Page 1

COLLEGE

BOUND

TOP STORIES FAFSA AND FINANCIAL AID

APPLICATION & SAVINGS TIPS MAKE SUMMER COUNT

SPRING 2016

DON'T WASTE IT

COLLEGE DRINKING

HAVE A STRATEGY

ROOMMATES and TRADE SCHOOLS

WHAT TO KNOW

A SPECIAL PUBLICATION OF PIONEER NEWS GROUP


2 COLLEGE BOUND

SPRING 2016

Nick Zentner

Welcome . . . to a university where you learn by doing. Welcome to Central.

America’s Top Math & Science Professors are at Central Washington University. NiCk ZeNTNer, James H. Shea Award, National Association of Geoscience Teachers DoMiNiC klyve, National Distinguished Teaching Award, Mathematical Association of America liSA ely, International Distinguished Lecturer Award, Geological Society of America STUArT BoerSMA, Distinguished Teaching Award, Mathematical Association of America BrUCe PAlMqUiST, National Physics Teacher Education Coalition exclusive grant to support innovation in physics teaching

CWU specializes in teaching science, igniting curiosity about and discovering new talent for science and math. Students partner with faculty on research that makes science and math exciting and relevant. One-to-one attention from faculty who specialize in teaching makes these challenging fields accessible and welcoming to students from all walks of life.

cwu.edu

Domonic Klyve

Lisa Ely

Bruce Palmquist 1420064.College16.cnr

CWU is an AA/EEO/Title IX Institution. For accommodation e-mail: DS@cwu.edu

Stuart Boersma


SPRING 2016

EDITOR & WRITER

COLLEGE

BOUND SPRING 2016

Lisa Reuter

COLLEGE BOUND

LAYOUT & DESIGN Brooke C. Benson

3


4 COLLEGE BOUND

SPRING 2016

UNDERSTANDING FAFSA

THE ONE FORM YOU NEED

FOR FINANCIAL AID G

oing off to college in the near future? Most of the financial aid you’ll receive will come directly from or through the school you attend. Most colleges and universities require students seeking any financial aid to fill out and submit a FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Many national scholarship programs require it too. It’s the form of the Department of Education, which provides federal and state grants, loans and work-study funds for college or career school – more than $150 billion each year to help millions of students pay for higher education. All students ae eligible for some type of federal aid no matter what their financial circumstances are. Even if your parents think they earn too much for you to qualify for aid, fill out the form. Circumstances can change, and it’s better in every case to have the form turned in by the deadline. You’ll find it at https://fafsa.ed.gov. To fill it out, you and your parents need separate FSA IDs.

FAFSA DEADLINES

FAFSA DEADLINES If you’re going to college in Summer or Fall 2017, you can submit your FAFSA form on Oct. 1 this year. That’s three months earlier than has been allowed in the past years. That means college application deadlines will likely be moved up too because for most first-time students, admission and financial aid offers are linked.

WHEN STUDENT IS ATTENDING COLLEGE (SCHOOL YEAR)

WHEN TO SUBMIT FAFSA

INCOME INFO REQUIRED FROM YEAR

July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017

Jan. 1, 2016

2015

July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018

Oct. 1, 2016

2015

July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019

Oct. 1, 2017

2016


SPRING 2016

You’ll submit a FAFSA each school year you want financial aid. In subsequent years, you’ll fill out a Renewal FAFSA form, which will pre-fill information from past forms.

FACTS ABOUT FAFSA There is no cost to fill out the FAFSA form. The form asks about 100 questions. “It can seem overwhelming when you first look at it,” said Katherine Foster, outreach manager for the Student Assistance Foundation. “But if you have all the documents you need in front of you, it usually takes a family just 20 minutes to complete it.” States and colleges have their own FAFSA deadlines. It’s best to design a single spreadsheet that lists all of the financial, application, scholarship, tuition, registration, housing application and orientation deadlines of every college you plan to apply to. On the FAFSA application, students are allowed to list up to 10 colleges to receive their FAFSA report.

