Monthly Archives: June 2016

Ways to Prepare for College Application Process

So you are in high school, and the prospect of going to college can seem thrilling, as well as nerve-racking. You have waited for the day when you can finally move out and start living independently. But with this excitement, comes a whole bunch of responsibilities. Firstly, there’s the enormous task of filling out and submitting the application forms, which may leave you pondering where to look for guidance.

Preparing for the College Application Process

Creating a Resume

You should start preparing for this lengthy and time-consuming process when you are in the senior year in high school. Create a resume which lists your academic qualifications, extracurricular activities, and work experience, if any. The resume should portray you as a confident student and individual, and accentuate your high points. Formulate it such that it becomes an important and effective tool in your application process.

Choice of Colleges

You need to make a list of colleges you will be applying to. This may seem baffling at first, as there may be several colleges which offer the courses you want to pursue. Keep things simple by narrowing the list to five or six “most probable” colleges. Bear in mind that every application will cost you an application fee, which is nonrefundable. Take help from your parents, and also from your friends who are already in college and will guide you in the right direction, or even your school counselor, who is probably the most conversant with your academic records. Factors that dictate your choice of colleges would be cost, courses offered, location of the college, and facilities offered (recreational, dorm, labs, computing, extracurricular activities, sports, etc.).

Pay a visit to the college(s) of your choice. Take a campus tour, it will give you a feel of the college life you will soon be experiencing yourself. Chat up with students and ask their points of view on the college, including subjects offered, teaching methods, sports and recreational facilities, dorm facilities, etc. If you get a chance, meet and collect the contact numbers of all important people (professors, career counselors, admission representative, etc.), which you think will be useful to you during the process. Do not hesitate to make inquiries, the college will practically be your home in the coming years.

Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)

The SAT reasoning test is used by colleges as a yardstick when offering scholarships to a student. Scoring high in SAT is very important. A good score will help you get admission into a college of repute, and also better your chances of receiving financial help. Chalk out a study plan, take expert guidance, and buy good self-study books. You can even enroll yourself in tutoring or online classes which prepare students for SAT exam. Get a lot of practice by solving mock tests. Identify your weak areas so you can work on improving them. If you are interested in applying for an “early action” or “early decision”, take your SAT in October, since these processes require you to submit your applications in November. Make sure to send your SAT and SAT subject test scores to all colleges you wish to apply.
Recommendation Letters
You will also require recommendation letters from your teachers and counselors, and your employers if you have any job experience. Ask for the letters well in advance, and then follow-up with the respective individuals to verify that your letters have been sent on time.

Essay Writing

Essay writing is an important aspect of the application process. Draft your essay very carefully. It’s your best chance to showcase your strengths and accomplishments. Make a rough draft before the actual writing. Point out things that are not a part of your resume, or elaborate on the activities and experiences mentioned in it. Write things about yourself which will highlight your merits, and narrate it in an interesting manner. Or, you could brainstorm and choose from a wide variety of topics to write on. Avoid writing on controversial subjects. Use simple and lucid language. Once you have sketched the draft, it’s time to finalize it. Take a feedback about your own writing from a trusted family or friend, someone who will offer you an unbiased opinion. Proofread it very carefully. Read and reread the essay.

College Admissions

Try to complete the process latest by November or December. Before you mail the application, make copies of every single application for your records. If you need financial assistance, contact the college office and ask for any forms or other paperwork they may require. Financing is something you should decide upon only after careful consideration and discussion with your parents and elders. A month after you mail out the applications, contact the colleges to verify whether they have actually received your application forms. Typically, colleges announce admission decisions by March or April. Go through the list of colleges you had applied to, and arrive at a decision. Fill out the enrollment form of the college of your choice, and mail it to them along with the deposit check. The deadline for most colleges to receive the forms is May 1st. Inform all the other colleges who accepted your application form that you will not be attending them, so you free up the seat for another deserving candidate. If the college of your choice puts you on their waiting list, contact them and notify them that you are still very much keen on joining them. You can mail them your latest semester grades.
While the process is sure to take up a good deal of your time, do not neglect your senior year. Study hard and continue to do well so you get excellent school grades. Colleges expect you to score high in your final school semester. Thank all those who helped you with the application process. Make sure your final year school transcript reaches your college. You will also need time to make early travel plans so you get cheap airfare deals, and do a whole lot of shopping! Approach the college application process the same way you would prepare for a job interview, with the same determination and sincerity. Investing in college education paves the way for a secure future ahead. Armed with a college degree and equipped with the necessary skills and qualities means you have better chances of finding a job, earning more money, and becoming financially secure.

