Going To College For Free: How To Get A Full-Ride Scholarship

The long awaited day has come and you’ve graduated from high school.  Although the stress and drama of high school is now over, it’s time to look toward the future and decide if college is right for you.   With the growing expense of tuition


education (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

these days, many people simply cannot afford to attend college.   Likewise, with some of the tests that are required to even apply to college (such as the SAT test), it can be expensive just to prepare for them.  Luckily, there are ways to get a full-ride to college, where you don’t have to pay a penny.  In fact, with some programs, you can actually get money for living expenses as well as your tuition and books.  While getting free tuition may take some work, there are a few helpful tips that will assist you through the process.

Academic Performance

There is a good reason to maintain those outstanding grades during high school.  If you have a great academic record, you may be eligible for a full-ride scholarship.  This is where a school or organization funds your education.  When applying for a scholarship, the scholarship committee will consider certain areas of your educational background, such as:

  • Grade point average:  While every scholarship will have different qualifications for applying, many require a minimum grade point average of 3.2.
  • SAT score:  With a perfect score being 2400, many colleges require a score of at least 1500 on the SAT test for you to be considered.  Scoring high on the SAT exam can give you a huge advantage over the other scholarship applicants.
  • Community service:  Schools like to see a well-rounded individual receive the scholarship award.  Participating in community programs shows that you care about the area in which you live and the world around you.
  • High school activities:  Participating in several diverse activities during your high school years looks great on a scholarship application.  Universities love students that are willing to try new things and get involved in the school.

Athletic Performance

Many students can also receive a scholarship based on their athletic performance.   A university or college will award the student a free education in order to have them play on one of their athletic teams.  Being a strong player, as well as a great academic, can help you score that full-ride scholarship.

Federal Aid and Grants

Federal grants can also help you get that college education for little or no money.  The federal government reports that they have $227 billion available to award to qualified college students.  By filling out a FASFA, or free application for student financial aid, the federal government will determine if you are qualified for federal grants to pay for your schooling.

Experts agree that taking an SAT preparation course may help you to increase your SAT score by up to 480 points.  There are many free SAT preparation courses online available to help you maximize your SAT performance and score.   SAT preparation courses will allow you to take an actual SAT practice exam so that you know what to expect on the big day.  The online test preparation makes it easy and convenient to complete.  Take the SAT practice exam as many times as you want.

Applying for various scholarships can take a lot of time and persistence; however, getting a letter telling you that your college education is paid for makes it worth all the while.



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Top 10 Test Taking Tips For The SAT

Standardized Test

Standardized Test (Photo credit: biologycorner)

Taking an SAT test can be a difficult and nerve-racking experience.  However, it is also something that you can actually enjoy and be able to get the most out of it that you possibly can.  Let’s go over a hand-full of tips and guidelines that can help ensure that your test taking experience is a positive one.


1 – Know what you’re up against; take several full-length practice tests.


As the old saying goes, “practice makes perfect”, so be sure to practice a lot for SAT to get a great score. A SAT online course is a great way to practice and get familiar with the testing formats.


2 – Be sure to practice essay writing as there will be sections that require an essay response.


Essays are a very important part of successfully completing the SAT.  So when doing a SAT practice test, be sure that they include essay portions as well.


3 – Take advantage of the fact that you can use a calculator.


There are some standardized tests that forbid the use of a calculator, but the SAT are not one of them, so take full advantage of that fact.  Be sure to bring a calculator that you are familiar with in order to quickly get the results you are looking for.


4 – Do lots of reading, especially about topics that you aren’t too familiar with.


This can help you to read faster and comprehend more.  It’s important to remember during your SAT prep that the test is timed, so the quicker you can read the question, the more time you will have to answer it.


5 – Study lots of vocabulary and try to retain the new words.


Another key ingredient for successful SAT prep is being familiar with lots of different words.  The SAT tests vocabulary both directly and indirectly by scattering words that you should know throughout the test.


