4 (More) College Degrees for Post Graduation Employment

Posted on: March 12th, 2014

A few blog posts back, we wrote about some of the hottest college majors. Due to the favorable response, we decided to write about four more educational opportunities for post graduation employment.

Actuarial Science

Actuaries analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. Data science draws from the fields of mathematics, statistics, and computer science to assess the risk that an event will occur. They help businesses, such as the insurance industry and develop policies that minimize the cost of that risk.

With the volume of computerized data rapidly growing, the Department of Labor project actuary jobs to grow 26 percent in the next ten years. Actuaries will be needed to develop, price, and evaluate a variety of insurance products and calculate the costs of new risks.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapists are often an important part of rehabilitation and treatment of patients with chronic conditions or injuries. Demand for physical therapy services will come from the aging baby boomer population and their need for more medical care. In addition, physical therapists will be needed to treat people with mobility issues stemming from chronic conditions, such as diabetes or obesity.

The college curriculum has recently changed in this field. Students now need to obtain a Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy, while also being licensed by their state, in order to be able to work in the field. Many colleges have six-year direct admissions programs, where students combine their undergrad and graduate work.

Colleges are facing large amounts of applications for their programs due to the projected growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 36 percent increase in this field over the next ten years.

Sustainable Development

With the explosion of green technology, organic products and the concept of sustainability grows in popularity, many students are turning their passion into a Sustainable Development degree.

Students studying this field have described coursework to be similar to environmental science but with more business and economic courses. Students learn that sustainability is attending to and combining the “Three Es:” environment, economy, and (social) equity. Sustainable Development programs work to achieve this by integrating academics with community engagement and outreach.

Students with this degree can have a variety of job opportunities awaiting them. Some of those possibilities are Construction Project Manager, Sustainability Analyst, Sustainable Design Professional, Energy Efficiency Analyst and Operations Manager.

PETROLEUM ENGINEERING

Petroleum engineers design and develop methods for extracting crude oil and natural gas from deposits below the earth’s surface, while also developing new techniques to extract oil and gas from existing reservoirs.

There are only 22 universities in which a student can choose to study petroleum engineering. But if they so choose to attend one of these universities, students can expect to study mathematics, chemistry, geology and physics. Students will receive education to use advanced computer systems to oversee automated drilling operations, as well as analysis of reservoir behavior.

According to the Department of Labor, employment of petroleum engineers is projected to grow 26 percent the next ten year. Oil prices will be a major determinant of employment growth, as higher prices lead to increasing complexity of oil companies’ operations. This leads to the need for more engineers for each drilling operation. The entry salary for a Petroleum Engineer is near $85,000 and has the highest median pay of all college graduates according to USA Today.

To learn which schools offer these majors or to learn of other popular majors, contact us!

Are you aware of other college majors that represent particularly timely opportunities for students? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page or comment on Twitter or Google+.

Thomas Jaworski is the lead consultant of Quest College Consulting. He is an Independent College Counselor with over ten years experience in the college admission process as an Certified Illinois Teacher (Type 09) and Counselor (Type 73) while also a member of IECA and NACAC. For more information, you can visit his website at QuestCollegeConsulting.com or email him at tjaworski@QuestCollegeConsulting.com. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_QuestCC or on Facebook at Facebook.com/QuestCollegeConsulting

4 College Degrees for Employment

Posted on: February 26th, 2014

As the business world changes and becomes more global, colleges have to be on the forefront of the most innovated trends. Graduates need to be equipped with the skills necessary for the current work environment. Here are some of the hottest majors.

Supply Chain Management

Students who major in this field learn how to organize a network of interconnected businesses which help move products from supplier to consumer. They help manage the entire life cycle of a product, from procurement of raw materials, to allocation of product, creation, distribution then delivery of finished product. The concept is to have the entire process run efficiently, effectively while reducing cost along the cycle.

