College Counseling Podcasts: Podcasts are a great way to learn more about the college admission process. Hearing the viewpoints of others can really help to shed light on a variety of topics. Take a listen to some of the podcasts below and see what you think.
http://collegesmartradio.com/podcasts/ Collegesmart radio has a weekly broadcast on a variety of topics related to college admissions. They typically interview a person on a topic and often have a focus on relevant financial aspects. This podcast may be more helpful to parents than to students. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGgj9exkKfk This Youtube video and others by Taylor Reneau offer great information about the college application process that is a great fit for students. Taylor is fun to watch and has a lot of great information that students can relate to.
https://soundcloud.com/aboutadmissions About Admissions podcast has great information with a "call-in" type of model. It is engaging to listen to, and the information is presented in a very straightforward manner. http://collegepreppodcast.com/ The CollegePrep podcast has great information for parents, students and teachers. There are a variety of topics covered, so you are sure to find something that interests you.
College Search: Choose some of the links below and learn more about schools that interest you. Keep in mind that depending on the criteria you list, you can get either no matches or far too many matches. Play around with each site to learn which is the best one for you.
www.unigo.com Unigo has a lot of great information for students and parents looking to get a sense of what a school has to offer, paying for college as well as interviews with current students to get their perspective. Give this search engine a try and see what you learn about colleges and universities that interest you! www.noodle.com Noodle.has information to share regarding school you might be considering. It also offers ideas on test taking and other resources for students and families trying to make it through the college application process. www.bigfuture.collegeboard.org Bigfuture lets you explore colleges and careers, and strategies to pay for college. There are many search criteria to consider when searching for schools that will match what you are looking for. www.collegeportraits.org Collegeportraits has a lot of great information for 300 public colleges and universities across the country. The information is presented in a very clear and simple manner, which is very refreshing as the college search process can be very overwhelming. www.mycollegeoptions.org Mycollegeopitons is also presented in a simple format for the user. It allows the user to create a search unique to your interests. Don't forget to check out the Admit One Blog under the Advice section.
Virtual Tours: Check out these links to virtual tours. Taking a virtual tour is a great way to get more information about a school that you might be considering. It can be costly and time consuming to visit all potential schools. The use of the virtual tours can help you narrow down schools of interest.
www.collegedata.com Collegedata has virtual tours that are led by a guide who takes you around the campus, interviews people, and shares information about the school. It is a good way to get a sense of a college or university. www.campustours.com Campustours has numerous videos available under different areas of interest. You can find many videos covering topics such as housing, and campus tours broken down into manageable segments. It is not always an intuitive web site to find what you are looking for, but keep clicking through and you will enjoy what you find. www.youvisit.com Youvisit offers great factual information about the school. It has pictures of buildings with an informative voice over speaking about the school. The information on this site can be quite helpful, but it does not offer a real sense of the campus. www.youtube.com Check out virtual college tours on youtube. Just search for your college of interest and see what is there!
Financial Aid Resources and Scholarships Learning about the financial aid process for college can be time consuming and complicated. It is worth putting forth the effort to learn as much as you can about the process and what is required. The same is true for scholarships. It takes effort to learn about what scholarships may be the best to apply for. Check out these links to get started!
https://fafsa.ed.gov/FAFSA/app/f4cForm?execution=e2s1 The FAFSA4Caster is a great link for students and parents to begin the process of applying for financial aid. It is a resource that can give families an idea of what will be required when completing the FAFSA, which can be an overwhelming process. Exploring this site is highly recommended! https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/prepare-for-college This web site from the Department of Education has comprehensive information on important topics such as the types of aid available, who is eligible for aid, and information about applying for aid. It also provides important information that families should have regarding repayment of loans. The site offers a section on preparing for college which has checklists for both academic and financial time lines as well as other helpful information. https://www.raise.me/ This site is a wonderful opportunity for students in high school to start accumulating scholarship money. I highly recommend families explore what this site has to offer! http://www.petersons.com/college-search/student-financial-aid-college.aspx This site has great resources to learn about financial aid. There are many great articles that are quite helpful. The site also has a college search tab as well.
SAT AND ACT TEST PREPARATION RESOURCES SAT and ACT scores have a significant impact on the college admission process. Check out these links to learn more about test preparation options. Some of the links below offer free test prep and others are fee based.
http://www.sparknotes.com/testprep/ Sparknotes offers free SAT and ACT test prep. They have lots of great resources to help the study process be more engaging. Worth checking out! https://www.khanacademy.org/sat The College Board and Kahn Academy have teamed up to create free on-line SAT test preparation. They offer practice tests, quizzes, and feedback to help students know where to focus their attention as they study. This is a great resource. http://www.prepfactory.com/ The Prepfactory is a great free resource. Very user friendly with lots of skill building and test taking options. https://uniontestprep.com/act A great resource for free test preparation with flashcards, study guide and practice test for the ACT. http://www.veritasprep.com/free-sat-resources/ Veritas Prep offers free test prep for the SAT and the ACT, but more robust material for the SAT. They offer videos for test taking strategies, on-line practice tests, and lesson videos. This site also offers fee based services including practice tests, on-line tutoring and on-line group classes. Explore what they have to offer to see if it is a good fit for you. http://www.testmasters.net/ Testmasters is a fee based web resource for SAT and ACT preparation. They offer on-line courses and tutoring as well as some live courses. They offer interactive games and other resources to engage the student in the process. http://www.princetonreview.com/ The Princeton Review offers a variety of packages for students, that include tutoring, and small group classes among other things. Find out if what they offer meets your needs.
Twitter Staying up to date on news regarding colleges and the admission process is important. Check out the Twitter links below and think about following one or more.
https://twitter.com/chronicle @chronicle provides information about colleges across the country, as well as updates on financial aid changes and other issues of importance. https://twitter.com/USATODAYcollege @USATODAYcollege has great information related to college life such as dorm issues and the cost of textbooks. It also highlights topics related to colleges across the country. https://twitter.com/nytedlife @NYTedlife, NYT Education, Life is a "quarterly section about colleges and universities, in and outside the classroom". Worth checking out for their insightful articles. https://twitter.com/CollegeBoard @CollegeBoard is a great resource for information regarding the college admission process. It covers many relevant topics.