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Don’t Let the Guidance Counselor “Under-Match” Your Kid’s College List

I used to be a school guidance counselor and I understand what they go through. It’s a lot to work with a caseload of kids and have to advise them on their classes, tests and college lists. I honestly believe that they want the best for your child but sometimes they’re just too overwhelmed to give you the best advice that you need to succeed. 

First of all, what many of us called “guidance counselors” are now supposed to be called “school counselors” or “Deans.” The title may have changed, but the job description remains the same:

  • Help all students to apply academic achievement strategies
  • Help all students plan for postsecondary school options...
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What Does Test-Optional Mean for Students?

Every day for the past two weeks, another college has announced that they will be test-optional for the high school graduating class of 2022. If you have a junior, you’re probably wondering, “should they take the SAT or ACT?” For many students, the answer is, yes – you should at least consider taking the tests. Whether or not the scores should be or will be submitted depends on a variety of factors. 

Test-optional policies are an opportunity for you, your child and your college counselor to decide if and how a standardized test can best support your child’s application. Scores can be withheld if they will not help. However, by not taking the test at all, students...

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Why I Love Helping Teens and Parents Find the Right Colleges

I can still remember the day that my first student got into college. It was in the fall of 1997 and I was the Assistant to the Director of College Counseling at Brooklyn Friends School in NYC. Since I had worked in the admissions office in college and had always taken a keen interest in it as well as done a lot of research about college admissions when I was in high school, I loved my job, and I really liked this kid. After he and I had worked on his essay and I had stayed with him to finish his application on a Friday afternoon in my office six weeks earlier, here he was now, casually walking up to me on a Monday morning and simply saying: “I got in.”

There are no better words for me to...

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What To Learn from Virtual Visits - Fall 2020 - Part 1

What To Learn from Virtual Visits - Fall 2020 - Part 1
(this contains excerpts from a high school that I admire as they address how to approach online college information sessions and tours. Please share this with your child as it directed towards them)

Many of you have taken advantage of online college programs this fall, whether they be college fairs, info sessions or college rep virtual visits at school. So what should you be learning during this process? You should be paying attention to what individual colleges offer and how important you believe these offerings will be to you a year from now when you are applying to college. Some of the information may be confusing and won’t make sense...

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What to Expect at the National Virtual College Fair

NACAC Virtual College Fairs are designed from the ground up as mobile experiences that are intuitive, informative, interactive, and fun. Here is a quick start video to learn more: https://youtu.be/bZHtpVHLKok

During each NACAC Virtual College Fair, more than 600 college and university representatives will be available to talk with you and other students. On the day of each fair, log in to virtualcollegefairs.org using your phone or computer. It's totally easy to get around.

Create your schedule by selecting which colleges you'd like to learn about. Sign up to attend their live and interactive Zoom sessions. The sessions are on a variety of topics such as: how to apply, financial aid, student...

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What Parents Should Ask Their Child's School Counselor (2020)

Whatever you call the school counselor at your child’s high school -- guidance counselor, college counselor, etc -- please know that they are an integral part of the college application process. A few elements of their job are: 

  • to offer college advice to you and your child
  • weigh in on the selection of courses for each year
  • write a school counselor recommendation on behalf of your child
  • send the transcript
  • communicate with colleges about your child’s application and interest

Some school counselors do this better than others, and usually it depends on their caseload of students. 

As a parent, you should attend any college preparation presentations that your school offers,...

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Testing is a Disaster, Stop Stressing It

2020 is a global horror show. You know this already because you’re living it, but what if your kid is headed to college or about to apply to college. Rightfully so, you have a ton of questions and concerns. You’re asking yourself “should my kid go?”; “is it safe?”;  and “how are they going to evaluate my child without an ACT or SAT?” Necessary questions with no obvious answers. 

 

What I do know, however, is that the ACT and the SAT (Collegeboard) are struggling to make testing even an option for many families. While I’m glad that they’re prioritizing health and canceling the administrations, they need to do so sooner -- like...

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Why I Think This is the Best Time to Apply to College

Despite all the forewarning that the COVID 19 pandemic will be the “death of college,” as we know it, I beg to differ. I think that the college experience will change, yes, and college admissions and how students are evaluated will be adjusted to our changing times, but I do not think that the classes of 2021, 2022, 2023 and beyond are doomed. In fact, I think they can capitalize on the shifting climate and possibly get into schools that they never thought they have a chance of being admitted to.

Why?

  1. Current college students may never return to campus. Enrollment management is dependent on many things, and if a rising junior or senior in college does not feel like the last one or two...
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How Cancelling College Sports Affects More Than Just The Athletes

By now, you may have heard that a few HBCUs and the Ivy League schools have canceled their fall sports programs due to COVID 19. It's a smart move given their desire to slow the spread of the virus and doing as much as they can to protect their athletes, coaches, athletic staff and "regular" students. These schools are choosing "not to risk it" and by making this announcement now, in mid-July, are giving all parties involved more time to make a bunch of necessary decisions about education, health and life.

And of course, money.

Some Division 3 NESCAC (New England Small Colleges Athletic Conference) schools have also already canceled and more will come in the coming weeks. Those that have not are...

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Should My Child Write About COVID 19?

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the words “COVID 19,” “coronavirus,” “pandemic,” “new normal,” and “pivot.” What I’m not tired of are masks and clean hands. These last 100 days+ have made us all rethink our lives. How we communicate, how we educate and most importantly, how we process such a life-altering situation. 

Teenagers have it worse. They have so much on their plates given school, social media and hormones. Most of them are even more eager than the adults to have life go back to “normal.” This is partially to suppress the fact that they’re anxious, depressed and flat out confused...

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