TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: College Admissions

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? ...

Posted Feb. 15, 2018, 1:40 p.m. by Brad Schiller | View Comments
College Essay Mistake

What is the single biggest mistake you can make on your college application? Submitting a narrative as your essay response to the prompt. You might as well just include the wrong school name while you are at it. Sadly, most essays reviewed by EditRevise spend 90 percent of the content on storytelling filled with flowery, pointless metaphors and needless descriptions. To get into your dream school, it is crucial that you do NOT make the narrative mistake. What matters most about an essay is its introspection -- commentary on the anecdotes and thoughts on what the prompt is asking. A ...

Posted Feb. 8, 2018, 8 a.m. by Marybeth Holley | View Comments
Five College Essay Topics Admissions Counselors Are Tired of Reading

Teachers know it, guidance counselors know it, and even colleges know it: High school students dread writing the personal college essay. The pressure is high, the word count is low and it can be next to impossible to know where to start. While there are dozens of resources online telling you what you should include, knowing what you shouldn’t include can be just as helpful. Luckily for you, admissions counselors tend to be vocal about how to avoid a swift kick into the rejection pile. College admissions counselors are always on the lookout for unique, memorable essays to give them ...

Posted Jan. 26, 2018, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
It's Freshman Year: Check In About These College Admissions Tasks

It’s time for a mid-year checkup. Half of the school year has passed and with a new start in January, students should evaluate their progress. Freshman year begins the process that eventually culminates in admission to college for most students. Knowing this, it’s crucial for your freshman to complete these tasks before the end of the school year. Before the year ends, take a close look at each of these tasks. How is your student doing? Is it time for a conversation? Does your student need a little motivation? 1. Get involved in a school activity. Your student has been ...

Posted Jan. 8, 2018, 8 p.m. by TeenLife | View Comments
Testive: Jessica Swanson

Meet Jessica, a junior in high school. She is currently taking a full course load, including three AP classes (Chemistry, U.S. History and English Language), plays three sports (cross country, ice hockey, and track) and is a member of the chemistry club at her high school. Through all this, she maintains good grades and is looking to attend Amherst College next year. With this schedule, Jessica had a hard time fitting in SAT prep. That was when she turned to Testive. How did your SAT scores change over time? I received a baseline score of 1980 when I took the ...

Posted Jan. 3, 2018, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Increase Your College Chances With this Admissions Secret

Many college experts offer advice on how to get into college. They recommend stellar standardized test scores, a killer college essay, a high GPA, and strong extracurriculars. While all those application components are important, did you know that there another way for students to increase their admission chances by 40 percent! Data from the National Association for College Admission Counseling show there is a powerful tool students can use to improve their admission chances: demonstrated interest. Students who visit a college before they apply, are up to 40 percent more likely to be admitted than students who do not visit ...

Posted Dec. 19, 2017, noon by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
How to Avoid College Stress Over the Winter Holidays

If you have a college-bound senior, you know you are thinking about college over the winter holidays.. You try to shove it to the back of your mind but it’s there, lurking in the distance. Even if your son or daughter has completed their college applications and received early admissions, there is so much more to do. But add to the holiday stress and the entire family could combust. So don’t let the college to-do lists and the looming deadlines spoil your holidays. Here’s how to avoid a major family meltdown over the holidays and ensure that your student completes ...

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