Thursday, December 22, 2016

Character, Achievement and College Admissions

This article inspired me to go back and revisit a report that was newsworthy early in 2016:

The Turning the Tides report (click here) , although not mentioned in this article, speaks to the same necessity of changing our focus from achievement to caring.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Thinking about Lebanon Valley College? Full Merit Aid Disclosure.

Lebanon Valley College

We know your students worry about paying for their education. At Lebanon Valley College, we want to make it easier for the student to see his or her specific scholarship amount. We think this makes it easier for the student to make an informed decision.

Learn more and calculate your senior students’ scholarships here. All we need is their GPA and SAT or ACT test scores. We’ll provide you with a quick estimate of how much merit aid they’ll receive.

Click here to send a link directly to your senior students. It will only take 30 seconds for them to get a better idea of the true cost of attending LVC.

Thank you,

Edwin Wright
Vice President of Enrollment Management
Lebanon Valley College

P.S. Lebanon Valley College delivers a transformative education built on the liberal arts. Take a virtual tour of our 350 acre campus.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Applying to UConn? Read This.

A few reminders as we approach application deadlines:
  • Students should complete the FAFSA using prior-prior tax information (2015) between October 1 and UConn’s priority filing deadline of March 1 for maximum aid consideration. Students will be notified of any awards of financial aid in mid-March.
  • UConn will accept both the old and new SAT formats however, we will not superscore (combine the highest score from each exam section) between the old and new SAT. We will continue to superscore multiple exams received in same SAT format.
  • SAT/ACT scores must be sent officially from the testing agency. Scores listed on the student transcript will not be considered as part of the application.
  • UConn Stamford Campus will offer a brand new 300-bed residence hall beginning Fall 2017. 

Understanding PSAT Reports

PSAT scores will be available on the College Board website on Monday, December 12th.

On  December 13th at 7pm, Catalyst's Founder & CEO, Jared Friedland, will be hosting a free interactive webinar on the PSAT. Jared has taken the actual SAT and ACT more than two dozen times (including the redesigned SAT and revised ACT), and has earned over 20 perfect scores in the process. Families can sign up for this free webinar by clicking here!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Pre-College Program at Stevens Institute of Technology

Dear Carol,

Stevens Institute of Technology is proud to announce our 2017 Pre-College Programs for high school students. Offering a world-class educational experience minutes from the most exciting city in the world, Stevens Pre-College allows students to participate in hands-on, project-based learning; experience campus life; visit leading companies; and make their college applications stand out.

Our program offers opportunities to discover New York City both in and out of the classroom. Students learn from Stevens faculty and industry professionals while gaining applied experience in a variety of disciplines. You can find a full list of the programs we offer here.

Stevens Pre-College is geared toward highly motivated, talented high school students. We invite your students to apply to a summer program and submit supporting documents by the February 15 deadline.

We encourage you to share this unique opportunity with your students. You can download an informational poster by clicking here or we invite you to direct interested students to to learn more. If you or interested students have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call our office at (201) 216-3683 or email


Tiffany Onorato
Director of Pre-College Programs
Stevens Institute of Technology

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Governor's School

Communications High School can nominate one student per school as follows:

Governor's School in the Sciences at Drew University
July 9-July 29, 2017

Governor's School of Engineering & Technology at Rutgers University School of Engineering
June 25-July 21, 2017

If you are interested in the school's nomination (and available for the duration of the program), please email your counselor by Monday, December 5th for additional information.

Podcast for College Planning

This podcast is timely as we are meeting with parents and juniors who are beginning the college planning process. Much of it reiterates what we are covering in our planning meetings, but if you want a college consultant's perspective or if you are a parent of a sophomore, it's worth a listen.

Interested in Syracuse? Read This.

Greetings from Syracuse!

We will offer an Early Decision II option for applicants, the deadline for which is January 1. By applying ED II your students will affirm their desire to attend Syracuse University and receive an admission decision notification earlier than if they apply Regular Decision.

Please encourage interested students to apply ED II and contact us if they have any questions. If a student has already applied to Syracuse Regular Decision they may send us an e-mail to indicate their wish to be considered for Early Decision II. They will also need to submit the ED Agreement.
If there's anything we can do to assist as you or your students, please don't hesitate to contact us at or 315-443-3611.


Maurice A. Harris, Ph.D.
Dean of Admissions

Friday, November 18, 2016

Applying to Rutgers? Read This.

