Get Ready for Tomorrow’s SAT

A few thoughts if you’re scheduled to take tomorrow’s SAT.

To minimize your stress tomorrow morning, it’s a great idea to get organized ahead of time. The last thing you need on test morning is a desperate scramble. These are some of the things you can do tonight to get your big day off to a great start:

First, check with your parents to make sure they know when and where you’re scheduled to take the test, and arrange how you’ll get to the test center. Next, gather and pack all the things you’ll need to take with you. Some of the things on this check list are “must-have” items, while others are optional.

REQUIRED: Don’t forget any of the following items or it will be a long ride home!

  • An approved calculator
  • Sharpened #2 pencils
  • An acceptable form of photo ID
  • Your admission or standby ticket

SUGGESTED:

  • Water
  • Snack
  • Sweater
  • Back-up calculator
  • Extra batteries for your calculator
  • Watch (to keep track of time)

Finally, given how COVID-19 has disrupted the testing process, we suggest that you confirm the status of your test registration and stay current on any changes by visiting Coronavirus Updates for Students Taking the SAT.

Set your alarm, get a good night’s sleep and have a healthy, satisfying breakfast.

Good luck!

 

Posted in Bound To Organize, Testing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Registration Reminder

Remember, today is the registration deadline for the ACT exams scheduled on October 10, 17, 24 and 25.

Look for ACT pop-up sites when you register in MyACT.  Pop-up sites are operated by ACT and won’t cancel at the last minute.

Posted in Bound To Organize, Testing | Tagged | Leave a comment

College Rankings

The 2021 Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings was just released. No surprise that the top ten spots are dominated by some of the Ivy League school and also include Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Duke, Stanford, California Institute of Technology and Northwestern. Although rankings can serve as a starting point, don’t let this information limit your search.

Choosing a college during a pandemic has added a whole list of new considerations. Now that visiting campuses is not possible, you’ll need to conduct your research online and remotely with admissions officers, alumni and current students. Ultimately, your choice of school may be impacted by personal reasons. Perhaps, your family’s financial situation has changed, you may need to help with family responsibilities or maybe you’re not comfortable being away from home. Now, more than ever, it’s important to be open minded and explore a variety of options. Starting off at a community college may make sense if you’d like to stay close to home or save money. You’d then have the option to continue your education at a four year school. Apply to special programs and for scholarships. Many schools offer generous merit-based awards to attract highly qualified students. Be open minded when you research schools and expand your list so you have many options, especially because we don’t know what the continued impact of the pandemic will be come next fall.

In this new environment, your successful college search and application process will require you to be open-minded, flexible and up-to-date on the latest developments.

Posted in Bound To Organize, Define Your Choices, Paying the Bills, Researching Schools | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Get Ready for Tomorrow’s ACT

A few thoughts if you’re scheduled to take tomorrow’s ACT.

To minimize your stress tomorrow morning, it’s a great idea to get organized ahead of time. The last thing you need on test morning is a desperate scramble. These are some of the things you can do tonight to get your big day off to a great start:

First, check with your parents to make sure they know when and where you’re scheduled to take the test, and arrange how you’ll get to the test center. Next, gather and pack all the things you’ll need to take with you. Some of the things on this check list are “must-have” items, while others are optional.

REQUIRED: Don’t forget any of the following items or it will be a long ride home!

  • An approved calculator
  • Sharpened #2 pencils
  • An acceptable form of photo ID
  • Your admission or standby ticket

SUGGESTED:

  • Water
  • Snack
  • Sweater
  • Back-up calculator
  • Extra batteries for your calculator
  • Watch (to keep track of time)

Finally, given how COVID-19 has disrupted the testing process, we suggest that you confirm the status of your test registration and stay current on any changes by visiting ACT Testing Amid COVID-19.

 

Set your alarm, get a good night’s sleep and have a healthy, satisfying breakfast.

Good luck!

 

 

Posted in Bound To Organize, Testing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What Works For You?

Your college application process is going to keep you very busy! There’s  a lot to keep track of this fall and while different from what you were anticipating, you’ll be researching schools, working on your applications and writing essays, applying for financial aid and scholarships, scheduling virtual interviews, if available, and also preparing and registering for standardized tests, if you decide to take them. It’s going to be so important to stay on top of changes in admissions requirements due to the pandemic. We suggest you get organized now to stay on top of things. Organization will be the best tool to help you submit successful applications and present your best self to Admissions.

Set up an organizing system that works for you:

  • Get started by using checklists and charts to keep track of all the different deadlines. You don’t want to miss out on any opportunities by losing track of due dates for test registration, applications, special programs and scholarships.
  • Use worksheets to gather the user names and passwords and other essential information such as your social security number and the student ID numbers that each school assigns. You will be asked to provide this information repeatedly throughout the process.  Also, jot down the SAT and ACT codes for your high school that the testing services will request as well as the contact information for your guidance counselor, so you won’t have to look this info up again and again.
  • Open a new email account to use exclusively for your search and applications. This will help you to respond quickly to any outreach.
  • Get into the habit of saving your application work, as well as important school assignments and papers by using a back-up device, such as a USB or online storage.

