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Insight’s 18th Birthday Celebration!

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 chance to pause and reflect on how far we have come, and celebrate the milestone with the many families who attended our seminar.

“The Art of College Admissions” is an informative look at the college admissions journey. Combining the 18 years of experience Insight holds with our strong team of Counselors, we present advice and strategies to families as they navigate the often confusing and challenge journey through high school and during college applications season. This past Sunday, we enjoyed a lot of great questions from families in different stages of that journey, and we wanted to share some of those questions and answers with you in the hopes that it can assist you on your path.

Question: Should subject tests be related to the major I pick?

Taking subject tests related to their interests allows students to demonstrate mastery of these subjects and readiness for their majors. For instance, a student hoping to study medicine could take Biology and/or Chemistry. In fact, some BA/ MD programs want to see a Chemistry Subject Test score. However, taking an additional subject test outside an area of interest, such as US History or Spanish can show a student’s ability to master a diverse range of topics and is recommend by some colleges. More competitive colleges may also like to see a subject test in a subject unrelated to the major (for example an engineering major applicant who does well in the Literature or US History tests). A final point is that the Math Level 2 test is a test we recommend that almost all college applicants we work with take (unless there is a serious issue with performing well in math subjects).

Question: If you’re on the waitlist, do you know your position? 

Waitlists are unranked and, hence, students are not given a position. Admissions officers will go to the waitlist once they have received all Intent to Register commitments (this means when a student has accepted an offer to attend) from admitted students. Accordingly, they will try to fill the holes in their class with the waitlist candidates. Waitlists are used to help Admissions officers manage enrollment to make sure they aren’t left with a class that is under filled or over filled.

Question: Should we think about Canadian Schools such as University of Waterloo or the University of Toronto?

Canadian Universities can be a great place for students to gain an international education that is relatively affordable, close to home, and as academically rigorous as American universities. The weaker Canadian dollar makes these universities as (or more!) affordable than the University of
California schools. Just keep in mind that currency fluctuations make the four-year costs unpredictable. While there are some cultural differences, such as a much smaller fraternity presence, Canadian Universities have been attracting more and more Americans, and unlike other international universities have a very similar admissions process, timeline, and requirements to American universities. Universities in the Toronto area are also a shorter direct flight time away than Boston or New York.

Also, the University of Toronto likely has the better international reputation but Waterloo has the better reputation when it comes to computer science & engineering (and mathematics), especially in Silicon Valley.


Below are some photos from our wonderful day, you can see more on our Facebook page.

Thank you to all the families that attended!


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What Are Insight Students & Parents saying?
  • I liked the structured method by which Zach approached the whole admission process. First, there was research into colleges to make a list, then a rigorous back and forth on […]

  • Priya was absolutely amazing to work with! We are thrilled that our son got into his top choice for college at LMU for the undergraduate business program. We couldn’t have […]

  • Thank you so much for helping me formulate my thoughts into words and help me write my essays. I got into Ut Austin for biology – still waiting for the […]

  • I just wanted to thank you again for your help during the college admission process. My family and I have been scrambling to figure out the process for years, and […]

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  • I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time out of your day to organize a meeting with me and help me in writing my summer program essays. […]

  • I just got my SAT scores on Friday, and I am happy to let you know that I scored an 800 on both the Biology-M and Math II tests. Thank […]

  • Our ACT instructor methods were so helpful and wonderful to have.

  • Zach, thank you so much for helping me become a confident and successful writer

  • We were extremely happy throughout the process – got much more than what we invested in Insight counseling.

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