Featured How To Get Into Harvard: Lessons from the Harvard Trial 1000 540 Theo Wolf

How To Get Into Harvard: Lessons from the Harvard Trial

No decision has been reached yet in the Harvard admissions trial, but it’s already changed the world of elite college admissions. This post takes an inside look at Harvard’s admissions processes and discusses some of the biggest takeaways and what you can do to increase your chances of getting into Harvard.

Featured The Front, Side and Back Doors into Elite US Colleges 1080 674 Theo Wolf

The Front, Side and Back Doors into Elite US Colleges

The massive admissions scandal shook the foundation of the American college admissions system. In particular, it exposed the existence of immoral and illegal “side doors” into elite universities. This article explains what you need to know going forward if you’re considering hiring a private counselor for college applications.

New Coach Profiles: Introducing Uchechi Kalu 535 535 Theo Wolf

New Coach Profiles: Introducing Uchechi Kalu

The Spike Lab has hired a cohort of fantastic new coaches. We’ll be doing a series of blogs introducing them to you. In this post, you’ll meet Uchechi Kalu, a Princeton alum and talented writer with experience in college admissions and starting companies internationally.

See us quoted in US News & World Report! 1280 313 Theo Wolf

See us quoted in US News & World Report!

Our founder, Lloyd, was quoted in a recent article in US News & World Report about some of the biggest…

[NYC Event] A Different Approach to Getting Into a Top College (Sept 18th) 1280 568 Katherine

[NYC Event] A Different Approach to Getting Into a Top College (Sept 18th)

Learn what it really takes to get into selective colleges and how your children can position themselves for the admissions…

[NYC Event] A Different Approach to Getting Into a Top College (Sept 23rd) 1280 720 Katherine

[NYC Event] A Different Approach to Getting Into a Top College (Sept 23rd)

Learn what it really takes to get into selective colleges and how your children can position themselves for the admissions…

2019-2020 Top College Supplemental Essays 1266 618 Theo Wolf

2019-2020 Top College Supplemental Essays

Colleges have released their supplemental essays for the 2019-2020 application cycle. This post includes a list of the supplements for most of the top colleges.

“College Admissions Seminar” Asia Tour! 1138 970 Katherine

“College Admissions Seminar” Asia Tour!

As a result of the Harvard Affirmative Action lawsuit trial documents recently made public, we know exactly how the Harvard…

College Admissions Seminar in New York! 1280 720 Theo Wolf

College Admissions Seminar in New York!

Come join us at the Princeton Club on Thursday, September 5th for our seminar on A Different Approach to Getting into a Top US College.

Startup Boot Camp and Pitch Competition in Beijing! 1280 928 Katherine

Startup Boot Camp and Pitch Competition in Beijing!

  RSVP now!: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/CrSvstyYq2MT02oMw66wYw

Make The Most Of Your Summer Break: Part 2 800 412 Lloyd Nimetz

Make The Most Of Your Summer Break: Part 2

During summer break don’t fall into the common trap of thinking that it’s enough to just have packed schedule with great programs, internships, summer classes, test prep programs, traveling and/or itineraries. It is still important to do your own strategic planning if you want to make the most of your time.

Make The Most Of Your Summer Break: Part 1 (9 Things to Do) 800 485 Lloyd Nimetz

Make The Most Of Your Summer Break: Part 1 (9 Things to Do)

The summer presents a unique opportunity because of how much time is available. Make the most of this opportunity and spend it doing something that will really help you in the future.

[The Spike Lab x Hale] How-To: College Admissions (Aug 3) 1280 613 Katherine

[The Spike Lab x Hale] How-To: College Admissions (Aug 3)

This seminar will examine the key components required for admission to top US universities, including extracurricular activities, standardized tests, personal…

College Admissions Seminar & Alumni Panel 7/28 (TW) 1280 709 Katherine

College Admissions Seminar & Alumni Panel 7/28 (TW)

This year, college acceptance rates reached record lows at top universities. Many schools, which once hovered around 10-15% are now…

New Coach Profiles: Introducing Grace Chiang 1280 853 Theo Wolf

New Coach Profiles: Introducing Grace Chiang

The Spike Lab has hired a cohort of fantastic new coaches. We’ll be doing a series of blogs introducing them to you. In this post, you’ll meet Grace Chiang, a Yale alum and Stanford MBA with experience in venture-backed startups and at McKinsey.

