Foundation for Teaching Economics
Posted at 12/20/2019

Excited to announce that Foundation for Teaching Economics has posted the summer 2020 student applications along with all of the sites, dates and types of programs that we will be hosting next year! Check it out here: 2020 Program Sites and Dates


Categories: Summer Programs

Paying for College

Evelyn Alexander, M.A., CEP
Posted at 11/6/2019

For many families, the stress of paying for college has increased the anxiety level for the entire, already-stressful process.  Helping parents navigate this part of the maze has become an ever-more important role for those of us who guide families through the college search and application experience.There’s a flood of information about there about paying for college – sometimes offering advice on how to maximize your eligibility for need-based aid, even if they don’t know your individual financial situation.  There’s so much information that you’ll begin to wonder what’s true and what’s not, and what really applies to you.  So we’ve curated some information for you here that we think is useful to everyone.  You are not alone in your concern about paying for college!

How can you educate yourself about HOW the college financial aid process works?  Here’s a good starting point – spend 30-ish minutes watching our Financial Aid webinar.  This will give you so...more

Categories: Financial Aid & Affordability
  • financial aid
  • paying for college

What's the Difference Between Early Decision and Early Action?

Evelyn Alexander, M.A., CEP
Posted at 8/28/2019

We’ve posted information about the differences between Early Decision, Early Action, Restricted (or Single Choice) Early Action, Rolling Admission and Regular Decision in past articles, but if you aren’t quite sure of what these mean, this post is for you!

If you're a reader - read below!  If you'd rather watch a short video with the info, click here.

Early Decision

  • Binding contract.
  • Student, school counselor and parents sign an agreement saying that if student is admitted, s/he WILL ATTEND that school.
  • Must withdraw all other applications if admitted.  This means you will never find out if you would have been admitted to UC X or Y Other College.
  • Must place a deposit at school within a few weeks of being admitted.
  • Counselor agreement says the counselor will ONLY send the student’s final transcript to that college if student is admitted.
  • May only apply to ONE college ED.
  • The ONLY acceptable reason for not honoring an ED commitment is if the college does not meet your DEM

  • Early Decision
  • Early Action
  • Restrictive Early Action
  • Decision plans
  • College applications

Dream School vs. Best Fit

Mark Cruver
Posted at 3/20/2019

Somehow this notion of attending your dream school became synonymous with the perfect place to receive a degree. This idea of getting into a college or university of notoriety would, by default, propel students into stardom, ultimate success, or even riches. How utterly absurd.

But what if the "dream school" had nothing to do with notoriety, fame or fortune. But instead, the college was a good fit because it met the student's needs, bringing happiness and a prosperous environment. 

This is the true and honest nature of healthy college selection. A student who pursues their future by identifying meaningful characteristics of a college, recognizing personal strengths and challenges, and strives for excellence has actually constructed a foundation for building a solid list of colleges.

This idea of matching colleges to students based on specific criteria unique to the student is something many IECs (Independent Educational Consultant) have been doing for decades. The...more

Categories: College Selection & List Development
  • bestfit
  • collegeselection
  • iec
  • collegelist
  • college
  • student
  • collegebound
  • university
  • liberalarts
  • goodfitcollege
  • education

When Should I Take the SAT or ACT?

Evelyn Alexander, M.A., CEP
Posted at 8/27/2018

While most people would tell you that the “right time” for students to take the SAT or ACT is spring of their junior year, the reality is that it depends on a few things.  One of the most important factors in determining a student’s testing timeline is whether or not the student has completed Algebra 2.

If you’ve taken Algebra 2, you’re probably ready to start prepping!  And if you haven’t taken it, you aren’t ready and you’ll likely be frustrated, because you’ll be presented with math questions you have absolutely no idea how to approach or solve.
So here’s how we advise our clients:

If you take Algebra 2 in 10th grade, great!  During the summer between 10th and 11th, take a full-length practice SAT, and a full-length practice ACT.  These will not be fun.  And they should be real, retired exams (see below for explanation on this).  After you’ve taken both practice tests, it’s time to determine which you like better, and on which you sc...more

Categories: Application & Essay Guidance
  • college admissions testing
  • SAT
  • ACT

Communicating with teenagers a/k/a Do you speak English?

Michelle Humbach
Posted at 8/23/2018

As an Independent Education Consultant, my demographic is teens. Fortunately, I love and appreciate this age and often, my faith in humanity is literally restored by a one-hour college planning session with a high school student. Occasionally, I joke that they have a heavy burden of correcting many mistakes that my generation has made. I reassure them that I’m joking, even though I’m not, really.

Teenagers are a fascinating lot and I know from my work, as well as my personal life (my children are 25, 21 and 18), communicating with them can be a little tricky, if not downright exasperating. If I had a nickel for every time I nagged at my children, I’d have a ton of nickels. My logic stems from this: if they would just do as I say the first time, there would be no need to ask (nag) again. This factoid will make zero sense to them until they become parents.

I’m also keenly aware of the plight and suffering that can befall college freshmen. It’s not enough to be intellectually colleg...more

Categories: Comprehensive College Guidance
  • teenagers
  • high school student
  • parents of high school students
  • communication
  • gen Z
  • successful launch
  • ready for college

What Kind of Prep Will Raise My 34 ACT Composite to a 36?

Lessa Scherrer
Posted at 5/6/2018

Your prep should include deep analysis of what types of questions you’re missing and then practice of those, particularly in your “lower” sections. I find the ACT Black Book to be very helpful in this kind of analysis. It’s a companion to the Red Book, so you need to have them both.

That said, I have a question for you: why do you want to raise your 34? If you’re thinking a 36 will make you more competitive for college admissions, as others have mentioned, it won’t. Even those top 20 name brand colleges don’t make a distinction between 34, 35 and 36. You will not be more of an automatic admit anywhere, simply because you have a 36 instead of a 34.

However, spending several months prepping unnecessarily can give the colleges a bad impression, particularly at those name brand schools. A student who only cares about his numbers—grades and test scores—and not his development as a whole person is not going to impress an Ivy-type school. As listed on Big Future.o...more

Categories: Comprehensive College Guidance  |  Test Prep
  • admissions
  • act
  • test prep
1 comment

Advice For Juniors Part II: Taking Notes & Taking Ownership

Tina Boyer
Posted at 4/25/2018

In addition to practice writing, the other form of “essay prep” that naturally occurs during junior year is researching the colleges on your prospective list. While doing this research, take written notes on each school. Include the things that interest you most and make a note of anything unique to a particular school. Jot down the reasons why the school could be a good fit for you. Same deal for campus visits: take notes! These notes will save you precious time and energy when you’re ready to tackle the “Why Us” supplemental essays on your applications.
Now it may sound like my advice to date is adding extra work to your already busy life. And it can be tempting for a well-intentioned parent to want to step in and do some of this early prep work. But the college application process is a crucial step in a student’s growth and that growth starts with the student taking ownership of their process.
So, it goes without saying that you will be the sole author of your c...more

Categories: Application & Essay Guidance
  • College Essays
  • Essay Prep
  • Supplemental Essays
  • Owning The Process