Greetings Students and Parents,
As we head into the holiday season- what should you be doing now?

College Admissions Planning — Joyful Discovery !

College Admissions- It’s not really about rankings — but IF YOU INSIST:
It’s not really about rankings- but if I haven’t yet convinced you, lists of College Rankings provide a starting point for gathering information about a college’s academics, professors and post-graduates success. But buyer beware – overall rankings often differ drastically from rankings by major departments. Harvard would not be my top choice for an aspiring engineer. Likewise, if your intention is poetry– MIT isn’t the best fit (although they have a great dance and theater).

Some of the more popular rankings include US News and World Report’s Best Colleges, Forbes American’s Top Colleges, Business Insider Best Colleges in America, Money Magazine Best Colleges, New York Times Most Economically Diverse Top Colleges, Washington Monthly College Rankings and PayScale College Salary and ROI Reports.

University ranking lists can vary considerably because of the different methodologies. For example, Forbes America’s Top Colleges may return different results than US News and World Report because of Forbes’ emphasis on post-graduate success and student loan debt.


College Consultant Bonnie Rabin with STEM student and College Admissions Acceptance Letters

The more you learn about potential areas of study, career paths and specific colleges, the easier it becomes to make informed decisions about where to apply and enroll.  By selecting universities that meet both your academic and social needs you’re more likely to be happy and successful in pursing educational goals.
 Do your research!
Speak with your guidance counselor, admissions officers, alumni, current and former students.
I invite you to leverage my extensive knowledge of university curricula and my experience advising thousands of high school, undergraduate and graduate students navigating curriculum choices to set and realize educational and career goals. Based on your academic strengths and personal interests, I welcome the opportunity to work together to create your personalized strategic educational plan.
YOUR COURSES for 2021-22!!
As noted many times in my blogs and newsletters, your student’s GPA and transcript are the most significant determinant of admissions and academic success. High school is a time for academic and personal discovery. Developing and sustaining a passion for learning cannot be overstated. Sometimes that discovery is sparked by coursework and other times it is through an extracurricular experience.

College Planning with Expert College Advisor Bonnie Rabin, PhD  30+ years experience

Every year, I meet no fewer than a dozen seniors who delayed their college planning until the fall of their senior year– sometimes they are very strong students arriving at their initial appointment with me with their short lists of highly selective colleges in hand. It’s not easy to share my assessment of “chances” – I need to be brutally honest. Chances that would have been higher if we had talked about STEM college plans much sooner than their senior year. A 4.0 GPA, and a pile of 5s on AP exams is insufficient to gain a spot at an Ivy League or other highly selective university. The single most glaring example is a lack of hands-on experience in the intended major field of study. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT FOR STEM STUDENTS!
Discovery and joyful experiences occur within classrooms and in extracurricular experiences. Extracurricular opportunities take place
1) within high school clubs,
2) community organizations ,
3) summer collegiate programs and
4) self- directed participation in competitions and contests — available in every discipline
I can guarantee you that there’s no magic formula for being accepted into a selective university, and any college advisor two tells you otherwise is being less than authentic with you. I can guarantee you that building an Educational & College Admissions Plan as early as eighth grade will greatly increase the likelihood of a student who is intrinsically motivated and prepared for academic success.  Students with goals and dreams are better students and live their high school years with greater ease than those who haven’t set some objectives.
What’s Next?
  • Review your current classes and make adjustments to learning strategies and time management? Do you need practical solutions to handle difficult classes – schedule a strategic academic consultation!
  • Now is the perfect time to determine and refine the most effective academic plan to include the appropriately challenging and relevant courses given potential academic interests. It’s important to avoid becoming unnecessarily overwhelmed. Maintenance of a GPA which allows for a healthy balance of academic, extracurricular and personal pursuits will increase the likelihood of a successful transition to college and admissions success. You do not need to enroll in 6-7 AP Classes. If you’re looking at a highly selective university- I also discourage Dual Enrollment classes.
  • Refine extracurricular activities to include a relevant summer plan! Update your activities resume. Think about ways to deepen an interest and let-go of those activities that do not bring you joy.
  • Select appropriate courses for the balance of your high school year that prepare you for success, offer enjoyment and prepare you for relevant standardized testing required for colleges on your radar.
  • Determine your standardized testing schedule, including your self-directed regular test preparation for AP exams, and SAT/ACT exams. AP exams are going to take on a greater role (sadly) in college admissions as the SATII subject tests were recently eliminated. Did you miss my recent newsletter- — contact me to request another copy.
Success begins with a student-led Strategic Educational & College Admissions Plan with actionable items!
JUNIORS and Sophomores
It’s time to plan for summer 2022. I will soon be writing about why attendance at a summer program is a great college planning strategy. I have a comprehensive list of summer programs for all fields of study.
Many colleges are offering several new research programs this year and classes can be completed remotely- a huge savings in room and board.
If you’re a Junior now is the time to be actively engaged in research on the variety of college majors. Working with your college advisor, please aim to have your balanced short-list of colleges in place by the time we reach June – and hopefully you’ll be joining me at my June Writers Block Workshop.
In June 2020 and 2021 we successfully pivoted and delivered our workshop, including one-on-one personalized writing conferences entirely on Zoom. We’re ready to resume virtually if necessary or return to our online format. Perhaps this year we will be a hybrid model. Adaptability is always essential when faced with an unforeseen challenge.

 Your “Mid-Year Assessment” provides a valuable initial step to creating your strategic educational plan and more clearly understanding the

College Admission and Financial Aid Processes

  • Understand the College Admissions Process- Key Dates, forms and factors for success in admissions and in maximizing financial aid.
  • Create your curriculum map of high school and online programs to reach academic potential and prepare for success as a student and in the college admissions process. The foundation of coursework in high school impacts your success as an undergraduate
  • Extracurricular Activities: Identify opportunities for enhancing and refining your activities addressing educational and admissions red-flags. Embrace your strengths, take risks and discover uncharted paths!
  • Recommendations for relevant summer programs  to increase your admissions chances and confirm / discover an academic area of interest
  • Personalized learning strategies to confidence, increase grades and address concerns in one or more classes. Customized solutions for better time management
  • Recommendations for Colleges and Majors(conventional and “unusual”)
  • Clarity on standardized testing (and customized solutions for preparation) and discussion of colleges de-emphasizing their value in admissions decision making
  • Activities Resume – Receive proprietary tools to build an eye-catching “activities statement” supporting your summer program applications, Common Application and Scholarship applications.
  • Understanding the Real Cost of Education. Specific Strategies for your family and an explanation of Financial Aid and Scholarship Eligibility.
Have a wonderful week!  I look forward to hearing more about your emerging academic and personal interests to help navigate a path for success and impact. Don’t be surprised by essay prompts that ask “How will you innovate to change the work”– begin your discovery as early as 8th grade!
Have an awesome day!
Bonnie R. Rabin, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus & Cornell Alumni Rep
Educational and College Admissions Consultant
Florida 561.509.0021
Colorado 720.737.9944
Nationwide  833.MY.ESSAY
Warm regards,
STEM, Business, Humanities, Creative Arts –
Find Your Passion and Be Unique!
Educational & College Admissions Consultant - Meet Bonnie R. Rabin, PhD, National Expert, 30+ Years
Meet Bonnie Rabin, PhD