Newsletter: August 1, 2020

Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)


The Rest of the World is Not Waiting

The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States has filled many high school students, particularly seniors, with anxiety about returning to school or trepidation about passionately embracing the forced transition to virtual learning. However, the rest of the world is not slacking off and the competition from international students for seats in the freshman class at U.S. colleges and universities will be fierce. With so many colleges waiving SAT and ACT score requirements, colleges will increase their scrutiny of course taking, grades, leadership, service, and how students made a difference in their homes and communities in response to COVID-19 disruptions to their normal lives. More than ever, students will need college planning guidance to assist with navigating the changes to college admissions and the huge increase in applications that colleges will be receiving as they change to test optional admission policies. While these changes can provide opportunities for students with the right planning, packaging, and essays, they will present huge challenges for many thousands of students who fail to embrace or respond to the new normal.


High School Seniors

Pictured above is our July Zoom session with high school seniors discussing their ‘My Story’ essays. Our monthly virtual sessions are great! The small group discussions, lead by Charles and Lora Williams, and supported by a team of college students from our College Planning Cohort Alumni Leadership Board: Whitney Williams (Spelman College;) Jayla Shoffner (North Carolina A&T State University); Sydney Barron (North Carolina Central University); and Justin Matthews (Dillard University), engaged in small group conversations with seniors about their essays. The discussions about students’ autobiographical essays provides a context for how a student’s brand develops over the course of his/her lifetime. Eventually, each student’s ‘My Story’ essay will provide the foundation for their Common Application essay and responses to writing prompts.Throughout the country, people are living their stories through protests, on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis, and dealing with an imploding economy resulting in job loss, eviction, and hunger. College admissions officers need to know each student’s story as the context for understanding a student’s body of work.

Recap: 4-day College Planning Boot Camp for High School Students

We hosted an extraordinary all-virtual college planning boot camp for high school students. Our college interns included: Damian Lee (Northeastern University); Jayla Shoffner (North Carolina A&T State University); Justin Matthews (Dillard University); Kristen Starks (University of Richmond); Robert Penn (George Mason University): Summer Ford (University of Georgia); Sydney Soskin (University of Chicago); Sydney Starks (Bowdoin College); and Whitney Williams (Spelman College). Our high school interns included: Ava B. (Lake City High School (SC)); Couper W. (Ragsdale High School (NC)); Haley H. (Lake City High School (SC)); Jada F. (South Cobb High School (GA)); and Omar D., (Paulding County High School (GA)).

From the beginning, the boot camp started with a strong start that pushed me and motivated me to own the process and take my future into my hands. I really enjoyed not only seeing familiar faces amongst the students in my class but also amongst the interns that were leading my group. It brought me a sense of belonging and created an environment where I could focus on achieving all my responsibilities during the boot camp. Furthermore, the website and classes through which we completed the majority of our work were well organized and filled to the brim with new information. The online text was also riddled with stories of inspiring students who have participated in the program and went on to be accepted into amazing colleges. 

The rest of the boot camp continued the process of building my knowledge and motivating me to develop grit in anything I do, whether it be on filling my body of work or applying myself academically. I hope to continue with the program and I have set a plethora of academic, community, and personal goals to pursue for the rest of the year. I would also like to increase my role in this process and obtain a leadership role within the cohort through which I could lead other students towards academic success and college acceptance. Thank you for granting me the opportunity to learn and dedicate myself to the previously inexplicably intimidating process of college application and acceptance.

Hubert P.
St. Petersburg High School Class of 2022

Recap: 4-day College Planning Boot Camp for Middle School Students

We registered over 125 students for our all-virtual college planning boot camp for middle school students. Our college interns included: Justin Matthews (Dillard University); Nina Shack (Middle Tennessee State University): Summer Ford (University of Georgia); Sydney Barron (North Carolina Central University); and Sydney Starks (Bowdoin College). Our high school interns included: Ava B. (Lake City High School (SC)); Carmen S. (Middle College @ GTCC (NC)); Couper W. (Ragsdale High School (NC)); Jada F. (South Cobb High School (GA)); Joanne L. (St. Petersburg High School (FL)); Joshua S. (Merriville High School (IN)); Myah J., (Northside Christian School (FL)); Omar D., (Paulding County High School (GA)); and TaRetta B. (Hillgrove High School (GA)). We were also supported by our first middle school interns: Jack H. (Bay Point Middle School (FL)); and Jocelyn L. (Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School (FL)). We also welcomed to our team, Dr. Lois McKee, Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School Counselor.

The 4-day boot camp culminated with students submitting action plans, many of which were in the form of PowerPoint Presentations, through which students shared their school-year goals, college/career aspirations, gifts and talents, personality type, and Interest Profile. Some of the 8th grade students who “Owned the Process,” will be allowed to participate in our 2020/21 9 – 10th Grade Online Classroom.

Hello Mr. And Mrs. Wynn,

Thank you so very much for the opportunity to have my child join the boot camp program! This experience has been invaluable for our entire family. My son, a rising sophomore, also joined alongside his sister and was able to complete the assignments as well. In the past, he has struggled to find something that would spark his interest in regard to a direction for his future and college. However, with your program, in these four days, using his personality and talents he has pinpointed anthropology as a direction. It’s hard to remember another time he was so excited about something related to school. To say this has thrilled us is an understatement. We would like to foster this excitement and help direct him and *keep* him focused in the right direction.  

We would like to have him officially join the high school program. It has been a joy to watch the kids work so hard on their futures this week!  

Parent


COVID-19 Updates to our 2020/21 Program

When colleges are no longer considering test scores in their admission decisions, it is more important than ever for students to present admissions officers with a seamless body of work: classes; grades; leadership; service; teacher recommendations; awards; and essays, that collectively tell a story—providing a context for a student’s passions and establishes a clear case for what makes a student an exceptional applicant. While the presentation of a student’s body or work involves packaging, developing the body of work itself, requires strategies. Consequently, to support robust small group conversations in our monthly virtual sessions, we have made updates to our curriculum. The September through January Modules provide guidance in developing a set of strategies within 5 distinct areas of each student’s college-bound plan to achieve exceptionality in one or more areas of each student’s body of work:

  1. Part I: Gifts and Talents
  2. Part II: Personality and Interests
  3. Part III: Coursework
  4. Part IV: Activities and Service
  5. Part V: Leadership and Awards

The small group discussions about each student’s set of strategies are supported by college graduates, like our son, Mychal-David Wynn, a Certified College Advisor and graduate of Amherst College, and college students serving on our College Planning Cohort Alumni Leadership Board who, like Nina Shack (pictured above), discovered their passions and are pursuing their dreams. Nina, a member of our 2019 Turner Chapel AME Church Cohort, received her professional pilot’s license and drone certification prior to entering college at Middle Tennessee State University, where she is pursuing her dreams of becoming a commercial pilot. These small group conversations, guided by college students representing a broad range of HBCUs, liberal arts colleges, and research universities proved enormously popular among students and parents during our summer boot camps.  

Register Now or Sponsor a Student

Since 2013, our College Planning Cohort Program has made a difference in the lives of thousands of students from underserved communities. Among them are Damian Lee, Torch Scholar at Northeastern University; Mikayla Hanna 2015 Gates Millennium Scholar; Rebeca Pacheco, 2016 Gates Millennium Scholar; Christian Hanna, Hamilton College; Crystell Phoenix, Northwestern University; Hali Shaw, Claflin University; Brenna Kaplan, Amherst College; Latajah Alford, Claflin University; Etame Kandy, Swarthmore; Bre’an Moore, Carleton College; Sydney Soskin, University of Chicago; and Kimberly Hadaway, Williams College. The lives of these students and their families were forever changed because the students were deserving of the opportunity and someone connected them to our program.

We encourage school districts, sororities, fraternities, Boys and Girls Clubs, and faith-based organizations who may not have the people or financial resources to support a cohort to sponsor 1 – 5 students who are deserving of the opportunity to participate in our program. Without the support of programs like ours, such students will continue to “Undermatch.” The Inside Higher Ed article by Scott Jaschik (April 2018), “The Missing Black Students,” notes:

  • black students are the most likely to enroll at a college less selective than their qualifications would permit
  • students who are undermatched — many of them minority students — are less likely to graduate on time than are those who attend colleges that match their abilities
  • the rate of college undermatch was highest for black students (49 percent), followed by white students (45 percent), Latino students (41 percent) and Asian students (31 percent)

Each high school could easily sponsor their top 5 performing students with little impact to their overall school budget. Title I high schools could sponsor many more students. Once a student is registered in our program, their school has no further responsibility. We immediately replace feelings of cultural isolation with a shared identity by immersing students into supportive small group learning communities of students from diverse backgrounds with similar college/career aspirations. For many students, our program is not only God sent, it is a transformational experience.

I would like to start off by saying I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in this program. I learned so much more in the past four days about college and scholarship opportunities that I have in the past three years of attending my high school. I would love to continue the FGCSA College Cohort program and to continue to learn more about how I can build a stronger résumé for the remainder of my senior year. I know my current résumé is very unimpressive, but I assure you I will work hard to find opportunities to volunteer my time into my community, school, and academics. From this experience, it has become very clearer to me that in order to become a successful scholar, I will need to work hard and “own the process.” I hope that one day I will be one of those students profiled in the curriculum. Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of this boot camp, I can honestly say this experience has completely changed my mindset for the rest of the year and has opened my eyes to what it takes to become a successful scholar. 

Eliana G. | Ragsdale High School Class of 2021

 

Mark Your Calendar

August 8, 2020: High School Senior Class will meet from 9:30 am – 1:00 pm. Participation is mandatory. Only opened to registered students. Click here for the Zoom Session

September 1, 2020: 2020/21 Online Classrooms open to all registered students in grades 9 – 12.

September 12, 2020: High School Students (Grades 9 – 12) will meet from 9:30 am – 1:00 pm. Only opened to registered students. Click here for the Zoom Session

Need to Register?

Click here to learn more about our cohorts and other programs…

Nationally Recognized | 2020 Magna Award First Place Winner | National School Boards Association. 2020 Full Scholarships: Appalachian State; Benedict; Bowdoin; Carleton; Claflin; Johnson & Wales; North Carolina A&T; North Carolina Central; Tuskegee; UNC – Pembroke; University of Chicago; Wake Forest; and Williams. 

Newsletter: July 1, 2020

Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

High School Seniors

We had a great June meeting with high school seniors. The small group discussions, lead by Mr. Charles and Mrs. Lora Williams, engaged seniors in identifying the ‘brand’ that they are presenting to colleges and scholarship providers. While the concepts of branding and hooks are difficult concepts to understand, Mr. and Mrs. Williams did a great job guiding students through a critical self-examination of what is being presented on students’ résumés and through their email signatures. All seniors should now have email signatures promoting their branding; a final college list; and prepared to begin the essay writing process.


Sydney Soskin (University of Chicago) discussed how she developed specific goals, after entering the cohort as a high school junior, that were focused on making her the best possible applicant for being offered admission to her top choice colleges. She also shared how she was able to effectively communicate her story, and make strong connections to her areas of leadership and service, through her University of Chicago essays.

First Generation College Student Ambassadors

Our annual Guilford County Schools First Generation College Student Ambassadors College Planning Boot Camp for Rising High School Juniors was a successful 3-day all-virtual program. The intensive daily sessions were attended by a highly motivated group of rising high school juniors who will begin our year-long program in September. We were pleased with the energy and effort of students who set goals and embraced the importance of planning their remaining 2 million minutes of high school. Students completed their profiles, résumés, and College Greenlight Accounts. Overall, we had a ‘gritty’ group of students with whom we are looking forward to supporting throughout their junior and senior years of high school.


“The three day boot camp has given me so much information about the college admissions process and motivated me to do more than just think about going to college. I was never quite sure where to start when preparing for college, but your program made it so easy for me to understand what to do and how to plan. I thank you and Mrs. Wynn for taking the time to help others succeed. I am very thankful for the opportunity to participate in this program and can’t wait to continue the rest of the program in September.”

