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Your HS Transcript: The Most Important Factor in Admission

A transcript always tells a story.  Anyone who looks at transcripts often will have these questions and thoughts as they look at the transcript. What classes did the student choose? Did the student chose the hardest classes available to them? Are there patterns that can be identified? For instance, does the student do better on reading/writing classes or classes with tests, like math and science classes? Did the student have certain years where their grades were stronger? Are there any trends,…

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Five Steps of Proactive Career Development

My College Planning Team's Academic  team member, Donna Sandberg, outlines the Five Steps of Proactive Career Development created by the Illinois Career Development Association (ICDA).   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2An5u0x6Ac   Need Help With the Choosing a Career or the College Admissions Process? My College Planning Team's Academic Team can assist your student with all aspects of the college search, application and selection process, including choosing a career. Contact Stephanie Kennedy for more information or click here to schedule a free consultation. Donna Sandberg, M.S., NCC, MCC, LCPC,…

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The Essay: The ACT Now Has Its ACT Together!

The ACT folks really created a mess when they "revamped" the essay portion of the exam. Fortunately for college- bound students everywhere, the situation appears to be (mostly) resolved. A LITTLE HISTORY The trouble began in September of 2015. Several changes to the essay were rolled out: a changed grading rubric that incorporated four scoring "domains", a switch from the twelve point grading scale to a thirty-six range, and a significantly more complex writing prompt. In this short space, it…

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Three-year Degree Path Means Big Savings for Students

Graduating in less than four years can dramatically cut college costs. But traditional routes, such as loading up on AP classes in high school, are no guarantee that students will be able to earn their college degrees sooner. That’s why a handful of colleges are now offering students a three-year degree path—at a savings that can amount to tens of thousands of dollars. One such school is Grace College & Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana. The small Christian college introduced…

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Networking: Step 4 of Proactive Career Development

This is the fifth in my series of blog posts on the Five Steps of Proactive Career Development created by the Illinois Career Development Association (ICDA) Step 4.  Network in person and via social media throughout your career. Networking! Networking! Networking!  Enough already, you might be thinking to yourself. Perhaps you’re tired of hearing people tell you that you need to be networking or you’re afraid to force yourself to reach out to and interact with people you don’t know.  And,…

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How Many Legs Are On Your “College Admissions Chair”?

My College Planning Team's President, co-founder and Academic Team leader, Stephanie Kennedy, discusses the importance of having multiple legs on your "college admissions chair". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJkdahZFnx4&feature=youtu.be Need Help With the College Admissions Process? My College Planning Team's Academic Team can assist your student with all aspects of the college search, application and selection process. Contact Stephanie Kennedy for more information or click here to schedule a free consultation. My College Planning Team Serves the Following Chicagoland Areas: Arlington Heights · Aurora ⋅ Barrington ⋅…

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The Peace Corps Can Help Reduce College Costs

Who wouldn't love a chance to work a job that pays off student loans? The Peace Corps offers federal loan forgiveness, plus a whole world of other benefits. Graduating with a mountain of debt has become a tradition in our country. Thanks in part to easy access to low-interest college loans over the past 25 years, we've become a nation of debtors. But for anyone who took out loans under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program, there's hope…

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Recommended Gap Year Reads

For hundreds of years, tales have been spun about the adventures of travelers in distant lands. Memoirs of these travels serve to inform – and inspire- its readers. The following list compiles travelogues written in the 20th century by authors as famous as Che Guevara to former 30 Rock producer Steve Hely. They range from serious to hilarious, but they all describe challenging yourself in a foreign location. Even if that location is our own Appalachian Trail! These books just may help you decide where…

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OER: Cutting College Costs By Nixing Textbooks

A full 65 percent of students have gone without buying a college textbook due to its high cost, according to a U.S. PIRG Education Fund study released in 2014. But what if no teachers required students to buy any books for their classes, and students could access all the materials they needed online for free? That’s the idea behind Open Educational Resources (OER). Companies like Lumen Learning in Portland, OR, are helping schools to replace expensive textbooks with OER. To date, Lumen is working with…

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Letting Go and Staying Connected: How to Parent Your College Student

Congratulations!  Join the club!  You are now the parent of a college student! For nearly two decades, we have raised our children, created opportunities for them, and served as their strongest supporter and advocate.  Now, they are off to college, where they are immersed in vast sea of opportunities in the company of mostly strangers.  We are wondering how to stay connected to our young adults. Letting Go Can Be Hard to Do We have written the check, said our…

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