Monday, August 18, 2014

What To Do Before Your Senior Year

We found this article online and thought there were some great tips for students who are going into their senior year. Thanks to for the "To Do" list item below.

1) Think about and outline a college essay. As more and more schools sign onto the Common Application (over 400 colleges use it now), it's safe to say you'll apply to one that uses it for their admissions process. For this reason, you can get a jump start on writing your essay now.

2) Make a list of the qualities you desire in a college. Everyone knows that college isn't all about hitting the books. So, what other qualities are you looking for in a college? There's many to research: city versus rural life, athletics, the quality of facilities and the tastiness of dining hall food, famous professors, the strength of a potential major, among many others.

3) Develop your personal interests. Colleges want you to be passionate about something. Take extra guitar lessons, join a summer soccer league, go on extra camping trips-all you have to do is demonstrate your interests. Admission officers love well-rounded people who can bring something unique to campus. A personal interest may help you stand out.

4) Work to improve your standardized test scores. If your scores are not in a school's 50% range, you may want to retake the SAT and/or ACT in the fall. To do better, you must develop a proper study plan. There are practice questions on that you should start with. After tackling these, think about going to the library to rent one of their books, or purchase one from your local bookstore.

5) Take summer classes at a local college/university. Enrolling in summer courses can work to your advantage if you're a straight A student or if your grades are weak. Either way, doing well in these courses will show admission officers that you're capable of being an academic success at their school. Doing this will only increase your chance of being accepted to a "reach" school or obtaining a lucrative scholarship.

6) Practice your interview skills. If you're shooting for a top ten school, or if your GPA and SAT scores are at the lower end of your dream school's applicant pool, an interview moves from being an option to a requirement for you. And you must perform well when meeting with an alumni representative or admission counselor. Setting up one or two mock interviews with your parents, a teacher, your college counselor, a friend, or a sibling can be a very beneficial thing.

7) Volunteer. Admission counselors are looking for certain personality traits, compassion being one of the most important. Colleges want good people on their campuses; nothing says benevolent and selfless better than volunteering some time in a nursery home or at a local animal shelter. Check to see if there are any volunteering opportunities in your area, or just call a local nursing home, community center, animal shelter, or other non-profit to see if they need any help. Chances are they do.

8) Visit at least two or three colleges. Although the campus won't be bustling with activity since students are home for the summers, visiting college campuses during the summer can be very rewarding. Being on a large state university feels much different than being at a small liberal arts college. Use these summer visits to figure out what kind of college you want to attend.

9) Think about potential careers. This isn't entirely necessary, since most people have no clue what they want to do for the rest of their lives…at the age of 17! But, if you've never thought about it, putting some time into thinking about careers that match your interests can't hurt.

10) Get to know your personal admissions counselor.  Let’s face it, apply to college isn’t easy. Why not make connections with your own personal admissions counselor to have them been your advocate throughout the process!  Unsure of who your admissions counselor is? Check out our ‘Meet the Counselor Page” found here:

Have questions? Feel free to contact us: (410) 532-5330 or

As always, thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

So, You're Moving Away to College!

So, You're Moving Away to College!
Here are some tips for you as you move to your new home-away-from-home!

1) Self-fulfilling prophecies are the real deal.
What do I mean by this?  When you enter college with a solid mindset, that is how your experience is going to be.  Let’s face it, some people are social butterflies while others rather sit alone in their rooms and read a novel all day.  Others have anxiety that hinders them away from being open and welcoming to new friends. Don’t let this be you- don’t be scared to let your guard down and meet new friends!  After all, in four years you don’t want to look back upon your experience and wish you would have dragged yourself from your room? Would you? Go to the welcoming activities, say ‘hello’ to those you pass in the hall and be open to making new friends! Get out of your room and explore! After all, college is more fun when you have friends to experience it with you!

2) Welcome Week activities in the Residence Halls are long, but you still need to go to them.
Don’t try to sneak off during Welcome Week- we will find you! Not only should you go to these events, but they are mandatory!  Like I said before, get out of your room and make friends!  Participate in programs!  They might not be the friends that you have for the rest of your life or even the rest of college, but friends are friends, and you do not want to be eating in the dinning commons by yourself all year.