Kaila B.
Northern Guilford High School (NC)


College Planning Boot Camp for High School Students (Grades 9 – 12)

We had over 70 students from Florida, Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina participating in our 4-day all-virtual college planning boot camp for high school students in grades 9 – 12.  In addition to the large group sessions, students engaged in small group discussions with high school and college interns. Our college interns included Damian Lee (Northeastern); Jayla Shoffner (North Carolina A&T); Justin Matthews (Dillard University); Kristen Starks (University of Richmond); Robert Penn (George Mason); Summer Ford (University of Georgia); Sydney Soskin (University of Chicago); Sydney Starks (Bowdoin College); and Whitney Williams (Spelman College). Our high school interns included Ava B. (Lake City High School (SC)); Couper W. (Ragsdale High School (NC)); Haley H. (Lake City High School (SC)); Jada F. (South Cobb High School (GA)); and Omar D., Jr. (Paulding County High School (GA)). Our interns, many of whom are profiled in our curriculum, were able to share their cohort experiences and the impact on their college and scholarship trajectories.

Our daily question for participating students is, “What has become clearer to you?”

“What has become more clearer to me, as mentioned in our meeting, was how rigorous and competitive it is to apply for college and get accepted. Like of course I knew it was competitive, but I didn’t know the severity of it. The type of goals I’ve been inspired to set are investing a lot more into leadership opportunities because that’s what I lack in the most. I would absolutely be interested in getting all the help I can before going to college since I’m approaching my senior year. 

Overall, my boot camp experience was been absolutely amazing. The college interns we had in our breakout sessions were awesome! Our class had Summer Ford (UGA) and Robert Penn (George Mason) and they were so relatable, helpful, and resourceful. They answered not only all of my questions thoroughly, but they were really enjoyable to work with.”

Kai W. | GPA: 4.29 | Class Rank: 20/222
Lakewood High School Class of 2021
National Honor Society | Lakewood Key Club Webmaster

Middle School Boot Camp

Jump start your school year from the comfort of your home during a 4-day all-virtual college planning boot camp (Grades 6 – 8). Join the many middle school boot camp participants who are continuing to achieve the goals set during the boot camp and who are now academically accomplished high school juniors and seniors with tremendous college and scholarship opportunities. We are excited to welcome back our Pinellas County Schools 2019 middle school boot camp participants.

4-day Virtual Summer College Planning Boot Camp for Middle School Students (Grades 6-8) 
(Advanced Registration Required) Limited to the first 100 registrations.

Monday, July 6 – Thursday, July 9, 2020
8:30 am: Online session opens/advanced registration required
9:00 am – 2:00 pm: Rotating schedule of presentation; small group discussions; and independent work.
During the first session: We will have student speakers, Mallory; Briston; and Adriana from Northwest High School in Jackson, Michigan who will share their boot camp experiences, “What The Summer Middle School Boot Camp Did For Me!” 

Extension

Our 2020 High School Boot Camp online classroom was set to close at midnight, June 30, 2020. However, we have extended access to the online classroom until Noon on Friday, July 3, 2020. Students may continue to complete the activities and finalize their school-year plans until that time. Boot camp students in grades 9 – 11, who will be continuing in our 2020/21 College Planning Cohort Program, will have access to our online classroom for their grade level on September 1. We will announce our 2020/21 schedule of monthly meetings in our August 1, 2020, newsletter.

Success is Intentional

Our boot camp theme, “Success is Intentional,” is reflected in the extraordinary success of our all-virtual program. While many school districts have experienced challenges with moving students into an all-virtual learning environment, our success has been intentional. We have created and focused our online curriculum around a set of core components:

  • Inspiring students to “Own the Process”
  • Guiding students in discovering of their interests, gifts, and talents
  • Demystifying the college admissions process
  • Inspiring students to “Don’t Leave Any Points on the Table” by pursuing exceptionality in academics, leadership, and service
  • Supporting small learning communities
  • Helping students see their potential and plan their success

While there are many amazing testimonials from boot camp students, we believe that Eliana Gutierrez, from Ragsdale High School in North Carolina sums it up nicely:

“From this experience, It has become very clear to me that in order to become a successful scholar, I will need to work hard and “own the process.” As a senior, I understand I have wasted a lot of time throughout my high school years, I wish I would have learned about this program during my freshman year because as I listened to your advice to the ninth graders, I couldn’t help but imagine what I could have done to help shape my future. This program has shown me that it doesn’t matter where you come from or what you’ve been through, because with enough dedication and work ethic, any student can create a successful future for themselves. I hope that one day I will be one of those students. 

Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of this boot camp, I can honestly say this experience has completely changed my mindset for the rest of the year and has opened my eyes to what it takes to become a successful scholar.” 

Eliana Gutierrez 
Ragsdale High School Class of 2021
GPA: 4.1 | College Planning Cohort Youth Leadership Board

Mark Your Calendar

July 6 – 9, 2020: College Planning Boot Camp for Middle School Students. Registration closes at midnight on July 2. Students will be added to a waiting list after that time. Click here to register.

July 11, 2020: Monthly session for current high school seniors focused on essay writing. Click here to register.

Our 2020/21 College Planning Cohort Program will host monthly sessions on the second Saturday of each month. Grade level appropriate online classrooms for students in grades 9 – 10; 11; and 12 will guide students through strategically planning to college-bound trajectories throughout their 2 million high school minutes.

Click here to register for your appropriate grade level…

Click here to learn more about our cohorts and other programs…

Nationally Recognized | 2020 Magna Award First Place Winner | National School Boards Association. 2020 Full Scholarships: Appalachian State; Benedict; Bowdoin; Carleton; Claflin; Johnson & Wales; North Carolina A&T; North Carolina Central; Tuskegee; UNC – Pembroke; University of Chicago; Wake Forest; and Williams. 

Newsletter: June 1, 2020

Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

Start Your Engines

We are excited to open our 12-month High School Senior Online Classroom today. The comprehensive 2020/21 High School Senior curriculum provides guidance from the end of students’ junior year of high school through finalizing their May 1, 2021, college enrollment decisions. The curriculum covers every aspect of the college admission and financial aid processes such as college and scholarship match, branding, identifying recommenders, essay writing, packaging applications, completing the FAFSA and CSS Profile, choosing admission cycles, applying for financial aid, responding to document requests, understanding financial aid award letters, and applying for scholarships—all focused on avoiding or minimizing student loan debt. Cohort students from our school district and community partners, who completed the 2019/20 High School Junior Classroom, have the opportunity to transition into our high school senior classroom where they will begin working on essays and writing responses for their well researched list of colleges and scholarships. Students who were unable to complete the assignments have another opportunity to do so during the summer college planning boot camp for high school students. 

We Appreciate Our Partners

We are excited about continuing our school district partnerships with Florence County School District 3 (SC); Guilford County Schools (NC); and Pinellas County Schools (FL). We are also excited about the opportunity to continue supporting our faith- and community-based partnerships with the Alpharetta-Smyrna Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., ASA Guide Right; Ghana United Christian Church (GA); Turner Chapel AME Church Education Ministry (GA); and the World Victory International Christian Center (NC).

Please share this newsletter with faith- and community-based organizations in your community who may wish to partner with us to expand college and scholarship opportunities for students and families throughout the country. Despite the educational uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been in continuous contact with our college partners and disseminating information to students regarding campus openings, Fly-in Programs, and colleges that will be test optional in 2021. We encourage you to follow us on Facebook.

Back by Popular Demand! FREE Virtual Summer Boot Camp Preview Session
Click here to register…
Saturday, June 6 – Boot Camp Preview
10:30 am: Online session opens/advanced registration required
11:00 am: Student Speakers: Sydney Soskin (University of Chicago); Damian Lee (Northeastern University)

Monthly Live Virtual Session for High School Seniors
(Only opened to registered students)

Saturday, June 13, 2020
9:30 am: Online session opens/advanced registration required
10:00 am – 10:30 am: Presentation
10:30 am – 11:30 am: Small Group Discussions
11:30 am – Noon: Open Mic Questions and Answers

Guilford County Schools
3-day Virtual Summer College Planning Boot Camp for Rising High School Juniors 

Tuesday, June 16 – Thursday, June 18, 2020
8:30 am: Online session opens/advanced registration required
9:00 am – 2:00 pm: Rotating schedule of presentation; independent work; discussion

4-day Virtual Summer College Planning Boot Camp for High School Students (Grades 9-12)
(Advanced Registration Required)

Monday, June 22 – Thursday, June 25, 2020
8:30 am: Online session opens/advanced registration required
9:00 am – 1:00 pm: Rotating schedule of presentation; independent work; discussion

Grades 9 – 10: High school freshmen and sophomores will be engaged in an intensive set of activities through which they will explore their gifts and talents; personality type; careers; develop an academic résumé; develop an initial college list; and set school-year goals across such areas as academics, leadership, and service.

Grade 11: High school juniors will be engaged in an intensive set of activities through which they will set goals during their critical junior year of high school in a manner aligned with their college/career aspirations. Students will explore college admission during the age of COVID-19 and the critical steps they must take during their junior year to become a competitive candidate for being offered admission to top colleges.

Grade 12: High school seniors will be engaged in an intensive set of activities to finalize college lists, identify scholarship opportunities, and begin writing essays within the context of college choice and financial need.

Middle School Students

Jump start your school year from the comfort of your home during a 4-day virtual summer college planning boot camp (Grades 7 – 8). Join the many middle school boot camp participants who are continuing to achieve the goals set during the boot camp and who are now academically accomplished high school juniors and seniors with tremendous college and scholarship opportunities. We are excited to welcome back our Pinellas County Schools 2019 middle school boot camp participants.

4-day Virtual Summer College Planning Boot Camp for Middle School Students (Grades 7-8) 
(Advanced Registration Required)

Monday, July 6 – Thursday, July 9, 2020
8:30 am: Online session opens/advanced registration required
9:00 am – 2:00 pm: Rotating schedule of presentation; independent work; discussion
During the first session: We will have student speakers, Mallory; Briston; and Adriana from Northwest High School in Jackson, Michigan who will share their boot camp experiences, “What The Summer Middle School Boot Camp Did For Me!” 

Click here to learn more about our cohorts and other programs…

Nationally Recognized | 2020 Magna Award First Place Winner | National School Boards Association
2020 Full Scholarships: Appalachian State; Benedict; Bowdoin; Carleton; Claflin; Johnson & Wales; North Carolina A&T; North Carolina Central; Tuskegee; UNC – Pembroke; University of Chicago; Wake Forest; and Williams 

Newsletter: May 1, 2020

Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)


We are Nationally Recognized!

Pictured above are high school juniors participating in our Guilford County Schools College Planning Cohort, now in its fifth year. The First Generation College Student Ambassador (FGCSA) Program, administered through the Guilford County Schools Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has received the2020 Magna Award. The prestigious honor, awarded by the National School Boards Association to school districts with enrollment over 20,000, honors districts across the country for programs that break down barriers for underserved students. The award recognizes our Guilford County Schools’ success with the assisting nearly 400 students, most of whom are first generation and college aspiring, in developing comprehensive college-bound plans to expand college access and successfully navigate college admissions, scholarships, and financial aid. Over the past five years, participating students have been offered admission to top colleges and scholarships in excess of $10 million.

We are Celebrating Our 2020 Seniors

Collectively, our Class of 2020 has been offered admission to over 100 colleges and universities; and awarded over $5 million in scholarships.
Highlights from our Class of 2020:

  • Full, or full tuition scholarships to: Agnes Scott, Appalachian State, Benedict, Bowdoin, Carleton, Concord, Elon, Embry-Riddle, FAMU, Florida School of the Arts, Howard, Johnson & Wales, North Carolina A&T, North Carolina Central, Ohio State, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Pembroke, University of Chicago, Tuskegee, Wake Forest, Warren Wilson, Williams, Wofford, and Xavier University of Louisiana.
  • Admission to honors colleges and specialized programs: Claflin University Honors Program; Elon University Odyssey Program; FAMU Honors Program; Johnson & Wales Rhode Island Honors College; North Carolina A&T Honors Program; UMBC Honors Program; UMBC Meyerhoff Scholars Program; UNC-Chapel Hill Honors Program; UNC-Charlotte Honors Program; UNC-Greensboro Honors Program; UNC-Wilmington Honors College; University of Chicago CAAP Program; and the University of Cincinnati Dual Admissions BS/MD Program.
  • Most scholarships: Sydney S., Guilford County Schools Cohort ($1,531,696).
  • Most full scholarships: Joshua W., Guilford County Schools Cohort (Appalachian State; Claflin University Honors College; and North Carolina A&T Honors College).
  • Highest value full scholarships: Sydney S., Pinellas County Schools Cohort, ($273,444 – University of Chicago); and Bre’an M., Atlanta-area Cohort, ($273,240 – Carleton College).
  • Athletes with full or partial scholarships: Barrett C., Guilford County Schools Cohort, Bluefield State University; Clint C., Florence County School District 3 Cohort, Presbyterian College; Darryl “Keith” Q., Jr., Guilford County Schools Cohort, UNC-Pembroke; Justin J., Florence County School District 3 Cohort, Wingate University; and Zoe P., Guilford County Schools Cohort, Concord University.
  • Class Valedictorians: Joshua W., Eastern Guilford High School (NC), North Carolina A&T Honors College; Kimani R., Lake City Early College High School (SC), North Carolina A&T; Sydney S., Early/Middle College@GTCC (NC), Bowdoin College.
  • Class Salutatorians: Savannah P., Lake City Early College High School (SC), Lee University; Sydney B., Early/Middle College@GTCC (NC), North Carolina Central Honors College.

