Beyond the Classroom

2020-2021

Friday, June 17, 2021


POST #200 - AP Test takers


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Already I am feeling like our summer is just flying by! In just a few weeks, your AP Scores will be available online or in your mailbox, so....what do they mean to colleges? to you?


AP tests taken in May - 1st and 2nd administrations: Scores are scheduled to be electronically available to all students on Wednesday, July 21 at 7am.


AP tests taken in June - 3rd and 4th administrations: Scores are scheduled to be electronically available to all students on Monday, August 16.


Many of my students emailed me to ask how much credit will be given for specific scores.

My reply: Well, it depends on the schools in which you plan to apply because each school has its own formula for calculation.


All North Carolina colleges/universities are now required to give credit for a score of 3 or more. Private colleges/universities have their own guidelines.


In order for you to research your scores for each school in each of your subject, google the following:

NCSU AP Credit

Or

UNC Chapel Hill AP Credit

Etc.


Get the picture?


No matter what school you are interested in applying to, please do your homework to understand how your score will convert to credit. Each school publishes a comprehensive chart for the purpose of AP or IB scores and the relationship to earned credit. It is worth the viewing!


Happy Friday!! Enjoy this weekend and remember your fathers on Father’s Day this Sunday.


The Beyond The Classroom Blog will be taking a break. We hope you will join us again in August as school begins. Have a great summer!!

Thursday, June 17, 2021


POST #199 - Let's do this journey together...Day 10


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Today, let's talk about #s 9 and 10....


9. Check out availability of campus transportation as well as city transportation – This aspect is most important particularly if it is a big campus. I know having been on North Carolina State University’s campus numerous times that the Wolfline is the school’s official campus transportation, and also city buses run throughout campus as well to carry students to other parts of the city. I have learned from other students on such campuses that they tend to ride the available transportation during the week instead of driving their own cars because parking is in short supply and most, particularly freshmen, have to park in private parking lots far from campus which makes it impossible to use their cars frequently during the week. Understanding the transportation systems available to students on a campus is an important aspect to parents because you want to know your child has good, safe, and reliable transportation options while on campus. While you and your child are on each campus visit, take the time to ride the various forms of transportation – it will give you a sense of security and allow your child to know that you expect them to use what is provided instead of driving their car and using gas. The Trolley System at High Point University was an awesome experience for my son and made college seem like an amusement park visit. Personally, I loved it.


10. Check out availability of parking for freshman – The parking issue can be a difficult one for most freshman particularly at large campuses. Neither Spencer nor Morgan had a problem with parking as freshmen because they attended smaller schools and freshmen were allowed to purchase a parking sticker. One thing I really liked about High Point University’s parking rules was that all the girls were told to park closest to the dorms and the boys had to park in the parking spots at the back of each lot. The administration made this a rule for the safety of the campus, and I thought it was a good rule. On larger campuses, freshmen most likely have to find local private parking lots to purchase a parking spot. At freshman orientation, the freshmen will be provided with such information. Keep in mind that these lots are normally at a huge price and often are far from campus.


Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, June 16, 2021


POST #198 - Let's do this journey together...Day 9


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Today, we are discussing #s 7 and 8 from the original list:


7. Know what is required for admittance to a college – When you talk with your admission counselor at each school, please talk specifically about your senior year coursework, as well as your grades, GPA and class rank, SAT and/or ACT, ESSAYS, interviews, school and community activities, recommendations and how each item plays a role in the admission process related to you, the student. Different schools see these items in various order so ask questions to see what is most important to each of the schools on your college list. When looking at schools and visiting, this factor was the least important aspect to my two children and the most important aspect to me. If a student doesn’t get accepted, then none of the other things on this list even matter. For some students, this element is the biggest hurdle to overcome. For example, in Spencer’s situation, NCSU was more interested in SAT/ACT test scores than High Point University; and High Point University was more interested in teacher recommendations than NCSU who didn’t even want recommendations submitted.


8. Check out student amenities such as gym, workout facilities, extra restaurants on campus, theater on campus, recreational facilities on campus, etc. – This aspect of the campus visit can be eye popping. For example, at High Point University, they proudly have a swimming pool adjacent to almost all of the dorms. They have workout facilities in each dorm. The school touts two student unions; their very own movie theater with free popcorn and drinks; their own bowling alley; their own putting greens; their own steak house; and the sure fire winner was their very own Chick Fila!!! What a list – I am not certain another college can even compare. When you visit, make a list of all the amenities that you genuinely like on each campus. You are on this campus 24/7 for four years, so it is okay to have fun – pick a campus that you know is a good fit for you, affording you the opportunity to have fun.


Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 15, 2021


POST #197 - Let's do this journey together...Day 8


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Today, we are discussing #s 5 and 6 from the original list:


5. Meet your financial aid counselor in the Financial Aid Office - Most colleges and universities assign a financial aid counselor to each student alphabetically by last name unless they have a special counselor to handle all athletes. On each of your college visits make certain to meet the person who will be in charge of your financial aid file. This person needs to become a friend. It needs to be someone who you can depend on and trust and could be a difference maker in your college selection. It needs to be the type of person who your child can go to and feel comfortable talking with on the spur of the moment because financial aid is a four year recurring event. You need to know that your counselor has your best interests at heart and will notify you when your financial aid changes positively or negatively – and will work with your child to resolve issues that arise. Your financial aid person is most important to your child and to you. Please take time to get to know who this person is on each campus your child chooses to apply to in the college application process


6. Visit and talk with someone who teaches in your choice of major – So far, I have named two important individuals on any campus – the admissions counselor and the financial aid counselor – and the third most important person is a professor or academic advisor in the student’s chosen career major. I remember vividly on Spencer’s first visit to High Point University that he met a professor that eventually became his teacher in several courses and, most importantly, his academic advisor. This meeting opened many doors for Spencer because no matter what question he had about academics he always sought out this person for his advice and opinions. Spencer and this teacher developed a strong teacher to student relationship, and I know that this teacher helped Spencer through many tough situations and was always there to show his support. It was the same with Morgan. She met on her very first visit to Guilford College the professor who would serve as her student teacher mentor; and throughout the four years, he, too, developed a strong teacher to student relationship that helped guide her through many difficult situations. My advice to each student is to: find that type of professor or teacher who you mesh with and will feel comfortable seeking out for advice – do this on each campus you visit!!


Have a wonderful Tuesday! Tomorrow, we will discuss #s 7 and 8.

Monday, June 14, 2021


POST #196 - Let's do this journey together...Day 7


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Today we are going to tackle Numbers 3 and 4 on the list….


  1. Look at all the different options for resident halls and dorms which are allowed for freshman – this aspect is one of the most important. Both of my children had never shared a room with anyone. Their room had always been their space, and I could tell as each of my children viewed various dorms and dorm rooms at different campuses that they each were concerned about sharing a room. I know for a fact in Spencer’s case having a room all his own at High Point University was a huge deciding factor for him. In addition at High Point University, not only would he have a room all his own in an apartment style dorm with three other students each having their own room and a bathroom for each student but also a kitchen – the dorm was brand new! When he saw these living arrangements as a possibility, he was sold on HPU. Morgan on the other hand did not see this sort of dorm experience at very many of her school options. When she chose Guilford College, I reminded her that she would have to share a room with another individual. She realized this fact, but she had a plan to become a RA (Resident Advisor) her sophomore year and have a room by herself – which she did for not only her sophomore year but also for her junior and senior years as well. Yes, my Morgan is a planner!

    On every college website, students and parents can see actual dorm floor plans. Go to the housing tab then dorm tab and all dormitories should be listed. Click on each one and check out the different styles. Some schools still have hall bathrooms. Some schools have two room suites, others have apartment style where each person has a room and a bathroom to him/herself. Most importantly, a student has to realize that freshmen don’t always get the best dorms, but those who submit their housing application first seem to receive the best options.

  2. Meet your counselor in admissions – This aspect is most important!! Take the time to meet your specific admissions counselor if the school assigns you an individual, but also meet other counselors as well. These are the individuals who will make the acceptance/deferral/waitlist/denial decision. The more individuals you get to know on your visit, at open houses, and at college fairs, then the more folks you will have on your side. This process also teaches your child to talk to people – a lost art in this day and age when everyone only knows how to text. This process was one both of my children dreaded at first, but they made great strides as they did it over and over again. They became well versed at talking to professionals, and they became comfortable with themselves and it allowed them to know that these are the individuals who can be most helpful throughout their years in college. Your admission counselor can become a most valuable individual in assisting you in the application process. Know their email and communicate with them on a regular bases.

  3. Tomorrow we will cover #s 5 and 6 and so on throughout the week.

  4. Meet your financial aid counselor in the Financial Aid Office

  5. Visit and talk with someone who teaches in your choice of major



Have a great Monday!


I cannot believe that June is almost at the mid-point - I know time flies!

Friday, June 11, 2021


POST #195 - Let's do this journey together...Day 6


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


In yesterday’s blog post, I talked about making college visits this summer, and I gave you a list of specific places to check out on each and every college visit.


Once again, here is that list:


  1. Eat in the cafeteria – see if you like the food!!

  2. Visit the student store – check out the pride the school has in itself!

  3. Look at all the different options for resident halls and dorms which are allowed for freshman - single room, suite sytle, or hall

  4. Meet your counselor in admissions - most important

  5. Meet your financial aid counselor in the Financial Aid Office - even more important

  6. Visit and talk with someone who teaches in your choice of major

  7. Know what is required for admittance

  8. Check out student amenities such as gym, workout facilities, extra restaurants on campus, theater on campus, recreational facilities on campus, library, laundry facilities, computer, printing, and copying access etc.

  9. Check out availability of campus transportation as well as city transportation

  10. Check out availability of parking for freshman


Today, we are going to specifically talk about #s 1 and 2 from the list above:


  1. Eat in the cafeteria – see if you like the food!! – Yes, visiting the cafeteria was most definitely a huge priority for my son Spencer and somewhat important to my daughter Morgan. They ended up liking the schools that had lots of variety of foods where the student could serve themselves. For Spencer, who eats a lot, he was extremely happy about both HPU’s and NCSU’s cafeteria services. He loved the variety of foods offered at lunch and dinner as well as the quality of food. Morgan created a top ten list based on cafeteria food. She realized that at some of her schools no cooking was allowed in the dorms so the food in the cafeteria had to be really good. When your senior narrow’s his/her list, go back and visit the campus again…specifically the cafeteria. Get a second taste test.

  2. Visit the student store – check out the pride the school has in itself! – Most definitely visit the school store. Does the store promote the spirit of the school? Morgan was most disappointed in Guilford’s Student Store, but on our visit she learned that they would be building a new store within the next two years. They did in fact build a beautiful and very large store that she enjoyed visiting on a regular bases. When we walked into the HPU student store on our first visit, we were a bit disappointed as well. However, by the second visit, we noticed that HPU would be expanding its student store in size and items. The student store at any college or university needs to be a hub for school colors and promoting school spirit with the items they sale, while also offering everyday items needed by the average college/university student.


Next Monday, we will cover #s 3 and 4 and so on throughout the week.


Have a great Friday and an even better weekend!!

Thursday, June 10, 2021


POST #194 - Let's do this journey together...Day 5


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Good, the dreaded conversation is over - well the start of it is. If you are a parent reading this blog, then you now know what your child is thinking concerning college, and you have been allowed to share your thoughts on the college issue. If you are a student (rising senior) reading this blog, then you now know what your parents are thinking concerning college, and you have been afforded the opportunity to share your thoughts on the college issue.


Yeah!!! Now, everything is out in the open…but actually the conversation has just begun because throughout this entire process – be that you are the parent or the child – then you want this conversation to continue so that everyone in the family is on the same page!


What next?


As mentioned in my conversation and in previous blog posts, it is time to visit any and all colleges being considered and the summer prior to the senior year is an awesome time to make this happen. Trust me, you do not want to wait for the fall when everything else is happening.

When you visit with your child make certain to do the following:


  1. Eat in the cafeteria – see if you like the food!!

  2. Visit the student store – check out the pride the school has in itself!

  3. Look at all the different options for resident halls and dorms which are allowed for freshman - single room, suite style, or hall

  4. Meet your counselor in admissions - most important

  5. Meet your financial aid counselor in the Financial Aid Office - even more important

  6. Visit and talk with someone who teaches in your choice of major

  7. Know what is required for admittance

  8. Check out student amenities such as gym, workout facilities, extra restaurants on campus, theater on campus, recreational facilities on campus, etc.

  9. Check out availability of campus transportation as well as city transportation

  10. Check out availability of parking for freshman


This list of things to do on your summer college visits are a must! If you haven’t started, then there is no time like the present!!


Have fun!! It is a great bonding experience for the entire family!


Have a wonderful Thursday and get ready for a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 9, 2021


POST #193 - Let's do this journey together...Day 4


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


So let's address the elephant in the room....the cost of the #1 school Spencer was looking at HPU - was $32,000 when he started looking and by the time he graduated, it was $43,000 per year. He was planning to become a teacher making $32,000 a year. Wow! He could finish college seriously in debt because his college could exceed in costs over $160,000 in his four years. I was in major shock of what the cost could be and disheartened that my son might not be able to fulfill his dream of attending HPU to play baseball.


I was serious when I told Spencer that I was prepared for the NCSU cost at the time of $14,000 a year totaling $56,000 over a four year period but never prepared for the above college costs! In order for him to go to HPU, he would have to have scholarship money and a lot of it - everything over and above $14,000 yearly and more if possible. I knew if he applied to NCSU, he would not be granted a scholarship - not because he wasn't smart or didn't have the grades - I simply was realistic and knew that scholarships at big public schools are few and far between. Private schools such as High Point University tended to give more money in scholarships. Spencer knew what he had to do - earn $30,000 or more per year in order to attend HPU.


First, he researched the scholarships at HPU.


Second, he researched the scholarships on the state and national level.


Third, he researched the scholarships on the local level.


In the end, he applied to scholarships at all three levels and won scholarships at all three levels - more on this at a later time.


Trust me, the scholarship process can be overwhelming, but if you start now as a rising senior you can make the process somewhat easier!


We will continue this subject tomorrow and even into next week.


Have a wonderful Wednesday - stay cool!

Tuesday, June 8, 2021


POST #192 - Let's do this journey together...Day 3


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


So a couple of posts ago, I asked parents to begin a conversation about college with their rising senior…and now, you ask: What do we specifically talk about? Yesterday’s post was about how to begin the conversation with your senior, and I used the conversation that my son and I had prior to his senior year as an example. Yesterday’s post was his side of the conversation and today’s post is…..


My response to my son, Spencer’s, college list of High Point University and North Carolina State University.


The first thing I told him was that he needed to add at least four other colleges to the list. I am a firm believer that no one should put all their hopes and dreams on one or two colleges/universities. I asked him to add colleges to the list that are similar to High Point University and North Carolina State. He should have 2 sure bet schools, 2 at-risk schools and 2 dream schools on his list.


Next, I shared that he was looking at two different colleges who are direct opposites of one another.


For example:


  1. HPU is private......and NCSU is public – one of the most important differences being that the private college is more than twice ($32,000 per year at the time he was applying - now HPU is $45,000+ per year) the cost of the public university ($14,000 per year at the time and now NCSU is $24,000+ per year). (My things have changed in the last few years!)

  2. HPU is small....and NCSU is the largest university in the state – HPU had approximately 3000 students and NCSU had 32,000+.

  3. HPU had his degree.....and NCSU had only half his degree.

  4. HPU was recruiting him to play baseball.....and NCSU was not.

  5. HPU offered single room housing....and NCSU offered double or triple room housing for freshmen.

  6. HPU was never on his radar until they started looking at him for baseball....and NCSU had always been his dream school (as well as mine for him).

  7. HPU would allow him to bring his car as a freshman as well as park it on campus...and NCSU would as well, but it was likely he would have to park somewhere off campus at a hefty price.

  8. HPU was easy to get around being it was small....and NCSU was difficult to get around being it is so large.


I shared with Spencer that the biggest obstacles I had with his current choices of HPU and NCSU was that HPU was so expensive and he needed more colleges on the list. I told him I was proud of him for having several valid reasons for his choices; he simply needed more choices.

Obviously, being the parent, and a single parent at that, the cost of college was at the forefront of my thoughts. With HPU at $32,000 per year and NC State $14,000 per year at that time of his applications – here was my statement to my son: “I am prepared to pay for you to attend NCSU at $14,000 but anything beyond that is on you! So if you choose to attend HPU, you need to come up with the difference of $16,000….and of course that is per year! I also stated that I expected the scholarship money to be in the form of academic money not athletic money.” I said this because I know that athletic money can come and go depending on the injuries or whether you continue to play each year. I, also, knew that academic money only continues if one maintains the required GPA which puts enough pressure on him to keep his grades up.


More about this conversation tomorrow!


Have a great Tuesday!


Have you started your conversation with your son or daughter? I hope so!

Monday, June 7, 2021


POST #191 - Let's do this journey together...Day 2


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


So Friday, I asked parents to begin a conversation about college with their rising senior…and now, you ask:


What do we specifically talk about?


First, ask your child to name all the schools he/she is considering applying to; and then ask why he/she feels these schools are a good choice for him/her to attend? Listen to your child’s response – make no comment – just listen! Hear what they have to say about each school - if they can't tell you a good reason for the school, then they may need to rethink it or simply do some major research.


I needed to really know what my children were thinking in this process, and I knew they were always doing things for the sake of pleasing me. This process was their process to own, but to also be considerate of the family. Additionally, I always learned so much when I listened to my children. As parents, we often want to tell our children what they should do and what they shouldn’t do because that is what we as parents believe we are to do. Trust me, it was difficult to simply sit there and not talk….. Just listen, but I did it and discovered quickly that my children had done their homework concerning colleges.


My son, Spencer, is my oldest child. He told me that he wanted to go to college to become an English teacher and a coach as well as wanting to play baseball in college. I knew about the playing baseball part, but I was uncertain of his career goals, so I learned something from the start. At the point we talked, Spencer had received numerous letters of interest for playing baseball and most were from out-of-state colleges from Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia. He made it clear that he did not want to go to college out-of-state, which then narrowed his choices because only three colleges from within the state were recruiting him. Only one of the three in-state schools interested him, so if he couldn’t play baseball there and attain his degree then he wanted to go to N. C. State – the school that he had already told me was too big for him! Consequently, he was basically down to two colleges on his list: High Point University and N. C. State.


