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Insight Alma Mater: Stanford Posted On: May 22, 2018 Posted In: College Prep, Insight Alma Mater, Written by: Sarah de Sousa

Welcome back to our blog series “Insight Alma Matar”. Today, our incredible college admissions counselor Sarah de Sousa talks about her experience getting into Stanford and the lessons she learned – mostly, outside of the classroom.     Dec 25, 1998. I had just been accepted to Stanford early and beneath the Christmas tree was a […]

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Insight Alma Mater: UC Davis Posted On: May 8, 2018 Posted In: College Prep, Insight, Written by: Amy Brennen

Welcome to our new blog series on our Insight Alma Mater colleges! First up, Amy Brennen talks us through her experience applying to and attending UC Davis, including her tips on the 4 things she would do differently now. Did you / do you attend UC Davis? Let us know your thoughts over on the […]

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“To Retake or Not Retake” – William Shakespeare’s Cousin Posted On: May 1, 2018 Posted In: Test Prep, Written by: Zach Pava

We’ve all been there at one time or another – whether in school, at work, at home, or in a wide range of activities – we have all (gulp) underperformed.  Take a deep breath – it happens. In fact, the last time you underperformed was probably not your first time either. It’s probably happened to […]

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An Insight to MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Posted On: April 22, 2018 Posted In: College Prep, Written by: Holly Spence

Recently, we had the pleasure of taking the undergraduate tour at MIT in Boston. Here are some interesting things we learned during our visit!     Your Application Essays: Don’t fall into the Grandma Trap This is what the admissions rep called writing about your grandma in the “who has inspired you or had a […]

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You got into College! Now what? Posted On: April 15, 2018 Posted In: College Prep, Written by: Jenny Bloom

You are opening those fat envelopes (or rather, you are clicking on the portal!) and finding out where you got into college. It’s an emotional time, all that work and time you spent the last six months completing college applications is now coming to fruition.    So what do you do now that you’ve been […]

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The Secret Code: How to Study Computer Science without Majoring in Computer Science Posted On: April 10, 2018 Posted In: College Prep, Written by: Amy Brennen

It’s no secret that computer science is one of the hottest (and hardest to get into majors!) around these days. Here are some recent examples of how difficult undergraduate CS admissions is becoming:   – For the Fall 2017 admissions cycle, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign had more than 4,300 applications for their CS’s program’s […]

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Acceptances are in, Now you Must Choose Posted On: April 2, 2018 Posted In: College Prep, Written by: Purvi Mody

College decisions are out. Finally! While this year has been really hard on some students, the good news is students still have choices to make when it comes to deciding their next step. And choice is always a good thing! I tell my students that it is the best problem to have.   While it […]

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Waitlisted? The Admissions Waiting Game Continues Posted On: March 25, 2018 Posted In: College Prep, Written by: Purvi Mody

We look forward to this time of year every year — the time when college decisions are released. It marks years of hard work. It also brings with it hope for the future and a new beginning. And while we celebrate acceptances and grieve denials, many don’t know how to react to getting waitlisted.   This […]

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How to Make the Most of your Spring College Visits Posted On: March 20, 2018 Posted In: College Prep, Written by: Holly Spence

One of the most exciting parts of applying to colleges is visiting those colleges that you’d really love to attend. While it can be tricky to visit colleges that are far away, there are often plenty of great in-state options to check out and make a day trip to. No matter which college you are […]

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What’s the Deal with Delayed Admissions? Posted On: March 13, 2018 Posted In: College Prep, Written by: Zach Pava

Recently, Georgia Institute of Technology began offering first-year applicants the opportunity to apply again as a transfer student to begin school in the fall of 2019.    The offer is presented through Georgia Tech’s Arts and Sciences Pathway Program and may be given to applicants who were not admitted to the College of Design, the […]

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Dealing with Rejection from your Top College Choice Posted On: March 5, 2018 Posted In: College Prep, Life Prep, Written by: Holly Spence

You’ve opened the letter, read the email, visited the portal. The response is not what you were hoping for. You’re disappointed, and this is a very fair reaction.   Applying for colleges is a long and hard process, one that takes up a lot of your time both physically and mentally. Unfortunately, a lot of […]

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Waiting For Acceptance Letters Can Be An Emotional Roller Coaster Posted On: February 22, 2018 Posted In: College Prep, High School, Written by: Purvi Mody

