Lee County Schools

Achieving Excellence

  • Post 739 - Let's do this journey together...Day 5

    Posted by Sherry S. Andrews - Career & College Wise at 6/23/2017 3:00:00 AM

    Career & College Wise              Friday, June 23, 2017

    Post 739 - Let's do this journey together...Day 5

    Email: ccw@lee.k12.nc.us

    Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.

    Good, the dreaded conversation is over - well the start of it is. If you are a parent reading this blog, then you now know what your child is thinking concerning college, and you have been allowed to share your thoughts on the college issue. If you are a student (rising senior) reading this blog, then you now know what your parents are thinking concerning college, and you have been afforded the opportunity to share your thoughts on the college issue. 

    Yeah!!! Now, everything is out in the open…but actually the conversation has just begun because throughout this entire process – be that you are the parent or the child – then you want this conversation to continue so that everyone in the family is on the same page!

    What next?

    As mentioned in my conversation and in previous blog posts, it is time to visit any and all colleges being considered and the summer prior to the senior year is an awesome time to make this happen. Trust me, you do not want to wait for the fall when everything else is happening. When you visit with our child make certain to do the following:

    1. Eat in the cafeteria – see if you like the food!!

    2. Visit the student store – check out the pride the school has in itself!

    3. Look at all the different options for resident halls and dorms which are allowed for freshman - single room, suite sytle, or hall

    4. Meet your counselor in admissions - most important

    5. Meet your financial aid counselor in the Financial Aid Office - even more important

    6. Visit and talk with someone who teaches in your choice of major

    7. Know what is required for admittance

    8. Check out student amenities such as gym, workout facilities, extra restaurants on campus, theater on campus, recreational facilities on campus, etc.

    9. Check out availability of campus transportation as well as city transportation

    10. Check out availability of parking for freshman

    This list of things to do on your summer college visits are a must! If you haven’t started, then there is no time like the present!!

    Have fun!!  It is a great bonding experience for the entire family!

    Have a wonderful Friday and a great weekend - rumor is that the weather is going to be a little cooler over the weekend and less wet weather to contend with as well!

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  • Post 738 - Let's do this journey together...Day 4

    Posted by Sherry S. Andrews - Career & College Wise at 6/22/2017 3:00:00 AM

    Career & College Wise              Thursday, June 22, 2017

    Post 738 - Let's do this journey together...Day 4

    Email: ccw@lee.k12.nc.us

    Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.

    So let's address the elephant in the room....the cost of the #1 school Spencer was looking at HPU - was $32,000 when he started looking and by the time he graduated, it was $43,000 per year.  He was planning to become a teacher making $32,000 a year.  Wow!  He could finish college seriously in debt because his college could exceed in costs over $160,000.  I was in major shock of what the cost could be and disheartened that my son might not beable to fulfill his dream of attending HPU to play baseball.

    I was serious when I told Spencer that I was prepared for the NCSU cost at the time of $14,000 a year totalling $56,000 over a four year period but never prepared for the above college costs!  In order for him to go to HPU, he would have to have scholarship money and a lot of it - everything over and above $14,000 yearly and more if possible.  I knew if he applied to NCSU, he would not be granted a scholarship - not because he wasn't smart or didn't have the grades - I simply was realistic and knew that scholarships at big public schools are few and far between.  Private schools such as High Point University tended to give more money in scholarships.  Spencer knew what he had to do - earn $30,000 or more per year in order to attend HPU.  

    First, he researched the scholarships at HPU.  

    Second, he researched the scholarships on the state and national level.

    Thrid, he researched the scholarships on the local level.  

    In the end, he applied to scholarships at all three levels and won scholarships at all three levels - more on this at a later time.

    Trust me, the scholarship process can be overwhelming, but if you start now as a rising senior you can make the process somewhat easier!

    We will continue this subject tomorrow and even into next week.

    Have a wonderful Thursday - stay cool!





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  • Post 737 - Let's do this journey together...Day 3

    Posted by Sherry S. Andrews - Career & College Wise at 6/21/2017 3:00:00 AM

    Career & College Wise              Wednesday, June 21, 2017

    Post 737 - Let's do this journey together...Day 3

    Email: ccw@lee.k12.nc.us

    Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.

    So this past Monday, I asked parents to begin a conversation about college with their rising senior…and now, you ask: What do we specifically talk about? Yesterday’s post was about how to begin the conversation with your senior, and I used the conversation that my son and I had prior to his senior year as an example. Yesterday’s post was his side of the conversation and today’s post is…..

