Researching Colleges for Sophomores and Juniors

Join our “Researching Colleges for Sophomores and Juniors” webinar to supercharge your college preparation journey. This informative session is designed for high school students and their parents, and it will cover essential topics to help you make informed decisions. In this webinar, you can expect to learn: – Exploring College Options: Discover how to build a balanced list of colleges that fit your aspirations and goals. – Academic and Extracurricular Planning: Gain insights into course selection, GPA management, and extracurricular activities that stand out on applications. – Navigating College Websites: Learn how to efficiently use college websites to gather crucial information about programs, admission criteria, and scholarships. – Building a Timeline: Establish a timeline for college research, visits, and applications to stay organized and reduce stress. – Q&A Session: Ask our admissions expert Maria Acosta Robayo your burning questions about the college application process. Prepare for your college journey with confidence. Register now for this essential webinar!

Date 11/20/2023
Duration 1:01:29

Webinar Transcription

2023-11-20 – Researching Colleges for Sophomores and Juniors

Anesha: Hi everyone and welcome to tonight’s webinar. My name is Anesha Grant. I am a senior advisor at CollegeAdvisor, and I will be your moderator today. Tonight’s webinar is, “Researching Colleges for Sophomores and Juniors.” Before we get started, I just want to orient everyone with the webinar timing. We will start off with a presentation, uh, where our presenter will share some tips and resources for you, and then we will answer your questions in a live Q&A.

On the sidebar, you can download our slides under the handouts tab. And you can start submitting your questions under the Q&A tab whenever you get started. Now, let’s meet our panelist Maria. Hi, Maria. How are you doing?

Maria: Hi, my name is Maria Acosta Robayo and I graduated from Harvard class of 2020 where I studied sociology and global health policy.

And I’m really to, uh, I’m really excited to talk to you all about researching colleges, especially to the sophomores and juniors in the room. Awesome.

Anesha: Before we get started, we’re going to just do a quick poll. So please let us know what grade you are in. If you are a sophomore or junior, welcome. This session is for you if you’re younger or older.

Um, and if you’re a parent, you’re also absolutely welcome. So just let us know who you are in the room so we can get some context on our audience. Um, as we get started. Um, since we are in the week of Thanksgiving, Maria, and I love a food question, what’s your favorite, uh, Thanksgiving, I guess, side dish, or what’s the favorite food or meal that your family might prepare during the holidays?

Maria: Amazing. Um, I traditionally just really like stuffing, um, but I am, uh, married into a Korean family and they have seafood pancakes and they’re delicious. So, uh, that’s what we’ll be having as part of our Thanksgiving side dish. And it’s really good.

Anesha: I’m jealous. I’m jealous for the stuffing and for like the blend of of foods.

I like non traditional things on Thanksgiving, so that’s awesome. I hope you enjoy. All right, we’ll go ahead and close our poll. Um, yeah, as we expected, the majority of folks are just sophomores and juniors. So about 41 percent of those with us are in 10th grade. 51 percent are in the 11th grade. And then we have, it seems like a few parents and, um, A senior in here also seeking some guidance.

Um, so yeah, I will stop talking. I’ll hand it over to you. I’ll be back a little bit later.

Maria: Okay. Thank you. So we’ll just kick off with, um, You’re all majority sophomore and juniors. And so you’re probably wonder wondering when is a good time for students to begin researching schools. And so I’ll say you can start as early as middle school, but I really wouldn’t ramp it up until high school.

Um, so if there’s younger folks in this room or parents with younger students, um, definitely doesn’t hurt to start thinking about. Potentially where you might want to go for school. But I think that this is something that becomes a lot more serious in high school. Um, starting early though, does allow you to apply to more summer or winter break programs.

So if you’re a, uh, a freshman, if you’re a sophomore. There’s a couple more summers where you could apply to do, um, like summer programs at different colleges. Again, you could also do this as a junior. It’s just, things start ramping up quite quickly. And so, if there is opportunities to go earlier and start getting a feel for what school you’re interested in, I think that it’s a great idea to start as early as you can.

Um, and also, if you have an idea of the schools that you want to, uh, potentially go to, you can start kind of informally using, um, Kind of recreational trips, such as like family vacations or going to see friends or family, um, as an opportunity to tour colleges in that region. And so I know a lot of my friends who, um, I’m originally from Florida, but some of my friends had family in the Northeast.

And so they would go for Thanksgiving or for some other holiday and, um, tour some of the campuses in Boston or New York. And so that is a way to kind of save money on instead of you know Doing so many trips your junior year you kind of double dip into existing trips if you have more time Um if you’re in between ninth and tenth grade to freshman to sophomore I think this is a time where you should start thinking about what type of school you’d want to attend So for example a liberal arts college or a more technical college Maybe thinking about what majors or extracurriculars interest you.

Um, and there’s many, many students that apply to schools as undecided, and they’re not really sure what major they want to, they want to go into, but it’s a good idea to start getting a sense for potentially what majors you don’t want to do, and start kind of a process of elimination. Or starting to kind of hold into the things you really enjoy studying.

Um, and then another thing that sometimes students don’t think too much about is what location you want to spend your next four years in, um, or I guess not next four years, but four years after your high school graduation. Um, it makes a big difference where you end up. Living, um, whether you want to be in the city, whether you want to be more in like the suburban area, um, uh, quick example of that is like, uh, there’s a lot of New York schools and going to Cornell and Ithaca is very different than going to NYU or Columbia in the city.

And so thinking about the type of environment that you want to be in for four years and, um, thinking about it as not just where you’re going to live, but also maybe potentially where you want to, like, Do research or get resources and connections and start building a network. All those things are really important to think about.

Um, but again, those are just kind of like a beginning, beginning to think about those things and 11th grade. I think that’s where you really should kind of put pen to paper or, uh, more specifically, like maybe fingers to keyboard and start doing an actual like spreadsheet or form with your, uh, either your CollegeAdvisor or.

Um, on your own and start thinking more about in depth research to rank the schools that you’re interested in. This is where you would do more research on maybe some of the, um, information on admissions. So like what is the admissions rate? What is the tuition? Uh, what are the majors that are available?

What extracurriculars could you be a part of? Um, all those things are really important. You can set a school apart from others. What type of financial aid you might be, um, might be available to you. All those things make it. The application a lot more real and a lot, it starts to narrow down the schools that you might want to go to.

