College Prep

College Prep

Texas Students Must Get Meningitis Shot Before Moving On Campus

syringeIf you are going to be attending college in the state of Texas this school year, you need a meningitis shot before you can move into your on-campus apartment or dorm room.

There is a new state law in Texas that all entering freshmen have to have this shot prior to moving into their dorm rooms. Unfortunately, despite the many efforts of colleges in Texas to get this information to their incoming students, several of them still have not gotten their shots, and are unable to move to campus until they have provided the documentation showing they have received it. Aside from getting the shot, there is also a 10 day incubation period that all students must go through, which means that even if you get the shot four days before you’re supposed to move in, you still will not be allowed into the dorms until day 10.

Schools have made every attempt to stay on top of reminding students about getting their shot. They have enclosed reminders in acceptance letters, made mention of the law during orientation, sent out emails and letters and even made phone calls to students’ homes. Some of the major schools affected by this new law include University of North Texas, Texas A&M University, Southern Methodist University and the University of Texas at Austin. Unfortunately, students have still been falling short on getting their shots. North Texas has the highest number of students without shots at eight percent. Read the rest of this entry »



The Pre-Move College Freshman Check List

college freshman movingAre you a college freshman headed to campus this fall? The most important thing to know is to not feel overwhelmed. While there is a lot to take care of, it will all come together in time to move to the dorms if you prepare during the summer.

Here we’ve compiled a list of things you won’t want to overlook:

  • Get your computer in order – make sure it has the right software, meets campus IT guidelines, and has been cleaned-up, backed-up and upgraded if necessary. Read the rest of this entry »


Spring Cleaning Computers Makes for Organized Students

computerLike most, I am ecstatic about the coming of spring. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and it’s time for me to do my spring-cleaning.  This isn’t the typical spring-cleaning one would associate with this time of year, which is done regularly. The specific type of cleaning I am referring to is in regards to my computer.

I don’t know about you, but at the end of each school year, I find my computer in disarray. I have countless Word documents, folders, music and programs thrown about my computer as if my computer was attempting to make a mess.  It seems every year; my computer succeeds at just that.  Read the rest of this entry »



Two Important College Enrollment Steps for High School Seniors

to-do-listI recently made the decision to attend the University of Tulsa this coming fall for my undergraduate education. While I have finally made my decision and almost worked out all of my finances, there are other things to do now that I am officially attending TU. I recently received a checklist from them concerning things I still need to do to ensure my spot in the freshman class for the upcoming fall semester.

One of these requirements is my final transcript. At the end of the year, when grades are finalized, many if not all colleges and universities require their new students to send in their final transcript. This is mainly to make sure the student didn’t slip their final semester of high school and may also determine scholarship eligibility. Since some scholarships are merit based, schools require that you maintain your grades even through your final semester. Read the rest of this entry »



“Work Hard. Be Nice.” Introduces America to KIPP

KIPP students at Ujima Village Academy in Baltimore.

KIPP students at Ujima Village Academy in Baltimore.

Have you met “the hardest-working kids in the country”? Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Bill Gates, Oprah and many others are counting themselves lucky for saying they have. They’re all big fans of the KIPP, Knowledge is Power Program, a low-income urban education program.

Justice Breyer met them by happenstance while heading in to his office one day while the students were on a somewhat disappointing field trip to Washington, D.C. After a teacher begged him to take a moment to say hello to them, he was intrigued when one student asked about his participation in the landmark case Miranda v. Arizona. Taken back, he said it was before his time, and became engaged. He’s been involved with KIPP ever since. Read the rest of this entry »



How To Find College Scholarships

How To Find College Scholarships

scholarshipGetting a college scholarship can be tough business. It’s super competitive, with tons of people just as qualified as you are. If you want to look for an edge, try searching where the herd of future college scholars aren’t. Where there’s less competition, there’s a higher chance for success. Here are a few tips that should increase your chances.

