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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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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