A Reminder About Helpful Links

Be sure to check out the helpful links posted on both sides of the page!
We're now on Twitter, too. Type "@eos_guidance" in your Twitter search box. Or click on "Twitter" to the left.

Monday, January 15, 2018


EOSHS Earns Top Spot Among All CT High Schools

The Office of Early College Experience Programs (OECEP) at UConn recently announced that   EOSHS ranks first in student participation of all high schools throughout Connecticut for the 2017-18 school year. Enrollment reports indicate that 309 EOSHS students are enrolled in Early College Experience (ECE) courses at EOSHS.  This represents the highest number of enrollees among all CT high schools, including schools with more than twice the total student enrollment.  These numbers highlight the extensive involvement of EOSHS and the significant value derived from student participation in the OECEP.  

These figures represent an impressive commitment on the part of the EOSHS faculty and staff in offering OECEP courses and participating in workshops required by the OECEP.  It should also be noted that teachers at EOSHS (and all other participating high schools) must apply for certification and be approved as adjunct instructors before offering such courses.

The EOSHS community should take pride in the exceptional dual enrollment program that comprises a significant segment of its school-wide curriculum.

MCC Applications Due

Students enrolled in Manchester Community College courses offered at EOS need to COMPLETE the MCC application online by February 5th if they wish to earn MCC credits in these courses.

Click on this link to initiate this process. This registration takes just minutes to complete. 

Mailing Senior Transcripts

 (Mid-Year School Reports) 

Seniors applying to colleges know that their first semester grades are typically required by college admissions offices.  Mid-year school reports that show only first semester grades will be mailed electronically to colleges when these grades become permanent after a final audit.  This should take place in the first week of February.

What's Naviance and Why Should You Be Interested In It?

The EOS Guidance Department has been using Naviance for several years now, adding features along the way when they become available to subscribers and when we feel they're useful to our school community.  Naviance is a web-based program that offers a full range of services. You'll find course descriptions on classes offered at EOS, four-year plans of study (see more about this below) that match up with the various post-secondary goals students may have, data on student outcomes specific to colleges and universities to which EOS students have applied over the past several years, links to the vast majority of post-secondary institutions throughout the country, links to financial aid websites, a link to The College Board, career information, and Road Trip Nation (career and motivational videos). There is even more. 

The link to Naviance may be found in the upper right corner of this page (Naviance Family Connection). 


What Is Course Planner?

Students (and parents) can access "Course Planner" (mentioned above) by logging in to their accounts and clicking on the "Courses" tab in the menu bar. From there,  four-year plans of study may be reviewed simply by clicking on course plans. Several plans are available and each is based upon the kind of schools - defined by competitiveness (how difficult it is to be accepted - the lower the percentage of students accepted, the more competitive it is) - that a student may wish to pursue.

By clicking on any one of the plans, you will see the types of courses available to choose from that will comprise a four-year plan of study compatible with the kinds of competitive schools for that particular category. For example, a student interested in attending a highly competitive school would click on that plan and see that the vast majority of courses from which to choose would be at the "A" level.  What is not taken into consideration are the grades that a student earns in these courses. Rather, the strength of the four-year plan is based upon the challenges posed by one's course selections.

design flaw that Naviance has not yet corrected relates to the schools of interest that are listed below the "meter" that measures the strength of schedule. A plan that may be appropriate for admission to ECSU may not be sufficient for acceptance to UConn, even though Naviance is indicating otherwise. For more accurate feedback, students should speak with their counselors. 

Still, Course Planner may be very useful in the course selection process when taking into consideration post-secondary aspirations.

2018-19 Course Selections

Power School Portal  Opens In Two Weeks

The initial stage of the 2018-19 course selection process has begun as subject area departments formulate plans for the next school year.  Students are encouraged to select courses through the Power School portal when it opens in two weeks.

This first step in the process allows EOSHS to "pour the foundation" for the eventual construction of the 2018-19 master schedule.  Note that students will have several opportunities to make changes on their list of selections in the months ahead.  You should also note that counselors will discuss course selections and confirm choices during their upcoming individual meetings with students and their parents/guardians.

