Friday, April 24, 2015

College Tours: The May Workshop

As you all know, we will be having an optional college tours workshop on Friday May 8 from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. We will be touring Wright State University and Wittenberg University. If you don't know much about these two colleges, don't worry. Here is some background information to get you started. Remember, college tours are the best time to find out answers to any of your questions, so make sure you come prepared!

Wright State University

Wright State University is a medium-sized, 4-year, public university located in Dayton, OH. There are 12,682 undergraduate students and 2,284 degree-seeking freshmen. The average financial aid package averages at $10,735 with 70 percent of average financial need met. Wright State offers a wide-variety of majors, minors, and electives which can be found here.
Also check out Wright State University on Big Future by College Board to gather more information!

Student Support

40% of Wright State’s undergraduate student body is made up of first-generation college students. CLASS (Center for Liberal Arts Student Success) is a new initiative focused on student retention and career attainment, targeted to the services needed by Wright State’s Liberal Arts majors. CLASS enables first-generation students, as well as others, to access professional networks, use practical workshops in job search strategies, as well as other tools to access internships or field work experience. Read more about CLASS here.
Check out Wright State’s student support services page to learn about more opportunities.  


Wright State is primarily a commuter campus, so only 51% of first-year students live in college housing and 19% of all undergraduates live in college housing. However, if you do live on campus, there are many ways to make yourself feel at home.
Wright State offers a few different types of “Living Learning” communities. This program is designed to offer living arrangements to students with similar goals. The different communities allow students to extend studies beyond the classroom and in the daily experience.
First, is the Honors Community, which provides a quality living environment that allows students to grow and foster in their academic and personal lives. There is an Honors classroom in this community that will be used for classes that honors students share. The Honors Community also offers a convenient store/deli, computer network help station, and other student-oriented services.
There is also an Engineering and Computer Science community which is a new housing option for freshman majoring in that area. A teaching assistant lives in the residence hall and special activities are available for students to enjoy, including tutoring, special speakers, seminars, and help rooms.

Student Employment

Wright State’s Career Services connects students with on-campus supervisors who have part-time jobs. These jobs are funded through departmental budgets, institutional grants, and Federal Work-Study awards. While all students are eligible for jobs designated as On-Campus Regular student employment, only students who receive Federal Work Study Awards are eligible for jobs designated as On-Campus Work-Study. The Federal Work-Study program is a federal financial aid program for eligible students based on FAFSA.


More than 2,600 freshmen were awarded $9.5 million in scholarships during the 2014-2015 school year. Students submit one application to be considered for a multitude of merit-based scholarship. Check out the scholarship page for more details.
One particular scholarship to be aware of is The Chingfa Jang Memorial Scholarship Fund. This scholarship is awarded to students admitted to the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences. They have a preference to applicants who are first-generation college students. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and have a 3.0 GPA or higher to be considered for this $2,000 scholarship. To apply, students must apply for undergraduate admission and also complete the Wright State University Online Scholarship Application by February 18.

Honors Programs

Wright State’s honors program is open to all majors and provides a curriculum consisting of service learning courses, interdisciplinary core courses in the humanities and social sciences, broadly interdisciplinary upper-level topical seminars, and honors sections of Wright State core courses. Students select one of three honors designations which are listed on transcripts and commencement program. These three are the University Honors Scholar, Departmental Honors Scholar, and General Studies Honors Scholar

Click here to learn more about the Wright State Honors Program.

Wittenberg University

Wittenberg University is a small, 4-year, private liberal arts college located in Springfield, OH. There are 1,948 total undergraduate students and 516 degree-seeking freshmen. Wittenberg offers a wide-variety of majors, minors, and electives which can be found here. The average financial aid package is $33,733, with 83 percent of average financial need met. 

Student Support

Wittenberg offers a variety or counseling/wellness services as well as academic support services. These services include (but are not limited to), career counseling, minority student services, personal counseling, learning centers, and study skills assistance. Check out their personal and academic support page to learn more details.


At Wittenberg, 92% of first-year students live in college housing and 86% of total undergraduates live in college housing. The housing options include coed, men's, women's, wellness housing (drug/alcohol free), and theme housing. For regular residential housing, Wittenberg has seven options which you can learn about here.

