Text to Text: John Milton’s ‘When I Consider How My Light Is Spent’ and ‘Today’s Exhausted Superkids’

Right now, many students are entering the final college-application sprint. They’re wondering Are they enough? about their lists of accomplishments. Some may even be wondering Is it worth it? about college at all.

Centuries ago, the poet John Milton wondered how best to live his life as he went blind. In his sonnet “When I Consider How My Light Is Spent,” he contemplates his condition. While for him, the “light” he spends is literal — he was completely blind by age 42 — he uses it metaphorically to meditate on what it means to really live.

In this Text-to-Text they pair Milton’s poem with Frank Bruni’s Op-Ed “Today’s Exhausted Superkids,” which discusses the high costs of following the narrowly defined and proscribed path to an elite college.

This a thoughtful read for parents and students alike, or really, anyone working with adolescents today. Check it out here!!!

What Do College Counselors Do?

College building

Great post from the Princeton Review on college counselors—high school and independent. Give it a read to learn more about both!

College counselors—both school counselors and independent consultants—can play a huge role in your college search. And when it comes time to apply and evaluate schools, both can help you make that all-important decision.

High School Counselors

Your school counselor can help you:

  • Stay on top of class selection and graduation requirements
  • Navigate your high school’s processes for
    • Getting letters of recommendation from teachers
    • Completing the counselor letter of recommendation
    • Sending your official transcript to colleges
  • Select extracurricular activities
  • Research colleges and draft your college list
  • Answer your FAFSA questions
  • Find and apply for local scholarships
  • Complete and send your applications

Your school college counselor can be an invaluable resource! That said, the national average student-to-counselor ratio is 350:1. And if you go to a large high school with more than 2,000 students, your student-to-counselor ratio may be closer to 500:1 (Source: The College Board).

Depending on the amount of face time they get with their school counselor, some families decide to hire independent college counselors to guide them through the admissions process.

Independent College Counselors

An independent college counselor works alongside your school counselor to help you with all of the above, and in addition:

Whereas your school counselor can advise you on more than just college, independent counselors spend all their time on college counseling and tend to work with fewer students.

Are you looking for strategic college advice based on your personality and goals? Our College Counselors will help you find, apply, and get accepted to your dream school. Get a personalized college admissions plan today!

Why You Need a College Counselor

blue-light-ieca-post

Most high schools have at least one on-site college counselor to advise students on finding and applying to colleges. As the point person for your applications, college counselors keep you on top of deadlines and graduation requirements and ultimately send your official transcript to colleges. They can also help you find schools that fit you, identify dream/match/safety schools, complete your FAFSA, craft strong school-specific application essays, and help manage anxiety and stress.

Depending on how much one-on-one time they get with their schools’ college counselors, some families decide to hire independent college counselors to guide them through the admissions process. I always tell parents who are thinking about hiring an independent college counselor to make sure that person is a member of a professional organization, like IECA or NACAC. Why? Because not all IEC’s are created equal. For example, IECA members have met the highest standards of the profession. IECA’s required qualifications include a master’s degree; at least three years of admissions counseling experience; and experience working with scores of students. IECA also requires extensive member undertake campus visits—members, on average, have visited over 150 campuses each—and continue to visit an average of 35 campuses annually.

Whichever route you go, check out this Princeton Review article that outlines five (accurate) reasons you need your college counselor. You can also read more about IECs from IECA here, or from me directly during a consultation!

A Guide to Getting a Bachelor’s Abroad

University College London
University College London

There was a time when the self-confident undergraduate took a semester or two abroad to taste an unfamiliar culture and dip a toe into the waters of higher education on a foreign shore. Today, tasting is timid stuff.

While graduate programs have long attracted international students, undergraduates are seizing upon the vast opportunities to enroll in foreign colleges for a complete bachelor’s degree. The number of options to do so is growing by the year. The online platform StudyPortals reports an estimated 5,670 English-language degrees in non-Anglophone countries. In Europe alone, 300 colleges and universities offer more than 1,500 English-taught bachelor’s degrees, according to Beyond the States, an international college adviser.

The benefits of a thoroughly international education in the age of globalization are conspicuous. But the game-changer is that college abroad can save parents tens of thousands of dollars. In many countries, including Turkey, Thailand, Brazil, Iceland and some in continental Europe, college is either free or virtually so, with tuition less than a couple thousand dollars. Many other universities offer a bachelor’s degree for under $7,000 a year.

