By Emily Thomas
College used to be a path meant for the elite and wealthy. Today, millions of Americans enroll in universities and community colleges with the goal of improving their job prospects. Others seek to broaden their intellectual horizons. No matter the reason, college serves as an important rite of passage for young adults. For confused and overwhelmed parents everywhere, here are 100 tips, tools and guides to get your kid (or yourself) into any college.
Goal and Task Managers
A college education is a long term goal. It will not be earned cheaply or in a short period of time. Sure people have fun in school but the end result should always be kept in focus. Here are the best programs, sites and tools for monitoring the progress toward your dream school.
- Limeade Goal Tracker: Follow goals from your iPhone, this app helps people set and track their goals.
- Schoolwork.org: This wonderful website features homework help and school subject tutorials for struggling students.
- Schooler: A Firefox add-on offering tools to assist with schoolwork.
- Lifetic: This fantastic iPhone app keeps track of goals and achievements. With a simple interface, users can store an unlimited number of goals.
- 8 Ways to Help Students Manage Their Time: The US government has a vested interest in studious students. This article from the Department of Defense offers advice for time management and studying.
- Toodledo: An Firefox to-do list manager, this extension to the open source browser organizes everyday tasks.
- Notefish: This great extension makes Internet research simple by saving, organizing and sharing pieces of Web pages you find.
- My Marks: An iPhone app tracking grades, marks and credits in school. This great tool also sets goals for each subject to see where you are and what you need to improve.
- GoalsTogether.com: A social site offering encouragement and support for anyone trying to accomplish their long term goals.
- Time Management Tips: This comprehensive time management article is chock full of invaluable study tips. The article also links to a number of additional resources providing a range of assistance with school.
- UC Libraries Research Toolbar: This amazing add-on allows users to search sites recommended by the University of Cincinnati library. A great tool for quality research, this tool makes research papers a snap.
- Destiny Goals: A free resource for any goal from quitting smoking to getting better grades, this site has community of people giving advice and support.
- eLIFELIST: For some individuals, writing a list is the first step to accomplishing a goal. Harness the power of organization with this site allowing users to create and track goals with easy to manage lists.
- iBistro: A useful tool for minimizing keystrokes and clicks on any number of databases popular with school libraries.
- Easy Task Manager Online: A great app for managing tasks in school and everyday life.
- Comotivate: Create a goal, then find an online buddy to help you achieve it. This goal networking site is great motivation for anyone needing an extra boost.
- e-Task: An easy to use online project management tool that will increase productivity and performance.
- Clear Ambition: This site provides users with resources for organizing life goals and ambitions.
- First 30 Days: A social community dedicated to helping its members achieve their goals, this site connects ambitious
- Todoist: A great online task manager, this site creates to-do lists and prioritizes items based on user input. An easy to use tool for parents, students and teachers, Todoist is a must have.
Sitting in one position, staring at a book for hours on end can be tedious and boring. Unfortunately, it’s a necessary skill for any college student. Here are the best study tips for acing any test.
- True/False Tests: This flash presentation gives students test taking strategies for handling basic true/false tests.
- Multiple Choice Tests: This article offers simple and easy to implement advice for taking any multiple choice test.
- Essay Exams: Students loathe essay exams. Follow the simple advice offered in this article and never worry again.
- Math Exams: A lot of students struggle with math class. This resource teaches students the tricks to taking math tests
- Test Preparation: With tips and advice on preparing for tests, this piece is a great tool for students needing better grades.
- Overcoming Test Anxiety: For many students, simple test taking adds an overwhelming amount of stress. Here are tips for dealing with the pressure of test taking.
- Cramming: Though not advisable for long term memory retention, cramming can help anyone get ready for a test at the last minute.
- Short Answer Tests: Short answer tests are common in English and history classes. This article provides the strategies for improving performance on short answer tests.
- Open Book Exams: Open book may sound like a no-brainer but certain tips can boost your score. Read this item about finishing any open book test fast.
- Studying with Flashcards: This fantastic flash program creates flash cards for any test or quiz.
