Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Why the New FAFSA APP Revolutionizes Financial Aid

The US Department of Education officially has launched its FAFSA mobile app to help students to complete and send the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form by way of their cellphones. Federal officials believe the app, named myStudentAid, will help to increase the number of families who apply for student financial aid. The FAFSA App is significant since there are still many students who do not have access to a computer in their home. The FAFSA form can be complex for scores of parents, who must answer more than 75 questions to complete the form. One key to success and obtaining financial aid is completing the FAFSA form early. The hope is that the App will decrease the parent’s apprehension about completing the form.

Why should the parent complete the FAFSA form on the App as soon possible? There are times when a parent will need to make corrections to the FAFSA application. Completing the FAFSA application early will provide more time for corrections. If you are a parent don’t give up seeking help from your school counselor. They may have knowledge of a FAFSA representative in your region who can help you. Most colleges rely on the FAFSA information as a resource that helps them to determine a student’s overall financial aid package.

The new FAFSA App gives parents the ability to enter their income information for one or more children. The students have their own section in the FAFSA application. Each student will have a unique way to enter their own information too. This is important since a family with two children may enroll in two different colleges. A family could actually sit down and work on their own information at the same as their student. The goal of the app is to make it easier to apply and to get increased participation. Some additional benefits include:

1.  A much easier application to complete
2.  The ability to register on cell phone that you carry in your pocket every day
2.  The federal tax documentation is already completed when the new FAFSA app is available
3.  The ability to get immediate help from a counselor
4.  An earlier notification of college financial aid packages 

FAFSA wants greater participation of all students regardless of their income.  Students who are first generation or low income seem to have the most difficult challenges completing three FAFSA form. If you fall into one of the two categories that I mentioned don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are school counselors who are focused on getting students prepared to apply for colleges using the common application. Finishing your FAFSA form early is one way to send a message to colleges that you are serious about getting enrolled.

The FAFSA office has come up with an App that will benefit everyone.  If you area college bound student, know is the time to complete all of the requirements of the FAFSA form. Don’t be the last to get the financial aid package from colleges that you’ve selected. Dr. Stephen Jones is the author of the Ultimate Scholarship Guide and the Seven Secrets of How to study at 

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

How Advanced Placement Courses Successfully Prepare Students for College

If you want your student to be better prepared for college, I highly recommend that they enroll in Advanced Placement (AP) courses. You may be asking why.  Students who enroll in AP courses are better prepared for the challenges and rigor that a college level course can bring.  Preparing students for college takes a lot of preparation and planning.  Too many students go to college with great enthusiasm and with little preparation. During the first few weeks of college some students realize that they are not prepare them. They start to realize that college requires long hours of studying, reading, solving problems and managing a schedule that is full of reading assignments.  If you are sending your first student to college an AP course can give your student confidence that they can handle college level courses.

Completing an AP course in high school can help your student to get over the anxiety that is common during the first six weeks of college classes.  Some students receive their first C grade or less while in their first semester of college and it is a tremendous shock.  This is especially true when the student has not received a grade of less than a B during their entire K12 experience. It’s sad to say that some students want to drop out after their first unusual grade.  Some students realize that they were not taught how to learn independently or to research knowledge on their own.

Students who are the first person in their family to attend college face unique obstacles. They do not know what to expect or how difficult it will be. There are many who have no counselor to turn to when it is time to apply to college. The counselor to student ratio is five hundred to one in some high schools. A student may not be steered toward an advance placement course if the parent is not communicating with their counselor.  It is important for each parent to be actively involved in their student’s high school education.  Always seek out the best courses for your student and get them tutoring when necessary.

I recommend community college courses for students who want to get a taste of college before attending undergraduate school. Community college classes can give your student a similar challenge that an AP course can provide. Also, a community college course can be a way for a student to catch up if they are behind in a certain course. For example, if you want to study engineering in college you will need to take calculus while in high school. If you are behind you can take a pre-calculus course during the summer and calculus during your senior year.  It is far better to take calculus during your junior year and AP calculus during your senior year if possible.

Some student’s classmates scare other students away from AP classes.  They tell them how long they study and the difficulty of the course content.  If you are their parent encourage your student and support them with resources and tutoring. It is worth it.  You are cutting down on the chances that your student will struggle while they are in college.  In fact, there is a prize at the end of every AP course. If your student scores a 4 or a 5 on the standardized AP course during May they are able to reduce the number of courses they take during college.