And so it’s really important by junior year to start doing some of that. Um, and then where, so we just talked about when you should start your college process. The where, um, is you can start by just, again, making a spreadsheet and logging a lot of your research. I think it’s probably one of the best ways to do that.

So you can compare side by side. So. Um, there are some templates online. If you go to Google, um, if you ask your, if you’re part of the CollegeAdvisor network, you could also work on one with your CollegeAdvisor. There is a template that we also use with our students. And so that’s definitely a resource that you could tap into if you’re part of the CollegeAdvisor network.

Um, and you can do, um, like you can pretty much put different categories in that, which can be, like I said, like your location, the admissions rate, the majors, professors of interest. Um, I was pre med and so a big thing for me is like what nearby hospitals are there so I can shadow or I can do research. Um, and then.

You can start if you want with your favorite school. If you have one already and just plug that into Google or your preferred search engine. And then the schools use the school’s website to fill out the categories for each school of interest. Some students don’t have a favorite school yet. And so there’s different ways to get started.

You can either start by looking at. Rankings for the schools that are best in like x area that you want to study Or you can start thinking about what location you want to be in and you start looking at what schools are maybe in the Boston Area, and then you’ll find a ton there. You can get anything from like tufts to Boston University Boston College Nearby Cambridge, there’s Harvard, MIT, Tufts.

Um, and so you could, again, kind of start by location. You could start by ranking, you could start by your dream school and schools that are similar to it. Um, and then you can start filling out again, the, the categories that, uh, most interests you, or that you talk with your advisor that might be the most important for you to index on.

Um, and then, um, you can fill in any gaps. by just reaching out to admissions officers and or students, um, current students or recent alumni. If you can’t find some of those, um, data points online and there’s, if you contact the admissions office, they will let you know if they have students who are available to talk with, with interested people.

Like high school students. I was part of Harvard’s admissions office. And so I talked to a lot of incoming students. I did some of their like, um, during winter break, we would go and talk at middle schools and high schools. And so I know that a lot of schools are very interested in making sure that high schoolers who are interested in their school get a chance to talk to current students or recent alumni who can tell them a little bit more about why their school stands out.

What are things to keep in mind for the application and things that are important. And so I would definitely. Uh, make use of that if the school offers an opportunity to speak to a student or a recent alumni. Um, so what factors should you consider when crafting your college list? So I already named a couple, but i’ll just go through this a little bit more systematically.

So I the first thing I thought of was location. Um, I knew that I wanted to be in a city, but I also didn’t want to be like right in the middle of a city like Columbia or New York, and so for me, um, Harvard was perfect in being like, uh, obviously, uh, really fantastic university, but in terms of location, it was really close to a big city like Boston, but also in Cambridge, which wasn’t as, um, heavily trafficked, and so, you know, It was a really perfect location for me.

It was also really close to a lot of research institutions. I got a chance to do internships at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston Children’s. And so there was a lot of opportunities for me to get a sense of what type of medicine I might want to practice, what type of mentors I can get in different places that have experience working with children or an emergency or an oncology.

Um, and so it was a really, uh, there was a lot of options and it was a big culture of making sure that you involve college students in, uh, the healthcare place. Um, then you can also think about, uh, type of college. So that’s like a second kind of index or category that you can use. Whether you want a liberal arts college, whether you want a more technical college, how many majors you want available at the school, um, how big you want the school to be is another big factor.

Some students want a very small community, others want a big campus. Um, and so that’s another thing to keep in mind. Um, you’re probably thinking about majors and minors or programs of study. Bye bye. I would say that a lot of schools share very similar majors, and it comes down to who are the faculty in those departments.

And so, when you’re thinking about majors, I would also think about who are the people that are leaders in their fields or people that you have read like their articles or taking maybe seeing their books or seeing their classes and try to think about not just what major but also what type of classes and what type of professors you would want to learn from.

That’s all part of trying to figure out like what academic experience you want from the school. Um, admissions rate is another really important category because that will help you figure out What strategy that you what strategy you want to do when you’re applying. So you usually want to think about having a good mix of safety schools, target schools, and reach schools.

So the difference between that, and I’ll get into that a little bit later. It’s like your reach schools are probably going to have really low admissions rates. Even if you’re a fantastic student, it might be hard to get in just because of the numbers. And so looking at the admissions rate will help you get a sense of.

Do I have a healthy mix of some of those that are reach schools? But I also am not shooting myself in the foot and making it really hard statistically to get into a school And so you want to make sure you also add a couple target schools that maybe have in like the 25 plus admissions rate, um, and maybe some safety schools that don’t have any admissions rate and are just open for all.

Um, oftentimes, uh, students are thinking about getting financial financial aid. That was definitely my case. Uh, financial aid was super important to me. And so I made sure that I was looking at schools that could either have really big scholarship opportunities or who were fully need based financial aid, which means that they will look at your parents taxes.

See how much your parents can contribute, and they will make up, they will give you, as long as you get into the school, they will cover everything else that your parents might not be able to. And so, that is primarily all of the Ivy Leagues, or most of the Ivy Leagues, um, if not all. That have that policy of need based financial aid, well they will really make sure that you get in by merit and then if you get in that you’re able to go and that money isn’t an issue.

Um, another category to consider is study abroad programs. So a big perk of going to college is the opportunity to travel, um, and to learn in other countries. And there is really great, uh, study abroad programs in schools that can either be during the semester or in the summer. And so thinking about whether you would want to have an international experience, whether you want to learn a new language, uh, maybe get introduced to a different industry that’s abroad.

Uh, those are all considerations when you’re making a school list and when you’re researching colleges. I already talked about professors, uh, but the last one that I think sometimes gets a little overlooked, but it’s important to consider is social and Greek life. So there’s a lot of students who maybe are really interested in being part of Greek life.

They want to be in a sorority or fraternity or a If you want to be part of a specific social club and I think that that is something that is a consideration and so you should think about looking at some of those things, but I would say definitely not something that is required or necessary. At Harvard, there was a lot of final clubs, there was Greek life fraternities and sororities, and I will say that the campus feel was still like very few people.

In comparison to like the larger school population were part of those clubs, the majority of people found community through their residential colleges, which everybody was sorted into. And so, um, there’s definitely, uh, at least at the school that I went to, there wasn’t a need to be in Greek life or in a specific social club.