- Effective Study Habits: Being a good student requires productive study skills and habits. Check out this article on behaviors that get good grades.
- Learning to Learn: Studying to actually learn is entirely different than preparing for a test. Follow the advice provided by this informative piece and learn from your classes.
- Using Memory Effectively: Teaching mnemonic devices and other tips for memorization, this article can help anyone retain valuable information.
- Paying Attention in Class: Great grades starts with paying attention in the classroom. This piece provides the knowledge necessary for being a great classroom student.
- Taking Notes in Lecture: The information a teacher gives in class is likely to end up on the test. Use this article to organize notes and lectures to increase your test scores.
- Reading Difficult Material: From Jane Austen to biology, some reading is almost impossible. Learn how to absorb the most difficult with this helpful article.
School Sites and Resources
Technology has made student’s lives significantly easier. From sharing notes to textbooks, there are a host of resources available for any assignment or test. Check out these great test tools for getting the grades you need.
- NoteMesh: Collaborate with classmates on a unified set of notes for any class with this useful social site.
- Notecentric: A web based note taking tool, this site organizes and keeps notes readily available.
- College Banana: This note sharing network is great for students of any level. Interface allows users to set up personal profiles or networks for courses.
- B4class.com: A social network for students interested in video. This site offers video chat, video blogs and video email.
- Campusbug: Meet students, share notes and information that helps anyone prepare for tests.
- Online Degree: Search for courses at local and online degree with the database at http://www.onlinecolleges.net/.
- LocalSchools: This social network allows users to create custom communities for local schools.
- Quizilla: A social site for teens and college students, Quizilla creates communities of students looking for short cuts to their assignments.
- Student.com: A fantastic resource and social network for students, parents, and administrators to learn the facts about financial aid, scholarships, loans, student jobs, and college majors.
- Student Social Network: A community of real students sharing their notes, experiences and advice.
- Uloop: A classifieds site for students that offers listing of items ranging from books to cars.
- Typing Web:Computer use and research is essential for the modern student. This site helps develop necessary typing skills.
- Algebra Homework Help: Algebra is a notorious scourge of students everywhere. This resource gives frustrated students a break with helpful guides and advice.
- Cliff Notes: This site provides study guides and homework help from one of the most venerable names in academic short cuts.
- Tutor.com: Free online tutoring help for students in a range of academic disciplines for the elementary and high school levels.
- HippoCampus: This resource provides multimedia lessons in subjects such as math and Spanish.
- Infoplease: Get the knowledge you need with this unique search engine giving help to students.
- SparkNotes: Summaries and study guides for math, history and English class. SparkNotes also provides some of the best summaries for classic literature.
- Library Support Staff: This site uses tips, tools and resources for library research.
- Purplemath.com: Instructions, tutoring and resources for students struggling with math class.
Standardized tests are a big part of college admissions. While students understandably lament the testing process, great scores carry a lot of weight towards admissions and scholarships. Here are some great online practice tests to help get ready for the big day.
- College Board SAT Preparation Center: Know what to expect on test day with this resource giving practice tests and questions.
- 4Tests.com: This provider of free online practice tests covers offers both the SAT and ACT.
- Princeton Review SAT Online: Detailed score reports follow this SAT practice test allowing students to maximize their marks.
- Perterson’s SAT Practice Test: This practice test is a full, timed practice version of the SAT complete with an essay. When the test is finished, detailed answer explanations help students earn better scores.
- Number2.com: Online test preparation courses, this site helps college bound students get ready for the SAT or ACT.
- Test Prep Practice: Get ready for the SAT or ACT with free practice tests available on this test prep site.
- Test Prep Review: An online course to help student prepare for the ACT, this site provides helpful tutorials and practice questions.
- ACT Exam Practice Tests: Practice tests and questions combine with test taking strategies making this a great resource for students.
- Kaplan ACT Prep Course: Kaplan is a premier provider of test preparation materials. This ACT prep site will help boost your test scores.
- Study Guide Zone: A site with a bunch of study guides for all sections of the ACT, this is a great resource for self-learners.
