Best-Fit Schools

PSAT results are out  - Next Steps

Test Prep/Testing Timeline

Practice Test Dates are specific to EDNavigators LLC. SAT and ACT Test Dates are nationwide.

Practice Test Dates are specific to EDNavigators LLC. SAT and ACT Test Dates are nationwide.

If you are a sophomore in high school

  1. Go over your PSAT using the Khan Academy site as soon as you can.  The answer explanations are there and going over the specific questions you missed will give you the best feel for which areas to study. It will allow you to see the types of questions you missed and the types of mistakes you made.

  2. Continue to focus in school. If there is a math concept you do not understand, stick with it until you understand it. (Khan Academy has great math video tutorials.)

  3. Read often - suggested reading resources

  4. Plan to take a full practice SAT and/or ACT this spring or summer and plan prep based upon your results. This page helps with planning of prep and test dates.

If you are a junior in high school

  1. Go over your PSAT using the Khan Academy site as soon as you can.  The answer explanations are there and going over the specific questions you missed will give you the best feel for which areas to study. It will allow you to see the types of questions you missed and the types of mistakes you made.

  2. Continue to focus in school. If there is a math concept you do not understand, stick with it until you understand it. (Khan Academy has great math video tutorials.)

  3. Read often - suggested reading resources

  4. Continue prep on Khan Academy or begin test prep between now and June depending upon your schedule.  This page helps with planning of prep and test dates.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Standardized Testing

Guide to Understanding PSAT-NMSQT Scores

Start thinking about Your Best-Fit College or University (Academic fit, Social fit, Financial fit, Cultural fit, Environmental fit)


Sandy Aprahamian, M.Ed.

Ten Valuable Take-Aways from The HECA Conference in Philadelphia June 2016

I met many knowledgeable and caring professionals including other IECs (Independent Educational Consultants), college presidents, college admissions representatives, vendors and authors at the HECA conference in Philadelphia last week.  I toured eight college campuses, attended nine workshops and listened to leaders in the field speak about college admissions, Liberal Arts Colleges, the current and future state of higher education and the Coalition for Access and Admission in Higher Education. The conference was extremely valuable and information rich. These ten valuable take-aways offer only a glimpse of what was offered.

Ten Valuable Take-Aways from the HECA conference in Philadelphia June 2016

(- not all new information, but information that I feel is valuable for my students and families to know)

  1. Checking the box indicating that you are applying for financial aid in the college application can cause your application to be considered incomplete to the college until all financial firms are submitted.
  2. It is important that after registering for any future SAT test, students check the email associated with their College Board account. The College Board implemented a new plan in June 2016. Selected students who register for the test will receive an email stating that they are required to submit a Verification Form by a given deadline. If the form is not submitted by this deadline, College Board will cancel the student’s registration and credit the registration fee back to the credit card. Avoid the surprise of showing up for the SAT only to find that you are not actually registered.  Students MUST check their email often.
  3. There are three different routes to the military: Service Academies, ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) and OCS (Officer Candidate School)  Each path has different requirements
  4. There is a company called New Frontiers in Learning that is full of trained professionals to help students with learning difficulties navigate the transition to college and learn to self advocate.
  5. HECA members as a whole are dedicated, collaborative, extremely caring and knowledgeable professionals in the field of college consulting.
  6. Liberal arts students are in demand: CIC Website For higher ed professionals - LiberalArtsPower For students and parents-  LiberalArtsLife Can you see yourself in this environment- @smartcolleges twitterfeed
  7. Purpose fuels GRIT and experiencing failure is essential to building resiliency
  8. Colleges want to admit students who will succeed there. If there is a concern about that, some colleges give the student a chance to try it out before committing. (Passport Program- St Joseph's University)
  9. Colleges and Universities have priorities in building their class each year. Their goal is to build a community of students who will help the university continue on its mission.
  10. Each college/university has special qualities just as each student does. The staff and faculty at those colleges really want their students to take advantage of all the school has to offer.
  • A pre-med student really can actively pursue the arts in college as well. Muhlenberg College, Swarthmore College
  • A women's college can be made as coed as the student desires it to be.
  • Traditions are strong on most campuses (Bryn Mawr /Haverford/ Lehigh/Lafayette)
  • Engineering and business can be combined. (Lehigh IBE, Villanova SBI)
  • Pass fail evaluations require exceptional knowledge of a given subject and/or field. (Swarthmore College Honors Program)
  • Intellectual curiosity is very important - Haverford College
  • Jesuit colleges have the mission of developing students of giving character with a strong appreciation of differences. (Villanova University, Saint Josephs University)
  • Not every arts focused student needs to present a portfolio for admission. For schools that do require it, specific types of art are required and the admissions staff is there to help students through the process. (Muhlenberg College, Tyler School of Art at Temple University, University of the Arts in Philadelphia)
  • There are colleges who aim to provide both admission decisions and financial aid awards to early admission applicants by December 20. (Drew University)
  • Sandy Aprahamian, EDNavigators LLC

