Archive | June, 2017

Free SAT prep course

28 Jun

I ran into a parent the other day and asked about her son, who will be going into his junior year. She said he is determined to get an academic scholarship.

My response? “Tell him I said to study for the SAT. It’s the ticket to academic money.”

And actually, when juniors take the PSAT Oct. 11 (or if schools offer a Saturday test, also on Oct. 14), it is the National Merit Qualifying Test. The very top students nationwide–those who score in the 99th percentile–become National Merit Semifinalists. About half of those students win scholarships after submitting personal essays and teacher recommendations. Some win $2,500 from the National Merit Corporation, and many can receive generous scholarships directly from the college they decide to attend.

In any case a great SAT (or ACT) score can be rewarded with good scholarship money, so it’s worth all the effort put into studying for the test.

The great news of recent years is that Kahn Academy has partnered with the College Board to offer FREE test prep online. Here’s the link:

So, practice for the test until NO question is a surprise for you. If you prefer working with a book, this one prepared by the College Board is only $16.37 on Amazon:

Study on! You will be glad you did.


Making the most of summer orientation

23 Jun

Incoming college freshmen sometimes have the opportunity to attend a summer orientation. If you can afford it (there is typically a cost involved) and have the time, I recommend it.

Here’s what may be offered:


  • A college campus tour
  • A meet-and-greet in your department
  • A one-on-one session with an advisor who can help you select classes
  • Informational sessions that acquaint you with college policies, such as the honor code (not cheating/plagiarizing etc.) and safety
  • Information about intramural sports, other campus activities, and Greek life (sororities/fraternities)
  • An orientation and possibly a lunch or dinner for your parents
  • Get-to-know-you events in the evenings

So, yes, it’s worth it, as you will feel more confident when you arrive on campus this fall!

Get a jump on your Work Study job

14 Jun

If you qualified for Work Study as part of your financial aid package from your college, you still have some research to do to get the best job.

By about mid-summer if not before, colleges will have job postings for Work Study students. Those jobs are not just handed over to you. You still have to submit a resume, an application, and probably a cover letter for EACH separate job to which you apply. Typically, departments on campus can work with your schedule, even as it changes from semester to semester.

It’s a first-come, first-served kind of world with Work Study jobs, so it’s important to apply diligently to get the job that will be most advantageous to you. Think about what might be resume appropriate–a job that will best prepare you for the work you would like to do eventually. Yes, it could be fun to work in the cafeteria, but if you could work in a research institute instead, couldn’t that help you down the road after you graduate? Those kinds of contacts are invaluable when you’re applying for real-world careers.

More info about the Work Study program is here:

Best wishes for a great summer!