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College List Builder Helps You Get a Return On Your Investment

With college costs ranging from $25K to $75K annually, a natural question for any parent to ask is “what will be the ROI (Return On Investment) for my kid’s college education?” ROI is the measurement of the difference between total earnings in the 10 years post-graduation, divided by the total cost of college. The higher the ROI, the better a financial bet the school is on average. While parents can ask a college admissions office this question, it really should be directed towards their child who has the responsibility of “paying” for their education by multiplying the cost of college by potential professional earnings. Any parent who asks this question is not expecting...

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What is a Waiting List and How to Get Off It

Parents, if your child's been waitlisted, please consider this: this arduous process just got longer. 

A waitlist decision is not a “yes” and it’s not a “no”. It’s a “wait, and we will see.” The waitlist is used as a pool of students who may be admitted if a university does not meet their expected level of enrollment. Essentially, if their accepted students say “no” then they probably will admit some students who are on the waiting list. The length of these lists varies between institutions but can be from a hundred to thousands of students long. There are many reasons why your child may be waitlisted for a school, including: 

  • The...
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How to Visit Colleges Now

At this point, we all have pandemic fatigue and want to get out and do more. If you’re thinking about visiting colleges over the next few weeks, I strongly suggest that you visit that school’s admissions page on their website to learn about their visitation protocols and procedures. Yes, some schools are welcoming prospective and accepted families on campus but many are not. Know what you can do and cannot do before you jump in the car.

Will a self-guided tour “count” as demonstrated interest?
Absolutely. There are ways to convey to a college that your child took the initiative to “see” as much as possible despite some of the Covid restrictions. College is a big...

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How 11th Graders Impress Colleges

If your child is in the Class of 2022, now is the time for them to start showing colleges that they’re curious. Demonstrating interest is increasingly a more significant factor in the admissions process than in years past. 

Your kid is probably getting emails everyday from colleges they’ve heard or and others they have not. Digital outreach is the only way for colleges to connect with prospective students right now so colleges and universities have made the investment in it expecting it will have a major impact on the applications they receive for the 2021-22 admission cycle. 

Right now, virtual events are big and your child (and sometimes you) need to be attending them....

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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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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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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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