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The Junior Year: What to Do to Prepare for College

Posted by Manuel Fabriquer on Tue, May 3, 2016 @ 10:37 PM


Think preparation for college is just for senior year? Think again! If you’re in you’re junior year in high school, NOW is the time to begin getting ready for college. What you do this year will help pave the way for a smooth, stress-free senior year. Best of all? Planning early ensures you have the free time to enjoy your final year of high school to its fullest.

Start Thinking Seriously About What You Will Study

While many colleges don’t make you declare a major right away, it is still the best use of your higher education to go in with a long-range plan in mind. It is totally okay if that changes during college, and in fact, a large percentage of students switch majors at some point. What matters is that you are continually working towards a goal.

During junior year, start researching possible majors and fields of study. Take a look at what careers are obtained by people with various degrees. If you feel totally at a loss, there are many websites which offer free and simple assessment tools to help you determine which careers match your interests and talents.

Register and Take the PSAT and SAT

While taking another test probably doesn’t sound like much fun, the PSAT will help prepare you for the SAT. By the time you take the SAT, you’ll feel even more confident in your knowledge and you’re sure to do great. As an added bonus, taking the PSAT allows you to be considered for the National Merit Scholarship program, which could earn you valuable funds for college.

Most juniors take the SAT in the spring, so begin registering and preparing now for this important exam.

Gather, Gather, Gather

Junior year is the ideal time to gather information. Since you still have plenty of time to decide upon your final college choice, now is the time to weigh your options. Attend college fairs, send away for materials, research university websites, and talk to your guidance counselor. As well, talk to your parents about your expectations for schools. Will you stay close to home? What are the financial considerations? You can begin making lists of colleges that appeal to you. By the end of junior year, you may have it narrowed down so that you can start planning college visits next summer and fall.

Apply for Scholarships

Senior year is not the only time to you can be eligible to earn money for college. There are scholarships for juniors as well. Apply to these this year, as well as search for possible opportunities for the next year. You’ll be one step ahead of the game and you’ll know exactly what is required.

Keep Up Your Grades

When you begin applying to colleges next fall, schools will be looking at your transcript. At the time of your application, what will most likely be at the top of your transcript are your grades from your junior year. That makes this a really important time to stay on your game. Keep at the books, make sure you’re on track for graduation, and it will all pay off in just another year.


Tags: strategies for college, Undergraduate, college planning, College Planning News, Manuel Fabriquer

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 Summer Before College: What You Should Do

Posted by Manuel Fabriquer on Wed, Jun 10, 2015 @ 10:04 AM

Before College 

Over the next few weeks, high school will be wrapping up for seniors all across the country. This can be a bittersweet time, as students leave the halls where they’ve spent 4 years to move on to bigger and better things. With summer on the horizon, you’ve completed your applications, been accepted by your university, and have submitted your deposit. All that stands between you and the college life is 3 blissful months, right?

 Well, that is mostly true. College is going to be a wonderful experience and you should fill these summer days of freedom with lots of fun and memories. At the same time, there are several vital things not to neglect during those sunny days. Here are a few important details to keep track of and tasks to get done before you begin your journey through higher education. 

Register for classes

Over the summer, you’ll start growing more integrated into your college or university. You’ll receive your student email, be invited to orientation, and will have access to your course catalog. Now the fun begins! Choosing classes can be really enjoyable. You get to select the courses you’re excited about taking and you have the ability to fully design your academic schedule. When you’ve decided on your courses and laid out a schedule, register as soon as possible. Freshman courses often fill up quickly (particularly the classes that don’t start at 8am!) and you’ll want your pick of the litter.

Purchase textbooks

Although it isn’t absolutely necessary to purchase your textbooks prior to arriving on campus, doing so can help you avoid the stress of buying them your first week of classes. Shopping online rather than at your college bookstore can also save you a great deal of money. Check out, eBay’s spot for used and discounted textbooks.

Shop for your dorm

Now is your chance to release the interior designer within. If you’re living in the campus dorms, your room will be your cozy home for the next year. You want it to feel comfortable, homey, and organized. In addition to bedding, lamps, trash cans, laundry baskets, office supplies, and more, you may want to consider space-saving options like beneath-the-bed storage boxes or bed risers to give you even more room to store your stuff. Target is a wonderful one-stop-shop for dorm goodies. 

Research career options if you haven’t settled on a major (or even if you have).

Summertime gives you plenty of lazy hours to sunbathe, read, swim, play, and think. In between your diversions, take some time to consider your future career path. If you haven’t chosen a major yet, no need to worry. Many schools don’t require you to declare a major in your first year. If you’re undecided, start researching careers and see what draws you. This is a great thing to do before registering for classes, as you might want to select a range of classes to sample your interests.

Discuss a budget with your family 

Before heading off into the great wide world, it’s important to sit down with your parents and discuss your college budget. How much will they provide for you each month? Are there restrictions on what you can and cannot purchase? It’s necessary to be upfront about these things from the start, to ensure potential issues don’t occur. 

Learn how to do laundry and cook simple meals 

If you’re heading away to college, your parents won’t be around to cook your meals or clean your clothes. Learn to do laundry the right way before you come face to face with a confusing, coin-operated washing machine.

You may be planning to get most of your food from your university dining hall, but if you’ve got a kitchen in your dorm or apartment, you’ll want to learn to prepare some basic meals. Ask your mom to teach you some of your favorite recipes. This means you can also create the taste of a home-cooked meal when you’re in need of a little comfort.

Now, bearing these tips in mind, go forth and have a super fantastic summer! 

Tags: strategies for college, college planning abc, Undergraduate, College Planning News, cost of attending college, Manuel Fabriquer, College Admissions, attending college

UC Admissions for California Residents Just Got Harder

Posted by Manuel Fabriquer on Thu, Apr 26, 2012 @ 12:32 PM


For some time I have been telling my clients how the competition to get into one of the UC Berkely libraryUniversity of California campuses would be get harder due to the state budget cuts.   Now this fact is being fully disclosed by university officials.

Let me take a moment and explain why this is the case.   Simply put, out of state and international students pay more.   

Now university officials have publicly admitted that 23% of those students admitted this year were out of state and international students who pay nearly three times more than California residents to attend

So you can understand  how  the UC system is now looking towards out of state and international students to help bridge the financial gap left by recent budget cuts.

Although the UC system accepted a record 80,289 freshmen there was a decrease of 4% of California residents that were accepted.  The university further stated that competition keeps getting stiffer for California residents stating that the admission rate for California residents dropped from 69.7% last year to 65.8% this year.

What Does this All Mean?

It is obvious that this trend will only increase in the years to come. The UC system will continue to increase the number of out of state and international students they accept.   We all understand the state’s budget problems are nowhere near being solved, and this means there will be additional budget cuts affecting all sectors of the state in the years to come.

One thing is for sure, parents and students cannot simply expect to apply and be accepted.  Those days are long gone.  Today, it is extremely important that your student have a plan and a proven strategy for applying to these universities.  There are a host of small, but very important issues that every student applying must know.  Many of these strategies are not known by the average college counselor.  So, it is important that your arm with the latest and most accurate information before applying.

Let me help you by inviting you to attend our next FREE college planning workshop.  At this college planning workshop I will cover many key items you need to know to give you the advantage when applying to a top university.  

Click me

Tags: Undergraduate, UC, California Residents, college applications, College Admissions, College Enrollment, University of California