Information about Reed College, career training programs, and sample multiple-choice tests. Browse a practical guide to online classes, MOOCs, admissions info, and financial aid. Depending on the schools you're applying to, the admissions process can range from a simple formula that weighs grades and test scores, to a subjective review of your whole application. There are over 6,500 accredited colleges and universities in the United States, which collectively enroll over 15 million students, granting
two million bachelors degrees a year. In some instances, colleges may spot-check admissions applications for accuracy, such as requiring proof of an extracurricular activity or a summer internship. It's optimal to attempt the hardest courses that your high school offers, and the worst thing you can do is to drop a hard course just because you're receiving a low grade.
The US News & World Report college ranking methodology has changed many times, and is not made available to public scrutiny. About half of colleges use a waiting list, particularly those which are more selective. One survey suggests that 30% of wait-listed students are eventually accepted, so applicants who are wait-listed should contact the admissions office of their top choice by phone, to declare that they will attend if accepted. Many community colleges have agreements with four-year schools, particularly flagship state universities, so that the transfer of credits is handled smoothly.
Test Prep, Sample Practice Tests
Most colleges accept either the SAT or ACT, and have formulas for converting scores into admissions' criteria. Colleges use these standardized tests because there are substantial differences in curricula, grading, and difficulty among US high schools. One benefit of the ACT test is that it allows the test-taker to select scores to send to specific colleges. The SAT test has a separate vocabulary section while the ACT has a separate science reasoning section. Counselors suggest that students practice taking the test under actual testing conditions, and using a large watch with a sweeping second hand, rather than a digital display which may distract you.
On average, over half of juniors retaking the SAT as a senior saw improvements in their scores. These tests are designed to measure your accumulated knowledge over years of study. Further, Advanced Placement exams are offered in a variety of physical sciences, offering you college credit for honors-level classes that you have taken while still in high school. Test yourself
with practice exams online, before visiting the College Board website to register to take your actual AP Tests. If you earn a score of 3 or higher on an AP Exam, you may be able to receive course credits or advanced placement, when you start college.
The College Admissions Essay
Admissions essays are becoming more important as a way to judge a student's potential, and essays largely have replaced personal interviews in the digital age. It's a good idea to rewrite your college application essay as many times as you feel is needed, and have several other people that you trust read it over. Essays must demonstrate intellectual curiosity, maturity, social conscience, and concern for the community. Applicants should show that they've been actively involved on campus and not just studying all the time.
The admissions essay
topic should be something the applicant cares about, and which shows leadership in the sense of asserting yourself in the service of others. The best essay topics are a slice-of-life story, with poignant details, in which the writer shows what has been accomplished, and does not brag. There should be no spelling, grammar or punctuation errors in your college essay. Moreover, even if an application says that the essay is optional, you still should treat it as a mandatory requirement.
Financial Aid Information
Academic scholarships are highly competitive, and are usually awarded either by the admissions office, or individual academic departments. The earliest that the FAFSA form can be filled out is January of a student's senior year. In contrast, the CSS Profile can be filled out during the preceding
fall. Student loans often carry an origination fee. Origination fees are a one-time charge based on the amount of the loan.
Federal Direct Student Loans, also known as Direct Loans, are funded by the US Treasury. Private student loans, however, are not guaranteed, and are offered directly to
students by a commercial bank, employee credit union, or finance company. Student loans should be seen as 'the measure of last resort,' as this entails graduating with substantial debt. Student credit cards
may seem like a good short-term solution, but the interest rates are high, and credit
cards often carry an annual fee. If you do end up using credit cards to meet some expenses, pay off the outstanding balance in full every month. You can get a credit report online by
submitting a student credit card application, whether you are approved or not.
Scholarship Search, Government GrantsFastWeb.com
is one of the leading scholarship services online. Both county and city governments have dedicated financial resources allocated for grants and scholarships to qualified students in their areas. Many non-profit organizations have founded scholarships for prospective students. Average students often ask whether there are any scholarships available to students who don't have a 4.0 GPA. In fact, there are many scholarships for average students, such as
athletic scholarships, music scholarships, and need-based scholarships.
Financial Aid Loan Calulators:
Government scholarships and grants, combined with private scholarships, only account for a third of total college aid. Loans, earnings, and savings make up the remaining two thirds. In
exchange for a service commitment, the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program provides you with money for college while you're in school. Full ROTC scholarships pay for almost
all tuition, fees, and textbook costs for four years of college. Call 1-800-USA-ROTC Army for more information. While federal student loans can be discharged for total and permanent disability, private student loans cannot be discharged outside of bankruptcy. Please note that financial aid application deadlines are strictly enforced by the financial aid office. The official FAFSA website is www.fafsa.ed.gov
and is free. Copycat websites mimic the FAFSA website, but are deliberately misleading. A wealth of other financial aid forms are now available online.
Reduce Tuition Expenses via Online Courses
Finishing college a year early reduces your overall tuition bill, while taking extra years to complete your
degree compounds tuition expenses, and delays entry into the workforce. To accomplish this end, look for online courses that may be applied to your degree requirements. Although the cost of tuition is rising for most 4-year colleges and universities, community colleges and trade schools remain an affordable option for those looking to earn an associates degree. The average community college student graduates with only a few thousand dollars in debt, compared to bachelors degree
graduates. Beyond the cost of college tuition, students will face an array of additional expenses. Taking on work-study or starting an online business
Doing business online is a great option to supplement your income while still a student. By registering a domain name, pointing the name servers to your hosting company, then building an active website in HTML or via a WordPress template, you're in the game. Similar to magazine page layout, website design
includes the fields of graphic design, copywriting, and search engine optimization (SEO). Success is governed by two factors, visitor traffic and online sales conversions. Technical training programs are a low-cost alternative to attending college, and you might end up earning a lot of money as a highly-skilled, technical consultant.
Which degrees will give you the best chances of landing a job after you graduate? Computer programming, business administration, and health care are
among the fastest-growing job areas, according to The US Department of Labor. Whether an online business
or a real world storefront, owning your own business can be a pathway to success. You'll need some starting capital to survive your first year in business, typically relying on savings equal to six months of rent. Write a business plan that lists your objective as well as a total of your anticipated start-up costs. Then, double that estimate, and you'll get an idea of how much money you'd need to have a chance of starting your own business.
Your business plan
is a snapshot of your business profile and financial goals. The company description provides information on what you do, what differentiates your business from others, and the markets your business serves. Before launching your business, it is essential for you to research your business industry, market and competitors. If you need funding, providing financial projections to back up your request is critical. Please visit the Small Business Administration website, to find more information about starting a business.
Athletic Training Exercises
In the weight room, don't be fooled by players who are always pumping iron. It takes a lot more than big muscles to
succeed in college sports. Players are becoming more agile, and developing superior game skills every year. You need to develop muscle strength as well, it's true, but your primary focus in
weight training should be to use the equipment to help you develop strength along a natural range of motion. A few simple exercises done right can replace thousands of dollars of weight-room equipment.
Track stars have revealed the secret to developing running speed. By taking deep breaths, and building up the supply of oxygen in your blood, you can prevent muscle cramps. As lactic acid builds up, and muscle fatigue sets in, untrained players think they've reached their limit. Track stars, and well-coached basketball teams, train by sprinting short
distances, over and over. It's not fun, but it works. After a few months of training, the lungs begin to process oxygen more efficiently, and players find that they can run long distances non-
stop, or sprint for a longer period of time. To improve your endurance for long-distance running, drag a small car tire behind you, tied onto a long rope around your waist.