Spark Admissions Blog

Applications, Essays, Where to Apply, Strategy, and More

Did I Get Accepted into My Top College Picks? The Waiting Game

March 06, 2013
Written by Rachel B. Rubin

If you're a senior in high school, you've probably just finished applying to colleges and are now taking a deep breath. While you likely feel relieved, you're also continually thinking about how you could have made your college application package stronger and wondering how you compare to your competition. DON'T. What's done is done and you can't change anything at this point.

How to Get into an Ivy League College

March 06, 2013
Written by Rachel B. Rubin

Do you ever wonder whether you have what it takes to be admitted to an Ivy League University? That's a great question. But before answering it, it's important to have a clear sense of what the application requirements are at Ivy League schools.

How to Get into Your State School

March 06, 2013
Written by Rachel B. Rubin

Are you contemplating whether you should apply to your state’s flagship university? If so, you might be wondering what its admissions requirements and expectations are. Thus, this blog is devoted to giving an example from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While requirements differ across universities, I’ve found that these requirements and expectations are pretty typical for a flagship institution.

What Do Colleges Care About Other Than Grades?

March 05, 2013
Written by Rachel B. Rubin

Note: This is Blog 3 in a series of 3: First read: "What do college admissions committees care about the most?" and "Why do colleges look at the rigor of your high school transcript before anything else?"

Once colleges have finished looking at the rigor of your high school transcript and the grades you received (and usually recalibrating your GPA based on their own matrixes), most selective colleges then look at your high school context (meaning how difficult your high school is known to be), your high school class rank, and your standardized test scores.

How to Get into Selective Liberal Arts Colleges

March 05, 2013
Written by Rachel B. Rubin

Liberal arts colleges are typically vaguer than universities with regard to their admissions requirements and expectations. However, they do provide some suggestions with regard to academic and extracurricular preparation. To give you a general idea of these academic requirements and expectations, I have posted information from Pomona College, Macalester College, and Bowdoin College, three selective liberal arts colleges.