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Counseling Department

Articles of Interest

September College Planning Tips From Peter Van Buskirk - Organizing the (PDF - 60 KB)
“On your mark! Get set…Go!” With the opening of the school year, the starter’s call has sounded on the marathon that is the next college application season. Ready or not, high school seniors with college aspirations need to step up if they want to compete.

The Universal College Application vs the Common Application (PDF - 56 KB)
While the Common Application is still the online application format of choice for the majority of colleges that do not use their own applications exclusively, a growing number of schools have also begun to accept the Universal College Application. Some use this newer format exclusively or in addition to their own institutional application, but many accept both the Universal College Application and the Common Application, leaving the choice up to the applicant

What Can a 2-Minute Video Say About the Next 4 Years? (PDF - 44 KB)
What Can a 2-Minute Video Say About the Next 4 Years? Ever since George Mason University started inviting prospective students to send in videos as part of their application materials, Matthew P. Boyce, the interim admissions director there, has seen applicants try to prove their mettle in some odd ways.

College Admissions - Don't Do It Alone (PDF - 68 KB)
2.26.14 College Admissions - Don't Do It Alone . Lisa and I are two moms with five kids between our families. Our youngest are high school seniors who have the end in sight. “The end” is not only college application season, but also their high school years and childhood in general. Letting them go is part of the college process and one reason why it feels so painful. In fact, we could sit right down and weep between now and graduation but, instead, we want to throw an arm around your shoulder knowing that it is you who needs support right now. So we offer advice, a digital hug, from two moms to you:

Ways to Get Started on College Apps Before Senior Year (PDF - 603 KB)
High school seniors everywhere are sitting next to their mailboxes, anxiously awaiting decisions from their respective colleges. But if you’re a high school junior, you might just be trying to survive your high school workload without even starting to think about college. But you don’t have to wait until September to get started on your college applications! There are plenty of things you can do now so you can be college-admissions-ready come fall.

2.10.14 What the First Round of College Admissions Decisions Told Us (PDF - 86 KB)
2.10.14 What the First Round of College Admissions Decisions Told Us. As the Class of 2015 begins to build their senior schedules, it’s time to offer some reminders and some reassurance about the college selection process at many (not all) schools, for many (not all) students

2.10.14 Advice on Selecting High School Courses from Yale University (PDF - 65 KB)
Many high school sophomores and juniors (and their parents) want to know what courses to take to improve their chances for admission to Yale and other highly competitive colleges. With the caveat that every situation is different, here is some advice to help guide you as you make these decisions.

The Best Summer Plans for High School Students (PDF - 79 KB)
Use Your Summers to Strengthen Your Resume and College Applications.

2.10.14 Question: What Counts as an Extracurricular Activity for College Admissions? (PDF - 48 KB)
Answer: Extracurricular activities are simply anything you do that is not a high school course or paid employment (but note that paid work experience is of interest to colleges and can substitute for some extracurricular activities). You should define your extracurricular activities in broad terms -- many applicants make the mistake of thinking of them solely as school sponsored groups such as yearbook, band or football. Not so. Most community and family activities are also "extracurricular."

College Admissions-Handling Early Admission Rejection (PDF - 75 KB)

Short and Sweet College Applicant Interview Tips (PDF - 50 KB)

Checklist and 12 Questions for a College Interview (PDF - 88 KB)
COLLEGE INTERVIEW INFO - Checklist and 12 Questions for a College Interview

2013 College Board Report (PDF - 3.60 MB)
Trends in College Pricing.

11/9/13 They loved your GPA, then they saw your Tweets. (PDF - 120 KB)
This a must read article that provides information on why students need to use good judgment when using social media.

11/10/13 Why Focusing Too Narrowly Can Backfire (PDF - 148 KB)

Early Decision vs. Early Action (PDF - 146 KB)
This article explains the difference between Early Decision and Early Decision. If you have any questions please contact the Guidance Office at (631) 244-2223 and press 2.