And it was more where you found community based on your classes, your departments, your residential colleges, or your extracurriculars. Um, I recognize that that’s not all schools. Some students, again, were really looking forward to being in Greek life, and so if that’s you, definitely would consider whether that is a big part of the school that you’re interested in.

Um, but again, I would like to reiterate that you can find community really in, in anything that you do, especially if it’s, uh, that you’re doing something you really enjoy with like minded people. And so, um, you can find communities in any pockets of things that you’re passionate about. Um, so I alluded to this before, but as you’re making a strategy for how many schools to apply to, which ones to apply to, you should definitely keep in mind that admissions rate for the purpose of thinking about a good mix of reach target and safety schools or likely schools, um, reach, like I mentioned before, usually any school 15, they typically have an admissions rate that are below the 20 to 25%.

By definition, they’re very selective. And, um, every like individually school that has an admin profile slightly above yours like that is not necessarily saying anything about like any student specific scores or anything, but just statistically, there’s so many students that can have great scoring that, um, it really comes down to the mix of people in that cohort.

So, for example, in a specific cohort, if there’s just a lot of pre med students applying on a specific year. That might make your chances of getting in lower than in a year where there’s very few pre med, if you’re a pre med. Um, and so I would, um, definitely just try your best. You never, you can’t control what cohort you’re in or how many students of a similar profile as you are applying in your cohort.

And so I just usually advise students that this is one of the things that you really don’t have much control over. Try to just, Be as genuine as possible about your interests, what you want to do in school, um, and try to be as strategic as possible in making sure you diversify the schools that you are applying to.

Um, a target school is a school that more matches your specific academic profile. Um, this is one where you feel like more confident that like you’re more likely going to get in. It usually has like a 25 Plus percent admissions rate, uh, but it still has an admissions rate, which means that you’re not 100 percent assured that as long as you can pay, you go, um, and so that’s why it’s still not like a 100 percent guarantee, uh, but you feel again, fairly confident in the admissions based on grades and transcripts and tests, um, and then a likely school, or maybe you’ve heard of it as like a safety school or something that you feel a lot more comfortable.

Um, this is where you match or definitely above their academic profile, relatively confident of acceptance. Uh, they definitely have to have greater than 50 percent admissions rate or schools that don’t have an admissions rate at all. And you can just, as long as you pay, you can, you can go to the school.

And so these are much more. Once you can be very confident that even if you don’t get into your reach or your target, you’ll have a school to go to next year or for sophomores and juniors two to three years from now. Um, I’ll stop here for a poll.

Anesha: All right. Okay. Thank you. Uh, we will do another quick poll.

Just where are you in your application process? So if you are, if you have not started, that’s totally fine. That’s an acceptable place to be in the timeline. If you’re researching schools, which it seems like some of you might be. Working on essays or getting application materials together. Please let us know.

Um, and as we’re waiting, I guess I was trying to think of another question to ask you that was Thanksgiving related. But, um, are you, are you traveling for Thanksgiving? I’ll ask, I guess I’ll ask, or are you staying close to home?

Maria: Yeah. So home for me is DC right now, but I am actually in Chicago. Um, so we’re celebrating with my husband’s family and I’m visiting a childhood friend that lives in the city.

So I’m actually in Chicago and we’ll be going to, um, the holidays to Miami for Christmas.

Anesha: Oh, nice. All right. That sounds awesome. O’Hare is a struggle. I will just agree. Yeah.

Maria: I’m glad that I’m here already and kind of missed some of the craziness for Thanksgiving.

Anesha: Yeah. Um, yes, I was, that’s the one airport.

I’m like, I don’t know. I don’t know if I’ll ever make it back to Chicago. Um, all right. Well, I hope you have a good time there and it’s not too cold. I feel like winter hasn’t properly started. So not too nippy. All right, cool. Thanks for sharing. I’m not going anywhere. I’m in California. Um, um, but yeah, yeah, it’s pretty nice.

Um, all right, we’ll go ahead and close our poll. And just for you, FYI, about 67 percent of the folks are saying that they’re researching schools, 25 percent have not started. And again, that’s totally fine. Hopefully today’s conversation will give you some context. On when to get started or how to get started five percent are working on essays Two percent are getting materials done and one percent are almost are almost done.

So congrats to that one percent who are almost ready to Submit. All right. I will stop talking again. Be back a little bit later when we open up our Q&A

Maria: amazing Um, so let’s i’ll kick off to the next slide here um So how can students make sure that their college list is balanced? Um, I kind of, that’s where I left off in the previous slide.

Try to have a mix of usually like a couple reach schools, mostly target schools, and a few likely schools. And I say that because, um, like I said, some of the reach schools are just statistically harder to get into, and so I would usually add a couple. Um, I had, I think, two to three REACH schools, um, that I felt like these were my dream schools.

I really wanted to shoot my shot, so I had, actually I think I had like three to four. Um, most students have like three to four, uh, REACH schools, maybe like five ish, uh, Target schools, five to six, and then like, One or two likely schools that they feel very confident that they’re going to get into, but they’re, um, I think one kind of trap that some people fall into is not really thinking about their likely schools at all.

Um, and really running the risk of potentially not getting into other schools. Uh, I would say, try to make sure that your likely schools are schools that you’re still interested in going to, that you would be excited to go to. Um, it might not be your dream school, but that it’s one that you would still make the best out of.

Um, And I think that this mix allows you to have a really successful admission strategy where you kind of diversify your risk a little bit more and you, uh, still have opportunities to compare multiple options after admissions decisions because sometimes you get into your dream school, but maybe you don’t get all the aid that you want.

And so being able to kind of show, Hey, this other school that’s at a similar caliber as you is offering me more money, allows you to have a little bit more leverage. around, um, potentially getting more financial aid. Um, and so I think that this is about what I just described in the previous slide. Often students are applying between 8 to 15 schools, um, and that just really depends on the major, the competitiveness of the schools on your list.

It also depends on your budget. Currently it’s expensive to apply to schools. It’s about Can range from 60 to 90 ish, a hundred dollars per school. And so, um, definitely not everyone can, can do that. And so I would say if you are on free or financial, um, free or reduced lunch, you oftentimes have waiver for the SAT, ACT, as well as, um, to apply to colleges.

So I was on free and reduced lunch and I never had to pay for any, um, of my applications. And so, cause I got a waiver, uh, all students who are free or reduced lunch get waivers. And so I would definitely consider. Talking to either your registrar or your CollegeAdvisor at your high school and making sure that you’re able to tap into that um And then like I said usually around two safeties three to four target schools three to four reach schools um and then uh, like I said at the bottom the It’s really important to just think about your safety schools, even though you, I’m sure you want to get into like your target or your reach schools is important to not just apply to schools that you definitely would hate to go to.

