College Processing

Q: How many years should I take major subjects in order to enter top ranked colleges including Ivy League?
A: it varies by colleges, but ideally, four years of English, Math, Science including Biology, Chemistry, Physics (at least one advanced course from these), three years of History (American/European), four years of foreign language.

Q: Is it helpful to take some advanced, accelerated, or honors courses for applying colleges?
A: Absolutely Yes! It varies by high school if they provide these courses or not. Do not miss the chance to take high level courses that your high school provides.

Q: What is the average GPA or school ranks in order to enter top ranked colleges?
A: Although there is no specific guideline of average GPA or school rank system for entering top ranked colleges, most students who are admitted to top ranked colleges are top 10-15% ranks of their school.

Q: Do top ranked colleges ranks High school?
A: Not really. Since every high school has their own strong point, colleges don’t rank scores. Rather, colleges tend to look at how well students use resources the school provides.

Q: Are those AP or IB important for applying College?
A: Yes. Admission committee members of colleges look at those students’ grades of advanced courses that applicants took. They actually consider seriously students’ academic interests and strength by observing those scores. For example, 100 students who were admitted to Harvard University actually took five AP subjects average.

Q: Are there any differences in result of getting admission for those who attend between Private school and public school?
A: Not really. It doesn’t matter at all. Instead, the matter is how well students were using the available resources that the school provides.


Q: What are required exams that top ranked Colleges ask for?
A: They vary by schools, but usually there are SAT I, ACT, two or three subjects of SAT II.

Q: What are the minimum score of SAT I, SAT II, and ACT that top ranked colleges require?
A: They also vary by schools, but usually score of 600 to 800 of each section of SAT I, SAT II, and ACT.

Q: What are some required subjects of SAT II that students should take?
A: Basically, a student should take one subject of math and science (science department) or history (Liberal arts). Also a student should take one foreign language (excluding mother language).  Most top ranked colleges or universities require two subjects of SAT II, but it is recommended to take more for better result.

Q: How often a student should take SAT exam?
A: It is ideal taking exam twice, maybe three times, but it is not recommended taking more than three times. Since an applicant submits all the exams to many colleges or universities that they have taken so far, a student should carefully balance the frequency of taking exam.

Resources other than academic scores

Q: Whom should I ask the letters of recommendation for?
A: High school teacher who is familiar with the applicant especially  11th or 12th grade teacher.

Q: Is it better to send extra letters of recommendation?
A: some colleges do not require extra letters of recommendation other than the letters from school teachers, but it is reasonable to send one more extra letter of recommendation from the person outside of school who knows well about student. 

Q: How should I work on writing an essay for application?
A: Many students spend lots of time and lots of money revising their essays to make it look professional through teachers or tutors. However, it is recommended that a student should focus more time and energy how to express his or her thoughts truthfully, so that admission committees would catch the vision and the passion of the applicant. Also a student should visit the school, meet with current or graduate student, or research booklets and articles in order to get familiar with the purpose or trend of the school.

Q: Should a student take interview?
A: Most top ranked colleges and universities provide Alumni interview. When an applicant student is offered the interview, a student should definitely take interview. Some colleges such as U. of Chicago, Carnegie Mellon, Johns Hopkins, Williams, or Wellesley offer interviews prior to submitting application during summer vacation. If a student is interested in those schools then an applicant should visit them for interview.

Q: Should a student take college tour?
A: It is not mandatory, but it is recommended for many reasons. A student can obtain better knowledge and picture more clearly about the school. Also, not only just visiting top ranked colleges, visit many other colleges in order to see the bigger frame and it would definitely help students for the preparation of applying colleges.

Q: Is it required to submit arts/sports portfolio?
A: Many years of experiences of music, sports, or arts with certain levels can be very positive factor for application. However just the length of many years of learning experience without any prominence may become negative factor for application. It is recommended to submit portfolio when a student achieves any awards from statewide or nationwide with various rewards experiences.

Processing Application

Q: What are the most important factors for schools to make decision of admitting students?
A: Academic achievements are very important first of all. Also, volunteer works, leadership, team experiences, and many other experiences outside of school can affect the result of admission.

Q: How important is to have extracurricular experiences?
A: As applicants who apply for top ranked colleges increase every year, most colleges or universities prefer well-rounded students. Therefore, if a student can show talents or achievements in certain area other than academic, it is definitely plus for admission.  

Q: How is the application processed after submission?
A: It varies by the schools, but usually at least two of admission committee members review applications for the first screening, then committee members make final decision through second or third screening process.

Q: Does it help for admission when applicants apply the same school where parents or relatives of applicants graduate from?
A: All applications go through same process whether the parents or relatives graduated from same college or not. However, when some applications are very competitive, then those factors may be carefully considered again for final decision.

Q: When should students start processing application?
A: It is recommended a student should start processing application after spring break of 11th grade. Usually, common application to college is released on August 1st every year.

Q: After admission to college, does student have to stick with the course that they put on application as their major in college?
A: Not really. Most colleges ask students to put their interesting courses on the applications; however a student does not necessarily have to stick with them.

Q: is the academic record of 12th grade important even though all the processing of application is finished?
A: Since the report card of first semester of 12th grade is still sent to colleges that the students apply, it is important keeping good grades and taking high level courses such as AP. Although a student receives an acceptance letter from college during senior year of high school, this admission can be canceled when a student shows poor academic performance at the end of senior year of high school. 

Q: Can a student defer a year of enrollment to school?
A: Yes. Most schools including Ivy Leagues do allow for students to defer a year of entrance to college. If students take this option, then students may take a year off and take some time of traveling around the world, internship, and self preparation before starting college life.