Of course, I was really happy about NCSU since that is where I graduated from for both my undergraduate and masters and High Point University as well since my mother had attended HPU. I continued to listen without saying a word. He went on to tell me why HPU would be an excellent fit for him. He stated:


“It is small with about 3,000 students. When I visited, everyone was really friendly and welcoming. I will get to live in a brand new dorm that is apartment style, affording me my own room which I really like. It has my specific major of English Education and a minor in coaching. As a matter of fact, it is the only school that has a minor in coaching, so I really like that aspect the most. I like the fact that it is growing and is a Division I school. I can have my car on campus, and I really like the amenities offered on campus such as the food in the cafeteria, pools, activities, and community-like feel of the campus. The only thing I do not like about HPU is that it does not have a football program – other than that I am sold on it.”

Okay, he was very convincing! He had in fact done his homework, and I understood that HPU was indeed his first choice!


Next, he talked about NCSU: “I have known nothing else since I was born but to be a Wolfpacker, and I love going to all the football games and other events on the NCSU campus! It has a degree in English Education. I think I could get use to its large size, but I am not excited about sharing a room or the food on campus. Most likely, I will not be able to have my car on campus, and I will be a number. Most importantly, as of right now, I am not being recruited by NCSU to play baseball.”


Okay, I see the signs on the wall! I was sad but still listening!

Still, I was silent. He asked me what I thought of the two schools, and I responded that both schools are awesome. I also told him that he had done a great job researching the schools and how each school related to his goals.


It was a beginning. I now understood his direction and he had valid reasons to support one school over the other. I said, “Okay, I have listened to your side without a word….now it is time for you to listen to my side.”


Tomorrow….my side!


Have a great Monday!

Friday, June 4, 2021


POST #190 - Let's do this journey together...


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


I realize I have already mentioned this topic previously, probably many times; but because it is so important, I want to spend some more time on the subject. So here you go....


I know the summer months should be for fun and relaxation with time for family and friends; and for the most part, these months are just that – fun and less stressful and filled with gatherings of our relatives and friends. However, to help with this fall, a time that is certain to be overwhelming and consumed with tons to do as a senior in high school, let’s consider doing some things this summer to better prepare for the multitude of things that will need to be done in the college process in the hopes we alleviate some of the stresses later.


First and most importantly, as parents, you need to sit down and have a factual and honest conversation about college with your 2021-22 senior. I did this with both of my children. I needed them to understand that I wasn’t going into debt nor would I allow them to go into debt to receive a college education, particularly since they wanted to become a teacher. Nothing against the profession of teaching, but let's face it teachers do not make a large salary. I shared with them the dreams I had for them, and they shared what they wanted to get out of college as well as their dreams. It was a conversation with each child that started on one night in June and continued throughout the college application process. I found this process to be an awesome bonding experience with both my children even when, at times, we did not see eye-to-eye. I told them they did not have to agree with me or I with them, but we did have to agree to hear one another’s side and respect each other’s opinions. This conversation was a great start to the fall of their senior year. I recommend the same for each of you.


Next week I plan to write my posts discussing some of the issues that need some deep understanding on both the parents’ part and the student’s part prior to beginning the college process. If you start the conversation now, then each and every success and hurdle of the college process will be easier to talk about as time moves forward and as a family.


My highest recommendation to both parents and students is to enjoy the process. I did with both of my children and still to this day enjoy it with each and every child I assist in the process. Without a doubt, as parents, you will see your child grow and mature this year like never before; and as a student, you will begin to see that your parents see you more and more as an adult so make certain to act like it!


Get ready for a journey of a lifetime!


Have a wonderful Friday and weekend!

Thursday, June 3, 2021


POST #189 - Rising Seniors - this is for you!!!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


It is an exciting time of the year for the students who have just finished their junior year and will be starting their senior year in high school this fall. Because they have never experienced this type of year before, it is impossible to imagine what to expect. Not only will the students be taking some of the most difficult classes in their high school career, but they must make important decisions such as:


-Do I apply to college or get a job?


-If I apply to college, then how many do I apply to?


-Do I need to take the ACT and/or the SAT again?


-How do I search for scholarships?


-How do I apply for financial aid?


-How do I go about writing my college essay or personal statement?


-What if I want to take a gap year?


-How do I better prepare for the SAT or ACT?


-Do I apply Early Decision, Early Action, or Regular Decision?


-How do I go about creating a solid college list?


-What are the best Websites to checkout for the college process?


-What are colleges looking for in the students they accept?


-How do I begin this process?


These questions are just the tip of the iceberg in the college process. Starting tomorrow, we will begin to seek the answers to these questions and so many more in hopes that the Chatham County "Rising" Seniors will get a head start on the college process.


By starting early, students will be able to enjoy their senior year more instead of worrying about it in the fall. We have lots to talk about, and I ask that students and parents email me at beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com with questions, thoughts, and concerns about the topics they want me to address. Also, I ask that you tell your friends about the blog - let's meet this experience head on and together!


Ready, set, GO…….no time like the present to get this journey started!!!


See you tomorrow in blog land! Yeah for all the Friday’s!!!


Have a blessed Thursday and get ready for a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 2, 2021


POST #188 - A Personal Story to Share with our rising Seniors and others!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


This story happened a few years back, but it is a story worth sharing with my blog readers:


When I told my daughter Morgan that I was ready to see her college list because we were going to begin to visit, she gladly and proudly showed me her list.


My response to Morgan’s list of colleges went something like this..….Wow, that is some list. It is obvious you have done some homework, and I am glad that you want to know more about each college/university. I need for you to keep in mind that I will only pay for up to 8 college application fees, so you do need to have your list trimmed quite a bit. Also, keep in mind – as I told your brother Spencer - I will only pay for what it would cost you to go to a public university such as NCSU at around $22,000 per year (cost at that time). Anything above and beyond the $22,000 per year is on you – through scholarships, grants, loans (no more than $22,000 in loans in a four year period), work study, jobs, etc.


I agreed that we would plan to visit all of her colleges on her list that summer with a final list complete by the start of the school year.


Reminder, here are all the schools Morgan had on her list:


North Carolina State University (my choice since I attend and graduated from NCSU-undergraduate & masters - she was being recruited for softball at the time by NCSU)


High Point University (where my son was attending at the time)


University of North Carolina at Greensboro (a place she knew well having attended 4 years of basketball camp there and played in the NC State Softball games there)


Queens University (being recruited for softball)


Guilford College (being recruited for softball)


Methodist University (being recruited for softball)


Catawba College (being recruited for softball)


Belmont Abbey College (being recruited for softball)


Wingate University (being recruited for softball)


Campbell University (being recruited for softball)


University of North Carolina at Wilmington


Coastal Carolina University, SC


Winthrop University (being recruited for softball)


Western Carolina University (being recruited for softball)


Elon University (being recruited for softball)


University of North Carolina at Charlotte


Like I said, she had a very long list - sixteen schools to be exact!


I was proud of Morgan for having such a long list and for allowing herself to think outside the box and be open to colleges that aren’t necessarily the most popular. She wasn’t influenced by me, her peers, or her friends. She genuinely wanted to select the best school for her and the school that offered her the most scholarship money. She told me in our conversation that her goal was to graduate from college debt-free!!


Now, several years past her graduation, she did exactly that - debt free! It is a nice place to be - trust me!!


We will continue this conversation and you should begin to talk about this with your children, particularly if they are in high school and even more so if they are a rising senior!


Have a great Wednesday!! We are already halfway to the weekend!

Tuesday, June 1, 2021


POST #187 - Just a note to the graduating seniors about registering for college classes!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


This subject concerning registering for college courses sort of landed in my lap last evening. My nephew is entering college in the fall, and he is currently out of the country traveling with his family so his aunt (me) who knows all about college was selected to complete his registration online.


Of course upon my earlier advice, he has already selected his courses and sent me his info so my job will be easy. I suggested to him some time ago when he began this process to select a full 18 hours of credit for his first fall semester.


Now, will he take all 18 hours of credit? - No, I certainly hope not because in truth most freshmen - 90% - are most likely not prepared to take on 18 hours of credit in their first semester of college. I learned years ago that the Drop/Add period at colleges (often the first two weeks of a semester) were impossible, meaning it is easy to drop a course but extremely difficult to add a course. Consequently, if a student signs up for 18 hours then he/she has the opportunity to drop the course or in some cases the two courses that he/she feels will be most difficult for him/her to be successful in for the first semester of college.


I actually advise this sort of registration each semester of a student's college career. I also advise that students should not only sign up for 18 hours but attend each class in the fall, examine the syllabus for each class, and then determine which class would be best to drop - which is an easy process compared to attempting to drop and then add! For all the recent grads out there, this registration process might be helpful to some students. Keep in mind that a student must be enrolled in 12 hours of credit to be considered a full time student at the college, for financial aid purposes, and for residency on campus, so never drop below 12 hours. Just a suggestion from someone who has learned a lot over the years!!


Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, May 31, 2021


POST #186 - It's Memorial Day!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Today, folks are enjoying Memorial Day – a day of remembrance of our fallen men and women who have served in our armed forces. I, personally, also chose to take this opportunity to acknowledge all service men and women – the fallen, the veterans, and our current soldiers. From the bottom of my heart, I genuinely appreciate all that each individual has done to serve our country. Please know I am grateful for your many sacrifices. To all the blog followers, take a moment to express your appreciation and gratitude to those you know who have served and are serving as well as their families.


My challenge to all blog followers is to make certain your children understand the reason they are not attending school on this Monday and that you have the day off from work. Explain to them what Memorial Day should mean to them and how they should respect this day. I remember growing up that my mom made certain that we as a family showed great respect for our men and women of the armed services and always took time to memorialize each day devoted to such a remembrance. My mom had five brothers and all served in the military. At one time, they were all in active combat at the same time, which was extremely stressful on the family at home. Fortunately, all five returned home – a couple with injuries, but for the most part still able to live normal lives. My mom taught me love of country.


Each year, I am reminded how important it is to physically show respect for Memorial Day when High Point University sends out their annual Memorial Day pictures. One year they covered their campus in small flags planted in the ground – it was an absolutely beautiful site. Another year their Memorial Day email stated how they lowered all 78 campus flags to half-staff on Memorial Day in remembrance and respect of our fallen. Our colleges teach our students in their classes, but each day as our children walk these campuses they too must be models of value, pride, and respect. If we talk the talk, then we must make every effort to walk the walk!


Have a blessed Monday – Memorial Day 2021!


Thank you for reading and sharing the blog.

Friday, May 28, 2021


POST #185 - Rising Seniors - It's your turn! - Day 6


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Continuing the rising Senior to-Do List....


16. Begin to research scholarships using a scholarship search engine such as fastweb.com. I really like this site - I normally advise all parents to help his/her rising senior with this process. With my own two children, I had all the scholarship info sent to me and determined which scholarships they would apply for and the ones they would ignore. If I had left the whole process up to them, they would have most likely ignored each and every scholarship - typical teenager - too busy to really understand how this process can help the entire family. In a senior's mind, they do not understand the cost, so as parents we have to help them understand.


17. Continue to update your junior year resume in prep for the senior year - this item will come in handy with both the college and scholarship applications as well as college and scholarship recommendations. Your resume is an outline of who you are so show diversity in your activities. Excellent templates are available online.


18. Develop a timeline with application due dates - beat deadlines by at least a week, maybe two weeks! With all that you have to do while in high school your senior year, it is most important to beat deadlines - there are no do overs in the college application process nor in the scholarship application process - deadlines are so important.


You know, high school is a once in a lifetime experience - do it right and college will be your 2nd once in a lifetime experience!


Have a glorious day!


Remember the blog will continue for this academic year through to June 18 and I welcome your questions. Share the blog with a friend!

Thursday, May 27, 2021


POST #184 - Preparation for Memorial Day! and

Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.om


Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Before we move forward with our discussion of what a rising senior should be doing to prepare for the college process, let's take a moment to discuss the true meaning of Memorial Day! This holiday is a special day for celebrating and honoring our men and women who have served in all branches of the military and have sadly lost their life for our freedoms.


This day was first established as Decoration Day in 1868 at the conclusion of the American Civil War. Many will take this day to visit a War Memorial or a specific soldier's grave site and some will attend Memorial Day events to honor our fallen soldiers. Whatever you choose to do with your day....wear the red, white, and blue with humble pride and love of our country. As adults, it is our responsibility to make certain our children understand the true meaning of this day and teach them the way to honor our men and women who have died serving in our military.


Enjoy next Monday and be thankful for our men and women who serve; they are a special group of individuals.


To continue our rising senior discussion:


The Senior year, starting now, is full of numerous things to do not counting the addition of college applications, scholarship applications, and FAFSA (Financial Aid), and the more a senior can do now - this summer - the better off the senior will be come September and fall! For the past several days, we have covered many things a senior should be doing to plan for the often overwhelming season of the college application process. Please take the time to go back to part one of this series of helpful hints for our rising seniors to make certain that you are planning to enter the new school year prepared to start the college application process.


Today, we pick up where I stopped yesterday - now on to #13....


13. You need to decide how you will apply to a college. Some schools offer three options where others only offer one or two. It is important to study each type. Here are your choices:


- Early Decision - This is a contract with ONE school only and you are saying if you accept me, I will drop all other applications and definitely attend. We will address more about this application process in the near future.


- Early Action - This is a non-binding process that you can use to apply to all your schools. It is simply saying to the college that you want a decision in the first round of applicants so that you can make the best decision possible as early as possible.


- Regular Decision - Most often the 2nd round of applicants considered in this group - for some schools this method is all that they offer.


14. Begin to think of those who you would like to write your recommendations - if a college requires them or accepts them - some do not care to see recommendations such as NC State. Have a diverse group of three - A teacher, A counselor, A coach, An employer, A volunteer supervisor, An intern supervisor, a minister, a friend - someone who knows you extremely well!


15. Some colleges require an interview - make certain you prepare for such an interview!


Have a great Thursday, and I hope all our students are using their summer to prepare and in a worthy manner!


Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, May 26, 2021


POST #183 - Rising Seniors - It's your turn! - Day 4


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


We will continue our talk about how a rising senior can best prepare for the college application process now....


10. Plan for fall testing.


ACT in July, September, October, December go to act.org to register for a test


SAT in August, October, November, December go to collegeboard.org to register for a test


Colleges do not require a senior year test score, but they highly recommend it!


11. Refine your college list - Have at least 2 to 3 Sure-Bet schools - these are schools that there is no doubt that you can get into - talk to a school counselor they can help you with this refinement. Have at least 2 to 3 At-Risk schools on the list - these are schools that you meet all but maybe one requirement and you might exceed the requirement in one area but be weak in another. And, finally, have at least 2 to 3 Dream schools - those schools that you know are extremely difficult even for the best of the best to gain entrance - always apply to your dream schools!


12. Make your college lists understanding the financial obligations at each school - have an honest talk with your parents or guardians about how such costs will affect the family finances.This talk is most important to do prior to the application process - To the parents out there: your children need to fully understand what you as a parent can handle and what you cannot!


It is Wednesday - the end of school is quickly approaching - graduations abound - be safe - enjoy your celebrations with family and friends!


Hats off to all the graduates and their families - hats off to the teachers, counselors and staff, and hats off to all the administration! Great job!! It has been a difficult year, but times are improving and next year will bring new and better things.


Have a great Wednesday and it is time to start preparing for an extraordinary weekend - it has an extra day in it!

Tuesday, May 25, 2021


POST #182 - Rising Seniors - It's your turn! - Day 3


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Rising Seniors...continuing our discussion from the last two days...


7. Make certain you are showing interest in your college(s) by communicating with a college admissions representative and by making campus visits. Some colleges use level of interest as part of their admission process.


8. Go online to each college website and register for an account on the prospective student portal. At NCSU, it is the Wolfpaw for example. This action should be taken now so that you will begin to receive important emails with notices of upcoming events for future students. This action is of the utmost importance.


9. Open an account on the Common App Website if you are planning to apply to a college or colleges who accept the common app application. It is okay to do that now - data put in now will be maintained even though the system will be cleaned during July of all old info. Colleges will not have their part on the Common App completed until the first of August.


Make certain you are reading all the blog posts to fully understand what a rising senior should be doing to make the college application process easier this fall.


Have a wonderful Tuesday - enjoy this nice weather - I hear it is supposed to get hotter and more humid at the end of this week - Thursday and Friday!

Monday, May 24, 2021


POST #181 - Rising Seniors - It's your turn! - Day 2


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Okay rising seniors let's continue our conversation we started last Friday about things you should be doing to prepare for next year...


Yesterday, we listed three things! Today, three more things...


4. Intensify your school and community activities. Take an active role in clubs and sports. Be a leader! Seek things to do this summer - find a way to help others.


5. Begin to research Scholarships. Develop a profile on the scholarship search site: fastweb.com. It is awesome!


6. Create your profile on each and every college website that you are even remotely considering applying to is a good use of your summer time! These colleges will then begin to email you about scholarships, admission info, deadlines, and all things college planning.


Email me your questions at the email address above.


Have a wonderful Monday!


Tomorrow more on this subject!

Friday, May 21, 2021


POST #180 - Rising Seniors - It's your turn! - Day 1


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


For the past several days, almost two weeks, we have discussed what a rising 9th grader, rising 10th grader, and rising 11th grader should be doing in prep for the college process. Now, what are the rising 12th graders supposed to be doing now and throughout the senior year?


We will cover three things per day for the next several days....so stay tuned to the blog and tell your friends. I welcome questions via the email address above in blue!


1. I have talked about this subject often - senior year schedule - it should look like you are a serious student; one who knows he/she will be attending college! Your senior year schedule needs to show growth from your previous years. If you have only taken one AP, take two your senior year or even three. If you have never taken any honors courses, then schedule to take two or three - show that you are not freely skating in your senior year! The senior year coursework is so very important - even more now that many schools are test optional.


2. As exams approach to end your junior year, finish strong! These are the last grades colleges/universities will see when you apply to college next year so you want these grades to be strong and worthy of the colleges you plan to apply to in the college application process.


3. Make use of your summer by visiting the colleges/universities you are most interested in applying to next fall! College visits are most important in this process. I know with my own two children they were able to use the college visits to narrow their college list. They could walk on a campus - visiting the cafeteria and the student store - and say..."Yes, I can see myself here OR No, I cannot see myself here!" Visit....Please!! Check with each school first to see if you can register for a formal tour or if an informal tour (one you create for yourself) is possible. Lot’s of colleges are opening up to prospective students to actually come on campus. Check out the college’s website - it should be clear as to their stance on visits - formal or informal.


Next Monday, we will continue this discussion!


