TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: College Admissions

Posted March 7, 2019, 8 a.m. by Katrielle Soussana | View Comments
Young blonde woman studying at computer.

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is an international education system that in the United States spans the last two years of secondary education – junior and senior year. There are many components to the IBDP curriculum, but in this post, I want to provide a balanced look into the life of an IBDP student in high school and hopefully help any readers decide if it’s the right path for them. But before I do this, I want to explain a little about the circumstances behind my IB education. My high school is a new IB World School and I am ...

Posted March 5, 2019, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
pencil and SAT answer sheet

What is a “test-optional” college? It is a college and/or university that de-emphasizes the use of standardized tests and picks a substantial number of applicants who are recent graduate U.S. high schools without using the SAT or ACT. Other colleges exempt students who meet grade-point average or class rank criteria from submitting ACT or SAT scores, while others require scores but claim to use them only for placement purposes or to conduct research studies. Test-optional colleges have long been a controversial topic. When a college allows students to opt out of reporting their standardized test scores, do they have an ...

Posted Feb. 25, 2019, noon by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Weighing college offers

It’s that time of year. College admissions offices have been sending out offers of admission along with financial aid award packages. The long wait is over and it’s time to make a decision. Which college will your student attend? Before committing, however, you should weigh your options. You would never purchase a home without determining its value, fit for your family, and location. The college decision should be approached in the same manner. How to Choose the Right College Once your student has looked at the colleges on their list that offered admission, here are seven steps to take before ...

Posted Feb. 19, 2019, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Young woman asleep on couch with book over her head.

Not every student is excited about going to college. Sometimes they need a little push; and sometimes college just isn’t in their headlights. The simple truth is: The four-year college plan isn’t for everyone. For some young adults, the thought of college terrifies them. If they have struggled in school, they know college is going to be more academically challenging. Other students are simply burned out and need a break. But, with all the talk about college during high school, other options are rarely discussed. What if your student simply won’t consider college? My son never saw himself in college. ...

Posted Feb. 14, 2019, 8 a.m. by Bill O'Neill | View Comments
Teenagers studying under a tree outdoors.

Are you trying to decide whether you should spend next summer studying a textbook or rereading the Harry Potter saga? Spending time with the Hogwarts crew might sound like fun, but taking a college course for credit has some major upsides. “A college class can be a great option for students who desire a more rigorous academic challenge than what their high school offers,” says Nancy Polin, a college counselor who is the founder and president of Educational Excellence, which offers college planning and tutoring services. “It’s an opportunity for a student to get their first exposure to what a ...

Posted Feb. 5, 2019, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
African-American Woman Using Mobile at Street

Social media makes it easier than ever to connect with colleges and admissions representatives because you don’t have to be on campus to make a connection. College admissions officers prefer students who are partial to their particular school and many consider whether a student is “demonstrating interest” during the admissions decision process. You can find out how much emphasis a college places on demonstrating interest by visiting CollegeData.com, typing in the college name, clicking on the admissions tab, and viewing the Selection of Students information. Bentley University, for instance, considers demonstrated interest as an “important” factor in college admission. But ...

Posted Jan. 29, 2019, 1:50 p.m. by Andrew Belasco | View Comments
Colleges for the “B” Student

Listening to the mainstream media, one might conclude that getting into college has never been a more competitive or harrowing venture. With the exception of a scattering of hyper-selective prestigious schools across the country, this notion could not be further from reality. In truth, today’s college marketplace greatly favors you, the buyer, more than ever before. For proof, let’s examine some basic stats. In 2012, 63% of high school graduates in the United States enrolled in 4-year undergraduate institutions; 75% from that pool report that they were accepted to their first choice college. You don’t have to be Fibonacci to ...

Posted Jan. 16, 2019, 8 a.m. by Monica Matthews | View Comments
Hand of student in shirt taking notes from laptop

Online scholarship search and matching sites abound on the Internet, but signing up for each and every one of them is a huge mistake that can lead to student frustration and angst. Why? Because there are thousands upon thousands of scholarship opportunities available to students, but unfortunately a great majority of them are drawings or contests designed to gather personal information and use it to promote student loans and sell student data. Once students have signed up and agreed to have scholarships emailed to them, their inboxes will be inundated with offers, and wading through them to find legitimate or ...

Posted Jan. 14, 2019, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Portrait of sad teenage boy reading message on his phone.

“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” Charles Dickens wasn’t talking about college admissions, but it certainly applies. By late December, the Early Decision answers have come in. If you were blessed, your student will be on cloud nine being accepted to their first-choice college. If you are like many parents and students, the lack of an admissions offer will be devastating. A friend of mine experienced the bad news last year right before Christmas. It rocked her world because her son was a legacy and had impeccable test scores and grades. But it was ...

Posted Dec. 15, 2018, 8 a.m. by Sonja Montiel | View Comments
beautiful girl in striped light blue shirt in red christmas cap standing holding red gift box, unboxing and looking inside

Our children never outgrow wanting “stuff” for the holidays. Look at your teen’s gift list and you will see the usual items that sound like a foreign language, possibly with footnotes about their emotional dependency for each item. Go ahead, read it: I really need to have the-most-advanced-tech-thingy-that-you-don’t-know-how-to-use-or-pronounce, or everyone is wearing this piece-of-cloth-that’s-way-too-expensive-but-I’ll-die-without-it! As parents, we have been there, done that, and negotiated for years, right? However, if you have a high school senior, maybe you won’t read such a list this particular season. For most seniors, something extraordinary happens with their wish lists for the holidays. The concept ...

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