TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: College Admissions

Posted Nov. 19, 2019, 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 ...

Posted Oct. 16, 2019, 11 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
How Many Colleges Should You Apply To?

Most teens will tell you that making the college list is one of the most stressful times in their life. It’s a process that begins with a little bit of knowing what you like, what your goals are, and that intuition that every student takes to the table. Knowing yourself, your likes, and your dislikes will help you in the process. There’s a theory among teens and many parents, which says, “The more colleges you apply to, the better your chances.” In theory it makes sense, but there are other things to consider besides hedging your bets with numbers. Three ...

Posted Sept. 6, 2019, 10 a.m. by Elly Swartz | View Comments
college application writing tips

You sit on your bed, at your desk and in the library wondering where to begin your college admissions essay. It’s not like there’s a Google map showing you how to go from here to there. How do you dig through 17 years of experiences and select the one that shares your voice, your vision, your passion? Was it when you sat behind Grandpa’s dented old Buick the day you got your license, or the time you figured out how to rig your book to the shower door without getting it soggy so you could finish the last chapter of ...

Posted Aug. 29, 2019, 10 a.m. by Andrew Belasco | View Comments
Three Questions to Consider Before Applying Early Decision

Deciding whether to apply Early Decision (ED) or not to college is a huge dilemma that many high school students must face. While applying ED can increase your chances of admittance in many cases, there are some downfalls as well. 1. Can I afford to pay the bill? Early decision (ED) admission into a college means that you will be receiving only one financial aid offer, which may or may not be enough to sufficiently cover your college-related expenses. Remember, your ED college is not particularly inclined to award a generous package, given that they have already secured your commitment ...

Posted Aug. 23, 2019, 10 a.m. by Bill O'Neill | View Comments
College-Admissions

A lot has changed since today’s parents went through the college application process. Start with the delivery and availability of information. “It used to be that you needed to be on a school’s mailing list to get any kind of information at all,” said Ann McDermott, admissions director at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. “Now, there’s just an explosion of information everywhere. The depth and breadth of information is wonderful, but it can also be overwhelming.” Another shift is that today’s parents tend to be much more involved. “It’s become more of a communal event,” McDermott ...

Posted Aug. 20, 2019, 11 a.m. by Andrew Belasco | View Comments
A Parent’s Role in the College Admissions Process

A few years ago, a student at the University of Cincinnati won a restraining order against her parents for “stalking” her in college. They had installed spyware on their daughter’s phone and computer, snuck into her dorm room on multiple occasions, and regularly met with the dean of her college demanding academic updates. In an age where the media has as many terms for overly-involved parents as the Eskimos have for snow (Tiger moms, Helicopter parents, wolf dads, etc.), this anecdote, sadly, hardly comes as a surprise. Download Parents are unquestionably a critical component to a student’s college transition, but ...

Posted Aug. 14, 2019, 7 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
It's August! Check Our College To-Do List for High School Seniors

Getting a head start on applying to college the summer before senior year can make the fall and spring less stressful for parents and high school seniors. High school seniors will need to be prepared for the overwhelming amount of college admissions activities once school begins. Tackling some of those college related tasks now can help ease some of the pressure in the fall. Get ahead of the game and prepare in advance by using this checklist. If you do, parents and seniors should be ready for senior year to begin. 1. Get ready for standardized tests. The fall standardized ...

Posted Aug. 12, 2019, 2 p.m. by Bara Sapir | View Comments
Getting Over SAT and ACT Test Anxiety

Tests have a disproportionately large role in the course of your life, if you think about how much time is actually spent taking them. How you perform during a few short hours while hunched over a small desk in some strange building can have major consequences. Your score on an entrance exam can determine which college you go to. Which college you go to has a lot to do with which job you'll get, and so on. The ACT and SAT loom large as a decider of fates, and for most students, pressure and anxiety play a pivotal role in ...

Posted Aug. 12, 2019, 9:32 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Common App vs. Coalition App: Which to choose?

Over the last few years, several leading colleges and universities decided to offer an alternative to the Common Application and formed the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success. They developed a new application that allows students to start building a college portfolio online as soon as they enter high school. This will be the first year that students can use the Coalition application, although it will be accepted by only about 10 percent of the number of colleges that accept the Common App. The Common App has nearly 700 member colleges, the Coalition App has 93 member colleges but for ...

Posted Aug. 5, 2019, 9 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
The 5 Most Important First-Semester Tasks for Seniors

The first semester of senior year is filled with anticipation. It’s your last year of high school and you have so much to look forward to, such as graduation and college. But in order to reach those goals, you have some high-priority things in the area of college admissions and creating the best college application that you can. 1. Get recommendation letters. There’s no time to waste. Teachers and administrators and other mentors are busy people. With multiple students asking for recommendation letters, you want to be first in line. If you’ve done your homework, you have built relationships and ...

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