The most common positions for supply chain management majors are Logistician (analyzing and coordinating a company’s supply chain), Supply Chain Analyst (improving a company’s supply chain) and Transportation Manager (oversees a company’s transportation costs of goods).

This field is rapidly growing and expanding. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics this field is projected to grow 22 percent over the next ten years.

Hospitality and Tourism Management

The hospitality industry is large and ever growing field. A student who majors in this diverse and dynamic field has an opportunity to work everywhere from restaurants, resorts, cruise lines, casinos and professional sporting arenas. Students who study these courses are educated in coordinating all aspects of professional meetings, events and conventions. This includes choosing locations, arranging transportation and everything in between.

As globalization increases and businesses continue to recognize the value of professionally planned meetings. According to the Department of Labor, this field is rapidly expanding and is projected to grow 33% over the next ten years.

Forensic Science

With the rise of technology to help prevent and investigate crimes, many law enforcement agencies are turning to specialists with this particular degree. In addition, television shows such as NCIS, Bones, Without A Trace and Cold Case Files have risen to popularize majoring in Forensic Science.

A student studying forensic science will learn how to operate and use new, sophisticated technology to collect and analyze physical evidence. Be aware though, students of this discipline should expect not only a plethora of math and science courses, but need to possess the ability to write well. Technicians spend a bulk of their time generating written reports.

Even though this major is popular, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs will grow only 6 percent over the next ten years, or slower than other occupations because of the popularity of this field.

Biomedical Engineering

The fields of medicine and engineering have combined to create this popular major. Biomedical Engineering (BME) is the application of engineering principles and design concepts to medicine and biology for healthcare purposes.

Students in this field learn how to improve the quality and effectiveness of patient medical care. Examples of this would be developing biocompatible prostheses, working on regenerative tissue growth and improving imaging equipment such as MRI and EEG machine.

According to the Department of Labor, graduates of these programs will see a growing job market as the biomedical engineering field is estimated to see a 27% growth rate in the next 10 years due to the aging population and their need for more medical care.

To learn which schools offer these majors or to learn of other popular majors, contact us!

Are you aware of other college majors that represent particularly timely opportunities for students? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page or comment on Twitter or Google+.

Thomas Jaworski is the lead consultant of Quest College Consulting. He is an Independent College Counselor with over ten years experience in the college admission process as an Certified Illinois Teacher (Type 09) and Counselor (Type 73) while also a member of IECA and NACAC. For more information, you can visit his website at QuestCollegeConsulting.com or email him at tjaworski@QuestCollegeConsulting.com. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_QuestCC or on Facebook at Facebook.com/QuestCollegeConsulting

Sic 'Em...Bears!

Posted on: February 24th, 2014

Baylor University is the leading private Christian school of higher education. It was founded in 1845 in Independence with a $5,000 donation from Texas revolutionary Sam Houston, in what was the newly independent country of the Republic of Texas. In 1886, the school founded by the Union Baptist Association, combined with Waco University, relocating the campus to its current location along the banks of the Brazos River. The oldest continually operating university in Texas boosts an undergraduate student body of over 13,000 students.

Chapel

During the 1846 school year, the founders of Baylor decided that chapel service should be included as part of the educational experience at Baylor. This tradition has progressed to its current form of two required chapel courses to go along with twice weekly chapel service. Students must attend at least three-fourths of the chapel services a semester. One meeting is for guest speakers to present on a variety of topics, while the other meeting is a worship service.

Baylor Line

This tradition, started in 1970 as a way to integrate freshmen into the core of Baylor spirit and tradition, begins at “Line Camp.” Summer camp prepares every new Baylor student for the Baylor Line and home football games. Here, students will wear a special “Line Jersey” with individual nickname and year of graduation on the back. Freshmen arrive prior to game time to ‘rush the field’ and assemble into a tunnel to welcome the players and coaches onto the field. The tunnel then disbands to take their seats behind the opponent’s bench. They will stand and cheer until they sing That Good Old Baylor Line after the game is complete.

