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Direction and Determination: Keep Your Eye On the Prize

Direction and Determination: Keep Your Eye On the Prize

Teachers, students, parents, Buzzfeed, and Hollywood pretty much all agree: College is awesome.

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.

This is How You Can Be Successful on the ACT!

This is How You Can Be Successful on the ACT!

The following interview comes from Test Prep Store. Test Prep Store 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.

4 Considerations Before You Choose Your College Experience

4 Considerations Before You Choose Your College Experience

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.

This is How You Can Be Successful on the SAT!

This is How You Can Be Successful on the SAT!

The following interview comes from Test Prep Store. Test Prep Store 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.

Do AP Scores Really Matter When it Comes to College Admission?

Do AP Scores Really Matter When it Comes to College Admission?

One of the most common questions we get during our free college profile evaluations is “will my AP scores count?”  If you’ve done any research on the topic, you’ll find that the opinions are varied and there is no clear answer.  Veritas Prep breaks it down for you.

The Art of Showing Up

The Art of Showing Up

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.

College Considerations: Location, Location, Location

College Considerations: Location, Location, Location

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 High School Transition: 3 Tips for Success in College

The High School Transition: 3 Tips for Success in College

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.

Is College Really Worth the Investment?

Is College Really Worth the Investment?

As you’re starting your college research, you might be experiencing some sticker shock at the price tag on colleges across the nation.  Who has $50,000 to spend on a college education?  Are colleges really worth the financial investment?

I'm a High School Junior: What Should I Do Now for College Admission?

I'm a High School Junior: What Should I Do Now for College Admission?

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:

I'm A Senior: Is It Too Late to Apply To Colleges?

I'm A Senior: Is It Too Late to Apply To Colleges?

The rush of college admissions has started to wane and your peers may be awaiting their admissions decisions.  In the Fall, you had decided not to apply to a college, but now you’re having second thoughts.  Is it too late to apply?

How Do You Choose the Right University?

How Do You Choose the Right University?

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.

Low GPA? This Is How You Can Still Get into that Affordable College

Low GPA? This Is How You Can Still Get into that Affordable College

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:

9 Reasons Why You Should Study Abroad

9 Reasons Why You Should Study Abroad

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.

Paying for College: Beyond the Numbers

Paying for College: Beyond the Numbers

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.

College Life: Getting Involved in Extracurriculars On Campus

College Life: Getting Involved in Extracurriculars On Campus

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.

Mind The Gap Year: 6 Considerations for a High School Senior

Mind The Gap Year: 6 Considerations for a High School Senior

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.

Making the Best of Application Season: A Guide for High School Juniors

Making the Best of Application Season: A Guide for High School Juniors

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.

Get Creative on Your College Essay: Part 4

Get Creative on Your College Essay: Part 4

Let’s get back to getting creative on your college essay. First take a look at Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this blog series. Once you have brainstormed, refined your ideas, and finally gotten them down on the page, the most taxing part of the creative process is arguably behind you. No longer must you stare into the infinite void of a blank page. However, the fun doesn’t end with the first draft.

Get Creative on Your College Essay: Part 3

Get Creative on Your College Essay: Part 3

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, I have guided you on how to structure your creative college essay and where you could look for stylistic inspiration. However, by its very definition, the college essay is a personal response to the most common interview question, “Why don’t you tell me about yourself?”

Get Creative on Your College Essay: Part 2

Get Creative on Your College Essay: Part 2

In Part 1 of this series we looked at what makes for a good structure for a college essay. More specifically, we discussed that it won’t look like your typical high school expository essay. Even the most well structured college essay is ineffective without an idea to work with when molding your statement.

Get Creative on Your College Essay: Part 1

Get Creative on Your College Essay: Part 1

Unlike the essay prompt that resides at the start of the SAT Reasoning Test, the “personal statement” essay you will write for college admissions require a considerable amount of creativity. The template-based, mechanically structured essay that impresses SAT graders won’t fare so well in the eyes of an admissions committee, particularly at more selective colleges.

