WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2014/2015

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/410492

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Page 175 of 227

read the fine print when it comes to how specific colleges treat merit scholarships. Cornell University, for example, reduces the loan or work components of their financial aid packages to students receiving merit scholarships — it does not reduce the parent contribution. Thinking creatively about their background and interests will help students uncover multiple areas of eligibility. Is one of their parents a Veteran? AMVETS, The American Legion, and Veterans of Foreign Wars offer scholarship opportunities for veterans' dependents. Are they scuba divers? Rolex has been offering their Our World-Underwater Scholarship program to students considering careers in the underwa- ter world for 40 years. Is performing arts their thing? The CBC Spouses Heineken USA Performing Arts Scholarship honors the late performing artist Curtis Mayfield by providing financial assistance to students pursuing performing arts careers in music, drama, and other arts vocations. 174 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | w i n t e r 2 0 1 4 / 2 0 1 5 education "help colleges get to know the students" At the End of the Day, Academics Matter "A student's grades, the level of coursework taken, and his or her test scores are essential to being considered for admission at the really competitive colleges," explains Lisa Jacobson, who, as founder and CEO of Inspirica, has worked for three decades coaching students and their parents through the college application process and preparing students academically. "These factors get a student into the 'maybe' pile instead of the 'no' pile. A student's interests and activities help colleges to get to know students." These activities can make the difference in an admissions decision — and in allocation of merit money. "Doing test prep can dramatically improve students' prospects," Jacobson explains. "Every 50 point improvement in test scores opens up access to a new set of colleges. Finding the right tutor that can inspire students to do the work and reduce the pressure can make a big difference." Ideally students would research tutors in the winter of their sophomore year with the intent to begin test prep the following summer. That having been said, Jacobson says, "It's never too late. Any time with a tutor can be helpful." The caveat is that expectations for outcomes have to be realistic. "If you only have time to prep the basics, that is what you know on the test."

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