Educational & College Admissions Planning !

9th-11th – It’s time for Course Planning Discussions for 2022-23 and Summer ’22 Program Applications
Juniors (2023) – Attend our June WRITERS BLOCK WORKSHOP – Complete your college core essay before summer


College Admissions Planning: Dual Enrollment and Course Planning- What’s right for you?

Greetings High School & Middle School Students & Families
Congratulations to all Seniors! I’m so proud of everyone – college acceptances, lucrative scholarships and invitations to participate in research/honors programs. As we head into March – the final round of Regular Decision notifications will be released — April is our month to evaluate options leading to enrollment decisions. It’s also the season to begin negotiating financial aid award letters for our seniors. Everyone is eager to embark on the next step of their journey. Bravo!
I truly help this notes finds everyone healthy and finding balance and peace given the challenges we have all faced this past two years. Teens faced unique issues with remote learning and social distancing from their friends. Many returned to in-person learning with a bit of a blip – yet hopefully there will be some time this academic year and next for our juniors ’23 to salvage missed extracurricular opportunities at the outset of high school. This is a time to be proud of our young adults showing resilience and creativity under extraordinary circumstances. Please also continue to be mindful and aware of family, friends and peers who could use extra support and encouragement.
You may have enjoyed my earlier blog series on Mistakes to Avoid and How to Begin College Planning where I focused on how to research academic majors and explore various aspects of college campuses and your perfect “fit”. One of my most read newsletters focused on High School Course Planning- AB vs IB vs AICE — which you received two weeks ago. What you learned in these notes is the importance of building a strong academic foundation throughout high school supporting students’ discovery and also preparing young adults for the challenging undergraduate coursework ahead.

Online College Advisor Bonnie Rabin, PhD, 

High schools throughout the US offer similar course offerings in core classes in mathematics, science, English, social studies and foreign languages. College admissions requirements are quite similar too- ensuring students enroll in challenging and relevant coursework meeting the minimum and recommended requirements.
As our Sophomores and Juniors consider next year’s courses and continue to engage in discovery of college majors and campuses– it’s important to be mindful of the role of your high school courses. These courses provide the necessary preparation for sequential and more challenging courses ahead. Today I want to continue the discussion on DUAL ENROLLMENT and the role of these potential classes in your college preparatory experience.
If you need assistance evaluating your high school course options, please Schedule an Appointment and we can together explore your emerging academic/career interests and ensure your high school planning -including coursework at school, in local dual enrollment and summer collegiate programs creates opportunities to learn about interesting subjects and builds the educational foundation and confidence for academic success.
Our juniors — class of 2023 – you’re likely engaged in college research. Between now and early summer we should be honing in on a short-list – the balance of reach, match and safety campuses. With college applications ahead, do ensure you have the appropriate coursework related to the college major during your senior year.
You simply cannot apply to major in a STEM field without having ever taken an AP science class- you’ll be unprepared for the rigorous lab work ahead and be a less competitive applicant. Likewise- if you read my note on recommended AP courses- I highly recommend AP Macro or AP Micro and AP Statistics to prepare for a business degree. All of my AP course recommendations can be found in my AP Newsletter.


with College Consultant Bonnie Rabin, PhD
I often ask- what inspires your student?
What are you passionate About?
Coursework is the foundation of discovery!


How Might this Fit Your College Plan?

In my course planning newsletter, I talked about the various high school curriculum options. If you’re thinking about College Applications and College Planning for educational success, select your courses wisely. All courses provide learning opportunities- learning that builds a base that continues throughout high school and into the undergraduate experience.
  • Your transcript matters most in College Application Review! The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) annual State of College Admissions report confirms (yet again) that universities continue to indicate that the high school transcript (your curriculum and GPA) is the single most important factor in the college admissions process. If you feel interested in reading the entire report:
  • CLICK to VIEW the 2020 Report
In many states, there are “Dual Enrollment” options available through both public and private colleges — these courses are offered both online and in face-to-face (traditional) classrooms.
Some of my current juniors have expressed an interest in Dual-Enrollment courses.
For those of you residing in Florida, you may be interested in the  University of Florida’s course offerings and I share the link for your review:
Let’s discuss whether Dual-Enrollment is right for you!
In framing your choices, please begin by reviewing all the potential required and elective courses available to you through your high school. If you are able to fill all your available spaces with challenging courses, that’s what you should be doing. Do not replace high school options – Dual Enrollment is never meant to replace a high school course offering- it’s meant to enrich/add to the experience (–not to substitute.)
 Some of my favorite dual enrollment classes at the University of Florida include:
Anthropology, Abnormal Psychology, Frontiers of Artificial Intelligence, Food Science, Mass Communication, Health Disparities
All these courses are rigorous and build upon AP/IB courses – they are also the type of course that will easily transfer or satisfy pre-reqs wherever you subsequently enroll. You want to avoid taking any DE class that is simply “fluff” – having no equivalent course elsewhere and not satisfying a sequence of pre-reqs. Please avoid the temptation to select an easy class for the simple reason it may raise your GPA- b/c reality- that will hurt you more than you realize.
For rising sophomores and juniors, I often hear how Dual-Enrollment is an opportunity to increase your high school weighted GPA. The more important reason for taking a class is to possibly introduce you to some interesting subject matter not offered at your high school.
SELECT WISELY! Please leverage my experience as a university faculty member advising undergraduates and graduate students.
My earlier posts/newsletters discussed the “core curriculum” — a fairly identical approach to high school courses throughout the US– Mathematics, Science, English, Social Studies & Foreign Language. Your state’s graduation requirements will vary- but 20 to 24 units is typically required. While high schools offer special programs – there is a fairly straightforward and predictable path in these courses – the differences in level- regular/entry, honors or AP/AICE/IB.
College Admissions Planning considerations should keep you focused on enrolling in the most challenging classes your student can comfortably manage that allow every student to develop, deepen and sustain an emerging academic interest.  This is where the choice of electives is most important- including whether to enroll in a Dual Enrollment class.
But much the same reasoning I set forth about whether an online summer program might be of interest (given cancellations of on campus programs)–students have been dealing with some version of online learning since March 2020. Any opportunity to get back into traditional classroom engaging with peers in dialogue and hands-on labs should be a priority. If you look ahead to some of the college curriculum, many degree programs earn national accreditation by meeting requirements for group work. Online learning can offer fewer opportunities to accomplish this objective – an essential part of learning material and learning to work with others.
Given my experience as a University Professor, please keep in mind, the most competitive colleges outside of your home state will not likely accept online credits as transfer classes, and this is especially true for STEM classes.


