10 Simple Secrets to Getting Into the College of Your Choice by Tanya Knight, Education Coach - HTML preview

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INTRODUCTION

Who says you can't go to college? Each and every day millions of students believe that they

simply can't go to college, whether it is because nobody else in their family has never gone

before or they don't feel as though their family is wealthy enough. The fact of the matter is that

anyone who wants to go to college can if they are willing to follow the necessary steps and to

commit themselves to the process. Even if you're family doesn't have a lot of money to spend

on your education, then chances are you will qualify for financial aid. Additionally, you have

several options available to you in terms of government loans and scholarships.

Don't feel as though you're smart enough to go to college? Well, don't, because you don't have

to be "smart" to go to college. You're going there to learn and if you are committed to your education, you will learn and you will become smart.

No matter what age or what part of the country you come from, you can go to college and the

process is not as difficult as one would think. There are dozens of resources available to you;

you just have to know what steps to go through in order to successfully get into the college of

your choice.

Throughout this guide, you will find each step that you need to take in order to successfully

enroll in college and make your move onto campus. Or, if you're an adult going back to school,

you'll learn what to consider when going back to school and how the admissions process may

be different for you. Additionally, you'll learn how to fit in after all these years after being out of school.

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STEP 1

WHAT TYPE OF EDUCATION DO YOU WANT?

There are two basic types of colleges that are available, these include:

Community, Technical and Junior Colleges: These colleges are typically two year

options and offers programs that allow students to get a license, certificate, an Associate

of Arts degree, an Associate of Science degree or an Associate of Applied Science

degree.

Four-year Colleges and Universities: These schools are four years or longer and offer

a Bachelor's of Arts or Bachelor's of Science degree. Many four year colleges and

universities also have graduate and professional degree options for students interested

in continuing their education.

The types of jobs that are available to you will determine which college you choose to attend. In

an effort to save money on college, many students will choose to go to a community or junior

college for their basics and then transfer to a college or university. This is due to the fact that

many community and junior colleges do not require you to live on campus, which can be

expensive at a four-year college, and the tuition is often lower. However, if you do choose this

option be sure that you verify whether or not the classes that you take at these colleges will

transfer to the four-year college that you choose. Be careful about technical colleges, as their

credit often does not transfer to either a community college or a four-year college.

Certificates or degrees that you earn at either type of college can lead to several different

professions. If you have a career in mind, be certain to research the exact course requirements

that you need to prepare yourself with in high school as well as early in college. You also need

to research the type of education that your chosen career will require so that you select the

appropriate type of college to attend. In addition, many professions will require graduate school

beyond a bachelor's degree.

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TYPES DEGREES AVAILABLE

Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Science (A.S.) & Associate of Applied Science

(A.A.S.)

These degrees are obtained at the community or junior college level. These degrees typically

require two years to complete.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

These degrees are available at four year colleges and universities. They typically require four

years to complete, although many committed students have completed them more quickly.

Realistically, however, don't be concerned if it takes you 5 years or longer to complete your

Bachelor's degree.

Master's Degree and Ph.D.

These are professional degrees that are offered at colleges and universities. Four year colleges

may have limited options available in the type of graduate degrees they offer. Universities

typically have a number of different professional degrees available. These degrees are usually

earned through two or more years of additional college after receiving a Bachelor's degree. For

instance, you may be able to complete a Master's in Business Administration within 2 years,

while a medical degree may take you four or more additional years to complete.

EXAMPLES OF JOBS OBTAINED WITH SPECIFIC DEGREES

Associate's Degree

Bachelor's Degree

Graduate Degrees

Administrative Assistant

Accountant

Architect

Automotive Mechanic

Dietician

Biologist

Computer Technician

Editor

Dentist

Dental Hygienist

Engineer

Doctor

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Drafter

Journalist

Economist

Funeral Director

Investment Banker

Geologist

Heating, Air-Conditioning

Pharmacist

Lawyer

and Refrigeration

Technician

Medical Laboratory

Public Relations Specialist

Librarian

Technician

Medical Record Technician

Teacher

Psychologist

Insurance Agent

Social Worker

Chiropractor

Hotel or Restaurant

Writer

Veterinarian

Manager

Graphic Designer

Recreational Therapist

Priest

Visual Artist

Research Assistant

Zoologist

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STEP 2

PREPARING FOR COLLEGE ACADEMICALLY

While you are still in junior high and high school, it's time to begin thinking about college and how

you can prepare academically. There are numerous ways you can begin preparing early in your

high school career and these include taking college-level courses and standardized tests

as early as possible.