Icing on the cake: It’s possible to obtain financial aid, both need- and merit-based, from universities outside the United States, as well as government aid from home. (The Department of Education website lists nearly 900 foreign colleges and universities where Americans can use federal financial aid.)

A bachelor’s abroad isn’t for everybody. Students must be prepared to immerse themselves in the customs of an unfamiliar habitat far from home. It’s an endeavor for the intensely curious and resourceful, those who can adapt to systems that do grading, testing and instruction quite differently. Forget intercollegiate sports, frats and clubs. Even partying is not the same — less binge drinking, for example — and campus life, when there is any, isn’t as cozy. But the rewards are great, say graduates and educators, and recognized by employers seeking go-getters.

Giovanni Hashimoto, a 23-year-old out of Washington, D.C., transferred to the University of Milan after two years at Pacific Union College in California. Though it took some digging online and follow-up emails, Mr. Hashimoto, who speaks no Italian, found what he wanted in the university’s English-language political science and economics program. With tuition at $4,000, he calculates he saves $20,000 a year studying in Italy.

But, more critically, acquaintances in Washington’s world of public policy and politics, where he wants to eventually work, told him that a foreign degree “connotes a willingness to try things outside one’s comfort zone” and would work in his favor.

Read about college options abroad in the UK, Ireland, Continental Europe, Australia, and Singapore here.

Best Global Universities Rankings

I do not rely much at all on “rankings” but since many families like to take a look at them, I thought I would post the latest from US News. These institutions from the U.S. and around 60 other countries have been ranked based on 12 indicators that measure their academic research performance and their global and regional reputations. Students can use these rankings to explore the higher education options that exist beyond their own countries’ borders and to compare key aspects of schools’ research missions. These are the world’s top 1,000 universities.

Colleges With Generous Merit Aid

My favorite data site College Kickstart has compiled a list of competitive 4-year institutions that offer merit aid to 20% or more of undergraduates. Merit awards are typically not based on financial need but rather on academic performance and other qualities deemed desirable by the institution. As such, they can make college more affordable for academically gifted students—especially those that are unlikely to qualify for need-based financial aid.

Read more here!

Class of 2021 – Early Admission Plan Changes

student-laptop-image

Many schools have updated/changed their admission plans this year. College Kickstart compiled a list that I include below. Make sure you are up to date!

Class of 2021 Admission Plan Changes

Institution ED1 ED2 EA1 EA2 REA Comments
Assumption College  + ED1 added
California State Polytechnic University – San Luis Obispo  – ED1 removed
Drake University  – EA2 removed
Elmira College  – + ED1/2 replaced with EA
Fairfield University  + ED2 added
Haverford College  + ED2 added
Loyola Marymount University  + ED1 added
Pace University  +  + ED1 and EA2 added
Providence College  + ED2 added
Saint Anselm  + ED1 added
Seton Hall University  + EA2 added
Texas A&M University – Engineering  + EA added for engineering
The New School – Eugene Lang  – + ED replaced with EA
Tulane University  + SCEA replaced with ED1
University of Chicago  + + ED1/2 added
University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign  + Revamped EA
University of Miami  + ED2 added
Wake Forest University  + ED2 added
Wellesley College  + ED2 added
Wheaton College – MA  + ED2 added
Willamette University  – ED2 removed

 

Source: College Kickstart

Tags: Assumption, Cal Poly SLO, Class of 20201, Drake, Early Admission, Elmira, Fairfield, Haverford, Loyola Marymount, New School (Eugene Lang), Pace, Providence, Saint Anselm, Seton Hall, Texas A&M, Tulane,University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Miami, Wake Forest, Wellesley,Wheaton – MA, Willamette

Book Recommendations from IECA Members

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Recently, some fellow IECA members sent around a compilation of books, and I want to share them. I have read many of these books, and suggest students and parents take a look! Enjoy!