    My response to my son, Spencer’s, college list of High Point University and North Carolina State University. 

    The first thing I told him was that he needed to add at least four other colleges to the list. I am a firm believer that no one should put all their hopes and dreams on one or two college/universities. I asked him to add colleges to the list that are similar to High Point University and North Carolina State.  He should have 2 sure bet schools, 2 at-risk schools and 2 dream schools on his list.

    Next, I shared that he was looking at two different colleges who are direct opposites of one another. 

    For example: 

    1. HPU is private......and NCSU is public – one of the most important differences being that the private college is more than twice ($32,000 per year at the time he was applying - now HPU is $45,000 per year) the cost of the public university ($14,000 per year at the time and now NCSU is $24,000 per year).  (My things have changed in the last few years!)

    2. HPU is small....and NCSU is the largest university in the state – HPU had approximately 3000 students and NCSU had 32,000.

    3. HPU had his degree.....and NCSU had only half his degree.

    4. HPU was recruiting him to play baseball.....and NCSU was not.

    5. HPU offered single room housing....and NCSU offered double or triple room housing for freshmen.

    6. HPU was never on his radar until they started looking at him for baseball....and NCSU had always been his dream school (as well as mine for him).

    7. HPU would allow him to bring his car as a freshman as well as park it on campus...and NCSU would as well, but it was likely he would have to park somewhere off campus at a hefty price.

    8. HPU was easy to get around being it was small....and NCSU was difficult to get around being it is so large.

    I shared with Spencer that the biggest obstacles I had with his current choices of HPU and NCSU was that HPU was so expensive and he needed more colleges on the list. I told him I was proud of him for having several valid reasons for his choices; he simply needed more choices. 

    Obviously, being the parent, and a single parent at that, the cost of college was at the forefront of my thoughts. With HPU at $32,000 per year and NC State $14,000 per year – here was my statement to my son: “I am prepared to pay for you to attend NCSU at $14,000 but anything beyond that is on you! So if you choose to attend HPU, you need to come up with the difference of $16,000….and of course that is per year! I also stated that I expected the scholarship money to be in the form of academic money not athletic money.” I said this because I know that athletic money can come and go depending on the injuries or whether you continue to play each year. I, also, knew that academic money only continues if one maintains the required GPA.   

    More about this conversation tomorrow!

    Have a great Wednesday!  Have you started your conversation with your son or daughter? I hope so!


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  • Post 736 - Let's do this journey together...Day 2

    Posted by Sherry S. Andrews - Career & College Wise at 6/20/2017 3:00:00 AM

    Career & College Wise              Tuesday, June 20, 2017

    Post 736 - Let's do this journey together...Day 2

    Email: ccw@lee.k12.nc.us

    Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.

    So yesterday, I asked parents to begin a conversation about college with their rising senior…and now, you ask: 

    What do we specifically talk about?

    First, ask your child to name all the schools he/she is considering applying to; and then ask why he/she feels these schools are a good choice for him/her to attend? Listen to your child’s response – make no comment – just listen!  Hear what they have to say about each school - if they can't tell you a good reason for the school, then they may neet to rethink it or simply do some major research.

    I needed to really know what my children were thinking in this process, and I knew they were always doing things that pleased me. This process was their process to own, but to also be considerate of the family. Additionally, I always learned so much when I listened to my children. As parents, we often want to tell our children what they should do and what they shouldn’t do because that is what we as parents believe we are to do. Trust me, it was difficult to simply sit there and not talk….. Just listen, but I did it and discovered quickly that my children had done their homework concerning colleges.

    My son, Spencer, is my oldest child. He told me that he wanted to go to college to become an English teacher and a coach as well as wanting to play baseball in college. I knew about the playing baseball, but I was uncertain of his career goals, so I learned something from the start. At the point we talked, Spencer had received numerous letters of interests for playing baseball and most were from out-of-state – Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia. He made it clear that he did not want to go to college out-of-state, which then narrowed his choices because only three colleges from within state were recruiting him.   Only one of the three in state schools interested him, so if he couldn’t play baseball there and attain his degree then he wanted to go to N. C. State – the school that he had already told me was too big for him! Consequently, he was basically down to two colleges on his list: High Point University and N. C. State. 