It is best to begin planning for college in the seventh or eighth grade. There are also several

courses that you will want to begin taking as early as possible in your high school career

including algebra and geometry. Algebra and geometry play a large role in many state

standardized tests required by students as well as standardized tests required for college

entrance, including the SAT and ACT. By taking these courses early, you will also be more

prepared for more difficult courses including trigonometry, calculus and science courses. Many

of the most selective colleges that have the highest admissions requirements prefer students

who have already taken these courses.

Basic computer knowledge is essential, which is not a problem for the majority of today's

students. Additionally, colleges like to see students who have taken three to four years of a

foreign language. Spanish is highly valuable in the workforce today and if you are thinking of a

career that deals with people internationally, other languages such as French and German can

also be useful. Students who are considering a medical degree or science degree may also

benefit from a good knowledge of Latin.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT COURSES

If Advanced Placement courses are available at your high school, it is highly recommended that

you take advantage of these courses. These are college-level courses that use college-level

textbooks and prepare you for the academic challenges you will face in college. You also have

the opportunity to take a test at the end of the course that could provide you with college credit

depending on your score. You do have to pay for the test, but it is well worth your money. If

you make a score of 3 or higher on the test, you are likely to obtain college credit for that course

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and will not have to take it in college. This can result in significant savings in tuition and fees

when you register for college. If you have a specific college or a few colleges in mind, be sure

that you research their AP course score requirements. These requirements are typically

different depending on the course. There are 37 AP courses currently available. You can learn

more about these courses by asking your high school counselors or visiting the College Board

online at www.collegeboard.com.

AP COURSES AVAILABLE

Art history

U.S. Government and Politics

Biology

Human Geography

Calculus AB and BC

Italian Language and Culture

Chemistry

Japanese Language and Culture

Chinese Language and Culture

Latin Literature

Computer Science A and AB

Latin: Vergil

Macroeconomics

Music Theory

Microeconomics

Physics B and C

English Language

Psychology

English Literature

Spanish Language

Environmental Science

Spanish Literature

European History

Statistics

French Language

Studio Art

French Literature

U.S. History

German Language

World History

Comp Government and Politics

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STANDARDIZED TESTS

Standardized tests are also very important for college entrance. If you begin taking these as

early as you can, you will often have several additional opportunities to take the test and

improve your scores on these tests. The SAT is generally required by East and West coast

colleges, while the ACT is generally required by Midwest and Southern colleges.

Depending on the college that you choose to attend, you may also be asked to take SATII tests.

These are subject tests that are designed to measure your knowledge in certain areas of study.

The college of your choice will let you know if you need to take these additional subject tests.

These tests are generally offered in English, math, history, foreign languages and many of the

sciences.

Early in your high school career you will also have the opportunity to take the PSAT. This test is

usually offered to sophomores and juniors. Students who perform well on this test and meets

other academic requirements may qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program. This

program can provide you with substantial scholarship opportunities.

CLEP TESTS

The CLEP stands for the College-Level Examination Program and provides you the ability to

receive college credit for what you already know. There are 34 examinations that you can take

to earn credit for the knowledge that you may have earned through prior course work,

independent study or on the job training. A satisfactory score on your CLEP exam may earn

you 3 to 12 college credits. The cost of the exam is $70, which is a fraction of your tuition and

fees you would have to pay for the corresponding course. These can also help you to skip the

more general introductory courses so you can get on to those courses that are of more interest

to you and part of your degree plan.

Before taking a CLEP test, you must first find out if your college accepts CLEP tests. You can

do this by searching on CollegeBoard.com through their CLEP college search. There are also

CLEP tests available for military personnel and veterans.

