Tuesday, December 19, 2017

It's Crunch Time For College Applications

Families with seniors may have extra stress this holiday season as their teens work to finish college applications before many are due on Jan. 1.
While it’s not ideal for teens to finish applications on New Year’s Eve, experts know it happens and advise these students to shorten their college application list, consider colleges with rolling admissions and follow these other tips to make the deadline.
Parents still searching for a gift for their college-bound teen can consider these suggestions, like cooking and self-defense classes, that will help students prepare for life away from home.
Happy holidays!
The U.S. News Education newsletter team: Alexandra @alipannoni and Briana @B_Boyington.

Friday, December 15, 2017

10 Important Things To Know About Student Transcripts

  1. They’re a starting point. Transcripts have to be recorded before they’re evaluated. Most schools enter the data in what’s known as a Student Information System. Eastern Kentucky University uses a system called Banner to help decode and process the “nearly 12,000 transcripts” that EKU has received over the past year.
  2. Digital transcripts lead to faster decisions. Morris says that getting digital transcripts enables better and more efficient workflow, which can be a relief for anxious students waiting on a decision. “As a Parchment member, we import [digital transcripts received] directly into Banner, which speeds up our ability to get a student an admissions decision right away — usually within 48 hours of receiving their transcripts a letter will go out in the mail.”
  3. GPA is a very important factor when it comes to admissions. While it probably sounds obvious, no single stat on a student’s high school transcript resonates as deeply as grade-point average. 
  4. But test scores are a close second. Morris says that many high school transcripts may also include standardized test scores. Learning to be a good test taker years before students sit down for the ACT or SAT can help them get into the college of their choice or earn merit scholarship awards.
  5. Rank and schedule difficulty also matter. People often think of high school transcripts as merely a reflection of grades earned. Not so, Morris says. EKU also looks to transcripts for contextual data that speaks to students’ ability to compete. “[At Eastern Kentucky University], we also look at class ranking and academic course rigor for determining selection to our nationally recognized Honors Program.”
  6. Patterns speak louder than outcomes. A great semester of math isn’t as important as a consistent record of solid — if unspectacular — performance in the same subject over the course of a high school career. Similarly, “a significant drop in a student’s term GPA” could be a red flag, Morris says, in that it could indicate a student isn’t delivering their best work on a regular basis.
  7. Every year counts!. Administrators want to see a pattern of predictable effort and consistent success. “Students need to understand that high school grades count from day one,” Morris says. “Too many student [records] show they didn’t take grades seriously as a freshman, then they spend the next 2-3 years trying to resurrect their GPA.” Scholarship-granting organizations tend to disqualify applicants who “wake up” late in their school career, Morris says.
  8. Administrators use past performance to predict the future, and then judge accordingly. If it sounds harsh to penalize a student for a mediocre GPA or inconsistent classroom performance, Morris says it isn’t without cause. Students tend to bring the habits they exhibit in high school with them to college. “A student with a high GPA has demonstrated not only [classroom] mastery but also a willingness to complete outside assignments to a high standard and get them turned in on time. Much of college success comes from being a serious and disciplined student.”
  9. The admissions process doesn’t end with the first transcript submitted. While most students will apply for and be accepted to a university before getting a final high school transcript, the process doesn’t end there. Those qualifying for federal financial aid such as Pell Grants will need to provide final documents before funds can be disbursed. “As soon as a student graduates high school, they should log in to Parchment and get that last transcript sent so that nothing holds up their financial assistance.”
  10. College credit must be properly documented. Today more students are taking college courses while in high school, such as Dual Credit or Advanced Placement (AP).  “Students need to have official transcripts from the college granting the credits or from AP as soon as they’re available.  This can minimize problems when it comes time to register for fall classes.”
While there’s always more to a student than what is reflected on their high school transcripts, no single document has a greater impact on a student’s ability to get into the school of their choice or earn merit scholarships. Counselors can use these tips to help students understand the importance of the transcript as it relates to the story it tells admissions personal about the student.  Make it count!  