Full Scholarship Recipients:

  • Bre’an M., Grayson High School (GA), Carleton College
  • Darryl “Keith” Q., Jr., Southern Guilford High School (NC), UNC – Pembroke
  • Donavon P. (a junior), Greensboro College Middle College (NC), offered full scholarships to the US Naval Academy and the US Military Academy at West Point
  • Jessica P., Gibbs High School (FL), Johnson & Wales Rhode Island Honors College
  • Joshua W., Eastern Guilford High School (NC), North Carolina A&T Honors College
  • Mel S., Lake City Early College High School (SC), Benedict College
  • Mia P., Lake City Early College High School (SC), Benedict College
  • Sydney B., Early/Middle College@GTCC (NC), North Carolina Central Honors College
  • Sydney S., St. Petersburg High School (FL), University of Chicago  
  • Sydney S., Early/Middle College@GTCC (NC), Bowdoin College

What “Zoom” Means for Our Program

In April, cohort students and parents experienced our successful transition to the Zoom platform. All virtual sessions were held live and presented by Mychal Wynn, CEO/Founder of the Foundation for Ensuring Access and Equity; creator of the online curriculum; and author of “A Middle School Plan for Students with College-Bound Dreams; A High School Plan for Students with College-Bound Dreams; and Show Me the Money: Scholarships Financial Aid, and Making the Right College Choice.” 

In this transition, our live virtual sessions are secure and fully monitored. A survey of students and parents has confirmed that the virtual sessions are a welcomed expansion of our program through the safest means of continuing uninterrupted college planning guidance and support for students throughout the country.

Following are some of the benefits and changes resulting from this expansion of our program:

  • A yearlong calendar of virtual sessions (by grade level) will be published in our September newsletter. (Note: virtual sessions will only be opened to registered students).
  • Virtual sessions will include a lecture and Q & A session, in which parents are encouraged to participate.
  • Sessions will only be available for live participation; videotaping of sessions is prohibited; no videos of sessions will be provided.
  • We will offer a makeup session each month for students experiencing a scheduling conflict.
  • Guest speakers will be incorporated into our program. Current college students, parents, and students will share experiences pertinent to our monthly modules (e.g., honors college, liberal arts colleges, HBCU, summer programs, and cooperative education programs).

Overall, the transition to virtual sessions will reflect a significant expansion of our program, providing even greater levels of college planning guidance and support for students and families. Our online curriculum is continually expanding, while incorporating the announced changes to postsecondary education as a result of the COVID-19 impact on college admission. Our curriculum will become even more culturally relevant as students who are profiled in our monthly lessons serve as guest speakers. In this manner, their stories will not only be shared through the curriculum, but their experiences will be personalized through their presentation and response to questions from students and parents.

College Planning Boot Camps

At this time, our 4-day 2020 Summer College Planning Boot Camps are being planned as virtual sessions. Students will be guided through a daily agenda in which lessons are introduced via a live virtual presentation; questions and answers; and time for students to work through the lessons in our online class.

Following is the confirmed schedule (registration is limited to the first 100 registrants):

High School Juniors Must Register Now

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed American life in ways that cannot be fully anticipated over the coming months, or perhaps years. Many colleges will have test optional admission policies for their 2021 and 2022 applicants. However, along with the opportunity to apply to a broader number of colleges, will be the challenge of seeing the number of college applications dramatically increase. Consequently, high school juniors cannot turn off their college planning and restart their planning in the fall. Our online curriculum will continue to have important units to complete in June, July, and August to ensure that when, and if, high schools reopen in August and September, cohort students will be ahead of virtually all of their classmates in their preparation for submitting their college applications.

Our 2020/21 Online Classroom for High School Seniors will open on June 1:

  • Florence County School District 3 juniors in good standing will be automatically transitioned
  • Guilford County Schools juniors in good standing will be automatically transitioned
  • Pinellas County Schools juniors in good standing will be automatically transitioned
  • All other high school seniors will be added to the class after purchasing a registration and completing the New Student Activities
  • High school juniors currently enrolled in our program may click here to register

Summer 2020 Virtual Sessions for High School Seniors

  • Saturday, June 13, 2020: 9:30 am – 11:30 am
  • Saturday, July 11, 2020: 9:30 am – 11:30 am
  • Saturday, August 8 2020: 9:30 am – 11:30 am

New students may click here to register
Grades 9 – 10
Grade 11
Grade 12

Important Announcements

  • Atlanta-area Cohort Seniors will have their Kente Cloth mailed to their home.
  • ASA Guide Right Seniors will receive their Kente Cloth from Mr. Lucas.
  • Guilford County Schools First Generation College Student Ambassadors Seniors will receive their Kente Cloth from Mrs. Hobbs.
  • Florence County School District 3 Students in good standing will be able to pick up their Kente Cloth from the District Office.
  • Pinellas County Schools Seniors will receive their Kente Cloth from Dr. Brinson.
  • United Ghana Christian Church Seniors will receive their Kente Cloth from Ms. Nana Adjepong.

May Cohort Meetings

Saturday, May 9 – Guilford County Schools (Senior Celebration)
10:30 am: Online session opens/advanced registration required
11:00 am: FGCSA High School Senior Celebration

Saturday, May 16 – Atlanta-area; Florence County School District 3; Pinellas County Schools; and Ghana United Christian Church Cohorts (Final Regular Meeting)
8:30 am: Online session opens/advanced registration required
9:00 am – 9:45 am: Grades 9 – 10
10:00 am – 10:45 am: Juniors
11:00 am – 11:45: Recognition of High School Seniors
Noon – 12:30 pm: Open Mic Questions and Answers

Click here to learn more about our cohorts and other programs…

 

Newsletter: April 1, 2020

Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

COVID-19 and Virtual Learning

The global coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has resulted in colleges abruptly sending students home, K – 12 school closings, governors and mayors issuing stay-at-home orders, empty shelves at local grocery stores, and millions of people being out of work. For millions of families, life with never be the same. Thousands of families will lose loved ones, thousands of companies will go out of business, and millions of people will be unemployed. Yet, high school seniors will still need to confirm college enrollment decisions, while high school students in grades 9 – 11 must adjust their college-bound plans accordingly.

The University of North Carolina University System has approved new, and lower standards for being admitted to a UNC school (i.e., minimum 2.5 GPA; or ACT score of 17; or SAT score of 880). More states are likely to lower admission requirements, allowing more students access to college, while increasing grade and test score requirements to qualify for scholarships, allowing fewer students with access to need-based financial aid. The impact of COVID-19 on ACT and SAT testing is pushing more colleges to become test optional. Current college students learned just how precarious their situations were when they found themselves being told to leave their dormitories, but not having enough money to travel home or having an unstable home situation ahead of them. Over the coming months, many students and families will struggle financially as they navigate an uncertain future. In the fall, new and returning college-bound students are likely to experience increased student loan debt as they finance their way back to, or onto college campuses. Now is the time for prayer, patience, and persistence. As we pray for guidance and divine intervention, we must be patient in dealing with circumstances beyond our control, and persistent in taking an active role in planning for and pursuing our hopes and aspirations.

As K – 12 schools struggle to offer online lessons and virtual instruction, we have seamlessly moved our face-to-face College Planning Cohort meetings into virtual presentations. While Mrs. Wynn and I value our face-to-face meetings with students, our virtual sessions allow us to reach many more students and families. Our first 30-minute, “Parents Only” session, inspired by Dr. Lewis Brinson, Minority Achievement Officer for Pinellas County Schools, lasted well over an hour. This unexpected transition to virtual instruction was not only well received by students, families, and our community partners, but added a transformative new dimension to our programming—one which will allow us to provide greater support for cohorts operated by our faith- and community-based partners. While our monthly face-to-face sessions have space limitations, we can reach hundreds more students through our virtual sessions and expand our program to provide college planning guidance to middle school students beyond our college planning boot camps.  

Where Are ‘We’ Going?

As thousands of high school seniors receive college admission decisions today, they must not only pay attention to where they were offered admission, but how much financial aid they were offered. Students must finalize their enrollment decision for most colleges by May 1. In so doing, students will be binding their family to high college costs, and possibly thousands of dollars in student loan debt over the next 4 – 6 years while attending college and for many years after leaving college. However, high school juniors should be paying attention to where current seniors were offered admission and where they were rejected; and where students were offered full scholarships as opposed to being offered thousands of dollars in student and Parent PLUS loans.

Many high school seniors are uncertain as to what to do next, while pondering such questions as:

  • What should I be doing amid the COVID-19 challenges to higher education?
  • What should I be doing in response to school closings and cancellation of SAT/ACT testing dates?
  • What type of actions should I be taking in preparation for submitting my college applications in the fall?

Unfortunately, there are no quick answers to these and the many other questions that high school juniors should be asking, such as which classes to take in the fall, how to maximize virtual learning opportunities offered by their school district or in their state, how to continue developing their gifts and talents during school closings, or how to demonstrate leadership and where to engage in community service. The reason that we developed our College Planning Cohort Program is that there are no quick answers to college planning, no more than there are quick answers to AP Calculus, AP Physics, or AP Statistics. Achieving proficiency in calculus, or in college planning, requires thoughtful student engagement in lessons, i.e., reading, writing, research, analysis, and synthesis of information, all focused on an intentional outcome, albeit solving a math problem or developing a college plan.

The question that high school juniors are being guided in answering through our April Module: College Application and Scholarship Plan, is “Where Are ‘We’ Going?” The concept of, “We” must be underscored. Developing high quality college application packages will require the assistance of many people and for students to answer such questions as: Who will review my essays? Who will proofread my applications? Who will write my recommendation letters? Who will assist me in preparing for interviews? Who will assist me in preparing portfolios or for auditions? Who will ensure that I have a high quality academic résumé that highlights my commitment to service and leadership? Who will assist me in preparing a special-focus résumé to showcase my athletic or artistic achievements? Who will assist me in navigating the many college and scholarship websites through which I will submit and monitor the status of my applications? Who will assist me in navigating the online portals, after I have been offered admission, so that I may check my financial aid status and view my award letters? And finally, who will assist me and my parents with understanding the financial aid awards that are being offered? There are likely to be many people, volunteering hundreds of hours of their time to support your college and scholarship applications. So, prior to making demands on their time, you must answer the question, “Where are we going?”

Finalizing Enrollment Decisions

It goes without saying that high school seniors should clearly understand financial aid awards, PRIOR, to finalizing enrollment decisions. We are continually dismayed at the number of high school seniors who continue checking the mail or email for award letters, as a result of their failure to read their acceptance letters! In most acceptance letters, colleges provided instructions for setting up a student account and accessing financial aid awards through the college’s online portal—steps that students must take to accept/decline scholarships and grants; accept/decline student loans; and respond to document requests, including being ‘Selected for Verification.’ For those students who focused their attention, almost exclusively on ‘getting in’ rather than on ‘how college will get paid for,’ they will be shocked by the enormous amount of money for which they must now budget and the amount of student and Parent PLUS Loans they must now assume.

Beyond comparing financial aid offers, high school seniors should carefully consider how colleges have responded to the coronavirus crisis. Students should talk to family and friends who are attending college about how their schools are dealing with the crisis and providing student support.

  • How did colleges communicate campus closings?
  • What assistance did colleges provide students in moving out of dorms, storing belongings, returning home, or finding alternative housing?
  • How are colleges ensuring student access to online classrooms?
  • When, and how much, will colleges refund students for tuition, room, and board?
  • How clearly and consistently are colleges communicating with students regarding when campuses will reopen and when students will be allowed to return to campus?

Following are articles of interest:

Another challenge for high school seniors attempting to finalize college enrollment decisions is that many campuses are now closed to campus visits. Consequently, students may be forced to choose among colleges from which they have never visited their campuses. 

Grades 9 – 11—What Now?

