Why Hire an Independent College Counselor to Help You in Your College Admissions Process?

Posted by: Editor EduPlan on Aug 29 2014 / Comments (0)

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When dealing with the college admissions process, there are two types of counselors available. There are the independent college counselors, and there are college counselors or advisors. These two types differ in many ways. The first one is paid for by the student, while the latter is employed by the school. The organizations that support independent college counselors are the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), and the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA). The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) endorses the college counselors. For graduate school admissions, the association that leads this industry is the Association of International Graduate Admissions (AIGAC). Any college admissions counselor should be a professional member of these organizations.

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Independent college counselors, also known as consultants, assist students and their families to handle the graduate or undergraduate college application process. They help with various tasks to ensure that students are on the right track for high school graduation. These tasks are quite comprehensive. They meet groups of students, and usually provide one-on-one counseling. They coordinate college tours, college applications, and college selections to relieve family stress and maximize results. Other tasks of independent college counselors include revealing available avenues for financial aid, and sharing unbiased information on a wide scope of graduate and collegiate programs… So why do you need to hire a private admissions counselor? Here are the major benefits of hiring an independent consultant:

  • Helps in determining what types of colleges would be best suited for your requirements
  • Guides you to plan college visits and  helps in improving your time management skills
  • Reduces stress in both students and parents in finalizing college application process
  • Provides unbiased ideas about financial aid, colleges, admissions process, and other related concerns
  • Able to tell stories to show your strengths and how you can help to the community
  • Helps in  completing the application within a short period of time
  • Assists with application essays and personal statements
  • Guarantees college and scholarship applications
  • Explains college finances, review acceptance, and much more

 

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With all these benefits of an independent counselor, why doesn’t everyone hire one? Choosing a professional independent college counselor can be challenging, but when done correctly, can be an extremely rewarding experience. You have to consider various criteria to guarantee that you will get what you really need. To hire private admissions counselors, your first move is to pick one with excellent rapport. Your preferred independent counselors must possess interest in your goals. They should also have enough time to work with you. Before hiring them, ask them about their office hours and determine if they are willing to make appointments to fit your schedule. They should know the degree program requirements, college policies, prerequisites and content of various courses.  Above all, you need to find out if they have contacts that could help you in getting exposure, scholarships, or internships.

After searching for the best independent college counselors, and choosing one that is right for you, they will start working for you immediately. They are here to help you with any and all of your college application concerns.  Therefore, you can be confident that you will never experience any trouble, and you will easily find answers to your college application issues. So, start searching for the best independent college counselor, and witness how they work for yourself!

Updated list of test-optional schools from FairTest.org

Posted by: Editor EduPlan on Aug 27 2014 / Comments (0)

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This list includes institutions that are “test optional,” “test flexible” or otherwise de-emphasize the use of standardized tests by making admissions decisions about substantial numbers of applicants who recently graduated from U.S. high schools without using the SAT or ACT.

As the notes indicate, some schools exempt students who meet grade-point average or class rank criteria while others require SAT or ACT scores but use them only for placement purposes or to conduct research studies. Please check with the school’s admissions office to learn more about specific admissions requirements, particularly for international or non-traditional students.

To view the full list on FairTest.org, click here!

Sources: Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges 2013College Board 2013 College HandbookU.S News & World Report Best Colleges 2014; admissions office websites; news reports; and email communications

 

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS TOP TEN INNOVATIONS FOR 2014-15            

Posted by: Editor EduPlan on Aug 20 2014 / Comments (0)

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 Miami-Dade County Public Schools is offering exciting new innovations that will make the school year interesting, more relevant, and more productive for students, parents and educators. “We are exploring every possibility of making access to our world class educational system easier for parents and students, through the use of technology and innovation,” said Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho.

Here are the school district’s top ten developments:

