Category Archives: News

News about the College Advisor of New York, College presentations by New York’s College Counselors

Some Mid Year Academic Advice

By Deb Coco, College Admissions Coach

As February winds down, many of our students are fortunate enough to have several acceptances under their belts, and a handful have zeroed in on their school of choice.  It’s a great feeling to have hit the submit button, have a few options, and feel a bit of relief from the college application and essay pressure.

But mid-year also means mid-terms, and with that some new pressure.  At The College Advisor of New York, we are often asked if colleges and universities follow up on academic performance after acceptances and the short answer is YES.  Will every school do this?  Probably not, but the fact is you can’t let your guard down yet and need to head into spring of your senior year with the same drive and determination that you had in the fall.

And this can be tough!  Fall was likely exhausting.  But colleges are now wise to students who knock it out of the park before applying, and then kick back and relax.  Think of this as a football game —you caught the pass but now you still need to keep running into the end zone.  Easier said than done, but remember you are still in school and this requires commitment that will serve you well once you are a college student, when there is no time to let your guard down.

Some students also received “conditional acceptances” and this does mean that they are guaranteed that college will require their spring transcript meet a certain standard.  Although this can be disconcerting, it’s actually a great way to guarantee that you’re keeping your academics ‘up to snuff.’

So whether you are a “conditional admit” or just facing a slew of mid-terms, here are some recommendations of ways to stick to a study plan as your mind wanders towards your next step.  Remember what got you to where you are now.  Our best students are planners, list makers, studiers.  Keep it up.  Sticking to a schedule is your best friend no matter what you’re tackling, and especially when it may be easy to get distracted – think beautiful Spring weather!  Try setting aside time blocks per subject – even if you set a timer to do so.  Often the most effective studying is done in short, intense stretches.  And at the risk of sounding like your mother, put away your phone!  We are all guilty of being sidetracked by social media and texts but it’s at the expense of our focus.  If you took one hour and broke it down into 4, 15-minute segments PHONE FREE, your studies would thank you.  There is a direct correlation between the distraction of the phone and the quality of the work produced.  If there is one take-away here, let it be this – don’t multi-task your studies and your social media.

Senior spring is incredibly exciting; you’ll be attending Accepted Student Days and eventually making your final decision.  But May 1 is three months away, and it’s not time to let up yet.  Six months from now you will be a college freshman, so enjoy that achievement but remember that right now, high school still requires your attention, and summer is right around the corner!

Client Scholarship For College Advisor Clients

The College Advisor of New York Scholarship
$1,500.00

In celebration of our 15th year helping students and parents through the college admissions process, The College Advisor of New York, Inc. announces a scholarship to be used for college or graduate school during the 2019-2020 academic year.  In an effort to thank those who have entrusted us to provide college admissions counseling this one time award is only available for our current or former clients.

GPA (High School or College)
Official High School or College Transcript
SAT or ACT scores
Leadership in the community
Service to the community
Attendance at a 4-year college or university/graduate school
Completion of a 400 word essay about the student’s view of education
Questions and inquiries should be directed to Erin Wheeler at:  Erin@CollegeAdvisorNy.com

CANY Scholarship 2018-19

Please click the link above to download the application.  All materials must be completed and postmarked by April 1, 2019 and sent to:

The College Advisor of New York, Inc.
18 Corporate Woods Blvd.
Albany, New York  12211

One More College Visit?!  Yes! And This Is The Most Important One

The scoop on Admitted Student Days

By Deb Coco

The February doldrums are for real in the lives of high school seniors.  The applications were submitted long ago and the waiting is now all but agonizing.  It does feel like a helpless few months, but the window is closing on the letters you’ve been waiting for and over the next 2-4 weeks, things will begin to solidify.

College acceptance letters are exciting; you’ve worked hard for them!  I still remember the days my daughters opened theirs, and I now love receiving “I GOT IN!” emails from my current students.  All our work comes full circle.  But that “fat” envelope contains more than just your letter of acceptance.  It possibly has merit scholarship or financial aid information, but there also may be something else inside:  a postcard about something called “Accepted Student Day.”

