Posts Tagged ‘applying to college’
When searching for your ideal college, it is important to take location into account. There are many excellent universities in the United States, and regardless of the location preferences you have, you’re sure to find the school that is a perfect match.
Proximity to Home
Closeness to home is more important to some students than others. In your search for the perfect school, you need to figure out whether or not being close to home is something that you are looking for. You may have the luxury of living close to a great state school or private university where you potentially want to study, and in this case, it may not be a decision that you need to make. The first stop to finding your perfect school is figuring out if you want to have any geographical restrictions.
City or Town?
Some students are very adamant about going to school in a major big city, whereas others are adamant about going to school in a smaller, spirited college town. These two options give students a completely different college experience, and in looking for your perfect match, is something that you need to consider very seriously.
Recreation & Weather
The U.S. is very geographically diverse, and I’m sure off the top of your head you can think of a few sunny parts of the country you wouldn’t mind spending the next four years, but dig a little deeper. Are you a big fan of the outdoors? Do you love the mountains? Is your dream school somewhere you can spend free time hiking historic trails, exploring a marine coastline, or hitting the ski slopes?
Some areas of the United States are known for having more extreme weather patterns, and in your search for the perfect school, you need to decide whether these conditions are something you are comfortable living in. Schools in the northern half of the country are subject to harsh winters – with cold temperatures, chilly wind, and snow, sometimes for up to six months of the year – whereas others are in areas known for humidity, possibility of tornadoes or hurricanes, or extremely dry conditions. When looking for your perfect college match, think about the weather in the country and decide if there any regions that are off limits. You should not apply to any schools in these regions, even as a back up.
Proximity to Other Schools
Perhaps the least important of your deciding factors, the closeness of potential schools to other universities is something that some students look for in their perfect college match. One way to make great memories is to visit friends or siblings at other universities on the weekends, for intense rivalry sports games, notoriously fun planned weekends, or just because you feel like doing something different. Some universities are in highly dense college areas with many other schools within a few hours driving distance, whereas other schools are in more remote areas and require flying in order to travel anywhere. When searching for your perfect school, look into other universities in the area, and decide whether or not that has any influence on your college decision.
When you start applying to college, you may be wondering whether starting at a community college and transferring to a four-year university can be a good option for you. Community colleges can provide a great educational foundation for students who don’t want to enroll in a four-year school. There are many reasons why you should consider attending a community college first, and in considering these factors, you will be able to discern whether or not it is right for you.
Your Grades Are Too Low
If your grades are too low to be accepted to a four-year university, starting at a community college can help you get the bumps you need to transfer in. The university will take these grades into account and see your progress, which lets you apply and hopefully be accepted after your first year or two. If you decide this is the route you want to take, meeting with an advisor throughout your community college experience is crucial. The transfer requirements for universities are constantly changing, and your advisor can help you stay in the know about what courses you need to take to be considered. Planning early can be your key to success.
Location, Location, Location
If you know where you want to go to a university but don’t get accepted on your first try, attending a community college nearby can be a great way to open doors. In addition to being surrounded by the culture, sports, and students you desire, you will be able to foster a closer relationship with the university by enrolling in an affiliated institution. Many schools, like the Florida public universities, have programs with community colleges in the state that allow students to transfer in more easily after they complete two years and the required classes.
Lets face it: college is very expensive. You may find yourself in a position where you know you don’t have the money to pay for all four years at a university and wondering if there are cheaper ways to achieve a higher education. Community college is indeed cheaper than four-year universities, but they still can cost as much as $10,000 a year. If you are looking into this option to save money, be aware that it is more difficult to get financial aid at a community college than a four-year university—community colleges have limited resources because they are state funded. In this case, community college is still a good option for you if the careers you are interested in only require an associates degree. Many high-demand occupations hire candidates who have gone only to community college, and exploring your potential career choices before going to college can help you understand whether or not an associates degree will be sufficient.
Still looking for money to pay for school? Cappex can help you find scholarships!
Please refrain from being that student who assumes they’re a shoe-in at a certain school and applies ONLY to that one. What happens if the college admissions folks don’t think you’re a good fit? Than you’re out of luck and delayed in your college education.