     

    Soccer - College Admissions - ESPN - A Connection

    Power of Social MediaI recently presented college admission information to a group of Penn Fusion Soccer Academy players and their parents at PFSA’s Fifth Annual College Night . PSFA players are fortunate to belong to a club that is led by such dedicated leaders as Mark Thomas and Tino Mueller who genuinely want the best for each and every one of their players.  At PFSA College Night, players and parents were provided valuable information about the college application process for students who would like to play soccer in college .  A panel of soccer coaches from D1, D2 and D3 schools presented recruiting and admissions information to the audience then candidly answered questions from the audience. 

    This morning’s New York Times article reminded me of an important point that was made at Penn Fusion College Night:  Players (and parents), watch what you post on the Internet. A coach’s livelihood rests on your ability to make good decisions both on and off the field. If you come across as a risk, coaches will pass you by.  Your decisions can cost the coach his or her job.  Character and a history of good decision-making count.  As today’s article demonstrates, the consequences for social media decisions continue into adulthood. Think before you type…and again before you post.

    Sandy Aprahamian, EDNavigators LLC

    Gap Year Information, College Affordability Information, Standardized Testing Updates, College Admission Represenatives ... all in one place

    Since the role of an Independent Educational Consultant is still unclear to many people, I thought I'd share some of the sessions that I attended at the IECA Fall Conference last week.  The conference included break-out educational sessions, two keynote addresses, hosted receptions, round table discussions, committee meetings, a vendor hall, a college fair and numerous other networking events.

    I attended the following Break-out Educational Sessions:

    • Gap Years:  What’s Out There, How to Structure One, and Simple Vetting Options
    • Testing College Readiness:   What are the Redesigned SAT and ACT Measuring and How Do We Best Prepare Our Students
    • Anatomy of a Financial Aid Award
    • The Fading of Facebook: the Evolution of Teenage Online Social Interactions

    I heard Keynote Addresses from:

    • Justin Bachman - 17 year-old high school senior with Tourette’s Syndrome, severe ADHD and dysgraphia
    • Ashely Merryman - Best-selling author and award-winning journalist (NurtureShock:  New Thinking About Children Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing)

    I attended Hosted Receptions/ Presentations from:

    • University of New Haven
    • Oak Meadow Independent Learning
    • Warren Wilson College

    I Visited the Following Booths at the Vendor Hall:

    • Colleges That Change Lives
    • American Gap Association
    • Summit Educational Group
    • YouScience
    • IECA Foundation
    • American Institute of Certified Educational Planners
    • College Affordability
    • College Cost Navigator
    • Guided Path
    • Wintergreen Orchard House
    • Human eSources, Ltd.

    I Met Representatives/Admissions Representatives from the following Colleges and Universities:

    • American University
    • Bucknell University
    • Eckerd College
    • Rollins College
    • University of Miami
    • University of Richmond
    • University of South Carolina
    • New York University
    • Quinnipiac University
    • Ursinus College
    • Susquehanna University
    • University of New Haven
    • Warren Wilson College

    It was an action-packed educational week.  I met great people and learned a lot.  In future posts, I will share, more specifically,  some of the key information I learned.

    Sandy Aprahamian, EDNavigators

    An Important Word to Remember When Leaving for (or sending your child off to) College

    IMG_0773

    Last week I participated in a webinar presented by Harlan Cohen, author of The Naked Roommate.  In his presentation, Cohen reminded us that the transition to college WILL BE UNCOMFORTABLE.  As counselors, parents, and teachers, we tell our students and children how lucky they are to get to go to college - that they are headed off to the best four years of their life - that they will be among people just like them - that they will have the opportunity to learn interesting material - that top-notch facilities will be at their fingertips…  Our students and children know that - BUT it doesn’t change the fact that UNCOMFORTABLE can not be avoided. UNCOMFORTABLE comes with the territory of change and newness.

