Archive for Road to College

For Your College Search Process, Don’t Panic

Embarking on your college search can be scary, so here is some advice on handling it:

  • Don’t Panic- All you geeky types will be familiar with Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, which tells us, “don’t panic.” The same is true whether your are traveling the galaxy or applying to college. There are so many great schools out there just waiting to be discovered and if push comes to shove and you don’t like the choice you make the first time, you can transfer.

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Graduation Prep

Chances are you’ve already purchased/rented your cap and gown and are getting ready to send out your graduation invitations. You may even be planning graduation parties and are looking forward to some graduation gifts. Or you may be the friend of a soon-to-be graduate. You could be the one receiving the graduation invitation, throwing the graduation party or the one having to purchase the graduation gifts.

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Graduation Gift Thank You Notes

It’s graduation season! Congrats to all those who will be walking across the high school graduation stage this year. As you prepare for this exciting time in your life, you are probably getting several graduation gifts from friends and family members who want to wish you well on your journey to college. While it is great to get tons of towels and photo albums, never forget that receiving the gift is not the end of the story.

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Don’t wait until it’s too late

Don’t wait until it’s too late to start looking for a good high school graduation gift for the high school senior in your life. Now is the time to begin thinking who you will be giving high school graduation gifts to. As I talked about in the last post, making a list now may save you some heartache later.

If you start early, you won’t make the mistake of getting your high school graduate a bad gift. You don’t want to be the person who gives the photo album (we have digital cameras and therefore have digital photo albums—your gift will swiftly tossed into the trash), a laundry bag, or a book designed for children that won’t help us any in our next step (and we will probably get a couple of copies of this one, so you are not alone if you have made this mistake before).

Making College Count is not outdated (the new version is out now) as a photo album may be, is useful, but less boring than a laundry bag, and infinitely more valuable than a children’s book. Making College Count makes a great high school graduation gift because it provides tips and tricks for achieving college success.

So this year, don’t wait until the last minute to make the list of who you need to get high school graduation gifts for, and while you are at it, get them something that will help them in college and beyond—Making College Count.

The Real Cost of College Part 2

So you know how much you and/or your family can spend on college and you know about scholarship opportunities at the schools you are considering. That’s it…right? Wrong! The price of college is not tuition alone, and if you don’t plan accordingly, your dream school could end up discarded from your list like last night’s smelly left-overs.

Tuition ≠ cost of attending college. (For those of you having trouble recognizing that symbol, it is the does not equal sign). College costs far more than what the fliers advertise. So as you are researching where you would like to attend, don’t forget to look at the hidden costs of college. While many schools quote you a tuition that sounds reasonable, how much are the fees? Read more

The Real Cost of College Success Part 1

College success is not achieved overnight, and part of preparing is the college search itself. While you are looking at the college websites or maybe even making a few visits, sit down with your parents and talk about the cost of college.

You may be fortunate enough to have parents who will pay for college for you, or pay for much of the cost. Or you may know you will take on student loans to pay for your education. Whatever the case is, have a solid number in mind and direct your search accordingly. While an expensive private school in a far-away land may sound ideal, if there is another, equally great school closer by that fits in your price range, don’t even look at the one you know there is no way you will ever afford. You will just be miserable later when you are faced with the reality of a top-choice school on your list that you cannot attend. But be aware of scholarships and financial aid. Is the school you are researching known for being generous with the scholarship or aid dollars? Are they need based or need blind? Do you even know what merit verses need-based scholarships are? Well, now is the time to get ahead of the curve and discover the real cost of college.

Start the college search off on the right foot and you pave the way to college success!

Does College Choice Affect College Success?

Senior year of high school is supposed to be fun, and it will be, but you are probably thinking about college too. The decision is not looming yet, but it is on your radar. You know you have to get applications done before winter break, but you wonder if your choice of where to apply (and ultimately attend) will affect your success in college.

Of course, your college choice will affect your college success, but maybe not in the ways you would think. If you want to be a meteorologist and the school that you go to does not have one class in meteorology, then that is a problem. You set a goal as defining college success as setting up yourself for a career in meteorology, but no matter what your grades or extracurricular activities look like, you are hurting yourself in terms of your long-term career goals. But generally, it does not matter where you go, but rather what you do while you are there (and I would even add what you do with your degree when you get out).

I know it is easier said than done, but many who have gone before you have done it and so can you. Take some time to evaluate what you want out of college and make a list of those criteria. Don’t apply to schools that won’t allow you to meet those goals for a college environment, even if that means you and your boyfriend/girlfriend have to go to different schools. You may even have to sit down with your parents and explain that you cannot go to the school they would choose for you because it is your choice and you need to be happy with it.

If you work hard and follow the advice in “Making College Count” you can achieve college success wherever you choose to go. And there are successful graduates from every college in the nation. So the pressure is off—make your list and fill out your applications. No matter where you go, whether a big state school or a small private school, you can achieve college success!

The Social Media Impact

As I am sure you are aware, social media has an impact on most of us each day. But did you know that colleges, graduate schools, and potential employers are checking up on your social media life to see if they want to grant you admission or employ you?

Whether they do it themselves, or pay professionals to do it, schools and companies are snooping around the internet to see what kind of person you are like. They read your blog, they view your facebook page, they read your twitter, look at your tumbler, and see who is in your google+ circles. When all is said and done, they may know more about you than you know about yourself. And this is how they want it. Read more

Campus Safety and College Success Go Hand-In-Hand

Campus safety may not be the thing you are most concerned about when you are looking at where to attend college, or while you are along for the college selection journey as a parent, but it is something you ought to consider. If you are not in a safe and welcoming environment, it will be much harder to achieve college success.

While you are on campus or looking at a college’s website here are some tips regarding what you should look for in campus safety. Read more

College Statistics

You do a lot of research to find the college that is right for you, but you may still have questions. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to find more statistics about schools you are interested in? Well, there is.

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