Category Archives: College Information

Preparing for College Admissions

Preparing For College Admissions

The college admissions process can be an overwhelming experience for new students and a “wake up call” for the life changing step from high school to college. The first thing to consider is admissions requirements. Each college has different requirements for who they admit to enroll at their school. Admission requirements commonly factor in test scores, grade point average, and prep courses. It’s important to know the requirements and make sure you meet all the requirements before applying for enrollment.

The second thing to consider is the college application. You want to set yourself apart from the pack when filling out a college application. College applications often include essays, letters of recommendation, portfolios of work, and interviews. Essays are critical to your application. Essays let the decision makers at the enrollment office know why you are interested in attending their college and if you are the type of person and the type of student they want to allow in. When writing your essays be sure to include any good works you have done such as volunteer work and any clubs and extra-curricular activities in which you participate. Try to represent yourself as a very well rounded individual who is actively involved in your community.

Letters of recommendation are very important as well. You can’t control what people say about you in their letters, but you can control who you ask. Be smart when making the decision of which people to ask for letters of recommendation. Only ask those people who will help your cause and say good things about you, and make sure those people have good written communication skills and good grammar.

On campus interviews are a great opportunity to win over the decision makers of the schools. Not all colleges offer campus interviews, so if the college you are applying to does you need to take advantage of the situation. Generally speaking the campus interview is not the biggest factor, but it could be your opportunity to tip the scales in your favor. Speaking in a one-on-one environment is your chance to make a great impression and provide the interviewer additional information about yourself that may have been left out of your application. Present yourself as confident and competent as well as humble and respectful.

Why Getting Into College This Fall Is Easy

For those of you who just graduated from high school this past semester and have applied to colleges, you should be able to breathe a bit easier than you would have in years past.  Sometimes it’s best to be lucky, and for those of you with borderline acceptable college applications, you may just be in luck.  Teenage population numbers have dipped and are projected to keep dipping for the next couple of years.  This means there is a smaller pool of applicants and colleges are scrambling to fill the seats with freshmen, meaning they are ultimately lowering the bar and accepting applicants that simply would not have made the cut last year.

According to the experts, there won’t be any noticeable changes to acceptance rates at elite colleges and universities such as Ivy League schools, but smaller, less selective colleges will be doing everything they can to have full classes, even when it means lowering their standards.

Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education is an organization that has been monitoring and tracking graduation projections for over thirty years.  They recently released a report called Knocking on the College Door which included the following observation:

Over the last two decades, colleges and universities have been able to count on an annually growing number of students graduating from the nation’s high schools. But it appears that period of abundance will soon be history.”

Even though, the number of high school graduates has risen and peaked over the past fifteen years it iis expected to decline by up to two hundred thousand this year, according to the Knocking on the College Door report.

So if you are on of those average high school students with average test scores, you still have a great chance at getting accepted at the college or university you apply to.  Don’t waste this golden opportunity.  If you’ve been procrastinating about applying for enrollment for the Fall 2014 Semester you are running out of time but you can still make it if you act now.  Apply, enroll, and start registering for classes.  You’ll be glad you took the leap.

Getting into College with Low SAT Scores

Just because you have low SAT scores or low ACT scores doesn’t mean you can’t get into college.  In fact, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised to know that many colleges and universities don’t even require an SAT or ACT test for admission.  There are many reasons why these tests are optional but not mandatory.  Below are a few of reasons.

The ACT and SAT, although good for measuring skills across the board, don’t necessarily serve a good purpose of measuring skills for specific types of schools such as technical schools, art schools, and music schools.  So many of those types of institutions don’t require them.

Some colleges and universities feel like an unfair advantage is given to wealthy families who can afford prep classes for the SAT test and ACT test whereas less fortunate families can’t take the prep classes and consequently the students score lower on the tests.

Colleges or universities with strong religious affiliations often don’t require SAT and ACT scores either.

In summary, if you are a student with low test scores, don’t lose hope.  Seek out “test-optional” colleges that don’t require high scores or don’t require the tests at all.  Another option is to retake the SAT or ACT.  Most people score considerably higher the second or third time around because they are more familiar with what to expect.  The best option, if you can afford it, is to take prep classes for the SAT or ACT and then retake the exams.  You are sure to score higher with more preparation.   I hope this information has been helpful.  Soon I hope to post a list of colleges that have test-optional admissions policies so please check back soon for updates.

How to Choose the College that’s Right for You

What College is Right for You?

choosing the right college

Choosing the right college for you is one of the biggest decisions of your life.

People are different.  We all have different goals, different dreams, and different skill levels.  We excel in some areas while we struggle in others.  We are highly interested in some topics and others bore us to sleep.  So when it comes to choosing which college is best for you, your answer should be unique.  Just because your brother or sister or parents attended one college doesn’t necessarily mean that same college is the right choice for you.

5 Tips to Help You Choose the Right College

  1. Ask yourself these questions. “Why am I going to college?  What are my goals?  What am I good at?  What am I interested in?  What do I truly want out of life?”   The answers to those questions can shift your college decision tremendously.  Are you a highly motivated individual that can tackle college on your own, or are you someone who will rely heavily on family support?  Size up who you are and what your needs are. Explore your strengths and weaknesses and assess your needs.
  2. The size of the college or university you choose is very important.  Maybe you want to be a part of something huge?  Or maybe you don’t want to get lost in the crowd.  Small colleges give you a better chance to get to know all of the key people in your field and do some inner exploration, whereas  large colleges and universities may offer more things and have different opportunities based on shear numbers.  It’s typically easier to get one on one time with your professors at small colleges.
  3. Depending on your unique situation, the distance your college is from your loved ones can make a difference.  If you’re just starting college you’ve likely never been out on your own before.  Believe it or not, it’s very easy to become homesick and depressed when your culture changes drastically and you are no longer around people you know and are comfortable with.  If you are somebody who wants to spend the holidays with family consider colleges a bit closer to home.
  4. Choose a college or university that makes financial sense.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to go to a big name brand university, possibly out of state.  The tuition is enormously higher for out of state students.  Consider the financial benefits of choosing an in-state school.  You should also consider attending a community college the first couple years to knock out all of your common classes.  There’s no reason to put an unnecessary financial burden on your back if you don’t have to.
  5. Do your research before selecting a college or university.  Look for schools that specialize in the industries you are interested in.  Start by making a large list of colleges you are considering attending.  Then continue to narrow down your list.  Visit the websites of each college, read as much info as you can, look at all the pictures and videos available.  Visit each campus.  Check out not only what each college has to offer but what the area has to offer as well.  Think about where you’ll be eating, hanging out, shopping, etc.  and factor all of those things in to your decision.

College doesn’t have to be strictly a chore; it can be the most exciting and fun time of your life.  But it all depends on which college you choose.  Other than your major, choosing the right college is one of the most important decisions you will make in your adult life.  Choose wisely, go forth, and prosper.