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The College Planning Blog

BCF Readers’ Forum 11.20.14

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 [...]

“The Perils of Social Media In the College Admission Process” 11.12.14

I need to make a confession: I’m “old school” when it comes to technology. Having grown up with corded phones, typewriters and shuttered cameras, the era of iPhones and instant communication is a bit daunting. I don’t say this with any sense of pride or satisfaction, but the truth is I only know just enough [...]

November College Planning Tips: Application Preparation

As deadlines for college applications approach, it is important to be both organized and purposeful in your preparations. The following tips will help you avoid common mistakes as you put the finishing touches on your applications. 1. Focus on a short list of no more than eight colleges. The greater the number of applications you [...]

“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 [...]

Campus Grotto

College Search for Beginners

The college search process is long and grueling and often leads to some stressful decision making. Deciding on what college to attend can become an overwhelming experience, and for good reason. After all, there are hundreds of them across the country, all great schools for different reasons. Your first step is to take a deep breath and relax. You want to be completely in control and focused as you go on to make this decision. Here we’ll point you to some useful resources and cover some important topics to get you started in the college search process. In the end, it is you that makes the decision of where to attend college. Parents, teachers, counselors, college search books and websites...

Cool Dorm Room Ideas

When you first enter an empty dorm you may notice the room looks quite minimal and you can’t fathom how you and another roommate are going to live in this space for an entire year. Tiny dorm rooms with cinder block walls, florescent lighting, and little to no carpet come off a little institutional looking and are very uninspiring. While many colleges around the nation have made a push to design more luxurious dorms over the past few years, it's your job to transform your dorm room into a more livable space. This is your home away from home while you’re going to school, so you’ll want to add as much comfort and personality to the room as possible. Given the small size of the room, designi...

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...

Continuing Education

8 Questions to Ask Before Going Back to School

Should you go back to school? We've got 8 questions to ask yourself.

Meaningful Conversations Matter. Why? Ron Gross...

Meaningful conversation is one of the most important aspects of learning, especially for adults. Sadly, it doesn't happen very often anymore. Whether you're the teacher or the ageless learner, following Ron Gross's suggestions for stimulating meaningful conversation will enliven your classroom and your dinner table.

The 2014 GED Science Test

What's on the new 2014 GED science test? Find out what you need to know and how much time you'll have.

11 Positive Articles That Will Help You Get...

Do you know how to get what you want? 11 articles that will show you how to get what you want, for free!

The College Puzzle

Long Term Tuition Outlook Is Grim With Increases Likely

by Dr. Watson Scott Swail, President & CEO, Educational Policy Institute Last week the College Board released the 2014 Trends in College Pricing and Trends in Student Aid reports. As a former co-author of these reports, I remain critically interested in tuition and cost of attendance trends. Each year, I update our annual projection of the future tuition read more...

Students : Stop Procrastinating! Block the Internet

  Blogger’s Note: I have not reviewed the empirical basis of this survey or app, but the ideas are in it are thought provoking: A study of 1500 undergraduate students in the USA has found that 74% have suffered significant procrastination because of online distraction. The survey undertaken by the productivity and web blocking software read more...

Large Increase In Remedial College Courses And Student Debt

from the Wall Street Journal: College students are increasingly spending federal financial aid and taking on debt for high school-level courses that don’t count toward a degree, despite mounting evidence the courses are ineffective and may contribute to higher dropout rates.The number of college students taking at least one remedial course rose to 2.7 million read more...

College Living Expenses Often Underestimated

Tuition is not the whole story in college expenses. The Chronicle of Higher Education takes a look at college living expenses, an “under discussed” aspect of college affordability, according to Lumina Foundation strategy director Zakiya Smith. The average list price of tuition and fees for in-state students at public four-year colleges in 2014-15 is $9,139. Room and read more...

Cappex College Insider

Benefits of the Early Decision Application

It’s deadline time for Early Decision (ED) applications to college. Early Decision is a college admissions process in which high schools students send their application to their preferred college “early” (usually in November) and receive a decision from the college by December. If you know without question which college you want to attend, the Early […]

SAT Subject Tests FAQ

Think your standardized testing career is over after taking the SAT or ACT? Before you throw away your No. 2 pencils and erasers, find out if you should be taking the SAT Subject Tests. Many selective colleges recommend or even require taking SAT Subject Tests (formerly known as SAT II: Subject Tests). Even if the […]

Scholarships for Undocumented Students from CollegeGreenlight

Undocumented students are students in the United States who were born abroad and are not US citizens or legal residents. These students are guaranteed an education in US public schools through grade 12, but they often face legal and financial challenges in their pursuit of higher education. Contrary to what some of these students may […]

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