IECA Conference 2013- New Friends

We spent November 13-16 in San Diego, CA for a conference of Independent Educational Consultants, hosted by the IECA. It was a great opportunity for us to learn new things (everything from what the Admissions counselors at local colleges are looking for in the applications from transfer students, to building and growing our business through seminars and many other topics in between!) AND a way for us to meet new people who are successfully building or have built their own businesses as IEC’s. Here is a picture of Kate and one of our new friends! 

This is Nicole Campbell from AIM Educational Services.  

Her company specializes in SAT / ACT / SSAT / GRE / GMAT Prep as well as College and
Grad School Placement.
Her website is www.aimeduservices.com
You can also find AIM on Instagram @aimeduservices or Facebook at www.facebook.com/aimcollegeplacement

AIM Educational Services is based in Kingston, Jamaica but serves students all over the
Caribbean. 

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5 Things You Might Know About Claremont McKenna College….and 5 Things You Might Not!

If you are a junior in high school right now, it’s definitely time to start thinking about your college visits – a perfect time to see what a school you might be considering is really like without solely relying on their website or brochure.  With all of the colleges out there, how do you begin to narrow your college search?  Check back with our blog frequently (or better yet-sign up below to get our blog sent straight to your email), as we will be posting things we have observed on our most recent college visits.

Today, the KaMi Spotlight is on Claremont McKenna College (CMC).

5 Things You Might Know:

• Claremont McKenna College, one of the 5 Claremont Colleges, is a private Liberal Studies college of approximately 1,300 students.

• Cost to attend with room and board is approximately $60,000 a year, but CMC meets 100% of demonstrated financial need.  [Check out the FAFSA 4caster at https://fafsa.ed.gov/ to determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and to determine your own financial need.]

• A Division 3 school with 21 sports (combined with Harvey Mudd and Scripps College and known as Claremont-Mudd-Scripps CMS)

• About 95% of the students live on campus.

• CMC shares a Health Center, Library, and Campus Safety System with the 4 other Claremont colleges, the 2 Claremont Graduate Universities, and the Claremont University Consortium.

5 Things You Might Not Know:

•The Kravis Center holds 5 research institutes- providing hands-on work experience to students.

• If you were to poll the students, you would probably find that CMC is the most politically balanced of the colleges. (Pitzer is probably the most Liberal.)

•The Athenaeum frequently hosts guest speakers during lunch and dinner time.  Parents are even welcome to attend if there is space available.

• The residential halls have lounge areas and laundry rooms; rooms are cleaned every 2 weeks.

• There are 7 dining halls amongst the Claremont Colleges; your meal plan allows you to eat at any school!

Claremont McKenna college has a very small-college feel, with big-college amenities and opportunities.

Inside the Athenaeum.

CMS (Claremont-Mudd-Scripps) Athletics.

“Ponding” (getting thrown into a pond) is a tradition at CMC that goes way back! Once used to celebrate engagements, it’s now used for birthdays.

One of the biggest, grassy quads that we have seen!

This is the view you are met with to start your tour! The cube in the picture is a study center, open 24 hours.

5 Things You Might Know About Azusa Pacific University…and 5 Things You Might Not!

If you are a junior in high school right now, it’s definitely time to start thinking about your college visits – a perfect time to see what a school you might be considering is really like without solely relying on their website or brochure.  With all of the colleges out there, how do you begin to narrow your college search?  Check back with our blog frequently (or better yet-sign up below to get our blog sent straight to your email), as we will be posting things we have observed on our most recent college visits.

Today, the KaMi Spotlight is on Azusa Pacific University (APU).   IMG_1840

5 Things You Might Know:

• APU is a small, private Christian college divided into a West and East  campus in Azusa, CA. The average class size is 19 students.

• Cost to attend with room and board is approximately $40,000 a year.

• Enrollment for 2012-2013 was around 5,500 undergrad students and approximately 10,000 total students.

• Will be in its 3rd year of transitioning to NCAA Div.2, with full membership anticipated for 2014-2015. (7 men’s sports and 10 women’s.)

