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This weekly email searches main media outlets finding stories that may be of interest to high school counselors, college admission officers and related organizations, with links to the original stories. It is published by de facto, inc., publishers of other e-newsletters.

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Big Picture

The Unnecessarily Mysterious Cost of College
The Atlantic - Sep 30, 2016
As almost any parent of a high-school senior knows, figuring out the true college price tag is confusing. While the full annual sticker price can be as much as $60,000 or $70,000 at a private college and more than $55,000 at an out-of-state public college, experts say that many students will end up paying considerably less....
After gaining legitimacy, can online higher education replace traditional college?
Washington Post - Oct 4, 2016
For much of their modern existance, distance-education courses have suffered from an image problem. In the 1970s and 1980s, they were seen as cheap knockoffs of on-campus offerings, hawked on late-night television by the likes of Sally Struthers, who asked viewers, ....
The State of College Admissions
Huffington Post - Oct 2, 2016
For thousands of high school students, October marks the start of the college application season. Application deadlines approach, standardized tests and essays are finalized, and this year, there is an earlier start to the FAFSA financial aid application.....
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College Admissions Process/Strategies

3 Underrated Facts About College Admissions
Forbes  - Oct 3, 2016
College Admissions is the closest thing modern America has to a rite of passage, but far from being the meritocracy we would like to believe, the selective college admissions process looks more like a beauty contest. ...
Here’s the Number of Colleges You Should Actually be Applying to
Her Campus  - Sep 28, 2016
Senior year of high school is one of the most exciting years of your life. Many once-in-a-lifetime events are quickly approaching, but one seems to stand out above the rest ––the time has come to apply to college! You’ve anticipated this moment for a while, and suddenly, it’s here. Where do you begin?. . ...
What Matters Most to Colleges? Good Grades
Huffington Post  - Sep 29, 2016
The National Association for College Admission Counseling recently released its annual State of College Admissions report, revealing that, while considerable weight is placed on application elements like test scores, essays, and more, the most important factor that colleges ...
How Students Can Position Themselves For Selective College Programs
Forbes  - Sep 27, 2016
Nestled within the large, elite, and highly selective University of Pennsylvania live the Penn Engineering’s Integrated Studies Programs, which combine the computer science major with a specific focus: Networked & Social Systems Engineering (NETS), Digital Media Design (DMD), and Computer Engineering (CMPE)....
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Letters of Recommendation

6 tips for getting the best recommendation letters for college
Bangor Daily News  - Sep 29, 2016
How many? Check how many recommendations you will need by reviewing the admissions application instructions at your selected colleges. The number of recommendations required may vary from school to school. ...
What If My Recommender Never Sent Their Letter?
CollegeVine Blog  - Sep 29, 2016
If you have reason to believe your recommender did not send his or her letter of recommendation, stay calm. It’s not the end of the world, and there are many steps you can take to rectify the situation. It’s important to stay calm and not panic. ...
Archives - Recommendation Letters
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Five ways to avoid that cringe-worthy essay
Tribune News Service  - Sep 29, 2016
You want your essay to be the one that is passed around the admissions office…. or not. It’s a little bit like the difference between being famous and infamous. We all know that a sincere, well-written essay that provides insights about how the student has matured, ....
College Admissions Expert Elizabeth Levine: College Essay Writing
Photo News Service  - Oct 2, 2016
How do I go about writing my college essay? Writing your college essay is one of the most difficult documents you will write in your lifetime. Why is this? So much is on the line. You are applying to college's that will define the next four years of your life....
Archives - Essays
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Campus Visits