Taking a math or science class at a local community college not only will fall below the threshold for transfer credit, but the educational experience will fall short of what you will need to know to be well prepared for success in subsequent 200+ level STEM classes at most competitive undergraduate programs.
If you’ve exhausted your STEM options at your high school, there are some specific 200+ level classes in multivariate calculus, discrete mathematics and the next class in a sequence for Biology and Chemistry majors. Need recommendations??ASK ME!!
If you don’t see any courses of interest at the online dual enrollment course links within your state, please contact me to discuss some other competitive online programs available to high school students.
A Different Question from COLLEGE CHOICE
College Admissions Planning: HOW TO SELECT A COLLEGE and A MAJOR That "FITs" YOU!
For students with GPAs under the target GPA that may be needed to gain a spot at your state’s public flagship college, Dual Enrollment does indeed offer an opportunity to slightly increase your chances of admission to your state’s public university by raising your GPA. That said, to “artificially inflate” your GPA in non-core courses through dual enrollment is an approach that is transparent and may backfire. Competitive colleges will very likely remove some of these classes and recalculate your GPA excluding some of your DE courses. So please, be careful about what you’ve selected as the classes may have no bearing on your GPA from a college admissions review. Moreover, these classes are often viewed as a less than authentic interest in learning something new but rather an attempt to pad your GPA
If you have any lingering questions on the 2022-23 course selections, let’s discuss!
Again, please don’t use Dual Enrollment as a way to replace a course at your high school, or to artificially bump your weighted GPA– as these choices can adversely impact not only the quality of your education but the authenticity of your application in the more competitive venues. Don’t raise a red flag unnecessarily.


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.
Warm regards,
Post-Pandemic In-Person
South Florida 561.509.0021
Boulder/Denver and Metro NYC 720.737.9944
Nationwide- Virtual College Advising 833.MY.ESSAY
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
Registration is now open for our June Writers Block Workshop
We delivered our content and individual writing conferences virtually with much success– and if necessary- we wil be online and ready for you!
Followed by our Popular Sunday Fall Series resuming August 2021
JUNIORS Class of 2022–
Followed by our popular and well attended Sunday Fall Series – Resuming On-Demand Bi-weekly in fall




Before the Workshop
Attend your scheduled Educational & Admissions Assessment to understand the college admissions and financial aid processes. Participate in discussions during your extensive educational analysis aimed at matching you to majors and colleges, increasing your chances of admission, easing your transition to college, and ensuring your long-term academic success.
identifying majors & colleges, personalized application strategies, a detailed assessment of your admissions portfolio and much more.
During the Workshop
throughout the week provide you with candid and specific feedback focused on completing your required Common Application Core essay to showcase your strengths and set you apart from other applicants. Students who come prepared to engage, and complete their overnight assignments will leave the workshop with a polished final draft of their core essay and begin work on a secondary essay to adapt for your college-specific supplemental essays.
In June 2020 we adapted and delivered our workshop entirely on Zoom – including daily presentatoins and one-on-one individual writing conferences. We don’t yet know if we’ll be in-person or online- but are ready to achieve our workshop goals in either format.
Common Application Activities Statement to highlight your accomplishments for admissions, references, scholarships and admission interviews. Receive proprietary activities resume template.
After the Workshop
Ongoing support and guidance with college-specific supplemental essays.
Arrive prepared with your laptop ready to work during daytime sessions and complete any overnight assignments.
Students of all academic levels are welcome to attend our small group sessions in a supportive and welcoming setting. We meet daily.