This often gets tossed aside with the envelope in all the excitement.  You KNOW college “X” is the school of your dreams so why would you visit AGAIN?  Enter a letter from college “Y” with not only an acceptance, but a fairly substantial scholarship.  As Dean always says, “it’s nice to be wanted” especially with a merit award that will defray the cost of your overall tuition.  Dream school “X” provides nothing, (but it is your #1 choice) and school “Y” offers both but it was lower down on your list.  What they both offer is a chance to level the playing field by opting IN to their Accepted Student Days.

Most every college holds these visit opportunities in March or April and they are not to be missed; we cannot stress that enough.  These are the days when schools welcome back their admitted pool of high school seniors so you are able to take another look with a fresh set of eyes.  And believe me, the college will look different in the spring . . . there will be Frisbee on the quad, the campus will be buzzing with activity, and you will know you are just a few months from possibly being one of those students – it is intoxicating.  From personal experience, Admitted Student Days played a crucial role in 2 of our 3 daughters’ school choices; they had great options and were just “betwixt and between.”  Some colleges just knock this day out of the park.  They roll out the red carpet, open the athletic buildings, dining halls, auditoriums, dorms AND will let you attend lectures.  This was ultimately what swayed my children: hearing from some top faculty in their fields of study.  They left knowing “if I might be in that professor’s class, this is where I want to be!” What a WONDERFUL feeling.

So, yes, it is one more college visit and it can be time consuming.  However, you are looking at 4 very expensive years and you’ve worked hard to get this far; it is worth taking the time to truly seal the deal with confidence.  I’ve heard more than a few stories from students who have met their freshman roommates during these days . . . they are well attended and worth it.  And, on the flip side, you might find out that a school you thought looked incredible in November, has lost its bloom – this happens too, so it is never time wasted!

We are closing in on the final agonizing weeks.  Hang tight, think positive, and do not toss out that Admitted Student Day postcard!

 

 

Tune In To Life Happens Radio this Saturday

Set Your Graduates Up For Success

Upcoming Show – Saturday, June 3

Lou Pierro and Dean Skarlis

 

As we celebrate the achievements of our high school graduates in June, families should also be laying the groundwork for their child’s legal transition to adulthood. Tune into Life Happens Radio on June 3, when Lou Pierro will be joined by special guest, Dean Skarlis, President of The College Advisor of New York, to give you essential planning steps that will set up college-bound children and young adults for a secure future.

From a financial and admissions perspective, you’ll learn about HIPPA regulations and the need for your child to sign a waiver so that parents can discuss health care and disciplinary violations with a college. Dean will also cover factors that affect the admissions process, selectivity and cost, and Lou will give pointers on establishing documents like a basic will, trust and powers of attorney for a young adult.
Baby Boomers, upcoming high school graduates and college students shouldn’t miss this timely topic, sotunein to Life Happens Radio, when Lou and Dean will take your calls live from 11am-12pm on WGY.

 

Decisions, Decisions!

By Deb Coco

It’s finally that time of year.  Our students have visited, visited again, applied and of course, WAITED.  May 1 is just a few weeks away.

If you are like most students, you’ve received offers from several schools and now it’s time to buckle down and weigh your options.  It’s more difficult than it seems, because all schools are not created equal.  And most likely your offers are not either.  Some schools may have given you some financial aid and others possibly merit scholarships.  Often the “dream” school didn’t offer money, but the safety did; do you choose the school with “cache” or do you take the money and run?  So many factors go into deciding which college or university to attend and you’re wise to mull it over.  Here’s some tried and true advice about how to weigh this decision, which is possibly the biggest of your life thus far!

For most students in 2017, money matters.  Even if you were not a financial aid candidate, it’s hard to turn down a large (or even small) merit scholarship.  Keep these facts in mind:  merit money is yours, it’s an award based on your academic achievement and you should be proud of it.  You will also not be required to pay it back – which is extremely enticing in today’s world of trillions in student loan debt.  However, financial aid is the name of the game for a huge pool of students and some of it WILL have to be repaid.  Whether your package involves loans, grants, work study, or a blend of the three, once you graduate they become your first mortgage.  So, the bigger the loan the more weight on you to be quickly and gainfully employed upon graduation.  Consider this when making your choice; what does school “X” offer students in terms of job placement?  Every college and university has a department of career counseling and some are better than others.  Check into it and see what alums have to say about this important factor.  Career counseling offices “should” post their statistics on job placement and be there to answer your questions; if they are not, buyer beware.

