College Planning- Discover and Embrace Your Interests! Student Centered College Admissions Advising
Greetings Students and Families,
Having worked with thousands of families providing college counseling to high school and undergraduates over thirty years- I invite you to leverage my experience and appreciate MY PHILOSOPHY – STUDENT CENTERED COLLEGE ADMISSIONS PLANNING! As a private college counselor, I emphasize guided discovery resulting in intrinsically motivated students. I aim to build a long-term partnership with each student often beginning as early as the end of middle school. Whether you’re aiming for a highly selective college, a “B” student, a student aiming to discover the cure of cancer, operate an successful business, become a teacher- or be a successful author- let’s talk about your goals and aspirations and build a plan to prepare you for success.
WHAT IS YOUR STUDENT PASSIONATE ABOUT?NOW IS THE TIME FOR DISCOVERY!
Leverage my experience to build a plan to potentially include formal and informal extracurricular activities, personal readings, internships, impactful volunteer opportunities connecting you with your community, or summer programs discovering more about the types of questions and issues that resonate, inspire deeper discovery and bring joy and personal meaning! If you want to minimize the stress associated with the college admissions process, build your Educational and College Admissions Plan as early as 8th grade! This will allow you to carefully select classes and extracurricular opportunities to encourage academic and personal exploration preparing you for success as a high school and undergraduate student. While no student needs to be worrying about college applications and the common application at the outset of high school- it’s really helpful to think about where and how to discover a passion, deepen and interest and know where you’re strong and where you can use some assistance. Time management, motivation, organization don’t materialize when you walk onto a college campus– these are muscles to exercise throughout high school using a work-out regimen that fits your unique learning style.
Don’t follow the crowd nor march through high school without a smile ! BE INSPIRED!!
Your plan should balance academic experiences with meaningful student selected extracurricular activities resulting in confident, mature, self-directed and grounded young adults. College Admissions staff look favorably upon students with a sustained commitment to activities throughout all four years of high school. JUMP START YOUR STRATEGIC EDUCATIONAL and COLLEGE PLAN – This is the perfect time of the academic year to engage in a guided process of discovery. Parents of incoming high school freshman are already thinking about how many AP classes to consider and whether their students will sustain the strong start for many more months ahead.. I’d love to help you customize a program that may involve reading, written assignments (short assignments involving guided student-directed research on potential careers, current events or professional reading relevant to a potential /emerging area of academic interest) and hands-on projects. There’s a project for everyone:
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) students are provided with a list of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects and ideas for potential entry into science fairs this fall. LEARN MORE ABOUT STEM ACADEMIC ADVISING & STEM COLLEGE APPLICATIONSAt your school consider: MU Alpha Theta (Math), NACLO (Computational Linguistics Competition), FIRST Robotics, Science Olympiad, TSA or the Google or Intel Science Fairs.
ARTISTS, MUSICIANS, WRITERS should be working on developing their portfolio and honing skills in disciplined creative work thinking ahead to competitive local venues. Have you considered participating in one of the numerous competitive categories in the Young Arts or Scholastics competitions this year?
BUSINESS/LIBERAL ARTS – I’d love guiding students to exploring a topic of interest with an eye towards writing an essay you can enter into any number of local and national essay competitions (business, history, politics, etc.) sponsored by a variety of organizations. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ROLE OF COMPETITIONS & ESSAYS for COLLEGE APPLICATION SUCCESS Another meaningful and joyful way to spend your time as well as demonstrating your passion about your interest is to become a volunteer mentor for younger students. There are many opportunities to do so through tutoring, religious organizations, middle school clubs, sports teams and even starting your own business assisting others to learn more.
As a former admissions officer and current Cornell Alumni representative interviewing prospective students, I can assure you that college applicants aren’t evaluated by the number of activities. College admissions officers want to know about the quality of your time beyond the classroom and the distractions if any that may have limited your participation in activities. (There is a space within your college application to explain and many students have valid and relevant stories to share—please ask me!!) Your activities are opportunities to discover, engage and deepen an academic area of interest- presumably your intended major. In particular, not only will you be noting activities this abbreviated section of the Common Application, but you’ll also be writing responses to essay prompts that ask you how you’ve decided to pursue a particular major. If you need ideas on how to become engaged and involved to learn more about an area of interest beyond the clubs offered at your high school- let’s talk! “
Passion” – You’ll notice that many college essay prompts ask about a “typical” day or an activity that brings joy. At least one or more of your listed activities should represent one way you spent your time that is for YOU! Do you bake cakes, blog, write poems, teach Sunday school or dare I say it- play video games. While parents often scoff when I suggest attending an amateur video tournament- the reality- it’s one way to validate what is otherwise viewed as a less favorably use of a teen’s time. Everyone should have something they truly enjoy and look forward to doing during free time. This passion can also be the motivation to develop better time management skills – “I need to finish my homework by 8 p.m. so I can have the evening to <Fill in the blank>?” CORNELL UNIVERSITY ESSAY: What is your “thing”? What energizes you or engages you so deeply that you lose track of time? Everyone has different passions, obsessions, quirks, inspirations. What are yours? (Please limit your response to 650 words.)*
Community Service- It’s truly important for our teens to recognize that they assume a role in their local and globally communities. How we engage and connect to others is a reflection of your family’s core values. Not only are community service hours an important part of your application- but they allow students to put their soul behind a cause that is important to them- whether’s it’s assisting those in need, fighting for social justice, raising awareness on issues of human trafficking or global warming- goals don’t have to be lofty -but being a part of a community will undoubtedly exercise your compassion muscles and teach you to be a better listener and work within a group. That aside, many college essays ask for replies to essay prompts addressing questions such as “what community are you a part of” or “share a time you’ve collaborated with others”.