Parents, this one is for you.   Right now, your high school senior is on pins and needles waiting to hear back from colleges. They may have heard back from some already or are yet to receive a single decision. They may not express this to you, but their self-confidence is shaky. Emotionally, they are […]

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College Town USA Posted On: February 13, 2018 Posted In: College Prep, Written by: Zach Pava

When people think of the Boston area, the volume of outstanding universities is among the first topics to arise in conversation (trailing only perhaps politics and sports). It’s not hard to see why.  Across varied majors, school sizes, and locations both urban and suburban, going to school in or around Boston has something for everybody.  […]

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Consider Alternatives To The Traditional High School Experience Posted On: February 5, 2018 Posted In: High School, Written by: Purvi Mody

For many students, the traditional high school experience is not well suited for them.   Unfortunately, these students often trudge through the years getting more and more frustrated and less and less interested in education. The reality is there are alternative options that might work better with their personalities, lifestyles and learning styles.   But […]

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2018-2019 Common Application Essay Prompts Posted On: January 30, 2018 Posted In: College Prep, Written by: Holly Spence

The Common Application has announced that the 2018-2019 personal essay writing prompts will be the same as the seven 2017-2018 prompts. This is great news, as it allows Juniors to now start thinking about their responses to the prompts ahead of the college application writing season coming up this year.    Meredith Lombardi, Associate Director, Outreach, […]

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Stuck for Summer Plans? Here Are Some Great Bay Area Options! Posted On: January 17, 2018 Posted In: High School, Written by: Insight Education

There are so many great, competitive programs and options available to students who are planning how to spend their summers. The tough part – how to decide!   You can spend your summer doing a variety of things, maybe it’s working part-time while taking an SAT course, perhaps you want to do an internship and […]

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Make Sure “Senioritis” Doesn’t Spoil Your College Dreams Posted On: January 12, 2018 Posted In: College Prep, High School, Written by: Purvi Mody

After submitting their college applications, I’ll bet what high school seniors want most to do is just relax — something they have not gotten to do in a long while! And while I do believe they deserve to savor these unscheduled and unhurried moments, I would caution them that the effort they just put in […]

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Don’t Seek Summer Internships Just To Impress Admissions Officers Posted On: January 7, 2018 Posted In: College Prep, High School, Written by: Purvi Mody

The rush to get summer internships can feel as intense as the pressure to get into college. There is a misconception that specific internships will get kids into their dream colleges or that certain “unique” experiences will help to set students apart in the admissions process. So students trudge through applications. Teachers are forced to […]

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Q&A with your Counselor – Jenny Bloom Posted On: January 3, 2018 Posted In: College Prep, Insight, Written by: Jenny Bloom

We continue our Q&A series with Jenny Bloom, Insight counselor for 5 years and all-round awesome human!    Where did you go to college? I went to The University of Texas at Austin for my undergraduate degree in Human Development and Family Sciences (go Longhorns!). Post college, I moved to Los Angeles to work with […]

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How to Answer College Interview Questions (In the Way Your Interviewer Wants!) Posted On: December 27, 2017 Posted In: College Prep, Written by: Amy Brennen

So you’ve decided to do a college interview. Congrats! This is a great opportunity for you and your dream school to get better acquainted. It’s normal to feel a bit nervous before an interview, but by preparing and preparing some more with our list of common college interview questions, and understanding how to give answers […]

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It was a great year for Insight Students! Posted On: December 22, 2017 Posted In: Success Stories, Written by: Insight Families

2017 has been a wonderful year for our Insight students, with many getting into the top college of their choice or scoring the SAT/ ACT Score of their dreams! Below are some notes from our students as they celebrate their success.  I took an Insight SAT Boot Camp, and afterward, I got 1570 on the SAT!!!! […]

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Holiday Happiness with Insight: Our Holiday Traditions Posted On: December 18, 2017 Posted In: Insight, Written by: Insight Education

For the whole month of December, Team Insight are celebrating the holidays by taking a look back at the things that bring us joy. One of the big things we all enjoy are the traditions we celebrate with our families during the season.  Below are some of our favorite holiday traditions. What are yours? Share […]

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The Lessons I Learned As a Drama Geek Prepared Me For College Interviews Posted On: December 13, 2017 Posted In: College Prep, Written by: Amy Brennen

