Tag college

College Transition: Are you ready?

For many students, high school is like a second home.  It’s a place you feel comfortable.  You know where to find your friends and your favorite places to hang out.  Now, you’re getting ready to embark on a new adventure – college.  This will be unlike any experience you’ve had in the past.  How do you prepare?  What should you expect?

Harlan Cohen (the NY Times bestselling author of The Naked Roommate) shares some thoughts in this TEDx Talk video about what you need to do to prepare for college: Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable.

Watch Harlan Cohen’s TEDx Talk  

Take Action
Talk to your parents and friends about steps you can take to start getting ready to leave home and go to college next fall.

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Who’s watching your social media?

Alan Katzman, founder and CEO of Social Assurity, guides students on creating a winning social media presence. He is a pioneer in developing and advancing techniques to teach students how to use social media to build a compelling and reflective digital presence as a game-changing tool for creating academic and career success at all educational levels.  We’re giving you his top four reasons why you should be aware of how social media can impact your college planning. 

Reason #1: Admission Officers Are Looking at Your Social Media
Thanks to Kaplan Test Prep and its annual survey of college admissions officers, we know that at least 35% of admission officers in the United States looked at applicant social media during the 2016 admissions process. We also know that admissions officers are more likely to look when considering scholarships and when invited to do so by applicants. 

Reason #2: Since They’re Looking, Why Not Give Them Something to See?
College admissions officers have neither the time nor the interest to search social media simply to find reasons to reject qualified applicants. If and when colleges look, logic dictates they are looking to learn more about the applicant, opening the door of opportunity for the prepared applicant to make a strong impression and set themselves apart from other qualified applicants. 

Reason #3: The Best Offense is a Good Defense
Almost all colleges now have a prominent social media presence and encourage applicants to interact with them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.  By optimizing social media to showcase their activities, interests, accomplishments, and service, applicants can freely and safely interact with colleges and may very well impress the right people as a result. 

Reason #4: Managing Social Media is an Essential Life Skill
Social media is here to stay and will continue to influence character and credibility assessments made by colleges, scholarship committees, and employers. Today, a thoughtful, transparent, and reflective digital presence across social media networks can help students achieve their academic and professional goals and aspirations.  

Take action
Review your social media accounts.  What would you like colleges or others to see about you? Want to do more?  Social Assurity offers online classes to get your social media presence right. 

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Three steps to great recommendations

 

Asking for recommendations?  You might find this easy, or awkward, or somewhere in between.  How do you get the best recommendations for your college applications?  Follow these three steps:  

1. Get Ready. Before you start asking teachers, counselor or others for a letter of recommendation, do your homework.  

  • Focus on familiarity. Teachers who know you best will write the best recommendations.  Ask for recommendations from the teachers that you have a strong relationship with even if you didn’t receive the best grade in their class. 
  • Check with your school.  Many schools have deadlines and requirements for requesting letters of recommendations. Put dates in your calendar and stick to them. 
  • Go for the maximum.  The Common App and other systems list how many letters of recommendation are required.  They also give you a number of how many recommendations are allowed. Plan to request the maximum number. 
  • Create a Recommendation Calendar. Check the dates your college applications are due, and work backwards. Add all dates to your calendar.  
    • Ask a teacher for a recommendation at least 4-6 weeks (follow your school’s timeline) before your applications are due.   
    • Plan for the recommendations to be done 2-4 weeks before your application is due.
    • If you are doing early applications, you should request recommendations in September or October.
  • Update your activity list. Give teachers/counselors your activity list, resume or brag sheet.  This gives them information to use when writing about you. 

2. Make the Ask.  Use this checklist to organize your recommendation requests to your teachers. Put the following items together in a large 10X13 envelope and hand to each teacher/counselor you are requesting a letter from: 

  • Cover letter.  Personal letter explaining the purpose of the recommendation (for scholarships, admissions, or special programs).  Include dates you need recommendations completed by. Be sure to sign the letter. 
  • Resume/Activity List.  List of all your activities through high school. 
  • Role of Recommendations.  Provide a copy of The Role of Recommendations to teachers/counselors. This document explains what colleges are looking for in recommendations. 

 

3. Follow up.  Follow this recommendation checklist after you have requested letters of recommendation: 

  • Check progress.  The Common Application, the Coalition Application and others allow you to track the progress of your application, including recommendations. Use this to view when recommendations are uploaded. 
  • Gently remind. Teachers often appreciate a gentle reminder about upcoming due dates. You want to be sure your recommendations are submitted on time. 
  • Write a thank you.  Make a teacher’s or counselor’s day with a personalized, handwritten note thanking them for their assistance.

Take Action 
We provide several tools to help you obtain outstanding recommendations. 

  • Update activities list in GuidedPath. Use the Recommendations Survey to list your recommenders.  Learn about GuidedPath Surveys. 
  • Use the deadline dates in your Application Plans to determine due dates of recommendations. 
  • View the Admissions Notes under My Colleges->Info->Admissions to see how many letters of recommendation are required. 

read more

Who’s watching your social media?

Alan Katzman, founder and CEO of Social Assurity, guides students on creating a winning social media presence. He is a pioneer in developing and advancing techniques to teach students how to use social media to build a compelling and reflective digital presence as a game-changing tool for creating academic and career success at all educational levels.  We’re giving you his top four reasons why you should be aware of how social media can impact your college planning. 

Reason #1: Admission Officers Are Looking at Your Social Media
Thanks to Kaplan Test Prep and its annual survey of college admissions officers, we know that at least 35% of admission officers in the United States looked at applicant social media during the 2016 admissions process. We also know that admissions officers are more likely to look when considering scholarships and when invited to do so by applicants. 

Reason #2: Since They’re Looking, Why Not Give Them Something to See?
College admissions officers have neither the time nor the interest to search social media simply to find reasons to reject qualified applicants. If and when colleges look, logic dictates they are looking to learn more about the applicant, opening the door of opportunity for the prepared applicant to make a strong impression and set themselves apart from other qualified applicants. 

Reason #3: The Best Offense is a Good Defense
Almost all colleges now have a prominent social media presence and encourage applicants to interact with them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.  By optimizing social media to showcase their activities, interests, accomplishments, and service, applicants can freely and safely interact with colleges and may very well impress the right people as a result. 

Reason #4: Managing Social Media is an Essential Life Skill
Social media is here to stay and will continue to influence character and credibility assessments made by colleges, scholarship committees, and employers. Today, a thoughtful, transparent, and reflective digital presence across social media networks can help students achieve their academic and professional goals and aspirations.  

     

Take action
Review your social media accounts.  What would you like colleges or others to see about you? Want to do more?  Social Assurity offers online classes to get your social media presence right. 

read more

Seniors: Three steps to great recommendations

 

The buzz around school right now is all about recommendations.  How do you get the best recommendations for your college applications?  Follow these three steps: 

 1. Get Ready. Before you start asking teachers, counselor or others for a letter of recommendation, do your homework. It will pay off for you in the end with outstanding recommendations. 

  • Focus on familiarity. Teachers who know you best will write the best recommendations.  Ask for recommendations from the teachers that you have a strong relationship with even if you didn’t receive the best grade in their class. 
  • Check in with your school.  Many schools have deadlines and requirements for requesting letters of recommendations. Put dates in your calendar and stick to them. 
  • Go for the maximum.  The Common App and other systems list how many letters of recommendation are required.  They also give you a number of how many recommendations are allowed. Plan to request the maximum number. 
  • Create a Recommendation Calendar. Check the dates your college applications are due, and work backwards. Add all dates to your calendar.  
    • Ask a teacher at least 4-6 weeks (follow your school’s timeline) before your applications are due for a recommendation.   
    • Plan for the recommendations to be done 2-4 weeks before your application is due. 
    • If you are doing early applications, you should request recommendations in September or October.  
  • Update your resume. Give teachers/counselors your resume or brag sheet.  This gives them information to use when writing about you. 