The following are available as CLEP exams:

• American Literature

• English Composition

• Analyzing and Interpreting Literature

• English Literature

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• Freshman College Composition

• Western Civilization I: Ancient Near

East to 1648

• Humanities

• Western Civilization II: 1648 to the

• French Language 1 and 2

Present

• German Language 1 and 2

• Biology

• Spanish Language 1 and 2

• Calculus

• American Government

• Chemistry

• Human Growth and Development

• College Algebra

• Introduction to Psychology

• College Mathematics

• Introduction to Sociology

• Natural Sciences

• Principles of Macroeconomics

• Pre-calculus

• Principles of Microeconomics

• Financial Accounting

• Social Sciences and History

• Introductory Business Law

• U.S. History I: Early Colonization's to

• Information Systems and Computer

1877

Applications

• U.S. History II: 1865 to Present

• Principles of Management

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STEP 3

SELECTING COLLEGES

Colleges are located throughout the country and in all types of communities from small rural

towns to large cities. Some colleges have tens of thousands of students enroll each year while

others only have a few hundred. There are also private and public schools. Many private

colleges are also affiliated with religious institutions, but not all are. There are also gender

specific schools for men or women only.

The type of college you choose is a personal decision that is based on your individual needs

and talents. When selecting colleges, consider the following questions:

• Why do you want to go to college?

• What do you hope to achieve by going to college?

• Do you have an idea of a career you would like to prepare for?

• Do you want to stay near home, in the same state or move to a different state?

• Do you have a preference of environment, such as urban, suburban or rural?

• Would you be happier in a small college or large university?

When making college selections, you also want to consider the nature of the education that is

offered. Many schools have a philosophy or specific educational program that they offer.

Consider what your career goals are and what the school's specialty areas are. You also want

to determine how long it will take you to complete your chosen program.

Another important factor is to consider the quality of the college. Does the college have a high

drop-out rate and what percentage of students actually graduate. A school with a high drop-out

rate often suggests that students are not satisfied with the college for one reason or another.

It's also good to consider if the school's facilities will meet your needs as well.

Finally, what admission requirements does the college have? Schools may require specific

courses and standardized tests. They may also require you to submit certain items with your

applications. Be sure you know what each college you are interested in requires. You also

need to determine if the college is accredited and eligible to participate in federal student aid

programs.

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TAKE CAMPUS TOURS

Once you have narrowed down your college choices, you'll want to visit the campus of your top

selections. For many students, this may be one or two, but for others, you may want to visit

three or more. Visiting the campus and meeting the people at the campus can really help you to

narrow down your options even further. Once you visit, you may decide the college doesn't really

meet your needs or you might just decide you don't like it at all.

While visiting a campus, there are several things you should be sure to do.

Tour the campus. This one is pretty obvious, but be sure to call ahead of time and set

up a guide. Many students provide tours of the campus and will show you all of the

buildings and offices that you will need to be able to find should you choose to go to

school there.

Have an interview with an admissions officer. They will provide you with the

necessary guidance you will need for applying. They will most likely provide you with

applications and information on the documents you need to gather for them when you

apply.

Pick up financial aid forms. This is a great opportunity to meet the financial aid officers

and pick up any brochures on financial aid you may be interested in applying for.

Talk to a student or counselor in the career center. They will be able to tell you a

little bit about their services and jobs that are available for degree programs that may be

of interest to you. They will also tell you how you can get a job on campus or locally.

Talk to a professor in a major that you are interested in. They will be able to provide

you with detailed information on what classes you will take and what extracurricular

activities are available for you in that major as well.

Pick up a student newspaper. This is a great way to read a little bit about what's going

on around the campus as well as local news and information. Many local businesses

also advertise in school newspapers and you can find information on what services or

discounts are available to students in the area.

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Spend the night in a dorm. If you're going for the full college experience, spending the

night in a dorm can help give it to you. Talk to the residential office about spending the

night in a dorm for the full college experience.

Eat in the cafeteria. You're most likely going to be required to buy a meal ticket with

your residence, so this is a great way to get an idea of what the food is like at the school.

Don't worry, it might be better than you expect.

Browse the college bookstore. The college bookstore doesn't just sell textbooks, but

also a lot of other necessities and items you may need while in college. You'll also find

fan apparel for the sports teams and other college related items. The bookstore always

has a wide selection of school supplies as well as novelty items.

Imagine yourself attending this college for at least four years. After you've done

your exploring, imagine yourself living in that community and going to school there for

four years of your life.