Advice From College Tour Guides About What to Ask on a College Tour
TIME - Oct 4, 2016
As high school seniors ponder where they’ll apply to college and where they want to go to school, many are participating in a staple of the college admissions process: the college tour. So, what should you ask on a college tour? What information should you be gathering as you walk around the campus? ..
Travel Tip: Want College Visits to be More Fun? Make It A Family Vacation
Travelers Today  - Oct 4, 2016
College visits or tours are one of the most interesting experiences, as a high school student will determine where they'll be studying in the next four years or so. However, there's no harm in having a little bit of fun with the family while you're at it by making it a full-blown family vacation.....
Making the most of a college fair
West Hawaii Today  - Oct 2, 2016
Attending a college fair is a great way to connect with schools you are interested in and make a positive first impression on their representatives. However, there are some important things to keep in mind in order to make the most effective use of your time.....
Archives - Campus Visits and Interviews
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Gap Year

4 Steps to Avoid Gap Year Culture Shock
TeenLife Blog  - Sep 29, 2016
Before she went to Japan as an exchange student at age 21, Rebecca Fitzgerald thought she was well prepared for culture shock. But the cultural reality was harder than she imagined. “I came to realize that I had a very surface understanding of it,” Fitzgerald says. “But what I had learned......
Is taking a Gap Yeara Good Idea?
Boston Globe Magazine  - Sep 29, 2016
The two-sentence press release the White House issued this spring about first daughter Malia's plan to take a gap year before starting at ......
‘Here's why taking a 'gap year' before college is a great idea
Business Insider  - Sep 30, 2016
Gap years — essentially a year off before starting freshmen year — are gaining in popularity among American students. For example, Harvard has seen a 33% increase in the number of students taking gap years.....
The 'gap year' is not just for rich kids anymore
Yahoo News  - Sep 22, 2016
When the White House announced that Malia Obama would be taking a year off after high school before attending Harvard, it turned a spotlight on the idea of a “gap year.” And yet it’s not just presidential family members taking time off, and not just Harvard that’s encouraging its students to consider deferring their enrollment....
Archives - Gap Year
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The New Wall Street Journal College Rankings vs. MONEY’s Own
TIME - Sep 28, 2016
Different "best" lists reflect differences in methodology and philosophy. The Wall Street Journal’s new college rankings, which focus on student experience and alumni success (after accounting for the student body’s demographics), give the highest marks to many “elite” private colleges.. ..
Archives - Rankings

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HSCW Counselors' Corners
Post - Oct 5, 2016
College Readiness Checklist Fails to Make the Grade
While we’ve been away this summer, the School Superintendent’s Association (AASA) has released a series of National College and Career Readiness Indicators. These three checklists can be used to determine if students will succeed in their chosen postsecondary path of college or career .... More

School counselor talks teen into handing over loaded handgun
Clarksville Now  - Sep 30, 2016
PLEASANT VIEW, Tenn. (AP) — A middle-school counselor in Tennessee is being called a hero after talking a teenager into handing over a loaded handgun....
More high school grads shy away from four-year colleges
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette  - Sep 30, 2016
High school students have become so mindful of financial planning for college in recent years that many who are academically eligible to attend a traditional four-year college are choosing to minimize their cost by enrolling in two-year community colleges instead. ...
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Smart Advice for College Parents—From Parents Who’ve Been There
TIME - Sep 28, 2016
Their costly lessons, yours for free. Even with the deluge of college data that’s available today, there’s nothing like getting the scoop from a fellow parent—especially one whose kid or kids are a few years further along in the process. ..
50% of parents knowingly text their teens while teens are driving
CNET - Sep 29, 2016
We like to blame the kids, don't we? It makes us feel better and makes them feel worse. This is what we call a win-win. However, when it comes to texting and driving, how much are the kids really to blame?. ..
13 Clear Signs That College Application Season Is Upon Us
Huffington Post - Sep 28, 2016
In some parts of the country, they call it “Fall.” We know better: This is college application season and here are 13 surefire signs to recognize it. A version of this post ran in 2015.. ..
Archives - Parents
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Choose Between Retaking the ACT, SAT or Changing Exams
US News - Oct 3, 2016
Sometimes, despite hard work, your SAT or ACT score is disappointing. Don't lose hope, though; if you took the standardized test early in the college application process, you may have time to retake it. ..
College Board says upcoming SATs won't contain questions exposed in breach
Reuters - Sep 30, 2016
For the first time since a massive security breach exposed about 400 unpublished questions meant for upcoming SAT tests, the College Board will administer the important college entrance exam this weekend. ..
Archives - SATs & ACTs
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Before you file the FAFSA, check for these errors
CNBC - Oct 5, 2016
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid may be a mere six pages, but it still offers college-bound students plenty of opportunities to trip up. Filing the FAFSA should be easier this year. Families were able to submit their paperwork as early as October 1, using data from their 2015 tax returns ..
Why It’s Important to Check on Your Completed FAFSA
TIME - Oct 3, 2016
It’s time to get going on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, for the 2017-2018 school year. This year the FAFSA became available online on Oct. 1, three months earlier than in years past.. ..
Watch Out for These 3 Common FAFSA Mistakes
TIME - Oct 3, 2016
Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, may be nobody’s idea of a fun weekend. But it’s absolutely essential if you hope to get grants, scholarships, or loans to help pay for college. ..
Dos, Don'ts of Applying for Scholarships as an International Student
US News - Oct 3, 2016
It's no secret that getting a college education in the U.S. is expensive, especially for international students. Applicants from other countries who are attending school in the U.S. don't have the opportunity to claim residency in a state to receive a lower tuition rate at a public institution, like many American college students do. ..
Archives - FinAid/Scholarships
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Career and Technical Education

