TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: For College Counselors

Posted May 3, 2015, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
How to Attend College Tuition-Free

Is it possible to attend college tuition-free apart from scholarships? For some students it is. A handful of colleges are offering free tuition to admitted students. Stanford announced last week that it was offering free tuition to students whose families make less than $125,000 a year. But it’s not the first college to slash tuition for admitted students. The wealthiest schools have long covered nearly all costs for their poorest students. Harvard since 2004 has broadened the group of students to whom they give large amounts of financial aid, thus putting pressure on other colleges to do the same. Bloomberg ...

Posted April 27, 2015, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Secrets of College Admissions Officers

As a parent of two students who attended college and as a coach for thousands of parents who are sending their own children to college, I have always believed that the college admissions process is highly subjective. What does that mean? Admissions officers meet and discuss the particulars of a student’s application and based on their own criteria, make the final decision whether to offer or not offer admission. Download What does this mean for students who aspire to college? Your college future is in the hands of these admissions officers, who, by their own admission, often have no rhyme ...

Posted April 24, 2015, 8 a.m. by Steve Samaniego | View Comments
4 Reasons for Summer Tutoring

For most kids, academics are the furthest things from their mind over the summer, which is why it’s the job of the parents to put their best interests forward. While you might be tempted to let your child have some downtime, the truth is that during the summer there is plenty of time to go around. They can have their relaxing break and prepare for the upcoming school year at the same time. Here are some reasons why education should still be a priority during the summer. 1. The Summer Brain Drain Studies have shown that students lose roughly half ...

Posted April 22, 2015, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
What Do the Stanford Cheating Allegations Say About Today’s Students?

Allegations have recently been reported to the University Provost of widespread cheating among students at Stanford University. In a letter to faculty and staff, John Etchemendy, Stanford’s University Provost, discusses the unusually high number of allegations of academic dishonesty: I am writing to inform you of an unusually high number of troubling allegations of academic dishonesty reported to our Office of Community Standards at the end of winter quarter. Among a smattering of concerns from a number of winter courses, one faculty member reported allegations that may involve as many as 20 percent of the students in one large introductory ...

Posted April 21, 2015, 9 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
How to Support & Encourage Your Teen While Managing Their Expectations

My daughter played soccer in our recreational town league from the time she was five years old. When she entered high school she decided to try out for the freshman team. She loved playing that year and especially enjoyed the camaraderie of being part of a team in such a big school. In the off-season and during the summer she met with a trainer who worked really hard to improve her skills. The following year she tried out for the junior varsity team and was cut by the coach before the season started. She was crushed. As a parent, I ...

Posted April 20, 2015, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
10 Best Math Apps for Students

Does math homework make you quake in your shoes? It did me. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the widespread availability of apps that today’s students have. Math apps add a whole new dimension to studying and gives you the capability to have those aids right at your fingertips. Here are 10 math apps you can download to help with those ever-present math questions: 1. Free Graphing Calculator (iOS) / Graphing Calculator by MathLab (Android) Graphing calculators used to be expensive, complex and pretty fun if you could program games on them. However, those studying advanced mathematics can download these apps. These ...

Posted April 17, 2015, 9 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
10 Tips for a Fun and Productive College Visit

In the past five years, my husband and I have taken our daughters on many college visits. We have found actually being on campus to be a valuable tool for our daughter’s in determining whether a college is right for them. But some visits have been more insightful than others. Since going to see schools is an investment in both time and money, how can parents plan trips that will be both fun and productive for their teen? 1. See the Right Colleges Meet with your teen’s guidance counselor before planning trips to determine which schools are most likely good ...

Posted Feb. 25, 2015, 10 a.m. by Lion's Heart | View Comments
Lion's Heart Community Service for Teens

A young man by the name of Spencer Corwin was about to begin his 7th grade year in school. He wanted to volunteer in Orange County, California, but didn’t know where to get started. He found a lot of organizations for teen girls to get involved in the community, but he couldn’t find much out there for boys. So he decided to change that. Spencer and his mother, Terry Corwin, recognized the importance of giving back, so they worked together to create Lion’s Heart. Lion’s Heart offers teenagers a special connection with their communities by providing volunteer and leadership opportunities ...

Posted Oct. 16, 2014, 10 a.m. by Carol Barash | View Comments
How to Write College Application Essays that Really Work

Your application essays play a unique role in the admissions process, one that cannot be achieved with an extra 100 points on your SAT or a couple of decimals on your GPA. Application essays—both the 650-word personal statement and supplement essays are opportunities to speak directly to the admissions officers, to show who you are as a person and who you will be as a member of their community. Download This fall, at a panel on college essays at the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, several admissions directors emphasized this unique role played by the essays in the admissions ...

Posted Sept. 20, 2014, 10 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Boarding School Survival Guide, photo credit D. Bhathena

Justin Muchnick, the author of The Boarding School Survival Guide, encourages teens to consider boarding school during high school. Justin has experienced boarding school first hand and recognizes the value of a boarding school education. In a recent interview for TeenLife, Justin explains why he is an avid supporter of a boarding school education. 1. Why did you consider a boarding school? I was introduced to the idea of boarding school by my seventh-grade English teacher, Mr. Rogers. (I talk about him in greater detail in my book’s introduction.) He promoted classroom discussion instead of lecturing at the front of ...

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