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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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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Make Your College Essay the Best

There are so many things to think about when writing your college application essay: the right prompt, the right topic, the length, the content, the mechanics! Phew! And, these are all important. However, just choosing the right topic for the right prompt and writing an interesting essay with proper grammar and punctuation are not enough to ensure you have the best essay. There are still more things you should think about in order to REVISE your essay to make it the very best you can proffer. This is your college application, after all.

The following list will help you polish the essay after it’s done—well, sort of done.
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Finding the Right College Essay Topic

When interviewed, college admission essay readers will say, out of the thousands of essays they read each year, usually not more than ten or so stand out enough to be memorable. In a field of very competitive college applicants, the $64,000 question is: What makes a college essay stand out? The answer is the topic chosen!

And, what is the topic that is so rarely written about that it often becomes a stand out?—MONEY.
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Americans Can Get A free Education…Abroad

American college costs have only continued to rise. Now a college education is almost unaffordable, even for middle class families. Tuition fees discourage many from even getting a college education, especially those who are not from an academic background or who have low incomes.

Germany is one country that recognizes these problems and has developed policy that allows all young adults to study for a college degree and do so at quality colleges. How? All German universities are tuition-free. Germany also welcomes English-speaking students. In fact, 900 undergraduate and graduate programs are offered exclusively in English, and those degrees cover a broad spectrum from engineering to social science. You don’t even need to formally apply to get into some degree programs.
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How to Make the Most of College

College is about getting your education in a major of choice and earning a college degree, but college can offer you more, if you take advantage.
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College Application Frenzy

Are students applying to too many colleges? The answer is YES! The Common Application allows a student to send up to 20 applications on one form. And, students apply, often to all 20,  driven by the fear of rejection. Applying to college has become a numbers game. Instead of making out as many college applications as you can, the whole process should be a sober examination of where is best for you to apply.
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Should All Students Admitted to College Go to College?

Deans of students at colleges across the country often meet with first-year college students who are having difficulty with their college experience in the first few weeks of school. Some are in academic difficulty: low grades, sleeping through classes, missing important tests. Sometimes the problems are emotional: not making friends, drinking infractions, cutting or self-harm.

By the time these students are in the dean’s office, they are usually facing a tough decision, to drop out mid semester or suffer though the semester to try to salvage some credit hours. Some have already been sent home, often with conditions for return that make that return even less likely.
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Ninth Grade is Your First Step on the Path to College

It may seem like it’s too early to worry about getting into college; it is four years away. But, let us give you some important advice. The ninth grade of high school is not too early to start preparing for college. Both your ninth grade academic and extracurricular records will be part of your college application.

Here are some suggestions for college-bound ninth graders to do to positon themselves for college.
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How to Choose the Right College

You have been accepted to college…but to more than one! How do you decide which college is best for you? One thing to remember is that you are attending college in order to continue your education. One of the most important questions to ask is whether or not the college you choose has a good academic program.

Here are some suggestions for you to make an academic assessment among the top two or three choices you have.
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