TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time
Posted March 10, 2014, 11 a.m. by Customer Service | View Comments
What Makes Alex Newell Unique

One may think Alex Newell’s character on Glee, Wade “Unique” Adams, could overshadow his real-life personality. Unique is a powerful and mesmerizing character—she always looks fabulous, wears heels often, and is not afraid to speak her mind.Her strong, memorable persona could easily define Alex as an actor, and as a person. But with the first sound of Alex’s voice, I knew he was just as special as his character—if not more special. I automatically felt energized, excited, and inspired by his stories and his life. He expects that when someone meets him for the first time, they won’t see him ...

Posted March 9, 2014, 11 a.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
ROTC

The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, better known by the acronym ROTC (often pronounced Rot-see), is a college-based program for training commissioned officers for all branches of the U.S. Military—Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. In return for a commitment of military service upon graduation, ROTC funds all or part of college tuition, depending on the type of commission and scholarship contract a student signs, and provides an opportunity for students to develop leadership skills critical for both a military and a civilian career. Don’t let the term “reserve” confuse you. ROTC trains officers for active duty, which ...

Posted March 8, 2014, 2 p.m. by Kristen Licciardi | View Comments
What You Need to Know About 529 Plans

“How will we EVER afford college?” For most parents, this question can cause overwhelming anxiety as their children reach the teen years. Paying for college can feel like an insurmountable task on par with climbing Mt. Everest. Parents are right to worry: Tuition costs and fees at public universities tripled over the past 30 years when adjusted for inflation, according to the College Board’s annual report on college pricing. As higher education costs take a bigger bite out of our paychecks, families are turning to 529 plans to jump-start their college savings. There are now more than 11 million 529 ...

Posted March 8, 2014, 11 a.m. by Debra Bradley Ruder | View Comments
Teen Depression

George was in middle school when something inside him changed. He was bored in school and had few friends. Sleeping was a challenge. He wished he’d never been born because then he wouldn’t feel so awful. Finally, he spoke up to his parents, and together they realized he might be suffering from depression. They got professional help, and after several months of medication and talk therapy, George began to feel like himself again. “Kids with depression think nobody else goes through it,” says George, now in college. “You feel like nobody knows you. Having [professionals] who understood what I was ...

Posted March 7, 2014, 11 a.m. by Andrew Belasco | View Comments
Advantages of Liberal Arts Colleges

Harvard, Yale, Stanford and other large, prestigious universities contain top-notch student bodies and, for the most part, provide excellent undergraduate educations; but so do places like Macalester, Reed, Bowdoin, and other small, liberal arts institutions. While their names may not inspire as much awe around the dinner table or look as good on a bumper sticker, liberal arts colleges offer several academic and extracurricular advantages that students at larger and more pre-professional schools would be hard-pressed to find. Advantages of Liberal Arts For one, the faculty at liberal arts colleges put undergraduates first. Often without a graduate cohort and less ...

Posted March 6, 2014, 12:57 p.m. by Customer Service | View Comments
The New SAT

The college application process is about to see some dramatic changes. The New SAT This week, the College Board announced plans to refocus and realign the SAT—a test loathed and feared by so many high school students. Possibly as a result of a study released by the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, which proved that strong grades are a better indicator of academic performance than test scores, the College Board will make the SAT more focused around the high school curriculum. The New York Times article published this month, “A New SAT Aims to Realign With Schoolwork,” explains the ...

Posted March 6, 2014, 11 a.m. by Andrew Belasco | View Comments
What You Need to Know Before College

In their quest for acceptance, college applicants often fail to see the bigger picture. They obsess over “getting in,” while ignoring current realities about the value and role of an undergraduate education. These realities should play a central, rather than ancillary, part of the college choice process because, when considered, they can help students circumvent the financial hazards and career dissatisfaction that currently plague so many American adults. Before deciding on a college and course of study, students (and their parents) need to account for the following truths: A college degree, while necessary, is no longer sufficient for entry into ...

Posted March 5, 2014, 4:25 p.m. by Customer Service | View Comments
Sleep Tips for Teens

This week (March 2nd-9th) is Sleep Awareness Week: A public education and awareness campaign backed by the National Sleep Foundation. Sleep is vital to every human life—especially active parents and teens. Although there is no “magic number” of sleeping hours, everybody needs sleep in order to concentrate, be efficient, and excel in school, sports or work. Teenagers need about 8.5-9.5 hours of sleep per night, while adults need approximately 7-9 hours. When is the last time you got the full amount of sleep you need? Chances are, it’s been a long time since you’ve felt completely rested. In the spirit ...

Posted March 5, 2014, 11 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
AP classes

A recent study released by The College Board reported that the number of students taking AP (Advanced Placement) classes has doubled since 2003. However, there are more academically ready students out there who are not participating. Nearly 300,000 students in the Class of 2013 with potential to succeed in AP graduated having never participated in a matched AP course. According to The College Board, “The purpose of these classes and tests is for students to earn college credit while in high school. Advanced placement exams began in the 1950s as a way for students to stand out on their college ...

Posted March 4, 2014, 11 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
A Parents' Role in the College Process

My older daughter jokes that she is our parenting “guinea pig”—we test out everything on her. It is true. With the first child, it is always about trial and error. From potty training to college applications, my husband and I do our best, but sometimes we make mistakes and hopefully gain insight that we can use with our other children. As I said in my first post, my older daughter is currently attending a college where she is both happy and successful. So whatever we did “wrong,” it was nothing catastrophic, and in the end it all worked out. We ...

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