To succeed a college student must develop good study habits while enrolled in an AP course. It is a great way to prepare for college. Your student must devote their energy to earning the best grades in each class by meeting the expectation of the course. Students who are successful know that they must manage their time. Here are ten additional ways that a student benefit from AP courses:

1.  A reduction in the number of courses required during college
2.  Get in the habit of good time management for tests
3.  You will have some of the best teachers in your school
4.  You will have an early experience regarding the expectations of a college professor
5. You learn how to do advanced research
6.  You will share knowledge with some of the best students in your high school
7.  Get tutoring from some of the best teachers and students.
8.  Get preparation for a community college course.

 One of the best skills that a high school student can learn is how to focus on their goal.  There are always plenty of distractions in high school.  Focus on your goal to be excellent in all AP classes. Identify your distractions such as social activities, day dreaming, peers and sports.  Students who are willing to eliminate distractions while they are in high school have a great habit of doing the same while in college.  One of the biggest distractions in college is the freedom in your schedule when there are no classes.  I encourage all students to write down their goals in each AP class and to work hard to achieve them.

The decision to enroll in an AP course is a serious choice.  It can be life changing and have a positive effect on the rest of a student’s courses.  Acceptance into a college is just the beginning of a student’s career journey.  All the studying that a student is doing in high school lays the foundation for how successful his/her college experience will turn out. Now is the time to enroll your student in an AP class that helps with the transition from high school to college.

Dr Stephen Jones is a college preparation expert and author. Purchase copies of Dr. Jones’ books “Seven Secrets of How to Study, Ultimate Scholarship Guide or Parents ultimate Education Guide at http://www.DrStephenJones.net or email your school workshop/consulting questions too Learn@DrStephenJones.net

Thursday, September 13, 2018

10 Things High School Students Must do During Freshman Year of College

For many high school seniors the final year can be a stressful time. High school students often struggle to manage their time. College will be an awakening for some high school students in terms of time spent studying. The best thing that a high school student can do is develop an academic study plan and follow it. Their freshman year will require 20-30 hours of studying each week. Here are ten tips to for freshman year of college:

1. Get a time management daily planner and increase your study time in your daily schedule. Study at least 4 hours each day.
2. Don’t procrastinate and study for examinations at the last minute. (Study 5 days before each examination)
3. Purchase books for all classes and begin reading them right away. If time allows read each chapter twice. Follow your syllabus and stay ahead.
4. Meet every professor in their office throughout the semester. Go to their office with prepared questions.
5. Get tutoring where appropriate
6. Get involved in study groups where students are earning A+ grades.
7. Focus on maintaining a positive attitude by reading motivational books or listening to recordings.
8. Organize and review your notes daily.
9. Ask your instructor questions right after class.
10. Go to the library to study and avoid friends who area distraction.

Get ready for college while you are in high school. Attend your colleges’ summer program before you attend. College will be the stepping stone to your future.

Dr. Stephen Jones is a college coaching and study skills expert. You can get a copy of his book the “Seven Secrets of How to Study” at http://www.DrStephenJones.net or to obtain college coaching for your son or daughter call 610-842-3843.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Parent Involvement the Primary Key to Student Success

 School districts all over the country are suffering from a lack of parent participation. Could you imagine a day when fifty percent more parents show up for a parent’s night?  Parent involvement can change an entire school system. I challenge parents who are reading this article to use their social networks to encourage friends of your family to show up at Parent’s Night.  If more parents showed up it would let other parents know what resources are needed and they could play a major role in helping schools to become better.  Gone are the days when a mother stayed at home to raise children and participate in school activities.  When a child’s parent is involved in their school it sends a message that they care. If a parent is working they can send a relative or a grandparent. Something needs to be done to make parent involvement in K12 schools a high priority on their list of daily activities. Each parent should want to witness their student’s academic success. Their student’s achievements will draw them into the school and encourage them to participate.
What the educators are saying about parent involvement is true. Parents who read to their children early develop children who enjoy reading.  Children are like sponges absorbing new knowledge at a tremendous rate. 

