http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/13/education/online-application-woes-make-students-anxious-and-put-colleges-behind-schedule.html?src=rechp&_r=0 If the problems with Common App software are affecting you or your child, perhaps the easiest way to do an end run around it is. . .don't use Common App. Elite colleges all have their own application forms as well, and with more money behind them, they won't be subject to this level of software-based misery. In addition, particularly if you are interested in quirky or liberal arts schools, I'd advise using the college's individual form in preference to Common App anyway. It will show commitment to the school, and you, the student, can read between the lines of what questions they ask to get more insights into whether a particular school is a good fit for you. This may be helpful come April if you have multiple offers and need to make a good choice with the information to hand. Yes, it's more writing, but personally... read more
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While this article takes in many issues relevant to high school education and the college process, the point made about halfway down by Stanford economist Caroline Hoxby is hugely important. An expensive college degree AT A GREAT COLLEGE will pay off; an expensive degree at a middling or substandard school may not. Especially here in Florida where most students are physically isolated from the country's top universities (news flash--even UF is nowhere remotely close to many states' flagship public schools, and there is no Florida school in the current US News and World Report Top 50), it's critical for high performing students to look outside their comfort zones. Read college websites. Talk to your school counselor, and not just when you have to. Don't be afraid to apply to a school you haven't physically visited. But make sure that your expensive education is the best that your high school record can manage. And if your high school record could be better, do a year... read more
While taking both can also be a valid strategy, it does limit time for taking the SAT II, which can be important strategically. This article provides some beautifully clear insights into the deep structure of both the SAT and ACT. http://news.hamlethub.com/ridgefield/life/39936-sat-or-act X
Good summary of changes to the FAFSA for this year. Particularly helpful for parents who are sending a second or later child to college after doing FAFSA before. Unless you are multimillionaire-type wealthy, do NOT miss out on the FAFSA. The number of families in the Central Florida area who would not qualify for any need-based aid at all, especially at private colleges, is small. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/student-financial-aid-changes-fafsa-110200587.html
Isn't interesting how some people know what they want to be when they grow up, while some of us can't decide which career to pursue? Don't despair! I was in this same situation many decades ago. While times can dictate what is acceptable or popular for a career, YOU must follow your heart. There are a few things you can do before deciding on a Major in College (or a Career): go to a College first, not a University. research a few interesting careers, ask friends and families what you would be good at doing, review your list of skills, get a part-time job, volunteer to learn a job skill, or audit a college course to see if it is your calling. You can do one or more of these suggestions, but whichever you decide, keep a journal of your notes. Write down your experiences and thoughts. After reviewing or experiencing 2 or 3 different career paths, review your notes and see how you feel. It may take a few tries and a few career paths before you find your... read more
Summer is an awesome time to be a student - free time and less stress can help you clear your thoughts and really establish your goals. Regardless of age or reason, there is no better time than summer to really hone your skills. If you'll be applying to college in the coming school year, now is the time to really set your goals in stone and get working on those applications. Personal statements take time to craft and make perfect, and if you haven't caught on by now, let me repeat it: there is no time like the present to get started. The earlier you begin planning, the more prepared you will be when the application deadlines start rolling in, and ultimately, that means you will be less stressed and more likely to succeed. Or, if you're just someone looking to get better at a particular skill, you can think of summer as an "off season," of sorts. You have a ton of skilled professionals at your disposal to help you sharpen your presenting skills or communication habits - all... read more
NEED-TO-KNOW Know How To Add an Email Signature in Microsoft Outlook Once you’re in MS Outlook: 1. Click on the “File” menu in your top task menu. 2. Click on “Options”. 3. In the dialog box, click on “Mail”. 4. Find and open “Signatures” on the right side of the page. 5. Create your signature by choosing “New” and type a name for it in the text field. * Now you’ll create the signature you want displayed at the bottom of your emails. You can personalize fonts, insert images and provide hyperlinks (company logos, website URLs, etc.) Items You May Want to Consider Including: - Name - Job Title, Department - Office Phone, Fax Number - Company Name, Location - Logo or Website Link for the Company Once you've finished & saved your signature, you can select which emails you'd like it to be automatically added to. It can be set to populate on every email sent from your Outlook account or you can choose for it... read more
