• Clubs You Can Start in High School

    Extracurriculars are an important part of your development in high school. They often lend insight into future career aspirations and teach time management and prioritization in a way that straightforward academic pursuits cannot. Succeeding outside of the classroom also speaks to your commitment and your ability to multitask.

    So what’s a student to do when your interests aren’t represented by any high school clubs or activities? What if you know exactly what you want to pursue, but there’s no avenue for doing so at your school? Is it time to settle for another activity?

    Not so fast. There’s another option that you should consider: starting your own club.

  • Extracurricular Ideas for the Aspiring Journalist

    Niche interests such as journalism might seem difficult to pursue in high school at first glance. It’s easy to think that if you aren’t producing and publishing newsworthy material on a regular basis that you’re not working towards your goal, but this is definitely not the case.

    There are many opportunities to pursue journalism directly and indirectly. Some can happen through your school, while others are independent pursuits. To learn more about how and why you should pursue your interests in journalism, read on.

  • How to Organize a High School Study Session

    Group studying is a great alternative to studying alone, and many studies have revealed that it can actually be more effective than solo studying (so long as you’re actually studying and not chatting!). A study published by the American Psychological Association in 2006 revealed that groups of three, four, or five perform better on complex problem solving than the best performer of an equivalent number of individuals, and this study is just one of many that point to the same conclusion. Group study is often a more efficient and effective method of learning, at least in concentrated amounts.

    To learn how to organize your own study session, read on.

  • 10 Weird College Scholarships You Should Consider

    Usually we think of college scholarships as elite awards available only to the top students who have excelled in academics, athletics, or extracurriculars. Sometimes, students who have steadily made their way through high school without particularly standing out in any single area may feel as though a college scholarship is an unrealistic expectation.

    If you feel this describes you, there’s good news. Many alternative scholarships exist, some in niche skill sets, others in slightly unconventional specialties, and still more that reward quirky or creative thinking. There are even some that are rewarded based on sheer chance or luck. If you’re an out-of-box thinker looking for a college scholarship to reward your ingenuity or just plain zaniness, read on.

  • How to Win Best Delegate in Model UN

    When applying for college, high school students are often told that it’s important to be well-rounded—in other words, to have an extracurricular profile that shows a broad range of different interests. However, as we’ve discussed in our blog post Well-Rounded or Specialized?, it’s equally important that you demonstrate depth in a specific area.

    One way to show your mastery of a particular subject or activity is, of course, to win a prestigious award, title, or other prize. Awards can show off not only your skill in a particular area, but the hard work you’ve put into it and your ability to perform well in a competitive setting.

    In this post, we’ll review Model UN’s Best Delegate award, an honor given to exceptional performers at many Model UN conferences. Read on for an explanation of this award, as well as advice for crafting your strategy for winning Best Delegate.

  • Creative Writing Opportunities for High School Students

    What if your school doesn’t seem to offer much for students who want to pursue creative writing? Or what if you don’t even know where to begin looking? How can you keep your momentum headed towards your goal or otherwise use your time productively if you passionate about creative writing?

    There are many activities available to high school students who enjoy creative writing. Some might be available through your school, but many are out there waiting for you to pursue them independently.

    In this post, we’ll outline how you can take the initiative to pursue multiple creative writing opportunities both in and out of school. Keep reading to learn more about what opportunities are out there for high school-aged creative writers.

  • Community Service Projects for Music Majors

    When you are applying to college, it is important to present a cohesive application. As we discuss in Well Rounded or Specialized?, that means showing that you are especially committed to a particular skill or area of interest. This specialization should be reflected not only in your academics, but in your extracurricular activities as well.

    If you are planning on majoring in music or attending a music conservatory following high school, finding ways of incorporating music into your extracurricular activities can make you an especially competitive candidate for admission. Even if you are planning on majoring in something else, colleges do like to see a connection across activities—so if you’re involved in band or wind ensemble or have been taking oboe lessons for 10 years, finding other activities that put your musical talents to use will strengthen your application.

  • Financial Aid Application Through a Parent Lens

      By now, your son or daughter has completed their applications for their top choice colleges and they are anxiously awaiting the results, but one component of the application process may still loom overhead. The financial aid application process is one that can seem overwhelming, frustrating, or nearly impossible to complete, but speaking from a […]

  • Affordable Academic Summer Programs for High School Students

    Once upon a time, summer meant vacation. Now that you’re in high school, however, colleges will expect you to do something a little more productive and meaningful with your summer break, even if you are still an underclassman. One activity that falls into this category is participating in a summer program. Many such programs are academic and involve taking courses, and you will be able to delve into topics that especially interest you and become more involved in particular subjects. Additionally, you may be able to learn valuable subjects and skills that you might not have the opportunity to learn at school. Attending these programs will show colleges that you are eager to learn—so much so that you are willing to spend your summers exploring your academic interests. We describe many programs for specific interests in greater detail here.

  • I Was Deferred—What Now?

    When you apply to a college through an Early Decision or Early Action process, it’s clear that you’re particularly motivated to get admitted to that school. This can make waiting for your admission decision all the more agonizing.

    If you’re accepted, your options are relatively simple. Rejection is upsetting, but in a way, it’s even simpler— one option has just been eliminated. There is, however, a third possibility for your early admission decision: deferral, in which the college decides to delay making a final decision on your application until the Regular Decision notification date.

    Being deferred can be bewildering, but it’s a common experience, and CollegeVine is here to help. In this post, we’ll cover what the deferral process looks like, what deferral means for your application, and what you can do to maximize your chances of eventually being accepted to your college of choice.