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Command Education Blog

Your ultimate college admissions resource, brought to you by recent graduates of elite schools. We got in, and so can you!

Does college location matter?

Does college location matter?

College location is one of the first things we notice about a school. If you’re able to go on a tour of campus, you’re likely to be swayed subconsciously by how pretty it is, or what kind of weather it is that day (more on that later). But how much...

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Am I better off applying for a more obscure major?

Am I better off applying for a more obscure major?

If you talk to most students about applying to colleges, you’ll likely get similar responses regarding their chosen major: Economics, psychology, engineering, and so on. Given the popularity of certain majors, it’s natural to wonder whether...

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Will college admissions officers look at my Instagram?

Will college admissions officers look at my Instagram?

It’s hard to say exactly whether college admissions officers will spend time combing through your online presence in determining whether you’re a good candidate for the school. Although “less than a third” of colleges actually visit applicants’...

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How can I get published while still in high school?

How can I get published while still in high school?

If your pen is mightier than your sword, then you might want to consider contests and publication opportunities that can help highlight your skill as a writer. These opportunities are helpful to college admissions committees because they place your...

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Who should proofread your essay?

Who should proofread your essay?

Congratulations! The first draft of your college essay is done. You have a good sense of how you want to tell the story of that time you did CPR to save a dying baby seal, or what exact details to use from your weekend cat-sitting for the Dalai...

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How do I start a non-profit?

How do I start a non-profit?

It’s an old joke that in order to get into college these days, high schoolers should have their own Fortune 500 company, a Nobel Peace prize, perfect grades and SAT scores, and a recommendation from someone named TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year....

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Why your GPA isn’t as important as you think

Why your GPA isn’t as important as you think

When we talk to students about applying and gaining admission to top-tier colleges and universities, we talk a lot about grades. We want to make sure that students are committed to earning the best ones in the toughest classes. To that end, we...

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How to become a better writer

How to become a better writer

In an increasingly interconnected world, writing skills are vital across just about every industry. And yet, last year a study by the National Assessment of Educational Progress found that “Three-quarters of both 12th and 8th graders lack...

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Are “test-optional” schools easier to get into?

Are “test-optional” schools easier to get into?

This summer the University of Chicago became the most selective university to make the submission of SAT or ACT scores optional for applicants hoping to matriculate as undergraduates. This move has prompted a flurry of speculation and inquiries...

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How to manage stress when it’s crunch-time

How to manage stress when it’s crunch-time

We’ve all been there. Your desk is sagging under the weight of all the things you have to do, and time is running out. Your palms sweat, your heart races, and you manage to perform the gargantuan willpower feat of closing Facebook for good. It’s...

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Looking beyond school stereotypes

Looking beyond school stereotypes

When you’re looking at colleges and compiling the list of schools you want to apply to, it seems like just about everyone has an opinion. Your aunt went to Miami back in the day and says it’s a party school, but your cousin just graduated with an...

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What should I expect from a college admissions interview?

What should I expect from a college admissions interview?

How to prepare for college interviews Overall, interviews are an opportunity for a college to get more information about you in a more informal, personal setting. Think of it this way: The only real information they have on you is a big folder of...

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Is Recycling SAT Questions Really A Problem?

Is Recycling SAT Questions Really A Problem?

The College Board—the organization responsible for creating college-preparedness exams like the SAT and the AP tests—is once again facing intense scrutiny. Earlier this summer, the organization came under fire when students expressed their...

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How long does it take to apply to college?

How long does it take to apply to college?

Every year, we see students who underestimate the amount of time and attention applying to college actually takes. On the other end of the spectrum, we have students who begin thinking about their applications during their freshman year of high...

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What should I do during fall of senior year?

What should I do during fall of senior year?

The first half of your senior year of high school is tough--you have college applications to balance while trying to squeeze in quality time with friends before graduation hits in a few short months. Here are a few strategy key points to keep you...

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How do I ask for a teacher recommendation letter?

How do I ask for a teacher recommendation letter?

Between standardized testing and essay writing, it can be easy to overlook another critical component of your college application: the teacher recommendation letter. Whether over calculus or American history, your teachers get to know you on a...

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How do I evaluate academic summer programs?