There are hundreds of colleges to choose between, so you can be picky in regards to what fits your needs, academically and financially. Here are our tips to avoiding big mistakes in your college list for you:
Balance your list in terms of cost
You may fall head over heals for a school that costs way too money. But who knows? Maybe you’ll get scholarships or come across an abandoned pirate’s ship with a trove of gold and jewels. So, if you love a school, apply. Just in case though, find schools that you love almost as much that are more affordable and/or more likely to offer scholarships. That way, if you don’t get enough money to go to your dream school, you won’t feel shafted going to the one you can afford.
Worse case scenario: The only schools you get into are really expensive ones you love but can’t afford, and a school that you’re not crazy about that you can afford.
Choose a couple of actual safety schools
To answer your question before you ask it, no, an Ivy League college is not a safety school, even if you’re 150% certain you’re getting into Harvard. There’s probably some actual stat like this: for every 1 student that gets into Harvard, 16 students are turned away. And if 35,000 students apply? Well, then…you do the math. So apply to schools where you’re clearly in the upper percentile. Let me reiterate one more time, even if your parents recently gave millions of dollars to build a new library at the college you want to go to, apply to a couple schools that your guidance counselor said your chances were higher at. And you can always look at what your chances are on Cappex!
Worse case scenario: Your hopes are a little too high and you don’t get into any of the highly competitive schools you applied to.
Give yourself options
Just like everything else in your life, your top college choices might switch around from one point in time to another. So even if you are completely obsessed with College A, you might have an experience that makes you like totally obsessed with College B. So do your research. Avoid pigeonholing yourself into only once choice.
Worse case scenario: Blinded by love for College A, you decide not to apply to any other colleges. You’re completely fine with your choice until you visit your best friend’s older sister at College B, which you didn’t apply to because you only had eyes for College A. Now, starting your freshman semester at College A, all you can think about is B. It’s a torrid affair.
The moral of the story? Watch out for your future self. Give yourself choices and opportunities. Oh, and good luck!
A September study by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) shows that college-bound students are applying to a larger number of schools than ever before.
A quarter of freshmen who enrolled in college in fall 2010 applied to seven or more schools, NACAC found in its 2011 State of College Admission report, and 77 percent of students applied to at least three schools.
The combination of the current economy with ever-growing peer competition may partly explain why students are applying willy-nilly to any school that comes on their radar. The fact that the Common Application and the Universal College Application help streamline the application process is also a big factor.
But, is applying to a bunch of colleges–even ones that you’re not quite serious about– actually helpful?
Overflowing with applications, college admissions are taking extra steps to determine an applicant’s true interest in the school they applied to. Did they make a campus visit? Did they go on a tour? Did they attend a Q&A session, sign up for the newsletters, interact with admissions counselors, etc. If you’re spread too thin, there’s no way you can actually do all these things at 15 college campuses. Even half that is a hard feat .
With college admissions privy to the fact that you are most likely not only applying to their school, applying to a whole bunch of schools might not be the right direction to take. Talk to your college counselor or a teacher about what your goals are and where you see yourself. Make a couple campus visits. Sign up for an interview. Chat it up with an alum. One of the easiest ways to get familiar with a college is through social media. Schools make it super easy for students to access information by adding social media to the mix: 91 percent of schools choose to promote their schools via social networking sites, the NACAC study reports.
Applying to colleges that are actually schools you would want to attend is more important than setting the record in your senior class for sending out the most college applications.
How many schools are you applying to? How many schools do you think is over-applying? Leave a comment below!
Who knows? Maybe Adam Wheeler would’ve cemented himself into an Ivy Leave legend had he actually been able to skate through a Harvard education without getting caught for committing student fraud.
Wheeler was kicked out of Harvard in 2009 when authorities discovered that he had fabricated most of the transfer application that earned him acceptance to Harvard and $50,000 in scholarships. He was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in jail and 10 years on probation for identity fraud and other charges. You think Wheeler would’ve learned his lesson, but, he hasn’t quite yet.
Wheeler’s missteps are unfortunate for the name of higher education, but that doesn’t mean we can’t squeeze some lesson juice out of this. So here are 5 things you should NOT do when you’re applying to college:
1. Cheat on the SAT or ACT
From what we know, Wheeler didn’t cheat on the SAT or ACT, but six students were recently arrested last September for hiring a greedy brainiac to take the tests for them. Let me just note here that colleges do not like cheaters.