6 – Be sure that you understand the test structure.


At this point in your life, you’ve probably taken a lot of tests by now.  However, don’t let that lull you into a sense of complacency with the SAT.  They are not structured like most tests.  A good SAT practice test can help you become familiar with the structure and layout of the actual SAT test.


7 – Try to memorize basic rules and formulas as it will save you precious time in the long run.


Any equations, processes, or formulas that you can memorize will help you out in the long run.  For example, even if you have access to a calculator, simply remembering the formula to get the answer can be faster than having to put all the information into your calculator.


8 – Use multiple choice answer options to your advantage.


A large portion of the SAT are multiple choice answers.  If you come across a question you aren’t sure about, first try to eliminate possible answers that you know just can’t be an option for the correct response.  Then through the process of elimination, your possibilities can be trimmed down drastically.


9 – Know when to guess and know when to skip questions.


Remember not to just blindly guess answers as it can be more beneficial for your score to leave an answer blank if you don’t know the answer and can’t eliminate the majority of the responses as possibilities.


10 – Stay calm.


Staying calm is always the key to success.  The more nervous, stressed, and uptight that you are, the less your mind will be able to concentrate and the important task at hand, the test.

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Taking The Next Step: Information On Applying To College

Icon from Nuvola icon theme for KDE 3.x.

Being a senior in high school is exciting and bittersweet.  Although you may have mixed feelings about finishing up your final year of school, the thrill of going to college is right around the corner.  At times, this academic transformation may seem a little confusing.  Applying to various colleges, participating in SAT preparation, filling out scholarship applications, and making living arrangements can get quite overwhelming. While some schools recommend beginning the application process during your senior year of high school, it’s a good idea to get started as soon as possible.  No need to stress.  In order to find the perfect college, there are a few key items to keep in mind.

Where Do You Want To Go?

Take a step back and consider which colleges you are interested in attending.  Perform some online research to find which colleges are right for you.  While the USA has over 4,000 institutions of higher learning, it may be hard to narrow the search.  By selecting your top ten favorites, you will be able to look at these colleges more clearly.  While browsing through the colleges you may want to consider:

  • Academic success rate:  While some colleges accept every applicant, you want to be choosy on the reputation of the school, as well as their record for graduating students.
  • Living accommodations:  Whether on-campus or off, decide if the living arrangements match your particular needs and lifestyle.
  • Programs that are offered:  If you have a certain area of interest, make sure that the college offers a degree in that area.

Do You Qualify?

As you may know, there are several qualifications that a school board will consider as they are looking at your application.   While your grade point average and high school involvement will be highlighted on your application, your SAT test scores will play a large part in making your application stand out.

How You Can Better Your Chances

Over 85% of colleges require an SAT score to be submitted with your application.  Since your SAT test score can weight heavy on your application, it is a good idea to take an online SAT preparation course.  This SAT course can be instrumental in helping you prepare for the real exam.  Studies have shown that taking an SAT preparation course can actually increase your SAT score.  The good news about online test preparation is that it is free.  By taking an SAT practice exam, you will be able to become familiar with the format and the content that will be given on the SAT test.  The better your SAT test score, the better your chances are for getting accepted.


Now that you have chosen your colleges and taken your SAT test, you can begin the process of filling out your applications.  Organizing your information before beginning can make the process easier.  Make sure to take your time with each application and do your best job answering all of the questions.  Most important, make sure you read the deadline for entering your application as each college will have a different application deadline date.

Congratulations!  You have made a wonderful decision to better your future and attend college.  Instead of stressing about the application process, enjoy it.  College is exciting and you are entering an amazing time in your life.

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Tips To Help Your Children Prepare For The SAT

De Cito Eindtoets Basisonderwijs.

