Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The College Search: Step-By-Step

Big Future by College Board is an awesome, informational website in which you can search colleges by name and find out just about anything you need to know.
Not only does it offer the basic facts and statistics, but Big Future also has many links and videos scattered throughout that offer advice from professionals as well as other college students.

In this post, I will show you how to navigate the Big Future website by using Ohio University (main campus) as the example.

In the search, you will be directed to a page with a list of schools that match your search. In this example, I selected the first link which just simply says "Ohio University."

At A Glance - 

This is the main page that you see when you click on Ohio University. It gives a generic bio on OU as well as some quick facts and contact information. As you can see, on the left of the page are the rest of the tabs: Deadlines, Majors & Learning Environment, Campus Life, Applying, and Paying. Below these tabs are additional tabs for transfer and international students and also one to explore 20 similar schools including the top five: Ohio State University, Miami University, Boston University, Kent State University, and Penn State University

Deadlines - 

This tab gives you the deadline dates for admissions, test scores, and financial aid. It also provides other specific deadlines for international and transfer students. On the right side of the page is a link to a video about when to apply for financial aid, which many of you may find helpful.

Majors & Learning Environment - 

This tab gives general information on student-faculty ratio, retention rates, degrees offered, and majors.
There are four sub-sections to this tab.
The first tab, Most Popular Majors, lists the most popular majors at OU along with answering the question "Do you need to choose a major before choosing a college?"
The second section, All Majors, gives a list of every major offered at OU, what department they fall under, and what degree you can receive with that major. This section also answers the question "How do students choose their majors?"
The third section, Study Options & Services, lists outside opportunities for students like study-abroad and internship programs.
The fourth tab, Where Graduates Go, shows where graduates continue to study within one year of receiving a bachelor's degree

Campus Life - 

This tab gives an overview of the school size, location, and unique facilities.
It also has five sub-sections.
The Student-Body section gives information on average age, race/ethnicity, gender, in-state and out-of state, full time students, and part-time students.
The Housing section gives percentages of students living in college housing and what type of housing options there are. It also gives housing deposit deadlines and dollar amounts.
The Activities section lists all of the student-organizations on campus and the percentage of students who join sororities and fraternities.
The Sports section lists all of the sports offered at OU as well as what level. Some sports are only offered at the division level (the actual college sports team), however you can get involved in some sports by trying out for the club team or getting together an intramural team.
The Support Service section lists programs regarding counseling & wellness, academic support, and services for students with disabilities.

Applying - 

From deadlines, to fees, to requirements, this tab shows gives all the information you may need on the application process for a specific school.
It gives the total number of applicants, the number admitted, and the number enrolled.
The first sub-section, What's Important, lists academic and non-academic factors in admission decisions.
The other sub-sections include general information regarding application requirements, academics & gpa, SAT and ACT scores, AP class credit, and College-Level Exam Program tests (exams you can take to gain college credit for a specific course).

Paying - 

This tab gives the low-down on all things related to money. It gives the cost of attendance (in and out of state), how to apply for financial aid, financial aid by the number, and scholarships.
The financial aid by the number section also gives information on tuition payment plans.

College Board may seem overwhelming at first, but it really can provide you with a lot of the essential information needed in your college search. I hope you found this post helpful. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please message UB on Facebook or email us at ubou67@gmail.com.

Good luck navigating!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Career Exploration: The November Workshop

This coming Saturday, November 15th, Upward Bound will be diving into the professional world. This workshop is designed to help students explore different careers and to help aid in the process of finding one suitable for them.

So far, we have three guest speakers from different career paths. They are Laura Meyers (lawyer), Tom Duncan (contractor), and Ashley Crow (physical therapist).

Here is some background info on these three careers.


What does a lawyer do? 
A lawyer is someone who advises and represents individuals, businesses, and government agencies on legal issues and disputes. 

How long do they go to school? 
Prospective lawyers typically go to school for about 7 years. 4 of those years are undergraduate study and the other 3 years are spent at law school. Almost all law schools require students to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) to measure ability.

How much do they get paid? 
As of November 2014, the average annual income for an entry level lawyer is $82,254; however, this number can vary based on industry, company size, location, years of experience, and level of education.


