Monday, August 31, 2015

A Prudent College Path

Good Morning,

Today we are sharing an article for all of those fresh high school seniors that just started their final year! This article highlights promoting honors colleges for some students as a good life path choice for them financially, and academically. Needless to say, this does not mean that the Ivy League colleges are any less important but merely that there are several honors colleges out there which can be viable options for some students. 

A Prudent College Path
Frank Bruni

EVERY year the frenzy to get into highly selective colleges seems to intensify, and every year the news media finds and fawns over the rare students offered admission to all eight Ivy League schools. This year Ronald Nelson, from the Memphis area, was one of those who sopped up that adulation.

But his story had a fresh wrinkle. Nelson turned down Harvard, Yale, Princeton and the rest of them and chose instead to stay in the South, at the University of Alabama, where he’ll begin his studies later this month.

The lower price tag of Alabama, which is giving him a bounty of aid, was one reason. He also cited another: He’ll be taking classes at its honors college, which promises him an environment of especially dedicated, high-achieving students within a larger, more diverse community of more than 30,000 undergraduates.

Nelson’s decision taps into a striking development in higher education. More and more public schools are starting, expanding, refining and successfully promoting honors programs, and particularly honors colleges, that give students some of the virtues and perks of private schools without some of the drawbacks, such as exorbitant tuition and an enclave of extreme privilege.

The honors college at Alabama has been around only since 2003 and has grown steadily since then. It now includes more than 6,500 students. In a neighboring state, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga recently put the finishing touches on its own ambitious honors college.

There are dozens more honors colleges like these across the country, and while they’re hardly secrets, they don’t get quite the attention from college applicants — most notably from those fixated on the Ivy League and its ilk — that they deserve. Over the next few months, as accomplished high school seniors finalize the lists of where they’ll apply, they’d do well to consider the honors colleges at Alabama, at U.T.-Chattanooga or at other public universities.

And they’d be wise to consult a website and book that, surprisingly, fly somewhat under the radar in an era when applicants and their parents are hungrier than ever for any college-admissions resource that might help.

The book could use a title snappier and sexier than the one it has, “A Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs.” It was first published in 2012 and updated last year. It’s linked to, which began in 2011 and, like the book, provides thorough appraisals of individual honors colleges and programs and intelligent thoughts on how they fit into the higher-education landscape.

One recent post explores “College Value: Public Honors vs. Private Elites.” Another, “Honors and Career Success,” explains why a state university honors college or program might be the smartest of all options for some students.

“Because of the broader student body at a public university, there’s a lot more reach in terms of the type of people you’re going to encounter,” John Willingham, the author of the book and the architect of the website, told me.

And it’s likely that at a public university’s honors college, there will be a smaller percentage of students from extremely wealthy families than at one of the most highly selective private schools.

“They’re not all elite,” Willingham said, referring to honors college students, “though most are capable. There’s a more egalitarian quality.”

The honors colleges and programs to which he gives highest praise include the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University, which is widely considered the gold standard; Schreyer Honors College at Penn State; the South Carolina Honors College at the University of South Carolina; and the honors program at the University of Kansas.

Generally speaking, honors programs give students who’ve distinguished themselves through their SAT scores, ACT scores or grade-point averages access to, and dibs on, small classes filled with other honors students. Honors colleges are essentially more formal, larger versions of honors programs, and there are often extra resources, even designated buildings and residences, for their students.

In some instances, students are invited to step onto the honors track, based on the strength of their application to the wider university. In others, they must take it upon themselves to go through the extra paces and specific process of admission to an honors college.

There are a few reasons not to applaud these honors tracks. Some universities lavish disproportionate energy on them, eager for bragging rights and trying to draw students whose profiles may bolster the university’s stature and rankings, and they use financial aid money that could go to needier cases for honors college recruits. (Then again, private colleges intent on moving up in the rankings similarly use merit aid to compete for top students.)

Grace August 9, 2015
Ronald Nelson's determination to attend his local university's honors program instead of Harvard, Yale or Princeton was a stupid decision,...
thereminion August 9, 2015
The annual cost for an instate resident at the University of Alabama is a bit over $25,000 a year. $12,591.00 per semester.
LS August 9, 2015
I could not agree with this writer more! As a parent of a recent University of Alabama Honors grad It was the best decision my daughter...

