13 INSIDE TIPS FROM COLLEGE ADMISSIONS COUNSELORS

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1 13 INSIDE TIPS FROM COLLEGE ADMISSIONS COUNSELORS Secrets for finding and getting into a stretch school! Make college affordable. Get set up for scholarships! Making best use of internships, extracurricular and volunteer activities! Gap Year and Summer Program Tips Affordable Expert Admissions Coaching Enhanced by Online Tools

2 WELCOME AND INVITATION College is a consequential decision, and the admissions process can be complex and stressful. To give families a head start, we at TeenLife Coach compiled this selection of insider tips gathered from some of the top college admissions coaches in the country people who have helped: College Admissions Coaches Can Help: students identify and gain acceptance to top-choice schools, families make college affordable by identifying and securing scholarships, teens and parents decide if a gap year is right for them, and identify programs that fit their needs parents feel like the future of their child was in good hands While advice from admissions coaches can be invaluable, sadly it s not readily available for many. Many schools have only limited resources to help students and families. High School counselors (at schools that have them) are often overworked and unable to devote the time to really understand a student s (and family s) goals and needs. Some communities have local private admissions coaches but the cost (as much as $30,000 - $50,000 in some affluent communities) and inconvenience put their services out of reach of many families. Websites can provide data and machine-generated suggestions, but they aren t tailored to the individual and with hundreds of sites out there, it can be hard to know where to start. We invite you to use the tips in this ebook for access, opportunity and advantage. We want students and families to have great lives and good college choice is a key step. 2

3 THAT S WHY WE CREATED TEENLIFE COACH. TeenLife Coach makes the benefits of personally tailored college admissions expertise accessible and affordable for millions of families across the country, and the world (1,000,000 international students who come to the US for college each year). All TeenLife Coaches are experienced and credentialed by state organizations, and industry organizations such as NACAC, IECA, or ASCA. TeenLife Coach, powered by LifeLaunchr has service packages that cover stretch schools, affordability and scholarships, planning and optimizing internships and volunteer experiences and more. You set up an affordable introductory phone or video-conference with a TeenLife Coach to discuss priorities and create a plan. You can choose a service package that focuses on your areas of greatest concern. We hope you ll find these insider tips useful and we invite you to use LifeLaunchr services and tools to make your college admissions search process easier and produce better results. IT S WORTH IT! (and to make it even more worth it, we ve provided a discount code at the end of this ebook to make it even easier to try a TeenLife Coach admissions coaching session!) STUDENTS, TEACHERS, AND COUNSELORS CAN USE THE ASSESSMENT, COMMUNICATION, AND PRESENTATION TOOLS ON LIFELAUNCHR FOR FREE! MORE THAN 35,000 STUDENTS ARE ALREADY REGISTERED ON LIFELAUNCHR! At lifelaunchr.com/storyboard-gallery you ll find some samples of visual résumés they created using LifeLaunchr s Storyboard feature. 3

4 TIPS ON FINDING AND GETTING INTO REACH SCHOOLS There s nothing like the feeling of identifying a great school that might seem a little out of reach and then getting in! It s not easy, but for those who figure it out, it s a great accomplishment AND a great start to their future. Here are some expert tips to get started towards the college you really want. Tell a compelling story about taking academic initiative Barbara Austin, whose blog com/, helps students identify great schools and get merit scholarships, advises students to tell a compelling story about taking academic initiative. Maybe it s a story about how you overcame adversity to get your grades and GPA. Maybe it s how you took an academic passion and ran with it. Colleges want to know not just what grades you have, but how you got there. Have a great answer to Why do you want to attend this school? If you re applying to a school where your grades aren t as high as the incoming average, the school should be a great fit for you. If they have a specific program that is a good fit for your academic goals, or if the school s size or culture fits your personality and need, be clear about it in your application. Be selective in applying to reach schools Pick 1-3 schools where you feel you d be a great fit, rather than applying to lots of stretch schools., since your likelihood of rejection is significant. It is hard for students to be rejected at many schools, even if this is not a personal slight. Challenge yourself academically, intellectually, and socially Linda King, graduate instructor and long-time college counselor, suggests that students should research the admission criteria for each college, and challenge themselves academically, intellectually, and socially. When a student feels something is hard, embrace it rather than withdrawing or dropping out. Find your bullet early Stephen Wells has this advice: Imagine a scenario in which an admissions officer is looking at five applications that are identical in all academic respects. He can only choose one. Now ask yourself, What can I do to increase my chances of being the one selected? The answer is that you need to find what I call your bullet, the one element that makes you special. The bullet can be entrepreneurial, athletic, extracurricular, volunteerbased, or even a legacy. But it needs to stand out. Which is why it s important to know the ropes as early in your school career as possible. TeenLife Coach s packages can be a great way to get the expert coaching you need to find and get into a reach school. Our packages start at just $49, and if you use the discount code LLEBOOK16 when you sign up, you ll get 20% OFF. Get started now at lifelaunchr.com/teenlife. 4

5 TIPS ON AFFORDABILITY AND SCHOLARSHIPS Getting into a college is exciting, but with college costs and student debt already high and increasing, figuring out how to afford school can be an essential element of choosing the RIGHT school. Here are insider tips about making college affordable, including key suggestions for seeking and securing scholarships. Finding a school which awards you merit scholarships can save as much as $80,000 on the costs of going to college. Most schools guarantee merit aid as long as you maintain your GPA, so you don t have to re-apply each year. Consider out of state public universities 80% of students stay in-state to go to university. But many state university systems out of state offer big merit scholarships that can reduce the cost of attendance. So consider schools further away: you may be able to get an excellent education for a fraction of the price. Pick colleges where you re ahead of the pack Pick colleges where you are ahead of the incoming average GPA, and they will often give you merit aid. If your GPA is 3.5, and you apply to a school where the average GPA is 4.0, you re not going to get merit aid. However, a school with an average GPA of 3.0 may be a great school which will work hard to attract and keep you. Pick schools that award merit aid Not all universities award merit aid. Ivy League schools, for example, don t give any merit-based aid. Many do offer need-based assistance, but your excellent grades won t help with the cost of college. And many state schools are limited in funds. Show interest in the school Linda King suggests you should show interest in the university you are applying to as soon as you think the college is on your list. They want to know you ll come if they offer you aid, so showing interest, by ing admissions officers, visiting the campus, and speaking to professors. TeenLife Coach s packages can be a great way to get the expert coaching you need to find and get scholarships that can help you save thousands of dollars in college costs. Our packages start as low as $49, and if you use the discount code LLEBOOK16 when you sign up, you ll get 20% OFF. Get started now at lifelaunchr.com/teenlife. 5

6 TIPS ON GAP YEAR AND SUMMER PROGRAMS If you re a freshman, sophomore, junior or even a senior wanting an alternative experience, maybe you need to find a great summer program. For many students, a gap year before they go to college is the right choice. Find out ahead of time if the schools you ve applied to will grant a deferral of admission and merit scholarships Many colleges are supportive of gap years and will offer a deferral. Some, such as Princeton, even encourage it, ask in advance. A summer program is a great way to preview your dream school If you think you d like to attend a university, try a summer program after sophomore or junior year. You can often get credit for a college course, and it s a great way to experience life on campus. Don t simply sign up for a summer program to impress admissions officers Admissions officers aren t always impressed by summer programs, if they aren t really related to what you re passionate about. Find a program that you re interested in, and show how you benefitted. Impressions matter. Doing a gap year program may not add to your cost of college Even though gap years can be expensive, they may save you money in a college education. As many as 40% of students don t graduate from college in five years, and one reason is the constant changing of majors and lack of focus. If you come back from a gap year with a clear focus and direction, you could make up for the lost year easily. TeenLife Coach s packages can be a great way to get the expert coaching you need to find the gap year or summer program that is right for you. Our packages start as low as $49, and if you use the discount code LLEBOOK16 when you sign up, you ll get 20% OFF. Get started now at lifelaunchr.com/teenlife. 6

7 INVITATION AND CONCLUSION Readers of this ebook can use discount code LLEBOOK16 to get 20% OFF the cost of an any TeenLife Coach package. All you have to do is enter the code when you sign up! Private admissions coaches in affluent areas often charge $250 for an intro session alone. TeenLife Coach is MUCH more affordable, and has packages that address your specific concerns. It s a small investment you can make now that can pay huge dividends in terms of efficiency, better results, and peace of mind! We hope you ve found these tips to be helpful and perhaps thought-provoking. 7

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