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12 Questions about Our Visit to Washington State University

Posted by admin on January 13, 2017  /   Posted in C3 Blog, Coach Caitlin, College Visits

By Coach Caitlin

1.    How do you feel WSU best follows their mission?

Washington State University is definitely keeping true to their land-grant roots. Agriculture, animal science, and agribusiness are a huge part of the academics on campus. They are also big on conservation and sustainability. They even have a grizzly bear research center where graduate students study the habits and lifestyles of grizzlies in order to promote conservation. This school is truly doing what a land-grant institute was created to do.

2.    What was your favorite feature of the campus?

I really loved the campus at WAZZU. There was a perfect mix of old-style buildings like you might see on an Ivy League campus and modern architecture. It is also very hilly, and its backdrop is beautiful wheat fields. You drive through rolling hills to get there and then come across a great-looking campus.

3.    On your visit, what was the most surprising thing you learned?

I learned that they make it very feasible for an out-of-state student to attend a public university. They have plenty of opportunities for merit-based scholarships, are part of the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE), and also have guaranteed admission for students (even out-of-state ones!) that meet certain criteria.

4.    What type of student is WSU looking for?

WSU is a Tier I Carnegie research school, meaning that research is a huge part of the university’s mission and accessible to all students on campus. They are looking for students who are going to take advantage of this. They are also looking for well-rounded students. They want you to have been involved in high school and to continue that pursuit during your time at WAZZU. They are huge on volunteering, and it’s not uncommon for their students to reach 78,000 volunteer hours per year. They want you to be involved!

5.    What do you think would make this university a student’s top choice?

If they are looking to study anything related to animal science or agriculture and love the outdoors, this is the school for them.

6.    Do you believe visiting the campus is important?

I do believe it’s important because Pullman, WA is not exactly a “happening” city. It’s a smaller town where students make up the majority of the population, and the next nearest taste of any kind of city life is about 90 minutes away. The area is very rural, so if you come from a big city then a visit is definitely recommended!

7.    If a student cannot visit the campus, what can they do to learn more about WSU?

Definitely check out what Pullman and the surrounding areas have to offer online. Scope out the weather patterns and see if it’s something you can get used to. Even though it’s not near a big city, they offer plenty of opportunities for student activities, including hiking, rafting, and camping groups. I would also encourage you to call and speak with an admissions counselor who might be able to answer any specific questions you have and so they can send you WAZZU information by mail. The pamphlets you receive before the tour are very informative.

8.   How do WSU and its students build a community on and/or off campus?

Pullman, WA is primarily populated by WSU students, making it a true “college town.” Even in restaurants on the outskirts of campus you can feel the Cougar pride. Since it’s a large university in a small town, Pullman is very proud to be home to this great public university. Also, University of Idaho is just a 20 minute drive away, and even though it is in a different state, you can feel the friendly rivalry between the two.

9.   Is there a housing requirement for freshmen? Is there anything unique about WSU’s housing experience?

Yes, freshmen are required to live on campus or in Greek housing. They have Living-Learning Communities that students can choose to be a part of, and they also have “First Year Focus” housing, where students live together with others enrolled in a common course.

10.   What athletics are big at WSU?

Washington State University is in the PAC-12 conference, and football is popular on campus. Their football stadium and facilities are newer also. At every college football Game Day, you will see a WSU flag flying in the background. Look up the history behind that tradition because it’s pretty neat!

I got the feeling that if having an exciting football culture is important to a student, then they could make the most of the sports culture there. However, if sports isn’t your main concern, there will be plenty of other things for you to get involved in.

11.   What do students do outside of the classroom?

Eastern Washington (and Washington in general) is where you will find boundless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. People hike, float rivers, camp, and kayak. If you do not enjoy the outdoors, you may have a hard time making the most of your free time and bonding with others.

12.   What else about your visit would you want students to know?

Even though there are roughly 17,000 undergraduates at WAZZU, you won’t have to worry about being lost in the background. They boast a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio, and 80% of their classes have under 50 students, which is very good for a school of this size. It’s also a great option financially for both Washington residents and those from states that participate in WUE. With the cost of attendance at about $22k for WA residents/$37k for out-of-state students, you are definitely going to get bang for your buck. Also, tuition has decreased for WA residents for this academic year, and over the past 5 years the out-of-state tuition has increased by less than $50. If you are a fan of the outdoors, love to make a difference in your community, are ready to get involved in research, and want a school with strong pride… check out WAZZU!