• The second largest Christian University in the U.S., 1st largest on the West Coast.

5 Things You Might Not Know About APU:

•Approximately 2,300 students have an on-campus job, working 10-15 hours a week, around their class schedule.

• A trolley runs every 7 minutes, taking you back and forth between the East Campus and the West.

•Chapel is required 3x a week, along with 18 units of Biblical Studies.

• When you arrive at APU you will be given a Strengths Assessment that will help you in choosing a major (or help in confirming your choice- based on your results.)

• There is a greenhouse on the roof of the Segerstrom Science building.  A BBQ is held monthly on the patio for the Science professors and students.

Azusa Pacific focuses on its 4 cornerstones of Christ, Scholarship, Service, and Community.  It offers many opportunities to develop oneself in these ways.  APU also is very clear on its beliefs: make sure to do your research at http://www.apu.edu/about/believe/ to decide if APU might be the right fit for you!

Walking through the Felix Event Center

A classroom at APU.

Turtles can be found in the courtyard of the Segerstrom Science Center.

One of the 4 dorms on campus.

This is an inside, hangout area in one of the dorms.

An example of a dorm room on campus.

A sneak peek of a class in session!

The Rose Garden is located in the only original building remaining on campus.

PSAT? SAT? Subject Tests? ACT? Which one do I take and Why? -Part 1

Colleges/Universities require some sort of entrance exam that measures the aptitude and/or knowledge of the incoming student. You have the option of taking the PSAT/NMSQT, SAT, SAT Subject Tests, and the ACT. How do these tests compare?  Which tests should you take?  To answer those questions you will need a basic understanding of the tests themselves.

Let’s start off with the first one, PSAT/NMSQT:

It is known as the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), and it is a program co-sponsored by College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).

One of the great things about this exam is that it provides firsthand practice for the SAT®. There is even an opportunity to enter the NMSC scholarship programs, which is always a plus! The PSAT/NMSQT measures (from one of our favorite websites–collegeboard.com):

  • Critical reading skills: Two 25-minute critical reading sections = 48 questions
    • 13 Sentence completions
    • 35 Critical reading questions
  • Math problem-solving skills: Two 25-minute math sections = 38 questions
    • 28 multiple-choice math questions
    • 10 Student-produced responses or grid-ins
    • Students are advised to bring a calculator with which they are comfortable. Students should have basic knowledge of 4 math categories:
      • Numbers and Operation
      • Algebra and Functions (but not 3rd year level math that may appear on the new SAT)
      • Geometry and Measurement
      • Data Analysis, Statistics and Probability
  • Writing skills: One 30-minute writing section = 39 questions
    • 14 Identifying sentence errors
    • 20 Improving sentences
    • 5 Improving paragraph questions

    These multiple-choice questions on writing skills measure a student’s ability to express ideas effectively in standard-written English, to recognize faults in usage and structure, and to use language with sensitivity to meaning.

  • Each of these sections are measured on a scale between 20-80.

By taking the PSAT/NMSQT, you are given feedback about your strengths and weaknesses on skills necessary for academic success. In addition, you are able to see how you perform on an admissions test in comparison to those who are also applying to college. Another benefit is that you can qualify for scholarships from NMSC (grade 11) based on your scores. Lastly, this exam helps prepare for the SAT. By getting a glimpse of what will be tested and how it’s formatted, you can become familiar with the kinds of questions and the exact directions you will see on the SAT. However, be aware though that the time required to take the PSAT and SAT differ quite a bit, 2-3 hours versus 4–5 hours respectively.

This exam is usually administered in the Fall and on the average usually costs around $14. Certain fees may be added to cover administration fees. Students need to contact their counselor to sign up for the exam. The PSAT/NMSQT can be taken as early as your freshman year of high school and can be taken each year through your junior year. However, it is your junior year scores that will allow you to qualify as a National Merit Scholar during your senior year.

Taking the PSAT/NMSQT definitely has its benefits. And honestly, there really are no disadvantages in taking this test. If you have any questions or want more clarification of this exam, check out the following site:

psat nmsqt

Lastly, be sure to check back with us again because we will cover the logistics behind the SAT next.

