TeenLife 2011 Guide to College Admissions


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This guide includes advice and information on the entire process of applying to college from preparing for college tests and interviewing prospective colleges to essay writing, choosing the right college, and packing to go off to school.

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TeenLife 2011 Guide to College Admissions

  1. 1. 2 0 1 1Guide toCollege admissions W W W. T E E N L I F E . C O M Easy-to-Follow College Prep Timeline Tips to a Successful College Interview What to Pack for College A T E E N L I F E M E D I A di g ital P U B L I C A T I O N
  2. 2. THE ARTS EDGEINTENSE COLLEGE ADVISING IN THE VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTStheartsedge.com Educational Consultants specializing in the Visual and Performing Arts
  3. 3. Introducing TeenLife’s2011 Guide to College AdmissionsThe only free comprehensive resource of its kind. College—It’s not a College Admissions. It’s cohesive, and chock-full of useful information on college planning; determining big word, but it’s whether you are ready for college; tips for visiting definitely a big step. colleges; and advice on essay and study habits. It seems like every year And we even included room décor and ideas on I hear from parents and what to pack. students, and even school guidance counselors, that the If you need more assistance, the College college prep and admissions Resources section of our Guide lists an extensive timeline keeps getting earlier number of tutoring and test prep options andand earlier, beginning at the middle school level. independent counselors, which may be exactly whatBefore you know it, it’s fast-forward to high school, you need to get into the university you truly want.then college—and you are unloading your car stuffedwith boxes at the curb of your dorm. Believe me, it When campus life is just over the horizon,comes up quickly! my wonderful staff (many of whom have just graduated) and I want you to remember that going You are probably thinking, whoa, rewind… Do I off to college is an exciting, adventurous, andwant to go to college? Can I afford college? Which life-changing event. Follow our lead and you willtype of college do I want to go to? Where do I start? see how easy it is to make this transition. Your questions will be answered and your mindset Please, don’t be overwhelmed. We want all will gradually change from “I’m excited to thinkparents and teens to ease through the process, as it about college” to “I’m ready to apply to college”is one filled with deadlines and details. It can be a to “Then I got into my college.” It’s that simple.very stressful time for everyone, but it can also goquite smoothly if you let TeenLife steer the way! Marie Schwartz, President & Founder Along with our award-winning site that is loaded TeenLife Media, LLCwith information on the college admissions process,we have put together our first-ever digital Guide to TeenLife Guide to college admissions 2011 | 3
  4. 4. keith@gotomykeg.com TeenLife Score at the Top Guide to College Admissions Learning Center & School Published byTeenLife.com TeenLife Media, LLC 1330 Beacon St., Suite 268 Brookline, MA 02446 www.teenlife.com bringing out the best in teens Copyright © 2011 by TeenLife Media, LLC, Brookline, Massachusetts Published by TeenLife Media, LLC, Brookline, Massachusetts V.P., Marketing and Business Development: Cara Ferragamo Murray Managing Editor: Camille Heidebrecht Graphic Design: Kathryn Tilton Authors: Karen Kuskin-Smith and Marissa Smith Karen Kuskin-Smith has been an educator for more than 30 years. Most recently, she served as Coordinator of Pupil Support Services at Brookline High School for 25 years. She is currently a consultant to TeenLife in addition to conducting workshops for parents on the college process. Sheholds an A.B. in English from Connecticut College, a MAT in English from Brown University and an Ed.M. in Counseling Psychology from Boston University. Her daughter, Marissa Smith, recently graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Psychology from The George Washington University where she served as a student representative on the admissions staff for four years. She continues to conduct interviews for the university. She is currently working at Needham High School transitioning students from hospitalizationsback into the high school setting. Limit of Liability This publication, produced by TeenLife Media (TL), is intended as a general guide only. While this guide contains articles with general advice, readers are advised to obtain independent advice, undertake their own investigations, obtain references, and come to their own conclusions before making any commitments. TL is not familiar with all of the businesses and institutions listed, and is therefore not responsible for the accuracy of any description, or for mistakes, errors or omissions. TL is not responsible for any costs, damages, or other matters that occur as a result of reliance on the material contained herein. The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of TL. Trademarks: TeenLife Media, LLC and related trade dress are trademarks or registered trademarks of TeenLife and/or its affiliates in the United States and may not be used without written permission.