Missouri State University Q&A

Posted by admin on December 20, 2016  /   Posted in C3 Blog, Coach Kristine, College Visits

What was your favorite feature of the campus?

Missouri State has a pretty, 225-acre campus and is only 50 minutes from Branson, a great family entertainment destination. Also, the Ozark Mountain region offers many opportunities for hiking, camping, and hanging out at the lake.

How do you feel the college best follows their mission?

Missouri State has a state-mandated public affairs mission which outlines its commitment to ethical leadership, cultural competence, and community engagement. Each year, the university has Public Affairs Week and hosts a Public Affairs Conference. They also have citizenship and service-learning classes available which allow students to earn college credit for community service related to their courses. Missouri State is also working to improve diversity on campus by reaching out to minority students in area schools, bringing in international students, and sending American students abroad.

On your visit, what was the most surprising thing you learned about the school?

I was surprised to learn that over 2,000 students transfer to Missouri State each year, making up 45% of all new undergraduate enrollment. Also, 35% of first-time freshmen are first-generation students!

Are there any traditions the students practice?

Missouri State has a number of traditions. On opening weekend, they have Bear Bash, a party with games and food attended by over 5,000 students. Before each football game, they have Bear Fest Village, free tailgating just outside the stadium. During finals week, students can get late-night food during the Midnight Breakfast. Missouri State also has Tent Theatre with drama students offering live outdoor performances every summer. They also host Dance Bear-A-Thon, a 12-hour dance marathon to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. And after New Student Convocation, faculty and upperclassmen stand along the sidewalk dubbed “Bear Path” to cheer on the new students!

Missouri State 122016

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/98/MoStatePlasterStudentUnion.jpg

What type of student is the college looking for?

Missouri State is looking to improve the diversity of her student body. Also, Missouri State wants to grow her occupational therapy and pre-physical therapy programs, so students looking to study those subjects are especially welcome.

What do you think would make this university a student’s top choice?

Missouri State is very affordable, so students from the area should check it out! Also, this school has a lot to offer transfer students and first-generation students. MSU has a Scholar 2 Scholar Program which matches underrepresented and lower-income students to faculty mentors for research assistance.

Do you believe the campus visit is important for this college? Why?

Students interested in Missouri State should visit the campus so they can tell whether they like the area and would fit in on campus. Those who cannot visit should check out Missouri State’s YouTube channel to learn more about the campus.

Missouri State 2 122016

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/9/92/MSUGlassHallandMeyerCarillon.jpg/250px-MSUGlassHallandMeyerCarillon.jpg

How do the college and its students build a community on and/or off campus?

Missouri State has over 300 clubs and organizations which help students build community. They also have Greek life, Living-Learning Communities, student activities, and community service opportunities.

What do students do outside of the classroom?

There are a lot of activities available for students on campus. They have bubble soccer, free bowling, billiards, bingo, and movie nights. Nerf Wars is just one of the 300 clubs and organizations they have on campus. Students can also hang out at the recreation center and use the rock climbing wall, pool, workout equipment, or take Zumba or yoga classes. Also, the Bear Line buses take students to downtown Springfield where they can check out local restaurants and shops.

What athletics are big at the college?

MSU’s most popular sports are football and basketball, and students can attend on-campus games for free with their Bear Pass! They also have golf, soccer, and women’s field hockey, cross country, and swimming/diving among others.

Is there a housing requirement for freshmen?

Yes, freshmen are required to live on campus and have a meal plan. Missouri State offers ten options for on-campus living, including traditional residence rooms, suite-style rooms, and apartment-style rooms. The great thing is that students can live in any residence hall regardless of class year!

What else about your visit would you want our students to know?

Missouri State has an 85% acceptance rate and offers automatic admission for students who meet the core curriculum and have either a 3.5 cumulative unweighted GPA or rank in the top 25% of their graduating class. Other students can use their sliding scale, which incorporates test scores. Missouri State offers a variety of automatic and competitive scholarships. MSU is also a great option for students who didn’t take foreign language in high school because they don’t have a foreign language requirement.

