Scholarships for HBCU Students

Best Colleges

For students attending historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), scholarships, internships, and fellowships can make higher education more affordable. HBCU scholarships and grants can supplement federal financial aid to help students fund their degrees and, ultimately, launch their careers.

While the majority of college students need financial aid to afford college, HBCU scholarships recognize the merit and potential of Black students with unique financial considerations. Read on to learn more about scholarships for HBCU students and related resources.

For helpful resources posted by BestColleges click here…

Newsletter: January 1, 2022

 

 

 
Happy New Year  

As we enter the new year, we are amazed by the resilience of our students in the face so many challenges. Both our high school and college students have confronted the challenges and continued forward. We have enjoyed the many college students who have checked in and shared their first semester stories and our high school students who worked so hard during the first semester. We so very much enjoy our work and are looking forward to a wonderful 2022, despite the challenges of COVID-19, the Delta Variant, the Omicron Variant, and whatever else is awaiting us.

Our 2021-22 Youth Leadership Board


We are pleased to announce an exceptional group of students who will serve on our 2021-22 College Planning Cohort Youth Leadership Board. Jocelyne (President); Josiah (Vice President); and Anna (Social Media Manager) are all 9th grade students in our Pinellas County Schools Cohort. TaRetta (Communications Secretary) is a high school senior in our Atlanta-area Cohort and Omar (Social Media Manager) is a high school junior in our Atlanta-area Cohort. Jayla (Media Coordinator) is a high school junior in our Florence School District 3 Cohort. Each student brings unique gifts, talents, and leadership skills to our leadership board.

University of Chicago student, Sydney Soskin, is the college adviser for our 2021-22 Youth Leadership Board. Sydney is a 2020 graduate of the St. Petersburg High School IB Program and has served as a summer intern for our college planning boot camps (through a paid internship sponsored by the University of Chicago) and is a Discussion Group Leader for our 9th grade discussion group.

Our exceptional College Planning Cohort Youth Leadership Board released their first collaborative project today—a video summarizing the benefits of our program. They provide an example of how any student can use his or her gifts and talents to collaborate with others to have a meaningful impact in their activities and communities.

Tyra — Georgia Tech

While our curriculum has always been culturally diverse through the examples of students from diverse backgrounds who have been offered admission to selective colleges and competitive scholarships, we have further updated our curriculum to ensure that it is as inspirational as it is informational. The first unit in each monthly module profiles a student who has come through our program. In January, we profile Tyra, who was introduced to our program as a middle school student accompanying her older sister to our monthly meetings. Tyra joined our program as a 9th grader, and together with her family, made the hour-long drive from Suwanee, Georgia to attend our monthly meetings at the Turner Chapel AME Church in Marietta, Georgia. A 2021 graduate of Collins Hill High School in Suwanee, Georgia, Tyra is now attending Georgia Tech on a full scholarship as a Clark Scholar. Her story, her first mid-year assessment as a 9th grader, and the résumé that she intentionally developed throughout high school is an inspirational story of grit and determination.

New High School Junior Classroom 

We have closed the 2021-22 High School Junior Classroom and transitioned all juniors into our 2022-23 Junior/Senior Classroom. The second semester curriculum guides high school juniors in finalizing their college and scholarship research and developing college and scholarship application plans. In June, students returning to our program as high school seniors will begin operationalizing their plans. This will place all rising high school seniors on a pathway, well ahead of their peers, to finalizing high quality college and scholarship application packages prior to the start of their senior year of high school, and well in advance of college and scholarship deadlines.

(Grades 9 – 11) Mid-year Assessments and Student/Parent Meetings

Students in grades 9 – 11 are at the midway point of their 2021-22 college planning projects. The January Module requires students to complete a first semester assessment and set second semester goals. High school juniors have one remaining semester to develop the body of work they will present to colleges in the fall. 9th and 10th graders have the opportunity to assess their first semester successes, and challenges, and make adjustments to their high school plans.

Mr. and Mrs. Wynn will be scheduling one-on-one meetings with students and parents to review students’ plans and to discuss such areas as:

  • Students’ 4-year high school schedules
  • First semester grades
  • PSAT, SAT, or ACT testing
  • Recommended interventions

The student/parent meetings will provide each participating student and family with our assessment of where students are in the college-planning process and areas that students can strengthen during the second semester. Students must submit their first semester transcripts or report cards; and complete the January Module prior to scheduling a mid-year assessment meeting.

High School Seniors

We continued to work with high school seniors over the holiday break to finalize college and scholarship essays. We also worked with students who were denied admission to their Early Decision colleges as they revisited their college admission strategies. Any senior may schedule a 1-on-1 meeting following our monthly meetings. We encourage seniors and parents to prepare questions regarding financial aid awards; navigating student portals; or responding to college admissions and financial aid information requests.

Need 1-on-1 Writing Support?

Many of our high school seniors learned the tragic lesson that their high school curriculum did not provide adequate preparation for writing their college and scholarship essays. Even students in IB Programs or who took AP Language Arts classes found themselves ill-prepared. While the narrative writing in our curriculum engages students in developing this critically important college-readiness skill, it also reveals students’ writing weaknesses. Our 1-on-1 Writing Sessions with Florence School District 3 students (funded by their school district) have proven an effective pathway to becoming better writers. Consequently, we are now offering 1-on-1 Writing Sessions to any student. Email us to learn more: cpc@collegeplanningcohort.com

Calculus – A Gateway Class

Prior to COVID, over 1,000 colleges had test optional admissions policies. Since COVID, many more colleges have adopted test optional policies. While many college admissions officers say that student applications are evaluated within the context of how students’ maximized course taking opportunities in their respective high schools, we believe that Calculus may be a little discussed gateway class, or Gate Keeper, into selective colleges—even for non-STEM majors. We recently learned from a student that her admission offer to a liberal arts college, together with a $70,000 annual scholarship, was at risk of being withdrawn because she was planning to drop AP Calculus from her second semester course schedule. This, despite her 28 ACT score and straight A’s in rigorous honors and AP classes throughout high school. What was most revealing in the email to the student was the following statement:

“Our faculty recommend one year of calculus coursework for entering students to be prepared for the rigor of coursework at …”

The school’s Common Data Set states that the school requires 3 years of math, but recommends 4 years of math. However, the school does not recommend calculus as a required math class so how would students know? More so, the typical math trajectory for millions of high school students is Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and Algebra III/Trigonometry or Pre-Calculus. Why would a student pursuing a non-STEM major at a liberal arts college assume that they should take calculus to be considered for admission?

Our advice is not to give any school or scholarship provider a reason to dismiss your application. Take the most rigorous classes offered at your high school and choose rigorous classes, including calculus, when selecting your dual enrollment classes. Chris Millet, a long-time friend and partner, and one of his best students and one of our best mentors, Kimberly Hadaway, now pursuing a PhD in math at Iowa State University, are the most effective tutors with whom we have worked to assist students in AP Calculus, AP Physics, and AP Chemistry. Do not limit your college opportunities by avoiding rigorous classes.

Discussion Groups

While we encourage all students to finalize their presentations prior to our cohort meeting on Saturday, January 8, 2022, all students will be allowed to participate in their discussion groups during the first meeting of the new year. The Discussion Groups will provide opportunities for students to engage in a candid discussion regarding their mid-year assessment and second semester goals. Please submit first semester report cards and transcripts. Students or parents who are considering joining our program may request a guest pass by emailing: cpc@collegeplanningcohort.com.

December College Cohort Presentation Award Nominees… 

Congratulations to 9th grader, Jocelyne L. (Pinellas County Schools Cohort), and 11th grader, Omar D., Jr. (Atlanta-area Cohort) who were awarded the November College Cohort Presentation Awards for their outstanding November presentations.

Congratulations to the following students whose presentations were nominated for our December College Cohort Presentation Awards:

9th – 10th Grade Cohort:

  • Anna N. – Pinellas County Schools Cohort
  • Griffin S. – Pinellas County Schools Cohort

11th Grade Cohort:

  • Jayla Jones – Florence School District 3 Cohort

Recipients of the December College Cohort Presentation Awards will be announced at the January meeting.

Congratulations “They Got In!” 