Have a wonderful Friday and an outstanding weekend! It sounds like it is going to be a hot one! I am not a fan of 90+ degree weather! Ugh!!

Thursday, May 20, 2021


POST #179 - What age or grade should my child start planning for college?

Day 8 - Rising 11th Graders Please Read!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Today is the last of the list our rising juniors should be doing in prep for the college process. So, let's continue where we left off...


14. Make a testing plan - beyond planning to take the PSAT in October - plan now for the dates you will take the SAT - it is offered in August, October, November, December, March, May and June. Also, plan to take the free ACT in February of 2022 at your high school and then decide if you will continue to take it. Most importantly, make a plan - I suggest 2 times in the Fall and 2 times in the Spring with at least one testing your senior year.


15. Use your past test results to help you plan for future testing.


16. Don't just sign up to take the SAT and ACT, but prep to take the test. I teach strategies for both the SAT and ACT, and yes, there are ways to prepare for both of these tests.


17. During this summer and during various times throughout this school year, talk honestly with your parents and parents talk honestly with your child about finances. Allow your children to dream within your limitations. I told my own children that they would graduate from college with less than $20,000 in debt - it can be done if you work together and plan together!


18. Know the financial aid process!


This concludes the junior plan for the college process. Next, we will start the rising senior’s planning process.


Have a wonderful Thursday! Get ready for exams! Finish Strong!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021


POST #178 - What age or grade should my child start planning for college?

Day 7 - Rising 11th Graders Please Read!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Continued from yesterday and the days before....


11. Sometime this summer or as soon as school starts next year, make it a point to meet with your school counselor to talk about your college choices. This person can offer a wealth of information that might help you narrow your list.


12. Begin to create your activity resume. It should be a resume that covers your school activities, your community activities, work and/or volunteer experience, and your interests.


13. This Fall TAKE the PSAT!! IT is important to take the PSAT in junior year because it is the only year it counts toward the national scholarship search. It is offered in October each year and only then!


More on tomorrow - ....and please continue to follow the blog through June.


Have a wonderful Wednesday and start getting ready for another great weekend!

Tuesday, May 18, 2021


POST #177 - What age or grade should my child start planning for college?

Day 6 - Rising 11th Graders Please Read!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


To further talk on this subject of preparing for the college planning process, we must continue where we left off yesterday.


7. If you are not a reader, please read - read for pleasure - read classics, read modern, read magazines, newspapers, simply read! Reading for pleasure will benefit you on your SAT and ACT testing - please read! Also, read a book for pleasure because many colleges ask what was the last book you have read for pleasure - why did you choose to read it and what did you learn from it?


8. Begin to research colleges and universities online and create a list - don't think about money at this point - dream as you research. Make a big list of about 20 colleges.


9. Make your parents part of your conversation about college. Get their input and advice.


10. Make your teachers and other respected adults part of your conversation as well - ask questions - continue to seek input and advice.


Have a wonderful Tuesday!


Tell a friend about the blog!

Monday, May 17, 2021


POST #176 - What age or grade should my child start planning for college?

Day 5 - Rising 11th Graders Please Read!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Okay, today let's continue to chart our path as a rising 11th grader in our journey of college planning.


Continued from last Friday's blog post (see numbers 1 to 3 in last Friday's post):


4. Make certain to use your summer, fall, and spring of 2021 - 2022 to attend college fairs and college presentations - most are easy to attend as many have made virtual fairs and presentations for students. Make certain to connect with admission representatives on each and every campus you are interested in attending. These admission reps are the ones who will make up your admission committee! Take advantage to meet as many as you can. Most school admission offices are setting up FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, GoogleMeet sessions to make it easy for students.


5. Take time to calculate your chances at each school - know their requirements and see where you stand with past classes. They post this information on their Website starting in July of each year. For example, if you have an SAT of 1240 Reading and Math ONLY and the college accepted students last year averaging a 1350 then you know you need to continue to take the SAT to get your best score up to or exceed the previous average!


6. This summer, fall, spring - visit colleges. Informally and formally - which means to go for scheduled tours (these are beginning to return to many campuses) and unscheduled tours. Sometimes you learn more from unscheduled tours.


Tomorrow we will continue this conversation!


Have a wonderful Monday!

Friday, May 14, 2021


POST #175 - What age or grade should my child start planning for college?

Day 4 - Rising 11th Graders Please Read!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


It is now time for us to continue on our journey of college planning - we have already talked about 9th and 10th grade - let's start the talk about 11th grade planning.


1. Continue taking challenging courses and if you haven't been...then start - show growth in your schedule. If you took Honors English I and II and made an A or a B in the courses then please consider showing growth by taking AP English III.


2. In addition to showing growth in the classroom through your schedule, please also show growth in your school and community activities. Colleges look for students who take initiative and leadership roles on teams and organizations.


3. Get ready to gear up and take the SAT and ACT. Plan to take the SAT at least twice this fall and at least twice in the spring. Plan to take the ACT for the first time in February of your junior year when the state provides a free test administration the last Tuesday in the month of February. If you like the test, then continue to take the ACT. Make a testing plan now and stick to it.


These three "things to do as an 11th grader" are just the beginning of a long list that we will be discussing as time evolves.


Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!


As school is drawing to a close this year, finish strong! Study for your exams!

Thursday, May 13, 2021


POST #174 - What age or grade should my child start planning for college?

Day 3 - Rising 10th Graders Please Read!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Calling all 10th graders and soon to be 10th Graders and even those who want to think ahead:


Okay - you have successfully completed your Freshman year....so now what? Continue planning and doing the things you know will help you with your College and Career pursuits. It is not a time to get lazy and rest on your laurels - it is really a time to get busy!


Here are some simple suggestions about the Sophomore Year of high school:


1. Continue to connect with your school counselor and teachers at your school. Ask questions and be proactive. Don't sit back and wait for them to come to you - they have hundreds of students they are dealing with on a daily basis - be your own advocate and go ask questions. There are no stupid questions in the college and career process. Also valuable to you at your high school is the career center and the individual who maintains it! Seek help and seek advice!


2. I know registration is over for this year, but if you did not make wise choices and now regret it - please go and talk to the counselor and get it right! You only have one chance to get your sophomore year done right so take advantage of the end of the school year and the summer months for doing just that. You need a challenging group of eight courses and you need to show growth in your course work from 9th grade to 10th grade. For example, if you took regular English I your 9th grade year and made an A or a B in the course, please show growth by taking Honors English II.


3. As the school year progresses, along with your family, take day trips to various colleges for an informal tour. Get a feel for the campus. As I said yesterday, always visit the cafeteria (and eat there too), the student store, and a dorm or two. These places give you a true feeling of the campus environment and a taste of the food!


4. Evaluate your high school involvement. If you only joined one club as a freshman, it would be my advice to find at least one more to be active in as a sophomore. As well as showing academic growth in the courses you take, you should also show growth in your school and community activities. For example, if you had membership in one club as a 9th grader - continue with that club and join a club committee while adding at least another club to your list. Think about joining a school athletic team or working as a volunteer at a local bread basket. In other words, get involved.


5. Make certain to take advantage of all College Fairs in the area as you enter the fall. We will have one in October and the Raleigh area will have a national college fair in March 2022. I will keep you informed of these dates. This past year several college fairs were offered virtually, so expect to see that again as we enter the fall and into the spring semesters.


6. In the fall, take the PSAT (must sign up through your school - I will keep you updated on the date and the Pre ACT (given at all high schools to 10th graders in the fall as part of the state testing plan). Schools decide the date of the Pre ACT so listen to your announcements.


7. In the spring, plan to take your first SAT in May or June just to get a baseline score for your strengths and weaknesses.


Have a wonderful Thursday!


Tell a Friend about the blog!

Wednesday, May 12, 2021


POST #173 - What age or grade should my child start planning for college?

Day 2 - Rising 9th Graders Please Read!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Planning for college or a career is an overwhelming process, and it is often difficult to begin the process because you may not know how to start such an overwhelming process. The earlier the student begins the process the more likelihood the student will develop far more opportunities at the end of the process! If the student waits to begin the process during the senior year or junior year, not only are the opportunities narrowed but the process is even more overwhelming.


Think of it this way....


Knowing what I know now, how should I approach the college planning process as a student entering high school next year as a Freshman? Here are some opportunities to explore:


1. While traveling this summer on vacation or as you play with your travel ball team or go to a family wedding or on a family vacation (something we are all wanting to do) - whatever the travel - take the time to visit any and all colleges and universities during the course of your travels - even the colleges and universities you have never considered. Be open minded! While on each campus, always visit the cafeteria, student store, and a dorm or two - this gives the student the best idea of student life on the campus. At this point, it does not have to be a formal tour - just the student and the family walking the campus speaking to students. First, check with colleges to see if informal visits are okay - many are at this point and allowing informal visits.


2. Take time this summer to set up an appointment with your school counselor to talk about your upcoming schedule - particularly, if you are worried you did not ask for a challenging course load. The Freshman year is so important to.....


A. Be Challenged and equally balanced


B. But not overwhelming - students need to get a good start at their high school career.


3. Students should begin to talk honestly about their college hopes and dreams with their parents and parents need to be honest with their children. When my children began this process, I was very honest with them - you can apply anywhere you want to go, but because our state has such wonderful public universities and the cost is far more reasonable than any private or out-of-state school.... my responsibility is to pay up to but no more than what it would cost to attend one of these state universities. Any cost above a state university had to be fulfilled by scholarships, grants, work study and so forth! As most of you know, both of my children ended up and graduated from two very prominent private institutions in North Carolina - my son...High Point University and my daughter...Guilford College. Both followed my requirements - as a matter of fact they far exceeded my requirements - I never paid more than $5,000 any one year for my son to attend HPU and my daughter received a full academic scholarship to attend Guilford College, so I never paid a dime for her attendance at Guilford. It is because they planned, and they planned early and wisely I might add!


4. Prepare to start your freshman year of high school with the attitude that you can do anything and when it gets hard ..... get help!


5. Get involved in school and community activities!!


Okay future Chatham County 9th graders - this is your plan.


Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 11, 2021


POST #172 - What age or grade should my child start planning for college?


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


The question is....When should I start planning for college?


Some think: Oh, that is done your senior year of high school and sadly most feel this way - applying to college and for scholarships and financial aid - yep Senior year!


Others think: It is best to get an early start on college by planning during my junior year!


Yet others believe: When I enter high school, I need to begin to plan for college!


A few think: As soon as my child is born, I need to plan for college!


So...what is the real answer to the question?


I watched on TV a clip about a family of five siblings who all have graduated over a 22 year period from Boston College with the youngest sibling graduating just a few years ago. Their father, a night custodian at Boston College, told each of his five children from an early age that he expected each child to go to college - no exceptions! Consequently, college was always a part of the family conversation and each child never questioned - do I go to college or not - but where am I going to college! So yes, think college from an early age - and most importantly....plan for college from an early age.


The father of this story made approximately $60,000 a year - it costs $65,000 a year to attend BC. WoW! 65,000 X 4 years = $260,000 per child to attend BC X 5 children =$1,300,000. Because the father worked for BC, any child accepted could go tuition free. The father said that he had paid less than $3000 per year for each child to attend because of this BC allowance as well as scholarships the children acquired for attendance. Wow X 5!!! He expected and the children delivered! The key was that they had a goal of applying to BC with the hopes of being accepted and to get into BC - you have to be a really good student! They worked hard and it paid off!


Once you as parents make it a constant conversation in your house at a very young age, then create opportunity by encouraging your children to explore career opportunities.

Talk about it early and set the expectation. Get serious about the planning process while in middle school; and as you plan your schedule for your 9th grade year - make certain to create a 4 year high school plan. As each year of high school approaches, deepen your plan with details and options. Over the next few days, we will discuss your steps at each grade level.


Enjoy your Tuesday! The end of the school year is fast approaching!!


Tell you friends to read the blog!

Monday, May 10, 2021


POST #171 - Encourage others to read the blog and ask questions!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Hi readers, I am speaking directly to my current readers asking that you take the time to tell others about the blog. I want the blog’s posts to be what you want to know about in the career and college planning. I ask that you tell others about the blog, and I also ask that you send me your questions so that I can answer the questions you have about the college planning process.


For parents, this college process is so different from what you experienced when you were applying to college and for some parents this is your first go-around with the college process anyway, so please read the blog to help you sort out the issues that concern you and even more - send me your questions - I do not use names or specifics...I will only talk in general terms when answering your questions, or at times, I use my own personal experiences.

I look forward to seeing the readership continue to grow!


Have a wonderful Monday and I hope all the mom’s out in blog land had a great Mother’s Day yesterday!

Friday, May 7, 2021



POST #170 - A Spring Acceptance - Please explain this option! More on this subject!

Day 3


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Finally, today...let's be honest with some advice for those seniors who have a spring admit:


1. When you start in the spring, please, please don't over do it. Yes, you are a bit behind your fellow freshmen classmates by missing the fall semester, but you can't assume you are going to make it all up in one semester. Take no more than 15 hours and no fewer than 12 hours - find your happy number of credit hours. Have a heart to heart with your college adviser. It is most imperative that you allow time to soak in the campus and its surroundings - find a club to get involved in and take part in the school.


2. Make a wise decision - you know all your friends are planning to start college in the fall and you want that too so you begin thinking you will go ahead and select another school just to get things going like everyone else. Big mistake! If your first college choice is the one that has accepted you on a late arrival start for the Spring - please don't make the mistake of going somewhere else just because you have a less than desirable start date. Be a trendster - be a difference maker - make your own path by choosing what is right for you. You could take courses through a community college.


3. Make certain to get on-campus housing for your spring start - it is the quickest way to feel a part of the school, its environment, and its atmosphere!


4. If you desperately want a fall start, go to the admission office and state your case. By the mid to late summer, they might actually have a spot for you for the fall. It doesn't hurt to ask and to let your wants known!


You are your own best advocate! Go for it - along the way there will be some nos, but there will also be yeses!!


Have a wonderful Friday and the best weekend celebrating the mom in your life!!


Remember - tell your friends about the blog!

Thursday, May 6, 2021


POST #169 - A Spring Acceptance - Please explain this option! More on this subject!

Day #2


Email: beyondtheclassrom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Yesterday, we spent time on the positives of receiving a delayed acceptance at a college - such as starting in January instead of the traditional Fall semester in August. It has become a popular avenue for some colleges.


Here are some drawbacks (negatives):


1. You will see that the Spring semester offers FEWER Intro-level or Introductory level courses during the Spring Semester. This issue can be a real bummer. Tomorrow, we will discuss how best to overcome this issue.


2. There are several things you will miss that are often events students need in the beginning semester of college. For example, you will miss Freshman Orientation and the new student socializing events that occur at the very beginning of the school year. This delayed entrance could delay your entrance into Greek Life if you are pursuing this avenue while in college. Additionally, many of the clubs hold open admission only at the beginning of a school year, so you will have to wait until the following fall for joining many clubs and organizations.


3. Friendships will already be established particularly in the roommate arena. Even moving into a dorm room where the roommate might have had the opportunity to have the room completely to him/herself. My daughter had this situation. She had lived in her room completely by herself for the entire first semester and then she was assigned a roommate for the Spring semester - it was an adjustment for my daughter - she had to share a closet and other items in her room that she did not have to do during the first semester. Lots of folks have to adjust to the new situation.


4. Due to starting a semester late, you may have to delay your graduation or to get your graduation back on track, you might want to consider attending summer school to make up for the lost semester.


In another post, I am going to give you some constructive things to consider doing the Fall semester while you wait for your Spring entrance!


Have a great Thursday! Keep in mind the school year is drawing to a quick end so be on your toes with your grades!!! Make certain you are up to date on all assignments - if not, talk to your teacher and make plans to complete any and all late work.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021


POST #168 - A Spring Acceptance - Please explain this acceptance option!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Yes, more and more colleges are accepting students for the Spring semester instead of the Fall semester. - meaning students start a semester late.


Granted, the largest majority of incoming freshmen are entering in the traditional Fall, but colleges have gotten really good at predicting the number of those entering in the Fall who might not make it to the Spring and they want those seats filled.


For example, I know UNC Wilmington and Appalachian are two colleges with such an acceptance practice, and I am now hearing of others such as NCSU. The Spring semester also has students who have graduated at the end of the Fall semester and many students choose to study abroad during the Spring Semester opening up spots on campus housing and classroom space.


Here are some possible advantages of starting in the Spring semester:


1. The campus is settled and far less hectic in the Spring because all the students are settled into their housing and their course work. Consequently, you can have a smooth, peaceful start to your college career.


2. The delayed start allows you to have some needed time for yourself. Maybe, you should consider some constructive opportunities that we are going to talk about in an upcoming blog post.


3. The delayed start allows for you to do any academic catchup. Your college may offer some online classes that will prepare you for college level work or you can attend a local community college in the fall to take general education courses that will transfer.


Tomorrow - we will discuss the drawbacks of a delayed Spring entry. And we will eventually discuss in a post things you might want to consider doing while being delayed!


Tune in tomorrow for more on this subject.


Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 4, 2021


POST #167 - Juniors....Let's get started with the college process!

Are you ready? - Day 10


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Have you ever heard someone ask: Are we there yet? Yep, I have too! And I know you are wondering if we are there yet after all my talk about the college process over the last week or so - you are saying .... Are we there yet? In most cases, yes we are there but only in the talk phase....now it is time for the do phase.


Have you ever heard an individual say...You are what you eat? Sure you have and I am a firm believer that we are indeed what we eat!


For us as we plan for college...we are what we plan.


If we choose to plan on occasion, then we will occasionally reap a success.


If we choose to plan nothing, then we will find ourselves, in a way, behind the eight-ball with nothing.


However, if we plan and plan wisely with thought and discussion with those who have experience, if we research, then we will find success in the outcomes of our plans.


Please take the time today to read back over all the last 10 posts and begin to take action now so that success will be discovered in the college application process.


Do not wait and if you haven't already started then you are behind! Take heed - be what you plan so you can create your path and know when you have arrived!


Share the post!


Happy Tuesday - It's a beautiful day to make a plan!


Thanks for reading! Until tomorrow! Tell others about the blog!

Monday, May 3, 2021


POST #166 - Juniors....Let's get started with the college process!

Are you ready? - Day 9


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


If you are a junior, use your summer wisely to impress colleges! Find something academic to expand your knowledge by attending a summer program in an area of interests.


Or, if the opportunity arises, travel with your family within the United States or outside our country.


Or, get a job where you show responsibility and dependability.


