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