TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: For College Counselors

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 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 ...

Posted Aug. 27, 2018, 8:49 a.m. by Shannon Vasconcelos | View Comments
Graphic on grey background of college building, money, mortar board and other items associated with scholarship money.

One way to win scholarships is to go online to a scholarship search site and apply for every scholarship under the sun. But while an online scholarship search is often a worthwhile endeavor, there’s a far more lucrative source of college funding: the colleges themselves. Colleges have a lot of money to give away, and you can approach your college search process strategically to maximize your chances of getting some. What Are Merit Scholarships? In order to win college merit scholarships, you first need to understand what they are – specifically, what they are to the colleges that award them. ...

Posted July 10, 2018, noon by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Frustrated teenage woman working at a laptop computer on college applications.

Join a group of parents whose students are getting college admissions letters and you’re going to hear the same conversations. Some are elated, others are confused, and many are disappointed. I guarantee you that the elated parents have students who took the time to research the college and made sure they were at the top of the applicant pool when they applied. The confused and disappointed parents more than likely have students who applied to elite colleges with little hope of being offered admission or little hope of being able to afford it if their students were accepted. It seems ...

Posted May 10, 2018, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Teenage girls acting silly with mustaches and taking a selfie

It’s tempting to just skate through the rest of the year after you’ve submitted your college applications and been accepted to college. But as tempting as it may be, seniors should finish the remainder of the year strong. Finishing strong will help them carry that momentum into college and the first semester of college is critical when establishing a strong GPA. In addition to keeping the momentum going, there are other reasons for seniors to have a focused and strong finish for senior year. Senioritis will strike! It happens to every student. After almost four years of focused academic activity, ...

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