Great Oak High School Senior Megan Wilkie has been accepted to Loyola Marymount, UCR, and University of New Mexico, where she has received a full ride. As Secretary for Assisteens, Megan coordinates events for needy youth and works in the Assistance League Thrift Store. She also works with young girls as part of the Girl Scouts of America. Megan is Vice President of the Math Club and President of the Medical Club, and was invited to participate in the Envision program where she learned basic first aid and medical skills. She is Captain of the dance team and won 1st place at the Prime Time Regional Dance Competition. Megan has chosen to attend University of New Mexico.
Between studying, your social life, a part time job, and extra-curricular activities, you have enough on your plate. That’s why many kids your age slip into some not-so-healthy habits. Maybe you’re eating a little too much junk food, spending too much time watching TV, or you find yourself pulling all-nighters way too often. These habits don’t seem like a big deal now, but at some point they will begin to harm your health. Not to mention, you want to head off to college with the best possible chances of success.
The good news is that it only takes about two weeks to form new habits. If you can make it two weeks with a new practice, it becomes part of your regular routine. Check out this list of healthy habits, and work on one or two at a time (so you don’t overload yourself with too much change all at once).
- Regain control of your diet. Each time you put something in your mouth, you’re making a choice. Choose wisely, and within a few weeks you’ll be feeling healthier.
- Eat cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, arugula, etc) at least three times per week.
- Eat five servings of fruits or vegetables every day.
- Walk at least 10,000 steps per day.
- Choose activities that provide exercise, that you also enjoy.
- Spend time with those who have similar goals. Healthy friendships encourage healthy habits.
- Avoid known toxins, such as tobacco, alcohol, BPA (in plastics), formaldehyde, and so on. Get in the habit of reading ingredient labels and questioning everything before using it or putting it in your body.
- Take a multivitamin.
- Sleep 8 to 9 hours each night.
- Brush and floss your teeth twice per day.
- Manage stress. Find something that works for you (yoga, meditation, journaling, etc) and do it at least once per day.
- Protect your ears. Use earplugs if you’re around loud noises, and keep ear buds at less than 70 percent of max volume when using them.
- Identify mentors who care about your success, and talk to them regularly.
- Share health concerns with your parents, and schedule regular checkups with your doctor.
- Wear a helmet when cycling, rollerblading, snowboarding, etc.
- Don’t text while driving.
- Set aside a dedicated study time each night, rather than letting your work pile up.
These are just some of the healthy habits that we should all practice on a regular basis. If you have specific concerns not listed here, you know what you need to do! Remember, the first few weeks will be tough, but after that point new habits become part of your routine. Start addressing these things now, and you’ll go off to college healthier, more confident, and well prepared to succeed.
We wanted to give a shout out to one of our 2012 high school graduates, Ian Shaw. At Great Oak High School, he was involved in Science Olympiad, the Math Club, basketball, and the Young Conservatives Club. He became an Eagle Scout in his freshman year of high school, and was ranked #2 in his graduating class.
In the spring of his senior year in high school, we had the pleasure of hearing his scholarship essay about what the United States Constitution meant to him. With this very moving patriotic essay, he won the Temecula Valley Federation of Republican Women’s Charlotte Mousel scholarship, and went on to win at the County and Southern Division level.
It was no surprise that Ian decided to attend the United States Naval Academy where he will be graduating and commissioned next month. He will continue his education at Stanford pursuing his Master’s of Mathematical and Computational Engineering. We look forward to seeing how Ian’s bright future unfolds.
If you’re a parent of a high school student, you probably dream of your child someday earning a college education. But college isn’t what it used to be; a lot of things have changed since you went to school! Here is what you should know about recent and emerging trends in higher education.
Prices are rising. The average cost of a college education for the 2015/2016 school year increased about 3 percent over the previous year, up to $24,061 for public in-state schools, $38,855 for public out-of-state schools, and $47,831 for private colleges.
Graduates carry more debt than ever. Seven out of ten 2014 graduates carried student loan debt, with the average amount totaling $28,950 per person. Student loan debt continues to grow each year, and is the largest category of American consumer debt.
New repayment plans are available. With all of that debt weighing down college graduates, the federal government has instituted the REPAYE (Revised Pay As You Earn) plan for federal student loans. All federal student loan borrowers are eligible for the new program, regardless of when they signed their loans. Monthly loan payments are capped at 10 percent of discretionary income, with remaining debt forgiven after 20 years of on-time payments.
Calculations for federal student aid have changed. When a student applies for federal financial aid, his or her parents’ income and resources are included in the formula to calculate an award amount. In the past, the asset protection allowance allowed parents to shield a certain amount of their non-retirement assets from being included in the formula (resulting in larger aid packages for students). However, the asset protection allowance has been steadily lowered over recent years, meaning families must pick up more of the tuition bill.
