June 2020 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • Overused Essay Topics – Many applicants do themselves a disservice by taking on topics that don’t resonate well with the admission readers, thus giving a false or incorrect impression of the writer.  Learn which topics to avoid.
  • Majoring in Philosophy – Philosophers aim to answer questions about existence, human nature, knowledge, and ethics.  Happily, the skills acquired through a study of philosophy are applicable to a wide variety of majors.
  • Before Leaving for College – There are a few legal and financial issues that should be addressed before your son or daughter goes off to college.  Here are some items each family should consider.
  • Staying Healthy – On Campus and At Home – Being sick at college is no fun because it means missing classes and social events and then catching up on your work.  Your physical and mental health will most likely determine your happiness and success both on campus and at home.  Tips for staying healthy will be found here.

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May 2020 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • Choosing a Gap Year – With the uncertainty surrounding the reopening of colleges in the fall of 2020, a greater number of students than usual are contemplating taking a gap year. Read here about the pros and cons of taking a gap year and the process needed to do this.
  • Majoring in Biotechnology – Because biotechnology is used in many fields and because the job market for it is projected to grow, biotechnology is a strong subject to major in.  Learn here about the courses you’ll take, the skills you’ll learn, and the careers to which these may be applied.
  • Paying Your Child’s College Bill – A few months before your child starts college, you’ll receive a bill from the college for your child’s first semester (or quarter) expenses. Here are some options to meet these expenses.
  • Virtual Summer Programs – Unfortunately, Covid-19 has led to the closing of nearly all of the campus-based summer programs for high school students.  So, what can you do with your summer now?

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April 2020 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • What to Do When Campus Visits Are Out – With campuses closed due to the coronavirus outbreak and with students sent home to complete the semester online, high school juniors and seniors need to go to their back-up plans.
  • Majoring in Economics – A major in economics educates a student about how resource allocation, incentives, and wealth interact.  Learn if this major fits your interests and goals.
  • Appealing Financial Aid Awards (Updated) – For the class entering fall of 2020, the loss of work due to the COVID-19 virus may affect a student’s eligibility for need-based aid.  Check out the best ways to go about appealing financial aid packages you have received from your colleges.
  • Making the Most of this Enforced Down Time – With so many high schools closed, it probably won’t take much time before you find yourself looking for activities, so we’ve prepared a dozen ideas you may want to follow-up.

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February 2020 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • School Year Campus Visits – Although many families opt for visiting college campuses during summer vacation, the school-year visit offers a truer look at student life on campus. You’ll see students walking between classes, eating in the cafeterias, sleeping on the green, studying in the library and just enjoying each other’s company. This is the best way to determine social fit.
  • Majoring in Metallurgical Engineering – Did you memorize the periodic table for fun? Did you enjoy your chemistry or physics labs? Is math your thing? If so, you might consider majoring in metallurgical engineering.
  • Understanding Net Price – Families often experience sticker shock when contemplating the cost of college, but it’s the net price, rather than the sticker price, that prospective students need to consider.
  • Elite Summer Programs – About this time, students’ mailboxes begin to fill up with fancy “invitations” to elite summer programs.  These sound like an honor, but are they?  Will attending one of these programs give you an edge in the selective admission process?

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January 2020 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • University or Liberal Arts College – Which is Right for You? Learn here about the differences. Then, decide what you require to meet your academic and personal needs and review answers to your questions after visiting both a small college and a large university.
  • Majoring in Food Sciences – Do you read the nutrition facts on the back of your cereal box in the morning? If so, a food sciences major might be for you.
  • Cutting the Cost of College – With the increasingly high price of a college education, families are eager to find ways to cut college costs.  Here are some ideas.
  • Receiving Accommodations on the ACT/SAT – It can be confusing for students with learning differences to apply for accommodations. Students must provide detailed official evidence of their disability. This includes a disability diagnosis by a credentialed professional, and official evidence of the impact the disability has had on the applicant’s school performance. Follow our roadmap.