Baylor Science Building (BSB)

In 2004, Baylor officially opened a $103 million dollar, state of the art building with 31 acoustically designed lecture halls and classrooms. Though there are few classrooms, there are over 200 teaching and research laboratories to foster a hands on learning experience among students and faculty. This unique concept was also designed to promote multidisciplinary teaching and research stimulated by the science department.

Joy and Lady

Judge Joy and Judge Lady are perhaps the two most famous residents of this Waco campus. They reside not in dorm rooms, but rather in the Bill and Evan Williams Bear Habitat. Yes, they are two adult American Black Bears that live in a natural habitat enclosure. The tradition of a live bear on campus dates back to World War I when ‘Ted’ was gifted by the 107th Engineer Battalion stationed at Camp MacArthur. Since 1974, each bear has been named Judge to honor a former mascot then a second name to honor of a wife of a former university president. The bears were part of the spirit of athletic contests until 2010 when a federal code was established to regulate the safety of the animals and public. Click here to view more photos of Joy and Lady.

To learn more about this leading Christian university, or about any possible school that would fit your academic, social and financial needs, contact us.

Thomas Jaworski is the lead consultant of Quest College Consulting. He is an Independent College Counselor with over ten years experience in the college admission process as an Certified Illinois Teacher (Type 09) and Counselor (Type 73) while also a member of IECA and NACAC. For more information, you can visit his website at QuestCollegeConsulting.com or email him at tjaworski@QuestCollegeConsulting.com. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_QuestCC or on Facebook at Facebook.com/QuestCollegeConsulting

What Does a Horned Frog and College Have in Common?

Posted on: February 21st, 2014

The horned frog is the official state reptile of Texas while also serving as the mascot for all Texas Christian University (TCU) athletic teams. The term derives from the popular name for a lizard that has a frog-like body and snout. The nickname was selected by the TCU student body in 1897 when the school was located in Waco, Texas. Originally founded as AddRan Christian University in 1873, the 8,500 plus undergraduates of TCU are known for other things besides the horned frog mascot.

CHANGED CAMPUS

When arriving on TCU’s 325 acre campus in Fort Worth, Texas, the first thing one will notice are the numerous construction projects. According to the school’s website, the school has spent nearly $500 million in renovations in the past five years. The school will build one new dorm building for the next ten years and there are currently seven ongoing ‘major projects.’ The campus has changed drastically too in the last 10 years. The school’s website boasts that TCU is ‘not the place your parents went to.’

SCHOOL SPIRIT

The student body and faculty are extremely proud of the purple and white of TCU. Ten years ago, students migrated off campus to live and socialize. With campus renovations, there is a large demand for upperclassman to remain on campus. This rekindled school spirit is easily noticeable as students and faculty walk around in purple, white and black to make for a warm and friendly campus environment. As I took the campus tour, then continuing to explore on my own, I failed to find an article of college clothing that was not TCU.

BOB SCHIEFFER COLLEGE OF COMMUNICATION

This newly renamed college honors CBS news journalist Bob Schieffer (TCU Class of ’59), offers courses in Journalism and Strategic Communication. The nationally recognized School of Journalism is one of the oldest in the nation, started in 1927. The TCU Daily Skiff, the student newspaper, has been published continuously since 1902. The college boasts a state of the art news room (Convergence Center), TCU 360 and 24/7 online news center both used to train students as professional reporters while preparing them for all future forms of journalism.

It was announced recently that the CBS Evening News will broadcast live on the TCU Campus.

COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS

Housed in this college are the schools of Music, Art, Dance (classical and contemporary), Theatre, and Interior Design & Merchandising. The school is nationally renowned in many areas, including the 2012 national champion drum line. Perhaps the hidden gem at TCU, the College of Fine Arts is often overshadowed in the press by the School of Communications and even athletics. The College of Fine Arts boasts working relationships with many of the major cultural events of the 5th largest metropolitan area in the U.S. Along with these opportunities, the arts programs offers numerous learning possibilities in numerous European nations.

