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Consider studying in the UK for college
Many students dream of studying not only in a different state, but in a different country. If you have dreamed of going to a school like Prince William met Kate, (St. Andrews in Scotland), or an ancient school such as Oxford, consider attending college in the United Kingdom. There are several advantages to studying in the United Kingdom : Graduate with a degree in 3 years (England).  You can finish your degree in 3 years and move on to graduate school or a career sooner than in an American University.  Scottish Universities offer a 4-year degree. Start in your major.  You can start as a freshman studying medicine, engineering or law. Get started right away in the field of your interest. Skip the general education.  There are no general education courses required in the UK education system.  Take only the classes you need, for the subject you are studying. No language proficiency test needed.  Most of all, you can experience a new culture and still be speaking English. You don’t have to worry about receiving instruction in a language you are still mastering.  Undoubtedly, understanding the accents will take time! No additional cost. UK accepts the same Stafford loan colleges in the US accept. You could actually pay less to go to school in the UK than staying home and attending a high-cost school in an expensive area of the US. International Student Loan has a list of colleges in the UK eligible for Stafford loans. Explore United Kingdom schools through the Educate in UK website. Make notes in your GuidedPath Edge account. ...
Watch Video about Getting Ready to Go to College
For many students, high school is like a second home. It is a place you feel at home. You know where to find your friends, and have favorite places to hang out.  Now, you are getting ready to embark on a new adventure- college.  This will be unlike any other experience you have had in the past. How do you prepare?  What should you expect? Harlan Cohen (the NY Times bestselling author of  The Naked Room Mate) shares some thoughts about what you need to do to prepare for college:  Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable. Watch Harlan Cohen’s Ted Talk Take Action Talk to your parents and friends about steps you can take to start getting ready to leave home and go to college next fall. ...
Who’s watching your social media posts?
  Alan Katzman is the founder and CEO of Social Assurity . Alan is a pioneer in developing and advancing techniques to teach students how to use social media to build a compelling and reflective digital presence as a game-changing tool for creating academic and career success at all educational levels.  Alan is a sought-after speaker for high school and college students, parents, and educational professionals while frequently participating in education-related events nationwide.  Alan and his work have been featured in The New York Times, CNN, ABC News, NPR, USA Today, Forbes, Business Insider, and Social Media Today. Here are 4 reasons why you should be aware of how social media can impact your college planning: Reason #1: Admissions Officers Are Looking at Applicant Social Media Thanks to Kaplan Test Prep and its annual survey of college admissions officers, we know that at least 35% of admissions officers in the United States looked at applicant social media during the 2016 admissions process. We also know that admissions officers are more likely to look when considering scholarships and when invited to do so by applicants.   Reason #2: Since They’re Looking, Why Not Give Them Something to See? College admissions officers have neither the time nor the interest to search social media simply to find reasons to reject qualified applicants. If and when colleges look, logic dictates they are looking to learn more about the applicant, opening the door of opportunity for the prepared applicant to make a strong impression and set themselves apart from other qualified applicants.   Reason #3: The Best Offense is a Good Defense Almost all colleges now have a prominent social media presence and encourage applicants to interact with them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.  By optimizing social media to showcase their activities, interests, accomplishments, and service, applicants can freely and safely interact with colleges and may very well impress the right people as a result.   Reason #4: Managing Social Media is an Essential Life Skill Social media is here to stay and will continue to influence character and credibility assessments made by colleges, scholarship committees, and employers. Today, a thoughtful, transparent, and reflective digital presence across social media networks can help students achieve their academic and professional goals and aspirations.   Take action Review your social media accounts.  What would you like colleges or others to see about you?   ...
Are you done with college applications?  Check your list twice!
