New On The Blog:
Family Time and Holiday Stress for Students 
While it’s nice to have families and friends gathering again, holiday dinners can be difficult, or even downright unpleasant, for high school seniors when well-intentioned family members ask too many questions about the college application process. Parents and students should think ahead about how they want to respond to queries like “Where are you applying?”, “Which school is your top choice?” and “What did you write your essay about?”
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KS College Success Feature in Montclair Magazine

Read Montclair Magazine's feature on Kate and her non-profit work. 

Current College Chatter

 Honors Colleges Offer Special Benefits 

As seniors review their college lists, they might find themselves caught between their desire for the intimate learning environment of a liberal arts college and the options and experiences available at a large university.  One way to have the best of both worlds is through a university honors program. Many public and some private universities offer honors programs that provide great benefits, including preferential class registration, special honors classes, enhanced advising and enrichment programs.

Honors classes attract top professors who enjoy teaching bright, motivated students. In most programs, students are not required to take all honors courses, and often take one or two honors classes each semester along with their other classes. Honors classes are smaller and students can pursue a subject in more depth. Some programs require students to complete a senior project to receive an honors designation on their transcript.

Many schools offer separate honors housing. Having a residential community where students take their studies seriously can be especially important at schools that are known for a party atmosphere. Honors students are generally not required to live in honors housing, but it’s nice to have the option.

The University of Arizona and Arizona State University offer honors programs. These are such large universities, each with more than 30,000 students, that an honors program is a great way to create a sense of community and to be assured of having real contact with professors. Arizona State University’s Barrett Honors College creates a living-learning community featuring classrooms, advising center, computer room and residence halls. Honors advisors help students find opportunities for    research, internships and study abroad. Students who are interested need to apply both to ASU and the Barrett Honors College.

Some honors programs provide financial incentives. Penn State University’s Schreyer Honors College offers a renewable scholarship of $5,000 to all first-year students, and provides grants to students who study abroad. The school offers more than 300 honors courses each year. Like many honors programs, Schreyers boasts of high placement rates to graduate and professional schools.

While many large public universities have honors programs, some states also offer the option of a separate honors college.
St. Mary’s College of Maryland may sound like a religious institution, but it is the state’s honors college. With about 2,000 students, this liberal arts college offers a private school type of education, with small classes and lots of faculty interaction, at public school prices.

Private schools can also have honors programs. At Boston’s Northeastern University, students have access to separate honors sections of courses, as well as interdisciplinary honors seminars. They can live with    other freshmen honors students, and enjoy excursions to the theater and symphony.

These are just a few examples of the many honors programs available at colleges and universities across the country. While a few require a separate application, most schools will invite applicants with top grades and test scores to join their honors programs. These programs can offer terrific benefits, but as always, it’s important to do your research and make sure the school is a good match.
 Majoring in Biomedical Engineering 

What makes a major “valuable”? Most would agree that competitive average starting pay, median mid-career pay, growth in salary, and wealth of job opportunities all contribute to value. Biomedical Engineering is one of the majors that is considered most worth your tuition, time and effort. But what is Biomedical Engineering?
The terms bioengineering and biomedical engineering are often used interchangeably. Sometimes, however, bioengineering refers to issues involving animal health and/or plants and agriculture, whereas biomedical engineering refers to a focus on human health.  

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  Career Paths for Biomedical Engineering Majors 

These careers are applicable to a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering studies because of the skills and competencies it can teach you. Some of them however, require additional education, training and/or experience.  

· Software and hardware engineering
· Medical device industry
· Innovative design and development
· Research and development
· Manufacturing
· Equipment testing and field servicing
· Clinical patient evaluation
· Technical documentation
· Sales
· Hospital equipment selection and support
· Teaching
· Management
· Undergraduate preparation for medicine, dentistry or law

Learn More About This Exciting Career >>
 Responding to Early Admission Decisions 
Cooler weather, holiday gifts and early college decisions generally arrive in December.  When you receive a response to your early applications, how and when should you respond?

Seniors who receive an offer in response to their early decision application must promptly respond, accepting a place in the freshman class.  Early decision is binding; students are required to accept the offer and to withdraw any other college applications that may be pending.  The only way a student can refuse an offer from her early decision college is if the school was unable to provide a financial aid package that  makes the institution affordable to her family.  If this situation applies to you, you need to contact the college’s office of financial aid immediately to discuss any special family needs.

Keep Reading >> 
 Write Your Way to a College Scholarship
With one year of college costing over $60,000 at many schools, even the most affluent families become grateful for any additional scholarship help.  Although some essay contest committees consider need in selecting winners, many others look only at the merits of the essay.  Writing a really dynamite essay can pay off handsomely, and, unless the topic is unusually specific, essays can often be tweaked to fit the requirements of several contests.

First, accumulate a list of essay contests and make note of the essay(s) required for each. Group those that address similar topics, and spend your time crafting a really good essay.  Your opening sentence needs to grab your reader—paint a scene and place your audience right in the middle.  Use specific examples and work on those descriptive phrases.  Spend time writing and revising; winning an essay contest can yield more money than a minimum wage job.

Here's a list of essay contests to get you started! 

Keep Reading >> 

Student Journey

“I just found out this college offers interviews, but I hate talking to strangers,” a student shared. Many colleges offer students the opportunity to interview. Evaluative interviews are intended to help a college assess the strength of an application for admission, while informational interviews are intended to provide students with information about the college. Some colleges require, or highly recommend, an interview, but even where not required, students should take advantage of the opportunity to have a college interview. When I work with students, we practice interviewing so they go in confident and prepared. I was so excited when my student told me the interview went well and that there were no unexpected surprises!

If you don't see a convenient time at the link below, email me what works best and I will try to accommodate you. I am passionate about student's having a positive college experience, and the first step in this journey is a thoughtful application process. I love speaking to parents and helping answer your most pressing questions.



Princeton admissions, English teaching, legal training and mother of two giving you the specific wisdom you need for a specific process. 

I know that parents want happy children who will be successful in college. Choosing colleges that are good matches, writing authentic essays and putting it all together in a stellar application involves so much more than just knowing a student's grades and test scores. Schedule an informational chat with me to learn more.

I invite you to join my private Facebook Group where students, parents, and independent college consultants in Montclair and surrounding communities can discuss and share information about preparing for the college admissions process. You do not have to live in Montclair to participate in this group. 

Go here to join today!

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