Tag archive for "college application"

Diversity, First Generation Students, Low Income Students

Spotlight on Chicago Scholars

No Comments 28 March 2017

Chicago Scholars is an organization that supports academically ambitious students who are first-generation college students and/or come from low-income households. This organization provides support to its participants during the three transitional periods that typically are the most difficult for first-generation students: the transition from high school to college, the years spent navigating college and the transition from college to career.

Students come from 88 high schools across the Chicago area and 84 percent of program participants from the class of 2021 are first-generation college students. About 91 percent of participants are students of color, with 96 percent of participants attending Chicago Public School high schools.

The first phase of the Chicago Scholars program, College Access: Launch, takes place the summer before a participant’s senior year of high school. This portion of the program allows students to receive help with the college application process, find a best match-fit college and begin to build leadership skills. Scholars are matched with an experienced college counselor who will mentor them for eight one-on-one sessions and guide them through college access workshops.

In October, students have the opportunity to participate in the Onsite Admissions Forum. Chicago Scholars’ more than 175 partner colleges come to Chicago to meet with Scholars and other qualified students from Chicago community-based organizations. Program attendees have the chance to interview with up to six of their best fit colleges, with many students receiving admissions decisions and merit aid scholarships that day.

Scholars begin the College Persistence: Lift portion of the program during their transition to college. Students are exposed to experiential learning, supportive relationships and leadership development so they will be empowered to be confident and self-efficient individuals in college. Participants can participate in a retreat and connect with a peer mentor to help them get through their first year of college.

The final portion of this program, College to Careers: Lead, provides Scholars with career planning and leadership development training that allows them to successfully move into the workforce. Students can participate in workshops and one-on-one training that allow them to explore career paths, write strong résumés and build interview and networking skills.

College Greenlight is a vital part of Chicago Scholars’ counseling and scholarship search process. Program participants learn about College Greenlight through workshops and they are encouraged to create profiles to assist them in meeting their scholarship application goals.

Chicago Scholars aims to create a supportive community and provide access to college resources that students might not have otherwise. If you are a college admissions representative and want to connect with this organization, email Rachel Accavitti at raccavitti@chicagoscholars.org.

Apply to College, Greenlight Scholars, Resources

Common Application Mistakes for First Generation Students

No Comments 31 January 2017

First-generation students are college applicants who are the first in their families to attend college. These students often go through the college application process by themselves.

Here are some mistakes first-generation students should avoid:

Going Through the College Application Process Without Any Guidance

You need a mentor. Find someone you trust and look up to. It can be a teacher, guidance counselor or club organizer with experience in the college application process. Ask your mentor any questions you might have, whether it’s about financial-related matters or editing your application essay.

Skipping Optional Application Sections

The Common Application has an additional information section that first-generation students could utilize to write an essay sharing their situation. This essay can demonstrate what college means to you, given your background. If you skip this essay, you could miss an opportunity to set yourself apart from other applicants.

Applying to One College

First-generation students often make the mistake of applying to a single college to save on application fees. In order to find the best fit and explore all your options, you need to apply to multiple colleges. Don’t be afraid to request a fee waiver — colleges typically waive application fees for low-income students.

If you have already taken the SAT, you will be eligible to receive four free college application waivers. You can contact a college to see if you qualify for a waiver.

Greenlight Scholarships Application

The Greenlight Scholars Application is a great option for applying to college. It is a free and streamlined application that allows you to apply to multiple colleges at once. This application was designed with first-generation and low-income students in mind. It allows students to share a more complete picture of their academic record, skills and experiences.

The Greenlight Scholars Application levels the playing field for students who are at a disadvantage during the college application process.

Prepare for College, Resources

Winter Break Checklist

No Comments 26 December 2016

The moment you’ve been waiting for is finally here – it’s winter break! A time for catching up with friends and celebrating the holidays with loved ones. This is also a great opportunity to get a head start on college applications. Here are some suggestions for how to spend your time over break.

Search for scholarships. Is your College Greenlight profile up to date? The more information you give us in your profile, the more scholarships we can match you to! While you’re on break from school, this is a great time to go out into your community to look for local scholarship opportunities. Community scholarships may be smaller in award amount, but those amounts add up! Visit places like your library, local businesses, and your community newspapers to get started.

Find volunteer opportunities. Academic excellence is vital in college, but it is not the only thing schools want to see. Colleges are looking for well-rounded students to add to their student body. A great way to show this is by volunteering in your area. Colleges value students who are active citizens in their community. A shelter, a local chapter of a national organization, or your church are great places to look for volunteer positions.

Go on college visits. Are you interested in any colleges fairly close to home? Winter break is a great time to check out these schools! While students will not be on campus at these times, it is still valuable to visit. You’ll be able to get a feel for the campus and have questions answered by various members of the college’s staff.

