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What to do after being wait listed?

Strategies to help students with their next steps !

When students apply to college they have an opportunity to be accepted, denied or wait listed. Being wait listed is often disappointing for students, and many decide not to pursue their options at that school. A college waitlist represents a pool of applicants that the college has yet to decide on, so there is still some hope. Colleges use waitlists because they want to have backup options in case some students who were accepted decide not to enroll. If this happens, the college can offer those spots to students on the waitlist in order to fill up the incoming class.

There are many reasons why you may have been placed on a college waitlist. It could be the college received a large number of competitive applications and had to make difficult decisions about who to accept and your application was on the bubble. It could also be that they were impressed with your application, but ultimately decided to offer admission to other students who they felt were a better fit for their college. In some cases there were better applicants who meet the colleges institutional priorities such as in the case of athletes, and artists or musicians.

If you have been placed on a college waitlist, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not a rejection of your abilities. There’s still a chance that you could be admitted to the college, so it’s a good idea to follow up with the college and express your continued interest in attending. You should also consider other colleges that have accepted you and make a decision once you hear back from the college’s waitlist. In the meantime you must accept your spot on the waitlist through your student portal in order to be considered.

Timelines of Wait List- what to be aware of and how to stay on top of things.

The timeline of college waitlists can vary depending on the college and the admissions process. However, here is a general timeline of what you can expect:

Part 1: Timelines of Wait List- what to be aware of and how to stay on top of things.

The timeline of college waitlists can vary depending on the college and the admissions process. However, here is a general timeline of what you can expect:

  1. Admission decisions: Most colleges send out their regular admission decisions by April 1st. This is when you will find out if you have been accepted, rejected, or waitlisted.
  2. Waitlist offers: After admission decisions are made, colleges will start offering waitlist spots to students. This can happen anytime from late March to early May.
  3. Acceptance response deadline: Once you have been offered a spot on the waitlist, you will usually have a deadline to respond to the offer. This can range from a few days to a few weeks.
  4. Additional spots become available: After the deadline to respond to the waitlist offer, the college will start to get a better idea of how many spots they have available. As spots become available, they will start to offer admission to students on the waitlist.
  5. Final decisions: By late May or early June, most colleges will have made their final decisions on who they will admit for the upcoming school year. This is when you will find out if you have been admitted off the waitlist, or if you will need to make a decision about attending a different college. Sometimes these decisions could stretch into the summer months if spots open up at that time.

It’s important to keep in mind that the timeline of college waitlists can vary greatly from college to college. Additionally, some colleges may offer waitlist spots for different time periods, or may have rolling admissions where they continue to accept students throughout the summer. If you have questions about the timeline of a specific college’s waitlist, it’s best to reach out to their admissions office directly. Some colleges will keep statistics from previous years posted on their website or you can find this information online.

Part 2: What Can I do to try to get off the Wait List

If you’ve been placed on a college waitlist, there are several things you can do to increase your chances of being admitted:

  1. Respond to the waitlist offer promptly: Make sure to respond to the college as soon as possible to let them know that you are interested in remaining on the waitlist. The college needs to know that you are still interested in attending, or they may assume that you have lost interest and move on to the next student on the waitlist.
  2. Follow the instructions provided by the college: The college will likely provide you with specific instructions on what you need to do to remain on the waitlist. Make sure to follow these instructions carefully and provide any additional information or materials that the college requests.
  3. Send a letter of continued interest: Write a letter to the college expressing your continued interest in attending. Use this letter as an opportunity to update the college on any recent accomplishments or achievements since you submitted your application.
  4. Provide additional information: If there have been any significant changes in your academic or personal life since you submitted your application, you can provide this information to the college. For example, if you received an award or won a competition, you can let the college know.
  5. Consider visiting the campus: If possible, consider visiting the campus to meet with admissions staff and demonstrate your continued interest in attending. This can help you stand out from other students on the waitlist.

Remember that getting off the waitlist is not guaranteed, but by following these steps, you can increase your chances of being admitted to the college.

Part 3: How to Write a College Wait List Letter

These guidelines apply to students who have also been deferred in the early action round. The letter will be added to the students file and considered when the admissions office is reviewing the next round of applications.

Writing a waitlist letter to the college can demonstrate your interest and abilities, potentially improving your chances of being accepted. Here are some tips on what to include in a waitlist letter:Express your continued interest: Begin the letter by expressing your gratitude for being placed on the waitlist and your continued interest in attending the college. This demonstrates that you are still invested in the college and want to be considered for admission.