ADDITIONALLY, honors colleges in some ways replicate, within a public school, the kind of stratified, status-conscious dynamic at play in the hierarchy of private schools.

But as Willingham rightly noted, the honors college cocoon isn’t as gilded as that of the most highly selective private colleges, which draw heavily from prep schools and affluent suburbs. And it’s part of a public university with considerable socioeconomic diversity.

Jonathan Fink, a vice president at Portland State University who successfully pushed for its honors program to become a full-fledged honors college, told me, “The students that P.S.U. draws are so different from the ones that my sister teaches at Mount Holyoke or that my other sister teaches at Sweet Briar.”

As a result, he said, P.S.U. arguably illuminates “more about the real world, which is the world you’ll ultimately be immersed in.”

“It gets you exposed to reality more,” he said, referring to the diversity that honors students at P.S.U. encounter. “The role that a place like P.S.U. plays is increasingly important as society becomes more economically split.”

Fink’s daughter graduated last year from Barrett at Arizona State. Its dean, Mark Jacobs, previously taught at a small private college in the Northeast. Fink noted that Jacobs “often talks about having been at Swarthmore and wishing he could have had Penn State next door — at A.S.U., he more or less got that.” Barrett combines the intimacy and academically distinguished student body of a Swarthmore with the scale, eclecticism and sprawling resources of a huge university. It’s two experiences in one.

Perhaps most important, honors colleges provide a supportive, challenging haven to some gifted young men and women who don’t make the cut at private schools with plunging acceptance rates or who aren’t prepared, for financial and other reasons, to pursue higher education far from their homes.

Robert Fisher, for example. A factory worker’s son who was the football captain and student body president at his high school in Clarksville, Tenn., he applied to a variety of schools in the state, including Vanderbilt, which rejected him. He ended up at U.T.-Chattanooga, on its honors track, which was his gateway to special summer internships in Washington for talented African-American students and to a 10-day cultural seminar in London. The seminar, he told me, was his first time out of the country.

He graduated last spring and will be back in England this fall — at Oxford University, as a Rhodes scholar.

To view the original article click here:

Monday, August 24, 2015

Your brain is particularly vulnerable to trauma at two distinct ages, an article from

Good Morning,

We hope that everyone had a nice weekend! Today we are sharing an article from on what periods in development in which our brains are most malleable and susceptible to life-long changes to trauma and other experiences. 'According to Tara Swart, a neuroscientist and senior lecturer at MIT, your “terrible twos” and those turbulent teen years are when the brain’s wiring is most malleable. As a result, traumatic experiences that occur during these time periods can alter brain activity and ultimately change gene expressions—sometimes for good.'

To continue reading and find out more about these two critical periods in our life, click here:

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Benefits of Fidgeting for Students With ADHD

Good Morning!

As mentioned last week, here at Linder Educational Coaching & Tutoring Services we work a lot with kids who have ADD/ADHD. This article is from the Wall Street Journal and talks about how new studies reveal that students with ADHD actually perform better when allowed to move freely and fidget in the classroom. To find out more, you can view the full article here:

Also remember, we are currently accepting new students for the upcoming school year. If your child could use some specialized help in any area of their school studies, please contact us at:

Monday, August 10, 2015

What Most People Don’t Know about ADHD

Hello everyone,

As you may or may not know, here are Linder Educational Coaching we specialize in students with ADD, ADHD, other LDs, behavioral issues and problems with executive functioning. Today we want to share an article with you that focuses on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). There are still many myths, misconceptions and misunderstandings about it in today's world and this article sheds some insight into some aspects of ADHD that you may not know.

For example:

1. ADHD is not caused by our super-busy, tech-consumed culture.

2. ADHD affects all areas of a person’s life.

3. Up to two-thirds of people with ADHD have another disorder.

4. ADHD is highly genetic.

Want to learn more? Please be sure to check out the full article here at it's original source: 

If you or someone you know has a child with ADHD and needs some extra help, please be sure to contact us at:

Monday, August 3, 2015

Advice for New Students From Those Who Know (Old Students)

Good Morning!

Today we are sharing an article from the New York Times on advice for younger generations of new college students. This article shares some insight from upperclassmen and graduates for incoming freshmen. Being a new student in college with a new place and routine can be overwhelming. Take a look at this article for some helpful tips that can help your transition into your first year be a little easier!