Or, volunteer in the community - not because it will look good on a resume but because you desire to help your community in a way that you genuinely enjoy such as if you are a baseball player then volunteer with the local recreation department or help with the Miracle League of the Triangle.


Find something that you enjoy doing and do it for others - pay it forward!


Also, and most importantly, spend this summer visiting colleges and universities - visit all those that you are even considering applying to this fall. In this time of COVID - visit on your own - walk the campus - visit the student store - eat a meal on campus if you are allowed to do so!


Thanks for reading the blog and please share it with others who are juniors and anyone who is in high school and those in 7th and 8th grade as well.


Send me your questions, comments, concerns - use the email at the top of this post.


Have a wonderful Monday. Get the month of May off to a great start.

Friday, April 30, 2021


POST #165 - Juniors....Let's get started with the college process!

Are you ready? - Day 8


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


We have covered a lot of material over the last couple of weeks - material that is most important for our current juniors as they begin the college application process.


Today, we continue this path. I want our Chatham County Juniors as well as others who read the blog to get a head start on the college application process. One of the most important things any junior can be doing now and throughout the summer is to set up their access to each college and most colleges have what they call a student portal.


For example, at NCSU it is the Wolfpaw.....at UNC Wilmington it is the Seahawk….and at others they have no name - they simply call it the student portal or student account.


Please take the time to set these portals up at all the schools you think you will be applying to.

Other places to set up a portal is on CommonApp.org, fastweb.com, cfnc.org, etc. Each of these websites serve a vital role in the college application process and need to be fully utilized during this stressful time.


Setting up your portals now (as long as the school or organization states that it will transfer info from this current year into the next year) is most important. Give it a try as soon as school ends this year, and be prepared for the admission process next year.


Check out the portals on each college website - if you have questions - email me at the email above!


Have a great Friday!! (and a great weekend!!)

Thursday, April 29, 2021


POST #164 - Juniors....Let's get started with the college process!

Are your ready? - Day 7


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


The college essays have become one of the most important aspects of the college application process, particularly since the beginning of the pandemic. And, as I have addressed before on the blog, your college application is not only for admission but for review by scholarship personnel for merit scholarships so the application must be worthy of both. Consequently, students must put the extra effort into the essay portion of the application. It can benefit the student in more than one way!


We talked about the Common App essays yesterday - what about the essays for colleges that do not use the Common App - well most of those schools will not post new applications until August 1 or after and some as late as after Labor Day. Then there are some other schools, such as Wake Forest University, who have already advanced their admission software into next year and students are able to begin the application process now! Wow!


Some schools are using a video essay where students have to do a 3 to 5 minute video essay. This means the student might answer a question or complete a Tell me about yourself type of question by taping their answer. I do believe this video essay is the new wave and many schools, particularly your northern schools are starting this process this fall. It is a good way for them to see the passion a student has for attending their school. Writing/scripting an answer is the first step.


The essay is major - take it seriously! We will address it even more as we progress.


Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, April 28, 2021


POST #163 - Juniors....Let's get started with the college process!

Are you ready? - Day 6


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Another aspect juniors can begin to work on now and this summer in prep for the college application season next fall is the essay. As a matter of fact, the common app has already stated that the following essays will be the essays used for the upcoming year:


2021 - 2022 Essay Prompts (These prompts are copied off the Common App Website)


  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

  2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

  3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

  4. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?

  5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

  6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

  7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.


Let's talk more about this essay process tomorrow!


Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 27, 2021


POST #162 - Juniors....Let's get started with the college process! Are your ready? - Day 5


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Juniors need to be taking the SAT and/or the ACT in June - a couple of weeks ago I urged all juniors to consider signing up as the deadline in May was approaching! If you miss the deadline, please register late!


SAT

JUNE 5 TEST DATE - MUST register by MAY 6th - Late registration MAY 26 Late fee charged

Go to collegeboard.com to register.


ACT

JUNE 12 TEST DATE - Must register by MAY 7th - Late registration MAY 21 Late fee charged

Go to act.org to register.



As juniors, please start taking the tests now. I know times are different with some colleges waiving test scores, but test scores can be an excellent addition to a student’s application.

My advice to those struggling with the testing issue or those wanting to up their scores - reach out for help - with the right prep you can improve and do extremely well on this test!


I cannot stress it enough to all the juniors out there in blog land - please sign up to take the SAT and/or the ACT and seek help from someone who can help you overcome your weaknesses and continue to strengthen your strengths! Huge group prep courses speak to the masses; I advise you to seek individual test prep instruction in order to see a larger increase in your scores.


If you have questions about testing, please take the time to email me your questions at the email listed above.


Happy, happy Tuesday - Keep plugging along and to all the AP test takers - it is almost time to show what you have learned!

Monday, April 26, 2021


POST #161 - Juniors....Let's get started with the college process! Are your ready? - Day 4


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


It's Monday and we are ready for the week, and we have lots to talk about today as we continue to speak directly to our Juniors concerning their college prep plans.


So far we have discussed some important issues that juniors should be thinking about as they begin to develop a college/university list of schools in anticipation of the senior year fall college process - finishing strong this year, making certain they have signed up for the best courses for senior year, starting that list of colleges.


Today, it will be important for all juniors to find out their weighted GPA, their unweighted GPA, as well as their Class Rank. Colleges look at both the weighted and unweighted GPAs as they process applications. Now, granted you will not know your new GPA until mid to late summer - likely the 2nd week of July, and if not then, it should be one of the first things you find out as you return to school next year if not before.


You need to know this information to see which schools on your list are your sure-bets, at-risk, and dream schools. The GPA weighted and unweighted will allow students the opportunity to define the schools on their list by GPA. Also, Class Rank is an important issue to many and most colleges - it is the only way for a college to compare you with other students who have experienced the exact same opportunities as you have experienced. Remember, these numbers this year are the final numbers that will be used on all your college applications and all scholarship applications. It is extremely wise to know exactly where you stand.


It is also wise to calculate a Core GPA - take all your English, math, science, social studies, and foreign language grades from each and every year and add up the grades and then divide by the number of courses included to attain a Core GPA - know this because many colleges are actually using only a Core GPA for admission purposes.


We will continue this conversation tomorrow!


Have a wonderful start to this last week of April! I hope all students are preparing well for their AP tests.


Not many weeks remaining in this 2020-21 school year - remember to finish strong!


Have a fantastic Monday and an outstanding week!

Friday, April 23, 2021


POST #160 - Juniors....Let's get started with the college process! Are your ready? - Day 3


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


So, yesterday, it was all about showing growth in your class schedule for next year as a senior - DO NOT SLACK OFF - STAY STRONG - Show Growth! Colleges will look at your senior year as well as all the other years. Remember, the first thing colleges look at is the level of your coursework over the four year period of high school.


Today, it is about finishing strong this year! Make certain your grades are up above average and you are shooting for A's! Tie up all loose ends in your coursework. Talk to your teachers and prepare for your exams! The grades you finish with this semester are the last grades most colleges will see in the admission process so you must finish strong. Show colleges that you are a serious student preparing for the rigors of college.


Study for your exams - leave no stone unturned. In essence, these grades may serve as the deciding factor in your admission at your dream school. If you are struggling - seek help from your teacher, a tutor, a friend, no matter who simply seek help. Form study groups to get through the pitfalls of exams. Meet with your teacher if you are having an issue in the class and ask for ways to improve in the last 8 to 9 weeks of school. Please don’t sit back and do nothing.


Remember the second thing colleges look at on an application are the grades! So, stay strong,

stay focused and finish your junior year strong!!!


Have a great Friday and an awesome weekend!

Thursday, April 22, 2021


POST #159 - Juniors....Let's get started with the college process! Are your ready? - Day 2

Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com


Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


I absolutely love this time of year. It is like a ready, set, go race. Sadly, many juniors will wait until they are seniors next year in September and October to begin their college process, but I beg you to consider starting now. No time like the present!


Yesterday, I talked about making a list of colleges/universities that you are interested in attending. On that list, you need to have schools that are a sure bet - no doubt that you can be admitted - you know this by the requirements - you meet them all and exceed most of them. Then you need to have At-Risk schools - schools that you meet some but not all of the requirements or that you are very close to meeting the requirements and finally you need your dream schools - schools that you qualify for but they are highly selective and even if you qualify you might not get in because lots of good highly qualified students are rejected.


Over the next few days we are going to talk about several different things that are important to your college application package.


Today - it’s the courses you take. Examine your transcript and schedule for next year - your senior year. Please, Please make certain you are NOT taking an easy senior year - that in itself is a huge turn off for all colleges and universities from sure-bets to at-risk to dream schools. Remember curriculum is about showing growth so if you took 2 AP and 3 honors courses as a junior then you want to show growth by taking at least 3 AP and 4 honors courses in your senior year. This is one of the most important aspects of the college admissions process. If your senior schedule does not have enough academic rigor in it, then it could be your downfall to an acceptance - don't let that be you! Please!


Show growth!


Have a great Thursday!! More tomorrow for our juniors starting the college process.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021


POST #158 - Juniors....Let's get started with the college process! Are your ready? - Day 1

Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com


Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Chatham County juniors - it is your turn! Yes, your turn to begin preparing for the college application process! Yikes! Are you ready? If you aren't, then you need to begin to get ready. Thursday, May 6th is the deadline to register for the June 5th SAT and Friday, May 7th is the deadline to register for the June 12th ACT! Go for both!


If you qualify, pay with a fee waiver that you can obtain from one of your school counselors. If you don’t know if you qualify, talk with your counselor. They can be extremely helpful. Juniors should be taking at least one of these exams if not both!! Please do not procrastinate - deadlines are important now and particularly next fall.


Even though schools may allow you to waive score submission, it is better to have a score just in case it can benefit your application or a school does in fact require a score.


Also, make a serious list of colleges/universities that you are considering. This list might be as many as 10 or 12 but definitely at least 6 to 8. Remember to make your list of colleges with dream schools (these are schools that seem impossible to gain admission), at-risk school (these are highly selective schools but you meet more of their requirements than not), and, of course, some sure-bet schools (these are schools that you meet all the requirements or exceed all requirements)!


I always like to get the whole family involved in this college list making. Try this: each member of the family - student, mom, dad, brother, sister, grand parent or others, make a list of 10 schools that you feel are schools the student should consider then see which schools overlap on all lists - these would certainly be strong candidates and then the next largest number suggested and so on. From there, make a final list! This activity could be fun and who knows maybe you, the student, will be willing to think about schools you never even considered!


Give it a try!


Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 20, 2021


POST #157 - How do I know the score needed on an AP exam at my college of choice?


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


To continue our discussion yesterday of AP……


This question is a common one -


How do I know the score needed on an AP exam at my college of choice? -

and it is the type of question that can only be answered by each individual college or university.


For example, one college might accept a score of a 5 on an AP test for college credit, another college/university might only require a 3.


So, when you are making your college list, check each one of your schools out for AP credit by looking at the school's website. This can be done by typing in the search box on the college/university website - AP credit or AP scores for credit. All colleges who accept AP Credits will have a section on their website devoted to AP scores and how the score transfers to college credit.


For example, at NCSU if a student scores a 3 or 4 on the AP U. S. History Exam then he/she receives 3 hours of credit for HI 252 and if a student scores a 5 on the AP U. S. History Exam then he/she receives 6 hours of credit for HI 251 and HI 252.


Every school is different - some will only accept a 5 to receive credit and others might accept the above. Check out each school's website!


Best news of all - since July 1, 2019 our UNC system schools made a uniform decision about AP scores and credit:


“The Advanced Placement credit acceptance policy has been implemented at all 16 universities within the System. No matter which institution you attend in the UNC System, you will receive course credit for a score of “three” or higher on your AP exams,” per the UNC system spokesperson.


Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, April 19, 2021


POST #156 - AP Exams!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


AP Exams start soon.


These exams are provided by funding from the state so all students taking the course work should most definitely take the exams. Students have until June 15, 2021 to withhold or cancel scores to be sent to their colleges. In July - likely mid July - scores are released to designated colleges and to students and their high schools. In late July, the AP Scholar Awards are sent to schools and students.


If your student is involved in AP testing, please make certain that they have a good night's sleep and that they eat a good breakfast. For questions about the AP policies and procedures go to the College Board Website at collegeboard.org and search AP Exams and students should ask their AP teachers important questions too. Also, the AP Testing Schedule is on the College Board Website.


Junior and Seniors - you have the choice of reporting AP Scores to colleges or NOT to report them.


Good luck to all of our students taking AP Exams - we wish you the best!


Have a great Monday!

Friday, April 16, 2021


POST #155 - Waitlist - Day 2!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Here are some things you should definitely do if you are on the waitlist at your top college:


1. Decide if you want to stay on the waitlist. Go to the college Website and follow the Waitlist Procedures. This is very important. Keep in mind: staying on the waitlist makes you last in line for all things at this college: courses, financial aid, housing, parking - all things!


2. Make plans to attend another college on your list of acceptances. Go ahead and send your deposit in to this school. By sending in your deposit, you are assured of having a place - room, course schedule, parking, financial aid if needed - you have a reserved spot!


3. Follow through with all paperwork for the college you accepted. Go to freshman orientation. Pick a roommate. Make certain you have somewhere to attend.


Finally…...


If I am waitlisted, how do I respond to the college?


1. Let them know you want to be on the waitlist list! Follow the college’s instructions to a "T."


2. Let them know you are willing to drop everything and respond with a yes no matter when you might hear - be late June or even July or first of August.


3. Write a letter to the college saying that you are willing to stay on the Waitlist until the very end. This letter should be very positive, short, and to the point.


4. Make certain to stay in contact with at least one admission counselor. Send an end of the year update on your grades, awards, accomplishments, etc.


5. Send a new letter of recommendation.


6. If you can say this, then do so: I will not need financial aid!


7. Don't overdo it: but be persistent!


No matter what...... follow the procedures presented by the college.


Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, April 15, 2021


POST #154 - Why am I Waitlisted?

Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com


Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


What is a college waitlist and why am I on it?


A college waitlist is a list of students who qualify for admittance and could possibly gain admittance to the college or university if the class does not fill by May 1.


In reality, colleges must wait to see how many students who have been offered admittance accept the invitation. They do not know this until after May 1. Being waitlisted does not guarantee your admittance; they are simply saying that if they have room then there is a chance you will be admitted.


Yes - waitlisting means you are continuing the college limbo, which at this point in time is not where a student desires to be. In essence, this means that the college wants you if they have room in the end - in June, but being on the waitlist most definitely does not mean I am in - so what now?


I first need to make certain I accept admission to another college and send in my deposit - my second choice school. It is important that you do not rely on being selected off the waitlist at your top school because it simply may not happen. Some schools will refund your deposit if your status on a waitlist changes for the better, yet others will not. It is imperative that you understand what your options are at both schools.


Tomorrow, more about the Waitlist situation!


Tell someone about the blog and encourage them to read!


Over the next few days we will discuss more about the Waitlist situation.


Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, April 14, 2021


POST #153 - May 1st is just around the corner!!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


With May 1 just around the corner, students who haven't made a decision about college need to be doing so post-haste. May 1 is the the day all colleges expect students to notify them of a decision. Is if Yes or a No?


How do I know I am ready to commit to just one school?


1. Have you compared your financial aid packages? This aspect is most important!


2. Have you attended events on various college campuses? Do you like the campus?


3. Have you discussed all aspects with your family - parents in particular? Definitely mom and dad need to be involved in this big decision!!


4. Have you discussed all aspects with a trusted counselor? Counselors often can bring up issues that need to be considered that students and parents haven’t even thought about.


5. Once you make a decision - notify the schools that you will not attend to have your application closed. This action is important so that other students can proceed with the process.


6. Make certain all paperwork is completed by any and all due dates! Please make certain of this requirement!


May 1 is approaching - follow each schools' procedures.


Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 13, 2021


POST #152 - Financial Aid Info - Day 3


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Yes, there are several things you can do when working with the college financial aid department.


1. Know the procedure your college requires for filing an appeal. This information is most likely posted on the college's financial aid website.


2. Make a decision whether you or your parent will contact the financial aid office. In talking with most financial aid officers, they all say that they are most impressed when the student makes the call. However, if the student cannot answer the questions that the individual will ask then it might be best if the parent or a spokesperson calls for the student.


3. It is imperative that you are prepared to provide the required documentation. This type of documentation could be birth certificates, court papers, letters from professionals that have known you such as school counselors or principals.


4. It is also important for you to know how attractive you are to the college. If you feel you are a student who the college sees as very desirable, then by all means ask for more merit aid particularly if your grades are strong and test scores are strong. If you have had contact with a professor or coach, then it might be wise for them to put in a good word for you.


5. It is of the utmost importance when seeking more aid to make certain you have other offers in hand when approaching your college - other offers of what you are seeking at this top school. Show them what other colleges are willing to give you to come to their college; it can make a huge difference.


6. Stay positive - do not give the college an ultimatum - like: "If you don't give me more money then I will not be able to attend this school!" Instead, explain why this college is your number one.


7. Remember your manners when talking to these individuals - say please and thenk you! Enough Said!!


I hope this info helps you and your parents talk with financial aid personnel.


Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, April 12, 2021


POST #151 - Financial Aid Info - Day 2


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


I hope you had a wonderful Spring Break. In case you took a break from the blog, please go back and read the posts from last week.


Suppose you are not happy with the financial aid package presented by your favorite college. If that is the case, then do the following:


1. Act quickly - Grants and scholarships go fast so do not sit on your package; but instead, react immediately.


2. Correct errors as quickly as possible.


3. Make certain to report any financial changes your family experiences by giving the college the new information as soon as possible.


4. These life changes that must be reported:


-Death


-Disability


-Divorce - separation - or remarriage


-Birth of a sibling


-Care of an elderly parent


5. These financial changes should be reported immediately


-Unemployment


-Lowered income


-Moved, Sold, or lost home


-Tuition for a sibling at a private school


-Sudden increase in child care expenses


-Number of siblings attending college


-Number of dependents change


6. Ask for more money


7. Ask for the college to change your costs of attendance


More tomorrow on how to work with your college!


Happy Monday....Have a wonderful day and a great week!

Friday, April 9, 2021


POST #150 - Understand your options of each financial aid package!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Many students are in the process of receiving numerous financial aid packages from the colleges where they have received admission acceptances which can make things extremely confusing.


In essence, each and every school a student applies to provides a financial package and many

are better than others so it is worth it to the student to examine each package for details.


Last year, I was working with a student who genuinely wanted to attend a specific private college in North Carolina. This particular student had an EFC - (Estimated Family Contribution) of $0 - the family could not contribute any money to the child's education.