Highlight your accomplishments: Emphasize any recent achievements or successes that demonstrate your abilities and potential. This could include academic honors, extracurricular activities, community service, or work experience. Make sure to tie these accomplishments to how they align with the college’s values and mission. If you worked hard at a subject in which you had previously struggled, do mention this.

Address any weaknesses: If there were any weaknesses in your application that you are now addressing, such as improving your grades or retaking a standardized test, mention them and explain your progress. This shows that you are serious about your education and want to improve your skills in preparation for college.

Provide new information: If you have any new information to share that was not included in your original application, such as a recent internship or project, share it. This can provide a fresh perspective on your abilities and interests.

Show your fit: Demonstrate why you believe you would be a good fit for the college. This could include discussing specific programs or courses that align with your interests, mentioning connections you have with the college community, or discussing your goals and how they align with the college’s values.

Have one of your senior year teachers write an academic letter of recommendation for you. First ask if the college will consider an additional letter. You could also have one of your coaches or supervisors write a character reference on your behalf that addresses your leadership skills and outstanding personality and wellness to help other.

Part 4: College waitlist letter sample

Here are some excerpts from a Wait List letter

Dear Admissions Committee,
(try to find out who handles the applications for your state and address the letter to that person)
If you are instructed to upload the letter to your student portal please follow the directions.

Thank you for reviewing my application. I am writing to update you with you my extracurricular accomplishments since December, and why I believe that Red University) is the perfect school for me.

Since the time I submitted my application I have continued to participate in all of my extracurricular including the Westview Youth Orchestra where I was honored with the most outstanding cello award both at my school and in the State Competition in Los Angeles. My orchestra traveled to Carnegie Hall in January and won 1st place in the National Youth Music awards. In addition I have continued with my science internship at UCSD and my paper on gene splicing is due to be published in mid June. I feel that your institution will be the perfect fit for me in that I can continue my studies in both science and music as well as my research efforts.

Additionally, I hope to participate in research with Professor Alan Johnson whose work on CRISPER genes align my strong interests with genetics and the medial field. Your school would offer me additional leadership opportunities to run for the student government and tutor first generation refugee students through the GIVE Back program which is a very similar program that I participated in during high school. As ASB president we raised over five thousand dollars during the December holidays for refugee students at the (East Valley school) and donated school supplies to those in need.

Final Comments:

It will be important to highlight your future goals and why you are best candidate for not only the school but for the major you have applied for and highlight how you might be an asset to this campus. Keep the tone both confident, polite and positive. Make sure to provide evidence of how you will be an active member of the academic community and participate in other campus associations and clubs.

Regina Gerrato Greenhaus is the Founder of Greenhaus College Consulting and an expert on college admissions. If you would like our support to assist your student with writing a wait list letter of continued interest please contact us.

By: Natay Holmes ABC News 10

State lawmakers push for more California students at UC schools

Posted at 7:21 PM, Jun 28, 2021 and last updated 7:23 PM, Jun 28, 2021
San Diego (KGTV)- More local college applicants may soon be admitted to the top
University of California schools. A push from state lawmakers will make room for
California students instead of those coming in from out of state.
“I have parents wondering if their children are going to get a coveted position at the UC
schools.”Gina Gerrato- Greenhaus is an independent college consultant who works with
at least 50 students around San Diego County. She says it’s been tough for many local
students to get into UC schools.

“Typically, you need to be in the top nine percent of your high school,” says GerratoGreenhaus. “If your high school is highly ranked in California, specifically San Diego,
that may mean maintaining a grade point average above 4.0 and having multiple AP

Under the proposed state budget, if passed, top UC campuses, including UC San Diego,
will have to make way for more California students. This will mean reducing the number
of spots for out-of-state applicants.

According to the LA Times, over five years, starting in 2022, the number of non-resident
students will be reduced at the University of California’s most sought-after campuses:
UCLA, UC Berkley, and UC San Diego. Lowering the number of out-of-state
undergraduates from 22 to 18 percent will make room for 4,500 students over that time.

“Honestly, it doesn’t sound like a whole lot of spots,” says Gerrato- Greenhaus. “I think
this could be a step in the right direction, but if we really want to make an impact for
these students, the state would need to place lower limits on the out of state students.
The state would reimburse UC nearly $30,000 per student and $1.3 billion each year.

By: Jim Paterson via The Journal of College Admission

Amplified Anxiety in College Students

COVID-19 is taking a mental toll on students as they plan for college, but college admission counselors say connections can ease uncertainty.

For many students struggling through high school closures and rapid changes to their postsecondary plans, there has been one overriding theme during the last six months: uncertainty.