How do I evaluate academic summer programs?

Though summer is more than halfway over, it’s not too early to begin thinking about next summer. Of course, you don’t have to make any concrete plans at this point, but it can be useful to start brainstorming ideas early on and then narrow down...

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How do I practice time management during senior year?

How do I practice time management during senior year?

You’ve been preparing for this moment for years, and it’s finally here--you’re a senior in high school! With college applications to complete and graduation on the horizon, it’s easy to get lost in this stressful yet exciting time. So what’s a...

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Should I apply Early Decision?

Should I apply Early Decision?

Some schools, especially the more selective universities, offer a couple of different options when it comes to the admissions cycle. Conventionally, students apply by mid December and hear back from schools sometime in March. However, in recent...

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What if I can’t pick a major?

What if I can’t pick a major?

To put it simply, don’t stress about picking (and sticking to!) a major before you begin your studies as an undergraduate. Check out our two main reasons below. You’ll probably change your mind. According to some estimates, between 20 and 50...

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How can I prepare for medical school while in college?

How can I prepare for medical school while in college?

If you want to pursue a career in medicine, it’s important to start preparing early. To that end, It’s a good idea to have a general sense of what to expect in college if you intend to pursue a pre-medical track. In order to eventually secure...

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What is the role of a college counselor?

What is the role of a college counselor?

Both public and private high schools should have college counseling services available to their students. The reality, however, is that budget cuts have stretched counselors thin. In many school districts, it’s not uncommon for one counselor to be...

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What are the best schools if I want to be pre-med?

What are the best schools if I want to be pre-med?

If you dream of being a doctor, you probably already know that the road to medical school is a tough one. With many schools offering admission to less than 4% of applicants, it’s important to consider which college or university will best set you...

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How can I stand out as an intern?

How can I stand out as an intern?

You’ve landed your dream internship — but how can you be a great intern and leave a lasting impression? While having an internship or two under your belt will certainly impress admissions officers, it's far more important to impress the people...

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How do I get started on my college essay?

How do I get started on my college essay?

The college application essay, or personal statement, can be the deciding factor in getting into an elite college. With such a monumental and significant task at hand, it can be overwhelming to think about where (or how!) to begin, but it won’t be...

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What should I do on my college visit?

What should I do on my college visit?

Why should I visit potential colleges? Will it help me get in? College tours and visits can be an incredibly valuable resource for gaining an understanding of a college. There are many other factors that determine a student’s success and happiness...

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How does getting credit for my AP Exams work?

How does getting credit for my AP Exams work?

We unravel everything you need to know about how to get credit for all of your work below. How can I take AP Exams? When you take an Advanced Placement course, you have the opportunity to take the corresponding Advanced Placement Exam at the end of...

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Why should I take Advanced Placement courses?

Why should I take Advanced Placement courses?

For the amount of stress and hard work that they necessitate, people often question the utility of AP courses. See our reasons for taking them below. Admittance to Top-Tier Universities For top-tier and Ivy League schools, you will need to take the...

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What types of scholarships can I win?

What types of scholarships can I win?

Need Level When considering whether or not to spend your time applying for scholarships, the first detail to get into order is your exact level of need. We recommend doing this well before your college acceptances -- it’s never too early to apply...

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How do I handle college rejections?

How do I handle college rejections?

So college admissions decisions are out, and you didn’t get in. How do you deal? Remember that rejection isn’t specific. Many students think their rejection can be traced back to a specific part of their application. Maybe that B in freshman year...

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How do I choose a college?

How do I choose a college?

It’s tempting to attend the most well-known school that accepted you, but it’s just as easy to be miserable at an Ivy League if it’s not the right fit for you. Most people know to some extent that the best school varies based on the individual; a...

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What do I do if I get waitlisted?

What do I do if I get waitlisted?

1. Don’t take it personally. The admissions game is partially a game of chance, not skill - maybe too many people from your home state applied this year, or your application was read after there were already too many students accepted into your...

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Do my senior grades matter?

Do my senior grades matter?

After getting that acceptance from a top-tier college or university, even the most disciplined students feel the temptation to relax a bit during senior spring. However, after three-and-a-half years plus of sustaining the level of hard work and...

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