For many of our cohort students in grades 9 – 11, the 2019/20 school year will close without their being able to return to school. Our April and May activities will guide students through a year-end assessment in which they unpack their résumés as part of a process of self-reflection and self-assessment:

  • What goals did I set at the beginning of the school year, and how successful was I in achieving those goals?
  • What areas did I experience exceptional levels of achievement, e.g., academics, athletics, art, music, dance, entrepreneurship, etc.?
  • What level of coursework was I able to excel and what level of coursework will I pursue during the next school year, i.e., honors, AP, IB, or dual enrollment?
  • What gifts or talents were developed or revealed and what opportunities will I have during the next school year to further develop my gifts and talents?

These and other such questions must be considered within a college/career context. So doing is the only way of ensuring that during the 2020/21 school year, students will be enrolling into classes, pursuing leadership roles, engaging in community service, and developing their gifts in a manner consistent will maximizing their competitiveness for the colleges and scholarships for which they are intending to apply. In September, 9th graders were introduced to the film “2 Million Minutes,” which provided insight into the global competition for college admission and future jobs. While each of a student’s 2 million minutes of high school is spread over 8 semesters, for high school juniors, your performance during this, your 6th semester of high school, may be the determining factor in where you are offered admission to college at this time next year. 

Cohort Meetings

We are hosting all April and May cohort meetings online for our school district partners—Florence County School District 3, Guilford County Schools, and Pinellas County Schools. We will also host virtual sessions for our Atlanta-area Cohorts, including ASA Guide Right and the United Ghana Christian Church. Online sessions will be presented live and will require advanced registration.

Registration for rising high school seniors opens on May 1. We will continue to host virtual sessions during June, July, and August focused on developing high quality college and scholarship applications packages well ahead of college and scholarship deadlines. While less than 2 percent of students nationally earn full college scholarships, we are pleased to report that the percentage of cohort students attending college on full scholarships is far above the national average. This, in part, is the result our efforts in guiding rising high school seniors in developing high quality college application packages and submitting college applications through the most advantageous admission cycle.

Following is our schedule of online sessions for April:

Saturday, April 11 – ASA Guide Right
8:30 am: Online session opens/advanced registration required
9:00 am – 9:45 am: Presentation for Grades 9 – 10
10:00 am – 10:45 am: Presentation for Grade 11
11:00 am – 11:30 am: For Parents Only

Saturday, April 18 – Guilford County Schools (Final Regular Meeting)
8:30 am: Online session opens/advanced registration required
9:00 am – 11:30 am: Seniors
11:30 am – Noon: Open Mic – Questions and Answers
Noon – 2:30 pm: Juniors
2:30 pm – 3:00 am: Open Mic – Questions and Answers

Friday, April 24 – Florence County School District 3 (Final Regular Meeting)
8:30 am: Online session opens/advanced registration required
9:00 am – 11:30 am: Juniors
11:30 am – Noon: Open Mic – Questions and Answers
Noon – 2:30 pm: Seniors
2:30 pm – 3:00 am: Open Mic – Questions and Answers

Saturday, April 25 – Atlanta-area and Pinellas County Schools
8:30 am: Online session opens/advanced registration required
9:00 am – 11:30 am: Grades 9 – 11
11:30 am – Noon: Open Mic – Questions and Answers
Noon – 2:30 pm: Seniors
2:30 pm – 3:00 am: Open Mic – Questions and Answers

Congratulations 

While many students will receive their college admission decisions today, following is a listing of students who have received recent admission decisions and scholarship notifications:

  • Bre’an M., (Atlanta-area Cohort) – full scholarship to Carleton College.
  • Clint C., (Florence County School District 3 Cohort) – will be attending playing football at Presbyterian University on an academic scholarship
  • Darryl “Keith” Q., Jr., (Guilford County Schools Cohort) – full athletic scholarship to play football at the University of North Carolina Pembroke
  • Jayla S., (Guilford County Schools Cohort) – full scholarship North Carolina A&T Honors College
  • Joshua W., (Guilford County Schools Cohort) – full scholarship offers from Appalachian State; North Carolina A&T Honors College; and Claflin University Honors College
  • Mel S., (Florence County School District 3 Cohort) – full scholarship to Benedict College
  • Sydney S., (Guilford County Schools Cohort) has been offered admission, together with a generous scholarship to Bowdoin
  • Mia P., (Florence County School District 3 Cohort), has been offered a full scholarship to Benedict College
  • Sydney B., (Guilford County Schools Cohort) – full scholarship offers from Tuskegee University and North Carolina Central 
  • Sydney P., (Guilford County Schools Cohort) – full tuition scholarship (+books) to the North Carolina A&T Honors College 
  • Sydney S., (Pinellas County Schools Cohort) – full scholarship to the University of Chicago
  • Sydney S., (Guilford County Schools Cohort) – full tuition scholarships to North Carolina A&T and UNC-Chapel Hill Honors Colleges; and generous financial aid offers from Bowdoin, University of Richmond, Wake Forest, Williams, and Wofford 
  • Zoe P., (Guilford County Schools Cohort) – will be playing soccer at Concord University on an athletic scholarship

College Planning Boot Camps

Our college planning boot camp schedule is being revised for the following school districts:

  • Rising 9th Graders. Judson ISD (Converse, TX)
  • Rising 10th Graders. Judson ISD (Converse, TX)
  • High School Students. Pinellas County Schools (St. Petersburg, FL)
  • Middle School Students. Pinellas County Schools (St. Petersburg, FL)

At this time, the schedule for the following boot camps remains unchanged:

  • June 16 – 18: Rising 11th Graders. Guilford County Schools (Greensboro, NC)
  • July 27 – 30: Rising Seniors. Florence County School District 3 (Lake City, SC).

We are planning to add additional virtual college planning boot camps for the following grades:

  • Rising 9th – 10th Graders
  • Rising 11th Graders 
  • Rising High School Seniors Part I: Identifying the ‘Right’ Colleges and ‘Right’ Scholarships
  • Rising High School Seniors Part II: Essay Writing

Why rising high school seniors must attend a boot camp:

  • Ensure that you have packaged correctly for each of your colleges
  • Ensure that your essays reflect non-cognitive variables and speak to the institutional mission of your colleges
  • Ensure that your essays tells the story that college admission officers need to hear
  • Ensure that you are applying to the ‘right’ colleges, to the ‘right’ admission cycle, and for the ‘right’ scholarships
  • Ensure that you do not begin your senior year of high school behind and overwhelmed 

Registration for our 2020/21 Cohorts opens on June 1 for rising seniors and on July 1 for students in grades 9 – 11. We are currently developing College Planning Cohorts for middle school students (more information forthcoming): 

We encourage our new students to review past newsletters posted to our blog.

Click here to learn more about our cohorts and other programs…

Understanding SAT Scores

Newsletter: March 1, 2020

March 1, 2020
Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)


Researching Colleges and Scholarships 

During March and April, many students will have the opportunity to visit colleges during Spring Break. However, beyond programs, distance from home, dormitories, and the cafeteria, students must concern themselves with the cost of each school and how they plan to pay that cost. The failure of students and parents to thoroughly research the costs of attending college continues to fuel the disastrous student debt crisis. Each year, far too many high school seniors concern themselves with paying for college, AFTER, they have been offered admission and received financial aid award letters, lamenting, “I need to find scholarships.” In 2020, 7 out of 10 students left college owing an average of nearly $30,000 in student loans. (Student Loan Statistics for 2020) However, the cost of attendance at in-state public universities averaging $25,000 per year and 4-year graduation rates averaging less than 50 percent, explains why over 2.5 million students have amassed over $100,000 in student loan debt. Buying a Porsche Carrera GT ($98,000) with a 7-year loan might be less painful than the lifetime of student loan debt students and parents will carry as a result of making uninformed college decisions. 

During our February Atlanta-area cohort meeting, we presented an overview of how significantly the financial aid policies of colleges will impact college costs and potential student loan debt. We examined the financial aid awards of 3 students offered admission to Williams College. After completing the FAFSA and CSS Profile, their expected family contributions ranged from $29,200 to only $2,075 per year. Over 4 years, the out of pocket costs would range from $116,800 to $8,300. Clearly, searching for $8,300 in scholarships would be far easier than amassing $116,800 in scholarships. Consequently, attending Williams College could be great for one student and disastrous for another—this is why identifying the ‘right’ colleges goes far beyond dormitories, cafeteria food, and a student’s major when considering that a third of students change their major within 3 years of attending college.

College Majors
While Williams College is an excellent example of a school that meets the full financial need of families, as determined by the FAFSA and CSS Profile, the difference in costs between a student from a lower income family with a ‘0’ EFC may be the same as a student from an upper income family with a ‘$20,000’ EFC at a public university like the University of Georgia, North Carolina State, or the University of South Carolina. Such schools typically provide little financial support beyond state scholarship and grants (other than for recruited athletes).

Students from lower and middle income families must match to the ‘right’ colleges or qualify for the ‘right’ scholarships. Like Williams College, Rice University’s Rice Investment, provides another example of matching to the right college:

Determining the right school comes down to several factors—often, the biggest one is affordability. At Rice, we believe that talent deserves opportunity. For domestic students we offer need-blind admission, which means we do not consider your finances when we review your application. Additionally, Rice is a need-based institution, which means we offer financial aid based on a family’s financial needs. Students receiving aid under The Rice Investment will have all demonstrated need met without any loans.

The following table outlines Rice’s financial aid commitment

 

A student with a family income under $65,000 would in essence receive a $63,252 institutional scholarship to Rice (valued at $253,008 over 4 years).This is why our program focuses more attention on getting into the right colleges than on applying for scholarships. The Coca Cola Scholarship awards $5,000 per year, the Ron Brown Scholarship awards $10,000 per year, and the competition for being awarded such scholarships is fierce. Whereas, for the student who commits to earning top grades and test scores, engaging in meaningful activities and leadership, and thoughtfully working through the activities in our program, they will have a pathway to hundreds of thousands of dollars in institutional scholarships as a high school senior. As you set academic goals for each school year, it is important to understand that to benefit from Rice’s generous financial aid policy, you must meet the admission standards where median SAT scores are 1490-1560 and ACT scores are 32-35. As the college research units guide you into the right schools, you must set goals for becoming the type of student to benefit from such opportunities.

Congratulations

A core tenet of our program is encouraging students to “Own the Process.” Rather than becoming involved in activities to pad résumés, we want to inspire students to pursue academic achievement, leadership, and service with passion. Top academic achievers, leaders who are making a difference in their clubs and activities, and engaging in meaningful community service will make an impact on students’ local communities and expand their college and scholarship opportunities. Illustrated here are the goals of one of our Pinellas County Schools 7th graders. Developing such goals as a 7th grader, places this student onto a trajectory toward full scholarship opportunities at such schools as Williams, Amherst, Rice, University of Chicago, Duke, Princeton, and Vanderbilt.

In a similar manner, Ian F., attended our Judson ISD College Planning Boot Camp as a rising high school sophomore. Now, a high school junior, Ian has greatly expanded his college and scholarship opportunities by attaining a #1 class rank in his high school; scoring 1500 on the PSAT; and assuming such leadership roles as Captain of the UIL Computer Science Club; President of the Business Professionals of America; and Concertmaster for the Varsity Orchestra. Ian is developing an outstanding résumé as he makes himself a competitive candidate for his top choice college—MIT.

College Students

Former cohort students are now owning their college experience by becoming campus leaders, serving their communities, and pursuing summa, magna, and cum laude honors. North Carolina A&T Honors College Ambassador and 2nd-year student, Akilah Williams (TCC Cohort), graciously shared her time and insight with Florence County School District 3 Cohort high school senior, Kimani R., who left campus with North Carolina A&T rising to her top choice college. Congratulations to Cathryn Ackerman  (FCSD3 Cohort) who made the Dean’s List at Francis Marion University and Rhea Thompson (Atlanta-area Cohort), who made the Dean’s List at Xavier University of Louisiana. We appreciate Mikayla Hanna (Florence County School District 3 Cohort), 2015 Gates Millennium Scholar, UMBC Meyerhoff Scholar, and graduate of UMBC with a BS in Biology, taking the time, together with her grandmother, to visit the Lake City Early College High School College Cohort to speak to our current high school juniors. 

