Posts Tagged ‘college counselor broward’

Going to College without Going Broke

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

by Mandee Heller Adler, president of International College Counselors

You can’t afford not to go to college.  But, taking on too much debt and ending up living in your parent’s house after college is not the only option. You could become a Westinghouse scholar, Olympic champion, or dictator of a small country.  Then you’d get a free ride.

For the less driven or genetically gifted, there’s hope for you too: you need to maximize your financial aid and minimize your costs.

Top ways the expert college counselors at International College Counselors recommend to make college more affordable include:

1.  Government Loans
The US government loans money to every student who needs it.  To receive FAFSA aid, you need to fill out and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid ( This federal application for financial aid is also used to apply for aid from other sources, such as your state or school.

The only catch to the FAFSA is it’s one long application that requires detailed information.  Don’t leave it until the last minute and it’ll all be OK.

Not just for our clients in Miami, college counselors at our firm recommend that ALL students who feel they need aid fill the FAFSA out regardless of their house-hold income.

2. Grants
Grants are better than loans because you don’t have to pay the money back. (Free money!) But they’re not available to everyone.

Pell Grants are federal grants awarded strictly on the student’s financial need. Other federal grant programs include the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (also based on financials), and grant programs for students with good grades in competitive high-school programs or specific fields of study, such as math, nursing or teaching. States and colleges also have their own pools of grant money.

3. General and School Scholarships
Scholarships are terrific because students do not have to pay them back and many are not based on financial need.

Thousands of scholarships are available. Sources of scholarships can be national organizations, local clubs, contests, and the schools themselves. The trick is finding the ones you’re in the best position to win. If you’re not a Native American there’s no point in going for the scholarship. You’d be better off making a clever prom outfit with duct tape or becoming a champion at duck calls (both skills are scholarship worthy).

School scholarships are typically given to top athletes, national-merit finalists, and other outstanding students. In order to apply for these scholarships, you need to contact each school individually.

4. Transfer
For students with their hearts set on an elite, expensive school, your best bet may be to attend an affordable school like a public university or a community college first.  Credits earned at these less-expensive schools can often be transferred to other universities – even the priciest.  For your first two years, they’re mostly core classes you’ll be taking anyway.  And in the end what you’re really after is that framed diploma office décor. So it’s the last two years that really count.

5. Work
Many students take a part-time job in order to pay for college and the things they will need such as books, housing and bean-bag chairs. Colleges offer thousands of work-study jobs that can be on-campus or off-campus.  They are designed to allow students to study while they work.  Waiting tables and taking Advanced Astrophysics never complemented each other so well.

For the foreseeable future, college grads can also cancel some or all of their federal education debt by working in public-service jobs – lower-paying professional jobs that serve low-income communities – or by volunteering.

Other tips include buying used books, living off-campus or at home when you can, and accelerating your degree – knocking off a year or even a semester by taking more courses per semester or loading up on the APs while in high school.

Getting out of college with little or no debt is hard, but not impossible, and with initiative, you don’t have to rob a bank to do it.

If you need help, contact a private college counselor at International College Counselors to help you with college admissions and finances.

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International College Counselors
(954) 414-9986

International College Counselors provides expert college counseling on undergraduate and graduate college admissions, financial aid, tuition, essays, and college applications. Mandee Heller Adler, lead college admissions consultant and Founder of International College Counselors tailors her wide range of college counseling and college coaching services to address the goals, needs, and dreams of each individual student, whether Florida college or Ivy League university. Our college advising company, based in Miami-Dade, Florida, works with domestic and international students.  We also work with high schools. Our college counselors are in Miami, Boca, Broward and Palm Beach. Let us help you make the best decisions choosing, getting into, and paying for college.

Graduation Wisdom for All

Monday, May 31st, 2010

High school students, college counselors are only among the first professional advisors you’ll hear from throughout your life.  In four years (for most of you), you’ll hear from your commencement speaker (the guest speaker at your graduation).   Some will be witty and some serious, all will hopefully leave you a little bit wiser. made a list of “The All-time Best Graduation Speeches”.  Whether they’re the “best” is debatable, as are all “-est” lists, but they’re all really entertaining.  Read the full article on The Top Ten All-Time Best Graduation Speeches from

CNBC also made a list of The Ten Best Graduation Speeches of All Time.

Only three people made both lists, and Will Ferrell is one of them!
They’re all inspiring, so enjoy!

One thought from International College Counselors:
Go out and be successful, but include ethics in your definition of success.