2. Fake your transcripts
Try to avoid tampering with your transcript. And by ‘try’, we mean ‘don’t ever’ tamper with your transcript. It reads less “straight A’s” and more “criminal”.
3. Tell admissions you went to a school that you didn’t
Here’s a good one that everyone should know–if only someone had told Wheeler. Do not put schools on your applications that you did not actually go to. Sure, maybe Wheeler got a little confused amid all the applications he was filling out.
So here’s a way to double check if the schools you put on your application were actually schools you attended: Just ask yourself, “Did I go here?” If the answer is ‘Yes’, then keep it on. If the answer is ‘No’, then you need to read directions better.
4. Go to jail for committing student fraud
This one’s hard to avoid if you’re committing student fraud. So the easiest way to avoid this is to just not lie on your transcript and application.
5. Violate your probation by citing a university on your resume that you did not actually attend
This is a tricky one. Maybe that’s why Wheeler wasn’t able to follow it. But basically, if you get in trouble for committing student fraud, and the judge–you know, the important person with the gavel–tells you that the one thing you cannot do while on probation is lie again about your education, then you should listen. That means do not put the university you were expelled from for student fraud on your job resume.
These tips are not too hard to follow. If you want your application to look better, work harder. Leave a comment below.
Then early decision is perfect for you!
If you’re totally into a college, like 99% of you is 100% all about going to that college, but the rational side of your brain–that 1%- is saying to you, “Why sign a contract in ink when you can sign it in pencil?!” If this is the case, then early action is the perfect solution!
So what’s early decision and what’s early action? They’re both application programs offered at some colleges that allow for students to find out earlier than usual if they’re admitted to their college of choice. Deadlines for both these programs are usually around November, earlier than regular deadlines.
Here’s the breakdown.
You can only apply to one school with early decision, and if you are admitted through early decision, you are required to withdraw all other applications at other colleges. It’s basically a contract. If you get in, you go. It’s a great program for students who are dead set on going to one particular college. It’s also a good option for students who want to slightly increase their chances of getting into a school. Colleges love knowing they can secure some commitments.
It’s like if two guys–let’s say their names are Zac Effron and Ryan Gosling–asked you to Fall Formal. But Zac says that even if you say yes, he might wind up going with another girl because he’s just always making shady decisions like that. Ryan Gosling, on the other hand, says, “Yeah, of course I’ve asked other girls to play it safe, but if you say ‘Yes,’ I’m deleting their numbers from my phone and going with you.”
Zac Effron is a great candidate, his High School Musical work speaks for itself, but Ryan’s body of work, plus his commitment to you makes him that much more of an attractive candidate. So just like a college, you might just say yes to Ryan because he only has eyes for you.
Early action is different from early decision in that it’s not binding. If you’re accepted, you have the option to commit immediately, or wait until spring. Unlike early decision, you can apply to multiple schools with early action. Although, there are some schools that offer a single-choice early action program where students can only apply to one school with early action or early decision.
If you’re asking, “So…what’s the point of early action?” it’s mostly so you can hear back from schools earlier. Plus, similar to early decision, you’re chances of admission might increase if you apply through it because schools understand that there’s a higher chance you will actually enroll.
How do you know if you should apply using either of these applications? Well, if you plan on weighing offers and financial aid packages from different colleges later in spring, you probably shouldn’t apply. Also, since the applications are so early in the year, you might benefit from having more senior work to show off if you’re presenting a portfolio of some sort.
Also, be weary of the fact that you might change your opinion of which school you want to go to later on in the year. If you’re the type of person who changes his or her mind, early decision/action might not be for you.
But! If you’re gonna apply for these, get your applications ready because deadlines are approaching in November!!!!
Will you be applying early decision or early action? Leave a comment below!
There’s a good percentage of us out there who are intelligent and capable people, but just zone out when it comes to standardized testing.
Who really cares about sine and cosine jargon or the grammatical errors in an article about the evolution of the dung beetle?
And then there are those semesters where you just can’t get the grade you want. Maybe something’s going on at home, you’re totally stressed during basketball season, you slept through first period 60% of the semester, whatever it is, sometimes there are circumstances that hold us back from getting the grades we’d hope to get.
