Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

On Your Mark…Get Set… FAFSA Changes On Deck

Every January, many students start the new year by vowing to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (commonly called the FAFSA). To keep those students on task, educators often launch campaigns reminding students not to procrastinate on filling out the FAFSA forms.

But this year, students can start even earlier – and smart students will. Why? Because the FAFSA opens up on October 1, 2016. And because some financial aid is given on a first-come, first-served basis. That means filers who submit on October 1 could get more money – and that’s never a bad thing.
Read more…

Help Students Fall in Love With Their Career Plans

It is Valentine’s Day soon, so we’re going to hear a lot about love — whether we want to or not! There are many catchy phrases about love: all you need is love; love makes the world go around; love is friendship set to music.  In fact, some of the best quotes with the word “love” are actually about careers. A good one is from Confucius: “Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.” In other words, if you love what you do, every day will be like a holiday. Isn’t that a great goal for students?

Read more…

Gearing Up for the FAFSA – Start with the FAFSA ID

As 2015 starts drawing to close, it’s time to start thinking about what lies ahead in 2016.

Our predictions?

Well, in a perfect world, January 1, 2016, will be the day every high school senior sits down to file the FAFSA. After all, it’s important to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible. Some schools and states award aid money on a first-come, first-served basis.

Read more…

Thirteen Proven Tips to Rock Every Test This Fall

Want to help your students tackle their exams with confidence this fall? It helps to give them a plan of attack. You’ve probably noticed that year after year, many students make the same test-taking mistakes.

We’ve assembled some tips for you to share with your students. These are starting points – feel free to add your own!

Read more…

Choices360 School Finder

School Finder Tips

The School Finder lets you combine characteristics of colleges that are most important to you in a search for matching schools. If students find their School Finder results seem overwhelming, with too many schools to sort through, suggest they break their search down step by step.

Read more…

Tips & Tricks: Face College Application Fears

Is October scarier than it was last year? Consumer spending suggests it might be. A report from the National Retail Foundation predicts that Americans will spend a record $6.86 billion on Halloween this year. That’s an increase of more than nine percent.

If you know any high school seniors, you know they’re facing something even scarier through October and November: college applications. Fortunately, XAP offers tools and advice to help them face their fears.

After all, we’ve set some records of our own when it comes to college applications: XAP processed more than 4.1 million electronic applications last year!

Read more…

Track

Overcoming Test Anxiety

For many people, the thought of writing a test is the stuff of nightmares. For those no longer in school, being back there and having to write a test is actually a common nightmare! But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are ways to help students overcome test anxiety.

“Life is full of evaluations; tests just happen to be part of that,” says David Ross, professor emeritus at a college in Illinois. “Some situations we can avoid, [but] it’s hard to avoid tests if you are in school. It is hard to separate how you feel about yourself from your performance on tests.”

The first step in understanding test anxiety is recognizing that, well, it’s difficult to understand.
Read more…

Decisions, Decisions: Using Our Sites to Compare Schools

Let’s take a quick quiz: What’s the best flavor of ice cream? What about the best show on television? The best website (aside from www.xap.com)?

If an entire class took this quiz, do you think they’d all say the same thing? Of course not! The “best” can be a very personal thing. The same goes for schools. Students often think there is a magic school just waiting for them to enroll. But unless their name is Harry Potter, this isn’t always the case. That’s why they have to do a little research — and maybe even some soul-searching.

Read more…