January 2021 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:
  • Making Sense of College Rankings – For many students and parents, one of their early college research options is to go directly to those famous lists of college rankings. Tread carefully here; rankings may not tell you what you really need to know.
  • Majoring in Psychology – One of the most popular college majors, a major in psychology can lead to a variety of job opportunities in widely different fields.
  • Money for College – Yes, college can be expensive, but there is aid available to help you and your family pay for college.  Explore the major sources of financial aid for college here.
  • Avoiding Senior Slump – Always a danger during second semester of senior year, Zoom fatigue threatens to create a possible pandemic of the dreaded senioritis.
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December 2020 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • Interviewing Tips – Colleges want you to like them, even if they don’t accept you. This means that the interview is not a test. Read this for tips to shine at your college interview.
  • Majoring in Civil Engineering – A major in civil engineering prepares students to design, build, and maintain facilities such as buildings for both public and private purposes. Lots of career paths are open to students studying civil engineering.
  • Searching for Scholarships – Most scholarships are awarded directly by the college you attend, but there are also other sources of scholarship aid.  Here’s a list of resources to get you started on your search for outside scholarships.
  • The 5 Ps of Choosing Colleges – Just getting started on your college search? Deciding on your priorities is the first step. Consider the 5 Ps.
  • Dealing with Deferrals – While disappointing, a deferral is actually a “maybe”; it’s up to you now to convince your chosen college that you really are an excellent candidate for admission. 

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October 2020 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • How Will Colleges Make Decisions This Year? – With so many colleges going test-optional/test blind, an important metric for admission decisions will be unavailable.  How do colleges plan to distinguish between similarly-looking students from different parts of the country, some of whom have been more affected by the pandemic and who may have had their options for education and activities significantly scaled back during the last 7 months?
  • Majoring in Business/Entrepreneurial Studies – Business remains the most popular major on American college campuses, with about a quarter of all bachelor’s degrees awarded in this area. What are the career options for students graduating with a business major?
  • The FAFSA – Oct. 1st was the opening date to file your FAFSA for 2021-22. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the primary form used by colleges to determine eligibility for need-based aid.  Here’s what you need to know.
  • Making the Most of Virtual Tours – Although the COVID pandemic has brought most options for on-campus tours to a grinding halt, this should not prevent high school students from continuing to ‘visit’ their many colleges of interest in ways that have been second-nature to them for most of their lives – by doing research online.

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September 2020 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

Making the Most of Virtual Learning – Assuming that your fall semester will be either 100% online or a hybrid form of online and in-person classes, how can you make the very best of this new way of learning? 

Majoring in Archeology – Archaeology is the study of cultures from the new and old past, a study done primarily by analyzing evidence such as human remains or artefacts excavated from sites. Majors can choose from a variety of career paths.

The Language of Financial Aid – College financial aid is filled with a dizzying variety of acronyms. To make the process easier, I offer a handy translation guide.

Demonstrating Interest – COVID Edition – Traditionally, students have been able to show their interest through personal contact as a way of telling a college – hey, I like you! How do you do that utilizing a virtual world?

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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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