  5. 5. Table of Contents6 college admissions About Teenlife 6 Are You Ready for College? 7 Onward and Forward 20 Find out more about what we offer and how to register on our site 8 Visiting a College 8 College Interviews 22 college resources 11 The College Application Process 22 College Consultants & Advisors 12 Test Preparation 24 Financial Advice 13 Writing Your College Essay 25 Tutoring & Test Prep 15 Packing for College 16 Campus Living 16 Study Habits INDEX 18 For Your Parents 19 Taking a Year Off 27 TeenLife Guide to college admissions 2011 | 5
  6. 6. Guide to College Admissions The brief time invested while still in high school can save you and your student from a lot of headaches in the planning and admissions process. Organizing and thinking about each logical step will lead to successful admissions, a successful college education, and a successful career down the line. ARE YOU READY FOR COLLEGE? Fred Hargadon, the former Dean of Admissions at What are your areas of strength and weakness? Princeton University, believes that families should For example, are you a good reader or writer? Do you enjoy start the college discussion with “Why do you want problem solving? Do you like to discuss issues? What areas to go to college?” then ask “When do you want to are more difficult for you? For example, do you need to im- go to college?” and lastly “Where do you want to go prove your public speaking skills? Do you need to develop to college?” better study habits? What are you favorite school subjects? Too often we begin this discussion at the What activities do you most enjoy? end. To find a match, students must first understand why it is they want to attend. If the answer is "because Do you have a particular career interest? (Of course, these that is what everyone else does after high school," interests may change over time.) then it may be time to rethink this decision. How independent are you? How well do you adjust to new situations? Do you have good self-advocacy skills? When Once these questions have been answered—and if you are having difficulty, do you ask for help? When you college is your next step—then it is time to do a have a problem, are you able to take the necessary steps to self-assessment. solve it? What is your learning style? How do you learn best? Are you most successful in small classes with lots of discus- sion or do you prefer a lecture format? Are you a visual learner or do you learn best by listening? How do you define success? How do you measure how well you have done? Is success defined by your grade or how much you feel you have learned? Will your future success be measured by your position, your salary, your impact on those around you? Why do you want to go to college? Is this your decision or that of your family or friends? What excites you about going to college?6 | 2011 TeenLife Guide to college admissions6 | 2011 TeenLife Guide to college admissions
  7. 7. college admissionsONWARD AND FORWARDOnce you have established that college is your next You should never commit to a college without visitingstep and have thought hard about who you are and it. Colleges look favorably on expressions of interest bywhat you need in a college, there are many ways to a student. Each college admissions office is concernedlearn about colleges. about yield (the number of students who will accept their offer of acceptance). If a student has expressedYou can do research online, in high school college interest in the college through visits, interviews, emails,counseling offices, in books that highlight the most and Internet contact, the college believes the student isimportant information about a college, or you may hear more likely to attend. This interested student, who alsoanecdotal stories from students. Some families may meets all the other criteria for acceptance, becomes achoose to visit schools. Others will confine their visits to more likely individual to accept the college’s offer.local college fairs or college information programs. The basic college timeline is as follows:Research is key to help you decide which schools may Junior Yearbe the right match for you. Check with your collegecounseling office about the specific programs they may • October—Take PSAT.have for students and parents. • March/April or May—Take SAT and/or ACT. • June—Take SAT Subject Tests or ACT (SubjectVisits to the campus are the most helpful in making Tests should be taken at the time the studentthis determination but may not be possible because of completes the course).the expense involved. While helpful, these visits are not • Spring—Begin to build college list.critical until the spring of your senior year when you are • Spring—Visit colleges, attend college fairs and/ordeciding which college to attend. local college programs. • Spring—Begin to develop a resume of your high school activities both in and outside of school so that you have a complete list prepared when you actually begin to fill out your applications. Don’t forget about internship, volunteer, or work experiences. Your parents can be helpful in building this list. • Summer—Start those applications! Get a head start before the stresses of senior year kick into full gear. Brainstorm and outline a few essay ideas during the summer, so you can obtain your teachers’ comments at the start of school. Also, select your first choice schools so you and your counselor can move forward with a solid plan. Senior Year • October, November, or December—Retake SATs, ACTs and/or Subject Tests. Try to have all testing completed by November. • January—File FAFSA, CSS Profile, and/or individual college financial aid forms. TeenLife Guide to college admissions 2011 | 7
  8. 8. VISITING A college COLLEGE INTERVIEWS If you do plan to visit colleges, here are some Interviews are great ways for the colleges to learn more suggestions: about you and also for you to learn more about the colleges that interest you. • Attend group information sessions and campus tours. • Be sure to speak with students who are not Admissions staff, faculty members, and sometimes stu- representatives from the admissions office to dents conduct interviews. They may or may not be a part get another viewpoint on the college. of the actual admissions process, but they certainly are an opportunity for you to ask the hard questions so that you • Read student newspapers. can make the most informed decision about whether the • Check out what is posted on campus bulletin college is a match for you. They are also a way of express- boards. ing interest in the college. • Attend class—It is often a good idea to visit a class in a subject that is not a favorite to see how If the interview is not mandatory (and most are not) and a challenging course for you might be taught. you do not do well in these face-to-face situations, think • Stay overnight in a dorm. carefully before scheduling one. The write-up by the inter- viewer will usually be added to your admissions folder, so • Take pictures! for anyone considering an interview, practice is important. The Admissions Office can help with each of these suggestions. Be sure to write down a list of pluses and minuses for each college immediately after You can usually arrange for a mock interview through your the visit so that they are fresh in your mind. high school counseling office or ask to be interviewed by an adult you know who may be a little intimidating. You can also schedule an interview at a local college for practice. Your first real interview should not be the first one that you’ve ever done!8 | 2011 TeenLife Guide to college admissions
  9. 9. college admissionsA list of interview DOs:• DO make an appointment well in advance. • DO make eye contact with the interviewer and give him/• DO arrive on time. her a firm handshake. If this greeting is not easy for you, practice with someone beforehand.• DO dress appropriately. First impressions mean a lot. Jeans and t-shirts are never appropriate for an • DO some research before going into the interview. The interview. question “Tell me what you know about __________ College/University” will usually be asked. Be sure to• DO turn off your cell phone before the interview. know the names of some classes, activities, or pro-• DO be yourself. Interviewers can tell when someone is grams that you may be interested in exploring at this reciting answers he/she has practiced over and over particular institution. again. • DO think about how you hope to grow over these next• DO think of some examples/stories that describe who few years and how this particular college/university you are and how you think. They will make you more might help you do this. memorable as well. • DO take the time to think about your answers. Inter-• DO be honest. If there are weaknesses in your tran- viewers are looking for thoughtful not quick responses. script or your test scores are low, this is the time to • DO make sure you have questions to ask the interview- explain them. Let the interviewer know how you have er about the school. They should not be questions that improved or plan to improve. Remember—you are have been already answered in the material they have looking for a match; honesty will help you find it. sent you or you have viewed online.
