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2018 – 2019 SAT & ACT Exam Dates

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 13:21:00 -0800

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The first step in preparing for standardized tests like the SAT and ACT is figuring out when you plan to take the test. While the 2018 – 2019 test cycle may seem too far away, preparations for either exam must begin months in advance.

Exam Planning for Juniors

As a junior in high school, students should plan to take both the SAT and the ACT. Students may find that they score better on one test over the other. By taking the exams during the junior year, students will get a more accurate picture of which standardized test will best showcase their aptitude and therefore be able to make smarter plans for their senior year.

Exam Planning for Seniors

High school seniors can take the exam as much as they please. It has been proven that taking the test multiple times improves test scores; however, students will find at some point that they may plateau in their test scores. At that point, it’s not worth taking the exam again. Taking the test earlier in the 2018 test cycle ensures that test scores will be sent along to colleges around the same time as college applications. This will, in turn, allow applicants to hear sooner rather than later whether or not they’ve been admitted.

Start planning ahead now. Here are the dates for the 2018 – 2019 SAT and ACT exams:

SAT Test Dates:




August 25, 2018 – Register by July 25, 2018

October 6, 2018 – Register by September 6, 2018

November 3, 2018 – Register by October 3, 2018

December 1, 2018 – Register by November 1, 2018

March 8, 2019 – Register by February 8, 2019

May 4, 2019 – Register by April 4, 2019

June 1, 2019 – Register by May 1, 2019

ACT Test Dates:




September 8, 2018 – Register by August 5, 2018

October 27, 2018 – September 21, 2018

December 8, 2018 – November 2, 2018

February 9, 2019 – January 11, 2019

April 13, 2019 – March 8, 2019

June 8, 2019 – May 3, 2019




How to Answer 13 of the Most Common Interview Questions

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 14:29:00 -0800

While these interview questions are some of the most common, they are also some of the toughest. Even though they’re asked in most interviews, these questions often throw most people off for whatever reason because they don’t know exactly how to approach the answers. We’ve listed the questions and answers with explanations, deciphering why each is being asked, what the interviewer is most likely trying to find out from each question and what an ideal answer will convey from an ideal job candidate. Learn how to answer these 13 interview questions like a pro and take on your next job interview without any hesitation: 1. Will you tell me a little about yourself? While this is probably the most commonly asked interview question, so many people either fail to prepare for it or have no idea how to approach it. What most people end up doing is giving a summary of their resume and/or personal history, which is exactly what you should NOT do. Answer: Instead, this is your opportunity to give a pitch demonstrating exactly why you’re right for the job. Before the interview, since you know you can expect this question will inevitably come up, think of about two or three examples of your accomplishments and/or experiences which you would like your interviewer to know about. Then, wrap up the answer by discussing how your prior experience has prepared you to take on the specific role for which you are interviewing. 2. How did you hear about this position? This seems like a pretty straightforward question, right? Wrong. Sure, you may have heard about them via a job post, a friend or any other means. In terms of this question (and job interviews in general), unfortunately, complete and utter honesty is not always the best policy. Sometimes it is. Read the below answer for an explanation. Answer: Depending on the way you heard about the position, it’s important to utilize your connection and interest in the company. You want to show that, rather than just applying to random jobs willy-nilly without any interest in that specific company, you specifically wanted a position at that company. For example, utilize connections. If you heard through a friend that worked at that company, feel free to use their name. Do your due diligence and learn about the company before the interview so that you can reference the company specifically and indicate that you were searching for positions that included [reference whatever caught your eye about the posting]. Referencing specifics will go a long way and will show you know specifics and you’re actually invested in the positions you’re applying for, rather than just submitting your resume to every job posting out there. 3. Why should I hire you? This is both a tough an intimidating question to be asked. However, it’s a great question because it’s the perfect positioning for you to give an answer that speaks to your skill set. Answer: The perfect answer to this question will convey several items. The first is that you possess the skill set to do the work, preferably with examples to back it up. The second is that you can, and will, deliver results (again, with examples from previous experience to back up this claim). The third is that you know you will fit in with the company’s culture and team. Ensure you reference what the company culture is to show you have awareness because you cannot claim to fit in with something if you’re not aware of it. Fourth (but, certainly not last), convey that you feel you’d make the best fit out of all the candidates. You can do this successfully but demonstrating that you’re not only qualified for the role, but passionate about both the position and working for the company and its mission. This is where your pre-interview research on the company will come in handy. 4. Why do you want this position? If you only want the job because you need a job, that’s not only going to get you out the door, but it shows a lack of passion on your behalf. Companies feel the right candid[...]



