Author Archives: admin

Thoughts on “Operation Varsity Blues”

I want to address the news that broke yesterday afternoon. Most of you have probably been watching the news or reading articles regarding “Operation Varsity Blues.” 


I am not shocked by the news nor am I surprised that so many are accused of these allegations. However, I am sad about what we are learning. As an educational consultant who has been practicing for a while now, I take a lot of pride in how my counseling, mentoring and guiding students can help families find the “right fit institutions” and not trying to fit your child into an institution. Unfortunately, the Admissions Process is an unhealthy system, and I do not know how to make that specific system well again.

However, I do know how to help my families and will continue to provide support and guidance in working one on one with my students and their families to navigate their journey into an academic program. My intention has always been to help students their academic, social, emotional and mental goals. At Williams Educational Consultants, I pride myself on helping families choose wisely when it comes to their educational choices. I want my students to feel strength through their passions, interests and help them build a powerful toolbox that will help them succeed not only in college but in life. 


I am proud that a few of my associations that I am a member of have responded to this crisis. A few have posted how important ethics are in our service with families. I want to share these links with you. As always, you are in good hands, and I will continue to provide the best counseling possible for your student! Thank you for allowing me to have a positive impact on your student’s education!

IECA: Read below:

IECA Stresses Ethics and Personal Fit to Guide Students in

Choosing a College

The Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) and its members are committed to helping families find the most appropriate college for their students, and assist families in navigating the application process. Following a comprehensive code of ethics, IECA members are professionals who understand and adhere to high ethical standards in all their interactions with clients and institutions and are compensated by and work exclusively on behalf of their client families. 

In response to the breaking news of an FBI probe and Justice Department charges for 50 people—college officials from elite institutions, wealthy parents, coaches, and others—in a long-running admissions bribery scheme, IECA CEO Mark Sklarow said, “The charges presented today exemplify the intense anxiety that even some wealthy parents feel about their children being admitted to their preferred colleges.”

Parents and students should keep the following advice in mind as they begin their college search.

·         The college search and application process should be a fun and exciting time for students and their families. If anyone in any setting is exerting pressure or causing undue anxiety and pressure, be cautious. If you are told someone has “inside” information, can pull strings, provide shortcuts to admission, or give you a special advantage (for a fee or otherwise), you are being misled.

·         There are many great postsecondary options for every student, and no student should be made to feel that they must become something they are not to get accepted. The “best” school is the school that fits a student academically, socially, and financially. Being and presenting one’s authentic self and demonstrating one’s own talents and abilities is a way of ensuring the right college fit. This is central to what an ethical independent educational consultant does.

·         The vast majority of admissions officers, school counselors, and IECs are ethical and compassionate professionals who dedicate their careers to advising students and families.

If you decide to seek help with the college search and application process outside of the school setting, ensure that you hire someone who is a member of a professional organization, such as IECA or NACAC, that requires them to abide by the highest ethical standards. A fully vetted independent educational consultant (IEC) will be solely concerned about an individual student’s well-being and helping to gain admission to a school where they will thrive and succeed on their own merits. 

LDGA: 

Gaming and Addiction

If you have a son or daughter that has access to a cell phone, Switch, Computer PC, X-Box or any other gaming device, then you might be dealing with the constant struggle of Fortnite. One of the best things about Fortnite is the dance moves. However, this is hardly why our children are playing this game. Over 40 million users are playing this cross-platform game. Yes, it’s free for any player except for cosmetic upgrades, like outfits, type of weapons, dances and more. As a parent, sometimes it is easier to have my own child pick up their gaming device to play so that I can return a call, do laundry, clean the house, etc. We are all very busy in today’s highly technological world, but I think it is our responsibility to protect our children, and sometimes protection can be provided through a conversation. Please take a moment to listen to this YOUTUBE video about gaming addictions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AS-325PCuMU&feature=youtu.be

This past weekend, my son and I played Fortnite monopoly, but we did not pull in triggers or hear any explosions. Instead, we laughed, hugged, counted spaces and danced a lot! And yes, he won both rounds of Monopoly! I hope that this will start a great conversation as to why your son or daughter plays games, including Fortnite and how to make healthier gaming opportunities.

NOTE: I am not saying that your son or daughter should not play video games nor am I saying to pull your child from Fortnite. Even though some video gamers can become addictive to gaming, it is relatively a small percentage of the population. Secondly, some of these gaming options bring together communities, helps with social skills, hand and eye coordination, and more. With anything, it’s about how much one spends doing one thing….and being able to have open and honest conversations when the time spent is too much. #choosewisely #speakwisely

Auburn Theatre Auditions

Auburn would like to get the information about their Auburn University’s Department of Theatre’s upcoming Open house and Scholarship Audition Day.