While our early action application due date has passed, we are now busy preparing for our regular action due date of December 1. Students seeking full consideration for merit scholarships, honors programs, and the Honors College should apply no later than this date. Regular action applicants have until December 15 to submit their Self-Reported Academic Record (SRAR), test scores, and application fee or fee waiver, and can expect to receive our decisions by the end of February. Please note that the recommended priority filing date for the FAFSA is also December 1.

We’ve created a fun animated video to help your students with the Rutgers application process. With everything from completing the Self-Reported Academic Record (SRAR) to writing the essay, this video will address some of the basic questions that arise when completing our application. Please make sure to share this with your students as they prepare their applications for our December 1due date.

Current high school students are required to self-report their courses and grades using our Self-Reported Academic Record (SRAR). However, we understand that you may still receive pressure from parents/students to mail a copy of the high school transcript. Please explain to parents that mailing the high school transcript only slows our processing time and does not facilitate our review of their students' applications. Completion of the SRAR is the only (and most efficient) way for students to provide Rutgers with their complete high school record.


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

NYU 3-Minute Video on How to Fill Out the Common Application

We know applying to colleges can be overwhelming for your students, so we want to try to make the process is as simple as possible. We've created a quick 3-minute explainer video on how to fill out the Common Application. 
We hope you can use this as a resource when talking with your students about applying for college.
Our application deadline is January 1st. Students can visit our website for step-by-step instructions on completing the application and applying for financial aid
Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions!
Shawn L. Abbott
Dean of Admissions

Monday, November 14, 2016

Applying to Northeastern University? Read This.

Dear Counselor,

Greetings from Boston! Now that we have passed the November 1 deadlines for Early Decision and Early Action, I wanted to provide you with a brief update. We’ve seen growth in both applicant pools—with a 12% increase in Early Action and a 7% increase in Early Decision. Needless to say, we are working tirelessly to complete files and evaluate applications, and we anticipate these will be two very competitive rounds of admission selection. In addition, I’d like to share a few items on the horizon here at Northeastern.
  • For the first time, we asked students on the application for their preference about whether they would like to participate in The Program, our first-year global experience. We’re eager to have this context as we make decisions, although a student’s preference does not guarantee a decision that matches that preference.
  • Similar to the past few years, students in the ED pool may receive offers of admission for Fall 2017 and The Program, as we remain committed to providing these students with a final decision at this time. For students admitted to The Program, their decision will be non-binding with a May 1 deposit deadline.
  • This year we will also offer a small pilot of EA admission offers to The Program, along with those receiving an offer of admission for Fall 2017. We have seen great results with this approach at ED as students have more time to consider the offer of admission.
Students who applied Early Decision will be notified electronically of their admissions decision by December 15th, and those applying Early Action will be notified by December 31st.

My team is eager to assist you and your students throughout this process. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 617.373.2200touch base with your Admissions representative, or Tweet your question to @NUAdmissions with #askNUAdmission.

Warm regards,
Elizabeth Cheron
Associate Dean of Admissions
Office of Undergraduate Admissions

Applying to Syracuse University? Read This.

Application Deadlines

Early Decision: November 15
Regular Decision: January 1
For students applying to the College of Visual and Performing for programs in music, drama, art, design, and transmedia, you may refer to the audition and portfolio submission deadlines.
For students applying to the School of Architecture, you may refer to the portfolio submission deadlines.
As a reminder, students may select up to three college/program choices on their application. Once a student submits their application they will receive instructions on how to check their application status online to ensure all required items are received. They will also receive notification once their application is complete.

Warning Signs that Your Child is Applying to the Wrong College

Samuel M. Feeney is a College Life Coach who spoke on a podcast I enjoy called Taming the High Cost of College. He published this free resource for parents that I found insightful and I thought I would share:

Five Warning Signs

Friday, November 4, 2016

Applying to the UC System? Read This.

Please encourage your students to join us for one of our online events in November. This will be an excellent chance to view presentations and engage with Admissions officers to get questions answered.
All event times are U.S. Pacific Standard Time (time zone converter).
Wednesday, November 9, 20164-6 p.m. PSTUC Admissions & Application Overview
Tuesday, November 22, 20164-6 p.m. PSTUC Application: Last-Minute Questions Chat

Registration and More Information

We hope to hear from your students soon at one of our online events!