Instead of savoring familiar traditions and farewells, they faced months of upheaval that tossed around every aspect of their lives during a period that should have instead been focused on excitement about the next stage.

Added to that, they are looking ahead to an uncertain future in college and perhaps even long-term in the world beyond that.

“The version of high school and college that’s been guaranteed for many generations is now contingent on an ambiguous and uncertain return to the way things were,” said Jaime Meline, associate director of college counseling at the Marin Academy (CA), a private college preparatory high school in San Rafael.

“There are so many unknowns and it creates a lot of anxiety,” said Christine Loo, director of college counseling at the Stony Brook School (NY). “That’s what anxiety really is—a fear of what we don’t know and can’t control. And these students certainly have faced that.”

About one quarter of the young people responding said they were concerned “that their dreams won’t come true,” and a similar number felt they might not be able to have job or career that will pay enough.

Click below to read the full article featuring Gina Gerrato-Greenhaus, head of Greenhaus College Consulting in San Diego.

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – More local college applicants could soon be admitted to UC schools.

Independent college counselor Gina Greenhaus has spent more than a decade helping local students get into colleges and universities. She spoke to ABC 10News on Tuesday about this week’s news that state lawmakers are reportedly looking at a plan to cut the share of international and out-of-state students at University of California public schools. The goal would reportedly be to pave the way for additional resident students like many of the ones that Greenhaus works with.

“I’m hoping that maybe this will make a difference,” she told ABC 10News. She said it has become increasingly difficult for state applicants to gain admission, especially this year. She added, “When I saw those decisions come in [and many read] ‘denied’ [or] ‘waitlist’ with a handful of kids that I thought would probably get in, I thought, ‘Wow. Something has really changed.'”

Proposal reportedly made to  reduce out-of-state students at UC schools

According to the LA Times, state senators proposed slashing the percentage of nonresident freshmen from 19% to 10% over a 10-year period, allowing about 4,600 more in-state students a place each year. Additionally, the plan would reportedly compensate the UC system for the loss of revenue it typically gets from high dollar out-of-state tuition.

The University of California’s Office of the President sent ABC 10News the following statement:

“The University of California is dedicated to educating California’s next generation of leaders. We understand and support the Legislature’s goal of providing more opportunities for Californians at UC, though we believe trying to achieve this through reducing nonresident students will potentially lead to unanticipated outcomes. The UC Board of Regents has a policy in place restricting non-resident enrollment, a cap across all UC campuses of 18 percent, or the level the campus was at in 2017. While tuition paid by nonresident students continues to be a key funding source for financial aid for low-income California undergraduates to attend UC, these students also contribute to the academic environment and enrich the overall experience. We believe that providing UC a stable and predictable revenue source through the State budget process would give us the resources necessary to support all enrolled California students – a goal we share with the Legislature.

We encourage state leaders to build on Gov. Newsom’s significant investments in his revised budget by allotting additional stable revenue streams for UC. This support will give us the ongoing funding necessary to increase California undergraduate enrollment without adversely impacting our low-income students and without limiting our ability to recruit hardworking students from across the country and the world.” “If we want a globally-minded campus, we have to balance things on both sides,” added Greenhaus.

By: Jennifer Kastner

1) Rising Juniors and Seniors:

For students applying to college in the next year or two, planning out the summer is especially important. By participating in unique activities and thinking ahead, applicants can make themselves stand out among the competition. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects on college admissions, it is especially critical to develop a holistic resume that highlights not only academics, but social consciousness and diverse abilities. There are several different options to accomplish this.

Plan Your Summer For College

2) Credit and Non-Credit Classes:

Summer is the ideal time to learn something new and out of the ordinary: if the school year is spent knee-deep in chemistry, then try and acquire a new skill over summer break. Going into healthcare, teaching, or another occupation that involves working with people? Consider studying a language that may come in handy in a large metropolitan area. Most schools, hospitals, and government agencies encourage employees to be proficient in another language to allow for easier communication. Plan on studying Architecture or Sociology in college? Take a course at a local community college and get ahead on your major. Most 100 level classes will transfer over to a four-year university, so it is time well spent. A college class over summer  also shows motivation and interest, which looks good to future colleges when application season rolls around. For students who have more specialty interests not easily found at community colleges, browse through the catalog at Students can take classes in anything from Data Analytics to Medical Neuroscience taught by lecturers at Duke, Yale, and many other prestigious universities (even international ones). Coursera offers more than 5100 courses to satisfy all interests and encourage learning and exploration. While students don’t earn credit, they do earn a certificate that proves they took the course, and that’s enough to stand out to future colleges. The fees are reasonable and the schedule allows for asynchronous learning, so students can squeeze it in even with other activities.