 Parents are great role models for their children’s love for learning.  If the majority of the parent’s time is spent in front of the television or laptop computer then it becomes their child’s main source of information and learning too.  In other words parents who demonstrate a joy of reading instill it in their children. A student’s enthusiasm for learning should begin in the home then spreads to a child’s in school instruction. Here are a few tips:
1. Parent Involvement – Make out a schedule of dates when you or a relative will show up for school meetings during the academic year. There are plenty or resources that are only announced during a parent’s night.  Also you are getting an opportunity to meet your student’s instructor to find out how they run their class.  You will also uncover ways that you can get involved with at least one activity for the year.
2. Encourage them to set goals for themselves – Children need to know that there is no limits to wait they can accomplish.  Encourage your child and stay involved in school activities.
3. Failure is success – Help your child to understand that there is a lot that they can learn from each failure.  Let them know that they will know to try something different the next time that they are pursuing a grade. The student may also need a tutor to help them to learn a particular subject.
4. Surround your child with positive role models – Get them involved in activities that promote leadership and determination.  An optimistic child can learn that they should never give up.
5.  Expose your child to the world -  Children need to know that there is more to the world than their immediate neighborhood.  There are a lot of positive things that they can learn from others.
6. Physical fitness and good health leads to optimism – A child who is physically healthy will have more energy and enthusiasm for life. A child who is eating write, physically fit and gets sufficient rest will be a very productive child.
7. Get a Tutor – If your student needs help with their academic achievement level talk to their teacher about tutoring. The teacher may provide it or have a tutoring recommendation.  If you ask you will find out that other parents are getting help for their children.

Some governors are saying we need more standardized tests to resolve the student achievement gap.  Testing is not the answer. Parent involvement is an alternative that costs fewer dollars to implement.  The resources that are allocated for testing could be spent to increase the number of parent leaders who are in the schools.  Some schools are finding ways to get parent’s involved in the daily activities of their schools.  Parents who are involved can learn about instruction methods that other parents can use in the home.  They are the catalyst to get parents who are not involved to volunteer for special projects.

Parents sometimes reflect on the bad experiences that they had when they were in K12 schools.  Student achievement can be raised when parents know that their active participation will make a difference in their child’s learning capacity.  Some parents are looking at their child’s achievement level to see if there are any differences.  They need to know more about the benefits of looking at the value of education from a different perspective.  Some parents do not know what a good education looks like.  School administrators and teachers must continually advocate for increased communication with parents.

Parents need more information about how K12 education is changing.  Most parents are not aware of the financial challenges that school systems are facing.  Many schools are underfunded when compared to school districts within their own states.  Parents can play a role in encouraging their local legislators to get involved in changing their states school funding formula.  Parents should invite the legislators to visit schools and to witness so that they can witness the challenges that they are facing.  It is easy to create a policy that under fund schools when you make assumptions that money is getting wasted.  Parents need to partner with schools in order to help with specific resources that their child’s school requires.

The United States is steadily slipping in terms of its edge in graduating students from high schools, trade schools, and colleges.  Starting a national campaign to help parents to understand their role in student achievement is a solution whose time has come.  New and innovative organizations are needed.  These organizations must take into account the changing trends in family structures.  Parents are looking for solutions to the achievement gap.  The solution lays in a combination of community and K12 schools working toward alternative education activities which are easily implemented in the home.

Some parents are raising the bar on their expectations for their student.  They are often interested in identifying resources that will prepare their child for college.  They participate in after school and weekend programs right along with their child.  They sign up because of their belief that their program will serve as a link between high school and post secondary education. Today is the day to get involved and make a difference in your local school. Parents are the key to a successful school and their child’s future career opportunities.
Dr Stephen Jones is and education advocate and an author of the Parent’s Ultimate Education Guide. Get your copy http://www.DrStephenJones.net . You can join his newsletter at http://bit.ly/1sVyCzs .

Monday, August 20, 2018

How Principals Reinvent their Schools

One of the critical aspects of transforming a school is innovative leadership.  The expectation that new and innovative ideas will be accepted will result in a successful school.  Why do some schools turn around while others flounder?  It is because some principals and teachers continue to lead the same way they did last year. They expect different results but they keep doing the same things that caused the school to have difficulties. Successful principals and teachers see change as a good aspect of their schools success. An effective leader must have a positive vision and measurable outcomes that inspire students to be successful. There must be a commitment to moving forward with new ideas and actions throughout the school year. Today is the day to get started by making the school a welcoming place where every student can thrive.

     The principal, staff and teachers in a school that’s progressing has very good communication and cooperation among the entire professionals who are running the school. The principal must refuse to let communication breakdown. When there is an expectation that all communication has a purpose it motivates everyone to raise the level of energy that is invested in student instruction. An improved school will come from everyone knowing how to carry out the vision of the principal and his/her team.  Teachers in this school should feel free to talk to each other and to develop some of their own strategies to improve each student’s academic success. This includes discussing the way that each teacher communicates their lessons to students.  The teachers must also feel confident that the principal understands them and takes time to teach students too. A principal who takes time to teach will have a better sense of what students are learning in their classrooms.

