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


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"College Wise


 a free monthly newsletter by Elizabeth Hartley,  



 Broken phone Means all Voice Mails LOST!


 Hi Everyone-


Phone catastrophe!    To my horror, I dropped my phone today and broke it.  When the helpful tech support guy, Jesse,  activated me on a temporary phone, he assured me my voice mails would still be retrievable.  Jesse was wrong...very, very wrong.  I think Jesse needs to pursue another career path.  I had a number of vmails stored on there to return but now they're lost in cyberspace forever.  


If you have left me a voice mail and I haven't returned your call yet, please send an email to HartleyGold@yahoo.com and allow me to respond.  My replacement phone won't be ready for a few days so I'm limping along until then. 



New counselor part of Scholarship Gold- Booking now! 

  • Need help polishing those applications before you submit?
  • Want some last minute feedback and edits on your essays?
  • Not sure you're applying to the right colleges for you?


HELP IS AVAILABLE- I'm pleased to announce that Kay Holloman has joined Scholarship Gold and is accepting new students!  She has over 20 years in the field, has stellar credentials and has worked at public and private schools in Atlanta before recently relocating here. She is starting off with hours on Mondays and Wednesday afternoons from 2:30-7:30 to assist with essay revision, application review and college selection.  Please email me to book time with Kay at hartleygold@yahoo.com.  Her hourly rate will be $65/hour.  



Last CALL upcoming classes/workshops


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


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


I hope this newsletter provides you with some helpful information!


  Elizabeth      head shot 2012

To all students- PICK YOUR "HARD"

        choose college


Normally, I focus on communicating helpful facts and strategies to equip you to have the options you, the student, want for your future.  I'm going to take a moment and switch to addressing your attitude and philosophy throughout this process, just to give you something to consider.  Ready?  Here goes.


The poor teenagers living in the Hartley household often here my motto, "Pick your hard".  I should probably get it printed on a bumper sticker or t-shirt sometime since it is such a common phrase around here.  I encourage you to pick your "hard" as well.  What that means is that you recognize that it is indeed hard to make the best grades you can, be organized, study for the SAT, do community service and generally do all the things that will help you get great admissions and scholarship offers. It's hard to do that, especially when your friends are slacking off and just cruising through.  I totally get that.  


Here's the thing, though.  It is also hard to pay off student loans for 20-30 years.  It's hard to not get into the school that you love or- even worse- you get in but can't get enough scholarship money to be able to go.  It's hard not getting the training you need to have the career you want.  It's hard not having the education and income to support your own family and give them the experiences and education you want for them.  That's all hard too.


So- we have established that "hard" is inevitable.  But you have a choice.  You can pick your "hard".  You can engage in the process now, work diligently, find your passions and take true ownership of your education and end up with exciting and affordable options that can pave the way for the future you want. Or, you can take the easy way now and deal with the "hard" that results for years to come.  It's your choice.


Bear in mind- When you're 18 and want to change the world, there are foundations, universities and organizations dying to give you money to help you succeed.  When you're 40, nobody is lining up to invest in your future. (Parents- feel free to say, "Amen to that" at this point.)


Personally, I love the idea that you have the chance to put in a little "hard" now and not have as much "hard" later.  So, the choice is yours- hard now or hard later.  Just pick your hard, dive in with no whining and get it done.  Your future self will thank you!  Pick your hard.




Nov 15th is the Early Action deadline for many schools and a lot of you are scrambling to complete your submissions. Moving forward, it will get a bit easier to complete upcoming apps now that many of you have a few under your belt. 


Hint:  Even if you have other deadlines in Dec or Jan, I encourage you to shoot to submit them by Thanksgiving anyway so that you can be done with them and can focus on enjoying the holidays. 