The Spike Lab at New York EdTech Meetup 1280 960 Theo Wolf

The Spike Lab at New York EdTech Meetup

Last week, our founder Lloyd had the pleasure of speaking on a panel at the New York EdTech Meetup, the…

The 14 Critical Innovation Skills Kids Aren’t Learning in High School 1280 384 Lloyd Nimetz

The 14 Critical Innovation Skills Kids Aren’t Learning in High School

This blog post outlines the most important competencies that high schoolers need to be developing to be prepared for the innovation economy. The primary categories include Initiative, Creativity, Planning and Communication.

The Spike Lab’s Reason for Being 1080 674 Lloyd Nimetz

The Spike Lab’s Reason for Being

This article explains our company’s mission: to develop “purpose-driven innovators for life”. We are working to foster a fundamental paradigm shift in adolescent education that puts the development of purposeful innovators at the center.

When Each College Posts Their 2019 Admissions Decisions 800 230 Theo Wolf

When Each College Posts Their 2019 Admissions Decisions

Seniors are awaiting college admissions decisions with bated breath. In this post, we provide the dates that students can expect to hear their decisions from all of the top colleges.

The Future is Why 1280 384 Larry Liu

The Future is Why

In a world of rapidly increasing change, it’s no longer sufficient for students to learn hard skills and facts — the ‘what’. To thrive in this new environment, they need to develop purpose — a ‘why’. This blog post explains why purpose is so important for today’s youth and provides some guidance for how you can develop your own ‘why’.

The New York City Young Entrepreneurs Meetup 800 600 Theo Wolf

The New York City Young Entrepreneurs Meetup

In partnership with several of New York City’s top private schools, who are all leaders in entrepreneurship education, we hosted a New York City young entrepreneurs meetup for high school students at Spotify’s US Headquarters. See pictures from the event inside.

Guide to Sending an Update to Colleges After Applying 800 546 Theo Wolf

Guide to Sending an Update to Colleges After Applying

If you’ve already applied to colleges and are waiting to hear back, there’s still something you can do to move the needle on your chances.

A Guide to Why it is 2–3x Harder for International Students to get into Top US Colleges 1280 384 Theo Wolf

A Guide to Why it is 2–3x Harder for International Students to get into Top US Colleges

Our research has found that it is substantially harder for international students to get into top US colleges when compared with their domestic counterparts. In this post, we’ll outline some of the possible explanations for why that may be the case.

It is 2–3x Harder for International Students to Get into Top US Universities 1280 384 Theo Wolf

It is 2–3x Harder for International Students to Get into Top US Universities

Our research indicates that on average, acceptance rates at top US universities tends to be between 2-3x harder for international students when compared to domestic students. Find out what this means and what you can do about it

How to Optimize Your Digital Footprint for College Applications 1280 384 Lloyd Nimetz

How to Optimize Your Digital Footprint for College Applications

A large percentage of college admissions officers now Google applicants to learn more about them. Your online profile, including your social media accounts, will influence your application so don’t make the common mistake of forgetting to consider it part of the college application process.

Colleges You Can Apply to Without a Supplemental Essay 1280 384 Theo Wolf

Colleges You Can Apply to Without a Supplemental Essay

College applications are extremely time consuming, thanks mostly to supplemental essays. This post details some of the colleges that don’t require supplements and could make great additions to your college list with little to no time commitment.

A Guide to Demonstrating Interest to Colleges 1280 697 Theo Wolf

A Guide to Demonstrating Interest to Colleges

Do colleges actually care if you’re interested in them? In this post, we give you a glimpse inside colleges’ official stances on how they consider demonstrated interest, as well as what you can do to signal that interest.

10 Things to Do When Visiting a College Campus 1280 960 Theo Wolf

10 Things to Do When Visiting a College Campus

You’re probably planning to visit college campuses at some point, but what should you do once you’re on campus? In this post, we’ll discuss the essential things that we recommend our students do during their campus visits.