‘Get Real About Vocational Education
Education Week (free registation required)  - Oc t2, 2016
For far too long, vocational education in this country has been regarded as inferior to an academic curriculum. In large part that's because those with four-year degrees tend to earn more over a lifetime.......
Beyond ‘vocational’ training
District Administration  - Oct 2, 2016
r decades, “vocational” education prepared students for a newly industrialized workplace by training them for a specific occupational skill set. Today, Career and Technical Education (CTE) is open to all students, ....
‘Options for Students Who Shouldn't Go to College
US News - Oc 3, 2016
Kayleen McCabe, host of DIY Network's "Rescue Renovation," spends her time outside of the show talking to middle and high school students all over the country about opportunities in the construction field........
‘It's tme for vocational schools to get some repect
Boston Globe Magazine  - Oc t2, 2016
Massachusetts vocational schools are stretched thin at a time when ... “We're turning away work because we don't have the people to do it,” ........
Archives - Career & Technical Education
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New Jersey colleges need to focus on your goal, not theirs
NJ 101.5  - Sep 29, 2016
The “powers that be” in New Jersey are trying to find ways to reduce student loan debt. Some of the ideas they’ve come up with include three year degrees, more community college (why you would want to pay so much more for your first two years when you can get the same credits there is beyond me) ..
College Admissions: 4 Fall Pennsylvania Roadtrips
GoLocalProv College Admissions - Oct 3, 2016
Pennsylvania is home to the Liberty Bell, Declaration of Independence and many of Ben Franklin’s inventions. From the exciting cities of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to countryside Amish colonies, this state boasts dozens of superb colleges. ..
Maine Community College System Seeks State Funding Increase
Maine Public Radio - Oct 4, 2016
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine Community College System has requested a 13 percent increase in state funding with a bulk of the new money set to go toward the expansion of workforce development programs.. ..
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Teen Driving

Street Safe Teens: Common Myths About Teen Drivers
Newsplex  - Sep 30, 2016
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- The Partners for Safe Teen Driving released an article talking about some of the most common myths about teen driving habits and we took a look at them. Teen drivers have a new online tool to help them become safer on the road. (MGN) Myth 1: Parents Have Little Influence Over Their Teens' Driving Habits. ..
FBI video to show Illinois teens how to act in traffic stops with police
Chicago Tribune  - Oct 1, 2016
The Springfield FBI office is working with filmmakers to produce a video that agents hope will improve the interactions teens have with law enforcement officers when they're pulled over.. ..
Online College Fair - CollegeWeekLive


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Gap year


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