Full Tuition Academic Scholarships

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 10:08:00 -0800

Full tuition academic scholarships are often awarded by colleges as a way to attract talented students. The scholarships listed on this page satisfy the following criteria: • They cover at least full tuition and fees. • They are based on academic merit. • They are college-controlled (i.e., not a private sector scholarship or state program). These awards are only available to students who enroll at the indicated colleges. Jerome C. Byrne, John E. Veneklasen, R. Paul Nelson Scholarships – Aquinas College Deadline: Varies Available to: Incoming Freshmen Award Amount: 100% of Tuition These full tuition scholarships at Aquinas College are awarded each year by the Admissions Office. The Byrne also includes room and board. Each is an invitation-only scholarship competition. The competition consists of three parts: Assessment Testing, Decision-Making Exercise, and Writing Component. Get more information on the Jerome C. Byrne, John E. Veneklasen and R. Paul Nelson Scholarships. Presidential Scholarship – Bluffton University Deadline: January 28 Available to: Incoming Freshmen Award Amount: 100% of Tuition Two full-tuition scholarships at Bluffton University are awarded each year by admissions and financial aid. Students who meet the criteria for the Academic Distinction and Academic Honors scholarships automatically qualify. Get more information on the Presidential Scholarship. Boston College Presidential Scholars Program Deadline: November 1 Available to: Incoming Freshman Award Amount: 100% of Tuition Approximately 15 full tuition scholarships are awarded per year to entering freshmen by the Presidential Scholars Program, in conjunction with the Financial Aid Office. These scholarships also include full funding for summer programs following the first three years of study (respectively, community service, immersion study trip to France, and professional internship). Incoming freshmen are paired with faculty mentors and library resource persons. There are also two series of biweekly evening meetings featuring invited speakers and topics relating to personal growth, leadership and profession. Get more information on the Boston College Presidential Scholars Program. Marion Burk Knott Scholarship – Loyola College in Maryland Deadline: January 15 Available to: Incoming Freshmen Award Amount: 100% of Tuition Marion Burk Knott scholarships at Loyola College in Maryland are four-year, full-tuition awards available on a competitive basis to Catholic students residing in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Scholarships are limited to incoming freshmen who, in the judgment of the Scholarship Committee, are most deserving of assistance because of academic merit. Get more information on the Marion Burk Knott Scholarship. Society of Yeager Scholars – Marshall University Deadline: Varies Available to: Incoming Freshman Award Amount: 100% of Tuition The Yeager Scholarships at Marshall University cover full tuition and fees, room and board, a stipend for books and supplies, a stipend for study abroad and a personal computer. Get more information on the Society of Yeager Scholars. Presidential Scholarship – Medical University of Ohio Deadline: November 15 Available to: Incoming Freshmen Award Amount: 100% of Tuition Presidential Scholarships at Medical University of Ohio offer full tuition and general fees scholarships. Consideration is automatic if an accepted student meets required criteria. Get more information on the Presidential Scholarship. Honors Scholarship – Morehead State University Deadline: December 1 Available to: Incoming Freshmen Award Amount: 100% of Tuition The Honors Scholarship at Morehead University is the most prestigious scholarship offered by Morehead State University. Students are automatically considered for these scholarships upon acceptance to Morehead State University. There is no separate application process. Get more information on the Honors Scholarship. The President's Associates Excellence Scho[...]



Should I Claim Scholarships & Other Awards on My Taxes?

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 08:31:00 -0800

If you've won a scholarship, grant or fellowship, congratulations are in order! You'll surely want to share the great news with Mom, Dad, Grandma...and Uncle Sam. Why? Because, your scholarship, grant or fellowship may count as income and, if so, that means that it's taxable. It's important to find out if your award is taxable and, if so, figure out how to correctly report it when filing your annual tax return. We've compiled a guide to help you decipher which category your educational award falls under - taxable or tax-free. Additionally, if your award is taxable, we've included instructions in order to help you figure out how to claim it on your taxes. Tax-Free Scholarships, Fellowships & Grants A scholarship is tax-free if: • You are a full-time or part-time candidate for a degree at a primary, secondary or accredited post-secondary institution. • The award covers tuition and fees to enroll in or attend an educational institution. • The award covers fees, books, supplies and equipment required for your courses. The award is tax-free only as long as you use it for the purposes outlined above. Taxable Scholarships, Fellowships & Grants Your scholarship is taxed if it was used to cover any of the following: • Room and board • Travel • Research • Clerical help • Fees, Books, Supplies and Equipment (Not required for the course or attendance) If your award covered both tuition and room and board, the amount you use for tuition is tax-free. However, the amount you used for room and board is taxable. Remember, if you need to make this adjustment, you may have to adjust other parts of your return as well. For example, if you are filing a deduction for educational expenses, you must reduce the amount of your deduction by the tax-free amount of the award. Note: Items that are required for your course or for course attendance are generally not taxable. Finding the Right Form When it comes to taxes, if you're not savvy about it, finding the right government form can be a challenge in itself! Which is no longer an issue, because the only forms you need to think about in terms of claiming scholarships, grants and fellowships are the following: • 1040 - U.S. Individual Income Tax Return • 1040A - U.S. Individual Income Tax Return • 1040EZ - Income Tax Return for Single and Joint Filers With No Dependents • 1040NR - U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return • 1040NR-EZ - U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Nonresident Aliens With No Dependents Making It Legal: Reporting Taxable Awards If your only income is a tax-free scholarship or fellowship, you're in the clear. You don't have to file a tax return or report the award. However, if all or part of your scholarship is taxable and if that money is not recorded on your W2 form, you must report it. To help you figure out the exact amounts that should be reported as taxable and non-taxable of your award, check out the IRS site section on tax benefits for education, where they have implemented an interactive tool to discover whether you're eligible to claim an education credit. In order to help save time, we've compiled information included within the packet for you. However, if you have additional questions, we suggest you refer to the IRS site before any panic attacks ensue. Note: Any tuition reduction that is taxable should be included as wages on your W-2 form. Here's a quick guide detailing how to report your scholarship, fellowship or grant income depending on which return form you are filing: If you are filing a 1040EZ form: If you file Form 1040EZ, include the taxable amount in the total on line 1. If the taxable amount was not reported on Form W-2, also enter “SCH” and the taxable amount in the space to the left of line 1. If you are filing a 1040 form: If you file Form 1040, include the taxable amount in the total on line 7. If the taxable amount was not reported on Form W-2, also enter “SCH” and the taxable amount on t[...]



Federal Financial Aid and the Independent Student

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 07:53:00 -0800

"I am a college sophomore and I pay for school myself. For the last two years, I have used my parents' tax information on the FAFSA. Since I pay for school myself without any help from my parents, should I list only my own tax information to be eligible for more aid?" This is a common question about the FAFSA: When and why must a student include parents' financial information when applying for federal aid? The answer has to do with whether you qualify as an independent or a dependent student. Dependent vs. Independent In the federal government's eyes, parents are responsible for their children's' education, regardless of whether or not the parents can actually pay. Taking this into account, the federal government applies two different standards for students, one for dependent students and one for independent students. Dependent students are assumed to have parental support while independent students are not. The result: independent students might qualify for more aid. Being considered an independent student is not merely a matter of being responsible for your own educational expenses. You must meet certain criteria to be declared an independent student for the purposes of the FAFSA: Be 24 years of age or older by December 31 of the award year; Be an orphan (both parents deceased), ward of the court, in foster care or was a ward of the court when 13 years or older; Be a veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States or serving on active duty for other than training purposes; Be a graduate or professional student; Be a married individual; Have legal dependents other than a spouse; Be an emancipated minor or in legal guardianship; Be a homeless youth; Be a student for whom a financial aid administrator makes a documented determination of independence by reason of other unusual circumstances. Changing Your Status Dependent students may change their status, but it's not easy. You start by filing a Dependency Review Form, which can be requested from a financial aid administrator at your school. You also must provide documentation explaining your situation. Your case is then reviewed by a committee or financial aid office at your college. Keep in mind that most students will not qualify for a change in status. Circumstances tend to be extreme (such as abandonment or physical abuse) to warrant the change. Simply residing in your own apartment or house is not adequate justification. Tips for Filing as an Independent Student If you do qualify as an independent student, follow these tips: Don't forget to complete the section that asks you for the number of people in your household. Be sure to include yourself. Filing as an independent student doesn't always mean that you can leave the parent section of the FAFSA blank. "Check first with the school before submitting your FAFSA. Some may want parental information on the FAFSA and/or on other forms, such as the CSS PROFILE form or the school's own aid application," Kalman A. Chany, Founder and President of Campus Consultants Inc. says. For example, graduate health profession students may be required to provide parental data even if they are independent. When filing as an independent, your school may ask you to submit proof before allowing any federal student aid. Have your documentation ready to avoid delays. [...]