LOOKING FOR SCHOLARSHIPS? Scholarships come from national and local sources. Find information on national scholarships at one of three websites: Scholly.com, Fastweb.com or goodcall.com. “You don’t have to look for scholarships on all three sites. Pick one and stick with it,” said Lauren Covington, coordinators of the Bozeman High School College and

Career Center. “You’ll find hundreds of ideas on each one, and you can put in one or two hours a week applying. If you’ve applied for as many scholarships as you can on one site, then move on.” There are scholarships for individuals who are lefthanded or have red hair or belong to certain ethnic or nationality groups; for individuals who prefer a specific brand of soft drink or fast-food chain or department or office supply store. You can win a $10,000 scholarship for designing and wearing a high school prom dress made out of duct tape. You’ll find all of these possibilities on Scholly, Fastweb or Goodcall. Don’t forget to check whether your parents’ employers offer scholarships. And for sure don’t forget to check in with your high school college, career or guidance counselors to see whether you’re eligible for any local scholarships presented by service groups, banks or clubs. A newer national internet site for scholarships is https://www.Raise.Me, a clearing house for college scholarships based on your high school achievements, Covington said. The time to begin the hunt for scholarships is the summer before your senior year, the same time you begin narrowing down your final decision on post-high school education.

MORE

FINANCIAL AID, P. 6

COLLEGE BOUND

5

WHAT TO BRING FROM HOME? Lots of money. And shower shoes.

—Michelle, on right, Montana State University Student

And towels. You don’t want to get stuck in the bathroom naked.

—Rianna, on left,

Montana State University Student


6 COLLEGE BOUND

SPRING 2016

HOW TO PAY TIPS FOR COLLEGE FINANCIAL AID

• To fill out a FAFSA form you need: your Social Security number; your Alien Registration Number (if not a U.S. citizen); your most recent federal income tax returns, W-2s and other records of money earned; bank statements and records of your investments (if applicable); records of your untaxed income (if applicable); and an FSA ID to sign electronically (if you don’t already have one, create one at the Federal Student Aid website). • If you’re eligible, you can transfer your federal tax return information into your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. • Help filling out each section of the FAFSA form is available at https://www.nerdwallet. com/nerdscholar/fafsa/tutorial. • The FAFSA4caster helps you estimate how much federal financial aid you’ll receive and how much your expected family contribution (EFC) is. The EFC is the amount you and/or your family are expected to put toward your college costs. It doesn’t take into account any institutional or outside aid, however, so use this to benchmark your costs, not predict them. • You can submit the FAFSA form online, print out a copy and mail in a PDF of your completed form, or request a paper form to complete by hand and return by mail. Online submissions are processed sooner. They’re also easier to update or amend. You simply log back in to your fafsa.gov account and click “make FAFSA corrections.”

A CREDIT UNION PERSPECTIVE

I

n 2015, Rocky Mountain Credit Union’s President & CEO Ed Stofko decided to offer a college scholarship to members to help support their pursuit of higher education and keep some well-qualified employees in Montana.

Members who are currently enrolled in or will be attending a Montana college or university in the Fall are eligible to apply for the “Membership Makes You Feel Good” Scholarship. Four $2,500 scholarships are being offered in 2016; two for traditional students just starting their college career and two for nontraditional students who may have already started their education. For details, visit www.rmcu.net. Did you know Montana credit unions offer a Matched Education Savings Account (MESA) for those saving for post-high school education? The MESA Program matches their savings, usually at a much higher rate of return. A MESA account is designed to help families and individuals of modest means establish a pattern of regular savings.

FOLLOWING ARE MATCHED SAVINGS RATES FOR MONTANA: MONTANA MESA PROGRAMS

SAVINGS GOAL

MATCH RATE

MAXIMUM MATCH

Carroll College

$500

8:1

Carroll College

Gallatin College

$500

4:1

Carroll College

Montana GEAR UP

$500

5:1

Carroll College

Montana State University $500

3:1

Carroll College

Montana Tech Ron Verbeck University of Montana

$500

5:1

Carroll College

$500

3:1

Carroll College


SPRING 2016

What does a MESA participant have to do to get the matched savings? MESA participants agree to: make minimum monthly savings deposits of $25 for at least six months, participate in personal finance/ money management training and post-high school planning, and maintain regular contact with RMCU program representatives.

