Archive for the ‘Admissions Advice’ Category

What’s a High School Resume and Do I Need One?

Categories: Admissions Advice

woman-865111_640Do you think resumes are just for adults applying for jobs? Think again. A resume is important for high school students too!

Every teenager should have a resume handy. Some college or scholarship applications may request one and it pays to be prepared. If you get it ready now and update it periodically, you won’t be faced with the daunting task of creating a resume from scratch when you’re on a deadline!

Most high school students can break their resumes up into several parts: contact information, experience, activities, awards, education, and references.

  • Contact information: List your name, phone number, email address, and home address so the organization you’re sending your resume to can contact you.
  • Experience: This is where you can list any part-time jobs, major volunteer projects, or other experience you’ve gained. Make sure to write down any responsibilities you have in any positions you hold so the people reviewing your resume can get an idea of what you do in these roles.
  • Activities: This section can include sports, music lessons, clubs, and organizations you’re involved in.
  • Awards: Have you been recognized for any accomplishments? If you’re a member of the National Honor Society, made the dean’s list, or received any other award for your hard work or success, mention it here.
  • Education: Here you can note your high school name and graduation year.
  • References: Find two or three adults willing to attest to your work ethic or ability to work well with others and list their names and contact information here. Phone numbers and email addresses will work well. Whatever you do, don’t list family members! Ask a counselor, boss, teacher, or some other adult you trust to act as a reference.

These aren’t the only categories you can include, but they’re the most relevant for many students. If you’re particularly tech savvy you could include a section to list your computer skills, or if you’re an experienced leader you may want to include a category that details this. Tailor your resume to your background, interests, and experiences! Remember, there’s no wrong way to go about it, so feel free to include or exclude any categories you choose.

Once you have an outline, note how long you’ve been at a job, a member of a club, or playing on a sports team. The people reviewing your resume will appreciate knowing which activities you’re deeply involved with and those you’ve just picked up recently.

But you’re not done just yet! Don’t forget to proofread it and then have a parent or friend review your resume to make sure you didn’t miss any errors. After that, you can sit back, relax, and know you’re ready for any applications that request a high school resume.

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College Fairs 101

Categories: Admissions Advice

columns-553607_640Have you been to a college fair yet? If not, it’s time to start thinking about doing so! College fairs are beneficial for all high school students, but the earlier you start attending, the more prepared you’ll feel.

We bet you’ve got a few questions, so we’ve put together the essentials on college fairs for you:

What is a College Fair?
It’s an event where representatives from multiple colleges get together in one place. Students can visit booths for different schools, get brochures and other materials, and ask admissions representatives questions about a college. Some fairs also host workshops on choosing a school, application advice, or financial aid.

Why Should I Bother Going?
Dropping by a college fair gives you the chance to check out lots of different schools at one time. You’ll have the chance to ask questions that might not be answered on a school’s website and you might discover an institution you hadn’t previously heard of!

Where Can I Find a College Fair?
College fairs are often held at local community centers or conference centers. Ask your guidance counselor, principal, or teachers about upcoming events in your area.

What Should I Do There?
Grab a bag for brochures and other promotional items and start checking out the different booths! Ask the representatives questions and take notes on what they say. Here are few ideas to get you brainstorming:

  • What type of students thrive at your school?
  • What sets this college apart from others?
  • Does your school have a program for the majors I’m considering?
  • What percentage of your students complete their degree within four years?
  • Are there student organizations and extracurriculars for activities I’m interested in?
  • How do incoming freshmen choose their classes?

If the fair has a seminar, it’s probably worthwhile to attend. These sessions are often about important topics like college fit, financial aid, and the FAFSA.

What’s Next?
After the fair, review the materials you received and notes you took. Which colleges really stood out and which didn’t seem like they’d be a good fit? A college fair should help you both expand your options and eliminate schools. Don’t forget to check out the schools you’re interested in on Cappex and add them to your list to calculate your chances of getting in!

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Your College Application Checklist

Categories: Admissions Advice

student-849825_640Winter break is right around the corner, which means if you didn’t send off any early action or early decision applications, it’s nearly time to apply for the regular admissions cycle. But there’s a lot you’ll need to do – what if you forget an important part of the application? Here’s a checklist of things you’ll need to tick off before you send in your college applications to the schools on your list.

Your Transcripts
High school transcripts list all the classes you took, grades you received, and any other information that’s relevant to your academic career. They’re obviously an important part of your application, so don’t forget to ask your counselor to print official copies. Depending on your school’s policy, your counselor may mail these to the schools you’re applying to, or give them to you to send off yourself.

Your Personal Statement
Most schools require an essay or personal statement so they can learn more about you. This is one thing you definitely don’t want to forget as you’re gathering your documents. Here are some tips for writing a memorable one.

Test Scores
If you didn’t have your SAT or ACT scores mailed directly to all of your top-choice schools when you took the tests, get these sent to any remaining colleges.

AP Scores
Advanced Placement classes make any candidate even more appealing. If you’ve taken even one AP test, get the scores sent to the colleges on your list.

Recommendation Letters
Many colleges request letters of recommendation. Give people time to write glowing reviews by asking them now, rather than a week before the deadline. Not sure how to go about it? Here’s our guide to asking for one and writing a thank-you note afterwards

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