All Questions & Answers Articles

What is a college writing center and how do students benefit from it?
questions & answers

What are College Writing Centers?

If you think that college writing centers are only for those who dream of becoming the next romantic William Shakespeare or horrifying Stephen King, you are on the wrong track. A college student’s journey entails a lot of writing tasks, whether it is a lab report, research paper, or essay. Having a friend or classmate …
Student taking pictures of violet flowers on the ground.
questions & answers

What Are College Electives and Why are They Important?

When selecting your college courses, you will typically have three categories to choose from. The first is general education requirements, which all students are required to take. The second is courses required for specific majors. Under this category, you’ll choose from courses that are relevant to the specific major you’re pursuing. The third is electives, …
A chalk drawing of a clock, with text next to the right that says "how many credit hours should you take?"
questions & answers

How Many Credit Hours Should I Take?

When I was an orientation leader for the University of Iowa, I worked with our campus academic advisors to help new students build their class schedules. This is one of the questions I was asked the most by students. Many new students come in with an outline of a schedule that they (or their parents) …
A bird with a worm in its mouth.
questions & answers

What is Early Decision / Early Action for College?

While planning out high school schedules or searching for colleges, you might have come across the terms “early decision” / “early action” (often abbreviated ED and EA). But what exactly are they? What’s the difference between the two? Let’s start with the overarching theme here, “early”. Both ED and EA allow high school students to …
Even if you're a nontraditional student, you're still like any other student at the end of the day.
questions & answers

What Makes a Person a Nontraditional Student?

Depending on your chosen college, you might hear quite a bit about “nontraditional” students. These are students who are considered to be outside the “normal” parameters for college students. And believe me, it doesn’t take much to be outside those parameters. If your typical college student is full-time, straight out of high school into college, …
Like this flexible pencil, there's also such thing as test-flexible and test-required
questions & answers

What Does Test-Flexible and Test-Required Mean?

Though the names themselves might be somewhat self-explanatory, many are surprised to hear that some colleges don’t actually require incoming students to submit ACT / SAT scores. Yes, you read that correctly. With all the emphasis put on ACT / SAT prep, test day, and results, it might seem strange that some colleges don’t actually …
How can an independent college counselor help you?
questions & answers

What is an Independent College Counselor?

Maybe you’ve heard of them, and maybe you haven’t. Sometimes referred to as Independent Educational Consultants, these counselors are frequently self-employed, or otherwise, work for consulting businesses. Independent College Counselors work to help students and their families navigate the college search and application process. Who do they work with? Counselors typically work with families that …
A crossing light showing a green man walking.
questions & answers

What Exactly is College Readiness?

“College readiness” might just sound like a phrase thrown around during the college search and application process. On the surface, it seems like a generic “are you ready for college?” sort of question, but in truth it’s much more specific than that. College readiness refers to the set of skills, knowledge, and behaviors a high …
Types of degree programs.
questions & answers

Pros and Cons of Graduating High School a Year Early

Pros and Cons of Graduating Early Graduating high school early can be difficult but worth it for students who want to enter the workforce or go to college early. Pros of graduating high school early include getting a head start on college, more engaging courses, and the potential for saving money. However, students can miss …
The front of a building on a college campus with trees surrounding it.
college applications, questions & answers

What is the Coalition Application?

You’ve probably heard of the Common Application, but what about the Coalition Application? It came out a few years ago, and it may be worth your time to explore the differences. Here’s what you need to know about the Coalition Application, its pros and cons, and how it stacks up against the Common App. What …