College is an investment that needs a sensible ROI

My husband and I both grew up in lower middle class families. We were the first in our families to attend college – my husband went to MIT and I went to Babson. My husband earned a degree in electrical engineering with a concentration in software development. I earned a degree in business with a concentration in marketing and communications. We have never been without work in our lives.

We both own our own businesses and our student loans have long been paid off. Neither one of us could afford to get a degree in a major that did not lead to gainful employment. In fact, I took college classes through the summer and during winter breaks to finish my 4 year degree in 3 years, while working, because I would not afford to take out loans for a 4th year of living expenses.

It astounds me the amount of student loan debt people are willing to accumulate for degrees that do not lead to jobs that will help them get out of debt, buy a home and support a family. A friend recently told me about his niece who earned a degree from Boston College and went into debt over $200,000. She has been working as a nanny for the past 7 years, since her graduation. She lives at home, and she has no prospects for using her degree to help her launch a life independent of her parents. This is sad, but unfortunately not uncommon today.

I am also a firm believer that college is not for everyone, and there are some well paying jobs that can be achieved through the trades or other pathways that do not require a $200,000 degree.

We have a student who recently was admitted to Harvard. He was looking at over $73,000 a year in student loans to obtain his degree. He was also accepted into the Coast Guard Academy. His education through the Coast Guard would be free (in return for his service). He opted to go into the Coast Guard, and I applaud his decision. Taking on $300,000 in debt for a Harvard degree does not guarantee that he will be a millionaire some day.

The decision to finance a college education should always include careful consideration about what the return on investment will be.

Below is a link to an article about local colleges that pay off.

https://patch.com/massachusetts/westroxbury/s/gs77d/these-5-ma-colleges-pay-off-the-most-for-students?utm_source=alert-breakingnews&utm_medium=email&utm_term=schools&utm_campaign=alert

Anne Yount

Boston ISEE Prep
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Boston Tutoring Center
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What is SEL and why is it important?

One of the new buzz words in education is SEL (social and emotional learning). Schools are increasingly being asked to take on the challenge of helping students regulate their behavior and deal with their feelings. This is an issue for schools across the board – public and private, in both affluent and lower income communities.

Many students face trauma today whether it is in the form of poverty, hunger, homelessness, abuse, divorce, an absent parent, substance abuse in the home, violence in the home and/or community, parental stress – at all income levels, bullying, etc. These issues inevitably cause problems for children in school and can lead to a variety of negative behaviors from inability to pay attention in class to violent outbursts that disrupt the class.

Many teachers say they are ill equipped to handle students exhibiting these behaviors and their schools do not have the necessary resources to support these students. Below is a link to an article in Education Week that highlights this problem. One of the statistics that I found startling is that on average in public schools across the country there are 482 students for each counselor. Clearly the resources are stretched way too thin.

One highly regarded school in Boston is a prime example of this problem. The school has over 2,400 students and a guidance staff of approximately 8 counselors – a 300 to 1 ratio. There is no way that one person can effectively support 300 students at once, some of whom are applying to college and need more guidance. These students have issues with substance abuse, eating disorders, mental health issues and stress that accompanies the demands of a rigorous curriculum. The drop out rate at this school is very high. Many parents are not equipped to handle these issues and seek partners at their child’s school to help navigate these common teenage issues.

I hear from many parents who feel like the public schools are failing them and their children, and they are seeking smaller schools with more support services for both their children and all the children in the classroom. Even if your child is not experiencing an issues, they are bound to be impacted by their peers bringing these issues into the classroom. If the teacher and the school do not have effective programs in place to support all students then everyone suffers. Private schools in particular have the resources and the mindset to support the whole child – socially and emotionally.

Check out the article at the link below.

https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2019/07/17/teachers-support-social-emotional-learning-but-say-students.html?cmp=eml-enl-eu-news1-rm&M=58886768&U=2637811&UUID=378b5ca1eb69e222743c57ccc1a5191c

Anne Yount

Boston ISEE Prep
617-553-8083
www.bostoniseeprep.com - Test Prep for the ISEE & Latin School Exam

Boston Tutoring Center
617-553-8083
www.bostontutoringcenter.com - Tutoring Grades K-12

Boston Private School Search
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www.bostonprivateschoolsearch.com - Your Resource for Private School Admissions

Lighthouse Education, Inc.
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This is a great article on why preparing for college should start in 9th grade

My daughter is a rising sophomore, and we have already laid out a plan for working with a college coach starting this year, preparing for the SAT exams starting next summer, researching pre-college programs for next summer, and laying out her courses and electives for the next 3 years.

