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Countdown to college: A new normal for everyone

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Were your spring break plans upended like everyone else's? Are you trying to figure out how to make this "voluntary" lockdown more productive?

The world is off its axis, and we're trying to keep up with the news of coronavirus, but not be overwhelmed or panic-stricken.

I see three distinct and valid reactions:

Fear: For anyone ...Read more

Countdown to college: How the Coronavirus is impacting college campuses

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It does seem to get scarier every day. More cases, more deaths and continued community spread. This has prompted the government, hospitals, companies, organizations and colleges across the U.S. to create contingency plans and keep their audiences informed about what they're doing.

Many colleges and universities are cancelling live classes ...Read more

Countdown to college: More terms from the financial aid glossary

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Last week I began the Financial Aid Glossary with an A-to-C listing. Here's the rest ...

Deferment of a loan: A period of postponement during which the repayment of loan principal is suspended because the borrower meets one or more deferment requirements.

Demonstrated need: The difference between your Expected Family Contribution (see ...Read more

Countdown to college: Financial aid 101

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The first question students ask is: "Will I be accepted at college X?" The first question parents usually ask is" "How can we afford to pay for college X?"

With college tuition prices escalating annually and outpacing the cost-of-living index, discussing what funds are available for college is a conversation every ...Read more

Countdown to college: How you spend your summer vacation is important

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Thankfully, once students reach high school, they are no longer required to write the often painfully boring "what I did over my summer vacation" essay. But that doesn't mean what they do choose to do over summer isn't important.

One of the key components of strong college applications is how students have set themselves apart from...Read more

Countdown to college: Making a good first impression in the interview

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When practicing for interviews, students need to tiptoe that fine line between bragging about their accomplishments and sharing significant information.

Admissions officers want students who can think about and reflect on who they are and how they will benefit the college community they hope to join. Colleges want to know how students spend ...Read more

Countdown to college: These traits make letter-perfect students

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When I talk to parents and students, I share the following descriptors: passion, responsibility, enthusiasm, leadership, initiative, maturity, character, perseverance, integrity, interpersonal skills, commitment, curiosity, compassion, creativity, consistency.

So what does this really mean?

Passion: It's the buzzword in admissions offices....Read more

Countdown to college: The 10 commandments of the college admissions process (part 2)

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Last week I shared my thoughts on some important basics needed for families beginning the college admissions process. The first five of these "commandments" were:

1. Thou shalt know thyself. Students should spend some time understanding who they are, what they want and where they'd like to be in the future.

2. Thou shalt not fall...Read more

Countdown to college: The 10 commandments of the college admissions process (part 1)

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I've been helping students and families navigate the college admissions process for a long time now, and there are some basic fundamental truths. I'm calling them my 10 commandments of the college admissions process. I'm sharing 1-5 this week and 6-10 next week.

1. Thou shalt know thyself. For this process to really work, students need to ...Read more

Countdown to college: Answers to frequently asked questions

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Whether I'm leading a workshop on navigating the college admissions process or getting stopped in the frozen food aisle at the supermarket, here are some of the most common questions parents ask.

1. Is it better to take a lower-level class and get an "A" or to struggle somewhat in a higher-level class and get a "B"?

The...Read more

Countdown to college: Things to think about in the new year

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January is a time for resolutions and reorganization. If you're the parent of a high school freshman or sophomore, but particularly if you're the parent of a junior, now is the time to understand and start implementing the college timeline.

There is no need to be intimidated. With proper planning and execution, you'll have plenty of time to ...Read more