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Scholarship Gold Consulting- Helping students prepare for college and compete for scholarships
                                             Elizabeth Hartley, coach/consultant/author 
Jan/Feb 2015 
Vol 2, Issue 1


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"College Wise


 a free monthly newsletter by Elizabeth Hartley,  



In This Edition!
In this edition you will find the following:

- Note from me about dealing with admissions and rejections this time of year
- Everything to do after being accepted to a school
- A complete list of upcoming workshops
- Middle School- Great time to start the Congressional Award
 A word from the counselor's desk- How to handle bad news!


 Hi Everyone! 


This is my favorite time of year as my seniors are hearing back great news from many top schools and are competing for exciting scholarships such as the Morehead Cain, Park Scholarship to NCSU, the Jefferson to UVA and many presidential scholarship competitions to private schools.  So far, we have acceptances to UNC, Clemson, Georgetown, Boston College, USC, NC State, Wofford, College of Charleston Honors College, to name a few, and we're still awaiting the April 1st announcements of many other schools. 


However, this is also the time I sometimes see students crushed by a disappointing outcome, despite their best efforts.  That's part of the process for most students and it's important to be prepared so that you don't get derailed by disappointment. Most people get at least a few rejections, unless they played it totally safe from the beginning. If you do not get in to every school you pursued, don't take it personally.  It is not a failure on your part. You are still fabulous and wonderful.  Your parents still love you! Mourn for a day, then put it behind you and stay focused on the options you DO have, not the ones you don't. 


READ THIS-  HERE is a fantastic perspective written by a college freshman that I would love ALL my seniors to read.  It's her reflection on the stress of being waitlisted or deferred at all of her top choices for college and how she feels about it now.  I always tell my students that they will end up exactly where they are supposed to be and not to get too invested or set on one school prematurely. See what she says.


We in the Hartley household are going through this with you!  My son Jackson is a senior who applied to 12 schools.  So far, we've had good news from 7 but the most selective ones won't announce admissions until April 1st.  So we are also waiting and hoping!  Hang in there!




  Elizabeth      head shot 2012



Booking for private sessions-- I am happy to meet with families in private sessions but I always strongly encourage them to first attend a "College Bound Essentials" class, so that we can cover more in-depth materials in our meeting. 


My associate, Kay Holleman, an experienced college placement counselor, is also available for morning and after school appointments.  Email me at hartleygold@yahoo.com to book an appointment that fits your schedule.

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If you like seeing great articles and videos about colleges, scholarships, inspirational students and more, look for Scholarship Gold Consulting on Facebook and "like" it.  I post some really neat links on it that you may enjoy!

Middle Schoolers and 9th and 10th graders 
Pursue Your Congressional Award!

I have often mentioned the may benefits of students participating in the Congressional Award Program, in which they earn their Bronze, Silver and Gold Congressional Medals.  My son just received his Gold Medal this past June in Washington, DC, along with ten others I have counseled through this process. It is open to students between the ages of 13.5 and 24 years old.  

Earning the Congressional Bronze, Silver and Gold medals can really set a student apart on college applications and when pursuing scholarships. 

Rather than explain the program in detail here, please take a moment to review this informative article on it.  (It only costs a one-time fee of $15 to participate.)

Click HERE to review the Congressional Award details. I heartily encourage all students to consider pursuing this opportunity!

Below is a photo of some of my SC students just before the Gold Medal ceremony last March.  (left to right- Reagan Smith, Morgan Brownfield, Jon Brownfield and Jackson Hartley)

What To Do After You're Accepted!
Getting accepted is by no means the end of the process.  There is still much to do!  Once you are accepted, make sure to follow up through some of the steps below.

1) Plan to attend "Accepted Students Days" at the schools to which you have been admitted. Most schools will have days for students and parents to visit the campus, perhaps experience a class, attend some orientation talks, etc.  It will give you that extra bit of information that can allow you to make the most informed decision possible.