Resources and Advice for Applying to College
Every year hundreds of thousands of students apply to American colleges and universities. College admissions counselors have surprisingly little information to distinguish candidates from one another. Fortunately, there are ways to make your application stand out. Here is some great advice for navigating the college admissions process.
- FamilyEducation.com: Get tips on writing a great admissions essay and asking for recommendations with this great resource for applying to college.
- Campus Bound: This site provides general advice and tips for college applications.
- University of Miami Tips on Applying to College: These tips from the University of Miami are meant to limit the stress related to college admissions. Check out this site and lose the frustration.
- Student Loan Network: These tips on applying to college are practical, simple and comprehensive.
- Education Index: Advice, tips and articles for applying to college, this resource is complete and easy to use.
- finding Dulcinea: This web guide to college admissions covers everything from the application process to choosing the right college.
- Campus Life: This article attempts to get students thinking about their collegiate futures early by offering advice for younger teens.
- Chiff: With tips and advice for getting into your first choice school, this piece is invaluable to ambitious students.
- How To Get Your Teen Into College: A site for parents eager to help their child get into top schools, this guide assists with step by step information.
- College Tips: This guide to getting into college is from a non-profit organization with the aim of increasing enrollment of less privileged children.
- FAFSA4CASTER: This tool helps calculate a student’s expected financial aid based on parent’s income taxes.
- Sallie Mae College Application Search: This impossibly helpful tool searches a massive database of college applications from private to public.
- Tips on Writing the Admissions Essay: This helpful article offers advice for writing a killer admissions essay on any topic for any school.
- Sallie Mae College Application Calender: Applying to college requires sticking to strict deadlines, this app keeps track of dates and offers reminders.
Guides to College Applications
There are thousands of guides and experts with guaranteed advice for college admissions. These select admissions guides can help parents and students sift through the information overload.
- About.com Guide to College Apps: This reference guide for college admissions covers the entire process from start to finish.
- OffToCollege.com: Planning guides and tips for applying to college, this site offers advice on things such as extracurricular activities and essays.
- Peterson’s College Search: This site is a comprehensive search engine for colleges and universities with complete information for applying students.
- College Confidential: A web site providing information on the admission process for parents, students and teachers.
- CollegeNET: This resource also gives its users the opportunity to win scholarship money. Search schools and testing materials with this helpful school site.
- College View: Find the right school for you, prepare for exams or research financial aid options, this site is one stop for students entering college.
- MyCollegeGuide.org: A site for students just beginning the admission process, this resource covers all aspects of college from student life to scholarships.
- College Board: A guide from the makers of the SAT, this tool is the definitive guide for college admissions tips and advice.
- Go College: This tool for college bound students assists with savings, choosing a major and writing admissions essays.
- Super College: A guide for getting into and paying for any college, this site has quick and easy to use tools and apps.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Education costs are skyrocketing for students everywhere. Tuition, textbooks and cost of living are increasingly more expensive while parent’s savings have decreased. Here are tips and guides for obtaining scholarships and financial aid.
- Educational Grants: Grants are funding you don’t have to repay. This guide to free money will limit the amount of debt after graduation.
- Daytona State Scholarship Guide: This guide from Daytona State College, offers advice for obtaining scholarship money.
- FinAid.org: A complete guide for obtaining any information on scholarships, student loans or grants.
- Financial Aid Resources Publications: The federal government is the largest provider of student loans. This site gives detailed information on financial aid options available to students.
- Peterson’s Guide to Paying For College: Getting the best financial deal in college can be hard but this site makes the research easy. Find out about basic terms and options from one of the most reliable names in academic information.
- College Financial Aid Guide: Find information about student loan services, search a glossary to help you understand loan related terms or get hints to help navigate the financial aid system with this fantastic education site.
- FAFSA Online: Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the first step in the process to obtaining financial aid, this site offers information on FAFSA as well as the form itself.
- Ed.gov: This government web site has complete information on federal student loan options available to students.
- Online Accredited Degree: This blog on distance education financial aid includes complete information on qualifications and types of available grants.
- How To Write A Foolproof College Application Essay: This article provides step by step instructions for writing a great admissions essay.