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Sunday, November 15, 2015

11.15.15

Financial Aid Workshop for Parents 

EOS Lecture Hall

Tuesday, December 8 @ 7:00 PM


Carolyn Karno will be the featured speaker at this year's annual financial aid workshop for parents.  This workshop is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, December 8th at 7:00 PM in the EOSHS lecture hall.  It is expected to last for about 90 minutes.  Although designed primarily for parents of current 12th graders who are planning to cover costs for higher education, this workshop may also be helpful for ALL parents interested in getting a preview of what's to come.

The presenter is a seasoned financial aid professional with a wide range of higher education experience. Before starting her own consulting business, Karno was the Manager of College Planning and Financial Aid at the Connecticut Student Loan Foundation and was instrumental in starting their “Investing in Futures” Resource Center.  Her work with families included assisting them with financial aid forms, deciphering college award letters, and counseling them as to how much they could realistically afford to spend.

She is also well known throughout the school counselor community for her college planning and financial aid workshops. Last year she provided more than thirty workshops for parents, students, and educational professionals. Prior to joining the Connecticut Student Loan Foundation, she was the Communications and Outreach Director for the GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) initiative at the Connecticut Department of Higher Education.

Contact the Guidance Department for more information.


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 $13400.  So, performing the math, thirty credits equal $13400.  For EOS students, the cost is $0.  This is, in effect, a $13400 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.

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 on this link.

There has been some debate about the relative merits of ECE courses when compared to Advanced Placement (AP) courses.  EOSHS does offer five AP courses (AP U.S. History, 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 upon schools with few AP courses (EOSHS, for many years, had none in its curriculum, choosing instead to offer 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 is responding 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.


Method Test Prep Offers Video Tutorials


 Method Test Prep, a web-based test prep program that the EOS Guidance Department purchases for students to help them prepare for both the SAT and ACT, has posted its webinars and classes offered over the past several weeks.  For more information, click here and here.  For more information about changes in the SAT, click here.

What an Attitude of Gratitude Can Do for You


It's turkey time. Loosen the belts. Grab the remote. And give thanks!

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.

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 its 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.  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 awhile, you may find you don't need the research evidence to prove it works.

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