With the cost of college going up and up, here’s a quick guide to breaking down those costs and some tips on how to save money.
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The moment I sent my SIR to UC Berkeley, I was sure I was more than ready to leave high school. College had been the big dream for most of my life–no curfews, no morning classes, no standardized testing (for the most part) and more freedom than I’d ever had before. I knew the city of Berkeley halfway decently already, so I wasn’t worried about the transition. About twenty of my high school classmates, including some of my best friends, were coming with me. I was all set up for an easy, exciting transition to college life.
I absolutely love my major. I’ve been studying international relations since the end of my freshman year; two years in, it’s still my favorite field. I think it’s incredible that seven billion people, despite all their differences and disagreements, are able to coexist through governments and agreements. I love my professors, read the news religiously, and travel around the world to take political science classes from different countries’ perspectives. It’s awesome.
You’re trying to organize your calendar. You have a Spanish Club meeting at 4pm. Happy hour at 6pm. Then you have to come home and pack for your girls trip over the weekend… Your roommate keeps talking about how she bombed her organic chem exam. She keep repeating herself, so head into the kitchen for some peace and quiet. Suddenly you see a mound of dishes…
- Go to office hours.
- Don’t skip class.
- Have a financial plan.
- Make sure you finish your graduation requirements.
- Explore the career center, clubs, and other resources that colleges have to offer outside of classes.
All of this is excellent advice. After all, you probably wouldn’t have heard each one of these fifty times each if it weren’t. I’d go as far as to say these are probably the best five pieces of advice an entering college freshman should hear.
They’re right. Many high schoolers tend to think of college primarily in academic terms–which isn’t wrong, since it’s hard for someone who has never attended college to fully realize how much social, emotional, personal, intellectual, and sometimes even spiritual growth happens there. College students discover that they have more freedom and independence than most of them have ever experienced in their lives, so they quickly begin exploring new ideas, new friend groups, and new ways of thinking. In this fascinating, and sometimes dizzying, rush of new experiences and self-discovery, it’s easy to forget that the whole thing will only last about four years.
The following interview comes from testprepstore.com. Testprepstore.com recently had the opportunity to conduct a Q&A session with Jonathan Er, one of Veritas Prep’s expert ACT instructors, to inquire about the ACT and get his take on the questions that many college applicants would like to ask with regards to ACT prep courses and how to be successful at achieving their desired ACT score.
The biggest myth surrounding the college experience is that there is a conventional “way” to do college. The truth is, like anything in life, a college experience is relative to your personality and circumstances. There is no right or wrong way to do college, instead there are a bunch of different ways to ensure that you have a great four years on campus. Some students want to have fun and party. Others want to hone their skills and prepare for graduate school. Some want to make connections in order to ensure job security. Most want a mix of these elements.
The following interview comes from testprepstore.com. Testprepstore.com recently had the opportunity to conduct a Q&A session with Eric Fischer, one of Veritas Prep’s expert SAT instructors, to inquire about the SAT and get his take on the questions that many college applicants would like to ask with regards to SAT prep courses and how to be successful at achieving their desired SAT score.
One of the best kept secrets about succeeding in college is that it’s pretty simple: Show up.
Much like the director Woody Allen famously said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” In college that same rule applies. Show up to class. Show up to office hours. Show up to review sessions. Of course, this alone won’t guarantee you an A in organic chemistry, but it certainly goes a far way in advancing your cause.
Many students create their college list based on the US News & World Report rankings or Associated Press Football Bowl. However, students are much better served by reviewing colleges and considering other important factors that may not be as glamorous as school prestige. Here are three that are often forgotten but play a major role in your day-to-day life on campus:
The great leap is upon you! So far you have been a star pupil in High School and there is no reason to believe that college will be any different, right? Right?! You begin to panic in the way only the young have really mastered, imagining the hundreds of pages of reading you’ve heard about, the “weed out” classed where half the students fail, and distracting the frat parties, how can a person NOT fail in this crazy environment? This is an inevitable, and not wholly unproductive, question.
