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Senior students (class of 2014)! Get a head start on your college applications! Attend CLC College Prep’s App Camp and walk away with a college list, application essays, resume and more! This camp is designed for students who want to knock out as much as possible in a short amount of time, and be months ahead of their peers in the college application process.
After completing App Camp, students will:
- Better understand the college admission process and how applications are evaluated
- Receive feedback on “good fit” colleges and their chances for admission
- Brainstorm, write, and edit a personal statement/essay that can be used with a variety of applications.
- Develop a student resume
- Create a personalized request for recommendation letters
- Complete Apply Texas Application with short answer questions
- Plan and prepare for campus visits
When: August 5th-9th, 1-5pm
September and October present many opportunities for attending college fairs in your area. College fairs have the potential to be very informative and helpful, but they can also be quite overwhelming for first-time attendees. Most fairs have hundreds of college representatives present and available for students to speak with. Most also offer opportunities for families to attend informational sessions on topics like financial aid and scholarships. Given the large amount of information and the sheer volume of people in attendance, fairs can be overwhelming without a well-thought game plan in place. To be sure you come away from a college fair with the information and experience you want, consider these simple tips to navigate a college fair successfully:
First of all, plan ahead and do some research. Many national and regional organizations hold college fairs at local civic centers, universities or large high schools. Begin your college fair prep by looking up fairs in your area through the NACAC website. You can also check out Christian college fairs at the NACCAP website. Once you know the date and location for the fair in your area, consider the schools that will be in attendance and the information sessions that will be offered. From there, pick out 20-25 schools from whom you would like get information and number them in order of importance. Bring this list with you to the college fair!
Show up on time. A major mistake that many students and families make is not showing up on time. True, the college fair is a come-and-go affair; you certainly don’t have to stay longer than you please and you aren’t required to show up at a certain time. However, if at all possible, be there when the doors open. The first hour of the fair will have the least amount of students present, and you’ll have the most opportunity to visit with college reps that you’ve planned to see. Also, if you attend a very large fair, use a map to navigate your way. Don’t walk aimlessly though the building trying to find schools you’re interested in; this will waste valuable time and will likely be frustrating (especially when you’re working your way through crowds of people).
Bring along a friend or parent. College fairs are not the place to show how cool you are, so don’t worry about bringing along mom or dad. If mom or dad are unavailable, bring along a friend or older sibling, grandparent, etc. Just remember, the idea is that they are there to help you, not distract you. You will be collecting a lot of information; having another person to help absorb all the knowledge and ask additional questions will be valuable. More importantly, it’s less intimidating to attend large events of with another person.
Make a positive first impression. Introduce yourself to college reps. Don't be shy because they want to meet you. Something like, "hi, I'm Calli. I'm a sophomore at Lubbock High School and would like to know more about your university" is a good way to start a conversation.
Prepare questions for each college rep ahead of time. This is very, very important and could probably be added to the first tip because it does require some planning. As you decide the schools that you are certain you want to visit, come up with 1-3 questions directly pertaining to each school. You can ask about specific admission requirements, campus culture, financial aid options, etc. You’ll be thankful if you’ve thought through these questions beforehand. I always encourage students to bring along a notepad and pen or ipad/tablet to take notes. Your parent or friend/sibling can help with this part, too.
Continue your research and build on your knowledge. If you find yourself running out of time and not able to visit all the schools you planned, don’t panic. Keep in mind that the web is a great resource and most school reps are happy to talk with students over the phone or online. Following up with a school is easy to do, regardless of whether or not you have a chance to speak with the rep at the fair. Continue your research, and most importantly, remember that campus visits are the best way to get your questions answered.
Summer is right around the corner and most families are solidifying their summer vacation plans and looking forward to a little break from the school routine. While this is all good, I also encourage students to think about building their college profile over the summer. The next few months are a perfect opportunity to take advantage of some free time and develop your leadership, academic, athletic, and social skills. The truth is, most colleges are looking for students who have participated in a variety of extracurricular activities throughout their high school career. While it can be easy to focus on just one or two areas of strength, I push my students to participate in a range of activities that will stretch them as individuals and show colleges that they are well-rounded.
So, rather than sitting at home on facebook all day this coming summer or sleeping every single day until noon, consider participating in enrichment activities that will help build your student profile and resume. Students who participate in summer enrichment programs through their high school career are more likely to increase their chance for college admission. You don't have to necessarily participate in elaborate activities, though you can if you'd like; even simple activities can be of benefit through the college admission process. Here are a few summer enrichment ideas to consider:
- Volunteer. Give your time to a local library, food bank, homeless shelter or other community organization a few times a week. The simple act of volunteering can say a lot about you as a person. By giving 5-10 hours per week, you can help local organizations better serve the community you live in. If you’re interested in volunteer work beyond your local community, there are hundreds of organizations that host high school students each summer. Joining a mission trip through your school or church is a great way to give your time, as well. Whether you participate in volunteer work in your own backyard or across the sea, it's good for you and it's good for others.
- Get an Internship. There is absolutely nothing wrong with working in a coffee shop or babysitting for a summer job, but think about taking a job or internship in an area that you're possibly interested in pursuing as a career someday. Work at a law office, a local news station, or at a doctor's office. Even if you only file papers for the summer, you're still getting great exposure to the career field and learning valuable tools for your future.
- Go to College. Yes, you read that correctly! Consider taking an online class (or two) through a community or four-year college to gain credit and possibly satisfy one of your high school or college class requirements. Many colleges offer summer class options online and most are available to high school students. Not only will taking a course expose you to a college learning environment, but it will also benefit you as you begin your freshman year on a college campus.
