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The College Checklist Podcast: College Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Test Prep, and more...

Confused about the road to college? Don’t know where to begin your college search? The College Checklist podcast is your source for great information on the college admissions journey. Hosted by SAT & ACT expert and entrepreneur Lauren Gaggioli, the College Checklist features interviews from college counselors, admission officers and other professionals who can help you get into college, pay for school with scholarships, and succeed once you’re there. This podcast also features test prep tips and tricks and alerts for dates and deadlines for upcoming ACT & SAT test dates. The College Checklist podcast is your source for all things college admissions. The College Checklist podcast is brought to you as a free service of Higher Scores Test Prep, an online test prep company that helps students prepare for the SAT and ACT.

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Focus & Determination, Adam’s Story (Part 2)

If you listened to the last episode featuring just-graduated-high-school-Adam, be prepared to teleport 3 years into the future and meet almost-graduated-college-Adam!He's the same focused, dedicated student he always has been and he's back to share a great deal of insight for other students who are getting ready to head off to college for the first time.I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did! Listen Now Subscribe on iTunes | Subscribe on Google Podcasts About Lauren GaggioliAfter graduating from New York University with her B.F.A. in Theater, Lauren moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. To make time for auditions during the day, she called upon her academic roots from her high school days and began tutoring the ACT and SAT.She quickly fell in love - not with the exams, but with the feeling that she was helping students put their feet on a firm path towards a big, bright future.(Ok, maybe she fell a little bit in love with the exams too. Her dad didn't nickname her #2 Pencil Nerd for nothing.)After 7 years working as an in-home tutor with a large test prep firm and then in her own independent tutoring company, Lauren distilled her experiences into the 4 different ACT & SAT prep programs that are now available through her company, Higher Scores Test Prep.Lauren's love of teaching and compassion for what students are facing in today's complex, competitive college admissions landscape allows her to bring a little bit of calm to her corner of the college admissions process. Ready to find your future path?While Adam's clarity of purpose is admirable, it can also be intimidating. It can be hard to decide what to focus on and pursue.In my 13+ years working with college-bound high school students, I've watched many struggle to articulate their Big Why.It's a challenging and daunting task. But I also know that more students are capable of finding their Big Why than currently do. We all have the potential to find our perfect path to fulfillment and deserve to have the resources to discover it. That's why I created my new program: Big Why Life.If your future feels murky, it won't become more clear by simply soldiering on. Uncertainty begs us to take a step back and to create space reflection.  If you're ready to gain clarity and find your best path forward, I'd like to invite you to join my next cohort of Big Why Life. Head to BigWhyLife.com to learn more about this life-changing work. The post Focus & Determination, Adam’s Story (Part 2) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

48mins

1 Feb 2021

Rank #1

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Focus & Determination, Adam’s Story (Part 1)

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Adam when he was a junior in high school.  Not only was he thoroughly committed to improving his ACT scores, he then leveraged those scores for some really impressive merit aid awards. He's a very focused young man who worked hard and reaped the rewards of his efforts.I always find it so inspiring to hear my students' journeys to college. I hope you find Adam's story as uplifting as I do! Listen Now Subscribe on iTunes | Subscribe on Google Podcasts About Lauren GaggioliAfter graduating from New York University with her B.F.A. in Theater, Lauren moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. To make time for auditions during the day, she called upon her academic roots from her high school days and began tutoring the ACT and SAT.She quickly fell in love - not with the exams, but with the feeling that she was helping students put their feet on a firm path towards a big, bright future.(Ok, maybe she fell a little bit in love with the exams too. Her dad didn't nickname her #2 Pencil Nerd for nothing.)After 7 years working as an in-home tutor with a large test prep firm and then in her own independent tutoring company, Lauren distilled her experiences into the 4 different ACT & SAT prep programs that are now available through her company, Higher Scores Test Prep.Lauren's love of teaching and compassion for what students are facing in today's complex, competitive college admissions landscape allows her to bring a little bit of calm to her corner of the college admissions process. Resources MentionedWant to improve your test scores and earn more cash for college? Each of my four online test prep courses includes my free Cash for College workshop so you can raise your score and earn thousands of dollars in free tuition too.Head to higherscorestestprep.com/online-act-prep or higherscorestestprep.com/online-sat-prep to learn more. The post Focus & Determination, Adam’s Story (Part 1) appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