We congratulate cohort students who received notification of offers to highly competitive colleges and programs:

  • Georgia Tech: Justin C., Malachi J., and Rachel T.
  • Georgia State: Rachel T.
  • Georgia State Honors College: TaRetta B.
  • Johns Hopkins University (Full Scholarship): Joanne L.
  • North Carolina A&T Honors College: Caleb M., Imani H., Joshua S., Justin C., Kalila T., Kaylie S., Parris C., Rachel T., and TaRetta B.
  • Tennessee State University (Full Scholarship): Caleb M.
  • University of Georgia: Rachel T.
  • University of Georgia Honors College: Justin C.
  • University of Maryland – Baltimore County: Justin C., Kaylie S., London S., and TaRetta B. 
  • University of South Carolina – Columbia: Sydney M. 
  • Xavier University of Louisiana (Full Scholarship): Justin, C.
  • Yale Young Global Scholars Program (Full Scholarship): Omar D., Jr. 

Thank you… 

Thank you to our December guest speaker, Ms. Stephanie Gonzalez, former Williams College Associate Director of Admissions and current Associate Director of College Counseling for Trinity School in New York. Stephanie who is an outspoken advocate for first generation and marginalized students, provided invaluable insight into competitive college admissions; how students of color and those from lower-income families can make themselves competitive applicants for selective colleges and universities; how applications are evaluated; and the impact of essays and recommendation letters. Stephanie encouraged students to keep a journal throughout high school chronically significant experiences, challenges, and achievements, from which they will draw upon in writing their college essays as a high school senior. Her advice further enhances the focus of “Writing Your Story,” to which students were introduced in the September Module.

Facebook Postings…

We post important content regularly to our College Planning Cohort Facebook Page. Please ‘Like’ our page so that you stay up to date on the latest in college planning news.

Monthly Meeting Schedule:The second Saturday of each month.
January 8, 2022 – 10:00 am – Noon: 9th – 11th Grades (click here to register; Meeting ID: 884 7893 8939). Students will present their January presentations in their Discussion Groups.
January 13, 2022 — 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm — Pinellas County Schools Title I Meeting for Rising 6th Grade Parents and Students (click here to register: Meeting ID: 851 1117 0834). Part II or a 3-part College Planning Series. First 50 families to register will receive a free book, “A Middle School Plan for Students with College-Bound Dreams: Quick Guide,” (click here for more information).
Florence School District 3 Writing Sessions – 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm — Any Grade (click here to register; Meeting ID 892 5369 6183) Monday and Wednesday.
Florence School District 3 Cohort Sessions – 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm — 9th – 12th Grades (click here to register; Meeting ID 868 3691 5004) Tuesday and Thursday.

Want to Join a Cohort?

ASA Guide Right Black Male Mentoring Program: Contact Doug Lucas: dlucasjr@aol.com
Pinellas County Schools (FL): Contact Dr. Lewis Brinson, Minority Achievement Officer: brinsonle@pcsb.org
Florence School District 3 (SC): Contact Ms. Kendra Wilson, High School Guidance Counselor: kwilson@fsd3.org
What to join our National Cohort? Click here to learn more…

Attention High School Juniors – Join a Cohort: Register Now

This is a critical time for cohort students to invite their friends, family members, and classmates to join our program. While any student in grades 9 – 11 may register for program, it is particularly important for high school juniors to sign up now. The second semester is a critical time for high school juniors to finalize the body of work (i.e., grades, test scores, leadership, and service) that will be represented in their college applications.

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

 
Facebook
Twitter
Website
Email
Instagram
 
 

 

 

Undebatable Relatables: Episode 1

The Undebatable Relatables

The Undebatable Relatables is a student-developed podcast. The brainchild of Pinellas County Schools’ ninth grader, Jocelyn L. (who also developed the artwork). The podcast is a collaborative effort of Pinellas County Schools’ ninth graders, Jocelyne, Anna, and Josiah (JoJo) that provides informative content by 3 exceptional students, all of whom serve on our youth leadership board.

Episode 1:  Why Are We Here?:  Jocelyne, Anna, and JoJo share their cohort experiences and how they are using the information to assist their families in avoiding student loan debt and expanding their own college access. They candidly share their initial confusion as middle school students regarding college and careers; how they discovered their gifts and talents; and how they have benefitted by their involvement with college-bound students holding similar aspirations, while being supported and guided by college students serving as mentors and advisers.


 

Repost: Purdue Global Nursing Scholarships

March 3, 2021  |  Purdue University Global  |  Updated October 13, 2021

 

Despite making up nearly 40% of the population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, minorities aren’t proportionally represented in nursing. According to the 2020 National Nursing Workforce Study by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, as reported in the Journal of Nursing Regulation, only 19.5% of RN respondents were minorities.

One way to increase diversity in nursing is to lower the burden of attaining a nursing degree. Earmarking scholarship funds for minority communities including Native American, Asian, Alaska Native, and African American nursing students is key to fostering diversity in nursing.

“Diversity is critical as it brings a number of culture and belief systems together that enable us to collaborate and capitalize on our strengths and increase awareness of our patient needs and the needs of our communities, which in turns helps to improve patient outcomes,” says Melissa Burdi, DNP, dean and vice president for the School of Nursing at Purdue University Global.

Here are 12 nursing school scholarships for minorities to gain entry into higher education.

Scholarships for Minority Nursing Students

1. AAPINA Scholarship Program

Sponsored by the Asian American/Pacific Islander Nurses Association, this $1,000 annual scholarship is for members of at least two years who are enrolled in undergraduate or graduate nursing programs and meet academic and leadership requirements.

2. Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Scholarships

The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium offers 10 $5,000 scholarships to Alaska Native and American Indian students enrolled in training or education programs that would allow them to work in the health care field. Applicants must be permanent Alaska residents.

3. American Indian Nurse Scholarship Program

The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America offers an annual $1,500 scholarship to help students of American Indian descent complete nursing programs and work in health care.

4. IHS Scholarship Program

The Indian Health Service offers three scholarship programs of varying amounts for Alaska Native and American Indian students studying health care. Recipients must commit to working in an Indian health program for two years.

5. M. Elizabeth Carnegie African American Memorial Award

Nurses Educational Fund, Inc., offers a $2,000 endowed scholarship to African American nurses in doctoral nursing programs. The award was named after M. Elizabeth Carnegie, the first Black nurse to serve as a voting member on the board of a state nursing association.

6. NAANA Scholarships for Nursing Study

The National American Arab Nurses Association offers an annual scholarship program for applicants of Arab descent who are members of NAANA and enrolled at any level of nursing program. This can include associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or RN-to-BSN programs.

7. NAHN United Health Foundation Scholarship

This scholarship is for members of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN), who have enrolled full-time in a nursing program. The scholarship awards $5,000 for three years.

8. Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program

The National Health Service Corps, part of the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration, offers this scholarship to native Hawaiians pursuing careers in health care. The scholarship covers tuition and other school-related costs and provides a monthly stipend. In return, you must work in a medically underserved area within Hawaii for every year of funding you receive.

9. NBNA Nursing Scholarships

The National Black Nurses Association offers a number of scholarship programs for NBNA members. Applicants must have at least one year of school remaining and awards vary from $1,000 to $6,000 depending on the specific scholarship.

10. Philippine Nurses Association of America Scholarship

One $1,000 scholarship is offered to PNAA members who are graduate students pursuing a doctorate or post-master’s degree. Other academic requirements may apply.

11. Thomara Latimer Cancer Foundation Scholarship

This scholarship for African American students under 30 who live in Michigan is designed to help students attend health care programs. Award amounts vary and students must maintain a 3.0 GPA.

12. Udall Undergraduate Scholarship

This award of up to $7,000 is earmarked for Native American and Alaska Native college students who are studying a health care field and plan to work with native communities during their careers.

Minority Nursing Associations

Whether you’re looking for more scholarships or just want some fellowship in the nursing community, consider these minority nursing associations.

Tips for Applying for Nursing Scholarships

When dealing with something as serious as paying for nursing school, it is easy to become overwhelmed. Here are some things to know before applying:

  • Consider past winners. By looking at previous winners, you can get an example of the types of candidates the scholarship committee is looking for.
  • Check eligibility requirements. When looking for minority nursing scholarships, there are very obvious eligibility requirements. But also check for GPA and career goal requirements and don’t waste time with scholarships where your career goals don’t align.
  • Follow instructions. Because so many people apply for scholarships, simple mistakes like not saving your files together or missing an essay can cost you real money. Follow instructions closely when applying for scholarships.
  • Carefully craft your essay. An essay, if required, is a great way to stand out to a scholarship committee, but it is also an opportunity to lose out on a scholarship if you don’t thoroughly understand the prompt. Make time for research and writing.
  • Proofread your essay and materials. Bad grammar and poor punctuation could cost you an award for nursing school. If possible, have someone else edit your essay to make sure it flows and is grammatically correct.
  • Deadlines matter. Be organized when applying for scholarships and make sure to track deadlines carefully. You don’t want to be preparing materials at the last minute. Consider creating a checklist of all the awards you are applying for so you don’t miss any important dates or information.