As a junior, you’re actually really well positioned to get a leg up on the college admissions process. You still have some time to complete your testing requirements and you can start to research colleges before the crunch of application season. Here are some things you can get started on right away:
As you are sitting and surfing through the seemingly infinite educational institutions to which you could send the credentials? It is easy to descend into a full-fledged panic attack. After all it’s only the ONE decision that will determine EVERY PROCEEDING MOMENT OF your LIFE. Take a breath, friend! This decision, like many others that determine your surroundings for a period of time, is important. But before you get so stressed you decide to ditch the whole process and start a new life for yourself in Malaysia (a tempting place to start a new life, take my word for it), ask yourself these questions and know that any experience is very much what you make of it.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, from 2001-2002 and 2011-2012, the cost of an undergraduate education at a public institution has risen 40% and 28% at a private institution. It’s no secret that the cost of higher education is going up and students and parents may be looking for colleges where you can get the most bang for your buck. Money magazine recently posted their annual rankings for the best colleges for your money. The top 10 colleges on the list are:
Most universities offer the opportunity to explore other countries. You may be hesitant to do so, but here are 9 reasons why you should take advantage of your college’s international student programs:
1. Experience new surroundings. If you’re like the great majority of undergraduates (or incoming undergraduates), you haven’t traveled much before, much less on your own. Far too many students never study abroad simply out of a fear of, or distaste for, intense unfamiliarity. Don’t be scared of the fact that you may not have done anything like this before; the study abroad program will help you adjust to your new surroundings, you can work with the students you travel with to learn new things together, and friends and family back home are just a phone call away. If you’re anything like the overwhelming majority of study abroad students I know, once you actually arrive, you’ll find it a lot more fun than daunting.
It’s no news that college is expensive. College finance considerations, however, go far beyond the simple price on a college’s website. Everyone’s financial situation is different, but every prospective freshman should know that in every case – advance planning is key. Here are some guidelines to consider before taking the plunge into your first year.
I came into college with no idea how to find or get involved in extracurriculars, nor did I have any mentors to help me through the process. This (and a general lack of preparedness for the less academic aspects of college life) meant that I didn’t become active in clubs and groups until my second semester of freshman year. While I’m very happy with the groups I’ve come to know and love–I spent two semesters in a hip-hop dance group, I am currently the president of a law club, and have edited for an undergraduate journal–I know I missed out on a lot of opportunities just because I didn’t have much time to explore college before my academic and career planning workload really kicked into high gear. Here are a few tips I wish I had known earlier in my college career.
Junior year can be challenging. Especially with the looming presence of standardized tests. For all those planning on taking the ACT, the first step towards success is simple: create a study timeline for your exam. Most students opt to take the ACT some time during their junior year. While test prep time will vary student to student, a good rule of thumb is to start preparing about 5-6 months in advance. Keep in mind that you may need to take the exam more than one time.
Once you have acquired the toolbox of skills and knowledge you need to do well on the ACT, there is one more valuable strategy to help you do well on test day: routine. Routine is one of the more underestimated elements of test-prep, but it can be a powerful aid in preparing for test day. Routine will help you conquer your nerves and walk into test day prepared and confident.
I have quite a number of friends who participated in The Gap Year, taking a break between high school and college. The results were mixed. As a graduating high school senior, I thought the idea of a gap year was ridiculous (why put off something I had been planning on doing since elementary school?) but now that I’m nearing graduation I see its value a lot more clearly. Here are a few things I wish I had considered three years ago.
Though my junior year was the most academically challenging of my high school experience, my senior year was easily the most stressful. Even though I only took three serious academic courses, none of which were particularly difficult, I found myself consistently swamped with work, short on sleep, and starved of social interaction. Between August and December, I applied to seventeen universities and twelve scholarships, wrote fifteen unique essays, took two SAT’s and three SAT II’s, spent hours with college counselors exploring financial aid options, and maintained straight A’s and a part-time job. The work was certainly worth it—I got more than 90% of my application fees waived, was accepted or waitlisted at 14 of the 17 colleges, and am now a UC Berkeley student studying on a full scholarship—but there are countless ways I could have spared myself unnecessary stress (and gotten a lot more sleep.) Here are a few of the things I’m glad I did (and a few I wish I had done) four years ago to prepare for application season.
Thanksgiving has come and gone, Winter Break is coming up. The semester has flown by with quizzes, tests, memorizing odd facts about Charlemagne and imaginary numbers. But before you can relax, you have to climb and conquer those treacherous peaks of your final examinations. Only then will you be able to rest and sleep long hours, forget about setting your alarm, and float into nothingness (with the exception of all that fun time hanging out with your friends and listening to Taylor Swift).
Oberlin College is a private liberal arts college in Ohio is a self-described “ideal laboratory in which to study and design the world we want.” From its beginnings in 1833, Oberlin has been a progressive school dedicated to social justice. Twenty years prior to the Civil War, Oberlin had already graduated the first black student to attend the College, George Vashon, who went on to be one of the founding professors of Howard University. They were the first college to admit students regardless of race in 1835, and the first to admit women in 1837. Oberlin’s abolitionist stance and active roles in both the Underground Railroad and the ensuing U.S. Civil War cannot be overstated. The College has remained committed to progressive causes throughout their history.