First-Class Scholarships for College Students

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 07:20:00 -0800

Between juggling your heavy course load, a part-time job and the distant remains of a social life, searching for scholarships is the last thing you feel like doing - especially because you may assume that, since you're a college student you won't win a scholarship anyway. False. College students win scholarships all the time. Seriously, those tuition bills aren’t going to pay themselves and, with the cost of college these days, you need scholarships more than ever. The good news is, we’ve done the heavy lifting (searching) for you. Now, all you need to do is apply! Here are scholarships that college students qualify for: Because College is Expensive Deadline: 12/31/17 Available to: High School Freshmen through Graduate Students, Year 5 Award Amount: $500 The $500 “Because College is Expensive” Scholarship is open to all students (seniors in high school, current undergrads and grad students) and those planning on enrolling within 12 months. The winner will be determined by random drawing and then contacted directly and announced on the Scholarship Winners page. One entry per person is all that is necessary. Learn more about the Because College Is Expensive. Young Scholars Scholarship Deadline: 12/31/17 Available to: Maximum Age 30 Years Award Amount: 5 Awards of $2,000 The Young Scholars Scholarship is open to undergraduate students who are under the age of 30. You must be a U.S. citizen and have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in order to be considered for this award. Get more information on the Young Scholars Scholarship. SBO Essay Contest Deadline: 12/31/17 Available to: High School Freshmen through High School Seniors Award Amount: $1,000 The SBO Essay Contest is open to students in grades four through twelve. To enter, you must submit a 250 - word essay on the following topic: "What would you say to your fellow classmates who are not in the music program? Why should they consider getting involved?" Learn more about the SBO Essay Contest. $5,000 Easy Scholarship: Make a Thank-You Card for Your Favorite Science Teacher Deadline: 12/31/17 Available to: Ages 25 & Under Award Amount: $5,000 You could win an easy $5,000 scholarship just by making a thank-you card for your favorite science teacher! Use our simple tips for what to write on the card, and then give it to your teacher. You’ll automatically enter to win a $5,000 scholarship. Yep -- it’s that easy! Receive one scholarship entry per every poster shared. Unlimited entries. No minimum GPA or essays required. Must be 13 to 25 years old to apply. This scholarship is only open to those residing in the U.S. and Canada or those who hold citizenship in the U.S. or Canada. Learn more about the $5,000 Easy Scholarship: Make a Thank-You Card for Your Favorite Science Teacher. Love Your Career Scholarship Deadline: 1/08/2018 Available to: College Freshmen through Graduate Students, Year 5 Award Amount: $1,000 The Love Your Career Scholarship is available to students attending an accredited college or university. You must submit an essay of at least 1,000 words describing at least three steps that you plan to take in the next year to start a path towards having a career that you love in order to qualify for this award. Topics may include: What are your passions that could be turned into a career? What are some ideas you have for a business based on things that you love and are skilled at? You must also interview a professional in your chosen field that has at least three years of experience. Learn more about the Love Your Career Scholarship . One Earth Young Filmmakers Contest Deadline: 1/14/18 Available to: High School Freshmen through College Seniors Award Amount: 4 Awards from $75 - $1,000 The One Earth Young Filmmakers Contest is open to students who are at least eight years of age. You must submit a video between three and eight minutes that shares and highlights solutions to the issues discussed [...]



Essay Scholarships

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 06:23:00 -0800

If you’re a skilled writer, a few hundred (or even a thousand) words is no biggie. Students that can easily express themselves through writing flock toward scholarships with interesting essays and the scholarships on this list are just that. All of the below scholarships require an essay entry – some as short as only 250 words – with interesting essay topics that range from safe driving and technology to America heroes and animal activism. To help better organize your scholarship and internship search, please note that the following scholarships for writers are listed according to deadline, with the earliest deadline appearing at the top of the page. Deadlines that vary will appear at the bottom of each list. If you enjoy expressing your opinions through writing, the scholarships on this list await your entries. Tutor the People Essay Scholarship Deadline: 12/15/17 Available to: High School Juniors through College Seniors Award Amount: $1,000 The Tutor the People Essay Scholarship is open to current high school seniors and undergraduate students attending an institution in the United States. You must be at least 16 years of age, be in good academic standing, have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and submit a 500 to 1,000 word personal response to the prompt on the sponsor's website in order to qualify for this award. Learn more about the Tutor the People Essay Scholarship. SBO Essay Contest Deadline: 12/31/17 Available to: High School Freshmen through High School Seniors Award Amount: $1,000 The SBO Essay Contest is open to students in grades four through twelve. To enter, you must submit a 250 - word essay on the following topic: "What would you say to your fellow classmates who are not in the music program? Why should they consider getting involved?" Learn more about the SBO Essay Contest. Love Your Career Scholarship Deadline: 1/08/2018 Available to: College Freshmen through Graduate Students, Year 5 Award Amount: $1,000 The Love Your Career Scholarship is available to students attending an accredited college or university. You must submit an essay of at least 1,000 words describing at least three steps that you plan to take in the next year to start a path towards having a career that you love in order to qualify for this award. Topics may include: What are your passions that could be turned into a career? What are some ideas you have for a business based on things that you love and are skilled at? You must also interview a professional in your chosen field that has at least three years of experience. Learn more about the Love Your Career Scholarship . MoversCorp.com Scholarship Deadline: 1/15/2018 Available to: High School Seniors through Graduate Students, Year 5 Award Amount: $500 The MoversCorp.com Scholarship is available to students currently enrolled in a university program that is two years or longer in length. You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and submit an essay of between 500 and 800 words on your moving experience in order to qualify for this award. Learn more about the MoversCorp.com Scholarship. Providian Medical Scholarship Deadline: 1/15/2018 Available to: High School Seniors through College Seniors Award Amount: $500 The Providian Medical Scholarship is available to students enrolled in an accredited high school or college in the United States. You must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA, be either in your final year of high school or enrolled at the undergraduate level in good academic standing to qualify for this award. An essay of up to 1,500 words that describes how medical equipment technology has changed the face of a college course and curriculum is required. Learn more about the Providian Medical Scholarship . National Ag Day Essay Contest Deadline: 1/31/2018 Available to: High School Freshmen through High School Seniors Award Amount: 2 Awards of $1,000 The National[...]



