TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: College Admissions

Posted Nov. 12, 2018, 8 a.m. by Sara Nolan | View Comments
Blurred hands moving really quickly over a computer keyboard.

Are you stuck on your college essay draft? Or don’t even know where to start? Are you sure that you have nothing of interest to say? Bogged down by wordiness and obfuscations? Or are you trying to write too many essays at once? Freewriting has the cure for what ails you. Here’s why and how to do it, and some prompts to get you started. First, freewriting is cherished by almost all writers as one of the best (and tried and true) ways to become unstuck and make discoveries, and also to force yourself to JUST WRITE SOMETHING. It doesn’t ...

Posted Nov. 8, 2018, 8 a.m. by Jason Patel | View Comments
Female student presenting science information to classroom and teacher.

There’s a good chance that you’ll have to give a presentation in at least one class during high school before you graduate. You might even be asked to speak at a community engagement, if you’re the president of a club or receiving an award. It’s important for students to start building their public speaking skills in high school. The earlier you start, the more time you’ll have to develop your skills before college begins. But, improving your public speaking skills in high school requires time, effort and discipline. If this frightens you, there are ways to improve and make the ...

Posted Oct. 27, 2018, 8 a.m. by Shannon Vasconcelos | View Comments
Parent filling out financial aid forms.

Asking for money is not fun. Some of us would rather liquidate our retirement accounts, or consider selling a kidney before asking for help in paying our bills. But when the bill we’re talking about is the tuition bill and the ask in question is applying for need-based financial aid, it’s a really smart move to make. There is $200 billion dollars in financial aid available to college students, and all you have to do to tap into that deep well of funding is ask for it (and qualify, of course). With that in mind, please consider these top 10 ...

Posted Oct. 20, 2018, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
FAFSA form on clipboard and keyboard

The biggest complaint from parents and students about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is that it’s too complicated and difficult to complete. In fact, many have found the process so overwhelming that they don’t even start it. This is a bad decision for prospective college students because the FAFSA is the form used to determine not only eligibility for government financial aid, but state and institutional aid, and some private scholarships. The U.S. Education Department’s Office of Federal Student Aid processes about 20 million FAFSA applications a year. But experts say many students who could and ...

Posted Oct. 9, 2018, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Computer keyboard with Apply Now button

To help you and your student prepare for this season of college applications, it’s important to understand any changes in the application requirements and formats. There are four college applications currently available to students: The Common Application, The Coalition Application, the Universal Application, and college-specific applications. Each year, the applications offer changes and upgrades to the previous year, and the 2018-19 application season is no different. Following are some changes to note for this year’s applications. The Common Application The 2018-19 Common App launched on August 1. This is the most widely used application by prospective college students because you ...

Posted Oct. 5, 2018, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
calendar showing November 2018

Early Decision has become more and more popular among students applying to college. A vast majority of students are opting to apply Early Decision to their first-choice colleges in order to get an answer before Jan. 1, rather than waiting for the regular college application cycle in the spring. But when students apply Early Decision, it’s a commitment to the college. If accepted, they promise to attend that college and agree to not apply to any other colleges. What are the deadlines for Early Decision? Early Decision application deadlines are usually prior to Nov. 1. The deadlines for Early Decision ...

Posted Oct. 2, 2018, 8 a.m. by Quiana Querisma | View Comments
Female college students taking notes in class.

We all hit a point in our lives where we think back on a situation and wish we had confronted it differently. For me, a lot of the things I want to change involve my freshman year at college and how I would have improved my future just by tweaking little mistakes. I am currently a sophomore at the University of North Texas studying interior design, I love my school, the people I’ve met, and the many life lessons I came to learn. But looking back, there are many things I learned and could’ve taken advantage of to prepare for ...

Posted Sept. 27, 2018, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Two girls celebrating SAT results in school corridor

Parents and students worry and fret over the SAT test. Parents nag students to study and prepare. Students worry that their scores won’t be good enough to get them into the college of their choice. The SAT test and scoring is a topic of conversation among all parents of college-bound teens. Every student dreams of the perfect SAT score of 1600; but not all can achieve perfection. Since most teens don’t fall into the perfect score category, what is a top score, a good score, an average score and a bad score? The SAT is scored on a scale of ...

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 ...

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