3) Internships and Volunteering:

The pandemic has made it more difficult to do summer internships, but there are still opportunities available to work virtually or make a contribution. Local universities are good places to start because they often have programs for high school students. There are plenty of websites that can help too, such as and even the job site Remember that colleges are looking for students who are active in their communities and who strive to make some sort of local impact. If an internship in business doesn’t work out, volunteering behind the scenes at a local food bank can still be a way to learn essential management, interpersonal, and decision-making skills. Students should personalize their resumes as much as possible: music students can play concerts for the elderly, environmental science majors can coordinate beach clean-ups, and art students can offer outdoor painting classes for kids stuck at home during distance learning. With a little creativity and planning, every future college applicant can develop a well-rounded activity list that shows off his or her strengths. Even holding down a part-time job as a beach lifeguard or Target employee demonstrates motivation.

4) Display a Diverse Skill Set:

Many colleges have supplemental essay questions that ask about interests and hobbies. For students who have many years of sports on their resumes, consider using the summer to learn an instrument or take a photography class. By venturing outside the traditional and leaving their comfort zone, applicants can demonstrate a wider scope of talents and abilities. Colleges are allowing more students to add links to their applications which show portfolios of artwork, film or music videos, or online businesses such as an etsy shop. Starting an online business not only illustrates creativity and entrepreneurship, but also shows drive and a desire for success. Starting a business isn’t your style? Applicants can also do tutoring for classmates who lag behind, shop for elderly or housebound neighbors, or volunteer at an animal shelter or museum to show a love for nature. While the pandemic has made travel more difficult, most volunteer opportunities are only a car ride away. Another option is leading youth groups through a religious organization or the San Diego YMCA.

5) Show Leadership and Involvement:

Finally, another way to show innovation and leadership is to start a new club at school or participate in an already existing club. Most schools have a club listing on the website (typically on the ASB page), and students can sign up to get involved or suggest a new club to add to the roster. Although it is expected for Computer Science and Engineering majors to be involved in robotics clubs, how many of these same students belong to Speech and Debate? More options to consider would be poetry or creative writing clubs, school magazines, or service-related clubs that do fundraising for local causes.

Interested in design or illustration? Build sets for the theater group or work on murals around the campus. Many of these groups will still be active over the summer and need volunteers to prepare for the year ahead. If students want to start a new club, summer is the time for them to actively recruit members, write a proposal, and get a teacher sponsor.

In Conclusion:

Colleges look for applicants who know how to make a difference and will positively contribute to their campus as well as their community. By thinking ahead and planning accordingly, students can ensure they do a wide variety of activities that will get them noticed by their universities of choice. Don’t wait until application season rolls around to find activities and get involved. Summer is the perfect season to be proactive and explore opportunities that will complement the GPA and result in more colleges that say YES.

By Erika Brucia M.S. Ed
Erika Brucia earned her B.A. from NYU and M.S.Ed from Hofstra University, teaching both high school English & History in New York as well as California. She currently teaches part-time in addition to running her own tutoring business in Advanced Placement, ACT/SAT, and Writing Skills. She enjoys helping students with creative college essays and being a mother to her four high school and college kids. In her “spare” time, Erika has edited two books and published essays on a variety of topics. She hopes to begin her EdD program within the year, specializing in Language and Literacy.

You may or may not be aware that the most important factor when it comes to preparing for college admissions is achieving high grades in challenging classes. This has traditionally motivated students to perform at their best and monitor their GPAs in hopes of securing a spot at their ideal college. But as schools continue to muddle through online and hybrid learning due to the pandemic, many students are struggling to keep their grades up with even a standard course load – let alone honors and survive AP-level classes. Stressors outside of the classroom combined with social isolation, feeling disconnected from teachers, counselors, and peers, as well as the sheer amount of screen time required for distance learning makes it harder than ever for students to manage academic stress and avoid academic burnout. While some high-achieving students will continue to strive for academic excellence, they do so under extreme pressure. Meanwhile, students with learning challenges face even more obstacles on the way to academic success. There’s no doubt that the pandemic has changed the way students and their families approach learning and schoolwork. When it comes to tackling challenging classes whether learning online or in the classroom, the following tips will alleviate stress and help students achieve their academic goals.


