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The College Planning Blog

“BCF Readers’ Forum” 10.23.14

Periodically, I use this space to respond to questions I have received via email or during programs. My intent in sharing both questions and answers is to provide insight into the college-going process and stimulate conversation that leads to informed decision-making with regard to educational futures. As always, your comments are very much valued. To [...]

“Good Enough is Never Enough” 10.16.14

October is a time of reckoning for students as they prepare college applications. The senior year of high school is in full swing with new academic challenges as well as a sense of nostalgia as students wistfully embrace events and relationships for the “last time” in their high school experience. And, for many, the college [...]

“‘Connect the Dots’ With Your College Application” 10.8.14

One of the biggest mistakes students make in preparing their applications for admission is the tendency to treat the information they submit as random data points. Scores, essays, courses, grades and letters of recommendation are often regarded as items to be completed on a checklist for each college. When this happens, students miss important opportunities [...]

October College Planning Tips: Making Sense of ED/EA Options

Applying Early Decision (ED) and Early Action (EA) are increasingly popular options for college applicants. The following is a breakdown of what you need to know before you apply ED or EA. 1.  Early Decision (ED): What Is It? Early Decision is an application opportunity offered by many of the nation’s selective institutions that provides [...]

Campus Grotto

Back to School: Best Backpacks for College

Choosing a backpack for college is an important decision when it comes to organization and mobility. You want a bag with multiple pockets to carry all your accessories, make them easily accessible, and protect all your gear. A bag that’s stylish and unique with enough room to hold textbooks, notebooks, chargers and a laptop, while still being comfortable to wear under a heavy load. A new school year means new designs for students to choose from to fulfill all their carrying needs. With the above guidelines taken into consideration, here are our top recommended backpacks and messenger bags for college students. 1. OGIO Commuter Backpack Lots of pockets and interior space make th...

College Packing List

With college starting soon, use this packing checklist as reference when determining what to bring. Notes about what to bring to college: Coordinate with your roommate on who is bringing what so you don't end up with two of the same thing. There is only so much room in a dorm. Check with your college and see what items are allowed. Some dorms prohibit certain small appliances. Quick tips for purchasing items for college: Check campus classifieds and Craigslist. Buying used is obviously going to be cheaper. Shop thrift stores and places like Target for more affordable items. Order from and get it shipped for free with Amazon Prime (free for students for th...

America's Best Study Spaces

Whether it’s beautiful architecture or an amazing view, just sitting in an inspiring place can instantly give one a greater sense of wisdom and well-being. Wide-open, beautifully-designed study spaces allow students to spread out, focus, and achieve serenity during times of stressful study. These are the places students come to do battle. From writing term papers to studying for finals, these locations provide the perfect environment to tackle any coursework. Here we’ll showcase some of the greatest college study spaces around the country. Harper Reading Room at University of Chicago The vaulted Main Reading Room in the Arley D. Cathy Learning Center of Harper Library is one of t...

Audio Textbooks

Limited Time Offer: Download a free audiobook at now. Time is a valuable commodity. This is especially true in college when you have to master the art of multitasking. It is important to take advantage of productivity tools that will help you succeed. One way to free up more of your time and increase your productivity is to make use of audio textbooks. Audio books give you many options when it comes to being productive. Textbooks can be listened to on your commute, in the gym, while walking to class, or while relaxing on the quad. With MP3 being the format of choice for audio books, they can be listened to on any of your electronic devices. Here we’ll go over a few w...

Continuing Education

7 Things You Can Do to Stay Calm on Test Day

Stay calm when taking a test by practicing these seven tips. And remember to get a good night's sleep before you test. You'll perform 44% better.

Christmas Ideas for Your People Bingo Cards

Playing People Bingo during the holidays? We have Christmas ideas for your bingo cards.

Improve Your Memory with These 3 Tips

Contrary to popular belief, research proves that studying several subjects in one sitting, studying those subjects in different settings, and frequent testing helps students improve memory.

Which Degree Is Right for You?

There are many different types of degrees out there. Which one is right for you? It depends on what you want to do with your education.

The College Puzzle

50 State Comparison Of College Readiness Policies

Submitted by: The Education Commission of the States October, 2014 Education leaders across the nation are working hard to improve their students’ success and transition from high school into postsecondary. With so many variables to consider, this is no small task. To assist with the process, the Education Commission of the States has launched a read more...

Entire Approach Of College Remediation Needs Overhaul

By Rob Baird, Senior Leader for Program and Policy, Community Training and Assistance Center, Boston Every year in the U.S., large numbers of college freshmen get a rude shock: they discover that they have to begin college by taking non-credit, remedial courses because they’re not ready for college work. This academic holding pattern creates a read more...

Very Few 4 Year Graduates Default On Loans

From New America Ed Central There are literally thousands of media stories about soaring student debt levels – but the students defaulting aren’t the ones we think. In fact, Clare McCann and Jason Delisle write, very few recent graduates with four-year degrees default on their student loans.

Hidden Causes Of College Tuition Increases

The Progress of Education Reform: A Hidden Cause of Rising Tuition This issue of The Progress of Education Reform  examines tuition discounting, the practice of awarding targeted financial incentives to students, usually in the form of merit awards or needs-based grants. Specific attention is focused on the impact state-legislated tuition caps can have on the practice. read more...

Cappex College Insider

Scholarships and Programs for Halloween Lovers

Do you really get into Halloween? I mean do you really get into it? Going all out with your makeup, costume, and theatricals? If you’ve got the creative talent to completely nail your costume and successfully scare your friends, these programs and scholarships might be of interest to you! Costume Design Halloween isn’t complete without […]

What Colleges Provide the Maximum Return on Investment? This List Has the Answer

It’s been said time and again: You can’t put a value on a good education.  But in the year 2014, that maxim is under more and more duress. College is expensive, and there’s just no getting around that any more. Consider the numbers: According to the U.S. Department of Education, the average tuition at U.S. […]

22 Scholarships Expiring in November

November’s a time to be thankful. It’s easy to be thankful for our family and friends, but it’s also important to remember to be thankful for the opportunity to pursue an education. Take advantage of that opportunity by applying for a few of these scholarships with deadlines in November! 1. Voice of Democracy Scholarship Program Deadline: […]

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