  10. 10. • DO look at the college’s website for possible Sample Interview Questions: interview questions. Many schools post them. • Tell me something about your high school. What is • DO have fun. The interview provides an opportunity one thing you would change if you could? What is your for the college to get to know you and to put a face favorite memory from high school? with a name. • Tell me about a teacher in high school that had an • DO write a thank you note after the interview. This impact on your life. will reiterate your appreciation and interest in the • What are your extracurricular interests? What school. activities do you hope to get involved in here to continue exploring these interests? A list of interview DON’Ts: • Have you ever traveled overseas? Do you hope to study abroad? • DON’T bring a lot of extra materials to show the interviewer (e.g., artwork, essays, or cookies). Any • Tell me about a difficult experience in your life and essential additional material that contributes new how you dealt with it. information to your candidacy should be included • How would your friends describe you? with your application. Be prepared to tell the interviewer where this school • DON’T play with your phone or text friends while falls on your list. Be honest but don’t give too much waiting for the interview to begin. Your cell phone information. If the school is not your top choice, simply should remain off and out of sight. tell them you are interested in their university and • DON’T give one word answers or mumble. learning more about it. • DON’T chew gum. • DON’T expect your parents to be a part of the inter- view. The interviewer will usually speak briefly with them after your interview. This is your time to shine!10 | 2011 TeenLife Guide to college admissions
  11. 11. college admissionsTHE COLLEGEAPPLICATION PROCESSThe college application process is full ofdeadlines and details and can cause addedtension in a family already feeling the stress ofthe many demands of a student’s senior year.It is critical to use the resources of your schoolto help both child and family get through thisprocess.Guidance counselors and/or college advisorscan help manage deadlines and play the roleof the “nudge” without the conflict that oftenoccurs between parent and child. They shouldserve as your primary resource.Use these individuals to:• Recommend courses and course sequences that you should take in order to prepare for college admissions.• Plan group informational meetings on the college process.• Hold individual family meetings to develop and then revise college lists.• Help plan out a college testing schedule and monitor the results of this testing. Award-winning site with resources for teens• Check on the progress of applications, most especially the college essay.• Review the draft of the essay for general content, spelling, and grammar. www.teenlife.com• Write a letter of recommendation that high- lights the student’s high school experience.• Share information about other students from your high school who have attended particular colleges.In general, parents should not have to spendadditional money for college counseling. If youare concerned that your child’s counselor is notable to provide the information that you need,contact the head of the department at thehigh school.
  12. 12. Applying to college is a lesson in organizational skills. Every student does not need to take a test preparation course. You can buy an SAT or ACT test preparation You need to decide how you will organize all the material book or access a computer program and do the you will receive both in the mail and online. It is helpful studying on your own. to have a file for each college you are researching and then for the ones to which you actually plan to apply. On Some students may benefit from Test Preparation be- each folder, list any important dates—i.e., application fore they take the SAT or ACT. This kind of preparation deadline, financial aid deadline, date you visited college, depends on your learning style, how much your family attended a local presentation, had an interview. is prepared to spend, and how much time you have to Additionally, consider creating a separate e-mail address devote to this extra commitment. It is generally worth to house all college-related corresponse. Tip: make sure waiting to begin a program until you get the results your ".com" address is appropriate back from the PSAT taken in the junior year with its comprehensive analysis of where you did well and what areas need improvement. Once you have prepared any documents to send to the college, whether online or in hard copy, MAKE A COPY. Never send anything without making a copy or printing it If you choose to use a test prep company, you should out. Also, be sure to proof each document; spell-check consider: does not pick up incorrect words. You can ask your • Location—at their office or your home. parents to help with the proofing. • Cost—varies widely. Many school systems offer test prep programs either as part of the curriculum or TEST PREPARATION as an offering through their Adult and Community Education program. Test preparation can benefit everyone by helping you to better understand the nature of the test—the specific • Number, days, and hours of meetings. directions for each section, the kinds of questions in • Type of program—large or small class or private each area, and suggestions for using time wisely. lesson. • Focus on learning content or on testing strategies. • Focus on meeting group or individual student needs.12 | 2011 TeenLife Guide to college admissions
  13. 13. college admissionswriting yourcollege essay Exciting Resources & OpportunitiesThe college essay represents an opportunity for for Parents with College-bound Teensyou to share something about yourself that theadmissions office does not already know from 2 0the hard data (i.e., your GPA and test scores). 1 1 TEENLIFE FREE THE "WHO BOSTON FOR FAMIL WHAT WHERE" IES WITH GUIDE TEENS W W W. TEENL IFE.CO MUsually there are several essay topics from whichto choose. Pick the topic to which you feel themost connected and that might help to fill in any A complete local oppor list of Bene tunities summerfits of teengaps not covered in the rest of your application. programs 50 ideas to fill your summer A TEE NL IFE ME DIA PUBLI C AT I O N• Make sure you answer the question asked. www.teenlife.com• Be yourself. For example, don’t try to sound Winner humorous if this approach is not natural for you.• Be as specific as you can about the topic you of a have chosen. Anecdotes that help explain your Gold Mom’s Choice Award topic are very helpful.• Be sure to check for typos, spelling, and gram- matical errors.• If you are writing about what has drawn you to a particular college, be sure you use the name of the correct college in your essay.• Keep within the number of words suggested.• Make sure you are well-versed in your topic of choice, whether it’s an area of interest or an E D U C AT I O N A L C O N S U LT I N G academic subject. Expert College CounselingRecommendations are another way for thecolleges to learn more about you. Anecdotalinformation is the best way for your teachers toshare what is most special about you. Teacher were ntsrecommendations don’t always need to be from de e stu ptthe teacher of the subject in which you do well. ed 5% of our 9Sometimes the teacher of a subject in which youhave struggled can share more insightful informa- egetion about how you deal with a challenge. Surely, ollyou will confront some academic challenges in by t eyour college courses; it is helpful for the admis- eir oi topsions office to understand how you approach thesedifficulties. Teachers should address your studyhabits, class participation, and ability to work in 877.438.2400
