December 5, 2018


Welcome back to News and Views! Readers will notice an increased emphasis on items of interest to juniors in this issue. This shift anticipates the completion of our seniors' final round of college applications and the beginning of our work with juniors when we return from Christmas Break. Speaking of the coming semester, we ask parents to consider the college tour we hope to offer over Winter Break in February. Details were provided in the Upper School newsletter sent yesterday by Julie Edson. Feel free to reach out to Ms. Van Wagenen with any questions you may have about this proposed trip.

Reminders for Seniors

Seniors, if you are applying for need-based financial aid, please double check your list of schools and make sure you know a) their deadlines for applying for financial aid and b) which ones require both the FAFSA and the CSS profile. For your convenience, the College Board's list of schools using the CSS profile can be found here.


On an additional note, please plan on seeing your advisors for any final editorial support you require for your college application essays and supplementals before you leave for Christmas Break. 

USC Bovard Scholars

USC welcomes applications for their Bovard Scholars program. Now in its third year, the program's first cohort is enjoying their first year as college freshmen at universities across the country such as Harvard, Columbia, the University of Chicago, the University of California, Berkeley, and at USC. Applicants should be high achieving juniors in high school with financial need who will be applying to selective universities. The basic profile USC is looking for is as follows:

  • Junior in high school at the time of application
  • 4.0 GPA or above
  • Enrolled in Algebra II & Trigonometry or a more advanced math class
  • Demonstrates financial need

The application deadline is Friday, February 15, 2019 at 5:00pm PST. Each Bovard Scholar will have one full year of support through the admissions cycle her senior year and will spend three weeks on the USC campus. While there, each scholar will receive personalized career exploration, expert admission and financial aid support, comprehensive test preparation, and leadership training. For more information and to apply, see the program website.

Coolidge Scholarship

The Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation invites applications for the Coolidge Scholarship. The Coolidge is a comprehensive cost-of-attendance scholarship, covering tuition, room, board, and expenses for four years of undergraduate study. Unlike many other scholarships of this caliber, the Coolidge can be used by recipients at any accredited U.S. college or university. More information, including selection criteria and the application, is available on the program's website. A key caveat: you have to apply early for this one. Applicants in any given round of selection must be high school juniors anticipating college matriculation the year after next. This academic year, the deadline to apply is January 23, 2019.

Music Scholarships at University of Portland

The University of Portland is working to raise awareness of their extensive music program, and in particular of this year's scholarship audition dates--February 16, 18, and 20. UP has a solid track record of providing performance and study opportunities to prepare students for the professional world of music as performers, educators, and scholars. Their accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Music is helpful in ensuring that their alumni are qualified to continue musical training at the graduate level. For more information on UP's music scholarships and auditions, see here.

Quest University Merit Scholarships

Quest University Canada, our northern neighbor's competitively-priced and first-ever school organized on the American liberal arts college model, wishes to remind potential applicants of their generous merit scholarships. The David Strangway Award for Excellence provides full tuition for four years. Recipients will have achieved a high school average above 90% (3.75 US or equivalent) and be able to demonstrate an outstanding record of leadership and service. Quest's Presidential Scholarships, which range as high as $18,000 (CAD), are awarded to students who have distinguished themselves not only through their academic performance, but also through intrinsic curiosity, an ability to lead, and a willingness to contribute to their community. Also of interest are their $10,000 (CAD) LEAP (Leaders in Athletic and Performance) Scholarships, which allow eligible candidates to pursue both an education and excellence in their art or sport. As Quest puts it, LEAP "caters to athletes and performers at the professional or elite level." For more information on these scholarships, see here. Meanwhile, know that Mr. White was very impressed with Quest when he visited the school last spring and would be happy to share his impressions with you.

Gettysburg College STEM Scholarships

Gettysburg College is once again offering their STEM scholarship program for students interested in the STEM fields (Biology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Studies, Health Sciences, Mathematics, and Physics). STEM Scholars will have their full demonstrated financial need met for all four years with no loans and have the opportunity to participate in cohort-specific programs including the First-Year Seminar, faculty-student research, and peer-mentoring. The deadline to apply is January 15. For more information, please visit this page on their website, which also has a link to the application.

Hispanic Scholarship Fund Summer Programs

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund invites applications for their summer programs from students who are currently in their junior year of high school. The Young Leaders Summit is a free, four-day, overnight, college empowerment conference at the University of Chicago for a diverse cohort of 200 low-income high school juniors from all ethnic backgrounds, selected through a competitive application process. It is designed to give these young leaders the practical tools they need to successfully apply to top universities, have full access to scholarship and financial aid opportunities, and set a course for academic and career success. The Youth Leadership Institute is a free, four-day, overnight, college empowerment conference specifically for Latino high school juniors held at two top universities in the U.S. This highly selective program is designed to give young Latino leaders the practical tools they need to successfully apply to top universities, have full access to scholarship and financial aid opportunities, and set a course for academic and career success. Feel free to see Ms. Van Wagenen or Mr. White for assistance if you wish to apply for either program.

Duke University Summer Programs

Duke University Summer Session offers three distinct programs: Summer College for High School Students (offers college credit), Summer Academy for High School Students, and Accelerated STEM Academy. Each offers an opportunity to experience life on Duke's campus, and the variety of academic fields the Summer Session allows students to explore is extensive. For more information about what these programs offer, including reflections from recent attendees, see the Summer Session blog

A Renaissance at Women's Colleges?

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently reported on an interesting and heartening trend: a significant uptick in enrollment at women's colleges.  "Barnard, which has joined several other women's colleges in accepting applications from anyone who identifies as a woman, has had about an 80-percent increase in applicants since 2004. Sweet Briar College, which almost closed its doors in 2015, experienced a 42-percent bump in enrollment this fall. At institutions across the country, including Spelman College, Stephens College, Scripps College, and Bryn Mawr College, enrollment is also up." For the full story, see here.

When a College Student Comes Home to Stay

William Stixrud and Ned Johnson's recent New York Times op-ed explores an emerging pattern that, while not prevalent among Catalina alumnae, nonetheless has implications for how we prepare our kids to head off to college. As the authors of The Self-Driven Child explain, even having successfully navigated the admissions process and matriculated at schools they worked hard to get into, "thirty percent of freshmen won't return for their sophomore year, and the wheels can start to fall off as early as Thanksgiving." And while our intuitions may suggest that only underachievers have this experience, Stixrud and Johnson go on to observe, "Burnout is [also] common among high-achieving high school students who sacrificed sleep and relaxation for four years to get into their college of choice, only to find once they get there that they can't imagine another four years of grind." For more of Stixrud and Johnson's analysis of this pattern and their prescription for avoiding it, read the whole piece here. Fortunately, it will leave you reassured that Catalina is ahead of the curve with our newly-inaugurated Wellness program.


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