New SAT Regulations

September 20, 2012
Last year there was a big scandal with SAT test fraud, seems that a professional was taking the tests in place of the students. This would not have attracted so much attention if the test scores were poor but they were excellent. As this was uncovered, those students lost their scholarships and the person standing […]

Last year there was a big scandal with SAT test fraud, seems that a professional was taking the tests in place of the students. This would not have attracted so much attention if the test scores were poor but they were excellent.

As this was uncovered, those students lost their scholarships and the person standing in for the test was fired.

As a result of all this unscrupulous scandal CollegeBoard has implemented new security measures. These things were outlined at the CollegeBoard conference that I attend last Wednesday on September 12, 2012.

Students will be required to submit a current, recognizable photo during registration that will be included on a new photo admission ticket. Students registering online will be required to upload a digital photo.

Uploaded photos will be mandatory for the March tests and may be implemented before this date. A passport style photo approximately 2 X 2 is suggested.

In addition to this there will no longer be stand by or walk in as it is no longer permitted.

Along with this students who take the PSAT will be required to write in cursive the following statement: “I hereby agree to the conditions set forth online at collegeboard.com and in the SAT Paper Registration Guide and certify that I am the person whose name and address appear on this answer sheet.”

If the student does not write this in cursive (not print) the test may become invalid.

From CollegeBoard’s website: Starting this year, students will copy and sign a statement acknowledging that they agree to the test regulations. As a result, the placement of some fields on the answer sheet has changed. Supervisors should plan additional time for this activity and familiarize themselves with the answer sheet prior to test day.

These new regulations can be viewed on CollegeBoard.org’s website. http://press.collegeboard.org/releases/2012/enhanced-sat-security-measures-announced-2012-13-academic-year

More than likely similar regulations will be required for the ACT test.

Remember to check out how to beat the test on this website.

 

 

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In State Residency

September 11, 2012
In state residency So how do I do it? Get in state residency in another state… Private colleges charge the same COA (Cost of Attendance) regardless of the student’s home state. i.e. Stanford has the same fees for California student as well as students from Florida, Arizona, Maryland or any other state. State colleges are […]

In state residency

So how do I do it? Get in state residency in another state…

Private colleges charge the same COA (Cost of Attendance) regardless of the student’s home state. i.e. Stanford has the same fees for California student as well as students from Florida, Arizona, Maryland or any other state.

State colleges are dependent upon taxes collected from residence of the state. Meaning people who live in Oregon (or insert other state) pay Oregon taxes. A portion of those taxes is set aside to help the local state college for support of institution and other fees. Because out of state students and their parents do not pay, in this case, Oregon taxes, the college is forced to charge out of state fees to non residence students.

There are several states that have partnered and offered adjacent state residence a special fee. Many states provide Reciprocity with other states, where students from one state can receive In State or reduced tuition to attend a college in another state and vice-versa.

  1. New England Board of Higher Education has a reciprocity agreement among Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. http://www.nebhe.org/programs-overview/rsp-tuition-break/overview/
  2. Academic Common Market is a reciprocity agreement among 16 southern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. http://www.sreb.org/page/1304/academic_common_market.html
  3. Midwest Student Exchange Program is a consortium of six Midwestern states: Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and North Dakota. http://www.mhec.org/MidwestStudentExchangeProgram
  4. Western Undergraduate Exchange covers institutions in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. http://www.wiche.edu/
  5. Some states have reciprocity agreements with colleges in Canada. http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/12/12/manitoba-university-reciprocity/

 

Not every state school participates in reciprocity. As that is the case, the college will charge out of state fees.

Colleges can override the residency status of the student for a variety of reasons, great grades, stellar athlete, etc, all to retain the student.

In state residency is also given to students who intend to make Oregon (or what every state they are attending college in) their home (i.e. pay taxes to the state longer term).

On Cal Poly's website it states: Adult students (students who are 19 years old by the Residence Determination Date for the quarter to which he/she is applying) may establish their own residency for tuition purposes in California if they are a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or other immigrant; or someone in nonimmigrant status who is not precluded from establishing a domicile in the U.S. The student must establish clear evidence of his/her intent to abandon the derived residence of their out-of-state parent(s) and adopt a new residence.

The big kicker regardless of the state, is that the student must usually prove that he/she is not dependent upon parent funds especially if the parent resides outside the state.

Here is what I recommend. The student should go to their financial aid departments and ask what they need to do to be declared an in state residence. The student should back this up with good grades or some other needed thing. In some situations the college will override the status and grant the student in state residency. The student may be required to fulfill certain requirements to be reclassified as an in state residence.