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STEP 4

PREPARING FOR COLLEGE FINANCIALLY

Many parents tend to overestimate the cost of college or simply assume that all colleges are very

expensive. While this may be true for Ivy League schools and other highly rated colleges, this is

not necessarily the case for all colleges. In fact, the average tuition rate for most colleges is in

the range of $3,000 to $4,000. At the same time, many expensive colleges can be made

affordable through financial aid.

There are several costs that are combined to create the final cost of college for a semester.

These include:

• Tuition

• Fees

• Other course expenses

Most students do not realize that tuition is just a portion of what you pay for college. The fees

that are associated with registration, access to certain campus facilities (such as a gym or

swimming pool) and fees for taking specific courses all add up in the long-run. Because you're

paying for access to many facilities, it's highly recommended that you take advantage of them

because you're paying for them anyway! Certain courses may also require additional fees, such

as a computer use fee or supplies fee that helps the professor pay for the supplies required for

the course. Finally, you'll pay for your room and board, food, supplies, books and transportation.

There are several ways that you can prepare for college and the first one begins by saving

money as early as possible. There are several savings accounts that offer tax benefits that

parents can begin early in a child's life. These include 529 College Savings Plans and many

states have these available. You can also invest privately, but you often do not receive a tax

benefit on private savings.

It is also a necessity that you begin searching for scholarships that you can apply for as soon as

possible. Many scholarships can be applied for during your junior and senior year of high

school. Colleges also offer scholarships, but often have very early deadlines for scholarship

applications. Be certain that you prepare ahead of time to apply for those scholarships.

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The FAFSA is a very important part of preparing financially for college. The FAFSA or Free

Application for Federal Student Aid can be filed online at www.FAFSA.ed.gov. The FAFSA

requires that you and your parents have your taxes prepared as early as possible. You can

begin submitting your FAFSA January 1st and the deadline is June 30th. Do not wait until June

to file! The earlier you file the better, as aid begins to dissipate as you near the deadline. The

earlier you apply, the better your chances are for receiving assistance. Also, you will be

required to file a FAFSA to apply for student loans, so fill it out even if you do not think you will

qualify for federal aid.

The FAFSA also determines how much your family expected contribution is or EFC. This is a

very important number, as it is how much your family is expected to contribute to your education

based on your tax information and annual income. It will also be a determining factor in how

much you are qualified to receive in federal student loans.

Although a student should avoid taking out student loans at all costs, many students will need to

apply for a loan. Be certain that you understand the types of loans that are available to you

from the government. These loans are better than private loans from a bank as they have

better interest rates and deferral periods. You typically have 6 months after you graduate or go

to a half-time course load before you are required to begin making payments on student loans.

This is often essential, as it can take you at least that amount of time, if not more, before you

receive a job after graduating from college. You can learn more about the loans and grants that

are available to students by visiting www.studentaid.ed.gov.

Finally, another option you have for paying for college is a work study program. Many colleges

offer summer and part-time work study programs for students to help pay for their education. A

work-study job is part of your financial aid package and the money that you earn at that job goes

towards paying your tuition and fees for college.

EXAMPLES OF THE COST OF COLLEGE POPULAR COLLEGES*

Harvard College

University of Southern California

Tuition: $32,557

Tuition: $37,096

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Health Services Fee: $1,426

Mandatory Fees: $598

Student Services Fee: $2,190

Room and Board: $11,298

Room: $6,060

Books & Supplies: $796

Board: $4,982

Personal & Misc.: $1,600

Billed Total: $47,215

Transportation: $580

Billed Total: $51,968

University of Texas at Austin

University of Florida

Tuition & Fees: $8,090 - $9,354

Tuition & Fees: $3,790

Housing Costs: $7,585

Books & Supplies: $960

Billed Total: $21,470 - $25,284

Computer Minimum: $1,100

Housing & Meals: $7,150

Billed Total: $13,000

*Costs are estimated by the listed colleges and may vary if you are an in-state or out of state

student. Costs may also vary if you live off campus.

OTHER COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH COLLEGE

Tuition and fees are not the only costs you'll encounter when going to college. You'll also have

to buy books, supplies, transportation and pay for a host of other miscellaneous costs.