  There are multiple steps to getting a COMPLETE application into the college of your choice.  Use the following checklist to see where you are in the process.  College Applications Filling out the college application is only the first part of the process. Common Application Coalition Application State colleges/universities Application Individual colleges/university applications Transcripts Check transcript requirements for each college you are applying to. Transcript required with application Transcript required after application Transcript required after enrollment You may need to send another transcript in January.  This is known as the “Seventh semester transcript.”  It shows your grades from your first semester in senior year. Test Scores Be sure to request the following test scores to be sent to all your colleges.  Be sure to include both past and future test scores: ACT SAT SAT Subject Submit your AP test scores after you graduate, unless requested otherwise. Recommendations Check to be sure your counselor and teachers have completed any recommendations you have requested. Financial Aid forms College is expensive. Work together with your parents to get your financial aid forms completed. FAFSA- ALL colleges use the FAFSA CollegeBoard Profile- some private colleges and other programs use an extra financial aid form. It is quite involved and takes a lot of time to complete.  Watch for deadlines. Special applications Some special programs (such as honors programs) or scholarships require additional applications.  Check college website for additional applications and deadlines.     ...
What is your status - Junior checklist?
  There are multiple steps to getting a COMPLETE application into the college of your choice.  Use the following checklist to see where you are in the process.  College Applications Filling out the college application is only the first part of the process. Common Application Coalition Application State colleges/universities Application Individual colleges/university applications Transcripts Check transcript requirements for each college you are applying to. Transcript required with application Transcript required after application Transcript required after enrollment You may need to send another transcript in January.  This is known as the “Seventh semester transcript.”  It shows your grades from your first semester in senior year. Test Scores Be sure to request the following test scores to be sent to all your colleges.  Be sure to include both past and future test scores: ACT SAT SAT Subject Submit your AP test scores after you graduate, unless requested otherwise. Recommendations Check to be sure your counselor and teachers have completed any recommendations you have requested. Financial Aid forms College is expensive. Work together with your parents to get your financial aid forms completed. FAFSA- ALL colleges use the FAFSA CollegeBoard Profile- some private colleges and other programs use an extra financial aid form. It is quite involved and takes a lot of time to complete.  Watch for deadlines. Special applications Some special programs (such as honors programs) or scholarships require additional applications.  Check college website for additional applications and deadlines.     ...
Colleges are still looking for students
` Did you get started late on applying to colleges? Got your December test scores back and you're reconsidering what colleges you are applying to?   Don’t worry! There are many colleges that you can apply to in January and after (even some through August). Here are a few tips for finding colleges/universities with open applications:    Schools with  Rolling Admissions:  Once your application is completed, you receive an admissions decision after the application is reviewed.  The college does not wait for all applications to be submitted before giving you an admissions decision. Check the Regular Decision deadlines:   Many colleges have “regular” decision deadlines between January and March.  Although, your options for financial aid or scholarships may be less the later you apply. Nearby Public Universities:   Public universities, especially those near you, may have local attendance areas.  Being in the local area may help increase your chances of being admitted.  Sometimes the deadlines for these schools are later than other public universities. Religiously   Affiliated Colleges : Some religiously affiliated colleges or universities will have extended application dates.   Take Action Each college profile lists the application deadline for the school.  Search for colleges in the above categories, then check their application deadlines.  If the deadline has not passed add it to your college list. ...
How do you create the ultimate activities list?
Doing pep rallies? Preparing for Academic competitions? Playing a sport?  Colleges care about how you have spent your time while in high school.  Here are 3 steps to create the Ultimate Activities List. 1) WRITE down all the activities you have been involved in during high school.  As you get this information down, include: Name of the organization or activity you were involved in. Don’t use abbreviations. The reader may not know what ASB or DECCA is. A description of the activity or organization. What is the focus of the activity or organization? All activities. Don’t forget about other groups or organizations you belong to outside of school. Youth groups, club or recreational sports, performing arts, talents (such as music) or hobbies count too. Grade level(s) participated in. Include whether you did an activity 1 year or all 4 years. Occasional activities. Doing a food drive once a year counts. Include those once or twice activities. 2)  DETAILS needed.   Be sure to go back and include this information on your activity list: How many hours per week you participated in the activity or organization. Don’t be stingy with your hours; give yourself credit for all hours. How many weeks per year you participated in the activity or organization. Count 1 week for activities you did once. Your level of involvement. Especially include any leadership role you may have held.  Show your growing level of involvement too. If you moved from participant to team leader; or held an office. 3)  PRIORITIZE now. When you apply to college, the Common App only has room for 10 activities. Give priority to the following items on your activity list. Activities with lots of hours.  Hours count. Make sure the activities you spend the most time are listed at the top. Activities with leadership. This is what colleges are looking for. Highlight them! By organizing now you will stand out on your college applications.  Make copies of your Ultimate Activity List to send to the teachers and others you have asked to be a recommender. ...
