Tag Archives: online private schools

What Do The Best Online High Schools Have In Common?

gwuohs_best-online-hs-have-in-common

The job market continues to evolve by leaps and bounds. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ December 2016 jobs report, employment in the financial world, education and health and professional and business services continue to rise at an aggressive pace. These industries require innovative thinkers, strong leaders and skilled workers — and those skills are honed by an outstanding education.

A college degree and a social network are vital to success in the workplace, which is why thousands of students apply to for the nation’s most elite schools each year. The fierce competition for spots in the freshmen classes of these universities and colleges, however, means that many talented, capable students will have to pursue their education elsewhere.

Standing Out From the Pack

While there is no magic formula to guarantee admission to your dream school, there are a few steps that you can take to make your application stand out. We took a look at the admissions requirements of five of the institutions that appeared on Niche.com’s list of 2017 Colleges with the Best Academics in America to glean some clues for grabbing the attention of admissions counselors.

Your Grades Matter; Your Classes Matter More

It’s no secret that grades matter; in fact, without a high g.p.a and equally impressive SAT or ACT scores, you may not even be considered for many of the nation’s top universities and colleges.

But here’s the kicker: a perfect g.p.a doesn’t look quite so impressive if the classes that you’ve taken are the bare minimum needed for graduation. The most rigorous schools want to see that you’ve taken challenging classes, preferably at the college level.

For example, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which has an acceptance rate of 8 percent, recommends that prospective applicants have taken, at a minimum:

  • One year each of physics, chemistry and biology
  • Two years of a foreign language
  • Four years of English
  • Two years of history or social studies
  • Math through calculus

In other words, they want to see students who are serious about their education.

Perhaps you’re fortunate enough to live in a large, thriving city with a wide array of public and private schooling options that offer robust academic programming. If you live in a smaller town, or the high school that you’re attending just doesn’t offer the classes that you need, consider other options like online schools or supplement your education with local college extension or summer programs.

Grades are important, but an A- in a challenging college-level class may look better than an A+ in an easier, high school course.

Brush Up on Your Writing Skills

Some students shy away from essay questions, or treat their college entrance essay like a six-week class in digging ditches. Why? Because writing can be difficult. Writing requires more than filling in a bubble; writing requires that you dig down deep and express your opinions and beliefs in logical, cogent and entertaining ways. That’s really hard!

Today’s most rigorous schools want to see not only what you know, but how you think. For example, Yale University, a prestigious school with a 7 percent acceptance rate, asks that their applicants write two essays. This allows the admissions counselors to get a sense of who the applicant is, and how they will contribute to the student body. Clearly, it’s important that you get comfortable with essay questions.

Know Your Deadlines

Different schools want different things at different times, and missing a deadline can easily derail your entire plan. Stanford, which has an undergraduate acceptance rate of 5 percent, asks for letters of recommendation from 11th and 12th grade teachers. The University of Chicago requires mid-year reports from the guidance counselors of prospective students. Other schools have their own specific deadlines for SAT and ACT scores submissions. Research your school and make sure that you submit the necessary letters, reports and test scores at the right times.

Where Do You Shine?

The most rigorous colleges are looking for unique individuals who will contribute to the culture of their institution.

Harvard, for example, places high value on creativity. The Harvard Admissions website quotes former Faculty Standing Committee on Admissions member Helen Vendler, who wrote that “We are eager to harbor the next Homer, the next Kant, or the next Dickinson. There is no reason why we shouldn’t expect such a student to spend his or her university years with us.” The bar is set high!

Yale’s admissions office operates in a similar vein. With each application, Yale’s admissions officers consider whether that individual will make the most of the university’s resources, and what they will contribute to the Yale community during both their years in school, and after.

Look for ways to volunteer in your community, develop your leadership skills and explore new interests. As MIT’s admissions website notes, “cloning is still for sheep…What we really want to see on your application is you being you – pursuing the things you love, growing, changing, taking risks, learning from your mistakes, all in your own distinctive way.”

Are you up for the challenge of an elite online education? If you want a competitive curriculum that prepares you to take on the most rigorous colleges in the United States, consider GWUOHS. Learn more now.

