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Engage! Become a more interesting individual (and a stronger college applicant) from the comfort of your own home

April 28th, 2020
Image by Getty Images via US News

Being stuck at home doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities for students to grow; you just have to think outside the box. While online instruction continues and we all wait for things to return to normal, the article below from Link for Counselors provides ideas that may help you develop new skills. Not only will trying new things add an interesting dimension to your life right now, it will also help your personal development and could equip you with enriching experiences to add to your college applications. So, if you have a little time on your hands, please read on!

Article referenced below published by Link for Counselors on April 15, 2020, written by Scott Garbini and Eric Endlich

Covid-Era College Prep

Normally, there are many ways for high school students to bolster their resumes and prepare for college application season: playing team sports, being active in school clubs, working in after-school jobs or summer internships, attending college fairs and touring campuses, to name a few. During the current pandemic, however, most of these traditional opportunities have vanished. What’s a teen to do?

Right now, focusing on the priorities of staying healthy, keeping up with coursework and earning solid grades already constitutes a full plate for many students, especially if they have additional responsibilities at home. But for those who wish to do more, there are various college prep possibilities even while sheltering in place. Engaging in productive activities may also enhance teens’ well-being. Here are some suggestions to get started:

Read more at Link for Counselors>>

Flexibility and creativity: the college admission process in unusual times

April 14th, 2020

The need for social distancing has thrown a wrench in so many plans for high school students, from prom to class trips and graduation. It’s both reasonable and healthy to mourn the loss of these milestones, as the spring and summer events anticipated have completely changed and a wide range of emotions come along with that.

Image by Getty Images via US News

Don’t let this take away the entirety of your high school experience, though. You’ve each been on a journey of learning about yourselves, which has helped shape your future plans. Remember that all high school students are going through this together and there will be an end, perhaps an even brighter future, ahead for all.

The article from Forbes linked below shines light on ways to be flexible and creative despite today’s uncertainty. Brennan Barnard offers ideas for seniors as they make their final decisions and for younger students as they move through the college application process.

Article referenced below originally published by Forbes on April 1, 2020, written by Brennan Barnard

Virtually Possible: Locking Down The College Search In A Global Pandemic

“This is virtually impossible!” my daughter blurts out from the next room, adding, “who thought geometry was important anyway?” “Actually,” I respond with my under-appreciated dad irony, ”it is virtually possible.” Deciding to spare her the lecture on how Euclid and Descartes thought geometry was pretty important, instead, I urge her to set up a virtual meeting with her teacher to work through her confusion with the theorem. This is the new normal for students throughout the country as they settle into pandemic-enforced distance learning. Young people are adapting to online classrooms and virtual meetings while also confronting the disappointment of missed opportunities at school and out in their world.

We are living in uncertain times, and as a high school educator, I am watching students (from my appropriate social distance) start to come to terms with the feelings of loss that the novel coronavirus has introduced into their lives. As the reality sets in of the short and long term changes this pandemic is bringing, they are experiencing a range of emotions. Time in class, in the halls, competing in sport, on stage, at prom and other hallmarks of spring in high school are quickly disappearing. While we must acknowledge the visceral feelings of loss young people are experiencing and support them, we must also encourage them to look for new opportunities and approaches to the milestones in their schooling and lives. One of these, for many high school juniors, is the search for a college. Despite the inevitable virus-induced challenges, it is virtually possible. Consider these tips for beginning your stay-at-home college search:

Read more at Forbes>>

Changes surrounding ACT, SAT and college admissions amid coronavirus outbreak

March 31st, 2020

COVID-19 has certainly changed our world. I’m constantly thinking about those affected physically, mentally and financially. For high school and college students alike, so much of their immediate future has changed: graduation, prom, financial aid and decision day. Many feel a tremendous sense of loss. Parents and students everywhere are seeking ways to manage the uncertainty.

Photo by Junfu Han via USA Today

The week before last, we held a virtual open house with two college students who had returned home from their campuses mid-March due to the Coronavirus outbreak. They answered many questions from parents and students about what families can do to feel more confident as decision day approaches. Some of the excellent advice they shared centered on finding virtual tours, virtual chats and online groups of current or incoming students at schools under serious consideration. We’re grateful for the time they shared, even as they were trying to adjust to their own “new normal.”