Student Employment

Wittenberg's Student Employment Office is open to all students who have been issued a work award in the financial aid package. These awards are both Federal Work-Study and Student Employment. On campus, student have the opportunity to work one on one with processors and in many of the offices on campus. Working off-campus allows students to connect with t he Springfield community in schools, businesses, and other work settings.


There are many scholarship opportunities available when attending Wittenberg University. There are merit-based university scholarships, special interest awards, Lutheran scholarships, and legacy/alumni awards. Students are automatically considered for Wittenberg Scholarships when applying for admissions. For priority consideration, apply by December 1. All scholarships are able to be renewed for all four years as long as the student is in good academic standing. Check out all the different types of scholarship opportunities here

Honors Programs

The University Honors Program at Wittenberg aims provide optimal acadmic and social climate for students of high academic potential. Any student who maintains a GPA of 3.5 or higher in their first or second year is invited to apply to the Honors program during spring semester. To graduate with University HOnors, students must complete at least two Honors seminars, complete and defend and Honors Thesis in their major, and maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA.

Now that you have a bit of base information on Wright State University and Wittenberg University, you should be able to start formulating some questions to bring on the tours. There will be one more blog post to come with the types of questions that are valuable to ask on college tours. If you have any suggestions, feel free to email us at ubou67@gmailcom or message us on Facebook!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Education Around the World: The April Workshop

Get ready for Saturday's workshop: Education Around the World! We will be learning all about study abroad and we will be having four international student panelists speaking about their personal experiences. Here they are:

Sana Mahmud- Pakistan

Mohammed Meissara - Mauritania

Sherica Hawthorne - Jamaica

Sankerdas Latthanlot - Laos

In the meantime, here is some general information about the benefits of studying abroad. Take a look and then come to the workshop with questions to ask us or the panelists!

  • Experience a Foreign Culture
    Studying abroad may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many people.Typically, college is the best time to travel because students are young, independent, and don't have any harsh commitments. Well, besides schoolwork, but that is the point of studying abroad. It allows you to continue your education while being immersed in a completely different culture. When you are out of school and working, it will be much harder to devote a large chunk of time to traveling. So think about the future and whether or not you will have the opportunity again after college.
  • Learn How to Communicate Among Cultures
    Language is just one different cultural aspect that students will experience while studying abroad. Even if the country you are living in is English-speaking, there will still be more cultural barriers that you will have to break through. Studying abroad will give you first-hand experience with the customs and traditions of that particular country. Then you will be able to compare what you have learned to the customs and traditions of the U.S.
  • Manage Finances
    Living in a different country will force you to become familiar with different forms of currency, living expenses, and general cost differences. In general, it will provide a great lesson on how to manage your own money while living on your own.
  • Increase Independence
    Although going to a college is an independent experience of its own, studying abroad takes it to another level. If you decide to travel to another to country to further your education, it is likely that you aren't taking your family and friends along with you. Living in a new, unfamiliar place all on your own may be overwhelming or scary at times, but it can help you learn adaptability and responsibility. It will also help you grow as a whole.
  • Attract Future Employers
    All of the benefits that we have discussed so far are also what will make you more attractive to future employers. A successful study abroad experience will truly show that you are a responsible, mature, and independent person. Check out this article by to read more reasons why employers like study abroad.
If you are intimidated by the commitment, price, or requirements of study abroad, check out this Huffington Post article, "Busting the Top 10 Study Abroad Myths."

If you have any immediate questions or comments, feel free to email us at or message us on Facebook. See you Saturday!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

ACT Tips and Strategies

Taking the ACT can become much less intimidating if you utilize resources available to help you prepare for the official test. It is important to become acquainted with the test format, type of questions, and rules before you take the ACT for the first time. Going in blind-sided is exactly what you DON’T want to do; so let’s go over the rules and guidelines of the ACT and the best ways you can prepare.

There are four sections of the ACT that are composed of a series of multiple choice questions; English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science. The optional Writing section of the ACT consists of one essay prompt. Here are the number of questions in each section and the time limits.

75 questions in 45 minutes. (1.67 questions per minute). Tests standard written English and rhetorical skills.
Here is a list of English ACT strategies from Online Test Prep.

60 questions in 60 minutes. (1 question per minute). Measures skills that have been learned through the 12th grade.
Erik the Red provides a great list of strategies for taking the Math section of the ACT.

