Home Pointers For Parents Creating A Personalized College List

Creating A Personalized College List

Tony Moschella spent 32 years as a School Psychologist, and started University College Advisors to polish student profiles through college interest and major assessment, essay and interview prep, college list building, financial aid review and college admissions guidance. Cell: 516-443-5192.
    As high schoolers begin to investigate appropriate colleges to add to their college list, establishing a reliable and effective framework will help guide this process. There are four main objectives that should remain at the forefront when surveying schools: Difficulty, Timing, Fit and Cost. Let’s examine these points individually to see how each is essential in linking colleges to student profiles.
    The first element requires matching a school’s entry criteria with a student’s personal profile. This includes locating schools where a student has a strong chance of being admitted based on recent admissions history. Comparing one’s resume (including SAT/ACT scores and GPA) with recent averages of admitted students helps to determine if a school makes the “ballpark list”. Most college guide books provide entry score ranges (i.e. difficulty) to help in this effort. As an Independent Educational Consultant, I have found that locating schools where a student’s test scores and GPA meet at least the mid-point scores for a given college enhances admissions chances and enables students to thrive academically should they ultimately attend. 
    Timing refers to the preparation and gathering of all necessary documents to submit a quality application. It also includes determining the type of application for submission: Early Decision, Early Action or Regular Decision. Once a final college list is established, there may be a single gem school that stands above all others. Applying Early Decision, a binding contractual obligation to attend if admitted, generally offers a higher acceptance rate partly due to the enhanced applicant pool that applies early. It also signals a commitment to attend a school if admitted. Similarly, Early Action offers an earlier determination if one’s application merits an acceptance. Finally, most applications will fall under Regular Decision and will offer additional breathing room to submit a completed application.
    Fit relative to preferences involves matching school characteristics with a student’s personal criteria. Categories to determine a proper fit may include: school size, setting, location, prestige, religious affiliation, distance from home and program availability. While it is not essential to locate schools that satisfy all these preferred features, it is vital for students to assess their personal wish list of characteristics within their comfort zone. With each school surveyed, students can form their own model of an ideal educational setting. 
    Finally cost, the anticipated expenses that occur to reach graduation. As tuition, room and board costs have accelerated, the ability to plan for and meet anticipated expenses has been challenging. Colleges, both private and public, dedicate a portion of their financial resources towards meeting the obligations of their students via economic-based aid and merit grants. Recognizing the avenues for financial aid available directly from the college helps ease the financial obligation burden. 
    In utilizing the four elements of difficulty, timing, fit and cost, students are better able to target appropriate schools for their personalized college list.


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Poolside Picks

Dive into your summer reading list

(Family Features) Laying out on the beach and floating in the pool are true hallmarks of summer. A good book, however, can elevate these relaxing experiences to a new level.

Whether you find yourself looking for a beach read, a book for the pool or something to help you escape while lounging on the couch with the windows open, these sizzling summer reads offer something for nearly every type of reader. From suspense to romance and adventure, you don’t want to miss these books this summer.

Some Secrets Aren’t Meant to Be Shared

From author Meg Mitchell Moore comes a warm, witty and suspenseful novel filled with small-town secrets, summer romance, big time lies and spiked seltzer. In “Two Truths and A Lie” the leader of an idyllic beach town “mom squad” has made surprising effort to include a new resident and her daughter in typically closed-group activities, though they’re not the only ones she’s been spending more time with. A blend of propulsive thriller and gorgeous summer read, Moore’s latest novel is a reminder that happiness isn’t always a day at the beach, some secrets aren’t meant to be shared and the most precious things are loved ones.

Romantic Adventure Proves Anything Can Happen

No. 1 “New York Times” bestseller Susan Elizabeth Phillips returns to her Chicago Stars series with a romance between a quarterback and one of the world’s greatest opera singers – and a major diva – in “When Stars Collide.” It’s Mozart meets Monday night football as the temperamental soprano and stubborn jock embark on a nationwide tour promoting a luxury watch brand, they engage in soul-searching, trash talk and backstage drama. Threatening letters, haunting photographs and a series of dangerous encounters also complicate their lives and make them wonder if it’s the work of an overzealous fan or something more sinister.

Transatlantic Love Story Raises the Royal Stakes

“New York Times” and “USA Today” bestselling author Alyssa Cole’s second Runaway Royals novel, “How to Find a Princess,” is an Anastasia-inspired romance featuring a long-lost princess who finds love with the female investigator tasked with tracking her down. When a threat to her grandmother’s livelihood pushes the princess to return to Ibarania, the investigator takes her on a transatlantic adventure. When they finally make it, they realize there’s more at stake than just cash and crown, and the princess must learn what it means to fight for what she desires rather than what she feels bound to by duty.

Find more titles to add to your summer reading list at Facebook.com/WilliamMorrowBooks .


Photo courtesy of Getty Images (woman reading in pool)

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