Bells Will be Ringing
Planning for the new school year is just around the corner. Trips to the mall, school supplies, fall athletics, and dance, are all coming into play. It's been a hot but exciting summer and the new school year is just weeks away.
For students, it is the excitement of fresh starts, new locations, reconnecting with classmates, and focusing on the future. For parents, it manages the 2022-2023 household calendar, squeezing into duties at the workplace, and the extra-curricular transportation schedule. Oh, to have a few extra hours added to the day.
While we've been away for the summer many things have remained the same, while others continue to evolve or even change.
In this month's issue, we are tackling many of the pressing areas high school and college-aged families should be thinking about, introducing you to a couple of new partners/resources, and sharing some thoughts from a student entering his first year of college.
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TOP OF MIND
12th Graders Action Items – if you have not already started, spend the rest of the month getting ahead of assignments to make the start of the school year easier. Here is what we recommend:
- Refine the college list - narrow options to get to the final cut
- Get on campus or an online virtual tour - take notes on what impresses you - investigate and evaluate.
- Write the Essay - shot for a final draft by the end of the month - download the FREE College Essay Workbook from Pivotal College Years https://bit.ly/3K0AQwP for helpful tips.
- Launch and complete the Common Application
- Engage college representatives in conversation through email, texting, and 1-1 virtual meetings
Parents - The Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) goes live for the 2023-2024 academic year on October 1, 2022. All students and families interested in applying for need-based financial aid awarded by colleges, universities, the federal, state, and some private scholarship organizations should complete and file the FAFSA. New changes affecting divorced and separated parents, the multiple student discounts, and grandparent gifts begin on 10/2/2022. Read more
if you do not have a preliminary view of anticipated cost and affordability, your added assignment is to learn the rules and know your numbers. Don't finish the shopping process until you know your family's capability to meet college costs.
Add a copy of the Practical Funding Workbook from Pivotal College Years to your resource library.
9th and 10th Grade – right now, let's keep emotions and anxiety in check by focusing on the excitement of a new environment, pursuing academics at the next level, getting involved in clubs, and exploring personal interests.
11th Grade - yes, it is the pivotal year and begins in the fall—at the end of the junior year, GPA, grades, and all activities in and out of school will be the cumulative rollup of the first three years. A solid junior year can change a slow start or boost an already strong profile. In these final weeks, students should read, prepare for October PSAT, and evaluate how to improve their study habits.
Parents – focus on the need for ademic support through outside tutoring, your student's thoughts on high school sports, clubs, and one none school extra-curricular outside of school, plus creating a paying for college financial strategy.
Two Minute Read -
From the Eyes of a 2022 HS Grad
Cameron Chabot, University of Lowell
Picture this - you’ve just received your letter of acceptance to your dream college. All of your hard work paid off. The sleepless nights spending time on homework, the agony of studying until you’ve memorized every last vocab word, and your persistent work ethic leaving no room for free time. It has all paid off. But there's just one thing, you didn't receive any money from your dream school.
Unfortunately, this is a reality that many upcoming college students face, including me. Once I overcame the initial disappointment, I had to come to terms with the situation. Do I want to graduate with nearly $150,000 of loans? Isn't the whole point of going to college to make money? I had other great options in hand. I decided to go to a state school where I will come out with minimal loans, and it felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. But I look around and see my peers choosing schools that will land them in massive amounts of debt, and it concerns me. No judgment is being made, for any college/alternative career path is a great one should be applauded. However, landing yourself in a massive pool of loans can be avoided in many situations. Here are some tips to avoid this.
First, one of the best lessons my college advisor (Tom O’Hare) taught me was to apply to multiple schools with different difficulties. This healthy mix of schools will allow for options, which means that you will receive acceptance from more than one school. This also increases your chance for the opportunity of receiving scholarship money. If you apply to schools that are either considered “safe” or “within-reach”, it is more likely they will offer more money. Applying to schools that are sometimes out-of-reach can result in less money awarded. Applying to state-funded schools is also a smart decision, for they usually have much lower tuition costs. Furthermore, if you are in a situation where you can commute to college and are willing, you will save ample amounts of money. However, if you are looking for a full college experience, it may cost you.