40 questions in 35 minutes. (1.14 questions per minute). Measures reading comprehension.
Online Test Prep also provides great strategies for the Reading section here.

40 questions in 35 minutes. (1.14 questions per minute). Measures interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning, and problem-solving skills used in natural science.

Writing (Optional)
1 prompt in 30 minutes. Tests skills learned in high school level English classes and entry-level college composition classes.

Here are a few ways to prepare for the ACT:

Get a test prep book
The Real ACT Prep Guide is a great resource for high school students when preparing for the ACT. It includes five practice tests that have been used prior along with explanations for every right and wrong answer. It also includes test-taking strategies for all of the sections: English, Mathematics, Reading, Science, and Writing (optional). The book also reviews the formatting and structure of the test and gives tips on how prepare for test day.
To use this book in the most effective way, put yourself in a test-like setting and set a timer when taking each practice test. When you are done taking each section, check over the answers and be sure to understand why you missed what you missed. See if there is a general theme in the questions that you answered correctly and incorrectly. Once you have pinpointed those strengths and weaknesses, you will be able to prepare more for the next practice test.

Sign up for the “ACT question of the day”
Answering a daily ACT question is a great way to keep your mind refreshed on the type of questions that will be asked on the official test. This is also a good option if you don’t have a lot of time to take full practice tests multiple times. posts a new ACT Test practice question on their site every day. Each question can come from the English, Mathematics, Reading, or Science section. There are also apps on iPhone and Android that offer daily ACT-like questions.

Refresh yourself on basic skills
The Mathematics section of the ACT can be difficult if you don’t remember any of the basic formulas that you have learned in school. There is not a formula sheet provided during the test, so you will need to refresh your skills beforehand. Erik the Red also provides a list of math rules and formulas that may appear on the ACT. It won’t hurt to look over this list to make sure you are ahead of the game.

Utilize online resources
Advice from Morgan: “The website offers excellent test prep videos that offer great explanations and strategies for taking the test. In my opinion, these videos rival any prep book.”
So check out and to see what type of tools and tips they offer. Anything can help!

If you have any questions or concerns, email us at or message us on Facebook!

Friday, March 27, 2015

How to Write a Resume: Step by Step

What is a resume? According to Big Future by College Board, “A resume is a document that sums up your skills, experiences, and accomplishments so a potential employer can quickly see whether you are a good fit for a position.” A well-crafted resume can set you apart from the crowd and can only benefit you in your efforts to obtain the job or opportunity you are applying for.

College Basics explains that it is very beneficial for high school students to have a resume so that they can gain insight into what makes them unique from other students. A resume provides the opportunity for students to highlight their most significant achievements, activities, and other special traits. Even if you don’t have formal work experience, you can include other types of work like babysitting or volunteer experience.

Study Point also provides great information on high school resumes, why to have one, what to include, and other tips.

Although every resume is different, there are a few general guidelines that you should follow: keep it concise, use a basic font (Times New Roman), and don’t use colored or decorated paper.

Now what should you include in your resume?

·         Name and contact information
This section should include your full name, address, phone number, and email address so that your employer can easily contact you with questions or follow-up information.

·         Personal statement or objectives
In this section of the resume you can write a personal statement that gives an overview of your qualities and qualifications or you can write an objective statement that explains the type of position you are looking for and other employment goals.

·         Relevant work experience
Even if it isn’t much, you should include any experience that shows you are reliable, responsible, and hardworking. You can include an after-school job, summer jobs, babysitting jobs, or internships. Make sure you keep track of the dates in which you held these positions so you can list that on your resume. You should also include your job title and a brief overview of your duties in each position.

·         Volunteer/Extracurricular experience
This is your chance to show your involvement and commitment. Are you a student-athlete? Are you in honors society or another school organization? Do you volunteer at a local food pantry? If so, you can include any of that information in this section. Also be sure to list any leadership positions you held in any of these activities.

·         Education
For now, just list the high school you attend and if you have received any AP or other college-level credit.

·         Skills
Everyone has some sort of valuable skills to offer to an employer. The most common skills in this section are software programs on the computer. You can also include any other languages that you speak or if you experienced with blogging, video editing, etc.