The student may have to prove that he/she qualifies for in state residency by getting a job off campus, getting an apartment or house other than student housing, live and work there for a year. Just because the student does these things the college may or may not reclassify the student.

The best is for the student to enquire at their school information on being declared an in state student. Some colleges require the student to fill out a form.

Gone are the days when parents do not use the student as a deduction on their taxes. This stratagy is 3 decades old. Gone is the strategy to have the student open a bank account in the state, get a driver’s license and other non applicable tricks. Remember the reason colleges grant in state resedency costs to students is because the student and/or parent paid taxes in that state.

Utimatly it is the decision of the college admissions and financial aid directors to reclassify students. These administrators are given sole atonomy to grant or reject reclassificaiton of resednecy status.

Of course, if you get a full ride scholarship, this is a mute point... see http://azcollegeplanning.com/bootcamp/market-yourself-to-colleges for info on this.

 

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Scottsdale College Fair

September 10, 2012
the Scottsdale College Fair is on Saturday October 13 the day before the Phoenix College Fair at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. This website is easier to use than the NACAC website. (about 100 colleges will be in attendance) Scottsdale College Fair October 13 2012, 1-3PM Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts 7380 E. 2nd […]

the Scottsdale College Fair is on Saturday October 13 the day before the Phoenix College Fair at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. This website is easier to use than the NACAC website. (about 100 colleges will be in attendance)

Scottsdale College Fair

October 13 2012, 1-3PM
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts 7380 E. 2nd Street Scottsdale, AZ 85281

 

www.ScottsdaleCollegeFair.com

Here is a link to the colleges that will be attending...
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.410373392343057.86931.166314886748910&type=1

about 98 colleges are represented...

 

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Christian College Fair

September 10, 2012
Scottsdale Christian Academy SCA 4400 N Tatum Boulevard, Phoenix, is hosting the National Christian College Fair from 6 PM to 8 PM see the website for more information (47 colleges will be in attendance, up from last year's 34!) And for those of you who live in the east valley, Valley Christian High School will […]

Scottsdale Christian Academy SCA 4400 N Tatum Boulevard, Phoenix, is hosting the National Christian College Fair from 6 PM to 8 PM see the website for more information (47 colleges will be in attendance, up from last year's 34!)

And for those of you who live in the east valley, Valley Christian High School will be hosting this year's Christian College Fair.

  1. October 22 2012 East Valley Phoenix at Valley Christian High School 6-8PM -VCHS 6900 W. Galveston Street, Chandler, Arizona
  2. October23 2012 Northeast Phoenix at Scottsdale Christian Academy 6-8PM SCA 4400 N Tatum Boulevard, Phoenix
  3. October 25 2012 Tucson at Pusch Ridge Christian Academy 6-8 PM - PRC 9500 North Oracle Road, Tucson, AZ

 The following schools will be represented:

  1. Abilene Christian University -Abilene, Texas
  2. Anderson University-IN -Anderson, Indiana
  3. Arizona Christian University -Phoenix, Arizona
  4. Azusa Pacific University -Azusa, California
  5. Bethel University -St. Paul, Minnesota
  6. Biola University -La Mirada, California
  7. California Baptist University -Riverside, California
  8. Calvin College -Grand Rapids, Michigan
  9. Cedarville University -Cedarville, Ohio
  10. Colorado Christian University -Lakewood, Colorado
  11. Concordia University-CA -Irvine, California
  12. Concordia University-NE -Seward, Nebraska
  13. Concordia University-OR -Portland, Oregon
  14. Dordt College -Sioux Center, Iowa
  15. Fresno Pacific University -Fresno, California
  16. George Fox University -Newberg, Oregon
  17. Goshen College -Goshen, Indiana
  18. Hope International University -Fullerton, California
  19. IMPACT 360 -Pine Mountain, Georgia
  20. John Brown University -Siloam Springs, Arkansas
  21. LeTourneau University -Longview, Texas
  22. Lipscomb University -Nashville, Tennessee
  23. Lubbock Christian University -Lubbock, Texas
  24. Moody Bible Institute -Chicago, Illinois
  25. North Park University -Chicago, Illinois
  26. Northwest University -Kirkland, Washington
  27. Northwestern College-IA -Orange City, Iowa
  28. Oklahoma Baptist University -Shawnee, Oklahoma
  29. Oklahoma Christian University -Edmond, Oklahoma
  30. Point Loma Nazarene University -San Diego, California
  31. Providence Christian College -Pasadena, California
  32. San Diego Christian College -El Cajon, California
  33. Seattle Pacific University -Seattle, Washington
  34. Simpson University -Redding, California
  35. Southeastern University -Lakeland, Florida
  36. The College at Southwestern -Fort Worth, Texas
  37. The King’s College -New York, New York
  38. The Master’s College -Santa Clarita, California
  39. Trinity Christian College -Palos Heights, Illinois
  40. Union University -Jackson, Tennessee
  41. Vanguard University -Costa Mesa, California
  42. Warner Pacific College -Portland, Oregon
  43. Westmont College -Santa Barbara, California
  44. Wheaton College -Wheaton, Illinois
  45. Whitworth College -Spokane, Washington
  46. William Jessup University -Rocklin, California