Helping Teenagers & Parents Deal with the Pressures and Stress of the High School Years:

  • How To Be a High School Superstar by Cal Newport
  • College Admissions Together: It Takes a Family by Steven Roy Goodman & Andrea Leiman
  • Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be by Frank Bruni
  • You Are Not Special: …..And Other Encouragements by David McCullough
  • Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain by Daniel Siegel
  • Your Defiant Child: Eight Steps to Better Behavior by Russell Barkley
  • Parenting with Love and Logic by F. & J. Fay Cline
  • Parenting Teens with Love and Logic: Preparing Adolescents for Responsible Adulthood by F. & J. Fay Cline
  • The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families by S. Covey
  • Parenting Teenagers: Systematic Training for Effective Parenting by D. Dinkmeyer & G. McKay
  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
  • How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by A. Faber & E. Mazlish
  • Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots & Wings by M. Kenneth & R. Ginsburg
  • Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World: Seven Building Blocks for Developing Capable Young People, by S. Glenn & J. Nelson
  • Boys and Girls Learn Differently: A Guide for Teachers and Parents by Michael Gurian
  • The Wonder of Girls by Michael Gurian
  • The Wonder of Boys by Michael Gurian
  • Second Shelter: Family Strategies for Navigating Therapeutic Boarding Schools and Residential Treatment Centers by R. Haid & E. Donnelly
  • Attachment-Focused Parenting: Effective Strategies to Care for Children by Daniel Hughes
  • The Parent Playbook by Russell Hyken
  • Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow by G. Keck & R. Kupecky
  • Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishment to Love and Reason by Alfie Kohn
  • The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids by Madeline Levine
  • How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims
  • Teens in Turmoil: A Path to Change for Parents, Adolescents and their Families by C. Maxym & L. York
  • An Unchanged Mind: The Problem with Immaturity in Adolescence by John McKinnon
  • To Change a Mind: Parenting to Promote Maturity in Teenagers by John McKinnon
  • When Parents Love Too Much: Freeing Parents & Children to Live Their Own Lives by M. Meyerson & L. Ashner
  • The Blessings of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children by Wendy Mogel
  • Blessing of a B Minus: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Resilient Teenagers by Wendy Mogel
  • Positive Discipline for Teenagers: Empowering Teens and Yourself through Kind and Firm Parenting by J. Nelson & L. Lott
  • Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by K. Patterson
  • Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from Myths of Boyhood by William Pollack
  • College that Change Lives: 40 Schools that Will Change the Way You Think About College by Laren Pope
  • Power and Compassion: Working with Difficult Adolescents and Abused Parents by Jerome Price
  • The Journey of the Heroic Parent: Your Child’s Struggle and the Road Home by Brad Reedy
  • The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids by Alexandra Robbins
  • Raising NLD Superstars: What Families with Nonverbal Learning Disabilities Need to Know About Nurturing Confident, Competent Kids by Marcia Rubinstein
  • Boys Themselves by Michael Ruhlman
  • The Good Enough Child: How to Have an Imperfect Family and Be Perfectly Satisfied by Brad Sachs
  • The Good Enough Teen: Rising Adolescents with Love and Acceptance (Despite How Impossible They can Be) by Brad Sachs
  • Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know about the Emerging Science of Sex Differences by Leonard Sax
  • Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men by Leonard Sax
  • Girls on the Edge by Leonard Sax
  • Parenting Your Out of Control Teenager: 7 Steps to Reestablish Authority and Reclaim Love by Scott Sells
  • Parenting from the Inside Out: 10th Anniversary Edition: How a Self-Understanding Can Help you Raise Children by D.J. Siegel & M. Hartzell
  • Not By Chance Tim Thayne
  • How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough
  • The Parents We Mean to Be: How Well-Intentioned Adults Undermine Children’s Moral and Emotional Development by Richard Weissbourd
  • Parenting Your ADD Child: A No-Nonsense Guide for Nurturing Self-Reliance and Cooperation by Craig Weiner

The Transition from High School to College:

  • For Students:
    • The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College by Harlan Cohen
  • For Parents:
    • Letting Go by Karen Coburn
    • When Your Kids Go To College – A Parent’s Survival Guide by Carol Barkin
    • Almost Grown – Launching Your Child From High School To College by Patricia Pasick
    • Emptying the Nest: Launching Your Young Adult Toward Success and Self-Reliance by Brad Sachs
    • The Naked Roommate: For Parents Only: A Parent’s Guide to the New College Experience by Harlan Cohen