These are just guidelines for a basic model resume; however, it is important to tailor your resume to the job that you are applying for. Also be sure to keep your resume up to date with any new experience and skills that you acquire. Here is an example resume using the format listed above:

Sally Studente
35 South Elm Street
Lake Forest, OH 45276
Lake Forest High School – Lake Forest, OH
            September 2011 – May 2015
                        Received college credit for AP Physics and AP Calculus
Career Profile
Hardworking and committed student who excels at math and physics. Looking to further education and abilities with valuable experience.
Work Experience
Clippard YMCA Lifeguard
·   Work 15 hours a week
·   Certified in CPR

2012-2013 school year
·   Provide babysitting for families on evenings and weekends


Ohio University Upward Bound

·   Attend monthly workshops
·   Gain skills valuable for post-secondary education

Lake Forest Soccer Team Captain
Fall 2014
National Honors Society
2011- present


Microsoft Word
Adobe Photoshop
Microsoft Publisher
Microsoft PowerPoint

Here are a few other sites with example high school student resumes:

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Stand Out in Scholarship Essays

You may have top-notch grades and qualifications, but so do many other students who are applying for the same scholarships. Essays are a chance for you to set yourself apart from the crowd and let the reader know what kind of person is beneath the GPA and test scores. Since the essay portion of a scholarship application is so crucial, it is important to know what to do and what not to do while in the writing process.

Follow the prompt/guidelines
Not every scholarship is going to have the same essay prompt. One may ask you about to discuss an event in your life that changed you, while another may ask you to describe one of your greatest achievements. Many scholarship essays even have specific word counts or other formatting guidelines. Be sure to follow these explicitly.

Speak simply and specifically
It is very important to keep your essay clear and concise. You don’t want the person reading it to be lost or confused on your organization and word choice. Speak in words that you fully understand and be sure to stick to one thought or idea per paragraph. Sometimes it is easiest to write out an outline first that connects one main idea to another. This will help structure your essay and give it a nice flow.

Make it personal and passionate
It is easiest to write on topics that you are truly passionate about. If you write about something you don’t really care about just because you think it will be a crowd pleaser, that bland attitude will show through in your writing. When following the prompt, use it to your advantage and discuss something that you could talk about forever.

Edit, edit, edit
Not only should you proofread your own paper, but you should also read it aloud and have someone else proofread it as well. It is important to not go straight to your parents or friends to proofread your paper. You want it to be edited by someone who is not afraid to point out the flaws and who can help you restructure the essay to make it the best it can be.

Do not…
Use unfamiliar words from a thesaurus
So many students nowadays write essays with open in the next tab. It is okay to find synonyms for repetitive words; however it is vital that you don't use these words improperly. Also, don’t reach too far with your word choice. The person analyzing your essay will know if you are just adding big words to look more intelligent.

Restate what is already on your resume
The essay portion of a scholarship application gives you the opportunity to be yourself and share a unique story. Simply talking about every club you were involved in or every award you received in high school will not help you out. You have the chance to provide that information in the application portion of the scholarship.

Simply ask for money
Do not begin your essay by saying “I could really use this scholarship to help pay for my school tuition.” Or “I come from a low-income family and this scholarship would be crucial for me.” Everyone applying for the scholarship has one goal, and that is to receive money toward their tuition. Even if your circumstances are worse than others, it will not help you to ask for money in your essay. Show that you deserve the money through your achievements and your story, not by simply asking for it.

Here are a few more sites that give tips on writing scholarship essays:
How to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay
10 Tips for Writing Effective Scholarship Essays
4 Ways to Make Your Scholarship Essay Stand Out

If you have any questions, email us at or message us on Facebook!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Finding and Applying for Scholarships

There are many types of scholarships out there; you just have to find them. There are three main categories: state scholarships, student-specific scholarships, and unique scholarships. Here is a break down of each type of scholarship and ways in which you may be eligble.

State Scholarships
State scholarships can be both merit- and need-based. Merit-based scholarships are awarded to students who are at a high academic-level, which is based on a combination of GPA, standardized test scores, and other high school academic achievements. Need-based scholarships depend on financial need and your ability to pay for college.

Both merit-and need-based scholarships vary by state. Upon filling out the FAFSA and admission to a particular college, the amount of your scholarship will be determined. There are also many other state scholarships that require a special application and aren't given directly through a particular college. gives a breakdown of state scholarships and also gives a list of scholarships by state.