Look for Local Scholarships

While everyone else is going after the big-named prizes at their school of choice, all you have to do is look in your backyard. The key benefit to looking for local scholarships is that it’s inherently less competitive, since they are geared towards local residents. Think about going to your local banks, businesses, clubs, religious and other organizations. Read the rest of this entry »



How to Prepare for College During High School

How to Prepare for College During High School

Moving on to college after high school is one of the biggest changes in a student’s life. So it’s never too early to prepare for it, even if you’re just a freshman in high school. graduate

The early bird gets the worm, and the school of your choice. Don’t wait until your senior year to get the ball rolling. Research prospective schools, their entrance tests, and financial aid options sooner than later.

Plan to visit college campuses to get a feel for your options. Start with colleges near you. And even if you’re interested in schools that aren’t in your backyard, you can check a campus through cyberspace. Visit the websites of schools that you’re interested in. You can also attend college fairs to meet admission representatives and obtain course catalogs. It’s a great way to speak face-to-face with the people who know best. But if at all possible, visit campuses in person to get a firsthand experience of the schools’ culture. Read the rest of this entry »



Meet Becca, our New Student Blogger

becca driskillWe’re very pleased to introduce to you Becca Driskill. Next month she will begin her senior year of high school- and she’s going to share with you all of the ups, downs and insanity that make a senior year. Follow her every step of the way as she, like most of her peers, prepares for college. Becca will talk about entrance exams, senior year jitters and excitement, college selection process, college applications, college financing through grants, scholarships and student loans, campus tours and everything else she experiences along the way.

Becca is quite the accomplished high school student and certainly someone her high school in Wichita, KS should be proud to have. She’s involved in a broad variety of activities, and all the while maintains an impressive GPA. Her activities include International Club, National Honor Society, Varsity Softball, and the band where she plays clarinet. She is in the IB (International Baccalaureate) program, which is an accelerated program that intends to prep students for college and push them to your absolute limit (both academically and mentally!)

Outside of school, Becca remains busy with other extracurricular activities. This will be her twelfth year as a Girl Scout and she just recently earned the Gold Award, which is the equivalent of the Boy Scout Eagle Scout Award. She’s active in her church, attending youth group on a regular basis and was appointed as a LYF (Lutheran Youth Fellowship) Representative this past fall.

“As I document my final year of High School and all it entails,” says Becca, “I hope those of you who read it will find it not only entertaining, but also insightful and applicable.”

Look for Becca’s blog posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.



Adjusting from High School Academic Expectations to College

Most incoming college students are in for a shock when they first enter a college classroom—even if they did well academically in high school. The set of expectations are quite different, and it takes some time to get used to the changes. Here are the changes you can expect.

First and foremost, you are responsible for your own education. College instructors will be more than happy to answer questions and help you if you stop by their office hours. But they’re not. It’s up to you to:

    • Read the syllabus and know when your deadlines are. In high school, you may have had daily reminders about what to read for the next class period, or that a paper is due next week. Not so in college.This information is all on the syllabus, and you’re responsible for keeping track of it.
    • Take good notes. Although the instructor might use PowerPoint or give you some kind of outline to help you organize your notes, don’t count on it. You need to pay attention and get it all down.
    • Figure out what’s going to be on the test. Yes, you might get study sheets and some information from the instructor about what to study. However, in a college classroom, anything you read or hear about in class in fair game for the test.
    • Get help if you need it. Help is available, but you have to ask for it.

Second, one big change from high school is the amount of time you’re expected to spend studying. Instructors generally expect 2 to 3 hours of time outside of class for every credit hour you spend in class. That means if you’re taking 15 credits, you’re expected to spend 30 to 45 hours outside of class studying every week. Sound like a lot? Not if you want to do well.

Another big change is the difficult level of the reading. Your reading assignments will be longer and more difficult—and you’ll be expected to complete them.

Finally, a big change is your schedule itself. Although you’ll probably have an academic adviser to help you out, no one is going to tell you exactly what you need to take. You get to choose your major, choose your electives, and figure out which classes you need to fulfill the requirements for the school and the major. If you forget to take a class that’s required for graduation, you won’t graduate–end of story. Again, academic advising can help you—but you have to seek this out. It’s rarely required for students to meet with their academic advisors, so take advantage of the help that’s available.

If this sounds overwhelming, it is—but it does get easier if you’re willing to put in the work. Come to college expecting to be a little overwhelmed, and know that you’re not alone.





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