Monday, December 2, 2019

Practical Gifts That Students Need or Want

In this holiday gift-giving season, parents often search for ideal gifts that will benefit their teenagers and be appreciated.  Some items fall more into one category than the other.  

An extremely pragmatic item to give your high school child is College Board’s “Official SAT Study Guide.”  It includes eight full-length SAT exams that mirror exactly what you child will face on his/her test day.  Any student who diligently works with this book and understands the correct answers to all of the questions is on track to earn extremely impressive SAT scores – and likely garner serious scholarship money.  An accompanying gift could be College Board’s “Book of Majors,” which explains scores of potential majors and the colleges that offer degrees in each one.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Students Get a Second Chance at “Early Decision”

Many college bound students aim to avoid the stress of waiting all senior year to find out which colleges will accept them.  They apply Early Decision I, meeting a November 1st or November 15th application deadline, and then typically hear back from their college of choice prior to the December holiday break.  If they are accepted, the holidays are a joyful time as they and their families can celebrate that the anxiety-ridden college application process is over.

But, for those students who are turned down by their Early Decision I college, or those who failed to meet the November deadline, all hope is not lost.  Many colleges offer Early Decision II, with a January application deadline and notification in February – close to two months prior to the typical April 1st college response date.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Advance Planning is the Key Ingredient for Success

Students, at all grade levels, should have a game plan for success – knowing what they are going to do, and when they are going to do it, in order to reach their goals.

Young students should try to identify their areas of academic interest and pursue experiences that will help them excel in later years.  For example, students who are passionate about science should join science-themed clubs at school and attend outside programs, year-round, at places throughout New Jersey like The Environmental Education Center, Franklin Mineral Museum, Trailside Nature & Science Center, InfoAge – Science History Learning Center and Museum, and, of course, The Liberty Science Center.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Research Colleges Early To Get Lifelong Benefits

A college investment is one of the largest expenses that most families will face in their lifetime.  Yet many students and parents find themselves choosing an institute of higher learning without doing any serious homework that could help identify best-fit colleges where students could prepare for the career of their dreams, at an affordable cost, with the likelihood of earning an impressive salary over the course of their career.

A good place for families to start their research is at There they will find a College Search database that contains information on more than 2,000 four-year colleges in the United States.  By selecting specific criteria regarding school size, location, availability of on-campus housing, choice of major, and other aspects of college life, students can easily identify colleges that might be a great match.

Monday, November 4, 2019

The Do’s and Don’ts of Student College Debt

The best scenario is for students to avoid, or at least minimize, their college debt.  There are several things that students should, and should not, do to make this a reality.

While in high school, students should seek part-time jobs with companies that they could likely continue to work for in college and that offer tuition reimbursement programs.  Chipotle, for example, will pay back up to $5,250 a year in tuition costs for eligible employees.  McDonald’s offers up to $2,500 a year in tuition assistance to hourly workers.  Starbucks will actually cover the full tuition cost for employees enrolled in Arizona State University’s online program.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Online Surveillance in College Admission Process

While most high school students maintain an active online presence, they often have no idea that colleges are monitoring their actions and “scoring” them accordingly.  

The Washington Post recently reported that admissions officers at the University of Wisconsin installed tracking software on their school website that indicated when a student visited their site, which pages were viewed, and how long the student spent on each page.  Additional information profiling the student was provided, and the student was assigned an “affinity index” estimating his/her likelihood of attending the school, if accepted.

Monday, October 21, 2019

“Early” College App Deadlines Rapidly Approaching

What greater holiday gift is there for a college bound student than to receive a fat acceptance letter, or a congratulatory email, from a college of choice? But in order to have a chance of getting such good news by the holidays, students typically need to submit their college applications by the “early” deadline of November 1st or, in some cases, November 15th.

Students can apply to as many colleges “early action” as they like and, if accepted, they are not required to attend.  This differs from an “early decision” application which can only be submitted to one college and binds the student to attend, if accepted.