UNC Chapel Hill: Project Uplift

Project Uplift and NCR 2018
Accepting Applications until January 15
There's still time for students to apply for these signature summer programs hosted by UNC's Office for Diversity and Inclusion.

Project Uplift enables high-achieving rising seniors to experience college life on the Carolina campus over two days in May or June. 

Uplift PLUS is a rigorous 5-week program for high–achieving, in-state, Project Uplift participants. Students participate in a three-credit English course, engage in research, and much more while staying on campus. Students may express interest in Uplift PLUS by writing a supplemental essay within their Project Uplift application. There is no separate application.

The North Carolina Renaissance (NCR) program invites rising juniors from rural North Carolina communities for an educational four-day enrichment program in July.

Nomination cards and application forms are available:

Project Uplift 2018
North Carolina Renaissance 2018

Students have until  11:59 pm on January 15, 2018 to submit their applications. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Duke Summer Sessions For High School Students

Good news from Duke Summer Session!  We are happy to announce that we are now accepting applications for our life-changing summer programs at Duke University.  Whichever program you choose, over the course of the summer, you will find that Duke Summer Session is committed not only to building lifelong memories and friendships from around the world, but to laying the foundation for a future of collegiate success.  It is for this reason that students regularly report that our programs strengthened their college application and paved the way for academic excellence at top universities.  Follow the links below to apply to one of our transformative summer programs:

Summer College Application – A four-week, credit-bearing program for US students currently in 10th or 11th grade and international students currently in 10th – 12th grade in which they take undergraduate-level courses.

Summer Academy Application – A three-week program for students currently in 9th – 12th grade in which they take a certificate course.

Intensive STEM Academy Application – A one-week, STEM-based program for students currently in 9th – 12th grade that consists of a variety of laboratory tours, faculty lectures, and workshops.

We strongly encourage you to apply online today, as spaces fill quickly!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Environmental Science Summer Program at Duke (FREE for High School students!)

Summer 2018 Apply Here!


in Durham, Orange, and Wake Counties!

Are you a rising or current Triangle area 10th, 11th, or 12th grader? Interested in Environmental Science? Want to experience Duke University’s state-of-the-art facilities and the Duke Forest? Want to build a professional resume with Duke’s career development experts?
If so, apply here for the Environmental Science Summer Program at Duke. Best part yet: It’s FREE to all students and, if you’re a DPS student, transportation is provided! Apply today! Admission is rolling, but we recommend applying by the 15th of February.
2018 Program Dates (2 week program):  July 28 to August 10, 2018.

This program is generously supported by a private donor and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

Questions? Email Dr. Nicolette Cagle, nicolette.cagle (at) duke.edu

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Teen Drive 365 Video Challenge

Winter break is just around the corner, and teens can use their time off to help spread the message of driving distraction-free.  Students who create a 30-60 second safe driving PSA for the TeenDrive365 Video Challenge have a chance at some incredible prizes:

  • First Place: $15,000 and the chance to work with a Discovery film crew to re-shoot their video into a TV-ready PSA
  • Second Place: $10,000
  • Third Place: $7,500
  • Fourth through Tenth Place: $2,500
  • People's Choice: $5,000 and a behind-the-scenes trip to a Velocity show taping
  • Four Regional Winners : $1,000

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Aubrey Lee Brooks Scholarships

Aubrey Lee Brooks Scholarships

Established in 1955 by a Trust endowed by the late Aubrey Lee Brooks, these scholarships are available to graduating high school seniors from a 14-county area of North Carolina. The North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority provides central administration for the Brooks Foundation.
Awards are made annually to seventeen (17) graduating high school seniors who meet all of the following criteria:

  • Complete an Aubrey Lee Brooks Scholarship Application
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Plan to enroll as full-time students in a degree-granting program at N.C. State University, UNC-Chapel Hill, or UNC-Greensboro
  • Permanently reside and attend high school in one of the following counties: Alamance, Bertie, Caswell, Durham, Forsyth, Granville, Guilford, Orange, Person, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, Swain, or Warren

Of the 17 scholarships, one is awarded to a student from the areas of Greensboro and High Point and to a senior at the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics who is from an eligible county. Additional criteria include merit, leadership, character, and the desire of the recipient to prepare for a career as a useful and informed citizen.
The scholarship provides for an award of about one-half the cost of an undergraduate education. The maximum award for the prior academic year was $12,000.

