College Search Resources

You do not need to know what you want to be when you grow up in order to go to college.
  • Presentation with audio recorded at October 25, 2012 college workshop for parents.: 

  • When should I take the SAT and/or ACT?
    Month
    Test
    Who should take?
    September
    College-bound seniors
    October
    College-bound seniors
    October
    College-bound seniors
    November
    College-bound seniors
    Juniors who are done with world language may choose to take that Subject test with listening
    December
    College-bound seniors
    December
    College-bound seniors
    January
    College-bound juniors
    February
    College-bound juniors
    March
    College-bound juniors
    April
    College-bound juniors
    May
    College-bound juniors
    Juniors in AP Bio, Physics, US History, Calc AB, Spanish may choose to take up to three of those subject tests
    June
    College-bound juniors
    Freshmen still strong in Hebrew should take Hebrew Subject test
    Underclassmen in AP or GT Bio, Physics, Math, World History, or US History may choose to take up to three of those subject tests
    June
    College-bound juniors
  • Pikesville HS Library's SAT prep Livebinder site
  • Pikesville HS Library's College Fit Livebinder site
  • Curious about what your PSAT score means?
  • Use College Navigator to generate a list that can be exported to MS Excel.
  • Search for colleges using Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/0gubF
  • If you are interested in athletics, check out academic rankings of the colleges in the BCS top 25 or the NCAA Basketball tournament. The Director's Cup is a competition among colleges rewarding those with the most athletic tournament wins, and a college's rank therein would be a sure sign of campus's sports culture.
  • For those who value attending college where the Queer community is accepted and embraced, use the Campus Pride index.
  • NACAC's suggestions on how to take advantage of having a school counselor.
  • Do Colleges care about Gifted and Talented?
  • List of HBCU's and even an HBCU common app
  • List of colleges with a reputation for being supportive of students with Asperger's.
  • Rational perspective on elite colleges and college "fit", by ISCA and IACAC
  • Great advice from an admissions counselor from Lasell College.
  • If you can't find your major in Maryland, use your in-state tuition elsewhere with the Academic Common Market.
  • If you plan to transfer enrollment (or even just credits) from one Maryland college to another, you are strongly advised to consult with the ARTSYS, which allows you to see what credit you would be awarded for a course at your first institution.
  • Participate in online chats, watch on-demand videos, and even search for scholarships at CollegeWeekLive.
  • Dr. Nancy Berk's College Bound podcasts are available for download.
  • Some colleges also offer online matriculation. See Maryland's options.
  • Lots of higher education data is avaliable at http://college-insight.org/ 
  • Grades and tests scores aren't so hot? Some colleges see you as more than just a number. Watch this #AdmissionsLive video on noncognitive traits.
Questions to ask on a college visit

Questions to ask at a college fair:
  • Shake hands. Look the representative in the eye.
  • Do you use SAT and the ACT in your admissions decisions? Is there a preference?
  • Do you require or recommend SAT subject tests? Which ones?
  • What grade point average range do you typically admit? How much emphasis do you place on academic rigor, like honors and AP courses?
  • What types of merit and/or need based scholarship programs are available?
  • What resources are available when students need academic assistance? 
  • Do you guarantee on-campus housing for freshmen? How likely is it for a student to be in “temporary housing?”
  • How large are your typical freshman-level classes, like Introductory Chemistry/Biology, English Composition, and Accounting?
  • What opportunities do students have to participate in recreational sports?
  • What type of class schedule do you look for in an applicant's senior year?

NextStepU.com is THE place to go for everything you need to know about life after high school. Plus, you can win up to $10,000 by entering the Win Free Tuition contest! Check it out.


Planning your college visit schedule

Alphabet soup - what are all these different degrees?

Initials
Formal Degree Name
Description
Community College, two-year degrees
AAS
Associate of Applied Science
2-year, technical focus
AA
Associate of Arts
2-year, with plans to focus on an artistic bachelor degree
AS
Associate of Science
2-year, with plans to transfer to a scientific bachelor degree
Four-year degrees, either start at college or transfer from community college
BS
Bachelor of Science
4-year scientific focus
BA
Bachelor of Arts
4-year artistic focus
BFA
Bachelor of Fine Arts
4-year in performing or visual arts
BSW
Bachelor of Social Work
4-year social work training
Graduate degrees that require at least a four year degree for admission
MSW
Master of Social Work
1-2 year advanced training in social work
MS
Master of Science
1-3 year advanced training in a science
MA
Master of Arts
1-3 year advanced study in an art
MEd
Master of Education
1-3 year advanced training in education
MBA
Master of Business Administration
2-3 year advanced training in business administration
MFA
Master of Fine Arts
2-3 year advanced training in performing or visual arts
JD
Juris Doctor
3 year degree in law
MD
Medical Doctor
4 year degree in medicine
DO
Doctor of Osteopathy
4 year degree in osteopathic medicine
PsyD
Doctor of Psychology
4-7 year degree in clinical psychology
EdD
Doctor of Education
3-6 year degree in education
PhD
Doctor of Philosophy
3-8 year degree in advanced study of a chosen field, usually to prepare to teach at the university level

In addition to following college admissions offices on twitter, learn what not to do by following AdmissionsProblems on twitter or facebook. Also, participate in tweetchats: #campuschat (First Wed of each month at 9pm), #collegebound uschat
Recommended Reading
The College Solution by Lynn O'Shaughnessy
College Bound and Gagged by Nancy Berk
Colleges that Change Lives by Loren Pope
Acceptance by David Marcus
Crazy U by Andrew Ferguson
Gatekeepers by Jacques Steinberg
Making it into a Top College by Howard Greene


Tips for writing essays:
The College Board and its Big Future
U of Michigan
U of Chicago


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