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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-


In the email below you'll find a range of articles but the top two this month are:


1) The Impact of an Arrest on College Admissions- This is an article about what happens with college admissions if a teen gets into a situation involving underage drinking, marijuana, etc.  Most teens have no idea the nightmare it can create and the heartache involved that can impact them for years to come.  Please make sure to share it with your students, just so they know up front what could happen.


2)  How to Have a Great College Tour- How to book it, how to research the school and what questions to ask. 

I hope these articles are useful!  

Wrap it up Seniors



As most seniors are coming into the final stretch of their application deadlines, I want to remind each of you to make sure to:


1- Send in your official SAT or ACT scores (unless the college doesn't require them)

2- Make sure your transcripts are sent from your guidance department

3- Send in a resume if they allow

4- Check that all of your required letters of recommendation are submitted

5- Check to see if you need to do a separate application for scholarships 


I strongly recommend that you have a checklist for each school and check each item off as you go.  We go so far as to put the checklist on a big poster that is on the wall just outside our kitchen. It really helps to keep all of the information and deadlines straight!


Upcoming Workshops

Workshops are a convenient and cost-efficient way to prepare for all of the elements of college planning.  Some of the events that are coming up and open to the public are:  (All workshops are $75/student with parents invited to come along at no extra charge.)


College Bound Essentials  (Last call!- Registration closing soon!)

Saturday November 15, 2014 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM EST

A not-to-be missed workshop covering all the essential elements of college and scholarship planning. What you learn may totally change how you approach admissions, college selection, scholarships and financial aid.  What you don't know can cost you dearly.  Great for grades 8-11.

Good Samaritan United Methodist Church- Lake Wylie


Interview Skills & Effective Communication Nov 15 (Last call!- Right after class above)

Saturday November 15, 2014 from 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM EST

This essential class will teach students how to be effective, relaxed and articulate in an interview situation for scholarships, admissions and even for jobs and internships. (This is a fun and interactive class- my very favorite to teach!) Great for any age but especially for athletes who need to learn to talk to college coaches, seniors interviewing with colleges and any student who wants to become a more confident speaker. 

Good Samaritan Methodist Church- Lake Wylie


College Bound Essentials

Saturday January 17, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM EST

A not-to-be missed workshop covering all the essential elements of college and scholarship planning. What you learn may totally change how you approach admissions, college selection, scholarships and financial aid.  What you don't know can cost you dearly.  Great for grades 8-11. 

Good Samaritan United Methodist Church- Lake Wylie


If you have a student in grades 8 through 11, I would strongly encourage you to attend a College Bound Essentials.  That class can dramatically change how you understand and approach the high school years to best position for scholarships and financial aid.



  Elizabeth      head shot 2012


*Private meetings between now and Thanksgiving- 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.  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 a worthwhile absence.

This year, however, I'm pleased to have Kay Holleman, an experienced college placement counselor, on board and available for after school appointments.  Email me at hartleygold@yahoo.com to book an appointment.



Juniors- make sure you have your testing schedule in place!
Juniors-  This is your year to focus on your SAT and/or ACT scores.  Here is what I recommend.


Dec through Jan- Take one SAT and one ACT (Compare your scores & pick the test that works better for you)

May- Take SAT Subject tests if the colleges you're aiming for require them

June- Repeat SAT or ACT (whichever is your preferred test)

Sep-Oct of senior year- Repeat SAT or ACT (whichever is your preferred test)
The Impact of an Arrest on College Admissions

This past week, there were two local parties for Halloween that made the headlines because both of them resulted in dozens of teens being charged with underage drinking and/or possession of marijuana.  One of the parties was held at the home of a teen's grandfather who defended the party saying, "I'd rather them drink here and have a safe place to do it."  The host of that party can now face massive legal charges and the parents of the kids in attendance also have the option to personally sue him themselves.  

The details of the news distressed me so much that I feel compelled to share some information every teen and parent needs to know about how such an event can cost them not only legal headaches but also admissions and scholarships. 

Each year I have some students with promising options who end up calling me with "Mrs. Hartley? I have to tell you something..." I know what's coming next.  Invariably they were at a party, in a car, football game, concert, etc. where they are with a group of kids who end up with a possessions charge. College admissions gets very complicated from that moment on.

(Bear in mind, I'm writing from the perspective of someone in my profession, not as an attorney. If you have a specific question, consult an attorney in your state to get the most accurate information.)

Teens- Listen to Me

Just because lots of people drink or smoke marijuana, it is still illegal.  That means, if you are caught near it, with it, etc., you can end up in a legal mess that can last for years. Use your head!   

You are who your friends are.  If you're hanging around people who drink, smoke pot, abuse prescription drugs, etc., there is a much greater likelihood that you will be pulled into their legal drama, even if you abstain.  If you want to keep your nose clean, don't be around it. Period. Let your friends know that you have some important things ahead and you can't risk being charged with anything like that.  

Go find a new group of friends who make better choices. Don't let others derail your future. There are people in life who will pull you down and others who pull you up.  Choose wisely.

An arrest/conviction can wreck your admissions for college- I don't care if you think you're immune because your mom or dad will bail you out of trouble or that you will be cleared because technically you weren't the one partaking of it.  Once you are charged, it takes months to go through the process to get it expunged (wiped off) your record.  There are many situations that will not allow it to be expunged and it stays on your record.  Until it is expunged, if a college runs a background check on you, that charge will show up and will quite often put you in the "no" pile.  