And then potentially for whatever reason, uh, maybe end up there and, and not, and to kind of regret not having applied to maybe another safety school that you were more interested in. So as you’re also researching colleges, a lot of students run into the question of should I visit schools as a way of gathering more research and putting myself out there or is like what’s online enough?

How important is the college visit? And so I would say ideally students should visit before applying if you’re going to visit. So not everyone can afford to visit. I couldn’t afford to visit, so I didn’t visit until I got in and then I had to decide which, um, which weekends. So I was Between Princeton and Harvard and they were either on the same weekend or very close to each other.

And I think what’s cool, it was just going to be hard to miss both, um, like both of those weekends. And so I decided to only go to the Harvard, uh, opening days and I really loved it. Um, I thought it was a really great experience. I will. I wish I had visited before so I could have had an even easier decision, but I didn’t.

I didn’t have the opportunity. So what I want to share is not necessarily what I did, but I wish what I wish I could have done if finances and timing allowed, which is visiting your top schools before you apply so that you could get a sense of. Okay, is this really where I want to be? Do I want to spend time writing these extra supplemental essays for the school if I really don’t like it?

Um, maybe actually going to the school gives you fodder for what to write in the supplemental essay and you’re even more excited and it shows through the paper and, um, you get a chance to maybe connect the admissions officer which could help you also in the process of showing interest before applying.

And so, um, I think that if Again, 10 finances allow. Visiting before can give you definitely some advantages. Um, it’s also nice to visit when you’re deciding between schools because that way you have an opportunity to really kind of know that you’re, you’re going to go to either one of these schools or if multiple, like either one of the schools that you’re visiting and you really can just focus on the feel.

Like, do you feel like this is a place where you could call home for four years? Um, Do you like the campus? Do you like, um, maybe the community if you start getting a sense for like the, um, just like the general like social vibes of like, who goes to this school? Like, what are some of the, um, opportunities to connect to folks here?

You could ask while you’re there. You could also ask students what their experience is like. And so it kind of takes off visiting after you get accepted. And when you’re choosing between colleges, you’re Takes off some of the pressure of like, I need to dig for things to write in my essays or for research purposes.

And it’s more, a lot more of like a genuine kind of internal research of what I want to be here or is another school better. Um, and then, like I said, at the very beginning, ultimately it’s not a requirement and can sometimes be financially difficult to visit schools. So I didn’t, and I ended up really loving where I went.

I wish I had had the, the opportunities to, but. definitely still worked out. And so, um, I would say again, I’m sharing what an ideal situation would be, but it’s definitely not the necessary situation. Um, so if you do go to a school visit, what would you want to learn? And again, I’m sharing this as a lot, I know a lot of schools can offer sophomore or junior trips.

And so if you are going on those to see, to visit schools, keep in mind some of the things that you might be seeing in those visits as part of your research. Um, so you might be learning some basics. So. A little bit more about the school history, the mission, some of the alumni achievements. These are just some basics to kind of give you a sense for what the school is.

And then it could also be specifically helpful for student, for, for students who want a better idea of campus life. So if you actually go and visit, you could see, okay, is everything super spread apart? Where if like I’m in one side of campus, I would never see anybody on the other side or things closer together and more integrated.

Um, it could give you answers to more specific academic or extracurricular questions. If you go and you visit with an admissions officer, um, Um, Again, something I cared about was, uh, I’m from, originally from Miami, and I knew it was going to get really cold in Boston, and so I wanted to get a sense for if I’m going to be walking from class to class in the snow, or when it’s really cold, like how far are things really going to be.

And, uh, Harvard things were very close, which was very different from friends who were maybe at Princeton or Cornell who felt like campus was a little bit more expansive and they had to walk a little bit more to get places. Um, and then, uh, one of the last things that I think is really important to call out as part of a school visit is that it’s a chance to potentially meet with professors.

coaches or other personnel that you might be interested in talking to about, um, your application or your, uh, time at the school. And so these are all things to consider if you’re going to visit. Like I said, it’s not necessary, but if you are going to visit as part of your research into the colleges, um, I would say to definitely come prepared with what are the things that you want to learn that you wouldn’t be able to learn online, um, to really make that worth it, to make that like, um, financial investment worth it.

So when should you when should your school list be finalized? So your final list I think should be done by around mid September of your senior year. This is usually when you really have to kind of nail down what supplemental essays and things you’re going to write for those early decision deadlines.

And so, especially if you’re doing early, early applications, you should be set by around mid August. So right before starting school or right at the start of school so that you have some time in between to get teachers to look at your essays, to confirm that you have all your teacher recommendations and just making sure you’re not stressed at the beginning of your senior semester, uh, with early deadlines coming up in November.

Um, and then be mindful that some, uh, schools, like, Duke, UNCs, and a couple others have slightly earlier deadlines and so I would make sure that you know exactly when you’re supposed to submit your applications, what are the different deadlines and application processes for each of the schools that you’re applying to.

And this is something you could definitely do with an advisor from CollegeAdvisor, um, or your school advisor in your high school, your CollegeAdvisor at your high school. Um, so then, uh, once you have your final list together, you can reevaluate after early results and add or remove schools as needed.

So let’s say you get into a school early and it’s not a binding. Like you didn’t do early decision or you’re bound to go. Uh, then you have the opportunity to think about, okay, I’m I got into the school. I, I know that I’m going somewhere. Is there somewhere else that I would rather go to? Um, and that’s something similar that happened to me.

I got into Princeton early and then I decided to apply to schools that I would only, only other schools that I would rather Go to. And so, um, I was really interested in going to either Stanford or Harvard. And so I only applied to those other two schools and got a chance to choose between, um, Harvard and Princeton to figure out, okay, like, which is really where I would want to call home.

But it was, again, applying early gave me that, the opportunity to apply without the pressure of feeling like I need to get into like this next set of schools because I still haven’t gotten somewhere. Um, and then it could be really helpful to have a priority list and a backup list. Um, and you can work with your advisor to strategize on like your desired admissions, but it’s a good opportunity to just think about, okay, in the scenario that I don’t get into like my early decisions or my early, um, applications, what other schools would I really want to focus my energy on?

