Upcoming events and Attractions.  Family Swap Meet Coming Soon!
Give Your Kid the Advantage to Getting into College
A year-by-year guide for high school students
Cash strapped and concerned are how most parents are feeling about sending their kids to college these days. A four year degree is, on average, $100,000. Additionally, 50 percent of students who start college don't finish.  Ron Caruthers is president of Ducerus, a full-service college planning company based in San Diego. He helps parents give their teenagers a strategic advantage to getting into the school of their choice by creating a customized plan for each client.
Below is his freshman-senior year college planning guide for parents and students. Additionally, Ducerus hosts free workshops to help moms, dads and their high school students learn all the ins and outs of college planning. Sign up today at www.ducerus.com
-Reality check: make sure your teenager’s career interests match up with his/her desired lifestyle. For example, if the student wants to be a teacher, find out the annual salary for that field. Have the student pick out the kind of house they want to live in and car they want to drive. This process gives kids an understanding of what that career will afford them.
-Talk to others: get the inside scoop on what your student's interested in by talking to others already working in that field.
-Hit the road: visit a variety of colleges while they’re in session. Include public and private institutions that are large and small. Your student will get an idea of the type of school he or she is most interested in. Visiting while school is in session will helps get a feel for the ‘personality’ of each school.
-Get help: college is a risky and expensive adventure, but you don't have to go it alone. Think of college planning like doing your taxes. You're more likely to come out ahead if work with an expert. Talk to college planners in your area and find out how they help parents and students navigate the complex system of college planning. Ask if they provide assistance with the entire process - including school selection, admissions, funding, and standardized testing, or if their expertise is limited to certain elements of the process.
-Show me the money: research schools and their costs. For example, annual tuition at a state university is generally less expensive than a private one, however graduation rates differ from school to school. On average students at state institutions graduate in five to six years, but those at private schools graduate in four years. This means a private school might cost a family the same amount as a state school.
-Study up on standardized tests: have your student begin prepping for the SAT and ACT about 20 minutes a day. The PSAT that students take in October of their junior year could also qualify them as a National Merit Scholar, which means they might receive scholarship money. It pays (literally) to do well on standardized tests.
-Get the inside scoop: internships are an eye opening experience. Your teenager can find out what it means to work in their chosen industry and determine if it’s something he or she might enjoy before you write the big tuition checks.
-Make a list: focus on eight to 12 schools, and consider both public and private institutions. Don't let your student apply to only one school. The admissions process is extremely competitive. If your student only applies to only one school, chances are they might not get in, and then what?
-Vacations become research opportunities: re-visit the schools your student is interested in and find how what they're really like. Take the time to setup meetings with professors and tour the campus. Have your student sit in on a class and go to a football game or social activity. You don't want to have your student to pack their bags and head home because they don't feel like they fit in.
-Avoid senioritis: have your admissions packet complete by October. This gets it out of the way early and gives your student the time to focus on all the other activities going on that year.
-Fill out the FASFA form by January 31. Don’t wait until your taxes are done. Many parents think they make too much money to qualify for financial aid, when in many cases that's not true. Those who make $100,000 a year may still qualify.
-Don't rush to a decision: when offers start coming in take your time and review them. Students will often want to make the decision quickly, but taking your time and weighing your options will pay off in the end. Make sure you’ve heard from every school both for admission and financial aid before making a final decision by May 1.
-Be sure to alert the college’s financial aid office to any change in circumstances that might affect your ability to pay for college, such as loss of job, major medical expenses or having to take care of a sick family member. Schools can often increase aid mid-year if these changes occur.
About Ron Caruthers: He is the author of What Your Guidance Counselor Isn't Telling You, a brief but comprehensive guide to helping parents navigate effectively through the college process. He is a frequent guest on local and national news programs, and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Inc. Magazine, Newsweek and has been seen on Fox News, CBS and locally on the WB Network and KUSI. Learn more about Caruthers and Ducerus at www.ducerus.com
Parent's Guide to Wills, Trusts & Saving for College
Monday, August 19, 7-9pm, Scripps Mende Well Being-UTC
What would happen to your children if something happened to you?  Achieve peace of mind by ensuring that your child(ren) would be raised by the person you choose and that your child(ren) would not inherit everything at age 18, but at the ages and stages you want them to inherit.  Stacy DenHerder, an Estate Planning Attorney and a Financial Planner will discuss how to avoid probate, how to be prepared to cover the issues of incapacity, and how to secure your financial future as well as your child's college education.  You'll have the opportunity to learn about 529 plans, education and Roth IRAs, UTMA accounts and alternative investments.  This class is free for Parent Connection members, $10/nonmembers.  Click here to register.

