Do You Need Health Insurance While You’re in College?

Among all the forms you will be sorting through and completing before you go off to college, one you should not ignore is the annual insurance decision form.

All college students must maintain health insurance coverage and most schools require that their annual insurance decision form be competed by a specific deadline.  This insurance decision form will ask you to either provide proof of your insurance coverage in order to opt out of the university sponsored plan or require you to enroll in the university sponsored plan and pay the premium.  If you do not complete a waiver form by the specified deadline to opt out of university sponsored coverage, you will automatically be enrolled in the university sponsored plan.

 

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Seniors: Your Summer Assignment

Rising seniors, this summer is a very important time for you to get organized and focused on your college application process. Once senior year begins you’ll be busy keeping up with all your responsibilities both in and out of school. So, here are some things to get started on:

  • Open, look through and begin filling in your Common App account, if you have not already done so.
  • Review essay questions and start brainstorming.
  • Research schools that interest you to find out requirements and plan any visits you might like to schedule.
  • Determine whether you’ve taken all the required standardized tests and whether you’re satisfied with your scores and register for any additional test (SAT, SAT IIs and ACT) you may want to take.

 

 

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6 Things You Can Do This Summer To Get Ready For College Applications

Rising juniors, college deadlines may seem far away, but your junior year of high school will be a busy one, so here are a few of the things you can focus on this summer to get ready:

  • Start your initial test prep: Take a practice SAT and ACT test and try to determine which test or tests you plan to take. Talk to your guidance counselor if available over the summer to come up with a plan. Sign up for the SAT Question of the Day and/or the ACT Question of the Day to help you practice. Think about the test prep choices available to you, including independent study, review books, online programs and group classes at your high school, local library or community center. If you plan to work with a tutor, research your options— ask your friends and classmates for recommendations. Your teachers and guidance counselor may also have suggestions.
  • Make yourself a testing schedule: look at the SAT and ACT test dates and registration deadlines for the upcoming school year. Think about your commitments and family obligations and plan to take the tests on dates that don’t create any conflicts.
  • Work on your personal profile: Think about how you spend your time outside the classroom and what you enjoy doing. Identify activities you’d like to deepen your commitment to and which new ones you’d like to explore. Create a list of your extracurricular activities so far, including clubs, athletics, community service, and work and summer experiences. Also, list awards and competitions in which you’ve participated. Keep your list up to date because you’ll need to provide this information on your applications.
  • Open a Common Application account: The Common App is available if you would like to take a first look. Once you open your account, any information you fill in can be saved. It’s early but if you choose, you can begin with items such as your personal information and extracurriculars.
  • Begin researching schools: A good place to start is your friends and family— talk to those who’ve been through the college process recently. Your guidance counselor is a great resource and can point you in the right direction. Buy or borrow, from the library, a college search book to get basic admissions facts and student feedback. Start your online research by reviewing school websites. Look through the admissions and financial aid sections and explore academic programs, course offerings and majors. Read about clubs, activities, special events and athletics and use the virtual tour tools. Use the many online websites available and follow college bound blogs for helpful information and resources. Familiarize yourself with the different types of schools— urban, suburban and rural; small, medium and large; public and private; and liberal arts and research oriented. Summertime campus visits can help you get a good feel for the school.
  • Do something interesting: Work. Intern. Volunteer. Read. Travel. Take a class at a university. Participate in a research project. Summer is the time to explore your interests and to have new experiences!

 

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Get A Jump Start On Your College Essays

Rising seniors, write your college essays this summer!

Focusing on your applications and particularly on writing your essays without the simultaneous pressure of schoolwork is a great way to get your college process underway. Then, when fall comes, you’ll be able to focus on school visits, finalizing your list of schools and completing applications while also concentrating on school work.

A few helpful points to consider include:

  • Open a Common App account, if you don’t already have one and read the essay prompts.
  • Take a look at the websites for schools you’re considering that may have their own supplemental essays.
  • Use your essay as a tool to reveal a side of yourself that isn’t evident in your transcript or test scores. You want to give admissions reps a reason to remember who you are and an incentive to advocate for your candidacy.
  • Don’t get hung up on the topic you choose. More important is how you relate that topic  to your life circumstances.  A topic that’s ordinary and everyday can still help tell your own particular unique story if you do it in a thoughtful way.
  • Your essay should convey your own voice. It’s okay to seek out help from a proof reader, but make sure your essay is in your own words. Admissions officers want to hear what you have to say, not your parent or teacher or mentor.
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Get Ready

imagesA few thoughts if you’re scheduled to take tomorrow’s ACT.

To minimize your stress tomorrow morning, it’s a great idea to get organized ahead of time. The last thing you need on test morning is a desperate scramble. These are some of the things you can do tonight to get your big day off to a great start:

First, check with your parents to make sure they know when and where you’re scheduled to take the test, and arrange how you’ll get to the test center. Next, gather and pack all the things you’ll need to take with you. Some of the things on this check list are “must-have” items, while others are optional.

REQUIRED: Don’t forget any of the following items or it will be a long ride home!

  • Admission/Standby ticket
  • Acceptable form of photo ID
  • Sharpened #2 pencils
  • Calculator

SUGGESTED: These are things you may want to bring along.

  • Water
  • Snack
  • Sweater
  • Back-up calculator
  • Extra batteries for your calculator
  • Watch (to keep track of time)

alarm clockSet your alarm, get a good night’s sleep and have a healthy, satisfying breakfast.

Good luck!

 

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Congratulations College Bound Initiative

The CollegeBound Initiative (CBI) Celebration on May 30th honored Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, and Melissa Brenner, Senior Vice President of Digital Media at the NBA, with special recognition to Paula Dofat, Director of College Counseling at the affiliate school Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women. In addition, all the CBI counselors were recognized for the life changing contributions they make in their work to help students navigate their way from high school to college.

It was also a joy to meet and talk to many of the graduating seniors, who are making their dreams of college a reality. Congratulations to all the graduates in the Class of 2017.

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Rescinded Acceptances At Harvard

We recently published a post regarding how social media can help (or hurt) your college admissions outcome. Your privacy is not guaranteed and what you put on the internet is there for good. Admissions officers do look at  applicants’ social media pages to learn more about them and it is your responsibility to protect yourself and communicate a positive image on social media.

Recently ten prospective members of the Harvard class of 2021 had their admissions rescinded due to the content of a “private” Facebook chat.

Without a doubt, social media plays a role in college admissions. Make sure you convey the image you want to project.

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