Monthly Archives

September 2017

Getting Organized Successfully

By | Estelle Finkel

Organization is the Key to Success

Organization is truly a lost art. Getting organized successfully can translate into a healthy home life and better academic performance. It’s true, technological advancements have enhanced our lives over the last 20 years. The best organizational strategies, however, are tried and true old-fashioned methods.

Below is a list of five effective organizational strategies:

  1. Set up a Designated Study Space — Create an area of your house just for homework. Keep all the supplies your children need in bins and boxes. Provide plenty of space for books and set up baskets for papers so your child can find old homework and review for tests.
  2. Color Code Subjects — Buy school supplies for each subject in a different color. This way your children can see at a glance which folder, notebook, and binder has to do with which subject.
  3. Create a Cubby Hole at Home — Place a crate or sturdy box near someplace handy which allows your children to keep their backpacks and other school items in one spot. Teach your children to put everything they need for the next day in that place, as well. They’ll know where their belongings are without the need to search frantically, saving you time in the morning.
  4. Use a Calendar — Give your children a planner or an electronic calendar that they can bring to school. Teach them to write down assignments, tests, play dates, lessons, and other plans regularly. Additionally, have them write down their classmates’ phone numbers and e-mail addresses. This allows your child to find and contact their classmates easily.
  5. Set a Good Example — Keep things neat and organized in your own life. Your children will follow suit. If they have trouble making “to-do” lists, sit down and make one alongside them. Turning off the TV at a regular time to pay bills, or even just to read, demonstrates the importance of setting aside time to be productive and sticking to it.

Demonstrated Interest

By | College Bound

When it Comes to College Admissions Demonstrated Interest is Key!

Demonstrated Interest is a term colleges use to describe a student’s level of interest in attending their school. It encompasses every touch point that a student has with a specific college. Touch points can include visiting a school, emailing an admissions officer, sending a thank you note after an interview, completing an information request form on a college’s website, as well as Facebook “likes” and Tweets about the college. These touch points can improve a student’s chances of gaining acceptance to certain colleges. They can also help to move a wait-listed student to the front of the pack. There are specific software packages that some colleges employ to track these touch points. This software gauges a student’s level of interest in a school. Additionally, schools gain insight into how to better market their institution to students and parents given the competitive landscape of today’s search for the right college.

A college’s emphasis on Demonstrated Interest varies from being as important as a student’s GPA to not considered, whatsoever. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, 50.2% of colleges rank Demonstrated Interest somewhere between “moderate importance” to “considerable importance.” Searching “Common Data Set” along with the name of the college of interest shows you how much that school values Demonstrated Interest.

Applicants should never underestimate how important it is to demonstrate interest in a college. Every interaction matters. Ultimately, it may mean the difference between an acceptance letter and a rejection letter!

Back to school tips that best prepare you for college!

By | College Bound, Estelle Finkel

College Admissions tips to get you ready for the new school year. This means you: Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors!

Read our tips that will help you get ready, whether you are a Freshman just on your way to high school, or a Senior counting down the months til college.


Finalize your college application list and visit a few more colleges early this fall. If you visited over the summer, keep in mind you will get a better idea of student life when schools is back in session!

Get the most out of College Visits


If you haven’t already, start thinking seriously about your extracurricular activities and how they represent who you really are. If you are inclined to take leadership roles, start working to hone those skills. Junior year is one of the most important years for you. Begin an SAT or ACT prep class and take the exam at least twice. Get a realistic idea of what kinds of scores they schools you like are really looking for. College Board’s Big Future site has a great college search feature that shows you what schools are looking for.

What are the test scores colleges are looking for?



Freshman year has passed and you have a better idea of what to expect in high school. You should be honing in on your study skills which are essential for success in high school and college.  Not feeling too confident? Sign up for a study skills workshop or follow a checklist to give you a head start this fall.

Study Skills Checklist?



High School, here I come!! Get yourself prepared by purchasing school supplies, shop for back to school outfits so you look spiffy, and finish summer reading. Visit your high school before school starts to find your locker, practice your locker combination, and map out where your classes are located. Speaking of maps, now is a great time to begin thinking about how you are going to map out your classes for the rest of high school. Colleges really want to see that you are taking the highest level classes you can achieve in.  Not sure whether to take AP, honors, or standard classes? Read on for a guide that will help you plan ahead!

Which high school classes should you be taking


Happy to help.

We can help you on your way from test prep to college acceptance. Our new College Bound program offers you “bundles” which address SAT/ACT prep either in a class or individually, as well as college advisory that includes matching you to the right schools, and college essay and application help. Let us know what you are looking for and we will make it happen! Call us or contact us online or via email. 973-994-4665.