The College That Fits Your Child: Pasadena Seminar 10/2/18

Looking to find the college that best fits your child or to obtain free money?  We will show you how to find schools that are the right fit as we walk you through the admissions process.  Learn about merit money opportunities and what you can do to better your child’s chances of receiving this free money, regardless of whether your child is a top student or an average student.

Understand why starting the college early can offer significant advantages. This seminar class is particularly important if your student is at the top of the class, has learning differences, is an athlete, or is average. See what it takes to get into an Ivy and why your child may be rejected from the school you considered to be a “safety” school.

2018 was a year of significant change, Standardized testing has changed, admissions have become more competitive than ever, and a new “Coalition” application is being used by some colleges. In addition, the financial aid application process has undergone recent changes that require planning in the freshman year of high school.

Parents who are separated, divorced, or never married will learn what they should know about financial aid. Dr. Lee Ann Cornell has spent years working in this field and has a wide breadth of knowledge on this subject and a staff of recognized experts to help your child achieve their dreams.

Immigrant parents or parents whose children will be the first in their family to attend college will find this class very helpful.  You will learn the subtleties of the college process and develop an understanding of how your child may be at a disadvantage at some schools and have advantages at others.

Dr. Lee Ann Cornell manages the California practice of College Solutions. She brings ten years of admission experience from several colleges. Dr. Cornell understands exactly how to position a student in the admission process. She specializes in essay brainstorming and editing, as well as application mapping.

UC Berkeley Announces A New Integrated Business & Engineering Program

We’d like to let you know about a new program from UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering and Haas School of Business that is creating tomorrow’s tech founders and CEOs: the Management, Entrepreneurship, & Technology (M.E.T.) program.

 

Two Top Degrees in Four Years: Business & Engineering

M.E.T. students enroll in one UC Berkeley program but earn two Bachelor of Science degrees. The integrated and highly demanding curriculum can be completed in four years and offers five technology tracks:

As part of a small cohort of 50, students form a tight-knit community and benefit from close mentoring by industry executives and a Silicon Valley location, with access to hands-on learning and an abundance of career opportunities.

A Passion for Solving Big Problems

For this highly selective program, they seek top students from diverse backgrounds with interest and acumen in both technology and business and in leadership.

Students in their first cohort hail from 13 states and 5 countries.

Opportunity

Five things that can keep you out of college

What are five things that could keep you out of college? Here from Jordan Goldman founder of Unigo moderates The Wall Street Journal’s special event “Inside The College Admissions Office.” Panelists include the Deans of Admissions from Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, Williams College, Wesleyan University, Bryn Mawr College, Grinnell College, Marquette   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOPoROA2Iio

Do People Rat Out Applicants to Admissions?

In mid-April 2017, 10 high school seniors received some unwelcome news: Their acceptances to Harvard, perhaps the most coveted prize in the nationwide college admissions tourney, had been suddenly revoked over content they’d shared online.

The offending material — a series of jokes and memes that mocked suicide, child abuse, and the Holocaust — was posted in an invitation-only chat that had spun off from Harvard’s Facebook group for incoming freshmen. But the forum proved to be less private than its participants assumed, and when word got back to university administrators, they quickly rescinded admission.

It’s a cautionary tale that reflects prevailing trends in education and technology, as top-flight colleges have become increasingly selective and social media platforms have found enthusiastic constituencies among teenagers with spotty judgment. Experts say internet infractions like bullying, sexting, and off-color humor can become major obstacles to entry at the most prestigious schools. And admissions officers aren’t always the first to notice these transgressions — sometimes, it’s sharp-elbowed fellow applicants who tip them off.

“Social media is public, to a large extent, and you’re dealing with individuals who are 16 or 17 years old when they start an application process,” says Yariv Alpher, executive director for market research at Kaplan Test Prep. “What I think is important for kids and parents to be aware of is that what you put out there, is out there. It might be perceived as a very negative thing to someone who might hold a lot of weight over your life.”

Each year, Alpher surveys more than 350 admissions officers on their approach to students’ social media output. In this year’s poll, 35 percent said they checked personal accounts; one-quarter of those said they did so “often” in order to make admissions decisions. Those numbers have climbed persistently over the 10 years the poll has been conducted.

While 47 percent of the cyber snoops said they’d discovered information that had helped applicants’ chances — accomplishments they’d left off their records, for instance, or online art portfolios — 42 percent said the opposite, citing unbecoming statements and evidence of misbehavior. One anonymous administrator complained of some “really questionable language” on a high schooler’s Twitter account: “It wasn’t quite racist, but it showed a cluelessness that you’d expect of a privileged student who hadn’t seen much of the world.”