And Can Prepare You Too! I’ll admit it: I was a bit of a theater geek in high school. I built sets, sang, dance, but most importantly I learned to smile through my fears and say ‘yes, and?’ to whatever life and my interviews threw at me. Using The Core Principles of Improv If I […]

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Holiday Happiness with Insight: Our Favorite Recipes Posted On: December 6, 2017 Posted In: Insight, Written by: Insight Education

For many of us, one of our favorite parts of the holidays is the FOOD! We are very blessed to be able to enjoy special meals with our families, and every family has a different recipe that reminds them of the happy holiday time.  Team Insight is excited to share some of our traditional family […]

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So, Now What? Waiting for your College Application Responses Posted On: November 29, 2017 Posted In: College Prep, Written by: Purvi Mody

Now that so many seniors have submitted their college applications, the hard part begins — waiting. We know it can feel like torture to wait the few weeks or months until college decisions are released, but there are certainly some things you can do in the meantime: • Make sure your applications are complete. The […]

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Students + Sleep = Success Posted On: November 12, 2017 Posted In: High School, Written by: Purvi Mody

It is no secret that teens are not getting enough sleep these days. With endless screen time, mounds of homework and crammed schedules, teens are sacrificing sleep just to keep up. And it is not that they are simply losing a few minutes of necessary winks. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teens should average […]

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Creating an Admissions Appropriate Online Persona Posted On: October 31, 2017 Posted In: College Prep, High School, Life Prep, Written by: Purvi Mody

The advent of technology certainly has made the college admissions process easier and more accessible to the nearly 2 million high school seniors who apply each year. But it has also made our lives so much more transparent and visible than ever before. And college admissions officers, trying to glean as much as they can […]

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Ace the ACT Posted On: October 23, 2017 Posted In: Test Prep, Written by: Holly Spence

The day is finally here. You’ve been preparing for months, worked your way through countless notebooks and #2 pencils, and taken practice test after practice test to get your score where you want it to be.   Today is ACT day!     First of all, I urge you to take a moment to pat yourself […]

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Q&A with your Counselor – Amy Brennen Posted On: October 12, 2017 Posted In: College Prep, Insight, Written by: Amy Brennen

Welcome back to our Q&A Series! We are chatting with Amy Brennen, our resident essay expert and college admissions counselor.   Where did you go to college? I went to college at UC Davis and studied international relations and economics, minored in Japanese, and graduated in three years   What is your favorite memory from […]

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Think it Through: Early Decision Posted On: October 4, 2017 Posted In: College Prep, Written by: Purvi Mody

With Early Decision deadlines just around the corner, it is crunch time for college applicants. As important as it is to submit the highest quality application, it is equally important to make sure that Early Decision is the right option for the entire family. Early Decision is the admission option through which a student makes […]

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Authenticity is King Posted On: September 27, 2017 Posted In: Life Prep, Written by: Sarah de Sousa

Each year a number of my students are admitted and a number are rejected. Such is the life of an admissions counselor. And on this day, my colleague and I had a similar task: we each were asked by parents of our students to explain the decision their child had received from X dream school. […]

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Why Students Need Heartfulness Posted On: September 23, 2017 Posted In: Life Prep, Written by: Sarah de Sousa

The Japanese symbol for mindfulness is one of those elegant shapeshifting words that depends on context to reveal its meaning; it combines the symbol for presence with the symbol for mind, spirit or heart—in other words, the familiar concept of mindfulness could also be translated heartfulness. To be mindful is also to have presence of heart. I like to […]

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Wellness Month Resources and Events Posted On: September 20, 2017 Posted In: Life Prep, Written by: Insight Education

As part of our September Wellness Month, we wanted to share some great resources with you so that you can practice mindfulness at home! Below are our pick of upcoming events, apps, books, online resources and studies. If you have any other great resources to add to the list, please feel free to head over to […]

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Q&A with your Counselor – Sarah de Sousa Posted On: September 15, 2017 Posted In: College Prep, Insight, Written by: Sarah de Sousa

Welcome back to our Q&A Series! We sat down with Sarah de Sousa, our wonderful counselor of 5 great years (so far!) and also our mindfulness and wellness expert.    Where did you go to college? I attended Stanford University, where I studied modern thought and literature through the Humanities Honors Program. I was also […]

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Fitting in: Enough is Enough Posted On: September 13, 2017 Posted In: Life Prep, Written by: Sarah de Sousa

