Get College Bound with Dr. Chris

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Internships for High School Students

Intern­ships are a great way to get expe­ri­ence in a cer­tain field of study.  So why intern in high school?

Work expe­ri­ence in a field of study you want to pur­sue in col­lege can give you a jump up in the col­lege appli­ca­tion process.  It is a way to stand out in a crowd. An intern­ship will also allow you to under­stand more details about your major of inter­est and help you to under­stand how orga­ni­za­tions operate.

So, how do you find an intern­ship? First iden­tify your pas­sion. Some com­pa­nies offer for­mal intern­ship oppor­tu­ni­ties to high school stu­dents in par­tic­u­lar. Some pay, some are unpaid, and some you’ll pay for. Research com­pa­nies in the indus­try that inter­ests you.  Start by ask­ing around at local busi­ness asso­ci­a­tions. Use CareerOneStop’s Employer Loca­tor to help you iden­tify com­pa­nies in your local area. Next, talk to the Human Resource rep­re­sen­ta­tive or man­ager to see if posi­tions are avail­able.  Check out local orga­ni­za­tions like the news­pa­pers, muse­ums, and hos­pi­tals.  You may use your con­tacts on Face­book or Twit­ter to find open­ings in your spe­cific area of inter­est. Try web­sites like, , or For more on how to apply, click here.

What is Double Depositing? Is it an Ethical Option?

The clock is tick­ing down and the April 1st has arrived. High school seniors across the coun­try are check­ing their email and mail­boxes for the admis­sions deci­sions from the col­lege they applied to. Many stu­dents may receive more than one accep­tance. The stress and the cost of col­lege is a major deci­sion, so for stu­dents who can­not make up their mind where to go, they may con­sider dou­ble depositing.

What is the def­i­n­i­tion of dou­ble deposit­ing? Dou­ble deposit­ing means putting down a deposit, and thus accept­ing admis­sion, at more than one college.

I often hear, “This deci­sion is not easy!” Or “I love all my schools for dif­fer­ent rea­sons.” Stu­dent re-visit their col­leges and look to teach­ers and friends (and even par­ents) for guid­ance. So what do they do? Send­ing a non-refundable enroll­ment deposit check can cost as lit­tle as $100, while at oth­ers it can be as much as $500 or $1,000 can be costly, but the stu­dent just can’t decide. Read more about the Dou­ble Deposit­ing and eth­i­cal issues sur­round­ing it.

News and Notes from The Common App — Essay Prompts for 2015–2016 and Other Application Changes

ScreenHunter_370 Mar. 31 16.56News and Notes from The Com­mon App — Essay Prompts for 2015–2016 and Other Appli­ca­tion Changes

2015–2016 Essay Prompts

We are pleased to share the 2015–2016 Essay Prompts with you. New lan­guage appears in italics:

1. Some stu­dents have a back­ground, iden­tity, inter­est, or tal­ent that is so mean­ing­ful they believe their appli­ca­tion would be incom­plete with­out it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

2. The lessons we take from fail­ure can be fun­da­men­tal to later suc­cess. Recount an inci­dent or time when you expe­ri­enced fail­ure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

3. Reflect on a time when you chal­lenged a belief or idea.  What prompted you to act? Would you make the same deci­sion again?

4. Describe a prob­lem you’ve solved or a prob­lem you’d like to solve. It can be an intel­lec­tual chal­lenge, a research query, an eth­i­cal dilemma-anything that is of per­sonal impor­tance, no mat­ter the scale. Explain its sig­nif­i­cance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to iden­tify a solution.

5. Dis­cuss an accom­plish­ment or event, for­mal or infor­mal, that marked your tran­si­tion from child­hood to adult­hood within your cul­ture, com­mu­nity, or family.

The changes you see reflect the feed­back and con­sen­sus of nearly 6000 indi­vid­u­als who responded to our recent sur­vey. Among the sur­vey highlights:

  • 197 indi­vid­ual Mem­ber responses rep­re­sent­ing 110 Mem­ber institutions

  • 5667 con­stituent responses (64% school coun­selors; 14% stu­dents; 11% inde­pen­dent edu­ca­tional con­sul­tants; 4% par­ents; 2% com­mu­nity based orga­ni­za­tions; remain­der = other)

  • 82% of Mem­bers and 90% of con­stituents agree or strongly agree that the cur­rent prompts gen­er­ate effec­tive essays on the whole

  • 62% of Mem­bers and 48% of con­stituents believe the “story/background” prompt is the most effective

  • 76% of Mem­bers and 44% of con­stituents would like to see the “place where you’re con­tent” prompt replaced

  • 35% of Mem­bers and 30% of con­stituents feel that ana­lyt­i­cal abil­ity and intel­lec­tual curios­ity (as a com­bined per­cent­age) are most the dif­fi­cult attrib­utes to con­vey through the cur­rent prompts

  • 85% of Mem­bers and 82% of con­stituents feel the prompts should be left open to broad interpretation

  • 3% of Mem­ber respon­dents sug­gested Topic of Your Choice as a new prompt

  • 6% of con­stituent respon­dents sug­gested Topic of Your Choice as a new prompt, with the break­down as fol­lows: inde­pen­dent edu­ca­tional con­sultants (47%), community-based orga­ni­za­tions (7%), school coun­selors (5%), par­ents (2%), other (2%), stu­dents (<1%)

2015–2016 Appli­ca­tion Changes

In addi­tion to the revised Essay Prompts, next year’s Com­mon Appli­ca­tion will include sev­eral changes to bet­ter serve Mem­bers, coun­selors, and applicants.

