by Vivian Y '16

A Year at Minds Matter

Minds Matter is a nonprofit organization that works with low-income high school students to help them prepare for college. The level of effective college preparation that Minds Matter offers is reflected in their 100% acceptance rates for graduates accepted into four-year colleges and universities. It has several locations nationwide, including one in New York. This year, Central Park East High School is the chosen location for Minds Matter to host its program every Saturday, except on holiday weekends. Students, called mentees in this program, engage in writing and critical thinking classes during which they read articles and hold debates. Students are also given their own SAT math textbooks because they have math classes as well. On some days, mentees take practice SATs to track their progress. Typical sessions last from 10am to 2pm, with a break for lunch at around 12pm.

The first day of Minds Matter for sophomores is the orientation event, when mentees get to meet the team leader and mentors who were assigned to them. Each mentee is assigned two mentors. While the team leader is in charge of organizing assignments and group activities, the mentors help

by Ana M '14

Tips on the College Process

  1. Abandon all reasonable expectations.
  2. Don’t overload on reach schools.
  3. Get your personal statement done early. Go to the summer program if possible.
  4. File all financial aid information on time.
  5. Finish all your supplements by Peter’s deadline.
  6. Don’t apply to too many schools (too many is more than 15); you’ll have more supplements to do and more application fees to pay.
  7. Visit the schools you want to apply to before you actually do (if you can). You may save yourself time and money if you end up not liking it.
  8. Apply for scholarships.
  9. Pay attention and take notes during all the college meetings in the fall. You could end up finding a school that you really like.
  10. Interview for as many schools as possible. It’s a great way to show the school that you’re interested and for the schools to get to know you better.
by Ariel T '14

The Dough of the College Pizza Pie

Once the applications have been sent and the pending acceptance and rejection letters are on the horizon the financial aid process, the second half of the college process begins. While Peter gives out the College Manual to 11th and 12th graders, which includes information about financial aid, it never hurts to review the basics.

Peter Wilson, BSGE’s college counselor, called for a mandatory meeting with students and their families in order to inform students of the types of financial aid and the forms that need to be filled out. The burden of paying for college is heavy and students are expected to shoulder it. Mr. Wilson stressed that parents cannot be the ones expected to carry all of the weight and students must be aware of the business of higher education.

Need-based aid is based entirely on the economics of your family. It is calculated by adding the income of parents and their assets, then dividing that number by the dependents, or

by Erin C '14

Analyzing the College Process

After the senior class of 2013 decided what colleges they will be attending, they were able to reflect on the long and arduous process they underwent for over a year. Students at BSGE have a unique opportunity during the college admissions process because they can work closely with the college counselor, Peter Wilson, and attend his summer college workshop. However, attending BSGE also makes some of the admissions process more difficult. As the school year

by BACC Rag staff

Class of 2013 College Destinations

Senior Group 2013

2013 Senior Final College List

Ricardo Aguayo                                 Brandeis University (POSSE Foundation Scholarship: $170,728)

Kyra Allen                                          Northeastern University (Northeastern U Grant: $72,000)

Mohammed Amin                             City College: Grove School of Engineering

Steven Armanios                               Polytechnic Institute of New York University

Dimitri Baskous                                 Binghamton University

Maria Belchikova                               Rochester Institute of Technology (Achievement Scholarship: $40,000)

Jessica Belkin                                     Binghamton University

Jessica Bodeta                                    Queens College

by Lydia S '15

BSGE Offers SAT Class

BSGE SAT Classes This Summer
BSGE SAT Classes This Summer

This summer, BSGE is offering Princeton Review SAT Fundamentals classes for just $399. The original price is $499, but college advisor Peter Wilson was able to negotiate to a lower price. Unfortunately, the class is $399 only for those who enroll by June 21st. The 34 hour class will be spread out over three weeks from July 16th to August 1st. There will be 18 hours of live instruction, 4 full-length practice tests with diagnostic score reports and SAT professionals to help you study the exam material. Classes will be held a block away from BSGE at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts. Rising Juniors and Seniors who are not satisfied with their SAT work are advised to take the class in preparation for upcoming SATs, the next one being October of this year. The final deadline for enrollment is July 5th. Students are suggested to enroll early due to limited space.

by Ariel T '14

#IBDone – BSGE Juniors and Seniors Complete their IB Exams

IB exams, mandatory tests taken by juniors and seniors at the end of the school year, are usually two weeks long. This year, the exams took place from May 2nd to the 22nd and were taken for the first time at a building just around the corner from BSGE, one that most students pass every morning–a grey building with a yellow “lightning bolt.” Most BSGE juniors were very nervous because this was their first IB exam. In addition, these IB science exam grades are the grades that colleges see on the transcripts (that is because senior year IB exam grades are released usually after college acceptance letters are mailed out). According to Isabella Hernandez ‘14, “the environment was very comfortable…but I am really relieved it’s over.” Lauren Ouaknine ‘14 was also relieved. She said that “it was strange that a whole year of studying and testing gets condensed into a few hours” of sitting in an unfamiliar room and taking one of the most important exams for the junior year. What some students have not realized, however, is that IB Science classwork and lab reports also count towards the final IB grade. For some this is unfortunate, as some students do not try their hardest in these classes. Others, such as Isabella, find this beneficial. She said, “I was ecstatic knowing I had already passed before taking the test because of my lab grade.” Despite the mixed feelings towards the IB exams and the experience taking them, many future IB exam takers should note that the exams themselves are not so terrible–just relax and have a good night’s sleep beforehand!

by Ana M '14

How Much Does College Really Cost?