Individuals or families are eligible if they:

1

Have an annual household income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty level or income at or below the Earned Income Tax Credit threshold. (The federal poverty guidelines are calculated by the number of people in your household and your annual income.) AND

2

Do not have household net worth exceeding $10,000. (In determining net worth, the primary dwelling and one motor vehicle owned by a member of the household will be excluded.) AND

3 4

The applicant must have earned income. AND

The applicant must be a Montana resident enrolled at one of the participating schools. For the Montana GEAR UP program, an applicant must be enrolled at a Montana GEAR UP High School.

To learn more about the MESA Program, stop by a RMCU branch, call 406-586-1505 or visit www.rmcu.net. Or visit http://www.montanacreditunions.coop/MESA or, for frequently asked questions, http://www.montanacreditunions.coop/MESA?article_id=1023 .

COLLEGE BOUND

7


8 COLLEGE BOUND

SPRING 2016

MAKE THE SUMMER BEFORE COLLEGE COUNT You did all the hard work for getting into college the summer after your junior year. Now you’re nearly a high school graduate, and you know where you’ll be come fall. This summer, you want to prepare for going away to college. The first thing to do is get a summer job – for two important reasons. You’ll need the money for college. And scheduling everything you want to do and have to do around work hours is great practice for the time management skills you’ll need when college classes start. PREP FOR CAMPUS College classes are more demanding. You have to learn more faster. Use this summer to get used to that. Read regularly. First, check whether there’s pre-reading for your initial classes. Many professors order it, and you don’t want to start out behind. Also spend time brushing up on the high school subjects you’ll see again in college. In fact, just set up the first of many study schedules you’ll need for college.

Remember that spreadsheet you created last summer to make sure you met all the various deadlines for college and financial aid submissions? Pull it out again and check two more dates you must not miss: The dates for college orientation and registering for your fall classes. And find out what books those classes require and shop around to buy or rent them at the best price. They are pricey! Get a map of campus and begin locating the buildings you’ll be in and moving between. Design travel routes. PREP FOR LIFE You’ll be doing more than managing your own time, you’ll be managing your life at college. If you haven’t given it much thought before, spending some time cataloging what you know about yourself. What things are most important to you? What can’t you live with when living with others, and what can’t you live without no matter what? Are you too neat or too messy, and can you change? Do you know how to calm yourself down or make yourself buckle down? What kind of friend do you want to be? What kinds of friends do you want to have? Your answers don’t have to be firm. You should change your mind sometimes as you learn new things and meet new people. But have some idea what your foundation is. Next, learn or continue practicing the important life skills you’re going to need. Develop and use a budget and figure out


SPRING 2016

START COLLEGE ROUTINE WHILE STILL AT HOME

how to manage your money so it lasts. Learn to pay bills on time. Know how to cook the basics and how to do laundry – maybe even iron and sew on buttons and mend clothing tears. Know how to clean. Understand your health insurance and know which health provider to go to. Know the basics about your own health in case of emergency. MEET YOUR ROOMMATE If you don’t know your college roommates yet, contact them over the summer to learn a little about them. Look them up on Facebook, but don’t believe everything you see there, and don’t make up your mind about them before you meet them. Arrange a phone call, or meeting if possible. Plan to tell them a little about yourself to get the conversation going, Ask them about their interests and their major, maybe even their study habits; about the high school activities they participated in, and what they might do in college, about their favorite things and pet peeves. Talk about who will bring what to the room. On the day you meet, remember that first impressions aren’t always lasting, and that can be a good thing.

WHAT TO BRING FROM HOME? Bring some goals.