  14. 14. groups. It is not necessary for a teacher to write about • It is helpful to have your federal income tax return your extracurricular activities unless he/she serves as completed before filing for financial aid since this your advisor. Your college counselor, who will be pre- form is referenced in the FAFSA (free application senting the total picture of you, can best discuss these for federal money). activities. Occasionally, students might want to send an • The FAFSA cannot be filed until after January 1 additional recommendation from a club advisor, coach, of your senior year. You can apply online at or employer. These can be valuable if they address www.fafsa.ed.gov. how you perform outside the classroom. Once again, anecdotes are very helpful. It is not a good idea to get • The CSS Profile, the application used by private a recommendation from someone who does not know colleges to award their institutional money, can you well such as a family friend who may know your be filed any time senior year, generally the earlier parents but really doesn’t know you. To assist those the better. recommending you: • Some institutions have their own form. Be sure to • Ask the recommender what he/she may need to help pay attention to the deadlines for completed forms. write the recommendation such as a copy of your • Never pay to get money. There are lots of free resume or a conversation with you. resources. For example the TERI College Planning • Give the teacher a large manila envelope. Put the Center at the Boston Public Library will not only name of each school to which you are applying on help parents fill out the forms but is also an the front of the envelope with the deadline for each excellent resource for finding scholarships. school listed. Inside provide a stamped addressed (Visit Tericollegeplanning.org) envelope for each school. Use your high school ad- • A financial aid application needs to be filed each dress as the return address. year the student is in school. • Write each person who writes you a recommenda- • Some colleges award merit-based aid. This money tion a thank-you note. Also, keep in touch with these is based on a student’s academic performance. individuals and let them know the results of your Merit-based aid does not require an application. applications and what college you plan to attend. Once you have been accepted and chosen the school Most students will apply for some form of Financial that is the best match for you, taking those first steps Aid. For some it will be local scholarships from neigh- to become a college freshman can be daunting. Your borhood organizations or their high schools. Others transition will be much easier if you follow some of will apply to the federal government and the colleges these suggestions: themselves. Financial Aid awards are based on a fam- ily’s ability to pay for college taking into consideration a wide range of factors. If awarded, it usually comes in • Ask your counselor for the names of students from the form of grants (free money), loans (which need to your high school who are currently attending the be repaid), and work/study (students will secure a job college you plan to attend. Have lunch with one of on campus which can help pay for books and/or living them before you leave to get some helpful sugges- expenses). Here are a few suggestions: tions about how to manage your first few days, plan your schedule, and meet other students. • Research local scholarship opportunities first. Your • In addition to freshmen orientation, many colleges high school usually receives information about these sponsor programs just before school begins to and may offer their own scholarships. There are help you get to know other members of your class. many national scholarship programs, but students These may be outdoor adventures, community are often more successful in actually getting money service activities, or leadership training initiatives. from local organizations. Sometimes these programs cost additional money but are very helpful in connecting with the college and classmates early on.14 | 2011 TeenLife Guide to college admissions
  15. 15. college admissions• Get involved in activities that you enjoyed in high school. PACKING FOR COLLEGe The familiarity of these activities and the opportunity to meet others who also enjoy them will help in the transition process. Deciding what you need to bring with you to college will occupy most of your summer,• Once you arrive on campus, take advantage of the social especially if you are not arriving there by car. activities planned for freshmen. You will meet people, hear Here are some suggestions for packing: about important opportunities, and feel more connected to student life.• Find out about the resource centers that are available on • If you are not driving, investigate shipping campus--i.e., advising program, writing center, resume writing, services offered by the college. tutoring center, mental health support. It is comforting to know • Bring less than what you think you will need. that you can easily access the help you may need at any given time in your college career. • Collect Bed, Bath and Beyond and other discount coupons from retailers. They will definitely come• Think about what time of day you work best. Schedule classes in hand! Several retailers, like Apple and J. Crew with this time in mind. also offer ongoing discounts to college students –• Talk to the people who sit next to you in class. Get to know all you need to show is your college ID card. Talk them. These individuals may become friends or perhaps study to your roommates beforehand to see what they partners. are planning to bring. There is no need to bring duplicates of items such at TVs, CD players, etc.• Explore the city or town around you. Find out what it has to offer. • Check to see what the college provides in the• Make the good-byes with parents and/or siblings quick ones. dormitory room. It is also helpful to understand Lingering makes the parting more difficult. the moving-in plan for the school. Often there will be current students to help you move in, and you may be required to move into your dorm at certain times to avoid congestion. • In the fall, bring only fall clothing. You can bring an empty suitcase home over Thanksgiving break for your winter clothes. This will save precious closet space in your dorm room. • Risers are sometimes helpful to make your bed a bit higher. Risers will also open up some storage space under your bed. • Do not buy notebooks and other school supplies at your bookstore. They are generally overpriced. You can get these supplies much cheaper at CVS or Staples. Check out amazon.com or half.com for textbooks to see if you can get them at a cheaper price. TeenLife Guide to college admissions 2011 | 15