Keep in mind, too, that four-year plans of study for various post-secondary options are available in Naviance.  Click on the "Courses" tab for the plans as well as to access the full list of course descriptions in the curriculum.

Additional Resources

College and Career Information

Register online for the SATs, check your SAT scores or perform a college search.
Register online for the ACTs and look up ACT scores.
This is a website providing links to each of the community colleges in the state of Connecticut.  You will also find information regarding the various programs offered at each of the community colleges.
Request information directly from the Connecticut career or technical school you are searching for.
An application that can be used for more than 270 schools.
A centralized application for:  The Boston Conservatory, Cleveland Inst. of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music, New England Conservatory of Music, Oberlin Conservatory of Music and San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
View map tours and video tours of hundreds of college campuses in the U.S. and abroad.  In addition, the E.O. Smith Guidance Department has over 70 videos of college tours that students may sign out.
Research careers on the Department of Labor website.  The site contains information on career fields, education needed to work in certain careers, average wages or salaries plus the outlook for that industry.
This site aims to provide information on college and university majors that a high school senior or first-year college student with your interests and achievements might do well in.

Financial Aid
Submit your application for the FAFSA online at this site.
In order to complete the FAFSA online, you will need an electronic PIN (Personal Identification Number), which you may acquire here.
The CSS Profile is a form many private colleges and universities require, in addition to the FAFSA, for those applying for financial aid.
Information for students and parents on financial aid.

Access more than 180,000 scholarships, fellowships, grants and loans.

This site contains more 150,000 awards worth more than $35 million.
After completing information about yourself, Scholarships.com will match your profile with relevant scholarships.
The federal website for information regarding loans for college.
A resource for information on financial aid, including calculators.  Plus, a listing of unusual scholarships, including the Scholarship for Left-Handed Students.
Applications for minority-related scholarships, internships and fellowships.
Applications for Hispanic related scholarships.

Initial eligibility forms for prospective student-athletes.
Coverage of NCAA sports scores for all divisions and events.


Monday, January 1, 2018


UConn Courses On Campus for Second Semester

Students interested in taking a course on the UConn campus during the second semester should contact Doug Melody.  Preliminary registration has begun, although formal registration will be completed in mid-January.

For those students taking UC MATH 2410 (Differential Equations), be advised that the section available for EOS students is scheduled to take place on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:30-7:45 PM.

PSAT Results Returned to EOS Students

PSAT results were returned a couple of weeks ago for EOS students who completed the test back in October. The test was administered on a school day this year.  

Students should have received their individual score reports along with the test booklets they used when taking it. The Guidance Department chooses to mail these scores home rather than distribute them in classes so as to protect the privacy of this information. The test booklets accompany the score reports so that students can use this information when preparing for the SAT.

For more information about the PSAT and interpretation of scores, you will find a link labeled "Understand Your PSAT Score Report" and another tutorial called "Link College Board Account to Khan Academy".  Both are listed under "For Viewing" to the right on this page.  

Registration Deadline Approaching for MCC Courses

Below is a list of courses offered at EOSHS that are eligible for MCC credits. Note that these credits may transfer to other colleges and universities.  The registration process opened on September 19th and closed on October 19th. The registration process opens again on January 9th for EOS students enrolled in MCC courses.  This second registration period will close on February 8th.  In order to be eligible to earn college credits, students MUST complete the application.

Accounting 1A (MCC ACC 115)
Human Anatomy & Physiology A (MCC BIO 115)
Intro to Criminal Justice (MCC CJS 101)
Video Productions 1 & 2 (MCC COM 240)
English 12A (MCC ENGL 101)
Allied Health (MCC HLT 103)
Tech-Prep Culinary Arts (MCC HSP 101)
Statistics B (MCC MAT 109)
Algebra 3 and Trigonometry (MCC MAT 138)
Personal Finance (MCC BFN 110)

In order to be enrolled in the CCP Program, students must first complete an online application.  This application is available by clicking here.

Returning CCP students who have previously applied and enrolled in MCC courses in the past do NOT need to apply again.