I talk to too many families who fail to plan, and it sets their children up to fail. It is important that students use their high school years to set a path for college and career (even if they are not sure yet what they want to do).

I especially like the recommendation to “find and follow your passions”. My older son has built a career and a successful business around following his passions, and this started when he was in high school.

https://yourteenmag.com/teens-college/admissions/early-college-preparation?utm_source=Weekly+Emails&utm_campaign=0237cab13e-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_12_24_COPY_03&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_418d895dd9-0237cab13e-408361509&mc_cid=0237cab13e&mc_eid=87466ec5c5

Exam School Diversity

Boston is facing the same issue as NYC with a lack of diversity in exam schools. It is interesting to see how NYC is trying to address this issue, and what this means for Boston.


http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/District_Dossier/2019/06/whats_next_for_new_york_specialized_schools.html?cmp=eml-enl-eu-news3&M=58871665&U=2637811&UUID=378b5ca1eb69e222743c57ccc1a5191c

Anne Yount

Boston ISEE Prep
617-553-8083
www.bostoniseeprep.com - Test Prep for the ISEE & Latin School Exam

Boston Tutoring Center
617-553-8083
www.bostontutoringcenter.com - Tutoring Grades K-12

Boston Private School Search
617-553-0540
www.bostonprivateschoolsearch.com - Your Resource for Private School Admissions

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Lighthouse Education, Inc.
617-553-0251
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How Northeastern University Became Elite

It seems like everywhere I go these days people want to talk to me about the college admissions scandal. They always ask me if I was surprised by what these families did, and they are surprised when I tell them I was not surprised at all.

College admissions is a game, and like any game you have to know how to play it in order to win. Now don’t get me wrong, I do not condone cheating. The fact of the matter is that there are many things that influence college acceptance, and the more you know about what college are looking for, the better your chances of admission.

For anyone who thinks that test scores do not matter, think about why these wealthy families were paying thousands of dollars to have people take the SAT for their children to boost their scores. SAT scores of incoming freshmen are one way that schools rise in the rankings to become more elite.

Simply put – schools will pay students with high test scores. This payment is typically in the form of merit scholarships, which can run into the tens of thousands of dollars, and are often good for all 4 years of a student’s attendance.

An acquaintance mentioned to me recently that her son was admitted to Northeastern University, but with deferred admission. He must complete his first semester abroad in Australian. In the last few years I have heard of a number of students who were accepted to the school of their choice with deferred admission. Parents ask me why schools do this.

Schools will admit weaker candidates (usually those who can pay full tuition) on a deferred status because the GPA and test scores for these students do not count towards the schools rankings for incoming freshman. Only the stats for the incoming fall students count for the rankings. It is often harder for students who are admitted as deferred students to acclimate to the campus when they arrive 5 months after their peers.

This discussion about how schools game the system to stay elite reminded me of an excellent article I read a few years ago about how Northeastern University became elite (see below).

If you have a student applying to college soon, one of the best things you can do is make sure they have high SAT scores. This is an investment that can reap big returns in the future!

College Acceptances Can be Rescinded

Students have to be careful about what they post on social media!

https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2019/06/19/yes-colleges-can-rescind-admission-offers-heres.html?cmp=eml-enl-eu-news1&M=58863823&U=2637811&UUID=378b5ca1eb69e222743c57ccc1a5191c

Anne Yount

Boston ISEE Prep
617-553-8083
www.bostoniseeprep.com - Test Prep for the ISEE & Latin School Exam

Boston Tutoring Center
617-553-8083
www.bostontutoringcenter.com - Tutoring Grades K-12

Boston Private School Search
617-553-0540
www.bostonprivateschoolsearch.com - Your Resource for Private School Admissions

Follow my blog at: www.privateschoolguru.com/blog

Lighthouse Education, Inc.
617-553-0251
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Dyslexia and Test Prep

We received two requests this week for ISEE test prep for students with dyslexia. Unfortunately, we had to turn both of these requests down. There is no way a student with dyslexia can prepare for a test as difficult as the ISEE in a few short months.

