*** Current Seniors: It’s Decision Time —

Where will you place your deposit May 1-

Greetings Graduating High School Seniors


Need some help deciding and evaluating your options or negotiating your financial aid offers ?
College Plans Changed since submitting Applications– Let’s Talk!
Financial Aid “Negotiations” take place now – Let’s Talk! Click to Schedule
College Admissions Planning: Decision Time – What’s the Perfect “fit” for you?
Greetings High School & Middle School Students & Families
Congratulations to all Seniors! I’m so proud of everyone – college acceptances, lucrative scholarships and invitations to participate in research/honors programs. Bravo!
You may have enjoyed two of my earlier newsletters: College Admissions Mistakes to Avoid and How to Begin College Planning where I focused on how to research academic majors and explore various aspects of college campuses and your perfect “fit”.
Most Seniors will spend the next few weeks making the difficult decision on where to enroll- made even more complicated as visiting campuses to evaluate the “Fit” was somewhat limited the past two years. Some high school seniors applied to colleges without having stepped onto most campuses. Some families will likely engage in negotiating financial aid awards. Seniors–if you need assistance evaluating your options, please Schedule an Appointment to explore your college admissions options relative to your emerging academic/career interests.
 Seniors- you may want to request an extension of time to place enrollment deposits. Some of you may also consider a gap year/deferral of your admissions offer. I would welcome the opportunity to guide you to evaluating both the short and longer term benefits to taking a year or two before commencing your undergraduate journey. More on this option later in this newsletter…
Our juniors —   – you’re likely engaged in college research and we expect that campuses will begin to welcome overnight visitors this fall. That said, between now and early summer we should be honing in on a short-list – the balance of reach, match and safety campuses.


DO NOT double deposit!
Absent a campus visit, I have previously talked about the importance of reaching out to faculty and students. One such pathway are social media groups and phone lines established for high school students to directly engage with currently enrolled students. You can also reach out to student contacts in campus clubs you’re likely to join, religious/cultural organizations and even frat/sorority houses to speak with current students. The undergraduate advisor in your intended major will welcome your phone call and answer your questions.
I can also connect students with currently enrolled undergraduates at several universities who are my former clients currently enrolled or recent graduates. My Aerospace Engineering freshman pictured below not only wants to talk with you- but he’s eager to recruit you to his fraternity- AEPi!
with College Consultant Bonnie Rabin, PhD
I often ask- what inspires your student?
What are you passionate About?
Well now you need to know if you
can fully explore this interest within the universities and campuses on your list– it is time to be certain and confident about your decision– be thoughtful and thorough.
It is reasonable to have a bit of resistance to head to a campus when you know no one- but please resist the temptation to follow your high school or summer camp friends. You will make new friends in your new campus community.


Historically, I advise my clients to expect they will not be offered a spot off a waitlist.  College admissions staff run their numbers on yields – and for the most part – they get it right. The waitlist is created to hedge a bet that they’ve missed their enrollment yields. In the past, I ‘ve seen very few students land a spot -and when they do it’s not before June and sometimes even in July (NYU!)
That said- in spring 2020 and 2021 – the waitlist situation had generated noticeable movement. In part, international students didn’t arrive and families made other choices keeping students close to home or taking a gap year. Waitlist spots this year may differ again- but there were again record breaking numbers of applicants- this year fueled by test optional policies. Student applied to more colleges and at “reach” colleges given the opportunity to apply without an SAT/ACT. Universities felt the impact– decision notification dates may just as they were in 2021– be delayed– pushed forward into April and we know with record numbers of applicants- there many be higher yields on offers of admissions.
If placing your name on the waitlist feels comforting- go ahead- but it is important to embrace and move forward with a positive view towards where you do place a deposit.
I am available to assist students with writing their continued interest notes which can be invaluable to receiving a positive response. If there are significant and meaningful changes to your situation since applying- by all means, notify admissions. Examples are winning/advancing to national and international competitions in your intended field of study.


Very few students take advantage of what should be seen more positively. I’m often stunned by the fears parents and students express about taking time off in a non-traditional educational venture. As I write about every year, the data speak volumes. A productive and meaningful gap year experience is an awesome opportunity and students taking advantage of this path in fact out-perform their peers academically and in the internship/job market.
 In 2020, there were many requests for a gap year as families faced uncertainty about whether to send students across the country. The traditional model is that students place their enrollment deposit and then initiate a gap year application which is subject to approval and must include a plan. Colleges have budgets to meet, classes to fill and dorms to staff. Even if social distancing is relaxed by fall, the uncertainty over the virus is very real and so if you want to hedge your bet-put in a request for a gap year. You can always retract your request in July.

Where to enroll?

