Monthly Archives: March 2013

Wait-Listed, Now What?

A waiting list is to help a college not you. It is the school’s safety net. If students who were accepted decide not to attend, they fill those open spots with students from their wait-list to make capacity for the next incoming class.

Here are a couple of things you can do if you are wait-listed:

-Focus on the colleges that have sent you acceptance letters.
-Take the wait-list school out of your equation.
-Keep in mind that colleges do not admit from the wait list until after the May 1st decision deadline has passed.
-Fill out paperwork and send in your deposit to another school.

If you are accepted into the school that has you on their wait-list, your deposit to the other institution will have to be forfeited. So, I always recommend to not count on that wait-list and to focus on the “Accepted” pile!

How to Decide Which College To Attend

Congratulations! It’s that time of the year for college admissions letters to arrive. Now you get to make the decision about which school is best for you.

To get a little more information about the colleges you were accepted to, create a list of questions you still have. Here are a few examples:

-How many students return after freshman year?
-How many students graduate in four years?
-What can I do for fun on or around campus?
-Does the college offer many majors that I am interested in?
-What Professors are teaching my major classes?
-What kind of students feel at home at this college?
-What are my aid packages?

You can find answers to these questions by asking people who work at the college, current students or simply get online and look at the college’s official website. You might want to ask your Guidance Counselor or Educational Consultant about your acceptances. These professionals might know a current student attending your college of interest. Some other things that can help you make a decision are revisiting the campus and reaching out to the Admissions person in your area.

This is a time that I encourage lists! Be sure to write down your thoughts, feelings, pro and cons about each school. Ask yourself how you felt when you were on campus during your visit, which college best matches your academic profile and your social needs? Which college can you imagine yourself being happy and successful?

Next, compare each school’s financial aid awards. Talk with your family about which school works best financially and about whether you should get a student loan or participate in a work study program. Many colleges expect a final decision from you by May 1st, so use your time wisely over the next few weeks to make your decision.

If you don’t send in your deposit to your choice on time, you could lose your place and have difficulty with your dorm selection. Good luck and congratulations on this next chapter in your life!!

Catholic Colleges Virtual Fair

Last week, the Catholic College Admission Association had a Virtual College Fair where several of the member schools participated in live presentations. The presenters gave great information about school size, what makes them unique and application process tips.
The schools that participated in the fair were:
-University of Dayton
-Manhattan College
-DePaul University
-University of San Diego
-College of New Rochelle
-St. John Fisher College
-The Catholic University of America
-Notre Dame of Maryland University
-Lourdes University

Here are some of the Virtual Fair Highlights:

Manhattan College
-Manhattan College is a four year private Catholic school located in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. It moved from Manhattan in the 1900s to the Bronx location for a campus with more grassy areas and trees. The population of the school is 3000 and class size averages around 20 students.
-Every student has the opportunity to do at least one internship and are encouraged to do so as early as their freshman year. Since the college is 30 minutes from Manhattan, many students complete internships there for half of the day and spend the rest of the day back at the campus in classes. Two internships may be completed for academic credit.
-Manhattan College is also known for their Career Development Center where students can get help and tips on developing resumes, job interview preparation and where to find jobs.
-Students also have the opportunity to participate in the Mentor Program where a college faculty member reaches out to alumni in the student’s area of interest. Many students have the same mentor for all four years at Manhattan College. Mentors give advice and may allow the student to visit their jobs. Mentors can be a lot of help in the career search after graduation.
-The Study Abroad program at Manhattan College is very extensive and will let students travel anywhere in the world that is safe. Some popular locations are China, Australia and the UK. Manhattan offers their own programs and classes in many countries such as Spain, France, England and Italy. These programs allow financial aid to transfer. Study abroad is typically a semester long, but Manhattan College also offers a shorter three week program which gives credit for one class.

