High School Juniors Will Get to Take the SAT for Free Reply

New York City public schools have taken a big leap in helping students pay for standardized testing and ease the burden of the college application process. The New York Department of Education has announced an initiative coined SAT School Day that will allow high school juniors to take the SAT for free starting in the spring of 2016.

By waiving the registration charge of around $54.50, free testing will go a long way in helping students get into college. Though it was intended to help low-income families have an equal chance of going to college, all students, no matter their income, will be able to take the test free-of-charge.  

Schools will also be scheduling SAT test-taking time during the school day so that students won’t have to take time out of their weekends, which is how it is typically done now. High schools won’t make the test mandatory, but this should help improve test participation.

More than anything, this is part of New York State’s educational plan to increase the number of students applying to college after high school graduation. The hope is that taking the SAT will become a regular part of a student’s high school atmosphere. Kids take enough standardized tests as it is, but the SAT has become a requirement for admittance into most major colleges and universities across the nation.  

High School sophomores and juniors were given free access to take the PSATs back in 2007 as a step towards ensuring student success. On the same day sophomores take the PSAT, juniors will have the option to take the SAT.

Six thousand students in 40 NYC public schools participated in the SAT School Day pilot program in the spring of 2015, and another 52 schools and 9,000 students will be added to the program. The citywide implementation of the SAT School Day program will happen in the Spring of 2017.

Peterson’s to Release ACT Prep Guide in March 2016 Reply

Guide to Mastering the ACTPeterson’s ACT® Prep Guide: The Ultimate Guide to Mastering the ACT is the latest installment in Peterson’s very successful history of publishing leading ACT test prep. Peterson’s published ACT titles have sold more than one million copies over the past five years and have been the preeminent ACT resources on the market.

“Peterson’s is excited to announce that the story continues with the latest addition to our product line, the Peterson’s ACT® Prep Guide: The Ultimate Guide to Mastering the ACT,” says Jeffrey Noordhoek, Nelnet CEO. “Peterson’s published the official ACT test preparation guide for over a decade and we know how and where students prepare for their academic future. We remain committed to publishing resources with the highest standards to ensure accurate, dependable, high-quality content to help students prepare for the best score possible.”

The ACT® Prep Guide offers students exactly what they need to prepare with confidence for this important college admission test, including: a full-length diagnostic test to evaluate a student’s strengths and weaknesses, six practice tests – four in print and two online – all with detailed answer explanations and in-depth review of all test sections, as well as strategies on how to raise test scores and feel at ease on test day.

For more information on this publication, see the full press release on PRWeb.

11 reasons why volunteering in college will make you successful Reply

Volunteering isn’t just good for the soul, it is also good to help build your resume when you are in college. One of the most important things for hiring managers when they are looking at your resume is the extra things you do to establish yourself as a successful person. Plus, unlike getting an internship, volunteering allows you to gain work experience on your own time without a large commitment. Whether you are a freshman or a senior, consider volunteering to help boost your chances of finding a job after graduation.

  1. Gain work experience

There is nothing more beneficial to have on your resume than work experience. Especially if you are volunteering for an organization that is in the same industry as your chosen career path, having work experience will show hiring managers that you know what you are doing and will be a valuable member to their team.

  1. Build your resume

How many times have you heard that is very important to build your resume before you graduate college? Degrees are becoming more and more common in the job market, and showing potential employers that you are a hard worker and care about your community through volunteering is essential for being successful in your job search.

  1. Help out your community

A great community creates better opportunities for everybody. By helping out your community, whether it be through volunteering with the homeless shelter, hospital, or other community events, you will gain a new appreciation for your community and be able to help out those in need.

  1. Learn to work as a team

Volunteering is all about working as a team. Working well with complete strangers is valuable to hiring managers and it will help you learn from other people’s strengths. Showing that you can work with others productively and efficiently is essential for the typical work environment. Take the opportunity of volunteering to learn about working with others and becoming a leader.

  1. Get scholarships

One of the things that organizations look at when awarding scholarships is how much applicants have volunteered. Scholarship organizations love applicants that show they care about their community and want to help. While volunteering a little bit is good, doing it over an extended period is even better. If you start volunteering in your freshman year of college, or even in high school, you will be able to get scholarships for higher amounts and from private and public organizations.

