Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the benefits of Academic Counseling Services?
A student will receive one-on-one attention that is oftentimes not offered at school. Over the course of many consulting sessions, students will form a personal bond with counselors and essay experts. This highly focused approach allows students to brainstorm and craft effective essays and resumes.
- How does MEK optimize acceptance to one or more colleges?
While MEK does not guarantee acceptance to any colleges, we aim to optimize students’ applications by encouraging academic excellence, creating effective personal essays and leadership oriented resumes that highlight maturity, character, and service.
- Are all meetings with instructors held one-on-one, face-to-face?
With the exception of the intensive 3-day College Essay Boot Camp (CEBC) that is held in a group setting, all meetings are one-on-one, face-to-face at our Palisades Park or Closter campuses or via Skype.
- Do all colleges accept the Common Application?
The Common Application is a standard college application that is accepted by over 650 colleges. There are several state universities and private institutions that adhere to their own applications with essay prompts that often differ from those of the Common Application. Common Application-member colleges may also require supplemental personal information and additional essays.
- Will MEK’s essay instructors write personal statements and supplemental essays for students?
No! MEK instructors will never write essays on behalf of students. Personal experiences are best recounted in the student’s own voice.
- Does MEK provide assistance to file for financial aid?
MEK does not provide assistance to file for financial aid. However, we can recommend professionals that specialize in this service.
- Is GPA weighed more than standardized test scores or vice versa?
Both GPA and test scores are important to admissions officers when reviewing applications. The GPA is a reflection of a student’s academic performance throughout high school while standardized tests measure aptitude or future academic performance in college. Early test preparations and balancing a set of challenging academic courses at each grade level is greatly encouraged.
- How many AP courses should a student take to improve his/ her chances for acceptance at a highly competitive university?
The key to a successful high school academic experience is to take the hardest courses possible and do well in them. The quantity of AP courses taken is less important than the quality of the final score attained.
- Are college visits necessary? What should students be looking for?
College visits are useful in helping students decide whether the school is a ‘right fit’ for them. Besides learning about the academic programs offered, students should get a feel for the location, quality, and diversity of the student body, as well as living arrangements, campus activities, work/internship opportunities, and many other factors.
- How important are recommendation letters in the college admissions process?
Most colleges require a guidance counselor’s recommendation and two teacher recommendations. Some schools allow three, four, or even five teacher recommendations and one or more non-school related letters of recommendation. If possible, maximize the number of recommendation letters each school allows, but choose your recommenders carefully. It is not always the most friendly teacher who will write the best recommendation!
- How important is it to participate in extracurricular activities? Can I still participate in activities that are not related to the academic areas of interest I plan to pursue in college?
Freshman and sophomore years are times when students can explore a myriad of extracurricular activities that may be of interest to them. In junior year, the number of activities a student chooses to pursue should be limited to those that are meaningful and those that can highlight a student’s passion and knowledge. By senior year, leadership skills and in-depth engagement in select activities should distinctively stand out. There are no barriers to the type of activities students can engage in. Instead, what matters most is the passion, level of involvement, and the impact students can make through their engagement.