  • Digital convergence – Educational technology brings learning into the 21st century with interactive boards, tablets, laptops, and wi-fi in all schools.  http://digital.dadeschools.net/
  • Students are being encouraged to “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) for the first time, to help them transition into the digital learning environment using their own electronic device.http://wifi.dadeschools.net/
  • Fifty-two new magnet programs will offer students a world of choices, including iTech at Thomas A. Edison Education Center, Biotech@Richmond Heights (a Zoo magnet high school), and more than 80 Cambridge programs that have been added in just three years.http://www.yourchoicemiami.org/
  • Success coaches will provide every child a school advocate to help identify strengths and weaknesses.
  • The District will collaborate with local technology industries to provide training, internships,and job opportunities for students with autism.  http://ese.dadeschools.net/
  • UHealth Medical Center at Jackson Senior High School – Miami-Dade County Public Schools partnered with UHealth-University of Miami Health System to provide a medical home for M-DCPS employees, their dependents and retirees who are enrolled in the school system’s insurance plan.  http://news.dadeschools.net/releases/rls14/023_uhealth.html
  • Wellness coaches at every school will promote wellness activities among employees.
  • The Florida Standards Assessment – Miami-Dade County Public Schools is on track to introduce the new Florida Standards to students. Teachers have received extensive professional development this year to meet the state’s requirements.http://floridastandards.dadeschools.net/
  • Parents can now apply online for free- and reduced lunches for their children.https://freeandreducedmealapp.dadeschools.net/  The District’s colorful Food Truck will visit schools to introduce students to flavorful, healthy new meal choices. And there is free breakfast every day at every school for every student.”

For additional information on any of our programs, visit us online at www.dadeschools.net.

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New YouTube Video Has Shocking Message

Posted by: Editor EduPlan on Aug 19 2014 / Comments (0)

Technology is nothing new, but today it is threatening to take our jobs like never before. “A machine doesn’t have to be perfect, just better than a human.” Already, automation is taking thousands of jobs around the world. From self driving cars, to automated coffee machines. This video dives into the harsh realities that our future workforce will face, whether we want to believe it or not. Jobs like college counselors, artists, even musicians are being replaced by automation. The future might not be as far away as you think.

 

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How to Successfully Navigate the College Selection Process

Posted by: Claudine Vainrub, Principal of EduPlan on Aug 19 2014 / Comments (0)

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I’m not meaning to add any pressure at an already stressful time, but as you enter your senior year of high school, the college application clock is ticking.  In just a few months, you will need to complete the application process, so, if you haven’t already settled on your six top college choices, now is the time to figure out where you want to be this time next year.  With more than 4,000 U.S. colleges and universities to choose from, you will need to take a methodical approach to whittling your selection down to a mere half dozen schools that best fit your social and academic needs.

 

What You Don’t Want in a School

More often than not, it is easier to determine what we don’t like than what we do.  As you start searching through school brochures and surfing college websites, cross off the schools that have no appeal to you.  Looking closely at the qualities you dislike will help you figure out what you do like.  You may discover that you really can’t stand cold winters and you want to study in a state with a hot climate, or that you feel intimidated by large campuses and you’d prefer a smaller, more intimate college.

 

Don’t Judge a School by Its Brochure

Finding a college that is a perfect fit for you is serious business and should not be based on a brochure.  While brochures can give you a brief overview of what a school has to offer, it is better to talk to your guidance counselor, college reps and other students to get a real feel for a school.  You can contact the admissions officer and ask to be connected with current students who share your interests.   If you can visit the campus, talk with students and faculty members, sit in on some classes and eat at least one meal in the dining hall.  Seek out alumni to get their opinions.  Try to gather as much information as possible about the schools that interest you before making any decisions.

 

Your Comfort Zone

In your college search, you are looking for a place to call ‘home’ for four years, so you want to make sure you’re going to feel comfortable wherever you land.  Of course, going to college is a great opportunity for new experiences, but make sure you don’t step so far out of your comfort zone that you will end up feeling miserable!  Make a list or mind map of your preferences.  Are you urban or rural?  Would you prefer a big campus or small campus?  Are you more cerebral than athletic?  Do you prefer East or West Coast, or somewhere in the middle?  When looking at a college, ask yourself if you can imagine being there for four years.  You want to expand your horizons, but you also want to be happy.

 

Narrowing Down the Search

Once you have an idea of where your preferences lie, start matching schools to your personal interests.  You may have a chosen major already or maybe just an idea of which classes you enjoy the most.  Look for schools with reputable departments in these subjects.  If you are involved in extra-curricular activities you would like to pursue after graduation, make sure the schools you are looking at offer these opportunities.  You also want to think about any other special interests or religious affiliations you may hold while researching colleges.

 

Don’t Let the Price Tag Get In Your Way

We’ve all heard horror stories about student debt, but don’t be put off applying to the school of your dreams just because it costs more.  Most schools offer financial aid packages to students who cannot afford tuition.  By the same token, do not assume that a school is better because it costs more.  Many state schools are equally excellent but more affordable.  When choosing a college, base your decisions on what is the best fit for you rather than on the price tag.   If you can’t see yourself jumping up and down with joy when you receive your acceptance letter, don’t bother applying, even if the tuition is more affordable.