    Navigating the UNCOMFORTABLE in the college transition is an important hurdle.  The skills students learn and use in this transition go into their toolkit for the future.  The fact is, we are faced with uncomfortable situations throughout life.

    I felt the freshman uncomfortable feeling just this week when I attend the IECA  (Independent Educational Consultants Association) conference in Orlando, Florida.  At the happiest place on earth, amongst people whom I knew I had a lot in common with, presented with a candy shop full of information and learning opportunities, I felt uncomfortable.

    Business travel uncomfortable parallels college freshman uncomfortable in many ways.  I entered a new and exciting environment, which I chose, but where I did not know the lay of the land or a single person.  I had no safety net to turn to, no wing-man by my side, no familiar paths or comforts.  I had to pull out my toolkit and manage the uncomfortable.  I’m thankful that I had this experience because it reminded what my students feel when they head off for freshman year. As a counselor and parent, it's easy to forget.

    As I navigated the uncomfortable this week, these were some tools I used - the same tools I recommend for students transitioning into college.

    Tools to Navigate the UNCOMFORTABLE

    Have the Right  Attitude:

    • Feel confident in the decision you made to attend this particular school.
    • Plan to succeed there.
    • Expect it to be uncomfortable at first and plan to step out of your comfort zone.

    Practice Self-care:  Do what you need to maintain your personal balance.

    • Exercise daily
    • Eat healthy meals.
    • Get enough sleep.
    • Find quiet safe places to retreat when time alone is needed.
    • Be there to learn about what interests you. Do not feel pressure to get good grades right off the bat.  Interest in soaking up as much knowledge as possible, makes grades came naturally.

    Practice Controlled Caution:

    • Before going out think about possible scenarios and have a plan... it takes time to learn who you can trust in a new environment - the one person you can truly trust is yourself. Remain in control of your decisions.

    Make Connections and Initiate Conversations:

    • Introduce yourself and make connections - other people are feeling uncomfortable too.
    • Attend ice breakers and freshman activities.
    • Take advantage of the programs offered to acclimate.
    • Join a small group where you will be among people who share your interests (sports team, band, chorus, prayer group, action committee, poetry club, service organization, book club…there are many groups and clubs )

    Know yourself - Be yourself - Expect the Unexpected - Be Patient - Remember, it WILL be UNCOMFORTABLE at first.

    As a follow-up to this article, the IECA Conference was a huge success.  I learned a lot and made great new friends.  I will be sharing my new knowledge with you in future posts.

    Sandy Aprahamian, EDNavigators

    New College and Career Planning Software Added

      Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 5.22.31 PM EDNavigators LLC is delighted to announce that we are using the  ACT Profile as a part of our educational consulting student intake inventory suite.  This college and career planning program measures a student’s self-reported interests, abilities and values to suggest potential college majors and career paths.

    Results generate a career map, a major map and an interest inventory.  All of these guides are interactive and valuable components to be used in finding a student’s “best-fit” college and career path.

    Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 5.22.19 PMScreen Shot 2014-08-07 at 5.22.09 PM

    We are excited to include interpretation of these results as part of our new Narrow in on a “Best-Fit” College/University Type Based on Student’s Personality Type, Learning Style, Interests, Values and Abilities Package - Package IB.

    The ACT Profile has also been added to Package 1.  Current students who purchased Package 1 will receive an email within the next few days outlining how to access this new benefit.

    Sandy Aprahamian,EDNavigators LLC

    The College Put Me on the Wait List. What Does that Mean? What Should I Do?

    cropped-gold-boy-in-grad-cap.jpgI attended an outstanding webinar today hosted by Cyndy McDonald of Guided Path and delivered by  Peter Van Buskirk  of Best College Fit . Peter shared many valuable insights into the college admissions process from the perspective of the school’s enrollment management and yield. Peter Van Buskirk holds a wealth of knowledge.  I encourage you to visit his website BestCollegeFit to see when he presenting at an event in your area. Below are some key points Peter shared about Wait Lists.

    • The Wait List is a DEFINITE MAYBE  NOT a POLITE DENIAL.
    • Many schools use the wait list as a means to improve the yield that they report for rankings.
    • You are still in the game, but you need to continue to play your best.