Earn a Nursing Degree Online

If you’re considering earning an online RN-to-BSN, a master’s degree in nursing, or a DNP, consider Purdue University Global. We offer nursing programs for busy working nurses who need the flexibility of online learning. Request more information to get started.

Newsletter: December 1, 2021

 
 


December 1, 2021
Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

We wish you peace and joy…

As students return to college following the holiday break, we trust that they experienced joy, laughter, and thanksgiving with their families. Even if the obstacles beyond the normal return to college or transition into college, caused students to stumble off of the summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or even honors cum laude track, they can rejoice in their persistence and not having loss their scholarships. We wish you safe travels as you return to your campuses renewed, refreshed, and repurposed.

December 15th will bring news of Early Decision applications for many of you. We pray that your applications receive favor and that you are blessed with offers of admission, together with full scholarships to begin the next phase of your lives after high school. What a blessing it will be that, while many thousands of high school seniors have yet to submit their college applications, cohort students will be exhaling and celebrating. This month will also bring news for students applying for the Posse Foundation Scholarship or selection as a QuestBridge Scholar. 

Saturday, December 11, 2021 (10:00 am – Noon) – December College Planning Cohort Meeting

We will host our fourth meeting of the 2021-22 school year from 10:00 am to Noon on Saturday, December 11, 2021. Our guest speaker will be Stephanie Gonzalez, former Williams College Associate Director of Admissions and current Associate Director of College Counseling for Trinity School in New York. I first met Stephanie while accompanying cohort alumna Kimberly Hadaway to the Williams College First Generation Students Weekend in 2017. Stephanie has been an outspoken advocate for first generation and marginalized students successfully navigating selective college admissions. Steph will provide insight into competitive college admissions; how students of color and those from lower-income families can make themselves competitive applicants for selective colleges and universities; how applications are evaluated; and the impact of essays and recommendation letters.

In addition to Ms. Gonzalez, our December cohort meeting will provide students with the opportunity to share their action plans regarding course taking, their action plans regarding the SAT or ACT, as well as their action plans for maximizing their gifts and talents and identifying summer programs that will enable them to pursue their interests. Ms. Gonzalez is the perfect speaker to provide a context for these important conversations.

Click here to register… or email cpc@collegeplanningcohort.com to request a Guest Pass. 
 

Saturday, December 11, 2021 (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm) FAFSA Completion Session

We will host a FAFSA Completion Session for Florence County School District 3 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Saturday, December 11, 2021. The one-hour sessions will begin at 1:00 pm and repeated each hour until 4:00 pm. Completing the FAFSA is one of the qualifying criteria for being awarded any federal student aid and up to $10,000 annually through The Meeting Street Scholarship. FCSD3 Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Laura Hickson, is sponsoring the session to ensure that all FCSD3 seniors submit the FAFSA and have the opportunity for being offered the best financial aid awards possible.

Click here to register…

The Meeting Street Scholarship

Students in Florence School District 3, may apply for The Meeting Street Scholarship, which may provide up to a $10,000 annual scholarship over 4 years. The scholarship may be used at any of the 18 partner South Carolina colleges and universities. Qualifying criteria includes completing the FAFSA and qualifying for the Pell Grant.

The application period is now open. Click here to apply…

December College Cohort Presentation Award Nominees… 

Each month, our discussion group leaders nominate the best student presentation based on quality, content, and creativity, for students in our 9th – 10th grade and 11th grade cohorts. One student from each grade-level cohort is awarded our College Planning Cohort Presentation Award and their presentation is selected as an example that is placed into the curriculum.

Congratulations to the following students whose presentations were nominated for our College Cohort Presentation Award for November:

9th – 10th Grade Cohort:

  • Griffin S. – Pinellas County Schools Cohort
  • Bryce E. – ASA Guide Right Cohort
  • Jocelyne L. – Pinellas County Schools Cohort
  • Nishan W. – ASA Guide Right Cohort

11th Grade Cohort:

  • Omar D., Jr. – Atlanta-area Cohort
  • Wa’Dasja H. – Pinellas County Schools Cohort

While presentations are due by the final day of each month to qualify for being assigned to a discussion group, students have nearly two weeks prior to the monthly meeting to continue updating their presentations.

Mentorship Opportunity

We have a number of students who can benefit from assistance in working through the monthly modules as well as having someone with whom to share their narratives and discuss their presentations. Advise us if you are interested in serving as a mentor. We will match you with a student who has requested assistance and you will earn community service hours.

Thank you… 

Thank you to Dr. Yen Duong, mathematician, feminist, and author who gave a wonderful presentation at our November cohort meeting. Dr. Duong shared her story of being the first in her family to attend college (Yale), the challenges she encountered, and the actions she took to create a safe space for herself. We appreciate her candid conversation about the challenges facing women and people of color in STEM disciplines and the lack of information regarding the many free graduate school opportunities for STEM majors.

Thank you to cohort alumna, Kimberly Hadaway, PhD candidate, who shared her experiences in finalizing her college choices for both undergraduate (Williams College) and graduate school (Iowa State). Kimberly provided candid responses to the many questions posed by students. With only 6.5% of doctorates being award to African Americans and only 7% being awarded to Latinos, we are gratified that Dr. Duong and Kimberly inspired students to look beyond their undergraduate experience to pursuing a PhD! A 2015 report notes the huge disparities of women and people of color pursuing STEM careers and, that the percentage of women earning STEM degrees are in the single digits:

  • Asian: 5%
  • Black: 2.9%
  • Latina: 3.8%

 

2022 Internship Opportunities 

Rebeca Snowden of Ingalls Shipbuilding (Mrs. Wynn’s sister) is encouraging cohort students currently attending college (preference given to students attending HBCUs) to apply to the Ingalls Shipbuilding 2022 Summer Intern Program. Applications for the paid internships are open now through December 31 for college students (junior, senior, and graduate level) with a 3.0 GPA. The internships will allow students to gain experience in technical or administrative positions and provide the potential opportunities for future full-time employment.

Mark Your Calendar
  • Wednesday, December 1, 2021: Early Action and Financial Aid deadlines for many colleges
  • Saturday, December 11, 2021: Monthly Cohort Meeting (10:00 am – Noon)
  • Saturday, December 11, 2021: FAFSA Completion Session (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm/hourly)
  • Wednesday, December 15, 2021: Early Decision notifications
  • Friday, December 31, 2021 (11:59 pm): January presentations due
  • Saturday, January 1, 2022: Regular Decision and Early Decision II deadlines
  • Saturday, January 8, 2022 (10:00 am – Noon): January Cohort Meeting, during which we will host a student panel of high school seniors who will share the importance of engaging in the mid-year assessment, maximizing opportunities during the second semester, and the importance of summer programs in developing a competitive body of work for selective colleges and competitive scholarships. The Meeting ID is: 884 7893 8939.
  • Thursday, January 13, 2022: Session 2 of our 3 Session College Planning Series for Pinellas County Schools 5th Graders. We will host a middle school principals panel for parents and breakout rooms for students (6:00 pm – 7:30 pm). Click here to register…

Reminder: Be sure to check your email as we regularly forward emails regarding summer programs, college fairs, and pre-college opportunities.

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

Nationally Recognized | 2020 Magna Award First Place Winner | National School Boards Association. 

