Friday, December 18, 2015

Navigating Ivy League Admissions

This podcast speaks to the student seeking admission to a selective school. There are some excellent points made about the selection process and it's worth a listen!

Art and Design Contest

Talented artists can will $50,000 for their school's art department:

Registration opens January 4th.

Monday, December 14, 2015

New Scholarships Posted

YMCA: 12/21/15!

MLK Essay Contest: 1/11/16

Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of the Jersey Shore: 2/29/16

Under Monmouth County Scholarships:

Friday, December 11, 2015

Design Academy Open House

Seniors and Course Change Requests

There is a Course Add/Drop Request under the Forms tab on this blog. However, seniors who are requesting course changes for semester two must provide documentation of course change notification from the colleges and universities considering them for admission.

Although each college has a different procedure, this is part of a recent email I received from UNC:

Monday, November 16, 2015

College Planning and the Class of 2017

The class of 2017 should be aware of the following changes regarding college planning:

  1. TESTING: The new SAT will be administered beginning in March 2016.  Khan Academy provides free test prep ( Additional information about the New SAT is available here:

  1. ADMISSIONS: The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success ( announced a plan to reverse a process by which colleges have, largely through the Common Application, made their applications increasingly similar. Eighty colleges ( are creating a platform for new online portfolios for high school students. The idea is to encourage ninth graders begin thinking more deeply about what they are learning or accomplishing in high school, to create new ways for college admissions officers, community organizations and others to coach them, and to help them emerge in their senior years with a body of work that can be used to help identify appropriate colleges and apply to them. Organizers of the new effort hope it will minimize some of the disadvantages faced by high school students without access to well-staffed guidance offices or private counselors. Rutgers, one of our most popular schools, is part of the Coalition. (I condensed some of this wording from here:

  1. FINANCIAL AID: The Obama Administration announced that changes will be coming to the FAFSA as of next year. One change, deemed Prior-Prior, will allow families to report tax information from two years ago. This will also allow students and their families to fill out the FAFSA form earlier than ever before (the FAFSA will be available in October, as opposed to January of the student’s senior year) in hopes to have their financial aid packages before making college decisions.

Student Athletes and the NEW SAT

Tisch Summer High School Program in Game Design

Games hold the power to educate, entertain, and move us.

New York University Tisch School of the Arts will be offering an exciting program in Game Design for high school sophomores and juniors through the Tisch Summer 2016 High School Program.

The intensive program offered through the NYU Game Center teaches students the creative and technical skills of digital game development. Students take three classes: Game Literacy, Game Design Workshop, and Game Development Workshop. With a hands-on approach to teaching, the workshop covers the various skills and disciplines that are brought together in modern game development: game design, programming, visual art, animation, sound design, and writing.

At the end of the four-week residential program, students will have six college credits and the overall skills of project management and creative collaboration that are crucial for successful game development.

Prior experience in the arts is not required. Students must submit the program application no later than January 13, 2016. A limited number of full, need-based scholarships are also available. The scholarship application and all supporting materials are also due January 13. Please visit our website for full admissions details.

Additional areas of professional training in the Tisch Summer High School Program include Drama, Dramatic Writing, Filmmaking, Photography and Imaging, and Recorded Music.

Questions regarding the program, admissions requirements, or scholarships should be directed to the Tisch Office of Special Programs at 212-998-1500 or

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Scholarship Guide for Busy Parents

I came by this information when I was listening to a podcast on financial aid (which I recommend highly:

I was impressed enough to follow the link to and found not only some informative podcasts, but a link to scholarship information for busy parents. (Full disclosure: I only listened to the introduction and did not yet order the free videos. I was just that impressed with Brad Baldridge.)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Rutgers Camden Cut Tuition Costs or Eliminate it Completely

New Jersey: Rutgers-Camden to Cut Tuition Costs in Half, Eliminate it Completely for Some Students