College Application Essays - Avoid the Stress (PDF - 198 KB)
College Application Essays - Avoid the Stress. About author -Randy Levin is the ONLY college application essay expert asked to speak at the National College Fair- Nassau Coliseum – Oct 6th 2013. The vast majority of Randy’s clients are accepted to the Ivy League or other prestigious colleges. He has a MA in English and a MFA in Creative Writing. He is a published writer and was a high school English teacher in high achieving north shore Long Island school districts for close to ten years. For FREE information, go to his website:

Tips for Common Application Prompt No- 4 (PDF - 77 KB)
Bliss is boring! That’s my favorite cautionary line I’ve heard about Common Application Prompt No. 4: “Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?” It’s true. Just how much can you say about the majestic mountains or the peaceful ocean waves? This is a tougher prompt than you might think. Part of the challenge associated with Prompt No. 4, also known as “The Zen Question,” is that it is so broad. The place or environment is virtually limitless; it could even be a locale in a student’s favorite book. Remember that being content is different for everyone. For some, it might be watching a scary movie, and they might be bored to death watching a sunrise. That’s the beauty of this prompt.

The College Application Mistake That Will Kill Your Chances (PDF - 68 KB)
With many colleges, that dinky little essay asks a question like, "What specific programs or qualities attract you to our college, and lead you to believe your college goals will be attained if you are admitted? (150 words)" In other words, it's great you want to go to college. Why here? After laboring through the larger, more personal essay, students come across this question, see the word limit, think about how great it will be to go to bed once this app is submitted, then write down something about how cool the campus is and how the football team is awesome. Finis. Yes, you are indeed finished. So, so finished.

How The College Essay Has Changed With The Digital Age (PDF - 61 KB)
School just started, but already high school seniors are focused on college. With early admission deadlines looming, students are beginning a new rite of passage: conquering the college application and, with it, the dreaded college application essay. As competition for acceptance to top schools increases, students began applying to more and more schools. So many now turn to the Common Application, a not-for-profit organization, developed in 1975 to help cut down on the number of separate applications and essays a student applying to numerous colleges and universities would have to complete. This one application is accepted at nearly 500 colleges and universities across the country.

Checklist For Preparing A Student With A Disability for College (PDF - 63 KB)
The University of Pittsburgh provides this helpful checklist for preparing a student with a disability for college.

Transition From Secondary to Post Secondary Education (PDF - 36 KB)
Successful transition between high school and post-secondary education for students with a disability depends on accurate knowledge of the law and student responsibilities. The chart in this pdf file helps you compare these important differences.

February Financial Aid Checklist (PDF - 185 KB)
Paying for college can be a challenge. This article provides a useful February financial aid checklist

SAT Myths Debunked (PDF - 157 KB)
The SAT is one of the most important tests students will take on their journey to earning an associate's or bachelor's degree, and therefore should be taken very seriously. However, many high schoolers feel anxious about the exam, falling victim to many of the rumors surrounding it. To help students maximize their scores and truly understand what the SAT means in the college admissions process, Colin Gruenwald, director of SAT and ACT programs for Kaplan Test Prep, recently debunked some of the most common SAT myths

When to Begin SAT and ACT Prep (PDF - 159 KB)
Starting to prep for the SAT/ACt can begin in 10th grade, or a year before you take these tests. This article outlines the advantages to preparing early.

7.22.14 It's Not Where You Go To College, But How You Go To College (PDF - 71 KB)
It's Not Where You Go To College, But How You Go To College Gallup in partnership with Purdue University and Lumina Foundation, released findings from the first ever Gallup-Purdue Index (2014), a survey of 30,000 US college graduates that examines the relationship between the college experience and whether college graduates have great jobs (are engaged at work) and great lives (based on five elements of well-being).

When 'senioritis' becomes epidemic (PDF - 68 KB)
For high school teachers and counselors, the symptoms of “senioritis” are all too familiar—an “I don’t care attitude” characterized by lack of motivation and general bad behavior.

Your kid and My Kid Are Not Playing in the Pro's (PDF - 61 KB)
Your Kid And My Kid Are Not Playing In The Pros - So how do we balance being the supportive parent who spends three hours a day driving all over hell's half acre to allow our child to pursue his or her dream without becoming the supportive parent that drives all over hell's half acre to allow our child to pursue OUR dream? When does this pursuit of athletic stardom become something just shy of a gambling habit? From my experience in the ER I've developed some insight in how to identify the latter.