Katie's Take
  • Katie's Take

    As any parent of a high school senior knows, 'tis the season for college applications.  I went through the process once with Ellie and will again next year with Carrie.  Time flies!

    Turns out college admissions are more competitive than ever.  A million more students are applying compared to 20 years ago, and it can truly be a source of anxiety for kids and parents, alike.

    So, to help you breathe easier, I spoke to Janet Lavin Rapelye, the Dean of Admissions at Princeton University, about how to pick the right school and get closer to the goal of a coveted acceptance letter from your top choice.

    Now, not everyone will get into Princeton.  In fact, 92% of applicants don't.  But no matter where you apply or where you hope to go, academic excellence, intellectual curiosity and a nice mix of extracurricular activities are the recipe.

    PS, proofread your application!  Dean Rapelye says some applications get rejected because spelling or typing errors turn off admissions reps.

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  • Katie's Take

    At what age should you start to teach your kids about money and personal finance?

    The truth is, it's never too early.  These are critical skills that we all need, but they aren't a part of the curriculum at most schools which is why it is important for parents to instill good habits in their kids at home.

    Learnvest.com CEO Alexa Von Tobel suggests starting a dialogue about family finances as early as the age of six.  One of the best ways to facilitate hands on experience with money is by giving their kids a small allowance and encouraging them to save a portion of it every time. She also recommends being open about the cost of household expenses such as dinner, groceries and vacations to give their children a good sense of real world prices. A savings account is also a great learning tool for kids. In fact, studies have shown that kids with who had savings accounts growing up are more likely to go to college than those who didn't. Von Tobel also encourages all parents to

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  • Katie's Take

    What role can parents play in helping their child succeed in the classroom?

    I asked education expert Carol Davis, who says parental involvement is fundamental to a child's education and it's all about striking the right balance and establishing a partnership with teachers early on.
    Numerous studies have shown that children whose parents actively communicate with their teachers see better results both socially and academically. That said, it's difficult for any parent who works full time to be at every parent/teacher meeting or parents' day at school.  Luckily, email has made it much easier to communicate with teachers and quickly relay information about a child's performance or needs.
    But Davis also warns parents shouldn't be overly involved in the classroom or hover like helicopters watching everything that happens there.  Kids need to learn independence and experience success, disappointment and failure on their own in order to grow emotionally.

    Teachers also

    Read More »from What Teachers Wish Parents Knew


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