De Cito Eindtoets Basisonderwijs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s never too early to start helping your children understand what to expect on the various tests that they may have to take throughout their lives.  The actual day of the test is probably the worst time to learn just what kind of questions will actually appear on it.  The SAT test is no different, in that you need to be ready and prepare for it.  But SAT preparation doesn’t just happen one day and “VIOLA!” you or your child will be ready to take it.  SAT preparation is a process and requires some dedication.  As a parent, it would be very beneficial for your child (or children) if you were to follow a few simple guidelines that will help set them apart from the rest of the crowd and make their testing experience more enjoyable.


Take More Challenging Courses


One great way to help your child is by encouraging them to take classes that tend to more academically rigorous throughout their educational career.  The SAT is meant to be a demonstration of the amount of knowledge that someone has acquired throughout the years of their lower education.  Taking more advanced classes tends to innately increase the amount of knowledge and character that one develops naturally throughout the course.  The SAT is intended to measure skills that one has learned over the course of years, not just weeks, prior to the test.  And not only will this help your child be better prepared for standardized testing in general, it will probably help them be better prepared for anything life throws at them by giving them more confidence and abilities to use in the real world.


Don’t Let The Test Format Be A Surprise


The subject matter itself is not the only thing that you should be helping your child become familiar with during this process.  One important key to victory when taking the SAT is knowing what to expect from the actual test format and being prepared for it.  Taking multiple SAT practice tests can be a very worth-while tool in order to achieve this goal.  Try to find SAT practice tests that are full length and resemble the format of the actual test as much as possible and have your child work through some them in order to get their feet wet.  A good practice test would have the appropriate amount of each style of question and represent each subject adequately.  Also, make known to your child how SAT calculates scores different for blank and incorrect answers.  There is actual a penalty for marking a wrong answer, whereas a blank response just doesn’t gain any points.  So, in situations where your child can’t adequately narrow down the possibilities, it may be better to leave it blank than to guess.


Help Your Child To Relax And Be Calm


If there’s one thing that makes taking the SATs more difficult than anything else, it’s probably worrying too much about it and getting stressed out.  Stress can wreak havoc on your mind and can lead to poor judgment and flawed thought processes.  But by following these and other simple steps, your child can gain the confidence they need to go in feeling worry free and well-prepared to take the SAT test.

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What Students And Parents Need To Know About Bullying

English: Bullying on IRFE in March 5, 2007, th...

English: Bullying on IRFE in March 5, 2007, the first class day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You may think that you don’t need to worry very much about bullying. If you are a parent you could have the idea in your head that you have a confident child that would never hurt another person. You may not need to worry about bullying, right? If you are a student, you might just think that you are “teasing” someone, not bullying them. Perhaps if you are bullied, you think that you deserve it. If any of this sounds familiar, there are a few things that you need to know.

Bullying can happen to anyone, anywhere!

Your child might come home and act like a perfect angel, when at school they are a bully to another child. Maybe your student thinks they are better than another person and they mock the other person because they had to participate in a fee SAT test prep class. Your child may have taunted and teased them because they thought a free SAT course meant that the other child was too poor to afford something else. Perhaps they push other students around because your child thinks that they are superior to the other children in some way. Your child could also be the bullied student! They might come home confident and determined, but it could be a front for the way that they truly feel about the bullying they receive at school. Perhaps they just don’t want you to worry and so they fake it when they come home every day. Your child is not exempt from bullying and it can be given and taken in many forms.

Bullying is never okay!

If you get bullied, chances are that you have a lower self esteem because of it. If you feel like the world is against you, you may start to believe that you are worthless. That couldn’t be further from the truth! Everyone is important and everyone deserves the chance to show the world who they are and what they have to offer. It is never okay for someone else to bully you and make you feel inferior to them and others. If you are at the other end and you tease or physically bully another child, that is simply not okay. You do not have the right to treat another person as if they have no worth. It’s just not something that is okay in today’s society. You are equal to those people that you bully and the sooner you realize that and stop your bullying, the sooner you will mature and have more confidence in yourself!

It is okay to ask for help.

