TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: College Admissions

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 ...

Posted Aug. 1, 2019, 11:41 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Can You Answer These 10 College Interview Questions?

If you’re going to college, expect to be interviewed by a college representative. It’s a vital part of the college admissions process. Why? Colleges want to get to know you: Who you are, what your goals are, and how you will contribute to the student population. They also want to see how you answer questions, how informed you are, and your views on other topics. When my daughter was in the midst of her college search, she was interviewed by a representative of Boston University. Since this was her first choice college, she was nervous. She wanted to make a ...

Posted July 31, 2019, 8 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
9 Things Counselors Want Parents to Know About High School

A new school year is like the first page of a new notebook: fresh and ready for a great story. Your high school student is likely to be both excited and trepidatious about how this school year’s plot might turn out. But you and your student have at least one common goal - that this story has a happy ending no matter what obstacles lie ahead. To help you out, we’ve collected advice from high school counselors and independent educational advisors on what really helps a student to succeed. Talk about it with your high school student and work together ...

Posted July 29, 2019, 10 a.m. by Evan Berkowitz | View Comments
pre-college packing

I’m headed off to college in a week and a half, so these past few weekends have been spent scouring stores for the best buys in dorm room necessities and…not-so necessities. Quite the pile has sprung up in the front hallway, and the prospect of leaving is, by shear volume of possessions, becoming a great deal clearer. But, as fun as this packing process has been and can be for everyone, it must be undertaken with rhyme, reason, and careful planning. Hopefully, these tips will help your or your soon-to-be-college student’s transition be all that much smoother. Good luck! 1. ...

Posted July 29, 2019, 8 a.m. by Sarah Shemkus | View Comments
Do You Know These Dirty Dozen College Essay Mistakes?

The people who score ACT, SAT and college application essays read a lot of ACT, SAT and college application essays. A whole lot. Some of the writing they assess stands out from this crowded field for good reasons: dazzling writing, penetrating insights, incisive analysis. Other entrance test or college essays, however, stand out for silly errors and cringeworthy lapses of judgment. To help you avoid falling into this latter group, we’ve rounded up a dozen very basic – and surprisingly common – mistakes to avoid when you sit down to write your test or college essays. And if you need ...

Posted July 26, 2019, 8 a.m. by Shirag Shemmassian | View Comments
after-school

There’s a particular piece of bad advice when it comes to college admissions that ought to be debunked because it keeps many students out of their dream schools each year. It comes in many forms, including: “Join as many clubs and teams as you can, and try to be president or captain.” “Be as well-rounded as possible.” “Admissions committees want to see students who did X/Y/Z activity.” Students who take this advice very seriously end up disappointed when college application decisions roll in and they find more unexpected rejections than surprising acceptances, regardless of their high grades and ACT/SAT scores. ...

Posted July 25, 2019, 2 a.m. by TeenLife | View Comments
Public Vs. Private High School: One Family's Perspective

My son recently graduated from a high-quality private high school and my daughter is in 12th grade at a high-quality public one. My son prospered at private school, while my daughter would not change her educational experience at public school. I have an inside view of both worlds. Rather than provide my perspective on the pros and cons of each educational option, I am sharing the astute insights my daughter offered when she lobbied to stay in public school. Here’s a recap of our conversation with my points and her counterpoints: Just think, in private school you’ll get: Intellectual and ...

Posted July 17, 2019, 10 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
What to Expect at College Orientation

Colleges instituted orientation for incoming students to ease the transition into college. Freshman orientation is a way for students to meet other students, become familiar with campus services, and register for fall classes. Every student attending college in the fall should add orientation to their to-do list this summer. While orientation has been traditionally for students, in the last 10 years, colleges have recognized the fact that parents need help dealing with the transition. To the traditional student orientation, they have added parent orientation. If you have a teen heading to college in the fall, parents should consider attending if ...

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