Q&A: The “Best of the Best” from #CampusChat

best of the best

What makes the Best of the Best from #CampusChat?


Last night we shared some “best of the best” tweets from past #CampusChat guests. Our guests have made #CampusChat one of the longest running higher-ed chats on Twitter. Last night’s Q&A demonstrates the reason for our success!

Scholarship Tips Galore

Q1.  What are your 3 very best college scholarship tips? #CampusChat

A1  Print out the guidelines & read them over several times, check off materials as they are gathered & included. #CampusChat

A1  Never assume a student will not qualify for scholarships.  High income?  Apply for ones w/o financial need requirements. #CampusChat

A1  Search EVERYWHERE for scholarships (not just the net!) & have friends/family help you.  More eyes find more scholarships! #CampusChat

Understanding the new SAT and ACT

Q2 How will these changes affect test prep in general? #CampusChat

A2 The changes will impact test prep and students the say way as the Jets getting a new quarterback does…not much #campuschat

A2 The changes are more an issue for adults than for kids. For most kids the “new” test will be the only test they know. #CampusChat

A2 Anything that can be tested can be prepped for, so they’ll be no real changes in prep. #CampusChat

A2 Changes always cause some hiccups for those slow to adapt, libraries or schools with old books might be a problem.#CampusChat

A2 Other than residual old materials messing up some students prep, I don’t think that changes will have much impact. #CampusChat

A2 I wrote a blog about The no-newer-than-any-other-test-you’ve-never-taken SAT http://akilbello.com/?p=262#campusChat


College Rankings

Q3 How can parents help their students use college rankings? #CampusChat

A3 Rankings are a game. Played by colleges to get more apps and by mags to get more readers. Period.#campuschat

A3 Just as students need to know that they are more than numbers – GPA, SAT, shoe size – colleges are more than rankings. #campuschat

A3 Think outside the rankings. Explore all options. Consider colleges that may not be on your radar – or any list.#campuschat

A3 On the positive, rankings of, say, ‘best theater program,’ ‘best dining hall food,’ though subjective, may hold sway. #campuschat

A3 Rankings may give you a feel for what a school wants you to believe it is “best” in or at. Again, grain of salt. #campuschat

A3 At best (there’s that word again), rankings are a guide, not the Gospel! #campuschat


The Value of a Liberal Arts Education

Q4 What should parents know about the value of a liberal arts education?  #CampusChat

A4 It is the most complete education! It prepares a student for the job market and for life! #CampusChat

A4 You will be amazed at how your student has changed – for the better! – when she or he makes their first trip home! #CampusChat

A4 If you are interested in learning more about the value of the #liberalarts, follow @SmartColleges. They are great! #CampusChat


The College Essay

Q5 What makes a great college essay? #CampusChat 

A5 Quality #1: The story is unusual in either content, structure or both. #CampusChat

A5 #2. The essay needs a “wow” moment. #3. The ending should be both surprising and inevitable.#CampusChat

A5 #4. The ending makes the reader do a little bit of work. #CampusChat

A5 Note that these aren’t my tips for ALL essays, just common qualities I’ve seen in amazing essays. #CampusChat

A5 Here are Four Qualities of an Amazing College Essay: http://tinyurl.com/ozano3o #CampusChat


Social media and college prep

Q6 How may students best use their social media for college prep

A6 Proactively engage with colleges on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn so they can get to know you thru social media

A6 Photos of students having fun holding red solo cups will likely be tolerated by most colleges…but don’t overdo it

A6 Becoming totally transparent on social media is liberating. Hiding or using an alias will raise red flags


Career choice

Q7 How does career choice fit into college planning? #CampusChat

A7 #CampusChat Starting the career discovery process in high school can help you pick a college that supports your career ambitions

A7 #CampusChat College is a big investment, so choose schools with programs and opportunities that help you refine your plans as you go.

A7 #CampusChat You don’t want to switch schools because your school lacks the right majors, faculty or facilities for your new ambitions.

A7 #CampusChat If you want to pursue advertising, you might want a school located in a major media market with professors in the industry.


Financial Aid

Q8 What 3 things should families understand about college finance before applying for financial aid? #CampusChat

A8 Parents and students need to use a Net Price Calculator to understand the cost of college and financial aid available #CampusChat

A8 Evaluate funds available to pay for college! This could be a combination of financial aid, personal savings and loans #CampusChat

A8 Have an honest money talk. Be transparent about what you can/cannot afford & create college list reflecting financial fit #CampusChat

A8 Going to college is either a 2-year or 4-year plan. Create your college budget accordingly! #CollegeCash


College visits

Q9 How can college visits be used to help make the final college choice #CampusChat

A9 Web, video, & social media can only do so much; visit campus if you can to see first-hand what the college is like #campuschat

A9 Campus visits are the best way to get your Qs answered. These guides can help! http://bit.ly/colvisit #campuschat

A9 Many students say the campus visit is the game-changer when it comes to knowing where to apply or attend #campuschat

A9 Find out what students attending that college think. “Ask the Natives” these questions http://bit.ly/b5qUuH #campuchat


Parenting a college-bound senior

Q10 What are the dos and don’ts of parenting a college-bound senior? #CampusChat

A10 DO help them tune out the buzz/chatter/pressure from the world around them. Stay calm! #CampusChat

A10 DON’T fill out the Common App or write essays for them. DO help with deadlines, etc. #CampusChat

A10 DO read the essay if they ask. Tips for helping them edit: http://tiny.cc/rbb9yx #CampusChat

A10 DON’T ask their friends where they are applying. DO value/show interest in the lives they’re living now. #CampusChat

For more great content from past guests, follow these links:

Scholarship Tips Galore
Understanding the new SAT and ACT
College Rankings
The Value of a Liberal Arts Education
The College Essay
Social media and college prep
Career choice
Financial Aid
College visits
Parenting a college-bound senior

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