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Sebastian (a lady)

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Sebastian (a lady) last won the day on March 1 2013

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About Sebastian (a lady)

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    Apprentice Bee Keeper

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    Surrounded by fathoms of books

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    Surrounded by books and boys

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  1. We did photo cards from Tiny Prints. They had so many options. We went with kid name, a graduation date and what college they would be attending. If you sign up for their emails you'll get tons of discount emails. Looks like they merhed with Shutterfly since I used them last. What you can do is just delete the school name or put something else in that line, like a quote.
  2. There are many things you can't control, including what the competition looks like. I definitely know about raw feelings. Neither of my sons were accepted to summer seminar or to USNA. Both are in Navy ROTC and have done well as midshipmen. I think they will both be good officers.
  3. Please keep in mind that academy summer programs are not intended as an application pre-screening cycle. Being turned down for seminar is not intended as an indication the student should not apply. The evaluations have different criteria. Sorry about the situation with rhe teammate. That is frustrating when you see it happening.
  4. My kids entered contests that were advertised at our library. They tended to be smaller. Also, many DAR chapters sponsor a contestant in the annual DAR essay contest. Often chapters don't have anyone submit and are happy to get some.
  5. A line on Barbara Hettle's website struck me. She observes that a consultant should lower your stress, not increase it. Compare the way she talks about college to the point of view in the website in the OP. This is the tone I watch for when I'm looking for college admissions blogs to follow. Student centered, showing that they consider all students to be of value, not only the students who are accepted into prestige schools.
  6. I wanted to share info on some of the professional organizations that related to college consulting. So far as I've seen in the news reporting and the released documents that I read, Rick Singer (from the bribery for admissions scandal) was not a member of these. IECA - Independent Educational Consultants Association. This group has three levels of membership, including a Student Membership for people who are taking courses that would prepare them for work as an IEC and an Associate Membership for IECs who are new to the field. [Disclosure: this is a group I am joining.] IECA 12 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Independent Educational Consultant IECA 12 Warning Signs that an Independent Educational Consultant is Not Worth Hiring The company mentioned in the OP hits several of these warning signs. HECA - Higher Education Consultants Association. Similar to IECA. Some consultants are members of IECA or HECA; some join both. NACAC - National Association of College Admissions Counseling. This organization is mostly high school college admissions counselors and guidance counselors and members of admissions staff at colleges. This group puts on college fairs around the country. It also has regional associations (ex. HACAC is the Hawaii Association of College Admissions Counseling). Independent Educational Consultants can join, but many start with IECA and/or HECA. AICEP - American Institute of Certified Educational Planners. Members of this group have passed a significant application and review process, that requires several years of experience, a lot of college campus visits, a 17 page application, professional references, and an assessment that is read by two different experienced readers. There are other groups that can indicate a professional stance towards the field. For example NCAG is the National College Advocacy Group. They have a big focus on financial aid and understanding financial fit and the implications of financial aid offers (ex. it's not a "full ride" if the out of pocket annual cost is $0, but there are $20,000 annual Parent Plus loans). Full disclosure: I am taking classes from UC Irvine in their Certificate for Independent Educational Consulting. I don't know if I will end up working with a Community Based Organization or setting up my own practice. I do see that there is an information gap about transitioning from high school to college that ranges from deciding what colleges might be a good match, to getting through the application process, to figuring out financial fit and understanding financial aid offers. I think IECs can be part of bridging that gap, in a similar way to hiring a personal trainer at the gym or hiring someone to prepare your taxes.
  7. You are not missing something. You are noticing unethical promises. I would steer clear of any company that promises admission to particular schools. This violates the ethics guidelines of the major professional organizations in the field. Things about College Karma that raise red flags for me: -They pick which students they offer the guarantee to after a stats review that they charge for. -Of the 3 consultants listed, two formerly worked in admissions, which suggests they are familiar with NACAC and its ethics guidelines. None of the bios mention membership in any professional organization related to college admission. -The details of the offer give them lots of loopholes. For example if you get waitlisted and accept another school's offer (even if the Ivy school historically waitlists many and takes in few or none from the waitlist). -They overstate the cost of Independent Educational Consultant services. Yes there are very expensive consultants. There are also consultants who charge hourly rates similar to the cost of music lessons or driver training.
  8. If you don't know Excel, you can also make a nice one in Word using tables.
  9. I wanted to add that the vast majority of students don't attend a highly selective school. Acceptance rates are indications of popularity and name recognition, and are often not reflecting deep insight of the academic offerings and opportunities at the school. I like this handout from Colleges That Change Lives about what to ask about a school. When you look at the annual acceptance thread here, most of those were not the result of hiring someone to coach and package the student. There are lots of knowledgeable helpers on the board. Don't be afraid to use them. If you need more help, whether that is a close friend who has been there done that, or a homeschool specific adviser or someone with wider experience, look for someone who has good ethics, and is offering services that match what you need.
  10. So far as I can tell, Singer was not part of any of the professional organizations for eductional consultants or admissions counselors. IECA is the Independent Educational Consultants Association. They have a couple checklists that include questions to ask. 12 Questions to Ask 12 Warning Signs Rhere are some people who choose not to join professional organizations because they mainly do pro bono work and find the annual dues too steep for what they do. I think I'd also draw a distinction between someone who is willing to come alongside and be your encouragement through the process (how to make a transcript, what course descriptions look like, bringing you chocolate when the Common App won't load) and someone who claims to know a lot about a lot of colleges. It's definitely a buyer beware world. But there are also some good, talented, and experienced people out there who are concerned about increasing access to college.
  11. Podcast 103 might be helpful.
  12. If you look at College Navigator under Net Price for the schools you can see how much is normally paid by families in different income bands. I would start there. It could be that one school just doesn't give as much aid. If your financial situation changed from the tax year used for financial aid, you can file an appeal. You will need to submit specific info to support an appeal like receipts for medical expenses or evidence of change in income. You can try to negotiate bases on another offer, but these happen less often. A negotiation should be done by the student not the parent. Parents can and should be involved in an appeal based on the assessment of family need.
  13. There is all kinds of psychology involved in this case. The ringleader did push buttons related to fear of missing out and that other people did the same thing. In some cases he seems to be suggesting that this supported the various sports programs. Some of the money was deposited as donations to athletics programs, but I don't know how the money was used. Some of the kids were participating and some families kept it hidden from the kids (there are recordings of conversations about how the kid can't find out). I feel bad for the latter group. They didn't create the situation they are now in.
  14. Kolbe sample is here under History. Also I got great help from them by phone and email when I was using their biology course plan. You can ask for a longer sample.
  15. Given the numbers involved there were probably some who were witting and felt entitled and others who had no idea. You don't have to go to Harvard to be happy.
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