schools are interesting to you and then the colleges decide whether or not they want to take it to the next level based on the first impressions they get from your application. And the way to “wow” the admissions office is with a stellar academic reputation and a killer personality.

The foundation of any great college application is a solid academic performance, so focus on getting good grades and taking challenging courses throughout all four years of high school. However, just acing your classes isn’t quite enough to turn the head of a college admission officer. Sure, grades and test scores are important, but colleges are really interested in the personalities and passion behind the numbers.

Colleges want to know the types of things that interest you and how you might make an impact on their campus. It’s important to show a college that you care about something, so the key is to demonstrate your passions and personality through the activities, leadership positions, and extracurricular pursuits that take up your time outside the classroom.

But be wary about cramming your app with what may appear to be surface level interests. It’s much more impressive to spend three-four years committed to a few teams, activities, or organizations than to have tons of short-term involvements or to invent a new club of which you can conveniently became president fall semester of your senior year.

When it comes time to fill out your apps, remember to be yourself. If you’ve worked hard in the classroom and committed yourself to a few passions, you should be confident about articulating just what an amazing person you are to the admissions office! And P.S. don’t forget to proofread!

For more of my answers to your college and career questions, check out my college Q&A on Seventeen!

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Q: “I’ll be a senior in high school next year and still have no clue what I want to do. Help!”

–Brittney, 17, Calhoun, LA
A: Don’t worry; you’re not alone! High school goes by so quickly, and suddenly there are so many decisions to be made. Do you want to go to school? Get a job? Take a year off? Go to a four-year or two-year college? Try out a vocational program like cosmetology or fashion design?

The choices can be overwhelming, but it’s important to think through your options so that if you do, say, want to go to college, you’re not missing out on any important steps you need to take to get there. The first question you need to answer is whether or not you want to continue your education after high school. (If your answer is yes, skip to the next paragraph.) If you don’t want to continue your education beyond high school, then you can start looking into job opportunities during your senior year. But if there’s any part of you that might want to go back to school at some point, then make sure you don’t slack off during senior year. Colleges will still take into consideration your high school transcript even if you apply several years after you graduate.

If college or a two-year program is something you see in your future, then make sure you keep up your grades and meet all the basic requirements for admission (i.e., take the necessary math, English, science, and foreign language classes; sign up for standardized tests). Apply to a variety of schools, so that you keep your options open after you graduate. You can always decide in the spring of your senior year whether or not you want to go directly into a four-year college, take a year off, or do a two-year program at a community college or vocational school.

Visiting campuses or programs during your senior year may help you figure out what you want to do after you graduate. Sometimes you just don’t know until you see the possibilities that are out there! Good luck!

For more of my answers to your college and career questions, check out Seventeen’s College Q&A!

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That’s right!  It’s another chance to win a signed copy of my book Seventeen’s Guide to Getting Into College. Five lucky winners will be picked at random once the contest ends at 11:59pm EST on Friday, Dec. 5th.  For your chance to win visit Just Jared Jr., leave a comment on the contest page, and enter as many times as you wish!

Good luck! :)

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Q: I really want to go into fashion merchandising marketing at the Fashion Institute of Technology, but I don’t have any experience working with clothes. What else can I say in my application essay that would make me stand out and seem right for their college?

–Esther, 16, St. Louis, MO

A: Your college essay should give an admissions officer a glimpse into your personality and character, and it’s a chance to discuss aspects of yourself that may not show up elsewhere in your application. Without knowing more about your background and experiences, it’s difficult to recommend what exactly you should say in your essay to stand out. However, keep in mind the following recommendations to get those creative juices flowing as you work on your application.

1.Keep it personal. The essay is your chance to say things that test scores and grades can’t communicate, so you want to give a college a sense of your personality and character. Are you funny? Caring? Serious? Courageous? Creative? Motivated? Tell stories that showcase your strengths and let your personality shine through in your writing style. Remember that every question asked in the application is an opportunity to talk about yourself. So when a college asks, “Why are you interested in XYZ school?” talk about what you can bring to the campus and how XYZ school can nurture you as a student.

2.Make connections. Think about your reasons for wanting to study fashion merchandising and marketing. Do you have a great sense of style? Do you keep up on the latest trends? Have an eye for color, fabrics, and texture? An interest in the history of fashion? Are you a shopaholic? Do you know the power of a few choice accessories? It’s important to not just say you’re interested in a particular field but to show how your experiences have shaped your interest. That means talking about the events, books, magazines, people, and moments that have inspired you, and demonstrating how you continue to cultivate your interests and talents at school, at home, and in your community.

