Joan B. Weiss and Roberta Lachman
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10 Things Juniors Should Be Doing Right Now
It's a mistake to think that students begin applying to college during senior year of high school.  Actually, the college admissions process begins in earnest during the second semester of junior year.

If you're an 11th grader, these are the things you should be doing right now:
  1. Figuring out your SAT/ACT test strategy, signing up, and prepping for them. 
  2. Actively planning your all-important summer before senior year.
  3. Starting to build a college list based on a clear understanding of your goals, interests, strengths, needs, and preferences.
  4. Researching those colleges to find the ones that are your best fits.
  5. Beefing up your extracurriculars with smart choices about outside-of-class activities, community service, work experience, and leadership-building opportunities.
  6. Talking to your parents about the cost of college and learning about/applying for scholarships.
  7. Attending college fairs and visiting college campuses.
  8. Making sure that you are on-track to complete all college-prep classes by the time that you graduate.
  9. Familiarizing yourself with college application essay prompts and brainstorming possible topics.
  10. Keeping up your grades!
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Mark Your Calendar
LGBTQ-Friendly Online College Fair
March 19, 2015
6:00 am-6:00 pm PST

Greater Los Angeles National College Fair
Pasadena Convention Center
Thursday, April 30, 2015
9:00 am - 12 pm and 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Colleges That Change Lives Fair
Universal City Hilton
Sunday, July 26, 2015
11:00 am and 3:00 pm

Accommodations for Test-Takers
The SAT, ACT and other standardized tests can be some of the most stressful elements of the college application process.  For students with certain disabilities, the stress can be even greater. If your student has a documented disability or an IEP (Individualized Education Plan), s/he will likely qualify for special accommodations while taking these tests.  Accommodations include things like:  extra time, a testing environment with fewer students, or a reader to read questions aloud to the student. 

Requesting accommodations will not label your child in any way.  Your student's results will be delivered to the schools he or she chooses without any mention of these accommodations.

The most important thing to know about securing accommodations is that it takes time to get approved--sometimes as long as 7 weeks. 

The SAT and ACT websites contain the information you'll need to learn about available accommodations and how to apply for them.
Dear 9th - 12th grade parents:

Spring semester is a good time to check-in with your student to make sure s/he's advancing on a college-ready track.  While you should have different expectations of your child's progress from freshman to sophomore to junior year, the areas of inquiry remain the same.  We call it a Spring Diagnostic, and ask our high school clients about their progress, obstacles, and future plans in areas including career interests, academic performance and choices, extracurricular activities, summer planning, and college knowledge.
Make a point of sitting down with your student in the next few weeks (duct tape them to a chair, if necessary) to get a read on where they're at and help them make any course corrections.  We promise they'll thank you for it...eventually.  
Your college sherpas,
Joan and Roberta

Suddenly...Next Summer
The daffodils are blooming and spring is in the air.  But there's no time for daydreaming.  With deadlines approaching fast, it's time to help your student make plans for summer.

While kids often see summer break as a time to not do anything, it's actually prime time for building up a college resume.  Specifically, encourage your child to prepare for applying to college by working these fun and interesting activities into his/her summer plans. 
  • Enrichment Programs- A chance for students to learn about things outside of their school's curriculum, there's a wide variety of programs offered to high schoolers that take place on college campuses.  Programs may last a week or all summer, be residential or not, and include everything from science to music to leadership.
  • Summer School- For students who got a grade below a "C" or failed to take some of the required A-G courses, summer is the time for a do-over.
  • Community Service- For students who haven't given a significant amount of time to community service during the school year (as well as for those who have), summer is the time to make a serious commitment to a cause.
  • Essay-writing- If your student is currently a junior, it is critically important that s/he devotes a big chunk of the summer to making progress on the college essays/personal statements that need to be sent with applications in the fall.  Failure to get an early start will not only result in weaker essays, but a miserable fall season, as well.
Volunteer and Summer Enrichment Opportunities Click Here
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