The University of Colorado Boulder Campus on a Snowy Winter Day with the Rocky Mountains in the Background



Keep in mind that much has changed since you visited a campus perhaps well over a year ago. Don’t be driven by lists, name recognition or where your friends may be attending.  This decision is an important next step and I encourage you be exceedingly thorough in making your decision. Parents, teachers and guidance counselors offer valuable insights- but students– you must make your own decision subject of course to your family budget.
The same considerations for deciding where to visit and ultimately apply continue to be relevant. College “Fit” rests upon three important pillars: Academic, Social and Financial –
The university you attend should provide an outstanding academic experience in your intended major/minor fields of study, along with appropriate internship and career placement opportunities. This is paramount to selecting where to attend. These data are readily available on the college website.
There’s a major field of study to match the unique strengths and interests of every young adult! With nearly 4,000 colleges offering an impressive number of traditional and cutting edge majors and minors, it can indeed be overwhelming to navigate the maze of available degree options.
Your evaluation of academics should move beyond published lists of college rankings. The most important steps include learning how to navigate through the “Academics” and the “Research” tabs to fully explore the curriculum maps, degree requirements and the research projects faculty are conducting. As a former university professor with 30+ years of experience on curriculum planning committees, I’m able to help your family assess “academic fit” and effectively explore your academic options to balance each student’s current and emerging interests and strengths.
The social fit is important as each student is looking to find a “home-away-from-home” for their next four years. Is the campus inviting, inclusive and are there opportunities for ongoing social and emotional growth?
This is exactly why students visit university campuses before enrolling. Your Educational and College Admissions Assessment will help you hone in on the criteria that are important to you. Let me help you understand how to have an informative and meaningful online campus visit.
 Colleges are doing a outstanding job at hosting virtual sessions and connecting students with live Q&A and social media.  It’s still possible that campuses may be in a hybrid state for fall– and students are adapting. Parents – it’s hard to imagine the expense for a computer screen- but universities created fabulous and inclusive programs build online communities for freshman. You should expect if needed, the same will be true in fall 2022– for example, this winter, several colleges delayed the return to in-person learning- opting yet again to teach online.
Every family faces unique financial circumstances and we factor those into the choices of where to apply and enroll. If you’re ineligible for financial aid, or find the cost daunting- understanding how to access scholarships and financial aid will reduce the stress that results from mis-information and yes, being an easy target for “scholarship and financial aid scamsters!”
THERE ARE MANY CAMPUSES PROVIDING an EXCELLENT EDUCATION offering deep discounts on tuition given your “admissions profile”. Please do NOT navigate to lists such as those published by various publications since these do not incorporate information about your student’s particular college admissions profile and mislead your family.
If your family circumstances in 2021 or 2022 differ from that reported on your 2021 FAFSA used to estimate your financial aid eligibility, please ask me how to submit an appeal of your financial aid award– no amount is too small – but if you don’t ask you don’t receive.




Every year I meet new clients in April – students who had not received a single college acceptance. I’m saddened that these students weren’t provided solid college counseling throughout high school and certainly during the application process. You should expect that you will receive both acceptances and “rejections”. All students should have a balanced list of colleges and prepare early to build an Educational and College Admissions Plan to avoid being placed in a situation such as this. All students need to appreciate and accept the meaning of “reach” college– ! Again, there are more acceptances for students in the 3.2 to 3.6 GPA range than those who are 3.8 students seeking a space at a selective university with a 3 to 6% acceptance rate. Do you know the size of the freshman class at Harvard? (As noted in an earlier newsletter- I’m particularly annoyed that close to 250k people are invited to apply- with a freshman class of only 1300 students.)

College Admissions

WAITLISTED? What to do Next!!