Student-specific Scholarships
Student-specific scholarships are based on a multitude of characteristics. Scholarships for minorities are the most common. Other student-specific scholarships can be based on anything from a desire to pursue community service to being the first member in your family to attend college.

College Scholarships gives many categories for student-specific scholarships as well as links to specific scholarships within each category.

It is suggested that you utilize your involvement, passions, and future interests when searching for scholarships. There is almost guaranteed to be one out there for you!

Unique Scholarships
There is a plethora of unique scholarships available to students who may have strange qualities, talents, or interests. As surprising as it may sound, there are scholarships for being left handed, duck calling, and a desire to create a new candy. So if you have a unique trait, search the internet and see if you may be eligible for a scholarship.

Check out the College Express list of 45 of the Weirdest College Scholarships.

***TIP: Never pay a website to find scholarships for you. If a scholarship search site is asking for your credit card or bank account number, it isn't a good sign.

To find scholarships, talk to the college's financial aid office, your high school counselor, or use reliable websites such as and

Good luck on your search! If you have any questions, email us at or message us on Facebook!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Hidden College Costs and How to Manage Them

As if tuition isn't enough, there are some hidden expenses that come along with post-secondary education. Here are some of the most relevant, non-tuition related costs that college students pay and how you can better factor those into your budget.

  • Books / Supplies
    Most incoming college students don't anticipate the high cost of textbooks because in high school they are free. Well, that's not the case anymore. In face, many college-level books sell for around $100-$200. Don't panic. There are many ways to lower these costs. One way is to buy used books online, which tend to be cheaper than book-store prices. Another way is to rent. If you know you won't need a particular book after you have taken the class, rent it rather than buying it. Rental prices can be almost half the price of a purchased book. Buying an older edition of the book is also cheaper than buying the newest version. Just make sure there are no big differences between the editions and double check the class syllabus to make sure you don't need a particular edition.
    You can also sell your books back to vendors on campus at the end of each semester.
    Amazon and Chegg also offer online buyback programs.
    Aside from books, some professors require other supplies for their classes. Some of these supplies may include interactive computer/phone applications, hand-held clickers (response devices), or subscriptions to newspapers/magazines.
    There are several scholarships available for textbooks and supplies. Some are offered through certain colleges/universities, while others are available through online contests.
    One yearly textbook scholarship contest is: The Akademos/TexbookX Textbook Scholarship Contest,
  • Food
    Sticking to a meal plan can become difficult when you're hungry during hours when the dining hall is closed or if you run out of meal swipes by Saturday. If this is the case, you will probably end up making a trip to campus markets, a nearby grocery store, or restaurants on campus. The costs of food can really add up. My advice is to plan in advance and make a run to the grocery store at the beginning of each month. That way you can get some food to keep in your room at a much lower price than it would be to eat out.
  • Laundry
    The price of laundry can be anywhere from $0.50 to $2.00 per wash or dry. At Ohio University, The price of one wash is $0.75 and one dry is $1.25. These prices can add up if you have multiple loads to do. The best advice I can give is to keep track of all of your quarters and to make sure you are only washing clothes that need to be cleaned (a lot of people tend to just throw clothes in the hamper after trying them on once, which leads to bigger loads and more money).
  • Printing
    Some schools allow a certain amount of free printed pages per semester; however, other schools do charge small fees per printed page. Usually black and white prints are around 5 to 10 cents, whereas a color print will be around 10 to 20 cents. At OU, printing fees are billed directly to your student account, but at other schools printers may accept change. Also at OU, students are able to print for free in their college/major's computer lab. For example, communication studies majors are allowed to print in the Lasher computer lab for free!
  • Transportation
    Transportation costs can fluctuate, depending on whether you commute or not, how far you live from school, and if you don't commute - how often you plan to go home. Also, if you decide to keep your car at school, you will most likely have to pay for a parking pass which can be a big chunk of money. Also look out for meters and correct parking locations. Parking violations result in hefty tickets.
    There are cheaper ways to get around campus without a car. Many students bike to and from class. Also, many schools offer bus systems that go to nearby grocery stores or plazas. Don't forget you can always carpool as well. 
  • Dorm Necessities
    Twin XL bedding, bed-loft, mini fridge, microwave, carpet, and vacuum may be among your list of things to buy for your dorm room. While it is important to make your dorm room feel "homey" and to utilize space, you must be aware of the high prices of futons, TVs, coffee machines, and other items that you may not necessarily need. 
  • Organization Fees
    Members of particular clubs and organizations have to pay fees to be considered "active." Sororities and fraternities tend to fall on the higher end of the cost-spectrum. Fees for sororities and fraternities vary greatly among different universities, but on average they range anywhere from $200-$1,000 a semester. Club sports also tend to be a bit expensive, but it depends on the school and the sport. Also, smaller clubs (i.e. communications club) have smaller fees like $30 a semester or $50 a year. 
  • EntertainmentCollege isn't just all work and no play. There is always something fun going on around campus for students to hang out and get involved. There are sporting events, movies, plays, comedians, art shows, and so much more. Some of these events charge entrance fees, so keep that in mind.
If you have any questions, feel free to email us at or message us on Facebook!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Understanding Financial Aid and FAFSA