 


What Do The Most Rigorous Colleges In The U.S. Expect From Prospective Students?

rigorous-colleges

The job market continues to evolve by leaps and bounds. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ December 2016 jobs report, employment in the financial world, education and health and professional and business services continue to rise at an aggressive pace. These industries require innovative thinkers, strong leaders and skilled workers — and those skills are honed by an outstanding education.

A college degree and a social network are vital to success in the workplace, which is why thousands of students apply to for the nation’s most elite schools each year. The fierce competition for spots in the freshmen classes of these universities and colleges, however, means that many talented, capable students will have to pursue their education elsewhere.
Standing Out From the Pack

While there is no magic formula to guarantee admission to your dream school, there are a few steps that you can take to make your application stand out. We took a look at the admissions requirements of five of the institutions that appeared on Niche.com’s list of 2017 Colleges with the Best Academics in America to glean some clues for grabbing the attention of admissions counselors.

Your Grades Matter; Your Classes Matter More

It’s no secret that grades matter; in fact, without a high g.p.a and equally impressive SAT or ACT scores, you may not even be considered for many of the nation’s top universities and colleges.

But here’s the kicker: a perfect g.p.a doesn’t look quite so impressive if the classes that you’ve taken are the bare minimum needed for graduation. The most rigorous schools want to see that you’ve taken challenging classes, preferably at the college level.

For example, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which has an acceptance rate of 8 percent, recommends that prospective applicants have taken, at a minimum:

  • One year each of physics, chemistry and biology
  • Two years of a foreign language
  • Four years of English
  • Two years of history or social studies
  • Math through calculus

In other words, they want to see students who are serious about their education.

Perhaps you’re fortunate enough to live in a large, thriving city with a wide array of public and private schooling options that offer robust academic programming. If you live in a smaller town, or the high school that you’re attending just doesn’t offer the classes that you need, consider other options like online schools or supplement your education with local college extension or summer programs.

Grades are important, but an A- in a challenging college-level class may look better than an A+ in an easier, high school course.

Brush Up on Your Writing Skills

Some students shy away from essay questions, or treat their college entrance essay like a six-week class in digging ditches. Why? Because writing can be difficult. Writing requires more than filling in a bubble; writing requires that you dig down deep and express your opinions and beliefs in logical, cogent and entertaining ways. That’s really hard!

Today’s most rigorous schools want to see not only what you know, but how you think. For example, Yale University, a prestigious school with a 7 percent acceptance rate, asks that their applicants write two essays. This allows the admissions counselors to get a sense of who the applicant is, and how they will contribute to the student body. Clearly, it’s important that you get comfortable with essay questions.

Know Your Deadlines

Different schools want different things at different times, and missing a deadline can easily derail your entire plan. Stanford, which has an undergraduate acceptance rate of 5 percent, asks for letters of recommendation from 11th and 12th grade teachers. The University of Chicago requires mid-year reports from the guidance counselors of prospective students. Other schools have their own specific deadlines for SAT and ACT scores submissions. Research your school and make sure that you submit the necessary letters, reports and test scores at the right times.

Where Do You Shine?

The most rigorous colleges are looking for unique individuals who will contribute to the culture of their institution.

Harvard, for example, places high value on creativity. The Harvard Admissions website quotes former Faculty Standing Committee on Admissions member Helen Vendler, who wrote that “We are eager to harbor the next Homer, the next Kant, or the next Dickinson. There is no reason why we shouldn’t expect such a student to spend his or her university years with us.” The bar is set high!

Yale’s admissions office operates in a similar vein. With each application, Yale’s admissions officers consider whether that individual will make the most of the university’s resources, and what they will contribute to the Yale community during both their years in school, and after.

Look for ways to volunteer in your community, develop your leadership skills and explore new interests. As MIT’s admissions website notes, “cloning is still for sheep…What we really want to see on your application is you being you – pursuing the things you love, growing, changing, taking risks, learning from your mistakes, all in your own distinctive way.”

