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College Admissions:

What To Do Right Now 



Lesson 1: Get Organized

Story2 Getting Started_1

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Pro tip: Stay on track! Download the worksheet to explore which colleges are a great fit for you!  

Lesson 2: Plan Your Tests


Story2 Plan Your Tests_2


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Pro tip: Plan ahead! Download the worksheet to create your own personal testing plan!

Free Lesson 2 Resources

  1. ACT vs. SAT Diagnostic
  2. ACT Prep from ACT Academy
  3. SAT Prep from Khan Academy
  4. Prep Smarter: How to Make the Most of SAT/ACT Preparation
  5. New Research on Admissions Testing and Test Preparation
  6. Test-Optional/Test Flexible Colleges List

Lesson 3: College Research

Story2 Lesson 3-1


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Pro tip: Focus on the data points that matter in the admissions process!

Free Lesson 3 Resources

  1. College Navigator
  2. College Scorecard 
  3. College Greenlight

Lesson 4: Build Your List

Build Your List Video


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Pro tip: "Likely" colleges that you love (and can afford) are critical to any college list!

Free Lesson 4 Resources

  1. Naviance (if your school offers Naviance)
  2. College Greenlight Scattergrams
  3. Net Price Calculator 

Lesson 5: Recs, Summer, and Senior Year


Lesson 5-1


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Pro tip: You don't need to spend money on fancy summer programs! The biggest impact can usually be made in your local community!

Free Lesson 5 Resources

  1. College Greenlight Summer Programs (that offer financial aid)
  2. 15 Competitive Summer Opportunities for High School Students
  3. What Do Colleges Want You to do This Summer

Lesson 6: The Money Mindset

Lesson 6 Money Mindset


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Pro Tip: The Net Price Calculator will provide a personalized price quote for need-based financial aid at any college or university!

Free Lesson 6 Resources

  1. Net Price Calculator 
  2. RaiseMe (micro-scholarships that can be accessed as early as 9th grade)
  3. College Scorecard 

Lesson 7: Writing Skills


12 Month Course July-1


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Pro Tip: Essays rank as the most important factor in the admissions process after grades and test scores!

Free Lesson 7 Resources

  1. Guide to the University of California Application essays
  2. Tips for the Additional Information section of the Common Application
  3. Answering the "Why College?" Supplemental Essay

Lesson 8: Rock Your Applications

Rock your Common App


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Pro Tip: Even though it’s a standardized form, students can still use the Common App to present a powerful and unique story about themselves.

Free Lesson 8 Resources

  1. The Only College Checklist You'll Need
  2. 5 Places to Unlock Value in College Applications
  3. 7 Tips for the Additional Information Section of the Common App

Lesson 9: Interviews and Interest


Interest & Interviews


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Pro Tip: To figure out whether a college considers demonstrated interest, you can also check the Common Data Set--just Google ‘[Specific College] Common Data Set’ to a college's specific Common Data Set.

Free Lesson 9 Resources

  1. 5 Common Interview Questions How to Answer Them
  2. How to Share Your Demonstrated Interest in Your College Essays
  3. Develop Stories for Your Interview with StoryBuilder

Lesson 10: Make an Early Plan


lesson 10


Get Your Early Application Guide

Pro Tip: Early applications are a good move for most students, particularly binding Early Decision which will put you in the best possible position in a college’s admissions pool!

Free Lesson 10 Resources

  1. 5 Tips for Early Decision and Early Action
  2. Early Admissions Advantage Data from the Washington Post
  3. Story2 Supplemental Essays Course

Lesson 11: Finalize your list

Lesson 11


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Pro Tip: As you finalize your college list remember to keep it balanced, included affordable options, and do a “gut check” to make sure you could see yourself at every college!

Free Lesson 11 Resources

  1. 5  Things to do before hitting "submit"
  2. 4 Tuition Hacks to make college more affordable
  3. Finding a likely school you love

Lesson 12: Decisions, Decisions

My Movie


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Pro Tip: As you finalize your college list remember to keep it balanced, included affordable options, and do a “gut check” to make sure you could see yourself at every college!

Free Lesson 12 Resources

  1. College Scorecard
  2. You Got Accepted, Now What? (The College Board)
  3. How to Find a College You'll Love by Jeff Selingo

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