Income and Financial Aid Eligibility

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 05:30:00 -0800

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Federal student aid does not have any explicit income cutoffs on need-based aid eligibility. The number of children in college can have a big impact on aid eligibility. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

The EFC is the sum of a student contribution and a parent contribution, and the parent contribution is roughly divided by the number of children in college. So if the number of children in college increases, it can significantly cut the EFC and thereby allow a family to qualify for student aid despite having a higher income.

It is important to apply for financial aid every year even if you didn’t qualify for any financial aid last year. Suppose you apply for financial aid for your freshman year in college and don’t qualify for any aid because you are the first in your family to enroll. If you give up and stop submitting the FAFSA, you might miss out on a lot of financial aid in a subsequent year when you and one or more siblings are enrolled in college at the same time.

But even if you don’t qualify for grants it is still worthwhile to submit the FAFSA. The unsubsidized Stafford loan and the PLUS loan are available without regard to financial need. You can be extremely wealthy and still qualify for these loans. The Hope Scholarship tax credit is available to families with income up to $90,000 (single filers) and $180,000 (married filing joint).

Note that student employment can have a big impact on aid eligibility, especially for independent students. A portion of student income is sheltered from the financial aid formula, but as much as half of income above this income protection allowance will be counted as part of the EFC.

To be eligible for federal student aid, you must be a US citizen or permanent resident (green card holder). There are also a variety of types of noncitizens who are eligible for federal student aid, such as citizens of the Freely Associated States, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republics of Palau and the Marshall Islands. Individuals who have been granted asylum or refugee status and victims of human trafficking are eligible for federal student aid.

Your parents, however, do not need to be US citizens or permanent residents. They can be foreign nationals or even undocumented. If your parents do not have a Social Security Number, use 000-00-0000 on the FAFSA where it asks for the parent’s Social Security Number. Do not use a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).

If your parents are not US citizens or permanent residents, they will be unable to borrow from the PLUS loan program. In that case you will be eligible for increased unsubsidized Stafford loan limits, the same limits that are available to independent students.




Students Lose Financial Aid for Failure to Make Satisfactory Academic Progress

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 05:30:00 -0800

Some students in college have found out the hard way that getting good grades literally pays. In the world of higher education, academics and financial aid go hand-in-hand. One must keep their grades satisfactory in order to maintain their financial aid package. To be eligible for federal student aid and college financial aid, a student must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). This generally consists of maintaining at least a 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale (i.e., at least a C average) and passing enough classes with progress toward a degree. The maximum timeframe requirements typically limit financial aid eligibility to no more than three years for an Associate’s degree and no more than six years for a Bachelor’s degree. Scholarships also have satisfactory academic progress requirements. Oftentimes, these requirements are even stricter than universities. Many private scholarships require recipients to maintain a higher GPA. Most students who lose eligibility for student financial aid do so because of grades, not the maximum timeframe restrictions. About one in ten college students will have a cumulative GPA that is less than 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. Students who do not have at least a C average are much less likely to graduate. If a student loses financial aid for a failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress, the student may be able to regain eligibility by getting better grades. Until then, however, the student will be ineligible for financial aid and will have to pay for the college costs on his or her own. The student will be ineligible for all forms of federal student aid, including all types of federal education loans. Some students who are ineligible for federal student aid will borrow from private student loan programs, but this can be rather expensive. In some cases a student may be able to appeal for a temporary waiver of the satisfactory academic progress rules. These circumstances include when the failure to make satisfactory academic progress was due to injury or illness of the student, death of a relative of the student or other special circumstances. The appeal should not only document the special circumstances (e.g., a letter from the student’s doctor) and explain how the circumstances affected the student’s performance, but also explain what has changed which will allow the student’s performance to improve. However, these are the only circumstances in which a student may fight to regain financial aid eligibility. A family’s financial circumstances will not help alleviate the suspension. Students lose eligibility for federal student aid if they are no longer maintaining satisfactory academic progress, regardless of financial need. There are no special exceptions to the satisfactory academic progress requirements for low-income students. This is unfortunate, because low-income students often lack the resources to continue paying for college on their own without financial aid, not even for a semester or two. Low-income students are also unlikely to qualify for private student loans. Students should always file an appeal if the failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress is due to extenuating circumstances. If a low-income student cannot afford to pay for tuition without financial aid, the student should ask the college about taking classes at a local community college. If these classes are accepted for credit by the student’s college, it will help the student regain eligibility at much lower cost. There is also a loophole in the rules concerning satisfactory academic progress that may allow a student to regain eligibility for financial aid by changing majors or degree programs or by transferring to another college. Depending on the college’s policies, classes that don’t count toward the new major may be excluded from the determination of satis[...]



Private School Scholarships for K-12

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 12:39:00 -0800

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Fastweb is well-known as a source of information for college
scholarships, so it's not surprising that families turn to Fastweb for
information about paying for private elementary, middle and secondary schools.

The main sources of money for private schools are scholarships, loans
and tuition installment plans. Scholarships for private schools are
often called voucher programs.

