5 Easy Ways To Improve SAT Scores from College Made Simple

Dear College Made Simple Reader,

Whether your high school student is taking the SAT for the first time… or sitting for the SAT IIs… or strictly looking to improve previous SAT scores…

There are a number of easy things they can do to get the best possible score. Today, we review five of the most important ones.

– Scott

5 Ways To Improve Your SAT Score

1. Allow yourself plenty of time.

When you start studying is entirely up to you. And it’s been shown, time and time again, the sooner you start studying, the better you’ll do. It’s a self-evident truth – but it’s only further reinforced by studies that show the same thing.

Not only can you increase your score an extra 50 or 100 points by getting ready earlier… but the study itself will be easier as well. You see, while you will be spending more hours getting ready, the most powerful part of starting early isn’t the extra time as much as the chance for your mind to process everything.

In other words, you’ll remember more of what you cover –without the stress of “cramming.”

2. Don’t underestimate practice.

Nothing – absolutely nothing – will give you as big a leg up as practice tests.

With practice, you’ll memorize the test instructions, so you won’t have to spend time figuring out what you’re being asked in each section. With practice, you’ll get a better feel for the questions you’ll see, and the types of thinking you’ll need to apply. Building strategy is key to improving your score.

And, of course, with practice, you’ll learn your weakest areas, and hence have an opportunity to focus your study where it will do the most good.


You won’t find this anywhere else in the college planning space…

It’s an “inside look” at your college funding situation – over the phone, with one of our education consultants… absolutely FREE.

They’ll help you figure out where you stand… including whether or not you can lower your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) – and maximize your eligibility for financial aid.

What’s more – YOU set the date and time for the call.

To sign up for your Free Analysis today, follow this link.

3. Commit to a word a day.

Hopefully, you already know a good number of the SAT vocabulary words. That said, very few people know enough to feel confident without study – and, as mentioned earlier, cramming a bunch of words at a time isn’t the best way to retain them.

If you start early enough, though, you can add a word a day without too much trouble, and cover most of the gaps in your knowledge.

With only a word a day, you can really focus on it – go over the definition, use it three times in everyday conversation, and review it again before you go to sleep. And on top of that, you will be able to identify more words based on the root, the prefix and suffix of the words you are memorizing. Memorizing words is an easy – and highly effective method of prep.

4. Relax your mind.

For many students, the hardest thing about the test is knowing that you’re being tested.

Some studies show that many people get “dumber” under test-like pressure – they miss questions with answers they know.

The solution? Learn how to relax your mind.

Studying early and taking many practice tests help here – the confidence you gain can make a big difference.

But there are plenty of other things you can do as well. Practice various breathing techniques – anything from counting to ten to full-on meditation. Calm yourself just before the test starts – and between any sections, if you have the time.

Learn to recognize when your mind is tensing – and, as you notice it, do your best to sooth your mind.

5. Prep yourself right.

This should go without saying – but before the test, get a good night’s rest.

After all, nothing dulls the brain like lack of sleep. (Also try to make your night-before meal a light, healthy one.)

Of course,you should have a good idea of what will help your body work best – the key is, don’t give it short shrift during the drama and tension that often precede an SAT sitting.

Treat yourself right – and you’ll help yourself in the end.

To your college admissions success,

Scott Weingold
Co-founder, College Planning Network, LLC

College Made Simple – The Free Educational Resource of College Planning Network, LLC

CNA/Nurse Assistant Training Courses: Schedule Today: Space is Limited

Nurse Assistant-CNA Training



JANUARY 14 – 28, 2013

Minneapolis, MN

CNA/Nurse Assistant Training Courses: Schedule Today: Space is Limited CALL612.872.3259


Accelerated CNA Class

Our Accelerated course is a great opportunity for individuals to obtain their CNA certification in two weeks over the holiday break! Classes fill up quickly so enroll soon!


Minneapolis Location: Accelerated CNA

January 14-28 (2 Wks)

Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.


Weekday CNA Classes


Minneapolis Location 

January 30 – February 20 (3 Wks)

Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.


St. Paul Location 

January 14 – February 4 (3 Wks)

Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.


Evening CNA Classes


Minneapolis Location 

January 22 – February 24 (4 Wks)

Monday – Thursday, 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.


St. Paul Location 

January 28 – (4 Wks)

Monday – Thursday, 5:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.



Schedule Today: Space is Limited CALL


FREE FAFSA webinar

Join us at our next FREE financial aid webinar from BigFuture™.
Completing the FAFSA: What You Need to Know
The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is the application required by colleges and states to award federal financial aid dollars such as grants, loans and work-study. You must fill out the FAFSA in order to be considered for federal financial aid. In addition, most states and colleges use information from the FAFSA to award nonfederal aid. At this webinar, you will:

  • See a complete preview of the application
  • Learn what information and documents you’ll need before you begin
  • Discover available resources and tools to help you through the process

Your presenter will be Susan McCrackin, director of financial aid methodology at the College Board.

Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013
7–8:30 p.m. EST

 Register Now
Can’t make this time? 
This webinar will be recorded and available for on-demand viewing after the event. Please email us atbigfuture@collegeboard.org and we will notify you as soon as the recording becomes available.

For more information on paying for college, visit bigfuture.org.

We hope you’ll be able to attend or view this informative event.

Asian American Journalist Association (AAJA) Student Opportunities

Dear AAJA Students and Friends in Journalism,

We want to encourage non-senior high school students to apply for JCamp 2013. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from industry professionals. The program will be free of charge for selected students.

There is also time to apply for the CIC/Anna Chennault scholarship, but don’t wait until it’s too late. Apply now!

Please pass on this information to any student eligible for these programs.

Happy Holidays!


Nao Vang
AAJA Student Programs Coordinator
415-346-2051, ext. 102


Opportunity: JCamp 2013, June 19-24, 2013 at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

JCamp is a six-day training camp that brings together a diverse group of students from across the nation to learn from veteran journalists and media executives. JCamp participants receive hands-on training and produce multi-platform news packages for the program’s news website.

Application Deadline: Friday, March 15, 2013


  • Non-senior high school student

Learn more detailed information and how to apply to JCamp 2013. 


Opportunity: A $3,900 College Scholarship, a place in the Voices Student News Project and networking at the 2013 AAJA Convention in New York.

Apply for the 2013 CIC/Anna Chennault Scholarship for a chance to win money toward your college education, a trip to the 2013 AAJA convention in New York as part of the Voices student news project plus getting matched with a mentor keyed to your journalism focus. One rising sophomore will be awarded the scholarship and the opportunity to learn from professional journalists and meet the AAJA community.

Application Deadline: Friday, May 3, 2013


  •  Applicants must be committed to AAJA’s mission.
  •  Applicants must be college freshmen going into their sophomore year.
  •  AAJA membership is not required to apply, but if the student is awarded the scholarship he/she must become an AAJA student member.

Learn more detailed information and directions on how to apply to the CIC/Anna Chennault Scholarship.

From the Expert – College Made Simple

3 Great Ways To Cut Down the Cost of College

No matter how much planning you do, it’s the sort of question that can keep you up nights: How can we afford college?

It’s not just the ever-rising tuition costs, either… there’s also all the attached spending. And if you have two or more children in school at the same time, the costs of going to top schools can really appear prohibitive.

Today let’s take a look at three of the best ways to shave costs off your college bill – and make even the best schools more affordable.

– Scott

3 Great Ways To Reduce College Costs

1. Go “Where You’re Wanted”

Here at College Made Simple, we have a saying:

Everyone’s a star somewhere.

I don’t just mean coveted athletes here. Simply put, many students have a skill, interest, or background that’s attractive to some schools.

It might be that your child is involved in an extracurricular activity that’s highly valued at a particular school. Other examples: Your child might be interested in an area of study that one college wants to beef up… or there may be an ethnic group that’s under-represented at a school… or, in some cases, schools could be looking to enroll students from regions where they simply don’t have enough students.

The point is, most college admissions are driven by a desire for diversity as much as by quality screening.

And if you spend the time to identify what your star qualities are, and where they’ll be most appreciated, you’ll find that colleges are willing to pay top dollar for their preferred balance.

That means bigger financial aid rewards for you – and a stronger bargaining position, if it comes to that. Which brings us to the second point…

Will You Get a “Fair” Financial Aid Award?

Well, the truth is — Most families never find out! They’ll simply take what’s offered. And many will pay more for college than they need to… sometimes up to tens of thousands of dollars more.

That’s one of the reasons we developed our Free College Funding Analysis.

One phone call with one of our education consultants can quickly identify a family’s college funding situation… and identify any number of ways that can help them.

Click here to learn about our Free College Funding Analysis.

2. Before You Blindly Take that First Offer…

Many families don’t realize that financial aid offers often aren’t the end of the discussion.

They can simply be the starting point of a negotiation.

Now, to be clear, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes a school has a set formula, and won’t stray from it. Sometimes the school will have a plethora of applicants with your star qualities, and thus won’t extend themselves to keep you.

At times, though, a simple letter explaining why you think you deserve greater help can result in a better offer.

You’ll need to do your homework. Research what your school’s average financial aid package is, and see how yours stacks up.

If yours is smaller than average, you’ve got a great bargaining chip.

Likewise, if another school has made a stronger offer, you can use that as leverage. In this instance, a safety school offering a full scholarship isn’t as effective as a school of similar rank offering a better package.

And, while it doesn’t need to be mentioned in any letter challenging your financial aid package, it will always help if you know you’ve got the star qualities the school seeks. (By the way, as a client of College Planning Network we would address this negotiating process in an appeal to the school.)

3. Cut Down On Your Years

The best way to cut down on college expenses is to cut down on the time you spend in college.

How can you do that? Most schools accept AP credits in lieu of college courses. That means, if you take the AP test and school above a 3 or 4 (out of 5), you’ll get credited as if you’d taken the relevant course at the college. This can reduce the number of classes you need to graduate – thus reducing the amount of time you need to spend in college.