There is also much talk about “fit” and with good reason; there are thousands of colleges and no two are alike.  After acceptances go out, so do “Admitted Student Day” invitations.  Don’t turn these down or think you already know everything there is to know about a school; if possible, take the time to attend these special days.  Schools roll out the red carpet for their accepted students and you’ll have the opportunity to be much more intimate with faculty and students than on your initial campus tours.  One of my daughters was extremely perplexed about her final decision and the accepted student day at her university “knocked it out of the park” and cinched it for her.  They are valuable opportunities to make a final evaluation and should definitely play a role if you’re on the fence!

And last but never, ever least; I’ve always believed there is a case to be made for trusting your gut.  I tell students that their feedback on schools is based on that “gut” reaction they have when they step onto a campus.  Do these students look like people I’ll feel comfortable living with for four years?  Is the physical campus one that excites me?  I love schools with an “old” feel; I’ve had students feel exactly the opposite and want a modern, “techy” like vibe.  These factors, and others, matter; pay attention to them.  Other issues may need to matter more, but if all else is equal, there is a case to be made for choosing what feels “right.”

It’s more likely than not that you will ultimately end up where you’re meant to be.  However, it took a long time to visit, study, take those SATs, write your essay AND apply; don’t jump the gun on the biggest part of all.  Most importantly, congratulations!  You’ve completed the most difficult part – now enjoy your success.

Attend Dr. Skarlis’ course: “Finding The Right College At The Right Price” – Wednesday, March 22 6:30 pm

Register today for Dr. Skarlis’ Continuing Education Course “Finding The Right College At The Right Price” – at Shenendehowa High School on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 from 6:30 pm – 8 pm.  Dr. Skarlis will discuss how to begin the college search, maximizing scholarships and financial aid, the most important factors admissions officers consider when admitting applicants, the SAT/ACT and more.  Course cost:  $15.  Click below to register!

https://shenendehowa.cr3.rschooltoday.com/public/home

Choose the Right College – At the Right Price!

Join Dean Skarlis, President of the College Advisor of New York, to discuss college admissions and financial strategy. Dr. Skarlis will be sharing his insight on how to find the right fit college, and how not to empty your bank account doing so! Parents of high school sophomores and juniors are encouraged to attend.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
6:30-8:30PM
Voorheesville Public Library
At the Library Community Room

To RSVP, contact Kathleen Tyrrell at (518) 785-2791 or email at kathleen.tyrrell@voorheesvillelibrary.org.

Join Dr. Dean Skarlis on Finding the Right College at the Right Price

Dr. Dean Skarlis of The College Advisor of New York will outline the steps you need to find a best fit college. Some of the topics he will cover are: the top five factors colleges look for in applicants; the financial aid process and strategies to reduce college costs; rankings/schmankings: understanding why “fit” is critical;  SAT/ACT strategy; how to make the most of college visits; writing the essay…and more. The information and handouts you will take home from this presentation will help you in your child’s college search.

Dr. Dean Skarlis, The College Advisor of New York
High School West Building, Room 50
Tuesday March 24
6:30-8:00pm
$15 admittance fee

For parents of high school sophomores and juniors.

“Planning For Prosperity” Radio Show with Mike Brown

Listen to Dr. Dean Skarlis and Mike Brown of Madison Wealth Managers on the “Planning For Prosperity” radio show on February 22, 2015. They will be communicating the latest trends in college admissions and financial aid. They will also discuss the advantages and disadvantages college applicants face as they seek out the “right fit” school.

Sunday, February 22nd
Madison Wealth Managers WGY Radio
“Planning For Prosperity” Radio Show
Focusing on college admissions and financial aid!

Tune in for the valuable insight and advice provided by Mike Brown and Dr. Dean Skarlis on Sunday!