It is scary when you or someone you know gets bullied. You may feel like if you tell on the bully that it will happen again or will get worse. You may feel embarrassed or ashamed of what has happened to you. It is not your fault and there is no shame in letting the right people know what is going on. If it is happening at school, you need to talk to a teacher or administrator that you trust so that they can help you handle the situation. You should always talk to your parents so that they understand what you are going through in your life and can give you advice when you need it. If you are the bully you may need to ask for some counseling. If you just can’t stop, it’s okay to talk to someone about it and learn ways that you can control yourself.

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Summertime: Why Preparing for the SAT is Important

When summertime rolls around, I can’t wait for school to be over with so that I can let loose, relax, and enjoy temporary freedom from anything school-related. The last thing I want to think about is studying for the SAT during those precious summer months. However, it is this very thought process that causes so many high school students to get poor scores on their SAT tests and consequently have a difficult time making it into a good college. Because I know that my long-term success is more important than short-term pleasure and relaxation, I plan to make good use of my summer by balancing my play time with SAT study time. Here are some reasons why it is important to set aside some time during the summer to prepare for your upcoming SAT test.

Plenty of Time

One of the greatest things about summer is that you have plenty of time to do whatever you want. I plan to fill my summer up with activities like swimming, hiking, playing video games, and doing anything else that sounds fun to me at the time. However, in-between all of the playtime and relaxation, I plan to schedule in plenty of time for SAT preparation and study. If I plan wisely and make the best use of my extra time during the summer, I won’t need to worry about trying to cram right before the test. In my opinion it is always better to be well-prepared because then you won’t be quite as stressed when the time comes to take the test, and you will be more likely to perform well.

Fewer Distractions

Once school starts you can plan on kissing your study time goodbye because there are so many activities and distractions that can interfere with your study time. If you work part-time during school or participate in sports or any other extracurricular activities, you will have a very difficult time trying to squeeze SAT preparation into your already busy schedule. Because I know that I won’t have much time to devote to studying during the school year, I will definitely be making good use of my leisure time during the summer to prepare for the SAT.


It is important for me to have freedom and flexibility when preparing for the SAT during the summer, because I don’t want to miss out on any fun activities that my friends and family will be doing. Thankfully, there are flexible study options available during the summer that won’t cause me to miss out on anything. For example, there is a completely free online program at www.blintestprep.com that you can log onto whenever you have extra time to study for the SAT.  I plan to log onto this site during my leisure summer time and use it to:

  • Spend time working on my vocabulary (they have a vocabulary review tool that has more than 1200 vocabulary words and definitions).
  • Review various subjects and take practice SAT tests (they offer immediate feedback after the reviews and tests so you know exactly which subjects you need to work on).
  • Brush up on my math skills (they have video explanations that show you exactly how to figure out various math problems).

I know that if I plan my summer the right way, I will have plenty of time to have fun and also prepare for the SAT so that I have a better chance of getting a good score.


One Hour Cramming Tips For The SAT Test

Online Cramming Tips For The Sat

You know the SAT test is coming up, you have done the free SAT prep class, but you just don’t seem to feel confident in your knowledge. It could be nerve wracking to take the SAT for some people! If it is getting close to test day and you know that you don’t have much more time to study, there are some things that you can do to cram for the test in an hour.

Review what you learned in your free SAT course.

There was probably a lot of information that you can recall from your SAT course. Perhaps there were some areas of study that you did better at than others. As you review what you learned during your class, you can pick out the things that you struggled with. The areas of study that you were really good at during the course are probably things that you will not need to cram with. The areas that were more difficult for you are things that you should make sure to go over one more time before you take the test.

Make sure you understand the basics.

If you are a little uncomfortable with the math section of the SAT test, make sure that you know the basic formulas that will help you. When you are cramming for a test, it is less effective to take a lot of your time trying to perfect one thing. As long as you can feel confident in the basics of many problems, you are more likely to be able to come up with the correct answer as you take the test. This does not just pertain to math, but to all areas of the SAT test.