Students should contact their counselors if they need more information.

UConn Applications Are Due on January 15

Applying to UConn?  Applications are due and must be submitted to the UConn Admissions Office by January 15th.  Students should make transcript requests in the EOS Guidance Office by January 10th.

Also, students planning to enroll in a course on the UConn Campus during the next semester need to complete a registration form by Wednesday, January 10th.  See Doug Melody about courses if interested in enrolling on campus.  Forms, by the way, are available in the Guidance Office. 

Look for Information About the Course Selection Process

The 2018-19 course selection process will soon begin.  The Power School portal will be open in early February and students will be able to select next year's courses at that time.  Look for more information about this in the next post.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


PSAT Score Reports Now Available

Students who completed the PSAT in October should now be able to access their score reports by logging into their student accounts through the College Board website.  Scores were posted today ( December 13th).  Students may click here to log into their account (or to launch a new account).  Students who may need their access numbers can get them in the Guidance Office.

Students are encouraged to click here to view a video that provides an explanation of their PSAT Score Reports.  Students may also link their College Board accounts to their Khan Academy accounts  and, by doing so, receive a personalized tutorial that will prepare them for the SAT.  Click here to learn how to link the two accounts.  This service is free-of-charge.

Hard copies of PSAT Score Reports have arrived in the Guidance Department and will be mailed home (along with test booklets) this week. 

UConn Provides Important Updates 

See below for important updates from UConn regarding admissions and financial aid.
  • students (and their parents/guardians) should complete the FAFSA using 2016 tax records.  Students may file their FAFSA until March 1, 2018.  Earlier is better.  In other words - don't wait until March 1st.
  • UConn will still accept both "old" and "new" SAT scores (in the rare case that a student may have taken the "old" version a few years ago) but will NOT super-score different tests.  UConn will, however, super-score from the same set of tests (old OR new).
  • Students must have their official ACT/SAT scores sent directly from the testing agency. UConn reports that it will NOT recognize test scores appearing on student transcripts.
  • the Stamford campus opened a brand new 300-bed residence in August 2017.
  • January 15 is the deadline for all application materials to be submitted.
  • Admission decisions will be released beginning on March 1st and will continue until all applicants have been notified.
  • Students may continue to apply to any of the regional campuses until July 1.

New Website to Help With Loan Repayments

A new website is now available to students and their parents that is designed to help with student loan repayments.  Called IBRinfo - click here - it is an independent, non-profit agency that provides information about Income-Based Repayment Plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness options.   

Income-Based Repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness are two new federal programs that help make student loan repayment fair and manageable. The site explains the programs and will be updated as new information becomes available. Users can register to get updates on important developments as the U.S. Department of Education finalizes regulations and creates the systems for managing the new programs.

Do You Need Money for College?

The Office of Federal Student Aid in the U.S. Department of Education has made publications available for students and parents that provide information about federal student aid at a glance.  Students and parents may download electronic versions of publications, videos, and infographs by clicking here .  

A Reminder About Creating an FSA ID

The FSA ID - the username and password a student needs for signing the FAFSA and for various other uses on Federal Student Aid websites - replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN in May.  Students should click here to learn about and create an FSA ID. 

Change In MCC Math Requirement 

Manchester Community College has announced that a change has been made in the minimum Math SAT score required to be eligible for College Algebra there.  A 530 was (and still is) the minimum score on the "old" SAT.  The new benchmark is 570 for scores earned after March, 2016.  This increase does not reflect a higher benchmark.  Rather, the minimum score reflects an adjustment in the "new" SAT.  The CT Board of Regents for Higher Education has established this new benchmark.

Click here for more information about this change in policy.

UConn Courses On Campus for Second Semester

Students interested in taking a course on the UConn campus during the second semester should contact Doug Melody.  Preliminary registration has begun, although formal registration will be completed in mid-January.

For those students taking UC MATH 2410 (Differential Equations),be advised that the section available for EOS students is scheduled to take place on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:30-7:45 PM.                               

