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Q & A

Q. One of our neighbors is a teacher willing to write a letter of recommendation for my son (a rising senior). Should we approach him over the summer?

A. We think it is a good idea to approach teachers for a letter of recommendation as early as possible. However the Common Application and several other school applications have their own required recommendation form. Therefore, we feel it is better to wait until the beginning of the school year when your son has finalized the list of schools to which he’s applying, and can provide appropriate forms to teachers and counselors.

Q. To how many schools should my daughter apply?

A. As with most answers in this business, “it depends.” It depends on how selective the schools are. It depends on how realistic the student is. At UniVarsity, we like our students to have 4-5 schools they really like, most of which are “good fit” targets; schools where we think they have a good chance of getting an acceptance. Once we add in other things like “possible” schools and some “highly likely” schools, the list can grow to 8-12. According to the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC), 23% of students submitted 7 or more applications in 2010. The most important thing is to find several schools that are both a good fit and where your daughter would be happy.

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