The College 101 series was created to give both students and parents some insight into the various stages of college life. From guides about getting into college sports to deciding between dorming and commuting, these original editorials feature expert advice on how to navigate the ever-changing world of higher education. Welcome to College 101:

College 101 Features


It’s Decision Time

November 15th marked the first of many deadlines throughout the college application process. This end-of-autumn milestone is the last day to submit applications for early admission through Early Action, Early Decision or other special programs. It won’t be long before decision letters start filling mailboxes across the country…

Worried Female Student Waiting Outside College Tutorial

How to Get the Help you Need

If you missed an assignment in high school, you probably heard, “that won’t fly in college.” Often, college professors are painted as aloof, unapproachable authoritarians who are practically eager to see you fail. The truth is that the staff and faculty at any institution actually want nothing more than for students to succeed…

American football player sitting on bench and helmet next to him

Applying to College as an Athlete

If you played a varsity sport in high school, you may be thinking of playing sports at the collegiate level. When applying to college as an athlete, keep in mind that the rules can be a little different. Before you prepare your application, there are some special guidelines you need to know. Here is some useful advice to help you navigate the process…

Choosing the Right College

5 Tips for Choosing the Right College

For many students, the word college brings to mind images of sunny days playing Frisbee on green grass, or long nights studying in the library. But whether you’re just beginning to plan for college or already trying to decide which offer to accept, there’s a big question you need to answer: What school is the right one for me?

Dorming vs Commuting

Dorming vs Commuting – 4 Key Factors to Consider

On a bright day in September, the first week of the semester is coming to a close. You know where all your classes are, you finally memorized the names of all your professors, and you’re relatively confident you can find at least three places to eat on campus. College is new and exciting, and you’re finally settling in.

College Visit

4 Tips for a Successful College Visit

Every day, your friends are hearing back from more colleges. Acceptance letters are steadily arriving. So far, you’ve only received one offer from a competitive state university that offers your major, but you’re waiting to hear from the small private college that specializes in your field. Then it happens–you get that second letter…

College Sports

Navigating the Playing Field of College Sports

On the morning of the last game of a great season, the whole team gets an email from their coach informing them that college scouts will be watching in the stands today. For those who dream of playing college sports, this is the opportunity they’ve been waiting for since freshman year. It could lead to recruitment…

Senioritis

4 Tips to Help Avoid Senioritis

When it’s seventy-two degrees and sunny outside, spending all day inside sitting at a desk can seem endless. Graduation is right around the corner but the year isn’t over just yet. Although your college plans may be set, it’s important that you finish on a strong note as you begin preparing for the next stage of your life…

Student Checklist

A Student Checklist to Getting Ahead

We’re almost midway through May and June is right around the corner, which means summer vacation will be here before you know it. With all of the end-of-year hustle and bustle around school, it can be easy to forget that these last few weeks can actually prove very useful if you take full advantage of all your options…

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Advice for Choosing Your Major

With graduation growing closer by the minute, college is a hot topic these days. Friends, family, teachers, pretty much everyone is talking about who’s going where and asking you about your plans. One question you’ll hear frequently is “Have you picked a college major yet?” For many incoming college freshmen, there isn’t always an easy answer…

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Getting to Know Your Future Roommate

As college dorms across the country open their doors to incoming students, it may feel like there just isn’t enough time to prepare you for the big day. Between the hustle and bustle of shopping for your dorm room and picking your first semester of classes, taking time out to get to know your college roommate…

Phelps Gate at Yale University looking in towards the campus with people visible in the distance.

Public vs. Private Schools

It’s the home stretch before the end of the year and many graduating seniors are discussing which schools they applied to and which schools they’re attending. You hear many well-known and highly-regarded state schools mentioned or maybe some elite Ivy League schools, but then there are those schools you’ve never…

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Exploring Study Abroad Programs

If you know anyone currently attending college, you might recall hearing about their time in Italy or about their roommate who just returned from a three-month trip to China. Are these students throwing caution to the wind and hitting pause on their studies to travel the world? If you’re curious about studying abroad, here is some advice…

The Importance of Community Service

These days, it seems like college applications read more like resumes. With AP and IB courses, extracurricular activities and part-time jobs, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out what looks best on an application. While you always want to pursue your passions and interests, it can be easy to overlook the value…

What to do Right After High School Graduation

Though at times it may have felt like high school would never end, suddenly you find yourself sitting with your peers, listening to speeches reflecting on the past and inspiring you for the future. Some students may have committed to schools, selected their majors, and already have inside jokes with their soon-to-be…

How to Choose Extracurricular Activities

Students and their families often feel that because college admission is focused primarily on grades, decisions ultimately boil down to “Is this student smart enough for our school or not?” But ask any admissions counselor and you’ll quickly find out that it’s not that simple. Extracurricular activities also play a key role…

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Living On A Student Budget

Whether you’re moving across the country or commuting from home, transitioning to college can bring about many changes. You’ll be on a new schedule and living in a new environment, with the freedom to enjoy different experiences by taking trips to nearby cities, sampling the best restaurants, visiting local museums and more…

Writing The College Essay

With summer in full swing, it’s easy to forget about the upcoming school year. For many rising seniors across the country, there’s only one thing on their mind: college applications. And with that, the college essay. Regarded by some as the most challenging component to the application, this writing sample keeps…

Developing Your Independence

It’s 11:00 pm on a Tuesday and your history midterm is less than twelve hours away. A text message pops up from your friend down the hall: “Midnight pizza run?” Do you go along or stay back to continue studying? As a college student, this decision is just one of many that will be yours alone to make.

Preparing for Move-in Day

Summer is drawing to a close and college move-in day is quickly approaching. For many incoming freshmen, the preparation and packing can seem overwhelming. The list of questions can make your head spin. But with a little advance planning, move-in day can be one of the most exciting days for a student…

Setting Up Your Dorm Room

Move-in day is right around the corner and NJ students are busy packing books, blankets and other necessities. As the pile of boxes is mounting, you might be wondering whether it will all fit in your dorm room. Fortunately, you’re not in it alone. Your roommate is probably staring at the same mountain of possessions…

Top 5 Survival Skills

Your college experience will be different from high school in many ways. As a college student, you’ll have total control over your life and schedule. Everything from which classes to choose to what foods you should eat now rests on your shoulders. Though you’ll have support from friends, family and faculty…

Starting the Application Process Early

Labor Day is almost upon us, which means the first day of senior year is right around the corner. The summer before senior year can be a whirlwind of activity and preparation, all leading up to the moment you finally click “Apply Now” and begin the college application process. But with application deadlines listed…

Multiethnic Teenage Students at Park

Is Community College Right for Me?

Throughout this admissions cycle, community colleges have risen to the forefront of people’s minds. Each year, more and more students are considering their local options for a variety of reasons. The days where community college is seen as an extension of high school are quickly fading away as more students…

What does Prior-Prior Mean for You?

If you’ve begun the process of applying to colleges, you might have heard the term
“prior-prior” thrown around. But what exactly does this mean? Prior-prior (or PPY) refers to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a recent policy change that allows families to complete the form using tax documents…