Dr. Jeff & Dr. Brian Haig - The Experts in College Planning and Student Success.

How to Prepare for College Admissions and Participate in Extracurricular Activities in the Midst of Uncertainty

As we close out a month of social distancing, we, as a collective community, are slowly building a new way of life. We used to set our alarm clocks, prepare for our days, and head out to school or to our prospective places of employment. Now we get up and log on to our computers for distance education, remote meetings, and virtual social interaction. Where we once went to a restaurant to enjoy a night out, we now order in from a local restaurant as a special treat. Instead of meeting our friends for coffee, we set up virtual videoconferences. Our lives have changed drastically in the last month, and we continue to define our new normal, create new routines, and adapt.

As these novel routines develop, one area that has many students confounded is how to continue to prepare for college admissions. Traditionally, admission criteria have centered on elements such as grades, strength of curriculum, standardized test scores, essays, and extracurricular activities, among others. Even today, in the midst of so much uncertainty, students should continue to focus on each of these measures; however, the way you address each of these areas has likely changed. Read how you can best prepare for college admissions and participate in extracurricular activities during these uncertain times.

Act vs SAT

College admission criteria include a variety of factors including grades and extracurricular activities. Near the top of the list of admission criteria for many colleges are ACT and SAT test scores. While some colleges have moved the importance away from admission test scores in recent years, the ACT and SAT still play an important part of a competitive college admission strategy.

Therefore, to thoroughly prepare for the admissions process, a student must take either the ACT or the SAT. Colleges don’t have a preference for which test you choose, so how do you decide which test is better for you? Read our Act vs SAT blog post to learn more!

Developing and Shaping Who You Are to Fulfill Your Life’s Mission

In your lifetime, you are going to spend 150,000 hours of your life at work. This is about 40% of your life. Your chosen profession will define you in many ways, describe who you are, identify you, and dominate much of your life. Through your work, you will be able to express your talents, gifts, and abilities to make a contribution, make a living, and give back to the world in meaningful, positive, and significant ways. It is then important to be able to assess as early as possible, through identifying natural gifts and talents, and passions, what key strengths you have, and how to properly nurture those strengths. These key strengths are the foundation, and building blocks, for which a college major will ultimately be chosen, and for which you will be able to identify a career that is best suited for you.

And the very important decision of choosing a college major, and ultimately a lifelong career is formed, and cultivated during your educational years by the clubs and organizations you join, to the courses you take, to all those activities you take part in during summertime. What excites you, is fulfilling to you, and what you feel passionate about during your educational years help shape who you are, and how you will spend the rest of your life in a chosen profession, and how you will best serve your community. Let’s review three important strategies for how you can identify key strengths and interests, and how to best nurture and cultivate your passions so you can best prepare for your future!

How to Have a Great School Year

School is officially back in session! With classes starting and extracurricular activities getting underway, there will once again be that group of students who outperforms everyone else. Why is it that some students just seem to be smarter, more talented, and more athletic than all the other students? What is it about this group of […]

Choosing the Right Major

Whether or not you should go to college is often an easy decision to make. College attendance has become the norm for many families and is often seen as the expected extension of K-12 education. However, unlike high school, colleges offer an extensive array of courses, and you get to dictate the classes you take. The major you choose will greatly impact your class selection. Therefore, picking a major is a critical decision. Read to learn foundational strategies in this article that will help you gain a deeper understanding of yourself, help you to explore a variety of majors suited to you, and ultimately help you find the career and major that are your ideal fit.

The Importance of Health and Fitness in College Planning and Student Success

Health and fitness is a subject not commonly talked about in the realm of college planning and student success, but it is an important, foundational area in a student’s overall success game plan. Research has shown that there are significant benefits to eating a nutritious diet and incorporating a regular exercise regimen into a student’s life. In fact, not adhering to a healthy diet and leading a sedentary lifestyle has been shown to have many negative success performance outcomes. And it is how students intentionally approach the success roadmap by making health and fitness an essential part of their lives that makes all the difference. In this article, we are going to show you what the hard facts are–what the research has shown about how incorporating a healthy diet and regular exercise is crucial, and a game changer, to the success of a student, and his/her ability to reach his/her full educational potential.

The Numbers Part of Your Application

Preparing for college admissions requires a lot of important, strategic steps. While many colleges will want to read essays, letters of recommendation, and also interview prospective candidates, the “numbers” part of your application is still going to be the most important area to focus on. 

Many people think the numbers part of your application is just your grades and SAT/ACT score. While these are the key aspects of the quantitative part of your application, AP, Subject test scores, and additional coursework can also play a meaningful role. Let’s review the key areas of the quantitative part of your application to get a better understanding of what admissions officers look at: