Posts Tagged ‘college coach’

Why the PSAT Matters

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Many students are about to take the PSAT test in a few days and many of them are probably wondering why it’s so important. Here are some reasons:
The expert college advisors at International College Counselors understand that the PSAT is the best practice for the SAT.  It’s a standardized test made by the College Board, the same company that creates the SAT, and it tests the same three subjects as the SAT: critical reading, math, and writing.  The kinds of questions and the directions are almost exactly the same as the SAT.  Students also get to experience sitting down for a two to three hour test with few breaks. For many, it’s an eye-opener. The real SAT is about an hour and a half longer than the PSAT. 
PSAT scores indicate how a student might do on each section on the SAT.  Using the test results, students can then focus their test review on the areas and types of questions they most need to improve. Students and parents can also use the scores as a gauge to see what kind of additional study aids or tutoring is needed. Consider poor results as an early warning signal that serious work may be needed before a student takes the real SAT.  
By taking the PSAT, a student could become a National Merit Scholar.  This is a highly prestigious recognition. To participate in the National Merit Scholarship Program, a student needs to score above a certain percentile on the test.
Through the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), different sponsor organizations offer different amounts of scholarship money to high-scoring students, even if the student reaches levels below that of National Merit Scholar.  According to the National Merit website, Merit Scholarship awards are supported by approximately 440 independent sponsors and by NMSC’s own funds. Sponsor organizations include corporations and businesses, company foundations, professional associations, and colleges and universities.
High scoring African American high school students become eligible to participate in the National Achievement Scholarship Program as well as in the National Merit Scholarship Program.
Students can see how their performance on the SAT test might compare with that of other students. This may boost self-esteem or be a good dose of reality/kick in the pants.

To all students: Good luck on the PSAT!
The college advisors at International College Counselors are available to review PSAT scores and recommend highly qualified tutors to help. Please contact us with any questions you may have.

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College: Then and Now

Friday, May 29th, 2009

I came across an article I found interesting.  It lists the 17 biggest differences between college today and college 10 years ago and it’s amazing what a difference a decade can make. As a mother of two children under 5, I can only imagine how much more it will change in the next 10 years. 

For space reasons I am only going to list four of the ways college campuses have changed and these are the issues we find ourselves addressing most with the domestic and international students we work with at International College Counselors.

I’ve listed the two points that interest me the most at the top but otherwise this is exactly from the article. I have also included the URL below for those who’d like to read the entire piece.

1. Obsession about majors. Many schools encourage students to declare majors right when they come in. Many parents discourage students from considering majors in which there isn’t a clear path to a high-paying (or, at least, some kind of) job. And many students think it’s a point of special pride to do a double (or sometimes even triple) major. Not to mention picking up a minor or two on the side.   

2. Longer time to degree. The four-year college degree has largely faded, despite much hue and cry: Today, five, six, or even seven years is more common. Some reasons: more onerous requirements, bad advising, students working while at college, and students taking more semesters off. But the gravy train might be coming to an end: States are beginning to place caps on the number of semesters students can attend while paying in-state tuition. Hey, times are tough everywhere (especially in California and in Florida).

3. Community college explosion. Community colleges are flourishing, with new ones sprouting up all over the place. Indeed, more than 40 percent of U.S. college students now are enrolled at community (or junior or two-year) colleges. As before, community colleges are attracting students who are interested in getting associate degrees or some college experience before transferring to four-year colleges. But in a new twist, some students at four-year colleges now are picking up courses at community colleges from time to time–when they want to be closer to home, need less expensive credits, want to take classes with a professor rather than a TA, or can’t get into classes they need at their own school.

4. New online opportunities. In addition to distance-learning institutions, such as the University of Phoenix, Kaplan University, and Devry University, a number of big-name schools have put up selected courses at free, “opencourseware” sites. This is something great: top-notch professors in your own living room at no charge! Check out (for Yale University), (for MIT), (for UC-Berkeley), and (for a general, worldwide directory).  


17 Ways College Campuses Are Changing

If you have any other college admissions questions for a college counselor, I’d be happy to answer them.  Please write me here or at my personal email which can be found on my International College Counselors college counseling website.

 Mandee Heller Adler, Founder and Principal of International College Counselors


College Advice for Summer Savings and Scholarships

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

 In this economy, it’s understandable that high school students are looking for jobs. As an alternative, if students can’t find a way to earn money, summer can be used to save money. Picking the right summer activities can equal money in the form of a scholarship or big savings at your student’s school of choice. 
Through the dual enrollment program, students can take classes at a local college- free of charge. Dual enrollment allows high school students to earn postsecondary credit toward a career and technical certificate, an associate degree, or a baccalaureate degree. That saves money for a summer activity, and when it comes to paying for college!   Depending on your student’s major, classes in this category may include: languages, maths, sciences and English.  The college credit earned can also be applied to most schools students eventually attend.  This will save them (and you) the cost of the class they took.  

Going further, certain scholarships are available for students who show high interest in pursuing certain careers. By using the summer to take a qualified interest to a higher level, your student may become eligible for these scholarships. Taking classes at a local community college or school can also show colleges a deep interest in a particular scholarly area that may make your student eligible for school scholarships.

If you have any other college questions, I’d be happy to answer them. Please write me here or at my personal email which can be found on my website.

Mandee Heller Adler, Founder and Principal of International College Counselors 


Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

“Congratulations on being nominated to attend the National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C.”, reads the fancy script on the expensive feeling card complete with gold seal.   The card promises  “lifetime advantage” and valuable resume padding.  It’s hard to miss the words “elite”, “distinguished,” and “select.”
The letter is a marketing scam. These particular leadership conferences won’t enhance your college applications any more or less than that art club you joined but never attended.
Your child will meet other kids who are interested in government, attend workshops, hear speakers, and sightsee, but getting invited isn’t an “honor”. College admissions officers and college advisors are aware that attendance for most students depends on their ability to pay.
Solicitations for programs like these begin filling mailboxes, virtual and real, as soon as students reach middle school, and continue coming through college. Dozens of messages may be sent from one program, reminding you of enrollment deadlines and offering testimonials from participants and fundraising tips.  
According to the New York Times, The company that organized the conference, a direct-mail powerhouse called the Congressional Youth Leadership Council, runs an alphabet soup of such conferences that it says are attended by 50,000 students a year. It solicits recommendations from teachers and alumni of previous conferences, and it culls names from mailing lists, for which the council paid $263,000 in 2006 alone.
Other companies in this business include: the National Student Leadership Conference, People to People Ambassador Programs, Leadership Classroom, Envision, and the Congressional Youth Leadership Council.

Personally, it seems my name has ended up on someone’s list as well, and in the last week alone, I’ve fielded Congratulatory calls from America’s Who’s Who, the Cambridge Who’s Who, the princeton Who’s Who, and a couple of others.  And, for a mere $200-$900 dollars, I can have a plaque on my wall, a trophy, or a leather bound book in my office.  🙂
Mandee Heller Adler, Founder and Principal of International College Counselors 


International College Counselors
3107 Stirling Road, Suite 208
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33312 USA
(954) 414-9986

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