Yearly Archives: 2017

Happy Holidays!

ChristmasA big “Thank you” to all of my clients for putting your trust in me in 2017!

My heartfelt wishes to all of you for a blessed holiday season and a fantastic 2018!

Charlotte Klaar, PhD

Here’s my gift to you!Seminar

1. We’re offering several free seminars to help parents and students to jumpstart their college admissions process.
2. Second, I’ve revamped my pricing to make it more flexible and affordable!

Upcoming Seminars

Thursday, January 4, 2018, 12 PM EST
Lunch & Learn College Planning Seminar
Location: LOOM, 120 Academy St., Fort Mill, SC

Sunday, January 28, 2018, 1 – 4:30 PM EST
Are you confused by the College Search and Application Process? Do you know whether the ACT or SAT best shows your student’s talents? Have you considered how Career Planning is associated with the process? Have you figured out how to pay for it all and still retire? If so, this seminar is for your family!
Your student will take a mock ACT or SAT while you learn all about:
  • How to help choose a college that is a good fit for your student
  • How to open a dialogue about career planning
  • What all the testing information means and how to understand it
  • How to pay for college without going broke or having your student live with you forever!

Location: LOOM, 120 Academy St., Fort Mill, SC. The cost is $5/person or $15 per family to defer the cost of refreshments.

If you would like information on my new affordable pricing structure, please drop me an email at [email protected]

FAFSA Opens October 1 – Act Now!

In this post I’m sharing some excellent information from a colleague, Jeff Levy, of Personal College Admissions, a California college consulting firm.

FAFSAOctober 1 is the first day that anyone expecting to apply for financial aid can access, complete, and submit the FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE.

Here’s what you need to know about these forms and their deadlines:

    • All institutions require submission of the FAFSA for financial aid consideration. For current high school seniors expecting to attend college next year, the 2018-2019 FAFSA can be accessed and submitted at https://fafsa.ed.gov/ beginning October 1, 2017.
    • About 250 colleges and universities also require submission of the CSS/PROFILE. This can be accessed and submitted at https://cssprofile.collegeboard.org/ beginning October 1, 2017.
    • The deadline to submit these forms varies college to college. It is necessary to check each college’s website or financial aid office to know the final deadline for each. Missing these deadlines will seriously impact your child’s eligibility for financial aid.
    • A growing number of colleges now have a November 1 or November 15 financial aid deadline for Early Decision and Early Action applicants.

Here’s what you need to know to begin:

    • The FAFSA belongs to the student, although many parents complete this form on their child’s behalf. To begin the FAFSA, the studentFAFSAmust first create their own FSA ID (Federal Student Aid identification number). This ID is like an electronic fingerprint, and each person wanting to access a student’s FAFSA will need their own. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to do this:
    • ttps://ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/attachments/050415FSAIDReplaceHowToCreateFSAIDGuideATTACH.pdf
    • Parents wanting to complete the FAFSA on their child’s behalf will need their own FSA ID.

 Here’s who should file the FAFSA and/or the CSS/PROFILE:

    • FAFSAAnyone wanting to receive need-based aid who believes they might qualify
    • Anyone who thinks they may require financial aid at any point during their child’s undergraduate career. Many colleges will not consider a financial aid application from a current student admitted as a full-pay freshman if they did not submit the FAFSA
    • Anyone who expects to have two or more children in college at the same time, which significantly lowers the threshold for need-based eligibility
    • Anyone applying for merit aid at institutions that require either the FAFSA or PROFILE for consideration for such awards

If you have any questions about whether you should or should not file, please contact me directly during the next couple of weeks, [email protected] or 803-285-1920.

Five Steps You Should Take to Prep for College!

It’s summertime, and summer college prep may be the furthest thing from your mind. But even as you enjoy your summer break, you’d be wise to use this free time to your advantage.

If you’re a rising senior, be aware of the fact that September will Summer college prepcome all too soon.  And by the time school starts, you should have a final list of colleges, so you can begin your applications.  This fall will be a busy time, with essays, letters of recommendations, college applications, etc.

By taking advantage of these long summer days, you can get a real jump start on your college application process!  Here are some tips for maximizing your summer college prep:

Read

Reading will help keep your mind fresh and help build language Summer college prepskills. You don’t need to read classic English literature – popular young adult books will do the trick.  And take a book on vacation with you!

 Volunteer

Volunteer for an organization that you are interested in and passionate about. This is a great way to build your resume and to narrow down potential fields of interest.