1) Plan Ahead and Create a Flexible Schedule

Review class websites with your student and direct them to make note of the due dates of big papers and projects for each class. Be especially mindful of due dates that are close together, or even overlap. For children that are visual learners, pick a color for each class and create a color-coded calendar to help them stay mindful of important deadlines as they come and avoid last-minute scrambling. As you develop a schedule, keep in mind that extracurricular activities are also important appointments to keep for your student’s social and emotional health. Help to build some flexibility into the schedule to allow your student to have a balanced academic and social life without feeling stressed about looming assignment.

2) Break Work Into Manageable Pieces and Set Smart Goals

SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timebound. When coming up with a schedule and setting goals for learning, make sure to break down large projects into smaller steps with their own place on the schedule. This is especially useful for students with executive functioning challenges, so that they don’t feel overwhelmed, and can feel in control of their work.

As your student makes progress, don’t forget to celebrate milestones! Some tasks that may have been easy for your student before the pandemic are more difficult under the current circumstances. Acknowledge that shift with your student and find ways to mark achievement, such as enjoying a special meal or favorite activity together.

3) Establish Regular Communication With Teachers

Now more than ever, communication with teachers is paramount to addressing any academic challenges. With remote learning through the pandemic, this is one of the biggest hurdles students have faced. Even typically outgoing students can feel awkward asking questions during video lessons or reaching out to their teachers directly for help, especially if they’ve never had in-person interaction with the teacher before. As students gradually go back to school, their class time is still limited and they may face greater difficulty adjusting to a new schedule and being in class with masks on their faces. Encourage your student to establish a regular cadence of communication between them and their teachers — for example, a weekly email check-in or a ten-minute one-on-one zoom call every other week. Of course your student should feel welcome to reach out to their teacher any time they need help, but establishing a regular check-in early on will facilitate that process, especially for more introverted students.

When communicating with teachers, we find that our students often struggle with self-advocacy. Even as adults, it can be hard to talk about our areas of vulnerability, but it’s important to empower your student to be honest with teachers about the challenges they’re facing. Even the most perceptive teachers can’t read your child’s mind, and will appreciate the opportunity to connect over shared topics of interest and support a student in areas where they need help.

4) Use All the Tools at Your Disposal

Kinetic learners especially suffer when it comes to moving the majority of schoolwork online. Activities such as taking notes by hand, making physical flashcards, and even doodling relevant images along with notes all force the brain to slow down and absorb information. Talk to your student to help raise their awareness of their learning style strengths and weaknesses and work together to come up with some strategies to try. You may also ask their teacher to recommend tools or strategies based on your child’s learning style.

5) Form a Study Group

You already know how important social interaction is for students’ mental and emotional wellbeing. Studies have shown that students also benefit academically from positive interaction — often called “peer effects” — with their classmates. With social interaction limited even when students are on campus together, it takes more effort to create safe spaces for students to interact with one another. A study group of friends in the same classes is a great solution!

When your child participates in a study group, even one that meets online, they benefit from social interaction as well as learning from peers with different strengths and reinforcing their own knowledge by sharing it with others. Connecting outside of the digital classroom also gives students the opportunity to remind each other of upcoming due dates, share different perspectives on course content, and bond over shared interests and struggles. It also reinforces accountability when it comes to completing assignments and being prepared.

6) Study Group Success

Help your student coordinate regular weekly meeting times with their peers so there is less planning and legwork involved in setting up meetings. This will ensure that the group members are all available to meet on a regular basis and without as much effort in scheduling each meeting.

It’s important for your student to be able to relax and regroup outside of school time. While it’s not a bad thing if they want to do so by watching tv or playing video games, it’s important to be mindful that doing school online constitutes a significant increase in screen time. Help your student strike a balance by exploring other ways to unwind that don’t involve screens.

Keep in mind that this can also be an opportunity for your student to boost their extracurricular activities for college applications. Activities such as learning to play an instrument, knitting or crocheting items for donation, or building an invention will give your student’s eyes a break and make their applications stand out.

7) Discussions About High School Classes

When you’re around the dinner table, doing chores together, or even just having a quiet moment on the couch, ask your child about what they’re learning. Remember: more specific questions will yield more detailed answers. Ask for their opinion and share your own. When you demonstrate genuine interest, it will help your child stay motivated and engaged with the learning material.

You may find that on some days, school is the last thing your child wants to talk about. That’s okay! Check in with them about hobbies, friends, college plans, career aspirations, favorite television shows, or anything else that comes to mind and sparks a conversation. During these times, it’s especially important to remember to communicate with your child through empathy. Just saying, “I get it.

I’ve been feeling the same way,” or “Of course you feel stressed. There is a lot on your plate right now,” can provide the validation your student needs to muster up the strength to persist through these challenges. Feeling truly seen and heard goes a long way for kids of all ages, especially teens during these chaotic times.

