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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 Amazon.com 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 Audible.com 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

10 Steps to Writing Great Research Papers

Your assignment is to write a research paper. How? I'll walk you through the process in 10 steps. Writing research papers just got easier. Ready? Let's get started.

5 Tips for Adults Who Want to Go Back to School

Whether it's finding the money and study time or worrying about tests, going back to school can be stressful for adult students. We've got tips for making life easier.

9 Articles to Help You Brush Up on Math Before...

Remembering math can make going back to school scary. We've started a collection of math help to ease your fears.

A GED Does Not Make You a Loser - 25 Celebritie...

If you think earning a GED makes you a loser, take a look at our list of celebrity dropouts who earned a GED. You, too, can be successful with a GED.


The College Puzzle

What Is The Real Cost Of College Transfer?

College students transfer from one college to another for a variety of reasons. With every one there is a transfer tax – a financial consequence – that is not only incurred by students but higher education institutions, states and the nation. It is the added cost resulting from students taking courses that don’t impact degree read more...

Research Findings For Effective College Writing Remediation

The Challenge of Writing Remediation: Can Composition Research Inform Higher Education Policy? by Stefani R. Relles & William G. Tierney This article presents a review of research relevant to postsecondary writing remediation. The purpose of the review is to assess empirical support for policy aimed at improving the degree completion rates of students who arrive read more...

More AP Courses Slated For Major Overhaul

But will revamp in favor of teaching college critical thinking in high school fuel the Common Core controversy? By Emmanuel Felton, Hechinger Institute This story also appeared at: Despite the recent fallout over new guidelines for Advanced Placement U.S. History, the College Board is making similar changes to most science and history AP courses in read more...

Helpful SAT Prep Resources For Students

By Jane Hurst One of the biggest challenges in your life isn’t the SAT, but preparing for it. This can be so nerve wracking, and it isn’t something that will only take a few days. It will take many months to prepare for the most important test of your life, and you need to find read more...


Cappex College Insider

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: […]

How to Deal with Feeling Homesick in College

There’s no doubt that college is exciting, but along with that excitement can come feelings of uneasiness and discomfort in your new routine. For students who move away for school and leave the familiarities of home, the transition can be especially challenging. Now that the school year is in full swing and the newness of […]

The Ultimate Guide to Letters of Recommendation: Who to Ask and How to Do It

Letters of recommendation. The elusive cousin of resumes and cover letters. While they’re not always invited to the party, they are generally welcomed as a nice surprise when they show up. They convey—possibly more than anything else—your work ethic. It’s important that your recommendation letters evolve as you take each new step in your academic […]

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