There’s a pretty quick turnaround between, between November and January. Um, so that those deadlines align with like your early apps and your regular apps. such that if you don’t get into your early applications, you really only have about two months to work on your regular decision applications. And those can be a little stressful if you haven’t started them already, usually because it’s like end of term, and so there might be unit exams, you have the holidays, so you’re with family, and so those can be really hard to plan for if you haven’t already started those applications.

And so I would start thinking about Even if you submit your applications, your early applications, thinking about working on your regular decision ones in the case that you don’t get into your, uh, early decisions. or your early applications. Um, and the last advice I would give here is, again, really consider where you want to live for the next four years.

Um, it’s a really special time between the ages of around 18 to 22, you get a chance to start thinking more critically about what are the things you’re really passionate about? What are the communities that you want to be a part of? Um, and so thinking about where you want to go to college is a really important decision in that.

And so I would definitely think about, um, the location and the communities that you want to be a part of. Um, During your four years in college, um, think beyond school rankings. Um, I know that this is something that is definitely a lot of students gravitate to, and that’s okay. Like everyone wants to think about going to a really good school.

Um, but there’s so many different considerations about what makes up a good school. Um, there’s so many opportunities that each school. uniquely offers, and those could be academic, extracurricular, lifestyle, or network based. And so I would really think critically about not just what, um, you think is like the top ranked school, but what kind of makes up the type of environment that you want to be a part of.

Um, and lastly, don’t forget to apply for school scholarships or for outside scholarships. Sorry, um, as you’re researching colleges, think about if the financial, um, the financial packages that come with those schools aren’t as big as you thought, but you really like the school, then that gives you time to start thinking about what are some outside scholarships that you’d want to apply for.

And these can allow you to be less financially tied to a specific school and have more flexibility around which schools you optima Ultimately want to decide to go to and that’s all for me.

Anesha: All right. Thank you so much. Maria for the awesome presentation. We are going to move over into the Q and a portion of our presentation tonight.

If you are having any issues with submitting questions, just know that you might have to log out, log back in in order to submit. Your questions and you should be sure that you are logging in from the custom link in your email and not from the webinar Landing page. That’s only if you are having trouble submitting questions Another reminder that you can download Maria’s awesome slides from the handouts tab as well And again continue submitting your questions.

So our questions are a little all over the place just general kind of college application questions Not necessarily about timeline, but we’ll take them Um, so the first question I have for you is about the essay So how do how do you write a good college essay? And what? What should I not write about and what to not write to improve admissions except

Maria: for sure. So, um for folks who are maybe just starting their research into colleges and haven’t yet gotten into the application Uh, just give some context like a big part of the application is uh essays and so you’ll be writing Uh, usually a personal 650 words Probably be writing some supplemental essays that are very specific to the schools That you’re interested in and so Um, this question is referring to writing good essays as one of the many things that schools will look at in your application.

Um, and so, as you’re thinking about your essay, I think a really important thing to keep in mind is, what are admissions officers not seeing from your current file? So they’re seeing, They’re seeing your academic rankings, they’re seeing your stats for your GPA, for your, um, probably your standardized test scores.

They’re seeing a lot of things, but they might not be seeing something more based on like your personality, your character, your background, your life experiences. And so that’s what really the essay comes, that’s where the essay comes into play. It’s an opportunity to give admissions officers a look into who you are as a person and who you might be on the college campus.

Uh, admissions officers are looking to have a diverse community of folks being able to share different life experiences. And so, um, I share that context to say that it’s important to be really genuine about who you are. What are some of, again, the crucial life experiences that have shaped you to who you are today?

What are your passions? What are some of the, um, obstacles that you might have faced, and how have you overcome them? Uh, a lot of these essays will have prompts, so that it’s not like you’re just writing, um, just from scratch, but your personal statement is a pretty free form essay where you can choose.

From different prompts like the ones that I just mentioned like what is like a passion that you have What is like a life experience you want to share an obstacle that you’ve overcome? Uh, but regardless of which prompt that you use be really genuine about your experience um, a second thing that I would recommend about writing a good essay is thinking about this less as a like Kind of just like word dump of like everything that’s ever happened to you or like anything You know, a big thing that happened, but that’s more like a, just a narrative without any structure.

I would think about essays as having both being important to focus on the content. So what you’re sharing, like, what is the event that you’re sharing? What is like the actual content or activities or milestones in your life that you’re sharing? But also in structure. So a big part of the essay is that they’re looking about how you write.

Like, what is your competency in writing? So how you write your essay is really important. Are you using themes to bring things together? Um, Are you hooking the reader right from the top? Are you writing this in a way that flows well and the transitions are well, are, are well written? Um, What is, like, is your thesis coming up really clearly?

And is it obvious to the admissions officer, like, the type of, um, like, experiences or characteristics that you’re trying to highlight? And so having a clear, um, Clear essay and 650 words for for this personal statement and for whatever the word count is for the others Is really important and that can be really hard And so I would say definitely consider working with an advisor to write your essay I didn’t have the opportunity to do that when I was in high school But I definitely read read a lot of essays of folks who had gotten in and try to pick out What are some of the structures that folks were using?

And definitely thinking about again, like I said, Both the content that I want to share and then the structure or the delivery of that content. Um, and then a quick tip of maybe what not to do is making sure that what you’re writing is something that is true and it’s not been like very hyperbolized or that is made up.

Like that I think is like a basic like no brainer of like this shouldn’t be something that’s a fiction, it’s really based on your life. you are. Uh, another thing is to, if you’re writing about things that are, um, like very personal and like, are maybe like talking about like a death or like something that was really hard to go through, like definitely write honestly about both the feelings of like grief or like difficulty, but also like try to tie in like, how has this made you the person that you are today?

How has this been an opportunity for you to learn something new about yourself? Some, a way to help others cope through similar things, making sure that it is both an honest reflection of what an experience was like, but also putting in like, what are some of the learnings and how has this helped you become who you are today and not losing sight of that duality instead of just going into like, all these terrible things happened to me, please let me into your school.

Like that is definitely something you should not be doing. Um, there’s a lot of other. Kind of like essay taboos that we’ve talked about in previous webinars. And so I would definitely contact your advisor to either have access to some of those slideshows or stay tuned to potentially, uh, upcoming webinars if there’s any about like writing.

Uh, but there’s, I know we’ve definitely had more content specifically on essay writing.

