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 Parents Countdown to College Coach 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 May 30, 2014, 11 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
10 Summer Activities for College-Bound Teens

Summer is approaching and parents and students are looking forward to a much-needed break from school. But if you have a college-bound teen or you are one, summer should never be wasted on video games and watching DVD’s on the couch. There are all kinds of summer programs for teens, volunteer opportunities and summer jobs that will beef up your resume for college and scholarship applications. 10 Summer Activities for College-Bound Teens 1. Volunteer in your community A consistent pattern of volunteering each summer looks great on applications and shows colleges that you are concerned about giving back. Volunteer in ...

Posted May 28, 2014, 11 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
10 Community Service Ideas for College-Bound Teens

Every college-bound teen knows that high school community service is a key component of any college application. // Admissions officers look for well-rounded students who volunteer in high school. But according to a study by DoSomething.org, a group that connects kids with volunteer projects, students should heed this word of warning: DoSomething.org conducts annual surveys on community service and college admissions. They have found that most admissions officers prefer students to be consistently involved with one issue over a variety of causes. Moreover, social change isn’t something you should do just to put on your application — follow your passion. ...

Posted May 16, 2014, 11 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
20 Scholarships with June Deadlines: Part II

Looking for a last-minute scholarship? Check out the second half of these 20 scholarships with June deadlines! 11. Akash Kuruvilla Memorial Scholarship This fund was formed in the fall of 2007 to commemorate the life of Akash Jacob Kuruvilla and to continue his legacy of excellence and generosity posthumously.It is open to all undergraduate students. Scholarship Deadline: June 27, 2014 12. JustWalkers.com Mobility Scholarship Program Open to all students with limited mobility who use a wheelchair, power scooter, crutches, rollator, or other mobility device on a regular basis. Must write a 600-word maximum essay on the following prompt: “Describe a ...

Posted May 15, 2014, 10:21 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
20 Scholarships with June Deadlines: Part 1

Scholarships mean free money. And every student wants free money for college. These 20+ scholarships have June deadlines. You have just enough time to do the research, fill out the applications, and apply. Here are the first 10: 1. Teens Drive Smart Video Contest The Teens Drive Smart Video Contest is now accepting entries. Every year, teens across the country submit videos showing us all how to be safer behind the wheel. Now is your chance! If you’ve got a compelling, creative idea of how to show teens to be safer drivers, make a short video (25 or 55 seconds) ...

Posted May 9, 2014, 2:36 p.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Taking the SATs

Everyone knows how important standardized tests are in the college application process. But what about SAT Subject Tests? How important are they to college admissions and should everyone take them? What are SAT Subject Tests? SAT Subject Tests are hour-long content based tests, which allow you to demonstrate proficiency in a specific subject. There are 20 Subject Tests in all and unlike the SAT where you have to complete all three sections, you get to choose which Subject Tests you would like to take. Subject Tests are offered on the same dates as the SAT and you can take up ...

Posted May 8, 2014, noon by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Tools for Planning Your Career Before College

It’s a fact that a large number of students graduate from college with degrees that don’t prepare them for the job market. News headlines are riddled with stories of recent graduates finding it impossible to land a job with the degree they chose, being forced to take any job to pay back their student loans. Additionally, many students graduate with degrees in areas that don’t interest them simply because they thought the degree would fare well in the marketplace, only to become dissatisfied with their career paths. Investigate Careers Before Choosing a Major To be well-informed and prepared for a ...

Posted April 28, 2014, 11 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Grads Need More Than a Degree to Get Hired

As college students graduate in May, they may find that the degree they worked so hard for won’t be enough to land a job. In today’s competitive job market, students are fighting for the same jobs that experienced workers are seeking as they re-enter the job force. Employers are concerned that graduates don’t have the skills necessary to secure and keep a job. Are graduates qualified? In a study released last fall by Chegg entitled “Bridging That Gap: Analyzing the Student Skill Index,” it appears that more students are struggling to find their place in the workforce. They surveyed 2,001 ...

Posted April 21, 2014, 10:52 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
5 Uncommon Ways to Find and Win Scholarships

Every parent and student dreams of getting scholarships to pay for college. The problem: it’s hard work and requires dedication. One scholarship expert even said to look at it as a part-time job while in high school. That analogy makes sense because it will require time, energy, and effort to be successful in acquiring scholarships to pay for college. Conventional Scholarship Search Most parents and teens know about using scholarship search engines to help with the search. These engines are helpful because they allow the student to input their own personal information and receive a list of scholarships specific to ...

Posted April 12, 2014, 11 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
15 Free Apps to Help With College Prep

In today's smartphone world, apps rule. High school students (and their parents) are looking for the best ways to help them organize, study, and find accurate information about colleges, college applications, college admissions testing, college financing and even college essays. And it’s even better if the apps are free. The following are 15 free apps to help with college prep. To make it easier, the apps are separated into relevant categories: Organization 1. Naviance Students can now take Naviance on the go with the Naviance Student mobile app. Improve collaboration and help students stay organized with an easy-to-use college research ...

Posted April 3, 2014, noon by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
10 Surprising Facts About College

Statistics tell a story. You can use the numbers to get an overall picture of things, evaluate goals, and learn from the trends. College admission statistics are no different. They tell us about college trends, college student behavior, and the future of college graduates. The following are 10 surprising facts about college. Will you be surprised? 75 percent of high school seniors are accepted to their first-choice colleges, but less than 57 percent can afford to attend. A UCLA study about college students confirmed that although students are often accepted to their first choice colleges, they are unable to attend ...

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