Could Graduating High School With an AA Degree Hurt a Kid?

Today I’m writing on topic I never, ever thought I would. Could graduating high school with an AA degree in any way do a student more harm than good? My eyes are bugging out just writing that.

graduating high school with an AA degree

Could graduating high school with an AA degree HURT your kid?

For many moms and dads, one of their proudest parenting moments occurs when their 17-year-old walks across the stage at high school graduation with two years of college already completed. An entire two-year AA college degree already sewn up—entirely at state expense. An amazing, stunning achievement! All while dodging the pitfalls of AP classes—and still enjoying a rich, full high school experience.

Parents who get to experience this proud moment get tingly with excitement thinking of their child confidently diving into third year college courses at age 18, finishing college with a bachelor’s degree at age 20, slashing college bills by half, and having extra years of life before age 22 to tour Europe, volunteer, or start piling up real world work experience that rockets their careers far ahead of their peers. (Making them stellar candidates for grad school or medical school, I might add—if that ever becomes a goal.)

Other parents aren’t so sure.

“Might graduating high school with an AA degree keep my child out of the Ivy League?”

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Secret Weapon for Multiple Choice Tests

Which of these multiple choice testing strategies have you never heard of before? That’s your new secret weapon.

Share this article with a student you care about.

multiple choice

1. Before you start, note the structure of the test and plan your timing.

Here’s a nightmare you want to avoid. You turn to the final page of a test with two minutes left on the clock, only to find that the last question is a long-form essay question worth half the test points—and you’ve got zero time to write it.

If you know what’s coming, you can plan your time accordingly.

2. Read the question stem twice, then try to think of the answer yourself—without peeking at the choices.

The “stem” means the question itself, not including the answer choices.

Reading the question stem twice will help ensure that you won’t get answers wrong due to easily avoidable reading errors. And thinking up the correct answer in your head on your own—when possible—will help you instantly recognize the right answer when you see it.

3. Always read all the multiple choice answer choices.

Yes, the correct answer might jump right out at you, but carefully read the other choices as well. Sometimes you’ll realize that your original prediction actually needs to be reconsidered.

4. Don’t assume that the most familiar sounding answer choice is the right one.

Sometimes, the familiar sounding choice was planted there specifically to distract you from the right answer. When you’re choosing a correct answer, quietly ask yourself for some logical reasons why that answer is probably right.

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Top 9 Books I Most Love For Parents and Students

Books make great gifts. Why? Because a carefully chosen book can literally change a life. In this short article I share the top 9 books I most love for parents, 20somethings, and students ages 12 and up.

(Are you worried that your teen won’t read a non-fiction book? See my helpful article on How to Get a Teen to Read a Non-Fiction Book.)

Books make great gifts. Why? Because a carefully chosen book can actually change a life. In this short article I share the top 9 books I most love for parents, 20somethings, and students ages 12 and up.

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The Meme Every Kid Needs to See

Here it is—the meme every kid needs to see.

the meme every kid needs to see

Copy and forward this meme to the kids you love right now.

Tweet this meme out to the people who follow you!

When you’re a parent, it feels great to know you’re taking practical steps to set your kid up for successful college and career life.

For clear, step-by-step help getting your kids through college debt-free, get your copy of my book:

You can “Look Inside” the book on Amazon for free by going to:

bit.ly/burlowski

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The Sweaty Truth About Sports Scholarships

Parents of athletes fork out thousands to cover sports expenses over the years. Many wonder, “Is all this time, effort, and money going to pay off big when this kid gets to college?” Here, the sweaty truth about sports scholarships.

truth about sports scholarships

1. The truth about sports scholarships: They can make it next to impossible to succeed academically. 

Student athletes are typically required to devote up to 40 hours per week to practices, travel, conditioning, and games. This article by NextStepU calls it “an unbelievable commitment in time and dedication…you may…be practicing at 6 a.m. or midnight or even twice a day.”

If your kid has an important test scheduled at the same time as travel back from a game, he’ll likely be told, “Too bad, you’re on a sports scholarship. Buck up and show that you’re all in on this sport.” Your daughter needs to study? She’ll likely hear, “Bring books and notes and study on the bus on the way.” Lack of quiet study space, pressure to repeatedly skip college classes, and sheer exhaustion from the schedule can wreak havoc with a student’s ability to focus on academics—the very reason he or she is at college in the first place.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy writes this, in Moneywatch:

Officially, D-I teams aren’t supposed to practice more than 20 hours a week though travel and other extra obligations aren’t included. In reality, the time restriction is often a joke. Conditioning or weight lifting, for instance, might be called voluntary, but the coach takes attendance and the kid who spends that time in the library could end up on the bench.