 
Facebook
Twitter
Website
Email
Instagram
 
 

Newsletter: November 1, 2021


November 1, 2021
Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

We will miss you Dr. Bobby…

Khoi Hammonds, one of our students from Trinity, Alabama, lost her grandfather, Dr. Bobby Griffin on October 30, 2021. We met Khoi through her grandfather, who lived in Atlanta, Georgia and whom we fondly referred to as Dr. Bobby. Many of the families, who have become part of our cohort family, were introduced to us via a friend, relative, neighbor, or co-worker. Dr. Bobby was a co-worker of Ms. Kim Pope, a longtime friend and church member, whose son Darrin was one of the many students with whom we worked while serving as Education Ministry Leaders at Turner Chapel AME Church in Marietta, Georgia. Subsequently, Dr. Bobby introduced us to his extraordinarily talented granddaughter, Khoi. While we only recently met Khoi and her family, we feel a part of their family and share in their grief knowing there will be an empty seat at this year’s Thanksgiving gathering. However, we are comforted by our faith knowing that Dr. Bobby is looking down from Heaven and will be celebrating each college acceptance received by his granddaughter as we do our best to continue to assist her in the road ahead. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Griffin and Hammonds families.

November 1 Early Action (EA) and Early Decision (ED) Deadlines

Many students will be applying to college today via Early Action or Early Decision. Despite our encouraging students to choose their admissions cycles and begin working on their college essays last June, many students will be under tremendous stress today as they rush to finalize their Common Application essay and writing prompts. We are here to support you and won’t even say, “We told you so!”

But what is the difference between applying to college via Early Action versus Early Decision?

  • Early Action (EA): A college admissions cycle through which applications receive “Early” consideration. Many colleges require students to apply via Early Action to be considered for their full range of institutional scholarships like the Stamps Scholars Program. Other colleges require students to apply via Early Action for priority consideration for their Honors Program, like Florida State UniversityNorth Carolina A&T State UniversityUniversity of South Carolina – Columbia, and the University of Maryland – Baltimore County. Some schools, like UMBC, require an Early Action application to be considered for their wide range of specialized programs and scholarships like the Cyber Scholars, Center for Women in Technology, Humanities Scholars, Sherman STEM Teacher Scholars, Linehan Artist Scholars, Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars, and the prestigious Meyerhoff Scholars.
  • Early Decision (ED): A college admissions cycle, like Early Action, through which applications receive “Early” decisions. However, unlike Early Action, Early Decision is a binding contract in which you agree to enroll if you are offered admission. Early Decision should only be used by students who have a clear top college choice; have thoroughly researched the college’s financial aid policy; believe themselves to a good academic match for the college’s programs and majors; and who are committed to enrolling should they be offered admission. Many of our students applying to highly selective schools have chosen to apply via Early Decision. For even the most academically accomplished student, Early Decision can be their best opportunity for being offered admission to a highly selective school.

No matter which admissions cycle a student chooses, they will benefit greatly from a well written Common Application essay and writing responses that provide a context for their overall application and makes a strong case as to why they are a good fit for the school and deserving of being offered admission.

Thank you… 

Thank you to University of Chicago student and college intern, Sydney Soskin, who has agreed to serve as the advisor to our youth leadership board and who served as the moderator for our Pinellas County Schools Title I Parent Presentation for rising middle school students. Thank you also to our youth leadership board members, Jocelyne L., Josiah W., and Anna N., who did an outstanding job on our student panel. Thank you to Ellen Truskowski, Pinellas County Schools Director of Student Demographics, Assignment, and School Capacity for her presentation regarding school choice. We are excited to expand the Pinellas County Schools – school choice conversation at our meeting in January when we hope to have a panel of middle school principals and a parent panel.

Thank you to Songhai Deveaux, who coordinated two wonderful college planning sessions for Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Hopefully, their church members were inspired to begin a Friendship Missionary Baptist Church College Planning Cohort.

Thank you to all of the students who have demonstrated grit and worked through the September, October, and November activities. As a result of your efforts, our discussion groups have stabilized with groups of self-motivated students who are “Owning the Process” and submitting high quality work and engaging in thoughtful and deliberate monthly discussions.  

Thank you to Allyson Terry, from the University of Georgia, who was the guest speaker at our October cohort meeting. Ms. Terry provided invaluable insight into selective college admissions in general, and into the admissions process at UGA in particular. Even as a public university, the University of Georgia admissions data provides a clear example of why students must enter high school “Owning the Process” and setting clear academic goals aligned with their college and career aspirations.

Saturday, November 13, 2021
November College Planning Cohort Meeting

We will host our third meeting of the 2021-22 school year at 10:00 am on Saturday, November 13, 2021. Our guest speaker will be Dr. Yen Duong, Mathematician, Writer, and Feminist. I first met Dr. Duong while serving as a moderator for the webinar, The Hidden Norms: Navigating the Obstructive Rules in the Mathematical Sciences. I was fascinated by Dr. Duong’s non-traditional career pathways in STEM.

Dr. Duong graduated from the Troy High School IB Program in Fullerton, California, is a graduate of Yale, and has a PhD from the University of Illinois in Chicago. She will be providing insight into selective college admissions, nontraditional STEM pathways, and unique opportunities for women and students of color. Dr. Duong has been a guest speaker at the University of Chicago Women in Mathematics Symposium, UNC Chapel Hill Science Writing and Communications Club, and Davidson Math/Computer Science Coffee Series. 

In addition to Dr. Duong, our November cohort meeting will provide students with the opportunity to share the results of their Myers-Briggs Personality Type assessment and Interest Profile. Through the personality type assessment, students are able to plan their involvement in high school clubs and activities in a manner through which they continue to pursue exceptionality through activities for which their personality is the best fit. The Interest Profile is a good instrument for exposing students to careers aligned with their interest. Together, the two assessments guide students through the process of assessing if previously affirmed career aspirations are consistent with their personality type and interest profile, or, if other types of careers which may not have previously been under consideration, are more suited to who they are and what they enjoy doing. This is why we believe Dr. Duong to be the perfect speaker, who has discovered pathways merging her personality with her interest in STEM.

College Cohort Presentation Award Goes To… 

College Planning Cohort Presentation Award: Awarded to one student in our 9th – 10th grade cohort and one student in our 11th grade cohort each month based on the quality and content of their narratives, and the creativity presented in their monthly slide presentation. To qualify for consideration, students must have completed and submitted all monthly presentations. One student presentation will be voted on and selected in each discussion group. 

Congratulations to the following students whose presentations were nominated for our College Cohort Presentation Award for October:

9th – 10th Grade Cohort:

  • Bryce E. – ASA Guide Right Cohort
  • Griffin S. – Pinellas County Schools Cohort
  • Jocelyne L. – Pinellas County Schools Cohort
  • Nishan W. – ASA Guide Right Cohort

Jocelyne L., a 9th grader from the St. Petersburg High School IB Program in St. Petersburg, Florida is the recipient of the October 9th – 10th Grade College Planning Cohort Presentation Award. Jocelyne notes in her response to the question, “What has become clearer to me?”

“Through this module, I became more aware of the complexity of my gifts and talents, which areas I need to work on, and the goals I need to set for the future—strengthening my gifts and overcoming my weaknesses. I understand where and how I can improve and progress as well as the steps I need to complete. By creating a detailed plan, I now have a clearer view of how to maximize the opportunities available at my high school and my overall high school experience.” 

11th Grade Cohort:

  • Jayla J. – Florence County School District 3 Cohort
  • Wa’Dasja H. – Pinellas County Schools Cohort

Jayla J., an 11th grader from Lake City Early College High School in Lake City, South Carolina is the recipient of the October 11th Grade College Planning Cohort Presentation Award. Jayla notes in her response to the question, “What has become clearer to me?”

“My gifts and talents are something I am constantly working on to improve. While I know what my strengths are, there are still things that I can do to become even better. I chose to focus on the verbal/linguistic and musical/rhythmic intelligences because those are the intelligences I believe to best represent my passions and in which I am most gifted.

I will continue developing my gifts to create a strong body of work and further become a competitive college applicant.”

Each of these presentations has been inserted into the final unit for October. Please refer to them as an example to guide your efforts as you update your November presentations and develop your December presentations. While presentations are due by the final day of each month to qualify for being assigned to a discussion group, you have nearly two weeks prior to the monthly meeting to update your presentation.

Cohort Students – 11:59 pm Deadline

Narrative responses and monthly presentations are due by 11:59 pm on the final day of each month. This allows discussion group leaders and interns the opportunity to review and comment on each student’s presentation. Modules open on the day of our monthly meetings to allow students an entire month to prepare their presentations, i.e., students will have access to December’s Module on Saturday, November 13, 2021, the day of our November cohort meeting. 