University of Dayton
-The University of Dayton is a Catholic Institution where they believe in “Education of the Spirit.” They say that their warm, welcoming community is what sets them apart from other universities.
-There are 7300 undergraduate students and average class size is 27 students. There are 200 organizations, clubs and activities that students may participate in and 70 academic programs.
-The University of Dayton has Academic Advisors who meet with students throughout their time at school. They help select classes, create portfolios and set up internships and job interviews.
-Offers Career Services where students can get help with resumes, cover letters, preparing for interviews and learning about college fairs.
-Honors Programs are offered to incoming freshman with an SAT score of 1300 and greater, or an ACT score of 29 and higher; GPA of 3.7 or in the top ten percent of their graduating class. Students may also apply for this program at the end of their freshman year if they have a GPA of 3.5 or greater. The University of Dayton will automatically enter incoming high school students in to this program if they meet the requirements. Some benefits of being a part of the Honors Program are enriched, smaller classes that often have speakers and are discussion based, honors housing opportunities, early registration for classes, designated study space in the library and can apply for grants to study abroad.

DePaul University
-DePaul University is located in downtown Chicago and is the largest Catholic University in the United States. Fifty percent of the 25,000 students who attend the University are Catholic.
-DePaul has over 200 majors and is a Division 1 school. For students who like to get involved, there are over 300 student organizations, clubs and activities to choose from. One neat class that is mandatory for all freshmen is called “Explore Chicago.” Students will learn a great deal about the large city they are studying in, while also receiving college credit.
-DePaul is a two campus school. The downtown campus is for Business and the uptown campus for the Arts. Most student housing in on the uptown campus, but a train system connects campuses to make traveling back and forth manageable.
-When applying, all early action students have the best chance at being considered for acceptance and scholarships. The deadline for early action is November 15th.
The University of San Diego
-The University of San Diego was founded in 1949 by the Archdiocese and Sisters of the Sacred Heart. They believe that “Faith and Reason are compatible in education.”
– Fifty percent of the students are Catholic. Everyone is invited to participate in faith based activities at the University, but not required. Some of the programs for faith are Sunday worship – 2 masses at night so students can sleep later in the morning, Retreat programs and weekly service programs.
-Ten Resident Ministers are at the school, one in each Resident Hall. They reach out to students, facilitate faith based groups and act as mentors.

New BS/MD Program at Georgia Regents University

Georgia Regents University (formerly known as Augusta State and The Medical College of Georgia) has shared excited news about a BS/MD program starting Fall 2013. Students will experience a seamless transition to Medical School after receiving their Undergraduate Degree and both degrees with take eight years to earn.

At Georgia Regents University, students who meet certain requirements listed below and earn a Bachelor of Science degree will guarantee their acceptance to the Medical College of Georgia.

-High school GPA of 3.7 or higher
-SAT score of 1400 (math and critical reading) or ACT composite score of 30
-Admission to the GRU Baccalaureate Program
-Acceptance into the BS/MD Program

Admission Process:

After acceptance to Georgia Regents University, students must complete the program application form along with one letter of recommendation. Candidates are selected based on academic qualifications prior to entry into The Medical College of Georgia.

Participants receive their Undergraduate Degree in either Cell and Molecular Biology or Chemistry (Biochemistry Focus). Admission to this program is still open for Fall 2013. For students who enter Fall 2013, the BS/MD Program will take eight years (four undergrad/4 medical) and seven years for Fall 2014 students (four undergrad/three medical). Admission requirements are lenient now but will progressively become more competitive as the program gains national recognion.

Students can cover their Undergraduate tuition with Hope Scholarship and the Medical degree will cost around $135,000.

For more information about this program, please call the Office of Admissions at (706) 737-1632 or visit www.gru.edu

2013 College Fairs

In 2013, the PROBE College Fairs will be in the Atlanta and surrounding areas! Hundreds of colleges and university officials will be in attendance to answer all of your questions! Take advantage of this excellent chance to meet one on one with representatives and learn about what makes their school unique or right for you!