You are probably expecting me to say that “fitting in” is a myth, that what matters is being yourself and not sacrificing your values and your authenticity for the sake of gaining approval. But before I offer that advice, which I inevitably will, let’s pause and acknowledge that we are in some sense wired to […]

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Mindfulness Posted On: September 8, 2017 Posted In: College Prep, Life Prep, Written by: Sarah de Sousa

“Mindfulness” is the hot new buzz-word sweeping through education, psychology, corporate consulting, and just about every domain of our modern lives. From the New York Times to the cover of TIME magazine and a recent TIME article, mindfulness appears to be hitting the mainstream like never before. But what does it mean? And how does […]

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Insight’s 18th Birthday Celebration! Posted On: September 1, 2017 Posted In: College Prep, Written by: Holly Spence

This past Sunday, August 27th, the entire Insight team celebrated our 18th Birthday at “The Art of College Admissions” Seminar event, held at our Cupertino location. The event marks an exciting time at Insight, as we open two new locations this year in Newton, MA and Santa Cruz, CA. Celebrating 18 years gives us a […]

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Q&A with Insight – Ajit Jain Posted On: August 18, 2017 Posted In: College Prep, Insight, Written by: Ajit Jain

Our Q&A with the Insight team continues this week with Ajit Jain, the Co-owner and Co-CEO of Insight Education! Celebrating our 18th Anniversary, Ajit looks back on his fondest memories.    Where did you go to college? I attended the University of Toronto in Toronto, Canada where I grew up. I studied Civil Engineering with […]

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Set Goals for The New Academic Year Posted On: August 9, 2017 Posted In: High School, Written by: Purvi Mody

Summer is a great time to really think about the past year and to set goals for the upcoming one. While you might want to block out what happened the previous academic year, remember that we have to learn from our successes and our failures. This will help you to set appropriate goals and strategies […]

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Tips for The New Senior Class Posted On: August 3, 2017 Posted In: High School, Written by: Purvi Mody

It is so hard to imagine that this year’s senior class has finally grown up. I have known many of my seniors since they were unsure, shy, aspiring underclassmen. Now they are the ones who are going to rule the school. Being a senior is not just a rite of passage; with the privileges come great […]

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Q&A with your Counselor – Zach Pava Posted On: July 28, 2017 Posted In: College Prep, Insight, Written by: Zach Pava

Welcome to a new Insight Series: Q&A with your Counselors. We’re starting off with our Insight Counselor Zach Pava, who works with us out of his hometown in Boston. Get to know Zach and a little more about why he loves being a College Admissions Counselor!   Tell us about Insight Education Newton? We offer […]

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Why You Should Take the SAT in August! Posted On: July 20, 2017 Posted In: Test Prep, Written by: Jenny Bloom

The College Board announced early this year that they would be offering the SAT on August 26th, 2017. Prior to this year, the first opportunity students had to take the test after June was in October. Now that the College Board is offering an August test date, students have many more options and opportunities to […]

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Is Working Part-Time During High School Really Possible? Posted On: June 28, 2017 Posted In: High School, Life Prep, Written by: Purvi Mody

Yes!  I started working unofficially at the age of 7, helping my aunt file papers in her small accounting practice. When I turned 14, I got my first real job, at McDonald’s — the only place that would hire anyone so young at that time. And on the day I turned 16, I went from […]

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Top 10 Summer Tasks for College Admissions Posted On: June 20, 2017 Posted In: College Prep, Written by: Purvi Mody

Summer is the perfect time to get a jump start on your college admissions process. There are several steps that you can take to make the admissions process as stress free as possible during the upcoming fall. Even though your friends may procrastinate, there is no reason for you to do so. Put these 10 tasks on […]

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How Do I Find My Passion? Posted On: June 5, 2017 Posted In: College Prep, High School, Life Prep, Written by: Purvi Mody

I have had the great honor of sitting on panels about college admissions. One that has stuck with me was a panel to share with students the true value of a college education and how to best prepare for it. It was an opportunity to see life not as one big race to the finish […]

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Summer Freedom Can Still Be Productive! Posted On: May 25, 2017 Posted In: High School, Life Prep, Written by: Zach Pava

As final exams conclude, as you turn in your year-end projects, as you wait for AP scores and prepare for your upcoming SAT, ACT, and SAT subject tests in June, as you begin to pack for a summer trip, a new internship, or (gulp) college, please stop for a moment and take a deep breath.  […]

