Archives for : Uncategorized

What’s on Your College Application?

Your application and admissions essay should work together to tell a story of who you are and where you want to go. Ideally, your academic record indicates your interest in a particular career path. Do your extracurriculars, community service and job activities point in any particular direction? It follows that if you take AP English or creative writing, you become involved in school media, volunteer at a community newspaper, or have done an internship in media that your college major might be English or Communications. Admissions officers can decipher that much.

Your personal statement should reflect your desire to use your writing talents in your future career. Your application tells a story that admissions officers can follow. Your passion and ambition make sense. If your academic record shows no direction, your extracurriculars are random, and your community service is lacking, then your personal statement will be the only way to bail yourself out. Lacking a coherent personal statement can be detrimental to your college acceptance. Colleges don’t expect high school seniors to have all the answers but they want to know if your current interests fit well with what they offer.

What’s the best Reading strategy for the ACT?

The next ACT will be given on February 9th 2019. It’s too late to register for this one but the next one is April 13, 2019.

Most of my students who are preparing for the reading portion of the ACT find that they have one of the three flaws in their test taking experiences. The first step in fixing some of these problems is to figure out where you weakness comes from. Many high school students do not enjoy reading for pleasure. It’s sad because vocabulary weaknesses come from a lack of reading.

Strategy #1 Improve your vocabulary skills by learning the most common Greek or Latin root stems to increase your vocabulary. A complete list can be found here.  

Strategy #2 Time management skills may be improved with continued practice. If you want to use the sample ACT test provided free of charge from the ACT the youtube video will help you complete the test according to the official test times. The video is here.

Strategy #3 Understand what each passage calls for. Make sure that every word in the answer is supported by the question and passage. If just one word is not supported the answer is wrong. If your answer is too specific and can’t be used to support the main idea for example then it is the wrong choice. Your answer can’t be too broad and overreach the actual passage. The true relationship in the passage might be reversed in the answer so ready carefully. The easiest type of wrong answers are the ones that have nothing to do with what is in the passage.

Strategy #4 Try to predict what the answer should be after carefully skimming the passage. Look for your passage in the answer choices. Remember that the main idea could come from the title or first few sentences. Don’t miss what is handed to you in the beginning of the passage.

Keep practicing and remember that practice makes permanent so be sure to check your answers and keep track of what concepts you are missing. Use your mistakes to show what tests you need more work on. Check if your school accepts super-scores which are the best scores from all of your tests taken. Relax and do your best!

High Dollar College Scholarships for High School Senior 2019-2020

via US News and World Report

1. GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship Program: The GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship Program celebrates students “who demonstrate exemplary leadership, drive, integrity, and citizenship,” according to the program’s website. You must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, be a U.S. citizen and be a high school senior planning to enroll full time in college in the upcoming year. Obviously higher GPAs and all of the above qualities will be attractive to the scholarship readers and staff.

Besides writing an application essay, you’ll need a strong recommendation from a community leader, such as your principal or an elected official. Each year, around 20 students are selected; winners are typically notified in February, and they receive an award of up to $10,000. The award is renewable for up to an additional three years, so each recipient could receive up to $40,000 total. The scholarship doesn’t mention need but to be on the safe side students should always fill out their 2019 FAFSA before applying for any scholarship.

2. Gates Scholarship: The Gates Scholarship offers a full ride to 300 deserving students every year. To be eligible, you must be a minority student with financial need – eligible for Pell Grants – and have a record of academic excellence. The Gates Scholarship is closed for this year but should reopen during July 2019 for rising seniors in 2019-2020.

In particular, the Gates Scholarship committee looks for high school seniors in the top 10 percent of their class who show leadership and unique personal strengths. You must also be a U.S. citizen, national or permanent resident.

If you win this selective scholarship, you’ll get funding for the full cost of attendance of your school minus your expected family contribution as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, and other aid you’ve received.

BASIC ELIGIBILITY FOR THE GATES SCHOLARSHIP

via The Gates Scholarship

To apply, students must be:

  • A high school senior
  • From at least one of the following ethnicities: African-American, American Indian/Alaska Native*, Asian & Pacific Islander American, and/or Hispanic American
  • Pell-eligible
  • A US citizen, national, or permanent resident
  • In good academic standing with a minimum cumulative weighted GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent) 

 Additionally, a student must plan to enroll full-time, in a four-year degree program, at a US accredited, not-for-profit, private or public college or university.


IDEAL CANDIDATE

An ideal candidate will have:

  • An outstanding academic record in high school (in the top 10% of his/her graduating class)
  • Demonstrated leadership ability (e.g., as shown through participation in community service, extracurricular, or other activities)
  • Exceptional personal success skills (e.g., emotional maturity, motivation, perseverance, etc.)


Expanding Your Intelligence

When you learn new connections are made from your brain cells. Never stop learning.