University of Utah: Imagine U

Posted by admin on December 09, 2016  /   Posted in C3 Blog, Coach Paul, College Visits

Recently, I toured the campus of the University of Utah, the state’s flagship university. Founded by Brigham Young over 150 years ago, it was the first university in Utah. Visitors to the campus will see the word “Imagine” all over the place: on the side of the library in big block letters and on the folder they give you before your tour. The university invites visiting students to imagine themselves attending, so let’s take a look at the school through the lens of their current buzzword.

Univ of Utah 120916

IInfluenced by Olympics – Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. The Olympic Village that was built for the games is now used as campus housing. This means freshmen get better housing than at most colleges since the rooms are a bit bigger, and it has a different overall feel. Also, the George S. Eccles Legacy Bridge also built for the Games now serves as a beautiful part of the campus that students use every day to get from their dorms to their classes.

MMUSS – The Mighty Utah Student Section (known on-campus as the MUSS) is an enthusiastic part of the University of Utah. Students have the option to join if they want to represent the entire student body in cheering on the Utes. If you are a prospective University of Utah student who enjoys sporting events, you should definitely consider being a part of the MUSS.

AAdmissions – The admissions process is similar to other colleges of its size. They do judge applicants holistically, which means they take into account more than just your test scores/GPA, and they have their own application. On my tour, they mentioned that a common mistake applicants make is that they accidentally apply to the campus located in South Korea. Be sure to apply to the correct campus when you fill out your application!

GGymnastics – While you may know Utah sports through their football or basketball teams, they also have a pretty amazing gymnastics team. They have won ten national championships over the course of their history! If you are on campus, make time to see the University of Utah Red Rocks compete in a gymnastics meet.

IIn-State Tuition – Even if you are from out of state, you may enjoy in-state tuition starting your sophomore year at the University of Utah. The school will help you apply for residency in Utah to get that major discount in your tuition. Also, interested students should know that this school participates in the Western Undergraduate Exchange. This means you may already get a tuition discount in your freshman year if you are from one of the participating states.

NNearby attractions – Do you like to ski, hike, or just enjoy fresh mountain air? If so, this may be a school to consider. The University of Utah is not only in Salt Lake City, surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, but is also near several ski resorts and amazing national parks.

EEntertainment Arts and Engineering program – While rankings aren’t typically the best way to understand colleges, it is impressive that the University of Utah was ranked #1 for their game design program[i] by the Princeton Review in 2016. The program is set up to have aspiring game artists and engineers work together. If you are interested in this field, this is definitely a program to check out.

These are some of the highlights of all that this university has to offer. Can you imagine yourself at the University of Utah? Contact your Right C3 coaches if you have questions about this school or others as you research colleges for yourself.

 

Photo Credit: https://flic.kr/p/6VxtCb


[i] http://unews.utah.edu/u-game-design-program-ranked-no-1/

UT Austin Visit

Posted by admin on November 23, 2016  /   Posted in C3 Blog, Coach James

By Coach James

Recently, I had the chance to tour the University of Texas at Austin and was pleasantly surprised by the campus. Even in the blistering Texas heat, all of the campus’s landscaping was green and well taken care of. Artworks spread across campus reflected the spirit of the city of Austin well, including an on-campus art garden that is currently under construction. The wide walking lanes also surprised me, as they didn’t go along with the vision I had of a cramped urban university. In the middle of campus, I didn’t even feel like I was in a city.

Stepping off campus, though, was a different story. All around campus, shops line the streets, catering to any student’s needs. However, navigating traffic and parking was not fun at all, and as I drove south toward campus, I couldn’t help but feel like I wasn’t in the best neighborhood.

Nevertheless, students will find plenty to do here. Greek life is a huge facet of life at UT, but so are sports, with tailgating almost a rite of passage for UT students. Intramural sports are also a popular pastime, and while more laid back than Division I sports, they can still get competitive! Outside of sports, there are 1300+ student organizations on campus, and if a student can’t find what they’re looking for, four students and a $15 application fee are all you need to create a new club.

The city of Austin is also home to some awesome music festivals, a huge urban bat population, and a bunch of tech companies. Austin is a booming place for technology and medical science-related careers, which makes it a great choice for students looking for advantages in internships. For example, Michael S. Dell is a former student and very active donor — and the namesake for the Dell Medical School that is currently under construction.

