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Story Up! The College Essay Blog

The 10 Best Online Resources for College Applications

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 27, 2015 11:39:00 AM / by Jocelyn Johnson

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by Jocelyn Johnson, Marketing and Social Media Coordinator, Story2,
© 2015 Story2. All rights reserved.

image source: http://studenteduloan.com/

The college admissions process can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a ton of online resources for students that support you at each stage of the college application process—and many of them are free! Here are the 10 best online resources for college applications:

Story2

Story2 provides interactive storytelling tools, individual coaching services, and instructive content that empowers you to understand yourself more authentically, achieve your goals of getting into college, and build a better life by learning how to tell your story. Find your essay topic with our topic generator and complete a draft in less than four hours with Story2's step-by-step online toolkit. You can also request feedback on your essay from an expert trained in the proprietary Moments Method® curriculum. Story2 has helped over 15,000 students get in and get money at selective colleges and universities. Join our community.

Click here to register now

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#SocialStories: A Dia-blog

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 23, 2015 3:19:00 PM / by Carol Barash posted in storytelling, Guest Post, social media, #SocialStories

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#SocialStories is a dia-blog between Carol Barash, founder of Story2 and Alan Katzman, founder of Social Assurity.

February 20, 2015: Getting Started

Alan:  The combination of storytelling techniques with social media’s publishing capabilities connects people with the issues that matter to them--online and off.

Carol and I were introduced through the Parents League of New York. A series of phone conversations led to IRL Starbucks meetings where the concept of #SocialStories was born.

At Starbucks, Carol and I shared stories about our lives and by way of that storytelling we realized we shared a similar vision, based in authenticity.

Two principles guide this discussion:

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The Top Three “Survival Tips” For SAT Test Day

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 18, 2015 4:45:00 PM / by Steve Dorfman posted in sat, act, test prep, standardized testing

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Guest Post by Steve Dorfman, owner of Tier One Tutors

For over a million students every year, their SAT test day is a gloomy one. The stress, pressure, anxiety, and butterflies prove to be all too much for most 16 year olds. However, here are three important tips that can help any student take back control of this important day.

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15 Competitive Summer Opportunities for High School Students

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 12, 2015 9:58:00 AM / by Jocelyn Johnson posted in summer job, summer, summer internships, summer programs

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by Jocelyn Johnson, Marketing and Social Media Coordinator, Story2,
© 2015 Story2. All rights reserved.

Close your eyes and imagine what it’ll be like when summer does come. What will you be doing?  Well, unless you want to be sitting on the couch for 12 weeks, the time is now to begin applying for summer programs. Here’s a list of 15 competitive summer opportunities* waiting for your application, plus 3 bonus resources for your summer planning!

Pre-College Programs

JSA Summer Programs

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The 3 Types of Financial Aid

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 4, 2015 12:38:18 PM / by Carol Barash posted in financial aid, scholarships, merit aid

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by Carol Barash, PhD, founder and CEO, Story2, and author of Write Out Loud
© 2015 Story2. All rights reserved.


There are basically 3 types of financial aid:

  1. Federally and in some cases state subsidized grants (e.g. Pell); for these you must fill out the FAFSA form. Some colleges also require you to fill out the CSS form from the College Board; check each college’s Financial Aid web page for details.

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The Ambitious Junior’s Guide to Snow Days

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 2, 2015 4:40:00 PM / by Jocelyn Johnson posted in juniors, advice, tips, college planning, snow day

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by Jocelyn Johnson, Marketing and Social Media Coordinator, Story2,
© 2014 Story2. All rights reserved.


Happy February! So far this winter has been pretty mild, but as Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog predicted today,
it’s going to be a long 6 more weeks of winter. And, with snow storms comes SNOW DAYS!

As a high school junior, nothing is more valuable than time. Snow days actually provide a unique opportunity for you to get a head start on your college planning process. Try to balance work and play on your next snow day. Here are a few tips to guide you:

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College Essay Foundations for Juniors: Discover Your Story to College

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 30, 2015 12:26:00 PM / by Jocelyn Johnson posted in what admissions officers are looking for, storytelling, juniors, college process, essay writing tips, admission essay

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by Jocelyn Johnson, Marketing and Social Media Coordinator, Story2 | © 2014 Story2. All rights reserved.


What’s the secret to writing college essays? The answer might surprise you--and no, it’s actually not perfect grammar (although that is certainly important). It’s storytelling. Neuroscience research shows that when you tell a story,
you ignite a chemical reaction in the brain that prompts the listener or reader to take action. So, as you are preparing to write your college essay, keep in mind that when you reveal who you are through a story, you will be able to establish an authentic connection with admissions officers.

That authentic connection will distinguish you from the vast pool of applicants who have similar grades and test scores. Telling your story effectively can be the difference between “we’ve got to have this student” and “this student could be a good fit here.”

Storytelling skills are like muscles: everybody has them, but if you don’t exercise them through practice, they atrophy. When we are young, our storytelling skills are strong, because we are taught to communicate through stories. But as we grow older, our innate storytelling capacity weakens as we develop our analytical and critical thinking skills. Start exercising your storytelling muscles now, and you’ll be in great shape when it comes to writing your college essay. Here’s 3 things to start doing today:

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College Admissions Success in 5 Minutes a Day

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 28, 2015 3:15:00 PM / by Carol Barash posted in juniors, advice, college process, essay writing tips, college admission strategy

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by Carol Barash, PhD, founder and CEO, Story2, and author of Write Out Loud
© 2014 Story2. All rights reserved.


It is not too early to start thinking about applying to college in the fall!  
Slowly and perniciously, the deadline for serious college applicants is moving back from December 31 to November 1. That’s two months less to complete your applications! What can you do now to stay above water?

1. Planning

Planning is one of the great things you can learn from the college admissions process.
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Scholarship Essays: Yes, You Can!

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 22, 2015 12:52:00 PM / by Jocelyn Johnson posted in scholarships, college tuition, paying for college, essay writing tips

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Written by Jocelyn Johnson, Marketing and Social Media Coordinator, Story2

College is expensive. Being able to pay for collegeall of it, not just the first yearis equally as important as getting into college. A recent study found that dropping out of college, even for financial reasons, can be worse than never going at all.

The good news is there are thousands of scholarship opportunities out there, with many different requirements and application processes. When you’re applying for a scholarship that has a required essay or response to a prompt, here’s what you need to do to write a winning scholarship essay.

You can act on these tips RIGHT NOW by using the Story2 toolkit. Use the discount code “SCHOLARSHIP” to get essay feedback for only $79.

1. Use the prompt to your advantage

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11 Scholarships for High School Students

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 16, 2015 3:54:00 PM / by Jocelyn Johnson posted in scholarships, seniors, college tuition, paying for college

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Written by Jocelyn Johnson, Social Media Coordinator, Story2

I’m not a betting woman, but if I was, I would bet that the majority of colleges and universities’ (both private and public) tuition will increase or stay the same for the academic year of 2015-2016. With recent reports showing that the cost college in the U.S. is rising faster than the rate of inflation, I think I have a good chance at winning that bet. But, if you’re a college bound student who is trying not to cost yourself, or your parents, a fortune, the odds are not in your favor.

The good news is that more colleges are meeting family’s financial aid needs and more independent scholarship opportunities are arising--with a wide range of award amounts and application processes. While scholarships between $1,000 - $5,000 may seem meager compared to the staggering prices of tuition, they can be integral for purchasing textbooks or for financing a summer abroad.

Check out the following 11 scholarships* now accepting applications for high school students. And, be sure to use Story2 to write winning application essays that will get you paid!

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