High School Seniors

Congratulations to Joshua W., (Guilford County Schools Cohort), who has received 3 full scholarship offers. Joshua, the Class Valedictorian and a member of the varsity baseball and basketball teams at his high school, has been offered the Chancellor’s Scholarship by Appalachian State University (full scholarship); the Lewis and Elizabeth Dowdy Scholarship by the North Carolina A & T State University Honors College (full scholarship); and the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College Scholarship by Claflin University (full scholarship). We have been working with Joshua since he was a high school junior. He is an exceptional young man who is actively engage in community service, a recognized leader, and mentor of young men in elementary and middle school. Joshua will have a busy Spring Break visiting each of the schools to determine the right fit and where he will have the opportunity to make the greatest contribution. Former cohort students who are NC A&T Dowdy Scholars and on full scholarship at the Claflin University Honors College are eager to meet Joshua and share the experiences of their respective programs.

It should be noted that less than 2 percent of all college students are attending college on full scholarship, which makes the fact that so many of our cohort students being offered full, or near full scholarships, is such an awesome achievement:

  • Bre’an M., (Atlanta-area Cohort), has received a full scholarship to Carleton College.
  • (Top Photo) Clint C., (Florence County School District 3 Cohort), has signed a commitment letter and has been awarded a generous academic scholarship to continue playing football at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina.
  • (Middle Photo) Darryl “Keith” Q., Jr., (Guilford County Schools Cohort), has signed a National Letter of Intent and will receive a full scholarship to continue playing football at the University of North Carolina – Pembroke in Pembroke, North Carolina.
  • Jayla, S., (Guilford County Schools Cohort), has been offered the Presidential Scholarship to Xavier University of Louisiana and the Lewis and Elizabeth Dowdy Scholarship (full scholarship) to the North Carolina A&T Honors College.
  • Joshua W., (Guilford County Schools), has been offered 3 full scholarships (Appalachian State; North Carolina A&T; Claflin University).
  • Mel S., (Florence County School District 3 Cohort), has been offered a full scholarship to Benedict College.
  • Sydney B., (Guilford County Schools Cohort), has been offered the Presidential Scholarship to Tuskegee University (full scholarship) and the Cheatham-White Scholarship to North Carolina Central (full scholarship).
  • Sydney S., (Pinellas County Schools Cohort) has received a full scholarship to the University of Chicago.
  • Sydney S., (Guilford County Schools Cohort), has been offered a full tuition scholarship to the UNC-Chapel Hill Honors College. 
  • Sydney S., and Sydney P., (Guilford County Schools Cohort), have been offered full tuition scholarships (+books) to the North Carolina A&T Honors College. 
  • (Bottom Photo) Zoe P., (Guilford County Schools Cohort), has signed a commitment letter to continue playing soccer at Concord University in Athens, West Virginia and has been awarded a generous academic scholarship.

Honors Colleges

Congratulations to our Guilford County Schools Cohort students who have been offered admission to honors colleges: Angelina, M.; Jayla S.; Joshua, W.; Kennedy J.; Sydney B.; Sydney P.; and Sydney S. Colleges include: Claflin University Honors College; North Carolina A&T Honors College; UMBC Honors College; UNC-Chapel Hill Honors College; UNC-Charlotte Honors College; UNC-Greensboro Honors College; and the UNC-Wilmington Honors College.

Meyerhoff Scholars Selection Weekend

Congratulations to Angelina M., and Kennedy J., (Guilford County Schools Cohort) who have been invited to the Meyerhoff Scholars Selection Weekend at the University of Maryland – Baltimore County. The Meyerhoff Scholars Program is at the forefront of efforts to increase diversity among future leaders in science, technology, engineering and related fields. The UMBC Meyerhoff family is now more than 1300 strong, with over 1100 alumni across the nation and 281 students enrolled at UMBC. Over 300 graduates are currently pursuing graduate and professional degrees in STEM fields. Mikayla Hanna, the first Meyerhoff Scholar in the history of South Carolina, from our Florence County School District 3 Cohort (SC) recently received her BS in Biology from UMBC and Samuel Patterson, from our Turner Chapel AME Church Cohort is a current Meyerhoff Scholar pursuing a BS/PhD in economics.

Disney Dreamer’s Academy

Congratulations to one of our newest Atlanta-area Cohort members, Adonna M., who has been selected as 1 of only 15 students from the State of Georgia invited to attend the Disney Dreamer’s Academy.

High School Juniors

The February Module: Researching Colleges and Scholarships guided students through researching the vast array of college and financial aid options. For many students, this is a much more exhausting process than anticipated. Students in Georgia began the process thinking about either the Ivy League, UGA, or Georgia Tech. Students in North Carolina began focused on UNC – Charlotte, UNC – Greensboro, or East Carolina. Students in South Carolina began focused on USC – Columbia, Clemson, or Francis Marion, while students in Florida began focused on the University of Tampa, University of Central Florida, or Florida State. However, most students began their research with little understanding of liberal arts colleges, research universities, cooperative education programs, honors colleges, test optional colleges, dual degree programs or the wide array of financial aid and scholarship opportunities.

We had a great Atlanta-area Cohort meeting. Students who were unable to complete the monthly activities were encouraged to bring their laptop computers and work with volunteers. Students who completed the activities had the opportunity to participate in round table discussions with other students through which they shared their narratives and engaged in a deeper analysis of what they learned through the activities and the direction in which their college-bound strategies were developing.

The March Module: Net Price Calculator guides students through answering the single guiding question, “What are the best college opportunities for students with my interests, academic achievement level, career aspirations, and financial need?” The unit guides students in developing a comprehensive college list and in identifying scholarship opportunities to which students are well matched.

Fly-in Opportunities

Academically accomplished students who will be pursuing the hyper competitive admission to selective colleges and universities may gain a competitive advantage by being invited to a Fly-in Program. These all-expenses paid programs not only provide opportunities to visit campuses, speak with current students, and meet professors and admissions officers, but build relationships with schools. Cohort students invited to Fly-in Programs have gone on to be offered admission to such schools as Amherst, Bates, Bowdoin, Carleton, Case Western Reserve, Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore, University of Richmond, Washington and Lee, and Williams.

Registration for the following programs is now open:

Grades 9 – 10

The March Module: Researching Colleges and Scholarships (Part II) guides students in continuing their college research and exploring the wide range of college opportunities, from HBCUs, first generation friendly college, military service academies, and unique opportunities for athletes. The single guiding question is, “What are the best college opportunities for students with my interests, academic achievement level, and career aspirations?”

We encourage parents and cohort facilitators to engage students in conversations about their research to ensure that students are expanding their understanding of the array of postsecondary college and scholarship opportunities.

Did You Know?

A survey of college admissions officers, determined the following elements in their admission decisions to be considered as of “Considerable Importance:”

  • Grades in All Courses: 75.4%
  • Grades in College Prep Courses: 73.2%
  • Strength of Curriculum: 62.1%
  • Admission Test Scores (SAT, ACT): 45.7%
  • Positive Character Attributes: 25.9%
  • Essay or Writing Sample: 23.2%

March Meeting Dates/Times

Sunday, March 1, 2020: United Ghana Christian Church Cohort (10:00 am – 12:30 pm).

Sunday, March 1, 2020: Rockdale County College Planning Cohort Presentation (4:30 pm – 6:00 pm).

Sunday, March 8, 2020: The Next Episode: Teen Bible Student/College Planning Session for high school juniors and seniors. Turner Chapel AME Church • Marietta, GA Boardroom (9:30 am – 11:30 am).

Sunday, March 8, 2020: Atlanta-area Cohort: Turner Chapel AME Church • Marietta, GA (11:30 am – 12:45 pm). Bring your laptop computers. Note: In recognition of Easter Sunday, the April meeting will be moved from the second Sunday to the third Sunday (April 19).

Sunday, March 8, 2020: Crossroads for Teens Cohort grades 9 – 12. Johnson Ferry Baptist Church • Marietta, GA (3:00 pm – 4:30 pm).

Saturday, March 14, 2020: ASA Guide Right Mentoring Workshop

Friday, March 20, 2020: Lake City Early College High School Juniors Cohort (9:00 am – 2:30 pm). Students will be excused from class to the College Corner. Seniors will be seen by appointment.

Saturday, March 21, 2020: Guilford County Schools Cohort: Seniors (9:00 am – Noon); Juniors (Noon – 3:00 pm). Location: GTCC Greensboro Campus.

Saturday, March 28, 2020: Pinellas County Schools High School Cohort grades 9 – 12. Lakewood High School Media Center • 1400 54th Ave, S • St. Petersburg, FL (9:00 pm – 2:00 pm). 

Saturday, March 28, 2020: ASA Guide Right Cohort Fortis College (9:00 am).

College Planning Boot Camps: Register Now

June 1 – 4: Rising 9th Graders. Judson ISD (Converse, TX).
June 8 – 11: Rising 10th Graders. Judson ISD (Converse, TX).
June 16 – 18: Rising 11th Graders. Guilford County Schools (Greensboro, NC).
June 22 – 25: High School Students. Pinellas County Schools (St. Petersburg, FL).
July 6 – 9: Middle School Students. Pinellas County Schools (St. Petersburg, FL).
July 27 – 30: Rising Seniors. Florence County School District 3 (Lake City, SC).

Registration for our 2020/21 Cohorts opens on July 1. 

Why rising high school seniors must attend a boot camp:

  • Ensure that you have packaged correctly for each of your colleges
  • Ensure that your essays reflect non-cognitive variables and speak to the institutional mission of your colleges
  • Ensure that your essays tells the story that college admission officers need to hear
  • Ensure that you are applying to the ‘right’ colleges, to the ‘right’ admission cycle, and for the ‘right’ scholarships
  • Ensure that you do not begin your senior year of high school behind and overwhelmed 

Atlanta Area College Planning Boot Camp for Rising High School Seniors

We are tentatively planning 2 4-day boot camps for the Atlanta area (July 13-15 and July 20-24). Each session will be hosted at the Turner Chapel AME Church. Current registration fees are:

  • $595 in advance and $795 at the door for non-cohort members
  • $195 for cohort students registered for the 2020/21 academic year
  • $195 for Turner Chapel AME Church members

The primary focus of the boot camp will be on finalizing college applications and essays. Attendance is limited, and registration fees are subjected change, so RSVP to reserve your seat. Click here to register…

We encourage our new students to review past newsletters posted to our blog.

Click here to learn more about our cohorts and other programs…

 

Newsletter: February 1, 2020

February 1, 2020
Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

Should I Register for the Cohort? 

The registration fee for students who are not participating in cohorts through school district or community partners is $499.95 per year. While this is far less than the $10,000+ charged by private college consultants, it still represents a significant investment for many families. However, each year, we receive hundreds of inquiries from high school seniors and their parents asking about scholarships to pay for college. The reason that only 2% of all college students receive full scholarships is that the vast majority of high school students do not fully understand the concept of “College Planning” or how why they must approach the college planning process strategically, thus, the focus of this month’s newsletter, “Strategic Thinking.” 

Black History Month

February is Black History Month. Today, African American students can attend any college or university in the United States. However, the first African Americans in the United States to receive college degrees were awarded degrees by Middlebury (1804), Amherst (1826), Dartmouth (1828), Bowdoin (1826), Oberlin (1833), and Newark College (1836). The first HBCU (Cheyney University of Pennsylvania) was founded in 1837. It was not until 126 years later on June 11, 1963 that two black students, Vivian Malone and James Hood, stood face to face with Alabama Governor George Wallace, demanding to be allowed to enter class. It required the full weight of the federal government and President Kennedy’s nationalization of the Alabama National Guard to forcibly integrate the University of Alabama.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities were created as a strategy to provide African Americans with opportunities to pursue postsecondary education. While neither of our two full scholarship recipients (Bre’an and Sydney) profiled in this month’s newsletter will be attending HBCUs, attending an HBCU is the best strategy for many of our high school seniors who have been offered generous scholarships to such HBCUs as Xavier University of Louisiana, Hampton, Fisk, Benedict, and Claflin. Several of our high school seniors have been invited to interview for full scholarships offered by the North Carolina A&T Honors College. Our HBCU unit dispels myths about HBCUs not being as academically challenging as non-HBCUs. To the contrary, HBCUs continue to be among the top institutions awarding African Americans PhDs; graduating the majority of African American dentists and doctors; sending more African Americans to medical school; and graduating the majority of African American judges and half of all African American engineers, lawyers, and teachers. Since two of the primary goals of our College Planning Cohort Program are to earn scholarships and reduce student loan debt, we have many students who have, or will graduate debt free from such HBCUs as Xavier, Howard, Hampton, FAMU, Benedict, Tennessee State, Claflin, and Dillard. In large numbers, academically accomplished African American high school seniors continue to choose HBCUs as their first choice colleges (Read: Why Black Students are Enrolling in HBCUs). 

