Doorway to College Blog

Gap Year FAQ

Posted by Kristen Steinbeck

Aug 4, 2017 1:57:12 PM


Photo by Sonja Guina

While the word "gap" might have negative connotations, we believe a gap year — when you defer college for a year to get some real-world experience — is an excellent way to mature and grow before heading off to college. But there are many questions about how to navigate these years; below, we answer a few of them:

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Topics: college admissions, College Essay, gap year

Social Media DOs and DON'Ts During College App Season

Posted by Kristen Steinbeck

May 26, 2017 10:57:19 PM

One question that’s come up more often in recent years: Colleges don’t actually spend time looking at everyone’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc – right? 

Well, not all of them. But according to a recent study by Kaplan, 35 percent of colleges do look at your pages. The good news is that of that 35 percent, 47 percent reported reacting positively to the students’ pages. Alternately, 42 percent found the pages to have a negative impact on the applications. OK, so should you or shouldn’t you comb through your social media before applying? Here’s what we think:

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Topics: college admissions process, college application, college admissions

Why Volunteering Matters for the College Admissions Process

Posted by Julia Wasson

Oct 26, 2016 3:56:47 PM


The competition for admission to many four-year colleges is fierce and getting tougher each year. High school students feel intense pressure to make their applications stand out among all the others on the desks of college admissions officers. 
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Topics: college admissions process, college admissions, volunteering

Getting Great Letters of Recommendation

Posted by Cynthia Miller Coffel, Ph.D

Feb 4, 2016 7:00:00 AM

It’s easy to put off one of the key steps in the college application process : asking teachers for letters of recommendation. You know that your grades, test scores, and college essays are important, and you’ ve been working on those , but your letters of recommendation are important as well. You have it in your power to make sure these letters are great ones.   

Letters of recommendation tell the college what kind of worker you are, how you have grown as a learner, and how you have participated in the school community. Recommendations provide context for your transcript, essay, and standardized test scores. They are important because they provide a picture of you from particular people who know your work well.  

Read on to learn how to assure that your letters of recommendation are the best they can be. 

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Topics: college application, college admissions, recommendation letters

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