Greetings Seniors (’20) and Families,
First, please give a round of applause to our seniors and I offer heartfelt congratulations to students receiving acceptances thus far many including merit-based scholarships and invitations to Honors Programs! Click to view our Success Stories Here and Please read Our Google Reviews
Congrats!!! A SAMPLE of our 2020 Early Decision and Early Action Acceptances Include:
Stanford, NYU, WUSTL, U Michigan (Engineering & Other majors), Carnegie Mellon, University of Illinois (Engineering & Others), Fordham, Hofstra, Boston U., Miami, Cornell, SCAD, Tulane, Drexel Honors, UArizona, Penn State, Case Western, University of Colorado @ Boulde, Pittsburgh, SUNY Stonybrook, RIT, UCF, USF, UNF, FAU —
**** IMPORTANT COLLEGE APPLICATIONREMINDERS ****
WHAT TO DO NOW!!
***Mid-Year Secondary School Reports are due!!
Nearly every university requires these and include your grades through the end of the second quarter. If there are extenuating personal circumstances that may have impacted a significant decline in your GPA, please discuss with your college counselor ASAP so we can potentially add a note to your file
*** This is also a great time for your Guidance Counselor (if so inclined) to add a personal note about anything significant that would potentially be worthy of highlighting. If you attend a private high school – there’s a polite way to ask after which – do what you need to do to have GCs advocate on your behalf for anything noteworthy. There is no requirement- this is a FAVOR to ask of your GC.
FLORIDA SYSTEM APPLICANTS:
FAU, USF, UNF and UCF etc. have been announcing on a rolling basis – bravo many acceptances and some attractive financial offers also included.
FSU if you applied by Nov 1, your decision will be available Jan 31.
UF if you applied by Nov 1, your decision will be available by February 8
INCOMPLETE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS FILES
IS YOUR ADMISSIONS FILE COMPLETE? (That is not the same question as “Did You Send Everything?!”)
Despite many email and newsletter reminders, just this week yet again cyber weirdness takes place! A student was notified that a required component was missing from her admissions file. This same student actually emailed me a few weeks ago when I asked everyone to check and at that time all was in order-—this weirdness happens every year. So please- just to make your parents smile- login to each portal at least once a week– make sure every required element is in your file for each college (even if you checked before- check again)!
Please check, check and recheck all emails received from colleges to ensure your file is complete. Each college has its own unique features and not all colleges will notify you that your file is incomplete. You are responsible for verifying that everything was received. Don’t overlook transcripts, test scores and recommendations. I also highlight that at this time of year, FAFSA and CSS Profiles are also due.
Don’t overlook reading EVERY SINGLE email from every colleges—sometimes you’re invited to submit extra information to support your file and/or you’re invited to apply for a scholarship. Check your SPAM file too!
College Applications — ADMISSIONS UPDATE LETTERS and Continued Interest
I mentioned this a few times – but want to reinforce their importance. Please consider “Continued Interest/Update” letters for any deferrals you have received– especially if you’re invited by the college to submit any additional supporting information. Of course, if there’s nothing to add, then you must let this one pass.
SO WHAT’s WORTHY: National recognition, state competition, GPA significant change, Family change— ask me?
Updates and continued interest notes- are not quite the same.
For all Regular Decisions applications- if you have important news to share, don’t ignore the opportunity. As noted previously, I can guide you to preparing your letter.
*** This isn’t mandatory- and there is a fine line between pesky and relevance. UMich for example invites 200 word replies. PU is on the fence – Harvard loves these notes.
Goal: Add any new noteworthy info. Reaffirm interest if you were in fact deferred.
FINANCIAL AID SCHOLARSHIP $$$
At this late date, I’m still hearing from parents asking about required steps. Please submit your FAFSA ASAP – I don’t see any dates past January with most in December.
Next, check each University’s Financial Aid page- and if a CSS Profile is required, do not delay submitting this document through the College Board Website. I can assist with any complicated questions. IF YOU MISS A DUE DATE- You WILL MOST LIKELY NOT RECEIVE ANY FINANCIAL AID or your package will be delayed or “puny”. More about FINANCIAL AID negotiations and appeals to follow- stay tuned- that process is MARCH!!
If you have an interview scheduled, please contact me to run a mock interview together before your actual interview.
It is about this time of year, parents and students alike truly begin to appreciate the sticker shock of attending college and that the likelihood of receiving a scholarship is less than receiving an invitation to Harvard Medical School! There are literally thousands of scholarships; yet of those that can make a dent in the Cost-of-Attendance, these are far and few between.
My favorite sources of scholarships were noted in previous newsletters.
Hispanic National College Fund
Society of Women’s Engineers
Charities you/family are active participants over the long term?
“Niche” based—Use Google by ethnicity, gender and intended major. For example, if you are an aspiring finance major, nearly every large national bank and brokerage house offers scholarships. The same is true for chemists, engineers, computer scientists, journalists, etc. Many government agencies including the FDA, NASA, NSA and State Department offer undergraduate scholarships!