8) Enlist the Help of an Academic Support Professional

We’re all feeling more isolated than usual, so it’s even more important than ever to remember that you aren’t alone. If your child is struggling with the demands of challenging classes, it may be helpful to seek professional academic support for student success. Virtual tutoring or educational therapy can make your child feel supported while keeping them focused and holding them accountable to achieve high academic performance and follow through with assignments.

At La Jolla LearningWorks, our experienced and compassionate instructors connect with students one-on-one to address areas of weakness and reinforce strengths. We can help students with learning challenges overcome obstacles and thrive academically. In addition to support with course material, we support students with study skills, test preparation, time management, and building confidence. There are many factors that make this time especially difficult for students in challenging courses, from adjusting to new learning modalities and communication mediums to the stress of the current political climate. Even students that have excelled in honors or AP courses in years past may find themselves struggling now. You can help your student stay calm and focused and excel in challenging courses by planning ahead, setting SMART goals, forming a study group, keeping the lines of communication open with your child and their teacher, using a variety of tools and strategies for learning, encouraging your child to engage in screenless hobbies, and/ or seeking professional academic support.

About the Author

Megan Trezza, M.Ed. is the founder and CEO of La Jolla LearningWorks, a private learning center based in La Jolla, California, that focuses on individualized 1:1 educational coaching to bring each student to his or her full achievement potential. As an educational therapist, she believes that all students can learn with the right approach. In 2009, Megan created La Jolla LearningWorks as a space where different learners can receive the personal attention they need to discover their capability to become successful learners. Visit to learn more.

Applying to college is a big step for any teen or young adult. They are taking the first steps towards their independence. Even if your teen is sure about their future career, choosing the right college can make all the difference in the world. One way to make that choice simpler may be to interact with several colleges at a college fair. For some students, college fairs might be a bit overwhelming this is why it’s helpful to set up a game plan for which schools you plan to visit with. Because of the pandemic the in person college fairs have been postponed. However, a few virtual events are coming up in the spring that might interest students and their families. All high school students who are rising juniors

Virtual College Fairs

Virtual College Fairs

The fairs are organized by the National Association of College Admissions Counseling. (NACAC) 

  • March 16: NACAC Performing Arts/Visual Fair – check out recorded sessions as well. 
  • March 21: NACAC National Fair with more than 600 colleges participating.
  • April 10: Western College Fair
  • May 2: NACAC National College Fair 

How Do They Work?

Each of the virtual fairs listed above has similar formats. You can access the colleges by reviewing the recorded videos that are posted from each college.  You can also sign up for times to meet virtually with a counselor to gather more information about your choices. These sessions are designed to help you learn more about each school. Virtual fairs are a fantastic way to see multiple schools in one day and there is no driving or parking involved. No lines at the booths either. 

What Should I ask?

Speaking to an admissions officer can feel intimidating if you don’t know what to ask. You will want to ask the same questions at each school so that you can make accurate comparisons.  You should be able to narrow the field to a few promising options. The following are just some of the guidelines and questions to keep in mind.  We will break them down by category.


  • What are your core educational requirements needed to graduate?
  • Most popular majors and minors…
  • Average GPA for admitted students  
  • Can I double major or minor?
  • Can freshmen get involved with scientific research?
  • Am I applying to the school or a specific major?
  • Are there certain majors that are more competitive than others?

Campus Life

  • What do students do on the weekend?
  • Is there anything unique about your campus?
  • What is available nearby the campus, restaurants, shops, beaches? Ski trips?
  • Most popular clubs and campus activities for students?
  • Club or intramural sports? Swimming, fitness?
  • Dance classes and clubs. 
  • Theatre performances on campus.
  • Sporting events.


  • Dorm options for freshman? Do all freshman live together in a separate dorm building? 
  • Honors dorms and Living communities ? 
  • Single rooms with private bathrooms for freshman? 
  • How will I get matched up with a roommate ? 
  • What are off-campus options?
  • If I live on-campus, can I have a vehicle my freshman year? Is there a fee involved? 
  • What are parking options for students who live on-campus?
  • What are parking options for off-campus students?
  • What are meal options for on-campus/ off-campus students?


  • Greek Life on campus or off campus? 
  • What sports are available? Can we try out, or are the positions scouted?
  • Are there other competitive options, such as academic teams?
  • What honor’s society options are there?
  • Are there any study abroad options? When do they begin?
  • There are dozens more questions you may choose to ask. These questions are only designed to get you started. 

