Archive for the ‘Admissions Advice’ Category

Your College Visit Checklist

Categories: Admissions Advice

Summer was made for rest, relaxation, and … college visits? There’s a reason every time you check Facebook lately you’re inundated with photos of your friends on gorgeous college campuses. Most soon-to-be juniors and seniors are taking advantage of summer break to visit their dream schools, and you should too!amherst college visit

No matter if you decide to take an organized tour or head out on your own, it’s important to know what to look out for and what questions to ask while you’re on campus. Here’s our handy college visit checklist.

Things to Do (and What to Think About While You’re Doing Them)

Visit the library

  • What do you think of the resources?
  • Are librarians there throughout the year to help students find what they need?
  • Are there designated quiet sections in case you need a silent place to study?

Eat in the cafeteria

  • How’s the food selection?
  • If you have dietary restrictions, can the cafeteria accommodate them?
  • What are the meal plans like?

Tour the campus

  • How big is it?
  • Do you feel safe?
  • Are the classroom buildings up-to-date?

Check out the dorms

  • What are living arrangements like?
  • Can you choose your own roommate if you’d like?
  • How far are the residence halls from your classes, transportation, and the cafeteria?

Head to the rec center

  • Are the facilities in line with what you expect?
  • Can you see yourself having a good time with friends here?

Sit in on a class

  • Is the course taught by a professor or a teaching assistant?
  • How does the class size compare to what you expected?
  • Are students encouraged to participate in discussions?

Questions to Ask …

The admissions counselor

  • How do my qualifications stack up against other applicants’?
  • What types of financial aid are available? How do I qualify?
  • Will my Advanced Placement credits be accepted?
  • Does the average student graduate in four years?
  • What are some popular clubs or activities?

Your tour guide or a student on campus

  • Why did you choose this school?
  • What’s on-campus life like? What do people do for fun? On the weekends?
  • Is it difficult to get into popular or required classes?
  • What’s your favorite thing about this college? Your least favorite?
  • Are you satisfied with the education you’re getting?
  • Is it easy to get to know new people?
  • What’s a typical day like?

Based on your preferences, there are definitely other things you should check out – if you’re an athlete, chances are you’ll want to chat with some coaches or check out a stadium. If you’re into journalism, you may want to grab a copy of the school paper or talk to some contributing writers.

Make sure to take plenty of photos – both for future reference and for the chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card or one of 50 Cappex caps! Just post a shot of your visit on Instagram and tag it #CappexCollegeVisit by August 9, 2015, to be entered to win.  Have fun – and good luck!

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image credit: amherst.edu

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Top 8 Tools for Writing College Admission and Scholarship Essays

Categories: Admissions Advice

college essayWhen you start applying for colleges and scholarships, you will realize that essay writing skills are more important than you ever thought. Before admitting you, an admissions board will look at your application. So, you have to distinguish yourself as a candidate that has something more than a decent GPA. Without any exaggeration, the essay is a gate to your future.

If you want to make writing less stressful and more successful, you’ll need to rely on the right tools at the right time. Take a look at this selection of eight resources that will help you write better admission and scholarship papers.

1. JCU – Writing and Math Skills Online
James Cook University’s website provides detailed guides for the essay writing process. You can use these resources to learn how to write academic content and avoid plagiarism.

2. Vanderbilt University – The College Essay
Many universities share effective writing tips online. Vanderbilt University offers several articles that will help you understand what the admissions officers expect to see in students’ application papers.

3. Writing.com
This is a unique online community for writers to share their work and receive tips and critiques from other writers. You can read their work to get inspired, or share your essays to get feedback that will help you improve your style and technique.

4. Ninja Essays – Citation Generator
This citation generator will help you compile the perfect bibliography. You can rely on this software to help you complete your application and scholarship papers.

5. ThinkTankLearning – Enlighten Blog
This blog provides you with valuable tips and guides to prepare you for the college admissions process. For example, you can learn how to write an application paper when you don’t know your major, how to put your personality on paper, and how to find the perfect college fit.

6. Teen Ink – College Essays
This website publishes students’ papers on daily basis. If you read some of the featured content, you’ll learn how to distinguish good writing from mediocre style. You may even find inspiration for your own admissions and scholarship essays, but make sure not to copy the content – you need to come up with your own ideas.

7. Harvard College Writing Center
Harvard College Writing Center provides useful writing resources that will guide you through the essay writing process. You can read detailed tips on such topics as how to read an assignment, how to develop the essay structure, and how to write a strong thesis.

8. Cornell College – Tips for Writing Essays for Scholarship and Fellowship Application
This guide, provided by Cornell College, will tell you what students are expected to present in their application essays. The straightforward tips are focused on content/organization and grammar/style.

Don’t let the application papers discourage you – they’re only a stage of the admissions process that every student go through. But with these resources, you’ll be able to tackle the challenge successfully.

Robert Morris is an educator and writer from NYC, follow Robert on Google+!

image credit: nytimes.com

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What if I Missed the College Application Deadline?

Categories: Admissions Advice

application formWhich colleges are still accepting applications for fall 2015? That’s a question many recent graduates are asking themselves – are you one of them?

Maybe throughout high school you assumed college wasn’t for you, but you’re now rethinking that decision. Perhaps you just procrastinated a little too much and the application deadlines passed you by. Or you may have just realized the college you chose isn’t actually the right one for you.

These things happen. But even though National Decision Day has come and gone, that doesn’t mean you can’t still get into a good school.

So, where do you apply?

Option 1: Community Colleges
Local community colleges often have later deadlines or rolling admissions plans that allow you to submit your application at any time. These schools are a great option if you weren’t sure about a higher education but want to give it a try, have no idea what you should major in, or if the cost of college discouraged you from applying previously. They’re also ideal if you want to stay close to home or keep your current part-time job to continue earning money on the side.

Option 2: Four-Year Schools With Late Deadlines or Rolling Admissions
Believe it or not, there are four-year colleges and universities that are still accepting applications for fall 2015. Plenty of these are well-known, highly respected institutions – Chicago’s Roosevelt University, the University of Texas at Dallas, and Concordia University Portland all have late deadlines or rolling admissions policies.

There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about heading to a school far from home this late in the game.

  • Housing: On-campus options may be limited at this point. Call the admissions office to see if it’s still possible to sign up for a dorm room. Otherwise, you may need to look into off-campus housing, which can be a little tricky if you don’t know the area very well.
  • You May Not Get to Visit: Your budget and the amount of time you have to apply will determine if you ever actually see the campus before you start classes. The feel of a college can make or break your college experience, and if you’re picky about your environment, you’ll want to make sure you’re able to see the school in person before putting down your deposit.
  • Financial Aid Might Not Be Significant: Because most financial aid is awarded on a first-come first-served basis, applying late could mean you’re responsible for higher tuition and fees.

Check out the full list of schools still enrolling students for 2015.

image credit: hercampus.com

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