 

Counting Down to College

Posted by: Claudine Vainrub, Principal of EduPlan on Aug 6 2014 / Comments (0)

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Remember when you were a kid and summers seemed to last forever?  Now that high school is over and you are heading off to college, this summer probably feels like it’s flown past in the blink of an eye.  In a matter of weeks you will have moved into student digs and started classes, so if you haven’t prepared yet for this big move, here are half a dozen steps you can take for a smooth transition.

  1. Get Packing

Hopefully, you will have thought a bit (or a lot) about what personal possessions will follow you to college.  Remember, you are about to reduce your square footage substantially, so packing for college takes careful consideration.  Make a pile of goods you definitely need, and if there is still room in your boxes for a few sentimental pieces, squeeze them in.  It’s best to leave your most valuable and beloved possessions in the safety of your parental home to avoid the possibility of theft of damage.

Moving away for the first time requires a small investment in certain household items.  Be sure to pack laundry soap and quarters and a few essential kitchen utensils (eg can opener).  Bring a fully equipped bathroom kit and don’t forget those shower shoes and bathrobe as you will be sharing with strangers.

  1. Know Your Cash Flow

Living on a budget is not always easy, especially if it is your first time.  Have you started shopping for yourself?  Do you know how much your weekly grocery bill runs?  Spend the next few weeks comparing the prices of the food you like at a variety of shops.  Based on your findings, make yourself a grocery budget and see how much you have left for other expenses.  Always keep a little money aside for surprises and extras.

  1. Keeping in Touch With the Ones You Love

Cell phones, landlines, email, Facebook, Twitter, Skype…  We live in the Age of Communication.  Still, make a plan with your parents to stay in touch on a regular basis.  You may be feeling nervous about leaving home, but you can rest assured, your parents will be feeling way more worried than you are.  Everyone will feel a bit more relaxed if you set a regular phone or Skype date and stick to it.

Parents may not be the only ones you are leaving behind.  Close friends, significant others and siblings will want to hear how you are getting on in your new life, so be sure to make a chat plan with them as well.

  1. Staying Safe

You are embarking on a seriously exciting adventure as you head off to college, but you will need to keep a cool head if you want to avoid problems.  Now is a good time to reflect on ways to keep yourself and your possessions safe.  Basic rules like; always lock your room, never leave your things unattended in the library, put emergency numbers into your phone and make sure someone always knows where you are will go a long way to make your college experience a good one.

  1. Prepare for Academic Excellence

The college experience provides many life lessons, but, ultimately, you are there to study academics.  Success comes to those who are best prepared.  Have you bought all the equipment?  Laptop, laptop lock, flash drive, power strip with surge protection, extension cords and even printer paper are essential tools for today’s student.  You can familiarize yourself with your class syllabi online.  Take a little time before school starts to know what you will actually be studying.  You should also be able to access a required reading list on the class home page of the university website.  If you want to save some money on textbooks, try to buy them second hand, but if you buy them online, allow enough time for delivery.

  1. Start Your College Social Life Now

The first person you are likely to meet on campus will be your roommate, so why not get to know this person a bit before you actually meet in person?  The college should have given you his/her contact information, so take this opportunity to get to know each other.  When introducing yourself, be honest, be respectful and, remember, your new roomie is in the same boat as you are.  If you start off on the right foot, this new relationship could lead to the friendship of a lifetime.

 

 

Inspired by Plato and a Strong Literary Diet

Posted by: Editor EduPlan on Aug 6 2014 / Comments (0)

Frank Bruni tells us about an innovative seminar on The Opinion Pages  HERE.

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“This was the seminar’s sixth consecutive summer and the first in which the number of students rose to 30 from 15. The course intends to get them ready for higher education, and that isn’t unusual in and of itself. Many summer enrichment programs attempt as much.

But the distinction of this one and the reason it should be replicated is that it doesn’t focus on narrow disciplines, discrete skills, standardized tests. It doesn’t reduce learning to metrics or cast college as a bridge to a predetermined career…” Read more HERE!

 

Financial Aid Feedback Wanted

Posted by: Editor EduPlan on Aug 5 2014 / Comments (0)

The Wall Street Journal asks for feedback on financial aid costs. This could potentially increase awareness about college costs and financial aid for the upcoming school year. Click HERE to see the form.

 

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