3.Proofread. Keep in mind that the college essay is first and foremost a writing exercise to demonstrate your command of the English language as well as your ability to organize your thoughts to make a cohesive statement. The biggest essay buzz kills are spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and typos. So don’t just rely on your computer’s spellcheck. Have someone you trust read your essay to look for anything out of place.

For more of my answers to your college and career questions, check out Seventeen’s College Q&A.

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Q: “Do all colleges make you take both the ACT and the SAT?”

–Annie, 17, New Orleans, LA

A: Most colleges require either the ACT or the SAT, but it’s a good idea to take both in order to see which of your results are better. Once the results are in you can choose which schools you want to receive your scores. More selective colleges, like the University of California system, also require the SAT Subject Tests in addition to either the ACT or SAT, so make sure you give yourself enough time to sign up and study for all the tests required by the schools where you’ll be applying.

And if all this talk of standardized testing has you a little stressed out, there are many colleges that don’t require standardized testing, and instead offer alternative admission requirements like additional essays or a minimum grade point average. A list of those colleges and their requirements is available at The National Center for Fair & Open Testing.

For more of my answers to your college questions, visit my college and career Q&A on Seventeen.com!

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Don’t forget to tune in to my webcast presentation on CollegeWeekLive this afternoon from 5pm-6pm (PST).  I’ll be talking about how to stand out in your college applications and then open it up for Q&A’s.  Registration is free, and anyone who tunes in to my talk will be eligible to win one of 5 signed copies of my book Seventeen’s Guide to Getting Into College.  Hope to see you then!

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Q: “I never seem to have time to visit schools. Is it really important to visit the schools before you apply?”

–Kristyn, 18, Philadelphia, PA

A: I think it’s a really good idea to visit colleges before you apply because brochures and websites can all start to look and sound the same. Nothing will give you the sense of what it will actually be like to live on a college campus like visiting and seeing for yourself the dorms and classrooms and athletic facilities and, of course, the students. I know it gets a little crazy once senior year hits to find the time to visit college campuses, and it can also be pricey if the schools you are applying to happen to be more than a car ride away. But keep in mind that you’re making a decision about the next four years of your life, and don’t you want to do all the research you can to make sure you’re making the right one?

There’s no excuse not to visit the schools in your local area. In fact, a lot of college applications even ask if you have visited campus, so make sure you can answer that question in the affirmative! Obviously, if you live across the country that won’t be as much of a possibility, but if you live in New York City and you’re applying to Columbia University, go check it out! If campus visits aren’t going to happen before you apply, at the very least you should find some time between applying and getting your acceptance letters to visit the schools where you’d like to attend. It can save you a lot of heartache come freshman year if you rule out now the things that you don’t like about certain campuses, things that you wouldn’t know unless you actually visit.

Now, if time and money are making it impossible for you to visit any college campuses, then you might want to check out the online college fairs at CollegeWeekLive. On Nov 12 and 13th, CollegeWeekLive will host its fall online college fair, connecting thousands of students with more than 200 colleges and universities. It’s an opportunity to chat online with admissions officers, current students, and college counselors, and it won’t cost you a penny! You can register for CollegeWeekLive’s virtual college fair at collegeweeklive.com, and you can even catch yours truly giving a presentation on how to stand out in your college applications. While visiting an online college fair can’t take the place of an actual campus visit, it can be a very useful tool that along with all your other research will help you make an informed decision about which colleges or universities you’d like to attend.

And check out more of my answers to your questions at Seventeen’s College & Career Q&A!

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Next week I’ve been invited to speak at CollegeWeekLive, the world’s largest 2-day virtual college fair.  I’ll be giving a presentation on “Telling Your Story in the College Application,” giving tips on how to stand out in the admission process based on my experience working behind the scenes at Columbia University.  But the coolest part is that the bulk of the time I’ll be answering live questions from viewers all over the globe, and you can join in on the fun by registering on the CWL website.  Registration is totally free, and over the course of the 2-day event you’ll have the opportunity to speak with admission reps from over 200 colleges, sit in on sessions with college and financial aid experts, and hear from current students at universities across the country.

And, did I mention I’m giving away signed copies of my book Seventeen’s Guide to Getting Into College?!  We’ll be doing a random drawing of all the registered users who attend my session on Thursday, November 13th at 5pm (PST)/ 8pm (EST), and 5 lucky winners will receive an autographed book.  So check it out, and be sure to stop by my session and submit a question during the live web broadcast.

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