    Of course, I was really happy about NCSU since that is where I graduated from for both my undergraduate and masters and High Point University as well since my mother had attended HPU. I continued to listen without saying a word. He went on to tell me why HPU would be an excellent fit for him. He stated: 

    “It is small with about 3,000 students. When I visited, everyone was really friendly and welcoming. I will get to live in a brand new dorm that is apartment style, affording me my own room which I really like. It has my specific major of English Education and a minor in coaching. As a matter of fact, it is the only school that has a minor in coaching, so I really like that aspect the most. I like the fact that it is growing and is a Division I school. I can have my car on campus, and I really like the amenities offered on campus such as the food in the cafeteria, pools, activities, and community-like feel of the campus. The only thing I do not like about HPU is that it does not have a football program – other than that I am sold on it.”

    Okay, he was very convincing!  He had in fact done his homework, and I understood that HPU was in deed his first choice!  

    Next, he talked about NCSU: “I have known nothing else since I was born but to be a Wolfpacker, and I love going to all the football games and other events on the NCSU campus! It has a degree in English Education. I think I could get use to its large size, but I am not excited about sharing a room or the food on campus. Most likely, I will not be able to have my car on campus, and I will be a number. Most importantly, as of right now, I am not being recruited by NCSU to play baseball.”

    Okay, I see the signs on the wall!  I was sad but still listening!

    Still, I was silent. He asked me what I thought of the two schools, and I responded that both schools are awesome.  I also told him that he had done a great job researching the schools and how each school related to his goals.

    It was a beginning. I now understood his direction and he had valid reasons to support one school over the other. I said, “Okay, I have listened to your side without a word….now it is time for you to listen to my side.”

    Tomorrow….my side! 

    Have a great Tuesday! 

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  • Post 735 - Let's do this journey together...

    Posted by Sherry S. Andrews - Career & College Wise at 6/19/2017 3:00:00 AM

    Career & College Wise              Monday, June 19, 2017

    Post 735 - Let's do this journey together...

    Email: ccw@lee.k12.nc.us

    Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.

    It is my hope that everyone had a joyous celebration with their fathers yesterday on Father's Day or that you took time to remember your father on a day devoted to fatherhood.  My dad is 83 and we had the whole family over to his house for a time of rejoicing.  It was fun and very special to him.  If you weren't able to see your dad yesterday - find a day and make it Father's Day - who said you have to only celebrate on the day.

    On to our topic of the day....

    I realize I have already mentioned this topic previously, probably many times; but because it is so important, I want to spend some more time on the subject.  So here you go....

    I know the summer months should be for fun and relaxation with time for family and friends; and for the most part, these months are just that – fun and less stressful and filled with gatherings of our relatives and friends. However, to help with this fall, a time that is certain to be overwhelming and consumed with tons to do as a senior in high school, let’s consider doing some things this summer to better prepare for the multitude of things that will need to be done in the college process in the hopes we alleviate some of the stresses later.

    First and most importantly, as parents, you need to sit down and have a factual and honest conversation about college with your 2017-18 senior. I did this with both of my children. I needed them to understand that I wasn’t going into debt nor would I allow them to go into debt to receive a college education, particlarly since they wanted to become a teacher. Nothing against the profession of teaching, but let's face it teachers do not make a large salary.  I shared with them the dreams I had for them, and they shared what they wanted to get out of college as well as their dreams. It was a conversation with each child that started on one night in June and continued throughout the college application process. I found this process to be an awesome bonding experience with both my children even when, at times, we did not see eye-to-eye. I told them they did not have to agree with me or I with them, but we did have to agree to hear one another’s side and respect each other’s opinions. This conversation was a great start to the fall of their senior year.  I recommend the same for each of you.

    This week I am going to write my posts discussing some of the issues that need some deep understanding on both the parents’ part and the student’s part prior to beginning the college process. If you start the conversation now, then each and every success and hurdle of the college process will be easier to talk about as time moves forward and as a family. 

    My highest recommendation to both parents and students is to enjoy the process. I did with both of my children and still to this day enjoy it with each and every child I assist in the process. Without a doubt, as parents, you will see your child grow and mature this year like never before; and as a student, you will begin to see that your parents see you more and more as an adult so make certain to act like it!

    Get ready for a journey of a life time!

    Have a wonderful Monday!


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  • Post 734 - Hot Topic - Father's Day!

    Posted by Sherry S. Andrews - Career & College Wise at 6/16/2017 3:00:00 AM

    Career & College Wise              Friday, June 16, 2017

    Post 734 -  Hot Topic - Father's Day!

    Email: ccw@lee.k12.nc.us

    Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.

