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Greetings Students and Families,
It’s hard to imagine but our high school seniors will very soon receive college application and college admission notifications and it’s decision time– with deposits due May 1.  I’ll have more to say about making the decision in early March and also more about how to negotiate your financial aid award letter. I assist with that process and typically my clients can expect a significant and sizeable adjustment to their award letter – please reach out if I can guide you thru that process.
At the moment,  it’s time for our high school freshman, sophomores and juniors to be thinking about course planning (Please click to view each of my recent blogs in my three-part series on HS Course Planning, AP vs IB vs AICE and Dual Enrollment), summer plans and campus visits.   You may also be wondering about testing.  I’ve included a few links to some of the most well-read and most appreciated of my blogs on these topics below.

College Advisor Bonnie Rabin, TOP TEN IMPORTANT College Admissions and College Application Reminders — TO DO Now

MIDDLE-OF-YEAR Reminders
Seniors- Last call- check your portals at each and every college you’ve applied to for any missing forms or even emails alerting you that you’ve been invited to apply or interview for a scholarship (Hint: That means you were accepted!!!)  Please don’t be the student who overlooked a missing item (hence a subsequent rejection due to an incomplete college admissions file) or worse yet- you didn’t see the email about a scholarship (your parents should be fuming!!)
Everyone else: PLEASE CONFIRM EXAM REGISTRATIONS:   SAT, ACT , SAT Subject tests, and depending on your high school – you may need to self-register /pay for AP exams.
Please review your College Board and ACT accounts to ensure that registration has been completed for all SAT/ACT and SATII subject tests for  April, May and June.  Yes, invariably some registrations are not accomplished as intended.
I continue to encourage all families to focus on having students self-manage all their registrations,
I urge all students to take two practice tests under timed conditions.    Timing- with only 10 weeks until first AP exams- that’s 2 to 3 chapters of review every week in a standard 25 chapter review book.  DON’T CRAM
Ideally, proximity to AP exams is desirable for taking most subject tests.
That said,  Math IIC and foreign languages can be postponed  for more practice time until the fall.

SAT and ACT TESTING and DISABILITY ACCOMMODATIONS:

Current 9th and 10th grade students with testing accommodations/504 plans should begin the process now of registering with both the College Board (SAT) and  ACT 
Ideally, your high school guidance counselor is your guru here- but I’ve heard push -back – especially from high GPA students.  “She has great grades- no need” – Ignorance is not helpful.   If you need assistance, please reach out. Parents can self-submit accommodation requests — you need the appropriate medical professional documentation, but do NOT need your guidance counselor’s approval for an accommodation request at the College Board or ACT organizations.
 
ACTIVITIES RESUME:
All students should revise and update their “Activities Statement/Resume/Brag Sheet”  to reflect all activities both formal and informal.     Are you continuing to engage in meaningful, enriching, and joyful activities? Need suggestions?  Please also review my earlier blogs- colleges want to know who you are and what you’ve been up to. More important- -confident and joyful teens have identities they’ve assumed thru self-directed discovery in activities. Please don’t follow the crowd.
kids doing chemistry
Juniors  Your Activities Statement is an essential step in building the  contents for the first draft of the required section of your Common Application on Activities.

Competitions:

For those of you perfecting term papers and projects, keep in mind your best work may be suitable for submission to a variety of state and national essay competitions (and scholarship applications during the admissions cycle in your senior year).   Did you read my blog on this topic with a variety of suggested venued? Let me help you customize your approach.
I look forward to discussing and reading any of your papers you would like to share.   Please don’t under-estimate yourself!  Competition venues are available in business, STEM, humanities, poetry, legal issues and more.
 
FINAL THOUGHTS:
YOUR COURSES for 2020-21!!
As noted, 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.
There’s very little variation in curriculum options across high schools in that all students will complete four years of english, four years of social studies, complete a foreign language and enroll in the math and science classes at a level they can manage.
The differences across high schools and across students are in the electives taken and in whether students enroll in Honors or AP/IB/AICE levels of classes.
Don’t waste your electives !
Best Wishes for a meaningful and productive balance of the school year!
JUNIORS 2021: Our JUNE WRITERS BLOCK WORKSHOP (INFO & Registration) Registration is now open- Please contact me for additional information about completing your Common Application Core Essay before Summer!
Bonnie

Have an awesome day!
Bonnie R. Rabin, Ph.D.
Educational and College Admissions Consultant
Florida 561.509.0021
Colorado 720.737.9944
Nationwide  833.MY.ESSAY