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Academic Success Gazette 
In This Issue:
How College Financial Aid Decisions are Made
Step Up Women's Network
Study tip #1 -Throw Stuff Away!
Monthly Coach Profile
Quick Links
Forward to a Friend 
How Academic Success Can Support You
At Academic Success we take great pride in finding the right coach to support the unique needs of each student we help.  Please check out the areas where we work on our web site and let us know how we can support you.
Academic Success Book Review - Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz 
Admission is a novel about a Princeton University admissions officer named Portia that has the ring of truth about it.  Korelitz (who briefly worked as an application reader at Princeton) seeks to peel back the curtain of how a major university decides who gets admitted, and who is declined.  While sifting through enough qualified applicants to fill five Princetons, Portia wrestles with a myriad of factors - from pushy parents, the unqualified children of heavy donors, and the one gem applicant who nobody else seems to notice.  The book may be fiction, but to many families applying to college, it will read like non-fiction.
Understanding the College Admissions Process
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Getting into college can be a daunting and intimidating process.  Picking the right schools, going through the application and admissions process and making your final choice is one of the most critical events in your teenage years. 
University Drive has produced a DVD called "College Admission. Simplified" to help families understand the process.   The video is a 6 episode series walking parents and students through every step of the college admission process and, features interviews from a number of college admission experts in a fast paced format.  You can check out portions of the video on their website which also provides some useful information about the admissions process, links to useful articles, blogs, tips and suggestions, and has a great search feature that lets students sift through a giant database of college information.    

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Check Out 826LA
Academic Success' favorite
826LA, offers writing workshops in local public schools and free after-school tutoring in its Venice and Echo Park facilities.  To see how this dynamic organization is making a real difference in our community, check out their blog or go to one of their free events.
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Looking for a good College Counselor or Ed Therapist?
We work and partner with Educational Therapists and College Counselors throughout the L.A. area.  Give us a call and we can recommend the right fit for your child.
for a Student Community Service Opportunity?
Surfrider is a responsible and passionate organization dedicated to environmental education, clean-up, and progress. Read about the West L.A.Chapter's Teach & Test program at Santa Monica High, which empowers students, using real lab equipment to test the water in Santa Monica Bay for contaminants.  Surfrider then studies and posts the results, and educates about the possibility of changing the effectiveness of water treatment facilities.

Finding the Right Coach

With our team of coaches, there is one perfect fit for every student who needs support.  Check out our web site to learn more about our coaching team.


Summer is finally here! With the completion of the school year, a huge weight has lifted off the shoulders of many students.  So, with three months to prepare for the next year and round-out lists of extra curricula, what is the most important activity students can do to enhance themselves?  Take a break!  We, at Academic Success, are fans of well-deserved rest, barbecues, and summer travel.
A few summer activities we suggest for students include:

* Pick a favorite film director (Burton, Spielberg, Hitchcock, Scorsese) and commit to watching every single one of their movies.

* Whether you have kitchen experience or not, plan to cook one meal a week from Julia Child's cookbook, and go to a farmer's market to buy the ingredients.

* Participate in at least one outdoor activity a week like hiking, biking at the beach, surfing, beach volleyball, even walks in the neighborhood are fun.  Better yet, get outside and play at some point every day.

* Go to a free outdoor concert.

* Did you know there are four minor league baseball teams within 100 miles of Los Angeles?  Plan a family trip to see the charm of minor league baseball.

You get the idea.  Enrichment comes in many forms and who knows what activity might open the door to a wonderful discovery and a positive shift in thinking.

As always, we are available to help students looking to add academic enrichment to their summer program.  Call us with any question or concern at 310-823-4398.

Jamie and Eric

Education News

College Financial Aid - How the Decisions are Made  

Many colleges pride themselves on a need-blind admissions policy, meaning they do not make decisions about who to accept based on their ability to afford the tuition.  However, once all those thick envelopes are mailed out, decisions about individual allotments of financial aid are a much different calculation.
Giving out aid is not always a need-based decision.  For many colleges, decisions about who receives aid is largely based on how desirable the candidate.  A strong student from a middle class family will often be awarded more aid than a less impressive candidate with far greater financial needs.
For an enlightening look at how these decisions are made, the New York Times spent time researching with the financial aid department at Boston University.  This thorough article was published last April.

Academic Success Applauds Step Up Women's Network 

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Academic Success applauds the Step Up Women's Network, a national non-profit membership organization dedicated to strengthening community resources for women and girls. Through teen empowerment programs for disadvantaged girls, women's health education and advocacy, professional mentorship and social networking opportunities, Step Up Women's Network educates and activates its members to ensure that women and girls have the tools they need to create a better future. We at Academic Success believe in Step Up's philosophy and the thorough and caring approach of their team. In fact, Jamie Altshule, co-owner of Academic Success, is now an active member and participates in their programs. Are you a professional woman looking for an opportunity to volunteer some time?  With Step Up's focus on helping deserving young ladies improve self-esteem, career development, health and well-being, this may be the opportunity you are looking for to make a difference.

Study Tips

Clear the Decks

It's Time to Throw Stuff Away!

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The last test has been taken.  The last paper has been handed in.  The last project has been completed.  Inside the back pack, covering the desk, and strewn throughout the house lay the remnants of a job well done (or at least done.)  What should be done with all those worksheets, study guides, and doodle-filled notes?  Toss 'em into the recycle bin!
Every year, there are a few papers or projects worth keeping. Create a file for those few cherished papers. Other than that, it is time to mentally move forward  from the past school year, and create a nice clean space that will patiently wait for the fall to be filled.  Throwing away old papers will reinforce a feeling that the school year is over, summer is truly here, and will allow for a time of rest and renewal.  Come September, you'll have the freedom to start the  school year with a clean, organized, and fresh slate.

Coach Profile

Meet Erin Donelson
Coach Profile of the Month
826 logoTeaching a child to read is like giving them a passport to go anywhere in the world.  Academic Success Coach, Erin Donelson, has a passion for opening her students' eyes to the amazing world of reading. Erin believes that, "Listening to a child read and make connections to their reading is like listening to the world's best philharmonic orchestra playing.  It is truly music to my ears." Erin is a rich source of knowledge when it comes to providing a balanced literacy approach to emergent and proficient readers and writers.  Erin has a Masters degree in Education from the George Washington University and is planning to spend a week this summer at Columbia University's Teachers College Institute on the Teaching of Reading to learn the latest literacy techniques.  Erin will use these skills as NEW Academy Canoga Park's Literacy Coach in the upcoming school year.  In addition to being a reading coach, Erin is also well-versed in working with students to achieve their goals on standardized tests such as the ISEE.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading (of course) as well as running, laughing, and spending time on beautiful Southern California beaches.

We consider it a privilege and an honor to support students and their families throughout the Los Angeles area.  Please call us at any time; we welcome your thoughts and input.  We are available at 310-823-4398.
Jamie Altshule & Eric Altshule
Academic Success, Inc.