January 2022 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • Is College Admission Really More Competitive? – Each year, the media makes it seem that it is getting harder and harder to be accepted to college. But is that really true? Is college admission today really more competitive?
  • The Best Colleges for Pre-meds – “The truth is that there’s not one right kind of college for a pre-med, in the same way that there’s not one right kind of doctor. Large universities, small liberal arts colleges, Ivy League schools, and everything in between: they all have their advantages and downsides.” Learn what to look for here.
  • College Loans – Paying for college is a significant challenge for many families. Once all types of grants, scholarships, work study options, jobs and family contributions are cumulatively considered, many families find they still must borrow money to cover the remaining costs. Let’s look at loan options.
  • Using Your PSAT Score Report for Planning Purposes – The PSAT is not used by colleges in the admission process, but the results can help you better understand your academic strengths and weaknesses and suggest the skills you should focus on in preparing for college entrance exams.

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December 2021 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • Undergraduate Honors Programs – Discover what an honors program can do for you! Honors courses are frequently offered in smaller size classes, often taught by top faculty, or they may also offer academic opportunities with visiting scholars. The perks and coursework vary from college to college – learn more here.
  • Majoring in Cybersecurity – According to the U.S. Department of Labor, jobs in the information security field are expected to grow 28% through 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Is a major in cybersecurity right for you?
  • Great Money – and Not So Great Money – Great money is financial aid that does not need to be repaid. Financial aid packages can be confusing – learn to determine which parts of your package are “great money”.
  • What to Do if You’ve Been Deferred -Acceptances and denials are pretty straight-forward.   But then there’s the deferral—a kind of non-decision that gives you a second chance at acceptance.  If you really want to have that second chance, you’ll need to take a proactive approach and do what you still can to influence the final decision.

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November 2021 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • Why are You Applying Here? – It may be a shorter piece, but the “WHY US” essay is as important as the long Personal Statement essay. Admission officers at many colleges believe the response to this question tells them how much effort a student has put into getting to know the college and whether she is a serious applicant who is likely to matriculate. Get tips here.
  • Majoring in Nursing – Nursing is hot! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 194,500 nursing positions will be created each year over the next decade. Finding a job will not be an issue for Registered Nurses anytime soon. Competition for nursing school is fierce but there are various paths to this career to consider.
  • Merit Awards Make Private Colleges Affordable – At private colleges, most students successfully complete their degree requirements in four years.  So, don’t let the sticker price of private colleges keep you from applying; merit scholarships may make them more affordable than you think.
  • Social Media – Think Before You Post – Applicants often want to know if colleges are fishing in the social media waters. Are colleges and universities proactively seeking out information on prospective applicants or not?
  • What is Holistic Admissions? – With the majority of US colleges now offering test-optional admission (at least for the current year), additional factors take on new importance in holistic admissions. So, what else counts?

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September 2021 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • Back to the Classroom – After over a year of online learning, most US students will be returning to the classroom this fall. Along with the excitement of seeing friends and resuming activities, many are feeling anxiety about the re-opening and return.  What you need to do to maximize your high school experience.
  • Majoring in Applied Math – With an average annual income of about $95,000, enviable working conditions, and considerable autonomy, math majors don’t only rank high, but math-related careers occupy over a third of the top twenty careers.  Don’t see yourself as a mathematician?  Look instead to the study of applied mathematics.
  • Get Ready to File the FAFSA – The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the primary form used by colleges to determine eligibility for need-based financial aid.  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 you need to know.
  • Making the Choice to Apply ED/EA – Over 450 colleges offer Early Decision or Early Action application plans.  Some offer both.  Before deciding whether you should apply Early Decision or Early Action, it’s important to understand the differences between applying through either one of these plans and applying in the regular decision round. Here are answers to some of the most common questions families have about Early Decision and Early Action.

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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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