Anesha: We do, but we still have a few more essay questions. I’ll come back to them a little bit later. Um, the next question is, is it better to apply for a high impacted major or apply to something more available and try changing degrees once accepted?

I just want to give context before I let you ask the question that impaction or high impacted majors only happens at UC. That is a quality that is, or characteristic that’s very specific for the University of California. So impaction or high impacted majors don’t really happen outside of the UC system.

But um, So just to, I guess, more straightforwardly ask you the question again, is it better to apply for these more popular majors? This person gave the example of computer science and engineering or to apply for something that’s kind of a little bit more generic and try to change degrees once you’re accepted.

Maria: Yeah. So I’m not very acquainted with the, uh, UC system. So you’re definitely welcome to like, if you want to elaborate on, on those anymore, like you’re definitely welcome to, uh, or we would love to hear your thoughts on that more. Um, in terms of like whether you should apply, you should apply to a major that seems more popular or has a bigger department.

I would say usually if it’s a bigger, a more popular major with a bigger department, there’s probably more people applying to it too. And so you don’t know if maybe the proportions are the same so that the chances of you getting in are the same. Um, I would say there’s also, you can’t control your cohort, which is something that I mentioned before.

Um, there might be a year where it’s actually a lot more preferable to apply. Uh, apply to a certain major than others and you don’t really have control of that. Um, I would say there are some schools where if they are like very big on a specific major and like maybe they just have more openings. Um, and there’s not as many students like I would look at like how many students are applying.

Like, I think admissions rate is the biggest kind of. Like identity or um, the biggest statistic there because it kind of looks at okay Regardless of how many students are applying and how many spots are available. What are my chances of getting in? Um, and you those are usually like school based Uh in terms of like if a specific major is is um Is offering more spots.

I am not sure how you would do that without like talking to the admissions officer. I don’t think I’ve seen that on like a department website, but it seems like the UCs have like specific language around that. So I’ll pass it back to you to like elaborate on that.

Anesha: Yeah, I mean, the only thing that I would add that’s you see specific regarding high impacted majors is that it is very difficult to transfer into those majors if you are not accepted initially.

So it’s similar to any transfer process. It’s a little bit more competitive in the transfer process within you sees it is going to be difficult for you to move into that major. The other strategy that I’ve had students do when they are trying to get into a high impact major is start at A CSU and try to transfer in and take advantage of the transfer relationships that UCs have with, um, CSUs.

But I would definitely say that’s a very specific and a personal question. So we gave you a little bit of an overview, but definitely connect with an advisor or your advisor, um, to get that thought more thoughtfully answered. Um, okay, so the next question is Harvard specific, but you can answer it generally because I think.

All schools want to see it, but it’s essentially how can a student answer the why Harvard, for example, question in the in the essay effectively after a school visit. So what are schools looking for in a why the school essay?

Maria: Yeah. So schools are looking for students who really want to go to their college now because it’s just a ranking or something that they saw online.

But because this is a place where they think that they will be, they will help foster the community. Well, they will, they will flourish as a result of being part of the community. Like that. They’re looking for a good fit and so kind of put yourself in an admissions officer’s shoes. What are some of the things that you would want to hear if you started a school and people wanted to get into it?

And so you’d probably want to hear like, hey, like there is these specific professors or specific people that you hired at your school that I want to study under. There is like these specific like residential dorms or campus life that you’ve helped create or foster that like I really want to be a part of and so again, like no one admissions officer made the school what it is, but just start thinking about like, what are some of the things that you would want to hear that would be compelling if someone was like, Hey, I want to attend the program that you are representing.

And a lot of these things like if you come down to it will be like very specific will be about not just like, Hey, you’re offering this cool major. When you know that lots of other schools are offering the same major. It’s probably more like, Hey, this specific class taught by this professor. Then I read his book.

And like, I, when I went to visit, I like tried to like, I either, you know, maybe audited on one of his classes or I don’t know, something that really shows that you’ve put in the effort to know who is, who is making that school. Um, like, what are some of the factors that are making that school special? It could be the professors that are there.

It could be the specific extracurriculars. It could be specific, um, student groups or opportunities to study abroad. Um, maybe some schools have, like, partnerships to be able to do research in other places. And, like, you’re really interested in that. And so the more specific that you get, The better, um, usually the way that I framed these, um, like these, like why X school essay is thinking about it in buckets.

Like I usually think about it as like, why do I want to go here in the academic sense? Why do I want to go here in the extracurricular science? And why do I want to be here in like the lifestyle, like campus feel this, I want this to be my home for the next four years, like category. Um, and so for Harvard, for example, like I talked about very specific classes I wanted to take.

Um, cross registering between like, there’s a class I wanted to take at the School of Medicine, a school I wanted to take, a class I wanted to take at the School of Government. Um, and so some of the opportunities to cross register came up. I talked about specific professors who I had read their books. Um, I hadn’t gotten a chance to visit the campus, but I had definitely read about them, or like, I think for one, I had attended like an online webinar.

Um, so things like that, um, if you are doing a campus visit, which I think is, uh, what the person mentioned in this question, um, there’s definitely even a bigger chance of, like, maybe you can audit one of their classes or, like, you can get a chance to, like, experience something more in person. For extracurriculars, think about, like, what are some of the ways that you can tie in your current extracurriculars with opportunities that are maybe only available at that school?

Um, I know one of my friends, um, who was in chorus and like loved to sing and wanted to be part of a cappella and also travel. Talked about the opportunity to join this acapella group at Harvard that, um, did a tour in the Caribbean where like during spring break, they would go and sing in different places in the Caribbean.

And she thought this was a great opportunity for her to like, be able to use like a skill that she had in singing and also be able to like visit some of like the, she was like from Jamaica. And so she wanted to be able to go and see like surrounding Caribbean countries. And that was like a very specific thing that she had taken the time to figure out, like, What would make my time at Harvard special?

How would I contribute to the community? And that was something she could say. Um, and then the last category of like lifestyle and residential, or like, you know, what is this community going to be like, um, I talked about how I really love the residential system at Harvard. Like. The opportunity to be part of a house that had, you know, its own dining hall and social events and gym and like the different amenities that were for the house meant that I didn’t have to like be part of a Greek life or a social club.

Like I found a lot of my friends and just like the community that I lived in and the dorm that I was in. Um, and so those are some of, I hope they gave like a couple examples, even though they’re Harvard specific. They’re, um, I think just an example of how deep you can get into researching what would make a school special and still making it structured enough such that it’s not just like a ton of details that you just write into an essay, but that you structure into like specific categories of things that would make a school special.

