TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: Colleges & Universities

Posted March 5, 2014, 11 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
AP classes

A recent study released by The College Board reported that the number of students taking AP (Advanced Placement) classes has doubled since 2003. However, there are more academically ready students out there who are not participating. Nearly 300,000 students in the Class of 2013 with potential to succeed in AP graduated having never participated in a matched AP course. According to The College Board, “The purpose of these classes and tests is for students to earn college credit while in high school. Advanced placement exams began in the 1950s as a way for students to stand out on their college ...

Posted March 4, 2014, 11 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
A Parents' Role in the College Process

My older daughter jokes that she is our parenting “guinea pig”—we test out everything on her. It is true. With the first child, it is always about trial and error. From potty training to college applications, my husband and I do our best, but sometimes we make mistakes and hopefully gain insight that we can use with our other children. As I said in my first post, my older daughter is currently attending a college where she is both happy and successful. So whatever we did “wrong,” it was nothing catastrophic, and in the end it all worked out. We ...

Posted March 3, 2014, 1 p.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
A Parent's Role in the College Process

Going through the college process with my older daughter was nerve wracking and stressful. Although she is currently a happy freshmanat the college she selected, looking back (and ahead, as I also have a daughter who is a high school sophomore), there are things my husband and I did right—and certainly things we would do differently. Part I: 5 Things We Did Right 1. We cared less about rankings and more about fit. I am not sure if it is just our community or society as a whole, but there seems to be a huge emphasis now on college ranking ...

Posted March 1, 2014, 11 a.m. by Andrew Belasco | View Comments
Out-of-State Applicant: Advantage or Disadvantage?

It is common knowledge that private colleges and universities are typically eager to recruit out-of-state applicants in order to help enhance the geographic diversity of their freshman classes. However, many elite public schools have traditionally set a higher bar for those applying from afar in order to maintain a student body that is heavily comprised of in-state residents. Yet in recent years, the landscape has changed significantly. The financial crunch at many institutions, brought on by a challenging economic climate, has led many top public schools to begin to draw more from the out-of-state pool for the simple, bottom-line reason ...

Posted Feb. 27, 2014, 9:19 a.m. by Customer Service | View Comments
Value of Experiential Learning

The teenage years are characterized by curiosity, development, and experimentation. Traditionally, high school classes and extracurricular activities help foster these traits and aid teenage success inside the classroom and out. We believe experiential learning can advance teen success even further. Today, the field of experiential learning is booming. Teens have access to many more opportunities than their parents had at their age—they can travel to almost any destination during the summer, spend a gap year volunteering after high school, and even practice their future career ambitions with an internship. With thousands of programs available to students around the world, teenagers ...

Posted Feb. 26, 2014, 11 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Do standardized tests measure academic success?

Like it or not, standardized tests are here to stay. Even though there are test-optional schools that don’t require you to submit scores, most colleges still use them as a barometer when making admissions decisions. However, a new study, released this past week, conducted by the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, shows that high school students with strong grades but lower test scores tend to do just as well in college as those who perform better on these tests. Major findings The study compared the academic performance of students who submitted test scores to 33 colleges and universities with ...

Posted Feb. 22, 2014, 11 a.m. by Evan Berkowitz | View Comments
Applied Knowledge Part Six: The College Essay

When we last left off, I went over the procedure for requesting a Letter of Recommendation from a teacher. Now it's time for the part that everyone seems to dread: the college essay. Download The College Essay For someone like me, who writes often and has experience with word limits, the mechanics of the essay are not so difficult. But if you are having trouble with the nitty-gritty aspects of writing, here are a few tips: Brush up on grammar and usage. I humbly suggest William Strunk, Jr., and E.B. White's immortal classic of the written word The Elements of ...

Posted Feb. 21, 2014, 11:20 a.m. by Evan Berkowitz | View Comments
Applied Knowledge Part Five: The Application!

The application itself appears at first to be one of the most daunting parts of the college application process, but with a little hard work and a great deal of planning, it can be very easy. First of all, it's important to compile a list of the various requirements colleges have, including: Does the school use the Common Application (commonapp.org)? If not, where can you access the school's application? If a school is on the CommonApp, does it have a supplement, and what is the prompt? If it's not on the CommonApp, what are its essay questions? Are there any ...

Posted Feb. 19, 2014, 11 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
10 Tips When Revisiting Your College Choices

After receiving offers of admission from multiple colleges, students and parents wonder how they will choose. If you’re uncertain, and even if you’re not, the best thing you can do is revisit the colleges on your list of acceptances. Since college is a major purchase and a 4-year commitment, it makes sense to go to the respective campuses one last time before making your final decision. Why revisit a college? Now that you are accepted into a particular college, you can think more realistically about about your future life there. You want to be able to picture yourself on campus—in ...

Posted Feb. 18, 2014, 2 p.m. by Andrew Belasco | View Comments
College Admission Mythbusters (Part 2)

I got a letter from the Dean! I’m in! For a high school student, there is something undeniably exciting about being the recipient of an unsolicited brochure from a prestigious university, or even better yet, a personalized letter from the Dean of Admissions practically begging you to apply. Unfortunately, this material usually has about as much value as the L.L. Bean catalog that arrived in the same stack of mail. It’s no great secret that in the age of U.S. News rankings, colleges are engaged in a never-ending battle to reject more applicants every year as evidence of their selectivity. ...

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