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December 2019 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • How to Ace Your College Interview –  Find lots of tips here to help you navigate the interview process.  And then breathe deeply to calm yourself, put a big smile on your face, and walk in with confidence!
  • Majoring in Animation –  While animators often work in the entertainment industry, there are many jobs available in other fields also, such as advertising and education.
  • Understanding Your Student Aid Report –  Once you’ve completed your FAFSA, a Student Aid Report will be generated. The information on this report serves as the basis for determining your financial aid package.  This article explains the components of the SAR.
  • Dealing With Deferral –  As early college admissions decisions are released, some students will find themselves in the limbo-land of deferral.  Deferral means that your early application will be reconsidered within the context of the regular decision applicant pool.  What can you do to improve your chances of admission?

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November 2019 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • Considering Women’s Colleges –  Students who attend a women’s college report that they feel more ready to speak up in class, and take on greater academic risks and challenges.  Learn about the pros and cons of attending a women-only institution here.
  • The Best Majors for Lucrative Careers – Interested in return on investment?  Consider these careers if you want to earn a significant amount both soon after graduation and into your future.
  • Merit Scholarships Make Private Colleges Affordable – In 2018, the average institutional tuition discount rate reached a record high of nearly 50 percent among private colleges, meaning that their families are paying only half of the regular tuition rate.  Check this out to learn how private colleges make the experience affordable.
  • After Submitting Your Applications – Good for you! But there are still tasks to be completed even after your applications are in.  See what you need to be doing now.

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October 2019 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • The Rise of Test Optional Admissions –  Although many colleges have considered candidates for admission without standardized test results for years, there has been a recent increase in the number and selectivity of colleges offering test-optional admissions.  Learn more about this growing movement and how it pertains to you.
  •  Majoring in Public Administration –  Students interested in careers in public service will find themselves well-positioned for anticipated openings by majoring in public administration.
  •  Early Decision/Early Action and Their Effect on Financial Aid –    Although Early Decision can significantly increase your chance of admission at many colleges, there is a potential downside in ED for students who require financial aid to attend college.  Read this to learn how ED/EA admissions can affect your total cost of college.
  • Why Are You Applying Here? – The popular “Why this college?” supplemental essay requires applicants to dive deeply into programs at that institution, thinking about the student’s interests, strengths and goals, and looking for how these mesh with those of the school.
  • Fall Timeline for Juniors and Seniors –  Here’s a clip-and-save list of what you should be doing this fall.

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September 2019 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • Managing Stress –  School has always been high on the list of stressors for young people – exams, tests, deadlines, organization, time management, friends, and money. Here are some ideas to help you better manage your stress level.
  • Interdisciplinary Majors–  Tomorrow’s complex problems will require a multidisciplinary approach, and narrowly-focused studies may become inadequate.  Take a look at some of the new interdisciplinary majors that allow students to combine several areas of interest.
  •  File the FAFSA as Soon After Oct. 1st as Possible –  The FAFSA should be filed as soon as possible after October 1st of the student’s senior year, and then yearly while attending college.  Here’s what families need to know about this very important financial aid form.
  • Rigor of Curriculum – Selective colleges expect to see applicants opting for a high level of rigor in their studies, within the constraints of their high school’s offerings.   You can’t design your school’s curriculum but you can control how you complete your four years of high school, so plan well for the most rigorous program you can comfortably handle while still having a balanced life.
  •  Writing a Note-Worthy Essay –  How do you make your essay famous instead of infamous? Here are some basic tips to consider.

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June 2019 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • Advice for New College Freshmen – One of the best parts of going off to college is the ability to create the “you” whom you want to be.  Here are some suggestions to help you make a successful transition to campus.
  • Majoring in Environmental Science – The world needs more scientists equipped to attack the spiral of damaging human behaviors. Environmental science is a branch of science that seeks to sustain the Earth’s environment.
  • Pre-College Legal & Financial Matters – There are a few legal and financial issues that should be addressed before your son or daughter goes off to college. Learn about them here.
  • Telling Your Story – The “dreaded” college essays really are your opportunity to share your voice and personalize your application, making the whole package a full and complete story of YOU. Here are some tips to make that happen.

Download the Full Newsletter: June 2019 College Counseling Newsletter