Virtual tour events April 18 & 29, 2021

 The College Board is hosting 2 FREE virtual tours.  See their website for full list of schools and other details. You must register to attend. There will be multiple events during each time slot for you to choose from.  If you do not have a College Board account yet, don't forget to use that NEW email I recommended (See post "You've got LOTS of email") the College Board website is where you will register for PSAT/SAT/AP Tests etc. April 18, 2021 - 1PM AK time (4:00-8:00 PM ET) Midwest:  University of Michigan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Chicago, Northwestern, WashU, etc. April 29, 2021 - 2PM AK time (5:00-9:00 PM ET) Southeast: University of Georgia, Florida State University, Johns Hopkins, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, etc.  Should Freshman or Sophomores register?  If you have time, YES!  Hopefully this virtual Covid world we are in is temporary.  One of the perks is events like this.  Who knows if these opportunities wi

Timing is Everything!

Should I apply Restricted Early Application or Early Application or Regular Application or Rolling Admission?  It depends on how prepared you are in the fall and when you want to know.  Maybe you want to take the SAT one more time.  Maybe you need more time to lock in good recommendations.  If you are going to apply later in the fall or winter make sure you finish strong - NO Senior-itis! FYI All schools have a policy that you have to declare your acceptance & pay a deposit by MAY 1. Binding Restricted Early Application: The tip top schools use these contracts.  Think Ivy League.  You only sign this contract when the school is your absolute #1 choice.  You are not allowed to apply anywhere else! You are declaring if you get in, you will go there!   If you do not get admitted, then you continue applying elsewhere. Every school is different.  Check the fine print of the policy and make sure you follow the rules! Restricted Early Application Deadline : This is a non-binding early appl

The Common Application

The Common Application is otherwise know as the Common App. I recommend creating a FREE account ASAP.  I found it was a great way to research schools and you do not have to ever submit an application through them unless you want to.  It's a great research tool.  You can start completing the general application part August 1 of your junior year.  The essay questions for specific years will also be available August 1 of your senior year.  Some schools start accepting applications September 1 of your senior year but most deadlines are in the November to December time frame.   This is your one stop shopping for hundreds of colleges!  For all of you parents that applied in the 80's and 90's...Remember the days of requesting an application packet...Waiting a month to receive it in the mail...  Typing out each application form...Agonizing and typing multiple essays...Collecting typed recommendations...Mailing it back...etc.  No more of that!!!   Fill out one online application for

When should I start looking at colleges?

My short answer is yesterday! It's never too early to start looking at colleges.  Since we live in Alaska, it is hard to travel to the lower 48 to visit schools.  Any time we traveled, we went to visit schools.  They may not get the full picture when you are 10, but you get a good  idea.  If you are reading this, then you are ready to start looking.  Use online resources or buy them and start researching!  US News college resource periodical   US News college resource Princeton Review college resource   Some schools have summer programs.  Think camp.  Look for programs that your in to:  music, sports, STEM, etc.  Its is a great way to check places out.  I noticed a few schools have general programs for incoming high school juniors.  Check out college websites for more information under the admissions tab. 2020 COVID caution:   Every state is different.  Check the local regulations and the schools website for details on in person tours and programs.   As a result of Covid, a lot of

What is WUE?

WUE: Western University Exchange Program  WICHE: Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education  WUE is great for Alaskan's or other participating states who want to go to school out of state and get in state tuition. Let's face it our local in-state tuition college choices are limited: University of Alaska - Anchorage and University of Alaska - Fairbanks.  If you want to see the world outside of Alaska, and potentially pay in-state tuition still, you need to check out the WUE program.  Basically colleges in other states will offer in-state tuition prices just because you are from Alaska (or one of the other participating states). The website gives a complete list of participating schools by state. Caution: Not every program/major is included! Some schools limit how many they give out, so apply early (see post: Timing is everything) Some schools consider you automatically.  Others you must contact them or apply. Feel free to comment and share your experiences or ask questio

PSAT/SAT timeline

Maybe take it sophomore year. Definitely take it junior year! The PSAT is offered in the fall and your school should notify you of the dates.  Most recommend you take it sophomore year as a "Practice PSAT".  I say practice because only juniors may qualify as National Merit Scholars and potentially earn scholarships.  Use the sophomore year score as a bench mark to study for the next go around.  You will register on the College Board website and receive your scores there.  If the test is not offered to you sophomore year (because of something crazy like COVID in 2020!) or you choose not to take the official test sophomore year, you can also create a College Board account and take an online version.   There are free practice tests that start with your scores and build from there.  I don't recommend paying a bunch of money for SAT prep classes but some kiddos need that structure.  You can find other online formats or go 80's style and buy practice workbooks at Barnes &am

You've got LOTS of email...

The best piece of advice I was given years ago was to create a new and separate email for the college bound student.  You may also want a new parent email dedicated to college info. too because parents get CC'd  on things once applications are submitted.  I don't remember who told me that, but I appreciate the wisdom! Google makes it so easy to create new accounts.  Our family has a dozen emails for every different job in our lives: personal, school, sports, shopping, etc.  The first time you will probably need this email address is as a sophomore registering on the College Board website for PSAT.  Be sure write it on the form the day of the test.  It will be used many times after that: College Board website to register for PSAT/SAT/AP classes ACT Registration College Fairs  (sponsored at University of Alaska in the fall)  College Websites The Common App FAFSA The moment you enter an email you will get bombarded with information.  If you already used an existing email, try to c