Confused by all those higher ed terms? Here’s what it all means.

If you’re starting or have already started looking at colleges, you’ve probably noticed that the folks there tend to speak a different language. They toss around words like articulation, credit hours, matriculate  and rolling admissions. And, when you start talking about financial aid, it gets even worse with talk of demonstrated need, expected family contribution, the FAFSA, and unsubsidized loans.

It’s enough to confuse anyone.

However, there are tools that define and help you understand what all of these terms mean so you know exactly what’s going on. The Student Advisor blog has a glossary of college terms that you may find helpful.

On that blog, you’ll learn that:
Articulation is an agreement between a two-year and a four-year college that will allow you to start at the two-year school and seamlessly transfer to the four-year school to complete your degree. On our campus, we have several of those.

Credit hours is the number of hours each week that your courses meet.

Matriculate means to enroll. A student who is enrolled in college is matriculated in college.

Rolling admissions means that the school considers each student’s admissions application as soon as all of the required information  – school transcripts, test scores – are received. We have rolling admissions on our campus.

In addition to the Student Advisor glossary, our university has a financial aid glossary on our website to help you make sense of those confusing financial aid terms.

Good luck learning the language.

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Getting ready to apply to college? Here are some do’s and don’ts.

Ahh, summer. Don’t you just love it? Sitting by the pool. Hanging out with your friends. Just having fun. Well, if you’re getting ready to apply to college, there are some things you should be doing right now.

Peter Van Buskirk, the college admissions insider, offers several suggestions to make your summer as productive as possible.

Do visit college campuses
Summer is a great time to visit campus, where you can talk with current students and professors, take a tour, and get more information on the school to help you decide if you’d like to spend the next four years there.

Do get to work on those applications

After all, they’re not going to fill themselves out. Pay particular attention to the essay part and begin thinking what you might want to write.  You might even want to heed some of these suggestions from admissions experts. And, this former high school senior offers some additional advice about writing those application essays.

Don’t try and be someone else.

Just be yourself. It may be tempting to try and make yourself look even greater to admissions officers than you already are. But, those people want to see the real you. Just be yourself.

Good luck.

Off to college this fall? Do these things to get ready.

Glad high school is over? Can’t blame you there. But if you’re planning on attending college this fall or next, you may want to use this summer to get prepared for what lies ahead.

The CollegeBoard offer several tips on what you can do this summer to help you get ready for college. Here are some helpful hints whether you’re starting college this fall or a fall in the future:

  • Read, read read
    On Monday, we gave you a list of great summer reads. Even if you’re reading something for pure enjoyment, it will sharpen your comprehension and vocabulary skills, which will serve you well in college.
  • Start looking for scholarships
    It’s no secret that college is expensive, but there are many scholarships out there that can help you with the cost. Start locally, since local scholarships are less competitive and often easier to get.
  • Offer to work for free
    Really. If there is a business you’re interested in but it’s not hiring, offer to work for free as an intern. You’ll get great experience. And who know? If you do well, maybe someone will hire you in the future – and pay you.
  • Take a summer class
    OK, this may be the last thing you want to do over the summer. But it’s a great way to get started on some of those course requirements.
  • Volunteer
    You’ll learn a lot, and it will help you develop skills that will last a lifetime.
  • Spend some time on social media
    Yes, we know you’re there, but we mean follow college tweets. Read blogs from college students and connect with some current students from a college you’re considering.

Do you have any other suggestions? If so just let us know.

Looking for something to read this summer? Try these books.

The last few days, we’ve been discussing ways to make your summer productive. But today, it’s all about curling up and relaxing with a good book. After all, you’ve spent two long semesters reading assignments and books for class. Now, enjoy yourself and read something fun.

The Student Advisor Blog has a list of must-read and awesome books for college students.

Did you like “The Hunger Games”? Then you might like two books by Kristin Cashore: “Graceling,” about a warrior-girl named Katas, and “Fire,” a story about a human monster who can enter people’s minds and exert power over them.

Do you like history? “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak may be for you. Set during World War II, we see the war through the eyes of a German girl.

Love zombies, and who doesn’t? “The Forest of Hands and Teeth” by Carrie Ryan is a trilogy about what would happen to humans if a virus turned people into the “unconsecrated.” 

Love “Twilight”? well, you may enjoy the “Wolves of Mercy Falls”  trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater about Grace and Sam.

Are you reading something great? If so, let us know, and we’ll pass it along.

Try these tips to help your college student use the summer wisely

Your son or daughter is home from college. After he/she has gotten caught up on sleep, has had a few home-cooked meals and has finished his/her laundry, it’ll be time to talk about what he or she plans to do for the summer.

Keep in mind that your student will need to take the lead in planning, but you may want to provide some encourage and guidance. Let your son or daughter know that summer is an important time to advance his or her college career, whether directly or indirectly.

College Parents of America offers several tips on activities you can suggest to your son or daughter. In addition to finding a summer job, it would be wise to suggest:

Job shadowing  
This will give him/her a great opportunity to learn more about the field he or she has chosen and to make some important contacts that will come in handy in the future.

Traveling or studying abroad
Traveling abroad will give him/her experience that will broaden his or her horizons.

Networking with people in the industry
This will give him or her the chance to meet people in the field in which he or she is interested. This will also provide a great opportunity to meet people who may be important contacts in the future.

Learning new skills
Summer is a great time to learn something new, work on a resume or cover letter, practice interviewing, or shop for professional clothes.

Relaxing and having fun
Don’t forget to encourage them to have fun. College is a stressful time. While your son or daughter should take advantage of the summer, he or she should relax and have some fun, too.

Have you been through this before? If so, let us know if you have any suggestions.

What can you do without a summer job? Try this.

You’ve tried to find a summer job, but you can’t find anything. It happens. But that doesn’t mean that your summer will or should be an unproductive one. There are still several things you can do to make the most of your summer.

U.S. News & World Report offers five ways you can make your jobless summer a productive one.

1. Use social media to work on your personal brand.
Create a professional blog and use it to showcase your accomplishments and perspectives. Find ways to use Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites as job and networking tools.

2. Take a summer course.
Just make sure if you’re taking a course at another institution that the credits transfer to your school.

3. Make some connections.
Develop your networking skills by attending community events. You never know whom you’ll meet or how they might be able to help you in the future.

4.  Turn a weakness into a strength.
You know what you’re really good at and what you’re not so good at. Work on the latter.

5. Find a mentor.
Reach out of a professors or someone in your circle who can give you good job-seeking advice. In fact, you can use these 13 tips to find a menor.

See? A jobless summer doesn’t have to mean an unproductive one. Good luck.

Need a summer job? Try these tips.

It may be summer – or almost summer – but for many of you summer doesn’t necessarily mean rest. You need a summer job. You need one bad. How do you find one? Here are some tips.

WatchMojo.com offers several tips from job counselor Jaclyn Schwartzman, including how to stand out from everyone else.

 U.S. News & World Report also offers six tips to help you:

1. Contact past employers. If you were a good employee, they may want you back. If your old job is no longer available, they may find another position for you. It’s worth a try.

2. Check job boards at your local college. There may be some positions available on campus.

3. Make your own job. Offer your services to others. Mow lawns. Babysit. Clean houses.

4. Consider someplace new.  If you’re used to coming home when the semester sends, consider seeing if there are any job openings in your college town or vice versa.

5. Consider working for family or friends.  This may not be ideal, but it’ll be a job, particularly if you’re having trouble finding one elsewhere.

6. Be flexible. That might mean working two part-time jobs instead of one full-time one.

As always, if you have any advice or suggestions to share please let us know.