College Planning Requires Strategic Thinking

The January Module: Self-assessment and Setting Goals engaged students in a self-assessment of the strength of their Common Application, based on current grades, course taking, test scores, leadership, activities, and community service. There were many disappointed faces among our Guilford County Schools, Florence County School District 3, and Pinellas County Schools high school juniors who realized that if they were completing the Common Application today, they would be weak applicants for being offered admission to their top choice colleges and unlikely to qualify for enough scholarship money to attend the schools for which they are qualified. However, students who are disheartened by their current weaknesses have time to “Own the Process,” by setting academic goals, pursuing leadership, and engaging in community service. This is especially true for high school juniors who will be finalizing their Common Application or Coalition Application in the fall.

In our January 1 Newsletter, we profiled full scholarship recipients, Bre’an (GA) and Sydney (FL), both of whom approached their college planning strategically. Bre’an joined the Atlanta-area Cohort in September of her senior year of high school. While this was late in the college planning process, Bre’an was academically accomplished (3.8 GPA; ACT 31), but still engaged in an honest self-assessment of her overall competitiveness as a candidate for being offered admission to the ‘right’ colleges. Bre’an spent long hours completing her application to the QuestBridge Program by the September 26, 2020 deadline. To increase her chances of being offered admission, she applied for, and was invited to the all-expenses paid Taste of Carleton Fly-in Program at Carleton College. After being selected as a QuestBridge College Match Finalist, Bre’an took an ‘all in’ strategy by making Carleton College her top QuestBridge Match school and applying Early Decision. The strategy paid off with a full scholarship and her becoming 1 of 524 students offered admission from an applicant pool of over 7,000 students.

Sydney, a senior in the IB Programme at St. Petersburg High School (FL) entered our program as a high school junior. This time last year, she engaged in a realistic self-assessment of her chances of becoming 1 of the 2,137 applicants to be offered admission to the University of Chicago from an applicant pool of over 34,000 students! As a high school junior, Sydney had time to think strategically. She used her résumé to set goals. She identified leadership and community service opportunities. She researched a summer program at the University of Chicago and developed a step-by-step plan to become the most competitive candidate possible and to candidly tell her story through her essays so that The University of Chicago admission officers would know her beyond what was reflected in her Common Application. Sydney’s embrace of her self-assessment was instrumental in developing a strategic plan to showcase her gifts, talents, passions, leadership, and service.

To further increase her chances of being offered admission, Sydney explored opportunities of attending a summer program at the University of Chicago and applying to their Fly-in Program. Sydney’s summer programs research, and attention to creating a high quality application to the UChicago Summer Immersion Program resulted in her receiving a full scholarship (valued at $7,100) to the UChicago Summer Immersion Program during the summer prior to entering into her senior year of high school. Sydney was able to weave her summer program experiences into her ‘Why UChicago’ essay as part of an overall strategy to demonstrate that she was the perfect fit (which she explicitly stated in her essay).

During the summer following my junior year of high school, I attended the Medical Ethics Summer Immersion Program at UChicago. While I immediately experienced a feeling of belonging as I stepped onto the UChicago campus. Stepping on the Campus North Residential Commons I stopped to savor the moment, one enthralled with both excitement and fear. 3 weeks later, I felt that the time had passed as quickly as that first moment, however, I was not leaving the UChicago campus—I was leaving home…

…I believe I am a perfect fit for UChicago. Not only can I see myself sitting in the red chairs outside of the John Crerar Library, but I can feel myself walking in the main quad struggling to find Pick Hall because nature has beautifully consumed the plaque with any identification of the building. While I believe that I have demonstrated leadership in both my school and community, I believe there is so much more for me to learn about leadership, advocacy, and making an impact in my community—albeit my home in St. Petersburg, Florida or across the globe. In this regard, as a historic producer of leaders, I believe UChicago is a place where I can hone my leadership skills as I make an impact on the UChicago community and draw from its many enriching opportunities.

While Sydney’s story is the latest example of a student, with a strong strategic plan, to be offered admission to a top college, she is not the only student in our program to have been blessed with an offer of admission, together with a full scholarship. We have other students, like Sydney, who work hard, go deeply into the activities, and create opportunities for themselves. Review UChicago’s Class Profile to see just how competitive it is to be offered admission into the #6 ranked college in America.

Congratulations

A core tenet of our program is encouraging students to “Own the Process.” Rather than becoming involved in activities to pad résumés, we want to inspire students to pursue academic achievement, leadership, and service with passion. Top academic achievers, leaders who are making a difference in their clubs and activities, and engaging in meaningful community service will make an impact on students’ local communities and expand their college and scholarship opportunities. Cohort students are now owning their college experience by becoming campus leaders, serving their communities, and pursuing summa, magna, and cum laude honors.

College Students 

  • Alana Fulmore (FCSD3 Cohort) made the Dean’s List at Lander University
  • Avery Johnson (TCC Cohort) made the Dean’s List at Georgia State University
  • Brenna Kaplan (Guilford County Schools Cohort) earned straight A’s at Amherst College
  • Camryn Brown (FCSD3 Cohort) made the Dean’s List at Clemson University
  • Corey Wilson, Dawanya Burgess, Hali Shaw, LaTajah Alford, and Zaria Cameron (FCSD3 Cohort) made the Dean’s List in the Claflin University Honors College
  • Frances Singletary (FCSD3 Cohort) made the Dean’s List at Francis Marion University
  • Jordan Bolds (Pinellas County Schools Cohort) made the Dean’s List at the University of Central Florida
  • Kristen Starks (Guilford County Schools Cohort) made the Dean’s List at the University of Richmond
  • Nadya Riley (Pinellas County Schools Cohort) made the Dean’s List at Florida State University
  • Malathi Reddy (Crossroads for Teens Cohort) made the Dean’s List at the Northeastern University Honors College
  • Sam Patterson (Crossroads for Teens) made the Dean’s List at the University of Maryland – Baltimore County (Meyerhoff Scholar)
  • Summer Ford (TCC Cohort) made the Dean’s List at the University of Georgia
  • Thuong Do (Guilford County Schools Cohort) made the Dean’s List at Elon University

High School Seniors

As our high school seniors continue to receive college acceptances and generous scholarship offers, we want to recognize students who have been offered full scholarships:

  • Angelina M., Jayla S., Joshua W., and Sydney S., (Guilford County Schools Cohort), have been offered admission to the NC A&T Honors Program and invited to interview for the Dowdy Scholars Program
  • Bre’an M., (Atlanta-area Cohort) has been offered a full scholarship to Carleton College
  • Clint C., (FCSD3) has been offered a full scholarship to Presbyterian College
  • Joshua W., (Guilford County Schools Cohort) has been offered the Chancellor’s Scholarship (full ride) to Appalachian State
  • Sydney S., (Pinellas County Schools Cohort) has been offered a full scholarship to The University of Chicago

Our Program Components

It is important for all of our students, parents, and community partners to understand the connections between each of the core components or our program(including our monthly newsletters) and how each component is designed to expand college knowledge and deepen student learning. 

Component 1: Our curriculum. The online component of our curriculum is presented through monthly modules, each focused on core components of the college planning process: whether engaging in self-assessment, researching colleges and scholarships, exploring careers, developing an academic résumé, or identifying summer program opportunities. Completing each of these components engages students in critical thinking, analysis, and synthesizing data. Developing these skills provides the foundation for the overall strategic plan revealed through each student’s college application and essays. Each module or unit in which a student fails to complete, or to fully understand, results in a weaker and disconnected college plan. The online component of our curriculum is supplemented by the printed texts, “A High School Plan for Students with College-Bound Dreams,” and “Show Me the Money: A Comprehensive Guide to Scholarships, Financial Aid, and Making the Right College Choice.”

Component 2: Guiding Questions. The Guiding Questions presented at the beginning of each monthly module are designed to guide student learning and strengthen narrative and expository writing skills. Consequently, when a student puts forth the effort to complete each of the modules, what they learned will be revealed in their responses to the Guiding Questions. Through their narrative responses, students should be developing stronger writing skills and exhibiting critical thinking in their college planning. In so doing, students will be developing the skills required to write high quality college and scholarship essays and narrative responses.

Component 3: Conversational Community. Our Atlanta-area Cohort (pictured above) is our most unique cohort. Unlike other cohorts, where students complete the work in the room, students in our Atlanta-area Cohort make a commitment to complete the monthly activities between meetings. Consequently, time during the monthly meeting is focused on engaging in round table discussions (as in a college class) through which they share what they have learned, defend their strategies, and engage in deep levels of thinking about their plans and future goals. Cultivating conversational communities is a central goal of most selective colleges and universities. Amherst College prides itself on being a, “Conversational Community” where the exchange of ideas occur everywhere—on the lawn, in classrooms, dormitories, and in the cafeteria. While every cohort may not have the opportunity of engaging students in conversations with other students, students must be engaging in conversations with parents, mentors, or school counselors about they are learning and the college-bound plans that are being formulated.

Component 4: Monthly Newsletters. Through our monthly newsletters, we provide important content, profile current and former students, introduce the guiding questions, and provide important announcements. All parents and students should be reading the monthly newsletters. To encourage more students to read the monthly newsletter, a Newsletter Quiz is introduced into the monthly module on the first of each month. 

Collectively, these four components are at the heart of our program, whether students are participating in a cohort operated by one of our community or school district partners, or working independently.

High School Juniors

The February Module: Researching Colleges and Scholarships guides students through answering the single guiding question, “What are the best college opportunities for students with my interests, academic achievement level, career aspirations, and financial need?” The unit will guide students in developing a comprehensive college list and in identifying scholarship opportunities to which students are well matched.

Attention Parents: Please complete Module 2 (2nd Semester): Unit 3 (FAFSA4caster) with your student. Knowing your financial need as students begin finalizing their college list is critically important in reducing the time and money of applying to the wrong schools.

High school juniors who are entering our program for the first time and who were unable to complete the December Module on summer planning, should explore the following opportunities to expose themselves to top colleges and to foster a relationship with schools.

Beware of Unsolicited Summer Program Opportunities

As students take the PSAT, SAT, ACT, and AP exams, their contact information will make its way onto a variety of mailing lists that will generate unsolicited emails and letters from summer programs and colleges. As outlined in our Summer Programs Module, students must carefully review and consider such solicitations. Many students will receive solicitations from such programs as the National Society of High School Scholars and National Youth Leadership Forum in impressive envelopes.

To determine if such programs are right for you, and will provide a good return on your investment of time and money, begin by researching the top summer programs and determine if the program that sent you and email or letter is on any of the lists:

Prior to considering any program, be a good steward of your money and search for reviews of the program: 

Grades 9 – 10

The February Module: Researching Colleges and Scholarships (Part I) guides students in beginning their college research and exploring the wide range of college opportunities, from dual degree to cooperative education programs, liberal arts colleges to research universities, and honors programs to test optional colleges. We encourage parents and cohort facilitators to engage students in conversations about their research to ensure that students are expanding their understanding of the array of postsecondary college and scholarship opportunities.

February Discussion Topics

Having entered the second semester of the school year, students should have the skills to provide more than single sentence narrative responses. Students should be able to easily formulate two paragraphs, which fully explain why they are, or are not, interested in pursuing certain college options. So doing provides evidence that students have an awareness of their options and why options do, or do not, align with their educational and career aspirations.

Following are the guiding questions from the first lesson:

  • Writing Prompt #1:  Summarize your thoughts regarding liberal arts colleges. Explain why you believe a liberal arts college would or would not be a good fit. (minimum of one paragraph)
  • Writing Prompt #2: If you are planning to apply to liberal arts colleges, list each liberal arts college to which you are planning to apply and why.
  • Writing Prompt #3:  Summarize your thoughts regarding research universities? Explain why you believe a research university would or would not be a good fit. (minimum of one paragraph)
  • Writing Prompt #4:  If you are planning to apply to research universities, list each research university to which you are planning to apply and why.

In The News…

Middle School Students

Each summer, we conduct College Planning Boot Camps for middle school students in Judson Independent School District (TX), Pinellas County Schools (FL), and at the Paragon Charter Academy (MI). Pictured above is Jocelyn, a participant in our Pinellas County Schools College Planning Boot Camp. We are overjoyed to learn that Jocelyn, and many of our Florida, Texas, and Michigan middle schoolers exceeded the goals set during our summer boot camps across academics, leadership, and service.

