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Hello folks! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and maybe even got some great deals shopping in the wee hours of the morning on Black Friday (I was most definitely not shopping but rather sleeping off my turkey binge from the evening before). Thanks to my colleague, Brendan Conway, for filling in with last week’s link roundup. This week, since today is Cyber Monday and I assume everyone is spending the entirety of the day online shopping, I’m going to do everything I can to distract you from discounted flat-screen TVs, tablets, and video games and instead turn your attention to some of the most interesting happenings in the world of college admissions.

If you are dead set on getting a great deal, though, here’s one plug: if you haven’t already, make sure you sign up for the Peterson’s $1,000 Scholarship Giveaway. It’s not a discount, but for simply filling out a form you’ll have a chance to earn $1,000 toward higher education costs. No mandatory essay, no GPA requirements, no need to go out and do several hundred hours of community service – just fill out the form, submit, and cross your fingers! Hey, you’ll have better odds than you would if you were playing the lottery… and I, at least, would be willing to do a whole lot more for a chance at $1,000!

To the links we go:

  • Admissions and social media. Admissions and social media. Admissions and social media. This hot topic shows no signs of dying down, as this selection of articles from recent days highlights. Hopefully you’ve read at least a few of these pieces and considered how your own social media footprint could impact your chance of admission.
  • Good news for at least some applicants: after years of increasing competition at most institutions, it looks like this cycle there will be fewer students applying many places. Of course, that doesn’t apply to the most selective schools, like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Stanford, where high applicant numbers and low admission rates will likely continue to set records.
  • Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz provides tips for acing your college interviews in this blog entry from the Huffington Post.
  • Chill out! Another entry from the HuffPost provides 5 good reasons you shouldn’t stress about college admissions. This is really great advice and I encourage everyone to read through it quickly – very worth your time.
  • Thanksgiving has already passed but Christmas is just around the corner, if you haven’t noticed from the incessant television commercials, holly-jolly music, and festive displays practically everywhere you look. While most students think of the holidays as a time to relax (not to mention eat tons of delicious, unhealthy food and get awesome gifts from friends and relatives), they’re also a great opportunity – albeit a fairly last-minute one – for working on your college applications!
  • We’ll close today with this interesting article by Sydney Nolan, who identifies seven frustrating parts of the college application process and then provides some solid advice on how to deal with each. Love it!