Weighing the Costs in Public vs. Private Colleges

December 28th, 2006 by admin

Choosing the right college can be a difficult decision for students and parents alike. Guidance counselors strive to provide the best resources to aid in the decision, but it is ultimately students and parents who have the weight on their shoulders for the verdict.

Students are considering various pros and cons like distance from home, student to faculty ratio, and student housing. However, parents may place importance on a different factor – getting the best bang for their buck.

Choosing the one perfect college or university out of selected few can be difficult; actually getting to the top choices can be even more taxing. You can start by weighing the pros and cons of public vs. private colleges. Read the rest of this entry »

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Winter Reading Suggestions

December 21st, 2006 by admin

If you have a few days off from school and aren’t going on any exciting family trips, check out this list of suggested reading to make the winter days go by a little faster. We at Counselor Companion have compiled a list of classics and not-so-classics (yet) that we consider a little more entertaining than some required reading. Enjoy!

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
Cloudstreet by Tim Winton
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
The Hours by Michael Cunningham
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde
Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R.Tolkein
Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolfe
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
White Teeth by Zadie Smith
The World According to Garp by John Irving

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Tips to Consider When Applying for Scholarships

December 13th, 2006 by admin

Your last year of high school is already half over. If you were considering applying for college scholarships and had not done so yet, now is the time to take action. But don’t apply without reading these tips from an article by Rebecca Vara on Collegebound.net.

“If winning a college scholarship was as easy as learning your ABCs, this article would be meaningless. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Instead, students have to submit their best stuff to be in contention for an award.

Every high school student in America is looking for the ultimate answer to winning a college scholarship, but we all know it’s no simple task. With as many as thousands of applications per competition, you need to do everything you can to make your application flawless. Using the advice of these scholarship judges is a good start in keeping your application out of the trash.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Things to Think About: Second Semester of your Senior Year

December 12th, 2006 by admin

Lexington High School Guidance and Counseling offers these tips to consider during the bustle of your second semester of Senior year.

Course Selections

While the grades a student earns in course work completed during the second semester of the senior year do not usually enter into the admissions decision, colleges do request that students provide a list of courses in which they are enrolled second semester. It is assumed that this course selection will reflect the same high quality as a student’s previous work in high school. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jobs for college grads plentiful

December 4th, 2006 by admin

Article by Stephanie Armour, USA Today

College graduates are experiencing the best job market in four years as a stronger economy leads more employers to ramp up hiring.

Employers expect to hire 17.4% more new college graduates in 2006 and 2007 than in 2005 and 2006, according to a new survey by the Bethlehem, Pa.-based National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Signing bonuses range from $1,000 to $10,000, with the average at $3,568. And employers reported plans to boost their starting salary offers by 4.6% over last year, nearly a full percentage point higher than increases for the classes of 2006 and 2005.

“This is the fourth year in a row that employers have predicted an increase in hiring,” says Andrea Koncz at NACE. “It really is because of the economy and more demand. Companies are growing.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Being a School Guidance Counselor: Information and Statistics

November 29th, 2006 by admin

Being a Guidance Counselor- Also known as school counselors, elementary- through college-level guidance counselors work with students to promote and support their academic, personal and social development. Guidance counselors help students at all stages of their educations to assess their abilities, interests, and personalities in order to develop healthy academic goals and emotional development.
Although being a guidance counselor is extremely rewarding, it can potentially become emotionally taxing. For that reason, potential counselors should have high emotional energy to handle the problems and stresses they may come across. An effective school counselor should want to help others and be able to inspire respect, trust, and confidence. Additionally, guidance counselors must follow a stringent code of ethics and privacy in accordance to their licenses and certifications.

Responsibilities and Duties- School guidance counselors emphasize preventive and developmental counseling to provide students with life skills and enhance students personal, social, and academic growth. They use dialogue, therapy sessions, tests and other methods to help students individually, in small groups, or in entire classes. Read the rest of this entry »

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How “Grade Inflation” Hurts College Admissions Processes

November 27th, 2006 by admin

The days of competing to be the single high-school valedictorian are dwindling. Due to what some are calling “grade inflation,” it is becoming difficult to evaluate students based on grades. Many college admissions representitives are wary of this inflation, because it makes comparing students among each other very difficult.

This article from the Associated Press delved deeper into the subject.

“Josh Zalasky should be the kind of college applicant with little to worry about.

The high school senior is taking three Advanced Placement courses. Outside the classroom, he’s involved in mock trial, two Jewish youth groups and has a job with a restaurant chain. He’s a National Merit semifinalist and scored in the top 3 percent of all students who take the ACT.

But in the increasingly frenzied world of college admissions, even Zalasky is nervous about his prospects. He doubts he’ll get in to the University of Wisconsin, a top choice. The reason: his grades. Read the rest of this entry »

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Earn while you learn

November 20th, 2006 by admin

If you are looking for a way to excel as a student and still manage your expenses, you might benefit from work programs offered through your college. Many schools offer part-time student hourly positions, as well as work-study programs for full- and part-time students.

Work study vs. student hourly positions
There is a key difference between student hourly jobs and federal work-study jobs. Student hourly positions are available for both those who qualify for financial aid and those who do not. Federal work-study programs are provided for students with demonstrated financial need. If you receive any form of federal financial aid, you may qualify for federal work-study programs. These work-study programs provide students with part-time employment opportunities to meet college costs.

Working can enhance your education
Whether employed on-campus in a federal work-study program or off-campus, students can benefit from working while in school. Many schools offer positions ranging from administrative or office assistant to lab or research technician. These jobs are designed to accommodate the busy student’s hectic schedule.

It is possible to find a job that is geared toward your major that will add an impressive line to your resume. Or you could work as a computer lab monitor or receptionist where you are encouraged to do homework in your downtime. Imagine getting paid to do your schoolwork! Many work-study positions make it possible.

Not all positions offered to college students are run-of-the-mill. Students can find work as personal trainers or lifeguards at the school fitness center; game monitors for the physical education department; or tutors in the creative writing, math or science labs.

Working can help you pay for school
Most student jobs pay an hourly wage, which is at least the federal minimum wage. However, many positions held by college students offer starting pay upwards of $8 per hour. The wage often varies according to your experience level and skill set. Check and see what positions your school offers. It might be smart for your budget, your grades and your schedule!

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When Helping Turns to Hindering

November 17th, 2006 by admin

For parents, releasing children off into the ‘wild’ (also known as college) can be a really difficult time. You can no longer tell them when to do their homework, you have no control over their curfew, and you can’t make sure they are eating their vegetables. Whether it’s your firstborn or the last of several children to escape the shelter of your wing, parents commonly suffer from empty nest syndrome. However, the most recently discussed problem known as ‘helicopter parenting,’ a term coined by colleges across the nation involves parents who don’t make an effort to loosen the leash. Read the rest of this entry »

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When Helicopter Parents Hurt Your Independence

November 16th, 2006 by admin

As a senior in high school or freshman in college, you may not have even heard of helicopter parents but you have almost certainly felt the wind from their rotating wings. A helicopter parent, as defined recently by the media, is a parent who hovers too closely over a child, mapping out their activities, decisions and lives from birth into adulthood. You probably have a friend whose mother picked out her daughter

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