Knowing this information, we were extremely hopeful that the college would use federal, state, and institutional monies to develop a strong financial aid package. This school’s cost is $47,000 per year to attend. When his financial aid package arrived, it was ridiculous - they had awarded him $20,000 of the $47,000 meaning this student with an EFC of $0 was going to have to pay $27,000 out of pocket - NO WAY!


This same student received a financial aid package from a public university that costs approximately $22,700 per year. He was awarded Federal, State, and institutional monies totaling $22,000 meaning the student with an EFC of $0 was responsible to pay $700. Sounds like a much better deal. Even though the later was a much better deal, it was not the student’s first choice. However, he knew a good deal when he saw it, and he accepted the 2nd financial aid package - which was a very wise decision.


Please study your packages and choose the school that gives you the best deal.


Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, April 8, 2021


POST #149 - UNC Virtual Event: Ask A Student!!!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


The following information is taken directly from a UNC System Email:


UNC SYSTEM VIRTUAL EVENT: ASK A STUDENT


During the week of April 12, 2021, we are hosting the first UNC System Ask a Student virtual panel for prospective students to learn more about campus life at the 16 UNC System universities.


A series of four LIVE virtual sessions will be hosted highlighting campus life and activities, academic opportunities, residence life, and more. Registrants will have the opportunity to submit questions to the panel when they register for each session or they can ask questions live during the event.


After each hour-long session, there will be an opportunity for students to join a 30-minute Zoom session with each individual institution where they can ask an Admissions Counselor specific questions about the admissions process.


Register for sessions below.


If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Bethany Meighen, Vice President for Student Affairs, at bdmeighen@northcarolina.edu.



SCHEDULE


Session 1 – Register at: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6322806900537883407


Monday, April 12 – 6:00pm to 7:00pm


Featuring: Elizabeth City State University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina State University, and UNC School of the Arts


Session 2 – Register at: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8350764838506640909


Tuesday, April 13 – 6:00pm to 7:00pm


Featuring: Fayetteville State University, UNC Asheville, UNC-Chapel Hill, and UNC Wilmington


Session 3 – Register at: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8688745916791965965


Wednesday, April 14 – 6:00pm to 7:00pm


Featuring: East Carolina University, UNC Greensboro, UNC Pembroke, and Winston-Salem State University


Session 4 – Register at: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8795997778523378957


Thursday, April 15 – 6:00pm to 7:00pm


Featuring: Appalachian State University, North Carolina Central University, UNC Charlotte, and Western Carolina University


Please plan to attend; it is just another great opportunity I have shared with you to learn more about the colleges in North Carolina.


Have a wonderful Thursday!

Wednesday, April 7, 2021


POST #148 - Day 4 More Myths about the Scholarship Search!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Today's Myths About Scholarships:


7. Many students believe that scholarships go to only students who need the money!


WRONG!


Granted some scholarships go to Need-based students and other scholarships go to students based on merit. Most scholarships give a brief understanding of there purpose. Don't leave it to chance - apply and let the committees decide.


8. Most students believe that their scholarship money will NOT affect their financial aid package.


WRONG!


This is definitely an incorrect assumption. If a student earns a scholarship of $5000 and a financial aid package of $20,000, then the $5,000 is subtracted from the $20,000 leaving the financial aid package $15,000.


Tuesday's Myths:


5. Many students think that most scholarships can pay their entire college!


Few - yes only a few - scholarships pay the entire 4 year college costs. The majority of college scholarships out there cover only a portion of college costs and often are only for one year.


6. Many students believe because they are so talented or athletically inclined the scholarships will come to them automatically!


Guess what - that is certainly a wrong assumption. In reality, there are lots of very talented young folks in this big, wide world and things don't just fall in your lap. Talent is helpful but lots goes into being a scholarship recipient such as character, good grades, service, leadership, and so on.


Monday's Myths:


3. Many believe that millions of scholarships go unclaimed!


The scholarships that go unclaimed are scholarships with unusual requirements such as a scholarship to only people with a certain last name going to a specific school, or the student must live in a specific hometown and attending a specific school with an odd major, or a company offers a scholarship in an unique major. Actually, most scholarships are competitive and are, in deed, claimed. So you must compete....go to fastweb.com and use this free scholarship search engine. It will help you find what you are qualified for as you apply to college.


4. Many students believe that scholarship applications are too much for the benefit!


When students say this type of statement, all I can say is that they are looking for an excuse not to do the work. Yes, some scholarship applications are long and lengthy, and some are not. The good thing is: once you have completed a few applications, it becomes easier and some things can be used more than once. Scholarships go to the students who are willing to do the work.


Last Friday's Myths:


1. Students can only apply for scholarships during their senior year of high school!


Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!


Start early and dates often fall during both the junior and senior year of high school and while you are attending your college during Freshman and Sophomore years specifically. Investigate early and be ready when the time approaches!


2. Only students with an "A" average receive scholarships!


Wrong again!


Scholarships are based on various reasons other then grades! Here are a few: Writing, Artistic ability, Musical ability, community service, leadership, etc. Some scholarships are based on financial need.


Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 6, 2021


POST #147 - Day 3 Myths about Scholarships!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Today's Myths: (continued from yesterday and last Friday)


5. Many students think that most scholarships can pay their entire college!


Few - yes only a few - scholarships pay the entire 4 year college costs. The majority of college scholarships out there cover only a portion of college costs and often are only for one year. Lots of students become scholarship savvy and learn to apply for lots of scholarships, and they put all of the scholarships together to pay a large portion of their college career.


6. Many students believe because they are so talented or athletically inclined the scholarships will come to them automatically!


WRONG!


Guess what - that is certainly a wrong assumption. In reality, there are lots of very talented young folks in this big, wide world and things don't just fall in your lap. Talent is helpful but lots goes into being a scholarship recipient such as character, good grades, service, leadership, and so on.


Monday's Myths:


3. Many believe that millions of scholarships go unclaimed!


The scholarships that go unclaimed are scholarships with unusual requirements such as a scholarship to only people with a certain name going to a specific school, or the student must live in a specific hometown and attend a specific school with an odd major, or a company offers a scholarship in an unique major. Actually, most scholarships are competitive and are, in deed, claimed. So you must compete....go to fastweb.com and use this free scholarship search engine. It will help you find what you are qualified for as you apply to college.


4. Many students believe that scholarship applications are too much for the benefit!


When students say this type of statement, all I can say is that they are looking for an excuse not to do the work. Yes, some scholarship applications are long and lengthy, and some are not. The good thing is: once you have completed a few applications, it becomes easier and some things can be used more than once. Scholarships go to the students who are willing to do the work.


Last Friday's Myths:


1. Students can only apply for scholarships during their senior year of high school!


Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!


Start early and dates often fall during both the junior and senior year of high school and while you are attending your college during Freshman and Sophomore years specifically. Investigate early and be ready when the time approaches!


2. Only students with an "A" average receive scholarships!


Wrong again!


Scholarships are based on various reasons other then grades! Here are a few: Writing, Artistic ability, Musical ability, community service, leadership, etc. Some scholarships are based on financial need.


Have a great Tuesday! Spring Break is so much fun - Enjoy it!

Monday, April 5, 2021


POST #146 - Day 2 on Myths of the Scholarship Search!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Today's continued Myths:


3. Many believe that millions of scholarships go unclaimed!


WRONG!


The scholarships that go unclaimed are scholarships with unusual requirements such as a scholarship to only people with a certain name going to a specific school, or the student must live in a specific hometown and attending a specific school with an odd major, or a company offers a scholarship in a unique major. Actually, most scholarships are competitive and are, in deed, claimed. So you must compete....go to fastweb.com and use this free scholarship search engine. It will help you find what you are qualified for as you apply to college.


4. Many students believe that scholarship applications are too much for the benefit!


WRONG!!


When students say this type of statement, all I can say is that these students are looking for an excuse not to do the work. Yes, some scholarship applications are long and lengthy and some are not. The good thing is: once you have completed a few applications, it becomes easier and some things can be used more than once. Scholarships go to the students who are willing to do the work. No one should expect money to simply be handed to them - there is work in anything worth doing!!


Friday's Myths:


1. Students can only apply for scholarships during their senior year of high school!


Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Start early and dates often fall during both the junior and senior year of high school and while you are attending your college during Freshman and Sophomore years specifically. Investigate early and be ready when the time approaches!


2. Only students with an "A" average receive scholarships!


Wrong again! Scholarships are based on various reasons other than grades! Here are a few: Writing, Artistic ability, Musical ability, community service, leadership, etc. Some scholarships are based on financial need.


Have a great Monday! Spring Break is awesome so enjoy it!


We will continue this discussion tomorrow.

Friday, April 2, 2021


POST #145 - Don't let these Myths about scholarships direct your path!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Today and next week, we will discuss the myths about the scholarship search!


Please read!!


1. Students can only apply for scholarships during their senior year of high school!


Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!


Start early and dates often fall during both the junior and senior year of high school and while you are attending your college during Freshman and Sophomore years specifically. Investigate early and be ready when the time approaches!


2. Only students with an "A" average receive scholarships!


Wrong again!


Scholarships are based on various reasons other than just grades! Here are a few:


Writing, Artistic ability, Musical ability, community service, leadership, etc. Some scholarships are based on financial need.


Monday we will add two more myths to the list!!


Have a great Friday, a great weekend, and continue enjoying your spring break!!

Thursday, April 1, 2021


POST #144 - What is so important about the May 1 Date?


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Happy April 1 - Not even going to go there - No April Fool’s Day info here!!!


We are one month away from May 1 - a very important date in the college process.


The date of May 1 is most important because it is the date all students must declare the one college/university he/she will attend. And, May 1 is fast approaching!! This month, the month of April, students need to be making decisions based on their:


- major


- the campus


- the financial aid package


- location


- various other aspects of the college/university.


To me, the most important item to consider is the financial aid package. Please make an effort to compare - write out the pros and cons of each package from each school. If you are unsatisfied with any package, before saying no, make a call to the school’s financial aid department and talk with your assigned financial aid counselor - see the director if necessary - tell him/her that the package they have provided is nice but it simply will not do. This school is your first choice, but you cannot possibly settle for the amount of financial aid they are offering.


Now, during this spring break, is an excellent time to make this call to a college or university. I fully believe most schools will help you; however, unless you tell them that you need the help then they will not do so - all they can do is say no.....or yes...we can help a little more.


Again, students be your own best advocate!


Have a wonderful Thursday - Happy April 1st !!

Wednesday, March 31, 2021


POST #143 - Be an informed transfer student!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Recently, I spent about two hours assisting one of my students with transcript evaluation and course selection for the summer and fall at a college transfer program. This young man has already spent an entire year at a college and he has yet to have his transcript from his previous college evaluated nor has he ever met with an admission counselor. I have just started to work with him; and immediately when I evaluated where he was in his course work, it was obvious to me that he had wasted his time taking courses that he did not need to take.


Sadly, this young man has already spent a year at an out-of-state college and a full year at an in state college, and he still needs courses during the summer, fall, and spring to complete his college transfer program. I asked him if he had ever tried to speak with his advisor and he said no. I had him set up a meeting with his counselor to get all of his information better understood and in order to put him on the right track.


For years, I have told my high school students and college students that they must become their own advocate. They must seek people out to help them. If they do not speak up for themselves, then they might just miss out on some great opportunities or they might just make an extended stay at college....yikes!!! I strongly advise students to seek help in managing their path or journey through college - seek advice - look for guidance - be an advocate for yourself!! Ask questions! Ask lots of questions!!!


Be an informed supporter of you!! Be your own best advocate!! Trust me, there ae no dumb questions in the process of the college journey.


Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 30, 2021


POST #142 - Are you considering a transfer path?


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Recently, I have had several students and their parents contact me to assist them with the transfer process. One student currently attending Guilford Technical Community College was wanting to transfer to UNCG and the other student attending Wake Technical Community College was wanting to transfer to NCSU. They were both struggling with the course work and how it would transfer to the college of their choice as well as knowing if they were meeting the general education requirements at each school.


Well, there is a little well-kept secret that shouldn't be so well-kept....every public college/university in North Carolina and some private colleges and universities has a page on their Website that shows how a course will transfer from a specific community college to their specific 4 year college. You can type in the search box on the college's Website info such as: transfer credit evaluation, articulation of transfer credit, or ask the question in the search space: How will my community college courses transfer to this specific college or university?


Once you find this wonderful document on the college Website, you can then type in the information it asks for such as state and institution. Once you find the community college you have taken courses at then you can take each course by course number and see how it will transfer by course name and number at the college of choice. For example, Psychology 150 at CCCC will transfer to North Carolina State University as Psychology 200.


Additionally, and most importantly, the student will be able to see not only how the course transfers but the amount of credit granted for the course. This aspect is important because some courses will not transfer and the student needs to realize this early on in their schooling. Once all this info is understood, then the student can compare how he/she is meeting the transfer requirements at a specific college/university! Easy!!


If you are a student who seeks to transfer, make certain you are in the know about how your courses will transfer! Or if you are a senior in high school and you have been taking courses at CCCC, check your courses to see how they will transfer - it is important!!!


Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, March 29, 2021


POST #140 - "Don't" select your college based on....


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Our seniors are in the final stages of college selection, and it is important that they also look at the "Don'ts" of this process. We always hear why a student should select a college, so I think it is only fair that we discuss reasons why a student shouldn't select a college to attend. Now, these reasons might be logical, but sometimes we think with our heart instead of our brain.


1. "Don't" select a college to attend based on the fact that your current boyfriend or girlfriend will be attending or are currently attending this college. As boyfriends and girlfriends go, let's face it...they do, in fact, go. Just because a boyfriend or girlfriend plans to attend or is currently attending a college should most definitely NOT be a reason to attend said college! Think with your brain not your heart in this particular situation. Do what is best for you.


2. "Don't" select a college to attend based on the fact that your best friend is choosing to attend said college. Be an independent thinker and choose the school that suits you not because you want to continue a friendship. You have FaceTime and Skype to maintain the friendship.


3. "Don't" select a college based on the fact that your family has a legacy there. If it is not the best choice for you, then please share this information with your parent or parents. I know I had planned for both of my children to attend North Carolina State University to continue my family's legacy, but even though they are by heart a true "Wolfpacker," it just wasn't the school for them. Yes, I was heartbroken, but the reality is that another school fulfilled their dreams better. I am still holding out that one of them will attend graduate school at NCSU! Only time will tell!


4. "Don't" select a college if it does not have your major. Don't conform to the school; allow the school to conform to your wants and needs. For example, I watched the majority of my daughter's college softball team come to school at a school that did not have their major simply to play softball. When these girls finished, they then applied at other schools to attain the degree that they had originally desired. Wow, some went 8 years to school for a 4 year degree. No, it is not going to happen on my watch - not with my children. Mom is paying for one 4 year degree and that is it!!!


Please consider these "Don'ts" when making your college decision.


Happy Monday! It is the first day of Spring Break - enjoy it!!

Friday, March 26, 2021


POST #139 - EVEN More about Financial Aid!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


More questions to answer about financial aid....


Do you understand your SAR - Student Aid Report?


Have you received your SAR - it should have been sent to you via the email you submitted in your financial aid application within two weeks of submitting your FAFSA.


If there is something on your SAR that you do not understand, it is imperative that you contact each school's financial aid office to make certain you do understand what it is saying and if something needs to be changed or corrected, then it is at this point that you do so!


Do you understand the amount of grants, loans, work study?


Grants are gifts that do not have to be paid back. Loans are borrowed money that must be paid back with interest. Work study helps to pay for your education as well as allows for some student money.


Finally,


Do you understand the Institutional aid, state aid, federal aid you have been given?

Institutional money is money provided by the college or university. It is much like a grant. State money is money provided by the state that goes hand and hand with finances and merit. Federal is grants, loans, and work study - one of the three.


Mainly, as I said each day this week, please do not make a decision on a college/university until all financial aid packages from each school have arrived. They will all be different and you want to consider your options for the next year, but also you want to consider which school is more giving over a four year period.


Remember financial aid is a yearly request and can vary greatly from year to year so it is wise to study each of your packages and talk with the financial aid office prior to selecting a school. I would also make my choice based on the school that had the financial aid office that was easiest and more willing to work with you in this process.


I hope this week has helped you tread the path of financial aid.



Have a great Friday and an awesome weekend!!

Thursday, March 25, 2021


POST #138 - More about Financial Aid!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com


Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Yesterday, I started this post series on financial aid and we continue today and the rest of the week.


Where are you at with your FAFSA?


If you haven't yet received your financial aid packages from each of your schools and you submitted your FAFSA before January 15 2021, then I would advise you to call each of your schools' financial aid departments to see what the hold-up is with your paperwork. If you submitted your FAFSA after January 15, then you should be receiving financial aid packages in the mail over the next couple of weeks.


It is important that you stay on top of this process. Colleges and Universities are overloaded with such student issues at this time and your info could easily be misplaced. Do your part and give the financial office a call, specifically asking for your assigned financial aid counselor.


Again, calling a financial aid office is the best way to determine which office is more willing to work with you in this process - you need to begin to build a relationship with the financial aid office and your counselor!


I cannot stress to students and parents the importance of keeping up to date on all financial aid paperwork from each school the student has applied to!!


Have a nice Thursday!

Wednesday, March 24, 2021


POST #137 - Current Seniors - Reminder about Financial Aid!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Seniors.....


Where are you at with your FAFSA?


Do you understand your SAR - Student Aid Report?


Do you understand the amount of grants, loans, work study?


Do you understand the Institutional aid, state aid, federal aid?


Do you understand each college’s financial aid package?


Before we talk about each of these areas, please, please do not make a decision on a college/university until all financial aid packages from each school have arrived for you to examine. They will all be different and you want to consider your options for the next year, but also you want to consider which school is more giving over a four year period.


Remember financial aid is a yearly request and can greatly vary from year to year so it is wise to study each of your packages and talk with the financial aid office prior to selecting a school. I would also make my choice based on the school that had the financial aid office that was easiest and more willing to work with in this process.


It is a stressful time for some students and their parents in this process - please tell them to read the blog over the next several days for info on the FAFSA and the questions listed above.


Have a great Wednesday; it is the middle of the week - halfway home to the weekend!

Tuesday, March 23, 2021


POST #136 - Creating Options…..


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Creating Options…..


It is a known fact that children to adolescents to adults change their career choices on average six times in a life span. Many parents have asked me how to direct their children towards a career, and I am the first person to say that it is not about directing but all about creating options and providing exposure to all possibilities.