WITHIN THE COMMON APP, THE FIFTH SECTION YOU’LL COMPLETE AFTER REPORTING DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION, COURSEWORK, AND TESTING IS THE ACTIVITIES SECTION.
Within the-drop down window- there are an assortment of categories including: Academic, Art, Athletics (Club, Varsity), Career, Community Service, Cultural, Dance, Debate, Environmental, Family Responsibilities, Foreign Exchange, Foreign Language, Internship, Journalism, Junior ROTC, LGBT, Music, Religious, Research, Robotics, School Spirit, Science/Math, Social Justice, Student Govt, Theater, Work, Other Are you working on your core essay or already gathering inputs for college-specific college essay prompts? Unsure where you’ll apply? Have a pre-paid state tuition plan and unsure about financial aid or scholarship availability at private universities? Schedule your comprehensive Educational & College Admissions Planning Assessment with college advisor- Bonnie Rabin, PhD. Please don’t wait until the end of your junior year to realize you have a 4.0 and a 1500 SAT but you have only the National Honors Society and 50 hours of assorted unspecific community service hours to note as the “activities” of your Common Application. Take the time throughout high school to engage in the activities that bring you joy and allow you to share something about yourself your unique self! I’m positive I can help you think of many ways to engage beyond the clubs at your high school –
DO YOU HAVE A STRATEGIC EDUCATIONAL & COLLEGE ADMISSIONS PLAN FOR SUCCESS? ARE YOU ON TARGET? YOUR PERSONALIZED EDUCATIONAL AND COLLEGE ADMISSIONS PLAN RESULTS IN MOTIVATED, SELF-DIRECTED & CONFIDENT YOUNG ADULTS READY TO SUCCEED! WITH OVER THIRTY YEARS OF EXPERIENCE AS A UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR & ADMISSIONS COMMITTEE MEMBER YOU’RE INVITED TO LEVERAGE HER EXTENSIVE KNOWLEDGE OF UNIVERSITY CURRICULA AND CAREER OPPORTUNITIES TO BUILD YOUR COLLEGE PLAN!.
May your Academic Year continue to be filled with joyful and meaningful opportunities within and outside the classroom. It may certainly be difficult in these extraordinary and unusual times – a pandemic that is filled with ongoing uncertainty. As I stated in my last newsletter, our teens are capable of great feats. I know that with our support, they can face the challenges and embrace EMPOWERED MOMENTS to DEFINE their NEXT STEPS of their academic and personal journey.
COLLEGE ADMISSIONS PLANNING –Define and Set Your Goals with College Advisor Bonnie Rabin, PhD
CLICK to SCHEDULE YOUR EDUCATIONAL and COLLEGE ADMISSIONS ASSESSMENT RECENT COLLEGE ACCEPTANCES
Congratulations to our clients! Are you next?! Carnegie Mellon, Princeton, Cornell, U. Michigan, Northwestern, Georgia Tech, University of North Carolina, Vassar, Brown, Bowdoin, Wellesley, Emory, U.Illinois, Notre Dame, NYU, Rice, University of Chicago, Washington University (WUSTL), Drexel, Tulane, London School of Economics, Purdue, Swarthmore, SCAD, Ohio, Georgetown, Hamilton, Reed, Miami, Johns Hopkins, University of Florida, University of Arizona, Penn State, Villanova, Northeastern, SUNY-ESF, St. Johns, Embry-Riddle, Colgate, Fordham, Columbia, Barnard, Syracuse, Swarthmore, Pittsburgh, Dickinson, Colorado, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Howard, Fordham, SUNY Stonybrook, Duke, Case Western, Rochester Institute of Technology, Parsons, Virginia Tech, Boston U., Hobart & William Smith, Claremont Mckenna, Davidson, Westpoint, Gettysburg, Amherst, Temple, Denison, Howard, UT Austin, SUNY-Binghamton, Hamilton, George Washington, American, Indiana, SMU, James Madison, and many more!