What should I expect on the PSAT when I take it in October?
  Guessing allowed . Remember, no deductions are made for incorrect answers on the PSAT.  So guess away! Prepare to read for content . PSAT uses longer reading passages, with questions based on content, not words. So prepare to read and understand the passages. Same score scale as SAT.   The PSAT  scale is the same as the SAT- almost. The scale ranges from 160-760 for each section: 320-1520 for 2 sections. The SAT score range is 200-800. Prepare for a long test.  The PSAT  test is 2 hours 45 minutes. Be prepared for the long haul. Remember your formulas and history. Don’t be surprised to find questions about science or the founding fathers. PSAT  test questions are evidence-based. Scores, scores and more scores.  The PSAT has multiple ways to look at what you were tested on and how you fared on the test.  Go over test scores with your school counselor.   Practice Made Easy The College Board offers different types of practice.  Select the one that works best for you. Sample Questions Practice PSAT Test Practice the Khan Academy Way   ...
How do you get money for college?
  Have you been receiving emails about “filing the FAFSA” from colleges or your high school counseling office?  Are you wondering what information you need in order to file a FAFSA? What is the FAFSA? The Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form students and parents must complete and submit to the federal government to determine their eligibility for federal financial aid?   Who files the FAFSA? Since this is a federal program, it is for US citizens or students with a legal status in the United States. International students are not eligible for federal student aid. What kind of aid does the federal government offer? There are three types of aid offered by the US government: 1) Grants , 2) Student Loans, 3) Workstudy . Top Six Tips for getting ready to file the FAFSA Create 2 separate FSA ID’s .  Each student and parent need an ID to use to officially sign the FAFSA.   Click here for directions to set up a FSA ID. Gather financial records. Use the latest complete taxes you have. Gather end of the year bank records: savings, mortgages, stocks, bonds, other investments. Gather personal records. Organize all parent and student social security, birth dates, and other personal information for easy access. Use IRS Data Retrieval tool.  Once you start your FAFSA, you will see a question in the FAFSA asking if you want to connect your tax return to your FAFSA.  Say “YES”.  This will streamline your process. Prioritize your Colleges.  You can only list 10 colleges at a time on the FAFSA.  If you have more than 10, prioritize your list with private and in state schools in the top 10. Plan to file early. The FAFSA application opened Oct. 1. It will be open until June or July.  Many colleges and state programs have deadlines in February and March.  Plan to file at least 20 days before the deadline. Follow these tips and you will sail through completing the FAFSA! ...
What did you get on your AP's?
` Anxious to see your AP scores? Wait no longer! AP tests come out next week. Scores come out by physical location. View the date and location schedule on the College Board schedule . Go to www.apscore.org to view your scores. What is the AP exam score scale? There is no “pass” or “fail” on the AP tests.  It’s important to understand the definitions of the AP scores. 5 = extremely well qualified | This will get you  college credit at some universities 4 = well qualified  |  This will get you college credit at some universities 3 = qualified   |  This can get you college credit as some universities 2 = possibly qualified   |  You will not get college credit at a university 1 = no recommendation   |  You will not get college credit at a university   What if I have other scores? Go to www.apscore.org to view scores on tests you took in previous years. What if I have other questions about my AP test scores? Check out the College Board’s AP Student Top Questions page for answers to viewing and sending scores to colleges, payment, and more. Sending Scores to College If you just graduated, be sure you send your scores to the college you are attending in the fall.  The college needs your official AP scores.` ...
What does it feel like to be an adult?
