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ACT or SAT: Which Test Should You Take?

Years ago, colleges in the Midwest and South favored the ACT, while schools on both coasts preferred the SAT. Now, every college will accept either test, and more students take the ACT. While both are used for the same purpose, to help predict the likelihood of a student’s success in college, they are very different tests. Here's why:

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Tags: standardized test preparation, SAT, ACT

This Is Not Like Your Parent's College Admission Process

The college admission process wasn’t nearly as anxiety-producing thirty years ago. Parents who haven’t been through it yet have heard horror stories from friends and relatives, but they don’t understand why things are so different now.

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Tags: college applications, college financial aid, college planning tips

Why Take the PSAT/PLAN?

Although no one enjoys taking standardized tests, there are a number of good reasons for 10th and 11th grade students to experience the PSAT or PLAN exams before taking college admissions tests. The reports generated by the PSAT or PLAN give you feedback on your strengths and weaknesses in those skills necessary for college study. By taking these practice tests well in advance of the SAT or ACT, you will be able to focus your preparation on those areas that will most benefit from additional study or practice.

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Tags: college planning tips, standardized test preparation

Does the High Cost of College Really Pay Off?

Peter Thiel, the co-founder of Pay-Pal and a graduate of Stanford University, is paying 24 entrepreneurial college-age students $100,000 NOT to attend college for two years.  Instead, the students will spend their time and energy developing business ideas while participating in a mentorship program in Silicon Valley.  This program is the outgrowth of his idea that the high cost of college education is not justified in today’s world.  But is he right?  Does the money invested in a college education pay off?

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Tags: college planning tips, high return on investment, is college worth it

Answering the Unasked Questions: Why Attend College?

How will you benefit from attending our college? What will you contribute to our college? Although you may not see these questions on college applications, if you answer them in your applications, you will be setting yourself apart from other applicants and making a persuasive case for your admission.

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Tags: college applications, college planning tips

What Does College Really Cost? Net Price Calculators

According to the Federal Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance “it is essential that students and parents focus on net price, which is the dollar amount that must be paid after subtracting financial assistance from cost of attendance. Throughout the decision making process — from considering whether college is a financial possibility, to choosing which college to attend, to assessing whether to continue once enrolled — net price, rather than list price, is of singular importance.” But comparing net prices used to be impossible until students had completed the college application process and had received their student aid awards.

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Tags: college financial aid, college financial aid tips, net price calculators

College Essay Guidelines

Now that you’ve brainstormed the perfect topic, you’re finally ready to cozy up with your computer and write the best college essay you can muster. The following tips will help your essay appear polished and professional throughout the writing process.

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Tags: college applications, college planning tips, college essay

Lights, Camera, Early Action! Now, Rolling Admission!

Once you’ve chosen what type of application to complete, filled out the forms, and gathered all the paperwork, you’re now faced with the problem of figuring out how you’re going to submit your application! With choices like ‘Rolling,’ ‘Regular,’ ‘Early Action,’ and ‘Early Decision,’ it’s important to know the differences between them. Now that you’ve chosen the schools, this can help you choose how to apply for them. There is no ‘right’ way to apply, and your individual circumstances should always be taken into consideration when looking at the options.

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Tags: college applications, college planning tips, college deadlines

Navigating the 3 College Application Types

Now that you’ve written your college essay, it’s time to put it in your college application and gather the rest of your information together. However, the type of college application you submit can vary from college to college: paper or online? Common or Universal? And what’s this about a supplement? The following is a brief overview of the different types of applications you can expect to find.

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Tags: college applications, college planning tips, common application, universal application, college essay, supplement

5 College Planning Tips for the Summer between Junior & Senior Years


  1. Finalize Your List

Whether you’ve known since the second grade that you’re going to apply to Bucknell, or still can’t tell the difference between one business program and another, the time has come to finalize the list of schools you’re going to apply to in the fall. The deadlines for applications creep up on you faster than you think, and scrambling at the last minute to find out details about a particular school’s admissions process or scholarships is something nobody should have to do. So solidify the list you’ve started to a range of reach, target and safety schools, and stick to it.

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Tags: college planning tips, college deadlines, college essay