  16. 16. campus living STUDY HABITS The first real challenge will be to adapt to Most of you will enter college with well-developed dormitory living. Here are a few helpful hints to study skills and a good sense of your own learn- make this adjustment process a little easier: ing style. Here are some suggestions from a recent graduate to help you do well in your classes: • Make your dorm room feel like home by bringing little things that remind you of this space. Pictures of • Make a point of getting to know the people who sit family and friends are always helpful. near you in class. Get their e-mail addresses/phone numbers. They will be great resources if you have • If your college orientation is before school begins and to miss a class, need some information clarified, or you are given the option of choosing a roommate at want to form a study group. this time, be careful. It may seem like a great idea to find someone to live with at orientation, but two days • Make sure your professors know who you are. Take is often not enough time to get to know a person. advantage of office hours or extra class meetings. You may want to keep your options open. Even if they do not know your name at first, knowing your face and observing that you show up for class • Sit down with your roommate on the first night. Talk each day may help you when they are assigning about your living experiences and how you think grades at the end of the semester. you can best live together. Most likely your Resident Advisor will have a contract for you to fill out, but you • Check in with your professors even if you feel you should make your own contract. Set up some rules are doing well in your classes. See if they have any for your shared space. For example, how will you additional suggestions for studying or paper writing. handle cleaning? What are the rules for neatness? Most professors love to help their students succeed How do you feel about having overnight guests? and will reward you in the end for making the extra How will you handle food if you have a kitchen area? effort to speak with them. Establish responsibility for everyone in the room. • Go to the library only if you feel you will be able to • Talk about problems. It is important to be vocal and focus there. Often students feel that if they are sim- let your roommate know when something is bother- ply in the library, they will get work done; however, ing you. If you do not say anything, the problem will libraries often turn into a social scene. Try to find a most likely get worse. If you can’t resolve the issue place on campus where you really can focus. together, use the resources available in your resi- • All-nighters do not work; avoid them. dence hall. RAs are trained to help with roommate conflicts. • Do not write down every word the professor says. Listen first to what he/she is saying and then write • Respect is huge in a successful living situation. Make down the gist. If you need to ask for clarification sure to respect and understand your roommate’s or for the professor to repeat what he/she has just sleep and work schedule. You may need to make said, ask! Lectures are sometimes posted online as changes to your routine in order to accommodate well. his/her schedule. • Try to get to know your Teaching Assistants. They • Do things together to help develop relationships with can be great resources around test time. roommates or suitemates. For example, if you have access to a kitchen, cook together. Join an intramu- ral sports team. It is great to have activities that you share and also ones that you do independently. • Rule of Thumb: Your roommate does not have to be your best friend or share your interests; you do need to make sure you can successfully live together.16 | 2011 TeenLife Guide to college admissions
  17. 17. college admissions• Make flash cards to review for an exam. Make these Explain how you prepared for the exam. Try to cards at least one week before your exam. You cannot determine what you can do differently in the future. expect to learn all of the information that will be on an When writing papers: exam in one night. Take a week to let the information sink in. This strategy provides a great way to review all • Write them at least one week in advance so you have of your notes before you sit down to study. time to revise and proofread.• Once you feel you have a good handle on the material, • Use the knowledge of the librarians to help you with contact people in your class to form a study group. If you doing research. do not have an initial good understanding of the mate- • Keep track of every source you use. rial, a study group will not be helpful. • Colleges use a variety of research paper formats – all• Try to get a good night’s sleep before a test and eat a of this information is on the college web site. good breakfast full of protein. • Buy an MLA Handbook or one suggested by the col-• Show up to class five minutes before the test starts. lege for paper format and use it! If people are studying when you arrive, do not feel pressure to study as well. Now is the time to relax and • First make an outline and then write a first draft. listen to music. Leave the paper for a day or so and then come back to edit it.• Touch your left hand to your right foot and your right hand to your left foot.This process may sound strange, • Ask your professor to look over your first draft. If he/ but it gets both sides of your brain functioning. It is a she cannot, have someone else read it to check for good exercise to do before a test. grammar mistakes and the general flow of the paper.• If you do not do well on an exam, talk to your professor. • Be sure you save a copy of your work in the event it gets lost. TeenLife Guide to college admissions 2011 | 17