"New Jersey students who may not have considered applying for college because of financial constraints could have their tuition costs completely waived or reduced by half through a program being offered by Rutgers University-Camden," NJ 101.5 reports.
"The 'Bridging the Gap' program is open to students who are graduating from high school in 2016 and who are U.S. citizens and residents of New Jersey. It’s only available to those who plan to attend Rutgers Camden next fall.
'Bold moves are necessary to counter the real debt challenges that face college graduates across the nation. This Rutgers–Camden initiative is an innovative response that is structured to help ensure that every New Jersey student and family seeking a world-class Rutgers education can do so right here in South Jersey,' Rutgers–Camden Chancellor Phoebe A. Haddon said in a press release on the school’s website (
How does 'Bridging the Gap work?'
  • Families with an adjusted gross income of $60,000 or less will receive a grant that covers all of their tuition costs as well as the general campus fee.
  • Families with an AGI of $60,001 to $100,000 will receive a grant covering 50 percent of their remaining tuition and the general campus fee once any other grants are applied.
  • In addition, students who have student loan debt during and after graduating from Rutgers-Camden will see a reduction or elimination of this debt.
  • Since participation in the program is need-based, completion of the FAFSA is mandatory.
  • The grant is not transferable to other schools or Rutgers campuses.
  • Students in the program must be in good academic standing and maintain at least 30 college credits per year."

Volunteer Opportunity - Monmouth Beach

Our next host week starts the evening of Sunday, November 22 through Sunday morning, November 29.   We are reaching out to you a few weeks early this time because Thanksgiving falls during this week and we want to be sure that we have enough help that night.  Please respond to this email if you are able to do any of the jobs this week but especially if you are able to help on Thanksgiving evening.

While our partnership with Grace Christian Church reduces our overall time commitment (Grace Christian Church covers Friday and Saturday evening as well as Saturday morning breakfast).  We still need lots of help on our host nights Sunday through Thursday.  We also need up with set up and breakdown on both Sunday mornings.  

In addition to our adult volunteers, we encourage young adults in grades 7 and up to help with Family Promise.  The children really like being with our young people.  And, it's a great way to earn volunteer service hours for Confirmation, Junior National Honor Society, or for college apps.  It is important for these young adults to sign up for a specific evening so we know who is coming and how many.  We can only have 3 or 4 young people each evening.
Family Promise Volunteer Jobs
  • meal preparation volunteers deliver food at 5:55pm and stay to dine with the guests (optional)  - 3 adults for each evening
  • evening hosts arrive at 6:25pm and are relieved at 8:30pm - 2 adults and 2-3 student volunteers
  • overnight volunteers arrive at 8:30pm - leave by 7am - 2 adults
  • pick up supplies - the sign up sheet will now include a list of items so that you can choose what you would like to bring

Virtual College Planning Summit

Free SAT/ACT Practice Test

On Sunday, November 15, 2015, there will be a Free New SAT/ACT Combo Practice Test held by Kaplan Test Prep to help students decide between the New SAT or ACT. The practice test will be held at Monmouth University , 400 Cedar Ave. West Long Branch, NJ 07764; Bey Hall Young Auditorium , 10:00AM-2:00PM. Please visit to sign up today. Space is limited!!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Changes to the College Application Process for the Class of 2017

Although the college application process is a new experience each individual high school junior, a lot of change is happing that is new and impacts the class of 2017. This information may be important to parents who just went through this with an older sibling or a junior getting planning advice from alumni:

  • More details have emerged about the new SAT, which debuts just in time for juniors to take this coming March—but those taking the test won’t get the results for at least six weeks.

  • Juniors filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid will be able to do so in October of their senior year, while this year’s seniors have to wait until January to do so. In addition, juniors will be able to use tax information that’s already been filed with the IRS, making it much easier to apply for federal help for college.

  • A group of colleges that includes some of the most selective US institutions have formed a coalition that will offer its own application for admission next year, a move that will first affect—you guessed it—the juniors. 

(Side note: Rutgers is part of the coalition mentioned above.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Volunteer Opportunity

Answering that Awkward Question: "Where Else Are You Applying?"

Mobile App Coming this Fall for Common Application Users

Support for Grieving Children

Colleges that Provide Full and Nearly Full Tuition Scholarships

National College Fair Registration Information

Atlantic City National College Fair
Lead Retrieval will again be available to students and colleges at the fair.  All the colleges participating in the fair will have a scanner.  
Students attending the fair are STRONGLY encouraged, prior to arriving to the fair, to go online and register their information to receive a bar code that they will print out and bring with them to the fair. The colleges can scan the bar code and send students information, instead of filling out a card.

The website to register is: 

Please encourage your students and their parents of this process.

We look forward to seeing you and your students at the fair!