—Li,

Montana State University Student

BE WITH FRIENDS Make sure to spend good time and make good memories with your best high school and hometown friends. Get college contact info. Don’t worry that you’re never going to see them again. You will, by Christmas for sure. You can, if you want to, see them for the rest of your life. Don’t overthink this one or stress about it. DO SOMETHING BIG Travel may be outside your budget right now. If you can, go somewhere new or unusual, perhaps with a group or with friends. If you can’t travel, you can still do plenty of big life things in your hometown. Really. Take up a new hobby, sport or musical instrument. Run a marathon. Read all the works of Shakespeare. Try out for a play. Teach yourself a foreign language. Volunteer to help someone else. Start now to do the things the person you want to be when you grow up does. And build in some down time. You’ve worked hard to finish high school and get into college. Learn how to relax and enjoy the moment. That’s an important life skill too.

COLLEGE BOUND

WHAT TO DO THE SUMMER BEFORE? Go out and do something on your own – not with your parents or family around. Ease yourself out of those ties and experience some small part of the real world on your own.

—Amanda,

Montana State University Student

Here’s a good set of tips to put into action before you even leave home. From Carina Beck, Ed.D., Director, and Erin McCormick, M.Ed., Associate Director, of Montana State University Bozeman’s Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success: Summer shouldn’t be seen as a “break," but rather as a three-month window of time to prepare for the responsibilities and realities of college. Most universities send emails and materials over the summer months to new students. Take these emails seriously, and read them to ensure you are up to date on expectations. You should try to meet deadlines and access resources earlier rather than later. Attend orientation – and go to all of the sessions. We know there is a LOT of information covered, but it is important. Take it seriously, and find out where you can ask questions again later. Universities will often allow you to make an appointment with a career coach, in order to begin planning for your future, before you arrive for classes. Take the time to explore student employment, internships and careers over the summer so your time during the academic year can be spent pursuing these possibilities. Actively think about how you are going to pay for college. University is an investment. Have a plan coming in so you are set for the initial expenses and throughout the year. If you are attending a Montana university, make the financial education office one of your first appointments on campus to review your budget and discuss your student loans. Develop a time-management plan. Get up at the same time each morning, hold a job, be accountable for your time. Focus your energy over the summer on establishing the habits you will need while in school.  

9


10 COLLEGE BOUND

SPRING 2016

GREAT GIFTS FOR THE GRADUATE

OTHER GOOD IDEAS: • A mini fridge or hamper for the dorm room. Or twin-XL sheets. That’s the size most college dorm beds are these days. • A sturdy backpack.

High school students headed off to college

need lots of things. The most practical really

are money, credit card gift cards or gift cards

for Walmart, Target, the college bookstore or gasoline. They’re most flexible too.

• A laptop bag.

• Nice towels and wash clothes, and a robe, for walks to the shower. • Logo gear for the college they’re bound for.

• A coffee maker. Or a good set of food containers and lids. • A book lamp.

• A basic home toolkit, or an emergency kit for the car. • Mark Bittman’s cookbook, “How to Cook Everything: The Basics.” • If you’re the parent or fairy godmother:

• The newest laptop. (Ask what the student wants.) • A bicycle and a good lock. (Again, ask what the student wants.) • A car jump starter kit.

• Luggage is still a fine idea.

Save the Date! Fall Orientation June 9-10 June 23-24 July 14-15 August 4-5

• More job opportunities • More internships • More online classes • More athletic programs t mor e a u o d n i F Find us on:

t msubillings.edu/future t

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o d ay !


SPRING 2016

16:1 STUDENT TO FACULTY RATIO 150

CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS

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IN CAREER PATH INTERNSHIPS

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ACADEMIC PROGRAMS

COLLEGE BOUND 11


12 COLLEGE BOUND

SPRING 2016

COLLEGE DRINKING 101 "Sure, everybody in college drinks." DON'T BELIEVE IT. “It can seem like lots of students are drinking,” said Adam, a student at Montana State University in Bozeman. “But really, there are plenty of students who don’t. There are lots of fun, healthy things to do around campus. Stick with the people who do them.” At least 40 percent of college students don’t drink, according to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. You can even go to parties and not drink alcohol. “Carry around a Red Solo cup with water or 7 Up in it. No one will know,” advised Abby, another MSU student. Or add a few drops of cola to the 7 Up. Peers will think it’s a 7 and 7. If you do drink from time to time, take steps to keep your Blood Alcohol Content low. Don’t binge drink.  “Binge drinking is bad because you’ll be so unproductive the next day and regret every decision you made the night before,” Abby said. It lowers your ability to reason and say