Going to that school special.

Anesha: The only thing I’ll add, um, is to your response is that yesterday we had a student who was pushing back to say, well, I heard you shouldn’t talk about the school because they already know about the school. Um, what they know about the school are generic things, so you shouldn’t talk about their campus is so beautiful unless there’s a specific spot on campus that you found to be very, very intriguing and interesting.

Um, you can talk about specific classes. Don’t repeat back what I would call brochure language, um, in your essays and try to avoid, um, So just in case there was a student out here saying they heard something different, that that is what we mean is talking in specificity. Okay, I’m going to take a quick break and do a quick little PSA for those in the room who aren’t already working with us.

We know that the process can be overwhelming. You all have a ton of questions about it. And so we do have a team of over 300 former admissions officers and admissions experts. That are ready to help you and your family navigate the process through one on one advising sessions, you can use the QR code that is on the screen to take the next step in your admissions journey and sign up for a free 45 to 60 minute strategy session with an admission specialist on our team during that conversation.

We’ll talk about extracurriculars will talk about your college list will help you think about an application strategy and share some tools for you to stand out in the competitive admissions world. So we will leave that QR code up. In case folks want to take advantage of that, if you’re not already working with us.

Um, and move on to the next question. So we had a couple questions about major. So someone said, how do you decide what you want to major in? I’m struggling to decide what I want to major in. Where should I start and how do I narrow down my choices?

Maria: Yeah. So if you’re looking at different majors, I think oftentimes it’s helpful to think about what are the classes that you’ve taken so far that you’ve really enjoyed?

What are the classes that have, like, sparked interest and joy and, like, maybe you don’t love doing, like, all the homework or you still get stressed by this, by the test, but what are some of the, the content that you find genuinely interesting? Um, for some students that, off the bat, they already know, they’re like, okay, I love, like, my literature class, I love science, I love biology, I love chemistry, I love these specific things.

There are other students who might not feel that. Maybe it’s like, I like a little bit of everything. Or I don’t like anything specifically. Um, and so I think in that sense, there’s a lot of students who decide to either choose a major that they think is the most aligned to something that they’re interested in, and then their first year of college, try out a couple of, a couple of classes.

Look at some of the entry level classes and decide based on that what which which major they want to narrow down into Um, I would talk to other students who have majored in a specific area um, I know I Learned a lot about even though there’s a lot of biology based like stem majors at harvard different departments had different fields different requirements and being able to actually talk to students and say like What was your experience in this major like If you switched, why did you switch?

Um, sometimes it has to do with professors. Sometimes it has to do with funding and opportunities to do research in one department that the other might not have. Um, maybe it’s opportunities of like what connections they have to like a hospital or two. Uh, and this is like very STEM related because that was pre med, but I think it’s true in a lot of other majors where looking at what opportunities the major offers, what type of classes are available, what are the requirements, for example.

Um, At Harvard, not all, not all majors required a thesis. A thesis is a really big paper, like a research paper that you do your senior year, it requires a lot of research, a lot of time. Um, and for some folks who are really interested in diving into a specific area, it’s a great thing to kind of be forced to do because you get a chance to really use some of your credits to die.

You’re like use some of your school credits that you have to accomplish anyways, to like graduate. to do really deep research and to write a really impactful paper that could help you get into grad school or to you could use in your like your job interviews and that’s great. Um, I didn’t specifically want to do that and I therefore did not choose a major that required a thesis.

And so sometimes even questions around like what are the requirements help you to narrow down? Okay, I might not know exactly what I want to do, but I know I don’t want to do this And so maybe that’s not a major I want to do. Um, and then I would say there’s a lot of schools And I would say a lot of the, like, liberal arts schools will allow you to switch majors within a certain frame of time.

At Harvard, you didn’t declare a major until your sophomore year. And so, for example, I started as molecular and cellular biology, which is one of the most STEM sounding majors. And then I slowly progressed from that to neuroscience and then to, um, to, uh, sociology, which ended up being my major. I was still pre med, but I really wanted to learn about more non STEM related things if I knew I was going to spend, uh, seven years of my schooling and med school residency fellowship, learning a lot more about, um, STEM related things.

And so. Uh, there’s always chances to switch, and I would have never thought about sociology before, like, before actually being at Harvard. I didn’t know that was a major. It wasn’t something that I thought was, like, at first, very marketable or something that I could use as, like, a, um, a career if I didn’t want to go into academia.

And then I realized it was a really great opportunity to be more well rounded in understanding the world around me in a way that I wasn’t going to get from just studying biology or chemistry. And so, um, I think finding your major or narrowing down on it can sometimes just be a process of trial and error.

And really, Just trying, taking the courses you really like and maybe realizing like, Hey, if like seven out of the 10 classes I’ve taken so far are all in this one major, maybe that’s pointing me to this major being the one that I should go into.

Anesha: Yeah, I would, I would sum up what you shared by just saying, I think on the college application, unless you’re going into STEM or pre med and even pre med, you don’t have, they’re not going to be nailed down to your major.

I think it’s about over 50 percent of freshmen or actually, yeah. Freshmen change their majors and most schools will not ask you to declare your major until sophomore year, regardless of what you put on your application. So I wouldn’t stress about it too much. Um, but I think if you are STEM or CS interested, you should definitely try to declare that on your, on your application.

Otherwise, I don’t know if it really matters what you put down because they anticipate that you will probably change. Um, what is something students tend to spend more time on that is not as necessary? Um, and what should they spend more time on in the application process?

Maria: I think some students really try to, like, get a perfect, perfect score on their standardized test, or like, really try to, you know, change from like, uh, like being one point away or a couple points away.

To like having a perfect score really try to narrow the gap in some of like the academic statistics. I would say your GPA is important if you took standardized tests and the school takes them like it’s not negligible like they are important. But a lot of students do that at the expense of the essays.

Um, and I think that the essays are one if not the most important part, like one of the most important parts of your, um, of your application, because it helps to set you apart from people who might have similar scores as you. Um, and so this is really important as a way to show more than just like numbers on a paper.

It’s a way to show who you are. It’s a way to convince admissions officers that there is things that you are, you bring to the table and that you could bring to their community that, or the school community that are really important and unique. Um, I think another area that sometimes students forget about is making sure that you’re writing compelling, uh, descriptions in your extracurriculars.