Fair Details:

Atlantic City Convention Center
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
9:00 am to 12:00 pm;  6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Rutgers Visual Arts Department Open House

Mason Gross School of the Arts
Open House
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Undergraduate info sessions: 10:30 or 12:30
Portfolio reviews
Undergraduate exhibition on view
Guided tours of Visual Arts facilities

Register: or call 848-932-5210

Monday, September 28, 2015

Rutgers School of Engineering Tour Dates

The Rutgers School of Engineering (SoE) welcomes all prospective students and their parents to visit our campus. The following dates during the fall 2015 semester have been reserved for visits by high school students:

Friday, September 25, 1:15 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Friday, October 9, 1:15 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Monday, October 12, 1:15 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. (Columbus Day)
Friday, October 16, 1:15 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Friday, October 23, 1:15 p.m.- 4:00 p.m.
Friday, October 30, 1:15 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, November 5, 1:15 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. (NJEA Conference)
Friday, November 6, 1:15 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (NJEA Conference)
Friday, November 13, 1:15 p.m.- 4:00 p.m.

We encourage our guests to start their Rutgers visit at the Visitor Center for a 10 a.m. Busch Campus Walking Tour, which will be followed by an Admissions Information Session at 12 p.m. Afterwards, our guests may walk or drive to the School of Engineering just a short distance away by 1:15 p.m. The SoE tour will include a brief discussion led by one of our deans about the school and its admissions requirements. The presentation will be followed by two department tours. The visit will conclude with a Q&A session with one of our engineering student ambassadors.

Department options include one of the following:
  1. Biomedical & Applied Science/Packaging
  2. Chemical/Biochemical & Materials Science
  3. Civil/Environmental & Electrical/Computer
  4. Mechanical/Aerospace & Industrial Systems
For more information about how to register for our tours, please visit:

College Planning Symposium

Thursday, September 17, 2015

FREE College Planning Workshop

College Admissions - Secrets and Strategies: A Free College Planning Workshop is coming to our area:

Wednesday, October 28
Brookdale Community College
Lincroft, 6:30 p.m.

Register today because space is limited: 732-938-1035 or email

Service Academy Day

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

U.S. Service Academy Day - Save the Date

Aslan Youth Ministries Summer Volunteer Opportunities

Day camps are each two weeks in length, Monday through Friday, from 9:30-1:30, and held in three locations:  Neptune, the weeks of July 6th and July 13th; Long Branch, the weeks of July 20th and 27th; and Red Bank, the weeks of August 3rd and 10th.
Addresses for each camp are as follows:  Neptune--Community Bible Church, 424 Lakewood Rd.; Long Branch, Long Branch Covenant Church, 355 Joline Avenue; and Red Bank, Pilgrim Baptist Church, 172 Shrewsbury Avenue.
We provide 5 hours of community service time for each day of service.  We prefer at least a one week commitment from our volunteers.  So that would mean they would accrue 25 volunteer hours.  
Children range in age from 5-15.  We have programming 3 of the five days which may include arts and crafts, sports, art, music, dance.  We take the children on field trips two of the days.  Volunteers may serve as counselors, teachers and assistants, chaperones.  
Janis Marler, MSW, LSW
Volunteer Coordinator
Aslan Youth Ministries
Red Bank, NJ  07701
732-741-7824 office

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Brookdale College Fair

All interested Students and Parents,

The Monmouth County Guidance Directors will be sponsoring their spring College Fair on Thursday, April 23from 6:30-8:30pm. It will be held at the Brookdale Community College Collins Arena.  Admission decision-makers from almost 200 colleges will be attending:

ROB FRANEK, author of The Best 379 Colleges and recently featured on NBC’s“TODAY” television show, is coming to the Monmouth County College Fair as part of his national speaking tour. His seminar, Navigating the College Admissions Process, begins at 5:45 in the Brec Room, adjacent to the Collins Arena. See event flier:

With so many colleges in attendance and a seminar by Rob Franek, this is a program that cannot be missed.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

An Insider's Look at the New SAT

Attention Parents of Sophomores: Gain An Insider's Look at the New SAT

Catalyst Prep (, which provides customized in-home SAT & ACT prep as well as weekend Bootcamps, recently hosted a senior representative from the College Board for a private, insider's look at the new SAT. Join Catalyst Founder & CEO, Jared Friedland, on Monday, April 20th or Tuesday, April 28th, for a free online presentation about the new SAT. Jared will share the insights we gained during our meeting with the College Board and discuss how current sophomores, who will be the first class to take the new SAT, can begin preparing to master the test. Space is limited; please call today to sign up for one of our evening sessions. To sign up for this free online presentation, call 800.235.0056 or email, and one of Catalyst's Program Advisors will be happy to reserve your spot.