Our Strategic Vision

College Counseling Corner 2022-23

Welcome to the College Counseling Corner!

Throughout the year, the Brooklyn Friends School Office of College Counseling will share important and timely information that pertains to the entire BFS community.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: September 4, 2022

General Upper School 

We want to start by welcoming Naomi Varnis, our new Associate Director of College Counseling. Naomi joins us after a six-year tenure at the undergraduate admissions office at Columbia University. We are thrilled to have her and excited to benefit from her many gifts. You will find Naomi in room 318 in the Upper School.

This year, College Counseling is partnering with Paul Martin from College Money Method, who will provide comprehensive support and actionable guidance for all families, 9th – 12th, around paying for college and the financial aid process. Please read our official announcement at the end of this week’s message. The first workshop, “Succeeding with your financial aid applications,” which is recommended for 12th grade families, is on Thursday, October 13, at 7:00 pm.

11th & 12th Grade

Admissions officers from around the world will begin visiting BFS in person and virtually from Monday, September 12 through Thursday, November 17. These visits are open to juniors and seniors. Seniors may review the visit calendar on Scoir. For juniors, we will post visits in the US weekly.

College Counseling will take attendance at the beginning of each meeting with a college representative. Seniors who miss club time, extended advisory, or PE to meet with a college representative must obtain their teacher/advisor’s permission at least one day in advance; the teacher/advisor may grant permission at their discretion. Seniors may only make four (4) such visits per semester. When permission has been granted, attendance at these visits counts as an excused absence. When permission has not been granted, attendance at these visits counts as an unexcused absence. Seniors who do not follow this protocol may lose the privilege to visit college representatives.

Juniors are also welcome to meet with college representatives. Juniors may do so only if they have a free period. Juniors cannot miss class or extended advisory to attend these meetings.

Announcing 2022-23 program with College Money Method, September 2022 

We are excited to announce a partnership with Paul Martin at College Money Method to increase support for families at Brooklyn Friends School in an important area of your journey to college – understanding what it means to pay for college today and the financial aid process. Paul brings expertise in the broader system of college financial support — both need-based and merit-based aid — so all families can meet their goals to pay for college.

Paul’s approach is unique. He has developed a curriculum that breaks down the college finance process into the key information and actions families need to consider every year in high school. The program encourages students to be advocates in this process by explaining how colleges make financial aid decisions. Each focused session builds on previous ones to provide cumulative, comprehensive guidance and preparation.

The six workshop series starts in 9th grade and builds toward success in the application and selection process for seniors. All workshops offer interactive resources that support personal exploration of your financial fit and actionable planning steps.

Workshop 1 (recommended for 9th & 10th grades): Learning how the financial aid process works and exploring your financial fit kicks off with an overview of the new college aid landscape and how you can evaluate which financial aid policies – need-based and merit-based aid – will best meet your goals.

Workshop 2 (recommended for 10th grade): Understanding how colleges assess your ability to pay and aid eligibility details the financial factors colleges use to determine your expected contribution and actions to maximize financial aid eligibility.

Workshop 3 (recommended for 11th grade): Building financial fit and affordability into your school lists gives you tools and resources to take a data-driven approach to research colleges’ financial aid practices and make evidence-based decisions for each college’s financial fit.

Workshop 4 (recommended for 11th and 12th grades): Evaluating loans and borrowing for your college investment offers a comprehensive understanding of how student and parent loans work and principles to right-size borrowing based on future financial goals.

Workshop 5 (recommended for 12th grade): Succeeding with your financial aid applications guides you through the entire application process to ensure accuracy and help advocate for your unique circumstances.

Workshop 6 (recommended for 12th grade): Comparing financial aid offers and considering appeals provides a framework to compare your offers and understand the 4-year investment, along with guidance on when to appeal and how to do so successfully.

Live workshops will be offered to provide you with the opportunity to engage and get answers to support planning for college. Recordings will be available for ongoing access, along with interactive resources.

About Paul Martin

Paul Martin is the founder of College Money Method, a financial education service focused on helping students and families with college affordability and the financial aid process. A graduate of Harvard and MIT, his passion for this work stems from his own experience going through the process as a first-generation college student.

He works with 35 independent schools nationwide to offer his curriculum to students of diverse economic backgrounds. He advises the college counseling teams in Miami-Dade and Broward School Districts on how to support the students through the financial aid process.

As a volunteer and service leader, Paul is a member of the National College Advocacy Group, a non-profit comprised of financial planners focusing on college access and affordability. He is also the President of First-Generation Harvard Alumni and the Founder of First-Generation Alumni of MIT, two organizations that offer mentorship to first-generation students as they trailblaze through college.

Learn more about College Counseling at BFS.