Are you attached to your dog? Think that the scariest part of moving away is not having contact with a furry friend? You are not alone.
Knox College offers regular "pet therapy" sessions with their resident therapy dog, Olive Yu (I love you, too). At Knox, you can schedule 15 minute sessions to hang with Olive and help satisfy your "puppy time" needs.
This is a real movement on college campuses. Deaf Dogs Rock reports therapy dogs on campus at Yale Law, UCONN, Occidental College, Fordham University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Tufts University, UC Riverside, Caldwell College, Oberlin College, and Mercy College. Oklahoma State and Kent State programs are featured on NBC News' report entitled "Campus Therapy Dogs Offer a Helping Paw to Stressed Students." Forbes features Caldwell College in their article declaring "Pet Therapy is a Nearly Cost-Free Anxiety Reducer On College Campuses."
If you love spending time with dogs, check out whether your college offers pet therapy. Some colleges set it up as a campus even that welcomes walk-ins, other set up regularly-scheduled pet gatherings, while other set it up as a appointment through health or counseling services. If your college does not offer it, ask if you can set it up. Most colleges encourage students to set up clubs that meet their needs, and you can work with your campus to figure out a way to set it up, perhaps by contacting therapy dog certification programs to find volunteer dogs and their handlers.
I love using my dogs as part of my practice. Students relax and tell me more when they are half-talking to my dogs, which lets us really explore the things that interest each student in a really safe environment. I hope you find your way to the level of "doggy exposure" that is right for you at college.
Yesterday, my daughter and I went to Loyola University of Chicago to check it out. I had signed up for a two hour tour, trying to make good use of the Martin Luther King holiday. Too bad that I did not read carefully... it turns out that I booked the tour for Tuesday. The University was closed, it was cold, snowy, and buildings were locked.
Well, we were there, and the beautiful facility for the Institute of Environmental Sustainability was right in front of us, so we went to take a closer look. One of the math professors welcomed us in, apologized for the admissions office not being open, and we got to see where future environmentalists learn their craft at Loyola.
Loyola takes sustainability seriously, and their program permeates the entire University. The building is designed not only for research, but to be a model of sustainable practices in an institutional facility. Loyola incorporates sustainability throughout the curriculum, invites all community members to find their niche in sustainability practices, and sees their mission as an issue of social justice. Their mission resonates with my high school junior, who sees the great urgency of slowing down, stopping, and reversing the harm that human presence imposes on our planet.
Loyola’s Sustainability MissionSustainability at Loyola is driven by our Jesuit tradition of social justice, our service to humanity, and our role as an institution of higher education. It is embodied in an educational experience for our students and activities that seek to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. We are committed to an inclusive process considering social, economic and environmental impacts and exemplified in a transformative education for our students.
This was a successful visit. My daughter reviewed materials from the website about campus dorms, the art studios, and the environmental studies program. She experienced first hand the university's commitment to the mission, evidenced in the amazing facility that we were able to enter. We experienced the friendliness of the faculty, students, and staff whom we briefly encountered as they scurried in and out of the buildings. We saw the beautiful setting on the lakefront, and saw the Red Line CTA train rumble by. She can see herself living on the campus and learning in this community.
We will go back for an official tour, and to meet people in the various academic departments. But we are glad that we went, and saw, and admired the great things that Loyola offers to future environmentalists.
Knox College promotes itself as someplace that offers students "the power of experience." That commitment to student experiences is evident everywhere you go on campus, and especially through the efforts of Nick Gidmark, who brought a 55 foot whale to campus.
The opportunity: The core building of the Umbeck Science and Math Center is undergoing major multi-year renovation that began this school year. This renovation includes a two-story 75 foot long space. Through his summer teaching at Shoals Marine Lab in Maine, Dr. Gidmark was aware of the skeleton of a 55 foot fin whale skeleton sitting outside at the Seacoast Science Center because there was no space large enough for it to be inside. Once Dr. Gidmark explained the great potential the whale had to educate at Knox, the Center agreed to send the whale to Knox.
The Power of Experience: Knox is nationally-ranked, small liberal arts college with a strong sense of community and a frugal midwestern work ethic. The Umbeck core will be under renovation until 2020. There is a lot of work to do to prepare the whale skeleton for display. How better to get that done than by creating a hands-on learning experience for the students that will result in a lasting legacy at the science center?