Best Tips for Writing a Memorable and Killer College Admission Essay

The college admissions process is a complex collection of record reporting, writing, and, in some cases, interviewing. Your essay is just one of many components of this process, but it’s often one of the most important. Every school weighs the admission essay differently, in terms of its overall influence on your acceptance or rejection, but this doesn’t mean that the essay is never important.
In fact, this is oftentimes the one place on your admissions checklist where you can show off your personality and creativity. Below are seven different ways in which you can make your college admission essay stand out from the rest.
Choose a Unique Topic
In some cases, colleges will provide you with a list of two or three topics from which you can choose. This leaves little room for creativity, but you can call some attention to yourself by picking the most difficult topic. Remember, though, that you want to shine a light on your most positive attributes (in terms of what the college admissions team will be looking for), so don’t choose the less popular topic just to be different, choose it if it’s going to allow you stand out in a positive way.

For essay requests that allow you to choose your own topic, this is the perfect opportunity to let your personality shine. The admissions team has probably read thousands of essays about prospective students’ hardest struggles, why their GPA is low but they will be, really, a great addition to the student body, and how their favorite teachers impacted their lives. Try to take a different approach by choosing a topic that’s relevant yet unpredictable.

Follow a Creative Structure
Writing a five paragraph essay in the first person is a cakewalk after mastering this form in elementary school. For this reason, it’s easy to overlook the standard five paragraph format (unless, of course, the application asks for this specifically, in which case you should follow directions). If the college has given you a bit of creative license, try putting your essay into a structure that will take readers by surprise. For instance, you might write in the third person, or compose a poem or series of flash fiction pieces.

Make it Meaningful
When applying for multiple colleges, the essay may seem like a necessary evil; you have to write the article to complete the application, but you find yourself writing what you think readers will want to see instead of what you think is important. The fear of getting a rejection letter from one of your top choices is hard to suppress, but remember that this essay allows you to reveal your personality, values, and expectations, and if these don’t align with those of the college, it probably isn’t the best choice for you anyway. Be sincere and make sure that your essay is meaningful. A heartfelt, true essay is going to attract more attention than an essay that you don’t believe in.

Keep it Concise
Most applications will specify the word count deemed acceptable for the essay, so make sure you adhere to it. But make sure that you don’t make it tediously long as the one who is going to read your essay will be reading mounds of such essays, so keep it to the point. You may also not want to test your admission officer’s patience by taking circuitous routes to describe your point; cut on meandering, don’t make it look like a drawn-out story.

Keep it Honest
Some college essays may want you to answer to specific questions like “describe yourself” or “how do you intend to apply your knowledge after graduating from our college?”. This is where you will be required to be creative and most importantly, honest. The admissions officers are keen to know what you are as a person and what qualities you have that make you unique. Don’t try to be somebody that you are not. Don’t overstretch the truth or exaggerate your achievements or skills just because you think it will impress the admissions officer (read: after reading through hundreds of essays they know whether you are telling a fib or truth).

A Mini Story that Calls for your Audience’s Attention
Admissions officers are not looking for inspiring quotes from luminaries or expecting you to share someone else story, so it’s always good to write your own story, not a fictional one though. You can always begin your essay with your own mini story, it could either talk about a challenge you faced and how you overcame it (don’t drown yourself in self-pity, it will never work) or your passion about something since an early age (make sure this passion is relevant to your essay).

Keep it Grammatically Sound
It goes without saying that an essay that will have punctuation, grammatical, and spelling errors will be off-putting. Avoid using slang or texting lingo, remember you are writing an essay for college and not to a friend!
Writing your college admission essays can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience or interest in writing. But you can make your essay shine with the right approach! Keep these seven tips in mind as you get ready to apply to your top colleges, and good luck!

Tips on Choosing a College

Higher education paves a path for your career and shapes your personality. It can propel your career in the right direction, and provide you with golden job opportunities. It helps in developing analytical and reasoning abilities in you, and enhances your communication skills. It is a place that encourages you to pursue your career in the field that interests you the most, and can develop your hidden talents by enabling you to participating in various extra-curricular activities. Therefore, you should conduct a self-assessment, in which you should ask yourself what field you excel in and enjoy the most?. This will give an idea of the career you should choose, and will also help you in choosing the right college for the purpose. It is always better to evaluate your skills and interests before choosing, as these precious years can either help you move forward or restrain you from fulfilling your potential.

