BENEFITS TO LEARNING OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM

What is the most important piece of advice that students should follow?

Should they take as many AP or CCP classes possible? Play three sports? Or perhaps specialize in just one sport? Take a foreign language? Or maybe take a specific foreign language like Latin? While all of those pieces of advice could be helpful in the right context, the most important piece of advice that students should follow is to learn outside of the classroom.

Learning outside of the classroom offers many benefits for students, from the concrete benefits that can be added to a resume or college application, to the more esoteric benefits of becoming a more learned or well-read individual.

Starting with the former, many colleges, especially more selective schools, are looking to admit students that have a demonstrated thirst for knowledge. It is frequently forgotten that students are not only competing amongst their peers at their own high school or in their conference,...

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Approaching College With Foresight

From the day your kids were born, you wanted to create the best possible life for them. So, what did you do?

You planned.

You planned absolutely anything you could, from the big stuff like finding the best preschool to enroll them in to the small stuff like their lunch and outfits for their first day of school. Mapping out your child’s life to set them up for maximal success was never easy, but as they grow up that map becomes much messier, harder to decipher. More avenues are opened, creating more possibilities. In the blink of an eye, the most difficult decision you have to help them make shifts from whether they want a PB & J or a turkey sandwich for lunch to what career they should pursue to ensure a lifetime of happiness and prosperity.

There are so many moving parts that take off at a break-neck speed before your child is even allowed to use the restroom at school without a teacher’s permission. There are college entrance exams to be taken, resumes to...

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Everything You Need to Know When Applying for Financial Aid

FINANCIAL AID 101


Financial aid is money to help pay for college!

Before beginning the FAFSA, you must apply for an FSA ID at StudentAid.gov. This will be used for all financial aid and used for your electronic signature on all financial aid documents. Write this down somewhere!
 
Remember that the FAFSA belongs to the student. The student needs to create an FSA ID using their personal information. They should use a personal e-mail account rather than a school e-mail account, as their current high school e-mail will be disabled after graduation.
When creating an FSA ID, the student will receive both an email and a text message to confirm their identity. The codes supplied in those messages are time sensitive and must be entered into the system to proceed. Please be sure your child is able to access this information while filling it out. In other words— do not attempt to do this while they are at school and have limited access to their e-mail and text...
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3 Tips That Could Save You Thousands On College

1. Make sure your child picks the right fit (both college and major/minor!)

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, only 41% of students graduate college within 4 years. With each additional semester, tens of thousands of dollars add up. According to data from the University of Texas, those who graduate in 6 years instead of 4 spend 40% more than those who graduate in 4 years.

What causes this?

Multiple things can cause this, but a few of the most common reasons are changing majors, transferring, or taking unnecessary courses.

Why is prolonged graduation common?

Many times students choose a college that they know little about. Their entire decision may be made based on a one-time visit or virtual tour. Many students forego the time consuming process of researching important information, such as:

  • The program of studies accompanying the major the student chooses.
  • Prospective job or career paths possible after graduating with that major.
  • Will there be a demand for...
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Important ACT Information & Hints

act act prep tips Sep 23, 2021

HELPFUL HINTS

Have your child take the test early— definitely by sophomore year. They will take it with no pressure, better understand what is on the test and be better prepared later.

 

Register for the April, June or December test since it allows you to purchase the Test Information Release.

The other test dates do not. This is extremely valuable as many students will say “I have never learned some of the math.” or “I didn't do well on science because it was all physics and I have not had physics.” The reality however is that a student does not need Physics or high-level math to do well on the test, and getting their test back and being able to review it with a professional will help them understand this. It will also help them better prepare in the future and recognize the strategies needed more effectively.

If you do not select schools to receive your scores when you register, it is currently $16 per test date to send them later.

If you can...

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WHY THE ACT IS SO IMPORTANT

First and foremost, colleges are businesses!

There are many reasons that colleges prefer to see a standardized test. One reason is that the curriculum in each high school, and certainly each state varies. When you consider the resources some students have because of their school district versus the lack in others, it is easy to conclude that the level of exposure/mastery a student in a struggling district has when earning an A may be vastly different than a student who earns an A in a district rich with resources like 3D printers, computers for every student, large designated laboratories for science classes and so forth.

Colleges are all too familiar with students who have received generous grades due to being well liked, a star athlete, a star student who is popular, who are not prepared to handle rigorous classes in college. If you have heard your son or daughter mention that the teacher is giving students more time to finish the test because some did not, or someone is able to...

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The 6 Key Tips to Starting Virtual School Effectively

Setting your child up for success this year is less about the trip to Target or Walmart and securing the box of Kleenex for the teacher and checking off the rest of the supply list! Instead, creating an environment that is conducive to learning is what you need to focus on.

  1. The first question you need to ask yourself is, where is your kid going to attend class? This becomes really difficult if you are also working at home, or if you have multiple kids, but don’t make these mistakes: 
  • The Kitchen: This is a hard NO. Parents think that this location will allow them to help with questions, oversee their work, and make sure that their child is staying on task, but the reality of the situation is different. Your kid will sit down at the island or kitchen table and their brain immediately thinks, “I am hungry”, “Can I have a snack?”, “What’s for dinner?”, or it could be, “Mom, what are you doing?”, “Mom, who are you...
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When Should My Kid Apply to College?

So you have your kid registered for the One Week to Perfect essay writing class, but you have absolutely no idea when they should be done with their essays. While we aim to have at least three essays completely finished by the end of the week, some schools require a number of supplemental essays and application materials. When should you have those in? 

Short answer? As soon as possible. 
Long answer? It depends on what type of admission you're seeking. 

Parents of seniors are feeling out of the loop right now. There may be some anxiety, some frustration, and a lot of misunderstanding the admission process. I find that parents are usually all over in the understanding of best practices— especially this year. It's been years since they have applied to college; since when did everything get so difficult?

I have interviewed dozens of admission reps from schools all over, and their recommendations allow us to better help your child gain admission to their first...

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Back to School Looks a Little Different This Year

The last time I walked into Target, I knew something was different. Gone were the displays touting fun in the sun and red-white-and-blue. The pool toys were on clearance, and there was not a bathing suit to be found. It's the most wonderful time of year for an educator: back to school season.

But what does that mean this year? What does back to school mean in the era of COVID-19? Should you be factoring new masks and hand sanitizer into your school supply lists, or should you be getting ready for a new round of home schooling? We've taken the most common options that schools are exploring for next year and broken down what they might mean for your kid. 

Virtual, In-Person, Hybrid, A-Day/B-Day, Option for In-Person or Virtual, etc... The options discussed have been all over the board, but why is there no consensus? Potential health risk to students, teachers, and the community, number of teachers on staff, quality of education, and cost all have a role in what administrators...

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Questions: Cancellations, College, COVID, & You

Questions: Cancellations, College, COVID, & You 

On New Years' Day, I don't think that any of us expected to be where we are. I don't think that any of us expected to become mask-wearing, social distancing experts. I don't think parents expected to become homeschooling experts. I don't think our students expected to miss out on so many high school memories. But here we are, with more questions than answers and a lot of uncertainty in front of us.

Luckily, you have me. 

In this issue, we are going to discuss what you should focus on as your child approaches their senior year and how you can ensure that your child has every possible opportunity moving forward while keeping in mind the goal of reducing their future cost of college. My goal is to inform parents so that they can feel a sense of control around the critical decisions that will affect both them and their child for the next several years.

First thing's first: We need to have a plan

You and your child...
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