Hats Off To the Class of 2020

Last week, I finally mailed my senior gifts. I could send the gifts straight from Amazon and cash in on the free shipping, but I am a bit old fashioned.  I think there is something special about receiving a wrapped gift. Something personalized and significant.  More important than the present, I send each student a hand-written note. When they text me to say, “Hey thanks for the gift,” they always say more about the card.

I want them to know how proud of them I am.  I did not focus on the fact that the entire second semester of senior year was canceled.  The Class of 2020 did not need reminders that they didn’t have prom or graduation.  They didn’t need to know that their first semester (or year) of college is not going to be what they envisioned.

No.  My students needed to hear who they are beyond all of the “challenges” and “uncertainty.” I told one how I was proud that she went beyond her comfort zone to explore career options (and it led to some fantastic connections).  Or how one student repeatedly used her voice to fight for social justice (we need more people like her in the world).

I told them how they taught me about light pollution, the importance of creativity in video games, and how an old car can be rebuilt again and again (with lots of determination).

I admired how they overcame challenges, such as dyslexia, being the only girl on a football team, moving to a foreign country, dealing with heart arrhythmia, or conquering ski mountaineering at an international level.

They showed me the importance of caring for others by helping friends through tough times or standing up for people when society categorized them as “different.” One fought for a mentor who was being deported.  Another showed compassion as she taught a student struggling with learning differences how to write sentences.

One showed me the significance of questioning something she always believed so she could learn and grow.  Another had the brightest smile, and I always picture it when I am feeling doubtful. And one showed me the significance of “releasing control and trusting the outcome.”

The College Mindset Class of 2020 received 110 college acceptances after submitted 164 applications.  Collectively, they received 45 scholarship offers totaling over $2.7 million.

They reside in 4 states, and one student worked with me from her home in the Netherlands.

The colleges and universities below are so lucky to have these students for the next four years.

Arizona State University

Colorado College

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Furman University

Miami University, Ohio

Northwestern University

Purdue University

University of California, Los Angeles

University of California, San Diego

University of Colorado, Boulder

University of Texas, Austin

University of Vermont

University of Wyoming

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

While they did not throw their graduation caps into the air in the traditional sense, they have proved that they are worth celebrating beyond the usual pomp and circumstance.  I believe that nothing will hold these students back.  They will be the future problem-solvers, negotiators, and peace-makers our world needs.

I am so honored to have played a small role in helping them plan their future. The lessons they taught me will stay with me always.

Coronavirus and College Admissions

Hello College Mindset Families,

I am sure your inbox is flooded with companies telling you what they are doing to keep customers safe in light of the COVID-19 or Coronavirus pandemic.  I am writing to extend my support to all College Mindset families since school and college closings are more than likely affecting your college process.

Remember that while many colleges are closing, as of now, most are remaining opening.  This article from Inside Higher Ed takes a look at the decision process colleges are going through. Either way, the Coronavirus is disruptive for all of us.

As with any part of the college process (and life), I want to encourage you to focus on what you have control over.  Yes, you may be canceling your spring break college visits, postponing an international trip, or disappointed that you can’t compete in a national competition- but it is going to be OK.

Here are some general tips, resources, and proactive things you can focus on as we face this time of uncertainty.

General Resources For Updates
CNN has a running list of colleges canceling classes.
NACAC has a list of college fair cancellations.
Information on SAT cancellations can be found here and individual site cancellations here.
Updates on colleges that have canceled admissions events and campus visits can be found here and here.

For high school seniors, final admissions decisions will be delivered over the next few weeks, and you are probably already anxious about determining your future.  Read through the College Mindset blog post, 5 Steps To Making Your Final Decision.  Since attending admitted student events may no longer be an option for you, I encourage you to focus on the following:

  • Review your supplemental essay, especially the “why this college” essay.  Remember what your thoughts were when you wrote it.

  • Take virtual tours of campus, through sites such as You Visit or watch videos through Campus Reel.  Make sure you also do online research about the town where the college is located.

  • Join admitted student online groups, so you can get to know future classmates.

  • Trust your gut. You have learned so much about yourself through this process and trust which college feels like it will provide you with a fulfilling and successful college experience.

For high school juniors, spring is a busy time for your college process.  Here are some things you can focus on, as this COVID-19 continues to evolve.

  • If your campus visits are being canceled or postponed, do not plan on stopping by. If a school has canceled an event, they are doing so to protect their community, and you need to respect that. Call the admissions office to figure out your options.

  • Do not worry about demonstrating interest in a college at this point and time.  I will be adding a video to the College Mindset YouTube Channel to share ways you can demonstrate interest in a school without visiting- so make sure you subscribe to learn when that is available.

  • Continue to research colleges by watching virtual tours through sites such as You Visit or watch videos through Campus Reel. 

  • Don’t worry about canceled competitions or other extracurricular activities.  Remember that every student is having to cancel plans and change directions. I encourage you to make a list of things that are being canceled due to Coronavirus so you can let colleges know how your plans changed in the additional information section of your application.  Remember, you will need to be specific, so you can’t say,  “I was planning on getting a job, but was not able to because of the Coronavirus outbreak.”  Instead, you would need to say, “I was hired to work at Dunkin’ Donuts in March 2020, but due to the Coronavirus, I was unable to start my job until May.”

