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Thursday, October 13, 2016



PSAT Directions-October 19

Students registered for the PSAT (Wednesday, October 19) should report immediately to the assigned testing site at the beginning of school (7:20 AM).  The test location is below;
Back Gym     
Students should bring with them two #2 pencils and a calculator.  A short bathroom break will be scheduled during which students will also be allowed to eat snacks. 

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 closes on October 19th.  The registration process opens again on January 9th for MCC courses that students will complete in the second semester.  This second registration period will close on February 5th.  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)
Physics A (MCC PHY 110)
Foundations for College Success (MCC SD 111) - second semester

In order to be enrolled in the CCP Program, students must first complete an on-line 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.

Financial Aid Workshop for Parents 


Much has been published in recent months about the financial aid process related to college costs.  Included in all of this is the announcement of a major change that the federal government is introducing this year which is designed to provide more timely feedback to students and their parents/guardians.  The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opened on October 1, three months earlier than in past years (January 1).  So parents/guardians will be able to use last year's (2015) tax returns when completing this form that is required by colleges and universities when families are seeking financial aid.

The EOSHS Guidance Department has scheduled a financial aid workshop at 7 pm on Thursday, NOVEMBER 17th in the school auditorium.  A representative from the Barnum Group, a financial organization that specializes in the financial aid process, will present information about the FAFSA, how the financial aid system can work for families, how colleges use tuition discounting as a tool in the admissions process, and how the CSS Profile differs from the FAFSA.  Additionally, time will be devoted for the representative to address questions from parents/guardians in attendance.

This workshop may be beneficial for parents/guardians of students in the lower grades (9, 10, 11) as well as for those who have seniors going through the college admissions process this year.

College Goals Sunday

Program Providing Free Assistance for FAFSA

Sunday, October 23
Eastern CT State University

1:00-4:00 pm

Need help working your way through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?  It's available.  See below.

The Connecticut College Goal Sunday (CGS) program is an effort by hundreds of volunteers from across Connecticut who will come together with the common goal of making sure that the process of applying for college financial aid does not become an obstacle that would keep any person from pursuing an education beyond high school. By attending a College Goal Sunday event, participants will receive free, hands-on assistance in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and they will walk away with the satisfaction of knowing they have accomplished one of the biggest steps in getting ready to go to college. Connecticut’s CGS will take place at a number of accessible sites throughout the state. In addition to receiving assistance in filling out the FAFSA, participants will receive general information regarding financial aid programs.  

Click on link  for more information and other dates/locations.  
Contact below for more information 
Neville Brown
Associate Director of Financial Aid
Eastern CGS Site Coordinator
Phone: 860-465-4428; e-mail: brownn@easternct.edu

Step-by-Step Video Tutorial on Completing the FAFSA

Click here for a video tutorial that will "walk" you through completion of the FAFSA.  This video was constructed for residents of Utah but applies to all US citizens because the FAFSA is a federal form.

Is an Elite College Worth the Sticker Price?  

Should Common Cents Prevail?

Given a choice between a most selective college (read: Ivy League and the like) and State U (like UConn), which do you choose?  Although the former can cost major bucks, the standard theory is that the lofty price of a prestigious diploma will reap huge dividends in future earnings.  But not everyone agrees.  In fact, some who have worked the numbers can prove otherwise. 
Alan Krueger is an economist and on the faculty at Princeton University, one of those most selective schools.  He, along with Stacy Dale, a researcher at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, challenged the long-standing theory more than a few years back when then they published their research findings designed to answer this question - Does attendance at and graduation from an elite college pay off in higher earnings for graduates?  They concluded that it doesn’t.  Here’s why.
Although they may give the appearance of doing so, in reality Krueger and Dale argued that the higher earnings accumulated by graduates of most selective schools are attributable to most selective individuals and not their college diplomas.  In other words, if you’re bright enough to gain admission to Harvard, you’re bright enough to earn lots of money, regardless of where you go to school (assuming that would be a major reason for attending a school like Harvard in the first place).
Still, there is lots of confusion surrounding this issue.  Several experts contend that Krueger and Dale are incorrect.  One such expert is Ronald Ehrenberg, Director of the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute, who claims that “on average, there is significant gain in going to a top private school”, both in terms of admission to better graduate schools and in higher lifetime earnings.  Harvard economist Caroline Hoxby contends that student aptitude accounts for about two-thirds to three-quarters of the earnings difference.  Yet, even allowing for this, her findings indicate that it pays to attend the most selective college available to you.  Her work factors in what students actually pay (with free financial aid) and not the list price of college tuition.
So whom do you believe and then what do you do ( assuming the option is available)?  Well, the experts suggest that you take all this data for what it’s worth, and then apply a healthy dose of common sense to what works for you and your family members.  Clearly, it’s worth it to weigh the costs, especially in light of the heavy weight of student debt that families are currently carrying and graduates’ inability to move on in their adult lives.The bottom line  should be net price  and not sticker price.

Federal Law Requires Colleges to Provide Real Cost of Education

A federal law was passed a couple of years 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.  It's not meant to 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" below as well) already provides a good deal of this information.  Another link - Big Future/Paying for College - is another useful link.  Using these tools may reveal that some schools which 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.

Test Optional

Several more colleges and universities have chosen to become "test-optional" institutions in recent months, meaning that students are given the option of submitting their SAT/ACT scores. On the surface, it may appear that these schools are making the claim that other measures are far more important to consider than some standardized test taken on some Saturday morning (or a school day now). In fact, this may be the case since research indicates that students who choose not to submit scores perform just as well in the college classrooms as those students who do submit scores. Of course, there are cynics who believe that there are other strategic reasons for implementing the "test-optional" policy.  

Either way, schools that implement this option give students who feel their test scores would diminish their chances for admission the choice to hold back their scores. For those students who wish to have their scores considered, they go ahead and submit them.

To read one take on this, click on Rigors and Rewards for Going Test Optional.  Another resource on this issue of fair testing is available under Helpful Links - National Center for Fair and Open Testing.

UConn Part of New Coalition

Below is an announcement published on the website of a collection of over 80 colleges and universities that have formed a coalition designed to increase access to higher Education.  UConn is one of these schools.

An unprecedented coalition of diverse public and private colleges and universities has come together to improve the college admission application process for all students. The Coalition has developed a free platform of online tools to streamline the experience of applying to college. The initial iteration of the platform is now available to freshmen, sophomores and juniors in high school.

This new site has been introduced  - and not without controversy.

The link is under "Helpful Links".

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