 

http://myblueprintstory.com/christian-college-fairs

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Common Application Essay Prompts

September 6, 2012
The essay is your chance to stand out and shine. A great essay outlines your character, personality and personal traits. It should follow the word count requirements.

Common Application (Common App, CommonApp.org) Essay Prompt https://www.commonapp.org/CommonApp/Docs/DownloadForms/2013/2013AppFY_download.pdf 

Most colleges require an essay to be included in the application. The essay is your chance to stand out and shine. Your essay should be an extension of your application while supporting your extracurricular achievements and outline your intended major.

Regardless of the essay prompt the main factor is the underlining question, “tell us about you”, “who are you?”.

A great essay outlines your character, personality and personal traits. It should follow the word count requirements. The common application essay requirements are 250 – 500 words. Do not write an essay that is 249 words and do not write an essay that is 501 words.

An essay that is less than the minimum or more than the maximum shows that a student cannot follow directions. Your application and essay should show your best side. Part of that best side includes following directions.

The essay should point out specific characteristics that the college should know about you.

In essence, the essay should be the equivalent of a sales letter “selling” your best side, an “I’m awesome because of X”.

A great essay cannot be written in one sitting. It must be written, re-written and read to correct all punctuation, spelling and grammatical errors. The context of a great essay is something that should be pondered and considered before committing to a final draft.

Choose one of the essay prompts and start your draft.

A popular topic for the essay is: Who influenced you and how did it affect you. Many students choose this topic and typically write about a family member that they admire. Do not write an essay about how awesome your grandparent is because of this or that but write an essay that says my grandparent is awesome and then I did X. The essay should be about YOU not your grandparent. The college wants to admit you not your grandparent.

A well written essay can answer multiple prompts. While not every college uses the Common App, the essay prompts will most likely be similar. You may have to tweak your essay a little bit at the beginning or end of the essay to answer the prompt. (You can use the Common App's essay prompts and start early writing your essay. )

On that point, verify that your essay actually answers the prompt you selected.

One last point, read the essay out loud. If it sounds okay then it probably is. If the essay sounds funny, there are probably errors that need to be corrected.

From Common App website:

Please write an essay of 250 – 500 words on a topic of your choice or on one of the options listed below, and attach it to your application before submission. Please indicate your topic by checking the appropriate box. This personal essay helps us become acquainted with you as a person and student, apart from courses, grades, test scores, and other objective data. It will also demonstrate your ability to organize your thoughts and express yourself. NOTE: Your Common Application essay should be the same for all colleges. Do not customize it in any way for individual colleges. Colleges that want customized essay responses will ask for them on a supplement form.

  1. Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
  2. Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you.
  3. Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.
  4. Describe a character in fiction, a historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music, science, etc.) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence.
  5. A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the educational mix. Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.
  6. Topic of your choice.

Need help with writing an incredible essay, we can help. Contact us.

 

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University of Arizona Personal Statement Essay Prompt

September 6, 2012
University of Arizona - Personal Statement: A personal statement is our best means of getting to know you and your best means of putting your academic performance and activities in the context of your life.

University of Arizona Personal Statement Prompt

The University of Arizona's (Arizona.edu) application requirement includes an essay or commonly referred to as a Personal Statement.

The main factor with this Personal Statement is the underlining questions, “tell us about you”, “who are you?”.

A great Personal Statement outlines your character, personality and personal traits. It should not be very long. The statement should point out specific characteristics that the college should know about you.

In essence, the Personal Statement should be the equivalent of a sales letter “selling” your best side, an “I’m awesome because of X” statement.

A great Personal Statement final draft cannot be written in one sitting. It must be written, re-written and read to correct all punctuation, spelling and grammatical errors. The context of a great Personal Statement is something that should be pondered and considered before committing to a final draft.

One last point, read the Personal Statement out loud. If it sounds okay then it probably is. If the Personal Statement sounds funny, there are probably errors that need to be corrected.

