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.

Seton Hall University Open House

Dear School Counselor,
Now's the time for your students to think about college and Seton Hall's Open House on October 16, 2016 or November 20, 2016!
I usually don't post open house information in fairness to colleges. However, we have an articulation agreement with Seton Hall University and if you have purchased (or plan to purchase) Seton Hall credits through CHS, your interest in Seton Hall University could result in significant savings in tuition, room and board. The open house would be a good opportunity to ask the question, "if I transferred in with (3-16) credits, would I be able to knock a semester (year?) off of my undergraduate education?"

Documentary at RBR High School on November 1st

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Fairleigh Dickinson's Creative Arts Discover Your Major Day

Fairleigh Dickinson University will be hosting our Creative Arts Discover Your Major Day onNovember 5! This is the perfect event for your students to explore FDU’s innovative arts programs.
When: Saturday, November 5, 9:00 a.m.
Where: FDU's Florham Campus in Madison, NJ
Students taking part in our program will:
  • Participate in workshops in creative writing, film, animation, graphic design and video game animation—and produce projects alongside our award winning faculty.
  • Learn about unique FDU events including WAMFest (Words and Music Festival) and the Images Student Arts Festival.
  • Enjoy lunch with our creative arts faculty and current FDU students.
We encourage you to share this information with your class. Students can register online or call Joanne Chirico at 973.443.8900. You are also welcome to attend!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

College Planning Workshop and Video Contest

Sustainable Development Challenge for High School Students

Do your students want to make a difference in the world while winning a scholarship and cash prize?
Seton Hall's Sustainable Development Challenge is designed to engage high school students in thinking about the needs of society and the planet. We encourage students to be an agent of change and embrace the United Nation's 17 Sustainable Development Goals of fighting inequality and injustice and tackling climate change by 2030.
Ten finalists will be selected in late March to present their ideas onFriday, April 21 at Seton Hall (in person or via skype) and winning prizes will be as follows:
1st Place Winner: $2,500 cash prize, plus a $10,000 scholarship to attend Seton Hall University ($2,500 annually).
2nd Place Winner: $1,000 cash prize, plus a $6,000 scholarship to attend Seton Hall University ($1,500 annually).
All other Finalists will receive a $4,000 scholarship to attend Seton Hall University ($1,000 annually).
How to Enter
To enter students must submit a 300-500 word statement addressing their thoughts and ideas about how they can be part of the solution and raise awareness or effect change related to one of the UN goals.
To learn more or submit an entry visit
Sunday, March 12, 2017
All high school sophomores, juniors and seniors
All students who submit an idea are invited to the presentations and will also be invited to a congratulatory reception on campus immediately following the event where they will meet with Seton Hall faculty and community members who are experts in the fields of international affairs and sustainable development.
Encourage your students to enter and take a step towards making a change!

Friday, October 7, 2016

College Rankings

This is a good example of how college rankings differ based on what is being evaluated.

Although most of the time the selective, elite colleges are at the top of the list, my advice is not to take college rankings on face value. Look at who is doing the ranking and what criteria the school is being ranked on.

Applying to U Penn's Engineering Integrated Studies Program? Read This.

Visit Seton Hall

Now's the time for your students to think about college and Seton Hall's Open House on October 16, 2016 or November 20, 2016!

Applying to Brandeis? Read This.

As we turn the page on the beginning of another school year, I wanted to share with you more information about the variety of scholarship and fellowship opportunities Brandeis offers that are available for your students.

Every year, outstanding students are selected to receive one of our merit awards, which range in value from $10,000 to $17,500 annually. Additionally, students may be interested in our highly selective fellowship programs for those who excel in the scienceshumanities and music.

As your students start to work on their college applications, I encourage you to learn more about our offerings, and I hope you will share this information with them as they are refining their college lists. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Stop Hunger Now Event in Eatontown on November 5th Seeking Volunteers

I hope you'll be able to join me on Saturday, November 5, for the "Stop Hunger Now" event in Eatontown. Please share the below information with anyone whom you feel may be interested. It really is such a great event. Children are welcome to participate with you, but need to be over age 5 (and preferably over age 8).

Below are excerpts from the flyer on the event:
"Every day 25,000 people die from hunger and hunger-related causes, yet there is enough food to feed everyone in the world 3500 calories a day. Poverty, hunger and lack of education are contributors to social unrest and global terror. Yet sadly, there is an acceptance that absolute poverty and day-to-day life of basic survival is normal.

