TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: College Admissions

Posted May 15, 2018, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
YOUng woman with red nails making a college list.

Each spring, high school juniors begin the nitty-gritty tasks involved in creating the perfect college application list. And each spring, parents start asking one another: “Where is your son applying to college? Is your daughter staying close to home? What colleges are on her list?” The perfect college list means students are flooded with offers from colleges. The wrong list means disappointment and discouragement. The list should be so strong that every student is confident of being accepted, and parents are confident of strong offers of merit aid. A perfect college application list will be well thought out with colleges ...

Posted May 10, 2018, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Teenage girls acting silly with mustaches and taking a selfie

It’s tempting to just skate through the rest of the year after you’ve submitted your college applications and been accepted to college. But as tempting as it may be, seniors should finish the remainder of the year strong. Finishing strong will help them carry that momentum into college and the first semester of college is critical when establishing a strong GPA. In addition to keeping the momentum going, there are other reasons for seniors to have a focused and strong finish for senior year. Senioritis will strike! It happens to every student. After almost four years of focused academic activity, ...

Posted May 7, 2018, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Mortar board on pile of coins meant to pay for college.

As offers of college admission and financial-aid awards arrive, students (and parents) are faced with some difficult decisions. Do you accept an offer from a dream college that you simply can’t afford? Do you convince your student to be reasonable and attend a second- or third-choice college based on the financial aid awards? For many families, these are difficult decisions that can only be made by carefully comparing awards and making the best financial choice. Where do you begin? Gather all the financial-aid award packages and compare them side by side. This may not be so simple since every college ...

Posted May 1, 2018, 8 a.m. by Emily Frisella | View Comments
Young woman in graduation robes holding college diploma on a college or university campus.

As you begin to research colleges and universities and narrow down your list of schools you plan to apply to, you may find yourself considering mostly universities, liberal arts colleges, or a mix of both. Universities and liberal arts colleges can both provide you with an incredible education, but they each offer a different type of undergraduate experience. Universities serve both undergraduate and graduate students, and are made up of multiple colleges, each with its own academic specialty. This means that if you’re applying to a university, you’ll have to designate which college or school you’re applying to. For example, ...

Posted April 12, 2018, 8 a.m. by Emily Frisella | View Comments
Young woman writing a college waitlist letter at a laptop computer.

So you’ve been waitlisted—how to write a deferral letter to admissions officers After months of hard work and another few months of waiting, you’ve finally received your college admissions decisions. You’ve celebrated your acceptances, and now you’re weighing your options and deciding which college or university you will attend. But if you’ve been waitlisted or deferred by one of your top choices, you may be feeling confused. You haven’t been accepted or rejected, so what happens next? How do you get off a college waitlist? Remember that a deferral means that the college or university in question believes you are ...

Posted April 5, 2018, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
High School Students Touring a College Campus

College visits are a crucial part of every high school student’s college choice process. These visits provide students with valuable information about each of the colleges that will be on their application lists. But before you visit, here are five things to know about visiting college campuses: 1. The answers to the right questions can heavily influence a student’s decision. A college visit is a fact-gathering mission. Students often ask questions during the college tour but the right questions can heavily influence a student’s decision. These questions won’t always be covered on the tour and many colleges might be hesitant ...

Posted March 20, 2018, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Woman shh-ing to keep one of the 5 secrets colleges don't want you to know.

The college application process is overwhelming for most parents and students. There is so much information to gather and decipher, along with decisions to make and options to consider. As you delve deeper into the college prep, it seems colleges have the upper hand. They set the price, make the decision to accept or reject your student, and ultimately make or break your student’s future. But as you become more knowledgeable about the process and start doing your research, you will find that ultimately you and your student are in control. Together you choose the college, decide what you will ...

Posted March 8, 2018, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Why College Scholarships Should be A Top Priority for High School Students

Many parents believe scholarships are a scam. Their high school students work hard, apply and never win anything. They are frustrated, discouraged and feel the promise of scholarships is a pipe-dream. You may have been there yourself, asking the same question: Are scholarships worth the effort? With all the tasks related to college admissions, why devote valuable time to scholarship searching, especially when it appears the odds are stacked against winning? Here’s why: There are thousands of unclaimed scholarships every year. Did you know that there are thousands of dollars of unclaimed scholarship money every year? Why? Because students don’t ...

Posted Feb. 28, 2018, 8 a.m. by Chanté Griffin | View Comments
5 Reasons to Attend a Historically Black College or University

In high school, one of my classmates advised me to not apply to a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). “It’s not the real world,” he warned. “You’ll be better off at a school like Stanford.” While he chose to attend Stanford, I studied at Pomona College in Claremont, California, and Spelman College, an HBCU in Atlanta, Georgia. (I attended Spelman as a domestic exchange student in the fall of my junior year.) My classmate was partially right, though: HBCUs aren’t representative of “the real world.” Established in the mid- 1800s, they were designed to be better than that world: ...

Posted Feb. 20, 2018, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Why Freshmen and Sophomores Should Visit College Campuses

Students and their families usually begin visiting colleges in the spring of junior year of high school. But should families start sooner? What are the benefits of making preliminary college visits during freshman or sophomore years of high school? These are simply informal college visits that include a walk around campus, a visit to the school library, or a stroll through the campus bookstore. It’s easy to fit a brief college tour into your family vacation or spring or winter breaks. You could make a college visit a part of a family vacation. Why, however, should you consider doing this? ...

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