Hamilton Scholars – HS Juniors

Blog, General, Information, Leadership Opportunities, Summer Programs

The Alexander Hamilton Friends Association was born in 2004. The vision: preserving Hamilton’s legacy by energizing tomorrow’s leaders. The mission: to identify young Americans who, like the young Alexander Hamilton, demonstrate leadership abilities, academic excellence, a passion for public service and financial need– and, through practical training programs, internship experiences and financial assistance, help them reach their highest personal and career goals.

The Alexander Hamilton Friends Association seeks college-bound high school juniors with a strong record of academics as well as community service.  This student should have financial and/or personal need, be a self-starter and be committed to enrolling in the Hamilton Leaders Academy.        [read more]

What is a 529 College Savings Plan?

Blog, General, Information, Parenting

A 529 is a tax-advantaged method for one person to save money to pay for another person’s college expenses some time in the future.  The 529 is available in two forms:  as a pre-paid tuition plan that can be sponsored by the state or by an individual college and as a college savings plan often investing in the stock market or in mutual funds.  The 529 is not limited to parents who initiate the savings plan, but often grand parents and other close relative or friend who will open an account on the child’s behalf.

Choosing the best program requires a solid understanding of the difference between the two formats.  The US Securities and Exchange Commission has outlined the two most commonly used college savings plans in the following article.  [read more]

CommonApp Announces New Essay Topics

Tags: , , , Application, Blog, General, Information, News

The Common Application has made some significant changes to the application that current high school juniors will complete when applying to colleges for the fall of 2014.  This application is used by more than four-hundred college and universities.  Students simply fills out a single application and then directs that application to several colleges.  Many of these colleges also require students to fill out a supplement designed to provide that institution with information that helps the admission committee to find those students who will make a good fit.

Many juniors try to relieve some of the stress of the senior year by writing essays in the junior year, but the changes in the topics on CommonApp have been a carefully held secret until now. has posted the topics in a recent article.

“And without further ado, here they are:

  • Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  • Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?
  • Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
  • Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
  • Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.”

Competencies Rather than Courses – The Future of Education?

Information, Uncategorized

Dr. Paul J. LeBlanc, President of Southern New Hampshire University, is an international leader in the competency-based education movement.  Proponents of this form of education assert that a college degree should convey a level of mastery of a subject or set of skills and that seat-time does not equate to acquisition of knowledge.

“The irony of the three-credit hour is that it fixes time while it leaves variable the actual learning. In other words, we are really good at telling the world how long students have sat at their desks and we are really quite poor at saying how much they have learned or even what they learned. Competency-based education flips the relationship and says let time be variable, but make learning well-defined, fixed and non-negotiable.”  [read more]