The Five Paragraph Essay

After spending the past five years reading scholarship essays I’m convinced that students either forget or were never taught how to write an essay. I even made a fill-in-the-banks worksheet to help students stick to the five paragraph format. I had very little success with college students. If you are suddenly faced with the task of writing such an essay you can fill in the areas below and be on your way to a successful essay:

Introductory sentence and a broad statement of your essay topic. Add a transition to point #1.

Point #1 with example and end with transition to point #2.

Point #2 with an example and ending with a transition to point #3

Point #3 with . an example and ending with a transition to conclusion paragraph.

Conclusion where you tie up all the loose ends and summarize your points and examples.

I hope this might stir up some creative juices or at least give a framework for your ideas. As always be sure to send us your examples if you’d like some help.

What’s Your Learning Style?

Often a conflict occurs between the student’s teacher and their own learning style. Knowing your own learning style can help you plan how to be most effective while studying. Richard Felder and Barbara Soloman from North Carolina State University created the Learning Styles Index in order for students to see their own learning style. The questionnaire is free to fill out and see the results. The link to the questionnaire is here.

What Matters Most in College Admissions?

(via Prep Scholar)

A great college application will have most or all of the following elements:

  • A high GPA (relative to what admitted students have) and a rigorous curriculum (Points for as many AP or AICE courses as possible).
  • Strong test scores (relative to what admitted students have)
  • A specific, honest, and well-written personal statement that talks about why you have chosen their university.
  • A unique extracurricular interest or passion (a “spike,” as we like to call it). Extra points for significant awards like the Pathfinder awards in your interest field.
  • Volunteering experience with measurable impact. Extra points for self-starting a volunteer project or charity and participating all 4 years of high school.
  • Compelling letters of recommendation written on your behalf.
  • Work experience, particularly jobs related to your academic or professional interests including internships or fieldwork.

It’s OK if you don’t have every single quality listed above, but if you do, being accepted to the college of your choice will go way up!

Wondering about approved calculators for the ACT Math and SAT?

Here’s a link to the approved list of calculators for the SAT and ACT Math tests. You can also call 800.498.6481  for a recorded message about the ACT calculator policy.

Basically no keyboards unless A-Z in layout. No styluses. No power cords so make sure you charge the battery. They suggest graphing and not scientific calculators. Texas Instruments and Casio have the most models listed.

5 Ways Your C+ student Can Successfully Get Into College.

SAT

My university announced that they will require a 3.6 Grade point average from incoming freshman students in 2016. Immediately I thought of my son who left high school with 2.6 GPA. In the senior magazine he was listed as “undecided” as to his college of choice. At the time I said “what are you undecided about?” His 2.6 left him one choice-the local community college which he tackled and graduated and then did well at the four year university and graduated. After graduation he took the LSAT, was admitted to law school and passed the bar the first time. He’s now a lawyer working in construction law and earning a nice salary.

What does my story tell you? That some students are late bloomers…..late to the college admissions business. Not mature, not interested or just not in a hurry. It can be done though as my son proved to me. At each challenge his sisters said he would not be do it. He just kept on facing challenges and moving forward.

Here’s the 5 ways…and I hope they are helpful.

1. If your high school student has mediocre grades and shows no signs of improving them the community college for a two year period is a great option. Many parents send their children to a state or community college that is located near the four year university of their choice. It’s motivating, maybe. We found that our son still needed some encouragement to get the work done so he lived at home those two years.

2. Foster any area in which your student has success.
If he’s an athlete, artist, musician, entrepreneur or you can foster an interest in them in community service. There’s no talent required but effort is paramount. Your child can build a great portfolio of community service projects that may encourage interest from colleges. These projects can become family projects passed from one child to the next. One family started a school supplies drive and continued it after the kids graduated.

3. Consider smaller private universities if you can afford the tuition. After the recent recession smaller schools are hurting for students. They may have an interest in your reluctant student.

4. Can you encourage your student to consider leadership classes or programs? One is Boys/Girls State programs sponsored by the American Legion chapters in your area. It’s an essay contest but some chapters have problems findings students to send. It is in the summer of junior year of high school and is free to participants. One counselor told me that students who participate in this program are prized by colleges. They also earn college credit for their week long stay.

5. Major universities are starting hybrid online/in person programs for students that do not meet their in person standards. The University of Florida has the Pathways to Campus program and complete online degree programs. It might be appropriate for your student to start in a program like this and transfer later.

Hope this helps your student find their success in higher education!

Nancy

Adobe Youth Voices Awards

 

Adobe Youth Voice Awards

The Adobe Youth Voices Awards honors youth who make original, outstanding digital media to express their vision for positive change in their communities. We are looking for changemakers who create media to inspire, inform, and generate solutions to social challenges. The submission deadline for content produced from 2012 through 2014 is March 9. For content produced in 2015, the deadline is April 20.

Skip to toolbar