If you would like to know more about Texas Christian University, or other colleges, contact us.

Thomas Jaworski is the lead consultant of Quest College Consulting. He is an Independent College Counselor with over ten years experience in the college admission process as an Certified Illinois Teacher (Type 09) and Counselor (Type 73) while also a member of IECA and NACAC. For more information, you can visit his website at QuestCollegeConsulting.com or email him at tjaworski@QuestCollegeConsulting.com. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_QuestCC or on Facebook at Facebook.com/QuestCollegeConsulting

2014 FAFSA Myths

Posted on: January 24th, 2014

In our last

  • An overview of the FAFSA
  • How to properly complete the FAFSA
  • Information needed for the FAFSA
  • Tips to accurately complete the FAFSA
  • This week, In and Around the Quad will demystify the FAFSA.

    MYTH #1: I need to file my taxes before submitting the FAFSA.
    • False. A family can submit their FAFSA by providing a reasonable estimate of their 2013 income taxes. The United States Department of Education works with the Internal Revenue Service to help connect a family’s FAFSA information with their tax return once submitted. The sooner the FAFSA is submitted, the earlier the financial aid packages will be sent by schools.

    MYTH #2: Families that make too much money should not fill out a FAFSA.
    • False. There is no income ceiling to prevent a family from qualifying for federal student aid. There are several factors that go into the financial aid report besides money. Information such as size of family and the number of children in college concurrently. According to Sallie Mae, the typical family earning more than $100,000 received $5,451 in grants and scholarships during the 2012 academic year. Also, the FAFSA is only for federal student aid. Colleges can and will give out their own aid, but will need the FAFSA completed in order to make their decision. The FAFSA is simply a starting point.

    MYTH #3: Colleges only look at what is stated on the FAFSA, though my situation has changed.
    • False. The Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) is only a government recommendation. Parents are encouraged to contact the financial aid office at each college to appeal their financial aid package. This office can make adjustments if there have been changes to a family’s income or assets. Examples of items that may not show up on the FAFSA; loss of a job, using savings to start a new business, medical bills and/or having another child.

    MYTH #4: If both parents are divorced and remarried, all of the parents’ information must be entered on the FAFSA.
    • False. The information that should be entered on the FAFSA is that of the parent the student has lived with more than 50% of the time within the last 12 months. In addition, that step-parent’s financial information MUST be included along with the student’s tax information, if they filed an income tax. Unfortunately, the student cannot choose to enter the information of the parent/step-parent that makes the least amount of money to secure a lower EFC.

    As you can see, all of the myths were false. Do not believe everything you hear. If you need correct
    answers to other college financial aid myths or perhaps have other college admission questions, please Contact Us.

    Make sure to visit our Facebook and Twitter pages for tips and advice.

    Thomas Jaworski is the lead consultant of Quest College Consulting. He is an Independent College Counselor with over ten years experience in the college admission process as an Certified Illinois Teacher (Type 09) and Counselor (Type 73) while also a member of IECA and NACAC. For more information, you can visit his website at QuestCollegeConsulting.com or email him at tjaworski@QuestCollegeConsulting.com. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_QuestCC or on Facebook at Facebook.com/QuestCollegeConsulting

    2014-15 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

    Posted on: January 9th, 2014

    January 1st was a very important date. Not only did it signal a new year, but it was the date the 2014-15 FAFSA was released. What is the FAFSA? It is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is a form produced by the United States Department of Education that determines a family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

    HOW DOES IT WORK?

    The FAFSA is a 103 question form used to determine a family’s EFC for college. Financial information is imputed into a formula developed by the United States Department of Education to determine the EFC. The EFC is then forwarded to up to ten designated colleges to individually determine a student’s financial aid package.

