Ace the College Process

Dramatically increase your chances of getting into your top choice school!   

We have partnered with the world’s leading college counseling firm, Arete Educational Consulting, to create the College Admissions Guide. 98% of Arete students are admitted to one of their top three colleges and many receive merit scholarships.

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Some of the College Admissions Guide Lessons Include:

College Entryway

Lesson 01

How To Build Your College List

Welcome to Lesson 1: How To Build Your College List. At the end of this lesson, you will:

  • Understand what qualities you want in a school (programs, size, cost, location, etc.)
  • Create your college list
  • Know how to prepare for admissions requirements
  • Create a college tour schedule

Making your working college list is one of the most important steps in the college process. Your first list should include approximately 15-20 schools that you think would be a good fit based on research and the guidance of academic advisors. 

Woman writing on her calendar

Lesson 02

College Applications – Common App, Coalition App, & More

Welcome to Lesson 2: College Applications. At the end of this lesson, you will:

  • Understand the two most common application platforms (Common and Coalition Apps)
  • Understand and know when to use specialized and niche platforms

Most schools partner with application platforms to provide students with a streamlined process. Understanding how these applications work will help you present your best self to admissions! We will first review the two major application platforms and then some smaller websites.

Glass marble reflecting nature around it

Lesson 03

Extracurricular Activities – What Colleges Are Looking For

Welcome to Lesson 3: Extracurricular Activities. At the end of this lesson, you will:

  • Know how to create a strong roster of well-rounded extracurricular activities (e.g. music, sports, community service)
  • Have access to over 100 summer activity resources

If you’re a babysitter, peer tutor, lifeguard, or trombonist in your high school orchestra, you’re already building activities for your college application! Now is the time to build on these activities and add new, powerful ones to showcase your skills and commitment to serving others.

Man writing on paper next to laptop computer

Lesson 04

Standardized Tests – Which College Entrance Exams to Take & When

Welcome to Lesson 4: Standardized Tests. At the end of this lesson, you will:

  • Know which college admissions test(s) are right and/or necessary for you
  • Create a schedule for how to prep for and take standardized tests
  • Track tests you’ve taken, your scores, and future testing dates

No three letters strike fear into the hearts of high schoolers more than S-A-T or A-C-T. But standardized tests don’t have to be scary! Many students initially worry that standardized tests reduce their applications to a single score – and not even one indicative of their skills! 

Man reading and writing in a text book

Lesson 05

The College Essay – Ace The Personal Statement

Welcome to Lesson 5: Ace the Personal Statement. At the end of this lesson, you will:

  • Have a fully developed brainstorm for topics for your personal essay (and supplements, if applicable)
  • Plan a schedule for writing your essay(s)
  • Understand what makes a top-notch essay through reading examples
  • Be able to avoid common essay-writing pitfalls

Your dreams, your stories, your voice – the college essay is one of the most important pieces of your application because it gives admissions a chance to really see you. Most colleges require that you submit a personal essay responding to a prompt.

Woman writing in a text book

Lesson 06

Ace the Supplemental College Essays

Welcome to Lesson 6: Supplemental College Essays. At the end of this lesson, you will:

  • Understand the most common supplemental essay questions and themes
  • Apply your brainstorms from Lesson 5: The Personal Essay to your supplements

Many colleges require that you write supplemental essays in addition to your personal statement. These requirements vary, so be sure to check each school’s supplement(s) through whatever application platform it uses. 

Woman carrying a stack of books

Lesson 07

Decision Plans – ED I & II, EA, Rolling, & More

Welcome to Lesson 7: Decision Plans. At the end of this lesson, you will:

  • Understand all decision types (Early Decision, Early Action, Rolling Admissions, et al)
  • Know where to find your schools’ policies and timelines (each school sets its own deadlines)
  • Know how to use decision plans to your advantage in your application process

Double or even triple your chances of getting into a selective college with this one step! Sound like a cheesy sales pitch? It’s not – Early Decision plans make this possible.

Man reviewing financial papers and using a calculator and laptop computer

Lesson 08

Financial Aid – Everything You Need to Know

Welcome to Lesson 8: Financial Aid. At the end of this lesson, you will:

  • Understand different aid options (federal loans, grants, work study, et al)
  • Understand what financial aid forms you need and how to use them
  • Know how financial aid affects your applications at need-blind and need-aware schools

With college tuition increasing at a rate of approximately eight percent every year, finances have become one of, if not the single most, important factor in a student’s ability to attend college. Aid packages and financial incentives play a large role in matriculation.

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