Richard Rosenberg got into eight schools, and picking one was a challenge. His final four: Pitt, Binghamton U., Yeshiva U., and Maryland. He took a late-April road trip to check each school's social scene and its student Jewish community. "It came down to what I could afford," he says. The premed student picked Maryland (close to Washington and a "good kosher kitchen").
GPA: 3.5 unweighted
SAT/ACT scores: 740 math, 650 critical reading, 660 writing/27 composite
Extracurrics: Copresident, Green Club; president, People to People International; president, Chabad Youth Nashville; volunteering
Essay topic: Why he picked his field of interest
Approach: He and his parents talked to people at their synagogue and at work. Richard then checked Web sites.
Do-over: Would have visited colleges earlier; he had to study for AP exams during his college tour.
Tip: Ask teachers to read your essays. And look at colleges before applying.
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