Starting in the Fall of 2018, faculty and students have dug in. Biology students are studying anatomy of the fin whale, cleaning and preparing the bones for display, and creating 3D models to inform creation of missing bones. Art Professor Andrea Ferrigno is researching cleaning and preservation techniques appropriate to the project, as well as techniques for constructing the missing bones. Theatre Professor Craig Choma is researching lighting techniques that will best display the specimen when it is ready for installation. Throughout this project Knox College students will have the opportunity for meaningful hands-on contributions toward displaying this amazing specimen on campus.
Once the whale is on display with the completion of the Umbeck core in 2020, it will take its place with the other smaller specimens already resident on campus for students to study. I am looking forward to visiting the whale and admiring the contributions of students from all over campus that will contribute to making the whale right at home in this small liberal arts college in the small midwestern city of Galesburg. Students who are interested in doing some hands-on work with this amazing project should take a careful look at Knox College for their collegiate experience. This is a place with a can-do attitude, that respects the variety of talents that each student brings to the table, and can provide the academic training that give students the skills to do great things later in life.
$40K-$60K is pretty much what colleges end up charging as their "sticker price." Tuition is only part of the equation.
Federal law controls the minimum stuff that has to be calculated in the cost of attendance. The law is at https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/20/1087ll. It basically includes:
The information regarding all of these costs should be available on each college's web page.
"Net price" can be very different from sticker prices. The Federal government gives us citizens (and the general public) a good look at the net price through two websites: the College Scorecard and and the College Navigator sites. Both web sites pull from the same data source, so you don't have to search both.
But remember that the devil is often in the details. Some colleges have very similar net price for all students, while others have significantly different net price based on the student's family income. You can find a general idea of your net price by drilling down on the detail under costs, where both sites show the average cost by family income.
If you would like to see your likely net costs for a particular college, you can go to the college's website and search for the "net price calculator." The page will ask for a few specifics about your family finances, and the college will return a net price, either online or in the mail. This is a great exercise to understand where you will start out financially. Then with a terrific application, you may be able to "beat" the net price by earning scholarships that drive down your personal cost to attend that college.
As always, feel free to contact me if you believe my services can help your student navigate this exciting time of life.
Since 1946, the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra has developed young musicians through weekly rehearsals, private & group lessons, and challenging performance opportunities. Over 600 musicians aged 6-18 participate in multiple orchestras and ensembles, with alumni not only serving in top orchestras world wide, but also pursing careers as "teachers, community leaders, doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and business professionals." As the mother of a former CYSO participant, I highly recommend anyone who loves music to consider participating in a CYSO program.
Auditions for the 2018-2019 Orchestra Season
Auditions for new members are starting soon, and anyone interested to trying out should sign up for an opportunity now. Before signing up, review the handbook and other information posted, so that you understand the kind of commitment you are making in time and energy. CYSO is an organization that respects each student musician, develops capabilities that surprise parents and students, and demonstrates the beauty of artistry through teamwork.
So many things are wonderful about marching band. You make great friends, get some serious exercise, play cool music, wear snazzy uniforms. In any event, my friend's passions got me thinking about marching bands in college.
I firmly believe that if you love doing something regularly, you should make sure that you have a way to continue that something while in college. The size, quality, and frequency is up to you, but it is good to go in with your eyes open. To that end, I started looking at college marching bands in Illinois.
YouTube is a terrific resource for determining what a college's marching (or pep) band is like. In addition to the big marching bands with enough musicians and dancers to fill the football field, there are an assortment of other configurations that vary in size, as well as in musical and choreographic challenge. Some of us just need a bunch of musicians to play with; others need performance time; others need to be musically and physically challenged to be part of a spectacle. Many of us can be happy in a number of different environments.
Whatever your preference, if you love marching band, part of your research into a potential college should include your options for continuing being part of a marching band. I've started putting together some relevant research. This first video play list simply looks into colleges in Illinois that have some form of marching or pep band with a reasonable sample on YouTube. As you can see, there is great variety in your options. All the students look like they are having a great time. And that is the key: there is a great time to be had at any college. Knowing the kind of great time offered at a specific college will improve the strength of your application, and will help you figure out how you will plug yourself into an activity you love, as soon as you get on campus.