What do I mean about creating options? How do I create options for my child?


  1. Read information for knowledge about college such as this blog!

  2. Have your student take a strong academic curriculum while in high school.

  3. Provide opportunities to learn about colleges by visiting colleges, attending college fairs, attending college open house events, and studying a college’s website.

  4. Have your child get involved in school activities and take pride in their school.

  5. Have your child get involved in community activities by participating in events or volunteering at local organizations.

  6. Understand what colleges expect of applicants.

  7. Help your child through the testing process by seeking a strong preparation program.

  8. Have your student be willing to step outside his/her comfort zone to explore new opportunities!

  9. If they have heard of a job, have them research it and then shadow someone in the job!

  10. Be open to your child's ideas - don't be so quick to judge!


If we create options for our children by using the above avenues, success will surely be possible for them no matter the career they end up choosing! One of the first ways to create opportunities for our high school students is to attend such opportunities as the two college fairs I have mentioned. Just as with my own two children who I had planned to send to NCSU, I had to step aside from my wants and hear them in their wants - I had to see their opportunities instead of directing them in a specific way.


Happy, happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 22, 2021


POST #135 - National Virtual College Fairs to register for....


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Upcoming college fair events students and their parents need to take advantage of - you need to register as soon as possible and mark your calendars.


  1. NACAC Virtual College Fairs - National

(National Association for College Admission Counseling)


-Sunday, April 10 Western US College Fair - 160 Colleges 12pm to 4pm Pacific Time


-Tuesday, April 20 Southeast US College Fair - 175 Colleges 3pm to 7pm ET


-Sunday, May 2 National US College Fair - 600 Colleges 1pm to 7pm ET


*Register at: virtualcollegefairs.org/events - you can register for 1, 2, or all 3


Also you can register on the Common App website.


  1. CACRAO Virtual College Fairs - The Carolinas (These are the ones I have already mentioned in previous blog posts.)


-Thursday, March 25th 5pm to 7:45pm - 200 Colleges


-Monday, April 19th 5pm to 7:45pm - 200 Colleges


*Register at: strivescan.com/carolinas/ - you can register for 1 or both


Please take advantage of attending these virtual events; they will be worth your time!!


Happy Monday - Let’s have a good, good week!!

Friday, March 19, 2021


POST #134 - Good Questions to ask at the College Fair....


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Questions for the Virtual College Fair Reps:


1. It is my goal to become a contributing member of ______________campus. What is the atmosphere like on campus during the weekdays and specifically evenings and then on weekends? Do students stay on campus and are there lots of events to attend?


2. What is the most popular compliment students make about your college? What is the most popular complaint about the school made by students? What is being done to rectify this complaint?


3. Does the rep have a list of students with emails that you can contact to begin a conversation with in relation to the school and campus environment?


4. How does the community at-large interact with the college? What type of city/town is it located in?


5. What is the student to faculty ratio? How difficult is it to develop a student/teacher relationship with faculty on this campus?


6. What type of services are provided on campus? Health? Counseling? Career? Tutoring? Writing labs? Computer Labs?


7. Will internships and research opportunities be provided for undergraduate students?


8. Is overnight campus visits encouraged, and if so, how do I go about setting this up? Also, if I am on campus on a class day, can I attend a class in my major?


9. What does the future hold for this campus in renovations and new buildings?


10. After talking to me, how do you see me fitting into your campus?


11. Next year, post pandemic we hope, what will be different on campus?


12. How will students be looked at in admissions if they don’t turn in a test score such as the SAT or ACT? What if they do turn one in - is there a number we should be at or higher to turn a score in to admission?


These questions are insightful and need answering prior to making a decision about a school, so why not ask an expert?? In this process, there aren’t any dumb questions, so ask, likely others will be thinking the same questions but too scared to ask.


Happy Friday - enjoy your weekend - spring break is coming soon!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2021


POST #133 - How to Best Prepare for the College Fair...


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


How does a student prepare to attend a college fair? Here are some suggestions:


1. Visit the Virtual College Fair Website: https://www.strivescan.com/carolinas/

and study the list of colleges. Select a list of 10 to 12 schools to sit in on a zoom session.


2. Look up each school online before attending the virtual college fair - in other words do a little research prior to attending - this gives the college reps the feeling that you have been interested enough to research their school.


3. Develop questions that you want to ask each representative. (Tomorrow, I will give you some examples of excellent questions to ask.)


4. Be prepared to take notes during the zoom session, ask questions.


5. Make certain to include your parents in this opportunity.


I hope this helps you to prepare for the Virtual College Fair!


Yesterday, I received an email from the virtual college fair organizer and he says that over 500 students have already signed up. Don't procrastinate...register now!!


Have a wonderful Thursday!

Wednesday, March 17, 2021


POST #132 - Why do I need to attend a Virtual College Fair?


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2021! I hope you are wearing GREEN today!! I first have to apologize that my GREEN isn't showing the color green. This blog software doesn't allow me to use colored text! Sorry about that! Think GREEN!!!


So the question is: Why do I need to attend a Virtual College Fair?


This question comes from readers who read yesterday's blog post on the upcoming Virtual College Fair!


Here are the reasons to attend a Virtual College Fair:


1. Convenience - about 200 college reps are available! Wow! A local college fair would likely have around 50 or less college rep participants and 99% will be from North Carolina. The Virtual College Fair is offering more college reps for you to ask questions of over a two night period if you wish to attend for two nights. The website provided in yesterday's blog post will provide an alphabetical listing of all colleges attending the Virtual College Fair.


2. Opportunity - It will open your eyes, the student, as well as the eyes of the parent if you attend such a large event - it will allow you to step outside your comfort zone in a safe and welcoming environment - who knows you might find the school of your dreams by listening and talking with a college rep through this opportunity.


3. Shows Interest - Many, not all, but many colleges keep up with shown interest in their school. Students can show interest in a school with: school visits, college fair attendance, attending local interest group sessions, emails to a college rep, etc. When you register for this college fair, your info is put into a profile that all colleges you speak with at the event catalogue in their system. Each rep will scan your registration number and all your info will automatically appear for the college rep to see and maintain in their admission's system. It is a quick way to show interest in a school.


4. It starts the student thinking! - Juniors, now is the time to put your final college list together. Sophomores, now is the time for you to be putting a "big" list of colleges together! And, Freshmen, now is the time for you to be weighing all your school options.


5. Family Exploration - The Virtual College Fair is an excellent time for families to bond in this journey of college planning.


6. Financial Questions - The Virtual College Fair is an excellent time for students and parents to learn more about the financial issues of college.


7. Practice - It gives you, the student, practice talking to a college official.


8. Free Advice - It always helps to have others' opinions in this college planning journey and the virtual college fair is a great place to get lots of free advice.


Have a great Wednesday!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2020


POST #131 - Virtual College Fair this Spring


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Back on February 4, POST #104 - As a junior in high school, how do I learn about colleges - was the title of the blog post. Below is a portion of the post:


CACRAO (Carolinas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers), an organization that presents the yearly college fairs at schools, normally in person, is offering StriveScan Virtual College Fairs for Spring 2021! I am so excited about this opportunity for our students. They hope to have over 200 colleges participate, which is outstanding….and, they plan to have three dates available for students and their parents to register for starting in mid-March.

As soon as I know about the registration, I will let you know!


Here are the three dates and times North Carolina students and parents can register for once the registration site opens (so save one of the dates on your calendar):

  • Thursday, March 25th 5pm to 7:45pm

  • Monday, April 19th 5pm to 7:45pm

  • Thursday, April 22nd 5pm to 7:45pm


Once registration opens, individuals will have the opportunity to select one of the above dates, allowing parents and students to attend a virtual college fair. Awesome opportunity to check out colleges, particularly in a pandemic! Thanks to CACRAO for stepping up and figuring out a way to make a college fair a reality for our students. According to CACRAO’s president, Matt Cash, this platform will “students to hear from a wide range of institutions in a lively and safe environment.”


I am extremely excited about this program for our students. As I learn more, I will be certain to share the information.


BELOW is the newest information sent to me from CACRAO:


Virtual College Fairs


Registration is Open! go to this site: https://www.strivescan.com/carolinas/


High School Students

Thursday, March 25th and Monday, April 19th 5pm-8pm


Transfer Students

Thursday, April 22nd 5pm-8pm


Registration is now open for our Virtual College Fair! Sign-up to virtually connect with 200+ colleges and universities from around the country and world for free.


During the Virtual College Fair, you will have the chance to hear from many different colleges. You can choose which colleges you want to hear from by registering for their sessions. You and your family can ask questions of the college representatives throughout the presentations too!


All sessions will be recorded, so please register for ALL college/universities that you have an interest in, even if you can't make the live session...you'll have an opportunity to watch the recordings later!


Check out the schedule, list of colleges, and register now! at this site: https://www.strivescan.com/carolinas/


We are looking forward to sharing this virtual experience with each of you!


Tomorrow, more on planning for this college fair.

Monday, March 15, 2021


POST #130 – Career and College Promise Program – What is it? Part V


March 15th known as the Ides of March - At one time, March 15th marked the Romans new year; and later, the date was recognized as the date to settle all debts. Just some interesting tidbits about the Ides of March!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


As our current 8th graders are currently selecting courses for the 9th grade (or soon to be doing so), it is also important that they make a Four Year Plan. In this plan, the student plans courses for each year 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th.


This task always scares students and parents but it shouldn’t because it is just that – a plan. And, as your student matriculates through high school, the plan might stay true to the way it has been written in the 8th grade, or as in most situations, about 90% change something and many change lots. One of the things they want to plan for is taking CCP courses and/or AP courses, particularly knowing that colleges expect students to perform at his/her highest level and show growth throughout the four years.


Consequently, when planning a four year plan, one might ask….How do I know what or which courses I want to take pertaining to CCP courses or AP? Here are some of the Pros and Cons that students and parents have shared with me and some that my children experienced:


CCP Pros/Cons


College Level Course


Taught by college staff


Taught online with some exceptions


Make a grade of “C” or better and earn college credit


A final test does not determine the college credit


Most consider the workload reasonable


Teacher is available by phone/email/zoom


Can take beginning junior year


AP Pros/Cons


College Level Course


Taught by trained high school teachers


Taught face to face with few exception


Take a test & score a specific score


A final test determines college credits


Most consider the workload is difficult


Teacher is available in person


Can take as early as 10th grade


I am certain that there are other Pros and Cons for both CCP Courses and AP Courses. My advice is to take some of both as early as you can to see which type you prefer and which ones meet your needs.


Happy Monday, I hope your week is off to an excellent start!!!

Friday, March 12, 2021


POST #129 – Career and College Promise Program – What is it? Part IV


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Career and College Promise has so much to offer our juniors and seniors. It has now been around the Chatham County Schools since 2005, when my son was a junior. I think you can tell that I am so supportive of the program. Granted, I helped to bring it to Chatham County in 2005 so that makes me even more proud as I see it flourish in all of our high schools still today.


So the important question is: How do colleges and universities feel about this change – what change?


I am speaking about the change that allows the CCP Program (Career and College Promise Program) courses to count the same as an AP (Advanced Placement) course when calculating a student’s weighted GPA which is used for class rank? It is a valid and worthy question to discuss. Over the years, I have heard students and parents say….”Oh my no, my child has to take the AP courses because colleges and universities do not value the community college courses offered by the CCP Program!”


At one time, the value of the CCP courses were seen by colleges as a less than type of class as did the state who only allowed the CCP courses to be counted as honors level not AP level. However, with the new change both set of courses, AP and CCP, are on the same level at the advanced standing, and colleges and universities are eagerly accepting these courses. I know this for a fact because every meeting I attend with college and university representatives I hear them sharing their feelings about this change, and they are doing so in every instance in a positive way! In fact, they are truly wondering why it has taken them so long to place the proper value on the CCP courses, and they are appreciative of the state for making this move. Now, for the first time, all college and university level courses are valued at the same level, which is a huge service to our high school students.


Monday, March 15, we will further discuss CCP or AP – the pros and cons of both!!

I so enjoy sharing this information with the blog followers, and I genuinely enjoy reading your emails. I try very hard to address all of your questions and concerns without using any names or situations so keep your emails coming!!


Have a great day - a great weekend, and I will see you Monday!!

Thursday, March 11, 2021


POST #128 – Career and College Promise Program – What is it? Part III


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com
Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.

Hello blog followers!!!

So far this week, we have been discussing the CCP Program (Career and College Promise Program) offered to our high school juniors and seniors across the state of North Carolina; and specifically in the Chatham County area, it is offered through Central Carolina Community College. In Monday’s blog, I shared my personal experience with the program when it was called Learn and Earn; and yesterday, I shared how our public, private, and out-of-state colleges and universities transfer or articulate the coursework provided by the program and where you can find the information needed to know how classes will transfer to a specific college or university.

Today, I want to speak to the issue of understanding how these college courses are counted at the high school level. First, please know that these courses are high school credits and college credits as well. At the high school level for years, these courses were counted simply as regular courses; and then in Chatham County, about seven years ago, the college courses through the Learn and Earn and now the Career and College Promise Programs counted as honors level courses.


With the 9th graders entering high school in the Fall 2015 – a new and improved level was assigned to these classes. These CCP Courses moved from the honors category to the AP category giving the CCP courses the same weight as the AP or any college level course taken while in high school….which, to me, makes far more sense particularly since both AP (Advanced Placement) and the CCP courses are college level courses. This change was a positive change for all students and allows students the opportunity to take an AP class or to choose to take a CCP class for the same exact value!

Tomorrow – let’s take this discussion a step further – How do the colleges feel about this change, and next Monday, let’s talk about the positives of the AP and the CCP – which courses are best for your student?

Thanks for following the blog – I hope you are learning lots – please email me your questions and comments!

Wednesday, March 10, 2021


POST #127 – Career and College Promise Program – What is it? Part II


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Yesterday’s blog post gave a good example of the CCP Program through my personal experiences with it as my two children took advantage of its offerings when it was known as the Learn and Earn Program.


I promised that today we would discuss how these classes transfer to a college or university – UNC Public Institutions, North Carolina private institutions, and out of state institutions of higher learning.


Let’s tackle our 16 Colleges and Universities in the UNC System first. Fortunately, several years ago (how many I am not quite certain) the UNC System along with the NC Community College System developed an articulation agreement – which means: they decided on how each course at the community college campus would transfer to each of the UNC System colleges and universities. Consequently, the student and/or parent can go to each college’s website and type in the words – transfer credits or articulation agreement – and they will find a list of all courses taught at a community college and how the credit will transfer into that college. For example, at NCSU, you know…my favorite school, I type in….articulation agreement in the search box and then transfer credit in the search box, and I am asked what state the transfer credits will be coming from, and I type in North Carolina then am I asked what institution, and I put in Central Carolina Community College, and finally what department and I put in History or Math or English or social sciences and the chart shows the specific course it will transfer in as with the amount

of transfer credit.


Long story short…here are some examples:


HIS 121 Western Civilization I (at CCCC) transfers to NCSU as HIS 207 = 3.0 credit hours


HIS 122 Western Civilization II (at CCCC) transfers to NCSU as HIS 205 = 3.0 credit hours


PSY 150 General Psychology (at CCCC) transfers to NCSU as PSY 200 = 3.0 credit hours


SOC 210 Introduction to Sociology (at CCCC) transfers to NCSU as SOC 202 = 3.0 credit hours


Any student taking the CCP Program should explore on each college’s website how the CCCC courses will transfer into their schools of choice!!!! It is wise to do this prior to taking the CCP

Program Courses.


Now, what about North Carolina’s private colleges and universities. Frankly, many of these schools have followed the same path as the one explained above. With both of my children attending private colleges, Spencer’s courses all transferred in as the courses that were taken and as required by High Point University for graduation. However, in Morgan’s situation, Guilford College, took most of her courses as the course stated but in one instance – the Psychology course – it was counted as an elective (so she did not lose the hours) but she did have to take another Psychology course to meet her educational requirement.


As for out-of-state colleges and universities, again, one must connect with each school on an individual basis. I would suggest getting something in writing as to how they will accept the courses taken through the CCP Program.


Tomorrow, we will talk about the CCP Program changing from an honors status program at the high school level to an AP status program at the high school level.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021


POST #126 – Career and College Promise Program – What is it?


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


How does the Career and College Promise Program play into the registration process?


First, let it be known that I am a huge supporter of this program – once called the College Transfer Program then Learn and Earn and now CCP! The CCP program makes it possible for every high school student to take college courses just like the students who attend any early college program; however, even to this day, some people are extremely skeptical of the program. Well, I am here to tell you to shed the skepticism because I know it works and works well. I can speak to you from my professional workings with the program and from my own personal experiences with the program.


To get this conversation started, please allow me to share how this program worked for my two children. My son, Spencer, graduated from high school in 2006 just when the Learn and Earn Program (now the CCP) was getting started. With the program being so new, not much was offered to him through this program, but he was able to take 12 hours of college credit – Sociology 210, Psychology 150, Western Civilization 121, and Western Civilization 122, which at that time did not count on his high school transcript as a credit as it does now – it was only for college credit. I knew this type of path would be helpful to him because he planned to play baseball in college, and each year during the baseball season he could lighten his course load by one course due to taking these courses early. These courses were taught to him online, and he loved them – making A’s in each class. Each course transferred in as he took them – Sociology for Sociology and so on and so forth.


When my daughter entered her junior year of high school and having witnessed her brother take these previously mentioned college courses, she wanted to take advantage of the Learn and Earn Program (now the CCP) as well. She actually ended up with 28 college credit hours, which more than doubled what her brother had taken and was basically equal to the completion of one year of college. By the time Morgan took these courses two years later, she was able to receive high school honors credit for the courses in addition to the courses counting at the college level. Morgan took all the courses Spencer took and also took pre calculus, statistics, art appreciation, Spanish I and II. She, too, played a college sport, softball, and lightening the load during the spring season was most important to her. Because she was double majoring and would have normally taken a student 5 years to complete, she was still able to finish in 4 years making her mother very happy!!!


Tomorrow, we will talk about how these courses transfer to public universities and colleges as well as how they transfer to private in state schools and out of state schools.


Have a great day!

Monday, March 8, 2021


POST #125 - Percentage of students accepted at the UNC System schools


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


HAPPY Monday!


Overall Admission Rate is most important to students as our high schoolers are beginning the college search. It allows future applicants to know how many students apply to that school, how many students are accepted, how many students fill the freshman class, and percentages. It is a most important aspect that most students overlook in their list making. It tells a student if the school is highly selective, selective, or an easy admission. Let’s compare the UNC System Colleges and Universities in this area.