  1. Gain references

Good references are key when finding a job. By volunteering you can meet people in your industry that will give you a good reference when applying for full-time positions. Don’t be afraid to ask the mentors that you work under for a reference — most of them will be more than happy to help you become successful.

  1. Networking is essential

By volunteering you won’t just gain references, it will also give you the opportunity to gain contacts and network within your industry. This will help you find job opportunities that aren’t advertised and potentially give you a foot in the door. Networking. Networking. Networking. This is essential if you want to have a successful career.

  1. Prepare for graduate school

The graduate school admissions process is tough, especially when trying to get into high-ranking schools. Volunteering is a great way to separate yourself from the competition and show that you are dedicated to succeeding. Showing that you care about your community and can work as a team will help to show hiring managers that you are a well-rounded employee.

  1. Test out career opportunities

If you are unsure as to whether or not you want to work in a specific industry or not, volunteering is a great way to test out potential companies and job titles. Consider volunteering for a company that you want to work for to help you get a sense of the overall work environment and how well you work with your fellow employees.

  1. Gain perspective

With all of the great benefits for your future career that comes with volunteering, you will also gain a better perspective of the world around you. Seeing perspectives from your mentors, workmates, and those you help will give you a sense of accomplishment in what you do. Volunteering also helps you see the bigger picture within companies, your community, and the entire world.

  1. You will enjoy it

Believe it or not, the vast majority of people who volunteer enjoy it — and you will too. Take the opportunity to volunteer to learn about yourself and those around you and you might just find a career in something that you have passion in and love to do.

Peterson’s Author Helps Students Achieve Their Education Goals Reply

Peterson’s is more than just information for students and teachers. Just last week, Justin Ross Muchnick, author of Peterson’s The Boarding School Survival Guide, awarded two students $1,000 scholarships for their essays, which he called “honest, thoughtful, and authentic.” The two winning incoming freshmen are Bob Moore from Louisville, KY, who will be attending McCallie School in Chattanooga, TN, and Elise Hogan from Sicklerville, NJ, who will be attending St. Andrews School in Middletown, DE. Students submitted essays on the reasons, desires, discoveries, etc. on why they want to attend boarding school. The applications came from all ends of the earth – Egypt, Iran, Canada, and across the U.S.

In June of 2014, Peterson’s released The Boarding School Survival Guide, written by students, for students. This guide was the idea of Peterson’s youngest author, Justin Muchnick – 16 at the time of publication – who personally navigated the difficult waters of selecting a boarding school. His book is designed to provide students insight from other students who attend or recently graduated from a boarding school.

The Boarding School Survival Guide includes 25 chapters that help students choose and navigate life at boarding school, including advice on campus visits, how to deal with homesickness, and finding a mentor. Justin reached out to boarding school students throughout the country. Chapter contributors include students at Andover, Exeter, Choate Hotchkiss, Deerfield, Hill, St. Paul’s, Lawrenceville, Thatcher, Cate, Taft, Tilton, Kent, South Kent, Webb, Hebron, Pomfret, Middlesex, THINK Global, Maine School of Science and Mathematics, Culver, and other boarding schools across the United States.

Congratulations to the winners of the scholarships, and to the Peterson’s publishing team, which works tirelessly to bring students all the information they need to have a successful college career.


You can read the full story as a press release here.

See The Boarding School Survival Guide and Peterson’s other titles at PetersonsBooks.com.

Important Tips for the Recent College Grad Reply

The late nights cramming for finals is over; you’ve put your cap and gown away…yes, you’ve survived college and it’s time to enter the real world.  Now before you start picking out the Ferrari or the McMansion, the first thing you’ll need to do is find a job.  While you’ve likely taken some type of employment seminar, nothing in the real world is ever textbook.  Below are important tips that I believe every new graduate should follow.

Network, network, network!  Like most recent graduates, your network is likely more limited than those who’ve been in the workforce for several years.  One thing to remember, especially in a tight job market (and even in a great market) is that many times the old adage, “It’s not what you know, but who you know” does hold some truth.  Sure, you still need to be qualified, however it never helps to have someone on the inside.  So how does one network?

  • LinkedIn– not your traditional networking, however this is one social network you don’t want to dismiss!
  • Connect/converse without limits– don’t sell your network short by networking with only those who can help you achieve your goals. Be open, honest and genuine with everyone- it’s amazing how small the world is and karma has a way of coming back to find us.
  • Listen- don’t just listen for opportunities in the ‘now’, listen to what those around you say. What makes their job difficult?  Is that something you can fix?  If you’re able to connect these dots the opportunities afforded to you will be many.

