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5 tips for getting into college that don't involve being the child of a celebrity

Posted at 10:36 AM, May 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-17 23:17:44-04

CLEVELAND — A major college admission briberyscandal has celebrities and A-listers facing judges accused of breaking the law to get their kids into prestigious schools. In some cases, they allegedly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars. But you don’t have to break the bank, or the law, to get into college.

Tonight at 11: Watch Ron's Regan's investigation: Admission for Sale

Kristina Dooley is a certified educational planner and founder of Estrela Consultingin Hudson. She’s achieved her profession’s most rigorous educational standard and ethical codes. Dooley sets out to “break the myths” surrounding college admissions. “What I do is support students along the way to eventually enrolling in a university,” she told us. Dooley says students can get started as early as 9th or 10th grade by exploring possible careers.

Kristina Dooley
Kristina Dooley, College Admissions Consultant

Dooley says she advises students to explore “right fit” schools based on academic, financial and social needs, telling News 5, “A lot of what we do is lowering the anxiety level, not only with the student but with parents, about the process.”

With that in mind, here are five key tips to help gain admission:

1. Go for the rigor: Students do not need to be in very AP class. But if you can take the more challenging course, it’s better to get a ‘B’ there, than an ‘A’ in a less challenging class.

2. SAT & ACT testing: Start early, take practice tests, and take the tests more than once.

3. Demonstrate Interest: Colleges track how much you love them. Go on college visits, sign up for emails and mailings and avoid stealth visits where you visit a friend, but the college doesn’t know you’re there.

4. Be involved: Schools want students who will be active. Club involvement, student leadership or having a high school job can demonstrate leadership skills. Avoid joining just for the resume though, colleges can see through that.

5. Start Early: Identify your interests and career possibilities.

There’s one more tip you can consider. Your college essay should be personal. Share something about yourself the admission reviewers won’t be able to figure out about you from grades and test scores.