Teaching at the Frontier: Innovation at Dwight School 1280 960 Larry Liu

Teaching at the Frontier: Innovation at Dwight School

We ran several innovation programs with Dwight School in New York, and faculty from four different Dwight campuses around the world. Learn more about our takeaways here.

Last-Minute Summer Plans to Help You Make the Most of Your Summer 1280 608 Theo Wolf

Last-Minute Summer Plans to Help You Make the Most of Your Summer

Summer is the perfect time of year for internships, vacations, or academic summer programs. If you’re running out of time to make those plans, don’t worry — it’s not too late to have an amazing, productive summer.

The Spike Lab Expands to Hong Kong 1280 816 Lloyd Nimetz

The Spike Lab Expands to Hong Kong

We’ve expanded to Hong Kong! Learn more about what that means here.

So You Heard from Colleges… What Now? 1280 870 Theo Wolf

So You Heard from Colleges… What Now?

The period after you hear from colleges can be as stressful as the application process itself. No matter your circumstances, know that you have options in front of you. In this post, we outline the common situations students find themselves in and what they can do to get the best outcome in each.

Spike Stories: Meet Philip Kuo 800 240 Lloyd Nimetz

Spike Stories: Meet Philip Kuo

This is article is part of our series featuring the Spikes of Taiwanese students who got accepted into top US colleges. We hope these stories help exemplify the little known yet courageous stories of hard work and achievement, starting with Philip Kuo — a freshman who got accepted at the #6 undergraduate engineering program in the US.

Spike Stories: Meet Jessica Cheng 800 401 Larry Liu

Spike Stories: Meet Jessica Cheng

In this installment of our Spike Stories series we look at Jessica (Johns Hopkins, ’22) who created an initiative to help kids with microtia.

The Write Way to Improve your Writing in 9–11th Grade 1280 742 Theo Wolf

The Write Way to Improve your Writing in 9–11th Grade

Writing is one of the most important skills for college applications, college courses, and life in general. Yet high schoolers don’t spend nearly enough time developing it. In this post we outline what you can do to start developing this skill sooner rather than later.

Scholarships for International Students 1280 652 Theo Wolf

Scholarships for International Students

For international students, navigating the US financial aid system can be confusing. The entire process of understanding the types of aid available, researching scholarships, sifting through requirements, and submitting applications can take months. This post will provide a brief overview of the most important things you need to know when seeking scholarships.

How to Win at Winter Break 1280 672 Theo Wolf

How to Win at Winter Break

After a tough semester, it’s tempting to want to spend winter break sitting around doing nothing. Since free time is rare in high school, this is a totally understandable feeling. However, winter break is a fantastic opportunity to get things done that you wouldn’t otherwise have a chance to.

How We Define Great Spike Coaching 800 240 Lloyd Nimetz

How We Define Great Spike Coaching

What does great coaching or teaching look like? There is no one answer to this age-old question, but this article reveals how we evaluate the quality of all our coaches!

Mastering College Interviews 1280 848 Theo Wolf

Mastering College Interviews

College interviews can be one of the most stressful parts of the application process. The good news is that they don’t have to be if you know more about the purpose of the interview and how to prepare.

How Parents Can Get Younger Children Ready for College Applications 1280 960 Larry Liu

How Parents Can Get Younger Children Ready for College Applications

With college application season upon us, we’re asked by a lot of parents, “What should I be doing to help my 9th grader prepare?” In this blog post, we’ve outlined a number of guidelines for parents of younger high school students to follow.

So Your Early Application was Rejected or Deferred… What Now? 1280 691 Theo Wolf

So Your Early Application was Rejected or Deferred… What Now?

In mid-December, students typically hear from their early application schools, for better or worse. We thought we’d give some advice to students in the latter group.

Why You Should Limit Your College List 1280 835 Theo Wolf

Why You Should Limit Your College List

When it comes to college applications, many students think more is better. More applications means a better shot at getting into a great school, right? Wrong! Read this blog to learn how over-applying can actually hurt your admission chances.