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The Next Phase in Life – class of 2017 Posted On: May 16, 2017 Posted In: College Prep, Written by: Purvi Mody

For all you high school seniors out there, you are ready to embark on a new stage in your life. For the first time, you will be in full control of your destiny and your day-to-day life. While you may just want to jump into the college experience and see what it brings, I challenge […]

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Three Trends Driving the Drop in Acceptances at Top Universities Posted On: May 10, 2017 Posted In: College Prep, Life Prep, Written by: Amy Brennen

It’s no secret that getting into an elite university is tougher than ever, but few of us are aware of just how rapidly the admissions landscape has shifted in recent years. Universities across the U.S. have not only seen dramatic shifts in who applies, but also in when students apply and where students apply. Knowing […]

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Ready, Set, Take the Test! Posted On: May 5, 2017 Posted In: High School, Test Prep, Written by: Purvi Mody

Students are getting ready to embark on a very busy testing season. The next SAT dates are coming up in May and early June, and the ACT is following just after. Below are some tips for success during the summer study period: Focus on your weaknesses and not your strengths. It is human nature to […]

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Setting up Routines for High School Posted On: October 5, 2016 Posted In: High School, Life Prep, Written by: Jenny Bloom

Do you know how you actually spend your time? Gone are the days of my high school life when I was waiting for the bus, I would pick up my book and read. Now you can fill your time with Facebook, Vine, Snapchat, read through your texts, Tweet, take 10000 selfies of what you would look like with and without bangs. And before you know it, that project that was due two weeks from now is due tomorrow. There is no possible way you can get it done in time so you fake a stomachache and stay home to finish the project.

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Want to Impress Colleges? Be Yourself! Posted On: August 10, 2016 Posted In: College Prep, Written by: Purvi Mody

How much do colleges weight sports? Does it help if I quit tennis and pursue a more unique sport? Can I get into a top school if I am Captain of Speech and Debate? Do I really have to do research? Is 1600 the score I need to get into any college? What if I try to skip ahead in Math and do Calculus in my Junior year, is that better than if I do it in my Senior Year?

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The kind of student colleges like __________ are looking for… Posted On: May 16, 2016 Posted In: College Prep, Life Prep, Written by: Sarah de Sousa

Each year a number of my students are admitted and a number are rejected. Such is the life of an admissions counselor. And on this day, my colleague and I had a similar task: we each were asked by parents of our students to explain the decision their child had received from X dream school.

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The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success Posted On: April 24, 2016 Posted In: College Prep, Written by: Zach Pava

One of the ongoing debates in the world of college admissions is how to make the entire process more affordable, especially to families in lower income brackets. The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success (CAAS), a diverse group with more than 90 colleges and universities, is aiming to offer a more affordable education to students.

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UC Application New Essays: “Personal Insight Questions” Posted On: April 12, 2016 Posted In: College Prep, Written by: Ajit Jain

On March 24, the University of California (UC) announced a drastic change to the essay section of its application. Effective immediately,freshman applicants will have the freedom to choose four questions to answer out of a possible eight.

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The Archeology of Success Posted On: February 10, 2016 Posted In: Life Prep, Success Stories, Written by: Sarah de Sousa

A student of mine had just been admitted to her dream school, a school that we both knew was not a guarantee by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, she explained that when she first shared the news with her friends, she heard someone nearby whispering, “Wow, she got in where?!?

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What are our Students are saying about Insight? Posted On: September 12, 2015 Posted In: Success Stories, Written by: An Insight Alum

I am here writing today as an Insight alum. I just wanted to take a quick minute and truly extend my thanks and gratitude to Purvi and Ajit for providing me with such exceptional guidance as I went through my college selection process. Were it not for them, I don’t think that I would have […]

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A New Freshman in High School Posted On: August 15, 2015 Posted In: High School, Written by: Sarah de Sousa

It’s that time of year- the countdown has officially begun!  The first day of school is just here and for those students entering their freshman year in high school, this is no ordinary first day of school. The first day of high schools marks an important life transition in so many ways. How is it […]

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The New SAT: What to know and how to prepare Posted On: June 4, 2015 Posted In: Test Prep, Written by: Purvi Mody

For the first time in 11 years, The College Board will be offering an updated version of the SAT exam beginning in March, 2016.  The new test will be administered only three times during this remaining academic year, once in May and then again in June.  With seniors awaiting college decisions and most underclassmen being […]

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