Plan For College

Thursday, November 10, 2011

7 Pieces of Advice from our Plan For College Readers

The College Planning Group started the Plan For College blog in January. Since then, we've written 43 articles - one per week - and the goal of each article is to help parents and their high school students prepare for college. Over the last 10+ months of blogging, we've had parents and college planning professionals offer some great insight by commenting on specific articles.

Today, we want to thank all of our readers and contributors by showing the top 7 pieces of advice from our readers:

About asking questions of college admission officers

(1) Susie Watts: "One question I suggest students ask is, 'What kind of students are happiest at this school?' The academic fit might be great, but if students do not feel they fit socially or personality wise, they won't hesitate to leave.

(2) Hope Brown: "What is the protocol for registering for classes? Do classes fill quickly for Freshmen and if they do, what type of support is there for me to get into the class? Is there anyway for Freshmen to get to know the teaching styles of their professors prior to their first semester? 

These are questions I wish I had asked when I applied to college. In some cases, the lack of support in these areas deterred me from applying to a large school."

(3) Grace Dunn: "How much is your endowment fund?"

About high school stress

(4) Marlaine Cover: "Great Topic! Having worked previously as the Director of an academic Tutoring Club which excelled in SAT/ACT prep, and mother also to two college age daughters, I know first hand that stress is the six letter word which defines college prep years. Acknowledging contributing variables, and identifying critical points for change, is time exceedingly well invested. The singular most critical stressor - and one whose impact is consistently underrated - is insufficient sleep. I would love to see you add this to your list and focus on it exclusively in a future blog. Gratitude for your work."

About visiting college campuses

(5) Ron Reis: "After visiting 500 top colleges across the country, the best advice I can give is to spend as much time on campus un-escorted as possible. Feel your way around. Act like you're a student. You'll know before long if it's the place for you."

About SAT prep

(6) PWN the SAT (?): "I hate to pile on with the book recommendations, but even if the strategies in that Kaplan book are top notch (I'm skeptical), students who are really serious about improvement need to invest in the Official SAT Study Guide (published by the College Board). It's the only book you can buy with real tests in it, which makes a huge difference, especially in the reading section, where poorly designed impostor questions can do more harm than good."


(7) Jeff, Tia, and Peter: "This is great idea for a guest blog series!

We agree completely - the FAFSA is for everyone, even if you don't think you could qualify, or just need a small amount. You won't get anything at all if you don't apply, and schools use FAFSA data often times to assess eligibility for certain school-based scholarships and grants.

Bottom line is do apply! It's the first step."

Thanks for the advice everyone and keep reading! Comment below if you'd like to write a blog post for the Plan For College Blog.


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