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Why Our 4-Day Application Boot Camp® Sells Out Annually

In August, we wrapped our 15th year of Application Boot Camp®, and this month has been an exciting one as our students were prepared and have submitted their strong early applications.

We’ve been busily chatting with parents of juniors (ABC 2020, Aug. 5-8, 2020) and sophomores (ABC 2021, Aug. 4-7, 2021) this fall as well, since we open registration for Application Boot Camp two years in advance! We are honored to sell out Boot Camp every year and given that it’s application submission season, it’s a great time to tell you…

College Application Boot Camp
Helping students prepare for the last 15 years

WHY (WE THINK!) OUR APPLICATION BOOT CAMP SELLS OUT ANNUALLY

Students and parents receive key advance guidance well before Boot Camp starts

We perform a strategic analysis of students’ academic and extracurricular portfolios AND write a personalized admissions report that offers a roadmap for the rest of their time in high school and their admissions process. We then have a detailed call with each student and his/her parents after they receive the report for an overview of the plan and to address ALL questions.

We work with students from all over the world, yet we personalize the ABC experience for every single registrant

Our students this year came from around the world including: Germany, Wyoming, Japan, California, and even our own backyard, Concord, Massachusetts (and that’s just the first five kids). We had students with interests in anthropology, digital humanities, mechanical engineering, Spanish literature, music theory and Greek and Roman mythology to name a few.

Our Senior Counselors are the absolute best at what they do

Application Boot Camp students have one-on-one access to some of the best and brightest in the fields of higher education and college admissions. Our staff includes (to name a few): a former Dean of Dartmouth admissions, former Dartmouth admissions officer, former Harvard admissions officer, a Fulbright winner, and grad school students at Harvard, UChicago, UVA, UPenn, UNC, UVA and Stanford.

We guide ABC students on multiple applications and a suite of essays, unlike most other competing programs (we were the first and we even have the term trademarked!)

We work with students on college essays, the Common App, the UCalifornia app, Canadian and UK college apps, the UT app, and supplements from well over 100 different colleges and universities.

You’ll wrap it up in just 4 days

We send our students off on the night of day four with their college applications and essays set, ready to dive into the ever-important senior year fall and focus on courses and extracurriculars, NOT applications or essays. Early and regular applications are DONE before September even starts.

We replicate the admissions read table/committee meetings

Each essay written at Application Boot Camp is read ‘admissions committee-style,’ which means our senior staff and inexhaustible senior counselors read ~1,000 drafts in 4 days and 3 nights.

It’s much more than just essays and applications

Collectively, we put in LONG hours plus our students put in an additional 2+ hours of homework per night. We advise on campus visits, interview coaching, recommendation letters, application strategy tips, the various rounds of admission, summer and fall testing, what to focus on in senior year fall term, and more.

We stay in contact with ABC students through senior year

We host an ABC virtual workshop every September and we maintain communication with ABC students and parents to ensure all questions are addressed and applications are buttoned up. Then, we get to spend December fielding happy admissions results calls and emails from you! All ABC students have access to our exclusive Application Boot Camp Membership Site through to their high school graduation –it houses key resources, TTA insider advice, college input, and more.

Families are so thrilled with the results of our Boot Camp that almost half of our students are siblings and referrals from former Application Boot Camp attendees – what an endorsement!

APPLICATION BOOT CAMP 2020 & 2021

If you are a sophomore or junior and would like additional information on Application Boot Camp, please let us know. We are the home of the ORIGINAL Application Boot Camp® and we can’t wait to work with you! Become part of our tribe and join us this August or next.

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Application Boot Camp® — Another Success

We recently wrapped our 14th year of Application Boot Camp®, and we miss our students already! We’ve been a touch busy in recent days as our Boot Camp was featured on the front page of The Boston Globe this week, so we are thrilled to be taking calls and registering new students into our August 7-10th, 2019 Boot Camp program, as we’re now about halfway full.

We sent our Application Boot Camp students off on the night of day four of our workshop with their college applications and essays set, ready to dive in to their senior year fall.

Application Boot Camp - College Admissions Success

Our students at Boot Camp this year really got to know our amazing team well.

Application Boot Camp Team

This year’s Boot Camp students engaged in personalized consulting with former Ivy League admissions officers, published authors, PhDs, MDs, and former university faculty, and the coaching they received set them up to close out a scholarly summer and position them for admissions success.

THEY COME FROM NEAR AND (USUALLY) FAR

Application Boot Camp - Map of International Students

Our 40 students this year came from around the world including: Kuwait, Missouri, California, and even our own backyard, Newton, Massachusetts (and that’s just the first four kids). We had students with interests in studying cryptocurrencies, digital humanities, mechanical engineering, Russian literature, music theory and Greek and Roman mythology, etc.

Our amazing Top Tier Admissions team worked with students on college essays, the Common App, the UCalifornia app, Canadian and UK college apps, the UT app, and supplements from over 100 different colleges and universities. Each essay written at Application Boot Camp is read ‘admissions committee-style,’ which means our senior staff and inexhaustible senior counselors read ~1,000 drafts in 4 days and 3 nights.

Collectively, we put in LONG hours plus our students put in an additional 2-3 hours of homework per night. We gave advice on campus visits and interview coaching, recommendation letter guidance, application strategy tips, input on the various rounds of admission, Common App tricks, and helped students pinpoint topic selections for essays.

Our students wrote and finalized essays for the many colleges they are applying to. We helped create their application strategy and applications and essays were completed not just for the rolling and early decision rounds, but early action, early decision II and regular rounds. That’s called maximizing your application strategy, and of course, as the Boston Globe article advocated, “Study, Study, Study.”

Application Boot Camp students

Here’s a note that one of our Boot Camp students emailed us this week now that she’s home and has her Common App done and flash drive with her applications/essays in hand:

I was able to do so much work and gain so much knowledge about the procedure of applying to college and I am so blessed to have had you as my best resources. I will definitely keep you posted when I start hearing from schools and thank you very much for all your help and feedback!”

APPLICATION BOOT CAMP 2019

Some of our students signed up for Application Boot Camp a year and a half in advance, which jives well with the fact that we are about halfway booked in our Application Boot Camp 2019 program next August. If you are a rising junior and would like additional information on Application Boot Camp for next summer, let us know. We are home of the ORIGINAL Application Boot Camp® and we can’t wait to work with you!

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Application Boot Camp® 2017 Highlights

boston college tour fenwayWe just finished our 14th year of Application Boot Camp®, and we miss our students already. Students joined us in Boston from as far away as Japan, Nigeria and Kenya and as nearby as Central Massachusetts. Many are still traveling home and others are taking our advice and touring the many wonderful New England college campuses.

APPLICATION BOOT CAMP 2017

Our amazing Top Tier Admissions team worked with students on college essays, the Common App, UCalifornia app, Canadian and UK college apps, the UT app, and supplements from over 100 different colleges and universities. Each essay written at Application Boot Camp is read ‘admissions committee style,’ which means our senior staff and inexhaustible senior counselors read over 1,000 drafts in 4 days.

application boot camp student 2017
One of our ABC 2017 students hard at work!

Collectively, we put in LONG hours plus our students put in an additional 1-3 hours of homework per night. Worth it? If you could have heard the happy voices when we wrapped up on Saturday afternoon you would know it was definitely worth the intensity. AND, their applications and essays are fully maximized and complete! Students devoted themselves to 4 days of hard work and left on day 4 with their final essays on a flashdrive and their online applications filled in and saved.

We gave advice on campus visits and interview coaching, recommendation letter guidance, application strategy tips, input on early, regular and rolling rounds of admission, Common App tricks, and helped students pinpoint topic selections for essays.

Some of our students signed up for Application Boot Camp over a year and a half in advance, which jives well with the fact that we are about halfway booked in our Application Boot Camp 2018 program next August. If you are a rising junior and would like additional information on Application Boot Camp for next summer, let us know ASAP to grab a seat. We had a wait list this year.

Our students wrote spectacular essays on: Russian history, robotic arms, positive psychology, linguistics, Latin American studies, feminist theory, the intersection between music composition and computer science, sustainability, and much more.

