TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Author: Suzanne Shaffer

Suzanne Shaffer counsels parents and students in the college admissions process and the importance of early college preparation. Her Parenting for College blog offers timely college tips for parents and students, as well as providing parents with the resources necessary to help their college-bound teens navigate the college maze.

Posted Sept. 8, 2014, 10 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
4 things during high school to prepare you for college

It’s back to school time and for high school students, college prep is on the mind. Even if you’re not a senior, you should be thinking about the next four years and how they will affect your college choices. With all the chaos around back to school, and all the school activities, let’s focus on the most important task for each grade level in the first few weeks of being back in school. Senior Year Approach teachers for letters of recommendation. Most selective colleges and universities require one to three recommendation letters with a student’s application, usually from a guidance ...

Posted Aug. 30, 2014, 10 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Can You Answer These 10 College Interview Questions?

If you’re going to college, expect to be interviewed by a college representative. It’s a vital part of the college admissions process. Why? Colleges want to get to know you: Who you are, what your goals are, and how you will contribute to the student population. They also want to see how you answer questions, how informed you are, and your views on other topics. When my daughter was in the midst of her college search, she was interviewed by a representative of Boston University. Since this was her first choice college, she was nervous. She wanted to make a ...

Posted Aug. 29, 2014, 10 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
5 Questions You Should Ask on a College Interview

College interviews can be very nerve-wracking. It might seem like the college is interviewing you when you sit down for that appointment. But in truth, you are also interviewing them. The answers to the questions they ask you (Can You Answer These 10 College Interview Questions?) are important. But the questions you ask them can be just as important and can also help you make your final college decision. In the end, it’s not just them choosing to admit you, it’s you choosing to accept their offer of admission. Do Your Research Before the College Interview First thing's first—do your ...

Posted Aug. 25, 2014, 10 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Choosing the Right High School Courses to Prepare for College

Success in the college admissions process can be narrowed down to one word: preparation. It’s not solely about raw talent. It rests more on what you do with the talent you’ve been given and how you prepare for college academics. In other words, it’s about how you apply yourself than your grades or intelligent quotient. Colleges draw their entering class from those students who possess the talent to compete in the classrooms and challenge themselves academically. When asked about the number one factor in college admissions, most students are not aware that colleges overwhelmingly say it’s a rigorous high school ...

Posted Aug. 18, 2014, 10 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
women in STEM

A report by the American Association of University Women, “Tech-Savvy: Educating Girls in the New Computer Age," concluded that girls are still turned off by technical careers. The study was put together through interviews with 70 middle and high school girls, an online survey of almost 900 teachers, and from the experiences of commissioned members and other women in STEM fields. It concluded that girls have the ability to learn and use computers, but they are turned off by computer tech careers because they view them as full of geeky guys in windowless offices who toil at keyboards for hours. ...

Posted Aug. 15, 2014, 10 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
5 Discussions to Have with Your New College Roommate

For many new college students, living in a dorm will most likely be their first experience being away from home and living on their own. It’s probably also their first experience in dealing with a roommate. Because of this, complaints and conflicts are likely to occur as newbie students learn to work and live together in a small dorm room. We’ve all seen movies about the college experience, ripe with parties and new, life-changing experiences. The reality is, living with roommates isn’t always one big love-fest. How you get along with your roommates impacts your entire college experience—be sure to ...

Posted Aug. 11, 2014, 10 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
parents and kids moving into college dorms

College move-in day is something every parent dreads and every student looks forward to. Parents are excited about their student attending college, but dreading the inevitable “empty nest” feeling. Students look forward to college experiences and independence from parental authority. Here are just a few tips to help prepare you for college move-in day. Pre move-in day preparation Before move-in day you and your student should do some pregame preparation. Purchase dorm essentials It goes without saying that your college-bound teen is going to need dorm furnishings and supplies. There are numerous sites that provide parents and students with dorm ...

Posted Aug. 9, 2014, 10 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Are You Hovering or Helping Your Student?

It’s no surprise. Colleges and universities view today’s breed of college parent with some disdain. They see us as interfering in our student’s lives and overly involved in the college admissions process. If you compare us to the parents of 20 years ago, you might draw the same conclusion. We all have experience with out of control parents. They show up at their kids sport events and yell at the coaches and the umpires. They show up in the education system bullying teachers, coaches, administrators and other parents. Their kids rarely have consequences and cannot fend for themselves in most ...

Posted Aug. 7, 2014, 10 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Is a Military Focused Education Right for You?

There are three types of military focused educations: a military college, a service academy and an ROTC program at a college or university. Some students desire the rigors of an education with a military focus along with a career in the military. Others simply like the discipline and teamwork that come with this type of education. Service Academies Do not apply to a service academy unless you desire a career in the military. The lifestyle at each academy is very rigorous and only individuals who are strongly committed to a life in the military will be motivated to complete such ...

Posted July 31, 2014, 10 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Preparing for college

With competition for college admission becoming stronger, parents are recognizing the need to begin college prep early. That doesn’t mean that you start drilling college into your toddler’s head (although some parents have been known to do this). It does mean that you begin a foundation for their education that will carry them into high school and eventually into college. Looking at the three phases of education, what should parents do to prepare their students for college? Elementary School When discussing college prep, most of the discussions start in middle school and the steps begin when a student is in ...

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