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College Dreams Blog

College Dreams Blog

No matter who you are or how you’ve prepared for college, you’re bound to have a long list of questions. Our student ambassadors had college dreams just like you do and they worked hard to achieve them. Read their stories below and share your own with us on Facebook and Twitter!

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Tanya - photo

The Search for my True Passion

Posted by Tanya

When I first started college, I came in thinking that I wanted to be a nurse. I volunteered at a hospital for a year and a half. After taking a public speaking class, I realized that my passion wasn’t in nursing. I knew I wanted to work with people and I fell in love with the rush you get from public speaking. I used to be terrified of speaking in front of people, and now I am conquering my fear. I am now a communication major and I love my classes. I hope to work for a university after I graduate


Jade - photo

Focus on Classes, Tests, and Extracurriculars

Posted by Jade

Middle schoolers, I know college probably seems a million miles away, but believe me, time flies! The sooner you start thinking about college and what you’re interested in, the easier your choices and big decisions will be later on. High schoolers, not to scare you, but your time is now!

 

Classes—make sure you are taking the right classes that will make you eligible for college, such as the A-G requirements of the CSU and UC. Take as many college preparatory (AP and Honors level) courses offered at your school to remain competitive. Counselors and college advisors are an excellent resource to assist you with academic planning, so use them!

 

Tests—take advantage of any tutorials or workshops for the SAT and ACT. If your school offers the PSAT, take it, as it is very good practice. By the end of your 11th grade summer, you should have taken both standardized tests. That way, depending on your results, you can take them again early in your senior year.

 

Extracurricular Activities—get involved! Most colleges and universities don’t just look at academics but what you’re involved in during high school. Things like community service, sports, clubs, organizations or church.


Marisol - photo

Financial Aid: Free Money for College!

Posted by Marisol

The easiest way to apply for financial aid is by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which determines the grants and scholarships you qualify for. The first time I filled out the FAFSA, I was nervous because the application was very lengthy and can take a while to fill out. And in addition to your personal information, you’ll need your parents’ as well. The good thing is that it saves all your information so if you don’t know the answer to something you can continue it later.

Try to go to FAFSA seminars at your high school or ask a counselor for help on any questions you may have. I remember I went to a seminar that explained what certain questions meant and they even helped me get started on filling out the application. If you need more help you can also call the colleges you plan on attending, or you can even get live web help from the FAFSA site too. Try your best to apply and finish the application before March since the deadline is usually in the first days of March.

Financial aid can be very helpful, and in my case it’s the only reason I was able to go to a CSU without paying for it all myself. I’ve been in school for five years now and each year I got enough financial aid to pay for all of my schooling, including books and housing. So remember, it doesn’t hurt to apply for a FAFSA. Plus, it saves your personal information so the following school year it will be easier and faster to fill it out. So go to www.fafsa.ed.gov and get a head start on applying for free money!


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