Post-Tribune http://posttrib.suntimes.com Latest news from Post-Tribune Online en-us webmaster@suntimes.com (Editor) http://posttrib.suntimes.com/csp/cms/sites/STM/assets/img/logos/posttrib.gif Post-Tribune http://posttrib.suntimes.com 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Bradshaw: Time off shouldn’t hurt grad school admissions chances ]]> Lead story image

Dear Mr. Bradshaw: I am thinking of taking a break from my undergraduate studies. Will this affect my chances of getting into graduate school when I do resume my studies? Signed: Concerned Dear Concerned: Not every student completes his or her undergraduate education in four years. Many of them take a break before completing their degrees. Some need to work, want to travel, join the military or just take time off in order to refocus on what they really want to do with their lives. This should present no problem for them should they intend to apply to a top … ]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 15:45:39 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/29926416-452/bradshaw-time-off-shouldnt-hurt-grad-school-admissions-chances.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/29926416-452/bradshaw-time-off-shouldnt-hurt-grad-school-admissions-chances.html <![CDATA[ Bradshaw: Ivy League offers advantages; so do other schools ]]> Lead story image

Dear Mr. Bradshaw, I am thinking about applying to an Ivy League college. I live in a small town and not many of my high school’s graduates have attended an Ivy. My guidance counselor, parents and friends have differing views of the benefits of an Ivy League education. There seems to be an overall opinion that the students who attend these schools are cut-throat competitors and have an inflated opinion of themselves. On the other hand, I know a few people that have gone to Harvard and Dartmouth and they are just the opposite of that negative stereotype. My question … ]]> Sun, 07 Sep 2014 22:55:56 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/29674090-452/bradshaw-ivy-league-offers-advantages-so-do-other-schools.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/29674090-452/bradshaw-ivy-league-offers-advantages-so-do-other-schools.html <![CDATA[ Bradshaw: Why colleges are attracted to STEM students ]]> Lead story image

Dear Mr. Bradshaw, I am a 4.0 STEM student interested in technology or engineering. I have combined SAT scores of 2,250. I have an 800 SAT ll math score, an 800 score in chemistry, and a 775 score in world history. I am applying to top colleges but I am concerned about the lack of leadership and extracurricular activities that I have on my current resume. Please advise. Signed: Student Dear Student, Congratulations on building an outstanding academic record! Most students would love to have your grades and scores. Don’t worry too much about the lack of leadership and extracurricular … ]]> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 22:52:01 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/29089974-452/bradshaw-why-colleges-are-attracted-to-stem-students.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/29089974-452/bradshaw-why-colleges-are-attracted-to-stem-students.html <![CDATA[ Bradshaw: It’s never too early to start on college prep work ]]> Lead story image

As we approach Aug. 1, which is the opening date for the Common Application, I have been receiving questions from high school freshmen and sophomores who are “thinking/planning/scheming” about the best way to prepare for the application process. First of all, let me congratulate you on being ahead of the rush. When it comes time for you to apply to college two or three years from now, your classmates will be envious. If you are applying to college this August, I have to admit there is not a great deal you can do to improve your application. You have already … ]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 08:36:00 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/28784598-452/bradshaw-its-never-too-early-to-start-on-college-prep-work.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/28784598-452/bradshaw-its-never-too-early-to-start-on-college-prep-work.html <![CDATA[ Admissions essays not licenses to bore ]]> Lead story image

Dear Mr. Bradshaw, The Common Application opens on Aug. 1, and I am struggling with what to write about in the required essays. I am a top student (a probable valedictorian) and will be applying to colleges in the Ivy League, the University of Chicago and Stanford. Do you have any advice about how to write a successful essay? Signed: Student Dear Student, First, let me confess that when it comes to writing admissions essays I am a rebel. I am a tears, angst and laughter guy. I want the admissions office rooting for me after the first sentence of … ]]> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 18:29:14 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/28529304-452/admissions-essays-not-licenses-to-bore.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/28529304-452/admissions-essays-not-licenses-to-bore.html <![CDATA[ Thinking grad school? ‘Cluster’ your courses ]]> Lead story image

