TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Author: Rebecca Joseph

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Dr. Joseph is a college access and admissions expert. A tenured professor at a public university, she believes that all students should have the option of a college education and does everything she can to help students, communities, and schools empower their students to make it to and through college.

Posted April 9, 2014, 2:43 p.m. by Rebecca Joseph | View Comments
10 College Readiness Tips

It’s time to get your college readiness plan in high gear for your high school seniors. It is never too early to start planning ahead! Here are 10 tips to get you through the beginning of the year: Push tough senior year schedules. Make sure your child’s schedule is rigorous and does not have more than one core subject missing from last year. Make sure core passions continue through school programs. It’s not too late to make course shifts. Arrange campus tours. All colleges host open houses and special events this fall. Visit a campus with your child. Or send ...

Posted April 2, 2014, 2:41 p.m. by Rebecca Joseph | View Comments
College Readiness for Parents

The class of this year is graduating, which means that parents of juniors are now parents of rising seniors. With less than a year to prepare for college admissions, it's time for your high school student to get started! Tips for Getting Students (And Parents) Ready for College Encourage your teen to finalize summer and fall plans to focus on leadership and initiative. They need to be busy this summer as colleges expect new seniors to be engaged. They should spend at least 20 to 30 hours per week taking classes, working, volunteering, doing high school internships, and more. They ...

Posted March 31, 2014, 3:44 p.m. by Rebecca Joseph | View Comments
Helping Your Teen Through the First Semester of College

I have spent the past few weeks meeting with college freshmen and their families. This is such a bittersweet time, as first semester freshmen get to come home and relax for a few short weeks. Many of the students are soaring and loving college. Others are having a challenging time. Helping Your Teen Through the First Semester of College These are 10 resolutions to help those who came home sad from their first semester. 1. Go through the winter term and/or spring schedules. Make sure they have a balanced course-load so they are not taking too many hard classes at ...

Posted March 28, 2014, 12:17 p.m. by Rebecca Joseph | View Comments
Why Teens Should Live in the Dorms

I spent my weekend trying to convince parents of high school seniors to let their children live college dorms rather than commute. These were seniors who were accepted to local colleges that provide housing. Finances were not the problem, as the parents could either afford the costs or financial aid would cover the majority of these costs. Living in college housing, if available, is a huge benefit of the college experience. In fact, students who live in student housing usually do better academically than those who do not. As June 1 is the housing deadline for many colleges, try to ...

Posted March 26, 2014, 2:11 p.m. by Rebecca Joseph | View Comments
Don't Wait to Get Off a College Waitlist: 10 Proactive Tips

Congratulations for making it this far in the college admissions process. You will most likely have many good colleges options already, but if you really want to go to a college that waitlisted you, follow as many of these 10 tips as possible. Do not do this for a school you will not attend. Colleges often take kids off waitlists who can afford to pay outright, have special connections, fulfill regional needs, or make a spectacular case. Remember, spots only open if the college has available spaces. 10 Proactive Tips to Get Off a Waitlist 1. Be happy about another ...

Posted Jan. 21, 2014, 10:14 a.m. by Rebecca Joseph | View Comments
How to Answer New College Application Prompts

For the first time in its recent history, the Common Application has changed its essay prompts for the 2013-2014 school year. More than 2 million high school seniors and 460 colleges use this college application platform; it enables students to send out the same application to member colleges. It requires one long essay, whose prompts have never changed. Until now. Changes Starting the upcoming 2013-2014 application year, the Common Applications plans to release new prompts each winter/spring. This change means we must share these prompts with everyone who works with current high school juniors as students will be at a ...