Summer is a time to reset and recharge in anticipation of another successful school year.   If you haven’t had time to review some of my earlier blogs and client newsletters, I encourage you to explore the recent topics: Year-End Planning and Curriculum Planning.

I look forward to speaking with you at your “Year-End”  and/or “Back-to-School” Educational and College Admissions Assessment where together we will create/adjust your Strategic Educational and College Plan.  As a former educator, I’m able to share valuable insights on how high school students at all grade and GPA levels can prepare  for success in the college admissions process and build lifelong time management and learning strategies ensuring a seamless transition to the undergraduate experience.

I often hear from students who seem to think they have already decided the field that they want to study as undergraduates and even as graduate students! Their enthusiasm is wonderful, but at times these early academic/career choices rest upon preconceived notions about their interests and  misinformation about a given field of study.   Sometimes, choices are driven by a misguided weighting of the importance of what the future may hold in terms of earnings.   Parents, Guidance Counselors and College Advisors are a team supporting and encouraging each student’s exploration of potential fields of study that more  naturally align with personal strengths and interests leading to joyful and impactful pursuits.
Students arriving at our first meeting are not always ready to think outside that box.  The middle and high school years are the time to learn more about EVERYTHING and rule out nothing.  The essential process of  discovery includes exploring a variety of academic disciplines many of which may yield a rewarding and joyful educational and career path.   Given  my curriculum expertise at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, I continue to  encourage students to explore outside their comfort zone!  Exploration takes place both within and outside the classroom.   SUMMER IS A GREAT TIME FOR EXPLORATION –– whether enrolled in a competitive credit-bearing collegiate program, travelling abroad playing soccer in your native language or shadowing a local professional in your community – or simply “building” something at home (aspiring engineers, artists, game designers– what are you building?– I can make some suggestions to broaden your skill set!) — summer is for taking risks and entering new spaces.
At many of my initial meetings with Rising Seniors, families arrive with an (unsolicited) list of universities.   Selecting a college prior to first knowing more about what potential majors are truly a good “fit” for a student’s interests and strengths will create a situation for a missed opportunity.
That’s why  the years of middle and high school are so important because it’s the time to generate a spark that is unique to your child! Summer is time to ignite!
With a few hundred academic majors and nearly 4000 undergraduate colleges, it’s very unlikely that the middle and high school curriculum and extracurricular experiences enjoyed thus far have put all of the available and amazing options on your student’s radar.
THAT IS STEP 1 your   College exploration process!!  Let me help your student explore undergraduate curriculum maps and  faculty research institutes to discover the “problem” they want to solve? Where will your student make an impact!?  How can we create hands-on experiences to nurture those interests and strengths?
College “fit” rests on three pillars:
a) The best academic setting for the intended area of study
b) A campus community that aligns with core values and will nurture your young adult to continue to grow socially and emotionally
c) Financial fit- 
(Please refer to my earlier newsletter to best understand the differences between financial aid and Merit/Scholarships)
Yes– there are colleges that will offer Scholarships unrelated to your financial situation.


Given thirty years of university experience, I am thrilled to be working closely with many of my students  to create a summer career and educational independent study programs for 8th to 11th grade clients and new clients signing a Comprehensive package.

Students and parents are invited to review my comprehensive list of summer projects and together we build a program that may involve summer 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.   Students and I engage by email, SKYPE, phone or in-person to discuss progress on their agreed-to independent summer project.

You’re invited to contact me to schedule a time to learn more about my Comprehensive Services and the complimentary summer program!

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.

ARTISTS and MUSICIANS should be working on developing their portfolio and honing skills in disciplined creative work thinking ahead to competitive local venues.

BUSINESS/LIBERAL ARTS – I will guide 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, etc.)  sponsored by a variety of organizations. Need suggestions?  Start a blog on a topic you’re passionate about and when school begins in the fall, bring your best Blog pieces to the school newspaper.

All students should jump start their anticipated most difficult classes for next year.  For most students, that would be an AP Math or AP Science class.  Spend disciplined time 2-3x a week to become familiar with concepts you’ll be learning the first semester. Buy the SATII/AP books and read them. EdX offers “on-ramp” courses.  Let me help your student create a manageable summer schedule and help monitor their progress and success throughout the summer.

Whether your student is an aspiring entrepreneur, lawyer, engineer, physician, psychologist or artist—I will outline specific online periodicals to review on a regular basis. The objective– maintain a weekly journal to write about issues that capture the student’s attention in industry, politics, the economy, public policy, ethics, fashion, etc. . Pick a topic that fascinates you – write a short research paper with an eye towards entering an essay competition. Participation is just as valuable to the college application as winning any competition.   I look forward to providing written feedback and engaging in discussion with students about the topics being explored and written about this summer.

I maintain a recommended reading list and look forward to establishing an ongoing dialogue with your student to discuss a relevant book. All are non-fiction.

Finally, I am asking all clients in any major to read the amazing initiative started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet: The Giving Pledge. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are encouraging the wealthiest individuals in the world to give back to society through donations that can make a difference in the world.  Learn about how billionaires earned their wealth and how they are changing the world. Who do you admire most? Why?  Where will you leave your mark on society?

As you can see from my website, I’m not a typical college consultant having spent thirty years as a university professor providing academic advising to undergraduates and graduates.   Our work together doesn’t simply focus on providing guidance with college admissions and the Common Application essay.  My approach is unique as all my clients  receive valuable pre-college academic advising and caring support to help identify their passion, navigate curriculum choices, and to establish a personalized strategic educational/career plan. In addition to exploring interests and academic strengths, you’ll find my knowledge of the financial aid process valuable in understanding how to apply for, maximize and negotiate financial aid!

I look forward to meeting you at a back-to-school conference and/or perhaps hearing from you sooner to explore a summer project.
Best Wishes for a safe, healthy and productive summer.

Have a wonderful day!
Bonnie R. Rabin, Ph.D.
Educational & College Admissions Consultant