Last week, my beautiful mother-in-law, Edite Zirnitis Franklin, passed away to close a long and loving life. As we prepared for yesterday's service, I listened to my family remember Edite, I re-experienced all the love and patience that she had shared with me since I first met her in 1986. I gathered our remembrances into a family eulogy for the funeral. As I distributed copies to the family members who read it aloud, it occurred to me that the eulogy is basically a personal statement that helps us remember who she is, learn something that we didn't know about her, and realize that we all would have loved to know her better. In honor of Edite, I share our eulogy with you here.
Olson developed his skills in high school, under Coach Peterson at Orange Lutheran High School. Having lost one eye as an infant and the second at age 12 to retinoblastoma, Olson learned to live without sight, and became passionate about playing football in high school. He works with his teammates to know when and where to snap, and is so consistently good that he attends USC on an athletic scholarship for students with physical disabilities.
May Olson be a more regular presence on the field during his Junior and Senior years. He is a living example of abilities that defy the stereotypical physical expectations. His high school coaches and teammates embraced including him on their team, and Olson served as their regular long snapper. It opened the opportunity to play for USC, to receive an athletic scholarship, and to teach us how much ability and hard work can accomplish in an inclusive world.
A recent column in the New York Times rubbed me the wrong way. Entitled "Navigating Our Shameful, Maddeningly Complex Student Aid System," author Ron Lieber excoriates the entire monetary structure of college costs, financial aid, and the process of securing an affordable college experience. He recommends that "If you have a child who is already walking and talking and you will not be able to write a check to pay tuition, it’s best to start studying up on it now or finding a political candidate to support who will blow it all up." I disagree with his conclusion, and believe that determining where to go for college and figuring out how to pay for it can be an extremely insightful and satisfying process.
In all fairness, Ron Lieber's lens "is about anything and everything that hits you in the wallet, from investing to paying for college to mortgages and homes." In contrast, my lens is focused on your child: who they are now, what they have done and experienced, what are their passions, and how they would best be equipped to explore and develop their true vocation. When we look at the college search from this perspective, and rigorously evaluate potential colleges with high standards for their ability to develop our children through the next stage, things fall in to place rather quickly.
When you look at colleges from an economist's perspective, you quickly reduce your student and all colleges to simple commodities. In contrast, the truth is that your student is unique, and that colleges vary in their abilities to meet your student where they are and to challenge them to develop into who they can be. When it comes to your student, colleges are not interchangeable; where your child decides to spend their college year will have an impact on how fully they take advantage of this time in their life.
Mr Lieber writes: "...colleges will offer discounts ...if the school feels it needs to raise the quality of its freshman class in order to appear more attractive to future applicants who can (the hope is) afford to pay more." Intending to condemn the colleges for this process, this statement misses the opportunity for the student who really figures themselves out. A college that is well equipped to help a student meet their objectives will naturally be more inclined to make sure that these students have the financial support necessary to attend.
When students understand who they are, what they have accomplished so far, and what excites them about the future, they become able to recognize when the college seems to have been built just for them. These colleges have invested in the arts, athletics, academic disciplines in ways that form "a vibe" that works for the student. The students at these colleges are already engaged in activities and academics that create a learning and social environment that will just feel "right" to your student.
It's easy to believe that only students whose families can afford the college experience have the luxury to demand that their college 'fit.' But the opposite is true: students whose families cannot afford the sticker price may only be able to afford to attend the "right" college. Colleges need students that reinforce "the vibe" (a.k.a. "the brand") as much as students need colleges that can fulfill their expressive, social, and academic development over the course of their college career. Because colleges need students who reinforce "the vibe," the college that is "right" will have more incentive to make sure that you can afford to attend (vs. the college that does not have the activities and programs to fully develop your gifts).
Students who are willing to engage in my process of self-discernment, and discerning how well a college "fits," are rewarded with college acceptances with significant scholarships. In my experience, the colleges that "fit" well generally offer scholarships of $20K or more, usually awarded concurrently with admission. Additional dollars are often available; the need-based dollars are secured through completing your FAFSA application, and discussion with the college admission and financial aid office can secure additional funds. In contrast, colleges that are poor fits will offer lower (or no) scholarship dollars, basically signalling that you are welcome as long as you pay cash.
It is all about "fit." A college that recognizes the "fit" that you identify (and describe) will reward that "fit" with more scholarship money than the college that sees no particular "fit." Those same college that recognize the "fit" will be more excited about helping you afford attending that particular college.
Good luck with your college search! I am available to provide individualized college search services. Just contact me to get started.
Shepherding our children to adulthood demands our love, our attention, and our acceptance of who they are.