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The Purpose Challenge – scholarship competition and toolkit

October 16th, 2017

Have you ever thought about your purpose in life? Studies have shown that defining your purpose can lead to a happier and more thoughtful way of living.  What exactly does this mean?  Novelist/humorist Leo Rosten defined it like this:

“I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be ‘happy.’  I think the purpose of life is

  • To be useful
  • To be responsible
  • To be compassionate.

It is, above all

  • To matter
  • To count
  • To stand for something
  • To have made some difference that you lived at all.”

I recently came across The Purpose Challenge and thought it was worth sharing.  The essay portion of this challenge is meant specifically for seniors working on applications – you could earn a scholarship with your purpose-driven essay!  However, this is a good read for all and the site offers a toolkit that has value for high school students of all ages.  I think it can help you find that inner motivation to live each day to the fullest.

 

Read more at The Purpose Challenge >>

Best time for campus visits is upon us

October 2nd, 2017

October is now upon us and it’s the perfect time of the year for campus visits.  Leaves are changing and the air is crisp!

Not only are school grounds typically beautiful at this time of the year, but students are now comfortable with their new surroundings and schedules.  Visit schools on your list during a normal week if at all possible, rather than on a weekend or during finals week. This will provide great opportunity to see what college or boarding school life is all about and give you a chance to interact with faculty and students.

Before going on a campus visit, I encourage you to be prepared to ask a lot of questions so you can learn as much as possible.  Provided below is a link to a thorough list of questions to consider when going to view a school or college for the first time.  Many of you have this campus visit guide already; although it’s written for the college search, it’s equally valid for boarding school exploration.

Indiana University mobile pocket guide>>

But wait, there’s more!  Whether you are applying to college or boarding school, the article posted below is another wonderful resource.  Although written for boarding school families, some of the advice can benefit families looking at colleges, too.  

Article referenced below from The Boarding School Review

Many parents feel that they know a boarding school because they have spent time on its web site. They ‘liked’ the school’s Facebook page and are following it on Twitter. They also have watched all the YouTube videos the school has posted on its YouTube channel. They and their child are convinced that the school is a good fit for them and their requirements. So why bother actually hopping on a plane, renting a car, booking accommodation and taking all that time to go and visit the school? It goes without saying that you need to visit any school to which you are thinking of sending your child. The school will insist on it because they want to meet you in person whenever possible.
Your educational consultant may have given the schools glowing reports. Your great uncle has always spoken about his years at one of the schools on your short list with great fondness. In fact he has given generously to his alma mater. One of your colleagues in the Boston office has a daughter at another school on your short list. She apparently loves her school’s equestrian program. But that’s their opinion. You and your child need to set foot on each campus on your short list, scope each one out and use your own judgement about whether your child will be happy there for three or four years. Here is a list of things to look for and questions to ask.

 

Read more at Boarding School Review >>

Melinda Gates: The effect technology has on my children

September 18th, 2017

There is no denying it, smart phones are becoming a necessity and most high school students have one.  The technology that comes with these smart phones can be worrisome, but also a great asset to everyday life.  The article shared today from the The Washington Post is written by Melinda Gates.  Gates has been at the forefront of these amazing technologies from the beginning and with three children, she knows all too well the effects these high tech devices have on kids in today’s world.

I appreciate Gates’s openness in sharing her own life experiences.  I think it is always a good idea to continue evaluating how much time we spend consuming media on our devices.  

Article referenced below from The Washington Post

When my youngest child was born in 2002, the flip phone was still the coolest piece of tech you could get. Now I’m told that all three of my children are part of what demographers are calling iGen.

I spent my career at Microsoft trying to imagine what technology could do, and still I wasn’t prepared for smartphones and social media. Like many parents with children my kids’ age, I didn’t understand how they would transform the way my kids grew up — and the way I wanted to parent. I’m still trying to catch up.

Read more at Washington Post >>

Use Your PreACT, PSAT performance to choose a college entrance exam

September 5th, 2017

Now that most schools are in session, we hope everyone is settling into the groove of routines and schedules again.  September is the month for all juniors and some sophomores to register for the October PSAT, so this article is perfectly timed to share. School counselors will share details about the PSAT calendar and how to register.

Many seniors begin the year with plans to retake either the ACT and/or the SAT (some took advantage of the College Board’s August test date).  But juniors and their parents often ask how to determine which exam is right for the student.  Most of you have discussed with us taking an ACT practice test to compare to the PSAT; according to the US News article linked below, evaluating your performance on the PSAT and the Pre-ACT is also a helpful way to determine which exam is right.  We can compare results, consult a concordance table, and then develop a plan for tests and dates to follow.

One important note:  although the article suggests otherwise, all colleges weigh the ACT and SAT equally now, so there need not be concern about any college preferring one over the other.

Article referenced below from US News

Choosing between the ACT and SAT is a pivotal decision that all college-bound high school students must make. One of the key steps in reaching an informed decision is to sit for an official practice test – the PreACT or PSAT – which give you a better idea of what to expect when you take the official college entrance exams.

In addition to considering other factors, such as whether your top-choice schools prefer a specific standardized exam, your performance on these pre-exams can help guide you in choosing between the ACT and SAT.

Read more at US News >>

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