10 Trends in Preparation for College 2024

Navigating the Shifting Tide: Trends in US College Admission

As the academic landscape continuously evolves, so do the trends shaping the US college admission process for hopeful students. Whether you’re a high schoolcollege prep junior setting sail for higher education or a parent guiding this journey, understanding these trends can be the compass that steers your course toward success.

  1. Holistic Admissions: Colleges increasingly emphasize a holistic approach in evaluating applicants. It’s not just about grades and test scores anymore. They seek well-rounded individuals with diverse experiences, passions, and skills. Extracurricular activities, community service, internships, and personal essays play pivotal roles.
  2. Test-Optional Policies: The pandemic accelerated the shift toward test-optional policies. Many colleges continued this trend, recognizing the limitations of standardized tests in gauging a student’s potential. This shift allows applicants to showcase their strengths beyond test scores.
  3. Emphasis on Authenticity: Originality and authenticity are gaining more prominence in application essays. Admissions officers appreciate genuine stories that reflect an applicant’s unique voice and experiences. It’s not about crafting a perfect narrative but sharing a compelling and honest one.
  4. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Colleges prioritize creating diverse and inclusive communities. They value applicants who have contributed to diversity or have been advocates for equity. Students showcasing commitment to social causes or fostering inclusivity stand out.
  5. Taking AP Courses: Advanced Placement (AP) classes can boost your GPA and strengthen your college application. But the number of advanced courses you choose to take should depend on your academic interests and your schedule.
  6. Tech-Infused Applications: Technology continues to revolutionize the application process. Virtual tours, online interviews, and digital portfolios allow students to present themselves beyond paper applications. Utilizing these resources effectively can make a difference.
  7. Focus on Mental Health and Well-being: Colleges are increasingly attentive to students’ mental health. This shift involves assessing how applicants coped with challenges, prioritized self-care, and supported peers during stressful times. At Maharishi School we believe the key to preparedness and academic success is to first understand ourselves. We give students the time and the tools to learn more about themselves – their innermost nature, passions, strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and goals. It’s an integral part of the individuation process: forming a strong sense of identity with feelings of autonomy and self-confidence.  We believe knowing yourself is the beginning of becoming your best self.
  8. Demonstrated Adaptability and Resilience: The pandemic highlighted the importance of adaptability and resilience. Students who navigated uncertainties, adapted to remote learning, or initiated innovative solutions showcased these qualities, which resonate positively in applications. Having invaluable tools, like Transcendental Meditation, becomes a trusted ally in navigating the stormy waters of stress that many college applicants face their freshman year.
  9. Strategic Early Decision and Early Action: Early decision/action applications continue to be popular among students aiming for their dream schools. However, with the increasing competition, strategic planning and comprehensive research are crucial before committing to this path.
  10. Impact of Social Media Presence: Colleges might consider applicants’ social media presence. Students should be mindful of their online footprint, ensuring it aligns with the values they present in their applications.

Navigating these trends requires a balanced approach. It’s about being authentic, pursuing passions, embracing diversity, and showcasing resilience. Remember, the journey toward college admission is not just about reaching a destination but also about the transformative experiences along the way. As you set sail into this ever-evolving landscape, stay true to yourself, explore your passions, and let your unique story shine.

middle school students

 

 

 

 

To learn more about the Maharishi School, click here.facebook and instagram

 

 

 

Learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

 

apply now

 

 

 

Ready to apply? Click here.

Let’s Talk Middle School CCLS

An exciting development for the upcoming Fall 2023 school year is that  Diogo Santos, who is an experiencedmiddle school teacher International Baccalaureate (IB) art teacher and examiner–and who teaches TM–will be taking the lead in reimagining  CCLS in Middle School.  Diogo’s strength is in curriculum design and integration–and he is also passionate about Consciousness and Creativity, making him the ideal person to take on this opportunity and challenge. (Diogo will continue to teach in Lower School as well.)

