Virtual Event Recap: College Admissions & Scholarships 101

Back to school szn means back to hosting virtual events!

To get the fall semester started, on September 22nd, I teamed up with the awesome people over at Admissionado (a college admissions consulting company) to put together a webinar on all things college admissions and scholarships.

Here's a little bit of what we covered...

Building your college list

  • Creating echelons
  • How to do it from start to finish
  • Important things to keep in mind while you go

Navigating college admissions

  • Everything you need to know about each of these key areas:
    • Essays
    • Letters of rec
    • Test scores
    • Grades / course rigor
    • Extracurriculars
  • Top tips for approaching each part of the process
  • Admissions timeline for high school seniors
  • Using the SPARC acronym to help you be a competitive applicant

All things scholarships

  • What a scholarship is, and the types of scholarships that are out there (we're talking no-essay, full-ride, and everything in between)
  • The various online, national, and local sources for finding scholarship opportunities
  • When the best time is to start searching and applying
  • Tips for successfully getting it all done and being a standout applicant (hint: focus on those pesky essays!)

And, in case you missed it, some key takeaways

For our first event of the year, we had an amazing turnout of nearly 150 high school students, parents, and even school counselors!

However, since not everyone was able to join in on the fun, here were some of the key takeaways:

  • Use the "echelon" trick, aka bucketing your schools of interest into REACH, TARGET, and SAFETY categories so you can diversify in terms of the competitiveness of the schools that you're applying to.
  • Some parts of the admissions process (GPA, test scores, AP/IB scores) are thresholds. Before you even apply to a school, you want to make sure you’re in range based on those statistics.
  • Other parts of the admissions process (essays, leadership, recommendations, extracurriculars) are differentiators. These are all of the things that will make you unique, and how you’ll fuse those into your application pitch to the admissions committees.
  • The college admissions process is all about taking risks. The risks you take (with your essays or other parts of your application) may not be to everyone’s liking. So long as it’s smart, thoughtfully done, and VERY WELL executed, you are likely to FORGE A CONNECTION with at least ONE awesome school!
  • A common misconception about scholarships is that you need to be in a certain socioeconomic status, have certain grades, or have other strict requirements to be eligible for scholarships. In reality, any student can find and apply for scholarships that fit their unique interests and profile!
  • Key places to search for scholarships include:
    • The Access Scholarships Search Engine!
    • Reaching out to your teachers, looking on your school's website (and surrounding school's websites, etc) to find local scholarships. These opportunities are usually, but not always less competitive than national opportunities
  • Set SMART goals for yourself as you go through the process of searching and applying for scholarships. Doing so will keep you organized, on track, and better set up for success.

Moving forward: key resources for success

After the virtual event, we sent out a PDF with resources to help you in your college admissions and scholarships journey. Here are some of the resources we featured:

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