What does a contractor do? 
A general contractor is responsible for day-to-day oversight of a construction site, management of vendors and trades, and communication of information to those involved throughout the course of a building project

How long do they go to school?
A contractor typically needs to have received an associates degree (2 years) or bachelors degree (4 years) in construction management or another related degree.

How much do they get paid?
As of November 2014, the average annual income for a general contractor is $71,877. Experience has the most effect on pay for contractors. Skills that are associated with higher pay are sales, carpentry, and construction estimating.

Physical Therapist

What does a physical therapist do?
Physical therapists provide services to patients that help restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities.

How long do they go to school?
Typically, prospective physical therapists are in school for 7 years. Professional (entry-level) physical therapist education programs offer the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree to all new students who enroll. This program usually takes 3 years. Most applicants must earn a bachelor's degree (4 years) before entering a DPT program. However, few programs recruit students directly from high school.

How much do they get paid?
As of November 2014, the average annual income for a physical therapist is $79,453. This number may vary based on industry, company size, location, years of experience, and level of education.

Check out this link for more on what physical therapists do. 

After exploring these careers, UB students will be taking a career aptitude test to see what other careers fit them best.

If you have any questions, shoot us an email at ubou67@gmail.com!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Breeze Through the Application Process

Many questions swarm the mind during the college application process. Before you even begin to apply, I'm sure you're asking yourself: Is college even what I want to do after high school? How many schools should I apply to? Which schools should I apply to? What should I write my application essay on? When should I start?

Here we will address those questions and also take a look at The Common App: a generalized college application form that most schools use.

Is college even what I want to do after high school?

After high school, some people choose to go into the military, some may go straight into work, and others may choose to take a year off. However, even if college doesn't seem like the best bet for you, it would never hurt to apply to a few schools. It is always great to have a back up plan just in case your mind changes within the upcoming months.

How many schools should I apply to?

There is no golden number of schools that you should apply to; however, more is probably better than less. If you would like a lot of options, apply to as many schools as you see fitting. Also, don't be afraid to apply to your "dream" school, even if you feel that it is unlikely that you will be accepted or that you will attend. Don't be afraid to set the bar high; you never know what will happen!

Which schools should I apply to?

After you've figured out what type of school is best for you (like we discussed in this article), you can begin picking schools to apply to. Make a chart including the curriculum, location, size, cost, and culture of each school so that you can compare each of them when you begin picking which ones to apply to.

What should I write my college application essay on? 

Many schools will have essay prompts specific to their own application. No matter what topic you are writing about, it is important to be honest. Schools want to know the real you. There is no need to make up a bunch of extracurricular activities that you were never actually involved in. If an application gives you the opportunity to choose your own essay prompt, use this to your advantage! Write about something you're truly passionate about or something that has made you better prepared for college, like Upward Bound!\

When should I start?

Start early! And not only that, also stay on top of deadlines. You definitely don't want to be swamped with applications the week they are due and you also don't want your application to be lost in the crowd of applications that get sent in at the last minute. Do yourself a favor: start early, take your time, be precise, and feel free to work in increments.

Most colleges now use The Common App: take advantage of this!

The sections of The Common App include:

Profile - This is where you fill out various information about yourself; date of birth, social security number, citizenship, etc.

Family - In this section you fill out information on your parents and siblings, such as where they work, whether they went to college, where they went to college, etc.

Education - This section is where you include information regarding the high school you attended, your gpa, college credits, recognition of National Honors Society, transcripts, etc.

Testing - This is where you fill out all of your ACT/SAT scores and when those tests were taken.

Activities - In this section you will record all of your extra-curricular activities and anything you may be involved in outside of school. You will also record any awards or honors you have received.

Writing - This is the essay portion of the application.
The 2014-2015 essay prompts, according the The Common App website, are as follows:
  • Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.   
  • Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure.  How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?
  • Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea.  What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
  • Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content.  What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
  • Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.
Recommenders - Here you will have to get a letter of recommendation. Most schools also ask for teacher recommendations, but some ask for others which can include coaches, counselors, family members, or peers.

Lastly, you will be asked to submit a payment for the applications that you submit. These payments vary by school. Some are even free.

If you have any more questions about the application process, email ubou67@gmail.com or message us on Facebook!