Write college application essays. A good essay will take a lot of thought and time. For those applications due in the second half of the school year, winter break is a great time to gather your thoughts and start writing those essays. If you take a few days to develop an idea, plan out your essay, and then compose, as opposed to doing it all a few days before your essay is due, you will likely see better results!

Work on your Greenlight Scholars Application. Use winter break to make sure your Greenlight Scholars Application is in tip-top shape! Clean up your social media accounts. Make sure there’s nothing on there you wouldn’t want a college admissions counselor to see. Take the time to reflect on the colleges you’re interested in to see if there are any other colleges you should add to your list.

One suggestion for your winter break – relax! Recharge your batteries and finish out the school year strong!

Greenlight Scholars

How to Make Your Greenlight Scholars Application Stand Out

No Comments 10 November 2016

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The Greenlight Scholars Application streamlines the college application process for you. But, it’s up to you to make sure that your college application stands out from among everyone else. Here are some tips to help make your Greenlight Scholars Application shine!

Clean up your online presence. More and more college admissions counselors are checking out applicants online, as many as 40% according to recent surveys. Your online presence could impact their decision. So, before you begin applying, be sure to clean up your online presence. Delete any inappropriate Facebook or Instagram posts and tweets. A good rule of thumb is to delete any social media post that you’d be embarrassed for your parents to see.

On the other hand, this is also a great opportunity to strengthen your social media identity. Create or update your LinkedIn profile, providing a professional accomplishments resume. Create a website to show off a portfolio of your work, if it is applicable to your chosen field. Even if your Greenlight Scholars Application is outstanding, a poor online presence could ruin it.

Strategically build your college list. It is important to strategically decide which colleges you want to send your Greenlight Scholars Application to. Apply to a healthy mix of safety, match, and reach schools. But, choosing a college isn’t just about identifying the best colleges. You should also use this time for self-reflection. Assess who you are, what you are good at and how your learning style will fit in with each college. Once you’ve settled on the right colleges, you will be able to better tailor your Greenlight Scholars Application to them.

Write an outstanding essay. Your application essay is the best way to make your Greenlight Scholars Application stand out. This is where you make your story heard. Greenlight Scholars partner schools are committed to helping low-income and first-generation students achieve their college dreams. Praising yourself can be hard to do sometimes, but your application essay is no place to be shy. Shine a light on your accomplishments. Share your hardships. Highlighting important aspects of your unique background will make your application more memorable. College admissions counselors want to hear how you’ve succeeded despite the obstacles in your way.

Think like an admissions counselor. If you were an admissions counselor, what would you want to see in a potential student? This is a crucial mindset to get your application noticed. While it is necessary for you to have the good grades and test scores that your college requires, your academic performance is not the only criteria they will consider.

Counselors want to see that you have really looked within yourself and found the drive and grit needed to succeed. They want to know what you will contribute to the college’s community. When colleges were asked what underrepresented students could do to improve their college admissions applications, 85% of the colleges said they would like to see these students improve their ability to tell their story.

Don’t throw away this opportunity. Utilize your Greenlight Scholars Application to make yourself look like an ideal student match for your dream college.

Greenlight Scholars

Tips for Completing Your Greenlight Scholars Application

No Comments 01 November 2016

Don’t let expensive application fees and complicated admissions applications stop you from pursuing your college dreams. The Greenlight Scholars Application is a free application that makes it easy to apply to multiple colleges without time-consuming extra essays and questions for each college. Applying to college should be a simple, streamlined process. Here are some tips for using the Greenlight Scholars Application to achieve your college goals!

Target your college list. The Greenlight Scholars Application allows you to apply to many colleges at the same time. So, be sure to narrow down your college list as much as possible before you apply. Aim for a good mix of safety, match and reach schools. A safety school is a college where your grades and admissions test scores are above average for the college’s accepted students, a match school means that your grades and test scores fall perfectly in line with the college’s accepted students, and a reach school is one where your grades and test scores and GPA fall below the college’s accepted students. No matter what your chances are of being accepted into each college, every college on your list should be a good social and financial fit for you.

Share your story in your essay. The Greenlight Scholars Application is designed to showcase your strengths and talents. Share your story, so the colleges can see a more complete picture of you. The Greenlight Scholars partner colleges are passionate about serving talented first-generation and low-income students. Be yourself and tell them why you deserve a spot at their college. To do this, think like an admissions officer. On top of sharing your unique perspective, your essay should also display strong writing and an authentic voice. Have someone you trust read over your essay to ensure you hit all these points!

Talk with your counselor. If you haven’t already, develop a good relationship with your counselor, who will help you through the college admissions process. They can answer your questions and give you advice. Your counselor can review your Greenlight Scholars Application and make suggestions before you submit it to colleges. They can give you recommendations that speak to why you deserve a spot at that institution!

We want to make sure the Greenlight Scholars Application is simple and stress free. Please let us know if you run into any problems! Email us at application@cappex.com if you need help or find inaccurate information.


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