 

Interview with Diogo Santos

  • As an educator and a TM teacher I’m really excited to teach CCLS to the Middle School this year, it feels like the perfect combination of academics and the special unique thing that our school has to offer. We are currently working on crafting a curriculum that corresponds to the Middle School student’s realities and expectations of CCLS this year.
  • We are trying to integrate what’s really special about Maharishi’s teachings and the student’s real world experiences with what is meaningful to them at this point in their lives. In order for this to happen we have to collaborative on the development of this curriculum with the students themselves.
  • We will work together to help figure out the topics, the life skills they want to learn, and integrate those to Maharishi’s teachings. The fulfillment of this is to have a curriculum that aligns with the school’s mission and core values and further them along on their learning journey.

middle school students

 

 

 

 

To learn more about the Middle School, click here.facebook and instagram

 

 

 

Learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

 

apply now

 

 

 

Ready to apply? Click here.

 

 

Let’s Talk Middle School Science

Mr. Aikar has been teaching Technology courses to our Upper School students this past years using a curriculum that ranges from cyber security and authentic sources, to designing games and building robots.
He will continue to teach technology as a Project to 7th and 8th graders in the Fall 2023 school year–and he will be incorporating technology directly into the curriculum as he teaches Grade 6 Science as well.

Interview with Mr. Aikar

 

  • What I intend to do next year is to make it a lot of hands-on activities. Students will be coming in and playing with things, and experiencing the joy of doing. I will have them get into the area of 3D designing and printing. I want to also introduce to them some coding so that we will gradually prepare them for our High School Robotics program. Then coding will lead to the programs Sketch (for 3d printing) and Scratch (making their own games). Then we will have 3D modeling and making their own remote control cars to play with.
  • We want them to enjoy learning and start their day with something like CNN10, so they can see what’s happening around the world and celebrate everything in class.
  • What I intend to do with Middle School Science is bring the lab into classroom. They can use a lot of props or materials of everyday use and see the science in them. They should be able to take a leaf, extract the chlorophyll out of it and see how the leaf looks without the chlorophyll. They will be able to answer their own simple curious questions. They will feel very fulfilled once they can know the answers for themselves. I don’t want to give them all the answers, I want them to be playful and joyful in the discovery of finding outthose answers.
  • Why students may not like Science and think it’s too hard or difficult to understand is because the approach is exactly the opposite in schools of what we should be doing. We come down with heavy theory and concepts that students feel are too abstract. What we want to do at Maharishi School is take those ideas, those concepts, take those phenomena and break them down into simple concrete theories that are associated with them. So students will learn as if they are breaking down real physical phenomena into simple math and that’s how I believe strongly that by looking at the nature around us we can use math rather than learning math and trying to fit it into nature.

 

middle school students

 

 

 

To learn more about the Middle School, click here.facebook and instagram

 

 

 

Learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

 

apply now

 

 

 

Ready to apply? Click here.

 

 

Ten Tips to Prepare for College

It’s not to early to be thinking about…
  1. Utilize AP courses to your advantage but don’t let AP pursuits come at a cost to your grand point average (GPA).
  2. Look for mentors in a field that you can see yourself doing, it helps you start making learning how to network while getting more comfortable at approaching adults that you admire.
  3. Volunteer in your area of passion or something that isn’t related to academia. This shows how well rounded you are and colleges will be looking for that type of individual who stands out in their hours clocked after school.
  4. GPA needs to stay up, in 12th grade there’s often this feeling of “coasting” or “senior-itis” but the truth is that if you let your grades slip during the last few years, your GPA will suffer in the end.
  5. Participate in clubs and school activities. This could mean joining the student council or asking your student council members about how you can get more involved.
  6. Do community service related projects or unique assignments that your teachers offer. If you don’t know where to begin always ask your teachers and they can guide you appropriately.
  7. Internships that are offered over summer break can be give you a huge advantage on your college applications as well as gaining useful skills for life.
  8. Develop strong relationships with at least one of your teachers, they will be the ones who write a recommendation letter for you to get into college so it’s good to have at least one teacher that you can feel closely aligned with.
  9. Start thinking about all of this in 9th grade. It’s not too soon to be considering these tips. Be sure you’re working with your college counselor who will keep you on track!
  10. Look below to find more specifics tips from our college counselor.