But, even if you’re not the most enthusiastic test taker, or have gotten a couple of low grades here and there, there are still grade-A colleges that ranked highly in the 2012 US News Best Colleges that specifically take into account a student’s entire application and not just their grades.
Straight from US News, here are those schools:
Are you thinking of applying to any of these schools?
For all the procrastinators out there–and I know you’re out there!–you may want to listen to this. Do I have your attention yet or are you gonna take another 10 minute nap before reading the rest of this blog? Okay, good. Let’s go.
If you’re not completely familiar with college admissions, one thing you should know is that many schools offer that option to apply regular decision as well as early decision. Early decision isn’t simply applying early; Early decision is an early application plan that allows students to apply early (big surprise there) and hear back early on whether you’re accepted, deferred, or denied. The catch is that by applying early decision, you’re committing to enrolling if you’re admitted.
According to an article from The Daily Beast, there are certain colleges where it seriously helps with your admissions changes by applying early decision. These school have a tendency to admit a huge percentage of early applicants to their total acceptance pool. Why would a school prefer an early app to a regular one? Well, it’s often more about the certainty of enrollment that comes with an early decision application. If you’re accepted through early decision, you’re contractually obliged to go and, ya know, pay thousands of dolla dolla bills for a college education.
So, if your dream school is in this list, and it’s the school that if you got into you would 114% go to, think about applying early:
1. Dickinson College
Percentage of Freshman Class Admitted Through ED: 45%
2. Bucknell University
Percentage of Freshman Class Admitted Through ED: 45%
3. Davidson College
Percentage of Freshman Class Admitted Through ED: 49%
4. Barnard College
Percentage of Freshman Class Admitted Through ED: 37%
5. Colorado College
Percentage of Freshman Class Admitted Through ED: 28%
6. Bates College
Percentage of Freshman Class Admitted Through ED: 47%
7. Carleton College
Percentage of Freshman Class Admitted Through ED: 40%
8. Hamilton College
Percentage of Freshman Class Admitted Through ED: 52%
9. Johns Hopkins University
Percentage of Freshman Class Admitted Through ED: 35%
10. Wesleyan University
Percentage of Freshman Class Admitted Through ED: 50%
Are you thinking of applying early decision to any of these schools? Which one? Leave a comment!
By now, most high schoolers are back in their high school halls trying to memorize their new locker combinations and figure out a way to get from X Hall to J Hall during the 3-minute bell between classes.
Juniors and seniors have a lot on their plates: intense homework and assignments, extra-curricular responsibilities, and of course, your college dreams.
To help keep you on track for your tedious college search and relax you a bit, we’ve come up with a simple list of things you should take care of this September. We’ve made two different checklists. One for juniors and one for seniors. So turn on some Marvin Gaye, sit back in your La-Z-Boy, and try to calm you nerves as you check off these simple tasks:
- Keep your grades up—admissions counselors look closely at your junior year grades
- Stay involved and take on leadership roles in your extra-curricular activities
- Prep for ACT or SAT, and review winter/spring test dates at actstudent.org and sat.collegeboard.org
- Think about teachers/coaches/community members/employers you can ask for recommendations in near future
- Meet with your school’s college counselor to discuss your goals and make sure you’re on track for graduation
- Start building your college list on Cappex.com
- Get to work on admission essays
- Take charge in your extra-curricular activities and continue to demonstrate leadership
- Check-in with teachers/employers/community members/coaches you’ve asked for recommendations and provide them with materials and deadlines
- Prepare your parents to complete the CSS/Profile® for financial aid so they can submit it as early as November if you plan on applying to private colleges
- Order and send official ACT/SAT scores and your high school transcript to all colleges
- Review all college application materials and take note of deadlines
All high school grades: Apply to scholarships scholarships scholarships!
Are we missing anything? Leave your advice in the comment field below.
Tags: Admissions Advice, admissions essays, apply to college, applying to college, back to school, college advice, college checklist, college essays, College Search, college search calendar, college search tips, high school junior, High School Life & Advice, high school senior, how to apply to college
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The boundaries of social networking can be a bit murky. While networks like Facebook are meant to help you connect with people, should you really be open to showcasing your after-the-bell-rings life with teachers and college admissions?