Theatre has the potential to foster dialogue, alter perceptions, and inspire social change. The Auburn University Department of Theatre is dedicated to the education and professional training of theatre artists, scholars, and audiences within a liberal arts environment. The Department champions the interaction between theory and practice and produces citizen artists who advocate for the arts through their own work in local, national, and international communities. Auburn University theatre students think critically, creatively, and collaboratively and carry their knowledge from rehearsal spaces and classrooms to stages, campuses, and communities worldwide.

Due to Auburn’s “priority admission” application deadline of November 1 and its AUSOM Scholarship consideration deadline of December 1, Auburn University Theatre will now hold its annual on site scholarship/music theatre program admission auditions on Saturday, October 27th, 2018. This is a great opportunity for high school seniors  to tour our facility, meet with theatre faculty and students, and audition for theatre scholarships and admission to our music theatre degree program.

More information about their program can be found at the link below:

https://cla.auburn.edu/theatre/

More information about the auditions can be found at the link below, and I’d greatly appreciate your assistance in alerting students to this earlier audition date.

https://app.getacceptd.com/auburntheatre

 

 

College Search and Sources

How do you learn more about your colleges of interest?

Students are often driven to learn more about colleges through websites like College Prowler, College Data, US News World & Report, and much more. Although these sites can be very helpful, they can also provide information that is inaccurate. So, how do students know what to believe and where to go for the correct information? I hope that my suggestions below will clarify these questions.

  1. What is the source data?
  2. How old is the data that you are reading from?
  3. Are the comments or information valid?
  4. Where are the comments and information coming from? And Why? Is it a thread of questions, is it straight from a university, and/or is it from an upset student?
  5. What is the reason for the author’s bias?

If you are reading an online article or a talk thread, be sure to find out when it was published, who wrote the article and why or why not is it a source of good information. Some articles are strictly feedback from angry students, upset parents or even the other side, happy consumers! When someone criticizes a school or anything about the community, it could be a lack of understanding on a particular circumstance, issue or problem that occurred on campus. Different authors have different opinions. It is important to challenge your own biases by gathering current information from the university. Therefore, visit the college’s website, speak to the Admissions Department and/or Department of interest. A great suggestion is to have the same three to five questions for all of your schools and compare them by answering the questions and verifying your source. Good luck!

 

Georgia Tech – Admissions

  • The Georgia Tech Scholars program is an automatic admission program which offers the first-year admission to Valedictorians and Salutatorians from all high schools in Georgia with more than 50 graduates.
  • Students can self-report their SAT, ACT and other standardized test scores to be used during the admission process, saving them time and money.
  • Tech will be using Slate.org as our high school counselor portal to communicate with you about applicants’ status and decisions, and this service is free to you.
  • Search for your school’s or region’s Admission Snapshot to bring admission and enrolled student statistics a little closer to home.

The above information is helpful for any student who is applying to Georgia Tech this fall!

Please let me know if you have any questions or need assistance!

 

 

AP or NOT?

The race has been on for a long time now, and I think students have been running hard, yet some might feel defeated when they cross the finish line. Students take such a heavy load of academic rigor in high school that they might get lost in the race. Finally, when they cross the finish line some might feel deflated, depressed or even confused. The truth is that rigor alone will not gain an acceptance, not in today’s world of admissions.

Now, I’m not suggesting that students should slack off in high school or take less rigor, but I am suggesting that students run their own race. What I do think needs to happen is that students need to do what is best for them and their future, not paint a picture to get into X or Y university. I suggest that students find their passion and interests, so that they can hold onto their drive regardless of who accepts them. Shouldn’t we be teaching students to accept themselves?

This article is very interesting because finally some high school in the US has decided to say “no more” to APs in their curriculum. Will it last? Who will have more consequences (the student or the school)? Will this influence other schools? Read the article here and let me know if you have any thoughts of your own!

 

 

Coalition Updates – Related June 28, 2018

According to an email received by Coalition, this week (June 25th) the Profile section on the application will have the below enhancements:

