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The College Planning Blog

BCF Readers’ Forum 9.18.14

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 [...]

“Whose Job Is It? Establishing Roles In the College Application Process” 9.11.14

The season of reckoning for high school seniors has arrived. At a time in their lives when everything they do takes on the added “last time” significance, they are also coming face-to-face with the prospect of life after high school. The future is now. And, for many, it is wrapped up neatly in a package [...]

Organizing the College Application Process: September 2014 College Planning Tips

“On your mark! Get set…Go!” With the opening of the school year, the starter’s call has sounded on the marathon that is the next college application season. Ready or not, high school seniors with college aspirations need to step up if they want to compete. The coming months will establish the pace for each candidate. [...]

“College Essays: A Look Behind the Questions” 8.28.14

Sometimes, the simplest prompts can prove to be the most challenging when it comes to writing college essays. Who would think, for example, that some version of “Why do you want to attend this school?” could induce sleepless paranoia? Or that “Explain your choice of a college major” would leave students second-guessing themselves? After all, [...]

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 fe...

Continuing Education

P.E.O. International Scholarships

P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization) has championed the education of women since it was founded in 1869. It's a finalist for Best Scholarship for Adult Students in the 2013 Readers' Choice Awards.

The HiSET Test - High School Equivalency Exam

What's on the new HiSET high school equivalency test offered by some states? We'll tell you which states offer the test and what's on it.

25 More Ideas for Your People Bingo Cards

People Bingo is the most popular classroom ice breaker game for adults. Modify it for your next girls' night out with this easy-to-make game card.

The Hero's Journey - Approach to the Inmost Cave

The hero has adjusted to the Special World and goes on to seek its heart, the inmost cave. She passes into an intermediate zone with new threshold guardians and tests. She approaches the place where the object of the quest is hidden and where she will encounter supreme wonder and terror. She must use every lesson learned to survive.

The College Puzzle

The Bottom 5% Of All 4 Year Colleges

From Education Trust As student access and success are central to the mission of any higher education institution, we proposed setting a bottom-line standard — based on the bottom 5 percent of four-year colleges — to encourage improvement. We’ve followed through on that, recognizing that policymakers, students, and families alike need clear information on those read more...

Post Graduate Job Search Preparation: Important Tips

By Melissa Burns Today’s competitive job market can be daunting for new college graduates. Only about 17 percent of students have a job offer upon graduation. There is also mounting evidence that Universities do not adequately prepare students for their future job searches. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to get ready for read more...

Radically Overhauled SAT Debuts In 2017: See PSAT For A Preview

  College Readiness New SAT to align with Common Core Students in the class of 2017 will take an overhauled SAT that seeks to redefine what it means to become college ready. While the traditional SAT has focused on testing students’ innate abilities, the new exam will be aligned with the Common Core State Standards. (U.S. read more...

Academic And Aspiring Adults Adrift: Review Of 2 Books

COLLEGES’ FAILURES COST STUDENTS, writes New America’s Kevin Carey at The New York Times. The study “Academically Adrift” and its recent follow-up “Aspiring Adults Adrift” show students learn little in college, with big implications in the workplace. Read it at The New York Times.  

Cappex College Insider

Here’s Proof That Good Dorm Food Is Not an Oxymoron

You’ve got all your college catalogs and literature in one neat stack. You’ve tentatively started your list of top college choices. As you stare at your list, a nagging question keeps replaying over and over in your mind: Sure, it’s got a great computer science program, but how’s the food? It’s not a frivolous question. You’ll be in dining […]

5 Easy Mental Hacks that Instantly Boost Your Productivity

In the pursuit of being successful and making dreams come true, productivity is the lifeblood. In the age of social media and the 24-7 digital distraction machine, productivity is a big issue with even the most ambitious students. How do you get past the urge to procrastinate? Most of us love to laugh at videos […]

Announcing the Diversity + College Access Fair!

The Diversity + College Access Fair is a free online event for high school students who are preparing to apply for college. By holding the event online, students can meet with college admissions representatives from all over the country from the comfort of their home, school, or after-school program. At the Diversity + College Access […]

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