Florence School District 3

Florence School District 3 Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Laura Hickson, is ensuring that her students have every opportunity to develop a comprehensive college-bound plan. Her 2021-22 initiatives include supporting college readiness through the Writing Center and college planning through the Florence School District 3 College Planning Cohort. Click here to view the district’s College Planning Cohort video.

  • Monday and Wednesday from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm: The all-virtual Writing Center for any FSD3 students in grades k – 12 is open. Any student, or parent, in the district can bring their homework, test preparation, or essays for review and support. High school seniors can receive guidance and editorial review of their college and scholarship essays and communication with college admissions and financial aid officers. Students should register with their counselor. Click here to attend…
  • Tuesday and Thursday from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm: The all-virtual College Planning Cohort sessions are offered to all FSD3 high school students in grades 9 – 12. Students receive hands-on instruction in completing the monthly units and engage in discussions about the activities in the curriculum and opportunities in their local community to pursue leadership and service aligned with their gifts, talents, and college/career aspirations. Interested students should contact Ms. Kendra Wilson in the Guidance Office.  Click here to attend…

Mark Your Calendar

  • Tuesday, November 30, 2021 (11:59 pm): December presentations due.
  • Wednesday, December 1, 2021: Next round of Early Action and Early Decision College Application Deadlines.
  • Saturday, December 11, 2021 (10:00 am – Noon): Our December Cohort Meeting. Stephanie Gonzalez, former Associate Director of Admissions for Diversity Recruitment at Williams College and the current Associate Director of College Counselors at the Trinity School will be our guest speaker. Ms. Gonzalez will provide a further context for pursuing exceptionality and the many ways in which students can position themselves as exceptional college applicants. The Meeting ID is: 884 7893 8939.

Reminder: Be sure to check your email as we regularly forward emails regarding summer programs, college fairs, and pre-college opportunities.

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

Nationally Recognized | 2020 Magna Award First Place Winner | National School Boards Association. 

Newsletter: October 1, 2021


October 1, 2021
Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

A Word About Test Scores…

Many high school seniors continue to experience anxiety over test scores despite nearly 2,000 colleges not requiring the submission of test scores! While students may have a cause for concern if their scores do not meet the qualifying criteria for being awarded state scholarships, or qualifying for merit-based institutional scholarships, high school seniors who continue relentlessly retesting in an attempt to raise scores, are failing to consider the inherent distraction of such a pursuit from focusing on their college admissions strategy, i.e., leadership, service, community impact, essays, and writing supplements.

Students in grades 9 – 11, now is the time to incorporate test preparation strategies into the context of your every day schooling, so that you have the opportunity to earn National Merit Scholarship qualifying scores on the 11th grade PSAT and score above the 90th percentile on SAT testing (1350) or ACT testing (29) by June of your junior year of high school.

Commit to Either the SAT or ACT

Since all colleges and scholarship providers will accept either SAT or ACT exam scores, there is no need to continuously take both exams. Take a full length practice test of each exam and review your wrong answers with your teachers. Determine which exam, based on your high school curriculum and the exam that your state supports, and choose a single exam to focus your test taking preparation and strategies throughout high school. After taking your first exam and receiving your score report (see below), meet with each of your subject-area teachers to discuss your wrong answers. Following are salient questions:

  • When was the information taught, or when will it be taught?
  • Once I understand the information, what can I do to ensure that I can successfully answer such questions in the future?

Beyond meeting with your teachers, incorporate or use the information, whenever possible, as part of your normal coursework. Maintain a subject-area composition notebook of major concepts and problem-solving strategies so that you can regularly review and solve problems throughout high school. By using the grammar, language, vocabulary, and problem-solving strategies as part of your day-to-day approach to schooling, you will be well prepared by your junior year of high school to do well on the PSAT and on your test of choice (i.e., SAT or ACT). An added benefit will be taking your composition notebooks with you as you enter college as reference sources for your college classes.

Saturday, October 2, 2021
FAFSA Completion Session 

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required by all colleges for students applying for financial aid. The FAFSA filing period opens today. On Saturday, October 2, 2021, we will host hourly FAFSA Completion Sessions from 9:00 am – Noon and again from 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm. To ensure that our students have the greatest opportunity to qualify for need-based financial aid and institutional scholarships, we have encouraged students to apply to all of their colleges via Early Action, if offered, and to complete the FAFSA as soon as the FAFSA filing period opens. Click here to register…

  • Many colleges only consider students who apply through their Early Action admissions cycle for ALL available institutional scholarships
  • Many colleges begin awarding their limited financial resources as soon as completed FAFSAs are processed
  • Many colleges award FSEOG funding to lower income students on a first-come first-served basis until the funds are exhausted

Consequently, we have been supporting students since June of their junior year in finalizing their college admissions strategies, finalizing their Common Application essays, and finalizing their supplemental essays. As a result, ALL of our seniors should be prepared to meet their college admissions and scholarship deadlines—no excuses and don’t dare blame COVID! Click here to view the required documents…, which includes your 2020 Tax Records.

We will not cover the CSS Profile. However, those students applying to private institutions requiring the CSS Profile, may click here for a link to the CollegeBoard website.

Saturday, October 9, 2021
October College Planning Cohort Meeting

We will host our second meeting of the 2021-22 school year at 10:00 am on Saturday, October 9, 2021. Our guest speaker will be Allyson Terry, Assistant Director for Community Engagement at the University of Georgia. She supports both the Offices of Undergraduate Admission and Institutional Diversity by working with community based organizations and their students’ dreams of attending college. Allyson is an Alabama native that graduated from Oglethorpe University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and from the University of Georgia with a Master of Public Administration degree.

Ms. Terry will discuss the impact of a student’s gifts and talents on college admissions and will meet with senior parents and students in a breakout room to answer questions regarding UGA and the college admissions process. Click here to register for our October Cohort Session… (Note: Only cohort students and parents may register)

Saturday, October 9, 2021, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Friendship Missionary Baptist Church College Information Session: Part I 

Friendship Mission Baptist Church will host Mychal Wynn, author, and college planning expert for part I of a virtual college information session focused on:

  • How to position yourself for the biggest scholarships
  • Why you are likely to have more full scholarship opportunities from out-of-state schools
  • Why you need to focus on your area of exceptionality (i.e., music, athletics, academics, etc.)

For further information, email: children&youth@friendshipcharlotte.org

Saturday, October 23, 2021, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Full-day Writing Workshop for High School Seniors 

On Saturday, October 23, 2021, from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, we will offer an intensive one-day workshop for high school seniors seeking support in reviewing/editing college essays or writing responses. We will review and provide guidance for each participating student. Students will best benefit by sharing their essays, via Google Docs, to cpc@collegeplanningcohort.com by 6:00 pm on Monday, October 18, 2021. Students will be introduced to strategies for evaluating essays and responding to multi-prompt questions. Click here to register…

Saturday, October 23, 2021, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Friendship Missionary Baptist Church College Information Session: Part II 

Friendship Mission Baptist Church will host Mychal Wynn, author, and college planning expert for part II of a virtual college information session focused on:

  • The importance of meaningful service and intentional leadership
  • Why your grades and classes are more important than test scores
  • Hear from college students on full scholarships

For further information, email: children&youth@friendshipcharlotte.org

Thursday, October 28, 2021, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Pinellas County Schools College Planning Session for Rising 6th Graders and Parents

Pinellas County Schools Title I Office will host Mychal Wynn, author and college planning expert, who will provide comprehensive insight for parents and students on such topics as:

  • Knowing your gifts and talents
  • Understanding your personality and interests
  • Pursuing the right middle school opportunities
  • Challenging yourself academically
  • Setting goals, and
  • Considering future high school choices

Mr. Wynn will also host a panel of 9th grade cohort students who will share their insights into making their high school choice, setting goals, pursuing leadership, and engaging in community service within a college planning context.

For further information, email Dr. Lewis Brinson: BRINSONLE@pcsg.org

Cohort Students – 11:59 pm Deadline

Narrative responses and monthly presentations are due by 11:59 pm on the final day of each month. This allows discussion group leaders and interns the opportunity to review and comment on each student’s presentation. Modules open on the day of our monthly meetings to allow students an entire month to prepare their presentations, i.e., students will have access to November’s Module on Saturday, October 9, 2021, the day of our October cohort session. 