MCC Career Pathways ID Cards Available

Students enrolled in at least one MCC/CCP course at EOSHS and who have successfully registered through the MCC portal have been assigned student numbers (referred to as a "Banner" number by MCC).  These numbers appear on student identification cards that will be mailed home in the next week.  

For those wishing to immediately access information about MCC and the College Career Pathways student page, click here and here.

Students enrolled in MCC/CCP courses who may have missed the first registration deadline will have one last opportunity to register in late January.  More information about this will be made available in the weeks ahead.

UConn Applications Are Due on January 15

Applying to UConn?  Applications are due and must be submitted to the UConn Admissions Office by January 15th.  Students should make transcript requests in the EOS Guidance Office by January 10th.

Friday, December 1, 2017


UConn Courses On Campus for Second Semester

Students interested in taking a course on the UConn campus during the second semester should contact Doug Melody.  Preliminary registration has begun, although formal registration will be completed in mid-January.

For those students interested in taking UC MATH 2410 (Differential Equations), be advised that UConn has generously reserved "seats" in one section that will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:30 PM.  Eligible students have recently been contacted via email about this opportunity and have until December 5th to secure a reserved seat for this section.  

MCC Career Pathways ID Cards Available

Students enrolled in at least one MCC/CCP course at EOSHS and who have successfully registered through the MCC portal have been assigned student numbers (referred to as a "Banner" number by MCC).  These numbers appear on student identification cards that will be mailed home in the next week.  

For those wishing to immediately access information about MCC and the College Career Pathways student page, click here.

Students enrolled in MCC/CCP courses who may have missed the first registration deadline will have one last opportunity to register in late January.  More information about this will be made available in the weeks ahead.

UConn Applications Are Due on January 15

Applying to UConn?  Applications are due and must be submitted to the UConn Admissions Office by January 15th.  Students should make transcript requests in the EOS Guidance Office by January 10th.

PSAT Score Reports Arriving Soon

The College Board is reporting that PSAT Score Reports for students who completed the assessment in October will become available in the next two weeks.  Students will be able to access their scores online at that time.  Paper score reports will be made available later in  December.

More information about this will follow when it becomes available.

The Power of Yet

You learn about attributions in Psychology 101 - that we all look to attribute explanations for outcomes that we experience in our lives.  Here's a very simplistic explanation of attributional theory - we believe that the successes and failures we experience are the results of luck (here's where superstitions play a huge role), task difficulty (Oh, I succeeded because it was too easy - or I didn't because it was too hard), ability (I'm not good enough - or I am good enough), and effort (I didn't try hard enough - or I tried really hard at it).  If you're wondering - "How about if I just don't care?" - well, this has to do with effort.  Doesn't it?  Although, it may be that some don't care because they don't think they have what it takes (ability) to care.

There's much to be said about how people assign reasons for what they experience in their lives.  Think about it - failing at something because you believe you aren't good enough (ability) is different from failing because you didn't try hard enough (effort).  In the latter case, you can do something about it - you can try harder.  

We've heard this phrase expressed repeatedly - "Forget it.  I can't do that."  Okay.  Maybe not - yet.  Yet. What if we added that three-letter word to the end of our judgments - yet?  "Yet" can change everything.  It can empower us to keep on keepin' on in pursuit of those goals we're otherwise so quick to discard. "Yet" changes the perception of "failure" from a sense of permanence to one that is temporary.  "Yet" extinguishes excuses.  "Yet" connotes choice. "Yet" tells us that it's a judgment in the moment and not one that is absolute.  "I can't do that - yet."  From an attributional standpoint, this is about effort.

Think about it.  Think about something you want to do or wanted to do but didn't.  Perhaps it's losing x amount of pounds or running an x minute mile or learning a new software program or joining a new club  - or all of these.  Perhaps it's writing a research paper or solving a math problem or doing homework daily.  It's December 1st.  Now think forward to April 1st.  And you haven't done what you set out to do.  Don't fool yourself by saying - "I give up.  I can't do that."  Instead, give up the first sentence in the previous phrase and add one word to the second sentence - "I can't do that YET."  Hope remains alive...and so should your commitment.  There may be goals we can't reach or behaviors we can't master no matter what, but not nearly as many as we think.  Rather, we simply can't do them yet.   