Brooks Scholars may receive additional funding for summer internships, research or travel abroad, and a one-time computer stipend of $2,500. The scholarship is renewable, provided the recipient has continued financial need, remains enrolled full-time at an eligible institution, and maintains a 2.75 cumulative grade point average and good citizenship.
Application Procedure
To apply you must:
  1. Apply for college admission and be accepted as an undergraduate student at one of the qualifying institutions
  2. Apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2018-2019 academic year (available on October 1, 2017). To be considered the applicant must list at least one of the qualifying institutions. Financial data will be confirmed prior to the release of scholarship funds.
  3. Complete the Brooks Scholarship application
    • You must use your CFNC account when completing the application.
    • You must submit all required documents listed in the application.
    • You must provide an SSN as a part of your application.
    • You must provide email addresses for a counselor/teacher and a personal reference
  4. See Ms. O'Kane for more iinformation

Monday, November 27, 2017

College Raptor Scholarship

Apply for the $2,500 College Raptor Scholarship!

To help students take a thoughtful approach to the college decision process and pay for college, College Raptor is awarding a $2,500 scholarship.
$2,500 College Raptor Scholarship Application Process:
  • 1. Register with College Raptor.
  • 2. Use our College Search tool to find the best colleges for you.
  • 3. Submit your Essay by January 31, 2018.
For eligibility, applicants must:
  • Be legal residents of the United States, District of Columbia, or a U.S. Territory.
  • Be age 16 or older.
  • Be enrolled (or enroll no later than the fall of 2019) in an accredited post-secondary institution of higher learning (college, university or trade school).

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Meredith College Scholarship

Meredith College is offering a new $4500 scholarship for strong young women planning to pursue STEM in college. Meredith's new AWE-STEM Scholarship is need and merit based. Students must be admitted to the College by January 15and also apply for the scholarship by January 15. Students are encouraged to apply Early Action - December 1 deadline. 

 Meredith has a long history in supporting women in STEM-related disciplines. Funded by NSF from 2004 through 2015 in three awards, the College continues to support the Paschal Scholars program, with more than 50 students having received scholarship support and STEM-related programming,” said Senior Vice President and Provost Matthew Poslusny. “The NSF-funded AWE-STEM program is a natural next step, increasing the levels of support and programming opportunities at Meredith for women entering STEM-related fields.”
The AWE-STEM Scholars Program is under the direction of Hontz, Powell, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Maria Pickering and Dean of Natural and Mathematical Sciences Liz Wolfinger, who worked to secure the grant. Apply.


Friday, November 17, 2017

American Legion Oratorical Contest

The American Legion Oratorical Contest exists to develop deeper knowledge and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution among high school students. Since 1938, the program has presented participants with an academic speaking challenge that teaches important leadership qualities, the history of our nation’s laws, the ability to think and speak clearly, and an understanding of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship. The program has featured numerous politicians and prominent contestants over the years, including former president candidate Alan Keyes and CNN anchor Lou Dobbs.

Young orators earn some of the most generous college scholarships available to high school students. Over $138,000 in scholarships can be awarded each year. The overall national contest winner gets an $18,000 scholarship. Second place takes home $16,000, and third gets $14,000. Each department (state) winner who is certified into and participates in the national contest’s first round receives a $1,500 scholarship. Those who advance past the first round receive an additional $1,500 scholarship. The American Legion’s National Organization awards the scholarships, which can be used at any college or university in the United States.
High school students under age 20 are eligible. Competition begins at the post level and advances to a state competition. Legion department representatives certify one winner per state to the national contest, where department winners compete against each other in two speaking rounds. The contest caps off with a final round that decides the three top finishers.
Speaking subjects must be on some aspect of the U.S. Constitution, with some emphasis on the duties and obligations of citizens to our government. Speeches are eight to 10 minutes long; three- to five-minute speeches on an assigned topic also are part of the contest.
For more information:

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

College Application Month: FAFSA Video

As you begin week three of College Application Month, see the  link below for a great tool that will help  students and  parents understand and complete the FAFSA. The video makes the FAFSA completion process much less intimidating through its step-by-step instructions and explanations. .

