Make Your Next Four Years in College a Success

First-year college students are beginning to settle in. We wish you the best of luck on your college career. But, we also want you to be a wise scholar! Today, a college degree is not all that is needed for a successful future. You next four years in college should be a time of study and learning, but you should consider more.

Here is some advice for college students to use their time as best they can:
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Starting College on the Right Foot

Sure, you have everything under control as you head to college for your first year in just a couple weeks. Yes, you have some fears and there are some unknowns. And, yes, college will be a great experience.

But, keep in mind three solid pieces if advice as you head out.
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What Makes a College Application Essay Successful?

In cutthroat competition for admission to selective colleges, a great application essay can make the difference. AdmitSee is a new online presence that collects application materials from students who have been accepted to colleges for high school students in the process of applying to access. Although AdmitSee is only one year old, it already has over 15,000 essays that won college admission.

After analyzing their archives, AdmitSee has found several helpful pointers for students seeking admission to Ivies. One finding is that for students applying to Harvard and other elite colleges it is not a good strategy to submit one essay across the board because each college is looking for specific things, sometimes quite different.
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Parents Need to Get Ready for College, Too

College students go through a variety of emotions as they head off to college, but parents do too. This is a big transition for you all. How can you get through August, the month before the big parting?

Here are some tips:
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Have Your Calculated the True Cost of College?

Are you budgeting for college? Looking at the price stickers for tuition and room and board? It’s scary, right? But, there are other college expenses beyond that basic sticker price which you should be budgeting for.
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Your College Application: Extracurricular Activities

Every college application will ask you to enumerate your high school extracurricular activities. Of course! You are a person beyond the classroom. But, be sure you understand what extracurricular activities are and how broad-ranging they can be so you don’t sell yourself short.
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College Student Depression: A Guide for Parents

There is a mental heal issue on college campuses. More and more college students are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, lonely, or sad. Many college students even consider suicide, and often college students are medicated for mental health issues. All of this is occurring on small and large campuses, at public universities and at selective private colleges.
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Changes to the ACT are Bigger than You Think

Many already know the fall of 2015 ACT test will have changes. One change that has been outlined is the Optional Writing section will be evaluated in new areas: ideas and analysis, development and support, organization, and language use. The 1-36 rating scale will remain the same.

Recently ACT has revealed more changes, specifically to the way they report scores to admitting colleges in their ACT Student Score Report. Here is a list of some of the changes:
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What are the Reasons for Student Debt?

Nicholas Lemann write recently in The New Yorker that the idea of an expensive four-year college education may be a misconception. Although student debt averages just under $30,000, most of that debt is not because college has to be expensive today.
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The New SAT: the Good and the Bad

The SAT, starting in the spring of 2016, will be new. There are distinct improvements.

1. The new SAT is designed to check knowledge by replacing captious, puzzle-like questions with questions that ask about what is generally leaned in high school.
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First Generation College Students

First generation college students buck the odds. No one else in their families has a college degree, but these students have persevered. Many go to public colleges or universities; many take on student loans to do so.

However, many first generation students are part of the drop out statistics. Sometimes graduation rates for these students are as low as 11%. Often they end up with low GPAs, student loan debt, and little chance of getting future scholarships to continue their education.

Why? There are several reasons. First generation college students are generally behind in their studies because of going to high schools in poorer communities. They are unprepared academically, having little idea of what to expect of college demands. They enter institutions that are not equipped to offer support to help them graduate, and they face challenges like needing to work, financial burden, and few support resources.

How can first generation students better ensure success in earning a college degree? Here are a few answers:
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