In response to students’ need for up-to-date information, the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) has developed an online tool tracking colleges’ changes to campus visit policies, enrollment deposit deadlines, etc. You’ll find a wealth of information on this website: https://www.nacacnet.org/news–publications/newsroom/college-admission-status-coronavirus/

More colleges are becoming test-optional in admissions, which is one positive change to report. Recently announcing this new policy, in some cases on a pilot basis due to spring testing plans having been upended: Boston University, Case Western Reserve U., Scripps College, Tufts U., U. of Oregon, among others.

Still, most current juniors should plan ahead for summer and fall testing. Future dates are subject to change so you’ll find it helpful to monitor updates that ACT and SAT are sharing. Another excellent resource on this topic is Applerouth, a trusted test prep provider. The article linked below was initially published on their website, and it’s a useful resource for those affected by SAT or ACT cancellations.

Stay strong and healthy, and stay in touch with updates and any questions you may have. We remain here for you, focused on your bright futures.

Article referenced below originally published March 17, 2020, by Jed Applerouth.

What to do if your SAT or ACT was Canceled

Yesterday, The College Board and ACT, Inc. announced that in response to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the SAT and ACT will be suspended until June. Students who were planning to take the makeup SAT on March 28, the ACT on April 4, or the SAT on May 2 will have to make adjustments to their testing plans. 

For students who had prepared or have been preparing for these tests for weeks or months, this decision, though necessary for public safety, was disappointing. At the same time, the delays don’t mean that the work you have been putting in this spring will be for naught or that you won’t be ready to apply for college come fall. 

If your spring SAT or ACT was canceled, here are steps you can take to make sure you are prepared once testing resumes:

Read more at Applerouth>>

How COVID-19 is affecting colleges and boarding schools

March 17th, 2020

Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is causing major disruptions in the education world. In addition to significant health-related concerns, students and parents are also feeling effects that relate directly to their ongoing education, not to mention college and boarding school planning.

Sophomore Sadia Demby moves her belongings through Harvard Yard on March 12. Photo via CNN

Colleges and universities across the US have canceled in-person classes, turning to virtual instruction instead; some have chosen to shut down altogether for the remainder of the semester. Many boarding schools are following suit. And with that, campus visit opportunities are being cancelled or postponed as well.

Policies may even change from day to day at this precarious time. The National Association for Admission Counseling (NACAC) has quickly developed a tool to help students and parents stay abreast of changes, found here: https://www.nacacnet.org/college-admission-status-coronavirus.

For seniors who can no longer make final visits ahead of determining a college enrollment choice, we encourage you to take these steps:

  • Research academic and extracurricular opportunities carefully, deeply, on college websites
  • Utilize social media to find current students to connect with, and to see what current students are talking about
  • Talk with other contacts who’ve had firsthand experience with the colleges under final consideration
  • If online events for accepted students are held, plan to participate

Many boarding schools have also canceled revisit programs for accepted students ahead of the April 10 commitment date.  Our advice to these families is similar:

  • Research academic and extracurricular opportunities carefully, deeply, on school websites
  • Utilize social media to find current students and parents to connect with, and to see what current students and parents are talking about
  • Talk with other contacts who’ve had firsthand experience with the schools under final consideration
    • If none, ask admission offices if they can provide contacts
  • If online events for accepted students are held, plan to participate

Families with younger students still in the school or college search pipeline have the luxury of time, and we can hope that this virus will indeed be contained if sufficient precautions are taken.  Ideally, next fall we will see everything back to normal. 

Luckily we live in an age where there is an immense amount of information available online and we wish everyone continued good health.  This is a time for altruism, when we must not only look out for ourselves but for others, too.

If you are looking for more information about how college students are being affected by institutions’ response to coronavirus, please read this great article from Harmeet Kaur at CNN.

If you’re a college student affected by coronavirus or the parent of one, here’s what you need to know

(CNN)For some students in the US, school’s already out for the summer — sort of.

A growing number of colleges and universities around the country are canceling in-person classes and asking students to leave campus as a precaution to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Some, like Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Berea College, have asked students to vacate campus for the rest of the semester. Others, like the University of Washington and The Ohio State University, are moving their classes online for a few weeks while they continue to monitor the situation.

Read more at CNN>>