To: Ivy Bound Parents and Students:
From: Mark Greenstein and the Ivy Bound Staff

Welcome to the Ivy Bound program. An SAT Prep program represents a serious investment of time, energy, and financial resources. As educators, it is our mission to see that both you and your child get as great a return on that investment as is possible. With that end in mind, we’d like to make a few suggestions.

Please be diligent about Home Study assignments. In a full class, our teaching time presents and reinforces every strategy we know for SAT success, but this is still not enough to MASTER them. Home Study is assigned and targeted for a reason: it allows students to apply concepts learned in the previous lesson to a variety of problems. Without this practice, students may think they understand a concept, but falter when it comes time to apply it. We recommend at least one hour of Home Study between meetings with an instructor, and preferably two hours. (The Home Study problems are assigned in the first pages of the Ivy Bound binders.) In addition, most students should devote 10 minutes a day to vocabulary study, using Ivy Bound’s vocabulary spreadsheets. Without a commitment to Home Study and vocabulary review, a student is, in effect, only completing half the Critical Reading work. Please help us to maximize your child’s scores by encouraging the daily vocabulary absorption and weekly Home Study follow-through.

Our most successful students take advantage of the extra resources Ivy Bound has to offer. We make every effort to go the extra mile for our students. This includes electronic explanations for assigned Home Study questions, e-mailed word lists, vocabulary quizzes available through our student website, and access to “Help Line”, our conference call sessions.

We are also pleased to invite parents to participate in a conference calls with senior instructors to discuss the SAT and the college admissions process. This conference is held on the first Sunday of every month except July & September, at 9:15 pm eastern.

We understand the schedule restrictions most teens are under and that budgeting time for a far-off priority is difficult. For students who make SAT prep a NEAR term priority (who treat their 3 – 5 months with us as they do an honors course), we can almost guarantee a vastly better score.

This year Ivy Bound is proud to be able to offer three college scholarship awards of $1200 each to the best improvers on the SAT/ACT. We hope it will provide extra inspiration, but short of that, students should know that at competitive colleges, better SAT scores are more important than ever before. Raising one’s score 100 – 200 points results in many more college admission offers and merit scholarship awards. A good SAT prep course may be the single MOST important class of a student’s academic career. For families shopping for scholarship offers, or athletes whose scholar-athlete designation is realistic but uncertain, the SAT is exceptionally important (every spring, many of our students report $60,000+ scholarship awards, based primarily on their SAT or ACT scores).

If more offers and higher scholarship awards are not sufficient motivators, please convey to any reluctant student that better colleges are typically more FUN. Better colleges have more clubs and extracurricular activities, so there’s almost always a venue there for a student’s non-academic passions.