Many students face a financial burden applying to college. Not only is the price of attending college really expensive, but the process of applying is too. Students may rack up a huge bill before they even get to college.

Each college charges an application fee. This fee can range from $35 to $80 per application. On top of this, the college board charges you $9.50 to send your SAT scores to each college you apply to. If you need your results rushed, they charge an extra $27 for that. Sending ACT scores is $10 per college you send it to. The fee for taking standardized tests is very high as well. The ACT is $35 per time you take it, and the SAT is $50. If you want to take the subject SATs, the price ranges from $35-$46. Fee waivers are available for both the SAT and ACT for students who are eligible.  SAT prep is also something that, though not technically necessary, is very highly recommended for maximum success on

by Mr. Lakhaney

Full Tuition Scholarships Already Awarded to Four BSGE Seniors

The Award Recipients: Ivan Pereda, Ricardo Aguayo, Andrea Joseph, and Kyle Diangkinay.(Left to right) Photo Credit Kei Hyska

BSGE Seniors Andrea Joseph, Ivan Pereda, Kyle Diangkinay, and Ricardo Aguayo have already received full tuition scholarships to college by receiving highly competitive, esteemed awards.

Andrea Joseph received a full scholarship to Vassar College through the Quest Bridge College Match program (, the first BSGE student ever to win this prestigious award. Her scholarship covers full tuition, room and board, books, and a work study job with a total value over $200,000.

quest bridge

Ivan Pereda, Kyle Diangkinay, and Ricardo Aguayo received full tuition scholarships through the POSSE program ( Mr. Pereda to University of Wisconsin-Madison, Mr. Diangkinay to Wheaton College and Mr. Aguayo to Brandeis University. Each POSSE scholarship also includes full tuition with the total awards varying by school.

Several of BSGE’s past graduates have also

by Ana M '14

Getting Into College

Juniors are often told that this year will be the most important year of high school in terms of getting into college. Besides being scary, it can also be confusing for them, and many questions may arise. What are colleges looking for? What do we need to pay attention to? There are so many factors that play into college admissions that it may be daunting to narrow our focus down to a few. Though colleges do look at everything you send to them, there are certain aspects that hold more weight than others.

Complexity of Courses: Colleges want to see that students are taking the most challenging classes available to them. This shows that they are hardworking and willing to take risks, rather than just going the easy route and doing the bare minimum. Believe it or not, a lot of colleges would prefer seeing lower grades in harder classes rather than higher grades in easier classes. This is because while many people can do well in an easy class, not many decide to actually take

by Jolijt T '11

Word from the Real World: Jolijt Tamanaha

Towards the end of my senior year at BSGE, one of my friends, Kristopher Kesoglides said: “college is what you make it.” Now that it is the end of my freshman year at Washington University in St. Louis, I can confidently say that he couldn’t have been more right.
Seniors, you can spend the next four years hating where you are. It’s easy, I’ll tell you how: arrive knowing you’re going to hate the school, judge your classmates immediately, and blame everyone else for everything that goes wrong.
Or you can spend the next four years indifferent to where you are. It’s even easier: don’t sign up for activities, only talk to people who talk to you, and take classes you know you’ll do well in.
Or you can spend the next four years loving where you are. That’s a lot harder and I can’t tell you how. But I can tell you that I love it at Wash U.
Some people are unbearably strange and others are unbearably annoying. Some classes are so boring and others are so difficult. I’ve spent many weekends doing nothing but trying desperately to catch up on work.  Yet, I absolutely love it. I avoid the annoying people, entertain myself by staring at the strange people, drop the boring classes, and work through the difficult ones. I’ve made friends who are fascinating, loving, and fun. I’ve had amazing experiences. And I still get three more years.
It’s not always sunshine and butterflies. Sometimes I love it less. Right now, I’m sick of studying for finals, sick of writing essays, and sick of my tiny dorm room. But it’s still only partially cloudy (please excuse my nauseatingly corny extended metaphor).
So Seniors, please don’t stress about where you’re going. You’ll love it if you let yourself love it. Have a great summer everyone. And congratulations to the Seniors!

by Maya J '16

Seniors Reflect on the College Application Process

As the school year is wrapping up, seniors have some time to look back on the college application process after submitting their final choices. They thought that one of the hardest parts of the process was the beginning of the school year. “The first few months of the college process, it’s really hard because you have all your college essays to do on top of all your schoolwork,” explained Sofia Chelpon ’12.

However, for many, the offers they received made things even harder. “The hardest part for me was deciding where to go in the end, because I ended up having to choose between a lot of schools that I wanted to go to,” she added. Ram Bhadra ’12 felt that sometimes the results were difficult to accept. “I think the hardest part would be when you work so hard toward getting into a really good college, and you don’t get into your dream school,” he said.

One challenge seniors will face in the next few months is making the switch from high school to