Per­sonal Essay Require­ment Changes

Begin­ning next year, our Mem­ber insti­tu­tions will have the choice to require or not require the Com­mon App Per­sonal Essay. To learn more about how we will imple­ment these mod­i­fi­ca­tions, we invite you to read our blog post on essay require­ment changes. A sim­i­lar post on rec­om­men­da­tion require­ment changes will fol­low shortly.

Appli­cant Screen Print Option 

In another fre­quently requested enhance­ment, next year’s appli­cants will be able to pre­view their appli­ca­tion screen by screen (Pro­file, Fam­ily, etc.) at any time, not just as part of the sub­mis­sion process. For a sam­ple of what this new fea­ture will look like, read this descrip­tion.

More changes and addi­tions to be announced 

Later this spring, we will be able to share a com­pre­hen­sive list of all changes, addi­tions, and revi­sions to the appli­ca­tion and rec­om­mender sys­tems for 2015–2016, includ­ing infor­ma­tion on how we intend to sup­port a college’s choice to require or not require a let­ter of rec­om­men­da­tion. Please be on the look­out for webi­nars and other train­ing resources to help you pre­pare to sup­port your students.

If you have ques­tions or ideas for future newslet­ters, please con­tact Tania Rachkoskie, Direc­tor of Outreach.

You Are Accepted to College…Now How Do You Decide Where To Go?

Con­grat­u­la­tions, you have been accepted into your col­leges, now how do you decide where to send your deposit? You are at a cross­road and choos­ing a col­lege can be a dif­fi­cult task. It’s time to make your well-researched and well-matched decision.

Here are com­mon mis­takes that are made when choos­ing a college:

  • Choos­ing a col­lege because your high school sweet­heart or best friend is going there.
  • Your par­ents are alumni and you want to please them, but will it be the right choice for you?
  • The web­site or brochure look great and you have not vis­ited. Don’t just rely on online match­ing. When pos­si­ble, check it out first hand.
  • Choos­ing a school solely on pres­tige and rep­u­ta­tion. Look at fit, major, and oppor­tu­ni­ties while defin­ing your cri­te­ria. See more rea­sons to choose or not choose a college.

What Post High School Program Makes Sense to You?

Most post-secondary schools can be described as pub­lic or pri­vate, two-year or four-year.

Pub­lic insti­tu­tions are state sup­ported. Pri­vate for-profit insti­tu­tions are busi­nesses. Pri­vate not-for-profit insti­tu­tions are inde­pen­dent – for instance, the school might have been estab­lished by a church or through local com­mu­nity dona­tions rather than by the state government.

Four-year insti­tu­tions offer bachelor’s degrees, and some offer advanced degrees. Two-year insti­tu­tions offer associate’s degrees. Less-than-two-year insti­tu­tions offer train­ing and award cer­tifi­cates of com­ple­tion. For more infor­ma­tion on detailed descrip­tions of pro­grams, click here.

Find The Right College Fit

Even before you begin your col­lege search, you need to think about what would make a col­lege the right fit, the per­fect match for you. Start by answer­ing a few ques­tions: Why would you con­tinue an edu­ca­tion?  Do you want to ful­fill your dreams?  Have fun?  Meet new peo­ple and exer­cise your mind?  What about learn­ing more about what you love to do and learn­ing how to get paid doing it?   To do this, you need to under­stand your strengths, weak­nesses, and inter­ests. Think about your poten­tial to suc­ceed by review­ing your grade point aver­age, stan­dard­ized test scores and course­work, while ver­i­fy­ing what the admis­sions require­ments are to spe­cific colleges.






Build Your College Planning Library! The 2014–2015 Editions Are In!

It’s that time of year where stu­dents, par­ents, and edu­ca­tors stock theircb-2015-front-cover (2) shelves with col­lege plan­ning tools. Dr. Chris­tine Hand Gon­za­les has writ­ten sev­eral books you may find help­ful to you in the col­lege search and appli­ca­tion process,  as well as the finan­cial plan­ning and schol­ar­ship search.

Top rec­om­men­da­tions include Col­lege Bound: Proven Ways to Plan and Pre­pare For Get­ting Into the Col­lege Of Your Dreams,the com­pan­ion work­book, My College Bound Plan, Your Col­lege Plan­ning Survival Guide: Smart Tips From Stu­dents, Par­ents and Pro­fes­sion­als Who Made It Through, and Pay­ing for College With­out Break­ing the Bank: The Ulti­mate Stu­dents, Par­ent and Educa­tor Guide to Over 500 Finan­cial Aid and Schol­ar­ship Resources  ( Read more about book choices — click here.

 “Col­lege Bound” and the com­pan­ion work­book, “My Col­lege Bound Plan” guides you through the col­lege plan­ning time­line, the search and mcbp-2014-proof-cover[1]appli­ca­tion process, and cam­pus vis­its, with addi­tional tips and resources. It will show ways to approach coun­selors, teach­ers, or mod­er­a­tors to request an effec­tive let­ter of rec­om­men­da­tion, give tips on self-marketing through the col­lege essay, pro­vide sug­ges­tions for a top-notch resume of extracur­ric­u­lar activ­i­ties, and offer advice for tak­ing stan­dard­ized tests. If you are a bud­ding artist, a com­pet­i­tive ath­lete, or inter­ested in a mil­i­tary career, or tran­si­tion­ing from being home-schooled to col­lege, this book is for you. If you have spe­cial needs or a dis­abil­ity, this book is for you. If you are think­ing about learn­ing a trade or attend­ing com­mu­nity col­lege, this book is for you. Inter­ested in under­stand­ing the “nuts and bolts” of finan­cial aid and where to find schol­ar­ships? This book is for you. Look­ing for an exten­sive list of pub­li­ca­tions and inter­net resources that is beyond com­pare? “Col­lege Bound” is for you – giv­ing you all these resources and more.Each book offers time­lines, check­lists, reli­able inter­net resources and much more. See more books here!