This spring’s withdrawn acceptances aren’t the first electronic chat fiasco to ensnare admitted students at Harvard. Last year, a group from the newly accepted class of 2020 traded racist jokes and poked at feminism on Microsoft’s GroupMe mobile app. Though the school did not discipline the students involved, Dean of Admissions William Fitzsimmons posted an official response describing himself as “troubled and disappointed” by the incident.

Cutthroat classmates

Peter Osgood, director of admissions at California’s highly selective Harvey Mudd College, says these types of revelations are precisely why he doesn’t venture online. “I don’t chase that stuff down, and very rarely does our staff do that,” he says. While cautioning that he doesn’t speak for his employer, he worries that digging too deep for additional information could intrude on the private lives of adolescents still coming into their own.

“Some of these young people — they’re young, all right? They haven’t gone to college yet, they don’t have the maturity, they’re still evolving. Some of them are trying to be cool or funny,” he says.

Occasionally, though, colleges don’t have the option of averting their gaze. In the blood sport of application season, when highly ranked institutions rarely admit more than one student from the same high school, some students try to even the odds by anonymously maligning their classmates. An intercepted photo of underage drinking, or a crass Gchat transcript, could be enough to sink a competitor’s chances.

“There’s an aspect of one student informing on another,” says Alpher. “We’ve heard from admissions officers that they’ve received a negative tip from one applicant about another applicant. You could almost think of it as admissions sabotage: ‘Hey, you might want to check out so-and-so.’ ”

The most famous such example occurred in 2013, when poison pen letters were sent to several colleges alleging misconduct against a senior from New York City’s ultra-posh Horace Mann School. But the phenomenon had already attracted the concern of admissions officers nationwide.

A 2008 Chicago Tribune article on admissions sabotage featured representatives from elite schools such as Ohio State University, Notre Dame, and the University of Chicago debating whether to put stock in accusatory letters that sometimes looked more like blackmail notes than official correspondence. “If it is more competitive than before, then perhaps more of it is going on,” said one. “People are willing to lie in order to do better in what they consider to be a difficult competition.”

That administrator was William Fitzsimmons, Harvard’s dean of admissions.

The best defense

The natural response to a treacherous online landscape might be for parents to impose a social media blackout. But that’s no solution, says John David, a Florida-based public relations consultant and columnist. One of the main recommendations from his recently published book, How to Protect (or Destroy) Your Reputation Online, is to maintain a consistent — and carefully controlled — internet brand. Otherwise, a student is at risk of becoming a blank slate to outside observers, quickly defined by one negative story.

“If that happens, the only thing that’s up is negative,” he says. “There’s no social media page that shows that this is a nice, normal kid. It could be bullying, it could be revenge porn, it could be a hate blog. You may have this desire to circle the wagons and cover your kid — but at some point, they’re going to be out on their own, operating in the world.”

The strategy of pre-emptive branding has led to the creation of specialty reputation-scrubbing software named … BrandYourself. There are also reports of some college applicants maintaining multiple Facebook accounts for the benefit of admissions office voyeurs. David, a 25-year PR veteran, laments that manicuring a personal image is vastly more difficult now that most of the country carries cellphones in their pockets.

“We all make mistakes. We all do things we’re not proud of. We all lose our temper,” he says. “I went to a major university, was in a fraternity, and I did plenty of stuff that I’m not wholly proud of. Nothing terrible, nothing illegal, but I’m glad it’s not coming up when I’m being checked out by a prospective client.”

Though Harvard drew a firm line on internet offenses, some university authorities take a longer view. Harvey Mudd’s Osgood, who compares social media lapses to an unsightly tattoo that can’t be removed, recalls an incident in which his college’s admissions office considered revoking the acceptance of a student who’d made indelicate remarks that were easy to trace.

“He was trying to show off, and he was a little immature about it. And we had a conversation with him, and he said, ‘That’s not really the way I am, I was just trying to make friends and said things that were a little outrageous,’ ” he says. “He took it to heart, and being called out by the college really got him to wake up a little bit. He grew from that and became a really great citizen here.”

Whether he ever sent a ribald meme is another story.

By KEVIN MAHNKEN for www.74million.org July 11, 2017

What Does A Veteran College Counselor Do With Her Child?

‘What about my alma mater?’ I ask.

He doesn’t even have to think about it. ‘No. She’d have to be a completely different student.’

I thought I knew how it worked – and I do. But I also thought my knowledge would help me guide my own two daughters through the college process like I do with the students I work with as an independent college counselor.

After six years working as a college essay editor and independent college counselor, surprise, surprise. It turns out it’s difficult to watch the process unfold without emotions and biases, basically personal reactions to each step in the process.

I try to look at my daughters in the same way as I do our clients/students – with objectivity, but with a true interest in a great outcome. The process we go through with our students can’t be completely objective. Each student is different, applying to colleges with a unique combination of circumstances, academics, grades and extracurriculars. But we do have to base many of our decisions on tangibles – aptitudes and stats – and what we know about our students through months or years of meeting with them and their parents.