If you're old enough, you may remember the three "Rs" as Reading, 'Riting, and 'Rithmetic.  Each still has its place in learning, but so does another set of "Rs" - Relationships, Relevance, and Resilience.  It's this last one that deserves our attention in this piece.  Resilience is about belief.  And belief is related to effort.

If you want research to back this up, then you should make the effort to read Can Everyone Be Smart at Everything?

You can also click here for a short video of Carol Dweck - author of "Growth Mindset" - talking about how to raise resilient children.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


PSAT Score Reports Due for Return in December

Over 150 students sat for the PSAT in October. This test is a shortened version of the new SAT. It does not include the essay that is now optional on the new SAT. The PSAT can be a relatively accurate predictor of performance on the SAT. 

It can also serve as a valuable learning tool in preparation for the SAT. Aside from "experiencing" the test in a formal setting (albeit not the three-plus hour version), test-takers receive a detailed itemized analysis of their test results. The EOS Guidance Department collects the test booklets with student names on them and then mails each student's test booklet home along with the score report. So students have the opportunity to review each question, observe which ones they answered correctly, and which ones they answered incorrectly. Furthermore, with each question tagged by a specific content area label, students can also identify areas that may need further attention when preparing for the SAT.

If used properly, the score report can be a very valuable learning tool. For those who took the test, they should expect to receive this information by mail in early December.

Attend a FAFSA Day Session at MCC

MCC is offering a FAFSA Day session that is designed to provide free, hands-on assistance in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  MCC Financial Aid and Enrollment Services Staff will be available to provide assistance with the FAFSA.  The date and time set for this free service is November 28 from 4:30-6:30 PM.

The 2018-19 FAFSA is completed with 2016 financial information.  All information reviewed by the MCC staff will be kept private and confidential.

For more information, click here.  

Careers in the Middle

MCC recently offered a program on its campus called "Careers in the Middle" and its purpose was to present information about promising careers that require less than a four-year degree.  Careers in healthcare and manufacturing were featured as these two areas appear to offer the most potential for employment opportunities in the decade ahead.  Other useful links mentioned during the conference are listed below.

Connecticut State Colleges and Universities

Still other opportunities were promoted in a recent presentation on the aerospace industry.  Employment opportunities are available for those who may wish to seek certification degrees that will prepare individuals to take advantage of these opportunities.  Click here to read a story recently appearing in the Hartford Courant.

Careers that don't require a four-year degree are readily available for students who are prepared to enter these fields.  Community colleges in CT have established programs to prepare students for such opportunities.  

A Reminder About Rolling Admissions at CT Public Universities

The CT public universities - CCSU, ECSU, SCSU, WCSU - offer admission on a rolling basis, meaning that these schools accept qualified students throughout the year. It means NOW. Students (and parents/guardians) should know that these schools have become more attractive in recent years for several reasons - not the least of which is the "price tag".  

A few years ago, SCSU closed its "doors" to applicants in March of the application cycle. This was much earlier than ever before. So, it becomes increasingly more difficult to be admitted as one waits longer to submit applications to these schools. 

Act now if the intention is there to apply to any (or all) of these schools.  There is no reason to wait. 

What an Attitude of Gratitude Can Do for You

With each November comes the holiday that marks the American tradition of Thanksgiving. It's a day devoted to festive feasts, road races, football rivalries, and family relatives. It's also a day set aside, in principle, for giving thanks.  And, given the current state of affairs in our world, it's especially important to take this time to reflect upon what we can appreciate in our lives.

Perhaps you can make this Thanksgiving the start of a new year in which giving thanks is exercised daily. No one needs to tell you that the American culture has come under attack in recent years for what at least some feel is an inflated sense of entitlement as we've witnessed the pursuit of happiness morphing into the expectation of such. It's to no one's surprise, then, that anger and angst often surface when this expectation goes unrealized. All of this can lead to a terribly toxic environment - not unlike one we may be in at the moment.  What may surprise you is that research is revealing a whole host of benefits that may be derived from regular expressions of appreciation and gratitude. Want proof? You may appreciate this article (The Neuroscience of Why Gratitude Makes Us Healthier) as evidence of the research, and this one as well (A Serving of Gratitude May Save the Day). It doesn't take a whole lot of effort, either. They can even be expressed in subtle ways.  Here's how.

