Month: July 2015

4 ways to get an early start on your college application

4 ways to get an early start on your college application


While it may be too early to actually start filling out or submitting your college applications, there is actually a way to get a head start before your senior year’s start – 

  1. Send in your test scores. You’ve likely already taken the ACT or SAT, so go ahead and send us your scores and we will match them up with your application when you are able to submit it. If you’ve take both exams or if you have take one of them multiple times, go ahead and send all of them. While we don’t super-score, we will use your highest composite score for admission and scholarship criteria.
  2. Request letters of recommendation early. Loyola requires one letter of recommendation from a teach or counselor, someone who knows you academically. Start thinking about who you want to ask – this should be someone who knows you well and someone who will take the time to write you a personal letter. Then go ahead and ask them so they have plenty of time to actually write and send in your letter.  You are welcome to send in more than one letter, just make sure all of your recommenders know you in an unbiased manner. If you are going to send in additional letters consider different teachers, counselors, coaches, supervisors, etc. that know you in a different way from your original recommender.
  3. Work on your college essay. While some schools may give you a question or prompt to respond to, many won’t. Here at Loyola we ask for an optional 500 word essay. This can be an excerpt of a high school assignment, a short story, poetry, a person statement, a story of a significant person or event in your life, or the reasoning behind your interest in Loyola or a particular major. My advice, write your essay and then put it away for a week. Then take it back out to edit it once before having others proofread it for you.
  4. Create your resume. This can be more time-consuming than you might think, so start early. As it’s optional, it doesn’t have to be fancy, so a bulleted-list will work just fine. Make sure you include everything from all 4 years of high school (athletics, clubs/organizations, volunteer work/community service, leadership positions, part-time jobs, music/theater involvement, research, etc.)

Good Luck!

How to Choose the Right High School Classes

How to Choose the Right High School Classes


Everyone wants to know the secret recipe of high school classes to earn admission at Loyola, and while there is not one right combination of classes to choose, I am going to share some of my personal advice for making these decisions:

How are Honors, AP, or IB Classes perceived by Loyola?

  • It’s always nice to see students challenging themselves by taking some of these high level courses. However, it’s not a good move to stack your schedule with these classes if you’re not going to be successful in them. A transcript full of failed AP courses is not going to impress an admission counselor, so talk to your teachers and counselors to find the level that is really the best fit for you. It’s also important to know that you can be admitted without taking these classes, so don’t feel the need to force yourself into one of these classes that might be too much for you.

So is it better to take an honors class and get a B or take the standard level and get an A?

  • In my opinion, take the AP class and get a B. We accept weight GPA’s so if your school weights AP, IB, or Honors classes, you’ll still benefit in regard to your GPA (but keep in mind, your GPA isn’t everything… all aspects of the application are used to make decisions).

Should I take AP or IB exams?

Speaking of exams, should I take the SAT subjects tests?

  • Loyola doesn’t look at these scores at all during the admission and scholarship review process, so no. However, make sure you know the requirements of others colleges you might be applying to in the fall.

Should I take the writing portion of the ACT or SAT?

  • While we don’t look at this section for admission and scholarship purposes, other schools might. If you’re interested in doing the Dual-Acceptance Pharmacy Program with Midwestern and Loyola, Midwestern will want to see the writing portion to make their admission decision.

Will I get transfer credit from Loyola for Dual-Enrollment Courses with other Colleges or Community Colleges? And is there a limit to how much credit I can receive? 


If I want to go into the following major or advising track, what classes should I take?

  • Nursing – Definitely focus on taking higher level and elective classes in the maths and sciences.
  • Engineering – Physics and Calculus are must-haves and then solid results in  your other math and science classes.
  • Pre-Med – Again, focus on the maths and sciences.
  • Pre-Pharmacy – Maths and sciences are key again, specifically Chemistry.

Do I need 4 years of a foreign language?

  • Not necessarily. Loyola will be content with less as long as you still meet your high school’s graduation requirements. This goes for other subject areas, as well.


Good Luck!