All things considered; everyone must choose their path. Whether you decide to go to your dream school and pay more, decide to live at school, or decide to go with the cheaper option; you are receiving a great education that will only be beneficial depending on how you use it. You chose what to do with your college degree, and you will ultimately determine your future success depends on your qualities, choices, and determination. No specific college will do this for you. Remember, there are usually ways to get around student loans, and just because it may be a prestigious college offering you the acceptance, does not mean you are required to accept.
As a graduated high school senior about to enter college, I understand this can be a stressful time. I wish everyone the best of luck on the journey that they are about to embark on.
4 Keys to Make the Transition to College Easier
The thought of sending your student off to college can turn a calm and easy-going household into the Goliath ride at Six Flags. Here are a few ways to turn a potentially wild ride into a smooth and rewarding experience.
Expectation – many college experts will tell you it is less about the college and more about what a student puts into the experience. Every student needs to understand their goals and wants from their first year to the last. If being a number means stress, anxiety, and an unhappy college experience, then support being #2.
Networking - Interacting with faculty, advisers, campus administrators, and one's peers is critical to fostering a close and trusted network.
Knowledge is power. Asking for assistance with a dietary, roommate, and social situation removes the barriers that sometimes find students withdrawing, physically and emotionally. Learning and understanding where to seek help can be the difference between maintaining competitive grades, holding onto a scholarship, and completing in four years.
Communication – the #1 ingredient for a student is the connection back home. Before dropping off, students and parents need to develop their communication plan. When and how to check in to see how things are going. Keeping in touch, listening to answers, and monitoring changes are essential for a student's (parents) mental well-being. College is the first time most 17-18-year-old students will be on their own. An experience that is not part of their DNA.
Share these tips with your first-year and returning college students
Trusted Partners Corner
This month Jamie Schultz, Founder of Jamie the Scholar Private Tutoring shares her insights on signs that extra academic help might be needed.
How to decide if your child needs tutoring
Many times, parents are understandably confused about when to push and when to get academic help for their kids. Here are some signs an academic coach/tutor is necessary:
1. You hear phrases like “I’ve tried, and I can’t do it/don’t understand it.”
2. They have exhausted what they know how to do, and the tools they have and have used in the past aren’t working.
3. They have anxiety/increased stress/frustration surrounding the course.
4. They ask for help.
5. They either say things like “I guess I am just stupid,” or “The teacher is an idiot and doesn’t make any sense,” (self-downing and internalizing failure or blaming others).
6. After the above, they become avoidant because they feel helpless.
7. They give up.
It is much better to address these feelings in the early stages rather than waiting until they internalize what they see as a failure and give up on themselves. If you ever hear your child, say he/she needs help, they almost always do. Very rarely is this a sign of manipulation or laziness; it is most often genuine when kids and teens admit that they do not have the tools to manage a particular situation. Also, the more expediently the tutor/academic coach enters the situation, the better likelihood there is of a positive outcome.
Learn more about when and how to use academic coaching to support student success at www.jamiethescholar.com
10 Differences between Middle and High School
PivotED - a newsletter (for adults) about career readiness (for kids).
Fall College Fairs - mark your calendars!!
- Regional Fairs sponsored by the New England Association of College Admission Counselors - held at regional colleges including Western New England, UMass Dartmouth, and Worcester State.
- Peabody Veterans Memorial High School - October 6th
Waiting Game - going to press we are still on the fence as the final days of the student loan freeze-thaw. Will they or won't they? Borrowers should file their PSLF forms by the October 21, 2002 deadline and be prepared to begin paying again.
More companies are adding employee enrichment and voluntary hiring benefits including "pay off my student loans".
FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a robotics community that prepares young people for STEM learning, interest, and skill-building well beyond high school.
Pivotal College Years is a robust online college planning platform. Designed for the DIY parent, the digital library covers a wide range of information before, during, and after college. Resources include videos, PDF downloads, workbooks, and other reference information on everything college. College Planning shouldn't be complicated, intimidating, or expensive.
Use PCY30 for a free trial - Learn more
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