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  • alexandra1847

Larry receives numerous questions about college admissions from applicants and their families. This week he responds to a student's question about fencing and its impact on admissions. Although this question is specifically about fencing, Larry's response can be applied to sports in general.

Q: Is fencing a good extracurricular for top colleges? Would it help?

A: A fencer of outstanding accomplishment who could positively impact a college fencing team can get significant and meaningful coach support for an application to a selective college. However, the way this question is posed, without detail about the student athlete’s regional or national ranking, seems to indicate that this is a nice activity but not influential in highly selective college admissions.

The influence of athletics on college admissions is determined by the student’s level of involvement and achievement. In some cases, it also depends on what a coach is looking for during that particular cycle.

Larry works with student athletes as well as students of all academic profiles and extracurricular interests. If you have questions about college admissions or would like to learn more about our services, please contact

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  • alexandra1847

Larry received this very timely question about recent college admissions decisions. This cycle has been particularly challenging as students seem to be applying to a greater number of colleges (15+) and so many of the same colleges. Rather than increasing their own admissions chances, this is creating increased competition for a limited number of seats.

Q: It seems that so many qualified students from my high school didn’t get accepted to schools that should have been reasonably certain, given their grades and profiles. I feel like our school got blacklisted- do colleges usually do that?

A: High Schools do badly at some colleges for one of two reasons, principally:

  1. Matriculants don’t succeed at the college.

  2. Accepted students don’t enroll in sufficient numbers (“yield protection”). While yield protection can explain some outcomes, it sometimes feels like an excuse in the absence of hard evidence.

If your family needs college admissions assistance or you would like to learn more about our services, please contact

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  • alexandra1847

As a college admissions advisor, Larry works with students from all over our country as well as the world. He understands the different requirements for students who live or study outside of the U.S. and helps them navigate these complexities. This week he responds to a question from an American citizen who attends a high school abroad.

Q: If I'm American but go to high school abroad (in my case Egypt), does that make me an international student when applying to colleges in the US? Also note that I'm an IGCSE student.

A: As a US citizen, you are treated as a domestic student for purposes of financial aid.

Because your transcript comes from an Egyptian high school, admissions will probably have an international officer who reads your file first and manages its progress.

Since you studied for at least three years in an English language curriculum, TOEFL might not be required.

Make sure to check with each college, but keep these three items separate when you inquire.

If your family needs college admissions assistance or you would like to learn more about our services, please contact

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