41mins

1 Feb 2021

Rank #2

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Big Why Life

In my 13 years helping college-bound high school students, I've seen many students lose their way.Sometimes they lose connection with what they want and why they started on the path to college. They had direction once, but - over time - it slipped away.Or they realize that what they want from life is shifting, but the work they’ve done so far makes them feel locked into their current trajectory. Their progress is halting, taking two steps forward, one step back as they struggle to convince themselves that a few months of sunk cost is worth a lifetime on the wrong path.Or they’ve been checking boxes off their to do list but are losing momentum, getting angry, or feeling overwhelmed because they never stopped to think about what they really wanted on the other side of all their hard work. They’ve come so far only to find that they are struggling to fulfill the basic tasks they need to complete in order to get into college - like the personal statement - because they’re impossible to do properly without clarity about oneself.The common connection among these students? They’re all missing their Big Why. I finally have a way to help them. Head to BigWhyLife.com to learn more. Listen Now Subscribe on iTunes | Subscribe on Google Podcasts About Lauren GaggioliAfter graduating from New York University with her B.F.A. in Theater, Lauren moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. To make time for auditions during the day, she called upon her academic roots from her high school days and began tutoring the ACT and SAT.She quickly fell in love - not with the exams, but with the feeling that she was helping students put their feet on a firm path towards a big, bright future.(Ok, maybe she fell a little bit in love with the exams too. Her dad didn't nickname her #2 Pencil Nerd for nothing.)After 7 years working as an in-home tutor with a large test prep firm and then in her own independent tutoring company, Lauren distilled her experiences into the 4 different ACT & SAT prep programs that are now available through her company, Higher Scores Test Prep.Lauren's love of teaching and compassion for what students are facing in today's complex, competitive college admissions landscape allows her to bring a little bit of calm to her corner of the college admissions process. "If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable." - SenecaHead to BigWhyLife.com to join the next cohort before registration closes on February 11th. The post Big Why Life appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

7mins

31 Jan 2021

Rank #3

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Transforming The College Conversation

If you're not hopeful about the future...If your next steps feel forced...If you feel your purpose lies on a different path than the one you're currently walking......then this episode is for you. And, if I'm honest, this episode is for me too. It's for high school me who was so lost and felt compelled to plod towards a future she wasn't genuinely excited about.I've been there. I know how it feels. And I have a simple Blue Sky way we can completely transform the college conversation and get excited about the future again. Listen Now Subscribe on iTunes | Subscribe on Google Podcasts About Lauren GaggioliAfter graduating from New York University with her B.F.A. in Theater, Lauren moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. To make time for auditions during the day, she called upon her academic roots from her high school days and began tutoring the ACT and SAT.She quickly fell in love - not with the exams, but with the feeling that she was helping students put their feet on a firm path towards a big, bright future.(Ok, maybe she fell a little bit in love with the exams too. Her dad didn't nickname her #2 Pencil Nerd for nothing.)After 7 years working as an in-home tutor with a large test prep firm and then in her own independent tutoring company, Lauren distilled her experiences into the 4 different ACT & SAT prep programs that are now available through her company, Higher Scores Test Prep.Lauren's love of teaching and compassion for what students are facing in today's complex, competitive college admissions landscape allows her to bring a little bit of calm to her corner of the college admissions process.She is thrilled to be announcing her brand new program - My Big Why Life - in this very episode! Resources MentionedIf you're feeling lost or hopeless about the future, I would be so honored to work with you to help you discover your Big Why and come up with a game plan for you to live in that purpose.Head to BigWhyLife.com to learn more about how we can work together. The post Transforming The College Conversation appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

28mins

22 Oct 2020

Rank #4

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Is A Transfer Track the Right Choice For You?