Many of UT’s more than 117 programs are nationally ranked. For example, students interested in geology will be thrilled to learn that UT has its own school of geosciences, where undergrads can even specialize in areas like geophysics or hydrogeology. The university heavily touts its STEM majors, and my tour guide mentioned them many times. As a business technology major, he told us he loved that UT offers the best of both worlds in engineering and business. He also said he wanted to come to UT because he knew no matter which academic avenue he picked, he’d get a quality education. The Honors Programs are definitely another bragging point for the school and seemed to offer a good balance between a small school feel and the benefits of attending a big research university.

There are 14 housing options on campus, including one all-male dorm and two all-female dorms. Surprisingly, there are no living-learning communities or specifications for who can live in which dorm (aside from the gender-specific ones). Though students tend to group up based on proximity to major class buildings and honors programs, anyone can live anywhere. The interest in on-campus housing is intense — so much so that the housing application closed in early May last year! Fortunately, students are able to put in a preliminary application for housing even before being accepted, and nearby off-campus options are available.

Despite the freedom in dorm options, every student that lives on campus gets the exact same meal plan. The only customization is the ability to reload “Dine In Dollars” and “Bevo Bucks” if you run out. The dining options do seem to be friendly to those on a specific diet, including gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, and those with certain food allergies, and they’ve implemented a labeling system so students know what they are eating.

While admission to UT Austin is competitive, Texas residents have a significant advantage. It is state law that UT Austin accept 90% of its freshmen from the state of Texas, and 75% of entering freshmen must be within the top 10% of their Texas graduating high school class. Because of this, Texas students ranked within a certain percentage (this year it was Top 8%) are guaranteed admission.

To be successful at this school, students need to be willing to step out and take advantage of the many opportunities available. It seems easy to get lost if you are not engaged. STEM students who can balance an active social life with a strong work ethic will do especially well here. To discuss UT Austin or any college option, contact your C3 coaches today!

Safety Tips for College Campuses

Posted by admin on November 10, 2016  /   Posted in C3 Blog, Coach Paul

By Coach Paul

Safety on campus is a common concern for students and families when researching college options. Parents want to send their children to a place that is safe, and students want to feel safe as they learn. It is important to be in a place where each student is able to focus on academics and not feel fearful over their safety. Here are a few common things that colleges do to ensure a safe environment for their students.

Campus Police

Most colleges have their own police force that patrols campus and responds to incidents as needed. Instead of policing an entire city or town, they are committed to the safety of people on the college campus. These officers are trained to work with college students and can be a support for the community. They usually have relationships with the local Police Department as well. Many times these campus-specific police forces have mission statements that are geared toward making the college campus conducive to learning.

Emergency Call Boxes

Another great resource on many campuses is the emergency call boxes. Usually they have a blue light on them and can be used to contact the campus police. Someone who needs help can push the button on the call box to immediately be connected to a phone line, and police will be alerted to come right away. The number of these boxes on campus can vary based on the campus size. Check the website of the college to learn if they have emergency call boxes on campus and where they are located.

Ride-Sharing

Many campuses have the option to get a ride home when you need it. There’s no need for Uber or a taxi since the campus may have a number you can call to get a free ride somewhere else on campus. For example, Clemson University calls theirs Tiger Transit, and it operates from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Some colleges even have free transportation to and from popular locations off-campus. This is a way they can ensure that students have a safe transportation option when it’s dark out.

Resident Assistants (RAs)

Having good relationships with others who live in your dorm can be essential to safety. Relationships with those in charge of dorm halls, like resident assistants, can be especially important for students. RAs can connect students with available resources and watch out for student safety. Because they live right there in the dorm, RAs can build individual relationships with students on their assigned hall to anticipate any issues before they arise.

These are just a few ways that most colleges assist students in matters of safety. Each college will implement its own safety systems, so be sure to check out what’s available at the colleges you research. Your Right C3 coaching team is here to help discuss specific concerns you may have as you research colleges and their safety policies.

What Should I Make of College Rankings?