How to Identify Your Safety, Match and Reach Schools 1280 649 Theo Wolf

How to Identify Your Safety, Match and Reach Schools

Are you creating your college list? Don’t fall into the common trap of choosing all reach colleges! Categorizing colleges in Safety, Match and Reach colleges is very difficulty, especially for international Asian students. This article provides instruction on how to do it.

Call Me Maybe: Admissions Office Edition 1280 649 Larry Liu

Call Me Maybe: Admissions Office Edition

It’s normal to get stuck when writing your college applications, but the important thing is to get yourself unstuck as quickly as possible. We’ve prepared a guide to help you quickly reach out to colleges and get the answers you need.

Dos and Don’ts of a Great College Essay 719 498 Theo Wolf

Dos and Don’ts of a Great College Essay

Application season is upon us, and arguably the most important part of any application is the college essay. There’s a huge amount of advice circulating about writing a good college essay (enough to fill several books), and in this post, we try to distill some of that advice into a few key tips for our students to follow.

Decisions, Decisions: What Applying Early Can Mean For You 518 190 Theo Wolf

Decisions, Decisions: What Applying Early Can Mean For You

The November 1st Early Application Deadline creeps up faster than most expect. In this post, we’ll detail what it means to apply early and why you should or should not do so.

Cooking Up a Great College Application 1280 384 Larry Liu

Cooking Up a Great College Application

When it comes to applying to college in the US, there are a lot of moving parts. This can be overwhelming at times and missing even a single part can render your entire application incomplete. In this blog post, we’ll take you through a broad overview of the entire application and briefly discuss the strategy for each part along with some recommendations.

Cooking Up a Great College Application 1280 384 Katherine

Cooking Up a Great College Application

Preparing a good college application is like cooking a great dish. You have main ingredients, but you can combine them…

The Hidden Cost of Wealth 1280 384 Theo Wolf

The Hidden Cost of Wealth

For centuries, colleges have been bastions of wealth and power. Now, they’re trying to reform their image. For many, this is welcome news, but if you’re wealthy this could influence how colleges view you as an applicant.

The Hidden Cost of Wealth 1280 384 Katherine

The Hidden Cost of Wealth

  I grew up in one of the wealthiest suburbs outside of Boston. Despite being at a public school, our…

The “Asian Tax” In College Admissions 595 417 Lloyd Nimetz

The “Asian Tax” In College Admissions

Are Asians judged at a higher standard than everyone else by US College Admissions? This blog post explains this hotly debated topic and provides some practical tips for Asian applicants.

The “Asian Tax” In College Admissions 595 417 Katherine

The “Asian Tax” In College Admissions

  According to research from Princeton University, students who identify as Asian must score, on average, 140 points higher on…

Catching up with Johnny after MIT Launch 1080 720 Larry Liu

Catching up with Johnny after MIT Launch

In this post we check in with Johnny, who at the time had recently returned from participating in MIT’s Launch Program. Talking to Larry, Johnny shares about his experience at Launch, how he got accepted, and gives an update on his journey so far toward college.

Catching up with Johnny after MIT Launch 1080 720 Katherine

Catching up with Johnny after MIT Launch

This summer, one of our students had the extraordinary opportunity to attend MIT’s Launch program. Launch is an entrepreneurship summer…

“It’s a Trap!” — Five clubs to avoid in high school (unless you really, really love them) 1280 384 Theo Wolf

“It’s a Trap!” — Five clubs to avoid in high school (unless you really, really love them)

We are frequently asked about the pros and cons of various clubs and activities, so we’ve summed up our general insights about some of the clubs that are time “traps” because they don’t help nearly as much as people think.

“It’s a Trap!” — Five clubs to avoid in high school (unless you really, really love them) 1280 384 Katherine

“It’s a Trap!” — Five clubs to avoid in high school (unless you really, really love them)

One of the most frequent questions we get asked is “what clubs should I join”? The only person who can…

Special Programs: Medicine (BA/MD) 1280 616 Larry Liu

Special Programs: Medicine (BA/MD)

This article covers some general insights of medical majors and specialized pre-medicine college programs. Find out which program is perfect for you right now!

