Tips for high school seniors

Amaya White ‘22, Montclair State University

It’s getting to that time of the year where many high school seniors have decided where they’re going to school and have a hard time finding the motivation to complete school work. However, just because you’ve been accepted into college doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t continue to work hard in school. If anything, these next few months can determine whether or not you’ll be able to attend your college the following year. Here are some tips to avoid the trap of senioritis.

1. Don’t Procrastinate

If you were to get the flu would you just wait until it went away or would you try to treat it immediately? It becomes easy to lose motivation during your last few months of school, however, if you avoid doing work for a period of time it will just pile up and get worse. A way to avoid this is to establish a list of short term goals and long term goals. This can help you identify the most important task that you need to complete regarding school. It also feels so nice to check items off your to-do list when you’re finished.

2. Limit Your Outings

Senior year has some of the most exciting moments of your high school career, yet not completing work can prohibit you from being involved in senior activities. So before agreeing to spend another afternoon hanging out with your friends, analyze whether or not you’ve completed all your work. 

3. Remember How Far You’ve Come

I’m sure you’ve spent the last twelve years grinding in school for the highest grades and accolades, so don’t waste your last year giving up. Continue to push through, write those papers, and complete your final projects. Don’t let all your years of schooling go to waste just because you know what school you’re attending.

4. Colleges Can Change Their Minds

Just because you’ve been accepted into your dream school doesn’t mean they can’t change their mind about accepting you. College’s look at your final transcript which includes all of your senior year grades. If they see that you gave up in the last few months that doesn’t look very good for you. You want to show colleges that you’re a dedicated hard-working student who always strives for success.

Although the senior year may seem like all fun and games, you have to continue to work hard in order to maintain your status as an incoming student at the college of your choice. Remember that you’ve already completed eleven years of schooling, what’re a few more months going to do for you?

Into the Computer-verse: What are my options?

By Jaadyyah Shearrion ‘20 
Hello everyone! Today I want to dive into what exactly is the Computer Science field. As some of you may know, I want to study CS in college and I wanted to help shed some light on the different options available within the field. 

Computer engineering 

If you like a more hands-on life then you would love the Computer Engineering path. Computer Engineering is the hardware side of the Computer Science field. If you have a vendetta against your computer because it doesn’t have enough dedicated RAM to run your Minecraft server, Computer Engineering studies can help you through that problem. This major also involves Electrical Engineering, which means that if you were to study Computer Engineering, you would also learn about how wiring and electricity plays a part in everyone’s computer. Depending on what school you go to, you could even get some experience building robots! 

Computer Science

This website that you are reading this on was created by a Computer Scientist! The creation of websites is a really cool aspect of CS. The whole major entails being able to problem-solve and employ technical skills. The skills I’ve been taught in this field include coding, creating a video game, and looking into how AI works. I personally have made my own game using the game engine Unity, which is fairly basic, but has some complex functionality. I even started to look at a concept called neural networks, which is a large part of AI systems. 

Information Technology

Do you ever wonder how those pesky hackers end up getting your information? Well, information technology (I.T.) deals with this side of the computer science world. I.T. also encompasses data collection and sometimes can be combined with a business degree. Cyber Security is a field that is always changing because we humans keep creating more technology, which makes some systems vulnerable. With an Information Technology degree, you could get a job as a server manager, in which you take control of the networks that house people’s information, a company’s information, or cloud information. You could even be a maintenance person who deals with the hardware side of computers, such as a Microsoft or Apple Technician who could remotely fix someone’s device. 

If you are interested in any of these, you should pursue your passion. In addition to doing research at your school’s specific program, you should also look into ways to get some hands-on experience before you arrive as well.

College Recruiting Process for Athletes

Are you interested in playing sports in college, but don’t know where to start? In this article, Mike Savello, a high school coach with 15+ years of experience, shares his advice for high school athletes.

Timeline

We tell our athletes to get started at the end of their sophomore year. They should register with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Eligibility Center to begin the recruiting process. This will prove that you’re eligible to play a college sport. You just have to set up an account and fill out your profile with your athletic and academic information. Some people begin this process as early as freshman year, but I’ve found that sophomore year gives students plenty of time.