The ISEE is a very challenging test! Students with advanced skills struggle with the test material. In 17 years of offering ISEE test prep I have only had 1 student score 100% on our ISEE reading comprehension diagnostic. Even strong readers rarely score higher than 70% on the reading diagnostic.

The ISEE reading section features boring, non-fiction passages focused on social studies and science topics. Students have 6 minutes to both read a passage and answer 6 questions. The questions are not straight forward. The reading section focuses on main idea, definition-in-context, opinion, inference, and organization questions.

Students need to have more advanced and sophisticated reading skills in order to be successful in answering these questions. They also need to be able to focus when the material is boring, and they need to do all this quickly. This takes time and practice in order to master.

Another area on the ISEE in which students with dyslexia struggle is on the two math sections. The math sections of the ISEE contain a lot of word problems. The word problems are not straight forward and are often phrased in confusing ways. Students have about a minute to complete the math problems, and the problems are often multi-step. Students need to read carefully and be very clear about what is being asked of them before they go off and attempt to solve the problems.

We have worked with students with dyslexia in the past, and they have been successful in gaining admission to exam and independent schools, but these students need more time and support to master the content on the test.

We recommend students with dyslexia start at least 15 months prior to their test date.

Anne Yount

Boston ISEE Prep
617-553-8083
www.bostoniseeprep.com - Test Prep for the ISEE & Latin School Exam

Boston Tutoring Center
617-553-8083
www.bostontutoringcenter.com - Tutoring Grades K-12

Boston Private School Search
617-553-0540
www.bostonprivateschoolsearch.com - Your Resource for Private School Admissions

Lighthouse Education, Inc.
617-553-0251
www.lighthouse-education.org - Changing Lives One Student at a Time

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Just When I Think I Have Heard it All…

Just when I think I have heard everything, something even more outrageous comes along!
Suing a prep school and taking the case to the US Supreme Court because your child did not get into an elite college?
Maybe she was not a good fit for these schools. The schools all seemed to think so.
Higher education has become a status symbol in America, and it is wrong on so many levels.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out.


https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/14/opinions/sidwell-friends-student-lawsuit-opinion-perry/index.html

Anne Yount

Boston ISEE Prep
617-553-8083
www.bostoniseeprep.com - Test Prep for the ISEE & Latin School Exam

Boston Tutoring Center
617-553-8083
www.bostontutoringcenter.com - Tutoring Grades K-12

Boston Private School Search
617-553-0540
www.bostonprivateschoolsearch.com - Your Resource for Private School Admissions

Lighthouse Education, Inc.
617-553-0251
www.lighthouse-education.org - Changing Lives One Student at a Time

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The Best High Schools in Massachusetts – 2019

US News and World Report is out with their list of the best high schools in Massachusetts:

https://patch.com/massachusetts/westroxbury/s/gqtnj/best-high-schools-in-your-massachusetts-metro-u-s-news-world?utm_source=alert-breakingnews&utm_medium=email&utm_term=weather&utm_campaign=alert

Boston Latin School is ranked #1 and Boston Latin Academy is ranked #4.

It is interesting to see that schools in some of the most affluent suburbs are not ranked in the top 10 (Wellesley, Newton and Weston to name a few).

We frequently speak with parents from some of the most affluent suburbs in the area who are unhappy with the public schools in their communities. These families value education and want a private school education for their child(ren).

If private school education is in your child’s future give us a call to see how we can help!

Anne Yount

Boston ISEE Prep
617-553-8083
www.bostoniseeprep.com - Test Prep for the ISEE & Latin School Exam

Boston Tutoring Center
617-553-8083
www.bostontutoringcenter.com - Tutoring Grades K-12

Boston Private School Search
617-553-0540
www.bostonprivateschoolsearch.com - Your Resource for Private School Admissions

Lighthouse Education, Inc.
617-553-0251
www.lighthouse-education.org - Changing Lives One Student at a Time

Follow my blog at: www.privateschoolguru.com/blog

Follow us on Facebook:

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