TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time
Posted Sept. 22, 2017, 8 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
TeenLife and NACAC Present the 2017 Guide to Performing & Visual Arts Colleges

Jazz band, video animation, Shakespearean drama, graphic design, sound engineering, operatic arias, set building -- sometimes the opportunities for arts majors seem like an all-you-can-eat buffet, both enticing and overwhelming. Fortunately, TeenLife Media and the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) can help. Founded in 1937, NACAC has 16,000 counselor and college members dedicated to helping students make informed choices about post-secondary education. At NACAC’s annual series of Performing and Visual Arts College Fairs, held in 25 locations around the country, students can connect with universities, colleges, conservatories and other programs that can develop their talent, whether it’s performance-based ...

Posted Sept. 21, 2017, 1 p.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
What You Need To Know About the Common Application This Year

It looks like the widely used Common Application has taken some cues from the new Coalition Application. The new changes to the 2017-18 Common App for colleges mirror features found in the Coalition App. Competition often creates innovation and the Common App has some much-needed updates. The Common App changes this year will benefit high school students and make the application more user friendly. While these changes will be welcomed by students, it’s too early to tell whether or not they will bring with them glitches in the application system. Here are some possible complications that could arise as high ...

Posted Sept. 7, 2017, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Share This College To-Do List With Your High School Junior

The minute college-bound students begin their junior year of high school, they should hit the ground running. Junior year is the all-important year for college admissions. It’s when students begin to get serious about college choice, concentrate on test prep, do their best with academics, start working on college essays and intensify the scholarship search. It might seem overwhelming, but starting early and chipping away at tasks bit by bit can make a big difference this year and next. Here’s a to-do list to talk over with your student. And while you’re talking, agree on what your role as a ...

Posted Sept. 5, 2017, 4 p.m. by Stephanie Hicks | View Comments
How Lions Heart Volunteering Helps Boost Those Leaderships Skills

You don’t have to be the quarterback, star in the school play, or be ASB president to lead others. Rolling up your sleeves and doing community service with friends is a great way to get leadership experience – and have fun! Demonstrating strong leadership skills is easy to do in a volunteer setting and nothing looks better on a high school resume or applications for jobs, internships and college. Here’s our three-step way to demonstrating leadership: 1. Volunteer for a cause you care about – even for just a few hours. 2. Work your way up to organizing a group ...

Posted Aug. 31, 2017, 8 a.m. by Bill O'Neill | View Comments
Why Colleges Are Turning STEM into STEAM

“Technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing.” – Steve Jobs The kind of thinking that brought us the Mac, the iPod and the iPhone is the kind of thinking that more and more schools are trying to cultivate. From tiny Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif., to major research universities like Duke University in Durham, N.C., and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., undergraduate programs are looking for inventive ways to blur the distinction between the humanities and STEM programs. ...

Posted Aug. 24, 2017, 8 a.m. by Sarah Shemkus | View Comments
Do You Know These Dirty Dozen College Essay Mistakes?

The people who score ACT, SAT and college application essays read a lot of ACT, SAT and college application essays. A whole lot. Some of the writing they assess stands out from this crowded field for good reasons: dazzling writing, penetrating insights, incisive analysis. Other entrance test or college essays, however, stand out for silly errors and cringeworthy lapses of judgment. To help you avoid falling into this latter group, we’ve rounded up a dozen very basic – and surprisingly common – mistakes to avoid when you sit down to write your test or college essays. And if you need ...

Posted Aug. 18, 2017, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Is your college-bound student considering private day school? Many parents believe that a private school gives students the upper hand when it comes to college admissions and is more conducive to individual learning.   Whatever your reason for making that choice, what do you need to know? What does

Is your college-bound student considering private day school? Many parents believe that a private school gives students the upper hand when it comes to college admissions and is more conducive to individual learning. Whatever your reason for making that choice, what do you need to know? What does it take to get into one of the top-notch private schools? Much like college admissions, the private school process can be long and taxing. Families must tour the schools, and students must take admissions tests, be interviewed, and fill out the applications. Each school is different in their criteria, but they all ...

Posted Aug. 17, 2017, 8 a.m. by Cate Coulacos Prato | View Comments
How Cosplay and Sewing Boost High School STEM Skills

When you hear about people with spatial, math and problem-solving skills, you probably assume they excel at STEM subjects. But did you know people who create fashion, accessories and cosplay rely on those same skills? In fact, sewing is a great way to hone STEM skills, and STEM skills help with sewing and other crafts. If you're into creating things out of fabric, you might be ready to try a STEM program. “There is more overlap than you think,” Jill Frechette of West Boylston, Mass., says. A sophomore at Vassar College, Frechette studies English and pre-med. She learned to sew ...

Posted Aug. 10, 2017, noon by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
8 Tips for Making Summer Prime Time for College Scholarships

The lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. Kids are out of school. Families take vacations. The last thing anyone wants to think about is searching for college scholarships. But wait! Summer is prime time to search and apply for scholarships. While everyone is playing, your high school student can be hard at work figuring out how to win a scholarship for college. This makes for a productive and financially beneficial summer. Sacrificing a few hours a week could mean graduating college without debt. Here are eight summer scholarship search tips to help your high school student on the path to ...

Posted Aug. 10, 2017, 8 a.m. by Susan Moeller | View Comments
 Learn the 6 Super Skills of the Best High School Interns

Congratulations: You’ve landed a an internship, and you’re ready to explore the real world. But landing a gap year or high school internship is just the beginning. You want to work hard and work smart so that you’ll leave this position with great habits, great contacts and great recommendations. You want to demonstrate that you’re ready and able to learn new skills and responsibilities – and we’re not talking about the location of the nearest Starbucks so you can pick up the coffee order. I mentored dozens of high school and college interns over a 40-year career in journalism, and ...

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