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Information about Capital Area Technical College, career training programs, and sample multiple-choice tests. Browse a practical guide to online classes, MOOCs, admissions info, and financial aid. Just be yourself, and work on improving your grades during your final years in high school. The college degree majors with the best starting-salaries after graduation include physical sciences, business administration, and engineering. Public universities are more likely to evaluate applicants based on grades and test scores alone, while private universities tend to be more holistic. It’s optimal to attempt the hardest courses that your high school offers, and the worst thing you can do is to drop a hard course just because you’re receiving a low grade.

Critics charge that US News & World Report intentionally changes its methodology every year so that the rankings will change. About half of colleges use a waiting list, particularly those which are more selective. One survey suggests that 30% of wait-listed students are eventually accepted, so applicants who are wait-listed should contact the admissions office of their top choice by phone, to declare that they will attend if accepted. Many community colleges have agreements with four-year schools, particularly flagship state universities, so that the transfer of credits is handled smoothly.

Test Prep, Sample Practice Tests

Most colleges accept either the SAT or ACT, and have formulas for converting scores into admissions’ criteria. Colleges use these standardized tests because there are substantial differences in curricula, grading, and difficulty among US high schools. One benefit of the ACT test is that it allows the test-taker to select scores to send to specific colleges. The SAT test has a separate vocabulary section while the ACT has a separate science reasoning section. Counselors suggest that students practice taking the test under actual testing conditions, and using a large watch with a sweeping second hand, rather than a digital display which may distract you.

On average, over half of juniors retaking the SAT as a senior saw improvements in their scores. These tests are designed to measure your accumulated knowledge over years of study. Further, Advanced Placement exams are offered in a variety of physical sciences, offering you college credit for honors-level classes that you have taken while still in high school. Test yourself with practice exams online, before visiting the College Board website to register to take your actual AP Tests. If you earn a score of 3 or higher on an AP Exam, you may be able to receive course credits or advanced placement, when you start college.

Guide to College Admissions

High school grades are the single most important factor in gaining admission to the college of your choice. Therefore, maintaining high grades is particularly important for the fall semester of senior year, as well as the winter semester if you’re applying by regular admission, and not seeking early decision. Many colleges pay great attention to a student’s grades throughout their senior year, not limited to academic performance in core courses, but in AP-level or honors courses as well. In fact, an ideal academic record is one of increasingly better grades, in courses of progressive difficulty.

Factors in the college admissions’ process:

1. GPA in AP classes, or honors courses
2. Strength of high school curriculum
3. SAT or ACT scores
4. Overall high school GPA
5. Admissions essay
6. Early decision commitment
7. Your class rank
8. Athletics contributions
9. Teacher recommendations
10. AP test scores
11. Extracurricular activities

Financial Aid Information

The IRS suggests that parents maintain accurate financial statements, including tax forms and business records, for use when applying for student financial aid. Filing taxes early is recommended, but using estimates for FAFSA from previous years is possible provided the correct data is updated later after taxes are filed for the current year.

Federal Direct Student Loans, also known as Direct Loans, are funded by the US Treasury. Private student loans, however, are not guaranteed, and are offered directly to students by a commercial bank, employee credit union, or finance company. Student loans should be seen as ‘the measure of last resort,’ as this entails graduating with substantial debt. Student credit cards may seem like a good short-term solution, but the interest rates are high, and credit cards often carry an annual fee. If you do end up using credit cards to meet some expenses, pay off the outstanding balance in full every month. You can get a credit report online by submitting a student credit card application, whether you are approved or not.

Scholarship Search, Government Grants

The Scholarships.com website rates the relevancy of each scholarship, but FastWeb.com offers a larger scholarship database. While local churches or temples may not have the funding to provide scholarships for all of their congregation, the organization’s headquarters may have student scholarships available. Trade unions may offer scholarships for union members and their dependent children. Average students often ask whether there are any scholarships available to students who don’t have a 4.0 GPA. In fact, there are many scholarships for average students, such as athletic scholarships, music scholarships, and need-based scholarships.

Financial Aid Loan Calulators:

College Cost Projector
Loan Calculator
Compound Interest
Payment Chart Generator
Loan Consolidation Calculator
Stafford Loan vs. PLUS Loans

Government scholarships and grants, combined with private scholarships, only account for a third of total college aid. Loans, earnings, and savings make up the remaining two thirds. In exchange for a service commitment, the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program provides you with money for college while you’re in school. Full ROTC scholarships pay for almost all tuition, fees, and textbook costs for four years of college. Call 1-800-USA-ROTC Army for more information. As they are usually ineligible for federal student loans, international students in the United States can obtain private loans with a cosigner who is a US citizen. Please note that financial aid application deadlines are strictly enforced by the financial aid office. The official FAFSA website is www.fafsa.ed.gov and is free. Copycat websites mimic the FAFSA website, but are deliberately misleading. A wealth of other financial aid forms are now available online.

Degree Program Info Request

To get information about degree programs, please complete this form. You may request free information from just one program, or several. Before making decisions about your future, compare programs carefully. Think about what career is best suited for you, and where you want to study. Request more information now.

Reduce Tuition Expenses via Online Courses

Finishing college a year early reduces your overall tuition bill, while taking extra years to complete your degree compounds tuition expenses, and delays entry into the workforce. To accomplish this end, look for online courses that may be applied to your degree requirements. Although the cost of tuition is rising for most 4-year colleges and universities, community colleges and trade schools remain an affordable option for those looking to earn an associates degree. The average community college student graduates with only a few thousand dollars in debt, compared to bachelors degree graduates. Beyond the cost of college tuition, students will face an array of additional expenses. Taking on work-study or starting an online business may help.

Doing business online is a great option to supplement your income while still a student. By registering a domain name, pointing the name servers to your hosting company, then building an active website in HTML or via a WordPress template, you’re in the game. Similar to magazine page layout, website design includes the fields of graphic design, copywriting, and search engine optimization (SEO). Success is governed by two factors, visitor traffic and online sales conversions. Technical training programs are a low-cost alternative to attending college, and you might end up earning a lot of money as a highly-skilled, technical consultant.

Business Administration

Those students who graduate with technical degrees, especially majoring in computer programming, business administration, and health care will find more job openings. Whether an online business or a real world storefront, owning your own business can be a pathway to success. You’ll need some starting capital to survive your first year in business, typically relying on savings equal to six months of rent. Write a business plan that lists your objective as well as a total of your anticipated start-up costs. Then, double that estimate, and you’ll get an idea of how much money you’d need to have a chance of starting your own business.

Your business plan is a snapshot of your business profile and financial goals. Your company description provides information on what you do, what differentiates your business from others, and the markets your business serves. Before launching your business, it is essential for you to research your business industry, market and competitors. If you need funding, providing financial projections to back up your request is critical. Please visit the Small Business Administration website, to find more information about starting a business.