Tips for Choosing a College

It’s not easy to pick the best college, as there are so many that you can easily get confused. But always remember that you shouldn’t simply go after the ‘reputed’ colleges, as there are many that may be less famous, but are worthy of your attention.

Type of College: Apart from the type of funding they receive (public or private), colleges can be categorized into research and teaching institution. Out of these two, which one you choose depends on your career plans after you complete your college education. Another point that has to be considered is whether you want to take a two-year degree course by joining a community college or a four-year course by joining a university.

Campus Environment/Infrastructure: This is one of the most important factors to consider before making a selection. The quality of infrastructure is seen in whether it is equipped with proper classrooms, administrative buildings, workshops, computer labs, laboratories, seminar halls, student clubs, gym, etc.

Faculty: Just having a good infrastructure is not sufficient. Try to get an idea of the faculty and their teaching experience from someone who attended the institution.

Size of The Class: Classes may range in size from small (less than 2,500 students) to very large (more than 12,000 students). You should be very careful as the number of undergraduates may not exhibit the class size or the number of departments or faculties in the college. Due to this, you may either feel overwhelmed by the number of students, or more challenged to excel in such an environment.

College Fee: Another important point to be considered is the fees. But you shouldn’t rule out colleges just because of their cost, as there are many that offer scholarships, financial aid, and tuition installment plans or grants for students.

Choosing a college just because your special someone or friends are going there should not be a criterion of selection. You should evaluate each and every point on the basis of your personal preferences, like whether you will be able to adjust with the college’s social and academic environment. College life is a big turning point in every student’s life, and lots of patience and thoughtfulness is required while making a selection.

Effective Montessori Teaching

The contemporary time in this world is completely surrounded by technology. Health, education, personal welfare everything is just a click away. Bringing up a child in this technologically advanced age can be quite challenging, they already know the World Wide Web. Thus, to nurture a child’s emotional and behavioural capabilities in a better way a form of early education is needed that helps a kid grow with intelligence and empathy rather than a mechanical being.
The Montessori form of education plays a pivotal role in a child’s early education. It has evolved since ages at par with the fast paced world but it still holds the principles of its founder. Sometimes we confuse Montessori teaching with traditional ways of teaching; however, both are entirely different. While traditional learning  focuses mainly on academics and follow a set curriculum and discipline Montessori  education focuses on the child’s acquisition of academic, social, practical and life skills. In traditional education system a child is a passive participant in learning, taught by a teacher, sitting at desks, copying from the board and they are limited to what they are given. Through Montessori education a child learns by linking their physical and cognitive senses, they learn at their own pace. The child can move around and work where he/she is comfortable, they are inspired to build internal self-discipline and emphasis is laid on the overall intellectual, social, emotional and spiritual development.
Montessori education offers our children opportunities to develop their potential as they step out into the world as a responsible citizen with understanding and compassion. This education system is beneficial to the children in many ways. Each child is valued as a unique individual and to accommodate individual interests the Montessori system has a wide variety. The teacher has to know how to guide each child with an individualized learning plan that compliments the child’s curiosity and skills. The classrooms become a close knit caring and sharing community. The teachers have to instil love and kindness in them, help them solve their problems and resolve conflicts peacefully.  Montessori students enjoy freedom within limits; Montessorians understand that internal satisfaction drives the child’s curiosity and interest and results in joyous learning that is sustainable over a lifetime. Teachers provide environments where students have the freedom and the tools to pursue answers to their own questions.
The teacher plays the most important role in moulding a child. As Montessori education provides unique learning opportunities a teacher must be well accustomed to the principles and methods of the system. The Montessori teacher should not only concentrate on teaching but also on the child’s learning. The teacher should create an environment for the child where learning looks attractive. The teacher should present their best self and cater to each individual need. Thus, training of the teachers is an important aspect. They should know perseverance and be prepared to handle unexpected responsibilities. A teacher should know the difference between rote learning and exploring one’s own ideas and capabilities. A teacher should bring about the best in the child and prepare him/her to think critically, work collaboratively towards building a better world.