5 Things You Need to Know About the ACT

5 Things You Need to Know About the ACT

Of all of the decisions facing hopeful college applicants, the choice between admissions tests can be one of the most confusing. Should you take the SAT or the ACT? Do you need to take the ACT Writing Test? Will colleges think less of you if you submit scores from one test or the other? This quick guide provides an overview to understand the ACT.

5 Tips for Requesting Teacher Recommendations

5 Tips for Requesting Teacher Recommendations

Colleges judge applicants by pouring over a variety of materials, from test scores and grades to personal statements and a list of extracurriculars. One component of the application, however, can seem particularly nebulous and perhaps beyond the control of students: The teacher recommendations.

Should You Go In-State or Out-of-State for College?

Should You Go In-State or Out-of-State for College?

Choosing which university to attend is one of the first big decisions you’ll make as you move into adulthood. Depending on the institution and location, substantial costs could be involved that impact you and your family’s future. Fortunately, you have literally thousands of options across the United States. One of the first choices to consider is whether an in-state or out-of-state university is for you. It’s not an easy decision, since there is so much more to it than simply cost and location… There are many factors to consider!

Get Your “ACT” Together: Understanding the ACT

Get Your “ACT” Together: Understanding the ACT

The ACT is the most popular college admission test taken by students. Doing well on the ACT can get you into the college of your choice, expands your choice of colleges and may also land you more scholarships. Because your performance in the ACT is crucial to your future, you need to be fully prepared before taking the test.

New SAT Coming in 2016: What Will Change?

New SAT Coming in 2016: What Will Change?

Today the College Board, the organization behind the SAT, announced sweeping changes to the standardized exam that will launch in the spring of 2016. As College Board president David Coleman promised last year when he announced that a new SAT was coming, the changes are meant to make the SAT less “coachable” and to make it more relevant to what is taught in high school classrooms. The changes also make the SAT much more like the ACT (the SAT’s chief competitor), although you won’t see any mention of that in the College Board’s publicity announcements for the new SAT.

Biggest Discounts of the Year on GMAT & SAT Prep and MBA & College Admissions Consulting Services!

Biggest Discounts of the Year on GMAT & SAT Prep and MBA & College Admissions Consulting Services!

Here at Veritas Prep, we have a long list of reasons to be thankful this year!  From our students, to our incredible teachers and admissions consultants, it’s truly been an amazing year.

We are excited to announce that starting today through Monday, December 2nd we are making available our biggest discounts of the year on all of our services (discounts on MBA admissions consulting services will be available through  Wednesday, December 4)! Whether you are trying to hit Round 2 business school deadlines or are planning on taking the SAT next year, make sure to take a look at our discounts and register before these prices are no longer available.

Is Your Facebook Profile Part of Your College Application?

Is Your Facebook Profile Part of Your College Application?

Do college admissions officers look at your Facebook page and Twitter posts?  The short answer is a resounding “Yes.” It may be a surprise to find out who views your social media pages, and how your posted information can change their mind about you, so be careful when posting personal information.

Filed in: College Admissions
3 Reasons to Take AP Courses in High School

3 Reasons to Take AP Courses in High School

Once upon a time, high school junior Michelle, in preparation to apply to competitive colleges, enrolled in AP Biology. In her AP Bio course, Michelle studied concepts involving evolution, cellular processes, genetics and how biological systems interact – all at a college level. She also developed better reasoning skills in order to analyze data and think more like a scientist. The following Spring, Michelle took the 3-hour AP Bio Exam and scored a 5, the highest score possible. She mastered the content, received college credit and was able to skip Introductory Bio once she was admitted into her top-choice college.

Filed in: College Admissions
Using Early Admissions Programs for College Application Success

Using Early Admissions Programs for College Application Success

College admissions season is in full swing now that we’re in the fall.  This can be one of the most stressful times for a high school student as well as for hopeful parents who want to see their kids go to great colleges and universities.  To make matters worse, the admissions process and landscape can be very tough to navigate and students and parents are not always fully-informed of all the options and strategies available to them to give students an edge in the admissions process.  One especially confusing aspect is early admissions programs.