Depending on whether or not you live on campus, you may have to consider the cost of gas

significantly into your budget. However, do keep in mind that most freshmen entering college

will be required to live on campus unless they are able to show a need to live off campus to the

residential office. You will also have personal expenses while in college including

entertainment, shopping for clothes and other necessities, etc.

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TYPES OF GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL AID AND LOANS AVAILABLE

Pell Grants-A grant offered by the federal government to students who meet financial need

requirements. This is a grant that does not need to be repaid. Funds are issued directly by the

school on a semester, trimester or quarterly basis. Amounts vary per student based on

attendance status and financial need. For the most part Pell Grants are only available for

undergraduate students, so they usually will not be issued to law school students.

Federal Work-Study Program-This is program that is offered by most colleges and universities

which allows students to work on campus part-time in order to earn money to supplement the

cost of their education. This is a great way to earn extra money as well as obtain work

experience.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program-A need based grant offered

to low-income undergraduate students only. Grants are made available directly through the

school.

Stafford Loan Program-There are two different types of Stafford loans that are made available

to students; subsidized and unsubsidized. Subsidized loans, which are loans in which the

government subsidizes the interest while you are still in school, are need based. Unsubsidized

loans are not subsidized by the government, but are not based on need. Students are required

to begin repaying the loans when they graduate, leave school or drop below half-time

attendance. Stafford loans are available to both graduate and undergraduate students, so even

students who plan to pursue a degree through law school can apply.

Federal PLUS Loans-This loan is designed specifically for parents of dependant students. It

offers the advantage of fixed interest rates and no repayment until 6 months after the student

either graduates or drops below half time attendance. Keep in mind that the Federal PLUS loan

is only available to parents of undergraduate students.

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Perkins Loan Program-This is a low-interest, long-term loan. Students who are able to

demonstrate exceptional financial need are given priority with this loan. Repayment will begin

when the student graduates, drops below half-time attendance or leaves school.

SCHOLARSHIPS

In addition to government financial aid and loans, you always want to search for scholarships as

well. Many students will receive some scholarship money from their respective colleges, but

you also need to be certain to do your own search for outside funding. Scholarships are ideal

because you will not have to pay them back like you do student loans.

As you hunt for scholarships, you'll find that there are several available that you can apply for.

There will be scholarships based on merit or financial need. Other scholarships may require

you to apply and submit an essay. Some scholarships are more or less drawings where you

can win money by the luck of the draw. No matter what scholarships you're looking at, it is

important that you review all of the requirements for the scholarships in order to be certain that

you meet the specific requirements.

The amount of assistance that you can receive through college scholarships vary. Some may

be small and others large. However, one thing is for sure, when it comes to money for college,

any is better than none.

Although many students have been able to pay for their entire college education with

scholarships, you will most likely need to use scholarships as a supplement to other financial aid

options.

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STEP 5-7

SETUP A LONG-TERM PLAN AND COLLEGE CHECKLIST

By preparing for college as early as possible, you should be able to set up some long-term

milestones that you need to meet as you proceed through the college preparation process.

Developing short-term and long-term milestones can help you make wise decisions and choices

as you go through high school and consider the colleges you want to attend.

PRE-HIGH SCHOOL CHECKLIST

• Begin by taking challenging courses as early as possible in English, math, science,

history, the arts and a foreign language.

• Think about which high school courses are available to you that will help you prepare for

college.

• Start saving for college now if you haven't already!

• Investigate different investment and saving options available to you and your parents.

• Find a mentor who can help you through the college preparation process and will help to

answer your questions as you prepare. Unfortunately, colleges don't really explain what

the steps are that you need to take.

9TH GRADE

• Continue taking challenging courses and look for AP courses if available.

• Get to know your guidance counselors

• Talk to adults in professions you find interesting and ask them what they had to do to

prepare.

• Keep saving your money!

10TH GRADE

• Take AP courses and honor courses if available.

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• Become involved in your community and take advantage of extracurricular activities

available with your school, church or community. If you can hold a position in these

organizations, that's even better. Colleges like to see leadership roles and teamwork.

• Take the PSAT. You'll have to register and pay for this test. If you have trouble paying

for this test, inquire about a fee waiver with your guidance counselor.