Most voucher programs are based on financial need. Even among families
with financial need, the demand for voucher programs exceeds available
funds, so the programs ration the funding in various ways. Some award
money on a first-come first-served basis. Others randomly select
recipients among all qualified applicants. Most require the parents to
make a minimum contribution toward tuition, typically at least 25% of
tuition or $500, whichever is greater. These programs they do not cover the
full tuition costs.

The largest national scholarship and voucher programs include the
Children's Scholarship Fund
and the
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.
There are also more than six dozen regional and state programs.

Paying for a private school education can cost as much as a college
education, but it does not provide much of an advantage in winning
non-need-based financial aid such as college scholarships. Students
who attend private schools get about $1,000 more in merit-based aid,
but that may have more to do with these students enrolling in higher
cost private colleges. Students from private schools are 80% more
likely to end up at private colleges than students from the public
school system. The average cost of attendance for students from
private schools is more than $4,000 higher, and the out-of-pocket cost
even with the higher merit aid is about $3,500 higher.




Department of Education Unveils Plans for FAFSA App

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 20:36:00 -0800

In recent years, the federal government has been making progress towards simplifying and modernizing the FAFSA. Since 2012, the FAFSA application has introduced “skip logic” questions, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and a new timeline in order to make applying for financial aid easier for students and their parents. Now, The Department of Education has announced it will launch a FAFSA app in April 2018 with the hopes that getting the application on mobile devices will boost numbers. As of now, just three out of five high school seniors complete the FAFSA, and those that miss out on the application are typically low-income students – or those students that financial aid would greatly benefit. While some families may not have access to a PC or laptop, someone or everyone in the family has access to a smartphone. The announcement was made by Betsy DeVos to thousands of financial aid professionals at a conference in Orlando earlier this month. In her statement, according to Newsweek, DeVos said: "Students should be able to complete their FAFSA easily on their phones and in one sitting. They should receive expert, tailored advice about their options. It’s called 'student aid,' after all. You can order food, get a ride home, check your bank account, send money to a friend or, as I’m told, even find your soul mate on your phone. The FAFSA should—at minimum—keep pace with these commonplace activities." In addition to the mobile app, DeVos articulated that she would like to provide a customer service experience that rivals Amazon or Apple Genius, as reported by Inside Higher Ed. With that, the Department is in the process of researching first-class financial institutions to formulate a plan for providing informative, tailored customer service to students and their families. The app will also address cyber security concerns. Just last year, the Department of Education was forced to remove the IRS Data Retrieval Tool due to security concerns. About 100,000 users’ data was exposed to hackers, and while no one’s data was used fraudulently, it required the Department of Education to dismantle the tool from March – October 2017. The new app would take extra measures to ensure a data breach doesn’t occur again. Finally, in the fall of 2018, fafsa.gov will be integrated onto studentaid.ed.gov. Currently, the FAFSA form and all pertinent information relating to student aid live on two different websites. This integration is the first step toward consolidating all of the platforms into one place. According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Education, “FSA [Federal Student Aid] will consolidate all of its customer-facing websites into a single, integrated and user-friendly online platform to provide students, parents and borrowers a consistent and seamless experience from application through repayment.” Again, the FAFSA app will go live in April 2018. Students and their families can expect to be able to use the mobile app for their 2018 – 2019 applications, which will be released on October 1, 2018. [...]



Student Job Applications & Resume Tips

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 08:05:00 -0800

In this article, I will talk about my own personal experience with applications, resumes, cover letters, interviews, etc. Ideally, you can relate to it in some way, but if not, then please comment below with your own experience and ideas, so other people can learn from it. This is definitely something unique, but my parents did not let me work until I was 18. As soon as I was 18 years old, I started applying for jobs like crazy with no results. Then, I realized I was answering the applications’ questions with no thought process whatsoever. Even if it is a minimum wage job, you need to think about your answers, do research about the company you are applying for and the position you want, and most importantly, be honest! They can figure it out if you are putting the answers you think they want you to choose. The application process is long, but in most cases, you can stop your application if you get tired and continue it in a later time. Finding a job with a recommendation from someone who already works there is the easy way out, but you will feel better about yourself if you get the job all by yourself. At first, I had no idea how to write my resume so, naturally, I went online and look up outlines from resources like Fastweb, but I felt I needed more help. Thankfully, in some of my high school classes and even in college, the instructors gave us specific instructions on how to write our own resumes and it was very helpful. If you were not as lucky as I was, you can visit your counselor if you are in high school or your major adviser if you are in college; they will either help you write your resume or lead you to someone who can. My advice is that your resume should be one page, including your high school and/or college name, your address, your phone number, your activities, summer jobs, organizations you have being a part of in your campus, volunteer opportunities and classes that taught you valuable skills (law classes, economics, math, writing courses, among others). Every job experience is valuable, from working at a fast food restaurant to working in retail. My first interview ever was a group interview, meaning that there was me and approximately seven other candidates in the room, plus the interviewer. At first, the interviewer asked a question and everyone got an opportunity to answer, then she asked different questions to each individual. Long story short, I got the job, which was working in my local Kohl’s as a seasonal employee. It helped a lot studying what they could ask me in the interview beforehand. For example, they asked questions like, “’Tell me about yourself’, ‘what you would do in this situation’, ‘who you admire’, among others.” Although I could not make my seasonal job a part time job, it was a fun experience because as someone who is not very outgoing, working as a salesperson and dealing with people in different situations during the holiday season thought me valuable skills that I will use once I obtain a job in my profession. It also helped me get experience into the real world and give me a push into having better jobs. I have yet to have a paying job in my field of studying, which some people call “professional job,” but I will continue to follow my own advice and read articles in websites like Fastweb, which have an article for almost every college-related topic you can think of. Best luck in your search for a job! [...]