Here are the dates and locations for upcoming fairs:

Duluth High School
Thursday, March 21, 2013
10:45AM- 12:45PM
3737 Brock Road, Duluth, GA 30096

Mill Creek High School
Thursday, March 21, 2013
6:00PM- 8:00PM
4400 Braselton Highway, Hoschton, GA 30548

College Financial Aid

Although college tuition can be costly today, it will pay off in the future. All of the expenses may seem overwhelming, but there is financial aid to help you reach your goal of going to college. Financial aid is money that the government and other organizations either give or lend so you can pay for your college education. The federal government is the largest source of aid for college students today. Other sources that offer financial help are state governments, colleges and universities, private organizations like companies or clubs, and banks.

It is important to learn about your options for financial aid, so you can choose the one that will work best for you. One option for financial aid is through a Grant. Grants are a gift from governments or colleges that do not have to be paid back! Most are given based on family circumstances. The next option is a Scholarship. Scholarships are also gifts that do not have to be paid back. They come from the government, colleges and private organizations. Many students receive scholarships to help pay for college if they have excelled academically or as an athlete. They are also given to students with interest in different subjects, do volunteer work or are members of an ethnic or religious group. Some companies even give scholarships to children of their employees. Researching scholarships that are available to you will pay off! Another option for students is a Loan. Banks, governments and lending companies give loans to college students that must be paid back with interest. These organizations typically give students a generous amount of time after their college education is complete to pay back these loans. A fourth option for college financial aid is a Work Study Program. The Federal Work Study Program offers paid part time jobs to help pay for college costs. When you choose the college that is right for you, there are financial aid officers there who can help you apply for these programs.

Although many scholarships and aid are based on family financial circumstances, it is important to remember that even if you have a comparatively high income, you may still qualify for financial aid. This is often helpful for families with more than one child in college at the same time.

How to Begin the Financial Aid Process

To apply for financial aid, whether through a loan, grant, or work study, first you have to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

This can be found at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.

January 1st is the first day to apply for the 2013-2014 school year and most schools prefer them to be turned in by March 1st.

**Steps to take before filling out the FAFSA.**

Create your Personal Identification Number (PIN) at http://www.pin.ed.gov/PINWebApp/pinindex.jsp. After filling out a short application, your pin can either be emailed to you immediately or post mailed later.

Have the following documents available:

-Social Security Card

-Driver’s License

-Records of income in the year prior to when you will start school. (Parent’s records if student is dependent.

-2012 W-2 Forms

-2012 Federal Income Tax Return

-Current Bank Statement

-Business records, stocks, bonds

While completing the FAFSA, you must list at least one college to receive your information. You should list your first choice college first, second choice second, and so on. You will be able to list up to ten colleges.

After completing online, it will take about 3-5 days for a FAFSA application to be processed and a student aid report to be sent back to you.

Teacher Tenure

You may want to look in to this topic while searching for schools to learn if teachers or professors are offered this benefit. Read more about what it is below.

Teacher tenure provides job security for teachers who have successfully completed a probationary period. For colleges and universities, this period of time usually averages around seven years. The purpose is to protect good teachers from being fired for issues such as personal beliefs or personality conflicts with school board members. There are also many other benefits from going to a school where teachers are offered tenure. Here are some of the pros and cons so you can decide for yourself!

Possible Pros to Tenure for Teachers:

Prohibits school districts from firing teachers who are experienced in order to bring in less experienced teachers who cost less and save the district money on salaries.

· Protects teachers from being fired for personal or political reasons.

· Protects teachers from being fired for teaching unpopular or controversial material. Teachers have more freedom to push the envelope or be courageous in their curriculum choices.

· The promise of a secure job attracts teachers to the profession.

· Allows teachers to advocate on behalf of their students and can feel confident openly disagreeing with school administration.

· Encourages the careful selection of qualified teachers who are effective in the classroom. It is extremely difficult to remove a teacher with tenure. The administration has to go through due process, involving courts. Because of this, the school board makes thoughtful decisions before hiring.

· Many teachers work better when they do not have to worry about being fired. Without this anxiety, they can focus on providing the best education for their students.

