Senioritis Warning: Serious reactions may occur

Seniors, are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?

·       A lack of motivation in the morning

·       Feelings of apathy about AP Calc

·       Missed tests

·       Making the party but not the athletic practice

·       A general slacking off in and out of the classroom

If so, you may be experiencing senioritis.

Warning:

Your senior year is important to colleges. Acceptance letters are contingent on your finishing the year at the same performance level as when you applied -- same classes, continuing good grades, same extracurriculars.

Directions:

Keep your focus and stay fully engaged -- both in the classroom and on campus.

Dangerous interactions:

If slacking off gets out of hand, it can have serious consequences.  Admission can be denied or rescinded for significant changes in grades or disciplinary action for behavioral issues. If you are waitlisted, a dip in grades or lapse in judgment can work against your being admitted. (Manufacturer's warning: We're having a little fun here with our format. But this is serious stuff. Follow directions accordingly.)

Maureen McRae Goldberg of Occidental College Answers 8 Questions

February is Financial Aid Awareness month. As students and families research financial aid, fill out the FAFSA, and assess their options this month, we asked Occidental College's Director of Financial Aid Maureen McRae Goldberg "5 Questions." And she graciously answered eight for us.

Occidental College is a private liberal arts school located in the oak and eucalyptus covered hills of Los Angeles' Eagle Rock neighborhood. Designed by Rose Bowl architect Myron Hunt, the campus' stucco and red tile roofed Spanish Colonial architecture covers 120 acres. No surprise then that Occidental has been the setting for more than 80 movies and television shows -- from the Marx Brothers' Horse Feathers to Star Trek III, as well as Glee, Parenthood and Arrested Development. It has also been a feature film stand-in for the real-life college campuses of Stanford and Princeton.

Courtney Skerritt, The Hockaday School

Courtney Skerritt is committed to single sex education. She attended a women's college, an all-girls summer camp for ten years, and today is Associate Director of College Counseling at The Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas, the largest independent girls' school in the country. 

"There is something special about girls' schools that is hard to put into words, but when you walk across the campus you can see it and feel it. I see an inspiration in them. They've been given the okay to believe in whatever they want to believe in and from that comes an amazing confidence. It's not for every girl, not for every student," says Skerritt. "But what I hear from my students is how much they really appreciate the ability to focus on their academics. Our girls have an active social life and they're dedicated to their friendships but when they're here, they're here. "

College Admission is traveling...

College Admission is traveling this week. We'll return on Tuesday, February 25th. Coming up: University of Delaware Dean of Admission Jose Aviles answers "5 Questions." Our high school college counselors offer their best advice for seniors about handling acceptances -- and rejection -- as their notifications roll in from the colleges. College advisor Alice Kleeman updates her monthly Financial Aid Checklist. And we'll be back with more weekly advice for juniors and seniors, as well as insights from our guest bloggers as juniors gear up their application process and seniors deal with decisions and financial aid. 

The Liberal Arts Major: Would you like fries with that?

The engineering major asks, "How does it work?"

 

The accounting major asks, "How much does it cost?"

 

The liberal arts major asks, "Would you like fries with that?"

 

Yea, yea… Not so fast.

Wherever we speak across the country, we're asked by parents how to find out about outcomes for graduates. They want to know how they can justify a Classics or English or Art major when STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields are a sure thing with sizable salaries. And if you only read the headlines in the New York Times and other fashionable news outlets, you'd think that the liberal arts degree was experiencing death by a thousand cuts. One recent headline: "There's no place for the liberal arts in the job market."

Writing in the Wall Street Journal last year, Jane Shaw opined: “Many liberal-arts graduates, even from the best schools, aren’t getting jobs in large part because they didn’t learn much in school. They can’t write or speak well or intelligently analyze what they read.”

So what can you do with THAT degree?

Juniors: Check out a College Fair

Juniors should be knee deep in creating an initial list of colleges. Here's another tool for your research arsenal -- college fairs. At college fairs, admission representatives or alumni are present to answer questions and pass out brochures and other information to students and their families. These events are a great starting point to learn more about a wide range of schools or to get to know one of the colleges on your list more deeply.  

Since these events can be crowded and chaotic, an action plan can help ensure that you get the most out of the experience. Here are our suggestions:

        *    Obtain a list of the participating colleges online or from your college counselor in advance of the fair and determine which schools’ booths you will want to visit.

        *    Do some homework. Check out the websites of the schools you want to visit and prepare a list of questions after you’ve done some research.

        *     While you're collecting brochures from colleges in which you may be interested, also pick up the business card of the school's representative.     They could be a good contact point for further information.

        *     Do not bring a resume. Schools are not interested in a resume from you at this point.

        *     College fairs sometimes include information sessions on subjects such as financial aid or the search process, so plan accordingly if you want to attend.

Great advice for Juniors from the Admission Officers at Tufts

Tufts University has an excellent behind-the-scenes blog written by the school's admission officers -- Inside Admissions. In today's post, Meghan McHale offers up spot-on advice for juniors on how to maximize what remains of their high school years. Read the whole thing here. Admission office blogs are great resources for students -- providing insight into the admission process and what the school may be looking for, as well as solid information about the mechanics of the process. Spend some time perusing the admission office blogs -- or those of professors, students, and others -- as you research colleges.

Seniors: Make Sure Your Midyear Report Is Sent to Colleges

The Midyear Report covers a student's grades, courses, and activities, as well as any disciplinary or criminal history. It is usually completed by the high school college counselor or guidance counselor. Students should request their counselor send this report to ALL colleges to which they are applying. Check the websites of the colleges to which you are applying for the deadline for submission of this report and follow up to make sure the report was sent and the college received it.

For more guidance on the midyear report and other checklist items for seniors, check out the latest post from counselor John Carpenter here.

$$$$ Scholarships: Something for everyone...

Do your parents work in the beverage industry? Are you from Malta? Do you have a part-time job? Well, college advisor Alice Kleeman wants to talk to you about scholarships. Don't assume there are no scholarships available for a student like you. Read on for her excellent advice and some new ideas about what might be out there for you... 

 

“Yeah, that’s if your family has NO money …”

 

“You have to have straight A’s to get one of those, right?”

 

“Oh yeah, those are for basketball players and other athletes, aren’t they?”

 

“Well, sure—if you’ve done four years of community service without stopping to breathe, you might get one!”

 

These are the views some students have about scholarships. And believing that scholarships are only for the top students, athletes, and those who serve might cause them to miss out on opportunities!

In the 19 years I have been administering scholarships, I’ve seen the most amazing opportunities -- opportunities to earn scholarships ranging from $500 to ten or even twenty times that amount and for unusual and even quirky talents, interests, and goals.

33 Fun Facts About Colleges

Our favorite YA author John Green has "33 Fun Facts about Colleges" in this YouTube video from Mental Floss. 

Did you know, for example, that Villanova students manage the Pope's social media?

Or that Cornell might have been in Syracuse, but Ezra Cornell was once robbed there?

Or that Rice University has a puppy room set up during finals to help students cope with stress. Awww... We want one of those!

See the whole thing here.

Hat tip: Anne Edmunds of Webster University via Facebook

 

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