Steps after setting up your account

After you register, you should take a look at the academic requirements. Depending on what division you are aiming for, you will need to make sure you complete a particular set of core courses and reach certain requirements for your GPA and standardized test scores. 

Once your grades are squared away, you should work to create a highlight tape of your best moments on the field. You and your coach will then post this on a recruiting platform like Hudl or Field Level for recruiters to view. You can also upload your transcript to these platforms.

New Level in College

As you start the process in tenth grade, sit down and have a conversation with your coach. I always tell my athletes to focus on their grades first and foremost. Whatever level they want to play will be determined later on. That will take care of itself. Register for the NCAA first and see what happens.

I recommend going on the NCAA website to learn about the different divisions and related scholarships. (See here)

Looking to be recruited in junior or senior year

Interested schools will reach out to you directly. They often contact you and set up a visit at the end of junior year. Many schools offer an official visit, where you can go to the school and get a sense of what it would be like to play on their team. 

The NCAA site explains the recruiting process in detail (see here) and provides in-depth recruiting calendars for each sport. There are certain periods where college coaches cannot contact students and certain periods when they can, so be aware of that as you’re going through the process.

The school in your mind

If a kid is interested in a school, they can reach out to that coach themselves and send their film. Their coach doesn’t have to be involved. Over the years, thanks to the online platforms, the process is very hands-off in general. You do not necessarily need your high school coach to reach out.

The athletic program

It might sound simple, but it’s just a gut feeling. Go on campus and see if you feel comfortable with the team members, the coaching staff, the surroundings. You will spend four years playing a sport there, so if it doesn’t feel right, chances are you won’t be happy. 

I always tell my athletes to go to a school for academics as well as the sports. They should go to school where they will be comfortable getting an education. As yourself: If you weren’t playing sports, would you still be happy there?

Advice for athletes

Trust the process and work hard. You will end up where you need to be in the end.

Future in Real Estate

Amaya White ‘22, Montclair State University 
I had the opportunity to ask my friend Randall from high school about his real estate major and his experience at Georgia State University. Continue reading to find out more information on what it’s like to be a real estate major. 

Choosing my major

Real Estate. This major educates those looking to participate in the commercial real estate industry. Students are provided with an understanding of the phases of real estate activity, the economics of each investment situation, and the forms of business and professional service that support real estate investment.

Why Real Estate

I became interested in investing after reading Rich Dad Poor Dad, which led me to the world of commercial real estate investing. My major advisor has helped me map out my course schedule leading up to graduation.

My experience in high school also led me in the direction of the business, within which I found real estate.

Favorite class

I won’t take my first real estate course until next semester; however, my favorite business-required course was Macroeconomics. My professor was great, and I received great information about the economy.

Friends with the same major

My closest friend here at Georgia State is also a real estate major. His liking for this major also stems from the investment opportunity commercial real estate provides.

Q: What does your future look like?

I’m aspiring to be a founder of a real estate investment firm specializing in multifamily (apartment buildings). We will be in the business of syndication, which is the pooling of money from passive investors in order to purchase large assets that would be otherwise hard to acquire individually, such as apartment buildings. What’s great about the commercial real estate industry is that there are several aspects to the business. One could enter property management, development, lending, brokerage, or private equity. My major will prepare me for life after school by providing me with technical knowledge and demonstrating my interest in real estate to employers.

Curriculum setting

I’ve taken financial & managerial accounting, microeconomics, macroeconomics, corporation finance, marketing, and computer information systems. These base-level courses are required for all business majors at GSU.

Common misconceptions

People tend to associate real estate with residential activity like single-family fix and flips, but the area of study is actually focused on commercial real estate, which is income-producing property used for investment purposes.

Career Goals

If you want to major in real estate, your options may be limited as not every university offers this track; however, a real estate degree isn’t required to enter the industry.

Related majors

Some related majors are economics, finance, marketing & Geographic Information Systems). My original major was business economics before I switched to finance, keeping economics as a minor. In Fall 2019, I decided to add real estate to my degree and double major in finance and real estate.

Getting paid for your passions

Julie Lee ‘20, Boston Latin School 

You just finished applying to all of your colleges. Congrats! Acceptance letters will come rolling in soon, and you’ll be comparing the financial aid packages from the different universities. But what if your top school doesn’t provide a lot of financial aid? What can you do right now to pay for these costs? Apply for scholarships! 