Jocelyn, together with other middle school students, participated in our mid-year session at Lakewood High School to celebrate their first semester success, plan their second semester goals; and consider their high school choice within the context of their overall strategic plan. Jocelyne and other students engaged in self-reflection pertaining to their first semester performance, set second semester goals, and researched the best colleges for continuing to develop their gifts and talents across such areas as academics, theatre and performing arts, and athletics.

Each time that we check-in with our Judson ISD College Planning Boot Camp participants, who are now well into their high school career, we are amazed at the passion in which they are pursuing their academic achievement. We interviewed, then middle school student, Ronald, who developed his 4-year high school schedule with a goal of being a straight ‘A’ student throughout each of his four years of high school. Now, as a high school sophomore, Ronald is still a straight ‘A’ student, and is joined by boot camp participants Juilana, Lauren, Alejandro, Dominque, and Temiyemi, who are all at the top of their class in their respective high schools. During our interview with Ian, the only 9th grade participant in our boot camp, he noted that the most impactful activity was the résumé assessment activity, through which he developed a set of academic, leadership, and community service goals. Now, as a high school junior, Ian is also a straight ‘A’ student and achieving his goals in across each of the areas of academics, leadership, and service.

Our first Paragon Charter Academy College Planning Boot Camp 8th graders are now high school sophomores. Most of this amazing group of students are achieving every goal set during the boot camp. Pictured here are students who are performing at the top of their class academically, and contributing to the harmonious sound of the Northwest High School Marching Band (pictured, left to right: Mallory B.; Quinatzin M.; Briston A.; and Adriana C.).

Atlanta-area Cohort Youth Leadership Board: The following outstanding students have become part of the Atlanta-area Cohort Youth Leadership Board: Faith K., (11th Grade – Marietta High School); Gabrielle Q., (11th Grade – Campbell High School); Jada F., (11th Grade – South Cobb High School); Kailer B., (11th Grade – Mt. Paran); Nia S., (11th Grade – Lithia Springs High School); Omar D., Jr., (9th Grade – Paulding County High School); Rachel T., (10th Grade – Marietta High School); Tristyn B., (11th Grade – Mt. Paran); Tyra G., (11th Grade – Collins Hill High School); and Sydnee B., (11th Grade – Mt. Paran).

Guilford County Schools Youth Leadership Board: The following students have volunteered to serve on our Guilford County Schools Youth Leadership Board: Kobra A., (11th Grade – High Point Central High School); Sarah S., (11th Grade – Northern Guilford High School); and Stephanie E., (11th Grade – Ragsdale High School). 

New High School Junior Cohorts: As a result of an enthusiastic and informative presentation by high school counselor, Mrs. Cathy Heatly, over 65 Lakewood High School juniors signed up for our Pinellas County Schools Cohort. Students were welcomed by PCS Cohort student, Sydney S., who encouraged students to take the work seriously and to make a commitment to “Own the Process.” She talked about what it meant to have applied Early Decision and received the UChicago acceptance and financial aid award letters in December and knowing where she will be going to college and that college will be fully paid for, while most of her friends are still waiting to hear from colleges. We have also welcomed a cohort of high school juniors at Lake City Early College High School in Florence County School District 3.

February Meeting Dates/Times

Sunday, February 2, 2020: United Ghana Christian Church Cohort (10:00 am – 12:30 pm).

Sunday, February 9, 2020: The Next Episode: Teen Bible Student/College Planning Session for high school juniors and seniors. Turner Chapel AME Church • Marietta, GA Boardroom (9:30 am – 11:30 am).

Sunday, February 9, 2020: Atlanta-area Cohort: Turner Chapel AME Church • Marietta, GA (11:30 am – 12:45 pm).

Sunday, February 9, 2020: Crossroads for Teens Cohort grades 9 – 12. Johnson Ferry Baptist Church • Marietta, GA (3:00 pm – 4:30 pm).

Saturday, February 15, 2020: Pinellas County Schools High School Cohort grades 9 – 12. Lakewood High School Media Center • 1400 54th Ave, S • St. Petersburg, FL (9:00 pm – 1:00 pm). 

Friday, February 21, 2020: Lake City Early College High School Juniors Cohort (9:00 am – 2:30 pm). Students will be excused from class to the College Corner. Seniors will be seen by appointment.

Saturday, February 22, 2020: Guilford County Schools Cohort: Seniors (9:00 am – Noon); Juniors (Noon – 3:00 pm). Location: GTCC Greensboro Campus.

Saturday, February 22, 2020: ASA Guide Right Cohort Fortis College (9:00 am).

Saturday, March 14, 2020: ASA Guide Right Mentoring Workshop

Mark of Your Calendar for Our Summer College Planning Boot Camps: Register Now

June 1 – 4: Rising 9th Graders. Judson ISD (Converse, TX).
June 8 – 11: Rising 10th Graders. Judson ISD (Converse, TX).
June 16 – 18: Rising 11th Graders. Guilford County Schools (Greensboro, NC).
June 22 – 25: Rising 9th Graders. Pinellas County Schools (St. Petersburg, FL).
July 27 – 30: Rising Seniors. Florence County School District 3 (Lake City, SC).

 

Registration for our 2020/21 Cohorts opens on July 1. 

We encourage our new students to review past newsletters posted to our blog.

Click here to learn more about our cohorts and other programs…

Newsletter: January 1, 2020

January 1, 2020
Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

Vision or Clarity? 

As you enter 2020, you must do so with a vision of what you wish to accomplish. However, you must develop clarity as to how you will accomplish your vision, or whether or not you are pursuing the right vision. Each year, many students begin our college planning cohort program with a “Vision” of being offered admission to top colleges and awarded full scholarships. However, far too many students, and parents, lack “Clarity” in their understanding of the work and commitment required to achieve such a vision. Additionally, students and parents must reassess whether or not they have the ‘right’ vision. Is the vision to get into Harvard, or to get into a great college with a full scholarship? Is the vision to be a ‘good’ student or to be an ‘exceptional’ student? We are so pleased in regard to the clarity provided by our college panelists who shared their experiences at their respective institutions and the clarity in which they engaged in their college research and how they arrived at their final college choice.

College Panel 

On Saturday, December 21, 2019, we hosted the Turner Chapel AME Church Education Ministry’s 9th Annual College Panel. Appearing on the panel were Turner Chapel AME Cohort and Crossroads for Teens Cohort students, Justin Matthews (Dillard), Avery Johnson (Georgia State), Nina Shack (Middle Tennessee State), Akilah Williams (North Carolina A&T), Malathi Reddy and Landon Wade (Northeastern), Whitney Williams (Spelman College), Summer Ford (University of Georgia,) Kimberly Hadaway and Loren Tsang (Williams College), and Kyrah Felder (Xavier University of Louisiana). Collectively, cohort students are attending college with nearly $1 million in scholarships, including presidential scholarships to Northeastern and Xavier, the $50,000 MC Lyte Hip Hop Sisters Scholarship, and full scholarships to Dillard and Williams College. The panel provided an inspiration for current cohort students and their parents. Video clips from the panel discussion will be posted to our website in the coming weeks.

Full Scholarships!

While many high school seniors are awaiting college admission decisions, two of our cohort students had a dream Christmas. On December 1, Grayson High School senior and Atlanta-area Cohort student, Bre’an Moore, received a congratulatory email from Carleton College, ranked #7 on the 2020 US News and World Reports Liberal Arts College Rankings, offering her admission and a scholarship valued at $273,740 over 4 years. Bre’an had only joined our Atlanta-area Cohort in September, through the encouragement of her Godmother, Juanita Wade of Wade Marketing and Consulting. Bre’an was just in time to apply to the QuestBridge Program where she was eventually selected as a QuestBridge College Match Finalist. After attending the Taste of Carleton College Fly-In Program (Note: Pictured 5th from the left on the Taste of Carleton webpage is former cohort and current Williams College student, Loren Tsang, who attended the program last year) the top ranked liberal arts college rose to the top of her list ahead of the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania.

Bre’an notes, “Through the college research conducted in the cohort, I discovered that the liberal arts college experience is ideal for me. I will have the opportunity to explore a broad range of topics and interests prior to deciding on a major. Carleton is a great place and felt like the right fit to spend the next four years of my life. If you would have told me in September, when I joined the cohort, that this is where my life would be in December, I would not have believed you!”

On December 16, St. Petersburg High School and Pinellas County Schools Cohort student, Sydney Soskin, logged into the University of Chicago’s student portal to check the status of her Early Decision Application. Sydney screamed and burst into tears when she read the words, “Congratulations! It is my pleasure to inform you that you have been admitted to the University of Chicago’s Class of 2024.” Sydney’s full scholarship financial aid award is valued at over $310,000 over 4 years. Sydney joined our Pinellas County Schools Cohort as a high junior at the urging of a friend. Having lived in Chicago as a child, top ranked UChicago has always been Sydney’s top choice college. Through the Summer Programs activity, Sydney identified and applied to the Medical Ethics Summer Immersion Program at UChicago, where she spent the summer following her junior year and built relationships with professors and admissions personnel. 

“Oh My God! I can’t believe it. Due to problems at my school, I missed the QuestBridge deadline and was devastated. However, Mr. and Mrs. Wynn pulled me together and kept me focused on developing a solid college list and game plan. They helped me with my Common Application and UChicago Supplemental essays, guided me in strengthening my academic résumé, reviewed my Common Application, and supported me in developing the strongest possible application for UChicago. They assured me that Early Decision was my best chance of being offered admission and that I would be pleased with the financial aid award that UChicago would offer. If I did not get in, we had a back-up plan for the Elon University Odyssey Program and Northeastern University Torch Scholars Program. When I read the letter in my student account, I called my mom and I took a screen shot and sent it to Mrs. Wynn. I still cannot stop crying. This is unbelievable.”

Click here to read the full article…
In our May newsletter, we will provide a full listing of our 2019/20 cohort students and the colleges to which they plan to attend.

Cohort Alumni

Congratulations to cohort students who made the Dean’s List: 

  • Akilah Williams (North Carolina A&T Honors Program)
  • Alana Fulmore (Lander University)
  • Aleah Black (Winston-Salem State Nursing Program)
  • Avery Johnson (Georgia State)
  • Aurora Valadez (Florence Darlington Tech)
  • Camryn Brown (Clemson)
  • Corey Wilson (Claflin University Honors College)
  • Darla Willis (Arizona State)
  • Dawayna Burgess (Claflin University Honors College)
  • Jordan Barker (Tennessee State)
  • Jordan Bolds (University of Central Florida)
  • Kyrah Felder (Xavier University of Louisiana)
  • Kristen Starks (University of Richmond)
  • LaTajah Alford (Claflin University Honors College)
  • Malathi Reddy (Northeastern University Honors Program)
  • Summer Ford (University of Georgia)
  • Whitney Williams (Spelman College Honors Program)
  • Zaria Cameron (Claflin University Honors College)

Summer Programs

Congratulations to Atlanta-area Cohort students who have been accepted into the following summer programs: 

Grades 9 – 11

The January module includes a self-assessment of first semester accomplishments and a self-evaluation of each student’s competitiveness as a college applicant based on their achievements to date. High school juniors in the 2019/20 9-11th Grade Classroom have been moved into our 2019/20 High School Junior Classroom (2nd Semester) where the January – May modules for high school juniors are focused on finalizing a College Application Plan prior to the end of the school year.

As a result of an enthusiastic and informative presentation by high school counselor, Mrs. Cathy Heatly, over 65 Lakewood High School juniors signed up for our Pinellas County Schools Cohort. We will also be welcoming a cohort of high school juniors at Lake City Early College High School in Florence County School District 3.

January Discussion Topics

Grades 9 – 11: Bring copies of your Common Application Table. Be prepared to discuss your self-assessment of your first semester performance and your goals for becoming an even more competitive college applicant. Also bring your narrative responses to the 5 Guiding Questions for the January Module – Self-Assessment and Setting Goals:

  1. Am I able to fully complete the activities section of the Common Application with meaningful activities?
  2. Do I have leadership roles across the majority of my activities?
  3. Am I able to fully complete the honors/awards section of the Common Application?
  4. Based on my responses to questions 1 – 3, what type of goals do I need to set or actions I need to take to become the most competitive college applicant?
  5. What were my accomplishments, or updates to my résumé as a result of my first semester performance?
  6. After reviewing my résumé, and evaluating the strengths/weaknesses of my Common Application, what type of goals do I need to set for the second semester?