    HOW CAN IT BE FILLED OUT?

    The form can be accessed online (www.Fafsa.ed.gov/) starting January 1st of each year and is submitted electronically. A family can opt to print a copy and send it via the mail, but this will delay the process by 2-4 weeks. The sooner the FAFSA is filled out, the quicker the information can be received by each college. The longer a family waits to submit their FAFSA can lead to a college having less financial resources to award to a family.

    WHAT IT LOOKS FOR?

    To fill out the FAFSA, families will use their previous year’s IRS Form 1040, Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ (whichever Federal Income Tax Return Form that was used) both for the parent(s) and the student. Many of the questions ask about specific ‘lines’ on the tax form, such as adjusted gross income and balance of cash (savings and checking account). Other questions ask about a family’s net worth (trust funds, stocks, bonds, certificate of deposits, etc…) and the number of children that will be attending college concurrently.

    TIPS

    Complete whichever IRS Form 1040 as soon as possible. A parent can estimate their earnings when filling out the FAFSA, but they will need to later adjust and provide accurate figures. The sooner taxes are filed, the quicker an actual EFC will be calculated. The student will then be closer to the front of the line to receive each college’s maximum financial aid award. Make sure not to rush when you are filling out the form. There are an average of 10 errors estimated per form. Remember, the form is free. One should not pay to access a FAFSA website.

    In addition, keep as many assets out of the student’s name as possible. Student earnings are weighted more heavily than parental money (nearly 20 cents to the dollar). Why is this? The logic is that a student has earned money and has saved over the years for college. Though that might not be the case, make sure to legally change the location of your high school student’s assets by their 2nd semester of junior year or 1st semester of senior year (the FAFSA uses the previous year’s tax returns, not the year they begin attending college). A FAFSA must be submitted each year a student is looking for financial aid; from the first year in college, until the last year of their doctoral program.
    Thomas Jaworski is the lead consultant of Quest College Consulting. He is an Independent College Counselor with over ten years experience in the college admission process as an Certified Illinois Teacher (Type 09) and Counselor (Type 73) while also a member of IECA and NACAC. For more information, you can visit his website at QuestCollegeConsulting.com or email him at tjaworski@QuestCollegeConsulting.com. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_QuestCC or on Facebook at Facebook.com/QuestCollegeConsulting

    Howdy from Aggieland

    Posted on: November 13th, 2013

    Howdy! That is the official greeting of the 6th largest student body in the nation, Texas A&M University (TAMU). Founded in 1871 as the first public institution of higher education in Texas, TAMU is located in College Station, Texas, ninety miles northwest of Houston, Texas.

    1. Engineering

    The Dwight Look College of Engineering boosts the 8th ranked engineering program of a public institution offering a doctorate degree and the 16th overall ranking for engineering programs in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report. The engineering program is by far the largest school at the university, boosting over 10,000 students, or more than 20% of their student population. Being that large is not enough for A&M as their goal is to increase the College of Engineering to 25,000 student by 2025. First year engineering students have their own dormitory, The Engineering Living Learning Community (ELLC), with five total floors, four for male students and one for female engineering students.

    2. Corp of Cadets

    Stepping on the campus of A&M, one will not miss the Corp of Cadets. More than 2,300 students belong to the ROTC program, making it one of nations’ largest uniformed student body. Texas A&M commissions more officers than any other institution other than the nation’s service academies. The Corp of Cadets reside in special dormitories in the Quadrangle and the Memorial Student Center (MSC), which recently finished a 4 year renovation, is a memorial to all Aggies who have served. The highest ranking member of the Corp of Cadets is Reveille (currently VIII). She is a purebred collie and the official mascot of TAMU. She has a Corp member assigned to her at all times and has the power to dismiss class if she barks, because if you cannot keep Reveille interested, you cannot keep the students engaged.