Enjoy the fairs and take notes!  Remember to get the names of the admissions personnel and send them a thank you note for hosting the event.

COVID-19 has changed school and life for many individuals over the last year. Many high school students will be applying to colleges next fall and are concerned about maintaining their grades while still searching for new ways to continue their extracurricular activities during the pandemic.  The first thing is to realize that your extracurricular activities may change the format. That’s okay. You just have to get a little creative.

How High School Students Can Continue Their Activities During COVID-19

1) Volunteer from Home

You may think that volunteering from home is not going to work. How can you sit at home and volunteer? Well, one solution is a virtual service. Call a local elementary school and offer to tutor some of the children who are struggling. You might also volunteer to make phone calls for local charities to confirm or solicit donations. You can also set up a tutoring circle in your neighborhood. Create some flyers and post them around your neighborhood offering to tutor elementary school kids through Google Meets, Zoom, or WebEx for free. While you might get paid for tutoring, many families are struggling to find resources right now, and volunteerism will help you to connect with others who may need your help. Bonus tip: Your school may allow you to count these hours for community service requirements as well.

2) Learn Something New

Coding classes, foreign language classes, and even crafting can be a great way to showcase your initiative during the pandemic. While you might already take a foreign language at school, becoming more proficient on your own time shows that you are interested in your future in both academics and career development.

3) Teach Others

Once you get good at something it means you now have the skills to teach and help others. Start a YouTube channel or even a TikTok that teaches people a new skill. This can be a cooking channel, crafting, or even fashion design. If you can tie your “teaching” into your desired career field, even better! Some recreation centers are offering virtual personal enrichment classes, offer your services to teach something new.

4) Start a Book Club or Study Buddy Group

You could start a Study Buddy Club for those students who enjoy studying in a group.

Colleges want to know more about how you spend your time outside of school. Bonus points for those of you who are avid readers and enjoy learning just for the joy of it. Make sure to document your hours so that you can include this information in your college application. Reading novels is a great extracurricular and it also is a great way to connect with friends while having a meaningful discussion.

5) Start a Virtual Club

Most colleges and high schools have clubs. However, once remote learning began, many of these clubs stopped meeting. Rather than sitting around wishing for human interaction, start a virtual club at your high school or college. It may start small at first, but if you keep inviting people, it may become quite popular. Start a pop culture club by posting it on Facebook and you can start by creating music blogs and posting information about movies and music. Get your friends involved.

6) Start a Live Club

Now that many states are relaxing their stay-at-home orders and mandates, you might be able to begin an in-person club. Be sure that you follow all CDC recommendations for social distancing, mask-wearing, and sanitation. Think about how you and your friends might perform a play in the park. Try to get help from teachers, parents, friends and mentors. Think about how much enjoyment this could bring to the local community.

Also Read: What Are the Factors to Consider When Applying to College?

7) Start a Business

Nothing stands out on college applications like entrepreneurship. Starting a business during the pandemic can be overwhelming but one way to start is think locally. Think about providing services for people who can no longer get out of their homes. Uber Eats, Door Dash, and Instacart offer many of these services already, but many seniors who live at home who are uncomfortable with these apps. Offer another option for these folks. Start a grocery delivery service in your area.

8) Take Online or Summer Classes

Some community colleges allow high school graduates to take summer classes and include them on the students transcripts. See if there are electives you might be able to take over the summer. If not, go to websites like Coursera, EdX, and Open Culture to find some MOOCs.

Open culture also has lectures, ebooks, and audiobooks available on many subjects.

9) Create a Neighborhood Volunteer Network

Many students go to school near their neighborhoods. Round up your friends who are also looking for something to do. Create a volunteer network to help the people in your surrounding area who need help. If your neighborhood primarily needs lawn-care, shopping, and delivery services, consider volunteering to do these jobs for the residents having the most financial troubles. Locate some services that may also help and refer your new clients when you see fit.

10) Start a Virtual Band or Theater Group

If you are musically talented, consider starting a band and holding virtual concerts.

Additionally, “Radio plays” can be done through online platforms. You don’t even have to be in the same city. Each person can log in and perform their part from their homes. People are enjoying virtual events at home—make those work for you.

11) Do Your Best

Colleges do understand that the pandemic has hit students hard. They know that typical programs have been halted in many areas. Do the best you can to participate and begin some of these programs and continue to look for new opportunities. Starting a club or activity may be easier than you think. Continue to engage in your favorite hobbies and activities while at home.  

