Senior Update & A Mind-Body Practice: Emotional Freedom Techniques

Spring is here, and many student’s are gathering their final acceptances and learning about a potential wait-list status (if fortunate!) as they prepare with their parents for the enrollment deadline – May 1st. College Enrollment Day is when colleges and universities require a minimal financial commitment to secure a placement. The tuition is due in late summer, so student’s are focused on making their final decision. The three most common questions I hear from student’s now are merit aid award appeal, financial aid appeal, and the wait-list process with supportive supplements.

The merit scholarship award may be appealed by contacting the admissions officer or the general admissions office to find out if it is possible to do so. The most successful student cases may write a letter to explain why more money is requested to attend this college or university. The letter often includes updates on the student’s academic status, a continuation of extracurriculars, and personal growth in the spring of the senior year. The financial circumstances can be articulated to highlight how the request would influence the student’s college decision (i.e., did a parent lose their job or makes the extra request to match the other merit aid award to support you in attending your dream school?). Suppose you have a merit aid offer from an equal-admissions-status college but with a better merit aid offer. In that case, you can share this as data with your financial appeal when a student receives a better financial fit from an equal-level college competitor that provides momentum for a positive review, as similar colleges are structured to support enrollment management goals (i.e., acceptance rates, financial aid, and a quality admissions approach). However, this must be done before May 1st to be evaluated by the admissions and financial aid departments. 


The financial aid appeal is for need-based aid, and if a family’s circumstances change, they may appeal by going through the college’s financial aid office. The family will be asked to provide information and may need to submit further documentation. The sooner the family can submit this information, the more time the financial aid office has to re-evaluate the student and family’s financial profile. The goal is to have an updated evaluation before May 1st. 


Wait-list notifications will begin to see more movement after May 1st, when students enroll in their college choice by the deadline. This deadline is firm, as it opens up enrollment opportunities for those on the current waitlist, and colleges will be actively working to fulfill their incoming class as soon as possible (some earlier, others later, but that is the goal for an admissions calendar). The wait-list admission is a kind gesture acknowledging the applicant’s academic and personal achievements and that it’s in alignment with their ideal profile. But, as we know, these decisions are out of our control as other factors come into play.  All students are reminded to go back to their pillars of success (i.e., academic fit, social/cultural fit/what is important to you) as they make a decision to begin their next chapter. 

As for parents with tweens, teens, and college-bound students, it is ever more important for them to create resilience. As relationship psychotherapist Esther Perel says, “…you create resilience, not learn it. It is to know how to use your resources effectively for life’s uncertainties.” And, for students to know how to use this as a “tool” in their toolbox for life, knowing how to manage their academic anxiety and student identity while learning the greatest gift of all: self-acceptance and self-compassion. 

When parents call my office at school, and the same concerns are evident in my private practice, I often hear them share that while academic anxiety increases from middle school to high school, their self-worth, self-perception, and self-love are further depleted. For alternatives to intervention with anxiety management, many parents often ask for referrals for targeted support with a different approach. Susan Gonzales, EFT, former Learning Specialist at Crossroads School (2012 – 2022), shared with me her new professional journey harnessing in on emotions stored within the body to release the negative energy and associations from the student’s learning experience for creating a calm self to change the automatic response and shifting to a refocus on the task at hand. 

Her new professional journey, a post-pandemic decision in education, she “… researched and thought and searched, and nearly a year ago, I embarked on an inspiring journey to expand my professional offerings to include Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), powerful tools for stress reduction.” 

EFT, commonly known as “tapping,” is a mind-body practice combining exposure and cognitive therapy elements with tapping on acupressure points. Susan explained that “…we carry our emotions as sensations in our bodies. As tapping sends a signal of safety to the body, stress releases, naturally.” 

In other words, tapping supports the sensory information with an opportunity for a safe exposure to create a calming signal to the body when it is exposed to the negative feelings associated with an experience (e.g., test anxiety and college readiness around planning and admissions). To learn more, please visit Susan GonzalesEFT or email her directly at

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