Financial aid is any money that the government or other organizations give or lend to students to help them afford college. While the process may seem intimidating, it is well worth it in the end. Here we will discuss the basics of financial aid and how to go about applying. 

To begin, there are four different types of financial aid. They are:
  • Scholarships
    Scholarships are a type of "gift aid," meaning that they do not have to be paid back. Scholarships are merit-based, meaning they are awarded based on a multitude of things such as; high academic or athletic ability, volunteer work, religion or ethnicity, and many others.
    One example of a merit-based scholarship at Ohio University is the OHIO Achievement Scholarship, which is given to students based on high school performance and standardized tests.
    Another scholarship example is the OHIO Promise Scholarship, which is awarded to students from a variety of diverse backgrounds and experiences.
  • Grants
    Another type of gift aid are grants. Grants are need-based, meaning are given to students who are in need of financial help. Grants are given either from federal, state, private, or institutional funds. The FAFSA (which we will discuss later) must be filled out to be eligible for grants.
    The Pell Grant is an example of a federal grant that is given to students based on financial need, school tuition, enrollment status, and whether the student attends school for a full year or not.
  • Loans
    Unlike scholarships and grants, loans are money temporarily given to students that will later need to be paid back. Most loan repayments don't go into effect until after graduation; however all loans have interest rates, meaning the amount you pay back will be a bit more than the amount you borrowed in the first place.
    It is especially important to be cautious when taking out loans. Make sure to only borrow as much as you need. Loans can be seen as a quality investment as long as you are able to pay them off.
    There are two main types of loans: federal and private.
    Federal student loans are made by the federal government, which requires filling out the FAFSA.
    Private loans are made by lenders such as banks, schools, or state agencies.
    Check out this 
    link to learn the many differences between federal and private student loans.
  • Work-study/employment
    Work-study provides part-time jobs on or off campus to students with financial need. The program typically encourages work related to the student's focus of study. To find out if your school provides work-study programs and how to apply, stop into the financial aid office or look on the school’s website.
    Regular employment is typically available for all students, whether they are in need of financial assistance or not. 
Now let's talk about your outlet to financial aid: FAFSA (FREE Application for Federal Student Aid).
  • Who
    Who can fill out the FAFSA? Anyone! In fact, if you don't fill out the FAFSA, you could potentially be missing out being eligible for financial aid.
    Check out this article, 
    "Myths About Financial Aid" to get a better understanding of the realities of who receives financial aid.
  • What
    What exactly is the FAFSA? It is a form that is used by the U.S. Department of Education to determine a family's need based on income, assets, and other information which you will provide on the form.
  • Where
    Where do I go to fill out the FAFSA? The fastest way is online via You can also download the PDF and fill it out on paper or ask a financial aid adviser at school if they have paper copies. Don’t forget, it’s free to fill it out!
  • When
    When do I need to fill it out by? FAFSA usually becomes available in early January each year. It's important to fill out the form as soon as possible so you don't run the risk on missing out on any aid. Typically schools begin making aid decisions in March, which means FAFSA should be done no later than the second or third week in February.
    To get an early estimate of your financial aid, check out the 

Federal Student Aid is also a great website that goes into detail about all of the different types of aid available to students and how to begin the application process. 

