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Success Tips for Freshmen
What to do in 9th Grade

  • Meet your high school guidance counselor at the beginning of the school year.
  • Take the right classes.
  • Colleges will evaluate you based on the classes you’ve taken.
  • Develop the skills and habits that will allow you to continue to be successful academically.

Success Tips for Sophomores
Ramping Up in 10th Grade

  • Take charge of your study skills.
  • Developing excellent reading comprehension skills is key to success in 10th grade.
  • Superior time management skills are key to success in 10th grade.
  • Continue to be involved in extra-curricular and community service activities.
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Success Tips for Juniors
Critical Steps in 11th Grade

  • Take academically challenging courses.
  • Prepare for and take standardized tests.
  • Your junior year grades are the most important for college admissions.
  • Stay or get involved in extra-curricular activities.
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Success Tips for Seniors
Understand How to Pick Your College in 12th Grade

  • Finish and submit all your college applications.
  • Continue making campus visits.
  • Complete your college essays the college essay is an important part of the application process.
  • Meet with your high school counselor to make certain you are on track for graduation.
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LATEST FROM THE BLOG

College Touring 101 – How to Make the Most of Your College Tour

May 15th, 2019|

At this time of year, most juniors have narrowed down their list of prospective colleges and are planning to tour as many as possible. To get the most out of your tour you need to develop a touring strategy.  Here are my suggestions for devising an effective tour:Schedule your visit in advance. Each college posts its touring schedule on its website. Pick your date and sign up for an official tour. Plan on spending enough time there to not only complete the official tour but to include things like eating a meal in a dining hall, sitting in on a class, meeting with a professor or a coach, walking around campus on your own, picking up a student newspaper, looking at the bulletin boards around you, and even interviewing if that is an on-campus option.Bring a list of questions to ask your admission's counselor. The best way to get a feel for each college is to ask the same questions on each tour. Some topics to consider are:college dorms: size, location, age of building, co-ed vs. single sexstudent-teacher ratio, location of classes (amphitheater vs. small group) and who teaches them (professor vs. graduate student)social life on campusavailable activities (clubs, Greek life, sports)any other information that interests youShow demonstrated interest in each college. Some schools track something called “demonstrated interest,” which essentially means that they are paying attention to whether or not you are paying attention to them. While there are a variety of ways to demonstrate your interest in a school, none is more important than the campus visit. Many colleges look closely at data that shows them very clearly that students who visit are much more likely to accept an offer of admission.Video the visit with your cell phone. Use your phone to help you keep images and information learned from the tour easily accessible. Record the visit so you can scroll through afterwards and refresh your memory about the college, especially the answers to questions asked.Take notes about each college you visit. It is difficult to keep the information you learn about each college straight after you have been to several schools over a period of time. The best thing to do is take notes. Prepare a spreadsheet with topics (many will come from your list of questions) and gather as much info as possible while on tour. After each tour fill in the information on the spreadsheet. Once you return home, you will have the information at your finger tips for easy comparison.Visit ALL colleges on your list. It is really important to visit a college and tour the campus. Whenever possible, conduct the tour PRIOR to applying. If that is not possible, visit during your senior year to “demonstrate interest” and see the campus in person. Online tours are a good first step but are not a substitute for an in-person tour.Do you have a favorite sport? Pair your visit with a college sports game. Some colleges have tremendous sports programs and the energy and spirit of their [...]

10 Financial Aid Forms You Can’t Afford to Forget

March 6th, 2019|

A previous blog discussed the importance of timely completion of the FAFSA. Parents should be diligently completing this form and strictly adhering to the timeline. The form is complicated and there are many websites devoted to helping you. This blog is equally important in your search for financial aid. Wendy David-Games, from StudentAdvisor.com, wrote a compelling article about all the financial forms you may need to complete in order to be eligible for the MOST financial aid. The article is reproduced below. Colleges determine which financial aid applications they require to calculate financial aid awards. There are billions of dollars in financial aid available for college from federal and state governments, college institutional funds, and outside scholarships. Awards are based on applications and colleges determine which forms they require. Each college has its own set of requirements so be sure to check with the financial aid offices of the schools you're applying to in order to keep track of what applications you need. But don't forget about applying for additional financial aid from your state government or outside scholarships! Here are 10 financial aid applications you may have to complete:  FAFSA : (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) — a federal financial aid application form required by all colleges for federal financial aid including grants, loans, and work/study. In addition, some colleges use the FAFSA to award money from its own endowment funds and others require additional forms.  State : Visit your state’s department of education site for information on state-sponsored financial aid programs for state residents. Institutional : Contact colleges on your list for additional institutional forms that the school may require before awarding money from its own endowment funds for financial aid.  CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® is an additional form required by a few hundred colleges before they award money from their own endowment funds. Check with the colleges you're applying to before filling one out to see if it's necessary.  CSS Business/Farm Supplement may need to be completed for the CSS profile if your family owns a business or farm.  CSS Non Custodial Profile is an additional form for the CSS Profile that divorced/separated families may need to complete.  Outside Scholarships sponsored by businesses, employers, individuals, high schools, fraternal organizations and other private groups have their own application forms to determine award winners.  College Scholarships from a schools’ special endowment funds may be awarded in addition to financial aid programs. Some colleges use their admission application for their scholarship programs and others require additional forms.  Verification Worksheet is to be completed if a student’s FAFSA was selected for review by the college.  Appeal Forms : After you get your financial award letter from the school you may realize that the award package falls short of your financial need. Some colleges will have financial aid appeal forms for students seeking a reconsideration of their financial aid awards. If you have any other questions about selecting a college, or the admissions process, feel free to contact me through my website at www.Prep4collegeNow.com  or call me at 760.877.7200.  I'd love [...]

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