    Calling all father's out in blog land.  First, Happy Father's Day this Sunday and actually every day of the year.  On this Father's Day, I challenge you to step up your game by talking college to your children - no matter the age.  Your children love to hear your stories - tell them why you went to college or why you did not go to college.  Tell them what you wish for them and how you want to be a part of this process.  Father's don't assume that you child already knows all the answers to these questions....and, even if you have told it before to your children, tell your stories again and again.  Share your dreams with them and allow them to share their dreams with you.  If you can't think of anything to do for Father's Day - pack a picnic lunch and go to a local college campus and have lunch - take a walking tour and experience the fun with your family.  

    Fathers - Dads - Pops - whatever the name - you are your children's role model, so use special days such as Father's Day to set the bar!  Children will rise to the challenge; they simply want to know the expectations and feel the support along the way!


    Have a fantastic Friday and an extraordinary Father's Day on Sunday!  Next week we are answering some important questions about planning for college!  See you on Monday!!


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  • Post 733 - Rising Seniors - this is for you!!!

    Posted by Sherry S. Andrews - Career & College Wise at 6/15/2017 3:00:00 AM

    Career & College Wise              Thursday, June 15, 2017

    Post 733 -  Rising Seniors - this is for you!!!

    Email: ccw@lee.k12.nc.us

    Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.

    It is an exciting time of the year for the students who have just finished their junior year and will be starting their senior year in high school this fall. Because they have never experienced this type of year before, it is impossible to imagine what to expect. Not only will the students be taking some of the most difficult classes in their high school career, but they must make important decisions such as:

    -Do I apply to college or get a job?

    -If I apply to college, then how many do I apply to?

    -Do I need to take the ACT and/or the SAT again?

    -How do I search for scholarships?

    -How do I apply for financial aid?

    -How do I go about writing my college essay or personal statement?

    -What if I want to take a gap year?

    -How do I better prepare for the SAT or ACT?

    -Do I apply Early Decision, Early Action, or Regular Decision?

    -How do I go about creating a solid college list?

    -What are the best Websites to checkout for the college process?

    -What are colleges looking for in the students they accept?

    -How do I begin this process?

    These questions are just the tip of the iceberg in the college process. Starting Monday, we will begin to seek the answers to these questions and so many more in hopes that the Lee County "Rising" Seniors will get a head start on the college process. By starting early, students will be able to enjoy their senior year more instead of worrying about it in the fall. We have lots to talk about, and I ask that students and parents email me at ccw@lee.k12.nc.us with questions, thoughts, and concerns about the topics they want me to address this summer.  Also, I ask that you tell your friends about the blog - let's meet this experience head on and together!

    Ready, set, GO…….Monday, June, 19, 2017!!!

    See you tomorrow in blog land!  I have a "HOT" topic to discuss!

    Have a blessed Thursday and get ready for a great weekend!

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  • Post 732 - A Personal Story to Share with our rising Seniors and others!

    Posted by Sherry S. Andrews - Career & College Wise at 6/14/2017 3:00:00 AM

    Career & College Wise              Wednesday, June 14, 2017

    Post 732 -  A Personal Story to Share with our rising Seniors and others!

    Email: ccw@lee.k12.nc.us

    Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.

    This story has been a few years back, but it is a story worth sharing with my blog readers:

    When I told my daughter Morgan that I was ready to see her college list because we were going to begin to visit she gladly and proudly showed me her list.

    My response to Morgan’s list of colleges went something like this..….Wow, that is some list. It is obvious you have done some homework, and I am glad that you want to know more about each college/university. I need for you to keep in mind that I will only pay for up to 8 college application fees, so you do need to have your list trimmed quite a bit. Also, keep in mind – as I told, your brother, Spencer - I will only pay for what it would cost you to go to a public university such as NCSU at around $20,000 per year. Anything above and beyond the $20,000 per year is on you – through scholarships, grants, loans (no more than $20,000 in loans in a four year period), work study, jobs, etc.

    I agreed that we would plan to visit all of her colleges on her list that summer with a final list complete by the start of the school year. 

    Reminder, here are all the schools Morgan had on her list:

    North Carolina State University (my choice since I attend and graduated from NCSU-undergraduate & masters - she was being recruited for softball at the time by NCSU)

    High Point University (where my son was attending at the time)

    University of North Carolina at Greensboro (a place she knew well having attended 4 years of basketball camp there)

    Queens University (being recruited for softball)

    Guilford College (being recruited for softball)

    Methodist University (being recruited for softball)

    Catawba College (being recruited for softball)

    Belmont Abbey College (being recruited for softball)

    Wingate University (being recruited for softball)

    Campbell University (being recruited for softball)

    University of North Carolina at Wilmington

    Coastal Carolina University, SC

    Winthrop University (being recruited for softball)

    Western Carolina University (being recruited for softball)

    Elon University (being recruited for softball)

    University of North Carolina at Charlotte

    Like I said, she had a very long list - sixteen schools to be exact!