5 Things You Might Know About Chapman University…….and 5 Things You Might Not!

If you are a junior in high school right now, it’s definitely time to start thinking about your college visits – a perfect time to see what a school you might be considering is really like without solely relying on their website or brochure.  With all of the colleges out there, how do you begin to narrow your college search?  Check back with our blog frequently (or better yet-sign up below to get our blog sent straight to your email), as we will be posting things we have observed on our most recent college visits.

Today, the KaMi Spotlight is on Chapman University, located in Orange, CA.

5 Things You Might Know:

• Chapman is a small, private college nestled right in the middle of a quaint residential area.  Many of the houses surrounding the campus are owned by the University, and are home to Professors and their families.

• Cost to attend with room and board is approximately $60,000 a year.

• Enrollment for 2012-2013 was around 5,000 undergrad students and approximately 7,000 total students.

• A NCAA Division 3 school in the SCIA Conference consisting of 12 Southern California private schools.

• The average class size is 20-25 students, and the most popular programs are Business, Communications, Psychology, and Film Production.

5 Things You Might Not Know About Chapman:

•The 4-story Library is actually 9 libraries in one, with 50 study rooms, and a Holocaust Memorial Library on the top floor.

• About 33% of the students participate in Greek Life, with 16 different Greek organizations, but there are no Greek houses on campus.

•Chapman displays the 2nd largest piece of the Berlin Wall (owned by an American university) in Liberty Plaza.

• Included in the cost of tuition is Interterm, an opportunity to take a course or study abroad during the month of January (between semesters).  If you participate in Interterm all 4 years this equals a “free”, extra semester of college, and gives you a chance to experiment with classes outside of your major.

• 92% of freshmen live on campus, usually 3 to a room, and there is a gym and an outdoor pool just for students living in the dorms.

Chapman is a beautiful school filled with opportunities for advancement, education, and real world experience.  We enjoyed our tour (AND the free lunch they provided at the end!)

Leatherby Libraries

Leatherby Libraries

Global Citizens Plaza, where each flag represents a student's country, or a country where a Chapman student can go to study abroad.

Global Citizens Plaza, where each flag represents a student’s country, or a country where a Chapman student can go to study abroad.

We thought this was clever...a station to fix your bike!

We thought this was clever…a station to fix your bike!

Sand volleyball court right near the dorms!

Sand volleyball court right near the dorms!

The 4 pillars of Chapman – Spiritual, Social, Physical and Intellectual.

Attallah Piazza Center- a student hangout spot!

A piece of the Berlin Wall

Chapman’s Athletic Field

The Importance of College Visits

As a kid growing up, going to college was never discussed because it was an expectation, a requirement, and a mandate. Which college was I going to go to? Well, that was easy as well. I was going to apply and attend wherever I was accepted. That was it. The schools I applied to were the ones where everyone else was applying to–all the in-state schools and where it was most popular to attend. Looking at it in hindsight, it was not the best way of picking a school. The main and probably one of the most practical things that I did not do was go on some college/campus tours to see whether I would like the school or not. More so, was that school going to be the right “fit” for me?

There really is no other feeling like that of walking onto a campus and experiencing first hand what it is like to be a college student there. Whether you’re walking onto the quad or into the student union or bookstore, there is an initial sense of excitement that you can’t help feel and just smile. Most colleges provide a campus tour throughout the calendar year. You just need to schedule one and go! They can last anywhere from one hour to  two and a half hours, depending on the size of the group. The way to make the most of the time that you are on a tour is to have questions ready to ask that you could not find the answers to online. Study a little bit about the campus so that way you are a little informed about the school. For the tours, they are usually given by student ambassadors-those students who are currently enrolled there and can tell you first hand what their experience has been like for their first year and on. Because these tours will show you the highlights of the school and campus, it is best advised to spend some time either before or after the tour just meandering around the campus to see what else there is. Take a camera and record your tour, or use some of the wonderful apps out there to journal your trip, such as Vine. Opportunities are also available to attend a class or two for the intended major. In addition, some schools even invite prospective students to stay overnight to experience what it would be like to be a student there: dorm life, social activities, cafeteria, athletics, etc. Be sure to ask and research for these availabilities.