Possible Cons to Tenure for Teachers:

· Teachers know it is unlikely for them to lose their jobs, which can remove incentive for them to put in more than the minimum effort.

· Can be difficult to remove under performing teachers because the process to do so involves months of legal work by the school administrators and courts.

· Costly to fire a teacher with tenure. Can cost up to $250,000, which takes money away from other areas of academics.

· Does not promote fair evaluations. A teacher in the probationary period can be disciplined worse than a teacher with tenure although the offense is exactly the same.

Private School Financial Aid

Paying for private school can be expensive. Although this is true, there are many schools in the Atlanta area that provide financial aid to ensure students have the chance to enroll, regardless of their financial circumstances. Financial aid is monetary assistance provided from a school to reduce the costs. Eligibility to receive aid is based on many factors such as income, assets, family size and number of siblings in private school. To find out if a school you are interested in provides financial aid, call the admissions office or take a look at their website. Each school will send applications to complete that have to be returned by a certain deadline they determine. While thinking about private school tuition costs, it helps to keep in mind other costs such as uniforms, meals, books, supplies, trips, participation in sports or clubs and transportation.

There are four different types of financial aid for private schools. The first of these are Need Based Grants, which do not have to be repaid. Schools require families to complete an application to determine their ability to contribute to educational expenses. If a family has needs, they may be provided with a grant to lower the amount. The next type of financial aid is Merit Awards. These are awards or scholarships based on other criteria than financial circumstances. These may be given for athletics, art, music or academics. A third choice for financial aid are Tuition Payment Plans. These payment plans are coordinated between financial services and the school. Instead of a lump sum payment, families have the choice to pay monthly. The last type of financial aid we will discuss in this post are Tuition Loan Plans. This is when a lender spreads payments over a longer period of time than payment plans allow.

Go to sss.nais.org to see a list of companies that offer tuition payment plans and loan programs.

PSAT Information

What is the PSAT?

It is a standardized test that sophomores, juniors and some freshman take in their high school.

Why is it offered?

The PSAT is a preliminary standardized achievement test. It is a great indication on how your student will do on the actual SAT. This is an opportunity to gear up your student for the college process especially when it comes to standardize testing.

When is the PSAT offered?

Most students will take the PSAT in October. This year it will be offered on October 17th.

When will the scores be released?

The scores will not be released until mid-December. However, most high schools wait until after the holiday break to distribute the scores.

What is a good PSAT score?

Students will receive three scores on their report. The sections will include Critical Reading, Math and Writing. Each section ranges from 20 to 80. This range is very similar to the SAT. In addition to the three sections score, you will find your student’s Selection Index, which is the sum of all three sections. This index is a piece of what qualifies students for the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT). Georgia’s minimum required PSAT score for NMSQT for the class of 2012 was 218.

The average score for juniors last year was around the 46 percentile.

How To Qualify for the NMSQT?

1. A U.S. Citizen

2. Enrolled Full time in high school

3. Taking the PSAT junior year

4. Have a strong academic record

5. Going to complete the NMSC Scholarship application.

6. Scored high on the PSAT

How to Prepare for the PSAT?

According to Teresa Shell, owner of Bespoke Tutoring, completing practice problems from the College Board’s book, The Official SAT Study Guide, can give students a great idea of what to expect on test day. Become familiar with the types of problems you will encounter on the PSAT and read the directions for each section prior to test day. Reviewing for the test will save you time on the actual exam. Remember, wrong answers only cost a quarter of a point so it’s best to guess if you can confidently eliminate even just one answer choice. Now RELAX, and get a good night’s sleep the night before.

For more information, click here http://www.nationalmerit.org

Why Choose An Educational Consultant?

First of all, I love my career. I chose consulting so that I could help students and their families make positive changes in their academic world. I enjoy giving my students hope and support as they discover their true talents and passions. This is a great handout on why Educational Consultants are so important for students. Although each school has a counselor or college program, none compare to the amount of time and passion that goes into working with each of my families. Check this out – IECA