  • Right now, a few standardized testing centers in some states have canceled testing. Continue to prepare for the SAT or ACT as planned.  There are always more testing dates.

For all high school students…

  • If your school is canceled, make sure you turn your focus to other things (again what you have control over). Get ahead on your homework, do some extra credit, and continue preparing for the SAT or ACT, or Advanced Placement exams (if applicable).

  • Open your Common Application account and familiarize yourself with what a college application looks like.

  • Continue to research schools through websites such as College Xpress and College Data.

  • Take a deep breath.  If you are feeling stressed about the Coronavirus, talk about it with a trusted adult.  The New York Times published the article, 5 Ways to Help Teens Manage the Anxiety About the Coronavirus.  The Center for Disease Control also has some good resources about anxiety the COVID-19.

And to all of my college students who are returning early from studying abroad or having to leave campus, you are in my thoughts.  My heart is breaking for my college seniors who are left in a place of uncertainty about graduation and other end-of-college events.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you need to brainstorm ideas to keep busy, come up with a Plan B for visits, or vent your frustrations.  You can email me directly at katherine@collegemindset.com.

Stay well,
Katherine

College Application Process Tips For Winter & Spring

Do you know what you should be working on? Watch my video for tips for high school seniors, juniors, sophomores, and freshmen.

Happy New Year!  The holidays are over and it is time to get back on track with your college process. Do you know what you should be working on?  Watch my video for tips for high school seniors, juniors, sophomores, and freshmen.

 

Do you want more tips for the college process? Check out the College Mindset Ideal College Planning Timeline!

Hats Off To The Class of 2018

As the students in the College Mindset Class of 2018 prepare to head off to the next step in the college process (orientation, anyone?) I want to take a moment to celebrate everything they accomplished. As a college counselor, it is a privilege to work with young people as they navigate one of their first major life decisions. Through all the questions, anxiety, uncertainty and ultimately, excitement, I feel so lucky to have a glimpse of who they are and who they will become.

The College Mindset Class of 2018 received 88 Acceptances after submitting 116 applications. Collectively, they received approximately 34 merit scholarship offers, totaling over $2.3 million.

In addition to managing their academics and preparing for standardized testing, they did medical research, interviewed refugees settling in Israel, worked as an archeologist assistant at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, and completed an internship at an engineering firm. They took computer programming classes and learned JavaScript. They earned a black belt in Judo and played basketball, baseball, tennis, rugby, football, and soccer- some recovering from injuries and surgeries along the way.  They taught science to elementary school children, created a company to provided tutoring services, and refereed for youth sports. They created service trips to bring athletic equipment to children in Costa Rica. They volunteered in animal shelters and soup kitchens. They provided meals for chronically ill and house-bound patients and worked with the developmentally disabled. They worked summer jobs babysitting, peeling potatoes at a burger joint, lifeguarding at the local pool and providing customer service at a soft-serve ice cream shop. They ran for student government positions, worked on the student newspaper and mentored fellow students through Linked Crew. They taught discipleship as a student chaplain and coordinated activities for religious organizations. They played musical instruments, sung in choirs and performed in plays. They worked on the student judicial court for their local government.

The College Mindset Class of 2018 was made up of an amazing group of students who are just beginning to leave their mark on the world. The colleges and universities below will be lucky to have them!

  • American University
  • Arizona State University
  • Bates College
  • Baylor University
  • Colorado State University
  • Denison University
  • Gettysburg College
  • Seattle University
  • Texas Christian University
  • Tulane University
  • University of Colorado, Boulder
  • University of Kansas
  • The University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Washington University, St. Louis
  • Wheaton College (IL)

Welcome to the College Mindset Blog

mind-set

noun
1. The ideas and attitudes with which a person approaches a situation, especially when these are seen as being difficult to alter.*

What is your College Mindset?

No matter how confusing or complicated the college process is, YOU have control over one thing: your mindset. How you handle the stress of the college application process, celebrate the victories or angst about possible rejection, it is all due to your mindset.

Whether you are…

  • a high school student navigating applying to colleges,
  • a parent concerned about guiding your student through the process,
  • an educator, mentor or friend advising students through the admissions maze,

College Mindset is here to help.

The college process takes time, patience and determination. You have to be intentional about every step along the way. You need to arm yourself with information, resources and support. And who knows, maybe students can learn some new skills along the way.

If you want to receive monthly newsletters straight to your inbox, please subscribe to our email list.   In addition, here are three other ways you can further develop your College Mindset:

  1. Like the College Mindset Facebook page or follow me on Twitter to stay up-to-date on the ever-changing world of college admissions.
  2. Review the list of College Mindset Resources and bookmark your favorites.
  3. Have a specific question?  Fill out a form on the Contact Page and I will be happy to get in touch with you.

Welcome to the College Mindset community!  I am so glad you are here!

Katherine

*“mind-set.” CollinsDictionary.com. 2016. http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/mind-set (Feb. 10, 2016)