My Top 3 Collegiate First Semester Realizations

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 07:53:00 -0800

High school is miles away -- literally and metaphorically away -- from the college experience. Although I transitioned from a relatively large high school graduating class to a campus with over 30,000 students, it would be a lie to say that getting onto stable ground was easy. Along with stable ground came a multitude of impactful experiences, however. For all of the high school juniors and seniors who are reading this, what follows are the top three unconventional realizations you’ll experience in your first semester of college, no matter the school. 1. Build-Your-Own-Schedule High school typically takes up seven hours of the day, not including the academic and athletic extracurriculars after classes let out in the afternoon. College completely turned that on its head and let me build a schedule based on classes I genuinely wanted to take and when I wanted to take those classes. Even the dreaded general education courses I had to take were classes that I found interesting and have proven helpful in my major courses. Apart from classes, the best perk that came out of creating my own schedule was that I could take a nap between classes if I needed to. Sleep is arguably the most precious commodity when balancing everything, and I was surprised and relieved that I now had the option to crash in my dorm, even for a half hour before a class. You’d be surprised at how tired you can get after two back-to-back lectures in the morning; after taking notes for approximately two hours straight, your brain often feels like mush. According to TIME Health, “the average attention span dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds” since the mobile revolution began. Professors will (usually) do their best to keep students engaged, but it’s up to the student to ensure that their brain stays fresh to process information as best they can. When class registration comes around, make sure that you plan your schedule around the times of day you’re most productive, and ensure that you include getting food and perhaps a quick nap if need be. To be successful, it’s important to space everything out the way that you need them. 2. Exploring Campus and Surrounding Towns Though the experience will differ due to geographic location and campus size, one of the best parts of first semester was getting acquainted with the area. As a self-proclaimed foodie, I often found myself going off the main quadrangle and visiting Green Street, which is the central location where mainstream and local restaurants are in my university’s nearby town. I’m comfortable enough to tell people my favorite places to eat apart from the dining halls, which is a conversation that comes up more often than most students would expect. Great food isn’t the only thing that’s possible to find; every campus has their own landmarks that are must-sees. I’ve both performed in and watched various productions at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, cheered at football games at Memorial Stadium, and took part in a tea ceremony at the Japan House. Of course, high school students should not make their decision solely on new places to explore. The environment where you’ll be studying for the next four years should be compelling and stimulating, though, so keep an eye out for interesting areas while college-touring over break. 3. More Than the Classroom College life makes it clear that there are many things to learn outside of lecture halls and discussion sections. The interactions you’ll have with professors, teaching assistants, advisors, and students from varying ethnicities and backgrounds are impactful in teaching you about how to navigate social situations and about aspects of the world you may have never considered b[...]



Scholarships for Average Students

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 07:16:00 -0800

There’s nothing wrong with being average, in fact, most people are. We know you’re unique in oh-so-many ways – so what if your grades are just so-so? At Fastweb, we believe – no, we know that every student deserves scholarship opportunities. The good news is that scholarship providers know that, too. There are plenty of awards available to the masses, many of which don’t even require a minimum grade point average or even an essay! Check out the following scholarships for average students: Young Scholars Scholarship Deadline: 12/31/17 Available to: Maximum Age 30 Years Award Amount: 5 Awards of $2,000 The Young Scholars Scholarship is open to undergraduate students who are under the age of 30. You must be a U.S. citizen and have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in order to be considered for this award. Get more information on the Young Scholars Scholarship. Because College is Expensive Deadline: 12/31/17 Available to: High School Freshmen through Graduate Students, Year 5 Award Amount: $500 The $500 “Because College is Expensive” Scholarship is open to all students (seniors in high school, current undergrads and grad students) and those planning on enrolling within 12 months. The winner will be determined by random drawing and then contacted directly and announced on the Scholarship Winners page. One entry per person is all that is necessary. Learn more about the Free Speech Essay Contest. Youth Forward Scholarship Deadline: 12/31/17 Available to: High School Freshmen through College Seniors Award Amount: 3 Awards of $1,500 The Youth Forward Scholarship is open to current high school and college students. You must submit an essay of no more than 500 words on your commitment to volunteerism in order to be considered for this award. Learn more about the Youth Forward Scholarship. One Earth Young Filmmakers Contest Deadline: 1/14/18 Available to: High School Freshmen through College Seniors Award Amount: 4 Awards from $75 - $1,000 The One Earth Young Filmmakers Contest is open to students who are at least eight years of age. You must submit a video between three and eight minutes that shares and highlights solutions to the issues discussed in the chosen sustainability topic(s) chosen from the list on the sponsor's website. The film entry’s theme must be solution-based. The film should talk about an environmental/sustainability problem and then discuss what could be a potential solution to this problem. Videos may be submitted by either an individual or a group and animated videos of no more than 45 seconds will also be considered. Learn more about the One Earth Young Filmmakers Contest. Scholars Helping Collars Deadline: 2/15/18 Available to: High School Seniors Award Amount: $1,000 The Scholars Helping Collars Scholarship is open to current high school seniors. You must submit an essay of between 500 and 1000 words with two to three photos of your volunteer efforts to help animals in need and how that involvement has changed your lives or shaped your perceptions on the importance of animal welfare in order to be considered for this award. Learn more about the Scholars Helping Collars. Invite a Friend Sweepstakes Deadline: Last day of each month; Refreshes monthly Available to: All Fastweb Members Award Amount: $500 The Fastweb Invite a Friend Sweepstakes is open to registered Fastweb members who are legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, and who are at least thirteen (13) years of age. You must log into your Fastweb account to obtain your personal referral link. For each person who registers for Fastweb via your personal referral link during the Promotion Period, you and your referral will entered[...]