    3. Aggie Spirit

    Tradition was the first word I was told by an Aggie alum in reference to TAMU. That tradition goes along with another Texas passion, football. On fall Saturday’s, Kyle Field will draw between 30-40,000 students, or almost half of its capacity. The 12th Man, as they are officially known, stand the entire game, while waving their official white towels, to support their fellow Aggies. Besides the football games, the tradition of the Aggie Ring, earned by students after 90 hours of credit, is recognizable to graduates of TAMU since 1894. Other traditions on campus include placing a penny at the foot of the statue of former president Lawrence Sullivan Ross (or as his namesake in Monsters, Inc. is called, Sully), for help during exam week. Near the statue of ‘Sully,’ one will find an odd shaped Century Tree, the oldest tree on campus, where many traditions of good luck and marriage proposals occur.

    4. Friendliness

    On my visit to campus, friendliness in the form of ‘Howdy’ was evident as I am greeted on the phone, by the student admissions office receptionist and by nearly every passing student whose eyes I catch. Not only do you hear ‘Howdy,’ but if an upperclassman hears something they enjoy, they ‘Whoop!’ If you are a underclassman, do not worry, each class has their own specific ‘yell,’ which is practiced at the Midnight Yell Practice and performed at football games. This Aggie Spirit is important to the culture of TAMU as 92% of freshmen return to TAMU for their sophomore year, an impressive statistic at such a large university. Lastly students who graduate from Texas A&M, 80.4%, are linked to the university forever. An Aggie never says goodbye, but while giving a’ thumbs up,’ exclaims “Gig ‘Em!”

    Want to learn more about Texas A&M University, or other universities? L
    eave a comment or Contact Us

    Thomas Jaworski is the lead consultant of Quest College Consulting. He is an Independent College Counselor with over ten years experience in the college admission process as an Certified Illinois Teacher (Type 09) and Counselor (Type 73) while also a member of IECA and NACAC. For more information, you can visit his website at QuestCollegeConsulting.com or email him at tjaworski@QuestCollegeConsulting.com. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_QuestCC or on Facebook at Facebook.com/QuestCollegeConsulting

    Howdy from Aggieland

    Posted on: November 13th, 2013

    Howdy! That is the official greeting of the 6th largest student body in the nation, Texas A&M University (TAMU). Founded in 1871 as the first public institution of higher education in Texas, TAMU is located in College Station, Texas, ninety miles northwest of Houston, Texas.

    1. Engineering

    The Dwight Look College of Engineering boosts the 8th ranked engineering program of a public institution offering a doctorate degree and the 16th overall ranking for engineering programs in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report. The engineering program is by far the largest school at the university, boosting over 10,000 students, or more than 20% of their student population. Being that large is not enough for A&M as their goal is to increase the College of Engineering to 25,000 student by 2025. First year engineering students have their own dormitory, The Engineering Living Learning Community (ELLC), with five total floors, four for male students and one for female engineering students.

    2. Corp of Cadets

    Stepping on the campus of A&M, one will not miss the Corp of Cadets. More than 2,300 students belong to the ROTC program, making it one of nations’ largest uniformed student body. Texas A&M commissions more officers than any other institution other than the nation’s service academies. The Corp of Cadets reside in special dormitories in the Quadrangle and the Memorial Student Center (MSC), which recently finished a 4 year renovation, is a memorial to all Aggies who have served. The highest ranking member of the Corp of Cadets is Reveille (currently VIII). She is a purebred collie and the official mascot of TAMU. She has a Corp member assigned to her at all times and has the power to dismiss class if she barks, because if you cannot keep Reveille interested, you cannot keep the students engaged.

