Poor-Man's Mocha & The Myths of the PSAT

 

Transcript:

Mmmmm. I’m sitting in a hotel room drinking a hot mocha.

But don’t get excited, this is a poor man’s mocha. It’s just hotel coffee blended with hot cocoa mix. It’ll do in a pinch.

But today I want to talk about the PSAT exam which is coming up in just a couple days for most High School juniors.

If you have a junior, listen up. If you have an 8th, 9th or 10th grader, this is for you too.

I believe there is more Misinformation, and assumptions on this topic by well-meaning individuals AND well-meaning professionals, than anything else related to the high school to college process.

Here are a few of the often-repeated MYTHS surrounding the PSAT exam.

(1) It’s just a practice SAT test. So my kid doesn’t have to take it seriously, or my kid is only taking the ACT so there’s no reason to take the PSAT since its only to practice for the SAT.

WRONG: The PSAT is NOT a practice test. It has been used as a practice SAT, and the...

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Ever Wonder How the Government Calculates Your EFC?

Your 'EFC' is your Expected Family Contribution. It's a number that represents just how much the federal government thinks your family can contribute toward your teen's college expenses...every year! It is not only used by the federal government to determine if your family qualifies for need-based aid (the Pell Grant, for example) but colleges also use the EFC in determining need-based aid (and sometimes scholarships). However, most private colleges also use another set of calculations, called the CSS Profile. 
But here it is. How the government calculates your EFC. 

https://ifap.ed.gov/efcformulaguide/attachments/2021EFCFormulaGuide.pdf

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What is RAISE.ME and How Does It Really Work?

What is Raise.Me and How does it REALLY work…

Raise.me is not a scholarship program in the sense that most people think of scholarships.

#1 Raise.me partnered with about 200 of the nearly 5000 colleges and universities in the US. That’s a very small percentage.

#2 These particular schools partner with raise.me to guarantee a ‘small’ scholarship amount (see #3 for how the money is earned) to the student who applies and is accepted to that one school.

#3 Students ‘earn’ scholarship money by getting good grades, participating in sports and extracurricular activities. The value of each depends on the college.

But here’s the rub…

The scholarship amount is the MINIMUM that the student will receive, and is NOT in addition to entering freshmen scholarships the school may offer. It is called a ‘micro-scholarship’ because it will be less than the school would generally offer an entering freshmen with decent stats.

It is intended to...

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Major Red Flags in College Admissions Applications

Top colleges Deans of Admissions let you know what red flags they see in college applications.
Jordan Goldman moderates The Wall Street Journal's special event "Inside The College Admissions Office." Panelists include the Deans of Admissions from Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, Williams College, Wesleyan University, Bryn Mawr College, Grinnell College, Marquette University and the University of Vermont.

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College Major: The Right Choice?

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College Major: The Right Choice?

I've noticed teens are not paying much attention to what they choose as their college major. Yes, I understand the draw of ‘follow your passion’. I agree you don’t want to be in a job 8 hours a day that you absolutely hate. But that’s the point. You need a job. Something that actually pays some amount of money. Even if the job with your major begins at minimum wage or just above, the question to ask is, are there advancement opportunities? Can you move into management or freelance that skill and become an entrepreneur once you’ve got some time under your belt? Minimum wage isn’t usually enough by itself to pay the bills, and the last thing you want is college debt for a job you could have gotten right out of high school.

I ask this question so that you, the parent, can sit down with your teen and have a frank discussion about their goals. They don’t have to know what they want to do for the rest of their...

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Does your teen need a summer job?

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Does your teen need a summer job?

The Employment Resume. It’s not quite like it used to be.

You are probably familiar with the Employment Resume. Anyone who is going to apply for a job should have an employment resume. Yes, even a high school student. I know there may not be much of anything on it, but believe me when I say, a student that shows up to apply for a job with a resume in hand has a major advantage over every other student applicant.

And the truth is, if you sit down and think about it, there could be a lot more on that resume than you initially thought (communication skills, leadership skills, community service…). All of these reveal character traits that employers and college admissions officers are looking for.

Those having been in the workforce might remember that it’s a good idea to tailor the resume to the employer. That’s still true. But you also have to consider the differences in paper applications and resumes vs online applications...

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High School vs Employment Resume (What's the Difference?)

High School vs Employment Resume

Why Does a high school student need a Resume?

Aside for the obvious reason of employment search, there’s an even better reason to have a winning high school resume!
A High School resume sets you apart from the tens of thousands of other college applicants. (The University of Michigan alone received more than 50,000 applications per year, and accepts only about 15,000.)

But how is a high school to college resume different from an employment resume?

There are similarities and differences between an employment resume and a high school to college resume.

Both have these things in common. They…

  • Contain your contact information at the top
  • List your employment history
  • Attempt to keep it to one side of one page (with a few exceptions)
  • Lists items in reverse chronological order

And thats about it.


Similarities are few. Differences are many.:

They each serve a different purpose:

 

The Purpose of the Employment Resume is to:

  • ...
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Does a high school student need a resume? In a word, YES!

Most, although not all, traditionally schooled students are aware that a high school student needs a resume. There are two different types of resumes. The high school to college resume and the employment resume. You will need one or both. This LINK tells you the difference.

For those who are homeschooled, we homeschool parents tend to think everything goes on the transcript. Not so fast!

Be careful not to put everything your high school student does on the transcript. 

Why not?

Because the purpose of the ‘transcript’ is to demonstrate the student's academic ability. Only that which is learned and graded is placed on the transcript. The purpose of the resume covers everything else: community service, activities, leadership, awards, honors, employment, ….

Parents who choose to put everything on the transcript are doing their students a disservice, including athletic activities that they want to use as PE. Here’s why this is a bad idea.:

PE in...

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Don't stop looking for money

 

For the high school freshmen thru college student. Don't stop looking for money.

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My Senior Didn't Get Scholarships

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 Watch to learn the likely reason your teen was not offered a scholarship.

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