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June 2021 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • More Ideas for Summer Break – Although it’s late for planning, students still can find exciting summer opportunities that are also meaningful. Check out some ideas for a constructive summer.
  • Majoring in the Classics – In today’s technological age, does majoring in the classics make sense? Learn about the many and varied career paths open to classics majors.
  • Payment Options for College – If you prefer to break your college bill into smaller payments, you have several choices for doing so.  Here are three common options, along with their pros and cons.
  • Safety on Campus – Learning about staying safe on campus is as important for a student as learning about majors and study abroad opportunities. Consider these points before stepping on campus.

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May 2021 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • Summer Plans (In-person & Virtual) – Summer 2021 already promises great improvements since exciting options are opening up.  Some of the most well-established summer programs are offering both a few on-campus courses and many online courses. What will you choose to do?
  • Majoring in the Visual Arts – Art has the ability to connect people across cultures, to communicate messages, to inspire change and open minds. Artists are the marker of a healthy society, and if you are passionate about and talented at creating art, a major in the visual arts may be right for you.
  • Financial/Legal Issues for New College Students – 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.
  • Brainstorming Your College Essay – Brainstorming a compelling topic is much more challenging than just sitting down and writing an essay; in fact, it is a much more rewarding process. It is tough work because it requires self-analysis and a willingness to dig deep to provide the college admission reader with thoughtful, introspective writing.
  • Take-aways from the 2021 Admission Year – Everyone involved in the college admission world would probably agree that the 2021 admission cycle was unlike any other.  At a recent gathering of educational consultants, we compiled a list of take-aways that will likely be important for the next few years. This is especially important for rising seniors!

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April 2021 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • Making Final Decisions – Some very happy students now have the enviable problem of deciding which college they want to attend.  Although some of you will be able to make a campus visit, many of you may have to decide without ever having stepped foot on campus.  Here are some things to consider.
  • Majoring in Biology – The study of biology has many areas of specialization, allowing students multiple career paths in a wide variety of fields after completing the major.  If you’re fascinated by living things, bio may be the major for you.
  • Comparing Financial Aid Packages – If you’ve applied for financial aid and filed all the paperwork by the appropriate deadline, an award letter outlining a college’s offer of financial assistance should arrive close on the heels of your notification of acceptance.  Here’s a guide to understanding what that package really means.
  • Getting Good Recommendations in a Virtual World – Juniors who have spent much of this year taking classes on Zoom are faced with trying to obtain college recommendations from teachers who may not have been able to get to know them well. In order to help your recommenders from the virtual classroom, here are some things to do.

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March 2021 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • Handling Denials – How Parents Can Help – Denials are inevitable in an atmosphere of increasingly selective admissions; so, how can parents help ease the pain when their child is not chosen, for many reasons relating to the college’s priorities and needs?
  • Majoring in the Fine Arts – Students interested in the visual arts may choose to pursue their passion either at a specialized art institute or as an art major at a more comprehensive college. Learn how the experience differs here.
  • Appealing Financial Aid Awards – If your first-choice college offers everything you want but the price tag is making you waiver, don’t give up hope. Instead, consider appealing to the college’s financial aid office for more money. Learn how here and access a new website that will help guide you through the process.
  • Wallowing on the Waitlist – Adding to all the trials of the COVID-19 experience, colleges this year are expected to offer a record-number of waitlist spots to prospective applicants. Should you opt in for consideration? Is there anything that would make it more likely to be admitted from the waitlist?

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February 2021 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • Considering a Gap Year – With the advent of effective vaccines and with colleges beginning to announce on campus programs for the fall of 2021, should you still consider a gap year?  Here are some things to think about.
  • Majoring in Foreign Language – As the world becomes more and more interconnected, fluency in multiple languages is a highly desirable skill. But what type of careers can this major prepare you for?
  • Changes Coming to the FAFSA – The FAFSA Simplification Act of 2021 brings a slew of changes to the FAFSA that will begin with the 2022-23 application cycle.  This is what families need to know.
  • Looking for a Way to Enhance your Learning Experiences? – Chances are, there is a MOOC in your future. Although many or you are currently doing some or all of your learning online, you will find that MOOCs are different from traditional high school or college courses.
  • To Test or Not to Test – That is the Question – How do you decide if you should invest both considerable time and money into test prep for the next admissions cycle? Info for the class of 2022.

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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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