Christ Saves Hearts Scholarship

 High School Seniors in the Triangle area.
  Christ Saves Hearts Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization is  looking for minority high school seniors who have been impacted with heart/ cardiovascular disease rather directly or indirectly with an immediate family member. Deadline is December 20th, 2017.  They have scholarship money for this school year so please help them give it away.  The  2017-2018 Christ Saves Hearts Scholarship Packet attached. All winners will be announced at a 2018 Scholarship Gala on March 24, 2018

Monday, November 13, 2017

Durham Community Martin Luther King, Jr. Steering Committee Scholarship

Recipients will be selected based on proven academic achievement, school involvement and financial need. Character and leadership will also be factors in determining the recipients.

Recipients must be a graduate of a Durham County High School  and have been accepted at an accredited college  or university or community college or have a written statement from the counselor that an application has been submitted.

See Ms . O'Kane for an application packet. The completed application is due by December 15. 

Duke Splash Nov. 18,2017

Duke Splash is a 1-day event where middle and high schoolers from all over North Carolina are invited to Duke's campus to take classes taught by Duke students. Duke students create 50-min courses ranging from Pokemon 101 to Intro to Linear Algebra and more! With over 100 classes to choose from, middle and high school students can create their own 4- class schedule to explore new interests. Lunch is provided and T-shirts can be purchased day.

The event is a one day event on November 18th where students can go to Duke University and attend classes taught by Duke students! There are over 100 classes to choose from and they also provide lunch as well! Students can register online until November 15th . There is a $5 admission fee, but students can apply for financial aid if they need it. Some of the classes that are offered this semester are "Let's play Yutnori!" (A really fun Korean board game), "Bollywood Dance", "History and Anthropology of Alcohol", and "Ethical Eating". 

See Ms. O';Kane for more information. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

UNC Project Uplift and NCR Information

Project Uplift and NCR 2018
Accepting Applications

UNC's Office for Diversity and Inclusion is pleased to announce that they're accepting nominations and applications for their signature summer programs.

Project Uplift enables high-achieving rising seniors to experience college life on the Carolina campus over two days in May or June. 

Uplift PLUS is a rigorous 5-week program for high–achieving, in-state, Project Uplift participants. Students participate in a three-credit English course, engage in research, and much more while staying on campus. Students may express interest in Uplift PLUS by writing a supplemental essay within their Project Uplift application. There is no separate application.

The North Carolina Renaissance (NCR) program invites rising juniors from rural North Carolina communities for an educational four-day enrichment program in July.

Nomination cards and application forms are available:

Project Uplift 2018
North Carolina Renaissance 2018

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

College Covered Scholarship

$2,500 Scholarship Award is still available for eligible students and parents through December 31, 2017. Students and parents can enter by signing up to receive tips and resources on CollegeCovered.com. No purchase or loan necessary to enter or win.
They also have a Scholarship Search tool where students can search 3 million scholarships worth more than $18 billion, and no registration is required.

As students prepare to complete their college applications, CollegeCovered.com has helpful content on getting into college. Be sure to check out the article on how to make a 
college essay stand out as well as other helpful information related to the college application process.
CollegeCovered.com, a FREE resource on planning and paying for college.   

Weird Scholarships


 A  website that features thousands of small and unique scholarship opportunities. Most students forget about the smaller awards, but in many cases, these are the best opportunities for students. The site is dedicated to helping students find less competitive awards tailored to their personality, interests, and career goals.


Burger King Employee Scholarship

High school seniors, BURGER KING® employees, their dependent children, spouses or domestic partners in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico can apply to receive up to $50,000 in scholarship awards for the 2018-2019 school year!
High school seniors must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale to be eligible, and must be active in their community through volunteering, sports, clubs and/or religious organizations.
Don’t miss your chance to become a BURGER KING Scholar. Apply today!
The application period for the 2018-2019 school year is open from Oct. 15, 2017 through Dec. 15, 2017.