 

 

Freshmen preparing for college should plan to:

  •     Take challenging classes in core academic courses.
  •     Work with their school counselors to create a yearly schedule to meet graduation and college admissions requirements.
  •     Talk to an advisor or school counselor about taking Advanced Placement®* and honors courses.
  •     Identify interests and potential career fields through online resources, like this interest profiler, and by attending career fairs and other events.
  •     Get involved with community-based and leadership-oriented activities that best reflect their interests.
  •     Browse the College Scorecard to see what types of schools interest them.
  •     As they find and review them, bookmark resources for college planning.
  •     Start a running list of accomplishments, awards, and recognition’s to use when completing college applications and writing resumes.

Sophomores preparing for college should:

  •     Consider taking a practice test to prepare for the PSAT.
  •     Attend college and career information events.
  •     Start learning about funding for college, including scholarships, grants, loans, work-study jobs, etc.
  •     Consider the types of careers that fit their interests and what college majors they require.
  •     Reach out to school counselors and/or mentors to discuss occupational interests and college requirements.

In the Fall semester, Juniors should:

  •     Take the PSAT if they have not already. Students should generally take the test no later than fall semester of the eleventh grade to qualify for National Merit scholarships and programs.
  •     Attend in-person or online college fairs.
  •     Explore careers and their earning potentials in the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

In the Spring semester, Juniors need to:

  •     Register for college admission exams—SAT, the SAT Subject Tests, and the ACT—and take practice tests. College admissions professionals recommend students have at least one standardized score before the end of their junior year.
  •     Research how to pay for college and what federal student aid may be available to you.
  •     Identify scholarship opportunities to pursue; note deadlines on calendar.
  •     Contact colleges to request information and applications.

During the Summer, rising Seniors should:

  •     Plan college visits.
  •     Narrow down the colleges under consideration.
  •     Make decisions required by colleges’ early-decision or early-action programs.
  •     Complete the Federal Student Aid Estimator.

In the Fall semester, Seniors will need to:

  •     Register for and take (or retake) the SAT and/or ACT, if not already done.
  •     Complete and submit college applications prior to deadlines.
  •     Request transcripts and letters of recommendation at least 30 days before they are due.
  •     Work with parents to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA® form). Before each year of college, you’ll need to apply for federal grants, work-study, and loans with the FAFSA.
  •     Complete and submit scholarship applications prior to deadlines.
  •     Meet with a counselor to verify that they’ll meet graduation requirements on schedule.

During the Winter months, Seniors should:

  •     Review and make any necessary changes/corrections to their Student Aid Report.
  •     Finish submitting scholarship applications.

In the Spring semester, Seniors will need to:

  •     Visit colleges on their “short list.”
  •     Consider college acceptances; compare financial aid packages offered.
  •     Call college financial aid representatives with questions.
  •     Decide on the college to attend (typically by May 1) and contact its offices.
  •     Make informed decisions about student loans.

While some seniors think they’ve “made it” and can coast in their last year of high school, students preparing for college should recognize that college admissions officers will expect to see they’ve worked hard to keep grades up and stayed involved in school and community activities. Parents may reassure aspiring college students that they can still enjoy life and time with friends while remaining focused on larger goals.

 

Ready to apply? Click here.

Want to know more about our college counseling services? Click here.

Learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

 

What is CCLS?

In addition to our students’ practice of Transcendental Meditation, we have a unique course that distinguishes our Consciousness-consciousness educationBased Education approach.