    3. Aggie Spirit

    Tradition was the first word I was told by an Aggie alum in reference to TAMU. That tradition goes along with another Texas passion, football. On fall Saturday’s, Kyle Field will draw between 30-40,000 students, or almost half of its capacity. The 12th Man, as they are officially known, stand the entire game, while waving their official white towels, to support their fellow Aggies. Besides the football games, the tradition of the Aggie Ring, earned by students after 90 hours of credit, is recognizable to graduates of TAMU since 1894. Other traditions on campus include placing a penny at the foot of the statue of former president Lawrence Sullivan Ross (or as his namesake in Monsters, Inc. is called, Sully), for help during exam week. Near the statue of ‘Sully,’ one will find an odd shaped Century Tree, the oldest tree on campus, where many traditions of good luck and marriage proposals occur.

    4. Friendliness

    On my visit to campus, friendliness in the form of ‘Howdy’ was evident as I am greeted on the phone, by the student admissions office receptionist and by nearly every passing student whose eyes I catch. Not only do you hear ‘Howdy,’ but if an upperclassman hears something they enjoy, they ‘Whoop!’ If you are a underclassman, do not worry, each class has their own specific ‘yell,’ which is practiced at the Midnight Yell Practice and performed at football games. This Aggie Spirit is important to the culture of TAMU as 92% of freshmen return to TAMU for their sophomore year, an impressive statistic at such a large university. Lastly students who graduate from Texas A&M, 80.4%, are linked to the university forever. An Aggie never says goodbye, but while giving a’ thumbs up,’ exclaims “Gig ‘Em!”

    Want to learn more about Texas A&M University, or other universities? L
    eave a comment or Contact Us

    Thomas Jaworski is the lead consultant of Quest College Consulting. He is an Independent College Counselor with over ten years experience in the college admission process as an Certified Illinois Teacher (Type 09) and Counselor (Type 73) while also a member of IECA and NACAC. For more information, you can visit his website at QuestCollegeConsulting.com or email him at tjaworski@QuestCollegeConsulting.com. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_QuestCC or on Facebook at Facebook.com/QuestCollegeConsulting

    College? My High School Student is Only a Freshman.

    Posted on: November 5th, 2013

    The first quarter of a freshmen’s high school career has just ended. You are saying to yourself, “this is surely too early to think about college.” Actually it is not. Freshmen have two big advantages in the college search process; time and a blank slate. Time because there is plenty of it to conduct a proper college search and a blank slate because students can properly create an impressive transcript and college resume. Here are four ways to do that.

    Develop Good Study Habits

    If a student has not already done this, make sure they develop this lifelong habit now. Perhaps a student is overwhelmed by a fall sport or participating in every extracurricular that has been announced over the PA. The best study skill is always time management. Establish a plan as to when the student will be completing their homework each night, including reviewing class notes and rereading the material. Make sure they are working in a well lit area that is free of distractions. Other important habits that are often overlooked include ensuring the student receives the proper amount of sleep (to focus in school) and eating a proper diet (eating brain foods such a fruits and vegetables). Stay consistent with these study skills and do not develop ones your student will not be able to break.

    Earn Good Grades

    It seems simple, but often it is not. Many times a high school freshmen does not think their actions can impact the rest of their life. It can and does. If a freshman earns poor grades, they have to work that much harder to raise their Grade Point Average (GPA). Remember, colleges only consider a student’s first six semesters of school work because they apply during the first semester of senior year. If a student receives a ‘D’ during their freshmen year, the ‘twak’ you just heard could have been a college closing the door on your student. Colleges consider GPA during the admission process, along with the rigor of courses taken. It is never too late to begin to correct mistakes. It is never too early to learn new skills.

    Get Involved

    If your student has not already done so, they should get involved. Every school has a plethora of sports, clubs and activities. If they are unsure about a club’s activities, they should seek out the sponsor or attend a meeting. Remember, they are not obligated to attend the next meeting. In addition to being involved, these activities are the beginning to their college resume. Colleges seek students who actively participate in clubs. They should seek out leadership roles in one or two clubs, another item that would look great on a college resume. Joining clubs can help students find new friends, establish their college resume and perhaps even find their passion, which could lead to their future career.

