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Include a little downtime in your summer plans

July 20th, 2021

Summer is a time to unwind, away from the busy school year schedule. Having a little downtime is not only good for the soul, it can facilitate more creativity and be key to doing your best work in the fall. Of course, we have always recommended that students utilize the summer with some productivity so that when the school year rolls around they are not completely overwhelmed. However, the benefit of summer break is that you can do it on your own time. And often when activities are done by choice rather than assignment your project will reflect more passion and interest.

Image via OC Register

The article referenced below from Teen Life is a classic. Althouh written several years ago, it offers a great reminder that all of us need time to recharge and relax. Learning how to de-stress can help if you feel overwhelmed with the stressors of school this fall.

Article referenced below from Teen Life, written by Randi Mazella, published on July 16, 2014

Why Teens Benefit from Summer Downtime

For most teens, the school year is very busy. Balancing school, homework, sports, extracurricular clubs, religious events, etc., can leave very little downtime. Summer seems like it would be a great opportunity for teens to slow down and relax.

But many teens (and their parents) feel pressured to make sure their summer is productive. They may worry that they will be in trouble come college application time if they do not participate in activities that are “resume worthy.” Robin Mamlet, co-author of the book, College Admission: From Application to Acceptance, says, “There is nothing wrong with downtime. After the rigor of the school year, kids are entitled to some time that is simply whiled away.”

With more than half the summer ahead of us, what is the best way for teens to re-charge before the next school year?

Read more at Teen Life>>

Tips for a balanced, focused college list

July 6th, 2021

College application season is right around the corner, which makes this month a great time to continue narrowing down that college list. Building and refining your list appropriately will help you feel more at ease as you tackle admission requirements this fall.

Image via Niche

Remember our Shrop Ed mantra: it is best to search broadly, but apply narrowly. When searching, open your mind to schools that might not have been on your radar, then dive deeper to determine a good fit before applying.

When applying, strive to select no more than eight or nine schools, with at least two compelling green light options in the mix. Your list should be based on a number of factors important to you personally and the article linked below from Niche may be a huge help as you think through choices.

Article referenced below from Niche, written by Jenna Spray published on March 28, 2021

My Take: How to Narrow Down Your College List

I have always found it a little crazy that—worldwide—teenagers are expected to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives.

As a senior in high school, I was panicking about choosing a college because I had no idea what I wanted to study!

College is so expensive and such a big commitment that I worried about choosing one based on my future career then regretting it later on.

Luckily, I identified a variety of factors that would help me choose.

Whether you’re unsure of your major like I was or simply needing help to cross schools off your list, here are the factors I use to help me my make my college decision.

Read more at Niche >>

Is superscoring the ACT right for you?

June 22nd, 2021

If you aren’t sure exactly what superscoring means, you are not alone. Which colleges allow it? How will it impact application review? Questions abound.

Image via Compass Education Group

So what is superscoring? It is the average of your best scores from each section taken from multiple test attempts. The big news as of April 2021 is that the ACT will now offer superscore reporting.

Understanding the superscore and how it can work in your favor for admission purposes as well as merit based aid will only help you along the way. The article linked below from Compass Education Group, gets down to the nitty gritty to help parents and students navigate this option.

Article referenced below from Compass Education Group, written by Art Sawyer, published on April 20, 2021

The Complete Guide to ACT Superscoring

When ACT announced Superscore reporting and Section Retesting in the fall of 2019, it had no way of knowing that a 2020 rollout would be upended by a pandemic. Superscore reporting finally became available this month (April 2021), whereas Section Retesting is still on hold. Compass covers how students can evaluate and order the Superscore report and what information colleges actually receive and use.

Sending a Superscore report does not mean that a college will superscore!

ACT is heavily promoting the new reporting option. Students with more than a single test will be greeted with superscores whenever they log in to, and a banner lives at the top of almost every page. ACT’s enthusiasm, though, has not yet translated into more colleges announcing superscoring. You can find the current policies of hundreds of schools at Compass’s Superscoring and Score Choice page.

Read more at Compass Education Group>>

Summer is the right time to get ahead of the college application process

June 8th, 2021

Summer is here for Kentucky students! Although our advisees in some other regions remain in school a little while longer, I think we’ll all welcome a cleansing exhale following the unusual school year. We hope everyone finds time to enjoy the break from structure that the start of summer brings.

Getty Images via US News

Rising seniors: after a little break, I highly recommend getting ahead of your college application work, little by little. It can really ease the pressure when fall semester of senior year begins. While specific college questions may not be available until August 1st, you can begin chipping away at the Common App throughout the summer.

Because essay writing is one of the most important aspects of your college application, we encourage students to begin brainstorming and drafting prose in the summer months. Use this time to set the central spirit of your message, which will become the foundation for the rest of your application prompt responses. Most importantly, the stress-free summer months are an ideal time for self-reflection and creativity as you begin this process.

To get started, take a few minutes to read the article below from “The College Essay Guy,” one of the best resources we have found on this topic. You’ll learn what colleges are looking for in an essay, and how this differs from academic essays, i.e. what you would write in English class. I highly encourage you to take time to explore the entire site, as there is plenty of useful information throughout (and much of it free!) .

Article referenced below from The College Essay Guy

What do colleges look for (in a college essay)?

In the long, long ago, when I first started my college applications, I felt a little lost as to what exactly I was supposed to be doing.

What were colleges looking for from me?

Luckily, I’ve spent many, many years since then figuring those things out. And I’d love to share them with you.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • The differences between a college essay an English class essay
  • How to show who you are through what you value
  • Qualities of a strong college essay
  • Options for structuring a personal statement/college essay
  • Differences between a personal statement and supplemental essays

Read more at The College Essay Guy>>

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