Right now is a great time to start searching for scholarships. There are scholarships available for just about anything, ranging from sports and academics to family background and field of interest. We recommend searching for scholarships based on what you are most passionate about. 

What are the passion-based scholarships?

Passion-based scholarships look past academic achievements and athletic ability. Instead, these scholarships are based on your hobbies and personal interests, no matter how niche they may be. Some examples include art scholarships, scholarships for students with a particular major, scholarships for charity work, and even scholarships involving social media participation.

How do you apply? 

The submission process varies depending on the scholarship. For example, if you’re creative and enjoy graphic design, painting, or anything art-related, they might have you submit your portfolio or create a design specifically for this scholarship. For the Doodle for Google scholarship, you can submit a drawing related to their theme before the deadline on March 13, 2020. Other scholarships are as simple as writing a short essay on your interests. 

How to search

You can start by searching “[insert your interests here] scholarships” into Google. You can also check out the scholarships we have with our partners on our website (www.collegefindme.com/student/scholarships). 

Tips for applying for scholarships: 

  1. Start your search early on. It’s never too early to apply for scholarships. Make sure you meet the scholarship requirements.
  2. Sit down and write. Make sure to allocate the time needed for the essay. Spend some time after school or during the weekends to work on your scholarship. Don’t put off writing the scholarship supplements until the day before. (Trust me. I’ve been there and it’s stressful!). Have someone read it over and give you feedback. 
  3. Deadlines, Deadlines, Deadlines! When applying for scholarships, keep in mind how much time you need for it. Allow time for your teachers or guidance counselor to write recommendations, if needed. Set reminders or mark the date on your calendar so that you won’t accidentally miss the deadline either. 
  4. Have a positive mindset. Remember, there’s no harm in earning some extra cash for your education. Even if you didn’t win, you can always apply for more scholarships. 

Good luck with your scholarship search!

Slide into Spring Sports

Jaadyyah Shearrion ’20, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School

Calling all sports fans, athletes, and everyone who goes to their high school football game just for the experience! As the winter sports season ends, spring sports take center stage. Baseball, lacrosse, outdoor track, crew, rugby, sailing, softball, tennis, and boy’s volleyball are just a few springtime favorites. But how can you make the most of your high school sports experience this spring? Read below to find out!

Sticking to a Schedule

Spring season often marks the beginning of the countdown for summer vacation. Some classes start to pick up speed as the school year comes to an end, so make sure to set up a solid schedule. For seniors, this is going to be the last three or so months of high school and we all have to make them count. Even for those who aren’t graduating, you should work hard to finish the semester strong! As you choose your springtime sport, ensure that the required time commitment is compatible with your course load. If you are taking a class that is very time-consuming, you should also consider how much time you’ll have to dedicate to games and practices.

The Benefits of Sports 

Everyone knows that sports help you stay physically healthy, but what else do they do? Sports can also help you improve mentally by challenging you to problem solve, strategize and work towards a common goal. Sports also tend to bring people together. During the springtime especially, the weather is amazing and it’s easy to make plans with teammates after practice. Even if you don’t play a team sport, you can still connect with others who enjoy your sport and help teach your friends who don’t participate.    

Hitting a Homerun on Your College Apps

If you’ve been playing a spring sport in high school, include it in your college applications! Colleges love to see which activities you’re passionate about, and your commitment to a springtime sport can be a great way to stand out. Plus, what you’ve learned from your athletic experiences can also help you come up with material for your college essay, supplemental writing, and college interviews.  

Continuing in College 

For those who want to keep playing sports in college, the opportunities are endless! Collegiate sports have three levels of play: Division 1, 2, or 3. D1 and D2 schools offer scholarships for students whose skills are high level. Usually, D1 and D2 schools tend to be large public universities and D3 schools tend to be private colleges. Though D3 schools won’t offer you an athletic scholarship, you can always get an academic scholarship. If you plan on going pro, talk to your coach about the recruitment process. You should also be aware that almost every college has a variety of sports at the club and intramural levels, which means you can continue playing what you love on your college campus, without the intensive time commitment of collegiate sports. 

