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January 2023 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • Prepping for Spring SAT/ACT – Although many colleges remain test-optional, there are good reasons to prep for and take the SAT or ACT.  Most students feel some anxiety about taking college entrance exams.  A good test prep course or working one-on-one with a tutor can help alleviate some of this anxiety by allowing students to become familiar with the exams and test-taking strategies.  Here are some points to consider in choosing how to prepare.
  • Focus on Majors: Visual Arts – There are a number of options for students who want to study art in college, and it is important to choose the right kind of program. How do you choose between an art program at a university or one at an art institute?  What are the differences between a BA in Art and a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts)?
  • Money for College – Money should neverstop anyone from attending college!  Yes, college can be expensive, but there are resources available to help you and your family pay for college.  Learn about the major sources of financial aid for college here.
  • Thinking About Summer – “Elite” Summer Programs – Many precollege summer programs held on college campuses offer solid learning opportunities and a chance to try out college life. But just how “elite” are these summer programs and do they really make you a better candidate for admission?
  • Avoid Senioritis – Many students think that because they have worked so hard throughout high school, they have earned the right to slack off second semester of senior year. Mid-year grades are being sent to colleges, and some students have already been accepted at their favorite school. It’s tempting to kick back and enjoy life. But should you?

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November 2022 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • Answering the Unasked Questions – How will you benefit from attending our college? What will you contribute to our college? While you may not see these questions appearing on your college applications, if you address these topics in your applications, you will set yourself apart from other applicants and make a persuasive case for your admission.
  • Majoring in Peace and Conflict Studies – With the political climate in the United States so divisive at this time, a major that focuses on ways to solve problems peacefully may resonate with you.  The Peace and Conflict Studies major focuses on ways to improve justice and peace in the world. 
  • Do You Need to Submit the CSS Profile? – Although the bulk of financial aid money comes from the federal government and is distributed through the use of the FAFSA, over 240 colleges require an additional form, the CSS Profile.  Will you need to complete this form?
  • Impact on Others– Since the issuing of the 2016 Harvard report, Turning the Tide, many colleges have resolved to encourage applicants to show more meaningful contributions to others, through community service and engagement for the public good. What impact have you been having on others?
  • Acing That College Interview– It is expensive to have admission officers interview all or most applicants, so few colleges actually require interviews. But colleges encourage interviews as a way to help distinguish among all the students who have similarly impressive grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities. 

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October 2022 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • How Much Should You Disclose? – Whenever you consider disclosing personal information, think about how the information you provide will help admission officers understand your application.  Let’s look at some examples of types of information you might disclose.
  • Majoring in Kinesiology – For active people interested in a science career, a major in kinesiology may be a perfect fit. Kinesiology is the study of human movement, from the molecular workings of muscular control to the process of recovery from massive sports injuries.
  • It’s Time for the FAFSA – The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the primary form used by colleges to determine eligibility for need-based aid. Learn here how it is used in determining financial aid.
  • Avoiding College Application Mistakes – When you are working on college applications, a few basic steps can make the process go more smoothly.  Make sure you don’t fall prey to these common errors.
  • Should You Apply Early Action? – Early Action applicants receive their admission decisions earlier in the year. There are many good reasons to apply Early Action but there are also restrictions you need to watch for, and reasons why Early Action may not be advisable.

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September 2022 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • Making The Most of Your High School Years – Entering high school can be overwhelming; you’ll have far more options and opportunities as well as greater expectations. The choices you make through high school will have an impact on your future education. Here are some tips to navigate the journey.
  • Majoring in Chemistry – Students skilled in math, curious about the physical world and good at analysis and problem-solving may enjoy a major in chemistry. An abundance of job opportunities and career paths lie ahead for chemistry majors.
  • Studying Out-of-State at In-State Prices – Dreaming of going to college out-of-state but concerned about the costs? Because of agreements developed between some neighboring states, many out-of-state students pay tuition at the same or only slightly higher rate than in-state residents. Learn more here.
  • Do Safety Schools Really Exist Anymore? – As the college admission process becomes more complex, students are beginning to wonder if they are assured acceptance to their so-called ‘safety’ schools. 
  • Considering Early Decision? – Many of the highly selective colleges fill around half their class through ED; some fill a higher percentage, leaving little space in the regular round.  What are the benefits and risks of applying early decision?