Dear Mr. Bradshaw, I am a high school African-American female who will be applying to colleges this year. I hope to apply to Notre Dame and other top universities. Is there any advice you can offer me before I start the application process? I am interested in a long-range strategy. Signed: Student Dear Student, If you were my client I would suggest that you emphasize your well-rounded education and extracurricular experiences in your application. Shoot for the image of a well-balanced student with many accomplishments who is eager to tackle all of the challenges that a top university has to … ]]> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 15:06:36 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/28256531-452/thinking-grad-school-cluster-your-courses.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/28256531-452/thinking-grad-school-cluster-your-courses.html <![CDATA[ An open mind is an asset when picking classes ]]> Lead story image

Parents always ask what their children should study in college. No matter what their major might turn out to be — history, economics or engineering — I always recommend a good reading list in the sciences to help answer that question. At the top of my list is Caltech physicist Richard Feynman. I first came across Feynman as a freshman at Berkeley. I decided to take a bonehead physics course for designated non-majors. Berkeley was (and still is) famous for its brilliant physicists (Oppenheimer and Lawrence, for example), but I didn’t want to end up looking stupid so I took … ]]> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 23:50:00 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/28001568-452/an-open-mind-is-an-asset-when-picking-classes.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/28001568-452/an-open-mind-is-an-asset-when-picking-classes.html <![CDATA[ Yes, college rankings do carry a lot of clout ]]> Lead story image

Dear Mr. Bradshaw, I will be applying to college in the fall. I am confused about the importance of college rankings. Are there real advantages to be gained by attending a higher-ranked school? If so what are they? I was told that it didn’t really matter as long as you do well and keep high grades. I am pretty sure I will go to grad school after I graduate. Signed: Student Dear student: Does it matter where you go to college? Like it or not, people in the real world care about where you went to school. It should come … ]]> Fri, 30 May 2014 19:38:08 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/27711297-452/yes-college-rankings-do-carry-a-lot-of-clout.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/27711297-452/yes-college-rankings-do-carry-a-lot-of-clout.html <![CDATA[ No shortcuts to success on standardized tests ]]> Lead story image

Dear Mr. Bradshaw, I am a high school sophomore concerned about studying for the ACT. I am worried that just going over the practice tests in prep books might not be enough to help improve my scores. I am not sure how you tutor, but I’d like to know more test strategy and clues. Signed: Student Dear Student: While the correlation between test scores and other forms of academic success isn’t perfect, I believe that there is a relationship between academic success and how your approach studying for and taking standardized tests. The test is the primary mechanism of instruction. … ]]> Tue, 03 Jun 2014 06:14:39 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/27134370-418/no-shortcuts-to-success-on-standardized-tests.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/27134370-418/no-shortcuts-to-success-on-standardized-tests.html <![CDATA[ Special forces veteran has a strong case ]]> Lead story image

Dear Mr. Bradshaw, I am a staff sergeant in a special forces unit stationed in Afghanistan and in a leadership position attached to the International Security Assistance Force. I will be applying to college this fall for classes that start in the fall of 2015. I have attached my resume for your information. You will see that I have an SAT score of 2,150 and a high school GPA of 3.5. During my five years in the military I have held leadership positions and have been offered a chance to attend Officer Candidate School. I speak Pashto and Dari and … ]]> Mon, 19 May 2014 12:00:02 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/26847821-452/special-forces-veteran-has-a-strong-case.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/26847821-452/special-forces-veteran-has-a-strong-case.html <![CDATA[ Admission rejections aren’t always the final word ]]> Lead story image

Dear Mr. Bradshaw, I am embarrassed to say that I have been rejected by every college and university that I have applied to. I am sure that the major reason for my rejection is my low GPA. During my interview with the film school admission officer at my first choice of schools, I was told that I was among the best candidates for their film school but that there was a concern about my GPA. Although I am in a desperate situation I was told that this university allows rejected students to appeal, and I have decided to appeal their … ]]> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 20:28:57 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/26611897-452/admission-rejections-arent-always-the-final-word.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/26611897-452/admission-rejections-arent-always-the-final-word.html <![CDATA[ Jury’s out on changes to the SAT test ]]> Lead story image

Dear Mr. Bradshaw, I am a parent of a high school freshman who will have to take the new SAT when she applies for college in 2017. She can take the ACT, but I am not sure whether this test or the SAT is preferred for admission to a top college. When I was preparing for college 20 years ago they preferred the SAT. With the changes in the SAT I am worried about how to prepare my daughter for the new SAT. Please advise. Dear Parent, You are quite right to be concerned about what is in store with … ]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 06:09:42 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/26295658-452/jurys-out-on-changes-to-the-sat-test.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/26295658-452/jurys-out-on-changes-to-the-sat-test.html <![CDATA[ Essays can make or break your college admissions ]]> Lead story image