11TH GRADE

• Take AP courses if available. Think about which courses will help you the most in

college.

• Meet with counselors or your mentor to talk about your college options and which

schools you should consider.

• Stay involved in activities and your community.

• Decide which colleges interest you the most and begin requesting admissions

information from them.

• Visit college fairs if available.

• Visit colleges and talk to students from those colleges.

• Ask others for recommendations, such as teachers, employers and counselors.

• Investigate scholarships and other financial aid opportunities. Inquire if your parent's

employer, labor union or other organizations they are involved with offer scholarships to

their children.

• Register for the ACT or SAT and other standardized tests you may be required to take.

12TH GRADE

• Take AP courses if available.

• Complete all necessary financial aid forms. Encourage your parents to get their taxes

done as early as possible; your ability to qualify for financial aid and get aid depends on

it! If you have been working, file your taxes as early as possible as well!

• Narrow down the colleges you want to attend and request applications and financial aid

information. Be sure to get all deadlines and scholarship applications and deadlines.

• Visit the colleges that interest you the most.

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• Register for standardized tests again if you want to improve your scores or have not yet

taken these tests.

• Prepare your application early! Follow the instructions and watch your deadlines. You

may also be required to write an essay.

• Request transcripts, letters of recommendations and other items the college requires

with your application.

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STEP 8

APPLYING FOR COLLEGE

Once you've narrowed down the college or colleges that you are going to apply to, you need to

begin gathering some information that they will require. Applying for college is easy if you fill out

your forms correctly, turn them in on time and provide them with the necessary documentation.

When you apply for college you'll need to send several items with your application, including:

High School Transcript: You will most likely need an official copy of your transcript.

This will come in a sealed envelope that you should not open! If you want one for your

own records, request an extra for you. You will need an official transcript for each

application you send. Your counselor will send these to your interested colleges for you.

Application Fee: These fees are required to be sent with your application. They range

from $20 to $75 and are non-refundable. If you can't afford the fee, you may be able to

request a fee waiver.

College Admissions Test Scores: Your PSAT, ACT, and SAT scores are generally

provided with your transcript, however you may need to send separate copies of your

scores with your application if you have them. Your counselor should also have them on

file for you if you need copies.

AP Exam Scores: You also need to have your AP exam scores as well. These will be

sent directly to you after you have taken the exam, never throw these scores away as

you may need them later in life! You should also keep the booklet that you received

when the testing took place as it has an identification number on the booklet that you

may later need should you lose your test scores.

Letters of Recommendation: Some colleges and universities may require letters of

recommendation. Some scholarship applications may require these as well.

Recommendations can from coaches, teachers, mentors, church leaders, employers

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and other people you've worked with in your community. They cannot come from

relatives.

Application Essay: Many scholarship applications and selective colleges require that

you write and send an application essay

Interview: If you are attending a college that is very selective in their admissions

process, you may be required to schedule an interview with the school.

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STEP 9

WHAT YOU NEED FOR COLLEGE

If you're going to live on campus, which is something most four year colleges and universities

require for your freshmen year, you're unfortunately not going to be able to take your whole

bedroom with you. Dorm rooms aren't very big and you usually have to share your space with a

roommate as well.

If you know your roommate, the first thing to do is to call them and coordinate what you're going

to bring and what they are going to bring. For instance, you both don't need a refrigerator and

microwave, so why not share the expense? You bring the frig and they bring the microwave, or

vice versa. The same is true for some electronics, such as televisions and stereos. Remember,

space is a premium and you'll both have to be as efficient as possible. Here's a list of

commonly needed items by first time freshmen:

• TV

• VCR/DVD player

• Microwave

• Refrigerator (small combo unit)

• Camera

• Radio/iPod/MP3 player

• Cell phone

• Computer, preferably a laptop if possible with a printer

• 3 prong extension cords and power strips

• Desk lamp

• Alarm clock

• Laundry bag, basket, soap and some rolls of quarters (don't forget the stain remover

either)

• Sewing kit, you never know when you might need to mend something

• Eating utensils (preferably plastic), Styrofoam plates and plastic cups, unless you want

to do dishes in the bathroom.