Posted by admin on October 28, 2016  /   Posted in Applications and Applying, C3 Blog, Coach Paul

By Coach Paul

Has this happened to you? You’re researching colleges and come across a long list of colleges ranked from first to worst. Then, you happen to see another list with the same colleges in a completely different order. From there, you may find a third list that yields yet another set of results. This can be frustrating and make you wonder why there is such a huge discrepancy. Here is what the coaches at Right C3 want you to know when you encounter these kinds of lists:

College Lists Are Subjective

At Right C3, we don’t put much stock in any top-rankings lists because the criteria used for each listing is subjective. Some lists are selected by college presidents, some by student preference, and others by the ranking service itself (based on a proprietary formula). For example, one popular ranking uses seven values that include things like freshman retention and alumni giving. Each value is given a different weight, and then they take the survey results and plug in the numbers. Based on who you survey and which values you decide to use, you can get very different results.

Highly-Ranked Doesn’t Mean Right for You

Not everyone should get their degree from an Ivy League. There are those who will succeed in such an academically rigorous environment, and there are those who would end up dropping out of school. There are many factors at play when choosing a college, and someone else’s ranking list should not be a determining factor for you.

Finding a College That Fits You

Our coaching team is more concerned about you and your situation. There are many things that affect how well a college fits your needs. Do they have your major? Where is it located? How big is the school? What social activities can you get involved in? How much does it cost? YOU must decide how important these factors are in making your decisions. Remember, just because something is important to a college ranking service doesn’t mean that it has to be important to you.

Researching Colleges with Career in Mind

When you are choosing a college, Right C3 argues, you have to start by setting your career goal. While most colleges offer many degree plans, just because a college is highly-ranked doesn’t mean it has a program that will help you get your dream job. Does the college you want to attend have the program you want to study? It sounds like a simple question, but not all degree programs are created equal, and a rankings list won’t take into account your individual needs as a student.

Use Right C3 Resources

At Right C3, we want to give each student the resources they need to make these important decisions. We have tools like the MyFit Questions which will help our clients measure a school’s level of fit based on their situation. We also have done college research for you that is at your fingertips on our site. And our best resource is our coaching team, ready to assist you by discussing your specific situation and offering advice.

While you will probably come across a variety of college ranking lists, don’t let them deter you from applying to a college that you like. Similarly, don’t let them sell you on one school as the only possible choice for you. Take time to do your own research and consider what matters to you. Then contact your Right C3 coaches to discuss your situation and your college list.

Why I Would Redo My College Career at UTA

Posted by admin on October 14, 2016  /   Posted in C3 Blog, College Visits

By Coach Cicely

Recently, I had a chance to visit the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). UTA had some pretty amazing features that made me wish I could redo my college career there. Before going to college, I didn’t know what I wanted out of the experience. If I had done the research, I would have known I wanted a location that had that big city feel but was small enough for me to focus, a diverse campus that also celebrated its diversity, and a larger university setting at an affordable price. UTA has all of that and much more.

Arlington, Texas, the city where UTA is located, is right between two huge cities, Dallas and Fort Worth, which makes it easy to find great internships, explore the city, and travel. Arlington itself is known as the Entertainment District. Here you will find Six Flags, the AT&T Stadium (home of the Dallas Cowboys football team), and Globe Life Park (home of the Texas Rangers baseball team), so there is plenty for students to do off-campus.

On the academic side of things, UTA has an amazing Nursing program; in fact, “The College of Nursing and Health Innovation was designated a 2015 Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing, making it one of only two universities in Texas to ever receive the honor” (http://www.uta.edu/uta/about/rankings.php).

They have an amazing Smart Hospital™, which is an Educational and Research Lab. They use human patient simulators, hospital equipment, and additional technology to provide learning experiences for students to gain proficiency and confidence in healthcare procedures and processes (https://www.uta.edu/conhi/smart-hospital/about.php).

UTA has 10 colleges in total — the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs; College of Business; College of Education; College of Engineering; Honors College; College of Liberal Arts; College of Nursing and Health Innovation; College of Science; School of Social Work; and University College — with over 180 majors to choose from.

UTA is known as a commuter school, which means most of the students live off-campus. For students who do stay in the dorms, though, there are many perks. There are many newer and updated dorms, which is a plus. You get free laundry, and there are study areas on each floor with technology to practice presentations and more. There are also volleyball and basketball courts so that you can stay active right on your dorm property.