    If you are truly interested in a school that puts you on its Wait List:

    • Act NOW.  Don’t wait.  Some schools go to the wait list as early as mid April.
    • Get on the radar screen of your regional recruiter.
    • Visit the campus.  Yes, AGAIN if you have already been there and be sure the admissions office knows you made the visit.
    • Clarify your need for financial aid.  If you have figured out a way to pay for the college without financial aid, let the college know this in writing.  Money matters when it comes to the wait list.
    • If you make it off the wait list, he school will most likely call you and ask you if you would like the spot.
    • Be ready because you most likely have only 24-48 hours to respond.  Your official offer won’t arrive until you verbally accept the spot.

    Most importantly, remember, the best college for you is the one that fits YOU best.  Don’t be swayed by glitzy advertising and don’t let a college’s decision shape your opinion of yourself.

    Best,

    Sandy Aprahamian, Principal, EDNavigators, Independent Educational Consultant

    Two Terms You NEED to Know Before You Apply to College

    Yield and Demonstrated Interest What is yield in college admissions? Yield is an important term for college applicants and their parents to understand. A college's yield is the percentage of students who decide to attend a college in relation to the number of students to whom that college offers admission. This number is important because colleges are ranked and judged by their yield.

    It is not in a college's best business interest to accept a student who will eventually deny its offer. Overqualified students and students who have not demonstrated interest fit this category.  Yes, overqualified students do get rejection letters.  Students who do not demonstrate interest in the college also get rejection letters.

    What is demonstrated interest?  Demonstrated interest is the interest a student shows in a school through visits, calls, emails, social media etc.  If a college sends an email and you are interested in that school, open the email and click a link in it.  Colleges can and do track this.  If the college has a Facebook and/or Twitter account, follow it.  This article tells the true story of how colleges can track your online activity.  Visit and initiate contact with schools that interest you.  They are tracking your interest.

    College is a business. Stay strong and confident. Demonstrate interest.    A deferral or rejection does NOT always mean you are not a strong or qualified applicant.

    Related Articles:

    Colleges intensify recruitment through use of "Big Data" , Nancy Griesemer - DC College Admissions Examiner, January 2014

    Is it better to get a B in a difficult class or an A in an easier class?, EdNavigators

    The Rejection Letter:  Keep Perspective, EdNavigators

    Sir Ken Robinson

    Cover of "The Element: How Finding Your P...

    Sir Ken Robinson has had a place on my list of favorites since I was introduced to his book, The Element, in 2009. Every time I read, watch or listen to Sir Ken Robinson I feel inspired and optimistic.
    I agree with Sir Ken Robinson's belief that education is about finding each person's passion.  Education is not a cookie cutter process because humans are not cookie cutter creations.  We are each uniquely created and influenced by our environment and our peers.
    An educational environment that is best for one student is not best for another.  Successfully educating students requires knowledge, creativity, and commitment to each unique child.  A student must be in a relaxed environment to learn and create.  A relaxed and inspired brain learns.
    In the past, within hours of reading, seeing or hearing Sir Ken Robinson's work, my bubble of optimism began to deflate.  I would realize that the changes needed to improve education were too vast.   Vast change takes time and we have a generation that can't wait.
    My desire to do something now led to EdNavigators .  Through EdNavigators, I help students, on an individual basis, to discover their passions, navigate their educational paths, overcome roadblocks**, and move toward their dreams.
    Sir Ken Robinson will be speaking at Malvern Preparatory School on  Tuesday, October 1 at 6:30PM.  Kudos to Malvern Prep for hosting this forward thinker and popular presenter!  I encourage everyone who is able, to see Sir Ken Robinson at Malvern Prep.  This is the link to purchase tickets.

    Quiet: The Power of Introverts

    Starting Quiet by Susan Cain. Are you familiar with Susan Cain's book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking?  I read it last year and find myself still referring back to it often.  The book prompted an article in TIME Magazine titled, The Power of Shyness which is worth reading as well.  Susan Cain's book discusses how we often undervalue introverts in our society.  Sometimes the the traditional school setting  is not ideal for this personality type.

    At EdNavigators, we prioritize "best-fit" in identifying schools and colleges for students.  One of the components of our program is a personality assessment based upon the  Meyers Briggs philosophy.  Introvert vs. Extrovert is one of the classifications that result from the assessment.  Knowing who you are is essential to finding your "best-fit."

    Sandy Aprahamian, Owner, Independent Educational Consultant EdNavigators