As of August 28 in Missouri, the answer “is no.” The Missouri Senate Bill 54 will make it illegal for teachers and students to “friend” or accept friend requests on the network.
But what about college admissions? More and more often admissions people are looking up your online footprint, and the most powerful and frequent gems they find are photos. You’d be surprised how a photo on Facebook or MySpace or Flickr or that new network the kid genius across the street is programming can find its way through the annals of the Internet, and somehow wind up re-purposed and posted to a blog called something you don’t want associated with your name.
We know Facebook is a big part of your life, and people will post pictures of you, and you’ll post pictures of you, so just try to stick to Cappex’s Facebook etiquette Do’s and Don’ts of Facebook for college-bound students:
Indicate any illegal activity
So your friend who goes by BBQ because, in his own words, he ‘”loves BBQ,” had a hook up with some fake ID peeps on the other side of town and got you one. To celebrate, you had an actual BBQ and BBQ bought the beers, and Jenny, who has no filter, took a million bazillion photos of your 17 year old self drinking and posted it immediately to Facebook with the caption “Look at how much fun we can have now!!!”
This is wrong on so many levels. First off, be safe and smart. Second, if those photos wind up under the critical eye of an admissions officer, good luck. There are easy ways to stay out of situations like these: A. Update your Facebook privacy settings B. Don’t take BBQ’s advice. Seriously, we don’t want to bore you with advice that your parents and teachers have probably told you a million times over, but make smart choices. Avoid stupid things and you won’t get stupid pictures online.
Expose too much skin
Perhaps P90x has been doing glorious things for your abs, but capturing your newly toned muscles and posting it to Facebook might not make the kind of impression you want. When you think of college admissions do the words “scantily clothed” come to mind? No. No they don’t. Think of it this way: Academia is about expanding the mind, not showing an inappropriate amount of flesh. Dress to impress. Or, at least keep your clothes on.
Parade your PDA
Love is a beautiful thing. From the inside. From the outside, it’s kinda annoying to watch. Keep your kisses off the Internet for the sake of humans as well as for your chances of getting into your dream school. It’s not simply that your public display of affection is annoying to watch, it’s also that a lot of PDA photos can show admissions people your lack of judgment on what you choose to display about yourself not just fleetingly in public, but permanently online.
Be overly negative
Nobody likes a sourpuss. Having pictures with negative comments about other people or ideas just shines more brightly on your intolerance. College life is about expanding your worldview, so too much negativity in your photos might dissuade admissions counselors from rooting for you.
Humbly displaying the pictures that your mom took of you accepting the award for Student of the Year is a great thing for an admissions person to stumble upon. It could really bring to life that little line in your application where you wrote “Student of the Year”.
Share your travels
Your backpacking trip through Europe demonstrates how you’re an explorer and student of the world. The fact that you’ve traveled illustrates to admissions officers that you are open to new experiences and ideas.
Display your passions
Just like travel photos, photos of your paintings, dancing, acting, athletics or musical ability adds to your application by showing you as a well-rounded, passionate student. Any activity takes time and practice–both of which are great qualities in a student.
Show your service
A picture of the before and after of that house you helped construct for a family in need or you canning for a good cause illustrates that you are willing to give your time to others in need.
So those are the Do’s and Don’ts of Facebook etiquette for college-bound students. But just keep in mind, you don’t need photos of yourself doing good things, winning awards, or walking across the Great Wall of China to get into college. This is just advice for those who are stuck on having pictures online that people, such as admissions counselors, could come across. If you want to be 100% sure that a college is making a choice about you based on your application and your application alone, clean up your online footprint.
What’s your experience with Facebook and applying to colleges? Share your feedback and thoughts by leaving a comment below.
Tags: Admissions Advice, admissions and facebook, admissions tips, apply to college, applying to college, Cappex, college, college admissions tips, college application process, College Life, College Search, college tips for high schoolers, collegebound, do admissions look you up on facebook, facebook and college, facebook and college admissions, facebook dos and don't for college, getting into college, High School Life & Advice, how to get into college, missouri facebook law, new facebook law, student life, teacher student facebook law, university, university life, warning for college students
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