Monday, October 31, 2016

No Letting Go Film Invitation

Test Preparation Information Session

On Wednesday November 2, RFH welcomes test prep expert and founder of Catalyst Prep, Jared Friedland.
We all hear so much conflicting information regarding standardized college admission testing. What is the appropriate testing timeline? What are the real differnces between SAT and ACT? How does a student decide which test, if any, to take? Are there strategies to testing?
Students, YOU are the test takers, so please join us for an interesting and informative conversation with a testing expert.
Parents: In your role as their biggest supporters throughout the college selection and application process, you need to understand all the realities of the admission testing process.
Event Date/ Time: Wednesday, November 2, 7pm
Event Location: RFH Library  Location changed to : RFH Auditorium
You are also invited to submit questions in advance that you would like asked.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Have You Demonstrated a Commitment to Volunteerism?

Please see your counselor by November 1st if you have a dedicated, proven commitment to community service. CHS may nominate only one student.

New Jersey College Rankings

I always encourage students to seek what New Jersey can offer in postsecondary opportunities. NJ provides an excellent, affordable option for college-seeking seniors.

This unscientific rank of NJ schools will hopefully get an in-state college somewhere on your working list.

Why Honor an ED Agreement?

US News published an article on early decision and articulated why a student should abide by the binding agreement. It's a small world in academia, and colleges and high schools have relationships and conversations that you should be aware of before entering into a ED contract. The article states:

"If, for instance, they found out a student somehow had applied to two different places early decision, or even another early action and the student had broken the early decision agreement, Nesbitt says they'd call the other schools and the student would risk losing both acceptances."

The full article can be found here.

Article About Acceptance Rates and Increasing Your Chances for Admission by Applying Early

Applying to George Mason University? Read This.

I wanted to e-mail you this morning to remind you that George Mason University's non-binding Early Action application deadline is November 1, which is ONLY A FEW DAYS AWAY. If your students have not yet done so, please ask them to complete and submit their applications to Mason today. Don't forget that Mason's Application is available via the Common Application.
Ask Your Students to Apply
To Mason Today

Please remind your students that November 1st is the deadline to be considered for the Honors College, University Scholars Program, and merit-based scholarships. I don't want your students to miss out on these amazing opportunities because they missed the deadline. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Applying to Columbia? Read This.

Revised Testing Requirements
We have revised our standardized testing requirements in order to increase flexibility for students. Columbia no longer requires SAT Subject Tests or the writing section on either the SAT or ACT exam. Starting this year, ACT test-takers with multiple sittings will be assessed based on their best result in each individual section (“superscoring”). We will also continue to superscore the SAT. We hope that these new testing policies will reduce anxiety surrounding the application process by allowing each student to put the best foot forward in the application process.
Two Application Options
Additionally, this year students have two options to apply to Columbia: the Common Application and the Coalition Application. Columbia does not have a preference for one application over the other, but students should submit only one complete application, including supporting materials. We have purposely made both applications mirror each other for student and counselor ease. 
Updated Columbia-Specific Application Questions
In order to encourage more meaningful self-reflection, we have changed two of our Columbia-specific application questions. Where we used to ask what extracurricular activity applicants were most proud of, we are now asking what aspect of the Columbia community they most want to impact, shifting the focus from individual achievement to community. And where we once asked what applicants found most appealing about Columbia, we are instead asking what they most value about Columbia, looking to get more information about a student’s character. We hope the new wording signals Columbia’s commitment to a holistic consideration of how each individual may fit into our community.
Financial Aid Outreach
For many students and families, college affordability is a primary concern, and we continue to strive to assist families with the financial aid application and educational financing process. We recently overhauled our financial aid eligibility letter for admitted students in order to help families more easily understand their net price. We are also introducing enhanced outreach to students to help them navigate the earlier availability of the FAFSA and CSS Profile financial aid applications. Columbia’s Early Decision financial aid application deadline will remain November 15, but we have moved our Regular Decision financial aid application deadline to February 15, so that we will have more time to work with students through the application process.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Applying to Seton Hall? Read This.

I always appreciate schools with full disclosure so we know going in what numbers are needed for tuition discounts:

Seton Hall recently announced the continuation of our Public Tuition Rate Program which helps make a first-rate, private Catholic education as affordable as a public school education by reducing our tuition nearly 60% for qualified students.
To qualify for this rate students must:
  • Have a minimum of a 28 ACT composite score or combined 1250 (old) 1310 (new) SAT with no less than 550 M (old) 570 (new) and 550 CR (old) 610 ERW (new)
  • Be in the top 10 percent of their high school class
  • Apply by December 15
If you'd like further information please check our website.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Applying to Rutgers? Read This.