Special Programs: Medicine (BA/MD) 1280 616 Katherine

Special Programs: Medicine (BA/MD)

When it comes to deciding on colleges, it’s important to know about the resources that each prospective  school has to…

The Case For Spike Coaching 800 524 Lloyd Nimetz

The Case For Spike Coaching

A Spike is a unique and impressive achievement that showcases your passion and helps you stand out to college admissions. But why does The Spike Lab’s college counseling program focus so heavily on Spike coaching when other college counselors don’t? Learn about why we believe so strongly in having an amazing Spike and why it’s worth the time and investment.

Should you go to college in a Trump America? 556 289 Lloyd Nimetz

Should you go to college in a Trump America?

“Is it safe?” Many international students have been wondering how safe it’ll be for them to study in the U.S. under U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. Read this post to get a sense of how Trump’s campaign and victory is affecting the education world.

Applying to the Right Colleges Part 2: Making Your List 800 471 Larry Liu

Applying to the Right Colleges Part 2: Making Your List

According to the US Department of Education, there are approximately 2,300 four year degree-granting colleges in the US. The average international student is familiar with a very small percentage of these. How should you go about narrowing down your list to the short list of (6-10) colleges that you’ll eventually apply to?

Applying to the Right Colleges Part 1: It’s All About Fit 800 557 Larry Liu

Applying to the Right Colleges Part 1: It’s All About Fit

Don’t make the common mistake of only applying to the highest ranked US colleges. It’s more important to first figure out which colleges are the best fit for you and then aim for the top colleges on that list.

How To Pick Your Spike 800 272 Larry Liu

How To Pick Your Spike

Not all achievements are impressive, and some Spikes are better than others. The question then becomes: “what makes something impressive to U.S. colleges?” In this post, we’ll give you a glimpse into our own coaching process, and the questions we have students answer in order to determine if their Spike is worth pursuing.

Five Biggest Mistakes International Students Make When Applying to US Colleges 800 440 Lloyd Nimetz

Five Biggest Mistakes International Students Make When Applying to US Colleges

This post was made in partnership with Forbes Asia and covers some of the largest mistakes international students make when applying to colleges in the states.

What’s Your Passion? 800 605 Larry Liu

What’s Your Passion?

When it comes to developing a deep achievement Spike, passion is an essential ingredient. But for most students, discovering passion is no easy task. Like most students, you probably have too many interests and even deciding on a place to start is a challenge.

A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Studying the ACT 800 533 Larry Liu

A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Studying the ACT

It’s hard to know where to start studying for the ACT. This post outlines a few resources to help students prepare to self-study for the test.

The Spike Lab’s Reason for Being 466 215 Lloyd Nimetz

The Spike Lab’s Reason for Being

Get an inside look at how our founder, Lloyd Nimetz, thinks about the mission of The Spike Lab: so all students graduate from high school with the achievement skills needed to become leaders and entrepreneurs. Please, not, this is an outdated version of our mission statement. The latest can be read here: https://thespikelab.com/the-spike-labs-reason-for-being-2/

Crafting Your Candidacy Story 800 466 Lloyd Nimetz

Crafting Your Candidacy Story

In early high school, you shouldn’t be writing your college application yet, but it is important to have a clear story. At The Spike Lab, we think about your story as the north star that guides and aligns all of your activities, classes, etc during high school. Check out this article to learn about what makes a good story.

The Top College Rankings for International Students, 2019 Edition 800 519 Theo Wolf

The Top College Rankings for International Students, 2019 Edition

This year, US News drastically changed its rankings. Find out how this affects your college search and which rankings are best for international students as you begin your college search.

How to Choose Between the ACT and the SAT, 2018 Edition 750 483 Larry Liu

How to Choose Between the ACT and the SAT, 2018 Edition

The international version of the ACT is now taken by computer instead of by pen and paper. Because of this, we’ve changed how we recommend this test compared to the SAT.

What to Put in the Additional Information Sections of the Common App, Coalition, and the University of California (UC) Applications 778 483 Theo Wolf

What to Put in the Additional Information Sections of the Common App, Coalition, and the University of California (UC) Applications

The Additional Information section, whether in Common App, Coalition, or the UC application, is a vital opportunity for you to communicate valuable information in your application that might not fit elsewhere. This post breaks down how to fill out this section of those applications.