     The students must understand that everyone at the school expects them to do well.  There must be a strategy to totally abolish the culture of low expectation.  Students must be applauded and recognized for their accomplishments in the classroom.  A whole school culture can change if the students who maintain a “C” average are challenged and acknowledged for raising their performance to a “B” average or higher. Success is evident in a school when the principal and teachers make learning fun and engaging.  The school not only celebrates the success of its athletes but has a bigger celebration over students who excel in the classroom.  A school atmosphere can change so that athletes want to become a scholar athlete.  Better grades and academic performance will get all students excited about coming to school.

     There must be a level of compassion by the principal, teachers and everyone on staff.  A school must be a welcoming place that is aware of the neighborhoods and cultures that influence the students.  Schools administrators that ignore the child’s problems are ignoring that they are affected by a number of struggles at home.  The challenges that a student can face when there is one parent in the home are tremendous.  Even if the student has two parents it does not guarantee that they will focus their energy on the student’s academic success. The principal and teachers must understand these challenges and work on some solutions that help each student to position themselves to learn when they are in school.  There are some very bright students whose home situation is not good.  It is better to meet the challenge head on than to hope that it will go away.

    It is important to lead from the front and not from the back. What is meant by this statement? It is better to have a plan that the school is following than to constantly respond to conflict and problems that were never fixed.  When the principals, staff and teachers lead from the front schools become better.  The teachers are excited to come to school because they feel supported. The students get the benefit of the teacher’s enthusiasm.  The principals and teachers can be role models of what good leadership looks like.  They also inspire students to become leaders at the school and in their community. 

     Positive changes can come from principals, staff and teachers who know how to get parents involved in the daily life of the school.  Parents often do not know how they play a positive role because their own parents were not involved in their school.  The school staff and several parents should come together to discuss how other parents can be involved.  These meetings can be held in the school, at a community center or at a church.   An effective parent involvement program includes meeting the parents where they live.  It’s great when a principal can find a pre-existing group of parents that meet and find a way to get on their agenda.  This saves the parent’s time but the principal can share important information with them. Persistence and a significant improvement in the students success is the key to improving parent involvement.

    Finally an inspired principal and staff can change a failing school by promoting career awareness to all at all K12 levels. Too many students are drifting in schools where they have no idea what their future could look like.  I firmly believe that career exploration should occur all year.  The K12 students need to explore careers to sustain their enthusiasm for learning. When they hear from visitors they can visualize themselves working in professions such as medicine, engineering, government, business and other professions.  The principals and teachers are the catalyst that motivates students can educate students about some of to pursue the top careers.  It is time to try something different at the all schools. It is time to take action and to fight for successful schools.
Dr. Stephen Jones is an education expert who you should consider for your school.  He is the author of the Seven Secrets of How to Study, the Parent’s Ultimate Education Guide and the Ultimate scholarship guide at http://www.DrStephenJones.net. Contact him right away at 610-842-3843.

Monday, September 19, 2016

How to Sponsor New App for a High School in Need

 If your college or company interested in helping high schools to thrive and get more students involved in volunteering and developing leadership skills help them launch the Student Life Club APP. Too many students do not know how that can get involved in clubs and this leads them to have a bad feeling about learning and completing high school. Your college or company get involved in this national cutting edge initiative to introduce more students to beneficial clubs and organizations at their school. Your college or company can reach out to the student clubs through the App. Having high school students more involved in their school clubs is one way to keep them coming every day and to pursue college or a trade school after their graduation. Get the http://StudentLife.club app to raise money for your student organizations. Available in at the Android and Apple Store.  Find out more at  http://bit.ly/2aE1Rqv Contact: Walter Pearson 301-377-2464

Monday, February 1, 2016

Test Taking Preparation Now

You Test Taking Preparation Now

In order to perform well on any test you must be organized and have a written plan of action. You must do these 5 thing:

1. Meet with your teacher to ask test prep questions 
2. Have a test preparation calendar 
3. Study five days before every test
4. Tell some what you have learned in preparation for the test.
5. Get a tutor early
6. Read each chapter more than once

I created a book to help students to get ready test. If you taking a college test, a test to become a police officer, hair stylist or into the military get the Seven Secrets of How to Study at http://bit.ly/1MDHUs9