Our online application has an Early Action Application Due Date of November 1 and a Regular Action Application Due Date of December 1st for fall first-year applicants. Students who submit their required credentials within two weeks of the application due date will receive full consideration for admission, scholarships, honors programs, and the Honors College, and be guaranteed a decision by our online posting decision date. Please note that applying to Rutgers by our fall early action date does not restrict students from applying to other schools, and Rutgers' early action decisions are not binding.

Today's problems are complex and transcend any one field of knowledge. At the new Honors College, we're redefining interdisciplinary education by bringing together the highest achievers from the liberal arts and professional schools to live and work together to tackle global issues through social innovation. Students must apply to Rutgers-New Brunswick by December 1 to be considered.Schedule a tour of the Honors College. Email questions to Nicole Baron, Director of Admissions, at

Information about the SRAR:

"There are two choices for semesters because there are two semesters per year. If the applicant took the course in the first half of the year they input the grade in the spot for first semester and leave the second semester blank. If they took the course during the second half of the year they would leave the first semester blank and enter the grade in the second semester grade space. The SRAR does not require that both semesters have a grade in it to save the course"

Engineering Tours
On Friday, November 4 and Friday, November 18 tours begin at 10 a.m. at the Visitor Centerwith an admissions information session, followed by a five-campus bus tour. During the bus tour, families will be able to view one of the first-year residence halls on the Busch Campus. They will also break for lunch (on their own) before heading to the school-specific portion of the day at 1:15 p.m. A detailed itinerary is provided once registered.

On Thursday, November 10 the tour will begin at 1 p.m. at the Visitor Center and will include an Engineering Dean's Overview, Student Panel, and an engineering departmental visit. Again, a detailed itinerary will be provided once registered.

Department options include one of the following:

  • Biomedical & Civil/Environmental
  • Chemical/Biochemical & Materials Science
  • Electrical/Computer & Industrial Systems
  • Mechanical/Aerospace & Applied Science/Packaging

Families can register for these tours while space is available at learn more about the engineering tours, please visit

Applying to Emory University? Read This.

The Emory University Scholar Programs truly seek the best global talent. Giselle F. Martin, Associate Dean, wrote about the values we look for within the Scholar applicant pool.We hope you find it helpful in understanding that merit programs at Emory truly are unique, allowing students to break formulas and take risks in a supportive environment.

Students who want to apply for scholarships

They need to apply by the Scholar Programs deadline ofNovember 15. On the application, answer "Yes" to questions about Scholar Programs consideration.
  • There are no separate application materials to be considered for the Scholar Programs. Counselor nominations are not required.
  • A student can apply Early Decision I, Early Decision II, or Regular Decision.
  • ​​​​​If applying Early Decision I and the Scholar Programs, the application deadline is November 1.
Hear from current Scholars 
  • Current Scholar, Amy Hou, shares how the Scholar community encouraged her to pursue her passions over a business degree
  • Current Scholar, Noam Kantor, shares how his Scholar advisor supported him in completing a Bachelor's and Master's degree in just four years

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Student Borrower Higher Education Lending Protection (“HELP”) Act,

As a school counselor I am moved by stories of families having to repay student loans after tragic events such as the death of a child. Recently a colleague told me about a friend of hers faced with not just a monthly bill, but a monthly reminder of the family's loss.

This information from Congressman Pallone's office came into my inbox today and addresses this issue with the Student Borrower Higher Education Lending Protection Act:

Friday, October 14, 2016

Are You an Educator Whose Child is Applying to McDaniel College? Read This.

Teen Suicide Awareness and Prevention Panel Discussion

Common Application Tips

As many of you know I'm a bit of a podcast junkie. My commute gives me quiet time to focus on professional (and personal) growth and there are some shows that give me insight into the professional lives of other people in related professions.  Getting In: A College Coach Conversation is one such podcast.

The show indicated below is specific to the 2016-2017 Common Application. I field questions for the Common Application regularly, but I rely a lot on the students to sign in to show me where on the application the question arises from.

Some of the things I learned about this years Common Application that I wanted to share are:

  • Students will be asked if they are interested in Scholar Snapp. It's a resource that it best described as a common application for applying to scholarships. As a school counselor, I have wonder how this resource got connected to the Common Application (I don't have the answer.) Go to to determine if you want to participate.
  • Hidden supplemental essays are more common than I realized. For example, Cornell University does not disclose an essay topic until you select which school you will be applying to and the University of Michigan Ross School of Business asks applicants to create a new account before the applicant can see the supplemental essays. Time management is key in applying to college and this is a perfect example of why not to leave a task until the deadline.