The FAFSA timeline is more efficient. Speaking of federal financial aid, the government has decided upon a new timeline for processing FAFSA applications. Beginning this year, you can now file your FAFSA for the following school year on October 1, rather than waiting until January 1 of 2017. This change was designed to help families access financial aid information earlier in the college application process, so that more timely decisions can be made.
Tax credits can help. The American Opportunity Tax Credit was considered on a year-to-year basis in the past, and often at risk due to budget cuts. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 made this tax credit permanent, helping families to offset the cost of college tuition.
Remember that we have several ways of assisting high school students and even graduate students with many aspects of the college admissions process. Call us to schedule an appointment if you have any questions.
Many high school students participate in athletics, and a number of these athletes would seriously like to continue playing the sport they love at the college level. However, getting an athletic scholarship is not an easy thing to accomplish.
If you are a high school athlete and are thinking about pursuing a sport at the next level, here are a few tips to consider:
- You should target a college that is the best fit for you academically first, athletics second
Statistics show that less than 30% of students who begin playing a team sport at the college level are still playing that sport their senior year. And, if you are thinking about becoming a professional athlete, remember that less than 2% of college athletes actually turn pro. Your main focus should be on going to a college that will propel you into a great career or get you into graduate school. If you can find the college that you love academically and you can also participate in sports, go for it, but remember that the main reason you are going to college is to get a college education.
- If you are talented, you need to market yourself
Unless you are an elite athlete, you are going to need to do a lot of work on your own. You should proactively contact coaches to get yourself noticed. Go to the college website for each college you are interested in and email the coach and fill out the prospective athlete questionnaire that is available on most sites. Then, follow-up with a phone call and see if the coach would like a video of you in action.
- Know the recruiting rules
Rules on playing a sport at the college level are strict and you must meet a variety of requirements to be eligible. Go to the NCAA Clearing House website and research the information to make sure you are meeting all of the requirements needed.
- Be involved in travel teams, showcases, and college-based sports camps
Being highly visible in front of college coaches is an excellent way to show them you exist. Yes, it will cost extra money, but the advantages are huge.
- Don’t forget about Division III (D3) colleges
A lot of student-athletes and their families often overlook D3 colleges. Although NCAA rules prohibit D3 colleges from awarding athletic scholarships, many athletes who attend a D3 college can receive merit-based aid based on your academics. Do some research about the D3 colleges in your state or city, contact the coach of your sport, and visit the college website and complete the prospective athlete survey.
At Advanced College Solutions, Inc., we offer a wide variety of programs that will prepare you for the college admissions process. Please give us a call and set up an appointment so we can get you started on your way to the next challenge in your academic journey.
The City of Temecula will be hosting its annual College and Vocational Invitational Fair this Saturday, September 26 from 10:00am – 2:00pm at the Promenade Mall in Temecula.
This event is an opportunity to allow current high school students to find out information about a variety of post-high school educational options. This year’s Invitational will attract almost 200 colleges, universities, vocational schools, military institutions, military branches, and educational programs.
The purpose of this annual event is to bring together a diverse array of higher education opportunities that will give high school students the chance to explore the different avenues available to them locally and nationally.
There will be hundreds of booths set up throughout the upper floor of the Promenade Mall. Students can talk to representatives and acquire valuable information on the colleges and future educational possibilities they might be interested in.
Representatives will have information about their colleges and programs so its a great idea to come to the Invitational prepared with questions that pertain to what you want out of a college or program.
Many of the presenters will have postcards for you to fill out so the college or program can send you valuable information that will help you decide on what college or program you want to apply or pursue after you graduate from high school.
Here is a brief list of some of the colleges and universities that are scheduled to be in attendance:
- University of California colleges
UC Berkeley; UC Davis; UC Irvine; UCLA; UC Merced; UC Riverside; UC San Diego; UC Santa Barbara; UC Santa Cruz
- California State Universities
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; Chico St.; Sacramento St.; Fullerton St.; San Marcos; Stanislaus; Humboldt St.; Sonoma St.
- Religious-based Universities
Azusa Pacific; Biola College; Cal Baptist; San Diego Christian College; Point Loma Nazarene University
- High-ranking Universities
Stanford; Columbia; Cornell; Princeton
In addition, many colleges throughout the United States will have representatives, as well as vocational colleges such as The Art Institutes and FIDM.
Advanced College Solutions, Inc. will also be in attendance so please stop by our booth and talk to our representative about the programs we offer to get you prepared for the college application process!
For college-bound student-athletes who are planning on playing college sports, there is an important process to consider to make sure you are doing what needs to be done to be eligible once you get accepted into college.
The following is a list for you to consider:
- What level of competition are you aspiring to?