Because you only have a short amount of time, it will not benefit you at all to get frantic and nervous. Even if you do have some nervous feelings, do some breathing exercises to calm yourself down. Sometimes you will not be able to think clearly if you are uptight and stressed out. Your brain will spin and you will just go around in circles trying to get everything filed away in your mind. Just relax and make sure to tell yourself that you do not have to be perfect. Doing your best and studying as much as you can in that hour is all that you can do. It does not help to freak out!

If you get frustrated, move on!

You might come across a bit of information that you just get stuck on. You may try a few different approaches, but just can’t get it! This can get frustrating, but you need to be smart and just move on with Sat Test. Spending too much time on something that you can’t figure out will only frustrate you further. It will also take up all of the time that you could have used studying something that you could have figured out. Realize that there are just some questions on the test that you will get wrong. While you should not just accept that for everything, it’s okay to assure yourself that a perfect score is rare!


Making Your Last Semester Of High School Count

Online Sat Prep

Many students look at the last semester of their senior year as a time to slack off a bit and have some fun. They have probably already been accepted to their favorite college or university and think that they can sit back and relax. The problem is that there are many colleges that look at the final transcript and can revoke admissions. In order to make your last semester of high school count, there are a few things that you can do.

Keep attending school. While it might be enticing to ditch school with your friends, it is important that you are still at school each day. You may feel burned out and think that because you were already admitted to college that you are set for life. The reality is that it is important that you attend school and get good grades on your final report card. Not only will this look good for college, but it will help you to prepare for college. If you start ditching school, you will not have the same level of commitment as you begin college and your first year could really suffer because of it.

Take another SAT test. While you might not want to spend your last months of high school taking tests and working on SAT test prep courses, it could end up benefiting you in the end. If you can improve on your SAT score and resubmit it to a college or university that you really want to go to, you may be able to get in after all. If not, at least you can say that you tried. Not only could it help you get into the college of your choice, but it could also keep your mind fresh and alert. If you do not want to take the test again, it could benefit you to go through an online SAT prep course just to get you prepared for your first year at college.

Be mature. There are some high school seniors that view their last few months of school as a time to do something wild and crazy. This will often get students into trouble and will jeopardize their admission to college. Just because a college accepted you does not mean that they will not revoke it if you do something that makes you miss the mark. If you think you are going to pull a “senior prank” and it lands you in jail, you can pretty much just kiss your college days goodbye.

Some students view their first three and a half years of high school as the only months that actually matter. In reality, it all matters. This is why it is important that you endure to the end and continue to do the very best that you can all throughout high school and until graduation day. By making those last few months of your senior year really count, you could get into a better college and will be better prepared for your new college life ahead.


SAT Tips for Your Freshman Year in High School

Online Sat Tips

If you are a freshman in high school and want to go to college, now is the time to start preparing.  It’s important to plan ahead so that you are prepared when the time comes to start applying to college. While the SAT test isn’t the only thing that colleges look at when you apply to study there, it sure can help to make you look good. Before you take the SAT test, it is important that you participate in some type of SAT test prep. There are free SAT prep programs that you can do online, or you might find a prep class at your or another local high school. As part of your SAT test prep, you might want to learn some ways that you can be prepared for test day.

Sat Tips Steps:

1.            Take the test early and retake it later. As a freshman, you are one step ahead of those who are juniors and are taking the SAT for the first time. You can take the SAT test as many times as you want. If you end up with a lower score the first time you take the test, you can take it again in hopes of getting a higher score. Of course, if you plan to take the test again, you should probably enroll in the free SAT prep class again so that you can actually improve on your score. Taking the test as a freshman gives you an advantage because you can get a taste of what it is like and still have time to improve.

2.            Relax. Many people consider themselves “bad testers.” If you are one of those people, this would be one test where you might want to take some time to relax beforehand. Listening to classical music on the way to the school, doing yoga before you leave the house, or drinking a glass of warm milk might just calm your nerves. You know yourself better than anyone else, so if there is something that you know will help you relax, be sure to give yourself enough time to do it before you take the SAT test.