Filed in: College Admissions
5 Ways to Avoid the Freshman Credit Card Crunch

5 Ways to Avoid the Freshman Credit Card Crunch

If you’re using a credit card to pay for your college application fees, and will have to borrow a significant amount of money during your undergrad years, it’s important to start developing good money management skills now so you can avoid the “credit card crunch” that plagues many students when they first leave home.

Filed in: College Admissions, SAT
Top 5 Handles to Follow on Twitter for SAT Prep

Top 5 Handles to Follow on Twitter for SAT Prep

Can’t get away from your Facebook or Twitter accounts? Using social media in your SAT prep is a great way to meet other students and take advantage of resources beyond the Official Guide. Follow these Twitter users to supplement your SAT practice!

To keep all of your SAT and college related tweets in one place, you can create a specific list for these handles so you aren’t distracted by your friend’s updates while you’re solving the free question of the day.

Filed in: College Admissions, SAT
Find Financial Aid for College

Find Financial Aid for College

Finding financial aid for college is one of the most important, but also most difficult tasks for parents and students as they go through the process of applying for higher education. To learn where to obtain college funding, it’s very important to look at each of the programs offered by the various players in the financial aid arena. Each player has advantages and disadvantages, and most people will want to consider more than one source of funding.

Filed in: College Admissions, SAT
5 Tips to Approaching Extracurricular Activities in High School

5 Tips to Approaching Extracurricular Activities in High School

Extracurricular activities are a crucial part of the college application process that students need to think about well before their senior year of high school. Unfortunately, most students don’t realize how important extracurricular activities are until they start filling out their college applications. Don’t let that be you! Here are 5 tips to approaching extracurricular activities:

Filed in: College Admissions, SAT
U.S. News College Rankings for 2014

U.S. News College Rankings for 2014

U.S. News has just released its ranking of top American colleges an universities for 2014. (It’s like model years on cars… Next year, in 2014, they will release the 2015 rankings.) There has been some movement, though not a lot of it, among the top 25 schools. Although this happens every year, we got a chuckle from each of these “top 25″ lists, neither of which is actually 25 schools long. We guess it’s just hard to choose sometimes.

Filed in: College Admissions
Common Application Pros and Cons for 2013-2014

Common Application Pros and Cons for 2013-2014

So it’s time to apply to college – no, it’s time to apply to colleges – as in like 7+ schools.  The exciting prospects of getting into college, living away from your parents, partying like a rock star and of course maybe one day having a job are currently being overshadowed by the arduous tasks of writing admissions essays, filling out applications, requesting letters of recommendations, taking standardized tests and breaking up with your high school sweetheart.  So much to do!

Filed in: College Admissions, SAT
4 Tips to Get Financial Aid for College

4 Tips to Get Financial Aid for College

Unless you (or your parents) happen to be Warren Buffet or related to Bill Gates, you’ll probably be spending a good chunk of time your junior and senior years looking for financial aid for college. Here’s a few quick steps to jump-start your plan!

1.     Negotiate.

Filed in: College Admissions, SAT
Common Application Essay Advice for 2013-2014

Common Application Essay Advice for 2013-2014

When the new Common Application essay questions were released back in February, we gave students some high-level advice on how to tackle the essays. Now that we have had even more time to think about the essay prompts, we’re back with some more advice on what you can do to ace the essays and maximize your chances of college admissions success.

Filed in: College Admissions
Forbes Magazine Releases Top 25 Public Colleges List

Forbes Magazine Releases Top 25 Public Colleges List

As part of its annual ranking of colleges, Forbes released its list of the top 25 public colleges in America – a list that holds particular significance here at Veritas Prep headquarters with so many staffers’ alma maters making the list. Why is this list important for you? If you happen to have access to one of these schools with free or government-sponsored tuition rates – as an appointee to a military academy or as an in-state student to another school on the list – you’re eligible to receive an elite education at a massive discount. And even independent of a discount, these schools rank among the best available anywhere. Without further ado, the list:

Filed in: College Admissions, SAT