Are you up for the challenge of an elite online education? If you want a competitive curriculum that prepares you to take on the most rigorous colleges in the United States, consider GWUOHS. Learn more now.

gwuohs_rigorouscolleges

 


Meet Mark Foisey, Jr: A GWUOHS Success Story

mark-f

Mark Foisey

Not everyone thrives in a traditional classroom setting. Often, gifted students become bored and lose interest in school when the instructor must teach to the level of the average student. There just aren’t enough challenges to hold an eager student’s interest.

Mark Foisey, Jr. of New York City is a senior at George Washington University Online High School (GWUOHS). He’s an aspiring actor who’s also measuring the possibilities of a future in real estate. Mark is a great example of a student who struggled to stay engaged in a traditional schoolroom atmosphere before opting for an online school — and his entire educational experience changed.

We sat down with Mark recently to see what he had to say about our life, school and his work outside the classroom.

It sounds like you have really found a lot of success in the online high school environment. What made online education the right fit for you?

Mark Foisey, Jr.: I really liked the idea of online schooling, but I hadn’t actually done it before. I’m currently a senior at GWUOHS. I came to the school in February of my junior school; it happened rather suddenly. I knew that I needed to go into a program that was very intense, very challenging. At the time, many people I knew seemed to think that online school was really easy — some people don’t really understand that that is not at all the case. GWUOHS was able to give me the solid foundation that allowed me to succeed while allowing me to be flexible with my schedule.

What are your proudest moments of high school so far?

MFJ: GWUOHS has really been able to help me excel academically. I’ve never dealt with more attentive teachers. For instance, in a brick and mortar school, there’s no way you could jump on Skype or email and ask your math teacher a question, and have them get back to you in 10 minutes. But at GWUOHS, I can do that and they will get back to me in three minutes flat, or one hour and three minutes if they’re teaching class at the time. It’s incredible.

You seem like a busy person! School, activities, acting — what are your plans for after graduation?

MFJ: International real estate and investment is what I want to go to school for. For about the past year and a half, I’ve been working with real estate investors and construction companies on a variety of projects and promotions.

As for acting, it is an ongoing thing. Acting is the art of engaging people, so I’m never going to give that up, especially with going into the world of sales, it’s essential skill.

Right now, I lead the online Learn to Serve club at GWUOHS, which is for younger students. It focuses on community service and giving back. When I leave GWUOHS, I will continue doing service in the community and staying involved. I definitely see myself doing everything I’m doing now, but just on a larger scale.

Do you think your GWUOHS experience will help you reach your goals after graduation? How?

MFJ: Absolutely! I think that attending GWUOHS is going to help me because I have been set up to succeed. GWUOHS makes sure that you know what’s coming at you. A lot of our teachers use real life situations in the classroom, making connections between the past and present and helping you identify trends and patterns that make their subjects a lot more relevant. Everyone likes to say that history repeats itself, but they don’t usually say how or when or how often. The teachers at GWUOHS relate how the things you learn in class will translate into real life.

What advice do you have for new students starting at GWUOHS, or any online school?

MFJ: The most important advice for new students: one, be optimistic. Don’t let people tell you that anything is too hard. All school should be hard! It’s supposed to be a lot of work.

Two, don’t let people say it’s not real — GWUOHS is accredited and recognized by universities all over the country and the school has a lot of alumni who can attest that it is as real as it gets. It’s definitely a different way to do high school, but that doesn’t mean it is bad.

In sum, make sure you pay attention, watch those deadlines, and what isn’t possible in a brick and mortar school is possible at GWUOHS.

Thank you Mark for sharing your thoughts with our readers. We wish you continued success!

Thinking about an online education?

Learn more about how an online private school could spark you or your child’s educational experience. Visit GWUOHS online today.

 


What are the National Honor Society Requirements for HS Students?

nhs_requirements

National Honor Society (NHS) has promoted service and academic performance since 1921. It is one of the most prestigious memberships available to high school students. High schoolers who are serious about grades, their communities and improving their chances of getting into a great college often see National Honor Society as an important step.

What Are the Basic Requirements of National Honor Society?

Generally, the process of being admitted to National Honor Society involves an application that shows a record of service and a history of high academic standing. According to the Honor Society’s official website, “membership is determined by a majority vote of the faculty council, following an evaluation of candidates’ qualifications for membership.”