While this episode was recorded before the pandemic, the information is particularly relevant today as many students and their families scramble to make alternate college plans. Over the years, no more so than now, I've heard many parents say, "We're just going to have her go to community college because she doesn't know what she wants to do." Changing course can often be a great choice, but there are some risks that come from opting out of the first 2 years at a 4-year college. The most important thing is to have a clear understand of both the upshots and downsides of opting for a transfer track before making your decision.Here's the thing, though. Whether you opt to go straight to college, head into a transfer track, or defer enrollment to take a gap year, you get the most out of each experience if you know what you want to do with your life.After 12 years in the college admissions space, I've worked with so many students who were checking the boxes to take the next steps without really understanding the Big Why behind their actions. So I've created a course to help. The inaugural run of my live-led program, My Big Why Life, kicks off started on November 1st. I'd love to have you be a part of the journey so that you can gain clarity of purpose as you transition to adulthood. Head to BigWhyLife.com to learn more! Listen Now Subscribe on iTunes | Subscribe on Google Podcasts About Kat ClowesKat is the founder of March Consulting. She holds several degrees, including an MBA from Mount Saint Mary’s College, a BA in Communications from Santa Clara University, and a post-graduate certificate in Independent Educational Consulting from UC Irvine. An associate member of the Independent Educational Consultant’s Association (IECA) and the Higher Educational Consultant’s Association (HECA), she visits college campuses throughout the United States to discover more about the great options available to a variety of different students. She brings that knowledge home with her to help students discover the schools best fit for their needs. Her favorite part of her job is watching clients discover that they have something to offer the world and find the means of communicating it.To learn more about Kat, her team, and her services, head to MyMarchConsulting.com. Resources MentionedPut College To Work [Book]Big Why Life Workshop The post Is A Transfer Track the Right Choice For You? appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

48mins

15 Oct 2020

Rank #5

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Increasing Our Capacity To Focus

Recorded long before the pandemic hit, this episode seems rather fortuitous given the biggest challenge I'm currently facing in lockdown: focus.My dear friend and fellow bookworm Jen Hoffman joins us to share her incredible tips for cultivating the practice of focus.Yes! Focus is a muscle that must be cultivated but that muscle can atrophy in our high tech world. Our devices are incredible tools that are keeping us connected in these crazy times, but their ability to keep us in contact with others comes with a cost. Today we'll explore this concept together and discover simple practices that we can weave into the fabric of our day to help us increase our capacity to focus. Listen Now Subscribe on iTunes | Subscribe on Google Podcasts About Jennifer HoffmanJennifer Hoffman is a Certified Personal Trainer-Restorative Exercise Specialist (CPT-RES) , a Registered Yoga Teacher (eRYT-500), and founder of HealthyMoving.com. Jen has worked with thousands of students sharing tips to help them make lasting improvements to their health and wellness. Everything she teaches is based on one crazy truth: that you don’t need to exercise to be healthy. Instead, for lasting wellness, she encourages us to weave Healthy Moving into the fabric of our day so we can feel amazing in and about our bodies.To learn more about Jen and her work, visit HealthyMoving.com. Resources Mentioned5 Minute Stress Relief PracticeHeadspace AppJen's Homeschool PE Curriculum The post Increasing Our Capacity To Focus appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

32mins

30 Sep 2020

Rank #6

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How to Thrive in Uncertainty

Living in times of great uncertainty is no easy feat. The good news is that there are skills and practices that you can cultivate that can help you not only cope but thrive.While 2020 is giving the word "uncertain" a run for its money, the truth is that life is always uncertain to some degree. Whether it's a year when the waters are rough and choppy or a momentary bobble, the tips the Dr. Maggie Wray shares with us today will help you learn to thrive in these (and all) uncertain times. Listen Now Subscribe on iTunes | Subscribe on Google Podcasts About Dr. Maggie WrayDr. Maggie Wray is a certified ADHD Coach & Academic Life Coach and the founder of Creating Positive Futures. She and her team help high school and college students learn how to earn better grades with less stress and empower students to develop the mindset, organization, time management, and study skills they need to achieve their goals.You can learn more about Dr. Wray and her work at CreatingPositiveFutures.com. Resources MentionedThe Upside of Stress by Kelly McGonigal The post How to Thrive in Uncertainty appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