no, and leads to health and safety risks – for the drinker and all those around them. Binge drinking is defined as consuming four or more drinks in two hours if you’re female, five or more drinks if you’re male. The body can metabolize only about one standard drink an hour until the alcohol is out of your system, and coffee won’t sober you up fast or at all, no matter how much you consume. Here’s a strategy for college drinking: * Don’t drink the evening before a big test, presentation or event. * Don’t drink alcohol before you go out. Eat a full meal instead. * Plan how much you want to spend on alcohol and how much you’ll drink, then keep track of your drink count. * Eat while you’re drinking.  * Choose beverages with a lower alcohol content per volume, such as beer. Avoid shots. * If pouring your own drinks, don’t fill the glass. If someone else fills your glass, dump some of it.


SPRING 2016

* Drink a glass of water after every serving of alcohol. The idea is to fill your stomach with food and nonalcoholic drinks so you don’t drink more alcohol than you can metabolize. * If you’re smaller than your companions, don’t try to keep pace with them. You can’t. Body size affects alcohol absorption rate and effects.  * Know before you go out how you’ll say no when offered a drink you don’t want or dared to drink more. Practice your strategy in front of a mirror.  * Hang out with others who aren’t drinking, or aren’t drinking much.  * Plan in advance how you are getting home with a sober driver. Go out in pairs. Carry condoms. The ability to drink responsibly is a good skill to have all your life. No one wants to look dumb or be taken advantage of. No one wants to hurt themselves or others, or become a statistic. Each year, 1,825 students between ages 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related injuries; 696,000 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking; and 97,000 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.

COLLEGE BOUND 13

RISK FACTOR // The first 6 weeks of freshman year are a vulnerable time for heavy drinking and alcohol-related consequences because of student expectations and social pressures at the start of the year. PICTURED ABOVE, LEFT:

ADAM, FROM STORY

MORE

DRINKING, P. 14

AAbrand is is beginning. It’sIt’s exciting. AndAnd a little scary. brandnew newchapter chapter beginning. exciting. a little scary.

A brand chapter is beginning. exciting. a little scary. A brand newnew chapter is beginning. It’s It’s exciting. AndAnd a little scary. We’re community credit union andand we’re here to support our our We’rea a community credit union we’re here to support new college students, members and non-members alike. We’re a community credit union and we’re here to support We’re a community credit union and we’re here to support our new college students, members and non-members alike. our college students, members non-members alike. newnew college students, members and and non-members alike. Members – existing and new: Members – existing and new: – all existing and new: Members –with existing and new: • •Members Help with all things financial at our Ellensburg branch Help things financial at our Ellensburg branch Help with all things financial at Ellensburg our Ellensburg branch • Help with allaccess things financial at our branch • •24/7 ATM 24/7 ATM access • 24/7 access • 24/7 ATMATM access Non-member services: Non-member services: ® ® Non-member services: Non-member services: • Shared Branching (with participating CO-OP credit union partners) credit union partners) • Shared Branching (with participating CO-OP ® ® Shared Branching (with participating CO-OP credit union partners) • Shared Branching (with participating CO-OP credit union partners) • 24/7 ATM access • 24/7 ATM access • 24/7 access • 24/7 ATMATM access youdon’t don’t see what you need do our If Ifyou see what you need on on thethe list,list, justjust askask andand we’llwe’ll do our If you don’t see what you need on the list, ask just and ask and do our If you don’t see what you need on the list, just we’llwe’ll do our best to help. That’s what friends are for. best to help. That’s what friends are for. to help. That’s friends are for. bestbest to help. That’s whatwhat friends are for. You’ll find us in Munson Hall at 604 E University Way. You’ll find in Munson Hall 604 University Way.Way. You’ll find in Munson Hall at 604 E University You’ll find usus inus Munson Hall atat604 EEUniversity Way.