Why does National Honor Society exist? There are four main purposes that guide National Honor Society chapters:

  1. Create enthusiasm for scholarship
  2. Stimulate a desire to render service
  3. Promote leadership
  4. Develop character in the students of secondary schools

Membership requirements vary between chapters at different schools.

We recently talked to Dr. Jonathan Mathis, the director of NHS at the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) – the founding body of the National Honor Society – to learn more about the club.

“The catalyst a student needed to thrive”

“Schools,” Dr. Mathis noted, “are full of latent potential just waiting to be released through the right opportunities, and there are countless examples of NHS being just the catalyst a student needed to thrive in new ways.”

Dr. Mathis added that most students take full advantage of the opportunities to perform community service – especially when they see an overwhelming need in their own neighborhoods.

“In many cases, the service is linked to specific problems students have identified in their local communities,” he said. “We find them most engaged when they lead the full process of building empathy, defining the problem, identifying solutions, and then of course executing them.”

Are National Honor Society better prepared for college? There is no direct path between NHS and college, Dr. Mathis said, but did note that students who take part in the organization’s activities often receive college prep information and are better prepared for the process of applying.

Dr. Mathis also explained that many NHS programs have introduced a newly-instituted campaign called Honor Your Future Now, which includes “a series of new college-going features, including webinars with college admissions counselors, a custom scholarship search tool, an expanded pool of NHS Scholarship funds, as well as virtual workshops for college admission and scholarship essay writing.”

A More Specific Look at Requirements and Benefits of NHS

Lucas Humphrey is an English teacher and National Honor Society sponsor at George Washington University Online High School. The program functions a bit differently at GWUOHS than it would at a brick-and-mortar school, Humphrey explains, but with the same philosophies.

Students from the online private school meet digitally. Group projects are coordinated online, but carried out in regional groups or simply within the community. The club’s key goals and themes are no different from the traditional classroom setting.

Humphrey says most students at GWOUHS are eligible and interested in joining  by the time they hit their junior year – the first year they are able to apply.

“A lot of students enjoy being able to have the social connection with other students,” Humphrey notes. “It’s a big benefit to a lot of our clubs, being that we’re an online school. National Honor Society really gives them an opportunity to interact with students that are likeminded.”

If a GWUOHS student has a minimum 3.3 grade point average and a clean disciplinary record, they are encouraged to submit an application detailing their records in academics and community service. Most of those applications are accepted.

That’s not to say that students who are too young to apply shouldn’t be thinking of the future, however.

“I suggest to ninth- and tenth-graders who are interested in joining NHS later in high school to get involved in their communities,” Humphrey says and advises students that. “If they really want to join National Honor Society, [to] make sure to keep their grades up and get involved with service work early.”

Does NHS membership help get students into college? Humphrey thinks so – or, at least, believes it can’t hurt. “I would say that membership does have a positive influence on college applications,” he says. “Students can indicate on their application that they are a member of NHS. Any type of any extracurricular activities on their application is going to help.”

NHS: Beneficial to the Bigger Picture

National Honor Society may help strengthen a student’s college applications – but it’s also going to help build character, leadership skills and a stronger community. Ultimately, those attributes create opportunities for a brighter future for both the individual and our neighbors.

Is an online school right for you?

If you or your child is interested in the benefits of attending one of the nation’s elite online private schools, visit the GWUOHS website today to learn more about what we have to offer.

 


What You Need to Know About Online HS Accreditation

hs_accreditation

What You Need to Know About Online High Schools and Accreditation

There are more opportunities for pursuing a high school education online than ever – but not all online schools are created equal. Accreditation is an important matter when you’re considering your online high school options, especially when your student will soon begin the highly competitive college application process.

Here’s what you need to know.

  1. Understand the importance of accreditation.

“When a school is accredited, it gives a stamp of approval on the diploma and helps families recognize it as a legitimate institution,” says Alison Mistretta, George Washington University Online High School’s head of school and administrator.

Online high school accreditation can greatly impact the eligibility for post-graduation opportunities for students. Accredited schools must meet certain curricular guidelines, ensuring that a student is adequately prepared to take the next step in their education when it’s time to consider a college.

