Resources for Your College Hunt
Here is a collection of resources that I either used or wish I had known about when I was going through the college process. I will continue to add to it as I find more.
Disclaimer: Many of these links are affiliate links. This just means that if you buy something, STTC will get a small portion of the proceeds (at no additional cost to you). I use this money to keep the site up and running. If you would like to support the blog further, check out the donate page.
Incredible College Prep Resource
Labeled as a “College Admissions and Financial Aid Guide For All Students,” this wonderful document should be your walkthrough resource for the college process. “Written by students from the nation’s top universities, this college application guide is being freely sent to every American public school to give students the opportunity to succeed.” Keep it handy.
College board is the company behind the SAT. They have a huge online college resource called Big Future, as well as a ton of information about the SAT (Including eight practice tests).
From the Questbridge website: “QuestBridge designs and builds programs for talented low-income students to access and navigate exceptional educational and life opportunities.” They run an incredible program to which I highly recommend you apply if you are eligible.
Financial Aid Information
Lynn’s blog has a great deal of information about the financial aspects of the college process. She does a great deal of analysis on cost vs gain of going to specific colleges. Remember that sticker price is not always what you pay, and every situation is unique!
College Prep Blog
Huge resource full of information on the college process. They have great timelines, tips on scholarships and financial aid, and more.
College Prep Blog
Jessica’s blog is a great resource for those of you looking to apply to Ivy League universities. She was accepted to a large number of great schools and spends much of her time writing/consulting on the college process.
A wonderful online resource to get a taste for coding. Not as comprehensive as many other courses out there, but you’ll be able to see progress very quickly.
FCC is a more in-depth coding experience in which you can learn the basics of multiple languages and skills before applying what you’ve learned to help non-profits with coding projects. I’m currently taking the front end development course!
Udacity is one of the most innovative MOOCs out there today. Along with a large number of free courses taught by people from top companies like Google, they also offer relatively inexpensive nano-degrees that will be taken seriously by employers in tech and other fields.
An online MOOC library where you can find courses on just about anything. I’ve used Udemy for coding and college prep applications so far.
SAT/ACT Prep & Online Classes
Sal Khan has created a huge resource online for students to study just about anything for free, including the SAT. They have vast numbers of practice problems and explanations you can use to get ready for your next test date. Plus it’s a great resource for helping you study for all your other classes as well! I used Khan Academy extensively in college, especially in differential equations.
Want to know what it’s like to study at a top college? Take some classes at MIT! You can literally take many of the same courses I took during my years at Tech online, tests and all. It’s a great way to set yourself apart. (Many other colleges have created similar resources. Google around to find them!)
Daniel R. Schwarz
A guest on the STTC podcast, Professor Schwarz’ book is full of wisdom for students, parents, and teachers on how to prepare for college and receive an education that prepares one for a career.
This book is a classic. Carnegie details simple strategies to use in order to have positive and effective interactions with others. It will continue to be valuable long after your college interviews are completed. I try to reread it every few years. It’s quite short and well worth the time to read.
I recommend this book because it contains great life advice whether you’re 14 or 40. Using historical examples and stoic philosophy, Ryan Holiday shows us how to turn the biggest difficulties in our life into the fuel for success. So what if you’re from a small town? Use that obstacle to show how to rise to the top!
The Princeton Review
If you decide to not spend the money on a tutor or class for your SAT/ACT studies, I highly recommend the prep books by Princeton Review. That’s what I used in high school. The tests in these books always seemed a little more difficult than the real thing, which I found to be helpful in my prep.
Duolingo is an online tool for learning new languages. It has a large number of languages to choose from, it works, and it’s free!
Organization & Project Management
Trello is a wonderful tool for organizing what you need to get done into tasks. I now use Trello for all my to-do lists, dragging things from bigger project boards (‘STTC Work’, ‘Learning to Code’, ‘Housework’, etc) to my ‘Today’ board and eventually to my ‘Task Complete’ board. Organize however you would like!
Organization & Project Management
Asana is a more robust program than Trello with a fair number more features. I would play around with both to see which you like better.
Calendar & Organization
Get in the habit of using an online calendar in high school if you don’t already. You’ll live by your calendar in college (and likely during your career too). Start by putting in all your college search deadlines.
Dropbox is a must if you don’t use it already. Keep all your files backed up to the cloud.
Evernote is a powerful tool for taking, organizing, and sharing your notes digitally.
Free Online Office Tools
Google Docs are great because any document you create can be accessed from any computer, from anywhere. Plus everything is backed up to the cloud so you never need to worry about loosing anything.
Math and Calculation
It’s like typing math into Google except that it’s much, much more powerful. Go play around with it next time you have a math project. Thank me later:)
Host Your Own Website
This (along with WordPress) is the service that I used to build/host STTC. I’ve had great experiences with them so far.