What will you do on your Summer Vacation?

A part-time job offers high school students more than a few bucks in the bank. A summer job teaches (among other things) responsibility, reliability, communication skills, and teamwork–all critical to success at college.


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Weighing your options with an objective advocate from Admissions 1

Admissions letters have arrived. Are you and your family weighing your options? Not sure which direction to go? Talk to the Admissions1 Professionals–your objective advocate in the college admissions process.


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Invest in your future this summer.

Summer is just around the corner. For many of you that means sand, surf and snoozing.  While we are all for enjoying time off and relaxing in the sun—summer also provides high school students with great opportunities for a few “mind changing” experiences. For those of you old enough to work, finding a great summer job is invaluable.  It not only gives you insight into the world of work, but also helps develop essential skills for success outside of the classroom.  Paid or unpaid work will provide you with a more clear understanding of  the value of responsibility, reliability and a strong work ethic.  Never discount any job–even if the only thing you learn from working at a fast food joint or as a day camp counselor is that you never want to do these jobs again.  That is valuable information.  Store these tidbits away for when you consider possible career fields.  If you didn’t like working with children or at Mickey D’s when you were a teenager, what has changed that may interest you in these career fields now?  A job can give you a glimpse into a particular career, nudge you in a direction or help you steer clear of certain vocations.  Another thing to remember is that college admission officers take your work experiences into consideration regardless of whether it is flipping burgers or filing law reports. Other ways to make the most of your summer vacation is to “test drive” careers you find interesting by working or volunteering in that particular career. A first stop should be your high school guidance office to learn more about available internship opportunities. Remember, college for many is a short four year “gig” but you will be working for decades. So discovering a career that is both interesting and challenging to you will help create a more satisfying, rewarding and happier life. Combining work with academic pursuits may help you discover new and interesting parts of yourself.  Many colleges and universities have programs for high school students in a variety of academic areas such as engineering, writing, science or the fine arts. It is a great way for a student to discover if a school is a good fit by attending a summer program and living on campus.  Living in a dorm inBoston,New YorkCity orWashington,DCcan help you decide whether spending four years at an urban university is the right...
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Juniors: Five Items for your ‘to-do’ list

If you are a Junior in high school you don’t need us to tell you that with the end of spring break and the opening of your final marking period–the college exploration process is in full swing.   Here is a short list of ‘to-do’ items that you should take care of before the end of the year.  1) Teacher Recommendations Teachers with a reputation for writing great recommendations get booked early.  Think about who you would like to write a letter supporting your application (remember some schools ask for two teacher recommendations) and ASK that teacher before the end of the school year.  As you consider the best person for the job, remember that the best teacher to ask is not always the one who gave you the easy ‘A’.  You should select a teacher that knows your best work and who has challenged you intellectually.  If you are applying to a math or science program, you might be required to have a recommendation from a math or science teacher.  Additionally, if you plan to apply to schools that ask for more than one teacher recommendation, ask teachers from different subject areas so that your recommendations represent assessments of different skill sets.  2) Standardized Tests Devise a test taking strategy.  If you have already taken the SAT and are not ‘in love’ with your scores, take the ACT –the same is true if you have already taken the ACT.  You do not have to take an expensive prep class to do your best.  There are some low cost and free options which can help you.  Check out the College Board and ACT websites and www.number2.com  for some free and low cost options.  Becoming more familiar with these tests, will help you perform at your best.  You should plan on taking each of these exams no more than two times each.  If you are considering a test prep company you should be know all the facts.  Take a look at this article for some more information  3) Academic and Professional Goal Setting Spend some time exploring the majors and career paths that you might consider for your own future.  There are many avenues you should follow as you research your interests.  We have listed some ideas below: Speak with adults you know who are in a particular field or studied an academic area in which you are interested. Look...
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38 Minutes

38 Minutes is about the time it takes to complete a yoga dvd to practice the cello to prepare a pasta dinner to give the dog a really good walk to write a good blog post And (according to Counseling and College Counseling In America’s High Schools by Professor Patricia M. McDonough UCLA Department of EducationUniversity of California,  January 2005 ) 38 minutes is about the average amount of time that high school students meet with their guidance counselors to discuss the college selection process.  Yes, you read that correctly, 38 minutes. Don’t get me wrong, there are many dedicated, smart, and knowledgeable high school guidance counselors all over the United States.  But they are trying to hold back the tide. According to the most recent statistics from the National Center for Education Statistics Study: High School Guidance Counseling, the average ratio of students to guidance counselors in the United States is 315 students per 1 guidance counselor.   These are already impossible ratios.  With the challenging fiscal realities school districts are currently facing, these ratios are not going to get any better.  In fact, they will probably get worse. A public education at a SUNY (State University of New York) 4-year institution can cost more than $80,000 for four years and a private education can cost more than $200,000 for four years.  Families should invest more time exploring higher education and professional options than they do watching an episode of Grey’s Anatomy each week. By spending time, effort, and some money, you and your student will have an action plan which considers academic, professional, and affordability goals.  We encourage students and families to spend time upfront during the exploration phase of the college selection process so that they are focused on where to apply and poised to make great decisions about where to...
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We have busted the myths, now some facts

Admissions facts that stand the test of time. 1.      There are no guarantees. Even if you have a perfect score on the SAT or the ACT along with a 4.0 GPA–you are not guaranteed a place at your first choice institution.  Look at this example: 83% of high school valedictorians that applied to Princeton University in 2010 were rejected (see Princeton’s data here).  That is a hard fact! 2.      Critical and changing unknowns. Schools have their own agenda.  Their goal is to populate a community.  Remember, this is not just a numbers game.  Admissions is a balance of selecting students who fit the academic profile of the school and will bring to campus a rich variety of academic and co-curricular interests.  Applicants cannot possibly know what a school is looking for over time.  For example, a school might have just decided to increase biology majors or received a grant to increase the number of cellists.  As you can see the list can go on and change all the time. 3.      Competitive process. Remember all those valedictorians applying to Princeton?  Talk about competition.  Additionally, more students are applying to more schools (colleges) which increases the competition at all schools.  Many of our clients’ parents are surprised to learn how competitive the New York State system (SUNY) of colleges and universities have become.  It is not your parents SUNY any more! 4.      Costly investment–you know this.  The cost of higher education increases every year.  This is a big investment in your future.  You will spend a lot of time and money on your undergraduate education.  It makes sense to spend some time exploring your options and making good choices. Because there are many critical facts about the college selection process that applicants cannot control, we advise focusing on the things you can control.  It makes sense to spend time exploring your academic, professional, and co-curricular interests during your sophomore and junior year of high school.  Find out what you want out of your undergraduate education.  This effort will help you to focus and engage in the college selection process. 5. The pay off is priceless–if you spend time, effort, and possibly some money now during the exploration phase–you will reap the benefits of this investment when you are completing your applications. This will allow you to focus on the schools to which you will ultimately apply.  And once your hear back from schools you will be in a better position to compare your options and make the best decision for you. Let the exploration...
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