 Get a job

Earn some extra cash while taking on responsibility.  Colleges like to see that you have responsibilities outside of your schoolwork.

Visit colleges

Make time to visit colleges you are interested in.  Since school is not in session, summer may not be the most ideal time for college visits, but you can still get a feel for the place and visit again if necessary. Taking a family vacation? Plan to visit colleges along your way.

 Think about what you want out of your college experience

Take time to think about what you want in a school, your interests, and what you would like to get out of your college experience.  Long car rides to the beach are perfect for brainstorming.

Have a fun and meaningful summer!

Charlotte Klaar, Ph.D.

For more information about how Klaar College Consulting can help lead you to college success, call us at 301-834-6888 and visit the many resources available on this website.

4 Tips for Winning College Letters of Recommendation!

What will your letters of recommendation say about you?  Will they make you stand out from other applicants? Here’s how you can ensure that you receive recommendations that help your college application to shine!

First, who are the best people to ask to write a recommendation?

Standard letters of recommendation: Guidance counselors and teachers from your junior or senior years. If you are a junior, this is a good

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time to ask your teachers for letters. Supplemental letters of recommendation: Coaches, employers, religious leaders, and other respected adults who know you well.

How much time should you give the person to write the recommendation letter?

Don’t make last minute requests and expect a great letter – or any letter at all. Give people at least three weeks to produce a good letter.

What should the person writing the letter say to make you stand out?

First, don’t expect those writing the letters to know everything about you.  Put together a resume that includes:

  • A personal statement that summarizes the skills or characteristics that you want to emphasize
  • Personal information – name, address phone, email
  • Education – including high school, advanced courses, honor rolls and any college courses you’ve taken
  • Skills and accomplishments – Consider the skills you want to focus on
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    and give examples. Athletics, musical talents, leadership through scouting, sports, school or religious activities, and research in which you participated are all great examples.

  • Volunteer activities – school or community service as well as religious groups or personal outreach activities.

How many letters of recommendation do I need?

Most colleges require at least one standard letter of recommendation, but additional letters can help to create a more well-rounded picture of you.

FYI – be aware that counselors do not have to alert you as to whether or not they will send a recommendation letter on your behalf.  Follow up with your counselor to find out whether they have sent a letter.  If not, it’s doubly important that you get a letter from a teacher or other adult as per above!

Watch this Free Webinar on the Top 5 Mistakes when Choosing a College

The Top 5 Mistakes when Choosing a collegeClub Z! Tutoring, the nation’s largest in-home and online tutoring and test prep company, is hosting a FREE college prep webinar at 8 p.m. Eastern (5 p.m. Pacific) on March 22, 2017. The topic is how to avoid the top 5 mistakes when choosing a college.

The topic for Club Z!’s March webinar is “The Top 5 Mistakes When Choosing a College,” which will focus on how to avoid common pitfalls during the college selection process. From using the wrong criteria (following a friend, for example) to not applying to a school based on your anticipated financial aid package, the webinar will explore issues that may lead a student to choose a school that ultimately is not a good fit. Hosting the call is certified Educational Planner, and Club Z! college admissions advisor, Charlotte Klaar, PhD.

“Families too often waste time on colleges that are not a good match for their student. This leads to unhappiness, needless disappointment, and costly transfers,” offers Dr. Klaar. “My goal with this webinar is to shed some light on these potential issues, and offer strategies for finding the right school.”

Please join Club Z! and Dr. Klaar on March 22, 2017 at 8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific for this important webinar. Attendance is absolutely free, but does require pre-registration as space is limited. To join us on March 22nd, click here to register.

Senioritis…the Disease College-Bound Students Should Avoid

Already accepted to college? Beginning to lose interest and focus in school? Be careful not to catch senioritis!

Senioritis– a disease effecting high school seniors, especially during second semester; identified by laziness, lack of focus, repeated absences, and a strong desire to graduate.

Senioritis can sneak up on you faster than you think! Here are some tips we senioritisgive all high school students for avoiding this dread condition:

Take a strong course load

Don’t take a relaxing course load just because you think you can. This is your time to shine!  Many high schools only require three years of all the basic subjects (math, science, history, etc.) and four years of English.  If you’re a college-bound high school student, go above and beyond and take a fourth year of quality courses.

Avoid taking study hall or three different gym classes to get out of studying your senior year.  Admissions officers view hard work and dedication late in the game as a good indicator of how you’ll perform in college.

Already accepted to college? Beginning to lose interest and focus in school?  Be careful not to catch senioritis!

