Posts Tagged ‘college checklist’

How to decorate your dorm room for the holidays

Categories: College Life

For many students, their freshman year of college is the first time they will have spent the holidays away from home. Although college can be an exciting experience, some students may find the festive season to be a little lonely. However, decorating their dorm room may help bring some holiday cheer to their academic experience.

If you're planning on sprucing up your dorm room, the first thing you should do is talk it over with your roommates – unless you're lucky enough to have your own dorm, of course. The holiday season can mean something different to everyone, and although flashing Christmas lights may be your idea of ideal holiday decor, your roommates may not agree. Make sure you talk over any plans before you start hanging lights or lugging Christmas trees down the halls.

After discussing your plans with your roommates, you should check the building regulations of your dorm to make sure items such as extension cords and live plants are permissible. Although many people like to decorate at this time of year, safety in shared accommodations, especially those on college property, should be your primary concern. You can ask the resident assistant for guidance if you're not sure about a specific feature or rule.

If you have a DVD player and a television in your room, you could invest in a log fire DVD. These inexpensive discs feature a loop of logs burning in an open fire, and simple touches like this can really add to the festive atmosphere in your room – especially if you're studying at a college or university in an area that gets a lot of snow. Similarly, some outdoor decorations such as sparkle reindeer, can be a wonderful centerpiece for your room. Such decorations can also be a great conversation starter if you're entertaining company.

Remember, when it comes to decorating, less is more. Although 2,000 Christmas lights, a real Douglas fir tree and an assortment of lawn ornaments may seem like a great idea in a 12' by 16' dorm room, too much stuff can make it look cluttered and tacky. Subtle accents and sparse decorations can add a touch of class to your room – unless tacky and cluttered is the theme that you and your roommates decided on, of course. So this holiday season, you may want to add tinsel and a wreath to your college checklist.

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Back to School College Search Checklist

Categories: Admissions Advice


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:

Juniors

  • 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

Seniors

  • 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.

A Midsummer Night’s College Checklist

Categories: Admissions Advice

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How now, college-bound spirit! Whither wander you?  -Mostly Shakespeare with a little bit of Cappex

Hark! Midsummer is here,
July’s halfway through.
A new school year’s so near,
so many things to do.

The college search ignites fears,
from now till you’re in.
So prop up your ears,
Cappex gives you tips to help you win.

If you need that translated, here’s what we said: Believe it or not, summer is flying by. So be sure you’re making the most out of your free time to get some important college search things down.  In honor of it being midsummer, and because Shakespeare was a chill dude, our list shall be called:

A Midsummer Night’s College Checklist:

1.  Start studying and/or register for the ACT or SAT
Many of you have already taken the ACT or SAT (either of which you’ll likely need to apply to a 4-year university or college). But if you haven’t, or just don’t like what your score looks like yet, no worries; you still have time! The next date for the ACT is September 10, and you have until August 12, 2011 to register. The next date for the SAT is October 1, and you have until September 9 to register.  That gives you plenty of time to register and hit the books.

Don’t forget! Even though many college applications have you write-in your ACT or SAT scores, you’ll probably be asked to have College Board (SAT) or ACT send your official scores.

2. Contact colleges you’re interested in
Make some contact with the colleges you’re interested in.  They like to see that you reached out to them before you applied–it shows that you’re truly interested and may possibly enroll if accepted.  You may want to schedule an interview or a informational meeting with an alumnus in your area. If you do wind up having an interivew, make sure to follow our interview advice.

3. Visit colleges
Nothing gives you insight into a college or university the way a college visit does. It’s the only way you can actually experience what campus life is like. You can read all you want about your dream school’s history, when and how it was founded, where its original campus was built, what secret tunnel runs between the library and president’s house, the complete, unabridged list of which celebrities are alumni–you can go on! But just know, a visit to a campus will do you just as well. And considering you have some free time in summer, it’s a great opportunity to go now.

4. Rough drafts of your essay
Hopefully you’ve gotten a hold of the applications for the schools you’re most interested in applying to. Just like the phrase, “With great power, comes great responsibility,” with each application, comes a fairly hard essay question to answer. Perhaps that example was ill-fitting, but with any application, comes some sort of essay you’ll have to write. Bored on a Wednesday night because your shift got cancelled and all you’re friends are out of town ? Perfect! Start drafting those college essays!

5. Scholarships
Jan Brady once eloquently stated, “Scholarships, scholarships, scholarships.” She’s right. No matter what kind of stunt Jan is pulling, our attention will always linger back to scholarships. It’s the heart of the matter, because they will help you ultimately pay for college. Get a head start on your scholarship search. Start by making a Cappex profile to match you with scholarships that best fit you.

Have you checked anything off these items off your list yet? What steps do you think rising seniors should make before school starts again? Leave comment!