Greetings Students & Families!
Best wishes to everyone for a smooth and strong finish to the academic year!
As I noted in my recent newsletter, at this time of the academic year students can become overwhelmed with the pressures and demands of their regular homework schedule and the additional time being devoted preparing for their AP, SATII subject tests, IB/AICE and final exams! As a former university professor, I can offer suggestions on how to more effectively prepare for all exams both with and without the use of tutors. If your student can use some guidance, please reach out for assistance.
Just in case you missed some of my recent newsletters, here are quick links:

Check This Box if You’re A Good Person

As part of my practice, I read a great deal about trends in education and college admissions as well as reading about issues impacting the emotional well-being of young adults.  Recently, two interesting articles came across my desk that resonated.  Families I work with and those of you who read my newsletters will surely recognize some of the important educational and college planning messages I’ve been emphasizing.
My goal in the partnership I share with each family is to guide each young adult to becoming self-directed, inspired and ultimately to recognize their strengths and passions in ways that will enable each young adult to contribute to their communities. Will your student “check the box?!”
In CHECK THIS BOX IF YOU’RE A GOOD PERSON, Dartmouth Admissions Officer Rebecca Sabky speaks about the admissions process.  I encourage you to click on the link above and read the article.
I do want to highlight some points she made that reflect my own personal experiences as a university faculty member reviewing hundreds of undergraduate and graduate admissions files.
“The problem is that in a deluge of promising candidates, many remarkable students become indistinguishable from one another, at least on paper.”

“Yet in the chaos of SAT scores, extracurriculars and recommendations,

one quality is always irresistible in a candidate: kindness”
Letters of recommendation are typically superfluous…. they generally fail to provide us with another angle on who the student is, or could be as a member of our community.


In Want to Raise Well-Adjusted Kids?, John Write spoke about the benefits of hosting an exchange student.  A few of my clients have done so.  What the article shares in common with the seemingly unrelated NY Times piece on Dartmouth admissions is that  both authors speak to the importance of young adults engaging in character-developing opportunities outside-of-the classroom ultimately raising their awareness of their connections with others within their communities. 
Not only is there a place on the Common Application to inform admissions of cultural exchange experiences while in high school, but doing so will have a significant long-lasting impact beyond bolstering your admissions portfolio.  Hosting an exchange student is an opportunity to enrich your entire family and community.  
In addition to my time with high school students, I also counsel recent college graduates launching their careers   The ability to work in environments emphasizing team-based decision making is essential to workplace success.   Innovations taking place across all industries continue to entail multi-disciplinary collaboration. Having hosted a foreign exchange student or lived/worked abroad is the type of experience that builds a strong foundation for personal and workplace success.
So how does this all relate to college admissions and academic success at the high school and undergraduate levels?
While our goal as parents and educators is to help each young adult reach their academic potential, perhaps even more important is that each emerging adult be inspired to find their place within their community.
Through example, we can help the next generation recognize the important role each individual assumes in making connections with others to ultimately enrich the lives of many and make a lasting contribution.
You’ve heard me say it before- the high school experience should not be a forced march to the finish line in preparation for yet the next educational march on the horizon.  Our role is to assist each adult in being intrinsically motivated to take the next steps on their academic and social paths.    
What is your student passionate about?  Now is the time for discovery!
In the past few weeks I’ve been contacted by both anxious and confident parents of high school juniors getting ready for the college admissions process ahead. I’ve also spoken with parents of middle school students  about to begin high school expressing concerns about taking too many or too few AP courses.
A Strategic Educational plan not only includes a curriculum mapping of challenging, relevant and manageable courses.  A plan that balances academic experiences with meaningful student selected extracurricular activities leads to confident, mature, self-directed and grounded young adults. 



This summer is the perfect time to engage in a guided process of discovery.  Parents of incoming high school freshman are already thinking about how many AP classes to consider and whether their students  will be off to strong start.  I ask you:  will your student be able to “Check the Box?”
Given thirty years of university experience, I am thrilled to offer complimentary summer career and educational independent study programs for 8th to 10th grade clients.  Together, the student and I customize a program that may involve summer reading, written assignments (short assignments involving guided student-directed research on potential careers, current events or professional reading relevant to a potential /emerging area of academic interest) and hands-on projects.
There’s a project for everyone!
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) students are provided with a list of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects and ideas for potential entry into science fairs this fall.
ARTISTS and MUSICIANS should be working on developing their portfolio and honing skills in disciplined creative work thinking ahead to competitive local venues.
BUSINESS/LIBERAL ARTS – I will guide students to exploring a topic of interest with an eye towards writing an essay you can enter into any number of local and national essay competitions (business, history, etc.)  sponsored by a variety of organizations. Need suggestions?  Start a blog on a topic you’re passionate about and when school begins in the fall, bring your best Blog pieces to the school newspaper.
Bonnie R. Rabin, Ph.D.
Educational and College Admissions Consultant