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Museum Youth Programs = Success for Academic Growth

June 5, 2013

One thing I always stress to my clients is that I find a direct correlation between my top students who do well in their college applications and those who participate in the arts. In fact, what I increasingly see is that many of these students are beginning at an extremely young age, which I think is a great thing. Here in my adopted hometown of Minneapolis, we boast one of the top art museums in the world, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, or MIA. What many don’t know, even in the Twin Cities, is that the MIA has a broad range of youth programs that my own children have taken advantage of and as a result, they have really developed both intellectually and creatively.

I would stress to everyone to check out these programs and the visit their website. The prices are surprisingly affordable, the class sizes are rarely more than 15 students, and I have found that the staff at the MIA and especially the teachers who work with young people are incredibly passionate, enthusiastic, and genuinely friendly individuals. It’s a great investment of your time and money, and it will reap wonderful dividends in the future.

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College Counselors Making Promises they Can’t Keep

June 3, 2013

I am all for my colleagues in the professional independent educational consulting profession doing their best to get their kids in the best schools. That is what I try to do and all reputable independent counselors do. And most do exactly that. But I am coming across a disturbing trend of counselors and even college students promising to get kids into their top choices. Let's stop for a moment. Harvard accepted less than 6% of students this year. I should know because I get admissions emails from Harvard since I interview students for the school. As a Harvard graduate, even I cannot guarantee admission to Harvard (although my track record is pretty good). A word to the wise: if you meet any independent counselor who promises admission to your top choice, run in the opposite direction. Look for someone who will zealously work for you but not make unrealistic promises.

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What is Going on at Rutgers?

May 29, 2013

Just when it seems as though Big Time Athletics cannot yet rear its ugly head again (see: Penn State) here we have Rutgers University President Dr. Barchi refusing to ask for the resignation of his new AD, Julie Hermann. Never mind that Hermann allegedly abused her players, and that every player of her 1996 volleyball team alleges abuses and behavior that are antithetical to any academic institution. For Rutgers, it seems to be par for the course, and with each passing day of this sad saga, we see the value of a Rutgers degree tarnished by the lack of leadership, due diligence, and common sense so lacking in university presidents and chancellors.

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Confusing Financial Aid Letters

March 22, 2013

This is the time of year when high school seniors begin receiving financial aid award letters. It is also the time of year when I get many phone calls from parents who are utterly confused by what exactly the schools are offering them.

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What a Work-Study Job Isn’t

March 15, 2013

One topic that comes up often in my practice is whether or not to accept Federal Work-Study awards, or FWS. First, let me tell you what an FWS is not. An FWS is not a guaranteed job on campus. Therefore, if your kid receives an FWS, and your son or daughter arrives on campus expecting to go their first day on the job, forget about it. An FWS is merely an opportunity for your child to get a federally subsidized job on campus.

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