Avoid Nutrition Deficiencies While Transitioning to Solid Foods
Thursday, August 22, 10-11:30am, Scripps Mende Well Being-UTC
Take the stress out of adding solids to your baby's diet.  We will discuss proper food consistency, safety guidelines for making your own baby food, which foods to introduce first, choking hazards and more.  Our speaker is Maryann Jacobsen author of Fearless Feeding: How to Raise Healthy Eaters from High Chair to High School.  Babies are welcome to attend.  This event is free for Parent Connection members, $10 for nonmembers.  Click here to register.
We have some exciting announcements…
Memberships on eTickets:
Discounted Aquarium memberships are now available through your company’s eTicket store. Your employees and members can purchase our two most popular membership packages, Family and Family Plus.
Family Membership: $105 (Reg. $115)
Includes: 1 or 2 adults, plus all children living in the same household (age 17 and under), plus 2 guest tickets.
Family Plus Membership: $149 (Reg. $165)
Includes: 1 or 2 adults, plus all children living in the same household (age 17 and under), transferable membership card, 1 nectar voucher, plus 2 guest tickets.
Blue Whales:
Blue whales have been migrating past our coast, and we have seen quite a few of these majestic creatures on recent cruises. Did you know that the blue whale is about as long as three busses and its heart is about as large as a small car!
Get your whale on and see the world’s largest mammals up close on the Aquarium’s Blue Whale Watch.
eTickets are $35 per Adult (Reg. $45) and $20 per Child (Reg. $25)
Urban Ocean Cruise:
We have just one more Urban Ocean Cruise taking place this year on Saturday, September 7. During this cruise you will learn what makes the Southern California urban ocean one of the most amazing segments of the entire World Ocean. Explore how one of the world’s largest ports and marine life coexist in this unique coastal land.
Adult $22.95 (Reg. $29.95)
Child $8.00 (Reg. $10.00)
Baby Penguins:
Yes, the Aquarium now has two baby penguin chicks! The chicks were born in June and can be seen on our live video cam before they go on exhibit. Check out these cuties by clicking here or by using the url below.
Parent Connection members click
here to view your discount.
Shamu Rocks
Shamu Rocks® combines the flash of a rock concert with the splash of
Shamu®. Incredible images and animation from around the world blend
with dazzling lighting effects, sizzling rock ‘n’ roll music and amazing
behaviors to create SeaWorld’s hottest night show yet. Come see our
biggest star at Shamu Rocks, performing nightly during Summer
Nights at SeaWorld® San Diego.

From the waters of SeaWorld sprouts a whole new waterpark.
Inspired by the South Seas, Aquatica SeaWorld’s Waterpark™
features tropical landscaping, private cabanas and water play
from serene to extreme. Located only minutes from SeaWorld
on Entertainment Circle in Chula Vista.

Family Swap Meet

Sunday, September 29
9 a.m. to 1 pm
Canyon Crest Academy
5951 Village Center Loop Rd.
San Diego, CA 92130
Admission is $2/person,
under 12 years old free

Interested in selling?  Download the registration form here.
Open to the Public


Our Birthday Express is only $49 (minimum 10 guests), and includes full day admission and a birthday cake. Regular priced tickets are $78.
Our Ultimate Birthday is only $69 (minimum 10 guests) and includes admission; yummy meal, cake, and beverages; and a LEGO gift for each child.
To sign up and find out more information, click here.
Parent Connection playgroups (minimum 10 children), we have special activities or a self-guided experience, and a price of $33 Child and $43 Adult.  For further information about this contact LEGOLAND here.
Members can receive a $25/discount off of family members.  Click here to find out more details.
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