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1431028 College16 MW


14 COLLEGE BOUND

SPRING 2016

CONTINUED

DRINKING, FROM P. 13

Whether you’re drinking at a party or a bar, remember that everyone you meet is not your friend. Lee, a former bartender in a college town, saw too many instances of people trying to take advantage of the drinkers around them, both male and female, for purposes of robbery, sex or predatory entertainment like filming embarrassing videos for internet posts. “If someone wants to buy you a drink, make sure you take the drink directly from the bartender,” he advised. “No matter who buys your drink, don’t let it out of your sight. Don’t put it down. If you put it down and lose track of it, even for a minute, don’t pick it back up. Get another.”  And don’t combine alcohol with drugs or pot or even high energy drinks. It’s long been known that the interaction of drugs and alcohol or pot can greatly and more quickly increase the harmful effects of both, mentally and physically incapacitating people before they realize it. Recently, Middlebury College in Vermont banned the on-campus sale of energy drinks because they may lead to alcohol abuse and high-risk sexual activity. Sources: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; Steven Meier, Ph.D., associate professor at the University of Idaho Coeur d’Alene and director of the school’s Addictions Training Program. 

KNOW THE SIGNS OF ALCOHOL POISONING

Thousands of college students are treated each year for alcohol poisoning, when high levels of alcohol suppress the nervous and respiratory systems and the body struggles to rid itself of the toxins produced from the breakdown of alcohol. It can be fatal. Signs of alcohol poisoning include: • Mental confusion, stupor and coma, or the person can’t be roused. • Vomiting. • Slow or irregular breathing. • Hypothermia or low body temperature, and bluish or pale skin. The body doesn’t stop processing alcohol after a person passes out. Alcohol continues to enter blood stream and damage the body. Medical intervention may be needed. Call 911 if you suspect alcohol poisoning.

TIP FROM A FORMER BARTENDER If someone wants to buy you a drink, make sure you take the drink directly from the bartender. No matter who buys your drink, don’t let it out of your sight. Don’t put it down. If you put it down and lose track of it, even for a minute, don’t pick it back up. Get another.

—Lee,

A Former Bartender in a College Town

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SPRING 2016

COLLEGE BOUND 15

HOW MUCH IS A DRINK? A STANDARD DRINK CONTAINS ABOUT 14 GRAMS OF PURE ALCOHOL. THE EQUIVALENT OF:

1

12 ounces of beer with 5% alcohol content.

2

8.5 ounces of beer with 7% alcohol content.

3

5 ounces of wine with 12% alcohol content.

4

1.5 ounces of distilled spirits with 40% alcohol content.

To succeed in a changing world

Go beyond the ordinary

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• One of America’s best colleges (US News, Princeton Review, Fiske Guide) • Uniquely interdisciplinary, student-centered liberal arts and sciences

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1421361 ColBnd16 GP


16 COLLEGE BOUND

SPRING 2016

COLLEGE SUCCESS BOILS DOWN TO MANAGING MONEY, STUDY & SELF You don’t have time to read all the books and website articles about how to succeed in college. No one does. Here’s the short course. And before you blow this story off, take note: The flipside of “College Success” is how not to drop out. Forty percent of the people in class with you on the first day of college will not graduate in four – or even six – years. Some will be gone before the first semester ends. The No. 1 reason is finances. That’s really no surprise. Even if you have tuition, room and board covered, you still need money for books, all kinds of fees, materials and transportation, not to mention shampoo or your favorite fast-food meal every once in a while. • Make a budget that includes all your costs. Get help from someone who’s already in college and your parents to do it.

• Once you get to campus, take the advice of Carina Beck and Erin McCormick of Montana State University’s Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success: “Actively think about how you are going to pay for college. University is an investment. Have a plan coming in so you are set for the initial expenses and throughout the year. Make the financial education office one of your first appointments on campus to review your budget and discuss your student loans.” • Definitely talk with that office before money issues have you thinking about dropping out. You’d be amazed at the number of people who want to help you.

STUDY, STUDY, STUDY • College is now your job.

• Even if you also have a job, college is always your first priority. • That means going to class and putting in the necessary study hours is your top priority.