Many scholarships are offered to current undergraduates. If you anticipate a significant amount of AP credits, you may qualify for these awards as your status upon enrolling may be “sophomore”.
Students can and are encouraged to join professional organizations in their intended field. For example, the National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, Association for Finance Professionals, etc. all offer student memberships and undergraduate scholarships.
CS/Engineering students: Grace Hopper, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, FIRST Robotics, ASME, SWE – !!!!
*** Parents – this is a great way to remain involved- searching for scholarships beyond those noted above – and for those noted—make sure your student is aware of due dates.
ACCEPTED STUDENT VISIT DAYS — College Campus Visits
Hotels disappear fast in small college towns- as do available car rentals (UBER works too). On a more important note–, ahead of your visit, please reach out to the Undergraduate Advisor in your intended major and ask to meet with some currently enrolled upperclassmen in the department. This is so much more important than a campus tour of buildings.
MARCH and APRIL are your visit months! Double-check – don’t attend an accepted student day if the students on campus are actually on spring break- you miss the “vibe”.
We also use these visit days to personally speak with admissions/financial aid to negotiate and share “counter offers” – like the NBA draft or a flea market- it’s how it’s done -and you can confidently wheel and deal without fear or embarrassment. I’ll be guiding you through this process.
When you have all your acceptances, we can evaluate educational opportunities and financial considerations. You can and should start looking once again at the curriculum in each college – as well as career centers, academic advising (especially for pre-med students) and all the factors that are important to you. Things may have changed—and now we shift into really imagining what’s going to be the best “fit” – academically, socially and financially.
Please anticipate we can negotiate the sticker price if you receive attractive offers from at least one college. That was the reason we included a “financial safety” in your list of colleges. The process to do so begins as soon as we have a solid offer from the least favorite of your options—and we work our way through a process – negotiating with your top choice LAST—when we have all our bargaining chips ready.
Do not double-deposit- that is unethical and grounds for admissions retraction. Please remember you are part of a community- and could be taking a spot from someone else by doing so.
DO SECOND SEMESTER GRADES MATTER?
Yes! Of course grades matter! Yet your grades do not matter for the reasons they did a few short weeks ago. A student’s motivation and inspiration for academic success needs to continue to shift from external recognition (grades, class ranking, etc.) to the intrinsic value of learning. (Montessori students learned this lesson long ago!)
If your second semester senior grades decline (slightly) because you shifted time towards a meaningful extracurricular activity, that is entirely different than declining grades caused by senioritis! Senioritis is highly contagious and if there are younger siblings in the house, out of respect for house rules, please avoid contracting a disease which can rob your family of peace!
Do be mindful that a significant GPA decline can result in being admitted on academic probation as a freshman! (I’m sure none of my students needs this warning!!). If you anticipate transferring within the initial years of college, your high school transcript will continue to be evaluated. A final point- unless you win a national competition, earn a noteworthy award, pretty much nothing about your high school record will be relevant to your resume from this point onward. However, once lost, self-respect is most difficult to reclaim.
BALANCE is important and learning how to achieve it is both art and science. Students- At this point onward in your academic career, you are responsible for every single decision you make! Poor teaching can never be the reason for a grade in college.
While dare I say it- seniors can now take a breath. Please get some well-deserved rest and stop and smell the roses. You have eight short months until you leave your childhood home- make the best of it. Use your time to form lasting positive memories with family (especially your younger siblings!!!) and friends.
Your grades are a matter of self-respect, but no longer impact any decisions being made about you (unless you plan to transfer during your freshman year). The most important academic objective to strive towards between now and May- — high AP exam scores. Learn the material and practice for exams. Many of you have applied to colleges that require a “5” to earn AP credit. We’ll talk all about AP credit and course selection at our year-end conference.
GAP YEARS — After the College Application Season is Over- and Your College Acceptances are in Hand–Where Might You Go Next?
Did you know that the data demonstrates great academic success and emotional well-being for students who defer enrollment by as much as one to two years? If you think you might be interested, let’s start discussing some programs that suit you and begin work on your Gap Year application essays. You don’t “fall behind” by taking a gap year and you most certainly won’t forget how to read and write!
It’s time to think about this possibility and the applications to programs. The opportunity to defer enrollment is one that requires approval by your university. A plan of study, community service, family responsibilities, personal illness etc. are some examples.
Again – congratulations in order to every high school student– many of my clients have received acceptances and nearly all with an acceptance have received scholarship offers.
Again- congrats on acceptances thus far– please keep me posted! Unless you’ve been admitted Early Decision -no one should leave a deposit anywhere at this point.
Everyone should submit FAFSA forms and submit your SECONDARY MID-YEAR TRANSCRIPT – A delay can create problems. Admissions files are now under review!
Transcripts go out NOW
Update letters and/or Continued Interest Letters
Alumni Interviews –
Adding another safety?
Have an absolutely wonderful day!
Professor Emeritus – Cornell Alumni Rep