It’s called Consciousness, Connections, and Life Skills. As the title implies, the course has three interrelated aspects:

1) Consciousness: deepening students’ understanding and experience of consciousness

Topics: practice of Transcendental Mediation, yoga, pranayama (breathing technique), advanced TM techniques, brain coherence, theories of human development and higher states of consciousness, collective consciousness, and research on consciousness.

2) Connections: exploring underlying, universal principles and qualities that are common to the structure and functioning of all aspects of life—their academic subjects, in nature, and in themselves

Topics: 16 Life Principles, 50 Qualities and 16 Values of Creative Intelligence.

For example, we see how “Life is found in layers”: whether in the earth’s crust, our government, the analysis of literature, a math theorem, or one’s family and personality.

This is one way Maharishi School cultivates both horizontal and vertical thinking: making connections between all the details on the surface of life and with the big ideas at their basis.

3) Life Skills: developing social-emotional awareness and skills as a foundation for their personal and academic growth.

Topics: Social-Emotional Learning (SEL), Comprehensive Health, Positive Discipline and Restorative Justice


Social and Emotional Learning curriculum in our Upper School consists of 5 main competencies as formulated by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL):

  • Self-Awareness: the ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior.
  • Self-Management: the ability to successfully regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations.
  • Social Awareness: the ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
  • Relationship Skills: the ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups.
  • Responsible Decision-Making: the ability to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions.

Comprehensive Health curriculum: We use the K-12 curriculum from Advocates for Youth called Rights, Respect, and Responsibility. This curriculum includes age-appropriate lessons that cover a wide range of health areas, including relationships and consent, STDs and contraception, dating abuse, etc.

Positive Discipline is designed to teach young people to become responsible, respectful, and resourceful members of their communities. Our overall goal for positive discipline is to culture mutual respect between peers and adults, and to make sure all children are heard, respected, and intrinsically motivated.

  • In Middle School, communication skills and conflict resolution are the main focus.
  • In the Upper School, many aspects of Positive Discipline (such as effective communication and problem-solving skills) are covered in the SEL curriculum and practiced in the classroom. The upper school also utilizes Restorative Justice talking circles and practices, which are much in line with Positive Discipline.

 

Ready to apply? Click here.

Want to know more about our new Interim Head of School? Click here.

Learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

 

Fostering the Parent-Teacher Partnership

How it helps

It has been well established that collaboration between parents and the school has a significant and positive impact on the learning and development of children. When parents are aligned with the school’s vision and are actively engaged in supporting its mission and core values, they contribute towards creating a harmonious and positive ethos in the school. This helps in improving children’s morale, attitude, academic achievement, behavior, social adjustment, and, most importantly, helps them become productive and responsible citizens of society.

teacher student

Furthermore, this partnership between the parents and the school, helps build trust and positions them to set high expectations for their children. A well-structured partnership program improves the school, strengthens families, and increases student achievement and success. All of us at Maharishi School wholeheartedly endorse parental engagement in the education of their children and invite parents to participate in the school’s learning experience in a positive and constructive way.

What we are doing about it

In order to provide a focus to parent engagement and to streamline parental involvement, Maharishi School intends on constituting a Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) to serve as a link between the school and the wider parent community. Its objectives are:

  • To facilitate on-going communication between the school and the wider parent
    community. The PAC is an advisory body. It communicates mutual concerns,
    recommends possible solutions and shares innovative ideas that might benefit
    the school. It acts as a medium between the school and the wider parent
    community.
  • To provide an opportunity for Maharishi parents to share their ideas and mutual
    concerns on every facet of school life.
  • To endorse, recommend and encourage parental collaboration on school
    initiatives.
  • To support, endorse and propagate the school’s vision, mission, core values and
    its central focus on Consciousness-Based Education.

In addition to the PAC, we also intend on engaging parents in their child’s learning, for students in the Children’s House and Lower School. This will be done by having regular events where children will showcase their learning through different mediums. We also plan to keep the parents informed about their child’s learning on a bi-weekly basis.