  1. For the first time, student users will begin MyCoalition by answering a short series of questions which will enable the Profile to display “Recommended” and “Optional” sections based upon the student’s responses to these questions.  
  2. New adjustments to High School Information, 9th-11th Grade Coursework, 12th Grade Coursework, College Information, and College Coursework provide a simplified process for students to document courses and grades throughout high school.
  3. Several redundant questions that were previously completed for each course have been collapsed into High School Information so that students only need to report the information once.
  4. We reviewed and adjusted all data value lists in 9th-11th Grade Coursework and 12th Grade Coursework. Our goal was to empower students by offering them a clear choice for all students and to do so with the fewest possible choices on any given list.
  5. Their will be a fee waiver for Coalition Veterans.
  6. Extracurricular Activities section will be renamed Activities/Experience and all language will be inclusive of all student experiences.  
  7. CBOs that are part of the Coalition Registry (and have a Coalition CBO ID or CCID) will be included on a drop down list (with city, state included in the search) which will enable students to select their affiliation. By the fall, over 200 CBOs will be represented on the list.
  8. Students will be able to see a list of which colleges/universities require a Profile section so that they can decide whether to complete it or not.
  9. Students will be able to click “Profile Check” to highlight sections or questions that are missing or incomplete.  
  10. In September, MyCoalition will debut a collection of significant improvements for student supporters, including counselors and CBO advisors.
  11. Finally, please know that MyCoalition is in compliance with the European Union’s General Data Privacy Regulations (GDPR).

Thank you to the Coalition for giving an update on their changes and allowing users to see what is coming this fall!

 

Summer Discovery Program

What if I were to tell you that I have discovered a website that affords 10th grade – 12th grade high school students the opportunity to search for prestigious universities all over the United States and England that offer programs these students could possibly attend over the summer? Well folks, that’s what I’m telling you!

This fantastic opportunity that should absolutely be taken advantage of goes by the very fitting name of “Summer Discovery”. Once you visit www.summerdiscovery.com, you will be asked four simple questions: 1.) where your academic interest lies, 2.) where you would like this university to be located, 3.) your current grade level, and 4.) desired length of the program. Your responses to these questions will allow Summer Discovery to match you to your ideal university and it’s summer program. The website will then generate a list of schools that match your criteria. You can click on each school and it will give you oodles of information regarding their program, tuition cost… all that good stuff!

If you are a high school student, I would like you to seriously consider this opportunity as not only would attending a summer program of this caliber look superb on a resume, but it will also allow you the opportunity to discover–discover new people, new ideas, new concepts, and a new college!

Public vs. Private Colleges

We usually know which colleges are private and which are public, but do we know why they are labeled as such? Do we know the difference between public and private? Perhaps not, but that’s what this post is for…

The first and most commonly known difference lies in the tuition cost due to funding. Public schools are funded by the government and private schools are not; therefore, the private schools rely solely on donations and students’ tuition to pay costs. This is why many associate private school with higher tuition costs. However, private schools are often known to have the largest scholarship bank. With that said, simply because it’s a private school does not necessarily mean that you will pay more than at a public school.

Another difference lies within size. Most of the time (but not always) public schools are much larger than private schools—not only in student population, but also in amount of programs offered. Public schools usually offer a wide array of degrees whereas private schools offer few.

Demographics differ between the two as well. Due to in-state incentives that public schools offer, a great deal of the students who attend public institutions are from in-state. Contrasting, private schools, lacking the in-state incentives, have more out-of-state students and therefore have a more diverse population.

So, which is the best choice: public or private? There is no clear-cut answer as it depends on the individual student’s needs and preferences…

    • Do you prefer a large population?
    • Is your major offered?
    • Are finances a concern? If so, check in with a financial advisor: are there scholarships that you will be able to apply for?
    • Would you prefer to attend a school with majority of students who grew up in the same state as the school, or students from all around?

… Considering these questions is a great starting point; however, it is most important to look at the individual schools (regardless of whether its public or private) to see what that particular school offers and if it lines up with your wishes, standards, and values. THAT is how you find your ideal college!

Parents, this one is for you….

Parents, this one is for you….

We’ve all heard of “Helicopter Parenting”, right? Just incase you’ve been hiding out underneath your rock for the past 20 years, a helicopter parent is one who constantly hovers over their child. These are the parents that cannot let their child go out with friends for an hour without texting them a million and seven times to ask when they’re going to be home, what they’re doing now, who they are with, and so on…

More recently, another term has been coined: “Lawnmower Parenting”. This term goes out to all of the parents who “mow their child’s [metaphoric] path to success”. Lawnmower parents are those who can be seen parading their child around the college campus telling them which sorority they want to join and in what buildings they will have their classes—they know this because this parent also chose the child’s major.

There is a difference between guidance and mowing your child’s lawn FOR them. While it is healthy for a parent to steer their child in the right direction, It is crucial that the student learn to take responsibility on their own. It is crucial that the student mow their own lawn so they are able to step back, look at the lawn, see what mistakes they’ve made, learn from them, and become stronger as a result.

College is prime time for your child to learn independence and practice responsibility while they have you as their safety net. So… take a seat on your porch with a glass of fresh squeezed lemonade while you watch your child mow their lawn with the confidence that you’ve taught them well enough to do a good job.