It is different though with my own girls. I know them really well. They are extremely three dimensional – they have thoughts, feelings, frustrations. I cringe when I think what probably every parent going through the college process has thought: ‘they are more than test scores and GPA.’ But it’s true. It’s also why I even thought about asking the owner here at College Solutions about the viability of one of my daughters applying to my alma mater.

When one of my daughters was a toddler and wasn’t speaking quite yet, she wanted to talk so badly as she watched her twin sister easily conversing with the adults. She banged her head on the wall in frustration. That kid now meets her frustrations with a calm system of steps to problem-solving. She prides herself on being unflappable and is the calm one among her friend group. I know this about her. When we left her at a sleep-away camp at age 10 sitting on her bunkbed, she hadn’t made any friends yet, but drop-off was over. We had to go. We panicked for a week before her first letter arrived. She was fine – and loved camp. That was the first of many situations we have offered her to help her grow and to find her own way.

We know these things about her. Surely the colleges will too.

And her sister. Fearless. She tells her guy friends that rape jokes are never funny. ‘Even if we’re totally joking?’ Never, she says, and they seem to understand that she’s right. At least they haven’t told any in her presence since that conversation. As a soccer goalie for years, what made her good was her great reflexes – but more than that, her fearlessness. At her first co-ed indoor soccer game in high school, a really skilled guy player came speeding at her, and I don’t quite know what happened, but a few seconds later, he was on the ground, and she had the ball. I picture her now with her fist in the air with one cleat on his chest, but I think my mind has added that last part.

We know these things about her. Surely the colleges will, too.

The common application distilled is not even five full pages of information, mostly facts – what classes are you taking, what are your test scores, did mom and dad go to college? There is an essay, but the essay is so packed with ‘what should I say’ and ‘what makes me stand out’ that these other ‘real’ stories have a tough time surfacing.

So, when the owner of College Solutions interviews my daughters, one and then the other, so he can get to know them and put together a preliminary college list for them, I want to interrupt: “But, wait, there’s this other thing about her…” and “you have to also know…’

But I know the drill; I’ve heard him reference it a hundred times. ‘Parents, quiet! I want to hear from the student. There’s duct tape on the shelf behind you if you’re having trouble.’

My two are mature girls, ready to start thinking about what they want for themselves, starting with a college that will make them happy. So I respect that the process for finding the right college will work. It works for so many.

I just hope that their strength, perseverance and sense of what’s right are strong enough in both girls that those qualities can’t help but bubble up from the totality of their applications.

Do I Tell People My Test Scores?

The college search and application process begs unavoidable questions – questions from nosy friends, gloating frenemies, adults, even from annoying relatives. What did you get on the PSAT test? What did you get on the SAT/ACT/AP/Subject test? Where are you going to college?

You don’t have to answer; you don’t have to discuss it with anyone but your parents. It’s your business. There’s no up side to answering. It draws stress, anxiety and unhelpful comparisons. There’s more to a college choice than grades and test scores. The answers to these questions are incomplete glimpses and do not reflect the whole picture. Most rankings are little or no value in understanding how a college will meet your needs. The right fit is what you seek, and the important thing is selecting colleges that will give you the opportunity to succeed.

As for the nosy questions, sidestep them with a statement that politely shuts down or re-directs the conversation, a skill you will be able to use again and again:

‘What did you get on the PSAT/SAT/ACT?

OMG, you want to know what?

If you do engage in a conversation, don’t always believe what others tell you; not everyone will tell the truth. Ultimately, once you get to college, no one cares about SAT, ACT, or high school GPA anymore.

‘Where are you applying or Where are you going to college?’

These are just the first in many nosy life questions – What are you majoring in? What are doing after you graduate? When are you getting married?

Being prepared with answers that redirect the conversation helps relieve the stress of the uncertainty these questions bring up.

Finding the College That Fits Your Child: Lexington Seminar 9/26

Looking to find the college that best fits your child or to obtain free money?  We will show you how to find schools that are the right fit as we walk you through the admissions process.  Learn about merit money opportunities and what you can do to better your child’s chances of receiving this free money, regardless of whether your child is a top student or an average student.

Understand why starting the college early can offer significant advantages. This seminar class is particularly important if your student is at the top of the class, has learning differences, is an athlete, or is average. See what it takes to get into an Ivy and why your child may be rejected from the school you considered to be a “safety” school.

2016 was a year of significant change, Standardized testing has changed, admissions have become more competitive than ever, and a new “Coalition” application is being used by some colleges. In addition, the financial aid application process has undergone recent changes that require planning in the freshman year of high school.critical-thinkings-is-key-in-college

Parents who are separated, divorced, or never married will learn what they should know about financial aid. Larry Dannenberg has spent years working in this field and has a wide breadth of knowledge on this subject. He wrote the chapter on financial aid in the “Financial aspects of divorce” for the MCLE and lectures on the subject at numerous financial planning groups.