Donate blood...Hold the door for someone...Give up your seat...Participate in a race/walk that benefits a charity...Send a note to someone who has shown you kindness...Stay calm during a stressful time...Let go of an old grudge...Mentor a classmate or colleague who is new to your school or organization...Throw a party for someone celebrating a milestone...Next time you're ready to blow the horn at a car - don't...Surprise someone...Say "thank you"...Write a letter to someone who's made a difference in your life...Tell your parents you love them...Tell your kids you love them...Give a compliment...Make a donation to your favorite charity, however small...Extend a warm welcome to a newcomer...Put yourself in another person's shoes...Reduce, reuse, recycle...Praise someone who's done well...Tell a joke...Kick bad habits that can harm others...Pass on good news...Give your full attention...Forgive yourself...Laugh...Call a friend you haven't heard from in awhile...Lead by example...Help a younger person discover a hidden talent...Invite someone who's not part of your inner circle to a friendly gathering...Teach about giving...When you see trash, pick it up...When you hear "trash", leave it be.

Practicing an attitude of gratitude - clearly a choice for most people - positively impacts human health, happiness, and social ties. Because so much of life is about giving and receiving, gratitude serves as the organic link between the two. Really - it's what makes us human.

So, make this Thanksgiving a truly Happy Meal, and launch the pursuit of happiness with a Happy New Year of Gratitude Expressed Daily. After a while, you may find you don't need the research evidence to prove it works.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


"My Career in Manufacturing Is a Reality"

Quinebaug Valley Community College (QVCC) has launched a new Advanced Manufacturing Program that opened in the Advanced Manufacturing Center last year.  This skill is in high demand locally and paid internships are available at $12-$14 per hour, rising to $20 per hour after one year. Currently accepting only 50 students, enrollment fills quickly.  Registration is now open.
Advanced manufacturing provides opportunities for an innovative and creative career.  QVCC's program is nine months in duration, with 24 credits applied to an Associate Degree.  QVCC reports that 95% of their graduates in this program are employed, with many hired by manufacturing firms in the local area. 
An open house at QVCC is scheduled on November 15th during which visitors may tour the campus and gather information about the degree program.  Click here for more information.

Federal Law Requires Colleges to Provide 

Real Cost of Education

A federal law was passed several months ago that requires all college websites to provide an online tool called a net price calculator that is intended to give a more accurate estimate of real costs for students and families.  What it's not meant to do is provide "sticker shock" but rather a more realistic - albeit, estimated - view of costs for attendance.

website managed by the federal government that's labeled College Navigator - National Center for Educational Statistics (available in "Helpful Links" as well) already provides a good deal of this information. You can also search for this cost calculator by specific schools.  This is accessible at "Net Cost Calculator" under "Helpful Links".  

Using these tools may reveal that some schools which may appear to be out of reach may, in fact, be affordable if sufficient financial aid (based upon need) is provided. At any rate, the time invested in using these tools may reap the net effect of finding affordable options for higher education.

Tuition Break for Connecticut Residents 

Looking for a discount on college tuition? Well, the New England Board of Higher Education may have a program for you. Called the Regional Student Program (RSP) Tuition Break, this program is a partnership comprised of the public colleges and universities in New England that offers more than 700 undergraduate and graduate degree programs and provides a significant discount on regular out-of-state tuition rates to eligible students.

Here's how it works - residents of one New England state are eligible when they attend certain public colleges in the other five New England states and pursue majors not offered by public colleges in their home state. This means that a CT resident may enroll in an out-of-state public school in New England and pay what amounts to almost in-state tuition provided that the major pursued at the college is not one offered by any of the public colleges and universities in CT.

If interested (and why wouldn't you be?), you can find more information about the program as well as majors available elsewhere at Regional Student Program Tuition Break.

