Tag Archives: College

20 Tips For Applying For College Scholarships

As seniors begin to celebrate their final year in high school, their thoughts quickly race to senior prom, senior pictures and grad night. However, it is just as important that they focus some of their energy into applying for college scholarships.

It is estimated that more than 9 million students receive grants or loans from the Department of Education each year. Despite the $83 billion that they will award this year, students and families must look at additional options to help pay for college including scholarships. Below are 20 helpful tips to begin the process.

APPLICATION PACKETS:

1. Request packets in advance.

2. Make copies of the packet information in the event you make anY errors and need to redo the
application.

3. Type your application packet.

4. If you do not have a typewriter consider having the document scanned and put on a disk.

5. Print your information on the application (only as a last resort).

6. Have your application reviewed for typos and clarity.

APPLICATION DEADLINES:

7. Send out the application a week before the application deadline.

8. Keep a copy of the completed application for your records.

9. If the packet needs to be received within a few days considering sending it overnight.

10. Do NOT send your application late, it reflects poorly on your organizational skills and ability to meet deadlines.

LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION:

11. Request letters of recommendation well in advance of deadline.

12. Request letters from individuals that can speak to your accomplishments.

13. A generic letter is worse than having a missing letter.

14. Provide your writers with prepaid postage envelopes.

15. Provide your writers with a resume or brief portfolio of your accomplishments and activities.

16. Follow-up with your writers to be sure that your letters of recommendation have been
mailed.

EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES:

17. Include all extracurricular activities during high school.

18. Include activities that occur sporadically.

19. Service activities are necessary to be competitive.

20. Activities that demonstrate leadership qualities are also important.

FREE SCHOLARSHIP DATABASES

FinAid: The SmartStudentTM Guide to Financial Aid

Website address: http://www.finaid.com

FastWEB http://www.fastweb.com

How to Be Successful at College Life

How to be Successful at College Life

In order to be successful at college life you must make a commitment to studying throughout the day. A lot of people have dreams of going to college but they never get started. Fear can be a big road block that will prevent you from reaching for your goal. Find positive people who can help you to overcome your fears. You may need a to meet all of your professors each semester. A good study group can give you the encouragement to keep going toward your degree. Once you have some ideas of what you want to do begin to write down all of your career goals. Look for people who are successful in your classes and meet with them. Ask them for advice. Don’t be afraid to get the help that you need in order to be a productive and organized college student.

In order to be good at anything in college you must make sure that you have a good follow through on your goal. You must make all of your goals measurable. If you want to accomplish great things make your goals measurable. For example if you want to earn a college degree indicate how many years you will take to complete your degree. You must know what will help you to accomplish your goal and what will distract you. You can measure yourself by keeping track of your grades and the grade point average that you are earning each semester. You could also indicate how many times that you plan to meet with an instructor each semester. You can also write down how often you will meet with a tutor. Getting the help that you need right away will make you a successful student every semester.

Here are other tips:

1. Learn something new from your failures and successes

2. Write down measurable goals

3. Get organized and know where you are going

4. Have several professors who you regularly talk to

5. Hang around students who have more experience than you

6. Take action steps toward your goal every day

7. Attend informative conferences and networks

8. Have strong faith and give thanks for all things

Your level of success is up to you. Don’t give up! Position yourself to learn and move forward. Obstacles are made to be jumped over or moved out of your way. Give your best and make a daily commitment to keeping your motivation and you can be good at achieving your goal to graduate from college.

Tips for Writing College Essays: Literary Analysis

Writers block. Talk about the number one time waster when it comes to studying and assignment completion in college. And let’s be realistic here, it isn’t just WRITER’S block, it is really PROJECT CREATOR’S block. Whether we are writing a paper, creating a PowerPoint presentation, a short video production, a website, or any time of major project in an English course, we eventually hit that brick wall of saying “what do I do next?”

Well, if you are participating in any sort of English class, whether it is literature, critical theory… etc. there is a good chance that you will run out of the creative juices at some point. The problem is that it can sometimes take FOREVER to get back in track, when you really just want to get the project done fast. So here’s a quick set of steps you can take to get the creative ideas flowing again.

Consider the Big Picture

Just ask yourself the following question about the (literary analysis) topic you chose to write about.

What are the primary themes or big ideas that are represented in the text(s) I’m concerned with?

Simple, right? If you have narrowed the focus of your paper well enough, you hopefully don’t have more than three of these. And those three should honestly be bridging up to an even bigger, singular idea. Anyway, take those ideas or that idea and take the next simple step.

Symbol Identification

English classes, and especially literature courses, are largely representing philosophy and world views (culture) through metaphor. This means that you can have a lot of creativity in your interpretation of a text. And you really can’t be wrong, as long as you make a compelling argument for it. But here’s the key to overcoming that writer’s block…

Symbols are a KEY metaphorical tool of authors!

So, simply pick out some symbol – whether it is a character, a description, an item… etc. – that helps explain the text’s or texts’ attitude toward that big idea. Now you can get into an elaboration of a particular symbol and big idea within your writing. At this point, find a few quotes surrounding that symbol that help back up your position, and you’ve just crunched out another 250+ words in your paper. Also, add your own elaborations after each quote to explain how the quotes prove your argument.

Not only is this a great way to add some more description and elements to your paper, this same process can be used as a way to create your thesis statement:

– Just look for the big ideas,

-Find a symbol (or a few) that make a statement about that big idea,

-Then argue that the symbol represents your author’s viewpoint on the big idea.

-Or maybe the author is satirizing that viewpoint. Use your own discretion here.

ACT Or SAT? Five Tips to Pick the Right College Entrance Exam

The SAT and ACT are both respected, nationally-recognized tests. Historically, there’s been a geographic divide between the two; nowadays, very few colleges require or prefer one test over the other. So which one should you take? Well, since you can’t really say one test is any easier than the other, that all depends on your skills and preferences. Basically, you should go for the one you’ll score higher on!

Here are some tips to help you make your decision:

1. Who says size doesn’t matter?

The ACT is a shorter test. The SAT takes a whopping 3 hours, 45 minutes, while the ACT comes out to a hefty 2 hours, 55 minutes, making the SAT about 30% longer than the ACT. Either way, you’re stuck taking a long test. If you have a ridiculously short attention span, then the ACT might be right for you, but realistically, after nearly 3 hours, why sweat an extra 50 minutes?

2. When in doubt, just guess… right?

The SAT has a guessing penalty – minus a quarter of a point for each incorrect response. Not so with the ACT. Guess away! So you should answer every question on the ACT, but on the SAT, you should just leave the answer blank when you can’t eliminate at least one answer choice. Does this make the SAT “harder”? Not really. With the right strategies, you can even make the SAT’s guessing penalty work to your advantage.

3. It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s superscore!

The SAT reports each of your three “subscores” separately-one each for critical reading, writing, and mathematics. So, many colleges will combine your best three subscores from all the times you’ve taken the SAT to make a “superscore.” In the past, schools would not do this with the ACT. Recently, however, many schools have begun to make ACT “superscores” too.

4. What is the difference anyway?

Both tests have a grammar, reading comprehension, essay and math portions. The ACT has an extra “science” section, but don’t worry. I used quotes because it’s really just another test of your reasoning skills – not much chemistry, physics or biology knowledge needed. Broadly speaking, the ACT tests skills that you (should have) learned in high school, while the SAT tries to evaluate your innate problem-solving abilities.

For example, the ACT math section tests a few topics that typically aren’t covered until pre-calculus. While the SAT leaves out these topics, its math problems generally have more complicated setups.

The ACT’s essay is optional, but some colleges require it anyway. Its essay topics are always questions of school policy, while the SAT’s essays deal with more abstract moral or philosophical issues.

In the critical reading sections, the SAT’s vocabulary is harder, but the ACT taxes your critical reading and analysis skills. The ACT English section gives you a couple of long passages with grammar and critical reading questions mixed together; the SAT tests reading and grammar separately.

5. You can’t know if you like it till you’ve tried it!

How do I know which test is better for me? Try them! Take some free practice tests online and see which one fits your fancy. Both the SAT and ACT offer practice questions or tests on their official websites.

10 Tips for Transferring College Credits

College students head of each August to colleges both domestically and internationally. Many students leave with the belief that they will graduate from the college where they are headed. However, some will find that life circumstances such as loss of financial aid, family issues or poor academic performance may result in them having to transfer to a college that may be cheaper, smaller, or closer to home. There are some students who at the onset of their college career decide to attend a 2-year community college and later transfer to a 4-year college or university. Below are several tips to help maximize acceptance of transferred college credits.

1. Keep your Course Syllabus.

Make sure to keep copies of the course syllabus from all of your classes. The course syllabus provides information about the course number, number of credits, outlines the course objectives and details course content. The course syllabus will allow the transferring college to match the course with a similar course in their catalogue to see if you can receive transfer credit.

2. Keep your coursework.

Keep all of your relevant coursework from each course in a labeled folder. Some colleges may request work samples in addition to the course syllabus. Also keep copies of the quizzes, exams and homework within the same labeled course folder.

3. Make an A in your courses.

Getting the transfer college to accept all of your course credits will be a daunting task. However, to help ensure that your course credits are accepted, you are encouraged to make the highest academic grade possible in your courses. Colleges are less likely to accept courses in which you demonstrated average (C grade) performance.

4. Keep a copy of all report cards.

All colleges provide a college transcript that details course number, course title, number of credits for the course, credits earned for that course and grade earned. However, it is important that the student maintain their own report card file. Review your report card at the end of each semester to verify that both the proper grades and courses were credited to your college transcript.

5. Start the transfer process early.

Once you decide that you intend to transfer, meet/email an admission advisor from the transfer college to determine what necessary paperwork will be required. Adhere to all posted deadlines to ensure that you are able to enroll in a timely manner.

6. Keep a copy of all files.

Don’t give the transfer college your original paperwork/documentation. Make copies or have them make copies of the required documentation.

7. Complete any additional paperwork.

Some colleges may require additional paperwork, entrance exams, placement tests etc. Complete all required paperwork before the deadline otherwise it may delay your enrollment and/or the disbursement of your financial aid.

8. Provide an official transcript.

Transfer colleges will require that you provide an official sealed transcript from the registrar at your current college. Some will want the transcript to be sent to them directly from the registrar while others may allow you to hand deliver a sealed transcript to their office.

9. Request several personal copies of your official transcripts.

Be sure to request several personal copies of your official transcripts for your own records. In the future you may be required to provide transcripts from ALL colleges you attended regardless if you obtained a degree. It may be challenging to get your transcripts if you no longer reside in the state or if you need to provide transcripts ten years later for employment/educational purposes. Do NOT open the sealed transcripts as this will make them invalid and unofficial.

10. Be patient.

Transferring to a different college may be intimidating. Take your time and don’t wait until the last minute to start the process. Plan ahead to ensure a smooth transition to your new college.