Posts Tagged “seventeen college guide”

There are some exciting things happening over at Seventeen.  They recently launched Seventeen Get Advice! which allows users to ask and answer questions to their heart’s content with sections covering guys, beauty, fitness, prom, sex, money, family, fashion, entertainment, and, of course, college!  I’m a featured college expert, so you can check out my advice and ask me questions by looking up 17collegeadvicegirl on the site. The thing I’m most excited about is the chance to answer specific questions about college from girls across the country (and world) in a real-time manner.  Hope you’re having a great week, and maybe I’ll see you soon on Seventeen’s Get Advice!

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That’s right!  It’s another chance to win a signed copy of my book Seventeen’s Guide to Getting Into College. Five lucky winners will be picked at random once the contest ends at 11:59pm EST on Friday, Dec. 5th.  For your chance to win visit Just Jared Jr., leave a comment on the contest page, and enter as many times as you wish!

Good luck! :)

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Gone are the days of simply relying on glossy college marketing materials to research a school.  Now it’s easier than ever to get the real scoop that can help you decide where to attend thanks to some awesome college sites that let users weigh in with their opinions and shout-outs for their schools.  They answer questions like…How happy are students on a college campus? Are professors really teaching classes and are they good teachers? What are the local campus hotspots? What are the dorms really like?

If you’re looking for some honest feedback on your favorite schools, then check out some of my favorite college review sites:

Yollege–This college review site launched earlier this year and was named one of the Best of the Web 2008 newcomers by BusinessWeek.  From the website, “Yollege is an exciting new student driven college review site that empowers college students across the nation to finally have a voice. Share your passionate thoughts and opinions on every aspect of your campus. From nightlife to dorm life, campus hotspots to local flavor, college life will never be the same.”

UnigoI blogged about this site in September after I read an article about Unigo in The New York Times Magazine-College Issue, and I’m still a huge fan.  Not only can you read reviews, see photos, and watch videos from current college students representing hundreds of schools across the country, but there is tons of information about applying to college written by Unigo’s editorial staff.  Overall, it’s a great starting point to launch your college search.

Seventeen’s College & Career–Of course, I have to give a shout-out to Seventeen’s College & Career hub which features Q&A from yours truly, but there are a lot of other awesome features like an internship finder, volunteer opportunity finder, and the Freshman 15 which features videos and blogs from current college students, as well as information about researching and applying to college (including tips from my book Seventeen’s Guide to Getting Into College!).

College Help From College ConfidentialCollege Confidential has been around for awhile, and it features hundreds of free articles on college admissions, college search, financial aid, and college book reviews, plus a leading college discussion forum (my favorite!). They also specialize in Ivy League college counseling.

Do you have a favorite college review site?  As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions.

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Q: “I’m a junior in high school, and my mom is totally pressuring me into joining at least three clubs, plus driver’s ed. Will colleges really not accept me if I’m not in a lot of clubs? How many do you think I should join?”

–Meghan , 16, New York, NY

A: So there’s a huge misconception out there (by some well-intentioned people, read: parents) that admissions officers want students to fill in all the blanks on those college applications. But wildly joining clubs that A) don’t really mean anything to you, B) take time away from doing the things that are really important like getting good grades or doing something that really inspires, and C) you’ll only be committed to for a year or less just isn’t a good strategy when it comes to applying to college.

My advice is to first think about the story you want to tell in your application. Are you an artist, an amateur fashion designer, an aspiring doctor, or a music buff? Do you love travel and culture and learning new languages? Are you a science wiz who Tivo’s CSI and dreams about a career in forensics? Join clubs that complement your interests and that will help you to tell your story in the college application, whether that’s one or five. Just make sure you can handle the time commitment and still keep up your grades. Plus, you want to show involvement with a club or activity over a period of time. Being a member of a club for two to three years is going to be a lot more impressive than a six-month commitment. And here’s a tip: clubs like National Honor Society, while a great honor, don’t necessarily say anything about your hobbies, interests, or personality, unless, of course, you have a position of leadership within the organization.

And while we’re talking about leadership, one of the things you really want to focus on during your junior and senior year of high school is proving yourself as a leader. Go out for officer positions in the clubs or activities that matter to you most. If by your senior year you have a few solid commitments to activities along with some demonstrated leadership, you’ll be on your way to telling a great story in your college application.

For more of my answers to your college questions, visit Seventeen’s College Q&A!

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Q: “How can you make your own college-worthy résumé?”

–Katrina, 15, Torrance, CA

A: Most colleges request that you fill out their unique application, not attach an additional résumé of activities. However, it’s really important to get into the habit of keeping track of your involvement, leadership, and awards so when it does come time to fill out those applications, you have an updated list of all your accomplishments or what we call in the admissions world a “brag sheet.”

Colleges want to know what you’ve been up to since the beginning of ninth grade, so keep a running list of your commitments, number of years involved, hours spent each week, leadership positions held, and any notable accomplishments you achieved. You’ll also want to think about which activity is the most meaningful to you and why, since that question may show up on a college application or during an interview. Keep track of any honors, awards, or recognition you receive during high school, and don’t be modest! You can always edit your applications later to include the activities and awards that matter most.

A brag sheet will be a helpful tool as you fill out your college applications, and it’s also a good idea to make copies for your counselor and teachers when you ask them for recommendations. Chances are they’ll be able to write a more detailed letter if you’ve made them aware of all your activities and accomplishments. And if you need a template to get started on your brag sheet, check out page 65 in my book Seventeen’s Guide to Getting Into College!

For more of my answers to your high school, college and career questions, visit Seventeen’s College Q&A!

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I am so excited to announce that my first book “Seventeen’s Guide to Getting Into College” is now in stores!!!  This college guide leads you through every step of the admission process: knowing your schools, making the grades, writing your story, putting yourself to the test, impressing the interviewer, finding the cash, getting ready to apply, and what to do once you’re in. It includes a master four-year-calendar to map out your game plan (because it’s never too early to start thinking about that AP class or extracurricular activity); a pocket organizer for keeping track of college brochures, financial aid info, and other important papers; oodles of advice; and fun stuff, like interactive exercises, a “brag sheet” to tote up your honors, and “17 Must-Ask Questions!”

So if you’re freaking out about college (or can’t wait to start), this just might put you over the top…and into your first choice!!!  Thanks for all the support, and don’t forget to tell your friends to check out this book!  I’d love to hear what you think!

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seventeengb.jpgSeventeen is giving away copies of my upcoming book Seventeen’s Guide to Getting Into College to 61 lucky winners! Read more about official giveway rules and enter to win HERE! The contest ends Sept 5…let me know if you end up winning a copy. Good luck!

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