End of 2017 Scholarships to Apply for Now

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 07:11:00 -0800

2017 is almost over, but that doesn’t mean your scholarship search is over - in fact, it should never end. Before the year officially ends, take some time to submit as many of these end-of-the-year scholarship applications as possible during your time off from school and in between holiday celebrations. Doing so will give you the chance to have a win to celebrate in the New Year! Free Speech Essay Contest Deadline: 12/31/17 Available to: High School Juniors through High School Seniors Award Amount: 9 Awards from $500 - $10,000 The Free Speech Essay Contest is open to high school juniors and seniors. To be considered, you must explain in an 800 - to 1000 - word essay why free speech is so important to higher education, and why censorship undermines the ideals of liberal education and a free society. Learn more about the Free Speech Essay Contest. Because College is Expensive Deadline: 12/31/17 Available to: High School Freshmen through Graduate Students, Year 5 Award Amount: $500 The $500 “Because College is Expensive” Scholarship is open to all students (seniors in high school, current undergrads and grad students) and those planning on enrolling within 12 months. The winner will be determined by random drawing and then contacted directly and announced on the Scholarship Winners page. One entry per person is all that is necessary. Learn more about the Free Speech Essay Contest. Youth Forward Scholarship Deadline: 12/31/17 Available to: High School Freshmen through College Seniors Award Amount: 3 Awards of $1,500 The Youth Forward Scholarship is open to current high school and college students. You must submit an essay of no more than 500 words on your commitment to volunteerism in order to be considered for this award. Learn more about the Youth Forward Scholarship. SBO Essay Contest Deadline: 12/31/17 Available to: High School Freshmen through High School Seniors Award Amount: $1,000 The SBO Essay Contest is open to students in grades four through twelve. To enter, you must submit a 250 - word essay on the following topic: "What would you say to your fellow classmates who are not in the music program? Why should they consider getting involved?" Learn more about the SBO Essay Contest. $5,000 Easy Scholarship: Make a Thank-You Card for Your Favorite Science Teacher Deadline: 12/31/17 Available to: Ages 25 & Under Award Amount: $5,000 You could win an easy $5,000 scholarship just by making a thank-you card for your favorite science teacher! Use our simple tips for what to write on the card, and then give it to your teacher. You’ll automatically enter to win a $5,000 scholarship. Yep -- it’s that easy! Receive one scholarship entry per every poster shared. Unlimited entries. No minimum GPA or essays required. Must be 13 to 25 years old to apply. This scholarship is only open to those residing in the U.S. and Canada or those who hold citizenship in the U.S. or Canada. Learn more about the $5,000 Easy Scholarship: Make a Thank-You Card for Your Favorite Science Teacher. $5,000 VIP Voice Scholarship Deadline: 12/31/17 Available to: High School Freshmen through Graduate Students, Year 5 Award Amount: $5,000 Think you can’t afford to pay for that college or university you’ve always wanted to go to? Let us help. Join VIP Voice today and enter for a chance to win our $5k Scholarship. You pick the school, we’ll help you pay. As the winner, you’ll be able to put this cash towards to the school of your choice. Enter your points today for a chance to win! Prize will be awarded in the form of a check. Learn more about the $5,000 VIP Voice Scholarship . $5,000 Course Hero Shine through Finals Scholarship De[...]



Top 17 Articles of 2017

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 08:45:00 -0800

Regardless of how you felt about 2017 in general, we do know one thing: 2017 was a great year…at least for scholarships! In addition to scholarships, the past year also encompassed countless articles on interesting news topics and useful information to help within your scholarship search and student life. We thought we’d look back on 2017 fondly by listing out Fastweb users’ favorite topics of the year. Throughout the past year, the following 17 articles were most clicked, shared and loved by you. We wanted to share the results – just in case you may have missed one or two. These are Fastweb's must-see articles of 2017, according to users like you: 1. Essay Tips: 7 Tips on Writing an Effective Essay 2. Cover Letter for Internship Sample 3. 10 Scholarships You Can Apply for Today 4. 2017 Scholarships 5. Quick & Easy Scholarships 6. How Do I Become an Independent on the FAFSA If I’m Under Age 24? 7. 20 Differences Between High School & College Life 8. Federal Financial Aid & the Independent Student 9. Scholarships for Average Students 10. How to Answer 13 of the Most Common Interview Questions 11. Students Lose Financial Aid for Failure to Make Satisfactory Academic Progress 12. Scholarships for College Students 13. 50+ Exciting Summer Jobs for College & Grad Students 14. Summer Programs for High School Students 15. 21 Cool Items All College Students Can Use 16. 25+ Crazy-Weird Scholarships 17. 11 College Courses You MUST Take Plus, here are some honorable mentions we think you’ll enjoy (if you haven’t already): • End of 2017 Scholarships • 33 Top Colleges without Application Fees • Programs & Scholarships to Help Pay Off Student Loans • Top 10 College Towns with the Best Pizza 2018 is going to be a great year with great opportunities! Here’s a sneak peek at what’s coming: • The Best College Scholarships: 2018 Edition • The Best College Internships: 2018 Edition [...]



Questions to Ask When Considering Potential Colleges

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 10:59:00 -0800

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to making a decision about which college you’d like to attend. While every student’s preferences are different, there are some basic questions which apply to most prospective students. Considering these factors (and deciding which of them are important to you and which are not) can help you decide whether or not a school should be on your list. You can use the following list of questions as a guide to find the answers you’re looking for about potential schools – but, if there’s a question you have that’s not on the list – make sure you add it, too. Most of these answers can be found through research (online, etc.), speaking with the school’s administration (on tours, college interviews and by contacting them directly), current students and alumni. Here’s a list of questions to help you begin to examine different aspects of a potential college. Academic Factors: Academics are obviously the most important factor in any college you decide upon. While you may be unsure of which major or focus you’d like to pursue, you should be able to determine the strength of certain departments you’re thinking about, along with other more general factors like faculty, class size and available degree options. • What types of degrees are offered? • Is there an option to take on a minor? • Do they have strong programs in my potential majors/minors? • What’s the size of the student population?       • What's the size of each incoming freshmen class?       • Note: a small campus is usually around 1,000; large is 35,000+) • Public or private? • What are the typical class sizes?       • Note: keep in mind that many freshmen courses are larger and often decrease in        size as you get into courses within your major.) • What’s the student-faculty ratio? • Are classes taught by faculty or teaching assistants? • Is the faculty renowned within the studies I’m considering? • Does the school offer study abroad programs I like? • Would I be able to study abroad given my major? • What is the required curriculum for incoming freshmen? Costs to Consider: While you can continue to apply for scholarships and seek out student loans if necessary, you don’t want to graduate with more student debt than you can handle! • How much is tuition?       • This refers to the general sticker price. • What do typical student costs outside of tuition look like?       • Think of housing, meal plans, books, etc.       • How much is it to live in a residence hall at this school?       • How much is a typical meal plan at this school?       • How much do student typically spend on books each semester? • Do they offer financial assistance packages for most students? • Do they have any scholarships available to me? • Could I afford to attend this school without scholarships or financial aid? Location, Location, Location: A school’s location can make or break your college experience. For example, if you cannot afford to head home for the holidays, that’s an important aspect to be aware of. Likewise, if you can’t stand the weather half the year, that’s something to keep in mind. • What’s the location like? • Do I want a rural or urban setting? • What’s the weather like during[...]