We plan on conducting Parent Education Sessions to strengthen the alignment between the parents and the school’s mission. The only way to grow is by accepting and acting on feedback. As a school we will be seeking quarterly feedback from the parents on the different facets of the school. Once the feedback is received and analysed, solutions will be arrived upon and then shared with the parent community.

 

Ready to apply? Click here.

Want to know more about our new Interim Head of School? Click here.

Learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

 

 

Establishing A Foundation of Connection

Maharishi Lower School is going through a makeover!

With the arrival of our new Interim School Head, Nuiwara Pasha, has come many welcome changes and improvements to our Lower Schoolfirst grade maharishi school curriculum.

Nuwaira plans on strengthening the academic experience by developing systems and processes in the Children’s House and Lower School for better organization and functioning.

One aspect of this is the integration of more Performing Arts into the Lower School. This will include classes in music, dance, drama and theater. The final pieces that the children have worked so hard on will be performed every quarter for our Maharishi Lower School parents and family.

There will also be, for the first time in Maharishi School history, an Elementary Student Council (Grade 5).

Connecting through CBE

As always we will maintain our consciousness-based education by incorporating ayurveda, CCLS (consciousness, connections, and life skills), as well as Positive Discipline.

This is a place where your child is nurtured, and where your child is known and valued as a unique member of our family-like community of learners. Children explore ideas and learn from each other in small, personal classes. Teachers maharishi school dramapartner with parents to support students’ budding independence and help them identify how they learn best.

Small-group instruction in the core content areas of reading and writing, mathematics, science, and social studies allows for the full participation of each child. Woven in and out of all the subject areas is the Consciousness, Connections and Life Skills (CCLS) curriculum. Cooperative groupings emphasize communication and collaboration skills. Classes in artgreenhouse/cooking, music, makerspace, and physical education round out a stimulating and invigorating schedule that encourages ownership of learning, independence, and most of all, fun.

 

To find out more about our Lower School, click here.

Ready to apply? Click here.

Learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

How to Prepare for School: Fall 2021 Edition

What should you expect?  And who decides?

The Maharishi School Leadership Team make the hard decisions that keep our school in a constant state of improvement. They provide a vision for our future and take the action necessary toRichard Beall execute that vision. When it comes to issues such as the covid pandemic, our Leadership Team gets its cues from a lot of different authorities:

  •        Iowa Governor Reynolds
  •        Iowa legislature
  •       Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  •       Public Health officials
  •       Maharishi International University
  •       Our Board of Directors

Sometimes that input is informational; other times the decisions are made for us, like when the Governor closed in-person schooling in March 2020 or disallowed mask mandates in May 2021.

 

leadership team covid masksWhere do we get information from?

Our Leadership Team is monitoring CDC sources daily for COVID-related developments as we consider our options for 2021-22. We strongly recommend reading the Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools as a guideline.

In this guide you will find that the CDC recommends:

  • In-person learning
  • Vaccination
  • Masks for vaccinated persons

PLEASE NOTE: We have not adopted these recommendations at this point. Everything is still under consideration.

 

What can we prepare for?

At present we can foresee three different types of scenarios for the fall:

 

Scenario One: COVID cases decline, vaccination rates climb, masks become unnecessary. We’re pretty much back to “normal.”covid masks kids in mask

 

Scenario Two: COVID variants prove threatening, some precautionary measures continue, like mask wearing and social distancing.

 

Scenario Three: An upsurge of COVID cases, perhaps due to a variant, requires stronger preventive precautions, ranging from online-only classes to mask wearing mandates.

 

In other words, stay tuned. A survey will be sent to you in early August to solicit your perspective on the situation.

In the meantime, we are open to your input and will respond to questions, to the best of our ability.

 

 

To read about our Coronavirus guidelines, click here.

