Setting up your College Greenlight account

In case you missed the Junior College Knowledge class this week, here are the instructions on how to set up your College Greenlight account. Start at, and then follow the Prezi embedded below.

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Filed under Applications, Nicholas Academic Center, Research

Don’t Panic

But the deadlines for college applications are approaching.

This does not mean that you should stop reading this and go submit your application.

This does mean that you should:

  • Gather your transcripts.
  • Have a trusted college guidance counselor offer feedback on your personal statement(s) (not the day before, but now).
  • Ask your counselor and teachers for letters of recommendations (before you write their information down. If you need guidance, check here)
  • Carefully fill out your application and have a trusted college guidance counselor review for common mistakes.
  • And then click the submit button.

So now that you have been reminded, don’t procrastinate! The online applications will get more and more crowded as the deadlines get closer. If you’re applying to California State University (CSU/Cal State) or University of California (UC) schools, word to the wise: the website will crash frequently during the final days.

And if you need a reminder on the application sites: CSU, UC, Common Application (for many private colleges and universities). If the school you are applying to can’t be found here, Google is your best friend. Find the school’s website and look for their “Apply” tab/button/page.

Again – Don’t Panic. But do get a move on. The worst rejection from a college or university is the one you give yourself by missing the deadline.

So get your app in gear and get ready to submit!

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Filed under Applications, Cal States, Common App, CSU Mentor, Nicholas Academic Center, Seniors, UCs

HOWTO: Send SAT scores to colleges/universities

You have been asking how to send your SAT scores to your colleges, and we have heard!

Here’s how to do it:

1.)    Go to the College Board website, click on SAT (at the top, on the left)
2.)    Click on Send Scores on the right-hand side
3.)    You’ll be prompted to sign in, so do so 🙂
4.)    Choose your colleges from their search tool
5.)    Add the schools you want to send scores to
6.)    Click on order scores.

HELPFUL HINT: If you’re applying to California State University schools (a.k.a Cal States a.k.a CSUs), send your score to California State University Mentor [NAME OF CAMPUS].  They’ll send scores to all the CSUs you applied to. DO NOT send them to a specific CSU campus. It has to be the MENTOR one for all of the CSUs to get your scores in 1 go.


Filed under Applications, Cal States, Nicholas Academic Center, SAT scores

The Cover Letter

You may have run into this term for internships and scholarships and jobs you’ve applied for. These 2 words show up in the required document list without any other instructions or suggestions from the organization requesting said letter as to what is should look like or include.

Well this is the post that will give you an idea of how to approach this most important of documents for all future job applications.

The first thing to keep in mind is that a cover letter is a letter. It is a business letter in form, but it is still a letter written to people, not machines. Make sure you write an actual letter, otherwise you come across as disrespectful to the people you’re writing to, which will not help your endeavor.

You also need to remember this is the one place you have to explain what you’re writing about.

If you’re writing this letter to ask for money, you will want to introduce yourself briefly. And you want to make sure that you include the dollar amount you are requesting. Along with that, you may want to include the total amount you are covering and other ways that you are coming up with that money. You will definitely want to include how you would use the amount of money you are requesting. No one wants to give money to someone and feel like the money went to something they didn’t want.

If you’re writing this letter as part of a job or internship application, this is the place for you to introduce yourself and explain what you would bring to the company and how they might benefit from hiring you. Provide an experience that has made you into a great candidate. It is also a place for you to share what you would gain from working for them.

Other than that, you want to make sure the letter is formatted like a business letter, and that your tone matches the professional nature of the letter and this type of exchange. You don’t want to make the people you’re trying to convince to give you money or a chance think that you’re not serious about this request. And, as with any written work, make sure you proofread a copy that has also been run through the spell check included with most word processing programs.

So now that you know what a cover letter should include, what does it look like put together? Check this example for a scholarship cover letter.

As with all types of writing, the best way to get better at cover letters is to write them. So when you think a job or internship or scholarship looks like it might fit, write the cover letter and apply! You never know what might happen…

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Filed under Applications, Nicholas Academic Center, Scholarships

Transition Questions

So your Senior Year is winding down to it’s close. The Graduation Countdown measures weeks now, not months or years. And in just a few more weeks, you’ll be heading to college.

This time can be exciting and terrifying, move faster and slower than your most interesting and boring classes, and leave you more sure and unsettled than you thought possible. But more than anything, you probably have more questions now than when you started this whole process.

And those questions are precisely the topic of this blog! So, in preparation for the transition you’re stepping into, we’re going to be starting a series looking at transitioning to college. Starting now.

The first question you’re probably facing is something along the lines of “Am I ready for college?” And you’re probably not even thinking of it in those terms. This question sneaks up in the form of statements and other questions. In fact, many of the questions we’ll explore stem from this uncertainty.

The funny thing about the answer is that it walks the middle of the road. You are and you aren’t ready for college.

You are ready for college if you’ve gone to school, paid attention in class, talked with teachers/counselors/mentors/parents, and learned as much about your future school as you can without attending. You are as prepared as everyone else who will be part of your freshman class.

You aren’t ready, however, because college is an entirely different beast than high school. The work load is more than you anticipate, and the expectations your professors and school will place on you are higher. You’re an adult now, and with that comes all of the responsibilities for your time, energy, and money. You will have to learn how to balance all of your commitments in a way that makes you more successful and sets you up on the path you’d like to travel.

I know that second part is not reassuring. But what I haven’t mentioned yet is that everyone is in the same boat.

College is a time where you grow into adulthood and take your first steps down a very long path. And though you might have an idea of where you’d like to end up, the path shifts and wanders. And so do you.

I have yet to meet someone who walked out of college the exact same person they were when they walked in. You learn new ideas and ways of doing life, and you learn more of your preferences and passions, and you change.

And there’s no way to prepare for that.

So, we’ll talk about the other questions, like roommates and culture shock and being a college student. But know this: You’re not alone, and you’re as ready as you’ll ever be for college.

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Filed under Nicholas Academic Center, Seniors

Santa Ana College Scholarship

Santa Ana College football players from blog by Michael Yanow

Did you know that Santa Ana College has scholarships for high school students who will enroll full-time at the school?

They do! And the application is fairly simple, releasing your academic records to the different scholarship reviewers who need to see your transcript. It’s available online or in the Student Services office. And even better, it gives priority to AB540 students!

The deadline is April 9, 2012, so if you’re a high school student matriculating in Santa Ana College, make sure you send in the app. You don’t want to miss out on this free money.

And once you’re a SAC student, make sure you check back in with Student Services in the fall. The school has their own Scholarship Booklet that you do not want to overlook. That’s another easy way to get money to cover your fees so you can focus on your schooling to complete your program or transfer to a four-year college or university.

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Filed under alumni, Scholarships, Seniors

HEEF Deadline

It is officially the high time of college scholarship application season. The 2012-2013 school year begins in just a few months, and even though it seems like forever before you’ll need the money, college tuition won’t disappear. One of the best ways for many students in the OC area is to apply to local college scholarships.

The Hispanic Education Endowment Fund scholarship deadline is fast approaching. The application, available on their website, is due to them by March 9, 2012. Also know as: This Friday.

Even better, documentation doesn’t matter. As long as you live in the OC and have lived here for at least 6 years, you can apply for their scholarship.

If you’re a Latino or Latina who is headed to college or already attending, and you live in Orange County, CA, send in those apps! Time is running out!

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Filed under Nicholas Academic Center, Scholarships