    Find Your Passion

    “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” said Confucius. This is very true, but how do we know what we love to do? The best way is to seek out opportunities until we find something that we enjoy. Perhaps none of those activities will be your student’s passion, but somewhere along the way, your student will find it. Seek out many opportunities, whether it be: volunteering, applying for a job, clubs, sports, or academics. As my mom told me, “It is always easier to quit than join.” This is sound advice. Hopefully along the way, you find your passion.

    Do you have other advice for a high school freshmen? Add a comment, we would love to hear it!

    Need help with your sophomore applying to college? Have other college admission questions? Contact Us

    Thomas Jaworski is the lead consultant of Quest College Consulting. He is an Independent College Counselor with over ten years experience in the college admission process as an Certified Illinois Teacher (Type 09) and Counselor (Type 73) while also a member of IECA and NACAC. For more information, you can visit his website at QuestCollegeConsulting.com or email him at tjaworski@QuestCollegeConsulting.com. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_QuestCC or on Facebook at Facebook.com/QuestCollegeConsulting

    High School Sophomores, Now is the Time To Think About College

    Posted on: October 30th, 2013

    If your college bound student is a sophomore, time is your ally. Use this time strategically and you can reap the most out of the college selection process. Use it foolishly, and you will need to read the following blog post in two years. Here are some tips on how to maximize your alliance with time.

    Rigorous Coursework

    Over the years, I have had conversations with numerous college admissions representatives and the same people that read your student’s college applications. One of most important factors colleges use to evaluate an applicant’s admissions are their high school transcripts. Each representative examine high school transcripts to assess how much a student has challenged themselves, especially looking for Honors or Advanced Placement level coursework. They understand that these elite courses were not for each student and do not want to see poor marks on the transcripts. The suggestion was given for a high school student to enroll in the hardest courses that will challenge themselves, while experiencing success.

    Visit Colleges

    If you have not already stepped foot on a college campus, perhaps now is the time to plan a visit. As I have stated in a previous blog post, this is a great way to determine if your student is the proper fit for a campus. Being a first semester sophomore, it is a good time to expose students to a college campus. Perhaps there is a local campus that has an ‘open house’ on a fall day. Take advantage of the campus tour and the admissions information session. Researching online, reading brochures and talking with college admission representatives at fairs cannot replace the unique ‘feel’ of each campus. This experience will benefit the entire college bound family.

    Take Interest Inventories

    Sophomore year is the right time for a student to explore potential college majors. Students should seek subjects they enjoy in school and discuss potential career options. Students can talk to family members in potential fields or search out these careers online. Another good way is to take an interest inventory. Perhaps their high school uses Navianceor a similar program to seek potential majors/careers. If not, they could seek out a professional to administer a Myers-Briggs Type Inventory or similar test. Once they receive their results, students should discuss the results with their family, then research ideas that are of interest to them. This will help guide the college selection process.

    Internships/Job

    Another way to find a potential career or college major is for the student to seek out employment in a field of interest. This will provide invaluable experience in the field while being exposed to its everyday tasks. If a job is not available at a particular company, perhaps there are summer internship opportunities or even a job shadow program. This will also help build a student’s communication skills and high school resume, while exposing them to the concept of networking with potential employers.

    Do you have other ideas on what a high school sophomore can do to prepare for college? Add in a comment and let us know.

    Need help with your sophomore applying to college? Have other college admission questions? Contact Us

    Thomas Jaworski is the lead consultant of Quest College Consulting. He is an Independent College Counselor with over ten years experience in the college admission process as an Certified Illinois Teacher (Type 09) and Counselor (Type 73) while also a member of IECA and NACAC. For more information, you can visit his website at QuestCollegeConsulting.com or email him at tjaworski@QuestCollegeConsulting.com. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_QuestCC or on Facebook at Facebook.com/QuestCollegeConsulting