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Answers to Your College Questions

Dr. Marcia Y. Cantarella

Dr. Marcia Y. Cantarella

Dr. Marcia Y. Cantarella has held positions at Hunter College, Princeton University, New York University, and Metropolitan College of New York during her distinguished career as a dean and vice president of student affairs. Through her expertise in delivering student services and strategies, she has enhanced the academic experiences of and outcomes for generations of students. She is now president of Cantarella Consulting in New York City where she works with colleges and organizations on issues of higher education pipelines, access, diversity, and student access.


Cantarella is the author of I Can Finish College, which you can find in the College Countdown bookstore.

Posted by on in College

tips for first-gen college studentsI often have the chance to speak to parents whose children will soon embark on the path toward college. This can be a scary time no matter where the student comes from and especially if his or her parents have not had their own college experience. There is much to learn about the processes, the culture, and the financing of college and how to achieve the ultimate outcomes of a college career and a successful life after.

Try these tips that other parents have found interesting and useful:

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  • Dale
    Dale says #
    https://hoverson.infusionsoft.com/go/speedwealth/iln16666/ Check out this link
Posted by on in College

how to succeed in college: starting second semester off rightAs you prepare to start the new term, you may be a bit nervous. You may be basking in the glow of a great last semester, or you may be filled with resolutions to do things differently and better. After all, it is the New Year.

As you begin to receive your syllabi, there are a few things you can do to ensure this semester is the best one yet. Remember to save each syllabus, and use it to accomplish the following:

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Posted by on in College

how-to-succeed-in-collegeIt is really important to get off to a good start in the first few weeks of college. There is no question that the first semester of the first year is the most critical. Many studies show that this is the time when students are most likely to drop out of college, at least temporarily, if not permanently. It is when many consider transferring (though most don’t).

While there are rules in college, suddenly you are expected to figure things out for yourself. No one makes you do your homework. Assignments are rarely given daily, and it’s unusual to be quizzed on the previous night’s reading. You’re obliged to find help if you need it. There are no curfews or bed checks. No more babysitters!

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  • Pete
    Pete says #
    As a recent college graduate, I can tell you that it's extremely important to succeed in your academics while getting the most out
Posted by on in College

Far too many college students think that preparing for a career starts the second semester of their senior year with a trip to their career services office. Many others never even make use of this crucial campus resource, believing that good grades are all they need to get a job after graduation.

How to get on the college to career pathAlthough earning a high GPA in a major that suits your strengths and interests is a good start on the college-to-career pathway, in today’s tough economy, good grades are not enough. Here are some steps that you should be taking as early as your freshman year to ensure that your job search will be successful:

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Posted by on in In the News

The New York Times recently published an article that follows the stories of three low-income students who, having participated in a college-readiness program and succeeded in being admitted to excellent colleges, were not able to make it through to graduation. These students dealt with issues ranging from feelings of insecurity and not fitting in the environment to financial hardship. Some of these struggles were intertwined.

It has been my experience that the issues of insecurity and not fitting in are detrimental to low-income, first-generation, and minority students entering college. They do not understand that asking questions is a sign of strength, not weakness. This seems especially true when the students do not yet know the language, rules, players, and customs that are key to navigating college life successfully. These students are afraid of being seen as deficient, so they do not take advantage of tools and resources—such as advisers, tutors, career counselors, and even faculty—that are there to support them, paid for by their tuition dollars. This also means that they don’t have the conversations they need to have regarding financial considerations, often causing them to wait until things are dire. College preparation for these students needs to teach them that these resources are available, that there are students like them who have dealt with these same feelings, issues, and concerns, and that utilizing these resources can help them succeed in college.

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