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, email us at or message us on Facebook!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Getting Involved: Why it's Important and Where to Begin

Although going to class and studying each day may be enough to earn a degree, getting involved outside of the classroom can provide greater reward.

Here are 10 reasons why you should get involved on your college campus:

  1. Pursue your interests
    Getting involved in clubs and organizations related to your academic interest can be a great way to narrow your focus and discover the direction you want to go in.
  2. Gain new skills and experience
    Clubs and organizations provide a type of hands-on experience that you can't get inside of the classroom. For example, broadcasting on your school's radio or television station will allow you to directly practice any skills you may have learned in a broadcasting class.
  3. Make connectionsThe people you meet are just as important as the skills you learn. Peers and staff who are involved in your organization can serve as mentors and they can also point you in a certain direction or connect you with different resources. 
  4. Build a communityBeing a part of a group of people with a common interest can help students feel more acquainted with their peers and campus.
  5. Develop self-confidenceIn clubs and organizations, you may be asked to step out of your comfort zone. This will benefit you in terms of gaining self-confidence.
  6. Share your talentsWhether you have an article published in the newspaper or you just gave a speech at a student senate meeting, there is no feeling quite as rewarding as sharing your talents with your peers.
  7. Explore leadership opportunitiesIf you enjoy your organization and want to push it one step further, consider applying for a leadership position. Being an editor-in-chief, secretary, or vice president of an organization can provide you with even more beneficial skills and experience.
  8. Build your resumeFuture employers are looking for well-rounded individuals who took the initiative to get involved beyond the classroom. 
  9. Learn to prioritizeHaving free time isn't always good. Learning to be on time, work out a schedule, and prioritize time are all things you will learn when becoming involved.
  10. Have fun
    True happiness can be found in an organization that you are passionate about. Once you find something that interests you, it can make your perspective on your major and career much brighter. 

Now you're probably thinking, "That all sounds great, but how do I find a club or organization that is a good fit for me?"
Typically, schools hold campus involvement fairs for students to discover all of the clubs and organizations on campus. Big Future by College Board is also a great resource to find a general overview of activities at different colleges and universities. Once you have searched the name of the school, go to the Campus Life tab and then click on Activities for a general list. 

If you have any questions, please email us at or message us on Facebook!

Monday, January 12, 2015

College Fair: The January Workshop

Get excited for College Fair, the January workshop! This is your chance to explore different colleges, ask questions, and find out what each school can provide for you.

Want to get a head start? Here is a list of the 10 colleges that will be represented at the workshop. Feel free to read up on the basic information listed below and also explore the College Board and college website links to help you formulate any questions to ask during the workshop.

If you are unsure how to navigate the College Board website, check out some of the previous blog posts : The College Search: Step-By-Step and Digging Deeper into Big Future by College Board. These posts give a breakdown of the website's layout as well as the importance of certain college statistics.

  1. Hocking College
    - 2-year public college
    - Located in Nelsonville, OH
    - About 4,000 undergraduate students
    - 100% of applicants admitted

    Hocking College Website
    College Board - Hocking College
  2. Shawnee State University
    - 4-year public university
    - Located in Portsmouth, OH
    - About 4,000 undergraduate students
    - 83% of applicants admitted

    Shawnee State University Website
    College Board - Shawnee State University
  3. Marshall University- 4-year public university
    - Located in Huntington, WV
    - About 10,000 undergraduate students
    - 79% of applicants admitted

    Marshall University Website
    College Board - Marshall University
  4. Washington State Community College
    - 2-year public community college
    - Located in Marietta, OH
    - About 2,000 undergraduate students
    - 100% of applicants admitted

    Washington State Community College Website
    College Board - Washington State Community College
  5. University of Rio Grande
    - 4-year private community college
    - Located in Rio Grande, OH
    - About 2,000 undergraduate students
    - 73% of applicants admitted

    University of Rio Grande Website
    College Board - University of Rio Grande
  6. Marietta College- 4-year private college
    - Located in Marietta, OH
    - About 1,500 undergraduate students
    - 64% of applicants admitted

    Marietta College Website
    College Board - Marietta College
  7. Ohio Valley University
    - 4-year private university
    - Located in Vienna, WV
    - About 500 undergraduate students
    - 38% of applicants admitted

