Ten Ways to Get Ready for College

I’m taking some time off from my college blog this week and a friend, Ruth McKinnie Braun, who is the creator of the great website: SuchASmartMom.com offered to pitch in and provide this post. Hope you enjoy it…..

Summer is the perfect time for low-key college planning. Setting aside time for exploring college options without the pressure of homework, tests and term papers is a smart use of your time.

An easy way to research during the summer months in on the Internet. I’ve spent hours scouring Web sites and I’m here to tell you I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly. What I’m sharing with you are some of the better online college resources:

1. Check out the  SAT Question of the Day through the College Board. This is a fun way to prepare for the SAT. Find “The Official SAT Question of the Day” and click on the RSS button to have a question sent to you every day.

2. Students and parents will find a ton of useful information on Collegeboard.com, including planning guides for sophomores, juniors and seniors, financial aid, scholarship searches and college searches.

3. Petersons.com and PrincetonReview.com are also top-notch and loaded with information.

4. Unigo.com, which includes videos and reviews of colleges by students attending the schools, is another useful resource. An article that I really like is Finding the Perfect Fit: A College Sizing Guide.

5. If you are interested in a California school, be sure to visit CaliforniaColleges.edu. It has a wealth of information about public and private colleges in the Golden State.

6. Scholarships.com is hands down the best site for scholarship information. Some of the other sites I’ve included above also have scholarship sections.

7. To learn about financial aid and student loans, Student Aid on the Web and Finaid.org are great places to start.

8. The National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator has great information about graduation rates, freshman student retention rates, admittance rates and financial aid awards for colleges. Simply type in the name of a school near the top of the page in the section aptly labeled Name of School.

9. For pure enjoyment, you might want to take a look at U.S. News & World Reports college rankings. Bear in mind that this extensive listings has its detractors.

10. Kiplinger magazine’s list of Top 100 public colleges is also worth a look. The financial magazine bases its rankings on a combination of outstanding academic quality and an affordable price tag.

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