Hi Seniors,
With a few exceptions- I’m hopeful that everyone reading this blog has completed all their applications – BRAVO!!!

It’s hard to imagine…but at that this time next year you will be studying for your first round of college final exams and will have met with your academic advisor and selected your spring 2021 courses!!! Even more exciting, some of you will have attended your fall campus career fair and have landed a summer 2021 internship!   If you would like to begin thinking about your undergraduate degree requirements— please enjoy my resource – updated annually about your 120 credit hours for your BS/BA degree.

SAMPLE of 2020 Acceptances — to be updated as we hear:  Stanford Restricted-EA, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Indiana, Georgia, University of Arizona, Arizona State, UC Colorado@ Boulder , UCF, FAU, Pace and invitations to apply for Scholarships and Honors program

To everyone- there’s still time to revisit choices and consider adding another reach (new test scores? Better GPA) or safety  (snr year not so great?) college to the mix. Please reach out if you want to reevaluate your choices and submit additional applications. Our team is ready to help you do so!

I know you’ve all marked your calendars with college decision notification dates.  What should high school seniors be doing between now and then?

Please don’t hesitate to contact me by phone or email with questions or concerns.


Alumni / Admissions interviews? Please reach out ASAP.  Re-read my earlier blog- college admissions interviews aren’t going to be deal-breakers unless you wow your interviewer beyond words in either direction.
It’s Early Decision Notification Week for many of you- please be mindful of how awesome you are regardless of the outcome.
Please read my blog about addressing your college admissions deferral.

Senior Students:

  • DAILY e-mail Check!!  Please check check and recheck all emails received from colleges to ensure your file is complete and to avoid overlooking any time sensitive requests.Each college has its own unique features. Once you’ve applied, you should receive a confirmation email and information on how to check to ensure all supporting materials have been received. Don’t overlook transcripts, test scores and recommendations. You are responsible for ensuring information was received. If you haven’t received confirmation and/or your file is incomplete– contact admissions by phone to clarify and send a follow-up email to an actual person.

You will also receive login information on where to check your admissions decisions on a specific date.  Mark your calendar!

Read all emails from all colleges as you may be notified of selection for an internal scholarship that requires additional essays and other supporting materials.

*** Every year one to two very sad students phones me to say they missed an email and can they reach out to the college and still be considered for a scholarship.  NO!

Review the admissions and financial aid website to locate and apply for any competitive scholarships for which you are a solid candidate.  Contact me to strategize essay content.  Nearly every college has “competitive” scholarships.
For example – Here are a range of colleges offering highly competitive merit based scholarships unrelated to financial aid
CLICK: Vanderbilt Internal Merit Based Scholarship
CLICK Boston University Merit Based Scholarships
CLICK WUSTL Merit Based Scholarships
CLICK EMORY Scholars Program
CLICK Drexel Merit Based Scholarships
CLICK University of Maryland Presidential Scholarship


  • Alumni Interview invites: 

Timely response is required-24 hours! Some alumni interviewers can email you with very short notice. It’s  absolutely acceptable to ask to reschedule if you simply cannot make the suggested appointment.  Please contact me for suggested language on accepting, rescheduling and thanking your interviewer.   

Please at no time should you cancel other commitments to fit an alumni into the picture- how you handle yourself is indicative of your maturity and confidence.  Please let me see your emails before you send them – or ask a parent for advice.  Don’t do this cold!!

  • Scheduling Your Alumni Interview & Interview Preparation!  Each college has its own unique way to arrange for interviews. Some colleges will contact you after you’ve applied and others require the applicant to utilize and initiate the “interview request” form.  If interviews aren’t required but optional, I insist you request an interview (unless we’ve already talked about this).  Please review the guidelines for admissions interviews at each college.

Please contact me to discuss how to prepare for your interview and

SCHEDULE your Mock interview with College Advisor Bonnie Rabin, PhD.  The most common downfall – being unprepared.  We will discuss what to know prior to walking into an interview – including reading about the interviewer ahead of time.  Google is a for stalkers—it’s pretty impossible to have no online footprint- know your interviewer!!


  • ED applicants: Once accepted,  pay your deposit

. Please don’t overlook withdrawing all other applications you may have submitted.  This is a requirement as well as the “right” thing to do.


  • Last Minute College Choices

Some of you may be concerned about choices and becoming stressed about the process and the wait.  My first advice is to distance yourself from conversations taking place at school and avoid making comparisons to other students.
That said, as noted above,  if you want to revisit your list of colleges and discuss adding another 1-2 safety colleges, please reach out to me.  Any college on your list – safety or reach must be one you would be thrilled to attend. Don’t settle for the wrong “fit” in either academics or social opportunity.  We can still add colleges and I am guide you to revisiting the process of college choice even at this late date.


Please ensure you are still maxing out your  high school GPA.  A significant decline can result in being admitted on academic probation as a freshman! (I’m sure none of my students needs this warning!!).


  • AP EXAMS: Reminder, if you haven’t already been engaged in regular practice for the AP exams, let me motivate you further: ED applicants are typically accepted to very competitive colleges for which only a “5” will be accepted for credit.  What does that mean? If you don’t earn the needed AP score- you’ll repeat Calculus and/or Chemistry, etc.
    It’s also more fun to place out of freshman writing  (AP Lang or AP Literature are accepted nearly everywhere as substitutes for Freshman Writing) and be able to take a more interesting English elective of your choosing.  Even if you earn a “5” you might decide to retake the class at your college and we will discuss the merits of retaking some STEM classes sometime prior to your freshman advising later this summer.
  • SCHOLARSHIPs  As we’ve discussed from the moment I met each of you- external and internal scholarships are rare- often more difficult to secure than an admissions spot at Harvard!
    Merit-based internal scholarships- worth applying for if your GPA/background is exceptional or above-average (Which is why we selected some of your safety colleges)

Scholarships are awarded to students with:
an exceptional GPA (sometimes major specific), outstanding deeply involved community service or
an exceptional talent/accomplishment: coding, robotics, scientific research, art, music, or athletics
To identify niche based external scholarships:

– Fastweb.com
– Google Search  e.g. Women in Engineering,
– Business Majors: Banks, Brokerage houses- STEM Majors: all the tech powerhouses offer scholarships, major medical centers, gov’t agencies such as NASA, CDC, State Dept
– Professional Organizations: Chemistry, Society of Women Engineers, etc
– Hispanic College Fund
– Essay contests can yield $ 500 to $ 5k – the competition is intense.

 I already noted the ASME and SWE scholarships for my aspiring engineers!


If you enjoy and find value in my blogs, please follow me on social media and share/like at either Facebook or LinkedIN. Thank you in advance for sharing!   I serve clients throughout the US and will be opening a second office during 2020 in Denver.

Warmest Regards,


Bonnie R. Rabin, PhD
Educational & College Admissions Consultant
Professor Emeritus & Cornell University South Florida Alumni Representative
561.509.0021  or 833.MY.ESSAY