3.            Eat a nice breakfast. Not only will your breakfast fuel your mind, but you will not have hunger pains during the test. It is important that you have a full stomach so that you can concentrate on the SAT test and not on the gurgling in your stomach. Food fuels the body and the mind and having a good breakfast will give you what it takes to endure the test and have an open and clear mind. Sugary cereal isn’t exactly the idea here. Fruit and eggs would be more like it!

4.            Don’t over-study or under-study. As you do your SAT test prep, be sure that you are wise about the amount of time you study. You might feel like you need to cram your brain full of all the information that might be on the test. If you find yourself getting confused because there is just too much information that you are trying to remember, you might want to take some time and give your poor brain a break! On the flip side, it is important that you actually do study. Rather than just risking it, you should enroll in a free prep program, do practice tests at school, or study with a friend. If you really want to take the SAT tips multiple times, not studying at all is a great way to ensure that you will be retaking the test!

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Private vs. Public College

Private vs. Public College

Students will have to make many difficult decisions when it comes time to choose the right college. One of those decisions will have to do with whether to attend a public college or a private college. Many states feature great public and private universities. They have their strengths and there are some definite weaknesses to each school type. So, how does one choose? What are the things to keep in mind when making this difficult decision? Here are some of the pros and cons associated with choosing either a public college or a private one. Advantages of public collegesThe cost factor
One of the most important advantages of attending a public college is that it will cost less most of the time. This is especially true for a student who will attend a school in his or her state. How great are the savings? In some cases, a public school can cost half as much as a private school. Public school attendees are also eligible for more forms of state-funded financial aid. These are things to think about for the student that is worried about his debt load upon leaving college. The cost factor is a big selling point for public universities.Large alumni bases provide networking possibilities
Another nice thing about most public colleges is their size. A big alumni base can be helpful to a young person looking for a job. This is especially true when one considers that most public colleges have a wide offering of different major programs. With more alumni spread out over more industries, public schools have more to offer in the way of networking volume.Disadvantages of public colleges

Overwhelming size
The downside to most public colleges is the overwhelming size. Some students simply do not want or need to be in an environment that big. They would be much better off in a school that offered intimate class settings. Public universities tend to have larger individual class sizes for freshman courses. This can make the college transition a difficult one.

The bureaucracy of public colleges
Another thing to consider is how bureaucratic a public college can be. These are state run institutions. As such, there is little flexibility with some of the policies. Their departments can be difficult to work with for students. This is a practical issue that might come about when dealing with a registrar, the financial aid staff or in any disciplinary matters.

Advantages of private colleges

Smaller class size
One of the nice things about a private college is that it will typically be much smaller. This means that you will have an opportunity to form more of a community with your fellow students. You will also benefit from small individual class sizes. This will help the transition process. It will also help you get more out of the discussions in each class. Some students might not be looking for this kind of experience. Others will find it to be a refreshing change of pace.

Relationships with professors
One of the things that private schools offer is a more accessible faculty. The small nature of these universities means that people can form bonds with certain professors. This can make the learning environment much more fun. It can also help students who want to find jobs or internships. Professors can usually lend a helping hand for students who have a specific interest in one field or another.

Disadvantages of private colleges

The cost factor revisited
Private schools tend to cost a lot. They do not have the benefit of state funding. This means that they have to pass the cost on to students. Some students will find this to be a major deterrent. You should know that many private colleges come through with huge scholarship programs to help meet this cost. This is all dependent upon the individual school.

Smaller number of available majors
Another characteristic of private universities is that they typically have more targeted degree programs. Many public universities offer a wide range of different degree options. Private schools tend to focus on a few different areas. This can be problematic for students that are not quite sure what they want to do. Many students will change their major during the first year of college. Going to a school with limited options can cause a problem in this regard.


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