Posts Tagged ‘high school seniors’

Tips for College Visits

Categories: Admissions Advice

When searching for the perfect college, there’s no better way to get a feel of a school than going to visit and taking a tour. Usually led by an enthusiastic student guide, college tour visits are an essential part of the college application process.

Visit at the Right Time

If you are interested in schools located somewhere with distinctive weather, it’s a good idea to visit during the season in question. Visiting a school up north during the warm summer months won’t allow you to discern whether or not you can handle the tougher winter months, and visiting a school down south during the winter when the weather is mild doesn’t let you experience what it’s like to encounter the hot and humid summer weather. Taking your tour at the appropriate time will ensure that you get a realistic experience on your potential campus, and understand what it will be like to actually live there.

Weather isn’t the only issue when it comes to a timely visit. Try to visit a college campus when classes are in session, and it’s “business as usual,” so to speak. Often the truest indicator of what a typical day is like at a particular school is to visit during one.

Listen to Your Guide

Tour guides take the job because they love the school and want to help prospective students see that they will love it, too. They will have interesting stories and facts intertwined with the informative part of the tour, and these stories are what will set each tour apart. You may be tempted to stay at the back of the group and look around, but walking toward the front will ensure that you hear everything the tour guide says.

Where Should You Go?

You may be applying to a number of schools and wondering how many you actually need to tour. Some schools require prospective students to make a visit in order for their application to be considered, so if any of these schools are on your list, they are places you need to visit. If you have one school that you know is definitely at the top of your list, it is recommended that you visit that school.

In your list of prospective schools, you will have back up options, target options, and reach options. It may not be necessary to visit your reach schools until after you get an admissions decision because you are unsure whether or not you will realistically be accepted. Likewise with back up options, you may not need to tour because you’ve received good news from your target school(s). The best idea is to start with your target schools, where you have the highest chance of ending up, and go from there.


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What About Trade School?

Categories: Admissions Advice

You may be thinking about Trade school for your higher education after high school and wondering, “Is this the right choice for me?” Trade schools, also known as Vocational schools, offer students the unique opportunity to obtain a more specialized education without the supplemental classes necessary to fulfill normal college requirements. In Trade school you will learn to master your craft without all the Math, History, and Science classes you may not be interested in taking.

While some people believe that Trade school does not offer students the well-rounded education found in the standard college curriculum, if you are passionate about your craft, it is a great way to receive a comprehensive, focused education that will help prepare you for a highly-skilled profession.

Here are a few of the great aspects of Trade schools that make them a desirable option for post-secondary education:

  • Trade school degrees can generally be completed in 1-2 years as opposed to the 4-5 years of study needed for most college degrees. If you don’t particularly enjoy studying and taking classes, the shorter timeframe of Trade school may suit you better than a traditional college.
  • Because of this shorter period of study, your classes will be highly competitive. Educators expect a lot from their students as they try to cram a complete education into 2-4 semesters, so you will always be busy and working hard. Many students find that the increased competition serves as a strong motivation to stand out. You may see that you also excel better under pressure, allowing you to get ahead in your program and distinguish yourself among your classmates.
  • Whereas colleges put an emphasis on academic education, Trade schools place a greater stress on practical education. In Trade school, you will learn the specialized skills needed for your trade and only take classes applicable to this course of study. You will receive instruction and training specific to your desired occupation, be it as a medical assistant, chef, auto technician, flight attendant, fashion buyer, or any other vocation you choose to study. There are hundreds of degrees to choose from, and you’re sure to find a program that matches your interests!
  • As you go further working in your trade, you may decide that you want to take more classes and gain more skills. Trade schools are accommodating to students of all ages, often offering night or weekend classes that will fit better with your schedule. You can choose to take a single class at a time and further your education while still being able to work.
  • Trade schools offer help finding a job after graduation, which is a great resource when entering the job market for the first time.

Check out more information about colleges and trade schools on Cappex!

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Easy Ways to Prepare for College this Summer!

Categories: Admissions Advice

School’s out for the summer! If you just finished up your junior year, you’ve only got one more to go before you head to college. Right now, there are two paths you can take:

Stressful Senior Year = “I didn’t plan ahead and now I have too much college stuff to worry about!”


Fun Senior Year = “I planned ahead and my college application process was so simple!”

You have the power to make either of these happen. I recommend Fun Senior Year, but that’s just me.

Planning ahead and getting started on your college application process before school starts again in the fall is easier than you think. A little time this summer can go a long way. Spending time preparing yourself for the actual applications will make your life less painful come senior year.

  • Information is POWER.

    Checking out different schools’ applications will give you a good idea of what to expect when you start filling out your own. You’ll find there are a lot of similar questions and essay topics across the board. You may even realize that you have answers to some of these essay questions already! If not, take a few minutes each week to brainstorm what you could write about. Hint: the best essays do not happen overnight; they develop over time.

  • Multi-Task.

    Think about how much time you spend online or scrolling through Facebook. Now, think about exchanging 15 of those aimless browsing minutes for a virtual tour of a college campus. You’ll notice features that you like and dislike, perks to certain schools, and more that will help you narrow down your college search.

  • Remember your teachers.

    Who did you love? Who did you get along with well? Who believes in you? Making a list of any teacher you’d like to write a letter of recommendation for you will motivate you to ask them earlier, rather than last minute when they have stacks of student requests waiting.

  • Meet up with college friends.

    Think of anyone you know who will be coming back home for the summer from their first year of college. They are seriously awesome sources of information about college life. They’ll be able to relate to you better than a book or website, and they’ll probably be more candid about the perks and downfalls of campuses and schools.

Bottom line? No amount of preparation is too much. Even the tiniest amount will be beneficial.

The other bottom line? Making a profile on Cappex today is a great way to prepare yourself for the college application process and find the perfect school for you!

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