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Five School From Home Tips

online class Apr 02, 2020
 

Online classes or some modified version of schooling at home is the new reality for a large majority of students in the country.  The coronavirus pandemic has created huge education adjustment for everyone involved – students, parents, and teachers.  Many are now worried – especially juniors – about how this new version of school will impact your college admission prospects next year.   

Before you get ahead of yourself, start by thinking of how can you stay focused and productive today.  It’s important to maintain your junior year grades and to finish the year with strong learning gains.  Use these school-from-home tips to make the most of your time.     

  1. Maintain your morning routine – GET UP!  Sure, it’s tempting to sleep until noon but you’ll be far better off if you stick with a schedule similar to what you had in school.  Get up at the same time, get showered...
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Testing Updates

Uncategorized Mar 26, 2020

Coronavirus cancelations seem to be coming in from all directions – schools, weddings, concerts, even the Olympics have either been canceled or rescheduled.  The SAT and ACT are no exception.  It’s likely that your spring test schedule (along with your other schedules) looks very different now than it did a week ago.  With updates coming in on a rolling basis from testing organizations and colleges, it’s important to stay informed.  Check your email regularly, create a system for organizing important information, and stay in touch with your counselor.     

SAT Updates  

  • The May 2, 2020 SAT and SAT Subject Test administration has been canceled.  
  • The June 6, 2020 SAT and SAT Subject Test administration is still scheduled.  However, CollegeBoard will continue to assess health and safety recommendations and provide updates to registered students as soon as possible in case of...
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If your spring break plans included college visits, what should you do now?

 

The coronavirus has drastically altered life around the world, and while college admissions isn’t life and death, it’s safe to say that the admissions process has been upended.  Colleges around the country have canceled in person classes and most have adopted an online format for the remainder of the semester.  With that, it’s certain that spring college visits will be occurring in non-traditional ways.  So how can you get a feel for a college when the campus is closed?   

If your spring break plans included college visits, what should you do now?  It boils down to using your virtual resources.  

  • Virtual Tour – Many schools already have a virtual tour available.  In GuidedPath, you can find nearly 500 virtual tours through YouVisit on the college profile pages.  Other collections of online campus tours include YoUniversityTV or CampusTours.com.   
  • ...
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College Size Does Matter

Uncategorized Mar 05, 2020
 

As you explore which colleges are the right match for you, consider the size of the student body.  How many undergraduates attend the college?  This can make a big difference in your experience on a college campus.  Think of college sizes in these four categories (based on undergraduate student attendance only).

Boutique Size (<2000) 

Over 500 colleges in the U.S. enroll fewer than 2000 students.  These schools are ideal for students with a strong participant learner approach to college.  You get to know your teachers and fellow students very well.  This provides opportunities to maximize your involvement in activities and construct your own learning experience.  Most boutique size schools are private, examples include Juilliard, Amherst, Pomona, California Institute of Technology, Davidson, and Haverford.

Liberal Arts Size (2000-5000) 

Over 300 colleges in the US fall in the Liberal Arts...

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Why So Many Questions.....

 

So Many Questions… 

Have you signed up to take the SAT yet?  Or maybe you’ve already taken the PSAT? Did you notice that there are questions about your grades, your interests, your intended college major, etc. in the registration?  What’s up with all those questions?    

The CollegeBoard Student Search Service 

Those questions are part of the SAT Questionnaire.  There’s also a box to opt-in to the College Board Student Search Service.  By completing those questions and checking the box, you are giving permission for the CollegeBoard to provide your information to colleges and scholarship programs.   

Why do colleges and scholarship programs want my information?  

You are searching for colleges that are a good fit.  Colleges and scholarship programs are doing the same thing – searching for applicants that are a good fit.  One of the ways...

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Making the Most of Your College Visits

college visits Feb 20, 2020
 

The College Visit 

Depending on your time and interest level, plan one of the following types of college visits: 

Basic Visit 

  1. Attend an information session.  Ask questions about admissions, financial aid, choice of majors.  IMPORTANT: Get a business card from an admissions person. 
  2. Do a college and dorm tour.  What does the campus look like?  Where do freshman live? What are the housing options? 
  3. Eat a meal on campus.  Go to the dining hall or coffee shop and eat.  Introduce yourself to some students and ask questions.  You will be surprised at how much they want to share about the college. 

Extended Visit 

In addition to the basic visit schedule – an information session, a campus tour, and a meal on campus – ask if you can add the following appointments at the schools that you are most interested in:  

  1. Meet individually with an admissions...
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It’s Never Too Early to Start Your College Essays

Uncategorized Feb 06, 2020
 

Last week, the Common Application announced that the essay prompts for 2020-2021 will remain the same as they were in 2019-2020 application.  So, what are you waiting for?  Now is a great time to start brainstorming topics for your Common App essay.    

 2020-2021 Common Application Essay Prompts 

  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. 
  2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? 
  3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? 
  4. Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be...
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Who’s Watching Your Social Media?

Uncategorized Jan 30, 2020
 

Alan Katzman, founder and CEO of Social Assurity, guides students on creating a winning social media presence. He is a pioneer in developing and advancing techniques to teach students how to use social media to build a compelling and reflective digital presence as a game-changing tool for creating academic and career success at all educational levels.  We’re giving you his top four reasons why you should be aware of how social media can impact your college planning. 

Reason #1: Admission Officers Are Looking at Your Social Media
Thanks to Kaplan Test Prep and its annual survey of college admissions officers, we know that at least 35% of admission officers in the United States looked at applicant social media during the 2016 admissions process. We also know that admissions officers are more likely to look when considering scholarships and when invited to do so by applicants. 

Reason #2: Since They’re Looking,...

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The Secret to Student Success

Uncategorized Jan 23, 2020
 

What do successful people have in common?  Is it brains, talent, fame or fortune?  No!  Arel Moodie, bestselling author and speaker, has a different idea.  In this TedTalk, Arel explains the secret to student success and how you don’t have to be the smartest or the most talented to be successful.   

Arel’s secret – effort – comes from his personal experience as a successful student and entrepreneur.  Numerous studies and authors agree with him.  Angela Duckworth, psychologist and distinguished professor at the University of Pennsylvania, is well known for her research on “Grit”.  Among the high achievers that she studied, grit (aka conscientiousness) is a common factor and outweighs IQ in predicting success.   

Watch Arel’s “Secret to Student Success” TedxTalk 

Take Action 

Are you struggling with an assignment or a class?  Adopt a...

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5 Myths about Paying for College

Uncategorized Jan 16, 2020
 

Here are 5 myths about paying for college that counselors often hear.  Don’t fall victim to these myths! 

1. My family maketoo much money to qualify for financial aid.
This is one of the biggest myths out there. You may not qualify for aid at one school, and qualify for lots of money at another school (see blog How Do You Get Money for College?)

2. It costs more to go out-of-state than to stay in-state. 
Not so. With increased tuition rates in many states, it is not always cheaper to stay in-state.  There are out of state tuition waivers available for many students. Also, colleges offer scholarships to students for athletes, scholars, certain majors, leadership, and other categories. Don’t narrow your list of colleges to just in-state schools.

3. It cost more to go to a private school than a public school.
Not necessarily.  Each family situation is unique and you may find it will cost less for...

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