Seniors deserve some downtime during the summer. Relax. Soak up some sun. Eat potato
chips. But if you follow these five tips this summer, you’ll be the envy of your fellow seniors later this fall when
they’re running to meet deadlines and the only running you’re doing is to
work off all those potato chips (we’re speaking from unfortunate personal potato
chip experience here).
My weekend camping trip in Big Sur was interrupted by a voluntary evacuation due to wildfires. So what was supposed to be a second night in Big Sur became a night in San Luis Obispo, and predictably, an impromptu visit to Cal Poly.
I don’t expect high school students and parents to have the same sick compulsion to visit colleges that we do (medication and therapy don’t help. It’s completely and totally incurable). But I’ve visited several hundred colleges, and not many of them are in a town as safe, quaint and college-friendly as San Luis Obsipo. I think any student or parent, even one who (mistakenly) believes the colleges on the US News Top 10 list are the only ones worth attending, would agree. So the next time you find yourself in a new town, whether you’re vacationing or visiting or voluntarily evacuating, pay a quick visit to a college in the area. There’s a good chance you’ll start to see what we mean when we talk about just how many great colleges there are worth (voluntarily) attending.
For the last four years, we’ve spent some portion of our summers volunteering at College Summit, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping under-resourced students get into college. And nobody here has spent more time and energy helping College Summit kids than Jennifer. So we were exchanging some group high-fives when College Summit was featured in a PBS special on social entrepreneurship and Jennifer’s interview was included. You can find the article, watch the video, and even sign up to volunteer with College Summit here.
Not too many people get really, really excited about college trivia like we do. But those who do certainly fared well in our college trivia contest in which we promised one month’s worth of free groceries to the person who fed us the tastiest morsel of college trivia. And the winner is:
Tim Templeton doesn’t even work in education; maybe he should. He sure does know an awful lot about his alma mater, Cornell University. And Tim edged out the competition in our contest with his submission, "The Brain of Edward Rulloff." Rulloff was a 19th century criminal dubbed the "learned murder" who had a dual personality. A self-taught doctor and lawyer who spoke 28 (no, that’s not a typo) languages, Rulloff was also a thief and a vicious murderer whose victims reportedly included several members of his own family. Today, Rulloff’s unusually large brain, one of the largest ever recorded, is preserved in the psychology department of Cornell University. Now, that’s some good trivia.
What’s this contest all about?
It’s about reminding high school kids that great experiences happen at every college, including at some in Delaware. It’s about celebrating what the US News college rankings don’t consider, like the math majors who created a remote control that changed the scoreboard at the Rose Bowl, the mascots who wear kilts and play bagpipes as they lead the football team onto the field, and the alumnus of the tiny liberal arts college who went on to create the Simpsons. It’s about having a little fun, college(wise) style.
You don’t need to read our blog to know that getting good grades will help you get into college. But here are five tips you might not have thought of, tips that anyone from “A” students to “C” students can use to be more successful in high school.
1. Get to know your high school counselor (and when you do, be nice).
Your high school counselor is not only a resource for you, but can also be your advocate with teachers and colleges. So before you pick your classes, meet with your counselor. If you have a question about college, ask your counselor. And if you happen to have an extra batch of fresh-baked cookies lying around, bring some to your counselor. We’re not saying you should schmooze with insincerity; we’re saying that you should acknowledge, appreciate and benefit from your counselor’s willingness to help you.
We had our first retreat in February (and by "retreat," we don’t mean a military operation in which we withdrew our forces). Our Orange County, Los Angeles and New York offices retreated to a classroom in Irvine for two days to discuss some of the finer points of college counseling. What are some of the finer points? Things like financial aid, crafting appropriate college lists, and improving our process for getting our seniors through applications. And a scavenger hunt.
This photo was taken during the "lunch" portion of day #1, lunch being an especially finer point of college counseling.
We don’t need much to have a good time at Collegewise. Just good friends, good food, and of course, Snoop Dogg* (doesn’t everybody need a little more Snoop in their lives).
The Collegewise 2007 Holiday Party at The House of Blues on the Sunset Strip was a rousing success. A total of 22 Collegewise employees and significant others attended which, as Kevin pointed out, may not seem like a lot of people if you work at Google who, at last count, had roughly 6,845 more employees and who-knows-how-many-more significant others than we have. But Collegewise has experienced our own Google-like meteoric rise since the first holiday party which took place in 2001 with two employees in Kevin’s living room. So our little holiday party was pretty exciting for us.
*Yes, Snoop spells "Dogg" with two Gs.
Lose weight? Stop biting your nails? Quit selling your little brother’s possessions on Ebay? Sure, you can make those resolutions (and your little brother will probably thank you). But they won’t help you get into college. Here are five resolutions that colleges would love to see all future applicants make.
1. Learn what you love.
What’s your favorite subject? Who’s your favorite teacher? What subject would you like to know more about? Students who have answers to those questions are engaged learners. That’s why colleges love high school students who enjoy learning new things both in and out of school. They know it is those students who will ultimately thrive in the college community of learning. So if you have a favorite class, make an effort to participate. If you have a favorite teacher, make the most of that experience. And if you want to learn more about anything from calculus to cooking, take a summer school course. Always be on the lookout for what you would love to learn.
We all know that Duke has some wonderfully crazy basketball fans. There just aren’t many places where students will camp out in tents (in the cold) to get tickets. But as hard as it is for a Duke student to get a ticket to a Blue Devil basketball game, it’s even harder for a high school student to get an acceptance letter from the Duke admissions office.
Sports fans, however, can take heart. Check out rivals.com’s rankings of the 16 schools with the best home-court advantage (based, of course, on the fevered pitch of their fans). Sure, there are some highly selective schools on the list like Duke and Notre Dame. But there are also a lot of great schools where you’ll need to be on the top of your game to get tickets, but needn’t be at the top of your class to get accepted. Check out the pictures of fans at schools like Wisconsin, Illinois, New Mexico, and perennial Collegewise cool school Gonzaga. As their fans would say (scream), Go ‘Zags!