#CampusChat Q&A with our Back to School Panel of Experts


Last night on #CampusChat we were joined by an amazing group of college prep experts for a Back to School panel. These experts in every field of college prep shared their best tips and advice. We would like to say thank you to all our experts who contributed. We were trending on Twitter!!!

For details on each expert, you can read the post regarding the chat.

Here is the Q&A for last night’s chat.

Question 1 was for college planning expert Chad Dorman @CLDorman84

Q1 What 3 things should be priorities when starting the college planning process? #CampusChat

A1 First off, know yourself! Asking Qs & self-reflection allow you to figure out where you want to go, what you want to study, etc #CampusChat

A1 Do your best in & out of the classroom. Maintain your grades, take all the required testing, & participate in extracurriculars #CampusChat

A1 …you’ll not only make yourself well-rounded for the applications, you’ll be bettering yourself for your future as well! #CampusChat

A1 Be aware of deadlines/timelines. There is a lot to think about but staying organized & setting a schedule is key to the process #CampusChat


Question 2 was for scholarship and first generation expert Ashley Hill @PrepforCollege

Q2 How do first generation students differ from other students who are applying to college? #CampusChat

A2 First gen. students typically lack access to college prep tools. #CampusChat

A2 First gen. students may not have as much exposure to college setting. #CampusChat

A2 First gen. students may be more educated on process than parents. #CampusChat

A2 First gen. students may lack support network to prep for college. #CampusChat


Question 3 was for career guidance expert Lisa Noble @NobleCareerGuru

Q3 How does career choice fit into college planning? #CampusChat

A3 #CampusChat Starting the career discovery process in high school can help you pick a college that supports your career ambitions

A3 #CampusChat College is a big investment, so choose schools with programs and opportunities that help you refine your plans as you go.

A3 #CampusChat You don’t want to switch schools because your school lacks the right majors, faculty or facilities for your new ambitions.

A3 #CampusChat If you want to pursue advertising, you might want a school located in a major media market with professors in the industry.


Question 4 was for test prep expert @AkilBello

Q4 What is your best advice for students who are prepping for standardized tests? #CampusChat

A4 The best approach for anyone getting ready to take the #SAT or #ACT is to START EARLY! #CampusChat

A4 Don’t assume that great performance in school or on a different test will translate #CampusChat

A4 Take a practice test (early) to find out where you are. Research score ranges (not averages) of schools you’re interested in. #CampusChat

A4 Focus on and prep for either the #SAT #newSAT or #ACT as your primary and then if necessary try the other #CampusChat


Question 5 was for financial aid expert @JodiOkun

Q5 What 3 things should families understand about college finance before applying for financial aid? #CampusChat

A5 Parents and students need to use a Net Price Calculator to understand the cost of college and financial aid available #CampusChat

A5 Evaluate funds available to pay for college! This could be a combination of financial aid, personal savings and loans #CampusChat

A5 Have an honest money talk. Be transparent about what you can/cannot afford & create college list reflecting financial fit #CampusChat

A5 Going to college is either a 2-year or 4-year plan. Create your college budget accordingly! #CollegeCash


Question 6 was for scholarship expert Monica Matthews @AidScholarship

Q6 What are 3 tips that will help parents & students improve their scholarship searches and win more $$$? #CampusChat

A6  Parents & students need to start as early as possible to find & apply for college scholarships #CampusChat

A6  Never assume a student won’t qualify for college scholarships.  Read all guidelines carefully. #CampusChat

A6  The essay is the heart of the scholarship app.  Start with a hook, answer the Q & tell a true story #CampusChat


Question 7 was for college essay expert Ethan Sawyer @collegeessayguy

Q7 What are the key writing skills necessary for students to produce an exceptional college essay? #CampusChat

A7 #1: I believe vulnerability is key in a college essay. Show me the insides of your brain and heart. #CampusChat

A7 #2: A great college essay also makes important and interesting connections. This helps do that: http://goo.gl/huWWps #CampusChat

A7 #3: Craft is also key. Here are Four Qualities of an Amazing College Essay: http://goo.gl/KEwyc1 #CampusChat

A7 #4: Finally, before you submit, check if your essay has answered “so what?” And not just a couple times, but 5-6 times #Campus Chat


Question 8 was for college visit expert Kelly Queijo @zkellyq (founder of Smart College Visit and #CampusChat)

Q8 How can college visits be used to help make the final college choice #CampusChat

A8 Web, video, & social media can only do so much; visit campus if you can to see first-hand what the college is like #campuschat

A8 Campus visits are the best way to get your Qs answered. These guides can help! http://bit.ly/colvisit #campuschat

A8 Many students say the campus visit is the game-changer when it comes to knowing where to apply or attend #campuschat

A8 Find out what students attending that college think. “Ask the Natives” these questions http://bit.ly/b5qUuH #campuchat


Question 9 was for the entire panel

Q9 What is your best advice for college bound students? #CampusChat

A9 Don’t wait until senior year to think about college. Start preparing early, visit colleges, find out what makes you happy #campuschat (via @zkellyq)

A9  Early planning is key!  Waiting until the last min produces rushed & unimpressive scholarship apps #CampusChat (via @AidScholarship)

A9 #CampusChat Take personality and vocational tests on O*NET to discover yourself. Visit Career Services early and often! (via @noblecareerguru)

A9 Start mapping out a plan (and resources) early! #CampusChat (via @PrepforCollege)

A9 Start early. research for yourself. Don’t believe the hype #CampusChat (via @AkilBello)

A9 Don’t blink. Dream big. And read this post on #collegefreshmanadvice t.co/uU9to8ohfb this year’s will be posted soon #CampusChat (via @CLDorman84)


Question 10 was for the entire panel

Q10 What is your best advice for parents of college bound students? #CampusChat

A10 Involve teens early college readiness and let them drive the college search process. #campuschat (via @zkellyq)

A10  Partner w/your student in the scholarship process. This reduces stress & increases apps submitted #CampusChat (via @AidScholarship)

A10 You will need to outsource career advice to someone else. Your kids won’t want to hear it from you. Mine don’t! #CampusChat (via @noblecareerguru)

A10 I cannot stress enough – have a transparent money talk with student to understand cost of college #CampusChat (via @JokiOkun)

A10 Understand your role – guide, but don’t dictate the process. #CampusChat (via @PrepforCollege)

A10 Parents need to be project manager. hold kids accountable. require to bring you info but let kid do the work #CampusChat (via @AkilBello)

For a detailed report of the chat and to read the entire transcript, click here.