high school senior

high school senior

All Graduates of Chicago Charter School Accepted into Colleges Third Year in a Row

It’s not very common that you hear about a high school whose entire senior class is going to attend college after graduation. It’s even more uncommon for that school to be in Chicago, an area that has a long history of education challenges. Considering these facts, I think it is fair to say that it is unheard of for a school facing these obstacles to accomplish this feat for three years in a row, but that is exactly what Urban Prep Academy has done.

The all-boys charter school is happy to report that all 85 members of the Class of 2012 have been accepted to colleges and universities across the country. There were even some standout students, like Vernon Cheeks, who were accepted to multiple schools; Cheeks was accepted to 14 different schools.

“It taught me how to be resilient,” Cheeks said about his time at Urban Prep Academy. “It also taught me how to be accountable for my own actions.”

The school is located in a neighborhood with a very high crime rate and is the middle of gang terrorizes. However, that hasn’t stopped the school or its students from succeeding. Founded in 2006, Urban Prep Academy has taken young men and helped them transition from barely reading at grade level to excelling and being accepted to university.

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How to Write a Personal Statement for a College Admissions Application

It is by far the scariest, most difficult, and all-around-worst part of applying for admissions to a college or university. I know this might seem a little extreme, especially when you consider all of the time-consuming documents that you have to prepare and collect for your application for admissions (think FAFSA, the SAT, recommendation letters, etc.), but I am secure in my belief that this one part of the process is the part that makes many people avoid applying until the final deadline is upon them. What am I talking about? The personal statement or application essay, of course.

Many schools require applicants to submit a personal statement as part of their admissions application. This essay is supposed to sum up, in three pages or less, why you are an amazing person and worthy of attending their school. So, obviously, there’s a little bit of pressure to get it right. After all, you only have one chance to make a first impression on the admissions committee and this is it.

Recently, students have began using YouTube videos as substitutes for the traditional essay. Although this is a cool, new alternative that might become mainstream in the future, it currently is more of the exception than the rule. Unfortunately, that blank piece of paper is still the most common format for college admission essays. Read the rest of this entry »



Many Schools Extend Early Admissions Deadline After Freak Winter Storm

College Common Application LogoWhen an unseasonal snow storm swept through the Northeast last week, many families were left without electricity. This means no heaters, no warm water, and the worst thing for high school seniors: no computers or internet to use to submit their early applications for college acceptance.

The deadline for many colleges for early application was November 1, 2011. For many students who wanted to apply early to their choice schools, the lack of power in their homes forced them to flock to local coffee shops, bookstores, and other public places that still had electricity to charge their laptops and working Internet connections in order to submit their applications.

“I actually had a nervous breakdown, said Victoria Ngo, a high school student who wanted to apply early admission to Villanova University. Ngo found herself without power and was unable to complete her personal statement, which was saved on her laptop, because the computer’s battery had died. Luckily, Ngo was able to go to her cousin’s home in another city where she could charge her computer and finish her personal statement on time.

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High School Senior College Checklist

As an upcoming high school senior, you may be thinking ahead to college. There are a lot of different things to do and dates to have on your calendar. For those that plan to continue their education beyond high school, several things must be done so that you are properly prepared for your freshman year of college. Making a list and prioritizing it by deadline is a helpful way to make sure that everything is taken care of in plenty of time so that you can have things lined up and enjoy your last year of high school. A little bit of planning now will ensure that you have nothing to worry about later. Below are a few things to keep in mind so that no deadlines are missed.

FAFSA: The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, for the academic year of 2012-2013 is not currently available, but it will be on January 1, 2012. You only need to file once for each academic year and filing early is always best. The deadline for the 2012-2013 academic year will be June 30, 2013. Receiving free money like government grants can truly depend on how early you file, so keep that January 1 date in mind.  Once those government grants are gone, the only options available for federally funding your education would be student loans or work study programs. When filling out the FAFSA, you will need your parents’ tax and income information for 2011 and you can choose what schools you want your award information sent to. You can pick several schools to receive this information, which is helpful if you haven’t picked your college when you start filling out your FAFSA.

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Double-Check Grades Before End of School Year

I checked my grades the other day, just to make sure I would be ending my high school career on a strong note, and I realized that I had a few missing assignments. I realized some of these assignments effected my grades by quite a bit and that it is important I get these assignments turned in soon.report-card

While I’m lucky many of my teachers understand it’s been an extremely hectic time with IB testing starting, some teachers may not be the same. Before the school year draws to a close, be sure to check with your teachers about any incomplete/missing assignments you may have. You may be surprised at how much your grade can be affected by a 20 point assignment. Also, if you have slacked and your grades aren’t want you thought they would be, ask your teacher about any extra credit options they may offer. Some teachers may offer some extra credit while some teachers may not offer any because they may feel waiting until the last minute is not what you are supposed to do. 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.





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