I remember Mary walking into my office. She appeared calm and relaxed, while her son, Michael, was visibly stressed. Mary shared her goals for her son with many specific details: top three colleges to which he should apply, the major he should study, the type of career he should plan for, and the list of pressing items to be handled so everything else could fall into place. I understood her desire to ensure her son had all of the opportunities he deserved or wanted. I appreciated that she had researched schools and the college application process. But, I also felt concerned for Michael’s immediate future.
Throughout the conversation with his mother, I noticed him slump further and further in the chair, the web of his hand cradling his forehead as he gazed into his lap. I see this often, as parents wanting the best and imagining their children living a better life than they did, become the directors while children are merely actors.
We often wish our kids showed more...
Covid has had a really big impact on our children, especially when it comes to volunteer opportunities and applying to college.
In the past, students were able to sign up for volunteer opportunities and resume builders with very few barriers. We now see many students who don’t know what to put on their resume for volunteer work or extracurricular activities. They never had a chance with social distancing and everything being closed over the last few years due to Covid.
Across the board, we have heard that colleges are looking for students who will participate and add to their community. Volunteer work is crucial when applying to colleges because it shows them that you have already taken the initiative to get involved.
Here are some of the strategies we use with our students that have a big impact, in less time.
Senior Centers / Nursing Homes/ Assisted Living...
When you child's senior year rolls around and they have to sit down to list out their activities and achievements, what are they going to put down? What will their grades look like? What will they write their admissions essays about? These are all questions to consider early, before the last-minute crunch time stress sets in. Knowing what information to keep track of and look for early can save heaps of stress and set your child apart from the rest.
Financial aid is money to help pay for college!
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...
Families don’t often think about this until it’s too late, but grades and standardized tests are the biggest way to scholarships. When scholarships are based off of grades and test scores (that are standard across the board), those last for all four years of school. Multiply the dollar amount of the scholarship by 4 and that’s a lot of money!
But what if it’s too late? What if you can’t go back and fix your grades or re-take standardized tests? People often think of scholarships when a student is applying or has already applied to their schools (typically Junior-Senior year).
Don’t worry, there are other options for you.
At this point, it’s about taking matters into your own hands. Applying to scholarships is truly a job in itself. You have to search, write essays, fill out applications, and they may even ask for a video...