Overall Admission Rate:


(From highly selective (normally those that accept 15% or less) – based on percentages - to sure- bet type of schools) – All numbers below based on 2019-2020 academic year!


  1. UNC Chapel Hill = 23% of 42,466 applicants accepted

  2. North Carolina Central University = 38% of 16,091 applicants accepted

  3. North Carolina School of the Arts = 38% of 1,185 applicants accepted

  4. Western Carolina University = 43% of 17,766 applicants accepted

  5. North Carolina State University = 47% of 30,193 applicants accepted

  6. North Carolina A & T State University = 61% of 11,099 applicants accepted

  7. UNC Charlotte = 64% of 22,067 applicants accepted

  8. Winston Salem State University = 65% of 3,992 applicants accepted

  9. UNC Wilmington = 65% of 13,287 applicants accepted

  10. Elizabeth City State University = 66% of 2,549 applicants accepted

  11. Fayetteville State University = 69% of 4,858 applicants accepted

  12. Appalachian State University = 77% of 16,664 applicants accepted

  13. UNC Greensboro = 82% of 9,972 applicants accepted

  14. UNC Asheville = 84% of 3,750 applicants accepted

  15. UNC Pembroke = 85% of 5,604 applicants accepted

  16. East Carolina University = 79% of 19,234 applicants accepted


It is important to realize the number of applicants to schools and the percentage of students who are accepted. Now granted, all the students who are accepted will not attend so colleges do over accept – some more than others. This info should be a part of any student's equation when creating a college list and guess what....Juniors need to be finalizing that list and freshmen and sophomores need to be starting a list!


Have an extraordinarily great day on this Monday!!

Friday, March 5, 2021


POST #124 - Let's tackle the issue of Senioritis! Ugh!


Day 5 - Detailed info on the Consequences of Senioritis!


Email: ccw@lee.k12.nc.us

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Yesterday, we spoke of the consequences of Senioritis....


So what is the meaning of these consequences:


1. Poor grades or even failing grades that affects the student's final transcript - A student's final transcript is with him/her for the rest of his/her life. They will need it for entrance into college, to attain a job, to show ID, to get a passport, and so on and so on! Damaging one's transcript in the final months of the senior year can put a mark on any future opportunity.


2. Due to the poor grades or failing grades, a student might not gain the credits needed to graduate. Not graduating can directly affect a student's next step. College is forfeited; a job can be out of reach, and military entrance will be in jeopardy.


3. Attitude issues could cause discipline problems, detentions, and even suspensions - Employers look closely at a student's school discipline record prior to hiring. It is wise to avoid issues of discipline in the spring of your senior year.


4. Attendance issues - one of the most important aspects of a student’s transcript is attendance for colleges, employers, and so forth - it is wise to keep a good attendance in the spring of the senior year.


5. It could affect what is seen on social media which is followed by college admissions and employers. - Let's face it: you cannot control what people put on social media, but you can control what you put on social media - the consequences are many for those who put negative things on any and all social media outlets. Sadly, because you can't control what other people say, it is likely your bad decisions will make its way onto some form of social media!


6. Colleges can rescind a student's offer of admission!!! Listen carefully - when a college sends an acceptance letter, it always states in some form that final acceptance hinges on receipt of a final transcript - what they are saying is that they reserve the right to rescind your acceptance if you, the student, has failed to uphold the normalcy of your grades. Allowing senioritis to set in can in fact mean losing your dream college to attend!


7. Colleges can reduce financial merit aid!!! A change in transcript with grades being lowered or failing can mean that a student's financial aid package be lowered or denied. Colleges want to give money to sure-bet students - those who want to achieve from the beginning to the end!!


Thanks for following the blog this week and every week! Have a wonderful Friday and an even better weekend!

Thursday, March 4, 2021


POST #123 - Let's tackle the issue of Senioritis! Ugh!


Day 4 - Consequences of Senioritis!


Email: ccw@lee.k12.nc.us

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Consequences - yes - to every time there is a season and to every step there is a consequence - sometimes positive and sometimes negative. To avoid the negative, one must prepare in order to prevent the negative from occurring.


In reality, this is where we fail our young people the most. As parents, we always want our children to have it better than we did; and in fulfilling this desire, we often shield our children from the understanding of consequences. Senioritis can result in very serious problems or consequences, and they are issues that can be a total game changer for a senior.


Some of these consequences might be:


1. Poor grades or even failing grades that affects the student's final transcript.


2. Due to the poor grades or failing grades, a student might not gain the credits needed to graduate.


3. Attitude issues could cause discipline problems, detentions, and even suspensions.


4. Attendance issues create all the problems listed previously such as poor grades, discipline issues, and attitude problems.


5. It could affect what is seen on social media which is followed by college admissions and employers.


6. Colleges can rescind a student's offer of admission!!!


7. Colleges can reduce financial merit aid!!!


Before a student/Senior allows Senioritis to set into their very being, it is imperative that they understand the above consequences. We will address each of these tomorrow!


Happy Thursday! Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, March 3, 2021


POST #122 - Let's tackle the issue of Senioritis! Ugh!


Day 3 - How to prevent Senioritis!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


I hope I am not too late for some of you. Normally, senioritis seems to set in when spring occurs and little time is left in the semester. Because it has been warm weather the last few days, some of our seniors might already be experiencing the early signs of senioritis.


Most parents want to know how can they help their senior avoid this dreaded issue....one some parents call a disease! It is wise to be proactive and never take the attitude that it can't happen to my child - he/she is an excellent student who would never throw away all his/her hard work. Sadly, our 17, 18, or 19 year old children don't think like that and for these last few months of their high school career, these seniors actually need the most direction and discipline that they have ever needed.


1. First and foremost - Parents please talk to your children. Do not avoid this topic - avoiding it does NOT make it so - as a matter of fact, those who avoid it tend to be the parents who end up suffering through this issue. Avoiding "the talk" on senioritis, can be a huge mistake! Continue to hold your high expectations about grades, school attendance, and attitude. Continue to keep them on track and expect them to focus and care about their school work.


2. Remind them of what the future holds for them - college, military, job. Everything they do hinges on the completion of high school at the same level in which they generally perform.


3. Parents please maintain your contact with your child's teachers, coaches, and school administrators - right up to the day of graduation. Also, encourage your senior to maintain their relationships with these same individuals until graduation. You never know when you might need one of these folks for a reference in a future endeavor. Keep in mind that people tend to remember the end far better than any other part of the relationship. Consequently, it really is how you end things that your teachers will remember instead of the years and years of hard work and dedication to one's studies.


4. Continue to have your senior stay active at their current job or volunteer work or if they haven't been doing either consider one or the other of the two.


5. Have your student finish strong in any spring sports or theater productions or club activity. Remind them that it is always important to see all responsibilities through to the end.


It is most important to be on top of everything during this time of the senior year. Ask questions and stay involved. Over the years as a school counselor, I have always noticed that most parents begin to step away from hovering over their senior during the spring prior to graduation. The parents become relaxed. First semester is over and their child is advancing toward graduation, and they have heard from colleges and they relax even more because their child now has a future after high school. In this state of relaxation, the child sinks into a senioritis phase. Don't let this be you....stay vigilant! Trust me, you will be glad you did!


Happy Wednesday - hump day - best day of the work week except for Friday!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2021


POST #121 - Let's tackle the issue of Senioritis! Ugh! Day 2 - What to look for in your Senior!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


What are the signs of Senioritis? Good question and a question that is most important right now as we set in on the end of the school year and the end of high school for our seniors! Some parents are wondering - what is wrong with my senior? Does he/she have the flu? Is he depressed? Why has his mood changed?


Many seniors experience senioritis during the later part of their senior year - particularly once they have received their acceptance to a college - in their mind they think they are done and that they need a break in studying before they enter college next fall; and since they have already been accepted to a college, they do not see the need to continue to work hard.


Or


If they are a senior who plans to enter the work world after high school, they see these last few months - March, April, May, and the first two weeks of June as their last "Hurrah" or their last fun time before adulthood!


The dictionary defines Senioritis as: a supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school, characterized by a decline in motivation and/or performance.


So what are the signs of Senioritis:


1. Not doing homework or projects or simply not putting any effort into the work


2. Missing or skipping class


3. Accepting lower grades on assignments and tests that they normally made excellent grades on


4. Going to bed later and sleeping later the next school morning


5. Displaying a no-care attitude


6. Studying 5 minutes for a test that you would normally have studied two days for


7. Taking less interest in the way one looks - lots of wearing sweats and gym shorts


8. Ah yes....Laziness!


9. Lots of daydreaming!


10. A lack of concern for the now...the present...no acknowledgement of the future - to some senioritis is a state of living in the past because of fear of the future!


Is your senior experiencing any one or ALL of these signs of senioritis? If so, it is time to have a heart to heart talk with your child.


More tomorrow on this subject!


Happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 1, 2021


POST #120 - Let's tackle the issue of Senioritis! Ugh!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Recently, I had a parent ask me to talk about "Senioritis!!" It is the dreaded disease that many of our young people encounter as they enter the spring semester of their senior year! We have several things to discuss when it comes to this issue of senioritis so let's break the topic up and discuss each aspect separately on different days.


Tomorrow - Tuesday, March 2 - Signs of Senioritis


Wednesday - March 3 - How to prevent Senioritis


Thursday - March 4 - Consequences of Senioritis


Friday - March 5 - Ways parents can help their SENIOR through this period of time!


Senioritis can creep up on your senior without warning and particularly in this pandemic and as we see the weather get warmer and warmer. Parents need to know how to see the symptoms, so they can help their seniors prevent it first and foremost or know what to do once Senioritis has set in!


Well, it looks like we are in for a big week! Please join me each day to explore this topic and let's get our immunity in tact so that we all might avoid Senioritis in our household this spring - they say it can be as bad, if not worse, than the flu!! lol


See you tomorrow!


Have a wonderful Monday!

Friday, February 26, 2021


POST #119 - Steps to take in the college planning process…


Step 8 - My best advice!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


My best advice to anyone who is about to begin the college application process is to be open to change and new opportunities and hang in there when you are feeling overwhelmed in the college planning process.


There will be days you know exactly where you want to go to college and then there will be days that you wondered why in the world that college is even on your list. During these times, revamp, rethink, and redirect if need be.


This journey is a process, and I ask that you step outside your comfort zone to find the college that really works best for you. The better you research and prepare, then the easier you will find the process to be, avoiding the state of being overwhelmed. When in doubt, turn to those you genuinely trust and have a relationship with because those are the people you will listen to and who know you best, allowing them to assist you the most.


Also, hear what your parents are saying about the financial piece to this puzzle. They know what they can afford and particularly if there are other children in the family then everyone needs to be respectful of the cost - your decision can make or break the family finances!


If you are an 8th grader or a junior in high school or any place in between - plan and be wise!! I know you as parents will enjoy this process with your child. And students, you too will enjoy spending this time with your parents!


Have a wonderful Friday and an even better weekend!!

Thursday, February 25, 2021


POST #118 - Steps to take in the college planning process…


Step 7 - How to start the conversation about financing the college path?


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Start considering how you will pay for college - look for cost effective colleges. It is like I told my two children who decided to seek a career as a teacher; you must find a college that will not allow you to finish more than $20,000 in debt because teachers don't make a huge amount of money. It is senseless, and I will not support you coming out of college owing over $20,000 - you can't afford it. Now, if you are going to enter the workforce making $50,000 a year, then you might “be able to” afford to finish college owing $30,000.


All colleges offer financial aid - federal, state, and institutional aid and each college puts together a financial package and each package is different.


Now, while you are researching colleges, please take time to research financial aid. Meet with a financial aid rep for each college you are considering and ask questions.


Most importantly, begin to develop a relationship with a financial aid representative at each college you have on your list. This step is one of the most important in the college application process!!


As a matter of fact, this step is most important for both the student and the parent to be on the same page about.


Ask about scholarships and what the requirements are for the scholarships! Now is the time to start this research too!


Happy Thursday - the weekend is only a day away!

Wednesday, February 24, 2021


POST #117 - Steps to take in the college planning process…


Step 6 - If you can visit, remember these important elements!

Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com
Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.

Make an effort to visit (when possible) as many college campuses as you can - both informally and formally. Some colleges/universities are offering scheduled on-campus tours, so always ask.

Informally - just show up - walk the campus if allowed during this time of COVID - eat in the cafeteria - visit the student store! See how things go on a school day with nothing planned. I actually enjoyed the informal trips to a campus with my children even more so than the formal, scheduled tours - we could time it the way we wanted to and we could walk where we wanted to walk and we were by ourselves without a full group.

Formally - make an appointment - go on a guided tour - sit in on classes - talk to professors! Most schools are not allowing these tours yet, but as we move into summer this year; I believe we will see more of these tours reappearing on campuses.

On both visits, make an effort to talk to random students. Strangers can sometimes be more truthful than your own friends. Ask them questions: What do they like most about their school? What do they dislike about their school? What types of things do students do while on campus during the weekends? What is unique about the campus?


Mix up your list so that you visit all types of schools: public and private; small and large; in-state and out-of-state; well-known and not so well-known.

Make notes on each visit both mentally and on paper.

Listen to the views of your parents about each school - hear what they noticed, liked, disliked.

Making an informed decision in creating a college list is about doing your homework which means research!

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 23, 2021


POST #117 - Steps to take in the college planning process…


Step 5 - Research


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Now it is time to do more research -


It is time to visit all the colleges on your college list. Sure in-person visits might not be possible during this time of COVID19 - but colleges have worked hard to make visits online more realistic and interesting.


Start first by going to the colleges’ Websites and explore. Please make certain the colleges you wish to attend have your major or are very strong in your major or the course work you can take at each college can lead you to your desired major. It is so important to choose colleges based on the interest in their majors.


To further explore - make an appointment with a Zoom meeting with a college admission counselor. Many college admission counselors are meeting regularly with students through Zoom, GoogleMeet, or even FaceTime.


Take advantage of these opportunities so that you can make an informed decision about the colleges you want on your list at the beginning of your senior year. Do your homework now and things will be so much easier next fall when our current juniors will be seniors and applying to college.


Have an outstanding Tuesday!

Monday, February 22, 2021


POST #116 - Steps to take in the college planning process…


Step 4 - Continued from last week


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Okay - you have developed a college list - you have talked with school staff such as your school counselor, teachers, college coach, etc, - you have spoken with your parents - now what?

Talk to your friends who are currently attending college. Ask the following questions of your friends in college:


Ask why they chose the colleges they chose to apply to?


Why did they choose to attend the school they did?


What were some key factors in their decision-making process?


What now do they like the most about their school?


What do they like least about their school?


Then, ask a friend or two if you can spend the weekend with them and maybe even attend a class or two on a Friday or a Monday so that you can get a real feel for this particular college (of course this depends on the college and if they are holding in person classes during COVID).


Ask them:


If you had the opportunity to do this process over again, what would you do differently?


Why?


Who would you seek help from?


What part of the application process was most difficult to you?


Take the opportunity to learn from your friends and always keep in mind that even though they are your friends, they may have a totally different opinion than you do, but it is about doing research and getting the previously mentioned questions answered is a part of the research!


Have a wonderful Monday!! The weekend was beautiful! Could it mean we are on the track to an early spring???

Friday, February 19, 2021


POST #115 - Steps to take in the college planning process…


Step 3 - Who else can give me good advice?


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Step 3 - Who else can give me good advice?


In addition to talking to your school counselor, teachers, and others, remember to also take the time to talk to your parents. Hear what they have been thinking about when it comes to college plans - they too have hopes and aspirations for you so hear them out and then also share your thoughts on the subject of college. Parents have great insight into possible careers a student should consider, so listen to what they have to say.


The biggest talk children and their parents should have on the topic of college is finances. How will college be paid for - what part will the parent play in this financial path? I was very honest with my children. I expected to pay for public education and anything beyond a public school education in relation to money would definitely be on their shoulders - in scholarships, financial aid, loans, work study - etc.


Ironically, both of my children attended private schools and they both surpassed my expectations in finding money to attend. But if I had not made my expectations clear from the get-go, I am not certain how things would have finished.


My advice: Parents talk to your children and children talk to your parents about paying for college - be honest and truthful about your expectations!


Have a great Friday and an even better weekend!!

Thursday, February 18, 2021

POST #114 - Steps to take in college planning process...


Step 2 - Seek advice!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Step 2 - Seek advice!


Seek help and assistance from your school counselor, career counselor, and/or teachers and school administration. Discuss the courses you should take to achieve your goals and also the types of schools/colleges/universities out there that will meet your career plans.


In other words, ask questions. Also, talk to these individuals about the tests you should take: PSAT, SAT, Pre ACT, ACT, AP Exams, and so forth. When to take these tests and how many times do I take certain tests. The answers to these questions are likely different for students so seek advice. I always tell students that there are no dumb questions in the college process, so be willing to ask.


I mentioned earlier this school year about learning to be your own advocate. Counselors, teachers, and administrations are eager to help you, but you must make the effort to develop a relationship with them and be willing to ask questions of them. If they do not know the answers to your questions, I am certain they will put you on the path to find the right person to ask! These folks are in it to help you be winners!


Have an outstanding Thursday! Please take care today; this weather doesn't sound friendly!

Wednesday, February 17, 2021


POST #113 - Steps to take in the college planning process…


Step 1 - Why college? Is college for everyone? How do I know if it is for me?


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Step 1 - Why college? Is college for everyone? How do I know if it is for me?


These are great questions that students should begin to research as early as middle school and begin to answer in high school, specifically by the junior year. I will be the first one to say that college might not be for everyone, but I do believe that more training after high school will certainly add job possibilities to anyone's resume and allow individuals to make more money over a lifetime than simply entering the job market right out of high school.


Ask yourself: Do you have something you are good at that you really want to know more about - then college (2 year or 4 year) is the right place for you. When I entered college, I was planning to be a social worker as I have shared with you in previous posts. I discovered at the end of my freshman year as I completed an internship in Florida that social work seemed to have too many downsides for me - I wanted to be in a job where I helped people of all types, but it was more of a directional assistance.


From this introspection, I realized that I still wanted to help people but in a different manner and I prefered to work with middle to high school aged children. I fell into teaching - English and social studies. After only a few months teaching, which I really liked, I realized that I still had not found my niche, so I began my master's in counseling and once I started I knew I had found my life's work! It was like finding the perfect wedding dress and saying yes to it! I know odd analogy, but it works! Lol


It is first important to think of all the types of jobs that might interest you because that will allow you to choose the best college to pursue your life’s work. Will you figure this out in high school? Some will but many won’t - it took me my entire college life to fine tune my career choice. Please give this process time to work its way through - don’t be so impatient to believe you have to know right now - it is a process that occurs over time for many people.