What a Typical College Day Looks Like

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 10:00:00 -0800

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Compared to high school, a typical college day is a lot less structured. Classes don’t happen on a set schedule, and each day can be different, depending on how you set up your schedule. Some days you might have one class, other days you might have four in a row. Meals aren’t scheduled like they are in high school, and sometimes you’ll have class during lunch. But, at its most typical, what does a college day look like?

On Wednesday, my first class begins at 9, so I make sure I’m up and ready for the day by 8:50. In high school, I had to be up by 6:30, but for some reason 8:50 feels even more difficult than that. But, I drag myself with my half-closed eyes up to class, which ends by 10. I have a lot of free time between classes, and my next class starts at 11, giving me an hour to get breakfast or get started on my homework.

My 11 o’clock ends at noon, giving me a couple of hours before my 3:30 lecture. During that time, I usually pick up lunch, then go up to my room and get some more work done before I head out to class again. After class, I’ll go out to get dinner with my friends, then I’ll work on more homework before curling up with some Netflix.

A lot more of college is spent doing work than I expected. Although I have a lot of free time, I have to manage it wisely to balance the workload from all of my classes. I spend so much time at the library, I even have a favorite armchair. Doing the work during the day though, allows me to go to sleep before midnight, which is really good for my mental health.

The additional free time can be overwhelming at first. For the first week of school, I probably watched way too much Netflix and did way too little work. I still do that now, sometimes. It can be difficult to prioritize and stop procrastinating when you feel like you have so much time to do what you need to do.

Another thing that’s different in college, at least for me, is that you have to schedule time to do your laundry. It’s easier to do your laundry during the week, when more people are in class, and more washing machines are open. Some colleges have apps that show you when the best time to do your laundry is, which is really helpful, because otherwise you have to arrange your time around when you have to move your clothes.

Weekends, though, my schedule opens up, though some people have infinitely more exciting lives than me. Friday nights are movie nights, and my campus, like most schools, shows movies for cheap at the on-campus theater. On the weekends, my friends and I take the buses around town, attending our school’s Quidditch games, or just going to Wal-Mart and Starbucks for some grocery shopping and caffeine refuel.

A typical college day can include a lot of time not spent in class, but that doesn’t mean that the time is not spent working. But, that’s not to say that there isn’t time for what you enjoy either! Managing your time is the most important part of college, and the most important to success.




Are You a Scholarship Winner? Join the Wall of Fame!

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 13:38:00 -0800

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Calling all scholarship winners: if you won a scholarship you found out about through Fastweb, we’d love to hear about it!

We love hearing about our scholarships winners because it means we’ve done our job: and you’ve received money help to pay for school!

You’re a scholarship winner and that’s great news – congratulations! Now, you have the opportunity to share your good news with other students looking for scholarships.

As a winner you know, the scholarship search can be frustrating at times – you’ve likely been there, too.

That’s why we love highlighting our scholarship winners – it helps to encourage other students to apply for more scholarships.

Help us show other Fastweb members that regular students really do win scholarships through Fastweb by sharing your winning accomplishment!

Getting on the Wall of Fame is easy! Here’s how:

1. Email Fastweb at irock@Fastweb.com

2. Use the subject line, “I’m a Scholarship Winner”

3. Have a photo you like, some scholarship winning advice and your information handy!

4. Fastweb will contact you for more information about your win!

When contacted, we'll ask you for:



• 1-3 photos of you (close up, smiling photos work best)

• Your name (only your first name/last initial will appear)

• Location (city/state where you live)

• Name(s) of the scholarship(s) you won

• The total amount of the award(s) you won

• Sign a couple of forms (in order to allow us to feature you!)

• What school you’re attending or planning to attend

• Your scholarship winning advice to other students

This information will appear just as these scholarship winners.

Become the next Fastweb member featured on the Wall of Fame - you deserve to strut your stuff in the winner’s circle.

Congratulations on your scholarship win!




December College Checklist for Juniors

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 10:12:00 -0800

We know it's cold out, but don’t forget about your college search! There’s so much to do and the winter season is no exception. Here are some suggestions, via the New York Times, of what you can work on this month to get ahead. You’ll be happy you did once crunch time comes along! Stay Diligent Don’t leave everything until the summer or fall. There’s plenty of time to start working on those college applications now. If you devote just a small portion of time, 15-30 minutes, daily you’ll be ahead before you even know it! Talk to Your Parents If you want to involve your parents in your college search, make sure they know the ways in which you’d like for them to be involved. Even though you’re the one applying, parents will likely want to help in any way they can. Talk to them about your application process, financial expectations, scheduling college visits and meetings with your college counselor. It’s important to have these conversations so that your family is on the same page with your college plan. Plan Your Summer Early It’s never too early to plan for the summer. Whether you’d like to get a job, an internship or volunteer to beef up that college application, the time to figure it out is now. Try to plan early before it’s too late and the opportunities are already filled. Keep Researching Make a list of what’s important to you in a college and get information about potential colleges so you can see how they match to your expectations. From learning about their application processes to figuring out what your curriculum would look like, college sites are full of important information you need to know. The more prepared you are with information about your potential schools, you’ll be able to easily apply and make an informed decision on which college you’d like to attend once your senior year rolls around. Schedule Your ACT/SAT Testing & Test Prep Plan It’s just about time to put together a plan for future ACT or SAT tests. Do you plan on taking prep courses, working with tutors or purchasing materials to help study for the exams? It’s important to know your options and plan ahead so you’ll be prepared come test time. Continue to Explore Your Options You may think you know what colleges want to see and you probably do–to a certain extent. Be genuine in whatever you do for your applications. Make sure that any community service or volunteer work you do is because you want to do it, not just to fill a space on your college application. You can remedy this by choosing activities you truly enjoy. Explore different types of activities and opportunities to see what you actually enjoy doing. Remember, as much as you think you know, college admissions officers have been doing this forever. They can easily spot students that aren't being as genuine as they ought to be. [...]