• Find a quiet place where you can study regularly. Your dorm room isn’t a good first choice. Try the library. (And get to know the librarians. They’d love to help you.)

• Block out a set study time every day. Create a schedule that maps out all your responsibilities every day, so you can easily see what you have to accomplish, and in what amount of time.

• Read and understand the syllabus for every class. It tells you what you have to do, and when you have to do it, to succeed. • Ask around and learn who your school’s best teachers are. Take their classes. A great professor can change your world.

GET INVOLVED Be an active participant in your classes. Take notes. Answer questions. Join the conversation. Even if you didn’t do this in high school, start doing it in college. Or, as Beck and McCormick put it, “Engage with your faculty. They are experts in their particular content area, so leverage that knowledge by learning as much as you can from them, both in and out of the classroom. Attend office hours, do research in their lab, visit with them after class. This relationship will open doors to you over the course of your academic career.” Another key person to get to know is your academic adviser. Meet with him/her early and often. Ask your adviser what else you can do to broaden your horizons – study abroad, do an internship, join a research lab, attend lectures on new top-


SPRING 2016

ics. Ask for advice on how to do these things. “It’s okay to ask questions, seek advice and leverage your resources to learn the ropes about college,” Beck said. GET HELP If you’re struggling, get a tutor. There’s no shame in this. College campuses are full of people whose job is to help you succeed. “Professional athletes seek advice and training from others. Why wouldn’t you meet with someone in order to develop your own competitive edge in the classroom?” McCormick said. Every college has some kind of study or student success center. There are classes available to help you improve your study and test-taking skills. You might meet your college’s star athletes in one. Your first year in college might be the first time in your life that you have trouble keeping up. You are not alone. The academic pace and demands of college are faster and tougher than what you’ve known. They’re meant to be. But lots of people before you have succeeded, and – have we said this before? – colleges are peopled with people who are there to help you and want to.

MANAGE YOURSELF Time management is the key to success. If you haven’t learned it yet, college isn’t too late. Manage your college expectations. You don’t have to get top grades in every class. You just need to pass. (Do get the best grades you can in the classes related to your major.) Manage your health and your emotions. Eat right. Exercise. Talk to friends and residence assistants and your parents when you need to. Take up meditation. Learn to relax – without alcohol. Give yourself time to get used to college, to adapt to the pace, to find your place and new friends. You can do this. You’ll be doing something like this for the rest of your life – every time you start a new job or move, for example. Stay on top of your classes. But make time to explore the world of college too. You are surrounded by new ideas, activities and people. One of them may open the door to the rest of your life.to relax and enjoy the moment. That’s an important life skill too.

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COLLEGE BOUND 17

HELP YOURSELF SUCCEED “Go to class.”

—Rhys, on right,

Montana State University Student

“It seems so simple. But not going to class is the fastest way to fail. Really.”

—Dustin, on left,

Montana State University Student


18 COLLEGE BOUND

SPRING 2016

ROOMMATES

Living with a college roommate or roommates is the kind of life experience that guarantees we grow a little – or a lot. We learn to compromise, accept another way of doing things and practice tolerance. It exposes us to new interests, perspectives and lifestyles and opens us to becoming more forgiving. It also provides a first companion or two as you experience all the newness of college, especially if you’ve chosen a school no one else in your high school is attending. But it takes some skill to negotiate the relationship too, especially if you’ve had your own bedroom all your life. The loss of privacy takes some getting used to. The best advice: Have an open mind. Be accepting as much as you can. Think about what YOU can compromise on and be willing to compromise first. Within the first day or two, make the house rules

together, and respect them. Share your hard boundaries up front. Be direct about difficult subjects. Show courtesy and be kind. Try to keep your things neat and on your side of the room. Respect your roommate’s things. Ask before you borrow anything. Talk about what bugs you while it’s still a little thing. But only to your roommate. Don’t talk about your roommate to others. Anyone else on campus, and especially in your dorm, may eventually become your roommate’s best friend. Be careful of who you bring into the room, when and how often, especially if you sense your new roommate is quite private or needs lots of study time and plans to do it in the room. When you can, give a head’s up that you’re bringing another friend in for a few hours. Be friendly, and don’t expect your roommate to be your instant best friend. Deep relationships take time to develop. Realize your new best friend may not be your roommate but a person who lives down the hall or someone you meet in class. When discussing issues, use “I feel” statements rather than blaming the other person. Start with, “I feel uncomfortable when . . .” Watch your roommate’s body language. Agree to disagree when you have to. When stating a problem, try to offer a solution too. Give the other person multiple chances. If you haven’t done so already in life, make the Golden Rule your first rule.