33mins

22 Sep 2020

Rank #7

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Networking From A Distance

Networking. It's such a daunting topic for so many people, but - as hard as it is to network in person - it's made even more challenging at a distance.That said, there are lots of things we can do to make networking more enjoyable whether we're doing so face-to-face or remotely.This skill is an important one for life. Even if networking makes you a bit squeamish, this episode will give you some practical, tactical tips to help you connect with others in an authentic way that can also greatly boost your growth.  Listen Now Subscribe on iTunes | Subscribe on Google Podcasts About Derek HoffmanAfter a successful career at one of the Big 4 accounting firms, Derek has changed tacks and is now climbing the ranks at a large entertainment company. Derek is a high achiever and problem solver who has been recognized by both guests and leaders for his exemplary service in his new position. The 3 main reasons I think he receives such accolades is due to his insatiable curiosity, his creativity, and his remarkable people skills.He also makes a mean chicken alfredo. Seriously, don't miss out on the super easy recipe at the end of the episode!  Resources MentionedA few books to add to your bookshelf...How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale CarnagieThe Greatest Salesman In The World by Og MandinoThe Go Giver by Bob BergThe Platinum Rule by Tony Alessandra The post Networking From A Distance appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

1hr

15 Sep 2020

Rank #8

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Locking Down Your Productivity

Last spring was incredibly challenging. The upheaval of our normal day-to-day lives unsurprisingly took a toll on the work we did.While that's completely understandable given the circumstances, as we head into the new school year, it's important that we focus on ways we can continue to thrive even in the face of tremendous uncertainty. One thing that helps me feel grounded is to continue to do high quality work and move my various projects forward. That sense of momentum is important to my sense of well-being and the best way I know to continue to work on a high level is to revisit my productivity habits from time to time.Today, Thomas Frank from CollegeInfoGeek.com will be joining us to help us improve our productivity as we get the new school year underway. Listen Now Subscribe on iTunes | Subscribe on Google Podcasts About Thomas FrankThomas Frank is an author, YouTuber, musician, and podcaster who is passionate about helping people become more capable and productive.Most of his work today is done at College Info Geek – a site he created in 2010 in order to share his experiments in becoming a more effective student. Today, College Info Geek is one of the world’s largest and best-loved resources for students, and includes a blog, podcast, and a YouTube channel with over 1.7 million subscribers.Learn more about Thomas at CollegeInfoGeek.com. Resources MentionedGain access to Thomas's 2 courses on productivity for free at CollegeInfoGeek.com/courses.Check out Thomas's YouTube Channel. The post Locking Down Your Productivity appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

46mins

8 Sep 2020

Rank #9

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How to Conduct Virtual College Visits

After the initial shock of quarantine life wore off last spring, I realized that one of the biggest ways that the Class of 2021 was going to be impacted by Coronavirus was the inability to visit college campuses. Instead, the state of the world was going to necessitate a shift to virtual college visits.Spring break, especially during junior year, is a critical time as many high school students travel the country and get up close and personal with the schools on their college list. College visits are incredibly important for a few reasons. Not only do they help students more fully imagine the what the next steps of their education will look like, they also help students demonstrate interest to the college. When selecting a college, you're selecting your home for the next 4 years.You probably wouldn't buy a house sight unseen and buying into a particular college sight unseen is equally risky.So what should we do now that travel is seriously restricted? How can we still get the feel for a college but do so in a virtual or socially distant way?Today Kelly Queijo of SmartCollegeVisit.com will help us discover how to best use the myriad digital tools now available to us to forge true connection as we select our colleges from a distance. Listen Now Subscribe on iTunes | Subscribe on Google Podcasts About Kelly QueijoA Virginia Tech alumna, Kelly Queijo, is an award-winning writer and entrepreneur and founder of Smart College Visit, Inc. Kelly is passionate about education, technology and travel, whether live or virtual. Smart College Visit publishes current, relative, and relatable content for students, parents, and high school guidance counselors, while SCV Journey provides students an easy way to search for colleges that meet their criteria, access college profile data and create their own, personalized college list.Together these sites make a connected college planning resource for college-bound teens and their families.Learn more at SmartCollegeVisit.com and SCVJourney.com. The post How to Conduct Virtual College Visits appeared first on Higher Scores Test Prep.

28mins

1 Sep 2020

Rank #10