College Counselors Corner: Conference Worthy Information

Football may on a brief hiatus, but the college process takes no rest in January. Read on to find out what issues may affect your student’s future.

Seminar Series
Thanks to so many of you for turning out Tuesday night for our inaugural seminar, Testing Post-PSAT in a High-Stakes Environment. After a brief introduction of college counseling at Hudson, Anna Gazumyan-Silverman of Noodle Pros presented many fundamentals of testing and options for test prep. Neill Seltzer, the firm’s president, added a sense of perspective. Common ground between all our presentations:

  • Students have to be willing to work hard.

  • Standardized tests don’t contain surprises.

Many parents were not familiar with SAT Subject Tests, which are a great way to show off your student’s knowledge. While once required by many institutions, they have fallen somewhat out of favor, likely a response to the high fees associated with applying to college. Still, many STEM applicants are required or encouraged to take Subject Tests, and any applicant can use them as a valuable credential for college. Subject Tests take only 50 minutes, and a student can take up to three at a sitting. June is usually the best time for those exams.

If you would like more information from Noodle Pros, including a free practice test at their beautiful NYC office, get in touch with Molly Phelan.

Our next seminar, Mapping and Financing Your Student’s College Future, will be held at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, February 27. Hoboken’s own Beau Kuhn will discuss:

  • Strategies to maximize money for college

  • Mistakes to avoid when applying for college funding

  • Planning for out-of-pocket costs

  • Colleges that give the most merit aid

  • Saving for education

College Night for Hudson FamiliesTuesday, March 20, is mandatory for all junior families. The final session, Social Media and Your Student’s College Future will be April 17.  To register, submit the form at www.thehudsonschool.org/rsvp-2018-college-planning.

The Cost of College
Speaking of saving money, last week the New York Times explained “Why It’s so Hard to Calculate What You’ll Pay for College.” Author Ron Lieber defined merit aid as “a form of discounting that has little to do with your finances.”

For his article, Lieber visited four exclusive women’s colleges: Mount Holyoke, Smith, Simmons and Wellesley. While offering generous financial aid, Wellesley is the only college in that group to not provide merit-based assistance. Smith, in contrast, offers merit aid to 10 percent of the student body, notably through $10,000 Presidential Scholarships, though it would not reveal much to Lieber about who receives these awards. Lieber concludes, “I believe I speak for most families and applicants when I say this: It should not be this hard to get basic information about what kind of discounts you might get from a school.”


Wellesley offers substantial financial aid but not merit aid.

College Admissions
Can a new way of assessing high school students extend to college admissions? Inside Higher Ed took a look in its “New Bid to Overhaul College Admissions.” Some states are considering or moving to performance-based assessments that look at “synthesis of skills rather than showing some level of competency in academic subjects.” We’re told, “Proponents of the new system are creating a series of task forces to determine how the various high school assessments could be better understood by colleges so that they could have the credibility of, say, an Advanced Placement course.” The jury is definitely out.

Information Sessions
Cornell and Hudson go together well. We’ve had three Early Decision admits in the last two years! Cornell is holding its Undergraduate Admissions Information Session and College Panels program on February 19March 30 and April 2, along with information sessions on February 17 and 20-24. Check the Cornell website for more.

If you are taking your student to visit colleges, be sure to check the appropriate website and register for information sessions. They’re invaluable.


Check out Cornell – and see some Hudson alums!

College Talk
Today, Paul Perkinson and I took over the freshman history class to (gently) introduce the college process. We challenged the students to create questions, and they were fabulous! Students asked about the timeline for test prep, using outside help to assist with college planning, how to find scholarships, the role of the PSAT in college admissions, and how the college list is created, among other items.

Super Bowl LII
In December, the Philadelphia Eagles’ fan base was devastated when star quarterback Carson Wentz tore his ACL. Now, Nick Foles is looking to dethrone the Patriots next Sunday. Foles attended Michigan State for a year before transferring to the University of Arizona, which would have made him a teammate of big man Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots’ star tight end. Gronk’s major was pre-business, while Foles graduated with a degree in communications.


Both Foles and Gronk were Wildcats.

If you are the parent of a junior who needs to schedule a meeting, let me know. As we told the freshmen today, you are not alone in this process!

Contact Me
Nina Berler
nberler@thehudsonschool.org
(201) 859-3665 ext. 119
2018-01-26T13:30:57+00:00 January 26th, 2018|
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