Campus life can be a very fun part of the college experience, especially at UTA. You can get involved in over 200 student organizations. Students who want to make a difference on campus can participate in Student Congress. You can also give back alongside your peers while volunteering at the Center for Community Service Learning. UTA students serve 680,000 hours a year! Those interested in promoting diversity can participate in Multicultural Affairs events, and there is Greek life for those who wish to pledge. And any student may enjoy participating in the unusual 30-year tradition of bed racing.

One thing that didn’t really excite me was the campus. There wasn’t much greenery, and the building colors were monotone. The building that had the most character was College Park Center. Most of the university’s NCAA teams play at College Park Center. You will also be able to attend concerts and events at the Center, but what is even more exciting is that the WNBA Dallas Wings team practices and plays there too!

Maybe you are a student outside of Texas reading this and are worried about out-of-state tuition costs. Well, you are in luck. The cool thing about UTA is that you may qualify for in-state tuition if you receive at least a $1,000 scholarship from them. That is something to check into!

These are some of the many reasons I wish I could redo my college career at UTA. If you are interested in learning more about this great school, feel free to contact their admissions office or speak with one of the CAA coaches. My key tip is to know what you want out of a college before applying to schools. Think about location, resources, future, and more — it will be good for you in the long run!

Exercise Physiology: to Your Health!

Posted by admin on September 30, 2016  /   Posted in C3 Blog, Career Choices, Coach Kristine

By Coach Kristine

Have you ever seen someone being monitored as they use a treadmill or exercise bike? Or maybe you have a personal trainer. If so, then you might have seen an exercise physiologist in action! Exercise physiologists are healthcare professionals that study how the body responds to the stress of physical exercise as well as what happens to the body when a person exercises repeatedly. So if this interests you, it’s a good career to check out!

Some clients are healthy and just want to work with an exercise physiologist for fitness or weight loss. This is the non-clinical side of exercise physiology. Exercise physiologists who work with athletic teams, fitness facilities, the YMCA, or corporations are part of this group. This category includes jobs such as personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and strength and conditioning specialist.

Other exercise physiologists use a clinical approach to help people with chronic medical issues. For example, they might treat those with heart or lung diseases by offering a medically-supervised exercise program. Clinical job titles include clinical exercise specialist and special population specialist.

Teaching positions for exercise physiologists are also available in community colleges as well as universities offering degrees at the master’s and doctorate levels. Exercise physiologists who are interested in research could study sport performance enhancement or physical activity through the lifespan.

A bachelor’s degree in kinesiology is a good place to start. A kinesiology degree will also open up options in the physical therapy, occupational therapy, or athletic training fields.

Most states require personal trainers to have a degree in kinesiology or certification through the American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP). Most fitness management jobs in the community or corporate world will require a master’s degree. Those interested in the clinical side of exercise physiology will also need a master’s degree.

If exercise physiology interests you, check out the ASEP website. You can also interview or job shadow an exercise physiologist to see what the profession is like.

Feel free to contact your Right C3 Coaches if you have any questions about your career options. We’re here to help!

 

https://www.asep.org/

http://www.americankinesiology.org/featured-careers/featured-careers/exercise-physiology

Taking the PSAT

Posted by admin on September 15, 2016  /   Posted in College Entrance Exams, Current Events, Deadlines and Reminders

By Coach Sara

Most high school students know that taking the SAT and ACT is an important part of the college admissions process. However, many are confused about the best way to go about studying and preparing for these important tests. Fortunately for them, one of the best ways to practice is often offered for free by high schools on a yearly basis – the PSAT.

The PSAT, as the name suggests, is basically a practice SAT. It has the same format as the SAT, but it covers lower-level material. That’s because the SAT is typically taken by 11th and 12th graders, while the PSAT is offered from 8th grade through 11th grade. The PSAT is meant to allow younger students to get a feel for what it is like to take the SAT while also testing them on the material they are currently learning in their classes. Students who master the material tested on the PSAT will have a strong foundation for learning the higher-level material the SAT covers.

