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Dreaming of warm summer days…

January 4th, 2022

January 1st marks the date when people all over the world make a list of resolutions for the upcoming year: go to bed earlier, begin a new workout routine, etc. Sound familiar? What if this year your resolutions were more connected to educational goals in order to expand your interests? Warmer days may seem like a lifetime away, but it is never too early to get a head start on planning for summer activities that will help you achieve those goals.

Image via FastWeb

The long break in school is the perfect opportunity for students to find activities that promote personal growth and satisfaction. Whether you participate in volunteer opportunities, a part-time job or take a college course, try to create a balanced yet rewarding experience. Even if your summer plans are not academic in nature, there is still value in sticking with something that increases maturity, self-discipline and potential for college success.

Our friends at College MatchPoint have published a great resource that will help you determine the right opportunity for a positive impact this summer. This summer planning guide linked below offers excellent advice as well as a worksheet to help you accomplish your goals for summer 2022. I can’t wait to hear what your plans will be!

Article linked below from College Match Point: Guide to Summer Planning 2022

GUIDE TO SUMMER PLANNING 2022 EDITION

For many of today’s college-bound high school students, summer is
no longer nine weeks of total relaxation, but rather an opportunity
to spend time actively working, learning new skills, or diving deeper
into an area (or areas) of interest. Summer is the perfect time to
take calculated risks that push students into unfamiliar situations,
build skills, and enrich life experiences. Planning is the key to finding
the most rewarding experience.

We encourage students to consider what they enjoy, what areas they
could improve in, and what their goals for the future are in order
to decide what to do over the summer. With any activity students
choose to participate in, there should be opportunities to help
them learn more about themselves by expanding their interests,
gaining new experiences, or taking on responsibilities. Whether or
not it’s going to help in the college process should be secondary to
having a good growth experience.

While we don’t quite know what this summer might look like, the
summers of 2020 and 2021 showed us that students will be able to
find activities that work in a virtual environment, and in doing so,
they’ll learn more about themselves. With some creativity, they can
find new ways to engage in their interests and develop new skills.
Bonus points if they make a positive impact on others in their
community in the meantime.

Read more at collegematchpoint.com>>

Seize the days of winter break!

December 21st, 2021

Winter break comes at a time when students could use a little breather from daily routines. With little homework and few school obligations, you can finally slow down and spend some quality time with family and friends. Believe it or not, a little rest and relaxation can unleash productivity! So while I do believe in the importance of down time, I also think winter break can be an opportunity to get a few things accomplished.

Image via Classrooms

For high school seniors, regular decision application deadlines are imminent. This rings true for boarding school applicants, too, as some deadlines fall in early January. Tweak your applications and make final revisions to your essays. Tackle remaining work thoughtfully while you have the time, and you’ll feel less overwhelmed in the new year. Your future self will thank you!

For younger students who aren’t in the midst of admission application season, this time off of school can still be productive. Whether you choose to pick up a new hobby or get organized for the new year, the article linked below from classrooms.com will give you some fantastic ideas about how best to seize the days of winter break.

Article linked below from classrooms.com, published on November 15, 2021 by Carolina Brown

Making the Most of Your Winter Break

It’s finally here. You’ve worked hard throughout the semester and have earned your break. Whether you’re in high school or college, you’re sure to be ready for a break after months of endless homework, quizzes, and tests. Winter break is a great time to relax and unwind while preparing yourself for the upcoming semester. 

3 Ways to Continue Your Learning

Nobody said you have to relax all winter break if you don’t feel like it. You might find that it pays to keep your brain active and focused on learning things, even if you have a break away from your courses.

Read more at Classrooms.com>>

Admit, defer, deny: early admission news

December 7th, 2021

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but for high school students awaiting admission notifications, the time couldn’t be dragging any more slowly. In the month of December, many students who applied early will receive one of these three responses…admit, defer, deny. So what next steps should you take after hearing the news?

Image via Niche

Admit

If you are accepted into your top choice school, hooray! Follow the school’s instructions carefully to determine a follow-up plan.

Deny

It is not easy hearing “no,” especially for something you are so passionate about. Allow yourself time to feel without judgment. There is a mourning period and you will get through this. It may be difficult to think about right now, but there are many wonderful choices out there that might actually be a better fit for you. Each college on your list is a great option and you still have time to add a new college or two.

Defer

Getting deferred by your top choice school can be disappointing and the response to deferral is not so cut and dried. You will find many opinions on how to respond when you receive this news, but I think the article linked below from Niche says it best. The advice given from author Michaela Schieffer provides simple steps to follow in this scenario.

Article linked below from Niche, written by Michaela Schieffer published on January 21, 2019

How to Increase Your Chances of Getting Into College if You’ve Been Deferred

At some point in your senior year, there will be a moment when your mailbox (or email inbox) holds your future, determining the location of the next four years of your life. This anticipation can quickly turn to disappointment if the letter from your top-choice colleges, to which you applied early decision, is anxiously opened, only to view the word “deferred” in place of your anticipated acceptance.

Thankfully, the college admissions game is not black and white. While a deferral is certainly not the preferred answer, nor does it indicate an acceptance, it should not be considered a rejection. A deferral from an early decision cycle refers to the decision by the school to consider your application in the regular decision cycle. In short, the school is offering you another chance at admission.

Early action deadlines are designed to offer admission to a limited number of students, in order to allow the admissions department to better plan for the upcoming regular decision cycle. This preliminary round allows the admissions team a chance to evaluate their early admits in light of their projected goals for the academic year. If their goal is to admit a well-rounded freshman class with unique perspectives, the department will need time to pause and regroup before the regular decision round begins.

Read more at Niche>> 

How to be a stand out applicant

November 23rd, 2021

How can I make my application stand out for college or boarding school? This million dollar question is simply answered … students should show their intellectual curiosity, of course, but also their ability to connect with others and make a significant impact on the world around them.

Sometimes it seems as though admissions officers are only looking for students with an impeccable GPA, taking the most advanced courses and having an almost perfect SAT or ACT score. While these academic achievements predict future academic success, character also counts when determining if a student will be a good fit.

Colleges and boarding schools alike seek students who not only have a strong academic record but also show initiative, leadership, a sense of social responsibility and so much more. In the article linked below, MIT reveals the key components their admissions committee uses when evaluating applicants. This is a great read and it may help you think outside the box as you continue working on applications or, for younger students, building your activities list and considering how you can continue to make an impact on others.

Article linked below from MIT Admissions

What we look for

The match between you and MIT

Ask any admissions officer at MIT, and they will tell you that while grades and scores are important, it’s really the match between applicant and the Institute that drives our selection process.

Here are the key components:

Alignment with MIT’s mission

Remember that there are many ways to make the world better—we’re not looking for applicants to have cured all infectious disease in the world by the time they’re 15. Tutoring a single kid in math changes the world. Lobbying a senator to amend bad policy changes the world. There are thousands of examples.

Read more at MIT admissions >>