3) You do not need to be best friends with your roommate.
We love to share this particular piece of advice every year.  Don’t go into any roommate-ship with the expectation to be best friends with your roomie.  Allow both of you to have your own day to day routines and meet up for dinner or lunch when you can! Sometimes you will become best friends with your roommate, but what it all boils down to is that you need to be considerate, open-minded, and able to communicate to anyone you are sharing space with. The roommate world is not black and white. Sometimes you will become best friends with your roommate, but what it all boils down to is that you need to be considerate, open-minded, and able to communicate to anyone you are sharing space with.
4) Be nice to your CA (Community Assistant)
This one is personal, we have read other people's advice as saying "befriend your CA; they won't write you up as much."  We cannot say if this is true or not *wink wink*.  Trust us, there are times that your RA will not want to live with you either. But we have received a few notes from residents that tell us that they enjoy chatting with me or that I was their favorite part of moving to college, and those residents made the most unbearable nights worth it in the end. Your RA is fountain of knowledge about your school, they have taken a lot of the classes you need to take and they know about a lot of resources on campus. Go to them and ask them questions when you have them, they want to talk to you and get to know you!
5) Pursue a degree you are passionate about.
This one simple speaks for itself. Do what you love, love what you do. If you’re unsure about what major to declare, don’t. Work one-on-one with you advisor to talk about your goals, strengths and areas that interest you.  Together, come up with a plan--- you’re not alone, we can help!

 6) Ask for help.
We know that we already touched on this a little bit on number five, but we am serious when we say this. Know your limits. If you don't understand material for a class you should take advantage of your professor's office hours. See what resources your school has for tutoring, my school has multiple programs that offer free tutoring for different subjects and majors. You are paying for these resources with your tuition, use them.
7)Finally, take a minute (or a few) between the classes and studying and work to enjoy yourself.
 People will say that college is the best years of your life. We don't know if that is the truth, but we still think everyone in college should try and make the most out of the experience and have a little fun--after you take care of your responsibilities!

What To Do During Summer

Hello, Readers!

That elephant in the room is getting larger--it's almost time to head back to school. It's here, we said it.  Are you worried that you haven't made the most of your summer vacation days yet? Not to fear, we have a great list of things for you to do in the weeks ahead that will gear you up to head into your senior year as prepared as possible!

  • First, draft your student resume.
    • Don't worry, this is not something that will take a ton of time, nor does it need to be super business-like. Rather, just be sure to list all of those activities that you have been a part of both inside and outside of school for your high school years.
    • Most schools don't require a resume but will accept one--this helps us to learn more about you so why wouldn't you want to submit one?

  • Visit the schools that you want to apply to in the fall!
    • Summer is great for vacation but why not add a week's worth of college touring to the agenda?  Come visit our campus and meet with your one-on-one personal admissions counselor who will be your advocate throughout the application process.

  • Do your homework!
    • That's right we said it. You might be out of school but there is always work to be done!
    • Apply for external scholarships. Search them out-- and remember never pay to apply for scholarships-- they will always be free!
    • Check out websites like that will send you weekly emails with scholarships that apply for you!

  • Start thinking about who can write your letter of recommendation.
    • Draft up a letter to submit to your favorite Math, Science, or English teacher. Submit this letter to them, along with your student resume on the first day of classes. Chances are you'll be the only person to request this letter this year in the school year and they'll be able to personalize the letter even more since they have a copy of your student resume!
Alright, we think that's enough "To Do's" for now...keep us posted on your progress-- and remember hop to it...the first day of your senior year is right around the corner!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Meet Uzma

Meet Uzma, a Baltimore local! She comes from IND and has also become highly involved on campus. When you come in the fall, be sure to ask her what her favorite student group is and how to join!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Meet Pertrice!

Pertice is also finishing her first year at Notre Dame and has become involved with a lot of different activities on campus.