TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: College Admissions

Posted Sept. 17, 2018, 9 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Doctor or nurse wearing stethoscope with folded arms.

Are you interested in becoming a doctor? If so, you should be thinking about which college or pre-med program best fits that career path. It’s a long road from college to medical school to residency and you will need to research the education you need and find the best college to reach that goal. What is Pre-Med? When students say they are pre-med, what does that mean? If you are planning to attend medical school and become a doctor, you need to understand the definition of pre-med and what pre-med students study. “Pre-med” is just a description people use to ...

Posted Sept. 12, 2018, 8 a.m. by Jason Patel | View Comments
Diverse group of high school students on school steps laughing.

You’ve probably heard of the National Honor Society, but do you really understand what it is, who gets in or how being a member could pay off for you as a high school student? Getting into NHS requires a lot of work and dedication. You need to meet the GPA requirement and other standards to be considered for membership. But it can be well worth the effort, not only for college applications but for the skills you’ll learn. Here’s a breakdown of of everything you need to know about NHS to help you determine if the work involved is a ...

Posted Aug. 31, 2018, 11:40 a.m. by Sarah Good | View Comments
high school girl wearing striped shirt worrying over a test.

Preparing for a big exam is always a daunting proposition. And that goes double for college admissions tests like the ACT. The ACT, as you probably know, is one of the two major tests colleges accept with applications. The other is the SAT. The ACT is divided into four multiple-choice sections plus an optional essay. The English section tests grammar, punctuation and syntax. The math section tests math, of course, with the most advanced questions hitting precalculus concepts like trigonometry and imaginary numbers. The Reading section is a pretty basic reading comprehension test. The Science section assesses your ability to ...

Posted Aug. 28, 2018, 11:52 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Student pumping his fist as he  gets a good test score back from a teacher.

You know that grades are an important part of college applications. You might wonder, however, which grade point average or GPA will get a nod from admissions officers and which will make them place your application in the reject pile. You might also be wondering where you fit in compared to other applicants. As you might imagine, it’s a complicated question. A good GPA for one student or at one college, might be different for another student at another college. Each college uses GPA guidelines in their admissions process but you should know where your GPA fits in at the ...

Posted Aug. 27, 2018, 8:49 a.m. by Shannon Vasconcelos | View Comments
Graphic on grey background of college building, money, mortar board and other items associated with scholarship money.

One way to win scholarships is to go online to a scholarship search site and apply for every scholarship under the sun. But while an online scholarship search is often a worthwhile endeavor, there’s a far more lucrative source of college funding: the colleges themselves. Colleges have a lot of money to give away, and you can approach your college search process strategically to maximize your chances of getting some. What Are Merit Scholarships? In order to win college merit scholarships, you first need to understand what they are – specifically, what they are to the colleges that award them. ...

Posted Aug. 7, 2018, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Diverse group of college students with laptops.

Did you know there are more than 4,000 four-year colleges and universities in the United States? That can make choosing a college overwhelming. But there is a college to fit your dreams – and finding it starts with the right list of schools where you plan to apply. Your college list is the basis for every decision regarding college. Without a good list, it’s impossible to make a clearly logical and well-informed college choice. You should begin your college list during your junior year of high school. By the beginning of your senior year, you should have a final list ...

Posted July 26, 2018, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Drawing of hand putting money in piggy bank surrounded by textbooks.

Financial aid can be a confusing part of the college application process. Even if your parents can afford to pay for college, it’s a good idea to learn what aid is available and apply for it. You aren’t obligated to accept it, but most students qualify for some form of aid and, if it’s available, why not use it? What is financial aid? Financial aid is intended to make up the difference between what your family can afford to pay and what college actually costs. With college tuition rising rapidly, more than half of the students currently enrolled in college ...

Posted July 25, 2018, 8 a.m. by Sara Nolan | View Comments
Woman's hand holding ballpoint pen and writing in notebook.

Here’s the deal: When it comes time to write your Common Application college personal essay, it’s not really about the prompt. It's what you do with it, and how deep you go. Each prompt is a doorway into a story you want to tell, something distinctive you want to share You have to know a few things to pull this off: What the genre of personal essay requires of you generally (general purpose of the essay); what each Common Application prompt is asking for (decoding the question); what possible responses are available to you (your life experiences and what you’ve ...

Posted July 12, 2018, 8 a.m. by Jason Patel | View Comments
Two teen-age girls working on tablet computers in a classroom.

There are several ways you can set yourself apart academically from your peers. One common way to do this is by taking Advanced Placement courses and exams during your high school career. Before you enroll in an AP course, however, read through these Frequently Asked Questions to make sure you’ve considered everything before finalizing your decision. There are several factors to consider other than simply being “smart enough” for one of these classes. What is the difference between an AP course and regular course offered at my school? There are two main differences between regular and AP classes: The curriculum ...

Posted July 10, 2018, noon by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Frustrated teenage woman working at a laptop computer on college applications.

Join a group of parents whose students are getting college admissions letters and you’re going to hear the same conversations. Some are elated, others are confused, and many are disappointed. I guarantee you that the elated parents have students who took the time to research the college and made sure they were at the top of the applicant pool when they applied. The confused and disappointed parents more than likely have students who applied to elite colleges with little hope of being offered admission or little hope of being able to afford it if their students were accepted. It seems ...

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