In the consulting work I do at GetIntoMedSchool.com, one of my clients explained his “B” in Organic Chemistry to me this way: “We flew home from a game, and I ran down the concourse and dove into the back of a taxi. I screamed at the driver to rush me to the building where my O Chem final was going on, but I was still 45 minutes late. The professor had no sympathy for my situation, and refused to give me any extra time. She said I should have made it a priority to be at the exam on time.”

2. The truth about sports scholarships: They’re not as lucrative as you think. 

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college study skills

THE STRATEGIC COLLEGE STUDENT: How to Get Higher Grades While Studying LESS Than Most Other People

For students ages 12–26 and their parents

There’s not a student alive who wouldn’t love to get higher grades than anyone else while studying LESS than most other people.

In this 3-hour live class, students ages 12–26 learn the advanced studying, test-taking, and paper-writing strategies that top students use to succeed at the most prestigious colleges in the country while still having plenty of time left over for leadership, interning, and having more fun than they ever thought possible.

Students leave at the end armed with a systematic review method developed at Carnegie Mellon University that can completely eliminate the need to ever cram for exams.

REGISTER HERE!

Are you a student age 12–26?

This class will help you to maximize your potential in high school and in college, give you more time to relax, and help you to become a top contender both for scholarships, and for career or grad school success after college.

Who should attend this class?

The class is ideal for current high school students, middle school students, current college students, graduate students, and teens who’ll be starting dual enrollment college courses this coming fall. Parents are encouraged to attend as well.

REGISTER HERE!

Look at what others are saying about this class!

Visit JeannieBurlowski.com/SPEAKING.

This class is presented just twice each year.

Can’t make this one? Subscribe to Jeannie Burlowski’s free weekly email newsletter at JeannieBurlowski.com, “whitelist” the newsletter using the instructions here, and you’ll be notified of your next opportunity to register.

Cost: $59 plus $30 for each additional family member.

FAQs

“Why are you encouraging middle schoolers to take this class? Isn’t age 12 way too early to take a class like this?”

Most parents don’t realize it, but middle schoolers’ brains are developing faster than at any time since infancy. Age 12, 13, or 14 is the perfect time for students to first get exposure to the strategies that top-performing college students use to manage time so they can study LESS than most other people.

Middle schoolers eagerly devour the information in this class, and then use what they learn to get higher grades all through high school. Bringing a middle schooler to an event like this is an opportunity that should not be missed.

“I’m a high school junior starting dual enrollment college classes this fall. Should I be taking this class?”

Absolutely, yes. This class will relieve your stress and anxiety, make your dual enrollment classes far easier for you to manage, and set you up to have the highest possible college GPA when you either go looking for post-college jobs or apply to grad school one day. Many students who’ve taken this class as middle schoolers take it again just before starting dual enrollment college classes in high school.

“I’m in graduate school. Should I attend this class too?”

Yes. This class is ideal for any student, age 12–26 and up, who would like to achieve more while giving less time to studying.

“I’m a parent. Should I attend this class with my middle school or high school age child?”

If possible, yes; please do. Parents are strongly encouraged (but not required) to attend this class. The reason? If your child begins to flounder academically at any point in the future, you’ll be able to say, “Remember that ________ strategy we learned from Jeannie Burlowski? Are you still using that one?” This class will help you to be your child’s greatest encourager and cheerleader during the college years.

“I’m not sure we need this class. Isn’t my child already learning high-level college study strategies in high school?”

No. The strategies in this 3-hour class are not taught in high school.

“My son or daughter would rather play video games than attend this class. Should I pay him or her to attend it?”

What a great idea! Take a look at the inspiring, helpful article Jeannie Burlowski has written on this exact subject here.

REGISTER HERE!

“How can I contact the organizer with any questions?”

You can email the organizer of this event at brilliantincollege@gmail.com.

Date: November 10, 2018
Time: 9:00 am-12:00 pm
Event: THE STRATEGIC COLLEGE STUDENT: How to Get Higher Grades While Studying LESS Than Most Other People
Venue: East Ridge High School
Location: 4200 Pioneer Dr
Woodbury, MN 55129
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.