College Planning Cohort Presentation Award

Earning honors and awards is a critically important part of a student’s overall high school performance. Your awards will be part of your college application and used to compare your high school performance to those of other students from your high school and in the pool of overall college applicants. Following are several awards that our foundation offers participating students:

  • College Planning Cohort Presentation Award: Awarded to one student in our 9th – 10th grade cohort and one student in our 11th grade cohort each month based on the quality and content of their narratives, and the creativity presented in their monthly slide presentation. To qualify for consideration, students must have completed and submitted all monthly presentations. One student presentation will be voted on and selected in each discussion group. Submitted presentations will be judged and selected by majority vote by the College Planning Cohort Youth Leadership Board.
  • College Planning Cohort Certificate of Achievement: Awarded to each student who completes the assigned work and submits each monthly presentation during the first and second semester.
  • College Planning Cohort Award of Excellence: Awarded to a student in grades 9 – 10, and a student in grade 11, who presents the most comprehensive College-bound Plan for the 2021-22 school year.
  • College Planning Cohort Service Award: Awarded to each member of the 2021-22 College Planning Cohort Youth Leadership Board and to each student who serves as an intern in our summer college planning boot camps.
  • College Planning Cohort Youth Leadership Board Awards: Members of the College Planning Cohort Youth Leadership Board will have the opportunity to earn individual awards based on their completed projects.

The College Planning Cohort Presentation Awards for September were presented to Anna Nguyen, a 9th grader in the St. Petersburg High School IB Program in St. Petersburg, Florida and Jayla Jones, an 11th grader at Lake City Early College High School in Lake City, South Carolina.

College Interns/Mentors

We have an extraordinary group of former cohort students, now attending college, who are serving as interns and discussion group leaders: Ava Bingham (Clemson); Faith Kumi (University of Chicago – Odyssey Scholar); Jada Foote (North Carolina A&T Honors Program); Haley Hardway (Francis Marion Teaching Fellow); Kailer Brothers (Wesleyan University); Peyton Wilson (George Washington – Posse Scholar); Robert Penn (George Mason – Mason Scholar); Sydnee Brothers (North Carolina A&T Honors Program); Sydney Barron (North Carolina Central Honors Program); Sydney Starks (Bowdoin College); Sydney Soskin (University of Chicago – Odyssey Scholar); and Whitney Williams (Spelman College Honors Program). 

Florence School District 3

Florence School District 3 Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Laura Hickson, is ensuring that her students have every opportunity to develop a comprehensive college-bound plan. Her 2021-22 initiatives include supporting college readiness through the Writing Center and college planning through the Florence School District 3 College Planning Cohort. Click here to view the district’s College Planning Cohort video.

  • Monday and Wednesday from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm: The all-virtual Writing Center for any FSD3 students in grades k – 12 is open. Any student, or parent, in the district can bring their homework, test preparation, or essays for review and support. High school seniors can receive guidance and editorial review of their college and scholarship essays and communication with college admissions and financial aid officers. Students should register with their counselor. Click here to attend…
  • Tuesday and Thursday from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm: The all-virtual College Planning Cohort sessions are offered to all FSD3 high school students in grades 9 – 12. Students receive hands-on instruction in completing the monthly units and engage in discussions about the activities in the curriculum and opportunities in their local community to pursue leadership and service aligned with their gifts, talents, and college/career aspirations. Interested students should contact Ms. Kendra Wilson in the Guidance Office.  Click here to attend…

Mark Your Calendar

Our November guest speaker will be Dr. Yen Duong, a mathematician, writer, and feminist who will be discussing nontraditional STEM pathways through undergraduate, graduate, and PhD programs.

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

Nationally Recognized | 2020 Magna Award First Place Winner | National School Boards Association. 

Newsletter: September 1, 2021

 

September 1, 2021
Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

Welcome to our 2021-22 College Planning Cohort

The colleges and universities (pictured above), to which many students in our 2021 Cohort received full scholarships, is a particularly impressive list in light of the traumatic disruptions to high schools, colleges, and the lives of students and families due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. An example of the traumatic impact of COVID-19 was in Guilford County Schools, where our longstanding contract and nationally recognized First Generation College Student Ambassador Program was abruptly disbanded and ended the district-sponsored college planning guidance for 100 students and families. However, contract or no contract, we did not abandon students. Our staff, interns, and volunteers continued supporting students throughout the 2020-21 school year and finalizing their enrollment decisions into such schools as Appalachian State; East Carolina; East Tennessee State; High Point University; North Carolina A&T; UNC – Chapel Hill; and UNC-Greensboro.  

Leadership and Service

Lake City Early College High School junior, Jada Jones (pictured above), was interviewed by WBTW News in South Carolina while volunteering to support Florence School District 3 Superintendent, Dr. Laura Hickson’s opening of the district’s tutoring and writing center. Jada, who served as a discussion group leader, intern, and on our 2020-21 Youth Leadership Board, was joined by former cohort and current Francis Marion University student and South Carolina Teaching Fellow, Haley Hardway. Jada and Haley are working closely with Dr. Hickson to make an impact in their local community and expand college access for all students.

College Interns/Mentors

We have an extraordinary group of former cohort students, now attending college, who are serving as interns and discussion group leaders: Ava Bingham (Clemson); Faith Kumi (University of Chicago); Haley Hardway (Francis Marion); Peyton Wilson (George Washington); Robert Penn (George Mason); Sydney Barron (North Carolina Central Honors Program); Sydney Soskin (University of Chicago); Tristyn Brothers (Claflin University Honors College); and Whitney Williams (Spelman College Honors Program). Kimberly Hadaway (Williams ’21), currently pursuing a PhD in math at Iowa State University, will be mentoring high school seniors planning to pursue college majors in math and science.

Community Volunteers

Our team of community volunteers have firsthand experience with our program through their children. Ms. Carolyn Crook, whose daughter, Arielle, has a BS in Biology from Xavier University of Louisiana and a MA in Latin American Studies from Tulane University; and son, Kenneth, has a BS in Business Management from North Carolina A&T State University. Mr. and Mrs. Charles and Lora Williams, whose daughter, Whitney, is a current senior in the Spelman College Honors Program. Ms. Kim Pope, whose son Darrin, is now employed with Ingall’s Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia. Ms. Venetta Bridges, whose daughter McKenzie, has a BS in Physical Therapy from Florida State University and a Doctor of Physical Therapy from Georgia State University.

Our brilliant group of Discussion Group Leaders include Rev. Dr. Yolanda Davis, Manager of Spiritual Care at Mercy Care in Atlanta, GA; Lake City Early College High School Counselor, Ms. Kendra Wilson; and Florence School District 3 Director of College and Career Readiness, Mr. Leon Burgess. Our program is also supported through our longstanding partnership with the Alpharetta-Smyrna Alumni Chapter of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., ASA Kappa League College Planning Cohort, Mr. Doug Lucas (Director), and mentors Mr. Brian Thomas, Mr. Clarence Burge, Mr. Derrick Parker, Mr. Eric Henderson, Mr. Ernest Glenn, Mr. Hayward Richardson, Mr. Milford Rosemond, Mr. Rodney Eberhardt, and Rev. Don Ezell.

Our September Cohort Session

We will host our first meeting of the 2021-22 school year at 10:00 am on Saturday, September 11, 2021. We will discuss the important aspects of our program; respond to parent questions; and assign students to grade-level discussion groups. Our program is developed on the principle of cultivating conversational communities in a safe space and supportive environment where students can freely share their hopes and aspirations as they engage in discussions with students from throughout the United States.

Our guest speakers will be West and Heather Brothers, parents of our 2021 Cohort triplets who were awarded a near full scholarship to Wesleyan University; and full scholarships to the North Carolina A&T Honors Program, and the Claflin University Honors College (collectively valued at over $500,000 over 4 years). The meeting link will be sent via email to all registered students and parents. Dr. Laura Hickson, Superintendent of Schools in Florence District 3 and Minority Achievement Officer, Dr. Lewis Brinson, from Pinellas County Schools will bring opening remarks.

College “Planning” versus College “Readiness”

College readiness can be defined operationally as the level of preparation a student needs to enroll and succeed—without remediation—in a credit-bearing general education course at a postsecondary institution that offers a baccalaureate degree or transfer to a baccalaureate program (Source: Redefining College Readiness). College readiness is the core focus of such programs as AVID and Upward Bound.

