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Scholarship Gold Consulting- Helping students prepare for college and compete for scholarships
                                             Elizabeth Hartley, coach/consultant/author 
Sept 2013
Vol 2, Issue 1


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"College Wise


 a free monthly newsletter by Elizabeth Hartley,  





 Hi Everyone-


This is the time of year that folks are urgently seeking out helpful info for college admissions, test prep and more.  Hopefully these workshops will be useful tools for students and parents alike.


ACT Class coming to Lake Wylie


I'm pleased to announce that to a great ACT class is coming to Lake Wylie, offered by professor Al Benthall of Belmont Abbey.  I have offered my office as a meeting location if he would just come to the area rather than have students go to Belmont and he agreed.  He is launching a class that meets once each weekend for 6 weeks (2.5 hours each), leading up to the October 26th ACT.  The class should kick off  If you would like more information, you can email him at Al.Benthall@gmail.com.   Please do so asap- he caps the classes at only six students or so because he likes to give each student personal attention.

 *Note- This is not my class so please direct all questions to Mr. Benthall. 


Cost- $695,   

Each Saturday Sept 14-Oct 19, from 3:00-5:30 pm at my office space in Lake Wylie




Other upcoming classes/workshops


*Senior Year Essentials-  Sept 22,  1:00-4:00For seniors and parents- click here for info


*Essay Writing for Admissions and Scholarships-  Sept 22, 4:30-7:30- click here
   *These two are offered back to back on this Sunday at Good Samaritan Methodist Church


College Bound Essentials- Oct 12th - 9:00- noon- for 9th through 11th grades- A must for all college bound students and their parents.  Click here for info. 


Essay Writing for Admissions and Scholarships-   Oct 20th, 4:00-7:00, click here for info.


Interview Skills for Admissions and Scholarships- Dec 14th, 9:00-noon. click here 


  Elizabeth      head shot 2012


*Note- Many families booked well in advance for private meetings this fall, scooping up the popular after school and weekend spots.  As a result, between now and Thanksgiving all of my private sessions for families who are not already on the concierge plan can only be scheduled for mornings or right after lunch.  


If you were hoping to meet, I know it may mean letting your student miss first period or get out early in the afternoon but you may decide that it is for a justifiable and important reason.  If that doesn't work for you, then I hope the classes above can serve as useful resources.  I apologize for any inconvenience but things booked up early this year and there are only so many hours in the day.  Thanks for understanding!


Top 10 Essay Do's and Don'ts!
For seniors working on their essays, I strongly encourage you to be mindful of the following points:  (If you need more help than this, come to an Essay Writing workshop!)
1- Take the essay seriously- Admissions officers really do read them
2- If it says the essay is "optional", DO it
3- Use meaningful vocabulary that expresses your thoughts well but don't sound pretentious
4- Humor can be great if used well and not at anyone else's expense
5-  Know the POINT you are trying to make- don't ramble
6- Stick to the word limits and answer the question they asked- don't plug in some random other essay
7- Be authentic, real and be willing to let them see your true personality
8- Make sure you have your essay edited by someone who is a strong writer
9- Have a strong opening and ending.  Tie your ending back to something you said in the opening and it will pull your essay together well.
10- Most Important- "Show, Don't Tell"-  Almost every admission counselor I've asked has said they want you to give details and examples to support your point.  Don't just say, "I am a responsible student who manages time well."  Instead, talk about the challenges of juggling school, your job, a sport and family time and they will conclude that you're a responsible student who manages time well.  

Register for SAT/ACT 

NO SAT or ACT tests are given over the summer.  All upcoming test dates are listed below.  

SAT TEST DATES:  Register 4-6 weeks ahead on www.collegeboard.com.
$49 to register, $75 if late
SAT DATES 2013-2014 

Oct 5th     register by Sept 6
Nov 2nd    register by Oct 3
Dec 7th     register by Nov 8
Jan 25th    register by Dec 27
Mar 8th     register by Feb 7
May 3rd     register by Apr 4
June 7th    register by May 9
Not sure which test to take?  Take one of each and compare your scores.
013 ACT test dates
  (Yes, take  writing portion.)
ACT TEST DATES- Register 4-6 weeks ahead on www.actstudent.org.