  18. 18. The most important factor in your transition to college • At night, travel with friends. No matter where you are, is to stay healthy and safe without the watchful eyes of it is safer to be in a group. your family. You will need to take charge of what you • Sign up for the campus and/or city alert system. eat and how you handle the freedom that comes with You will get updates on your cell phone if there is a leaving home and going off to college. Here are some problem in the area. important health and safety recommendations: • Most universities and colleges have some sort of drinking culture. Be aware of what is happening • Be sure to eat well. There is no better way to stay around you. Don’t succumb to the pressure to do healthy at school than to eat nutritious foods. Try not things that you would not normally do. Watch out for to keep a lot of junk food in your room. Treats here your friends. Remember that college is not about and there are fine, but too many will make you feel drinking, and it should not sidetrack from your studies. lethargic. Try to eat fruit. • Going to a gym is also a great idea. Most colleges have athletic facilities with well-equipped workout for your parents rooms that are available for students to use. If you Having a son or daughter go off to college will be don’t choose to work out, stay active. You will have a joyful, stressful, and a major transition for everyone lot more energy for classes and activities. involved. • Keep important phone numbers in your phone—i.e., those for taxis, university police, etc. It is important to have your child take the lead in • Most campuses have a Blue Light safety system or each step of the process. For example, he/she should a service that can escort you home. Make sure you schedule the college visits, talk with the admissions know how this system works. representatives, and handle all communications with the college. This search is about finding the appropriate match for your child and helping him/her gain and/or improve self-advocacy skills in doing so. During the college application process, parents should: • Stay positive. Share what you see as your child’s strengths. Be supportive of delicate egos. • Never forget this is about a match for your child. Parents often relive their own college application experience. Don’t let this become your experience rather than your child’s. • Enjoy campus visits together. Help your child sort through the pro’s and con’s of each school. • Assist your child with the application process. Give suggestions, proofread, but don’t take over. • Think about how you will help your child handle the acceptances and rejections before they happen. This may be the first time that your child receives a “we don’t want you” in writing. Help your child work through these rejections. Remind him/her that the rejection could be for any number of reasons and not to take it personally.18 | 2011 TeenLife Guide to college admissions
  19. 19. college admissionsIt is important to discuss these practical issues If you are thinking about taking a year off:with your child before he/she leaves for the college Apply to colleges as if you are planning to attend thecampus: next year. Once you have been accepted and chosen• What are the expectations for communication? the best match, ask the college to defer your accep- Will you talk by phone, via the Internet? How often? tance for a year. You will need to pay a deposit, but you will have a space waiting for you.• Make sure your child knows how to do the laundry.• Have your child select, shop for, and prepare some meals before he/she goes to school. He/she may Be sure to have a plan for this year. You may choose have access to a kitchen in the dorm. to take a couple of courses at a college without matric- ulating. You may get a job to earn money for college.• Discuss any health issues. Make sure he/she knows You may choose to participate in a structured program about any medications he/she is taking and how to centered on community service, environmental issues, have a prescription filled. language study, etc., here or abroad. You can use the• How will you handle spending money? Does your resources of Teenlife to help you. Or hire an indepen- child understand the concept of a budget? Try to dent advisor to develop a plan for you. use a local bank that also has branches in the col- lege city or town to avoid high ATM fees. You may want to set up an account that allows you to trans- Whatever approach you choose, be sure that you will fer money into your child’s account. Will your child be covered by health insurance. receive a certain amount of money each semester? Each year? When he/she needs it? Who will monitor the money? What if the funds run out? Colleges look favorably on a student who has taken a year to grow. They know they will be getting a more• You may want to have your child get a credit card mature, committed student the following fall. with a low credit limit, perhaps a joint account with you. Rather than having your child succumb to the credit card companies with high fees that are Other students decide to do a Post-Graduate (PG) Year all over college campuses, it is better to set up an before going to college. These programs are usually account before he/she arrives on campus. Be sure offered at private schools and are considered a your child understands that “establishing good 13th year of school. Students may apply to both PG credit” means paying off your balance each month programs and college and then decide in the spring on time. which one suits them best. A PG year is great for a student who needs more time to mature or develop better study skills. It is also appropriate for someoneTAKING A YEAR OFF who may not have applied himself or herself in highSome students choose to take a gap or school and wants another year to show a college his/post-graduate year off before college. her true academic potential. The application process is similar to applying to college but the deadlines and specific testing requirements may vary from programTaking a Gap Year can be a positive experience to program. PG programs are looking for individualsfor students who are not ready for the demands of with potential who may not, for various reasons, havecollege. You may need to take care of some academic shown their capabilities.weaknesses, improve study skills, or gain some ad-ditional maturity. You may just need a break betweenhigh school and college. These are things to considerwhen you are doing your initial self-assessment. TeenLife Guide to college admissions 2011 | 19
  20. 20. About TeenLife Visit www.teenlife.com Who We Are TeenLife is the "go to” resource for parents, teens, and educators actively looking for meaningful learning experiences—regionally, nationally, and internationally—for students. Our award-winning site, handy guides, and face-to-face events feature an extensive number of opportunities, programs, and services that "bring out the best” in teens. What We Do Few students, parents, and educators have the time, resources, or knowledge to research interesting, experiential learning opportunities for teens. So, we do it for them. TeenLife scours the Internet and teen resources for new information and ideas on a continual basis. Our proprietary database containing thousands of listings for teens is unmatched by any other source.20 | 2011 TeenLife Guide to college admissions
