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Ignoring Email and Lost College Opportunity
Bragging Rights and Essays
Reading and College Plans
Nobody's heard of that school
Student Loan Interest Rate Increase

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College Talk Blog

Ignoring Email and Lost College Opportunity

If I could cause a change in teen behavior this year, it would be to get them to start paying attention to their college email. I understand their reluctance, they are spammed by colleges and college related organizations starting in sophomore and junior year. Some of the emails, thought to be spam, are actually genuine offers of waived application fees to selected colleges, the offer of abbreviated no-essay applications to others as well as scholarship offers if they apply by a specified date.

The problem with not opening email regularly is that the offers almost always have an expiration date.

Bragging Rights and Essays

All of their lives, people tell kids "don't brag, it's not nice." But once a teen gets to eleventh grade, we expect them to know how to talk about their gifts as they navigate the college process. Unfortunately, those early childhood parent tapes are still rolling and many teens are not comfortable telling the stories about how they overcame a challenge.

Early training conflicts with the reality of college applications are just the tip of the iceberg. Another barrier is knowing how to create an interesting and informative personal essay.

Reading and College Plans

Sometimes a student demonstrates a disconnect between what he does  (or does not do) and where he says he wants to attend college. When that happens, have a conversation with him about the divide to see whether what he does (or does not do) needs to change or whether college plans need to be adjusted.

My favorite example is the student who designs a college list of the most challenging colleges for both admission and rigor of academic program and says "I don't like to read." The disconnect is that the student is setting a goal to get into the most academically challenging colleges while confessing that he does not enjoy using the most basic skill that it will take to succeed at those colleges.

Nobody's heard of that school

Whenever I find a few colleges to add to the colleges a student and his parents are considering, I often hear "nobody's heard of THAT school". By that they mean,if I have not heard of that school and my friends are not dying to get in to that one, it can't be much of a college.The parent corollary is "none of my friends are hoping to get their kids into that one, so it can't be much of a college".

One problem that occurs when families are college shopping is that they can fall into the same trap that awaits car shoppers; a brand that they do not know much about is suspect.

Student Loan Interest Rate Increase

Student loan interest rates are determined by T-Bill rates each June. Students who take out loans for the 2018-2019 academic year, will pay an interest rate of 5.05%. This is an increase in the rate from 2017-18 which was 4.45%