TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: College Admissions

Posted May 7, 2019, 5:57 p.m. by Katrielle Soussana | View Comments
Taking the SAT

With hours and hours of drills and practice and repetition, preparing for the SAT can be grueling on top of an already-packed schedule. In the middle of high school, we’re supposed to prep for and successfully take the SAT in order to get a result — a number — that tells colleges whether we are prepared for the academic rigor of university. But, like me, many students may have wondered if it can really measure our readiness for college. Is it actually an outdated system that’s used to generalize students into a rank when intelligence and readiness looks different from ...

Posted April 19, 2019, 3:42 p.m. by Sarah Good | View Comments
Essay Writing

You’ve studied the math, grappled with grammar, and worked on your reading comprehension. But then there’s the essay, looming over all your test prep, so uncertain and subjective. So what do you need to know about the essay? And how much does it even matter? We’re here to help. What you should know about the SAT essay 50 minutes to complete Your mission: Read a nonfiction, persuasive passage and write an essay analyzing the strategies and techniques the author uses to build an argument. Think structural elements, reasoning, data, and emotional word choice. How you’re scored: You will receive three ...

Posted April 5, 2019, 8 a.m. by Karin Klein | View Comments
Data Choosing College

It’s a bewildering place, the world of college admissions. Students don’t know where to apply, or they pin their hopes on one or two “reach” schools that stand a good chance of letting them down. Whether it’s a yearning for a big-name university or a search for the school that will be “the right fit,” the decisions of which colleges to apply to and attend feel like the lynchpin that will determine whether these students are headed toward a happy future or a miserable life. This phase of life would be far simpler and more relaxed if applicants and their ...

Posted March 25, 2019, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Considering second-choice school

The college admissions offers have all arrived but, sadly, your student’s dream school was a no. Or perhaps, the first-choice school came through, but the financial aid didn’t. It looks like it’s time to re-evaluate the colleges lower down on their application list. Of course, deciding to attend a college that wasn’t a top choice might initially seem like letdown. However, with the right mindset you can transform this disappointment into a higher education triumph. Reconsidering Second-choice Schools As you begin to reconsider your options, remind yourself of these five realities to keep positive and maximize your chances of finding ...

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 ...

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