Sep 21st    registeration will now have late fee
Oct 26th    register by Sept 27th
Dec 14th    register by Nov 8th   
Feb 8th     register by Jan 10
Apr 12th    register by Mar 7
Jun 14th    register by May 9
How to Choose the Colleges that are Right for YOU 
(By request- reprinted for the new subscribers)


With over 4000 colleges and universities in the USA, how do you even begin to narrow it down to a list of a dozen or less to pursue?  Well, if you are one of the 92% of families who say that financial considerations will impact where their students attend college, I'll share with you the approach I usually use when working with families.  

1- Start with at least one in-state public university/college.  Your in-state schools will have the lowest starting sticker price of your 4-year options.  However, in the end, they are often your most expensive option, compared to the generous aid and scholarships from private schools.  Still, good to have that base covered.  If you are a resident of NC, be mindful that UNC is nobody's safety school.  If you're applying to UNC, I recommend picking an additional NC public school as well.

2- Consider private schools that offer merit scholarships and need-based aid- (Ex. Furman, Wofford, Presbyterian, Mercer, Sewanee)  While private schools have substantially higher sticker prices than state schools, in many cases they can be so generous with need-based aid and scholarships that the family's out of pocket expense is less than what they would pay at a state school.  Just today I had a joyful single mom call me to report that, after we submitted a financial aid appeal, her son was going to attend an elite private school for only $7000/year, even though the sticker price was almost $50,000/year. 

3- Consider private schools that offer no merit scholarships but great need-based aid (ex. Vanderbilt, Duke, all the Ivy Leagues, Davidson, Amherst, Williams)  
These top-tier schools don't need to use merit scholarships to attract the best and brightest students so they instead provide exceptionally generous need-based aid to their accepted students.  Getting in is the tricky part.  So, if you have a very bright student and are of middle to modest incomes, this could be a great option.  Most Ivy Leagues will say that if your family income is less than $100-$120k per year, your tuition is free.  That won't happen at a state public school.
4-  Consider out of state public schools-  Out of state public universities can be the priciest option of all unless you've learned of a program that will waive the out-of-state tuition rate.  Look for majors that qualify for in-state tuition by searching the Academic Common Market (on www.sreb.org) or by having exceptionally high SAT or ACT scores.  Many schools will waive that higher rate in order to attract top students.  
In Summary-  As you're narrowing down your choices, I encourage you to visit as many schools as you can and do your research on them.  I especially look for schools that have high freshman retention rates (i.e., they show up again to be sophomores), high 4-year graduation rates and low student-to-faculty ratios.  You can find those statistics and more on www.nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator.  I hope this helps!

Practice Interview Question of the month 

Essays, admission interviews and scholarship interviews involve addressing questions that require reflection and self-awareness. Each month I provide you with a commonly used question for you to consider.  How would you answer this one?

"What makes you quirky?"


Helpful Websites


For a full reference page of helpful and (mostly) free sites and resources that I use frequently in my consulting, click here.   I like to pass along a good thing!


That's all for this edition!  I hope this information will help you navigate your college admission and scholarship pursuits a bit better.  If there is a topic you would like me to cover in an upcoming
newsletter, please e-mail me at HartleyGold@yahoo.com and let me know!  
I work with schools, districts, homeschool groups and individual students with respect to being fully prepared for college admission and scholarship competition.  Visit my site at www.ScholarshipGold.com anytime to review my credentials, services offered and events planned.
If your organization or students would like to discuss these services, please e-mail me at the address above for availability and rates.  It's your future-- make it remarkable!

Elizabeth Hartley                 

Scholarship Gold Consulting                                         


 HartleyGold@yahoo.com                                                  www.ScholarshipGold.com 

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