So answer the questions: Why college? Is college for me? How do I know it is or isn't for me?


Have a wonderful Wednesday! Step two tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 16, 2021


POST #112 - Social Media - do colleges/universities really check it out?


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


I have people - parents and students - ask me all the time: Do colleges really look at social media in the application process?


The answer is a resounding....YES!


As our juniors (actually all students) are preparing to begin the college process so too should they mind their social media manners. They too need to remember that anything put on social media is always and forever on social media. Not only are admission offices checking out a student's social media, but so too are athletic coaches, financial aid officers, and scholarship organizations.


My advice to all users of social media: be wise, be positive, and use social media for only its intended purpose of communication in a positive manner. Colleges do not want scandals on their campuses, so if a student shows a questionable social media then to a college, then it is grounds for a denial letter to be sent to the student.


Social media includes but not limited to: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine, and LinkedIn to name the 11 most popular forms of social media! Making one - only one - wrong submission on one or more of these social media platforms can ruin your future! Please be respectful of others and know that what you say or post can have an impact on others - sometimes in ways the poster can not predict. As I said earlier, if you doubt you should post it....DON'T!!!


Again, be smart and wise when using social media because it is the immediate highway to the world!! If you question anything, then it is wise not to post it.


Have a wonderful Tuesday! Get ready for another ice storm this Thursday morning! It sounds like it might be a lot like the one experienced this past Saturday.

Monday, February 15, 2021


POST #111 - Info on the Spring College Board AP Exams and More


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


New information is out about the Spring AP Exams. Please go to the following link for this info:


https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/ap-2020-2021/about-2021-ap-exams


From what I can tell from the info on the College Board Website, AP tests will for the most part be given in full this year. (The one or two exceptions to this guideline can be read about on the previous link.) They have three different test date administrations with a fourth one that hasn’t been determined as of this writing. There will be paper/pencil test as well as online testing with an option to test at home, but the type of testing will be decided by the school’s AP Coordinator, so students need to be listening to the announcements by their AP teachers. I am certain they will be on top of this new information.


Also, College Board is planning free online live review for all AP tests starting April 10 to 19, so mark your calendars.


Please go to the above website to learn more.


Have a wonderful Monday and an even better week.

Friday, February 12, 2021


POST #110 - ACT given FREE to all JUNIORS - Check your high school’s Website for specific dates and times - testing starts the week of February 22nd!! Day 4


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Yesterday, the blog post was devoted to the items found on the ACT - 5 sections: English, Math, Reading, Science, and Writing. I spoke directly to each test section relating the amount of time and questions on each section and the types of questions asked.


Today, let’s determine how the ACT is scored:


Students' scores are based solely on the number of questions answered correctly. Absolutely, no points are subtracted because a student leaves a question blank or answers a question incorrectly. The composite score on the ACT is determined by averaging the four required tests sections: English, Math, Reading, and Science. If a student takes the optional Essay portion of the test, which they will do in this school administration, this is scored in a separate English Language Arts score - which is an average of the Essay with the required English and Reading scores. The highest score on any one part of the ACT is 36; therefore, the highest composite score is a 36.


Also,


Some folks have asked: Do I send these scores to college when I register to take the test. My response is NO! Wait to send your very best scores in the early fall of your senior year, then you can pick and choose the best test date scores and only send the best ones. I did not have this opportunity nor did others even 10 years ago, but now our young people can take a test as often as they would like and only send the scores that show their best effort.


I hope each blog reader has a wonderful Friday and a restful weekend! Enjoy your Valentine’s Day on Sunday!

Thursday, February 11, 2021


POST # 109 - ACT given FREE to all JUNIORS during the school day - check each school’s website for date and time. Students may need to complete some pre testing info!!


NOTE: Each high school is beginning to post on their website when and how the ACT will be administered. Please check this info out so that you and your 11th grader will know what to do.


Also, the high schools are beginning to post info on the PreACT test that will be administered to all sophomores. Please check your high school’s website!!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


More information on the ACT for both Parents and Students.....

The ACT is a test made up of five parts:


English - 75 Multiple Four-Choice Questions/45 minutes - This section of the test measures a student's ability to write effectively. Questions focus on: punctuation, grammar and usage, sentence structure, organization, and style.


Reading - 40 Multiple Four-Choice Questions/35 minutes - This section is made up of 4 reading passages. These passages represent what a college-level freshman should be able to read and understand. The four passages cover different subject areas: Literature, social studies, humanities, and natural science. Questions test students on their understanding of the reading material as well as how well students understand implied and inferred meanings.


Math - 60 Multiple Five-Choice Questions/60 minutes - The math section tests math skills that are learned through the 11th grade which is typically through Common Core III or the old traditional Algebra II. The problems are based in geometry, trigonometry, and algebra. I have noticed that approximately 20 questions come from pre calculus and statistics.


Science - 40 Multiple Four-Choice Questions/35 minutes - The science portion of the test is designed to see how a student will interpret, analyze, evaluate, reason, and problem solve. In reality, it is a technical reading test.


Writing - Essay/30 minutes - The writing section of the ACT is focused on successful writing for any college freshman student. Each student must evaluate and establish a position on an issue with facts and details.


The entire test takes: 3 hours 30 minutes for actual testing - but plan on 4 hours with directions and breaks.


I hope this information gives everyone a good idea of the ACT.


Have a wonderful Thursday! Even more on the ACT tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021


POST #108 - ACT given FREE to all JUNIORS - Tuesday, February 23rd during the school day!!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


For our parents out there as well as our 11th graders, here are some important facts about the ACT:


1. The ACT is an achievement test, which means the test questions are based on what the student should be learning in school. The SAT is an aptitude test based on what the student has the potential to know.


2. The ACT has five tests: English, Reading, Math, Science, and an optional Essay - which students will take on the 23rd because it is part of the state testing.


3. The ACT has more Science and Geometry on its test as well as more higher level math from Pre Calculus and Statistics, and the SAT has more Algebra on the test, basically going through Math III. The ACT allows calculator use for the total math section, and the SAT has a calculator math section and a non-calculator math section. The SAT also has math problems that the answers are student produced, meaning the students are not given answers to choose from.


4. Most sections of the ACT differ in time allotted from that of the SAT.


5. The ACT is a 2 hour and 55 minute test plus a 30 minute essay test plus administration of the test with directions etc.


6. The ACT is a college entrance exam and the score is good for five years.


Tomorrow I will share more info on the ACT!


Have a wonderful Wednesday! Thanks so much for following the blog; please share with friends and family who need assistance with the career and college process.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021


POST #107 - ACT given FREE to all JUNIORS - Tuesday, February 23rd during the school day!!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


The ACT is a college entrance exam that was once more popular west of the Mississippi River than it is now.


About 11 years ago, North Carolina bought into the fact that all children needed to graduate from high school with a college entrance exam on their resume. This test, given Tuesday, February 23rd, will be good for five years. So even if your child isn't considering attending a 2 year or 4 year college right now, they may actually consider it within the next five years, so it is wise for all juniors to take this testing seriously. The test scores can also be used as the entrance exam to community colleges.


This specific test on February 23, 2021 is a free test to all juniors, and it ends the series of testing through the ACT program that the state administers to its students. In the 10th grade, your child took the Pre ACT which is similar to the PSAT for the SAT. The Pre ACT is a preliminary test for the ACT. The Pre ACT also has academic and career testing on it, so it too serves a dual purpose.


I am really proud of North Carolina investing our tax dollars in this program of testing; it provides excellent feedback to assist students with career planning and with direction to take the right courses to complement their career goals. If we are going to test, let's make good use of the testing information for the betterment of our children, and this testing program allows for just that type of knowledge.


As a matter of fact, the College Board, the governing organization of the SAT, has caught on to this type of program and is now offering a PSAT for 7th/8th grade, a PSAT for 9th/10th grade, and then the PSAT in 11th grade, and of course the SAT (as soon as the student finishes Math III.)


For the next few days, I will be addressing the ACT testing which is scheduled for the last Tuesday in February - the 23rd. If a student is in junior level standing, then he/she will automatically be signed up to take this test.


Tomorrow, for the parents' sake, we will address some specifics about the ACT!


Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, February 8, 2021


POST #106 - Name those 16 UNC System Colleges/Universities


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Well, Super Bowl LV (55) is in the books. In just a few short weeks, it will be a year since schools closed for what we thought would be only two weeks, but turned into months instead. Hopefully, we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel


Okay, are you ready to name all 16 colleges and universities in the North Carolina UNC System of four year public post secondary educational institutions?


Let's name them in a unique way....a way that shows the strength of our state's college diversity.....


1. Largest = North Carolina State University - Home of the Wolfpack (Yep, this is my school, undergraduate and graduate!)


2. Smallest = North Carolina School of the Arts - Students can attend this school for high school as well as college.


3. The UNCs…

= UNC Asheville - A liberal arts college that has the mascot of the Bulldogs!


4. = UNC Chapel Hill - This school broke it's record two years ago with applications received - over 40,000 which was up over 8,000 applications from the previous year!


5. = UNC Charlotte - The 49ers! This school now has a football program.


6. = UNC Greensboro - The Spartans are known for many aspects of their school, such as business, arts, nursing, and education!


7. = UNC Pembroke - Home of the Braves - this school should definitely be on lots of students' college list.


8. = UNC Wilmington - UNC-W is home to the Seahawks! They are well-known for being located close to the beach.


9. Our HBCUs - Historically Black Colleges and Universities = North Carolina A and T State University - Located in central NC - Greensboro - They are Aggie Strong!!

10. = North Carolina Central University - (HBCU) Located in Durham, NC - They are proudly the Eagles!!


11. = Fayetteville State University - (HBCU) One of our smaller schools; they are known as the Broncos!


12. = Winston Salem State University - (HBCU) They are the Rams!


13. The beach - Elizabeth City State University (HBCU) and are known as the Vikings!


14. The East and the West = East Carolina University - Located in Greenville, NC - the Purple and Gold - Pirate Nation!


15. = Western Carolina University - Known as the Catamounts! Purple and white are its colors.


16. The mountains = Appalachian State University - The Mountaineers are athletically and academically strong.


How did you do with your list of colleges in the UNC System?


I am a proud North Carolinian; we are blessed with higher education in NC! We should celebrate these 16 institutions; they are ours!!


Have a wonderful Monday! Share the blog with family and friends!

Friday, February 5, 2021


POST #105 - Our state's public colleges/universities!


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Over my 33+ years as a school counselor even now as a independent consultant, I am always amazed, surprised, and shocked when I go into a classroom to speak to students about the UNC System of Colleges/Universities – no matter the grade that I am speaking with…6th, 10th, 8th, 12th – 90% do not know which colleges and universities belong in this group of 16.

Most want to put Duke and Wake Forest in the mix of the 16, and I explain to them that these two universities are NOT part of the UNC System because they are private institutions in North Carolina and the UNC System colleges/universities is made up of public institutions of higher learning.


Students get very confused as to which colleges are in the UNC System because they think every school that plays in the ACC is one in the same and in the UNC System. It is for that reason that some students even name the University of Virginia and Florida State University as part of NORTH CAROLINA’s UNC System?? Funny…but I am honestly telling you the truth!!! Other schools that are frequently named are: Campbell University, Methodist University, and Elon University. All three are outstanding schools…..but they are all three private and are not in the UNC system of colleges/universities!! Please don't get me wrong....there is nothing wrong with the private college/universities in NC - they are excellent. However, the difference is the price tag, and our children need to understand this difference early in their college planning process!


When I present to students or begin to prepare students for the college planning process, one of the first things we discuss is the UNC System and which schools belong to this system. Parents, I discuss this topic with our young people because our UNC System Schools offer the best money deal in education. It is for this very reason many students from outside of North Carolina clamor to attend one of these 16 schools…yet anyone from out-of-state must pay out-of-state prices which are extremely high but still far better in cost than other colleges and universities in other regions of the United States. North Carolina is blessed with a strong post secondary public school system.


So….before we begin to talk about each school specifically….can you name all 16? I dare to say that most cannot, but go ahead and try and Monday you can see if you are right. Now don’t cheat by looking on the Internet, googling the topic – see how many you can name….make it a family project tonight at the dinner table!! Have your list ready Monday before you read the blog!


Have a great day and weekend! If you love football, enjoy the Super Bowl on Sunday evening.

Thursday, February 4, 2021


POST #104 - As a junior in high school, how do I learn about colleges?


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


Normally at this point in the second semester, I am encouraging juniors to register to attend the largest National College Fair held in late March in Raleigh, BUT due to COVID19 all such gathers have been canceled. So now what….Good News…..


CACRAO (Carolinas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers), an organization that presents the yearly college fairs at schools is offering StriveScan Virtual College Fairs for Spring 2021! I am so excited about this opportunity for our students. They hope to have over 200 colleges participate, which is outstanding….and, they plan to have three dates available for students and their parents to register for starting in mid-March. As soon as I know about the registration, I will let you know!


Here are the three dates and times North Carolina students and parents can register for once the registration site opens (so save one of the dates on your calendar):


  • Thursday, March 25th 5pm to 7:45pm

  • Monday, April 19th 5pm to 7:45pm

  • Thursday, April 22nd 5pm to 7:45pm


Once registration opens, individuals will have the opportunity to select one or more of the above dates, allowing parents and students to attend a virtual college fair. Awesome opportunity to check out colleges, particularly in a pandemic!


Thanks to CACRAO for stepping up and figuring out a way to make a college fair a reality for our students. According to CACRAO’s president, Matt Cash, this platform will afford the opportunity for “students to hear from a wide range of institutions in a lively and safe environment.”


I am extremely excited about this program for our students. As I learn more, I will be certain to share the information.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021


POST #103 - Huge Milestone Accomplished!


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Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


First – The blog has hit a milestone…..Post 100 - last Friday!! Let's Celebrate!!


I am feeling so excited to know I have reached this number, but even more so, I have tried very hard to share information, knowledge, and insight to the career and college process that can serve as a guide and assistance to all the readers of the blog. I have tried to answer your questions or direct you to the individual that can answer your questions.


Thank you for your emails loaded with kind words and appreciation; your words of gratitude are genuinely valued by me. Also, thanks for letting me know that you enjoy my stories about my processes with my own children. To me, it is the stories that we best learn from; and I certainly want to share the decisions I made that were good, but I also want to share the decisions that I wish I had done somewhat differently because I don’t want others to experience what they do not have to experience in the overwhelming process of career and college.


The blog is meant to help and prepare others in this specific journey of career and college; and from your comments, I am on the right road! Thank you, thank you, thank you and please continue to tell others about the blog so that we can all grow and learn more about this ever changing, mind-boggling, and all-consuming process!!


We have so much more to talk about as this year progresses. Of course, you are more than welcome to email me questions or concerns about the process. Some questions I simply respond to in an email, then others might make the blog post but always anonymously. In other words, the blog is a safe place for you. Thanks again for reading and sharing with others.


Now, it is time to continue the blog posts, shooting for 200!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2021


POST #102 - Do Things Look Different?


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


First and foremost, Happy School Counselor's Week. Having been a school counselor, I understand how much it means when someone thanks you for something you have done to help them or their child. School counselors are such an important part of our school environments. Please take the time this week or any day and tell our school counselor how much they mean to you as a parent or as a student. It will be greatly appreciated.


On to the post for today.....Do Things Look Different?


So, if you noticed, the blog’s page has changed its looks just a little bit. The way the blog is set up doesn’t allow for the archive of the previous blog posts which means each time I write a blog I start from the bottom. This situation grows with each blog post, meaning that I have to move the most recent post written to the top and the more I write the longer it takes to move the most recent post to the top. In order to stop creating the blog in manner, I had to start a new blog. It is for this reason you see a new blog beginning. As a matter of fact, at the start of each new month, I will be starting a new blog which means a new look and new numbers.


The old blog posts are being archived on the page just prior to the blog...the archival posts are located on the Chatham County page with my character just prior to the blog page. You can always look back at any and all previous posts. Sorry for the change, but it will help in the maintenance of the blog.


Thank you for being an avid reader of the blog. I ask you to email me topics that you would like for me to address. I also ask that you tell others about the blog and encourage them to read it and share it with others.


Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, February 1, 2021

POST #101 - Ugh...how do I handle the Denial Letter?


Email: beyondtheclassroom@gmail.com

Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.


At this point, many seniors have heard from their respective colleges in one of four ways:


  1. ACCEPTED!! (blog post on last Wednesday)

  2. DEFERRED!! (blog post on last Thursday)

  3. WAITLISTED!! (blog post last Friday)

  4. NOT ACCEPTED!! DENIED!! (today’s blog post)


Today, it is straight talk about receiving a denial letter from a college or university…..do you have options? The answer is YES.... but the option provided at each college or university is sometimes well hidden or hard to understand. And, at each school, the process may be somewhat different. Keep in mind that colleges rarely change the decision unless they have misunderstood information in the application package.


When a student receives a denial letter from a college, he/she has the option to accept the denial and move forward with another college/university OR he/she has the option to appeal the denial.


Up front, it is important that a student realize that an appeal is for a valid reason not just simply to ask for the college/university to take a second look at his/her credentials. Trust me…prior to a college or university denying a student, each institution of higher learning has looked at each student's application and supporting materials numerous times by several different individuals, so the appeal is not for an additional look.


Here are some reasons for an appeal:


  1. Something was erroneously presented on your transcript that you have now spotted

  2. Something was erroneously presented on your application that needs to be corrected

  3. Your 1st semester grades show marked improvement as a serious student

  4. New SAT and/or ACT scores have arrived


The appeals process is NOT for the following:


  1. Your best friend got in and you just know you are a better student than he/she is.

  2. Your father, grandfather, great grandfather, and great-great grandfather all attended the university and you forgot to mention it.

  3. You plead your case because it is the only school you applied to this pass fall.

  4. You have suddenly changed your 2nd semester schedule to make it look tougher.

  5. You know someone who knows someone who knows the president of the college.


To learn more about the appeal’s process, one must go to each college/university’s website and search admission's appeal process. And then, it is imperative that the procedures be followed exactly as they are written. If you decide to appeal, it is also important to pursue another college because only about 1.5% of appeals are reversed to an acceptance - in reality, the odds are not in your favor!



Have a great Monday and an even better week!