Hopefully, you feel prepared to start up the season with these tips. Get ready for a spring full of self-discovery, dedication and fun with friends. I can’t wait to see you at tryouts! 

Making the most of freshman year

Blake Rozelle ‘20, Pace University

Some students may know exactly what they want to do or have no clue. It’s important freshman year to take the classes necessary to find where you want to head.

Explore different majors

I knew what I wanted to do going into school. I took a lot of general education classes when first coming into school, which only proved to me that I was going for the right major. Other people may find the opposite. Some people go in for a business degree and find that in the first two courses that it’s not for them. Have an open mind for everything and go based on what feels right.

Find a club

Each campus is typically filled with many types of clubs. Find at least one club that interests you as a starting point to find a community to fit into. For example, I began at a club called WPAW, where we do radio, video, and photos. I went there as a freshman and got on the executive board as treasurer. At this point, I’m a senior and president of the organization. I’m glad that I explored clubs as a freshman, so that I could work my way towards what I’m doing now. 

Get to know your department

Just like finding a community through a club, you can also connect with students in the same academic department. You’ll all be taking a lot of the same courses, so it’s good to know everyone’s faces and names.

I started working in my department as a media lab manager. This allowed me to work with the film equipment that I would be using for my projects in the future. I also became very involved in helping events in my department, so I got to meet most of the professors and a lot of people from the department. At this point as a senior, I know most of the students and professors and have been able to film many projects with them because of the connections I’ve made. The more people I’ve met, the more I’ve been able to expand my work and try new things. 

Get to know your professors

Getting to know your professors can be a good opportunity in many different ways. At the end of the day, they may be recommending you for a job in the future. Professors are different than high school teachers. They are typically more open to talk about anything and get to know you quite well.

Some of the professors at Pace have been great mentors for me. I spend a lot of time with them in and outside of class – we eat together sometimes, and they’ve even helped me with my film shoots. They’ve given me great experience and recommendations for the real world after college. 

Don’t be afraid to be open

It may be scary at first when arriving at school. No one knows anyone. Everyone is in a new environment, which is very intimidating. But being yourself will help you find a group that you enjoy being around. A lot of college students try to be someone they are not so they can “fit in” but end up being unhappy with the groups they find. There are all types of people in college, so just be yourself and find the people you like!

Enjoy your time

Lastly, take advantage of all the time you have in college. The time goes very fast once you get into a general routine. Days become weeks and weeks become months. Try to do something different every week to keep it interesting. I’ve found that the more robotic the weeks are, the less I enjoyed them. My favorite moments in college have been the most spontaneous ones. Spend time with new friends. Go on a hike. Go to all the school events. Freshman year is possibly the best year of college, so make sure to take advantage of it.

5 Scholarships for Latino Students

There are resources for everyone – here are some suggestions for scholarships available to Latin students who want to study in the US!

Anhelo Project Dream Scholarship Application

Deadline: Friday, January 31, 2020

Requirements:

  • Be an Illinois resident attending a high school, college, university or vocational training program located within the State of Illinois.
  • Must be enrolled full-time for the Spring 2020/Fall 2020 semester at an accredited college, university or vocational training program located in the State of Illinois.
  • Be in good academic standing with a cumulative GPA minimum of 2.50 on a 4.00 scale.
  • Should demonstrate leadership through community involvement either on and/or off campus.
  • The Anhelo Project Dream Scholarship recipients must commit 20 hours of volunteer time to The Anhelo Project events during the following academic year.
  • Holders of F-1 student visas and international students are not eligible to apply for this scholarship.
  • DACA recipients are eligible to apply due to ineligibility for federal financial assistance.
  • High School Seniors graduating in June of 2020 are eligible to apply with proof of college, university or vocational training program for enrollment in Fall 2020

McDonald’s HACER® National Scholarship

Deadline: February 5, 2020

Requirements:

  • Must be a current high school senior who is eligible to attend a two- or four-year college, university or vocational/technical school.
  • Must be a legal U.S. resident.
  • Must be less than 21 years of age.
  • Must have a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • Must be of Hispanic/Latino heritage.

Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Deadline: February 15, 2020

Requirements:

  • Must be of Hispanic heritage
  • Minimum of 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent) for high school students
  • Minimum of 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent) for undergraduate and graduate students
  • Plan to enroll full-time in an accredited, not-for-profit, four-year university, or graduate school, in the US, for the 2020-2021 academic year
  • US Citizen, Permanent Legal Resident, DACA or Eligible Non-Citizen (as defined by FAFSA)
  • Complete FAFSA or state-based financial aid application (if applicable)

META Foundation Scholarships

Scholarship Application for the 2020-21 School Year will open in late February 2020.

Requirements:

  • Must be applying, accepted or enrolled at an accredited institution of higher education as a full-time undergraduate student pursuing an academic discipline.
  • Students enrolled in community or junior colleges are also eligible to apply provided they intend to enroll in a four-year accredited institution in Fall 2019 and plan to complete a bachelor’s degree.
  • Must have a 3.00 GPA and be in good academic standing.
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident of Hispanic origin
  • Must be graduating (or have graduated) from a high school in Southern California

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Scholarships

Available scholarships will be announced in the spring and open for application in April 2020.

Requirements:

  • Graduating high school seniors beginning a STEM undergraduate career at a community college or 4-year university.
  • Undergraduate students pursuing a degree in STEM at any stage of their undergraduate career. Students must be enrolled full-time at a community college or 4-year university.
  • Students or professionals pursuing technical certificates or graduate-level professional education that increase their professional competencies with select institutions.
  • Graduate students pursuing a master’s or doctoral STEM degree program at an accredited university.

Finding LGBTQ+ Friendly Colleges

Jeremy Caldwell ’18, Tufts University

The college search can be draining. There are so many questions to ask: do they have the major I want? Do I like the location? Is it too big or too small? The good news is, many colleges overlap in what they offer, so there might be multiple right answers for you.

However, for LGBTQ+ students, it’s important to ask a few extra questions. It’s one thing to find the right academic or social fit, but you also need to find a college that has resources to support you, and a student body that supports you, too. This doesn’t have to be intimidating, but it can be challenging if you aren’t out to everyone yet. Don’t worry – we’ll help you figure out the questions to ask and the way to find a positive college experience.

Check the score

Campus Pride Index creates a list of the top LGBTQ+ friendly schools in the country. This can be a great place to start in your college search, but take it with a grain of salt. Their list is a sort of checklist – does the college have clubs for LGBTQ+ students? A support center? These are great resources, but they don’t necessarily account for your entire college experience. So start with checking, but then do your own research to figure out what it would actually be like to attend that school.

What to research

Knowing what to ask can be especially tricky. A few good places to start:Do they have gender-neutral bathrooms?

  • Do they have gender-neutral housing options?
  • Are you allowed to select your name and gender pronouns?
  • Do they have health resources for LGBTQ+ (specifically transgender or gender non-conforming) students?
  • Do they have an LGBTQ+ student center? Is it lumped in with a larger “diversity center” or is it actually tailored to your needs?
  • What clubs are available to LGBTQ+ students? Are there support groups as well as social clubs?

These last two can be really important. Many colleges set up “diversity centers” as a nod to their minority students, but these centers might not be well-funded, or might not have the resources to actually serve all different groups. It’s also important to find groups of students you can rely on for support, not just administrators and adults.

Talk to students

The best way to get answers is to talk with a student. There are a few ways you can do this:

  1. Go on a tour. If you get to pick your own tour guide, try to find a student that works with the LGBTQ+ center. If not, still ask questions. If your tour guide has no idea what life is like for LGBTQ+ students on campus, there might not be a very open LGBTQ+ student life on campus.
  2. Send an email. If the college you’re looking at does have an LGBTQ+ student center, or even a diversity center, they probably have a phone number or email address listed. Feel free to contact them and ask to speak with a current student. This is a great way to get your questions answered by someone who is probably in the same position as you, rather than an employee of the college who will give you simpler, potentially less genuine answer.

This might feel like a lot of work, but it’s a good way to make sure you’ll be comfortable and happy wherever you choose to go to school. College is a matter of fit, and you’re too good to go to a school that won’t support you for who you are. No matter what, don’t be afraid to ask questions and be yourself. You’ve got this.