If you were waitlisted, this is a good time to share new and distinguishing information by preparing a detailed and relevant letter of continued interest. Doing so can make the difference between accepting you and another student with the exact same profile.
*** STAY ON YOUR WAITLIST but begin to envision your positive campus experience at the university that you’ve committed to thru an admissions deposit.
Let me help you determine what is appropriate to share and crafting your note. In early December I talked about how to handle a deferral in the Early Decision admissions process. I’ll outline some of these points again with particular relevancy to those who are on a Waitlist.
Colleges do need to hear from you. What to include?
Help with College Applications- College Research- Quick Start Guide
The National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC) survey indicates that chances of being accepted from waitlists vary across colleges but are fairly unfavorable-chances less than 10%. When you are accepted from a waitlist can be as early as April or as late as July!
If you want to begin college this fall, it’s imperative that you place a non-refundable deposit at another college and carefully evaluate all your options.
If waitlisted, you can increase your chances of being accepted from the waitlist in several ways. Reach out to admissions and perhaps any faculty member you have made connections with during previous campus visits. If the college truly remains your first choice, articulate why that is the case by showing informed interest. Your note should provide insights on how you will contribute to the campus community, discuss professors you want to study/research with and courses/programs that attracted you to the university. Be certain your note makes it clear that if you are accepted you will attend. Provide meaningful updates to the college showing everything you’ve done since you submitted your application. Share news of honors, awards, or projects that were meaningful and distinguishable.
Please reach out for guidance on how to write your “continued interest” letter.
You face two options:
If you are truly unhappy with the choices of colleges having offered you a space for fall – perhaps your safety colleges no longer meet your needs or worse yet, you have no acceptances, there are a few options.
First, you can decide to take a gap year or gap semester to include a meaningful learning opportunity and reapply as a freshman applicant for the Spring or Fall 2023 semesters. During this time, you may want to consider retaking standardized tests and certainly doing well in your senior high school classes and on any AP/IB/AICE exams this spring. How you spend your time during the gap year can provide evidence of maturity and direction that stands you apart from other freshman applicants.
You may be wondering how to hedge your bet? You can accept a college from the choices you do have and defer admission for up to two years (applications to defer must include a plan and be approved by the college-travelling is not typically an approved reason for deferral). While on your gap year, you can apply elsewhere for the spring or fall 2024 semesters. The way you spend your gap year can change the outcome of previously submitted applications. Your fall-back option is in place by accepting an offer from your options at this point in time.
 Students can enroll as a freshman at one of the acceptances or attend a local community college and then initiate the process of a transfer application.
If you are aiming to transfer for Spring , applications are due by October/November  -meaning, your high school record is all that is available for evaluation. Retaking standardized tests and spending time in a more meaningful way that demonstrates maturity and direction can be invaluable to an acceptance. If you aim to transfer at the end of your freshman year, your application would be due February/March  and would include your high school record plus the results of your Fall semester as a freshman wherever you enroll.
As a Professor Emeritus with experience providing academic advising to thousands of undergraduate students, I can assist you selecting the right mix of courses to make your transfer application more attractive and keep your educational path directed and challenging.
A Different Question from COLLEGE CHOICE
Finally- if you are currently negotiating financial offers, please reach out for assistance on this process. Leveraging competing admissions offers from comparable institutions and sharing information about extenuating circumstances can result in addition award monies. Ask me for guidance.
Again, given my extensive insider knowledge of how awards are determined, I can assist you in including colleges that are more likely to provide some level of scholarship assistance based on your particular admissions profile. Early Educational and College Admissions Planning is essential!
First and foremost- be yourself because everyone else is taken! That’s not cliché-it is truly the most important piece of advice I can provide.
Discover an area that you are truly passionate about and dive in!  Demonstrate informed interest thru experiences.
Applicants must clearly demonstrate “informed interest”!
Your application must leave no shadow of a doubt that you are prepared to succeed in your demanding academic major.
 Demonstrating you understand the challenges ahead is essential.
“Informed interest” can be demonstrated through:
  • In addition to completion of AP/IB/AICE coursework, engage in sustained formal or informal extracurricular activities and independent projects (we have plenty of ideas for an independent project)
  • Research: participation in local, regional and national competitions working with our competition educator. An AP class often includes a project or paper that can be the springboard for a larger project and a competitive venue.
  • Thoughtful college specific supplemental essays showcasing maturity and self-directed exploration of a potential narrow area of interest (i.e. stochastic processes in Financial Modeling, Genomics, Artificial Intelligence applications to bio-diversity modelling, pharmaceutical development or language processing and interpretation.)
I’m so proud of all students – our recent acceptances include:
Princeton, UC Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, USC, Cornell, U. Michigan, Northwestern, Georgia Tech, University of North Carolina, Vassar, Bowdoin, Wellesley, Emory, U.Illinois, Notre Dame, NYU, Rice, University of Chicago, Washington University (WUSTL), Drexel, Tulane, Brown, Purdue, Swarthmore, SCAD, Ohio, Georgetown, Hamilton, Reed, Miami, Johns Hopkins, University of Florida, University of Arizona, Penn State, Villanova, Northeastern, SUNY-ESF, St. Johns, Embry-Riddle, Colgate, Fordham, Columbia, Barnard, Syracuse, Swarthmore, Pittsburgh, Dickinson, Colorado, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Howard, Fordham, SUNY Stonybrook, Duke, Case Western, Rochester Institute of Technology, Parsons, Virginia Tech, Boston U., Hobart & William Smith, Claremont Mckenna, Davidson, Westpoint, Gettysburg, Amherst, Temple, Denison, Howard, UT Austin, SUNY-Binghamton, Hamilton, George Washington, American, Indiana, SMU, James Madison, UF, and many more!
Whether you’re a senior planning to make a choice, or a 10th-11th grade student starting your college research- or just starting high school, please review my online reviews and reach out to Schedule an Educational and College Admissions Planning Assessment
I invite you to leverage my extensive knowledge of university curricula and my experience advising thousands of high school, undergraduate and graduate students navigating curriculum choices to set and realize educational and career goals. Based on your academic strengths and personal interests, I welcome the opportunity to work together to create your personalized strategic educational plan.
I can guarantee you that there’s no magic formula for being accepted into a selective university, and any college advisor two tells you otherwise is being less than authentic with you. I can guarantee you that building an Educational & College Admissions Plan as early as eighth grade will greatly increase the likelihood of a student who is intrinsically motivated and prepared for academic success.  Students with goals and dreams are better students and live their high school years with greater ease than those who haven’t set some objectives.
  • Now is the perfect time to determine and refine the most effective academic plan to include the appropriately challenging and relevant courses given potential academic interests. It’s important to avoid becoming unnecessarily overwhelmed. Maintenance of a GPA which allows for a healthy balance of academic, extracurricular and personal pursuits will increase the likelihood of a successful transition to college and admissions success. You do not need to enroll in 6-7 AP Classes. If you’re looking at a highly selective university- I also discourage Dual Enrollment classes.
  • Refine extracurricular activities to include a relevant summer plan! Update your activities resume. Think about ways to deepen an interest and let-go of those activities that do not bring you joy.
Success begins with a student-led Strategic Educational & College Admissions Plan with actionable items!
JUNIORS and Sophomores
It’s time to plan for summer . I hope you found my previous newsletter helpful in understanding why attendance at a summer program is a great college planning strategy. I have a comprehensive list of summer programs for all fields of study.
Many colleges are offering several new research programs this year and classes can be completed remotely- a huge savings in room and board.
If you’re a Junior you should be actively engaged in research on the variety of college majors. I’d welcome the opportunity to guide you to defining your balanced short-list of colleges by June – and hopefully you’ll be joining me at my June Writers Block Workshop.
For the past three years, we’ve successfully pivoted and delivered our workshop, including one-on-one personalized writing conferences entirely on Zoom. We’re again virtual. Adaptability is always essential when faced with an unforeseen challenge. You’ll have daily small group presentations and one-on-one individualized writing conferences throughout the workshop.
If you come prepared daily and finish assigned tasks- you will finish your Common App core essay before summer!
  I look forward to hearing more about your emerging academic and personal interests to help navigate a path for success and impact. Don’t be challenged by college application essay prompts that ask “How will you innovate to change the work”– begin your discovery as early as 8th grade!
Have an awesome day!
Warm Regards!
Bonnie R. Rabin, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus & Cornell Alumni Rep
Educational and College Admissions Consultant
Florida 561.509.0021
Colorado 720.737.9944
Nationwide  833.MY.ESSAY
STEM, Business, Humanities, Creative Arts –
Find Your Passion and Be Unique!
Educational & College Admissions Consultant - Meet Bonnie R. Rabin, PhD, National Expert, 30+ Years
Meet Bonnie Rabin, PhD
JUNIORS– CLASS of 2023 –
Registration is now open for our June Writers Block Workshop
We delivered our content and individual writing conferences virtually with much success– and if necessary- we wil be online and ready for you!
Followed by our Popular Sunday Fall Series resuming August
Followed by our popular and well attended Sunday Fall Series – Resuming On-Demand Bi-weekly in fall