Unless you or your child attends a year – round school, summer vacation begins sometime in the next week or so. College students have read more pages than they thought humanly possible, taken many exams, written research papers, and stayed up way too late over the past 10 months. Parents of school – aged children have helped with homework, gone to parent/ teacher conferences, E-mailed teachers, and maybe volunteered for one activity too many. This article will help you understand the importance of continuing your/ your child’s learning over the summer and lists several suggestions on how to make the fall back - to - school transition much easier! Suffer No Setbacks Educational researchers agree that students need to continue their education over the summer or they stand to lose up to three (3) months worth of the previous year’s learning. Think about that for a minute. It’s like going to class from March to May for no reason! Unless you keep learning over the summer,... read more
Request for comments and suggestions regarding "Parental Alienation" in divorce or post-divorce cases
Please let me know your experience, or any helpful information you may have regarding Parental Alienation in divorce (or post-divorce) cases. I am deeply concerned for the well-being of some children who may be victims of Parental Alienation. I have been told that this is a form of child abuse, since it can seriously impact a child's self-esteem. Research shows that children in divorce cases are under stress, and when one parent "vilifies" the other parent, it can cause emotional damage to the child, or children. If you can take a minute to comment or email me directly, I would greatly appreciate your assistance. Thanks in advance--I hope to hear from you soon.
College - bound high school seniors are facing a deadline they may not know about: the FAFSA application. It’s easy to understand how students can overlook it with all their high school work and graduation requirements on their minds. But, failing to turn the form in can make them ineligible for college financial aid next year. This article will teach high school seniors basic facts and tips to make filling out their FAFSA easy! 1. What Does the FAFSA Determine? The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) determines you/ your “Expected Family Contribution” (EFC) to your college education. In other words, how much college tuition and room and board fees you/ your family can afford to pay and still maintain their current standard of living. In some cases, the Student Aid Report (or “SAR”) you receive will state that you/ your family’s EFC is $0. This simply means you will probably be eligible for more financial aid. It does not mean that you are eligible for “$0... read more
In the United States, standardized test scores show that Math is one of the subjects students struggle with the most. State and federal grants are available to fund new and existing Math - focused programs with the goal of helping students improve their performance on these tests. Parents can lend a hand by making Math matter in the young people’s lives. This article lists five activities parents can do with their children to help them understand the importance of Math skills and improve their Math comprehension. 1. “Everyday Math”. This isn’t the same as the Math method many schools teach. Instead, by this I am referring to the chances you - as an adult – have to use Math in your everyday life. This might be the hardest of the five activities because you probably use more Math than you realize. For example, has your child ever asked you, “How much longer ‘til we’re there?” on a long car trip? I’m sure they have! Help them do the mental Math to figure out how long it will... read more
Many high school seniors are starting to think about their freshmen year of college. Some may have already been accepted and are already thinking about their summer visit and freshmen orientation. In their excitement, they may be forgetting the most important part of the visit, filling out their fall schedules. This article gives you five tips to remember when making your fall schedule this summer. 1. Know Yourself. Most college orientation programs include a graphic demonstration of how many of you won’t be back for a second semester. I remember the demonstration at my orientation. Freshmen attended a mandatory convocation in the arena where one college counselor pointed out that one-third to one-half of us wouldn’t be back due to poor grades. Then, he asked several sections – a thousand or so of us – to stand saying that was 1/3 of us. This many students wouldn’t be back. Several more sections stood and he added that this represented the number that would be on academic... read more
I find most folks today (kids & adults) have the most difficulty in reading and comprehension of what they are reading. Much of that is due to a lack of reading, most folks do not know much in the way of vocabulary (beyond every day useage) and that really hurts them when they come to testing. I also note that most folks don't put much time into reading for pleasure. And the GREAT thing is that it can be fixed!!!! (wahoo!!! life is good) Parents, it's important to impress upon your (hopefully) college bound child EARLY on as a freshman - sophomore - junior - senior, that the better they do, the better scholarships they will receive. And the more they know now, the less painful it will be when they get to college or other higher institutions of learning. Or out into the business world. ***Scientific studies repeatedly show (statistically) that repeated exposure to specific vocabulary enhances and increases the student's utilization of the words. Basically, if your... read more