  21. 21. We are the "go to” resource for students, parents,and educators who are seeking programs, products,and services geared to teens aged 13-19 in theUnited States.become a member. ITS FREE!Information is offered online at Teenlife.comand through monthly e-Newsletters, e-mailcommunications, and printable guides in anumber of categories. Families andtheir teens can also explore opportunitiesat live events, school and student fairs, andcorporate meetings. Students, parents, andeducators are encouraged to register for freeand experience the comprehensive natureof our resources!For more information about TeenLife, e-mailinfo@teenlife.com or call (617) 277-5120. Programs,schools, service providers, and other organizationswho want to be listed on our site should contactlistings@teenlife.com. Join TeenLife.com Now! TeenLife Guide to college admissions 2011 | 21
  22. 22. College Resources Below you will find a variety of useful college resources that includes independent counselors, funding, and college leaders in tutoring and test prep. College Consultants & The Arts Edge The Arts Edge is an educational consulting firm Advisors specializing in helping high school and college trans- There are a plethora of fee-based independent fer students in the performing arts navigate through counselors and advisors that specialize in guiding the unique college application and audition process. parents and students through the lengthy college Location(s): Boston, Massachusetts and New York admissions process. These experts meet with you City, New York one-on-one to make your first choice school, a reality. Contact: Halley Shefler Phone: (855) 778-2787 Email: info@theartsedge.com AHP Educational Consulting Address: 400 Hunnewell Street, Suite 8, AHP educational consultants are committed to Needham, MA 02494 personalizing each student’s admissions process through knowledgeable, hands-on guidance. They Website: www.theartsedge.com help each student develop organizational and decision-making skills for a more rewarding Cheri Barad Education consulting admissions experience. Assisting students navigate through the compre- Location(s): Sudbury, Massachusetts hensive college admissions and matching process. Contact: Timothy Lee One-on-one individualized, working with athletes, Phone: (978) 261-1412 international, learning issues and transfers students. Email: tlee@ahpnet.com "Finding the right match, not just admissions." Address: 490B Boston Post Road, Sudbury, MA 01776 Location(s): Medfield, Massachusetts Website: www.ahpeducationalconsulting.com Contact: Cheri Barad Phone: (508) 359-8889 Email: gobridges@aol.com AMG Educational Consultants Address: 425 Main Street, #1, Medfield, MA 02052 Counseling in the college and independent school placement field since 1988, Andrea Glovsky has Website: www.cheribarad.com successfully helped hundreds of students by match- ing interests and abilities to the most appropriate College Coach school. Andrea successfully provides guidance to families in Massachusetts, the Northeast, across College Coach provides families with top educational the country and around the world. counseling to maximize chances of admissions. Their expert consultants will work one-on-one with your Location(s): Pride’s Crossing, Massachusetts family to ensure that colleges recognize the best your Contact: Andrea Glovsky child has to offer. Phone: (978) 526-7809 Location(s): Newton, Massachusetts Skype: andrea.glovsky Contact: Allison Berger Email: amg@findingcolleges.com Phone: (877) 40-COACH Address: P.O. Box 44, Pride’s Crossing, MA 01965 Email: aberger@getintocollege.com Website: www.findingcolleges.com Address: 233 Needham Street, Suite 440, Newton, MA 02464 Website: www.getintocollege.com22 | 2011 TeenLife Guide to college admissions
  23. 23. college resourcesCollegeApplicationEssayCoach.com Judi Robinovitz AssociatesOwner Mindy Pollack-Fusi works one-on-one with Educational Consultingstudents to coach them on their college application Judi Robinovitz is a Certified Educational Planneressays in person and online. She helps students with 30+ years of experience in college counseling.refine topics to best depict their unique strengths in Judi guides her students to develop an edge in collegetheir own passionate, polished voices. admissions, and more than 95% of them have beenLocation(s): Bedford, Massachusetts accepted to their top-choice!Contact: Mindy Pollack-Fusi Location(s): Palm Beach & Broward counties,Phone: (781) 275-7301 Florida; onlineEmail: mindy@theplaceforwords.com Contact: Judi RobinovitzAddress: The Place for Words & Workshops, Phone: (561) 241-1610200 Great Road, Suite 254A, Bedford, MA 01730 Email: judi@scoreatthetop.comWebsite: www.collegeapplicationessaycoach.com Address: 750 Park of Commerce Boulevard, Suite 120, Boca Raton, FL 33487 Website: www.scoreatthetop.comDunbar Educational Consultants, LLCDunbar Educational Consultants help studentsrecognize their personal and academic strengths Kosierowski Education Groupand how to showcase them in ways that make them Avoid your family’s stress, overwhelm, and/orstand out. disorganization. Keith is a Life Coach and CertifiedLocation(s): Dedham, Massachusetts School Counselor. Specialties: reduce parent/familyContact: Edward Bigelow stress, ADHD, children, college admissions,Phone: (781) 329-1248 student home organization, anger. ComplimentaryEmail: nbigelow@dunbarconsultants.com consultations.Address: P.O. Box 248, Dedham, MA 02027 Location(s): Hingham, MassachusettsWebsite: www.dunbarconsultants.com Contact: Keith Kosierowski Phone: (781) 875-1928 Email: keith@gotomykeg.comEqualApp Address: 5 Craig Lane, Hingham, MA 02043EqualApp is an affordable, online admissions Website: www.gotomykeg.comcounseling program that connects families of highschool students with former college admissions andfinancial officers. EqualApp’s counselors have helped Major in Youhundreds of students get admitted to more than Jill Greenbaum helps teens who are anxious,125 colleges. confused, and overwhelmed become confident, or-Location(s): Boston, Massachusetts ganized, and successful in finding the right colleges.Contact: Marc Zawel She offers individual and group coaching programs,Phone: (855) 437-8252 workshops, and print and audio resources for teensEmail: marc@equalapp.com and parents.Address: 711 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA 02111 Location(s): Airmont, New YorkWebsite: www.equalapp.com Contact: Jill Greenbaum, Ed.D. Phone: (877) 375-7412 or (201) 294-1828 Email: jill@majorinyou.com Address: 40 Cragmere Road, Airmont, NY 10901 Website: www.majorinyou.com TeenLife Guide to college admissions 2011 | 23