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SPRING 2016

COLLEGE BOUND 19

FOUR-YEAR COLLEGE NOT THE ONLY PATH TO GOOD JOBS

Big colleges aren’t the only option when you finish high school. Many good-paying jobs that allow you to work anywhere in the world – from hair stylist and pharmacy technician to business IT, mechanic and welder – don’t require fouryear degrees. Instead, you attend trade schools or twoyear and community colleges for two years or less to get the training and certification that quickly launches you into the work world – without weighing you down with the debt of a four-year degree. What’s the difference between the two types of schools, and how do you choose?

Trade and tech schools may be a bit more expensive than community or two-year colleges, in part because of the greater costs associated with technology and machinery required for specific certification programs. They may provide more on-the-job training through partnerships with companies, unions and professional organizations. Both colleges and trade and tech schools likely offer more flexible course schedules, including night classes. And the instructors are often working professionals who can share up-to-date job and career knowledge.

THE DIFFERENCES Trade and tech schools, sometimes called vocational schools, offer hands-on training specific to the career you are interested in. Twoyear and community colleges may stress a more rounded education that requires taking general math and writing courses along with jobfocused classes. They may be more theory-based and offer more lecture-based courses, much like a four-year college.

THE CHOICE If you know you don’t want to attend a fouryear college right away, but you still don’t know what you want to do, a two-year or community college is often the great middle way. Community colleges offer more opportunities to earn an associate’s degree along with professional or technical certifications or diplomas. Community colleges offer a taste of four-

year college life, but are often more manageably sized and comfortably paced. They can be where you start a four-year college degree. Just make sure your community college has agreements with nearby four-year schools that allow your course credits to transfer later. Before making a final decision, review your past school experiences. Did you prefer handson learning? Did lectures bore you? Then a tech or trade school may be the more enjoyable learning experience. FINAL THOUGHTS When comparing schools, look for a school that: Is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency and has ties to the industries and professionals associated with your career field. Graduates a high percentage of its students. Has a good job-placement program and a high job placement rate for graduates. Offers financial aid, and help finding housing and tutor/mentoring services. If you are deciding between a particular tech school and community college, ask whether they will work together to allow you to devise your own hybrid program, attending courses at both schools, to get the complete education you seek.


20 COLLEGE BOUND

SPRING 2016

EXCELLENCE EXCELLENCE 125Years Yearsof ofacademic academicquality quality 125 Years of academic125 quality IdahoProfessors Professorsof ofthe theYear Year 44Idaho 4 Idaho Professors of the Year #1College College Idaho(Forbes (ForbesMagazine) Magazine) #1 ininIdaho #1 College in Idaho (Forbes Magazine)

SUCCESS SUCCESS 64 64National NationalChampionships Championships 64 National Championships 777Rhodes RhodesScholars Scholars Rhodes Scholars Countless Countlessleaders leaders&&&innovators innovators Countless leaders innovators

PEAKPEAK

1 major, 3 minors, 4 years major,33minors, minors,44years years 11major, Design your own degree! Designyour yourown owndegree! degree! Design

VALUE VALUE

Rankedamong #5ininAmerica America forbest best Ranked America’s Ranked #5 for best combination ofacademic academic quality and college values by Moneyquality Magazine combination of and economicvalue value(USA (USA Today). and economic Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Today).

www.collegeofidaho.edu www.collegeofidaho.edu www.collegeofidaho.edu 1431461

College Bound Spring 2016  
College Bound Spring 2016  

A special publication of Pioneer News Group that contains very important articles specific to pre-collegiate students to aid in preparing fo...