In the midst of Boot Camp, one of our students texted a photo of her essays to her friends back home and they were shocked that not only had she started her essays but she was well on her way to ensuring her applications and essays were complete well before senior year even began. Our students arrive to Application Boot Camp with puzzled and concerned faces. Our staff of PhDs, writers, teachers and former Ivy League admissions officers coax ideas out of them based on their unique backgrounds, experiences, summer plans and academic passions.

application boot camp team

Each Application Boot Camp session is demanding but we sell out annually for good reason –our attendees are transformed and become part of our community of “Boot Campers” as they call themselves. They are amazed at what they can accomplish in 4 days, especially when they leverage our proactive and streamlined approach to essay writing for maximum impact.

MOMENT OF TRUTH

Application Boot Camp is quick but each year when we examine first drafts from Day 1 alongside final copies from Day 4, it’s pretty astounding. Students can’t believe the transformation. Parents (and students) breathe a sigh of relief, flash-drives are full of stellar essays, and our students are ready to dive into senior year focused, driven and able to fully excel in their coursework –the last (yet extremely important) year of their high school careers.

We miss them all year but it’s such a treat as we hear back via iPhone videos, emails and calls letting us know where they got in and where they will be headed next year. The following August they are happily decorating their dorm rooms and we are working with the next crop of rising seniors.

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Application Boot Camp

A post by Mimi Doe

Application Boot Camp truly lives up to its moniker. Ask any past ABC student and you’ll hear words like ‘intense’ and ‘hard’ but you’ll also hear ‘amazing,’ ‘Wow, so worth it!’ and ‘PHEW, I’m actually DONE. How did I do so much quality work in 4 days?’

Top Tier Admissions is buzzing with college application anticipation as we prepare for our 14th annual Application Boot Camp® in Boston.

As the creators of Application Boot Camp®, our program is often imitated though never replicated thanks to our amazing team and the philosophy behind what we do and why we do it.

A NOTE FROM COFOUNDER MIMI DOE

Michele and I launched our first Boot Camp many years ago and yet I still remember our first crop of seniors. Helping kids through this stressful application process and witnessing the remarkable results is why we keep doing what we do.

I’m blessed to live in the Boston area as I routinely get together with past students who are now successful undergrads, graduate students, starting their own businesses or launching successful careers. I hear over and over that the tools and techniques they learned with us on how to leverage their focused niche and take targeted action has helped them once they are IN college to get the fellowships, awards, coveted classes, gain acceptance to their choice graduate schools, and position them for their first jobs and ultimately their careers.

We even have past Boot Camp students who come back year after year, taking 4 days off from their busy lives, to be part of the magic that always happens as we gather with rising seniors and help them dig in, double down, and present their amazing selves through their applications. These mentors, application gurus, and brilliant folks also travel around the world to work one on one with students in their homes for Personal Boot Camps.

College Admissions experts - Application Boot Camp

Boot Camp fills up each year with siblings and friends of past participants because they too want to plug in to the program that works in 4 intense days. They see the results and we get the opportunity to reunite with families we now know so well.

NO SHORTCUTS –WORK FOR IT

Michele and I crafted this program 14 years ago yet very little has changed, because it just, plain works. There have been lots of copycats yet they never last long as shortcuts rarely get results. We’ve been called “college application disrupters.” We’ll take it, as making a process that’s not transparent more so is what we aim to do. It makes us crazy that colleges are misleading thousands of vulnerable kids. Things are not as they appear and we pull back the curtain to demystify the process, empowering students to see the true picture and then how they can take specific action to present their authentic selves and stand out.

A reporter from a major city paper recently told us that he thought Application Boot Camp was a general term, a ubiquitous phrase. He said he did some digging and realized we hold the trademark for College Application Boot Camp and Application Boot Camp and then indeed discovered we ARE the first and only authentic Boot Camp that has been around for so long. It was fun to hear from him some of the things that have been said about our work. We are proud to be the #1 college consultants, educators with the best results year after year, and to have created a new approach that disrupted things with our first Boot Camp.