  24. 24. One-on-One College Consulting One-on-One College Consulting works with high-school students and families on the college admissions process, offering services for both indi- viduals and groups. Their specialty area is guiding student-athletes with the athletic-recruiting process. Location(s): Wakefield, Massachusetts Contact: Kim Penney Phone: (781) 246-4111 Email: kimpenney@oneononecollegeconsulting.com Zodda College Services Address: 146 Lowell Street, Suite 300C-1, Zodda College Services opens up the world of Wakefield, MA 01880 college possibilities with a knowledge-based, process Website: www.oneononecollegeconsulting.com oriented, hands-on approach to finding the right college fit. Sub-specialties include student-athletes, learning differences, and creative/performing arts. Popp & Associates, LLC Location(s): Framingham, Massachusetts Popp & Associates provides expert admissions Contact: Judy Zodda guidance to college-bound students of all ages. They welcome the opportunity to assist you with Phone: (508) 872-1947 your college counseling needs. Email: judy@zoddacollegeservices.com Location(s): Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts Address: 2 Willowbrook Drive, Contact: Mindy Popp Framingham, MA 01702 Phone: (781) 859-9116 Website: www.zoddacollegeservices.com Email: mpopp@poppandassociates.com Address: 354 Washington Street, Suite 225, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481 Website: www.poppandassociates.com Financial Advice College is an enormous family expense that Starr & Chapman, Inc. needs careful financial planning. Starr & Chapman, Inc. is a full-service educational consulting company with more than 16 years of experience successfully placing thousands MVP College Funding, LLC of students at competitive boarding schools and MVP College Funding, LLC is dedicated to providing colleges across the United States. We offer services your family with the information and guidance to meet every budget, so call to find out how they needed to affordably send all of your students to can help! their college of choice. Location(s): Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts Location(s): North Andover, Massachusetts Contact: Christine Chapman Contact: Richard Joseph Phone: (774) 413-7227 Phone: (978) 809-1424 Email: christine@starrandchapman.com Email: rjoseph@mvpcollegefunding.com Address: P.O. Box 2087, Address: 1600 Osgood Street, Suite 2-31, Sagamore Beach, MA 02562 North Andover, MA 01845 Website: www.starrandchapman.com Website: www.mvpcollegefunding.net24 | 2011 TeenLife Guide to college admissions
  25. 25. college resources College Prep, LLC SAT Mastermind is an online SAT prep course offering video lessons with downloadable homework; interactive forums to discuss techniques and ask questions; proven strategies to raise scores; vocabulary downloads, and more. Its like Facebook meets SAT prep! Location(s): Online Contact: Megan Dorsey Phone: (832) 217-9200 Email: info@collegeprepllc.com Address: 1118 Oak Glen Lane, Sugar Land, TX 77479 Website: www.whocaresaboutthesat.com HSA Tutoring Get tutored by a Harvard student! We offer the SAT SOS Course, a two-day SAT bootcamp taught by stellar Harvard undergraduates, and private tutoring for the SAT Reasoning Test, SAT Subject Tests, APs, and more. Location(s): Cambridge, Massachusetts Contact: Lauren Xie Phone: (617) 496-1506 Email: tutoring@hsa.net Address: 67 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA 02138Tutoring & Test Prep Website: www.tutoring.hsa.netUsing an independent tutoring and/or testpreparation company can be the difference-maker The Princeton Reviewwhen applying to your top-tier schools. No matter what your goals are, the Princeton Review has more than 30 years of experience offering leading SAT, ACT, PSAT prep courses and tutoring programsAdvantage Testing of Boston designed to provide a complete and personalized expe-For more than 20 years, Advantage Testing tutors rience that fits your learning style, schedule,have helped students achieve their academic, and budget.professional, and personal goals. Location(s): New EnglandLocation(s): Newton Centre, and Concord Contact: Jason SchlossbergMassachusetts Phone: (800) 447-0254 x5625Contact: Daniel Kusik, Director Email: jschlossberg@review.comPhone: (617) 630-8680 Address: 1340 Centre Street, Suite 104,Email: boston@advantagetesting.com Newton, MA 02459Address: 10 Langley Road, Suite 403,Newton Centre, MA 02459 Website: www.princetonreview.com37 Concord Crossing, Concord, MA 01742Website: www.advantagetesting.com TeenLife Guide to college admissions 2011 | 25
  26. 26. Summit Educational Group For more than 20 years, Summit Educational Group has been preparing students on the ways how to maximize their scores on standardized tests. They bring a proven, personalized approach that is as unique as each individual student. Location(s): Newton, Massachusetts Contact: Liz Connor Phone: (617) 581-6249 Email: lconnor@mytutor.com Address: 90 Bridge Street, Suite 100, Newton, MA 02458 Website: www.mytutor.com TenMarks Education TenMarks is a new education initiative which strives to change the way kids learn. Founded by parents who struggled with the challenges of helping their kids build a strong foundation in math, TenMarks offers online math instruction through 10th grade. Location(s): Newton, Massachusetts Contact: Andrew Joseph Phone: (617) 340-6544 Email: info@tenmarks.com Address: 38 Glen Avenue, Newton, MA 02459 Website: www.tenmarks.com Veritas Tutors Veritas Tutors specializes in subject tutoring, test preparation, and admissions consultation. With outstanding educators from Harvard, MIT, and other top institutions, Veritas Tutors provides the best possible instruction to each of its students. Location(s): Cambridge, Massachusetts Contact: Stefanie Feldman Phone: (617) 395-4160 Email: info@veritutors.com Address: 1132 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138 Website: www.veritutors.com26 | 2011 TeenLife Guide to college admissions
  27. 27. Index We hope that the admissions advice, resources, and listings in our handy Guide help you through the step-by-step process of heading off to college.ALL listings ADVERTISERS25 Advantage Testing of Boston C2 The Arts Edge22 AHP Educational Consulting 9 College Prep, LLC22 AMG Educational Consultants 11 Dunbar Educational Consultants, LLC22 The Arts Edge 13 Judi Robinovitz Associates Educational Consulting22 Cheri Barad Education Consulting 4 Kosierowski Education Group 11 Major in You22 College Coach 4 Starr & Chapman, Inc.25 College Prep, LLC23 CollegeApplicationEssayCoach.com23 Dunbar Educational Consultants, LLC23 EqualApp.com25 HSA Tutoring23 Judi Robinovitz Associates Educational Consulting23 Kosierowski Education Group23 Major in You24 MVP College Funding, LLC24 One-on-One College Consulting24 Popp & Associates College Counseling25 The Princeton Review24 Starr & Chapman, Inc.26 Summit Educational Group26 TenMarks Education26 Veritas Tutors24 Zodda College Services TeenLife Guide to college admissions 2011 | 27
  28. 28. Finally… a resource for families with teens.Not babies. Not little kids. Teens.Register now and get these free member benefits: • Full access to thousands of local, national and international listings • A monthly newsletter featuring an upcoming calendar and articles tailored to families with teens • Special offers from our partners • Access to “Teen Help-Wanted” listingsTeenLife features activities that families with teens care about, including: Summer Community Gap Year College Independent Jobs & Local Programs Service Programs Admissions Schools Internships Resources www.teenlife.comRegister now! Go to www.teenlife.com and click on “Register.”