By Paget Hines The conversation about vocabulary typically centers on standardized testing. It is true that vocabulary study is integral to obtaining a top score on these tests, but the value of a strong vocabulary transcends standardized tests. Test scores are one component of a student’s school portfolio. Class work, essays, and tests are vital as well. Additionally, for those students applying for scholarships, internships, or special programs, interviews and essays are usually mandated. Demonstrating a penchant for sophisticated word choice will set a student apart from the crowd. Utilizing a robust vocabulary in an interview and essay underscores the fact that a student’s understanding of vocabulary is not merely superficial. Used appropriately, erudite words in essays and interviews will enhance a student’s standing with the teacher, reader, or interviewer. It is crucial that parents, teachers, and tutors incorporate meaningful and contextual vocabulary study across the instruction spectrum. This is particularly important for student’s who struggle with critical reading and writing skills and those for whom English is a second language. A vivid and varied vocabulary will bolster a student’s chances of success. No two words mean exactly the same thing, so it is important to teach the proper contexts for words. Throwing in a few big words might misfire if students are not aware of the nuances of the words. As with any skill, practice makes perfect! Engaging and entertaining for students. Paget is a Learning Specialist, Partner at Direct Hits, and author of the Direct Hits Vocabulary book series. She began her teaching career at the Schenck School in Atlanta. After completing two years of Orton-Gillingham training, Paget began privately tutoring. For 13 years she was in private practice in San Francisco, working with students in middle school and high school. She developed and implemented a SSAT verbal, reading comprehension, and essay curriculum for students with learning differences and test-taking anxiety. She currently works with students at Georgia Tech through Project Engages. Paget has tutored and administered the SSAT, PSAT, ACT, and SAT throughout her career. Integral – — very important and necessary Transcends — goes beyond, exceeds, surpasses Mandated – — to officially demanded or required Penchant —– a liking or preference for something, aptitude, an inclination Underscores — emphasizes or shows the importance of Superficial - — concerned only with the obvious or apparent Erudite – — learned,; literate Enhance — make stronger, better, or more valuable Incorporate — include, make part of another thing Underscores - to emphasize or show the importance of Bolsters – —to make stronger or better Nuances — the slight and subtle differences or shades of meaning between nearly identical entities Study guides form Direct Hits can be purchased wherever books are sold. Direct Hits Advance Vocabulary 9781936551248, Direct Hits Essential Vocabulary 9781936551200, and Direct Hits Core Vocabulary 9781936551224. This blog has been brought to you by CPG News & Information Service.
By Dr. Frank Mussano with Dr. Robert Iosuse, authors of the book College Tuition: Four Decades of Financial Deception Filling out the free application for student financial aid known as the FAFSA is the most important step you can take to receive financial assistance for paying college expenses. It determines eligibility for all federal student aid, including scholarships, low-cost loans, grants, and work-study. Education Reform 1. What is the FAFSA income limit for awarding financial aid? There is no income cut-off for federal financial aid. Many factors are considered in the needs analysis formula in addition to income. The bottom line is that students should not assume they are not eligible for financial aid. 2. What is the best way to submit the FAFSA? The FAFSA can be completed via paper application or online, but the online application is recommended because it offers many advantages. The FAFSA must be resubmitted every academic year. 3. When is the best time to submit the FAFSA? After filing taxes? After Acceptance to College? Although tax information from the previous year is required to complete the form, FAFSA allows applicants to estimate information and correct it after taxes are finalized. It is best to fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1 of the year the student plans to enter college. 4. What information is needed to fill out the FAFSA? Collect the necessary financial records prior to sitting down to fill out the FAFSA. You should have: • most recent year’s tax forms or end-of-year pay stubs, • w-2 forms and other records of money earned • records of the most recent untaxed income from agencies such as welfare, veteran benefits, Social Security, etc. • current bank statements and records of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other investments • current mortgage information (FAFSA does not assess home equity or personal assets) • student’s driver’s license and social security number • at least one, and up to ten, federal school codes for colleges the student is interested in attending (available via the school’s financial aid offices) 5. How can assets in the FAFSA needs analysis formula be minimized? Under current federal financial aid formulas, all assets of the student are assessed at a 20% rate while parents are assessed at a maximum rate of 5.65%. 6. Is help available to fill out the FAFSA? You can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center with questions about the online or paper FAFSA application process at 1-800-433-3243.