College planning is the process of thinking about the activities required to achieve a desired goal—albeit admission to a particular college, being awarded a full scholarship, or both. A plan represents a set of goals and objectives to achieve a desired result and engaging in consistent and persistent efforts to achieve the goals set out in the plan. In essence, college readiness is focused on being prepared for college, while college planning is focused on the actions required to be offered admission to the ‘right’ colleges, accepted into the ‘right’ programs, and awarded the ‘right’ scholarships—resulting in on-time degree attainment and avoiding student loan debt. 

Former cohort student and 2021 Rhodes Scholar, Samuel Patterson, III, exemplifies the difference between readiness and planning. His Georgia high school did an excellent job guiding him in becoming “college ready.” However, participation in our cohort guided him in developing a plan, which led him to the Meyerhoff Scholars Program at the University of Maryland – Baltimore County, a program of which neither his fellow students nor high school counselor had any prior knowledge. At UMBC, the Meyerhoff Scholars Program Coordinators guided his planning into being selected as a 2021 Rhodes Scholar. His high school made him “ready” for the opportunity, while the cohort and the Meyerhoff Scholars Program, provided the “plan” to take advantage of the opportunities.

Keys to Success

The key to success in our program is not based on academic performance or maturity, but on student effort. Successful students “Own the process.” The work in our program is not overwhelming nor is it complicated. However, the work is intentional. Strategies do not evolve from wishful thinking, but from engaging in intentional actions. Students are required to read and follow instructions as preparation for successfully applying to college and for scholarships. Students are required to respond to writing prompts as preparation for writing college and scholarship essays. Students are required to engage in small group discussions as preparation for engaging in college classroom discussions and interviewing for scholarships. Students are expected to take personal pride in their work and in their preparation for our monthly meetings in a manner consistent with developing the high quality body of work needed to be offered admission to top colleges and to qualify for top scholarships.

11:59 pm Deadline

With the exception of September, students must submit their final presentations by 11:59 pm on the final day of each month. This allows discussion group leaders and interns time to review and comment on each student’s presentation. However, in preparation for our first meeting, students are expected to complete their presentations by 11:59 pm on September 10th.

While most students are self-motivated and take personal pride in their work, this is not the case with every student, particularly those who lack time management skills. For some students, the key to their success is parent involvement. Parents must help students manage their time by developing consistent schedules and routines. Parents must demonstrate that the work is important by reviewing their student’s work prior to our 11:59 pm deadline. And, parents must require their students to put forth the effort required to be prepared for the monthly discussions.

College planning is a team sport. A student who is offered admission to a top college, together with a full scholarship, benefits his or her entire family. In contrast, a student who is not offered admission to the ‘right’ colleges or awarded the ‘right’ scholarships, is likely to assume thousands of dollars in student loan debt and will cause his or her entire family to suffer. 7 out of 10 (69 percent) college students are leaving college with nearly $30,000 in student loan debt and over 1 in 10 parents (14 percent) will borrow nearly $38,000 in Parent PLUS loans (Source: A Look at the Shocking Student Loan Debt Statistics for 2021). Students who lament that they don’t have time for college planning, don’t need college readiness, they need a psychiatrist!

Florence School District 3

Florence School District 3 Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Laura Hickson, is ensuring that her students have every opportunity to develop a comprehensive college-bound plan. Her 2021-22 initiatives include supporting college readiness through the Writing Center and college planning through the Florence School District 3 College Planning Cohort. Click here to view the district’s College Planning Cohort video.

Monday and Wednesday from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm: The all-virtual Writing Center is open. Any student, or parent, in the district can bring their homework, test preparation, or essays for review and support. High school seniors can receive guidance and editorial review of their college and scholarship essays and communication with college admissions and financial aid officers. Students should register with their counselor. Click here to attend…

Tuesday and Thursday from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm: The all-virtual College Planning Cohort sessions are offered to all high school students in grades 9 – 12. Students receive hands-on instruction in completing the monthly units and engage in discussions about the activities in the curriculum and opportunities in their local community to pursue leadership and service aligned with their gifts, talents, and college/career aspirations. Interested students should contact Ms. Kendra Wilson in the Guidance Office.  Click here to attend…

We are not aware of any other school district in the country providing this level of support to ensure that students from lower income families; those who are the first in their family to attend college; undocumented students; or any student with college-bound hopes and aspirations has one-on-one college planning guidance and support. Through Dr. Hickson’s initiatives, students in Florence School District 3 have been selected as Gates Millennium Scholars, QuestBridge Scholars, Northeastern University Torch Scholars, UMBC – Meyerhoff Scholars, and South Carolina Teaching Fellows. Wishful thinking has been transformed into intentional planning.

Attention Seniors

As a result of the COVID-19 disruptions to high schools, colleges, and SAT/ACT testing, college essays are more important than ever. Over 1600 colleges are now test optional and relying on essays as part of their holistic admissions review process. Essays cannot be an afterthought, but must become the primary focus of each student’s college and scholarship applications. Unfortunately, only 3 percent of high school seniors are advanced writers (Source: NAEP Writing Results). Most students put off writing their college essays until close to college and scholarship deadlines and will invariably submit poorly written essays that do not take advantage of the opportunity for increasing their chances of being offered college admission or competitive scholarships.

All high school seniors are encouraged to register for our 4-session Essay Writing Workshops designed to guide students through the entire process of developing a high quality, strategic, and intentional Common Application Essay. Click register here…

Online Classrooms Open Today

All registered students, who have completed the new student activities, and updated their résumés and profiles, will be assigned to a grade-level appropriate online classroom:

  • 2021-22 9th – 10th Grade Classroom
  • 2021-22 High School Junior Classroom
  • 2021-22 High School Senior Classroom

Mark Your Calendar

September 1, 2021: 2021/21 Online Classrooms open to all registered students in grades 8 – 12.

September 11, 2021: Our September Session will kickoff with a large group presentation for all registered students and parents, during which we outline our 2021-22 program, introduce our Discussion Group Leaders.

Meeting Format:

  • 10:00 am – 10:45 am: Large Group Presentation.
  • 10:45 am – 11:30 am: Grade-level Breakout Sessions
  • 10:45 am – 11:15 am: Parent Q&A
  • 11:30 am – Noon: Large Group Wrap-up 
  • Noon – 12:30 pm: Senior Parent/Student Q&A

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

Nationally Recognized | 2020 Magna Award First Place Winner | National School Boards Association. 

 
Facebook
Twitter
Website
Email
Instagram
 
 

Newsletter: August 1, 2021

Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

Despite the many challenges of the COVID-19 interrupted 2020-21 school year, all students in the 2021 Senior Cohort were offered admission to college and nearly 50% will enter college on a full scholarship, over 20 times the national average of 2%. We have not only spent the summer supporting rising high school students through boot camps in Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, but have developed multiple programs to support student success and students’ college-bound aspirations for the 2021-22 school year.

College Cohort (Grades 9 – 12)

Full-year College Planning Cohort (Grades 9 – 12): Planning is defined as: An orderly or step-by-step conception or proposal for accomplishing an objective; A proposed or intended course of action;or A systematic arrangement of elements or important parts.

College planning is not something that a student does in addition to school, but is a step-by-step approach to maximizing the available opportunities in each student’s school and school district. Each grade-level cohort is guided through a comprehensive 7-year middle-through-high school curriculum; and supported by high school and college interns; school counselors; parents; and college advisers. Students become part of a conversational community of students with similar college/career aspirations from throughout the country. Students participate in monthly grade-level discussions through which they explore their gifts, talents, personality, and interests; engage in self-reflection; set goals; select classes and activities; pursue leadership opportunities; research colleges and scholarships; hear from college admissions and financial aid officers; and are exposed to the success stories of students from similar socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds—all focused on developing the exceptional body of work needed to qualify for admission to top colleges and being awarded competitive scholarships.

Our 2021-22 College Cohort Classroom opens on September 1 and all-virtual monthly sessions begin on Saturday, September 11, 2021 from 10:00 am – Noon. Following a large group presentation, students engage in grade-level discussion groups (i.e., cohorts) focused on 9 monthly topics (grades 9 – 11). The cohort of high school seniors will be guided in meeting monthly deadlines; completing the FAFSA; choosing admission cycles; writing essays; submitting applications; reviewing financial aid award letters; finalizing college enrollment decisions; and pursuing the best college and scholarship opportunities.

Join a Cohort

In addition to our many college partners, we are excited to continue our partnerships with the Alpharetta-Smyrna Alumni Chapter (ASA) of the Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity, Inc.; Florence School District 3 (SC); Judson ISD (TX); and Pinellas County Schools (FL). If your fraternity, sorority, faith- or community-based organization would like to partner with us, please email: mychalwynn@accessandequity.org.