2)  Find out if it is necessary to put in a deposit in order to secure housing.  Technically, colleges are not supposed to require a commitment from students until May 1st.  However, they often provide motivation for students to put in a housing deposit in order to secure their best housing for their freshman year.  Find out if that deposit is refundable or not before you send it in.  

Don't feel compelled to send in a deposit to every school- choose carefully.  For example, out of the seven schools my son has been accepted to, we have sent in one deposit while we await the other colleges' admission decisions. The one we sent in is non-refundable but we were willing to risk it to make sure he has great housing at the school that is his best option thus far.

3) Follow through with any remaining scholarship processes and make sure you have completed all financial aid forms.   Some colleges require FAFSA and others require both FAFSA and CSS/Profile as well. Make sure you research the Financial Aid sections of each school's website and follow the proper procedures.  There are many reasons to file FAFSA, even if you think you will not qualify for federal financial aid.  There is a very helpful workshop being offered by Heath Walters of Safe College Funding on the afternoon of Feb 28th.  You can click HERE for details but I'll send out a separate email about it.  

4) Get the financial aid/scholarship offers and weigh them all.   It's a great idea to make and Excel spreadsheet listing the total cost of each college, the scholarships and aid offered at each one and the family's net cost.  Keep in mind that some colleges are worth paying a bit more for.  If College "A" has a strong history of retaining their students and getting them out in four years but College "B" has a high transfer out rate and typically gets students out in six years, it may be worth a few thousand more each year to attend school "A". 

If you are not comfortable with the offer from a private school and would like to ask for more money, consider filing an appeal letter with the financial aid office, explaining why your family needs additional need-based aid or why your student would warrant more merit-based aid.  State schools rarely entertain a financial aid appeal, except in extreme cases. 

5) Make a commitment and notify the other schools that you are not coming.   You must put down a deposit and commit to your school of choice no later than May 1st.  Give your other schools the courtesy of an email to tell them that you appreciate their offer of admissions (and possibly scholarships) but that you have made the decision to attend another university.  

6)  Submit health forms, housing forms, search for a roommate and attend orientation days over the summer.   These are a few of the activities you'll need to pursue once you have made your decision.  The school will make sure to notify you of all of the details.  Embrace your decision, get excited about your new adventure and move forward.  Make some great memories with your family over the summer!
Upcoming Workshops and Resources




Scholarship Gold 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.) Click on the blue course title to save your spot.



College Bound Essentials- Feb 28th  9:00-noon 
College Bound Essentials- Apr 11th  9:00-noon


This is absolutely one class that every 8th-11th grade college bound student and their parents should attend! Come learn how to navigate scholarships, financial aid, how to pick a college, test prep tips and much more! This event may totally change how you approach what lies ahead!
Good Samaritan United Methodist Church- Lake Wylie



Rising Junior Year Essentials!- April 11th 

Saturday, April 11th, 2015 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm 


For current sophomores! Your upcoming junior year is arguably the most important of your high school career. Join us for this essential workshop covering all of the critical items juniors need to cover in order to be best prepared for college admission and scholarships. We will cover course selection, SAT/ACT prep, college tours, leadership & more!

Good Samaritan United Methodist Church- Lake Wylie 



Essay Writing for Admission & Scholarships- April 25th

Saturday April 25, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM


There is a fine art to writing a compelling and insightful essay for college admissions and scholarship applications. This class will cover all of the elements of an effective essay and assist students as they create their own unique creative work.

Good Samaritan United Methodist Church- Lake Wylie



Rising Senior Essentials- for students in class of 2016- April 25th

Saturday April 25, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM 


For current juniors!- The senior year is packed with time sensitive tasks to make sure you get all of the options you want for college. Come learn exactly what you will need to do starting on Aug 1st of your senior year. We will cover applications, scholarships, interviews, financial aid and more! Come take the stress out of what lies ahead!

Good Samaritan United Methodist Church- Lake Wylie


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?

"When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? "


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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