12) Stay Positive

There are dozens of things you can do while you are remote learning and primarily remaining at home. You are doing a great job in considering how to continue to be active. This list is just a few of the activities you may choose. Be creative. Let these ideas be an inspiration for your own endeavors. Connect with others in your school and community and try to help those in need. This is always the best place to start.

Also Read: Why High School and College Students Face Amplified Anxiety?

1) Organization is a Key to Success

Building your organization skills is key to preventing procrastination, keeping you on task, and eliminating distractions. When you are organized you can focus better and accomplish tasks quicker, allowing you to beat the overwhelm.

Here’s what to do…

2) Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize

Start with making a list of the most important tasks you need to complete. Typically, you can figure this out by the dates each task is due.

When tackling large projects, it helps to break down pieces of the project by weeks. If you push big projects back until the due date, you will find yourself thinking, “How am I possibly going to get this done,” and become easily stressed.

3) Schedule Your Plan of Attack

Plan out your schedule in advance on a calendar to ensure you meet each of your deadlines. You can either hang a monthly calendar in your work area where you can easily see it or use Google calendar.

Start by writing in your due dates. It’s a good idea to set your due date a day or two in advance. That way if something comes up at the last minute, you can still meet your deadline.

Then figure out how much time you need to complete each task, overestimating your timeframe and placing those blocks of time on your calendar. If you have an assignment that will take you four hours, but you only like to work in two-hour periods, break that assignment into two time blocks.

Highlight your assignments in different colors to help you visualize which assignment to work on at what time.

Lastly, set reminders on your phone to let you know when it’s time to start working on your tasks.

4) Create an Organized Space

Research has shown it takes about 23 minutes to regain your focus after becoming distracted. Imagine how much more time you have to accomplish tasks when you stay focused! Creating an organized work space helps eliminate distractions so you can keep focusing.

First, make sure your workspace is in a quiet area. If this is not entirely possible, soundproof headphones and white noise can help lessen those distractions.

Keeping folders or files for each subject allows you to easily access the next task you need to work on.

Finally, adding a little ambiance to your work area keeps you coming back to focus on your assignments and projects; however, to decrease distractions, keep your decor at a minimum.

Let’s Get Organized!

Go ahead and implement these executive functioning tips, so you can begin focusing more, procrastinating less, and feeling less stressed!

Dr. Donica Dohrenwend is a licensed clinical psychologist and founder and director of Psychology 360, a private practice in San Diego, that specializes in psychoeducational and psychological evaluations. Dr. Dohrenwend and her team of clinicians serve students and their families throughout Southern California. They offer assessment, evaluation and short-term therapy services.

Also Read: Why Hire an Independent College Counselor?

With the news of the college admissions scandal, many families and students have become both angry and confused about the entire process and how something like this could have happened.   As a professional educational consultant, I am not entirely surprised that these events have transpired as corrupt admissions practices have been around for quite some time. It certainly saddens me that these families did not have the opportunity to work with an educational consultant that could have guided the family more appropriately.

To our community of motivated students: You should not feel discouraged by a few people that have broken the rules. You should be proud of your hard efforts to excel both academically and in your extracurriculars. You are a role model for others.  Wherever you attend college in the fall, you can rely on knowing that you put your best foot forward and college will be an exciting journey for you.

To our community of caring families:  It’s important that we stand by our students while they spread their wings and discover who they are and what their interests might be.  High School is a time for self-discovery and the lessons we learn can and will have a lasting effect.

At Greenhaus College Consulting we strive to help each student make a smooth transition from high school to college.  We help guide our students towards their college and career path by engaging them in college research, visits, career, and personality testing, summer programs, and job shadowing opportunities.  We pride ourselves at being able to offer our families the skills they need to be successful in life and referring our families to other educational professionals that hold the same ethical standards in high regard as we do.  Applying to college can be a stressful process for students and parents. Our kids will make some mistakes and learn some important lessons along the way. The important qualities of grit and self-esteem will be developed at this time.

Not every student will be prepared to start their journey at a selective institution, which may have been the case for many of these students involved in this scandal.  One way that we come together and fight against these unethical practices is to start changing the culture about how we prepare students for their entrance to college and focus more on finding a school where a student can explore their interests, and talents as opposed to focusing on college rankings. As your student begins their search for colleges, try to focus less on brand names and more on the journey. As I mentioned above, when students are involved in this process of self-discovery they become more prepared to take the next step towards their adult development.   While many people continue to be shocked, confused and upset about this news, we are holding our head up and continuing to do the good work we do each day which is about inspiring young people to be the best student they can be and continue to give back to their high school and the local community. In the words of Martha O’Connell, “College is not a prize to be won but a match to be made.