You are ready to dive into deeper waters now that you’re on the path to graduate from high school. Here are some valuable tips to get you rolling.
By now, prospective college students should have their applications well under way, especially if they are planning to apply early. However, if you’re struggling to finish, don’t panic. Instead, take a moment to reflect on the situation, and then create a plan to successfully complete your applications. CPAP offers a step by step assistance.
Here are three practical suggestions to help you get your college applications on track.
1. Analyze the source of your delay: Procrastination may be one of the reasons why you’re behind schedule.
The fear of the unknown may hinder you seriously evaluating your feelings about college: The fear of change, leaving family and friends, and competitive insecurity.
All of the above is perfectly normal and many students face them during their transition to college. A program like CPAP can help you to navigate the processes starting with school selection, the applications, finding funding sources and other identifiable problems like staying on schedule. If college is important to your future, CPAP can provide the motivation to help you to reach your goals.
2. Define the issues that are holding you back and begin to look for solutions. If you’re nervous about your prospective schools not being the right fit, consider taking another campus visit if you are able or take a virtual tour. Try to connect with a current student online, through school forums or social media to get a personal perspective of the school.
If you’re concerned about the strength of your personal statement, ask a parent, teacher or other trusted adult to review the essay for you and give honest feedback on areas you can improve to make it truly stand out.
3. Prioritize your remaining tasks: Take stock of your other tasks, including family obligations, school projects, volunteer work and college applications. Which tasks are optional and which are essential?
For example, maybe you planned to retake the ACT or SAT or to take an SAT subject test. If your standardized test scores are in an acceptable range or the schools on your short list do not require the subject exam, consider spending time instead on the essential components of your applications, such as the personal statement or letters or recommendation.
Or maybe you are just short on time. Take a moment to reflect on how important college is to your future. Imagine finding yourself at home when your friends leave for college next year – use that feeling as motivation to make time for completing the applications.
∗ CPAP (College Preparatory Assistance Program)
(Excerpts by Brian Witte, Contributor )
The rising costs of the traditional four-year college experience may not be affordable for everyone. Factor in some uncertainty of what some students want to study, this might be a more attractive option in more ways than one.
Consider the opportunity to study for two years at community college before transferring to a four-year college can be a significant saving on tuition. Another eye opener is some community colleges offer job training and certificates as well as associate degrees expectations to earn more than $50,000 a year.
If you’re considering attending a community college, or if you’re curious about the benefits, check out the following reasons why attending one might be a good decision.
Paying for college is a big consideration, and the average cost of annual tuition and fees at
four-year institutions in the 2018-2019 school year was $35,676 at private colleges, $9,716 for state residents at public colleges and $21,629 for out-of-state students at state schools, which can lead to significant student loans (according to U.S. News).
In contrast, community colleges charge about $3,660 on average per year for in-state students, (according to the 2018 Trends in College Pricing report released by the College Board).
According to the report, many states are adopting free community college programs like the Tennessee Promise program, which provides funding for students to fill the gap between Pell Grants and other grant aid for high school graduates who meet certain requirements.
2. Academic flexibility
Attending a community college can be a good way for students to ease into the world of higher education and learn at their own pace. This is especially true for students who struggled in high school or anyone who’s unsure if they want to make the significant time and money investment in college, experts say.
3. Financial Aid
Financial aid isn’t only for four-year college students – community college students are eligible as well. Federal student loans require students to be enrolled half time – about six credit hours, or two courses. Students just need to make sure they don’t drop out of classes or they’ll risk losing their aid award.
4. School-Life Balance
About 60 percent of community college students attend school part time, so anyone interested in taking one or two classes at a time will not feel out of place. This makes community college a good option for nontraditional students like parents and older students who wish to balance school with family or career obligations.
5. STEM education Opportunities
Community colleges have associate degree programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These so-called STEM subjects are in demand by employers, and some community colleges are supporting these students as they work their way up to a career, experts say.
6. Transfer Agreements
Enrolling in a community college doesn’t have to be a student’s final destination. Many two-year schools offer admissions agreements with public colleges that allow qualified students to transfer their credits toward earning a bachelor’s degree. According to National Student Clearinghouse Research Center data, 29% of community college students who started in fall of 2011 transferred to a four-year institution within six years.
7. Elements of Traditional College
Two-year colleges haven’t always provided the same student experience as four-year schools, but that is changing. Over one-quarter of community colleges now offer dorms, according to a 2016 report from the American Association of Community Colleges. And it’s possible to find extracurricular activities, scholarships and networking activities on two-year campuses.
8. Personalized Attention
Many community colleges offer smaller class sizes than larger schools, meaning students can find more personal attention and one-on-one time with instructors. This can be a plus for students who like to learn at their own pace and ask plenty of questions as they go.
9. Professional Certificates
Career progress is often tied to advanced degrees and skill development, usually through costly graduate school programs. But community colleges provide professional and short-term certificates in many fields, including information technology and electronics. In 2016-2017, community colleges conferred 549,149 certificates, according to the American Association of Community Colleges.
10. Online class options
As is the case with four-year universities, certain community colleges have expanded online offerings to entice more students. This includes training professors to be available at odd hours and tailoring programs to fit regional industry needs. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that two-thirds of community college students were enrolled in online classes in fall 2017. These credits can potentially be used toward a four-year degree.
(Excerpts by Travis Mitchell and Emma Kerr)
What Are Some Requirements to Get into a Trade School?
Although it’s much easier to get into a trade school than a selective four-year college, that doesn’t mean vocational courses are for students who aren’t college material. Students of all ability levels can find exciting trade school programs that pique their interest.
Smart students weigh all their options before choosing a career path.
What is a Trade School?
Trade schools are a type of vocational school, meaning that the curriculum has a narrow focus that readies students for a specific career field.
Trade schools offer practical training to prepare students for steady jobs in industry, manufacturing, construction, information technology, business, health care and so much more.
What’s Required to Get into a Trade School?
Most trade schools require
1. a high school diploma or a GED for admission.
(Programs like nursing with a strong academic component have additional requirements, such as above average scores on college placement tests).
2. Meet minimum age requirement of 16 years (17 for some programs)
3. If you’ve already been at a community college for two years, you usually do not have to take the SAT or ACT or send your scores in order to transfer. The other type of schools that don’t require SAT/ACT scores are technical and trade schools.
However, it is possible to attend these schools without having either. Many schools offer free GED prep and testing to students as part of their educational packages and others will grant admission based on other factors.
The average trade school degree costs $33,000, which, compared to a $127,000 bachelor’s degree, means a savings of $94,000.
Course instruction may include reading textbooks and written exams, but emphasis is placed on hands on learning. Traditionally, trade schools taught mechanical skills like plumbing, auto repair and carpentry.
Today, options are far more diverse, offering something for everyone.
New vocational training programs are springing up all the time to meet changing workforce needs. Industries compete with each other to attract recent graduates that are up to speed on the latest technology.
Jobs are continually being created and phased out as machines and robots replace untrained manual laborers.
CPAP can assist in the search for the right program to fit your need.
Applying as an Athlete
If you’re being recruited as an athlete, you are most likely going through NCAA Clearinghouse. You will still have to take the SAT or ACT, if your college requires it, but your scores don’t have to be as high as non-recruited students.
Your SAT and ACT scores are compared on a sliding scale with your grade point average (GPA). So if your GPA is on the higher side, you can get by with lower test scores. If it’s low, then you have to score higher on the SAT or ACT to make up for it.
Your score requirements may also be less stringent if you’re applying with a special talent.