Early Opportunity Scholarships (EOS)

Here's how students can earn scholarships of a different sort by taking on the challenges offered right at EOSHS.

EOSHS has been, for several years now, offering University of Connecticut (UC) courses through the Early College Experience (ECE) Program.  The ECE Program offers several UC courses to high schools in CT provided that instructors teaching these courses are certified by the UC department offering the course(s).   With twenty-six UC courses in the EOS curriculum (the most offered among all high schools in CT – the average for CT high schools is 5.7 courses), eligible students are granted the opportunity to earn college credits while simultaneously fulfilling high school graduation requirements.  It's worth noting that EOSHS ranks #1 in the state among all high schools when comparing the number of ECE courses offered that fulfill the four general content areas in the UC requirements for graduation.  It’s not uncommon for students to complete 10 college credits while enrolled at EOSHS.  Many earn more than 20 credits, and some have banked as many as sixty.  

To put this in perspective, a typical yearly course load in college is thirty credits.  At UC, a year’s tuition is about $15000 (including mandatory student fees).  So, performing the math, thirty credits equal about $15000.  For EOS students, the cost is $0.  This is, in effect, a $15000 scholarship (excluding the costs of books which are provided for free to students – an additional $1500 in approximate savings) for any EOS student who earns 30 credits prior to graduation.  The savings could potentially triple to $40000 or more when these credits transfer to a private college or university. There are on average about 25 students who earn at least this many before receiving their EOS diplomas.  Also not included, by the way, is the money saved on room and board expenses.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that a student would have to complete college in three years instead of four.  Rather, the fourth year could be spent on graduate studies.  Or the student may choose to double major and do so without overloading on credits per semester.

Most all of these courses are transferable to all of the in-state public institutions and to most out-of-state public institutions as well.  Several private colleges and universities will also accept these credits, depending upon each school’s transfer credit policy.  For more information about the ECE Program, click here.

Adding to the ECE offerings from UConn are three ECSU courses and twelve MCC courses.  Students may carry these credits to several colleges as well.

There has been some debate about the relative merits of ECE courses when compared to Advanced Placement (AP) courses.  EOSHS does offer nine AP courses (AP Psychology, AP Spanish 4, AP French 4, AP German 4, AP Latin 4, AP Statistics, AP Studio Art, AP Chemistry, and AP Computer Science).  Credits are awarded in AP courses solely on the basis of performance on the three-hour AP exams administered in May while credits for ECE courses are given based upon final grades earned in the courses (students must earn at least a "C").  Although the most highly selective colleges do not cast an unfavorable view of schools with few AP courses (EOSHS, for many years, had none in its curriculum, choosing instead to offer only the ECE courses), these schools do expect applicants to enroll in at least one or two and take the AP exam(s) if schools do offer them.  AP courses have been the subject of much debate in recent years as critics have felt that these courses cover content that is "a mile wide and an inch deep", and the pace of the course does not offer in-depth, inquiry-based learning.  The College Board has heard this criticism and has responded to it by redesigning AP courses with less content and more opportunities for inquiry-based learning.

Anyway, AP courses or not, students at EOSHS have several opportunities to start college while still enrolled in high school.  And, in many cases, the courses offered at the school are much smaller than the large introductory classes offered on the UC campus.  The Region 19 School District has made an investment in this program.  It makes sense that students consider making an investment of their own time and energy in pursuit of these early opportunity scholarships.

A Short Video on 529 Plans for College Savings

Click here to view a very short video about the impact of 529 college savings plans on the FAFSA.  You'll be pleasantly surprised by the information.  

Save early.  It will help later on.

CT Dollars and Sense

A new website was launched several months ago that is called CT Dollars and Sense – a web portal for Connecticut students and parents to find out how to plan, save and pay for college.   Click here for more information.
The site provides information from five State agencies supporting students and their families: the Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET), the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority (CHESLA), the Office of Higher Education, the Department of Banking, and the Department of Consumer Protection. There is also a Financial Literacy platform on the site that covers Paying for School, Managing Money, and Finding a Career.
Try it.