TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: For College Counselors

Posted Nov. 17, 2020, 12:33 p.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
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As the world of education goes increasingly virtual, events and fairs are too. This is great news for families with teens because there is no travel involved - and most of these virtual events are free to attend by parents and students. Our team at TeenLife is on the lookout and will share the most interesting fairs, panel discussions, webinars that are taking place in the weeks and months ahead in this blog. Be sure to bookmark this post! We will also share a link in our monthly newsletter, so sign up if you are not already on our email ...

Posted July 29, 2020, 2:23 p.m. by Dr. Amy Morgenstern | View Comments
Rising Senior

I’ll never forget the time Evelyn, a rising senior, was rejected from every ultra prestigious summer program she’d applied. “No worries,” I quickly reassured her and her mom. “A DIY summer could make an even stronger case at top schools!” Sure enough, after spending her time volunteering at a medical center, taking an online class in environmental leadership (which blew her mind!), and using her extraordinary musical talents to mesmerize fellow volunteers during breaks and play birthday songs for best friends, she was accepted to UC Berkeley in Computer Science. Sometimes a humble plan you’ve patched together is your key ...

Posted July 23, 2020, 12:15 p.m. by Joyce Slayton Mitchell | View Comments
class of 2024

Change. Change is and will be the action word in your life now and for the next few academic years. Easy for the rest of us to say, and so hard for you and your family to hear, imagine, and figure out. There is change from the colleges every day about what to do with their freshman class of 2024. You will have heard of online classes for next year, new registration dates, change in prices, students on or not on campus and in or not in residence halls. Classes for on-campus students for one-semester, followed by a semester online. ...

Posted April 28, 2020, 8:21 a.m. by Joyce Slayton Mitchell | View Comments
Empty lecture seats

Trying to imagine applying to college is hard to do. Being at home instead of at school with your friends, teachers, friends, school counselor, and friends is not where you want to be. Not knowing when or if your senior year will begin in September is almost impossible to imagine. Let’s agree that it is what it is. Stay Connected While Applying to College From Home Most important is to get and stay in touch with your teachers and school counselor throughout the college application process. If you haven’t heard from your guidance (college) counselor, email him or her today. ...

Posted April 24, 2020, 10:04 a.m. by Laurie Kopp Weingarten, CEP | View Comments
Pivot

Generation Z possesses a lot of fantastic qualities, but the one thing we repeatedly hear from admission officers is that they want to see more grit, more resilience. Many high school students aren’t used to failure and find it difficult to pick up the pieces and move on, missing the chance to learn from their past mistakes. Don’t wallow in things you can’t control. As an independent educational consultant, I’m waking up daily to an inbox flooded with emails. Students are asking questions such as, “How is this virus going to affect my future college application? Are these abridged AP ...

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 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. 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 Jan. 14, 2019, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Portrait of sad teenage boy reading message on his phone.

“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” Charles Dickens wasn’t talking about college admissions, but it certainly applies. By late December, the Early Decision answers have come in. If you were blessed, your student will be on cloud nine being accepted to their first-choice college. If you are like many parents and students, the lack of an admissions offer will be devastating. A friend of mine experienced the bad news last year right before Christmas. It rocked her world because her son was a legacy and had impeccable test scores and grades. But it was ...

Posted Oct. 20, 2018, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
FAFSA form on clipboard and keyboard

The biggest complaint from parents and students about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is that it’s too complicated and difficult to complete. In fact, many have found the process so overwhelming that they don’t even start it. This is a bad decision for prospective college students because the FAFSA is the form used to determine not only eligibility for government financial aid, but state and institutional aid, and some private scholarships. The U.S. Education Department’s Office of Federal Student Aid processes about 20 million FAFSA applications a year. But experts say many students who could and ...

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