 

From UA’s application:

Personal Statement - For All Freshman Applicants:

A personal statement is our best means of getting to know you and your best means of putting your academic performance and activities in the context of your life. There are no "wrong" answers. When you write your personal statement, tell us about those aspects of your life that are not evident from your academic record. Because personal statements are brief, they usually focus on one aspect of a student’s life. For example, you could focus on a character-defining moment, a cultural awareness, a challenge faced, family background or cultural heritage, individual talents, academic commitment, or extracurricular activities. Tell us what you would like us to know about you in considering you for admission and/or scholarships.

 

Need help Maximizing Scholarships? Contact us.

 

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Do your senior year grades matter?

August 27, 2012
Your senior year grades matter. A student of mine, whom we'll call James (name changed to protect the guilty) applied to the University of Arizona and was admitted based on his junior year transcripts. The abbreviated story is that he got senioritis really bad. His GPA dropped and UA removed all his scholarships. Worst case […]

Your senior year grades matter.

A student of mine, whom we'll call James (name changed to protect the guilty) applied to the University of Arizona and was admitted based on his junior year transcripts. The abbreviated story is that he got senioritis really bad. His GPA dropped and UA removed all his scholarships. Worst case scenario is that the student could have been denied admission even after receiving an acceptance letter.

About 100 students received the F.O.G. “Fear of God” letter from a prestigious university in Texas. This letter stated that they may or may not admit the student based on the poor performance their senior year.

It is not uncommon for colleges to rescind the admission decision or reduce the amount of scholarships because of poor performance in the senior year.

“It is one of the hardest things to send a letter asking for an explanation,” Lee Ann Afton, dean of admission and financial aid at Sewanee: The University of the South, wrote. “Fortunately we don’t have too many students who just stop studying completely, but if the drop is too extreme, we will rescind our offer of admission. I always remind students that every letter of acceptance has the sentence about the offer of admission is contingent on successful completion of high school work.”

Here is an article in the New York Times about this very subject.

The moral of the story is finishing the race strong. Don’t get senioritis of you may get F.O.G.’d.

 

 

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CEEB code for Home School

August 22, 2012
The CEEB Code for college applications for Home School Students is 970000.

The CEEB Code for college applications for Home School Students is 970000.

This code may be required will filling out College Applications, or for requesting information from the institution or for registering for events such as college fairs.

The Common Application, AKA Common App, www.CommonApp.org has a link to look up the CEEB code. In the pop up window is another link specifically for home school students. This will auto fill the Common App with 999999.

College Board's home school code is 970000. This is used for the SAT tests, SAT Subjects test, AP tests.

ACT's CEEB  Code for home school students is 969-999. This is for the ACT test and the Plan test.

 

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2012, 2013 Common Application Preview

June 18, 2012
The 2012/13 Common App Preview is currently available. There are a couple minor changes. The changes are negligible and noted via highlight. Here is the link. https://www.commonapp.org/CommonApp/Docs/DownloadForms/2012/2012-13FY-FinalHighlightedPreview.pdf The live version will most likely be ready August 1st. The Common Application (informally known as the Common App) is an undergraduate college admission application that applicants may use to apply to any of […]

The 2012/13 Common App Preview is currently available.

There are a couple minor changes. The changes are negligible and noted via highlight.

Here is the link.

https://www.commonapp.org/CommonApp/Docs/DownloadForms/2012/2012-13FY-FinalHighlightedPreview.pdf

The live version will most likely be ready August 1st.

The Common Application (informally known as the Common App) is an undergraduate college admission application that applicants may use to apply to any of 456 member colleges and universities in the United States.

Here is a link to a list of colleges that use the Common App. The advantage to this website is that students can fill out one application and have it go to several College App Member colleges. https://www.commonapp.org/commonapp/members.aspx.

 

 

 

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Student Loan Interest Rate to Double

June 8, 2012
Hidden inside the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), informally referred to as Obamacare are outlines on how to pay for this program through the acquisition of student loan interest payments and student loan fees. Currently the total student loan balance has superseded $1 Trillion dollars. And interest rates for student loans are about […]

Hidden inside the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), informally referred to as Obamacare are outlines on how to pay for this program through the acquisition of student loan interest payments and student loan fees.

Currently the total student loan balance has superseded $1 Trillion dollars.

And interest rates for student loans are about to reset.

Unless Congress works out a deal, interest rates on federal student loans will double for more than 7 million students this July. Tell Washington to stand up for students:

http://bit.ly/dontdoublemyrates <-- Click this link for more info.

While we need healthcare, we don’t need it at the expense of our children.

 

You can avoid Student Loans by selecting the right college and maximizing both need based and merit aid. This is what we do!

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