Common questions which confront high school families







By Rajkamal Rao  

Image Credit: Colin Kinner, Commons License

We have cataloged below the most common questions which high school families ask us. While most families know generic answers to them, they look to us for assistance in creating strategies specific to their children.
  1. How do we define a student’s interests and develop a personal brand?
  2. Which high school courses/tracks/endorsements/DLAs/PA’s should we aim for?
  3. What are dual credit courses and what are the benefits?
  4. pSAT/SAT/ACT/All? When?
  5. Should I send my child to a test-prep academy for the SAT/ACT?
  6. How important is the PSAT-11?
  7. Should I take SAT-II (Subject)? When?
  8. What is the difference between unweighted and weighted GPAs?
  9. My friend's school district uses a more generous scale of GPA bonus weights. Is this fair to me? 
  10. How important is class rank for college admissions?
  11. If Naviance sends out unweighted GPA scores to colleges, how will colleges know that I took tough courses?
  12. What's the college pricing ladder?
  13. What's the difference between counselor and teacher recommendations?
  14. What's my chance of obtaining a merit scholarship in college?
  15. AP/IB/Both? When? How many AP courses?
  16. What is AP Capstone and why is it so popular?
  17. How to develop a brag sheet?
  18. How do we balance work experience/internship/extracurricular activities into the student profile?
  19. How do we exploit the Coalition’s free tools?
  20. What are key planning milestones, grades 9 – 12? 
  21. Which states/regions to avoid because co-op/internship chances may be fewer?
  22. Why may an out of state private college be less expensive than studying in-state?
  23. How much should we rely on college rankings?
  24. Which reputed resources are the best to conduct college research?
  25. Which types of colleges should we avoid?
  26. What are three innovative ways to lower college costs?
  27. How do we group colleges into Dream, Core, and Safe buckets?
  28. What selection factors are relevant to finalizing colleges?
  29. What’s the difference between Subjective & Objective pieces of an application?
  30. How do we analyze Net Price Estimates?
  31. How do we conduct scholarship searches?
  32. From whom should we get recommendation letters?
  33. How do we maximize the potential of a LinkedIn profile?
  34. Common App or Universal College App or Coalition App or individual college app?
  35. What application strategies should we employ - Rolling, EA or ED?
  36. What modern tools can we use to predict and improve college acceptance?
  37. What online tools can we leverage to visit schools?
  38. How do you prepare for campus visits?
  39. How can we help you successfully write winning college essays?
  40. What social networking tools can we employ to learn about others’ profiles?
  41. How does America pay for college?
  42. How to leverage new FAFSA rules, including the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?
  43. How to take advantage of federal tax credits and deductions?
  44. How to avoid making common mistakes throughout the process? 
  45. How expensive are professional counselors?
  46. How many times should I take the SAT/ACT?
  47. How do you prepare teenage children for the summer vacation?
  48. How important is the STAAR test? 
  49. How do you prepare for AP Physics? 
  50. How do we fine-tune our teenager's high school course roadmap?
  51. Why are Advanced Placement (AP) Courses So Important? 
  52. Is taking a dual credit course a good idea? 
  53. How to improve strength of high school curriculum?
  54. Is an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma a good choice?
  55. Does a "good" school district mean your high school student will be successful?
  56. How to interpret PSAT-11 scores for National Merit Scholarships?
  57. Should High School Students Audit a Class?
  58. Can you give us a primer on College Essays?
  59. How do you send transcripts to colleges?
     


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