This is great news for students worried about being ready for the SAT. Many students get nervous imagining that they will need to cram for months ahead of time in order to score well on the SAT. The truth, though, is that cramming simply doesn’t work. Studying on a regular basis for a few months before the exam can seriously improve your score, but there is a limit to how much new information you can learn in a single study session. Your best bet for getting a great score is to start studying early on and keep increasing your knowledge at a steady pace. Studying for and taking the PSAT in the years leading up to the SAT can help you do just that.

Even students who only prepare for and take the PSAT in their junior year will still be better prepared for the SAT. The PSAT score report will give you a detailed analysis of the areas of skills and knowledge that you will need to focus on developing in order to improve your score on the SAT and also be more ready for college.

Some students don’t think taking the PSAT will be helpful to them because they aren’t planning to take the SAT. However, there’s another major advantage of taking preparation for the PSAT seriously – scholarship money! The 11th grade PSAT doubles as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT). Students who earn a high score on the PSAT in their junior year may be considered for scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation or one of its corporate or college partners. There are many different levels of recognition, and some colleges offer scholarships that cover up to full tuition for students with the highest scores. Since the test is usually offered for free by your high school, there’s no reason to not at least give it a shot!

Your Right C3 coaches’ advice is to sign up to take the PSAT any time your school offers it! Students in 8th through 11th grades reading this should check with their school to see when they will next be able to take the PSAT. If your school does not offer the PSAT or you are homeschooled, you should be able to sign up to take the PSAT through another local school. Our clients should use their PSAT Prep before taking the PSAT in the fall of their junior year in order to improve their chances of receiving a high score. Contact your coaches for more information about when to take the PSAT and how to prepare!

Pros and Cons: New UC Personal Insight Questions

Posted by admin on September 02, 2016  /   Posted in Applications and Applying, Coach Paul, Current Events

By: Coach Paul

This application cycle presents some changes for those who want to apply to a University of California school[1]. Mostly this applies to those who live in California, but many out-of-state students apply to schools like UCLA, UC Berkeley and UC Irvine. In years past, the essay portion of the application required each student to write two essays, but now student have to choose four of eight shorter ones[2]. Your coaching team wanted to weigh in about why this can be both a positive and negative change.

Pro #1 – Now more chances to express yourself

With the essay changes, each student now has the chance to be even more unique. The point of college admissions essays is to show a bit of who you are. The four short essays can give admissions officers four snapshots of your life instead of just two.

Pro #2 – More prompts to choose from

More prompts can mean more variety in your responses. There is less pressure to fit an experience into the overall prompt and more opportunity to see where you connect. This is a chance for each person to brainstorm responses to all eight and choose their best four. You get to decide which four give the best picture of who you are as an applicant.

Pro #3 – Less-confusing word count

Many C3 students in the past have tried to apply to a UC school and been confused about how to do the essay. The instructions used to say you had 1,000 words that you could spread out over two essays, and how to divide them was up to you. We would often see students write a 1,000 word essay for only one of the prompts. This meant the student did way more than they needed to on the essay and would have to cut it down considerably while also having to write an entire second essay! The new prompts make it clearer: each answer can be up to 350 words long, and there are no other limitations on word count.

Con #1 – Shorter essays means less room for expression

With the changes, each person now has fewer words to get their point across in each essay. This means you will have to be more focused in the responses and still communicate your message. Sharing a story with less room can be challenging and may require more-developed writing ability.

Con #2 – More difficult to use essays for other applications

In the past, students would often modify their UC essays for other college applications. With the new, more-focused prompts, there will be less possibility of overlap with other applications and their essay prompts. You may still be able to use the same story/event, but you will need to make more modifications to fit it into new parameters.

Con #3 – More choices may make it more overwhelming

In all reality, more essay prompts may seem more overwhelming to some students. Now, instead of two big prompts, you have to choose which four work best for you. The good thing is there are no right or wrong choices with the prompts, but some students will still stress over the changes/options.

 

Be sure to contact your coaching team as you go through this process. Coaches can assist with brainstorming ideas and making sure your essays are communicating what you want. Don’t wait until the last minute to start these essays since they will take time to refine[3]. Best of luck to all seniors this application season, especially those working on the UC application.


[1] http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/

[2] http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/how-to-apply/personal-questions/freshman/index.html

[3] http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/how-to-apply/personal-questions/writing-tips/index.html

 

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