Some of you may be thinking, "So what?  I'll just lie on my application and not admit that it ever happened."  There are many ways that colleges can (and do) find out about it...background checks, from your guidance counselor, from another student, etc.  If you lie on the application and then also go on to get financial aid, you might be charged with fraud against the school or against the government.  Now you're digging in even deeper.  Even if you lied, got admitted, were a model student for three years and as a senior, your past offense came out, you could and probably would be expelled for lying on your application.  

Tell the truth-   Better to tell the truth and let the college figure out how they feel about the situation. If you check "yes" to their question about your legal past, there will be a place where you can type in the details.  Be honest, explain what happened and what you've learned from the experience.  That way, if you are admitted, you aren't looking over your shoulder for the next four years.

Bottom line-  Don't hang around people making bad decisions and don't be one of them yourself.  You have a huge opportunity at this stage in your life to make a future that is exciting, remarkable, lucrative, and fulfilling.  One stupid decision can jeopardize all of that.  Use your head, be responsible and help others to do the same.  Your future self will thank you for it!
Register for SAT/ACT 

Juniors need to take one SAT and one ACT mid-winter to determine which one is a better test for them.  Then, they should plan to take their preferred test again in the spring of the junior year and perhaps one more time in the fall of the senior year.



All upcoming test dates are listed below.  

SAT TEST DATES:  Register 4-6 weeks ahead on www.collegeboard.com.
$52.50 to register, $75 if late

ACT Dates for 2014-15
DateRegistration Deadline
September 13, 2014August 8, 2014
October 25, 2014September 19, 2014
December 13, 2014November 7, 2014
February 7, 2015January 9, 2015
April 18, 2015March 13, 2015
June 13, 2015May 8, 2015

The cost of the ACT exam is $36.50. For those who want to take the optional Writing test, the cost is $52.50. 

SAT Dates for 2014-15
DateRegistration Deadline
October 11, 2014September 12, 2014
November 8, 2014October 9, 2014
December 6, 2014November 6, 2014
January 24, 2015December 29, 2014
March 14, 2015February 13, 2015
May 2, 2015April 6, 2015
June 6, 2015May 8, 2015

How to Have a Great College Tour


There are almost 4000 colleges in the US and many of them may fit your student.  How do you whittle that list down to a manageable few?  It's unlikely that a student can truly put the time and thought into identifying the colleges best for him/her if they start the process as a senior.  I strongly encourage college tours throughout high school, especially in the sophomore and junior years.  Ideally, by the end of the junior year, a student should have a solid list of where he/she wants to apply.


How to book a tour-

Most colleges don't like to take tour requests on the phone and really prefer you do it online.  Go on the college website, click on the "Admissions" tab and you'll see an option that will invite you to book a tour or plan a visit.  It will ask you to reserve your spot on the desired date and will typically send you an email confirmation.  It's really very easy. 


Never too early to start- Parents can even start exposing their students to the many types of colleges out there as early as middle school.  If you're taking a family road trip, look ahead and see what college might be a convenient detour along the way.  In middle school, it's fine to simply drive through a campus or get out and walk around.  Many admissions offices resist doing a family tour if there isn't at least one high school student in the group.  However, if there is an older student, they are typically happy to have the younger siblings tag along.  (I always hauled around my younger sons when touring schools with my older kids.)


Once a student is in high school, I encourage scheduling more formal tours.  Spring breaks are a great time to work in some college tours.  It is ideal to experience the college while there are still students on campus, rather than waiting till the summer when most of the students are gone.  Colleges are more than buildings; seeing the way the students interact can give visitors a real insight into the school.  (Are they all cramming in the library or are some relaxing on the lawn, playing frisbee or reading?)  Book ahead online, dress appropriately (no torn jeans or flip flops) and arrive on time.  By the way, it's fine to wear college t-shirts but ONLY if it bears the name of the college you are visiting.  Colleges get a bit cranky when students visit their campus wearing the t-shirt of their rival!  


Even if a student is pretty sure he/she is destined for a big state school, it can still be helpful to tour a few smaller private schools as well as big state schools.  I'm just a big fan of well-informed opinions and decisions.  Before going to any campus, it is helpful to research the school online first.


Questions You Should Ask on a College Tour


Before you head off on a college tour, spend some time on its website.  Read its history, look up its clubs and organizations, notice what they seem to be particularly proud of. Then, be prepared to get the most from your visit by asking lots of questions, like the ones below:


- What percentage of freshman come back to be sophomores?


- Are students guaranteed housing all four years?  If not, where do most people live if not in the dorms?


- What can you tell me about your program in ______? (Insert name of your major of interest.)


- What percent of students graduate in 4 years?


- What's greek life like on campus? (i.e. Is everyone in a fraternity or sorority? Very few? Are they even allowed?)


- How does this school handle merit scholarships?  Is there a separate competition for them?


- What resources does the school offer when a student struggles in a class?


- Can freshmen have cars on campus?  How expensive is parking?


When you're done with the tour, if you like that school, go ahead and buy the t-shirt.  Every time you put the shirt on in the future, you'll be reminded of it and hopefully motivated to keep giving your high school years your best effort!  

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 were going to design and teach a class at this university, what would it be and why?  What field trips would you go on? "


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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