    Ohio Valley University Website
    College Board - Ohio Valley University
  8. Ohio Christian University- 4-year private university
    - Located in Circleville, OH
    - About 3,000 undergraduate students
    - 97% of applicants admitted

    Ohio Christian University Website
    College Board - Ohio Christian University
  9. University of Cincinnati
    - 4-year public university
    - Located in Cincinnati, OH
    - About 24,000 undergraduate students
    - 73% of applicants admitted

    University of Cincinnati Website
    College Board - University of Cincinnati
  10. Ohio University 
    - 4-year public university
    - Located in Athens, OH
    - About 24,000 undergraduate students
    - 73% of applicants admitted

    Ohio University Website
    College Board - Ohio University

If you have any questions, email us at or message us on Facebook!

Majors, Minors, Certificates and Your Path to a Career

The Basics

A major is a specific subject area that college students choose to specialize in, and it will help prepare students for their careers after college.

When applying to college, do not panic when it comes to selecting a major. Many students go into college undecided. At most four-year colleges, students have until the end of sophomore year to declare a major. This gives students plenty of time to take a range of classes to find an area of interest.
However, if you know what you would like to focus in, go ahead and declare your major, and if your mind changes later on, that's okay too. Most students switch their major during college.

There are two different general categories of majors; career-oriented and liberal arts.

Career-oriented majors:
Students in these majors are being prepared for a very specific career. Nursing is a great example of a career-oriented major. These students learn explicit skills needed to pass a licensing exam and to ultimately become a nurse.
Career-oriented majors typically have specific course requirements. Most classes will be related to the major.
Some other examples of career-oriented majors are:
  • Culinary Arts
  • Dental Hygiene
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Commercial Art

Liberal arts majors:
Liberal arts is an umbrella term -- meaning that a wider variety of classes fall under the decided major. Students who choose liberal arts majors aren't necessarily on a narrow path to a specific career, rather they are open to more variation.
Some examples of liberal-arts majors and careers that they may lead to are:
  • English: editor, writer, playwright
  • History: museum registrar, researcher, archivist
  • Political Science: consumer affairs, international relations, elected public official
  • Psychology: counselor, laboratory assistant, psychologist
Career Center is a great website in which you can learn about the various careers that different liberal arts majors can lead to.

At most colleges, students have the opportunity to double-major, add a minor, create a new major, and earn a certificate.

Taking on two majors is a lot of work, but has potential for a greater reward.
Students who choose to double-major must critically map out their four-year plan. Each class must be chosen wisely -- some classes may overlap and count for double credit. It is important to set up a meeting with an advisor to map out a precise schedule if you want to graduate on time.
** Do not declare a double-major if you are just unable to decide between two different majors. That's not the point.
A double major is meant to give students a broader base and a potential for a more competitive advantage when it comes to searching for jobs. Students who double-major tend to pick two majors that can work together for a desired career.

A minor is similar to a second major, but requires fewer classes. Some departments even require students to select a minor to go along with their major. Adding a minor is important if a student with a liberal arts major want an area of focus.
For example, a student with a dance major may want to consider a minor in business administration if he or she would like to start up a dance studio after college.
Some other examples of minors are:
  • Film
  • World Religions
  • Business
  • Applied Nutrition
Create your own major
This opportunity often goes unnoticed. If you really are passionate about something, but your college doesn't offer a major for it, see if you can create your own -- some colleges allow this, but some do not.
When creating a major, students have the freedom and responsibility of selecting a variety of classes that fit to the desired outcome.
**Creating a degree requires an application process -- this will vary depending on the school. Talk to an adviser or school official to see what is needed to be done.

Certificate Programs
Getting a certificate is not the same as getting a minor. College certificate programs are designed for students who are interested in learning a specific subject or skill in a short amount of time.
Some examples of certificates are:
  • Diversity studies
  • Political communication
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Global leadership
See how these are more specific than most majors/minors? Once you're accepted into a certificate program, you will be taking a few very specific classes that pertain to the certificate title.
**Some certificate programs require application.

When planning for the future, remember that it is important to truly enjoy what you do. Making a hefty salary is great, but what's not great is having to dread going to work every day.
Too many students pick a major based on the money and wind up working jobs that they wish they weren't. College is a time for you to explore -- take classes that interest you. You will know when you find the path that is meant for you.