Essay Writing Workshops

Our comprehensive 4-session Essay Writing Workshop Series, introduced in June, will be offered monthly throughout the 2021-22 school year to provide essay writing support for high school seniors applying to college and applying for scholarships. Students will be guided in writing high quality college, supplemental, and scholarship essays.

Writing Center

Comprehensive writing support for homework, research papers, essays, school papers, communication with colleges, and general writing needs for elementary through high school students through a weekly class and one-on-one support by appointment. Email cpc@collegeplanningcohort.com for schedule and details. Florence School District 3 students should contact Lake City Early College High School Guidance Counselor, Ms. Kendra Wilson: kwilson@fsd3.org.

Applying for Scholarships

Students may begin researching and applying for scholarships at any grade level. Some of our students were selected as Jack Kent Cooke Young Scholars during middle school. To support the scholarship aspirations of elementary, middle, and high school students, we have developed a self-guided online class, Applying for ScholarshipsOur staff will support students by responding to questions as students complete lessons guiding them through identifying, researching, and applying for scholarships.

One-on-One Support

Our goal is to meet every student’s needs in becoming successful students; successful college applicants; and successful scholarship recipients. Some students, particularly athletes, are unable to participate in our yearlong cohorts, and would best benefit from one-on-one or personalized college planning guidance. During the 2021-22 school year, we will be offering one-on-one guidance for students registered in our program and personalized college planning guidance for any student or parent with college or financial aid-related questions.

  • One-on-One Support: Available to students participating in our program, but who need support beyond our regular monthly cohort program. Sessions for provide 45 minutes – 1 hour consultations for students and parents on any college admissions or financial aid topic.
  • Personalized College Planning Guidance: Available to students who are not registered in our program, and who do not attend school in one of our partner school districts.

Volunteers interested in serving as Interns or Discussion Group Leaders should email: cpc@collegeplanningcohort.com

Please share with your friends, neighbors, coaches, counselors, and teachers. Every student deserves to have access to the best possible college planning guidance and support.

 
 

 

Newsletter: July 1, 2021

Mychal Wynn (Northeastern ’79)

July 1, 2021 College Planning News

In our June newsletter, we reported that 16 (42.1%) of our Class of 2021 were offered full scholarships. Well, we can now report that 17 (44.7%) of our Class of 2021 were offered full scholarships! Tyra Grant, from our Atlanta-area Cohort received an email from Georgia Tech congratulating her on being selected as a Clark Scholar (together with a full scholarship).

Our program should not be compared to such programs as AVID, which is a college readiness program, or Naviance, which is a high school counselor management tool. Neither program is designed to provide college planning guidance in identifying the ‘right’ colleges, identifying the ‘right’ scholarships, or reducing student loan debt. Neither program can claim to guide students into full college scholarships, assist students in writing essays, preparing students for interviews, nominating students to Fly-in or Diversity Weekend Programs, or meeting one-on-one with students and parents to provide personalized guidance through the college admissions and financial aid processes. The reality is that our program has very little in common with these programs. Many of our students have participated in AVID and attend high schools that subscribe to Naviance. None of our students see any comparison whatsoever between our college planning program and those programs.

Based on our data, we are not aware of any college planning program with comparable success in guiding students into full scholarships and avoiding student loan debt. Nationally, less than 2% of students from the 26,727 public, private, and charter high schools in the United States (Source: National Center for Education Statistics) are attending college on full scholarships with some sources suggesting the number is much lower at .2% (Source: Full Ride Scholarships). The estimate for full athletic scholarships is .3% (Source: NCSA). In 2021, 44.7% of seniors in our program will be attending college on full scholarships, and that number is even higher when the students who turned down full scholarships are accounted for. To fully appreciate the extraordinary outcomes of our students, read the Washington Post article, “Your child probably won’t get a full ride to college.”

Program Updates

At the end of each year, we evaluate our results, identify student and family needs, assess changes in college admissions and financial aid, and adjust our programming accordingly. Based on this review, we have expanded our programming to offer:

  • 4-session Writing Workshop Series: Comprehensive guidance in developing college admission essays, scholarship essays, or supplemental essays. Participating students become better writers.
  • Applying for ScholarshipsComprehensive online classroom guiding students and parents in researching institutional and private scholarships best matched to students’ backgrounds and body of work.
  • Essay Writing Tutoring and Support: Comprehensive guidance, tutoring, and support for school papers, communication with colleges, and general writing needs for middle school and high school students.
  • Full-year College Planning Cohort (Grades 9 – 12): Comprehensive program of online instruction, virtual meetings, and small group discussions bringing students together from throughout the country for monthly all-virtual grade-level appropriate conversations in developing comprehensive college-bound action plans.
  • One-on-One Support: Available to students who have participated in our program, but who may not be able to attend our full-year college planning cohort program. Sessions for provide 45 in – 1 hour consultations for students and parents on any college admissions or financial aid topics.
  • Personalized College Planning Guidance: Available to students who are not registered in our program, and who do not attend school in one of our partner school districts.
  • Summer College Planning Boot Camps: Comprehensive insight into maximizing the 7-year middle-through-high school plans to make students the most competitive candidates possible for being offered admission to top colleges and being awarded large dollar scholarships.

Students interested in serving as a College Planning Cohort Intern for one or more of our summer college planning boot camps should email: cpc@collegeplanningcohort.com

College Planning Boot Camps

We hosted 2 great college planning boot camps for rising 9th graders in San Antonio, Texas, and will host 2 4-day college planning boot camps in July (for middle school and high school students). Each boot camp will provide grade-level appropriate guidance in developing a comprehensive college-bound plan. Click onto the boot camp for the registration link.

July 12 – 15 (9:00 am – 1:00 pm): 4-day all-virtual boot camp for High School Students in Grades 9 – 12Click here to register… Any high school student may register. The registration fee for students in Florence School District 3 and Pinellas County Schools is waived.

July 19 – 22 (9:00 am – 1:00 pm): 4-day all-virtual boot camp for Middle School Students in Grades 7 – 8Click here to register… Any middle school student may register. The registration fee for students in Florence School District 3 and Pinellas County Schools is waived.

2021-22 High School Senior Classroom

Our 2021-22 High School Senior Classroom opened on June 1. While we will not host our first monthly cohort meeting until the second Saturday in September, we will be reviewing student work, communicating via email, and meeting with students and parents, via virtual sessions, as needed.

New students: click here to register…; Returning students: click here to register… (Note: Registration fees for Pinellas County Schools and Florence School District 3 students are paid for by the school district.)

Essay Writing Workshop Series

With the huge increase in applications to selective colleges, now, more than ever, a student’s essays can be the difference between being offered admission and receiving a rejection letter! We are excited to introduce a 4-part Essay Writing Workshop series, developed and presented by Mychal-David Wynn, a certified college counselor and graduate of Amherst College (BA English). The sessions are not part of our normal program and require a separate registration and are opened to all students. (Note: Registration fees for Pinellas County Schools and Florence School District 3 students are paid for by the school district.)

The 4-part series will be presented from 9:00 am – Noon, during each Saturday in July (10, 17, 24, and 31). The goal is for participating students to emerge from the sessions with a fully edited Common Application Essay, supplemental essay, or scholarship essay.

Topics will cover:

  • Choosing the ‘right’ Common Application Essay Prompt
  • Effectively responding to multi-question writing prompts
  • Finding your voice
  • Expressing your truth
  • Telling your story
  • Making connections between your body of work, recommenders, and the college’s mission/vision

Students will have their essays fully reviewed and edited. Click here to purchase your registration or Email cpc@collegeplanningcohort.com to reserve your space. Space is Limited.

Join a Cohort

ASA Guide Right Kappa League Mentoring Program: Contact Doug Lucas: dlucasjr@aol.com.

Atlanta-area and National Cohort: Contact Mychal-David Wynn: mdwynn@accessandequity.org

Pinellas County Schools: Contact Dr. Lewis Brinson, Minority Achievement Officer: brinsonle@pcsb.org

Florence County School District 3: Contact Ms. Kendra Wilson, Guidance Counselor: kwilson@fsd3.org

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

Facebook iconInstagram iconTwitter iconWebsite iconEmail iconYouTube icon