Greetings Students and Families
As we head into the holiday season- our students may be uncertain about how this year will unfold- classes moving in and out of virtual learning, extracurriculars that have been reshaped and confusion about in-person college campus visits.
What Should YOu Know About College Admissions Planning and High School
All families have many questions about how to help students leverage their strengths and interests to find a meaningful, joyful and enriching path.
- How can students continued to remain motivated and focused as schools continue to shift in and out of virtual learning – often with little warning?
- Which courses will prepare our students to address their academic challenges in perceived emerging interests- STEM, Business, Humanities, Creatives (Art/Music) and multi-disciplinary paths?
- Which extracurricular opportunities will help students discover their strengths and offer joyful and impactful opportunities to learn more about themselves? (Without overextending!!)
- How and where do familes begin researching majors and colleges – especially given limited opportunities for campus visits?
- Which major area of study and a research interests excite me the most- and then – how to engage at school, within communities and during summer breaks to discover and deepen these emerging interests?
- When and how do we apply for financial aid and what’s a FAFSA or CSS Profile?
- What Scholarships are available?
- Under what circumstances should we consider a private college in lieu of our state’s public universities-?(especially if you’ve participated in your state’s college planning 529 plan such as the Florida’s Pre-Pay program.)
- How does early college planning increase chances of college acceptance and finding internal scholarships?
*** But mostly- why does early college planning lead to independence, motivation and academic success throughout high school and beyond?
All of these questions are part of an ongoing conversation – and I invite you to reach out to start / continue that process. Every student is unique – it is an amazing and also a challenging time to be a teen. Please don’t wander lightly, listen to misinformed information about college admissions or compare your teen to others. Everyone finds their path — and part of the best way to do so is to engage and discovery- with joy and purpose.
LET’S TALK! Please click to schedule with Online College Counselor Bonnie Rabin, PhD – Based in Boca Raton, FL and Boulder/Denver, Colorado
Early academic planning can be invaluable to positioning each student to realize educational dreams.
Young adults have long days and they work hard at (virtual/hybrid and in-person) school. There should be opportunities to find joy and direction in their personal lives. It is my hope that your student’s passion for learning and involvement in activities outside the classroom continues throughout the school year and prepares them for a seamless transition from high school to their undergraduate community. Independence and intrinsic-motivation are achieved over many years; they aren’t provided in the freshman dorm welcome package!
The “fit” between a student and a university is based upon three pillars:
The university you ultimately attend should provide an outstanding academic experience in your intended major/minor fields of study, along with appropriate internship and career placement opportunities. This is paramount to selecting where to attend.
There’s a major field of study to match the unique strengths and interests of every young adult!With nearly 4,000 colleges offering an impressive number of traditional and cutting edge majors and minors, it can indeed be overwhelming to navigate the maze of available degree options. I encourage my students to engage in discovery as early as the freshman year — not discovery of colleges- but discovery about the types of problems and questions that are the focus of academic fields. At 14-15-16 years old- absolutely nothing is off-the-table.
Your evaluation of academics should move beyond published lists of college rankings. The most important steps include learning how to navigate through the “Academics” and the “Research” tabs of college websites to fully explore the curriculum maps, degree requirements and the research projects faculty are conducting.
As a former university professor with 30+ years of experience on curriculum planning committees and advising undergraduates- I’m able to help your family assess “academic fit” and effectively explore your academic options to balance each student’s current and emerging interests and strengths.
2. SOCIALThe social fit is equally important as each student is looking to find a “home-away-from-home” for their next four years. Is the campus inviting, inclusive and are there opportunities for ongoing social and emotional growth?
This is exactly why students visit university campuses before enrolling. This is a challenge during the ongoing pandemic. In my earlier newsletter this fall I talked about how to engage with currently enrolled students and participate in programs to learn more about campus vibes.
This recent virtual college fair has some of the sessions archived for review and others are available REGISTER for the HILLEL VIRTUAL COLLEGE FAIR November 22 – 24, 2020
Your Educational and College Admissions Assessment will help you hone in on the criteria that are important to you. Let me help you understand how to have an informative and meaningful campus visit.
3. FINANCIAL AFFORDABILITY
Every family faces unique financial circumstances and we factor those into the choices of where to apply and enroll. Extensive details were provided in my recent and very detailed newsletter on all things financial aid and scholarship. financial aid page. If you’re ineligible for financial aid, merit aid remains an important option to explore. It pays to be a “stellar” student- defined by much more than your academic profile.
THERE ARE MANY CAMPUSES PROVIDING an EXCELLENT EDUCATION offering deep discounts on tuition given your “admissions profile”.
What Are Your Goals? Personal & Academic?
In my practice, I meet so many wonderful teens each filled with excitement about their future and yes, a bit of angst about the perceived challenges of college admissions– especially with the uncertainties we are facing and have faced since I March 2020. At my initial meetings I try to reassure every family that there is a perfect fit- one that suits the student academically and socially and one that fits the family budget.
But I also consistently speak with young adults who have become overwhelmed with the pressures and demands of their classes, and who experience unnecessary angst over standardized test preparation and whether they are engaged in “enough” extracurricular activities. When I ask students what’s their favorite class, it’s sometimes disheartening when there isnt’ an immediate response and sometimes there aren’t even any positive responses. Why is that??! (read on)
Is your student so busy to have overlooked the joy of the actual learning taking place in classes!?
Regular readers of my newsletters and blogs know that I encourage EXPLORATION and DISCOVERY throughout high school.
I invite you to reach out for some personalized attention to guide your student to customizing a plan for doing just that!
As a former university professor, and as a parent of two STEM millennials, I can tell you without qualification that the single most important goal of high school is for each student to develop a love of learning both within and outside the classroom. .Having an Educational and College Admissions plan results in Motivated, Self-Directed & Confident Young Adults Ready to Succeed!
With over 25% of students changing majors and alarming rates of students facing difficulties adjusting to the demands of college life-enjoyment of learning and independence are skills to foster in high school. How can we assist our students?
Best wishes for an absolutely meaningful and enriching 2020-21 and a Happy & HEALTHY New Year
Bonnie R. Rabin, Ph.D. Educational & College Admissions Consultant
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