Immigrant parents or parents whose children will be the first in their family to attend college will find this class very helpful.  You will learn the subtleties of the college process and develop an understanding of how your child may be at a disadvantage at some schools and have advantages at others.

Larry Dannenberg, founder of College Solutions, is a professional college placement counselor with a deep understanding of the financial aid process.  College Solutions prides itself on a record of over 15 years of successful service in college placement and financial aid.

Register at Lexington Community Education
The $25 tuition is for two adults in the household. 146 Maple Street, Lexington, MA 02421 | tel: 781 862 8043 | info@lexingtoncommunityed.org

The seminar is being offered twice in upcoming weeks — on September 26th from 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM at Lexington High School.

 

College Competition Means New Stress for Today’s Teens

The pressure is on!  To compete in today’s global economy, which includes international students attending North American colleges in record numbers, U.S. teenagers must obtain collegiate degrees now more than ever.  The number of graduating high school seniors is expected to peak in 2017, with over 66% trying to gain admission to an institution of higher learning.

What does this mean for students with college aspirations?  Acing the college entrance exam is critical.  Most students applying to competitive colleges now take the SAT*/ACT® more than once, and as early as sophomore year.

Our growing global economy has made it necessary for more students to attend

college in order to obtain good paying jobs.  Tools, such as the common application, encourage students to apply to more schools – which increases the competition.  Thus, making it more difficult for students to gain acceptance into the top institutions and colleges that were once seen as “safeties.”

More students and parents today are learning the secret that top colleges have known for years – systematically preparing for the SAT/ACT gives students more confidence and more confidence can lead to higher SAT/ACT scores.

New college admissions rules now allow students to score their best by taking the SAT/ACT as many times as they like, while educators suggest taking the tests at least two or three times.  Sylvan Learning, the leading provider of tutoring to all ages, grades and skill levels, offers the following advice to ensure students properly prepare for their college entrance exams – Sylvan’s 10 STRESSFREE Steps to Reduce the Stress and Ace the Test!

It’s never too early – or too late – to begin preparing for college and lifelong economic success.

Students who are interested in a test prep course should visit the “College Prep” area at www.SylvanLearning.com or call 804-744-8002 to learn more about Sylvan SAT Prep and Sylvan ACT Prep.  These courses are offered exclusively through Sylvan Learning and provide proven test-taking strategies, state-of-the-art course materials and content review in small team environments that give students the confidence and personalized attention that help raise test scores.

By:      Steve Green

Sylvan Learning of Midlothian

Steve Green is the owner of the Sylvan Learning located in Midlothian, Virginia, the leading provider of tutoring to students of all ages, grades and skill levels. In its 30 years, Sylvan’s proven process and personalized methods have inspired more than 2 million students to discover the joy of learning. Sylvan’s trained and Sylvan-certified personal instructors provide individual instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, study skills and test prep for college entrance and state exams. Sylvan helps transform kids into learners, with the skills to do better in school, and the confidence to do better in everything else.

How Can A High School Student Get Into Space?

The biggest challenge high school students have is to dream big.  The biggest challenge parents have is to encourage students to dream big.  Here is a great example of dreaming big. Each student needs to define what dream big means for them.  This student was able to enter space.

https://thespacereporter.com/2017/05/nasa-launch-teen-designed-lightest-satellite/

Nosy Questions: How to Avoid Them.

The college search and application process begs unavoidable questions – questions from nosy friends, gloating frenemies, adults, even from annoying relatives. What did you get on the PSAT test? What did you get on the SAT/ACT/AP/Subject test? Where are you going to college?

OMG, you want to know what?

You don’t have to answer; you don’t have to discuss it with anyone but your parents. It’s your business. There’s no up side to answering. It draws stress, anxiety and unhelpful comparisons. There’s more to a college choice than grades and test scores. The answers to these questions are incomplete glimpses and do not reflect the whole picture. Most rankings are little or no value in understanding how a college will meet your needs. The right fit is what you seek, and the important thing is selecting colleges that will give you the opportunity to succeed.

As for the nosy questions, sidestep them with a statement that politely shuts down or re-directs the conversation, a skill you will be able to use again and again:

‘What did you get on the SAT/ACT?

Why should I answer?

If you do engage in a conversation, don’t always believe what others tell you; not everyone will tell the truth. Ultimately, once you get to college, no one cares about SAT, ACT, or high school GPA anymore.

‘Where are you applying or Where are you going to college?’

These are just the first in many nosy life questions – What are you majoring in? What are doing after you graduate? When are you getting married?

Being prepared with answers that redirect the conversation helps relieve the stress of the uncertainty these questions bring up.

See College Solutions founder, Larry Dannenberg, on Fox 25 News.