The Importance of Thank You Notes for Teens

Blueprint never stops hiring. Finding the best people on the planet for your summer program is a 24/7/365 gig. The search for talent never, ever, stops over here.

And it’s exhausting, but it’s a heck of a lot of fun too. You meet amazing people every day that believe in the power of pre-college summer programs and helping students take the next step to college.

And it works for us. When you keep an open mind and your ear to the tracks you find shockingly educated, fun, and caring Program Directors like Vicki, Psychology Instructors like Cait and RAs like Anna every week.

But as cutting edge as we are, there’s something old school about Blueprint.

If you don’t write a thank-you note, some companies won’t hire you, including Blueprint!

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America’s Worst Colleges


One of Blueprint’s main goals is to help our students identify colleges where they will thrive ~ where they will get the most bang for their buck. So, naturally, when you’re helping a student compile a list of schools that are a good fit you’re also creating a bucket of throwaway schools that are a bad fit. One reason why a pre-college summer program is a great idea.

You get out of your education what you put in. Sure, some colleges have a hand up when it comes to resources or facilities and sometimes it helps to be around like-minded students, but for the most part an undergraduate degree is an undergraduate degree no matter how you cut it.

However, while it could be said that you’re guaranteed a good shot at a great education at any of the top 200 colleges… might it also be true that it would be difficult to educate yourself at one of the worst 20?

The Washington Monthly certainly seems to think so and has recently published lists of America’s Worst Colleges.

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Ten Things College Admissions Officers Don’t Want to Talk About

This is a great list compiled by Each link rolls through to an explanation:

1. Not all grades are created equal

2. We don’t trust your essay

3. We’re having second thoughts about the SAT

4. Obsessing over class ranking? That’s adorable

5. It pays to make nice with your teacher

6. We only sound exclusive

7. Politics may determine whether you get in

8. We’d rather admit someone who can pay full price

9. We need you more than you need us

10. Just because you get admitted doesn’t mean you’ll stay admitted

The Best Programs for “Seniors”

True Story: On Monday I received a call from a 73-year-old woman in Atlanta looking for summer programs for Seniors. Naturally, I began to ask her this, and a little about that… to try and help her figure out if Blueprint pre-college summer programs were a good fit for her student. Just a normal phone call here, right? Nope.

After a few moments of careful listening, this Senior gently corrected me that she wasn’t looking for a pre-college summer program for her granddaughter or even her daughter … she was looking for a summer program for herself… Whoops!

Not That Type of Pre-College Summer Program

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250 Good Colleges Still looking for Students

For those of you still looking for a great college, NACAC just released a list of over 250 schools that did not hit their admissions targets.

You may still have time to get these colleges your FAFSA and CSS Profile aid form information and qualify for some need-based aid, or possibly land a significant tuition discount or merit aid award. If other colleges seemed too expensive, the ones on this list, at this point in the enrollment process, may surprise you as to how affordable they may be.

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What is More Important in College Admission, Grades or SAT Scores?

By Janet Rosier, Independent Educational Consultant,


High school students and their parents are inundated with advice about college admissions. Everyone you speak to, it seems, has a theory on what is the most important factor in a student’s chance of being admitted to FirstChoice University.

It is high SAT scores. It is being an athlete. It is community service. It is leadership. It is showing your passion. It is a wonderfully written essay. It is diversity. It is your major. It is the GPA.


Grades? SATs? Athletics? All of the above ~ get a plan and don’t get bogged down!

The answer is—all of the above. With a caveat. The caveat is that almost nothing will be more important in the admissions decision than your transcript; your grades within your curriculum comprise the most important factor.

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Head’s up UCLA Pre-College Writers

We’ve got a live one for you in Ms. Allen. Merridith rocked 2013 with Blueprint at GW and set her sites on the coast this summer. If you’re taking creative writing at UCLA this summer, buckle up!

Merridith Allen is a playwright, screenwriter, actress, martial artist, and yogini, which potentially qualifies her for a Jane-of-all-trades…she likes to think, anyway.  She is currently living in New York City, but enjoys traveling around the world as much as she possibly can.


Wait a second,,, is that...?

Wait a second,,, is that…?

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Blueprint @ Lehigh Meet Your Program Director!

Vicki is returning for her second summer with Blueprint at Lehigh after a fantastic 2013. We couldn’t be happier that she’ll be leading the program and know you’re going to love her!

About Vicki Raab | Educator, Athlete, Traveler, Adventurer

Vicki holds a B.A. in History, with a minor in Psychology and Education from Rutgers University, Douglass College. She also received her M.Ed. degree in Social Studies Education by completing a five-year program in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University.

Currently, Vicki is in her third year teaching U.S. History, Sociology, and Anthropology at West Morris Central High School in Chester, New Jersey.  She is also an advisor for the Future Educators Club and an assistant coach of the field hockey team (and is so proud of her Wolfpack State Champions!)


Vicki in action leading a class!

Vicki in action leading a class!

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Pre-College Creative Writing Summer Camp

This summer we’re very excited that our pre-college program at UVA in creative writing is being led by Tawni Auxier!

Tawni playing Miss Maudie

Tawni playing Miss Maudie

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UCLA Pre-College Psychology Instructor: About Cait Sleight

Get excited about UCLA because your pre-college summer program is led by Cait Sleight! Cait earned her B.A. in Psychology with a Research Concentration Track and specialization in Neuroscience at the University of Connecticut. After graduation, she traded her country living for a city life in Manhattan, working at Columbia University Medical Center in the Psychiatry Department.


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