You said it when you were growing up, “I can’t wait to be an adult”.  Your parents yelled it at you, “We can’t wait until you are an adult!”. How do you know when you are an adult?  Take this quiz to see what your grade is as an “adult”.  Answer each question with a Yes or No. I get myself up in the morning. I do my own laundry. I know how to keep a budget. I manage my own appointments. I know how to call to make appointments at the doctor or dentist. I can wash dishes. I can clean my room. I can see a task that needs to be done and do it without asking. I can order a meal in a restaurant. I can manage my bills. I know how much money I can spend every month. I can manage my time for school and fun. I can plan a timeout with my friends. I know how to ask for help. I know how to stand up for myself. I know how to listen. I can say no when tempted to do the wrong thing. I can find a new address on my own. I know how to meet deadlines. I know how to prioritize things I need to do.   What your scores mean Tally your score - each Yes response receives 1 point. A+ = 17-20.  You are ready to enter adulthood with flying colors. B+= 13- 19.  You are an emerging adult.  You almost have it down. You have just a few things to work on yet. C+= 10- 18.  You are getting there. You have a few more items to work on. D+= 5-9.  You have ways to go.  Work on some of these tasks this summer before you go to college. F+ = 1-4.  You are not ready to go to college.   You might need a year at home to get ready for adulthood. Being an adult is about more than having freedom and doing what you want. It is about responsibility, accountability and good choices.  Practice your “adult” skills this summer, and you will be at the A+ adult level when you leave for college in the fall.   ...
Getting Ready for Life
` There is more to going to college than showing up on campus the first day with books and computer in hand.  Whether it is next summer or years away, use summer time to plan and prepare for going away from home and for getting on campus. Here what advice two experts in this field have for you. One is a current student in college, and the other wrote a best selling NY Times book on the topic.   3 Things to Do Watch the interviews and make a goal to do at least 3 things to help you get prepared for school next year. The importance of People, Places, and Patience for going to college. Learn why you need these three things are important in college from Harlan Cohen, a New York Times bestselling author.  View video.   5 Tips for Excelling in School What can you do to make school easier? Hear about a student’s journey going from high school to college. Mohammad shares what made college easier and a more rewarding experience. View video. ...
Do activities matter?
Many colleges use activities to understand you more as a person. Remember this goal when you make your list. Tips for getting an edge in your application with activities: Make a master list of all your activities in high school, starting with 9th grade. Write down everything - you can prioritize later. Ask parents and friends for input.  They will remember something you forgot. Be sure to include one time events, like a blood drive or fund-raising event. List things you are involved in, like babysitting, cooking classes, music, sports, reading. They don’t need to be organized activities.   ...
Looking for an exciting summer?
What are your plans for summer?  Now is the time to find programs for next summer to participate in. Do it this month!  Many programs fill up early.  Many have deadlines as early as February. What types of summer programs are there? Educational Want to take an AP government class or a Biology AP class in the summer?  And be on a college campus?  Or as an International student brush up on English. Several options exist for you. Research Take advantage of opportunities to do research in an area of interest of yours. Sports How better to hone your skills in your sport on a college campus. Check with your coach for opportunities for summer camps. Test Prep Ready to prepare for the SAT or ACT? Want to include study tips and tools? Many choices exist, ranging from 1 week to several weeks. Travel Do a homestay in Switzerland or visit Latin American country to learn Spanish or study a subject you are passionate about. Other Performing arts, music camps, internships, the list of options is endless. Here is a list of websites to get you started in looking for summer programs. Teenlife ARCC Pathways to STEM Concordia Language Villages   ...
Check Your State Scholarship Deadlines
` Many states have connected their scholarship programs to the FAFSA. It makes it easy to apply for a state scholarship through the FAFSA, as long as you make the deadline. Check with your counselor to see what the deadlines are for your state or region. Finding the Due Dates Some programs direct you to check with the state agency. Others have due dates after April. Check your state for deadlines and steps you need to take to be considered for any state scholarship   ...
7 Tips for Acing the SAT
  How can you ace the SAT? Here are 7 tips for you: Test Day Checklist.  Get a good night’s sleep before the test. Be sure you arrive at the SAT prepared with the right tools. See TEST DAY CHECKLIST . Be sure to bring a protein snack, a watch and an approved calculator. Consider Using Score Choice.. Consider waiting to send your scores until you see the scores. You can send them to selected colleges later. Guess. SAT has eliminated the ¼ pt deduction for guessing and given you only four answers to choose from- just like the ACT. Eliminate as many answers as possible, then make a calculated guess. It won’t hurt your score. Brush up on Algebra 1 & 2.  The SAT now emphasizes Algebra, with some Algebra 2 and Trigonometry.  Not much Geometry. The math section includes many word-based problems. Pace Yourself. Remember you have two sections to do: Evidence-based Reading and Writing, and Math. The essay is now at the end of the test. The test is 3 hours 50 minutes, including the essay. It is 3 hours if you are not doing the essay section.  The essay is offered at the end of the exam. Prepare for Analytical Essay.  The SAT essay is 50 minutes long, optional and focused on analyzing content. Gone is the persuasive essay. Prepare to support your analysis in your writing. Relax.  This is just a test. It shows your ability on this Saturday in March. It does not define the rest of your life.  You will have a chance to retake it or take the ACT. You have been going to school for over 10 years. You know more than you realize. Registration links : ACT SAT ...