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Consciousness, Connections & Life Skills (CCLS)

What is CCLS?

This subject, originally called SCI or the Science of Creative Intelligence, has been part of the school since its inception and has gone through many changes over time. Eight years ago, there was a major overhaul of the curriculum based on alumni response. In 2018, the curriculum underwent a further change with the addition of SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) and Comprehensive Health lessons to the curriculum. The name of the subject changed from SCI to CCLS (Consciousness, Connections, and Life Skills) to reflect this change. To expand on the name: Consciousness (the understanding and experience of consciousness through Transcendental Meditation), Connections (between different areas of life; interdisciplinary), and Life Skills (practical skills useful to everyday life, including SEL and sexual health).

The mission statement of the school is: To create an innovative, consciousness-based educational environment, where students think deeply and become creative,project period maharishi school compassionate, contributing citizens of the world.

There are four components of CCLS that directly teach to this mission statement: SCI (Science of Creative Intelligence), SEL (Social and Emotional Learning), the Comprehensive Health Curriculum (called Rights, Respect, and Responsibility), and Positive Discipline. We also have incorporated Restorative Justice talking circles.

What is SCI?

SCI (Science of Creative Intelligence) is the study of creativity and intelligence and principles found in everyday life that allow us to make connections between different fields of study and human experience. SCI deals primarily with the experience and understanding of consciousness.

  • The experiential part of this subject is that all the students practice Transcendental Meditation as part of curriculum every day in the morning and afternoon. (Students begin practicing TM starting in 4th grade. From ages 4 to 10, the students practice a simpler technique that is preparation for sit down meditation. Included in this program is a series of yoga asanas (postures) and a simple breathing exercise which serves to prime the nervous system for meditation, pranayama.
  • The theoretical or intellectual component involves an examination of the nature of consciousness, the relationship of consciousness to the physical world and the laws of nature. This exploration of consciousness is age-appropriate and occurs at all grade levels throughout the school, beginning in Preschool with more concrete activities and becoming more complex and theoretical in upper school.

What is SEL?

SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) in our Upper School consists of five main competencies as formulated by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). SEL is implemented differently at various grade levels, including the Preschool, Lower School, Middle School and Upper School.

  • Self-Awareness: the ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior.
  • Self-Management: the ability to successfully regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations.
  • Social Awareness: the ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
  • Relationship Skills: the ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups.
  • Responsible Decision-Making: the ability to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions.

Comprehensive Health Curriculum

We use the K-12 curriculum from Advocates for Youth called Rights, Respect, and Responsibility. This curriculum includes age-appropriate lessons that cover a wide range of health areas, including relationships and consent, STDs and contraception, dating abuse, etc. In Preschool, the students are taught early consent, boundaries, and becoming comfortable with using anatomically correct words to describe their bodies. In upper school, we do a couple lessons a month and design our own slide presentations to supplement the materials.

Positive Discipline

Positive Discipline is designed to teach young people to become responsible, respectful, and resourceful members of their communities. It teaches important social and life skills in a manner that is deeply respectful and encouraging for children and adults. In the summer of 2018, the school adopted Positive Discipline as part of our professional development program and invited a specialist to provide in-depth training. Our overall goal for positive discipline is to culture mutual respect between peers and adults, and to make sure all children are heard, respected, and intrinsically motivated.

  • In Preschool, the focus is on conflict resolution, but also includes understanding feelings, recognizing their own voice, making sure every child is heard, and maintaining boundaries, with class meetings or circles to facilitate communication.
  • In Lower School, the emphasis is on classroom management and conflict resolution.
  • In Middle School, communication skills and conflict resolution are the main focus.
  • In Upper School, many aspects of Positive Discipline (such as effective communication and problem-solving skills) are covered in the SEL curriculum and practiced in the classroom. Upper school also utilizes Restorative Justice talking circles and practices, which are much in line with Positive Discipline.

 

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.