Senioritis can sneak up on you faster than you think! Here are some tips we give all high school students for avoiding this dread condition:

Take a strong course load

Don’t take a relaxing course load just because you think you can. This is your time to shine!  Many high schools only require three years of all the basic subjects (math, science, history, etc.) and four years of English.  If you’re a college-bound high school student, go above and beyond and take a fourth year of quality courses.

Avoid taking study hall or three different gym classes to get out of studying your senior year.  Admissions officers view hard work and dedication late in the game as a good indicator of how you’ll perform in college.

Your senior grades can make or break you

You know that colleges look at your grades for the first three years of high school.  What you may not realize is that your senior year grades are just as important!  Colleges require you to submit your first quarter, mid-year, and end-of-year grades.  If you have a downward trend in your grades, colleges will notice and take that into account in determining your acceptance.

The college application process is competitive and there are many students on a wait-list ready to take your spot.  Don’t become a red flag and give colleges a reason to revoke your acceptance. They do this regularly.

Tired of high school classes?

Take a course at a local community college.  This is a perfect way to senioritisdemonstrate your thirst for knowledge, plus you can earn college credits in the process.

About the author:  Dr. Charlotte Klaar is a Certified Educational Planner and founder and director of Klaar College Consulting in the greater Charlotte area.  If you’d like more information on any other aspects of the often-complicated college testing, admissions or financing process, Charlotte can be contacted at: 803-487-9777, [email protected] or www.cklaar.com.

Your Student’s PSAT Scores are in: Now What?

Many families have received or are about to receive the PSAT results for their 11th grade student. Most high schools present the results to students PSAT test scoresin their English classes and ask that the score report and booklet be taken home to parents. Unfortunately, most families will have no idea what to do with it. Read on for some suggestions.

1. Consider your student’s score: During my 21-plus years of practice with high school students, the most consistent response I get to “How did you do on your PSAT?” is “Awful!” No one explains to students that they still have almost two full years to go before the end of high school and that the number score is much less important than the percentile into which they fall.

For example, if a student sees a 540 on the Math section, he or she assumes that this is not a good sign for the SAT. If the student looked at the percentile for this score, 73 percent, she or he would have realized that this percentile puts him or her in the top 27 percent of the country.

Although there is no longer a penalty for guessing on either the PSAT or the SAT, what most families are not aware of is that the PSAT has a maximum score of 1520, not the 1600 of  the SAT. My message is: Don’t stress about this score – use the information to address your student’s weak areas prior to taking the SAT.

2. Understand what to do with the booklet: The booklet is the actual test, and your student can compare it to the right and wrong answers on the score report. Doing this shows whether incorrect answers were a careless mistake, or if your student doesn’t understand a concept in order to do better on the SAT.

Once this analysis is done, make a list of the missed questions that s/he doesn’t understand and go to the appropriate teacher for an explanation of the concept. Frankly, the PSAT does this online for you if you know which buttons to click.

3. Know that the PSAT is not identical to the SAT: The discrepancy between the two tests lies in the Writing section. There is no essay on the PSAT. The PSAT Writing section is simply a grammar test. Therefore, students who do not understand grammar will do quite poorly on this section of the PSAT.

On the other hand, your student may have respectable essay writing skills in the sense that s/he can make a point and support it in a written argument, which will raise the Writing score on the SAT.

This is not to say that grammar is unimportant; it’s very important. Unfortunately, we have not stressed grammar in schools for many years, and students are bearing the brunt of this decision. I advise students who want to do well to get a basic grammar book and study. Ask your English teacher to help you if you don’t understand. Practice writing a standard five paragraph persuasive essay and apply this skill to the SAT.

4. Realize that if you don’t read regularly, you will not do well on the Critical Reading section: Reading is a skill that must be developed over time. When students proudly announce to me that they “Hate reading” or “Never read,” I suggest that they do 20 minutes of reading each night before bed and build up to at least 45 minutes of sustained reading in order to build the skill.

It doesn’t matter what your student reads, just that he or she is reading. Just PSAT test scoresas muscles will be weak without working out, reading will be weak without practice. Unless the student reads regularly, she or he will not be able to read quickly or with understanding and this will have a profound effect not only on the SAT score, but also on the likelihood of success in college where there is so much reading to be done often without feedback except for the test on the material.

The PSAT is a great tool but, like many tools, few understand how to properly use it for maximum effect. I hope that you will use it correctly and enhance your skills before the SAT. If you’d like more information on the PSAT or SAT/ACT tests, please contact me today!