GPA or Rigor-Which trumps in your college applications?
When applying to colleges, which is better? To have the honor of Valedictorian at your high school (perhaps taking less hard classes to make that happen), or taking the hardest classes possible and sacrificing the chance to be valedictorian?  Does GPA trump rigor in your class schedule?   Rigor is the Trump Overwhelmingly, the first criteria colleges use to compare students for admissions is the rigor of their high school coursework. More important than GPA is how far you have stretched yourself academically when in high school.  Of course, having good grades AND rigor in your courses is the best goal!   Go competitive Use the following guidelines when choosing classes in high school to be competitive when applying to colleges. Be sure to check class requirements in different states. (For example, California public colleges require 1 year of Visual or Performing Arts.) 4 years of English 4 years of Mathematics 3-4 years of Science (lab science) 3-4 year of a Foreign Language 1-4 years of a Fine Arts (includes visual or performing arts classes. Any number of years of electives, as they fit into your schedule Special classes that are not college prep, such as Student Council, Mock Trial, etc. can be counted as activities on your college applications.   Dual Enrollment Taking college classes online. or at a local college or community college while in high school, is an additional way to add rigor to your high school courses. Colleges like to see you strive academically.  Often 1 semester of a college school class = 1 year of a high school class.  Transferable college classes often count the same weight in a gpa calculation as an AP. ...
Monday Memo for Rising Seniors: Why wait to start on college applications?
Get a jump start on your college applications. You can start a Coalition or Common Application now.  Start completing information about yourself in each application. When Can I Submit My College Applications during the summer? Here are the dates and types of applications you can submit during the summer: Coalition Application :  July 1 Common Application :  August 1 Other system applications:  Varies (check on websites)     ...
Seniors: Do you fear the ACT or SAT writing?
  Tip: The essay portion of the SAT is not to be feared, nor, does it need to receive an inordinate attention in the preparation process.  It counts for only part of the score on the SAT Writing.  The bulk of the score is in multiple choice questions.  These questions cover improving sentences, improving paragraphs and identifying sentence errors. When you register for the ACT, register for the writing section.  Set a task to study for the writing sections of your tests, with an emphasis on the multiple choice questions.  Plan to finish all your tests by December at the latest.          `   ...
Do I get docked for guessing on the PSAT?
Tip: Don’t be afraid to guess on the PSAT.  The penalty for guessing (deleting a ¼ of a point for each wrong answer) has been taken away. The SAT is taking a leaf out of the ACT book, which has been testing students for years without a penalty for guessing. Scores Ranges Differ The PSAT 8/9 will have scores from 120-720.  The PSAT/NMSQT test scores will be 160-760. The SAT will keep the 200-800 scores.   ...
What color do you want your campus to be?
As you are researching colleges, you will hear comments about how one campus is “very liberal” or another is “extremely conservative”, or another is “middle of the road”.: These are references to the political leanings of a college campus. Is it red, blue or somewhere in between?  Are all students of the same persuasion? How do you find out? Here are some tips for exploring the political atmosphere on a college campus: Check out the list of college clubs? What kinds of clubs are available? Look at the campus newspaper or online news? What are the issues? Are the issues balanced, or slanted more toward a liberal or conservative viewpoint? Review the mission statement.  Does the college have core beliefs that favor one political perspective than another? Check the school’s social media.  What is the twitter and facebook chatter covering? What kind of events are popular on campus?  Where do students like to gather?   Many colleges encourage a balanced political dialogue. After researching the school, do you feel you would fit in?  Would it meet your needs to find a “liberal”, “conservative” or “middle of the road” school? ...