Once you begin your applications you’ll want to be prepared and ready for the barrage of requirements and deadlines. Get organized from the start and you’ll be more in control and avoid unnecessary mistakes and stress.

Posted in Application Process, Applications, Bound To Organize, Researching Schools, Testing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Finding Your Way

Welcome back to the new school year!  While everything is different, you should continue with your college search and application process. Colleges are adapting to the changes caused by the pandemic on an ongoing basis, so be sure to stay current by checking in regularly with individual school websites, College Board and ACT’s sites as well as other college admissions related resources.

Here are a few things to focus on for this fall semester:

  • Reach out to  your guidance or college counselor. In order to navigate your college admissions process in this time of uncertainty, seek out your guidance counselor for help. Make an appointment and have ready a list of questions, concerns and ideas to discuss.
  • Decide whether you are going to take standardized tests.  Although there are many schools now waiving the standardized test requirement, you may still consider submitting test scores if you feel they will enhance your application.  Talk to your parents and guidance counselor to formulate your plan.
  • Continue with your college search.  Although most schools are currently not offering campus visits, college websites feature virtual tours offering an excellent way to view the campus and it’s facilities and are also holding online information sessions. Schedule calls with admissions officers and reach out to students you know and talk to them about their experiences.
  • Focus on your schoolwork. With so many schools eliminating the test requirement, your grades and the rigor of your courses will play a greater role in demonstrating your academic qualifications for any given college.
  • Work on your essays and applications if you’re a senior. If you feel it’s important to discuss how Covid -19 has impacted you, both personally and academically, the Common App is offering a space to do so on your application.
  • Request teacher recommendations. As a senior, if you have not already done so, now is the time to reach out to two recommenders for your applications.

Stay open minded and be flexible in your approach to your college search and application process and remember that high school students across the nation are facing similar challenges.

Posted in Application Process, Bound To Organize, Researching Schools, Testing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Congratulations Graduates

This 2020 graduation season is unlike any that has come before. Graduates, you may find yourselves holding a mask and maybe a protest sign along with  your diploma.  You are all unique and accomplished in so many different ways and we want to celebrate you and congratulate all on your high school graduation.

So many noteworthy virtual commencement addresses were given. We share a few with you here:

 

“It’s OK to not be OK right now.” Alicia Keys

“Every thought in your mind is powerful. Every word you speak is powerful. Every action you take has consequences for yourself and your community.” Beyonce

“In an uncertain world, time tested values like honesty and integrity, empathy and compassion— that’s the only real currency in life.”  Michelle Obama

“You have gained your education. Now it’s time you go out and use it for the betterment of the world.” Malala Yousafzai

“America changed, and has always changed, because young people dared to hope.” President Barak Obama

 

Posted in Bound To Organize, Events | Tagged | Leave a comment

SAT Drops At Home Test

College Board is postponing plans to offer an at home digital version of the SAT.  AP exams, despite initial problems in May, will be offered digitally in June. ACT, as of now, is still planning to offer a digital remote option in the fall.

We’ll continue to keep you updated as the standardized testing situation continues to evolve.

Posted in Bound To Organize, Testing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Colleges Still Accepting Applications

If you have not yet completed your application process, are not happy with your outcome or if you are reconsidering your options, given changed circumstances due to the pandemic, check out National Association of College Admissions Counseling’s College Openings Update. This list provides a directory of over 400 colleges and universities with openings, financial aid and housing still available to qualified first year and transfer students for the fall 2020 semester.

Make use of the Update to search for schools through the use of various filters, including state and country. Both public and private universities are included on the list. This is an excellent resource and will continue to be revised as colleges and universities finalize their admission numbers for 2020/21.

Posted in Applications, Bound To Organize | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Thoughts For Rising Juniors

The college admissions process is undergoing significant changes amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The most significant change in the application evaluation process is the elimination of the standardized test score requirement. Following the announcement by many small private colleges, the University of California, the largest public university system in the country, joined the growing list of schools phasing out the SAT and ACT requirements. As this is an evolving situation and schools are continuing to respond to the current environment, make sure you are staying in touch with news of schools adding their name to this list.

Some students may want to take the exams, as they are still required by highly competitive schools and mat be used to award scholarships, determine course placement and evaluate out-of-state students.

With the more widespread elimination of test scores for admissions assessments, how are you going to differentiate yourself as a candidate? Criteria for admissions include your academic performance, rigor of coursework, extracurricular involvement and recommendations. The good news is you have plenty of time to focus on your school work and pursue activities that are meaningful to you.

During this unusual time find ways to get engaged and involve yourself in something that matters to you. Summer is also a good time to assess and plan ahead. Do a bit of research on schools to understand testing requirements and admissions criteria. Although this is a very early look, it’s a good way to become familiar with your options going forward. There are many online tools available to help you begin your college search process. Spend time searching college websites, take virtual tours and read what students have to say about their school. When school begins in the fall, plan to review your findings with your guidance counselor.

 

Posted in Application Process, Bound To Organize, Researching Schools, Testing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment