College isn’t just about the academics. It’s also about the food!
U.S News & World Report lists 12 universities that provide unique, nutritious dining options.
Headed to college as a freshman? U.S. News & World Report lists some of the potential pitfalls to avoid.
Despite some progress made to date, girls are still underrepresented in STEM fields.
The current administration is striving to make student loan relief programs work for everyone. Efforts to revise IDR(Income-driven repayment plan) regulations will produce substantially more affordable monthly payments for millions of borrowers. Recent actions complement steps the administration has already taken within its first year to cancel more than $17 billion in debt for 725,000 borrowers in addition to extending the student loan payment pause, saving 41 million borrowers billions of dollars in payments each month. The Department has now approved approximately:
To protect students and taxpayers from predatory or low-value colleges, the Department has also restored the FSA Office of Enforcement and started efforts to strengthen key rules including borrower defense to repayment and gainful employment.
The situation is continually updating so stay informed regarding these changes. For further information see the U.S. Department of Education and Federal Student Aid.
When planning for college sometimes the summer opportunities are forgotten.
Students may want to beef up their transcripts to be more competitive at college application time. Maybe they are lacking in AP classes, or want to explore a possible area of interest to major in at college, or show some skills they haven't been able to demonstrate at their high school. Some students choose to get summer jobs to demonstrate responsibility and independence.
In addition there are summer programs that offer students interesting classes to challenge them, sometimes for college credit. They may want to pursue music or theater in depth and work with professionals in the arts. Or become involved in business or political programs with internships and leadership councils.
Other students want the chance to live on a college campus to see what it's like. Some colleges have their own summer offerings, both academic and recreational, for high school students or host teen programs that utilize their facilities. This can help students gain confidence in themselves, help them develop their college list, and offer chances for dialogues with peers and lifelong friendships.
Unfortunately because of the Covid-19 pandemic, many of the programs over the last couple of summers have been canceled or offered only online. Virtual courses can be useful if in-person opportunities are not available. However there are some programs being offered at college campuses for the summer of 2022.
Here’s links to several pre-college programs:
University of Chicago
University of Wisconsin
Loyola Marymount University
Bard College at Simon’s Rock
plus these programs:
Girls Who Code
Collegeboard has announced that the SAT exam will move from the traditional paper and pencil format to a digital format. The format change is scheduled to roll out internationally next year and nationally in the U.S. in 2024. However, Connecticut will utilize the new digital version this March 23 - 25 and 29 - 30, 2022 for the Connecticut School Day SAT for current juniors in high school.
The digital version will also shave an hour from the current version, bringing the reading, writing and math assessment from three hours to about two. Test-takers will be allowed to use their own laptops or tablets but they'll still have to sit for the test at a monitored testing site or in school, not at home. Calculators will be allowed on the entire Math section, and scores will be available in days, rather than weeks, still on the 400-1600 point-scale.
They have designed the test software so that if there are battery or internet connectivity issues, the test will be saved and the student can return to it without losing their work.
For a full description of what aspects of the new digital SAT will stay the same and what will be different, see Collegeboard's SAT Suite of Assessments https://satsuite.collegeboard.org/digital?SFMC_cid=EM669978-&rid=124890901
At one time essential for college applications, scores from admission tests like the SAT and rival ACT carry less weight today as colleges pay more attention to the sum of student achievements and activities throughout high school.
There has also been criticism that the exams favor wealthy, white applicants and disadvantage minority and low-income students, and an increasing number of colleges have adopted test-optional policies in recent years, which let students decide whether to include scores with their applications.
The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the trend as testing sessions were canceled or inaccessible. However, the SAT and ACT are still deeply ingrained in the American high school experience. More than a dozen states require one of the exams to graduate, and prior to the pandemic 10 states plus Washington, D.C., had contracts with the College Board to offer the test during the school day for free to their students.
Nearly 80% of bachelor’s degree-granting institutions are not requiring test scores from students applying for fall 2022, according to a December tally by the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, a watchdog group that opposes standardized testing. The group, known as FairTest, said at least 1,400 of them have extended the policy through at least the fall 2023 admissions cycle.
Jeff Selingo, author of Who Gets in and Why, a Year Inside College Admissions, posted recently about how important relationships are to the higher education experience for college students. Many colleges historically have set up structures for students to get those relationships, such as living-and-learning communities, first year experiences, and assignment of mentors.
However, during the pandemic it has been difficult for students to access these connections due to online or hybrid learning as well as social distancing with cafeteria restrictions and campus activities being severely curtailed. The sense of isolation for many students has led to frustration, anxiety and depression.
Going forward it is ever more important to evaluate opportunities for students to be connected to their peers and faculty when researching colleges. Some colleges are modeling cohort groups based on athletic teams, where student groups with shared interests work together toward a goal in a structured setting under the guidance of a coach. Other colleges are trying various creative means to enhance a students’ engagement.
An independent educational consultant can often help families find colleges that are working on increasing connectivity and support for their students in these difficult times.
Families should be aware of upcoming changes on the FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid) for this year and next. Males no longer have to register with the Selective Service System to be eligible for federal financial aid. In addition, having a drug conviction will no longer affect a student’s ability to seek financial aid.
Also, the pandemic or weather-related disasters might have negatively impacted many families in the last two years. Since this year’s FAFSA utilizes parents’ tax returns from 2020 it is important that families make note of any changed circumstances to qualify for the best financial aid package. If they feel there is more information than what they can report on the FAFSA itself, they can contact the financial aid departments of the colleges their student is applying to.
Each year the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) opens on October 1st for the following year’s college entrance. It is usually advisable to complete the FAFSA, even if you do not feel your family will qualify for need-based aid. Many colleges require the FAFSA to be completed before they will offer students their own institutional scholarships.
For the 2022-23 school year the opening date for both the FAFSA as well as the CSS Profile (College Scholarship Service) is this week! Not all colleges require the CSS Profile. Check the Common App, each college’s website, or speak with your college educational consultant to see which schools require it.
Contact College Docs at
203 520-6338 or 203 218-5619 firstname.lastname@example.org