Want me to teach this class somewhere near you? When I travel to speak, I pay my own airfare. Who do you know who plans conferences and events? Visit JeannieBurlowski.com/SPEAKING to learn how to bring me to your state.

Please read all the way to the bottom of this description for specific driving and parking directions.

Welcome to:

THE STRATEGIC COLLEGE STUDENT: How to Get Higher Grades While Studying LESS Than Most Other People

For students ages 12–26 and their parents

There’s not a student alive who wouldn’t love to get higher grades than anyone else while studying LESS than most other people.

In this 3-hour live class, students ages 12–26 learn the advanced studying, test-taking, and paper-writing strategies that top students use to succeed at the most prestigious colleges in the country while still having plenty of time left over for leadership, interning, and having more fun than they ever thought possible.

Students leave at the end armed with a systematic review method developed at Carnegie Mellon University that can completely eliminate the need to ever cram for exams.

REGISTER HERE!

Are you a student age 12–26?

This class will help you to maximize your potential in high school and in college, give you more time to relax, and help you to become a top contender both for scholarships, and for career or grad school success after college.

Who should attend this class?

The class is ideal for current high school students, middle school students, current college students, graduate students, and teens who’ll be starting dual enrollment college courses this coming fall. Parents are encouraged to attend as well.

REGISTER HERE!

Look at what others are saying about this class!

Visit JeannieBurlowski.com/SPEAKING.

This class is presented just twice each year.

Can’t make this one? Subscribe to Jeannie Burlowski’s free weekly email newsletter at JeannieBurlowski.com, “whitelist” the newsletter using the instructions here, and you’ll be notified of your next opportunity to register.

FAQs

“Why are you encouraging middle schoolers to take this class? Isn’t age 12 way too early to take a class like this?”

Most parents don’t realize it, but middle schoolers’ brains are developing faster than at any time since infancy. Age 12, 13, or 14 is the perfect time for students to first get exposure to the strategies that top-performing college students use to manage time so they can study LESS than most other people.

Middle schoolers eagerly devour the information in this class, and then use what they learn to get higher grades all through high school. Bringing a middle schooler to an event like this is an opportunity that should not be missed.

“I’m a high school junior starting dual enrollment college classes this fall. Should I be taking this class?”

Absolutely, yes. This class will relieve your stress and anxiety, make your dual enrollment classes far easier for you to manage, and set you up to have the highest possible college GPA when you either go looking for post-college jobs or apply to grad school one day. Many students who’ve taken this class as middle schoolers take it again just before starting dual enrollment college classes in high school.

“I’m in graduate school. Should I attend this class too?”

Yes. This class is ideal for any student, age 12–26 and up, who would like to achieve more while giving less time to studying.

“I’m a parent. Should I attend this class with my middle school or high school age child?”

If possible, yes; please do. Parents are strongly encouraged (but not required) to attend this class. The reason? If your child begins to flounder academically at any point in the future, you’ll be able to say, “Remember that ________ strategy we learned from Jeannie Burlowski? Are you still using that one?” This class will help you to be your child’s greatest encourager and cheerleader during the college years.

“I’m not sure we need this class. Isn’t my child already learning high-level college study strategies in high school?”

No. The strategies in this 3-hour class are not taught in high school.

“My son or daughter would rather play video games than attend this class. Should I pay him or her to attend it?”

What a great idea! Take a look at the inspiring, helpful article Jeannie Burlowski has written on this exact subject here.

“I notice there’s a free, optional University of Northwestern campus tour starting as soon as this class is over. Should we sign up for that too?”

You’re already on a college campus. Add fuel to the fire of your kid’s excitement to attend college by taking the free, optional campus tour sponsored by UNW admissions. Why do this now? Because now’s the perfect time to let your kid know what college living will look and feel like. This free campus tour lasts 55 minutes. Select the FREE Campus Tour ticket option. Ages 11–Adult.

REGISTER HERE!

“How can I contact the organizer with any questions?”

You can email the organizer of this event at brilliantincollege@gmail.com.

“Is my ticket transferable?”

Yes. Your ticket is transferable. If you are not able to attend the event, just print your ticket out and have your friend bring it (or a photo of it) to the event.

“What are the special driving and parking directions that will make it easy for us to find this class on the UNW campus?”

The class will be held on the University of Northwestern campus (formerly Northwestern College), 3003 Snelling Avenue North, Roseville, Minnesota, in Riley R2300. Parking is free.

