TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: For Parents

Posted March 8, 2018, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Why College Scholarships Should be A Top Priority for High School Students

Many parents believe scholarships are a scam. Their high school students work hard, apply and never win anything. They are frustrated, discouraged and feel the promise of scholarships is a pipe-dream. You may have been there yourself, asking the same question: Are scholarships worth the effort? With all the tasks related to college admissions, why devote valuable time to scholarship searching, especially when it appears the odds are stacked against winning? Here’s why: There are thousands of unclaimed scholarships every year. Did you know that there are thousands of dollars of unclaimed scholarship money every year? Why? Because students don’t ...

Posted Feb. 28, 2018, 8 a.m. by Chanté Griffin | View Comments
5 Reasons to Attend a Historically Black College or University

In high school, one of my classmates advised me to not apply to a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). “It’s not the real world,” he warned. “You’ll be better off at a school like Stanford.” While he chose to attend Stanford, I studied at Pomona College in Claremont, California, and Spelman College, an HBCU in Atlanta, Georgia. (I attended Spelman as a domestic exchange student in the fall of my junior year.) My classmate was partially right, though: HBCUs aren’t representative of “the real world.” Established in the mid- 1800s, they were designed to be better than that world: ...

Posted Feb. 20, 2018, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Why Freshmen and Sophomores Should Visit College Campuses

Students and their families usually begin visiting colleges in the spring of junior year of high school. But should families start sooner? What are the benefits of making preliminary college visits during freshman or sophomore years of high school? These are simply informal college visits that include a walk around campus, a visit to the school library, or a stroll through the campus bookstore. It’s easy to fit a brief college tour into your family vacation or spring or winter breaks. You could make a college visit a part of a family vacation. Why, however, should you consider doing this? ...

Posted Jan. 26, 2018, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
It's Freshman Year: Check In About These College Admissions Tasks

It’s time for a mid-year checkup. Half of the school year has passed and with a new start in January, students should evaluate their progress. Freshman year begins the process that eventually culminates in admission to college for most students. Knowing this, it’s crucial for your freshman to complete these tasks before the end of the school year. Before the year ends, take a close look at each of these tasks. How is your student doing? Is it time for a conversation? Does your student need a little motivation? 1. Get involved in a school activity. Your student has been ...

Posted Jan. 22, 2018, 8 a.m. by Laurie Higgins | View Comments
How to Help Keep Your High School Student Safe Overseas

The benefits that high school students get from going overseas on a summer program are endless. It exposes them to people, languages and cultures that are very different from their own, which is increasingly important in a global world. It makes them more self-reliant, and increases confidence and maturity. But the privilege to travel also comes with responsibilities. Experts in the travel field offer the following advice for keeping high school students confident, happy and safe overseas: Pick the right program. Summer high school trips can be expensive but are often the trip of a lifetime, according to Eve Eifler, ...

Posted Jan. 20, 2018, 8 a.m. by Stephen Gray Wallace | View Comments
What Every Parent Needs to Know About Addiction

Our children are at risk. And as rates of addiction soar for old and young, it’s essential that parents educate themselves about youth substance abuse. One 24-year-old college graduate told me, “I grew up in the suburban town of New Canaan, Conn., boasting some of the ‘best’ public schools in the country, high standardized-test scores and a near-perfect graduation rate. “I personally know five people who have passed away from heroin addictions. To make it through high school with friends, we basically had to take on a drug addiction of some sort, whether it was eating pills, getting wasted drunk, ...

Posted Jan. 18, 2018, 8 p.m. by Stephen Gray Wallace | View Comments
Why Summer Camp Is Still Relevant for High School Students

Behind the magic of summer camp lie the fundamental building blocks of experiential learning, social development, character, civic engagement and other 21st-century “soft” skills that might very well translate into job opportunities one day. Who knew? “From the time courageous and forward-thinking educators created what has grown to become a world-wide camp movement here …, they knew that something was lacking in children’s overall education,” Lucy Norvell, director of development and communications for the American Camp Association, New England, wrote in a 2016 article about the history of camps. “Those lucky campers who hiked and adventured along Connecticut’s Long Island ...

Posted Jan. 3, 2018, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Increase Your College Chances With this Admissions Secret

Many college experts offer advice on how to get into college. They recommend stellar standardized test scores, a killer college essay, a high GPA, and strong extracurriculars. While all those application components are important, did you know that there another way for students to increase their admission chances by 40 percent! Data from the National Association for College Admission Counseling show there is a powerful tool students can use to improve their admission chances: demonstrated interest. Students who visit a college before they apply, are up to 40 percent more likely to be admitted than students who do not visit ...

Posted Dec. 19, 2017, noon by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
How to Avoid College Stress Over the Winter Holidays

If you have a college-bound senior, you know you are thinking about college over the winter holidays.. You try to shove it to the back of your mind but it’s there, lurking in the distance. Even if your son or daughter has completed their college applications and received early admissions, there is so much more to do. But add to the holiday stress and the entire family could combust. So don’t let the college to-do lists and the looming deadlines spoil your holidays. Here’s how to avoid a major family meltdown over the holidays and ensure that your student completes ...

Posted Dec. 1, 2017, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
What To Do When College Early Decision Is A Rejection

Early Decision and Early Admission offers from colleges to high school students start rolling in during the first part of December. For many households, this is a stressful time. These college choices are at the top of the student’s college list. They are usually their dream colleges and not receiving an offer of admission can put a damper on holiday celebrations. Every parent wants their child to attend the college of their dreams; but what happens when the college they want to attend doesn’t want them? How do you help your high school student handle those feelings of disappointment after ...

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