Creating a way to make college admissions less stressful and crafting a program that takes the pain out of an emotional process is our jam. And, we aren’t done yet…just see for yourself.

APPLICATION BOOT CAMP 2018

If you are a rising junior, sign up now for Application Boot Camp 2018 as it’s typically filled up by the time most kids think about their applications.

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Need Help With College Admissions?

College admissions is not for the faint of heart. All you need do is review the Class of 2021 acceptance rates to see for yourself.

We’ve been swamped with emails and calls from nervous parents and students who, now that summer has kicked in, wonder “WHAT can I do to get into a top college?” They ask varied questions, but are all seeking help. We feel their pain. It’s complicated and confusing to figure out what’s truth and what’s myth when it comes to getting into college.

As we always say, “college admissions is not transparent.” This is why we do what we do – we believe that knowledge is power and we set out to empower students with our books, services, and our Admissions Insight blog which has been around for over 15 years, before we even knew what a “blog” was.

college admissions focus
A clearer focus on college admissions.

Once some of the common myths are banished and students understand the playing field, the admissions process becomes much less stressful we’ve found. We want students to be fully authentic and when they stop trying to be someone they aren’t, in the name of “getting in,” then their time in high school is much better spent.

Below, we aim to give students and their parents a guide to what we offer that matches where they are! The questions are samples that have come to our offices recently.

LEADING UP TO THE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS PROCESS

Year by Year: There is a Lot You Can Do! Take Action Now.

I have just finished junior year and am stressed about the whole application process and selecting schools. Help me.

I’m going to be a junior in the fall and need help with admissions.

What should I do this summer that would help me get into a better college?

My son is a smart kid and did well freshman year, but he doesn’t have any of the high level awards other kids at his school who have gone to the Ivies received.

How can I push up my SAT/ACT scores? I have time this summer, but I’ve heard that the big company SAT/ACT prep courses in a classroom aren’t customized enough and sort of waste time? Any ideas?

Whatever tutoring you choose, be sure it is one on one tutoring as this is most effective and allows you to zoom in on your specific test-weaknesses. Our tutors and diagnostic testing do just this!

Are you a current client of Top Tier Admissions interested in our tutoring services? Email us for your client-only discount code.

COLLEGE ADMISSIONS CALCULATOR

I keep hearing about the Academic Index. What is it and where does my student stand?

  • That’s easy! We have a link to this on our website –assess where your student stands in terms of college admissions rankings today. Michele Hernandez was the first to reveal this formula to the public in her book A is for Admission and we were the first to bring the AI calculator to the web over 15 years ago!

RECOMMENDED RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

college admissions glitter
Source: http://www.glimmertrain.com/pages/writing_guidelines.php

Calling all writers! Get your groove on this summer and submit some of your work for publication. We love Glimmer Train which welcomes the work of upcoming writers like you. There is a fee per story (see website for specifics) but there are also prizes for winning entries. Listed below are upcoming deadlines for submissions.

Short Story Award for New Writers (1st place – $2,500):

  • Welcome in January/February, May/June, and September/October.
  • Open only to writers who haven’t had any fiction appear (nor scheduled to appear) in a print publication with a circulation over 5,000. (Entries must not have appeared in print, but previous online publication is fine.)
  • Most entries run from 1,000 to 5,000 words, but any lengths up to 12,000 are welcome.

Very Short Fiction (1st place – $2,000):

  • Welcome in March/April and July/August.
  • We invite any length stories from 300 to 3,000 words.

Fiction Open (1st place – $3,000):

  • Welcome in March/April and July/August.
  • Open to all subjects​ ​and themes. Most entries run from 3,000 to 6,000 words, but we invite stories from 3,000 to 20,000 words.

Family Matters (1st place – $2,500):

  • Welcome in November/December.
  • Calling for stories about families of all configurations. Most entries run from 1,000 to 5,000 words, but any lengths up to 12,000 are welcome.

Standard Category ($700):

  • Welcome in May and November.
  • Open to all. $2 processing fee. Maximum word count: 12,000. Any shorter lengths are welcome.