Duke Summer Session for High School Students

We at Duke Summer Session invite you to help us spread the word about our incredible summer programs.  Please share the information below with your students for a once-in-a-lifetime experience:
We are happy to announce that our website has been updated and now contains information about our 2018 programs.  At Duke Summer Session, we’re in the business of creating life-changing experiences.  With our world-class instructors, breathtaking campus, and downright fun residential program, our students leave our program not only equipped for a future of collegiate success, but with a lifetime of memories and friendships.  This summer, we are offering more opportunities than ever to engage in one of our transformative programs:
Summer College – A four-week, credit-bearing program for US students currently in 10th or 11th grade and international students currently in 10th – 12th grade in which they take undergraduate-level courses
Summer Academy – A three-week program for students currently in 9th – 12th grade in which they take a certificate course.
Intensive STEM Academy – A one-week, STEM-based program for students currently in 9th – 12th grade that consists of a variety of laboratory tours, faculty lectures, and workshops.
Want to learn more about our programs?  Check out our website.

Friday, November 3, 2017

UNC-Chapel Hill Catalyst Conference

The annual Catalyst Conference brings a select group of 100 North Carolina high school students (grades 9-12) to our campus to explore social justice issues affecting both America and the world. Through leadership and personal development sessions, participants are empowered to serve as catalysts for positive change in their own communities.

WhenFriday, February 16 - Sunday, February 18
Where: UNC campus in Chapel Hill, NC
Cost: $50 registration fee to help with some of the costs of food and housing for the weekend.*

Apply by: Interested students should apply online by 11:59 pm on Friday, December 1, 2017. There is no cost to apply.
Online Application: Please visit https://unccatalyst.wordpress.com/.

*Please let us know if you have an interested student with financial need as there are scholarships available.

We hope that your students will take advantage of this unique opportunity. If you or your students have questions, please email unccatalyst@gmail.com. Thank you for your support!

Counselors and Colleagues Team
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Scholarship Opportunity for Voyager Juniors

The Rotary District 7710, consisting of 47 Rotary Clubs within the Triangle, is sponsoring a weekend leadership conference for High School Juniors to be held April 20 - 22, 2018.  This exciting weekend adventure is held annually for Juniors who have demonstrated leadership in their communities and school, and have met the academic and personal challenges that help create future leaders.  The best part is that the entire event is at no cost to the participants.  The cost is borne by the supporting Rotary Clubs.  Topics for discussion:
  • The fundamentals of leadership
  • The ethics of positive leadership
  • The qualities of the “servant leader”
  • The importance of communication skills
  • Building self-esteem and self-confidence
  • The elements of community and global citizenship
  • Rotary’s purpose of service to the community and world
The Conference runs from 10:00am Friday, April 20, 2018 through 1:00pm Sunday, April 22, 2018.  Students will miss school on Friday, April 20.  It will be held at Camp Oak Hill in Oxford, North Carolina.

I have included a link for additional information and the application.  You must hurry, the deadline for completion is November 10, 2017.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

CFNC Scholarship Information

The new scholarship section on CFNC.org is now live.

 Parents and students can access this comprehensive list at https://www.cfnc.org/paying/schol/all_schols.jsp.  

The new format provides easier access to all scholarships available for the 2018-2019 academic year and students will be able to read eligibility requirements without having to read the entire scholarship description.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

FAFSA Assistance for Families

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid for the 2018-2019 school year opened on Oct. 1. College applicants should fill out the FAFSA form ASAP, since institutional aid and state grants are typically awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Below is a link to a video  with financial aid experts answer questions about the FAFSA.


Saturday, October 14, 2017

FAFSA is Open!

Students Can Apply for Aid Now
Early applications receive quicker notice
Students can now apply for financial aid for the 2018-2019 academic year. To be considered for financial aid at Carolina, students must complete both the FAFSA and CSS Financial Profile.
Students should apply by the March 1 priority deadline for the fullest array of available aid - if not sooner.