- Join a Summer Campus Program. There are hundreds of college campuses across the country that provide summer programs for high school students. Most programs run anywhere from two weeks to six weeks and allow students to live in supervised dorms and participate in special activities and seminars designed especially for high school students. This kind of program will give you the chance to meet students with similar interests, from various backgrounds, and from locations all over the world. As a bonus, you'll learn directly from college professors and get a good feel for what it's like to go to college.
- Travel Abroad. Do you have a desire to experience other cultures first-hand? How about traveling to another country this summer? If you travel abroad with your family be sure to take advantage of as many educational opportunities as possible. If you’re looking for a little more independence, consider joining an organization that hosts high school students for summer study abroad programs. There are many, many options out there and this is a great pre-requisite to semester study abroad options for once you are on a college campus. Very little activities are more enriching than spending time in a new or somewhat unfamiliar environment that stretches you as an individual.
- Spiff Up Your Application Components. There's no better time to begin working on those college essays or studying for the SAT/ACT than during the summer months. Consider participating in an intensive summer program to help you build your application pieces. CLC College Prep offers independent sessions for students who want a little more concentrated help in these areas. Contact us today for more info!
Regardless of the activities you choose to participate in over the summer, remember to take some time for yourself. Relax and recuperate; you deserve some down-time! Whether you take a class, participate with a trip, volunteer, or do something else meaningful, remember that the most important thing is that you do something! We have lots of resources and information we'd love to give you. Contact us today for individualized help on making a summer enrichment program a reality for you this summer.
It’s hard to believe that August is here, and with it, the start of a brand new school year! The college planning process should be a huge part of your high school experience, which makes this an important year, regardless of your grade level. It’s never too early to begin thinking about where you want to go to college and how you will get there. Here are some things to help keep you on track for the month of August:
The Common Application went live on August 1st, along with the ApplyTexas Application (for Texas students). Seniors, it is time to create your account and work towards completing the online application. It’s always a good idea to have a second pair of eyes edit your app, and of course your essays, before you submit it to colleges. Speaking of essays, remember that a great college essay takes a lot of time to write and should include several edits and drafts. If you haven’t done so already, begin the writing process today; this is a big part of your overall evaluation by colleges.
I can’t say enough about campus visits. Although the fall tends to be extremely busy for most students, you should never rule out the possibility of visiting a few campuses. A college visit can make all the difference as you begin to narrow your top choice colleges and build your college list. Sophomores and Juniors, do everything you can to get on to the campuses you’re interested in. This will make your decision process that much easier when the time comes, and more importantly, will help you identify schools that are good fit for you. Here are a couple of articles from The Choice Blog that provide some helpful tips for students and families as they plan for campus visits: How to Make the Most of a College Visit and Planning a College Visit… . Here is one more blog post from earlier this year offering my two cents on the topic, Campus Visit Season.
ACT – September 8th, October 27th, and December 8th 2012
SAT – October 6th, November 3rd, and December 1st 2012
Private College Counselor
CLC College Prep Services
March is here and spring is officially upon us! For Seniors, many of you are still waiting to hear from colleges. Others of you are comparing financial aid offers, considering pros and cons of each school and ultimately trying to decide where you’ll spend the next four years of your life. Juniors are focusing your efforts toward the college list and narrowing down the schools that you are interested in submitting applications to this fall. Sophomores, most of you are researching schools and exploring possible areas of study that might interest you. There's no doubt that ALL of you are juggling classroom demands that the middle of the semester inevitably delivers. Regardless of what your focus is this spring, March (along with the rest of the spring months) is a great time to visit colleges. And no, not all college visits are equal. It’s important that you put in the time and effort and ensure the most quality visit possible.
Here are few tips to help you make the most of your college visits over the next few months:
Plan Ahead. This is one step that so many students and families overlook, and it is a common mistake that's very easy to make. However, as you prepare for your college visit, be sure to do your own research ahead of time. Don't depend on your meeting with an admissions rep to be your only source of information. Come with a list of questions and don't be afraid to ask them! By asking questions, your time on campus will prove to be much more productive.
Bring Your Parents Along. You will not regret having a second (or third) set of ears along for your visit. Having parents come along on your school visits will only benefit you in the long run. It’s nice to share your thoughts at the end of the day, compare impressions and have someone who is taking very close notes. Most parents are evaluating colleges a bit differently than their child … and this is a good thing! Your parents are a valuable part of this process. Embrace it.
Meet With a Current Student. There is no better way to get to know a college than by talking to current students. Admission reps can give you valuable information about each university, but talking with an actual student can give you the true "inside scoop" for a college’s culture. Ask the admissions office to connect you with a current student; they'll usually be more than willing to do this for you.
Take a Campus Tour. Never, never, never skip out on the campus tour! Even if you've been on the campus before, you'll benefit from taking a tour and you'll almost always learn something new about the school. A campus tour can give you a brand new perspective for what a college offers and will almost always be time well-spent.
Attend a Class. You go to college to learn and you learn by attending class (it’s true). Why not sit in on a class to get a feel for the academic culture? Experiencing how students and professors interact in a classroom setting can be very valuable as you consider what college to attend.
Don’t Rush Your Visit. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to thoroughly visit a campus. It's a good rule of thumb to allow more time, than not, in case unexpected opportunities present themselves (like the chance to meet with a current student). A good and thorough visit will always be more beneficial than a rushed visit. This ties into the first tip; plan ahead and allow yourself enough time on each campus to genuinely enjoy your visit.
For those of you looking for additional campus visit resources, consider checking out Go See Campus’ website. Go See Campus is one of my favorite college trip planning sites. They offer many helpful tools to assist families as they plan college visits.
Best of luck to you as you visit schools this spring!
Director, CLC College Prep Services