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College Acceptances Can be Rescinded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
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www.bostoniseeprep.com - Test Prep for the ISEE & Latin School Exam

Boston Tutoring Center
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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

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Follow us on Facebook

We have had an extremely busy 2017, and Ms. Anne has been posting to Facebook the past few months.

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Why I am happy my son married an immigrant!

Yesterday my beautiful, smart and kind daughter-in-law graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in business. She worked very hard to earn her degree, after coming to this country as a teenager. She was not completely fluent in English when she arrived in Boston, but it did not take her long to catch up to her peers here. She is an intelligent and accomplished young woman, and we are proud to have her as a member of our family. I am especially happy that my son married an immigrant.

I was raised by my immigrant grandparents, and they were wonderful role models for me. They emphasized education, hard work and sacrifice. One of my earliest memories is sitting on my grandfather’s lap in his rocking chair as he read to me. By the time I was 4 years old I was reading on my own, and I used to read to my classmates in kindergarten. We did not have a lot of money, but we always had books, and I spent a lot of time in the library as a kid. My grandmother sacrificed to give me a private school education (she worked part time in her 50s and 60s as a nurse’s aid in a nursing home in South Boston to pay for my schooling), and she was constantly drilling into my head the importance of education.

My nana told me that education was something “that could not be taken away from you”. She also emphasized the importance of a woman having an education so she could support herself, and not be “dependent on a man to support you”. These lessons have served me well over the years, and have led me to a career in education, trying to impart my nana’s wisdom to the next generation of students.

So, why am I happy that my son married an immigrant? Immigrants (in general) are very hard working, they appreciate what America has to offer, and they understand the value of hard work, sacrifice and education. To paraphrase JFK, they ask not what their country can do for them, but what they can do for their country. Many second, third and fourth generation Americans are too far removed from this immigrant story of struggle. Too many Americans today are fat, lazy, whiners. They expect things to be handed to them, and they do not understand the value of hard work and sacrifice. When the going gets tough, they fold. This is why we have such an epidemic of snowflakes in this country.

I want my grandchildren to hear the stories of sacrifice, hard work, love of country and dedication that their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents endured to make a better life for our family. I hope to instill the values in my grandchildren that my immigrant grandparents instilled in me. Children need to learn and appreciate that good things come to those who work hard. They need to appreciate the joy that comes from achieving a goal that you set for yourself and you attained through struggle, sweat and tears. They also need to learn to give back, and appreciate the gift they have been given, to grow up in a country with so much opportunity for those who are willing to work to achieve their goals.

I am glad that my son married an immigrant, and as I look around my office on a sunny spring Saturday, I see that over 90% of the students who are here today and are working hard to improve themselves are children of immigrants. These families (many of modest means) are sacrificing to give their children the gift of education. A gift that will stay with them longer than any material gift, and one that will lift them up both intellectually and spiritually. America is a country of immigrants, and today more than ever we need the hope, optimism, work ethic, and the values of our immigrants to make this country great!

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

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Who runs the show in your house?

This is a post I have been meaning to write for a very long time. I am constantly amazed at some of the things parents tell me about how things work in their house with their children. I see too many parents who tiptoe around their children, not wanting to upset them or make life uncomfortable for them. I am convinced this is why we have a proliferation of the snowflake culture among many young adults these days.

For those unfamiliar with the term, I define a snowflake as: “unique and special” but often melts under heat. Too many children are told how special and unique they are and they are never pushed to work hard and stretch themselves, and they are not allowed to fail. I see so many children who are terrified to fail. Failure is okay, we learn from our mistakes, what does not kill us makes us stronger.

As parents we do our children no favors by shielding them from the realities of life. There will be disappointments, there will be failure, we do not always win, we do not always get what we want, everything does not always go our way. It is how we react to these setbacks that define who we are, and that ultimately build our character.

I am always shocked when I hear parents say that they will leave the choice of private school up to their child. This is often a $40,000 plus a year choice. How is a 12 year old equipped to make that decision? Taking into account a child’s input and feelings about the schools is perfectly reasonable, but ultimately it should be the parent’s decision.

Parents will tell me that their children do not want to come to tutoring, and I understand that for some students the thought of tutoring is not a fun experience, but often it is for their own good. As in many relationships we have to pick our battles. Education is always a battle worth fighting.

In my house if I want my children to do something I spell out clearly why I want them to do it and why it will benefit them. If they do not see things my way, or at least agree to go along to get along then we talk about consequences. I control the purse strings and I am the chauffeur. If my children do not want to do what I think is best for them then I explain how life will become unpleasant for them, and I follow through. It is amazing how often this approach results in them seeing things my way.

Parents are not their child’s friend! I often say that if your child is angry with you then you are probably doing something right!

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
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Decision Day – What to do?

Today, April 10th is decision day for private schools. It is the day that families must pay their deposit to hold a seat for the fall. Some students are deciding between several schools (a nice problem to have). Other students have been wait listed and they are hoping that the school they want to attend will have a spot open for them this week.

What to do if you do not hear from the school this week?

If you do not hear from the school this week it is not likely that a spot will open up. Most schools will have gone to the wait list already prior to today, as they will have heard from some accepted students that they will be attending other schools. The schools will work quickly to offer openings to students on the wait list this week, and they will likely not have any changes in enrollment between now and back to school in the fall.

You will still remain on the wait list in the unlikely event that a spot opens between now and September, but given that every accepted student has paid their deposit, it is not likely that things will change between now and September.

So what do you do next?

You can try re-applying to the school for admission next year, or for the next year that is an entry point for the school. You do need to make sure that the second time around things are different, so that you do not get the same results again. Below are a list of areas to work on improving for a second application:

  • Make sure your child is prepared for the entrance exam and they score as high as they can on the test. The higher a student’s score the better the chance of admission. Schools require these tests for a reason, and do not let anyone tell you that the test does not really matter – it does – at some schools it matters A LOT!!!!
  • Your child should spend time getting to know the ins and outs of the school. Sign up for the school’s social media accounts, regularly check for school news on the school’s web site and attend school events open to the public (concerts, play and sporting events) to learn as much as possible about the school.
  • Start preparing for the interview and make sure your child (and you) are prepared to wow them in the interview this time. Be very clear about why you want to attend the school and why the school is a good fit for your child.
  • Look over the application and the essays that were submitted to see where there are areas for improvement. You cannot submit the same application and essays again. The answers to the application questions and the essays must show the student’s growth and a deeper appreciation for the school and their place at the school.

It is important to learn from the mistakes that were made the first time around so that you can get a better outcome the next time around!

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