The 'Stop Hunger Now' event is a program developed by Rotary, an international organization whose motto is 'Service Above Self.' Working together for those who cannot feed themselves increases our awareness and gratitude for the prosperity we enjoy and the capability we have to serve. Helplessness over the enormity of suffering disappears when we are provided a way to give." 
"Stop Hunger Now" is an event that is occurring nationwide. At the event on November 5, Rotaries from Monmouth County and their volunteer friends will be coming together at the Eatontown Center for Vocational Rehabilitation to collectively help orphaned children living in poverty, working together to end hunger.

The event includes packaging of an anticipated 20,088 meals for children in orphanages connected with schools in poverty stricken areas. Each volunteer will be part of an assembly line, putting a scoop of grain, beans, etc into a bag, making the equivalent of one meal with each filled bag, that will be vacuum sealed and flown that evening to the orphanage(s). We won't know the exact site of where the food is being sent until about 5 weeks after the event but it sounds like they will be going to orphanages in the Caribbean. The Rotary also seeks donations for the event (each bag is only 29 cents), but monetary donations are not required to volunteer; donations are tax deductible. We are hopeful that there will be at least 40-80 volunteers per 2 hour volunteer shift. The 2 shifts are 9-11 and 11-1. (I'll be there for both shifts.) A certificate of volunteer completion can be provided if needed.

To register for the event, you need to go to
If you or your child's school has any additional questions about the event, please feel free to call Diane Rotondelli at(732) 740-7428. Diane is the Rotary Governor Elect and overseeing the program throughout NJ.

The location of the event is the Center for Vocational Rehabilitation. It's located on Meridien Road in Eatontown, right off of Industrial Way. There should be coffee and bagels in the morning. 107.1 (radio station) will be there for the 2nd shift, to help cheer the volunteers on.
I hope you'll be able to join me me. It's such a nice thing to do for children who don't have loving families and are living in poverty, and doesn't cost anything to help the lives of so many except just 2 hours of your time.

SAT/ACT Conversion

I have been getting questions about SAT (new and old) and how the scores convert to ACT. I was impressed with this conversion tool on the PrepScholar blog.

Aslan Youth Ministries Volunteer Opportunity

We are less than 4 weeks away from our BIG FUND RAISER--"Beauty and the Beach 5 Mile Run/Walk for Women (and girls of course)."  We are looking for girls of any age (must be at least 8) to run or walk the 5 miles.  Girls may decide to do it solo, thinking of those who may be doing it to surpass their best time (those on track, etc.), or they might decide to create small groups which is always a blast.  Last year we had all sorts of small groups who wore different color tee shirts and hats.  Lots of fun! 
In addition, we need volunteers to help out the day of the run to do such things as man water stops, serve as course marshals (they need to be teens), or hand out medals at the finish line.  We also need help several days before the race to stuff and hand out runners packets.  All those interested should visit to register.  Runners as well as volunteers may register there.  If anyone has any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.
The run takes place on Sunday, October 30th, beginning at 9:30 am at the Ocean Place Resort and Spa on the Long Branch Promenade.  I am attaching a flyer with all the info.  I hope you will inform your students of this opportunity. 
And thanks to all of you who have so graciously spread the word about our volunteer opportunities in the past.  We have been extremely fortunate to have had wonderful young people serve as tutors, day camp counselors, and at one time events as well.

Janis Marler, MSW, LSW
Volunteer Coordinator
Aslan Youth Ministries
Red Bank NJ 07701
732-741-7824 Office

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Performing Arts College Fair - 10/19/16

The National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) is pleased to announced its New York Performing and Visual Arts College Fair on Wednesday, October 19, 2016  from 6 p.m-9 p.m. at Jacob K. Javitz Convention Center. This program is an important resource for the fine arts students interested in pursuing  undergraduate and graduate programs of study in the areas of music, theatre, dance, visual arts, graphic design, film production, and other related disciplines.

Students will have the opportunity  to speak with representatives from colleges, universities, conservatories, festivals, and other educational institutions with specialized programs in the visual and performing arts. Attendees of these free events will learn about educational opportunities, admission and financial aid, portfolio days, auditions and entrance requirements, and much more. A workshop on Careers and the Performing and Visual Arts, 4 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Room 1D03/1D04 and Navigating the Performing and Visual Arts College Fair, 5 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. Room 1D03/1D04

All participants are encouraged to register prior to attending this event. This will make navigating the fair and collecting information from multiple colleges and universities much easier. By registering, students can print a bar coded confirmation to be used on-site at the fair as an electronic ID. Register prior to attending these events at

Thank you for your support to the PVACF program. For more information, please visit our web site at or call us at(800)822-6285.