Make sure you are aware of the difference between Division 1, Division 2, Division 3, and NAIA rules and requirements.
- Consider attending summer sports camps at a college of interest
Not only can you meet potential future coaches, but you can get a good feel for the campus while you are participating in a summer camp.
- Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center
If you are seriously thinking about playing Division 1 or 2 sports, you will need to register with this organization.
- Send letters of interest to colleges you are thinking about attending
During your sophomore or junior year in high school, send a letter to the coach explaining your interest in attending that college and playing sports there.
- Create and keep a list of contacts with college coaches
Have a special notebook where you keep all of the details, emails, letters, and notes of meetings you have with each college and coach.
- Prepare an athletic/academic resume and video
Create a resume that shows not only your athletic accomplishments, but your academic achievements as well. In addition, upload videos of your athletic performances for the coaches to have access to.
When you talk to a college coach, be upfront with him or her so you know where you stand. Ask them if they are recruiting you, if you fit the student profile they are looking for, and ask them if they believe you will be admitted to the university based on your academic record.
In addition, you will want to know other aspects about the college where you want to play athletics.
- Find out the graduation rate of student-athletes at each college you are interested in
- Find out what percentage of the student population is made up of student-athletes
- Since you will be spending a large amount of time with this coach, make sure you feel a special rapport with him or her
At Advanced College Solutions, Inc., we offer a wide variety of programs that will prepare you for the college admissions process. Please give us a call and set up an appointment so we can discuss your college plans.
Patrick Bowlin, a former client of ours has recently received great success and recognition for his “coffee cup” solution!
Check out all of the details and read the full article here:
High school students planning on attending a four-year university will need to take either one or both of the college entrance exams, the ACT or the SAT.
Making sure that you are ultimately prepared can be is an important factor in being successful on these high stakes exams.
With that said, here are some tips you can look at before and during the big tests.
Before you take the ACT or SAT:
- Spend time working through standardized test practice items for several weeks before your scheduled test date
- Make sure you know how the test is scored; find out if there is a scoring penalty for wrong answers so you know whether you should guess or not at questions you aren’t sure about
- Get a good night’s sleep before your scheduled test date
- On the morning of the test, eat a healthy, protein-rich breakfast
- Arrive early so you aren’t stressed about getting to the testing facility late
- Try to relax your mind before the test begins; sit in your car and listen to your favorite music and try to clear your head
During the test, consider these tips:
- Read ALL of the instructions carefully so you completely understand what is expected from you
- Read EVERY question carefully and pay attention to all details
- Keep track of the time in relation to each section you are taking
- Try not to become distracted by other test takers
- If you encounter a difficult question, don’t spend too much time on it; move on and if you have time, come back to it
- Go with your first intuition on the questions unless you are 100% sure you need to change it
- Remember that there might be three or four consecutive answers that are “C.” Don’t fall into the trap of looking for possible patterns on the test
- When you think you are finished, if you have time, go back through the test carefully to make sure you haven’t overlooked any questions
At Advanced College Solutions, Inc., we offer many programs that can help you study and become prepared for the ACT and SAT. Please give us a call and set up an appointment and we can help you out!
Many high school student-athletes have aspirations to continue playing sports at the college level. If you are one of those student-athletes, it is important to know that you will need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center so you will be eligible to play at the Division I level.
In addition, you must meet specific criteria in high school to be eligible to play at the college level your freshman year.
This is known as a full-qualifier, which means you will be eligible for competition, eligible to receive a scholarship, and be eligible to practice your freshman year.
In order to be eligible, you will need to complete 16 courses in high school in the following areas:
- Four years of English
- Three years of math at the Algebra I level or higher
- Two years of natural or physical science (one lab if offered at any high school attended)
- Two years of social science
- One year of additional English, math or natural/physical science
- Four years of additional classes from the areas above or foreign language, philosophy, or comparative religion
From these 16 high school courses, you will also need to have a minimum grade point average of a 2.300
In addition to meeting these course requirements and GPA, you will have to graduate from high school and meet a minimum score on the ACT or SAT college entrance exams. For the SAT, only the critical reading and math score will count. There is a “sliding scale” to meet the eligibility requirements, which means the higher your GPA is, the lower you can score on the ACT or SAT.
Another requirement to be a full-qualifier is that you must complete 10 core courses before your senior year in high school. Out of these 10 courses, seven must be in the areas of English, math, or science.
Besides a full-qualifier, the NCAA also has two other categories: Academic Redshirt and non qualifier. If you are going to be an Academic Redshirt, it means you can receive a scholarship and practice but will play on the team your freshman year. A non qualifier means that even though you are on the team, you can’t receive a scholarship and will not practice or compete your freshman year.
If you are a high school student-athlete and have any questions, please give us a call and we can set up an appointment to make sure you are on track to be eligible for college athletics.