Um, when you are doing your Common App, you have about ten, uh, sections where you can fill out extracurriculars that you do. And it actually has, like, not a huge word count, but it has, like, enough word count to write, like, one or two sentences. And there’s a lot of ways in which you can use those one or two sentences.

Make your extracurricular really shine instead of just saying like I played basketball or like I played this sport or I did this or that like really think about what were your contributions to a team? What were the things that you helped others learn? Like what was your involvement in something? The essays are definitely an opportunity to expand on that, but I would not lose sight of those like small ways of just making your essay stand out or you’re making your application stand out more.

And I think one of those ways that oftentimes just get don’t really get talked about is the descriptions in the app in the common app.

Anesha: Thank you. Um, okay. What, what are, what, what are your thoughts on submitting test scores to test optimal schools? Thank you.

Maria: Yeah, I think that it really depends on like how you’re feeling about your score.

If a school is test optional, it means that like they are look it, you don’t have to submit a score. So at least you know that pressure is off. Um, but it’s definitely like something that they will consider if it’s optional. Um, and so it’s something that you should think about as like, will this help highlight my application in some way?

Am I like part of this score? I want to show it as part of the consideration. Um, there are schools, again, I would make sure to look very specifically at like the language that they use. Like if they’re saying it’s like. Um, I think there’s like, I’m not sure of like the specific, but I know there’s like three or four different ways of asking for test scores or not asking for test scores that like show whether they will be considered if they are submitted, whether they like are just not considered at all.

And like, there’s some variations in between. But I would say if it’s. If they’re looking at the test scores and you feel confident about it, go ahead. If you feel like you would be taking time away from maybe writing your essays or maybe being more involved in an, in an extracurricular where you feel like that will make your, um, application really powerful.

I would really maybe around the side of thinking about all the other ways that will make your application stand out, that schools will be definitely looking at and comparing between students. And that includes your extracurriculars, your. your GPA, your, um, your essays and your teacher recommendations.

Anesha: So I’m going to ask, how can I practice writing application essays?

What questions or prompts should I be comfortable with writing about?

Maria: Yeah. So actually if you go right now on Google or your preferred search engine and you look up like your common app question, they will give you the ones from this year and you can practice writing any of the ones from this year. Um, I would say as long as you can talk about, again, like, uh, your passions, characters, like, your character values that you care about, uh, or that, like, are a big part of your life.

Some of your life experiences and like your background that can be your ethic or like a background or identity. And that can be your ethnic background, your, um, honestly, like anything that any identity that you think is a big part of your life is a very salient identity. Being able to talk about how that identity was formed, how it influences who you are today and things that you’re involved with, um, talking about.

If you have a passion project or something that you’re really, um, dedicate a lot of time to. Um, that’s something else that you could practice writing about. Um, an obstacle that you’ve overcome. Uh, these are all kind of summary themes of a lot of the specific, uh, prompts that are asked on, uh, the Common App.

But like I said, if you go to Google or your preferred search engine and you look these up, you’ll definitely get a list and you can practice writing those as well as reading what other people have said.

Anesha: Yeah, I would say as an advisor, I usually try to avoid the common F for the start just so we can get ideas percolating.

Um, but I would say the New York Times has a ton of prompt writing pieces specifically for students. I just put up an article that’s 525 prompts for narrative and prompt and, um, prompt writing. I’ll drop it in the chat, but yeah, to Maria’s point, you can Google it. There are resources out there, um, just to start writing and start practicing that type of writing.

Or you can just use Google. The common app prompts. All right, early applications. How many schools do you recommend applying to early? I’m only familiar with ED and that you choose one. So can you talk a little bit about, I guess, early action?

Maria: Yeah, so, um, there’s early action, restrictive early action, and early decision.

Um, and so usually with, um, early action, like you can apply to several schools and it’s not binding. Uh, there’s just like, uh, you have to make sure that you’re applying to the like earlier deadlines, which means that you have to get started usually earlier than everybody else. Um, and it’s a way to show like interest in something.

Um, like specifically like if you’re taking the time to do these early on, it’s usually because you are interested in the school and so it helps you You Not only show that you’re interested in the school, but to also be part of two different application pools. For example, if you don’t get accepted into the early action pool, you can still kind of, uh, be deferred to reapply, or like to, your application will be reconsidered in the pool of applicants that apply for regular decision, and so it’s kind of a two shot, two shots at getting in.

Um, that is true of also, um, like any of the early applications, but early, uh, early action, it’s not binding. So you don’t have to go to school. Restrictive early action is only for some specific schools. And that usually means that you can only apply to one private institution and they’ll allow you to apply early to other public institutions, but you can only apply early to one private institution.

Um, but it’s also not binding. Which means that if you get in, you don’t have to go. And then early decision is the most, um, like the highest commitment level, which means that if you get in, um, unless it’s. Does it like unless you have a like an emergency comes up or the financial aid is not enough and you’re not able to pay for it like you you’re expected to go to the school if you get accepted.

And so you only apply to early decisions to schools that you know for sure there’s no other school you would rather go to. Or you really are going to just run the risk of I would rather go to the school that maybe is not my top school, but I’m more likely to get in than another school. And, um, the perk again of getting, of doing early decision is that you’re showing the school that you’re willing to be so committed.

That like, like you’re bound to go. Um, and so the purpose of that again is like schools want to see student in this round of applications for early decision students that really want to go to that school as their top school and they’re willing to make the sacrifice of saying there’s no other school I would rather go to.

And I’m running the risk of getting in and not being able to, like, say no, unless there’s an emergency or a financial situation.

Anesha: All right. I tried to answer some questions in the chat because I saw we were running down on time, but that is it for tonight, folks. Thank you so much, Maria. Thank you so much to everybody for joining us.

We hope that you gained some valuable insights on how to research colleges during sophomore and junior year and some general information at the end there. Also, we hope that you’ll join us for our other webinars. This month after the Thanksgiving holiday, we’ll have a session on starting early to stand out.

So definitely join us there. We can get a little bit more tips on how to start and get things rolling. That will be on November 27th, and we will end the month with an MIT supplemental essay workshop. So to Maria’s point about us having a lot of essay writing material, definitely join us on the 29th if you’d like to learn a little bit about what MIT’s essays look like.

Hope to see you soon. But until next time, take care and have a great evening, everybody.

Maria: Bye,