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• Small can opener and bottle opener

• Personal hygiene items, towels, shower caddy for toiletries, soap, robe, etc.

• Weather specific clothing. You won't have a lot of storage space, so consider bring

summer/fall clothes and swap out at home for your winter clothes when it's time to wear

something warmer.

• Umbrella, raincoat, jacket, shoes, etc.

• First aid kit with pain relievers

• Your health insurance information

• Iron and small ironing board

• Bedding

• Fan or air conditioner, some older dorms might not have AC

• Room décor

• Backpack

• Bike with a good bike lock

Leave anything really nice and expensive at home. It's good to have dress clothes, but don't

bring expensive jewelry or anything that could be stolen and irreplaceable.

When purchasing books and school supplies, do your best to not shop at the college bookstore.

The bookstore is quite expensive, especially when it comes to books. If you can go to your

school's online bookstore or visit the actual bookstore, figure out which books you need and

then right down the ISBN number found on the back of the book by the barcode. Then search

online for these books at sites such as eBay, Half.com, Amazon.com, and Barnes and Noble.

Be sure you get the exact ISBN code so that you can get the correct version of the textbook you

need. You can find used textbooks online cheaper than the used textbooks at the bookstore.

Instead of selling your books back to the bookstore (sometimes they won't buy them back

either), you can sell them on eBay and use the money for your books next semester. This will

save you a lot of money in the long-run, as some college textbooks can cost up to $200 or

more!

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STEP 10

REGISTERING FOR CLASSES

Finally, the day has come! You're selecting which courses you want to take at your new

college. Congratulations for making it this far, but you're not quite done yet. There are several

things to consider as you register for courses.

First and foremost, you'll most likely need to meet with a college advisor. This may be a college

guidance counselor or a professor in your chosen degree program. They will be able to guide

you as to which courses you should begin with your freshmen year. However, you need to

provide them with some information as well, such as the course load that you are going to take

depending on whether or not you have to work and go to college at the same time or other

restraints you may have, such as commuting.

Your first semester may also be a mix of the basics that everyone has to take as well as certain

courses required for your degree. Many colleges also require that freshmen take an orientation

class as well.

When registering for classes keep these things in mind:

• Are you working while you go to school? This may limit you to a certain number of

course hours you can handle as well as when you can take courses. However, always

make sure your employer works around your school schedule, as your education should

always be your priority.

• Are you a morning person or a night person? If you're a morning person, you probably

learn well in early morning classes. If you're a night owl, then you may learn better in

afternoon and evening classes.

• How many days a week are you going to attend classes?

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• How many classes overlap in time or occur at the same time? You often have to do a lot

of time rearranging when determining your schedule. Some degree oriented courses

are only taught by one or two teachers and are only offered at very specific times.

• How much time do you have between classes? You don't want an hour or two between

classes if you're commuting to a different town for school as it can be hard to fill that time

or you can always spend it studying…

• Keep in mind that most classes take place on a Tuesday and Thursday or Monday,

Wednesday and Friday. Some courses may be on Saturdays too. Think about the type

of schedule you want and when you would like your downtime to be.

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GOING BACK TO SCHOOL: TIPS FOR ADULTS GOING BACK TO

COLLEGE

There are numerous reasons that you may be choosing to go back to college, or go to college

for the first time. In this day and age, there is an increased focus placed on the importance of a

college education. For many adults, this may mean going to college for their first degree to

improve the job opportunities that are available to them or for others, it may mean going back to

college to get a graduate degree, such as an MBA or Ph.D.

However, before you make the decision to go back to college, there are a few questions to ask

yourself. The answers to these questions will help you to determine why you're going back to

school and what your ultimate goals are.

1. What are your short term life goals? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? These

goals are going to be the easiest for you to predict and may include improving your

position in your current company or changing your career all together after receiving

your first bachelor's degree. These decisions must be thoroughly thought about, as they

will are not always the easiest to obtain without proper planning.

2. What are your long term goals? Where do you want to be in 1o years? Although

short term goals are easier to predict, long term goals are often easier to achieve.

However, these goals require much more patience and planning than short term goals.

If you're an adult going back to college and you intend to obtain a Bachelor's and MBA,

for instance, you'll be going to school for quite a long period of time and will need to be