When should you start taking college tours? NOW. Honestly, if college is an option, you should start taking tours after the start of your freshman year. Once one year of high school has been experienced, a student’s level of maturity grows and begins to understand the seriousness and importance of what it takes to go to college. The preparation that is involved in researching and learning about the different kinds of schools that are available to them are somewhat overwhelming. However, by taking some tours in small increments, you’re able to see what the possibilities are.

There is so much more to offer about the importance of college visits that this post can go on and on. Check out the following link at collegboard.com (one of our favorites) and read up on what you can do to help prepare for your first trip out.

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5 Things You Might Know About Cal Baptist University……..and 5 Things You Might Not!

If you are a junior in high school right now, it’s definitely time to start thinking about your college visits – a perfect time to see what a school you might be considering is really like without solely relying on their website or brochure.  With all of the colleges out there, how do you begin to narrow your college search?  Check back with our blog frequently (or better yet-sign up below to get our blog sent straight to your email), as we will be posting things we have observed on our most recent college visits.

Today, the KaMi Spotlight is on California Baptist University (CBU)

IMG_1732

CBU Seal

CBU Seal

5 Things You Might Know:

• Cost to attend ranges from around $28,432 for the commuter student and $36,172 for tuition with room and board.

• Besides offering financial assistance based on need, CBU offers grants and scholarships for academics, art, music, journalism, athletics, drama, and engineering.  The academic scholarships start at $4,500 for a GPA of 3.3-3.74 and go up to $8,000 for a 4.0 and above.  These scholarships are per year, as long as the minimum GPA is maintained.

• Enrollment for 2012-2013 is just around 4,000 undergrads but the school is envisioning an expansion to 8,080 by 2020.

• A Division 2 school currently transitioning from NAIA to NCAA in the Pac West.

• Over 100 majors with some of the most popular being Business, Education, Nursing, and Engineering.

5 Things You Might Not Know About CBU:

•70% of the students live on campus in Male or Female dorms, cottages, or on-campus apartments.

• Most general ed classes have around 28 students, but the average is 21 students per class, with the largest classrooms holding 70 students.

•The recreation center is brand new (just opened in January of 2013) and 3-stories. It offers rock-climbing, cardio equipment, racquetball courts, and workout rooms for classes.  The basketball flooring is Grade 1 (NBA quality).  On the roof of the building is a futsal field and turf track.

• There are no Greek organizations at CBU, but there is a big focus on community life.  Clubs, recreational sports, and weekend excursions are available, and many participate.  Specialty workshops are offered through the career center with topics such as “Business Dinner Etiquette (Which fork do you use??)”.

• 100% of the faculty are Christian and Chapel is required 15 times each semester for students who are encouraged to “live their purpose”.

Even though we visited CBU during the summer season, with very few students on campus, we really got a feel for the opportunities that students are given to connect to each other and their school.

Time to start our tour at CBU!

This is the view coming out of the cafeteria.

The cafeteria  (which is All-You-Can-Eat Buffet style).

The cafeteria (which is All-You-Can-Eat Buffet style).

Our tour guide, Mikayla, took us all around the campus on a golf cart!

A very clean and state-of-the-art classroom.

A dorm room in the Women’s dorms.

A peek at the baseball field.

Athletic Complex

Futsal and an outdoor turf track on the roof of the Rec Center.

Should You Go to College? (We Say Yes! But, What Do the Experts Say?)

We don’t know if you have been paying attention, but there has been a lot of debate lately on topics such as: Is college worth it? Is college worth the expense? and Does it even pay off to go to college?  We know where we stand on these issues – and according  to Philip Oreopoulos and Uros Petronijevic and their new study “Making College Worth It: A Review of Research on the Returns to Higher Education”, published in the National Bureau of Economic Research, college DOES seem to be worth it!  They conducted an entire study on the benefits of higher education, and took a lot into consideration, including student debt and the most lucrative majors.  Here are their findings in a great chart with all of the basics laid out to help you make your decision!

