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Summer: A Great Opportunity for College Visits

Posted by Manuel Fabriquer on Tue, Jun 23, 2015 @ 9:17 PM

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If you’re a rising junior, senior, or ambitious high school underclassman, you may be considering college visits over the next several months. While you might decide touring in the autumn is a better option (classes fully in session), there are a number of advantages to touring in the summer season.

You can completely focus on your visit.

Visiting in the summer allows you to absorb the experience distraction free. If you wait to visit once school has started, you’ll be dealing with homework, exams, college applications, extracurricular activities, and more. Your focus may wander a bit with so much on your mind. Yet if you visit during your break, you can explore the campus unencumbered.

The university campus will be less crowded.

In the summertime, colleges quiet down quite a bit. If you’re looking to get the real student experience, visiting when the semester’s in session might be preferable. However, in the summer, you can wander the buildings and grounds with no one in your way. This could be advantageous to exploring a place more deeply.

You can have a more personalized visit.

Most colleges still offer official tours throughout the summer months, yet chances are you might be the only family signed up. This can be a real benefit to you. Tour guides are almost always students, and with their full attention, you can ask all the burning questions you have about majors, dorms, or even the social scene. The tour guide can also take a longer time with you and take you to the precise campus locations you most want to see.

You may be able to have conversations with professors or administrators.

Though many professors spend summers away from their institutions, you may be lucky enough to find a few on campus during a summertime visit. If so, you could have the opportunity to speak with them about courses, programs, and more. At certain colleges, you may even be able to have an official interview during your visit. This can help showcase your interest in a school and get your name somewhat “known” amongst administrators.

Summertime college visits could be part of your vacation.

If your family was planning on a summer trip, why not throw a college visit into the itinerary? This is a fantastic idea, particularly if your dream school is fairly far from your hometown. Bring along the whole family, and make a holiday of it. As a bonus, you’ll get to more deeply experience the town or city the college is located within, and you’ll be able to spend a longer time period checking the place out.

Make sure to call ahead.

If you do choose to plan a college visit during the summertime, be sure and contact the school’s admission department directly. Often, schedules can vary in the summer, so you want to be sure someone will be there to greet you and give you a tour. Otherwise, you may end up knocking on a locked door.

Have you visited universities during the summer months? Any tips for making it a great experience? Let us know in the comments below!

Tags: college planning abc, Undergraduate, college planning, Manuel Fabriquer, College Admissions, attending college, getting a college degree, High school sophomores

The SAT: Out with the Old and In with the New

Posted by Manuel Fabriquer on Fri, May 9, 2014 @ 7:33 PM
Redesigning the SAT CollegeBoardRecently, the College Board announced that a new and redesigned version of the SAT exam would go into effect in 2016. In an attempt to level, what some had argued, an unfair playing field, the new exam will do away with certain components. This includes:
  • Essay: The new exam will include an essay section that is purely optional. While most students are used to the required essay that is timed at 25 minutes, the new essay will clock in at 50 minutes. The designers are hoping that this change will give students ample time to analyze the structure and content of a written work. The optional essay will also mean that the grading scale will change from 0-2400 to 0-1600.
  • Redesigning the SATObscure Vocabulary: The old test was replete with words like ‘tergiversate’ and ‘phlegmatic,’ leading many long-suffering high school students to memorize words that they would never use in any practical context. The revamped exam promises to test students on vocabulary that would be widely used in college and beyond.
  • Selective Use of a Calculator: While the calculator was always a welcome presence during the math section, the new exam will only allow the use of a calculator for certain subsections. In doing so, the test will measure the student’s mathematical fluency without the added support that calculators often provide.
  • Fill in the Blank: Also known as “sentence completion,” will be dropped in lieu of more textual analysis on subjects such as science, history and social studies. The texts will often be authored by important historical figures such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln. This section will focus more on the student’s ability to analyze different styles of writing and to pinpoint the author’s intent.
Like it or not, change is on its way, and it is important for parents of high school freshmen or longer to be prepared for the new testing format. Although it remains to be seen as to whether the new exam will spur greater accessibility to higher education, the benchmark status of the SAT and ACT is here to stay.

Tags: strategies for college, college applications, SATs, college admission essay, admission essays, High school sophomores

5 Smart Things High School Sophomores Can Do To Prepare For College

Posted by Manuel Fabriquer on Tue, May 22, 2012 @ 3:55 PM

walking the campus

As summer approaches high school freshman will now transition into becoming high school sophomores. This also signals the beginning of serious college planning for these students.   In this article we will   take a quick look at some simple steps your sophomore can begin to do to prepare for the college planning process this summer.

Do Some Research

The summer is a great time for sophomores to begin doing an overview look at some of the colleges they may be interested in.  Any local bookstore will carry books like, “The Princeton Review’s Best 365 Colleges”.  It is important to remember that this book is a basic overview and does not include a lot of schools.  Yet, it is a good starting point.

Go Online

It is always a good idea to get an opinion of a particular school from someone who has attended.  So, check out  these two websites: Unigo.com and collegeprowler.com to obtain some insider insights. 

Next, you will like to take a look at Cappex.com and Zinch.com.  Both of these sites will provide you with information about various schools and scholarships.

Finally, why not take a virtual tour of some schools by visiting youniversitytv.com.  Here your student can take a tour of some colleges just to get a feel of what it is like.

Go Visit Some Colleges

There is nothing better than having the opportunity to walk a campus and see for yourself what it is like.  Aside, from getting a better understanding of the layout and size of the campus, these trips do inspire students to push ahead.

Take the PSAT and SAT Subject Tests

This October plan to have your student take the PSAT.  Although, typically juniors take this exam, the test can provide your student with an idea of how they will do on the SAT.  The results from the exam will allow your student to strengthen any weak areas before they have to sit for the SAT.

Some colleges require SAT subject tests.  These tests are available in course such as: U.S. History, Chemistry, Math, foreign languages, and Biology.  The best time to take these tests is right after your student has completed the subject in their high school course.  In this way the material will be fresh in their mind and the preparation is lessened. So, if your student has completed one of these subject matters, it may be a good time to use the summer to prepare and take the SAT subject test.

These are only a few simple things any sophomore student contemplating attending college can do during the summer.   In the arena of college planning being proactive is key to getting into the college of your dreams.   The biggest problems and hurdles student s encounter when applying to get into college occur when families and students leave everything to the last moment.

In my workshops we go cover the more sophisticated techniques and strategies that are designed not only to get your student into the college of their dreams, but also decrease the cost of attending.   Please check out the link below and accept my personal invitation to attend the next workshop.  You will be glad you did.

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Tags: college planning, Manuel Fabriquer, College Admissions, attending college, High school sophomores