  1. Different accreditation is valued differently.

Not all online high schools offer the same value to every accepting institution. It’s not uncommon for secondary institutions to reject credits from schools that are not accredited, which can pose an issue if your child is transferring schools. While there are several different accrediting agencies, some of the most recognizable include MSA-CESS, NCAA and Advanced Ed.

  1. Look to states and regions for accreditation.

Since there’s currently no single governing accreditation standard set within the United States, the various states and regions are usually your most ideal option and best starting point to find legitimate accrediting agencies. Where is the online high school registered and accredited? These answers help determine quality. Also, consider accreditation agencies that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

  1. Ask the right questions.

Before you sign up for an online high school program, make sure you ask about the school’s accreditation standing. Also, consider the quality of the program: for example, GWUOHS offers small class sizes and a challenging curriculum, which has helped its students successfully get accepted to some of the top colleges and universities in the United States.

Here are a few factors to weigh when looking for an online high school:

  • What accrediting body is the school accredited by?
  • How often is the school reviewed for accreditation and renewal?
  • What is the school’s standing with the accrediting body?
  • Does the school offer any dual credit options?
  • What specializations are available (i.e. religion, engineering, arts)?
  • What is the rate of successful completion of the program?
  • How flexible is the school with class delivery options or individualized programs?
  • Does the school offer extracurricular activities, clubs, tutoring or counseling services?

Want to learn more?

If you have questions about online high school accreditation or the advantages of attending an online private high school, please contact George Washington University Online High School or request more information today.

 


Planning Your Novel during National Novel Writing Month

Planning Your Novel for National Novel Writing Month
by Lucas Humphrey

Okay, so you’ve chosen a genre for your novel. Now what? How do you plan to effectively use your time? (We’re two weeks in so hopefully you have some ideas by now!) Here are some suggestions:

1. Commit yourself. Dedicate to spend a specific amount of hours working on your novel each day no matter what! Determine when you’ll have free time in your schedule, and what is realistic. Also, decide how long your novel will be—or at least have a general idea.

2. Develop your characters and backstory. What makes them interesting? How will you introduce their past and make them complex? Which characters will be static, and which ones will be dynamic? What major changes will these dynamic characters undergo in the story?

3. Establish your setting, and build your world around it. Will your story take place in a real setting? If so, what do you know about it, and how can you be sure you portray it accurately? How can you provide vivid imagery around your setting as well, and how can you make it believable and unique?

4. Have a solid idea of your plot and conflict. Write an outline or develop a detailed plot triangle. What will the rising action be? The climax? The falling action? Will there be a clear resolution to the story? Will there be a twist? How will it all fit together? How does the conflict build and resolve? These are all questions to consider at this stage of novel writing.

Best of luck with your novel.

We will check in on progress next week. Here’s to happy writing!


Preparing For National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month: Week 1 – Choosing a Genre

By Lucas Humphrey

Welcome to NaNoWriMo! By the end of this month, your goal is to have a complete novel written and ready to share out to the world after a few finishing touches. Let’s get started!

The first step you’ll want to take is to choose a genre, or category in which you’d like to write. Will it be nonfiction, such as a memoir or personal narrative? Or will you choose fiction—and write a fantasy novel, mystery novel, children’s book, a scary story, etc.? It’s completely up to you.

You’ll want to write what you love. What genres do you enjoy reading? What ideas have been floating around in your head that you finally want to get out on paper? Given the fact that you only have a month to write this novel, you’ll want to choose a genre that hooks you and doesn’t let go.

You’ll also want to understand the style and characteristics of the genre you choose. Examine some common examples of other books within this genre. What do they all seem to have in common in terms of their archetypes, motifs, mood, tone and style? Take note of these—you can, of course, be nontraditional and break from these conventions, but you should be aware of them so that you have a template in which to work.

Lastly, make a commitment! This week, go ahead and set some time aside each day to write—whether it’s brainstorming, planning, or drafting. Get your ideas out on paper! Stick to it, and come back every day to add something to your novel.

Good luck! Now that you’ve chosen a genre, we’ll talk more about planning your novel next week.