Frequently Asked Questions
Will you help my child write his/her college essay?
We do not help students write essays; in addition to this being against our IEC code of ethics, we can all agree that a student’s college essay should come from him/herself. What we can do is spend time brainstorming for essay ideas (for both the Common App essay and supplemental application essays) and help edit and refine essays so that the finished product is not only the best it can be—it will also accurately reflect who the student is and what makes him/her unique.
Is it okay if my child doesn’t know what s/he wants to major in?
Absolutely! Of course if your child does have a career path in mind, applying to certain programs or schools within a college or university makes a lot of sense, and we can assist with that process. However, consider this: at nearly every college that we have visited, a representative from Admissions announces, “You know what the most popular major is in the applications we receive? Undecided!” We have also heard that about 75% of college students will change their major at least once during college (not to mention double-majoring and minoring). So it’s really fine for your child to be “undecided” as s/he is filling out applications…there will be time later for making these deicisions (and changing them, as the case may be!).
Should my child be taking lots of AP courses in high school, to further his/her chances of getting into a ‘great’ college?
We firmly believe that the definition of a ‘great’ college is one that fits your child’s personality, interests, and academic strengths, not one that is on certain lists or that everyone has heard of. It’s impossible to overstate how very individual this process is. By the same token, the decision to take or not take AP courses is a very personal one depending on your child’s personality, interests and academic strengths. Colleges do like to see students challenge themselves, so if a student’s high school offers AP classes in subjects that appeal to that student, s/he should be encouraged to take those classes. However, if a student struggles in a subject in a non-AP class, it may be too difficult or stressful for that student to take an AP class (which tends to be much more rigorous than non-AP classes). In addition to seeing students challenge themselves, colleges also like to see well-balanced students with various interests, so study time should be supplemented by extra-curricular activities. Good grades in non-AP courses will also go a long way in impressing admissions officers.
More to come!