Author Archives: A Valued Guest

Choosing a school is already a difficult decision, making the choice with the ROTC scholarship in mind could make the decision easier… or that much harder. Here are some things to keep in mind that have the potential to make the decision-making process less of a headache. One important first step is to help your son or daughter to decide on a major, if they have not done so already. This can narrow down the search for the right school. Military vs. non-military college is another topic to think about. A traditional college is going to offer your son or daughter a traditional college experience for the most part. He or she will still be required to fulfill their ROTC obligations. A military service academy is not going to reflect the traditional college experience, but it will help you son or daughter learn the military culture and help them to…

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Spring break is typically a time that students and families take to the road for their college search.  The weather is relatively predictable (i.e. not snowing), college campuses are full of students, so the potential peer group is visible, and you might even have a set (or two) of test scores that help guide you toward possible, realistic options.  For the Class of 2021, just about all of this is out the window. While it is not snowing, campuses are empty and not receiving visitors, you may not have had a chance to meet with your school counselor to get a list started, and with all the test date cancellations, it is not unusual for you to still be waiting to take a standardized test.  This can feel immobilizing. Please do not feel helpless. There are a number of opportunities to use this gift of time in unanticipated ways.  It…

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One important habit school teaches us–or is supposed to teach–is write down assignments and test dates. Your school may have even provided planners to foster this habit. Some of us revel in creating color-coded plans; others, well, not so much. Simple or artful, we learn to track our responsibilities and manage our time. When life becomes more complex with AP workloads, leadership roles, and after-school practices, a student should use a planner to make it all work. And once the “getting into college” tasks of test prep, college search, and essay drafts kicks in, the whole process can become overwhelming. At times like these, consider the old adage, “If you plan it, it gets done.” What should planning look like for busy high school and college students? Look critically at your current commitments and prioritize them. Define clear goals for your top priorities. Research shows that people who write down…

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Should you carve out time from a hectic schedule to meet an alum if the school offers it? Why bother if this meeting isn’t required or doesn’t “count” in a college’s decision? As an experienced volunteer alumni interviewer and college administrator, I recommend three important instances to accept the offer to meet an alum: 1. This school is near the top of your list. After your conversation, the alum volunteer will send admissions a summary of your discussion, an assessment of your strengths, or simply answer the question “do you think this student would be a good fit at our institution?” So, even if the meeting doesn’t officially “count,” positive comments from the interviewer could help, and will never hurt. 2. Your interest in the school is strong enough that you’ll also make time to prepare for the meeting. Don’t memorize the admission material or the school fight song; do…

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The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship is one of the most valuable college scholarships in the United States. It pays up to full tuition, a monthly salary, and a yearly book allowance for those applicants who wish to become officers in the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines. Strictly speaking, an ROTC participant is not joining the Armed Forces. Participants will not be sent to “boot camp.” However, the primary purpose of the ROTC program is to produce its officers, so they must agree to serve as officers in the military after graduation in order to go through the entire program, or if they have received an ROTC scholarship. Initially enrolling (the first two years of college) does not obligate participants to serve unless they have also received a scholarship. Scholarship winners generally serve four years on active duty. ROTC classes normally involve one elective class and…

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Many colleges are “need blind” for admissions, meaning that when the college makes an admission decision, it does not consider whether or not the student can pay the cost of attendance. Sometimes this information is on the college website, or students and parents may hear about it during college tours or information sessions. The College of the Holy Cross recently changed from need blind admissions system to a “need aware” admission system. Other colleges have done this in the past, including Wesleyan University and Haverford College a few years ago. At first glance, changing to a need aware admissions system may sound like a negative, but it actually is not such a negative if the college also meets 100% of need. When colleges are “need-aware,” they do not take need into account for most of the admitted students; but then, after some number of students have been chosen for admission,…

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