    I was proud of Morgan for having such a long list and for allowing herself to think outside the box and be open to colleges that aren’t necessarily the most popular. She wasn’t influenced by me, her peers, or her friends. She genuinely wanted to select the best school for her, and the school that offered her the most scholarship money. She told me in our conversation that her goal was to graduate from college debt-free!! Now, five years past her graduation, she did exactly that - debt free!  It is a nice place to be - trust me!!

    We will continue this conversation and you should begin to talk about this with your children, particularly if they are in high school and even more so if they are a rising senior!

    Have a great Wednesday!!

    Have a wonderful Thursday!  This week seems to be flying by way too quickly!  I hear the weekend is suppose to be a bit cooler so get ready to celebrate Father's Day on Sunday with your dad if he is int he area or with the one who has been like a dad to you! 

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  • Post 731 - Just a note to the graduating seniors about registering for college classes!

    Posted by Sherry S. Andrews - Career & College Wise at 6/13/2017 3:00:00 AM

    Career & College Wise              Tuesday, June 13, 2017

    Post 731 - Just a note to the graduating seniors about registering for college classes!

    Email: ccw@lee.k12.nc.us

    Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.

    This subject concerning registering for college courses sort of landed in my lap last evening.  My nephew is entering college in the fall, and he is currently out of the country traveling with his family so his aunt (me) who knows all about college was selected to complete his registration online. 

    Of course upon my earlier advisement, he has already selected his courses and sent me his info so my job will be easy.  I suggested to him some time ago when he began this process to select a full 18 hours of credit for his first fall semester. 

    Now, will he take all 18 hours of credit? - No, I certaily hope not because in truth most freshmen - 90% - are most likely not prepared to take on 18 hours of credit in their first semester of college.  I learned years ago that the Drop/Add period at colleges (often the first two weeks of a semester) were impossible, meaning it is easy to drop a course but extremely difficult to add a course.  Consequently, if a student signs up for 18 hours then he/she has the opportunity to drop the course or in some cases the two courses that he/she feels will be most difficult for him/her to be successful in for the first semester of college. 

    I actually advise this sort of registration each semester of a student's college career.  I also advise that students should not only sign up for 18 hours but attend each class in the fall, examine the syllabus for each class, and then determine which class would be best to drop - which is an easy process compared to attempting to drop and add!  For all the recent grads out there, this registration process might be helpful to some students.  Keep in mind that a student must be enrolled in 12 hours of credit to be considered a full time student at the college, for financial aid purposes, and for residency on campus, so never drop below 12 hours.  

    Have a wonderful Tuesday!

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  • Post 730 - Rising Seniors - It's your turn! - Day 6

    Posted by Sherry S. Andrews - Career & College Wise at 6/12/2017 3:00:00 AM

    Career & College Wise              Monday, June 12, 2017

    Post 730 - Rising Seniors - It's your turn! - Day 6

    Email: ccw@lee.k12.nc.us

    Please email me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions.

    Continuing the rising Senior to-Do List....

    16.  Begin to research scholarships using a scholarship search engine such as fastweb.com.  I really like this site - I normally advise all parents to help his/her rising senior with this process.  With my own two children, I had all the scholarship info sent to me and determined which scholarships they would apply for and the ones they would ignore.  If I had left the whole process up to them, they would have most likely ignored each and every scholarship - typical teenager - too busy to really understand how this process can help the entire family.  In a senior's mind, they do not understand the cost, so as parents we have to help them understand.

    17.  Continue to update your junior year resume - this item will come in handy with both the college and scholarship applications as well as college and scholarship recommendations.  Your resume is an outline of who you are so show diversity in your activities.  Excellent templates are available online.

    18.  Develop a timeline with application due dates - beat deadlines by at least a week maybe two weeks!  With all that you have to do while in high school, it is most important to beat deadlines - there are no do overs in the college application process nor in the scholarship applicaiton process - deadlines are so important.

    You know, high school is a once in a lifetime experience - do it right and college will be your 2nd once in a lifetime experience!

    Have a glorious day - today - Monday, June 12!  

    Remember the blog will continue throughout the summer and we welcome your questions.  Share the blog with a friend!


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