Don’t expect to get much work done on your Common Application on the last four days of July. Between July 28 and 31, the Common App website will be unavailable to students as it undergoes its annual makeover. The big reveal is slated for August 1 – although commonapp.org will likely be up and running in the wee hours of July 31. In previous years, Common App updates have included new essay prompts, the addition of a Courses & Grades section, and clarifying language around applicants’ sex and gender. While no major revelations are expected in the revamped 2019-20 Common App, we do anticipate six minor changes. Read about them on the College Coach Insider blog at blog.getintocollege.com.
Taking a mindful approach to the college application process can help students have a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling high school experience. Rachel Simmons, author of Enough As She Is, which focuses on helping girls move beyond impossible standards of success, joins the show this week to help us take just this approach. In another in our Kindness Matters series, we’ll look at ways in which kindness can have financial benefits to students in the form of merit awards.
College is an investment –and it might be one of the biggest you ever make. Despite those big numbers, the data show it’s probably worth it—but you’ll need to make many decisions along the way that will impact how much the investment pays back. We’ve discussed how to calculate the ROI of your degree using your best estimates about the cost of college, your expense budget, and the career outcomes on the other side. But life will inevitably take some unexpected twists and turns, so it’s wise to consider how those numbers could change (in either direction!). Check out the Insider blog to learn about four risk factors—transferring, graduation time, your first job, and graduate school—that could make a significant difference for you financially in college, and reduce or increase the bang for your buck from college.
There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. And while the media tends to focus on just a handful of schools, we at College Coach encourage students to think outside the box during their college selection process and explore a wide range of colleges, including this week’s School Spotlight, Willamette University. It’s not often you come across a small university that attracts environmental enthusiasts, varsity athletes, globally-minded citizens, and fraternity/sorority members (or a combination of all four!). But at Willamette, one of the 45 Colleges that Change Lives, students can have all this and more. Located in the heart of Oregon’s capital city, Willamette enrolls approximately 1,600 independent thinkers who are eager to engage in small classes, close student-faculty relationships, and a collaborative learning environment. The university supports one undergraduate division – the College of Liberal Arts – but highly motivated students can work towards joint degree programs with the university’s law or business schools. Economics and psychology are two of the university’s most popular majors, but rounding out the top three list is Willamette’s exceptional degree in environmental science. With a special focus on place-based learning and globalization, the environmental science program prepares graduates to become problem solvers and effective leaders in their fields. Volunteering is a common pastime at Willamette, and students can get involved in their local community through programs like Service Saturdays, Take a Break (service-oriented spring break trips), and service learning courses such as Food Justice Practicum. Fun fact: although 42 different states are represented on campus, the bulk of students hail from California, Oregon, and Washington.
There is a scholarship (or many scholarships) out there for everyone. In this week’s Scholarship Spotlight, we look at the Ursinus College Creative Writing Award. Many high school students identify with the teenage angst embodied in Holden Caulfield, the fictional protagonist of J.D. Salinger’s masterpiece, The Catcher in the Rye, but do you identify with the quirky brilliance of Salinger himself? If so, Ursinus College may have a scholarship for you. For more information on this scholarship and how to apply, check out the College Coach Insider blog at blog.getintocollege.com.
Each spring, College Coach surveys the high school seniors that we’ve worked with through our private college counseling service to garner their insights on the college application process. We’ve just synthesized the results of our 2019 Senior Survey, and wanted to share the good news with our readers. Some key points: College Coach graduates will be attending 123 different colleges this fall, the most popular schools among our students being University of Michigan, UC Berkeley, Cornell, and Northeastern. On average, our students applied to 9 colleges, with a full 98% of College Coach seniors being accepted to one of their top choice schools, proving that a focused college list can lead to the most successful results. See more results at blog.getintocollege.com and best of luck to all College Coach graduates as they embark on their next adventure!
For a few generations we’ve been told that college is the path financial security. And this is largely borne out by statistics; census data tells us that the average high school graduate makes $35,000 a year, while a college graduate will take home closer to $54,000 annually. However, as with all statistics, there is the rule and there are the exceptions. Pathways to success that don’t include a Bachelor’s degree do exist. Examples include Associate’s Degrees and Certificate programs, apprenticeships, and career and trade schools. For more information on these options, check out the latest blog post on the College Coach Insider blog.
There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. And while the media tends to focus on just a handful of schools, we at College Coach encourage students to think outside the box during their college selection process and explore a wide range of colleges, including this week’s School Spotlight, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. What do the inventor of the Ferris Wheel and the digital camera have in common? They both attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Situated on the Hudson River just outside the state capital of Albany, Rensselaer is a techie heaven. The university’s 6,600 undergrads can choose from an amazing array of STEM majors – such as aeronautical engineering, business analytics, and computer science – but the humanities, arts, and social sciences are alive and well, too. The popular Games & Simulation Arts & Sciences major, with courses like History and Culture of Games and Experimental Game Design, is perfect for students interested in interactive digital media. And even philosophy majors learn to appreciate the sciences here, with unique classes such as Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence and Minds and Machines. On Rensselaer’s 275-acre campus, there are over 250 organizations for students to get involved in, including Design Built Fly (the university’s remote control aircraft club), Rensselaer Cheerleaders, and the 8th Street Swing Band, not to mention 23 varsity athletic teams! Fun fact: high achieving math and science students may be awarded the prestigious Rensselaer Medal by their high schools, guaranteeing them a $100,000 scholarship if they matriculate at Rensselaer.
Owning your own business can impact the financial aid process. Tune in to learn more about how that works. We’ll also help rising seniors evaluate where they are in the testing process and determine whether or not they need to take any more of those tests at this point. Finally, we’re taking a closer look at how institutional priorities can impact admissions decisions.
This post is guest authored by Jeremy Silverstein, Vice President of Operations and Vehicle Dispatching at Veteran Car Donations. As we celebrate Independence Day this 4th of July, it’s important to remember the sacrifice that members of the armed forces make willingly in order to serve their country. The impact service can have on soldiers’ lives is far-reaching and takes numerous forms. One of the most significant ways military service can alter a person’s life, for example, is by changing the course of his or her career path. Unlike many civilians, service people may not complete their educations on the usual schedule. Once they finish their active duty, they may lack the formal schooling that would benefit their careers and resumption of their normal lives. If you’re a veteran, education is crucial for getting a job and re-entering the civilian world. With so many military education benefits available, it’s not only possible to jump back into the workforce after your time in the military ends, but it also can be easier than you may have believed possible. Visit the College Coach blog to view an infographic which lays out common benefits that may be available to you as a service member. We hope this guide helps you to explore your educational options, thank you for your service, and wish you a very happy Independence Day.