To get to Riley Hall, follow Constitution Way up the hill. The road will begin to turn, and you will see Lots C and D. Park in either of these. Riley is right next to Lot C. To enter Riley Hall, follow the sidewalk into the vestibule. Go up to the second floor, and once you’re up there, go to the end of the hallway. Room 2300 will be on your right.

Date: August 4, 2018
Time: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event: THE STRATEGIC COLLEGE STUDENT: How To Get Higher Grades While Studying LESS
Venue: University of Northwestern (formerly Northwestern College) SEE ABOVE FOR DRIVING AND PARKING DIRECTIONS
Location: 3003 Snelling Avenue North
Roseville, MN 55113
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.

Want me to teach this class somewhere near you? When I travel to speak, I pay my own airfare. Who do you know who plans conferences and events? Visit JeannieBurlowski.com/SPEAKING to learn how to bring me to your state.

5 Ways Parents Head Off College Anxiety

This article is for you whether you’ve got a high schooler or a college student experiencing college anxiety.

When Samantha was in 10th grade, her Dad offered her a great suggestion. “Sam, why don’t we get your guidance counselor to sign you up for some college classes for next year, and you take those instead of regular high school classes? You can get real college credit for them, they’ll still count toward your high school graduation, and best of all, our state will pay for them!” Samantha hesitated, nervous apprehension squeezing at her stomach and working its way up to her chest and throat. It was her first experience with college anxiety. “I don’t know, Dad—couldn’t I just take a couple of AP classes instead?”

Don’t let your child retreat into AP classes to avoid college anxiety.

AP classes are the least dependable way to earn college credit in high school.

Contrary to popular belief, AP classes are not typically “easier than real college classes.” Think about it. Would you want to study a subject for months and months, and then have your success or failure depend on performing well on one big test at the end?

And then, after all that work, you find out that the college you’ll be attending may not even accept your hard-won AP credit?

That’s enough to exacerbate even the mildest case of college anxiety.

Here are 5 ways parents can head off college anxiety. (Number 5 is a big one.)

1. Emphasize that college success isn’t about how smart you are, it’s about how organized you are.

Your son is worried that he’s not smart enough for college. All kids are. If you went to college yourself, tell him that you really started being successful at college when you learned to use a calendar and make lists of tasks you had to do. Emphasize that organization is something anyone can learn.

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The Most Important Furniture Item for College Students

What’s the most important furniture item for college students besides the dorm room bed? It’s not the dorm room desk (since quiet library study carrels tend to be far better for intense and focused studying than a dorm room will ever be.)

The most important furniture item for college students is a two-drawer filing cabinet. 

Here are 7 reasons why a two-drawer filing cabinet (along with a little instruction on how to use it) just might be the most important item your child takes along to college.

the most important furniture item for college students

1. A two-drawer filing cabinet reduces stress for students.

Without a filing system, your son will likely pile important papers on the right side of his desk. This works just fine for two weeks, until the pile becomes a massive avalanche risk and just finding a necessary paper document becomes an energy-draining ordeal.

2. There’s great power in being able to locate any necessary document in under 10 seconds.

Your daughter will greatly appreciate this when she needs to quickly locate a housing request form, or all the handwritten notes needed to study for a tough midterm.

3. Even in the 21st century, not everything’s electronic. Students still manage a massive amount of paper during college.

This is especially true for students who follow my advice and take class notes using pen and paper rather than electronic devices.

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The Most Important Thing About High School? It’s Not Grades

Many families mistakenly believe that the most important thing about high school is getting good grades—so students can “get into a good college when they graduate.”

Not true.

What is the most important thing about high school?

In my work as an academic strategist, I’ve found that the most important thing about high school is forging the academic tools necessary for the college or vocational training that comes afterward.

 

I told one underperforming student this: “Imagine college as a place where you have to pound nails into boards, one after another, as fast as you can. Bam! Bam! Bam bam bam! High school is the place where you create your hammer. If your hammer’s put together sloppily out of string and glue and spitballs, you’ll find it difficult and exhausting and painful to pound nails in college.”

Can students “get good grades” and still miss it?

Too many high school students have figured out how to game the high school system enough to get decent grades while still not learning important skills, such as 1) putting away electronics and listening carefully in class, 2) taking thorough, complete handwritten notes, 3) seeking help when confused, and 4) using a calendar or a to-do list to make certain that assignments and test studying are done thoroughly and on time.

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