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June 2022 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • Summer Plans – Starting a Business: Some young adults score an internship, some are lucky enough to undertake travel that incorporates fun and community service, and others take a summer job in order to squirrel money away. One exciting idea is to start your own business. Here are some ideas to make this a memorable summer!
  • Majoring in Fashion Design/Merchandising: Do you love fashion?  Are you usually the first in your group to spot the latest clothing trends? Is Project Runway one of your favorite reality shows? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, a college major in fashion merchandising and a career in the fashion industry may be a good match.
  • Pre-College Financial and Legal Matters: There are a few legal and financial issues that should be addressed before your son or daughter goes off to college.
  • Adjusting to College Life: Nearly every college freshman encounters a few surprises as they adjust to college life.  Understanding the most common challenges can make the transition to college life go more smoothly for both students and their parents.

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May 2022 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • Summer Plans – Crafting an Internship – No plans yet for summer? Consider: 1) how can my summer activity be more meaningful to me? and 2) how can my summer activity help me build a solid resume in preparation for a future college or job application? Now check out our advice.
  • Focus on Majors – Geodesign – Want to make a difference in our world? A Geodesign major will appeal to students interested in the application of geographic information systems to building more sustainable and resilient communities.  Learn about this relatively new major here.
  • Talking to Your Kids About Money – Unfortunately, many families never have a conversation about budgets or even reasonable spending expectations before students leave for college. Parents need to be aware of the realistic costs of books, clubs, activities, and midnight pizza runs. Students should not assume there is a limitless debit card at their disposal. Here are some things to consider before you have this important conversation.
  • College Search for Students with Learning Differences – Here are some tips to help you identify college campuses that could best fit, academically and socially, the needs of a student with learning differences.

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April 2022 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • Three Types of Campus Visits – Whatever your year in high school, visiting college campuses can give you a first-hand look at a possible college experience.  The visits differ depending upon where you are in the college search process, but what you learn will be invaluable.
  • Focus on Majors – Supply Chain Management – We rarely thought about this before the pandemic, but supply chain issues affect all our lives. The management of the chain of supplies that bring those products to our homes is an essential and critical component of a successful business.  Learn here about this relatively new major and how it may apply to a variety of career paths.
  • 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: consider appealing the award.  While colleges and universities won’t encourage it, the financial aid officers are empowered to make adjustments, if deemed warranted.
  • Making That Final College Choice – For some students, the final decision regarding which college to attend is the toughest part of the admission process. Here are some tips to help you sort out your options.

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March 2022 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • The New SAT – Shorter and Online – The College Board is hoping that bringing their test into the 21st century will secure its future viability.  To that end, they have made a number of changes to the format and medium.  Read about these here.
  • Majoring in Molecular Biology – Majoring in this field prepares students for a wide range of careers in scientific research, medicine, bioengineering, and biotechnology. There will be a high demand for science and engineering jobs in the future; learn more about this major here.
  • College Majors With the Best Return on Investment – High-income potential and low unemployment are the most important factors to consider when choosing a college major with a strong return on investment. But even more important, make sure your major fits your interests.
  • Waitlist Purgatory – Uh-oh. Your eagerly awaited decision letter from Dream University finally arrives and you learn that you’ve been offered not the hoped-for place in the class, but a spot on their waitlist.  What should you do now?

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February 2022 College Counseling Newsletter

ESSENTIAL TOPICS:

  • Making a Great College Match – Just like in romantic relationships, there’s more than one potential match out there if you remain open to possibilities. There’s no perfect person or college. But there are some very good schools (and people) that offer opportunities for growth and satisfaction. 
  • Focus on Majors – Film Studies – If you aspire to expose the world’s ills through documentaries, have visions of fame, fortune and financial reward, or simply long to get paid for watching movies, Film Studies may be the major of your dreams.
  • Consider Your Return on Investment – There are so many moving parts to a student’s search for the ‘right’ college – location, academic options, student services, clubs and organizations, career preparations – but none of them matters if a family is unable to afford that wonderful education.  
  • Should You Take AP Tests? – At some schools, students enrolled in AP classes are required to take the AP exam, but even so, it makes sense to take it. You may do better than you think, and after working hard in an AP class all year, why miss out on the opportunity to receive college credit? Consider these additional reasons for taking the tests.

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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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