When it comes to standardized tests, the PSAT is often overlooked as an “unnecessary step” in the college entrance process. School guidance counselors steer students toward the SAT and ACT; many teachers mention it in their 6th and 7th grade classrooms. This leaves students and parents alike wondering whether they should even bother taking the PSAT. This article explains the purpose of the PSAT test itself and lists four (4) reasons students should take the PSAT and the benefits of doing so. What is the PSAT test, anyway? First, PSAT stands for “Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test”. In some places, you may see it paired with the NMSQT, or National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, as in “PSAT/ NMSQT”. The acronym describes its purpose: to test a student’s readiness to take the SAT, to serve as a practice test for the SAT, and to determine student’s eligibility for National Merit Scholarships. So, contrary to popular belief, PSAT scores DO matter if you want to qualify... read more
How do you decide? Well there is a KEY piece of information that most students/parents don't consider because: (1) they don't know about it, and (2) it's definitely counter-intuitive, if not downright irrational. And what is this critical, missing nugget of knowledge? Why it's "SUPER SCORING," also known as "SAT® Score-Use Practices." Super scoring comes in six delectable flavors: 1. Highest Section Scores Across Test Dates — Version 1 (Highest M, CR, W) 2. Highest Section Scores Across Test Dates — Version 2 (Highest M, CR, W) 3. Single Highest Test Date — Version 1 (Sum of M+CR+W) 4. Single Highest Test Date — Version 2 (Sum of M+CR+W) 5. All SAT® Scores Required for Review and the ever popular 6. Contact Institution for Information What does all of this gobbledygook mean? It means that a student applying to my Alma Mater (Columbia University), which uses "Highest Section Scores Across Test Dates — Version 1", could (in theory) take the... read more
First of all, Happy New Year to everyone! I hope the holidays and vacation time have been well. I want to bring to all my students' attention that this is the half- way point in the school year. If you haven't started to take your grades seriously, now is the time. Now is time to start studying for tests more and not slack on any more homework assignments. Time to stop passing notes in class and take notes on the lecture instead. Time to schedule extra tutoring sessions and plan group study sessions. For the juniors and seniors, now is the time to start focusing on those college and university applications too. I have experience in helping write and edit admissions essays via email so if anyone needs anything, feel free to reach out. Like Anne Frank once said, "Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands."
Congratulations to CHRIS, for getting A's in some very challenging business courses. You are taking a heavy load of classes, plus you have other multiple responsibilities. You deserve a lot of credit for your good work in your Information Systems, Financial Accounting II, Management, and other classes. You're headed for success. Keep up the good work!
Congratulations to Niesha for getting an "A" on her Operations Management final exam. That was a challenging class, and I know you worked hard for your good grades. I am so proud of you for your dedication and resulting success. Keep up the good work, and before you know it, you will be graduating!
Part 2 of this article relates to professionals, “non – traditional” college students, and military candidates who are making the tutoring decision. (Part 1gives advice and tips to parents and college students.) Professionals Professionals have different tutoring needs. Sometimes, employees are contractually obligated to earn college credits every few years. Some employers withhold pay raises if education and training requirements aren’t met. Most employers also list a minimum grade requirement for courses. Once you have gone to class the first time, review your course materials and syllabus. If some of it looks like it was written in French - and you’re not in a foreign language class - consider hiring a tutor right away! Your tutor can help you get off to a good start. Once you are back in the swing of things, you may not need the tutor’s help. I have a “5 – year rule of thumb” for returning/ adult students: if you took your last college class 5 years ago or... read more
Deciding to hire a tutor can be tough. Tutoring requires schedule adjustments, coordination, and clear expectations on everyone's part. Part one of this article gives some advice for parents and college students in making this decision. Part two relates to professionals, "non - traditional" college students, and military candidates. Parents First, consider the academic and social expectations you have for your child. Do you expect “C’s” and above? All “A’s” and “B’s”? Are extracurricular activities important? Do you expect participation in one, school – related activity (a common parental expectation). These questions will help you decide whether or not to hire a tutor for your child. Next, look at your child’s academic performance realistically. If your child is earning two “D’s”, and you expect “C’s” and above, it is probably time to involve a tutor. Base your decision on a current progress report. Also, consider whether you have the time and academic skills... read more