Concentrate on that Resume!  A resume, by Webster’s own definition, is simple- it’s a personal summary.  So why not skip all the theatrics, slap together a few blurbs around your experience and start getting those applications out the door?  The reality is that for each position you apply for, there are hundreds, if not more, other people trying to get the coveted interview.  Now you don’t need to ship your resume off with glitter ink, watermarks and neon orange paper (unless the position calls for quirky or gaudy), however you do need to make sure that the content of your resume is organized in a manner that easy to digest.

  • Styles- make sure the overall style of your resume plays to your strengths. As a recent graduate you will want to focus on the skills and knowledge that you’ve just earned.  A narrative focusing on how those courses and any extracurricular activities relate to the position at hand may be the best way to go.
  • The little things– even the most perfect resume in the world is quickly derailed by spelling and grammar errors. Unless you’ve broke out the quill and ink vial, give the spellchecker a click and then make sure you give it a once over- if possible find another set of eyes to review.  Don’t be that guy…or gal who fails to heed this advice!
  • Customize- unless you’re applying for the same position at the same organization over and over again, you should have more than one resume. In fact, you should make sure that each resume is suited and tailored for each position which you apply.
  • Keywords- make sure your resume is filled with keywords, this will ensure your resume will make it through the applicant tracking system. Often, keywords are simply job titles, skills, certifications and so on. I would suggest making a list of your targeted jobs and review the job posting and make a list of what terms or keywords appear many times, as this will give you an idea of what to use in your resume.

Beyond these tips, remember that even in the greatest of economies it takes time to land that perfect job.  If you’re not getting much traction in the way of interviews, consider using a professional resume writer.  They’re often able to help punch past that first layer and help land the interview.  In the end, remain positive and be persistent as you follow your dreams.


Michelle Kruse has more than 10 years of hiring and recruiting experience and a background in coaching and leadership development. At ResumeEdge, Michelle recruits and hires resume writers, provides training and ongoing support, manages strategic partnerships and serves as a subject matter expert on the job search process.

Corinthian Colleges abruptly closes 28 campuses; 16,000 students’ future uncertain Reply

After 20 years of operation, for-profit Corinthian Colleges Inc. will shut down their remaining 28 campuses, including 10 locations in California, as well as other colleges in California, Arizona, and New York under the Everest, WyoTech, and Heald college names. Corinthian Colleges was under investigation and charged with a $30 million fine by the federal government for misrepresentation of job placement data, attendance records, deceptive and aggressive marketing tactics, and altered grades.

Even though Corinthian Colleges expected the closure for months, more than 16,000 degree-seeking students received notice Sunday that the college they had been attending will be closed starting Monday. Many students received tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, and will now be looking to transfer their credits to another college in hopes to finish their degree or seek federal student loan forgiveness. However, because Corinthian Colleges was a private college, there is a strong chance that their credits will not be transferable.

Groups of devastated students are now protesting their federal student loans and meeting with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, located in Washington D.C., to help figure out a solution for all of the students affected. Many frustrated students were mere months away from graduating with a full bachelor’s degree and now face uncertainty about their educational and financial future.

At its peak, Corinthian Colleges operated 120 campuses with over 110,000 students across North America and doubled revenue to $1.75 billion from 2007 to 2011. The order of the closure comes from the U.S. Education Department, who barred access to student loans in the summer of 2014, as the Obama Administration works to crack down on frivolous for-profit colleges that promise educational and career success to people looking to better themselves and seek the American Dream.

Though this marks a potentially disastrous outcome for many students and employees of the colleges, it will be a cautionary tale for students and educational institutions alike.

The New SAT: What to Do, When, and How 1

As if the college application process wasn’t enough to worry about, the College Board has decided to layer on an entirely new complication: the announcement of the New SAT, arriving March, 2016 in school gyms near you. Fortunately, while the reasons for the launch of the New SAT are a bit complicated, the actions you should take to deal with it are not.

