College Counselor’s Corner: Full Plates, Early Deadlines, Standardized Tests… Stay Informed

Think the holidays are the busiest time of year? Those of us in the business of college disagree. Our plates, along with those of your wonderful students, are very full. Between Early deadlines, standardized tests, financial aid, interviews and Naviance, we are experiencing somewhat of an adrenaline rush. For parents, the best solution is to stay informed.

Ah, the Liberal Arts!

At Hudson, we love those English majors! But as parents, you may wonder how your student will fare after graduating with an English degree. According to For English Majors, a Formula for Employment After Graduation in the Wall Street Journal, researchers from Mt. Holyoke College looked at their own grads and identified a formula that seemed to work: “Get excellent grades and take as many internship experiences as possible.” According to the their study, chances of employment six months after graduation were much improved if students had two versus just one internship.

Mt. Holyoke, you may recall, is part of the Five College Consortium, a winner of a business model in which students of Mt. Holyoke, Smith, Hampshire, Amherst and U Mass Amherst share resources. Hampshire, by the way, will come to Hudson on October 17.

Mt. Holyoke tracks employment opportunities for English majors.

Applications Done Better

in.Line: Explaining the Common App
Stuck on the Common App? Anna Ivey, an educational consultant I met at NACAC in Boston, has put her idea to the test. She describes her product, Inline, as a “Turbo Tax for the Common App.” As an applicant goes through the Common App questions, advice appears right on the screen. Users can click on live links to open up new browser windows that contain more details. The best part: applicants get download for free advice on the Profile, Family, Education, Testing and Activities sections.

How’s it doing so far? According to Anna, “It’s still early in the season, but people are sprinting towards their Early Admission deadlines coming up, so the energy is high!”

Anna tells applicants, “Some people really dread having to hit ‘submit’ because it feels so… final, so… irretrievable. Once it’s out there, it’s out there, in the hands of someone or even a whole committee who is judging you, and that can feel scary. And it is scary, and that’s OK. Don’t let that stop you from moving forward and hitting your deadline. You can do this.”

ZeeMee: Complementing the Common App
This week, I was the guest on a ZeeMee webinar along with Binghamton University’s admissions officer Andrew Loso. During the webinar, conducted for members of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), we discussed the advantages of using ZeeMee to enhance an applicant’s profile in this confusing and highly competitive college admissions process. For 2017-18, ZeeMee boasts a prompt-enhanced new platform that also allows applicants to pin videos and add photos to further their profiles.

Students in Senior Interview know that I’ve been encouraging them to complete their ZeeMees and include them on on ZeeMee links (placed by partner colleges on their supplements) or correspondence with colleges (e.g., thank yous after interviews).

Parents of Seniors: Just another reminder that some deadlines are looming! For example, UNC Chapel Hill wants its Early applications by October 15—that’s right, next week. Rutgers’ Early deadline is November 1, the same date for popular public research universities such as Maryland, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Testing: Always Controversial

Controversy regarding standardized tests? Really? Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post describes the fury of the International Association for College Admission Counseling, which represents 100 countries. The group is getting vocal about last-minute cancellations of SAT and ACT exams and lack of communications about those cancelled tests. Cancellations result from concerns about test security, but the group believes that international applicants are placed at a disadvantage because they don’t have as many chances to take the tests. As Strauss points out, “The College Board, which owns the SAT, and ACT Inc. are nonprofit organizations that earn millions of dollars each year from their testing and other programs; both pay high salaries to top executives. Their overseas testing has faced security problems for years, most commonly in Asia, which prompted cancellations of test administrations or the rescinding of scores.”

Hudson students will get to experience the PSAT, a classic College Board test, next Wednesday, October 11. As a reward, they get to go home once the test is done.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

At Hudson, we try our best to nurture, inform and educate, but we are not financial advisors. Fortunately, there are many good resources out there to help, starting with the U.S. Government website for FAFSA. Want to get started?  I recommend their video on creating a FAFSA ID.

MyinTuition Quick College Cost Estimator promises families “quick and easy access . . . to information about college affordability.” The Estimator if offered by a small group of elite universities for now, including Columbia, Amherst, Wellesley, UVA, Dartmouth, Williams, Wesleyan and Mt. Holyoke.

Columbia promises aid information in about three minutes.

Every year, Hudson arranges with the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) for a speaker on financial aid. We will welcome Woodrow Lewis on Wednesday, October 25, at 6:00 pm. This session is open to all Hudson high school parents, not only those of college applicants. It should end about 7:30 pm. Please RSVP, sending me an email and telling me how many people from your family will attend. If you have a particular question that you’d like Mr. Lewis to address, please include it.

Coming Soon to Hudson

Tuesday, October 17: Hampshire College
Tuesday, October 24: Clark University, Drew University

Information Sessions

Wash U in NYC: Sunday, October 15
STEM College Fair in NYC: Sunday, October 15

Need to book a meeting or have a call?  Email me to schedule a call or meeting.

Contact Me
Nina Berler
(201) 859-3665 ext. 119
2017-10-06T19:29:56+00:00 October 6th, 2017|
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