Resources for College Applications

ACT Tip Sheet

How to program your graphing calculator for the ACT

Presentation given at Monroeville High School 9/10/14

Timeline for juniors

College Cheat Sheets for:

Note: these materials were developed for Monroeville High School students. While most of the information they provide is applicable to any applicant, certain details are specific to Monroeville High School.

What this is all about.

I got lucky when I applied to college. I went to a small, rural high school that encourages kids to go to college, and people generally go to a handful of schools within a few hours of town. I stumbled across the CommonApp by chance, checked websites just in time to make deadlines, and somehow my outrageous misconceptions––like "I won't apply to Harvard or Yale because that's where you go if you want to be a lawyer, and I don't want to be a lawyer"––still left me with viable options. I also had the privilege of parents who supported me, teachers who challenged me, and a university that had the guts and money to give me a shot. Not everyone gets that. In fact, very few people do––I'm the first from my family or town to go to the Ivy League.

That's why one of my research interests is figuring out how to increase post-secondary opportunities for high school students. College isn't for everyone. Not everyone will get into the most selective schools. But no high school graduates should be limited by ignorance. I want them to be able to see the directions their life could take at 18, weigh their options, and choose. Every student who skips applying to the private schools where they might flourish because they've been told private schools are always more expensive, every student who blindly enrolls in a four-year institution because no one ever told them a two-year or certificate program would serve their career better, every student who could make into the elite tier of colleges but never thinks to apply because they assume they can't get in––that's a failure.

Over the past year or so, I've been developing college prep materials with students at my high school. Most of these are still very much in draft stages, but there's solid, time-tested and research-supported information to be had in here. Any student interested in college applications is welcome to take a look and send me feedback. Some of my most uplifting conversations have been with other college students who want to do similar work at their high schools, so I hope these will be helpful to them, too.