Before we jump in, let’s take a very quick look at the reasons why the College Board has decided to change its exam for the second time in a decade:

  1. The ACT has become more popular. The College Board is losing market share. The ACT is now taken by more students each year, and the trend away from the SAT and toward the ACT is getting steeper by the season.
  2. The SAT is now seen as the “more complicated” test. Which it is. The ACT and the SAT are both equally as difficult, but the ACT is more straightforward and As a result, the College Board is trying to craft an exam that’s much more like the current version of the ACT.
  3. People hate the current version of the SAT. Switching from 1600 to 2400 points, requiring an essay that no one reads, and disrupting the familiar format of the exam were all very unpopular moves. The new (2005) version of the test was a flop (and largely responsible for the ACT’s surge in popularity), and so the College Board is recognizing their need to change.

What’s going to change on the new test? You can find the entire list of changes here. It’s a lot to digest, so here’s an extremely brief summary:

  1. The test is going back to a 1600-point format. No more 2400-point scale – the test will go back to the familiar 1600-point scale we all know and hate, with two sections: one for math, and one for “verbal.”
  2. The essay will be optional, rather than required. Just like the ACT.
  3. Vocabulary will be less of a concern. There will still be some “in context” vocab, but for the most part, the “pure vocabulary” elements will get nixed.
  4. No more “wrong answer penalty.” Just like the ACT.
  5. More emphasis on “digesting and analyzing graphs and real-time information.” Just like the ACT.

Basically, the test as you know it is gone. For all intents and purposes, it’s going to turn into an ACT with a slightly different structure and a 1600-point grading scale.

The biggest question is this: what do you do about it?

1. If you’re taking either test before March 2016, it’s business as usual. If you want to take the SAT, take the SAT. If you want to take the ACT, take the ACT. To figure out which one you should take, use my free guide here.

2. If you’re taking your standardized tests between March 2016 and June 2016, stick with the ACT. We don’t know exactly what the new SAT will look like, or how well the College Board will roll it out, or how the grading curve will look. If you want to be a guinea pig for the College Board, then by all means – take the March, May, and June 2016 versions of the exam. Otherwise, let them work out their kinks and focus on the ACT instead. The ACT is reliable and predictable – best to stick with the devil you know.

3. After June 2016, we’ll all have a much better idea of what the new SAT looks like, acts like, and “grades” like – from there, pick whichever test works best for you. In June 2016, I’ll be launching a new, free guide to help you decide which test you should focus on.

4. If you’re planning on taking the 2015 PSAT (which will be in the “New SAT” format), study for the ACT! Currently, there aren’t enough materials out to study for the new SAT (the College Board is yet to release their guide, due in mid-June). But the New SAT will be in almost exactly the same format as the current ACT – if you prep for the ACT now, you’ll basically be killing two birds with one stone – knocking out the ACT and prepping for the PSAT. When the new PSAT materials come out this summer, you can just check those for a quick brush up and alteration before you head into the exam.

Not so bad, right? Just follow the four steps above and you’ll be all set. The New SAT is certainly a thorn in our sides, but it’s far from the end of the world. Now that you know what to do, the best piece of advice is to start prepping as soon as you possibly can! The earlier you begin this process, the sooner you’ll have it off your plate, and the more time you’ll have to improve your scores.

Anthony-James Green is world-renowned SAT and ACT tutor with over 10,000 hours of experience teaching these tests, crafting curriculum, and training other tutors to teach their own students. He is also the founder of TestPrepAuthority.com. CNN recently named Anthony: “The SAT tutor to the 1%

Crash Course in College Essay Writing – 12 Tips to Get You Started and Your Juices Flowing Reply

WritingSuccessfulCollegeApplicationsThe clock is ticking and you are a new high school senior (or parent of one!). The summer flew by without even a thought about what to write about for your college essays. Were you too busy with SAT prep? Driver’s ed? Hanging out with friends? Working? Procrastinating? Don’t worry, because help has arrived. Follow these dozen tips below and (hopefully) your juices will be flowing. Also, be sure to pick up a copy of Writing Successful College Applications and start reading and getting inspired. But for now, here is your “Cliff’s Notes” version of what you can do to get started: More…

Top Ten Tips for Successful Application Writing Reply

120307022314_typing_computer_internet-480x270Your college application writing is not just about writing one personal statement. There are often several shorter essays, supplemental questions, and short answers required by schools, too. This top ten list will quickly prepare you for all of the writing required on your college applications. Heed this advice and you will be able to start your process “in the know.” More…