Attention Parents

At our January cohort meetings, we plan to have conversations with students and parents (particularly juniors) about the importance of test scores and how to integrate test prep into the normal course of schooling. We encourage parents of high school juniors to review Module 1: Unit 5 “Raising Test Scores,” with their students.

Increasing Test Scores

High school juniors participating in our program will be expected to take a full length section of their test of choice (i.e., SAT or ACT), and be prepared to share their scores at each of our monthly meetings through May. Students will also be expected to set up a test prep routine and access the free tools on the ACT or CollegeBoard (SAT) website.

Why Focus on Test Scores?

While over 1,000 colleges are now ‘test optional,’ the vast majority of academic scholarships are based on grades and test scores. For lower income students, the most direct pathway to a full college scholarship is being offered admission into a top college with a need-based and ‘no loans’ financial aid policy (e.g., Princeton, Yale, Williams, Amherst, Bowdoin, Carleton, Northwestern, Duke, Stanford, etc.). These tend to be among the most selective colleges in the country where median test scores are 1500+ on the SAT and 33+ on the ACT. However, less selective schools offer merit-based scholarships for students with SAT scores of 1200+ and ACT scores of 25+. Consequently, it you have a conflict with your extracurricular activities, it is advisable to reduce the amount of time devoted to activities and to commit consistent effort, over the course of several months to test prep and work closely with teachers/tutors to increase your SAT or ACT scores.

Why Focus on One Test?

After taking a full length practice test for both exams (i.e., SAT and ACT), determine which exam you have the best chance of achieving the highest scores and commit to preparing for that exam. Over the course of many years, our students who have achieved scholarship qualifying test scores did so on 2 sittings for one exam—either the SAT or the SAT. Most of our students took their first exam in January or February of their junior year of high school; reviewed their scores with their subject-area teachers; engaged in test prep over the course of several months; and earned their highest scores (SAT 1400+; ACT 30+) on the June or July exam prior to entering their senior year of high school.

Why Focus on the ACT?

We believe in using the ACT as a tool for increasing your academic achievement in your core subjects, as you increase your test scores with a goal of achieving your highest test scores by June of your junior year of high school. However, if your high school supports the SAT, then you must consider where you will receive your best test prep support. Additionally, there are many resources for increasing SAT scores, beginning with the College Board website. However, for the majority of students, the ACT has proven to have strategic advantages over the SAT, such as:

  • When submitting SAT scores, many colleges also require that students take and submit SAT Subject Test Scores in two of more subject-areas. Typically, this is not required when submitting ACT scores. (Refer to Chapter 7: Standardized Testing/Exit Exams, pp. 118-127.)
  • The ACT is content-based and tests what you should have learned in high school. Consequently, you should be able to close any knowledge gaps by seeking help from your high school teachers.
  • The ACT has a collection of free test prep tools, including the ACT Academy.
  • While the SAT has changed many times over the years, the ACT has remained consistent from year-to-year.
  • The ACT has predictable and consistent structure from year-to-year, so it stands to reason that you could develop a test-taking strategy in the 9th grade, consistently work to master the ACT subject-area content throughout high school, and earn a top score as a high school junior or senior.
  • The ACT is straight forward in its language and wording of questions.
  • The SAT has been shrouded in controversy for being culturally and socioeconomically biased, “These four charts show how the SAT favors rich, educated families,” “Race gaps in SAT scores highlight inequality and hinder upward mobility.”

The bottomline…choose the test to focus your test prep efforts with a goal of achieving your highest test scores by June/July of your junior year of high school.

Mark Your Calendar

 

Sunday, January 5, 2020: United Ghana Christian Church Cohort (10:00 am – 12:30 pm).

Friday, January 10, 2020: Lake City High School Juniors Cohort (9:00 am – 2:30 pm). Students will be excused from class to the Lake City High School College Corner. Seniors will be seen by appointment.

Saturday, January 11, 2020: ASA Guide Right Cohort Fortis College (9:00 am).

Saturday, January 11, 2020: Guilford County Schools Cohort: Seniors (9:00 am – Noon); Juniors (Noon – 3:00 pm). Location: GTCC Greensboro Campus

Sunday, January 12, 2020: The Next Episode: Teen Bible Student/College Planning Session for high school juniors and seniors. Turner Chapel AME Church • Marietta, GA Boardroom (9:30 am – 11:30 am).

Sunday, January 12, 2020: Atlanta-area Cohort: Turner Chapel AME Church • Marietta, GA (11:30 am – 12:45 pm).

Sunday, January 12, 2020: Crossroads for Teens Cohort grades 9 – 12. Johnson Ferry Baptist Church • Marietta, GA (3:00 pm – 4:30 pm).

Saturday, January 25, 2020: ASA Guide Right Cohort Fortis College (9:00 am).

Saturday, January 25, 2020: Pinellas County Schools Middle School Cohort grades 6 – 8. Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School Media Center • 3901 22nd Ave. S • St. Petersburg, FL (9:30 am – 11:30 am). 

Saturday, January 25, 2020: Pinellas County Schools High School Cohort grades 9 – 12. Lakewood High School Media Center • 1400 54th Ave, S • St. Petersburg, FL (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm). All Lakewood High School juniors who signed up at the information session are expected to attend.

Attention High School Juniors – Join a Cohort: Register Now

 

Our online registration is only open to students interested in joining an Atlanta-area Cohort or working independently through our online classroom. Students participating in a school district or community partner should register with their program facilitator.

Students in Guilford County Schools, Florence County School District 3, and Pinellas County Schools must contact your school district representative.

New Students who will be joining our Atlanta-area Cohort or participating in our online program, can register at the following links:

Click here to learn more about our cohorts and other programs…

Newsletter: December 1, 2019

December 1, 2019
Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

College Discussion Panel

On Saturday, December 21, 2019, from Noon – 2:00 pm, The Turner Chapel AME Church Education Ministry will host a College Panel Discussion with cohort students representing a wide range of research universities, liberal arts colleges, cooperative education programs, honors colleges, and highly selective scholarship programs. Students will share their candid insight into how they navigated the college admissions process, arrived at their college choice, how they have immersed themselves in their respective college communities, and will respond to audience questions.

Click here to see a video of one of our panels…

High School Seniors

We are pleased that so many of our high school seniors successfully submitted Early Action and Early Decision applications to increase their chances of being offered admission and considered for large dollar institutional scholarships. By December 15, many students will be receiving admission decisions. However, December will be a stressful month, not only for students expecting Early Decisions, but for students still busily finalizing essays in advance of Regular Decision deadlines.

High school seniors who are still finalizing college applications must ensure that:

  • Teacher recommendations have been submitted
  • Common Applications have been reviewed
  • Essays and writing responses have been edited and reviewed
  • Résumés have been updated

Take advantage of any remaining Early Decision II and Early Action II application deadlines. It is important that you update the following documents as you receive each college and scholarship decision:

  • College and Scholarship Table
  • College Costs Comparison Sheet

Both of these documents are contained in Module 16: What to Do After Receiving an Admission Decision. It is also important that you update your Username and Password Table each time you receive an email from your colleges with information pertaining to accessing your student account. Many colleges will only send the initial email and will not notify you when scholarship and financial aid information has been posted to your student account. It will be your responsibility to regularly access your student accounts to respond to document requests and to accept/decline financial aid awards or student loans.

Grades 9 – 11

Once again, our Atlanta-area cohort has settled in and students are engaging in deep and insightful round table discussions at our monthly meetings. Mr. Charles Williams is leading our 9th-10th grade discussions and Mrs. Lora Williams is leading our high school junior discussions. We are overjoyed at having such an academically accomplished and artistically talented group of students participating in our 2019/20 program. We are equally impressed with our other Atlanta-area Cohorts—Crossroads for Teens, ASA Guide Right, and Ghana United Christian Church.

Please note the following actions:

  • Finalize your Interest Profiler and complete your career research
  • Submit a copy of your report card
  • Submit a copy of your high school profile
  • Finalize your responses to the November Guiding Questions

The December focus will be on summer planning. The September, October, November, and December modules, provide the foundation of our focus on, “Backwards Mapping:”

  • Identify your desired colleges and scholarships
  • Identify the body or work required to be a competitive applicant
  • Set academic, leadership, and community service goals
  • Identify the career and college major you are interested in pursuing
  • Identify the summer programs that will allow you to explore your career and college options, while continuing to build an impressive résumé

On January 1, 2020, high school juniors will be moved from the 9 – 11th grade classroom and enrolled into the high school junior classroom. During the second semester, high school juniors will be guided through the process of creating College Application Plans. Those juniors who apply themselves to successfully completing the January – May activities, will enter the summer months well ahead of their classmates by having finalized their college lists, identified their admission cycles, and identified the institutional scholarships for which they qualify. Consequently, students will be able to devote their summers to finalizing essays and writing responses

ASA Guide Right Student – G. Tyriq S.

We have selected another of our 9th graders, G. Tyriq S., a participant in the ASA Guide Right Cohort, as an example of a thoughtful response to one of the November’s Guiding Questions.

Guiding Question #1 – What are the scores from your Interest Profile? 

I found the scores that I received from my test to be very interesting. There are six categories to the interest profile. My highest score, 34, was the Social area and matches well to such careers as being a coach, physical education teacher, and a special education teacher. My second highest score, 21, was in the Enterprising area. A high score in enterprising suggests that I am good at persuading and leading people, making decisions, and taking risks. My third highest score, 17, was in the Conventional area. This score suggests that I enjoy working with clear rules and following a strong leader. The fourth highest score, 17, was in the Realistic area suggesting that I may enjoy working with plants and animals, real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery, and outside work. My two lowest scores were in the Investigative area (13), and Artistic (8) suggesting that I may be weaker at searching for facts, and figuring out problems, creativity, and working without a set of rules. I was not at all surprised by my low score in art as I have never liked art. — G. Tyriq S., ASA Guide Right 

December Discussion Topics

Grades 9 – 11: Bring copies of your Summer Programs and Scholarship Competition Table. Be prepared to discuss your narrative responses to the 3 Guiding Questions for the December Module – Summer Planning:

  1. What are the available summer, pre-college, and volunteer opportunities relating to my gifts and talents, interests, career, or desired college major?
  2. What programs are hosted by, or on the campuses, of my top colleges?
  3. What scholarship competitions relating to my gifts and talents, interests, career, or desired college major were you able to identify?

Enjoy your holiday break and time with your family.

Mark Your Calendar

Sunday, December 1, 2019 – United Ghana Christian Church Cohort (10:00 am – 12:30 pm).

Saturday, December 7, 2019: Guilford County Schools Cohort: Seniors (9:00 am – Noon); Juniors (Noon – 3:00 pm).  Location: GTCC Greensboro Campus

Sunday, December 8, 2019: Atlanta-area Cohort grades 9 – 12. Turner Chapel AME Church • 492 N. Marietta Pkwy • Marietta, GA (11:30 am – 12:45 pm). Parents are invited to attend the worship service (9:30 am) and high school juniors and seniors are invited to attend The Next Episode (9:30 am -11:30 am Teen Bible Study held in the Boardroom).

Friday, December 13, 2019: Florence County School District 3 Cohort – Meeting in the Lake City High School College Corner Juniors and Seniors from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm.

Saturday, December 14, 2019: Florence County School District 3 Cohort Information Meeting and for High School Juniors and Parents (9:30 am – 3:00 pm). 125 S. Blanding St., Lake City, SC 29560 (District Board Room)

Saturday, December 21, 2019: College Panel Discussion – Turner Chapel AME Church (Rev. Dr. Kenneth E. Marcus Chapel) • 492 N. Marietta Parkway, Marietta, GA 30060 (Noon – 2:00 pm). Light Refreshments to be served afterwards. 

All Atlanta-area cohort students are required to attend the Students from our Atlanta-area, Turner Chapel AME Church, and Crossroads for Teens Cohorts will be appearing on the panel. Scholarship, Leadership, and Service are the cornerstones of our College Planning Cohort Program. Our panelists are demonstrating scholarship and leadership on their respective campuses, and continue to serve our program through their mentorship and opening doors of opportunities for other cohort students.

Join a Cohort: Register Now

Our online registration is only open to students interested in joining our Atlanta-area Cohort or working independently through our online classroom. Students participating in a school district or community partner should register with their program facilitator.

New Students who will be joining our Atlanta-area Cohort or participating in our online program, can register at the following links:

To pay your registration in two installments, contact our office: ph: 678.395.5825 or email: cpc@collegeplanningcohort.com
Click here to register for returning students (who participated in our 2018/19 cohort).
Click here to learn more about our cohorts and other programs…