March is certainly coming in like a lion this year; anyone walking the streets of Hoboken knows it. But inside The Hudson School, we’re focused on our classes, including students who started Junior Seminar with me this morning. Writing the Personal Essay makes college a reality.
Next Saturday, March 10, many juniors will take their first SAT. For those who missed the deadline or weren’t ready, there will be another SAT on Saturday, May 5. The next ACT is April 14. Students should register by next Friday, March 9,
For those needing some assistance, we have two very good test-prep firms offering their services to Hudson students. Noodle Pros, which presented in January, has offered to host a proctored group at Hudson or a free, proctored test at their offices. They’ll also offer a complimentary consultation with any Pro on their site.
Also, Catalyst Prep, which works closely with many New Jersey schools, would like Hudson parents to know about four options: 1) Individual Prep, 2) Prep with a Friend, 3) Targeted Prep or 4) SAT/ACT Combo. For details, contact Debra Bachman and mention that you are a Hudson parent.
So many articles about curriculum focus on STEM and business, but Wellesley, Bard, Amherst, Georgetown, Middlebury and Wesleyan are doing more; they’re teaching students about writing with a real-world emphasis. States a Wellesley news release, “The Calderwood Seminars teach students to translate complex arguments and professional jargon from their academic disciplines—such as economics, mathematics, and philosophy—into writing intended for broader audiences . . . The program was founded on the principle that public writing is different from academic writing—and is central to life beyond college.”
Wellesley: leading the way in writing
When I hold meetings with junior families, the topic of teacher recommendations often comes up. That’s why this article in Her Campus was so relevant. In the article, Kelly Sutton-Skinner, Associate Director of Admissions at Barnard, clearly explains the purpose of the recommendations: “We’re not only learning about a student’s intellect and how they engage with academic content, but we’re also learning about their personalities and…what kind of presence they are in an academic environment.”
Barnard appreciates a good recommendation.
I will remind junior students about securing teacher recommendations before they leave for the summer. Generally, a student should ask two current teachers who can speak to their attributes.
Many of you may have heard about Naviance, which Hudson uses to send transcripts and recommendations to colleges. Some parents fear Naviance, especially because its graphs seem to “predict” student’s likelihood of admission. In “Scattergrams and College Admissions,” Will Geiger, co-founder of Scholarships360, explains, “Though Naviance scattergrams are one of the most common tools that high school counselors use to help demystify the ‘what are my chances’ part of the application process, they should be used mindfully.” Geiger states that while “scattergrams don’t predict the future, but they do help you build a balanced college list.”
Remember: Naviance doesn’t know your student’s story. That’s what the Personal Essay and supplements are for!
Sweet College Visits
During break, I had breakfast with Moira McCullough, whose business, Sweet Travels, includes hot spots for dining in college towns. So if you’re planning to visit Skidmore, for example, you might want to check out Plum Dandy or Druthers Brewery & Restaurant. College visits can get tense; make them sweet!
Going to Skidmore? (Check) Sweet Travels!
Scholarships and Financial Aid
$275 billion of financial aid (and tax relief) is available, but only if you know where to get it. Thanks to Beau Kuhn, some Hudson parents are more savvy about financing college. Beau addressed our second of four college planning seminars on Tuesday evening. Some other tips:
- The bulk of financial aid comes from the colleges themselves.
- It’s best to set up a profile on FastWeb.
- Financial aid is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Beau is offering a complimentary one-hour session to Hudson families. Get in touch with her.
Our next seminar, College Night at Hudson, will be held on Tuesday, March 20, at 7:00 pm, and it is mandatory for junior families. The series wraps up on April 17, when Alan Katzman of Social Assurity discusses the proactive use of social media.
NACAC College Fairs will be held in:
New York: April 22, 2018 ; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
New Jersey: April 25, 2018; 9:00-12:00 and 5:00-8:00
Open Houses and College Events
Franklin & Marshall: March 24; April 21
Seton Hall: April 22
Regardless of how your March has started, you can get in touch with me about college.