The Juilliard School was initially founded in 1905 as the Institute of Musical Art. By 1946 it had become the Juilliard School of Music, and included both undergraduate studies and a graduate program. Today, the school is named The Juilliard School (known informally simply as Juilliard) and includes music, dance, and drama curricula at both undergraduate and graduate levels. It is an urban school, located in New York City’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and trains just over 600 students. It reflects an exclusively artistic education where students specialize in their artistic major in combination with liberal arts.
Tufts University is located on a hill outside Medford, Massachusetts. This small suburban research university began in 1854 as a liberal arts college. In 1933, the University added Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, which was the first graduate school in the country for international affairs. Under the tenure of Tufts’ President, Jean Mayer, the college transformed into an elite research university. Today, Tufts boasts two undergraduate programs, the School of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Engineering, and eight graduate and professional schools in arts and sciences, engineering, veterinary medicine, dental medicine, international relations, nutrition science and policy, medicine, and biomedical sciences.
Bates College, a small liberal arts college located in Lewiston, Maine, it was founded in 1855 and was one of the most forward-thinking colleges of its time. It started out as a seminary and was a stop on the Underground Railroad; consequently, many of the first students were former slaves. Throughout time they have remained a diverse and inclusive school that promotes the importance of rigorous academia coupled with the betterment of oneself.
The College of William and Mary is located in Williamsburg, Virginia. For a small research university, they give new meaning to the phrase, don’t let the small size fool you. The second oldest college in the country, this school has a long history of packing a big punch. Graduates include sixteen signers of the Declaration of Independence, three U.S. Presidents, and a U.S. Supreme Court Justice; it has been dubbed “the alma mater of a nation.” Students at the College of William and Mary thrive in every area, from academics to athletics to the future prosperity of their students. If you are a person who finds mediocrity distasteful, then this public research university was created for you.
MIT is among the most prestigious colleges in the country. Students attending MIT will need to be driven and focused to tackle the academic requirements in any one of the five schools within this college. There are over 30 departments in the five schools, each with equal parts work and opportunity. MIT operates on a 4-1-4 academic calendar meaning a fall semester, a four week independent activities period in January, and finally a spring semester. The independent activities period is unique to MIT and gives students, staff, faculty, and even alumni the chance to sponsor, organize, and participate in various activities. This includes athletics, lecture series, films, tours, contests, how-to sessions, and forums among other things.
Wake Forest University, founded in 1834, is a private research university located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and sits on a 340-acre main campus three miles from downtown. The Winston-Salem college town is nestled at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is also a four-hour drive from welcoming North Carolina beaches. There’s a little bit of everything: mountains, Piedmont, beaches, and city, all in proximity to this suburban university.
Stanford University is one of the world’s most prestigious universities and serves over 7,000 undergraduate students and over 11,500 graduate students. This private research university, founded in 1885 was tuition free until the 1930s; recent years have shown the university going back to its roots and offering open access to select Stanford courses for online learners around the world.
Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university is located on a 36-acre campus in the Upper Manhattan neighborhood of New York City. Founded in 1754, Columbia is the oldest university in the state of New York and fifth oldest in the United States. The university has 20 schools and is affiliated with Barnard College, The Julliard School, and Union Theological Seminary. Beyond its NYC campuses, Columbia has Nevis Laboratories, a facility for experimental particle and nuclear physics, in Irvington, New York, and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York, a leading research institute in global sciences. It also has centers in Amman, Nairobi, Mumbai, Istanbul, Beijing, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, and Santiago. If that isn’t enough, Columbia has the distinction of administering the annual Pulitzer Prizes awarded in print and online journalism, literature, and musical composition.
Rhode Island School of Design is a small fine arts and design school located in Providence, Rhode Island and is the perfect college for those with creative flair. Students have the opportunity to receive bachelor’s and master’s degrees in over fifteen different majors. Unique opportunities like the European Honors Program offered to juniors and seniors, where they can study in Rome for half a year, make this school amazing. With its own museum, a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with Brown University, and an intriguing academic program, RISD creates the optimum environment for those who want to be in the fine arts, design, and architecture fields. At RISD the opportunities are endless and a great start to a promising future in the arts.
Georgetown University is the oldest Catholic university in the country. This private research university in the tony Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. was founded in 1789 by Bishop John Carroll, and is a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. Georgetown University is dedicated to a combination of faith, service, scholarship, and research to create the next generation of responsible and compassionate world citizens.
Thirteen is Colgate University’s lucky number. The story goes that in 1817 six clergymen and seven laymen, 13 in all, came together with 13 dollars, 13 books, and 13 prayers to form the Baptist Education Society, which wrote the 13 articles of the school’s original charter, hence Colgate’s love affair with the number 13. The school is situated on a 575 acre campus in rural Hamilton Village, NY, and has been recognized as among the most beautiful college campuses in the U.S. It has a strong commitment to sustainability with a goal of carbon neutrality by 2019.