Dear Mr. Bradshaw, I want to prepare a really solid college application. I know that you have said that the essays are important, but just how much weight do they carry in the admissions decision? I plan to apply to a wide range of colleges including Notre Dame, Yale, Washington University-St. Louis, Vanderbilt and Georgetown. Signed: A Junior Dear Junior, You are applying to a wide range of colleges but all are top tier schools with admission rates in the teens and with Yale University at 8 percent. Applying to any of these schools means you must leave nothing to … ]]> Fri, 07 Mar 2014 14:26:01 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/25980623-452/essays-can-make-or-break-your-college-admissions.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/25980623-452/essays-can-make-or-break-your-college-admissions.html <![CDATA[ Students of all ages use admissions consultant ]]> Lead story image

I was recently interviewed by a group of New York City high school students. The interview was conducted over Skype by the editor of the school’s newspaper. Following are some excerpts from that interview: Student: Why did you become a college consultant? Bradshaw: I was an alumni interviewer for Harvard for 15 years before starting a consultancy. I also tutored students for the SAT and ACT exams for friends and family members. Suddenly it dawned on me that I could put my experience to good use as a college admissions consultant. Student: And it obviously paid off. Bradshaw: My consultancy … ]]> Sat, 22 Mar 2014 06:12:46 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/25693865-452/students-of-all-ages-use-admissions-consultant.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/25693865-452/students-of-all-ages-use-admissions-consultant.html <![CDATA[ Rejection letters a reality for many ]]> Lead story image

Dear Mr. Bradshaw, My application has been rejected by several top colleges and I am upset. I have a 4.250 GPA, 2,100 on the SAT, and ranked fifth in my class. I have yet to hear from schools in the Ivy League, which are even harder to gain admission to. I will probably end up going to the University of Michigan, which is my safety school. My question is, what did I do wrong? Signed: A very upset student Dear Student, College acceptances are beginning to come in for high school seniors and along with the joy of acceptance come … ]]> Sat, 08 Mar 2014 06:19:14 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/25419769-452/rejection-letters-a-reality-for-many.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/25419769-452/rejection-letters-a-reality-for-many.html <![CDATA[ Think hard about college choice and class selections ]]> Lead story image

Many parents are so delighted at the thought that their son or daughter stands a chance of being admitted to a top college or university that they are tempted to choose a major for the child. It is not unusual for parents to wish to see their talented son or daughter have a successful career. And there are bragging rights that go along with having a bright, motivated child, because all the years of hard work are finally paying off. Yet, students need some breathing space between doffing their high school gowns and choosing and pursuing a successful career. High … ]]> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 06:13:48 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/25115595-452/think-hard-about-college-choice-and-class-selections.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/25115595-452/think-hard-about-college-choice-and-class-selections.html <![CDATA[ Bring questions of your own to college interview ]]> Lead story image

Dear Mr. Bradshaw, I have submitted all of my college applications and have been contacted by several schools about schedule interviews. I am nervous about these meetings and want to be prepared. Any advice? Signed, Student Dear Student, Being nervous is normal. The person conducting your interview will want to find out things about you that are not included in your application and your essays. Turn the tables on the interviewer. You should make a list of questions you want answers to and you need to interview the interviewer. This is your opportunity to get “inside” information that you will … ]]> Thu, 09 Jan 2014 12:34:01 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/24836137-452/bring-questions-of-your-own-to-college-interview.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/24836137-452/bring-questions-of-your-own-to-college-interview.html <![CDATA[ High schools play role in Ivy League acceptance ]]> Lead story image

Dear Mr. Bradshaw, I hear rumors that my chances of getting admitted to an Ivy League college may depend upon what high school I attended. Do Ivy League schools take more applicants from certain high schools over others? And, if so, which high schools have the advantage? Signed, Hopeful Ivy Leaguer Dear Hopeful, You are right when you say that where you attended high school may have a major impact on your chances of getting admitted to the Ivy League or other top colleges such as Stanford and the University of Chicago. The successful sending high schools are typically called … ]]> Fri, 27 Dec 2013 09:54:08 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/24598924-418/high-schools-play-role-in-ivy-league-acceptance.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/neighbors/bradshaw/24598924-418/high-schools-play-role-in-ivy-league-acceptance.html