To Do:

- Make sure you send your ACT and SAT scores asap- Send new scores as they become available

- Confirm your letters of rec have been sent (or will soon)

- Confirm your transcripts have been sent

- Complete any follow up scholarship applications or Honors College application


For 9th through 11th graders! -You're halfway through first semester now.  How are those grades coming?  Even if you have some fabulous outside interests and do a lot of community service (which is important), the colleges will first focus on your grades.  Their motto is "Curriculum is king."  So, stay focused!  


As you keep those grades strong, seek out ways to get involved in clubs, sports, arts and/or community service.  TRACK everything you're doing so that you'll have a thorough list handy when it comes time for you to apply to college. 

Juniors- Plan & Prepare for  Your SAT and ACT tests


 Juniors- Now that the PSAT is behind you, it's time to plan your tests dates and decide on your strategy to prepare. 
 When it comes down to it, higher SAT or ACT scores are always a good thing.  High scores can equate to higher merit scholarship money, admission into the most selective schools and opportunities to enroll in honors colleges.  
There are some schools that no longer require SAT/ACT scores (Wake Forest, Furman, Sewanee, Guilford) but they are not yet the norm.  
Here is what I recommend:
1)   Winter of your junior year (Dec/Jan/Feb)
Take one SAT and one ACT w/Writing.  Don't have your scores sent automatically just yet.  When your scores arrive, compare them using this table here.  Decide which one is stronger and plan to prepare for and repeat that one in the spring.  (If the scores are comparable, choose the test you liked the most.)
2)   Early Spring of your junior year (Feb/Mar/Apr)
Decide from the information below which prep strategy would help you the most.  
You can choose from books, classes, tutors or even online resources.  
You can get high quality prep for a very reasonable price (see below). 
 Whatever you choose, commit to it and follow through so that you can have the strongest scores possible. Once you get your scores, work on any weak spots over the summer.  *Take SAT Subjects tests if your chosen colleges require them.


3)   Fall of the senior year (Sept/Oct)

Repeat your test of choice.  Take stock of all your scores and decide which ones to send to your schools.  If you took the ACT and would like to know which schools will "superscore" the ACT as most schools will do for the SAT, click "Schools that Superscore the ACT "list here.   




www.Eprep.com - This is my favorite online courses for ACT or SAT prep.  It' very reasonably priced and uses a unique video-based teaching tool.  I have had a number of students benefit from this course and bring their scores up 150-200 points.  To explore, go to eprep.com and click on the SAT or ACT tab at the top.  Click "view demo questions".  You'll be able to go through 30 sample questions.  Notice that if you get the question right, it advances to the next question.  If you get it wrong, a 2 minute video pops up with an SAT tutor explaining how to do that problem correctly.  Most students really like those short video explanations.


I like that it will allow you to set up a practice calendar for the weeks leading up to your test and it will determine exactly what you need to do when.


Eprep special offer-  I called the owners of eprep this week with some questions and, after a lengthy conversation, they have offered to let my students sign up for the classes through me, which will keep them in a master list where I can see for myself how they're doing, how much their scores are increasing, etc.  As a bonus, they will allow my students to have a 10% discount on all their prices across the board.  Every penny counts!  If you want to do an online eprep course, I'm glad to handle your signup so that you can get the discount. You're always welcome to sign up with them directly but the discount won't apply.  Let me know if this is something you'd like to do and I'll be happy to help.


College Prep Genius- www.collegeprepgenius.com  -This is a two day (10 hour) class that teaches really helpful strategies for how to take the SAT and maximize your scores.  Jean Burk, the owner, travels the country offering this class.  Check her calendar periodically to see if she's in an area near you.  


Other Resources-  I like the books Hack the SAT and also Up Your Score,available on Amazon.  Also www.number2.com and www.DomeSATreview.com have some helpful free resources.


So- Preparing for the SAT and ACT doesn't have to be painful, inconvenient or expensive.  Start early with the tools that work for you and make those scores work to your advantage.

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 

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.


Dec 14th    register by Nov 8th   
Feb 8th     register by Jan 10
Apr 12th    register by Mar 7
Jun 14th    register by May 9
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?

"If you could do one thing to improve your school, what would it be?"


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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