How do you see yourself next year?
It’s officially summer now.  What are your goals for next year as an incoming freshman?  Looking back at this year; Are you happy with how your grades turned out?   Did you enjoy your classes? Did you spend enough time in extra-curricular activities? Are there activities or classes you did not spend enough time on? What is the number one thing you are going to do differently in college next year? ...
What did you get on your AP’s?
Anxious to see your AP scores? Wait no longer! AP tests come out this week. Scores come out by physical location. View the date and location schedule, and your scores on the College Board schedule . What is the AP exam score scale? There is no “pass” or “fail” on the AP tests.  It’s important to understand the definitions of the AP scores. 5 = extremely well qualified | This will get you  college credit at some universities 4 = well qualified  |  This will get you college credit at some universities 3 = qualified   |  This can get you college credit as some universities 2 = possibly qualified   |  You will not get college credit at a university 1 = no recommendation   |  You will not get college credit at a university What if I have other scores? Go to www.apscore.org to view scores on tests you took in previous years. What if I have other questions about my AP test scores? Check out the College Board’s AP Student Top Questions page for answers to viewing and sending scores to colleges, payment, and more. Sending Scores to College If you just graduated, be sure you send your scores to the college you are attending in the fall.  The college needs your official AP scores. ...
When did you last say Thank You?
  “None of us got to where we are alone.  Whether the assistance we received was obvious or subtle, acknowledging someone’s help is a big part of the understanding of saying thank you.”  Harvey Mackay As you finish your senior year, take time to acknowledge the people who have made a difference in your life. These are the unsung heroes in your life.  If someone has touched your life in a meaningful way, acknowledge it with a card or note.  Many teachers, counselors, coaches and others in your life have been leading and guiding, and at times, pushing and prodding you to be the best person you could be.  Remember to take time to write a thank you card and let them know what a difference he/she has made in your life.  Here are the DO’s and DONT’S to saying “Thank you”.   DO’S 1.       Say “Thank You” the old-fashioned way. Use a card or paper. 2.       Write the note yourself. Print or write in cursive. 3.       Make it personal. Use Dear …., with a first or last name. 4.       Write specifics. Be specific in your expression of gratitude. Tell why this person made a difference in your life. 5.       Deliver it the old-fashioned way. Deliver it yourself, put a stamp on it and mail it, or put in a teacher’s or counselor’s box.   DON’TS 1.       Don’t wait too long.  Set yourself a deadline. Write your notes before graduation. 2.       Don’t mix your message. Keep your message positive. 3.       Don’t make it illegible.  Make sure it is neat and easily read. 4.       Don’t leave someone out.  Think of all the people you can thank. 5.       Don’t pass this off to someone else.  Don’t let your parent write these notes.  They should come from you.   Your teachers, counselors and others who have helped you through high school, rarely get a thank you from the students they served.  Make a difference in their life by remembering and acknowledging their contributions to your life.  It will make their day. ...
Are you ready to graduate?
You are almost there!  What are your next steps? Finish Strong!  Strive to get your best grades this semester. All college acceptances are CONDITIONAL. They are based on the expectation you will finish strong. If you do not, your admissions offer can be rescinded. Plan your room and board.  Complete the forms to request a dorm, select a meal plan and make a housing deposit.  Do this as early as you can. Schedule Placement Tests.  Many colleges require you to take a Math and/or an English placement test. Find out the requirements and get it scheduled.   Sometimes your SAT or ACT scores will count, and you will not need to take the test. If you have questions about placement test requirements, contact the college. Calendar in New Student Orientation.  Is the New Student Orientation in the summer? Or just before you start school? Don't miss it! You will need it, and your parents will too! Plan for Graduation.  Plan to make this a memorable and safe graduation celebration.  Tell family and friends what you need for college: books, computer, dorm room gear, other for graduation presents. Say Thank You.  Tell teachers, counselor, coaches and others that have helped you, "Thank you". Give special thanks and appreciation to parents and family for support. Make Summer Meaningful.  Plan to work, do community service,  improve study skills or other meaningful things over the summer.  Plan to have enough money ($1000- $1500) when you start college in the fall. Get your shots.  You need to have meningitis shots up to date before you enroll in college. ...
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