5 Things You Might Know About UCR…and 5 Things You Might Not!

 

If you are a junior in high school right now, it’s definitely time to start thinking about your college visits – a perfect time to see what a school you might be considering is really like without solely relying on their website or brochure.  With all of the colleges out there, how do you begin to narrow your college search?  Check back with our blog frequently (or better yet-sign up to get our blog sent straight to your email), as we will be posting things we have observed on our most recent college visits.

 

Today, the KaMi Spotlight is on the University of California, Riverside (UCR)

 

UCR logo

UCR logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

5 Things You Might Know:

 

• There are over 360 Greek organizations on campus.

 

• A Division 1 school in the Big West Conference playing big name schools like USC and UCLA with 17 sports teams.

 

• Enrollment for 2012-2013 is just over 21,000 and most of them are Undergrads.  About 30% of the students live on campus.

 

• Cost to attend ranges from around $23,000 to live at home while attending to $37,000 for out-of-state residents.

 

•  A GPA of 3.0 is required to apply along with the ACT with Writing or the SAT Reasoning test.

 

5 Things You Might Not Know About UCR:

 

•Larger class sizes (could be a concern to someone who is looking for a smaller environment) of 100-220 students for the GE classes with the largest auditorium holding 538 students.

 

• Ranked as the 8th most diverse university in the nation.

 

•4 libraries on campus, all with computer labs.

 

• An Honors Program is available for qualified students that ensures priority registration (even above athletes).

 

• UCR is a public, research university that partners with many outside agencies for development and advancement.

 

To us, UC Riverside seemed very well organized and had a studious vibe.  Many students were walking around with headphones on or studying in quiet areas.  With its Medical School opening in August of 2013, we are sure this high quality school will continue to grow in size and reputation.

 

UCR Bell Tower

UCR Bell Tower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Things You Might Know About UNLV…and 5 Things You Might Not!

If you are a junior in high school right now, it’s definitely time to start thinking about your college visits – a perfect time to see what a school you might be considering is really like without solely relying on their website or brochure.  With all of the colleges out there, how do you begin to narrow your college search?  Check back with our blog frequently (or better yet-sign up to get our blog sent straight to your email), as we will be posting things we have observed on our most recent college visits.

Today, the KaMi Spotlight is on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV)

We toured this school on May 14th, at a lovely 93 degrees for our 10:00 A.M. tour.  We would suggest that you not wait much longer if this is a school you are interested in visiting!

English: logo for UNLV

English: logo for UNLV (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

5 Things You Might Know:

• A 332 acre campus which includes an 80 acre arboretum.

• A Division 1 school in the Mountain West Conference.

• Enrollment for Fall of 2013 was 27,848 students but only about 2,000 live on campus.

• Cost to attend (with housing) is around $33,270 a year for out-of-state residents.

•  The Thomas & Mack Center seats over 19,000 and is the home to the UNLV Men’s basketball team.

5 Things You Might Not Know About UNLV:

• Lied library is 5 stories and bigger than the Thomas & Mack Center.  It holds over one million books with another 600,000 books held in storage that can be retrieved by a robotic arm upon request.

• The Student Recreation and Wellness Center is 4 floors and includes a swimming pool, indoor soccer and basketball, cardio machines, and an indoor track.

•The Schools of Business and Hotel Management are the biggest.

• Most of the freshman dorms feature two bedrooms that share one bath.  Brita water-filling stations are located on campus for students as well.

• There are 70 emergency phones on campus, with 30-40 police officers.  The average response time to a call made at one of the phones is 30 seconds.

We were surprised to note how shady the campus was, with lots of grassy areas under trees.  As the average age of a student at UNLV is 24, the campus has a slightly mature feel, and while signs of school spirit were present, they weren’t everywhere.  The majority of the students here are in-state, and mostly locals to boot.

Thomas & Mack Center

The Library

Las Vegas Shade found on campus.

The School of Law at UNLV.

School Mascot Hey Reb!

A freshman dorm room.

Student Wellness and Recreation Center

Inside the Rec Center