2.  Make the Ask.  Use this checklist to organize your recommendation requests to your teachers. Put the following items together in a large 10X13 envelope and hand to each teacher/counselor you are requesting a letter from: 

  • Cover letter.  Personal letter explaining the purpose of the recommendation (for scholarships, admissions or special programs).  Include dates you need recommendations completed by. Be sure to sign the letter. 
  • Resume.  List of all your activities through high school. 
  • Role of Recommendations.  Provide a copy of The Role of Recommendations to teachers/counselors. This document explains what colleges are looking for in recommendations. 

3. Follow up.  Follow this recommendation checklist after you have requested letters of recommendation:

  • Check progress.  The Common Application, the Coalition Application and others allow you to track the progress of your application, including recommendations. Use this to view when recommendations are uploaded. 
  • Gently remind. Teachers often appreciate a gentle reminder about upcoming due dates. You want to be sure your recommendations are submitted on time. 
  • Write a thank you.  Make a teacher’s or counselor’s day with a personalized, handwritten note thanking them for their assistance. 

You will receive strong and substantial recommendations when requesting a letter if you follow these steps! 

Take Action
We provide several tools to help you obtain outstanding recommendations. 

  • Update activities list in GuidedPath. Use the Recommendations Survey to list your recommenders.  Learn about GuidedPath Surveys. 
  • Use the deadline dates in your Application Plans to determine due dates of recommendations. 
  • View the Admissions Notes under My Colleges->Info->Admissions to see how many letters of recommendation are required. 

read more

What are the three steps to outstanding recommendations?

3 steps to great recs

The buzz around school right now is all about recommendations.  How do you get the best recommendations for your college applications?  Here are 3 steps to outstanding recommendations:
 

1.  Get Ready.

Before you start asking teachers, counselor or others for a letter of recommendation, do your homework. It will pay off for you in the end with outstanding recommendations.

  • Focus on familiarity. Make of list of teachers who know you well to ask to write recommendations. Teachers you had in math, science or other core academic subjects more than once make ideal people to ask for letters of recommendations.
  • Check in with your school.  Many schools have deadlines and requirements for submitting letters of recommendations. Put dates in your calendar and stick to them.
  • Go for the maximum.  The Common App and other systems list how many letters of recommendation are required.  They also give you a number of how many recommendations are allowed.  Plan to request the maximum number.
  • Create a Recommendation Calendar. Check the dates your college applications are due, and work backwards. Add all dates to your calendar.
      • Ask a teacher at least 4-6 weeks (follow your school’s guidance on timing) before your applications are due for a recommendation.  
      • Plan for the recommendations to be done 2-4 weeks before your application is due.
      • If you are doing early applications, you need to be doing recommendations in September or October.
  • Update your resume. Give teachers/counselors your resume or brag sheet.  This gives them information to use when writing about yourself.
  • Role of Recommendations. Download this document  to give to teachers/counselors. It explains what colleges are looking for in recommendations and what to write in a letter of recommendation.

 

2. Take Action.

Use this checklist to organize your recommendation requests to your teachers. Put the following items together in a large 10X13 envelope and hand to each teacher/counselor you are requesting a letter from:

  • Cover letter.  Personal letter explaining the purpose of the recommendation (for scholarships, admissions or special programs).  Include dates you need recommendations completed by. Be sure to sign the letter.
  • Resume.  List of all your activities through high school.
  • Role of Recommendations.  Provide the copies of The Role of Recommendations to teachers/counselors.

 

3. Follow up.

 Follow this recommendation checklist after you have requested letters of recommendation:

  • Check progress.  The Common Application and other systems allow you to track the progress of your application, including recommendations. Use this to view when recommendations are uploaded.
  • Gently remind. Teachers often appreciate a gentle reminder about upcoming due dates. You want to be sure your recommendations are submitted on time.
  • Write a thank you.  Make a teachers/counselors day with a personalized, handwritten note thanking them for their assistance.

You will receive strong and substantial recommendations if, when requesting a letter of recommendation you follow these steps!

Guidedpath provides several tools to help you obtain outstanding recommendations.

  • Update activities list in GuidedPath.
  • Use the Recommendations Survey to list your recommenders
  • Use application dates in your Plans to determine due dates of recommendations.
  • View Additional information on school profile to see how many letters of recommendation are required.

read more