From Mandee Heller Adler, president of International College Counselors, and the other expert college counselors:  Good luck to all graduating seniors, in college and beyond.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” ~ Dr. Seuss

International College Counselors provides expert college counseling on undergraduate and graduate college admissions, financial aid, tuition, essays, and college applications. Mandee Heller Adler, lead college admissions consultant and Founder of International College Counselors tailors her wide range of college counseling and college coaching services to address the goals, needs, and dreams of each individual student, whether Florida college or Ivy League university. Our college advising company, based in Miami-Dade, Florida, works with domestic and international students. We also work with high schools in Miami, Boca, Broward and Palm Beach. Let us help you make the best decisions choosing, getting into, and paying for college.


Sunday, May 9th, 2010

To report the AP test or not to report the AP test, that is this week’s question.

By Mandee Heller Adler, president of International College Counselors

After taking one of the many various AP tests, there are usually three ways a student will feel: Great! Good. And Awful.

If you think you did great or good, congratulations!

If you’re sure you did awfully and scored a 1 or a 2, or you’re not sure how you did. You can withhold or cancel your score.

Because AP grades are released in July, any request for changes in reporting must be received by June 15.

Note that it’s not likely that any one AP grade you submit, no matter how low, will fatally wound you.

Canceling vs. Withholding

Canceling AP grades

Canceling an AP grade permanently means you’ll never, ever see the grade and it’s deleted from your record forever.

The option to cancel a score helps a number of students. Some of those students took an AP course but found it didn’t cover all the information on the test. (And this happens more than we’d like to think.) This option also encourages the risk takers, the students who take an AP exam in a subject they might not have taken the class for. (They’re the ones who study a lot on their own).

To cancel a score, you must notify the College Board by sending them assigned request by mail or fax with your signature. You should include in your letter:

  1. your full name, home address, birth date, and AP number(s)
  2. the year(s) that you took AP Exams
  3. the name, city, and state of the college you specified
  4. the name(s) of the exam(s) for which you want a grade canceled.

This service is free but note that the grade report that you and your school receive will indicate that the grade has been canceled.

Withholding AP grades

Withholding a score means you may have one or more grades withheld from the colleges you indicated on your answer sheet. This gives you the chance to see your scores before the colleges.

You may later release the grade to that college by sending AP Services a signed written request and a small fee.

What we suggest to the students we work with at International College Counselors is to not send your scores to any colleges in May.

Our reasoning is as follows: with your test, as explained to me by an AP representative, you only get to send your scores to one school free, any others are $15. In other words, if you choose to withhold your scores from all the colleges until you see them, you’re only “losing” $15. Many students can think of the $15 as “insurance”. It’s easy to see your scores and then end them in if you want to.

You can withhold a score if you already sent them in, but if you took them this year, we recommend waiting until early July. Beginning July 3, grades by phone are available for the 2009 exams. It’ll cost you a few extra dollars to get your scores by phone, but it’s a very small price to pay in the larger scheme of things.

To withhold a score, you must notify the College Board by sending them a letter with your signature. You should include in your letter:

  1. your full name, home address, birth date, and AP number(s)
  2. the year(s) that you took AP Exams
  3. the name, city, and state of the college you specified
  4. the name(s) of the exam(s) for which you want a grade withheld. (All your grades will still appear on the reports sent to you and your high school.)
  5. a check for the exact amount due made out to “AP Exams.” There is a $10 fee per grade, per college.

Note that unlike a canceled score, a request to withhold a grade does not permanently delete your grade. A withheld AP grade counts in your AP average and affects AP scholar designations. This means you can choose the scores that work to your advantage and feel confident to take some extra AP exams.

For more information on AP grade reporting services straight from the College Board go to:

If you need a college advisor or 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 this International College Counselors website.

Mandee Heller Adler, Founder of International College Counselors and lead college advisor

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How to Make the Most of Your Summer Internship or Job

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Summer is almost here. For those of you with jobs or internships, take the time to plan on making the most of your opportunity. Mentors and people who you may want recommendations from are almost always on the lookout for promising young talent. One of your other goals should be to turn your experience into a resume builder.

Stand out with your professionalism. Do what you can to show the company you’re the one they should be watching and giving the plum assignments to. Be professional, serious and responsible. This should earn you more respect and responsibility. Be on time for work, meetings, conference calls and team building exercises. Even better – come early. Make sure you dress for success, too.

Reset your expectations. It’s good to have personal goals but sometimes realities don’t match our expectations. Rather than dwell on any negatives of the job or internship, seek out and embrace the opportunities offered. Chances are you won’t be given that assignment that saves the company and makes you a star. But, that’s not why you’re there. You’re there to learn, expand your horizons, and add to your resume. No matter what, always be enthusiastic and upbeat.

Be proactive. If your job or internship appears to be a sea of repetitive tasks like making photocopies or coffee, don’t complain. Ask to have a meeting with your supervisor to ask about new opportunities or projects. If there is a job you want to try, ask your supervisor if you can join the team, observe the meetings or otherwise contribute in some way. You won’t know, unless you ask. Even if they say no, you will gain the respect and attention of your older colleagues. Interns and employees who identify their employer’s needs and ask for new challenges demonstrate the initiative and motivation that companies want.

Learn about yourself. You’re there to watch and observe. Use this time to find out more about yourself. See what kind of people you relate to. What kind of work you like to do. Compare yourself to people on the job who you admire. Do they have skills you lack or can work on acquiring?

Build up your resume. Volunteer for extra tasks and look for opportunities to take advantage of. To do this, the best first step is to prove that you’re responsible and resourceful. Then, let’s say, you’re working in an ice cream shop and your boss needs to leave a few hours early, volunteer to be put in charge. If you’re given the responsibility to lead, this counts on your resume as Management. If you’re working in an advertising firm and think you might want to be a copywriter, ask for the current assignments. Write the ads then ask for feedback. Who know, they may even love your ad so much, they’ll run it.

Ask questions. Always remember that a summer job or internship is a learning experience for you. While your employer expects to get some work from you, you are expected to be interested in what’s going on. So ask questions. This is your chance to get advice and learn.

Make connections. Build up personal relationships. Find a mentor. After the summer is over make sure to stay in touch with the people you met and connected with – and stay connected. It’s never too early to start building your professional network. A professionally geared site like is a good place to keep in touch.

Develop your professional people skills. Hone in on people you admire. Study the qualities you admire in them. Take notes on their dress and what character traits put them ahead. Then try to emulate those traits.

Learn to take criticism gracefully. No one likes to be criticized, but you’re sure to encounter many negative opinions throughout your life and career. Criticism can help you. Follow up a negative assessment by asking for their thoughts on what you could have done better. Are there resources you don’t know about? Is it true you need to be more detail-oriented. And then put that information to use. The best part about a summer job or internship is that you’re not expected to know everything. Both you and your employer know that you are there to learn.

Always, always stay enthusiastic and positive!

Decision making after the thick envelopes

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

The envelopes are in.

If you have more than one thick envelope in your hand you’re now in the driver’s seat. The colleges have taken their sweeeeet time choosing you, and now it’s your turn to choose them. They’ve given you the month of April to make your choice. Far beyond the glossy paper of the brochures, here are some things you should consider:

Economics. It’s hard to deny that this may be a factor for many students. If you’ve been offered a generous financial aid package or a scholarship, it’s going to be hard to ignore this “bonus”. However, the price tag may not be so much a factor in some cases. The Ivies and a small number of other schools across the country have policies that allow students to meet the full need of students and allow them to attend irrespective of their ability to pay.

Fit. Where do you feel like you will fit in best? Some students thrive at universities where the city itself plays an important role in one’s overall education. Cities included on this list include New York and Boston and, as you can imagine, the cultural and internship opportunities are enormous. However, city schools tend to be more impersonal and cities aren’t as conducive to a school community atmosphere. Residential campus schools like The University of Florida in Gainesville or Williams College pride themselves on providing everything you need right there on campus, from cultural activities to social life. They have more of a community atmosphere.

Academics. Do you have an idea of what you want to do in the future? Then you need a school that offers a major or program that will allow you to explore that option to fullest. Also be aware that there can be real differences in the course of study at various places. Some schools like Columbia University and the University of Chicago require students to take a core curriculum. The mandatory courses can take up to two years to complete. Open curriculum schools, like Amherst, Brown and New College, have no required courses. Instead they require that students take one of a list of first-year seminars. Guidelines and advisors at these schools help students with their course choices.

Culture. Michael Roth, president of Wesleyan College presents this consideration excellently:

“The evolution of student culture over many years that comes to define the way a place feels to the young men and women who spend these transitional years on campus. Students – not teachers and officials – make that culture. At Duke, for example, there are extraordinary programs and deep research going on. But over several weeks of the spring semester (especially this year), it’s Blue Devil basketball frenzy that takes over campus culture. At Middlebury, there is currently an energetic student debate about the meal plan, which many students see as a defining element in their campus experience. At USC, the entertainment industry seeps into the fabric of the place, even when the subject areas are quite distant from Hollywood. At Wesleyan, the students have created vibrant music and film contexts that seem to fuel independent rock and hip-hop on the one hand, and popular film and TV on the other. Although most students here study neither music nor film, the energy of these areas percolates around campus.”

Only you will know what is truly important to you. What this college counselor suggests is that you create a list of all the questions you want answered and then you go visit the school. If you’ve already visited the schools, then visit your top two choices again. Take a good hard look at the school. Can you see yourself fitting into the culture? Do you feel comfortable? This is going to be your home away from home for the next 4 years.

Specific questions you may want to ask if you haven’t already: How hard is it to get into the classes you want? How small or big are the classes? Are there internships, and how does the school help students prepare for life after college whether that means career placement or help with graduate and professional programs? Does the school offer the athletic opportunities you want to participate in or cheer on? What will it mean to be an alumnus of George Washington University rather than the University of Miami? College counselors can help guide you to the right decision but ultimately, you should be looking for the campus energy that matches your own.

No doubt about it. Choosing your college is a big decision. Congratulations from International College Counselors to all the students offered this decision to make.

Reach deep down inside and make the best decision for you!

Mandee Heller Adler

International College Counselors

College Fairs

Saturday, September 5th, 2009

National college fairs span the US from coast to coast and visit every major metropolitan area across the country. You won’t find any Ferris wheels or cotton candy at these events but you will find them to be outstanding opportunities to learn about a wide variety of schools. At a college fair you can attend helpful seminars, meet school representatives, and collect information on:
• Admission requirements

• Financial aid

• College majors and courses

• Admission requirements

• Life on campus

Fairs can also help you cross some colleges off your list and discover new ones to add. Some college fairs are even attended by actual admissions officers – who you can talk to! You can also pick up a lot of pens, bags and other giveaway items.

Our International College Counselors college counselors have cut and pasted the Spring 2010 National College Fairs Schedule below. Events are held from Honolulu to NYC to Miami. College counselors or your high school counselors are also great resources for other fairs that may be coming to your area too.

These below are all free and open to the public. Note that this is an incomplete list of college fairs, there are many more. International students and those who are unable to travel to the college fair locations should consider attending virtual college fairs. One of the most popular hosts for this is College Week Live.

Spring 2010 National College Fairs Schedule


Date & Time



Sunday, January 24
12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Georgia International Convention Center

College Park, GA


Thursday, February 4 
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Friday, February 5
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

David L. Lawrence Convention Center

Pittsburgh, PA


Sunday, February 21

12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Doubletree Miami Mart/Airport Hotel & Exhibition Center 
Miami, FL


Saturday, February 27

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Kentucky Int’l Convention Center
Louisville, KY


Sunday, February 28

12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Tampa Convention Center

Tampa, FL


Sunday, March 7

12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Monday, March 8

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Eastern States Exposition (The Big E)

West Springfield, MA


Wednesday, March 17

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Rochester Riverside Convention Center
Rochester, NY


Sunday, March 21

12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The Park (formerly the Charlotte Merchandise Mart)

Charlotte, NC


Sunday, March 21

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Monday, March 22

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Onondaga County Convention Center, at Oncenter

Syracuse, NY


Tuesday, March 23

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 24

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Buffalo Niagara Convention Center
Buffalo, NY

Greater Memphis

Wednesday, March 24

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Agricenter International

Memphis, TN


Thursday, April 8

9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Friday, April 9

9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Connecticut Expo Center

Hartford, CT


Sunday, April 11

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

George R. Brown Convention Center

Houston, TX


Tuesday, April 13

9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Austin Convention Center

Austin, TX

West Michigan

Tuesday, April 13

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

DeVos Place

Grand Rapids, MI

Montgomery County

Wednesday, April 14

9:45 a.m. – 12:45 a.m.

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 15

9:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Montgomery County Agricultural Center

Gaithersburg, MD

Metro Detroit

Thursday, April 15

8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Burton Manor Banquet and Conference Center

Livonia, MI

Prince George’s County

Friday, April 16
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 17
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex

Landover, MD

San Francisco

Saturday, April 17

1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Concourse Exhibition Center
San Francisco, CA

San Diego

Tuesday, April 20

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, CA


Thursday, April 22

8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Hawaii Convention Center

Honolulu, HI

Inland Empire

Thursday, April 22

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

National Orange Show Events Center

San Bernardino, CA


Saturday, April 24

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Rhode Island Convention Center

Providence, RI


Sunday, April 25

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Nashville Convention Center

Nashville, TN

New York

Sunday, April 25

11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Jacob K. Javits Convention Center

New York, NY

Orange County

Sunday, April 25

1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Anaheim Convention Center

Anaheim, CA


Tuesday, April 27

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 28

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

World Trade Center

Boston, MA

Greater Los Angeles

Tuesday, April 27

6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 28

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Pasadena Convention Center

Pasadena, CA

New Jersey

Wednesday, April 28

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 29

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center

Edison, NJ


Thursday, April 29

5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Seaside Park

Ventura, CA


Sunday, May 2

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Wolstein Center

Cleveland, OH

From NYC to Miami, college counselors at International College Counselors are available to help you. Please contact one of our college counselors with any questions you may have.

International College Counselors also wants to announce the addition of the newest member of our team, Kate McKenna. Kate serves as Director of International Operations for International College Counselors, LLC and is based in Europe.

International College Counselors

Main office: 954.253.5719

Mandee Heller Adler

Barry Liebowitz

Kate McKenna

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

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