Meredith Reynolds - Head Start College Blog

SAT Tests in August
April 19th, 2017
Families have wanted a summer test for years and SAT is finally delivering, in part to get back part of the market they have lost in recent years to the ACT that will again offer its first test for the year in September. If the August test meets your schedules, then register early as I predict it will be popular. Of course ,the SAT test in August was at its most basic level made possible by schools opening before Labor Day.

Student Loans: Beware / Be INFORMED
July 22nd, 2016

I recommend that you read the linked article from Inside Higher Education not endorsing the new Amazon/Wells Fargo Student Loan product, but to share with you the complexities of the student loan market. When in doubt, take the advice of your student’s college or university Financial Aid office.

Summer Challenge: All Ages!
June 7th, 2016

This US News list is intended for Students off to college, but I’m actually challenging all of my high school clients. Why wait until the summer before you are off to college…these are all things that will help you both in high school and college.
I will take the challenge as well:  Reading / Relearning / Time Management / Do something outside home and family / Investigate Career Options.

Tuition Discounts: Did You Ask?
May 21st, 2016

All the mainstream press is about the admissions and costs at the Ivy Leagues, but what about the other 98% of students who attend private school? Sounds like there is a real “cat fight” to get your son or daughter and they are offering deep tuition discounts (grants, not loans)…check out this article by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

One aside…this reminds me of flying on an airplane and looking either way on the aisle and realizing I may be the only one who paid full fare, extra for my bag and I don’t have a drink coupon…

Employers Value Real-World Accomplishments
May 6th, 2016

Active learners. Students who test themselves outside of the classroom are more likely to be hired in what is now called a globalized market.

Harder to Get a Seat on the “Bus”
April 19th, 2016

Why does it seem so “hard” to get into college these days? Numbers, and I don’t mean SAT scores. In California alone there are 2, 399 high schools with 509,351 seniors to add to those in the rest of the country and the world.

Have the number of college spaces increased with the demand both domestically and internationally over the past even 50 years? One new University of California which is more than those opened in the majority of other states. New private colleges and universities? Can you think of even one?

Check out how your high school is ranked by US News in this competitive market. This may be one piece of data college admissions officers refer to when considering your son or daughter’s readiness for their school.

Imagination Rewarded?
April 13th, 2016

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Albert Einstein

Are your children encouraged to develop their imaginations? Colleges are excited about it in a candidate not only for the reason above…but because it is rare. Imagine the impossible…what would that be about? Can you make a list or keep a journal of what you imagine?

WHERE? is it worth $50,000 a year?
April 13th, 2016

As tortured decisions are made by high school seniors and their families, the question that keeps echoing in our minds (when we think of what we paid for college 40 years ago)…”Is it “worth” $50,000/year followed closed with the question of WHERE is it worth that? A “new” list is out that ranks colleges by  where its graduates are going…not who are the freshmen enrolling. Love it…Who “buys” that college’s graduates / products? The book is under $20…do the math, perhaps a good investment. May you all be at peace with your final decision.

Something “NEW” from the UC’s !?!
March 24th, 2016

Not wanting to be outdone by College Board, who is still working the “kinks” out of its “new” SAT, the University of California has totally revamped the essay portion of its application (unchanged for 10 years)  for both freshmen and transfer applicants. Freshmen will select 4 of 8 prompts to answer in 350 words. Based on my years of experience, this will be significantly more challenging than the past system requiring one 650 word essay and one 350 word. Also, there will be no chance for overlap with the Common Application personal statement (650 words). For more information see link. (more…)

The “NEW” (?!) What to do?
January 22nd, 2016

As the holidays pass, first semester finals pass…ahead looms the “new” SAT or the ACT??? What to do? Here’s an overview from an expert in the field, Compass Education Group. Stay calm, this too will pass.


Perhaps most important for the entire family, the Head Start College program paces students to complete their applications by Thanksgiving.


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