College Applications and College Essays WORKSHOP GOAL

Build a College Admissions Strategy,

Complete your Common Application Core Essay

Before the Workshop
Attend your scheduled Educational & Admissions Assessment to understand the college admissions and financial aid processes. Participate in discussions during your extensive educational analysis aimed at matching you to majors and colleges, increasing your chances of admission, easing your transition to college, and ensuring your long-term academic success.
identifying majors & colleges, personalized application strategies, a detailed assessment of your admissions portfolio and much more.
During the Workshop
throughout the week provide you with candid and specific feedback focused on completing your required Common Application Core essay to showcase your strengths and set you apart from other applicants. Students who come prepared to engage, and complete their overnight assignments will leave the workshop with a polished final draft of their core essay and begin work on a secondary essay to adapt for your college-specific supplemental essays.
In June 2020 we adapted and delivered our workshop entirely on Zoom – including daily presentatoins and one-on-one individual writing conferences. We don’t yet know if we’ll be in-person or online- but are ready to achieve our workshop goals in either format.
Common Application Activities Statement to highlight your accomplishments for admissions, references, scholarships and admission interviews. Receive proprietary activities resume template.
After the Workshop
Ongoing support and guidance with college-specific supplemental essays.
Arrive prepared with your laptop ready to work during daytime sessions and complete any overnight assignments.
Students of all academic levels are welcome to attend our small group sessions in a supportive and welcoming setting. We meet daily.