Each school treats AP credits slightly differently, so make sure you know how your preferred university rewards AP credits.

Don’t want to graduate early – prefer to have the full college experience? AP credits can still come in handy – you might be able to attend your senior year part-time, for instance, and save nearly as much.

The important thing to remember is this: most colleges charge by the course credit. The more credits you have in the bank heading in, the more you can save.

Follow these three steps, and you may be able to save thousands on the total cost of college.

To Your Family’s Successful College Search,

Scott Weingold
Co-founder, College Planning Network, LLC

College Made Simple – The Free Educational Resource of College Planning Network, LLC

Healthy Lifestyles Scholarship

Application Information
To apply for this scholarship, follow the instructions on the scholarship’s website

Scholarship Overview
This scholarship is for high school seniors and college freshmen who are residents of the United States or Canada. To qualify for this scholarship, applicants must be less than 25 years old as of the application deadline. To apply for this scholarship, applicants must submit two essays: one on a given topic related to a healthy lifestyle, and the other a personal statement. There is no formal scholarship application form; applicants must submit their essays and other application materials as email attachments.

How easy is it to apply?
Not too bad
This scholarship’s application process may have items such as essays that could take a couple hours.
How much competition is there?


You will be competing against a pretty high number of people for this scholarship.


Deadline: Dec 15
Average Award: $5,000
Awards Granted: 1

Contact Information
Linda Wells
Stay Fit
6393 Penn Ave
Pittsburg, PA 15206

ph. 412-943-7113



Maximum Age:
  • 25
Class Year:
  • High school senior
  • College freshman

APIASF/ FedEx Foundation Scholarship

To apply for this scholarship, follow the instructions on the scholarship’s website

Scholarship Overview

This scholarship is for students of Asian and/or Pacific Islander ethnicity. To qualify for this scholarship, applicants must be graduating high school seniors in the first generation of their immediate family to attend college or university; have a 3.0 GPA; and plan to enroll in a US-accredited college or university in the fall of 2013. Applicants must be US citizens, nationals, or legal permanent residents of the United States.Citizens of the Freely Associated States may apply.

How easy is it to apply?

Not too bad

This scholarship’s application process may have items such as essays that could take a couple hours.

How much competition is there?

Not much

This scholarship won’t have as many applicants as most.


Deadline: Jan 11
Average Award: $2,500

Contact Information

Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF)

Scholarship Program
1900 L Street NW, Suite 210
Washington, DC 20036

p. 877-808-7032
f. 202-530-0643



  • 3.0
Class Year:
  • High school senior
  • Asian or Pacific Islander

MN College Student – Competition for the Driving the Message Home – the safe driving public service message contest

fortune cookie

Dear colleagues,

If you’d like to create some of your own good fortune in the new year, consider encouraging students at your campus to submit their creations to our Driving the Message Home safe driving public service message contest. The contest offers $8,000 in cash prizes for students, plus an opportunity for campuses to win $5,000 to support their civic engagement efforts.  Read more details at http://drivingthemessagehome.info — and, if you’re traveling to visit loved ones over the holidays, please be safe on the road!  There is much good work to continue doing in 2013.

~ the Minnesota Campus Compact team

Cultural Exchange Opportunities for High Schoolers

The Department of State is currently recruiting for several study abroad scholarship programs for U.S. citizen high school students.  Please feel free to share the announcement below about these opportunities with your local high schools and other organizations that work with U.S. youth.

The U.S. Department of State announces scholarships for American high school students to study abroad:
The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) offers merit-based scholarships to U. S. high-school aged students for overseas study of seven critical foreign languages:  Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Korean, Persian (Tajik), Russian and Turkish.  The NSLI-Y program is designed to immerse participants in the cultural life of the host country, giving them invaluable formal and informal language practice and sparking a lifetime interest in foreign languages and cultures.  Applications for summer 2013 and academic year 2013-2014 programs are due November 1, 2012.  Visit www.nsliforyouth.org for more information.

The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad Program offers scholarships to American high school students to spend the 2013-14 academic year in countries that may include Bosnia & Herzegovina, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mali (semester), Morocco, Oman, South Africa, Thailand, Tunisia, and Turkey.
This post 9/11 program focuses on increasing understanding between people in the U.S. and countries with significant Muslim populations. The application deadline isJanuary 10, 2013. Visit the YES Program’s websitefor more information. (http://yesprograms.org/ )

Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX) was established in 1983 to celebrate German-American friendship based on common values of democracy.  Secondary school students live with host families, attend local schools, and participate in community life in Germany.  Young professionals (undergraduates) and high school graduates of vocational studies ages 18-24 study and participate in practical training. Scholarships are now available for academic year 2013-14; application deadlines vary by U.S. region and range from September 2012 to January 2013.  For more information and application deadlines, visit the organization in charge of recruitment for your state atUSAGermanyScholarship.org.

The American Youth Leadership Program offers opportunities for American high students and educators to travel abroad on a three- to four-week-long exchange program to gain first-hand knowledge of foreign cultures and to collaborate on solving global issues.   Several different organizations implement this program, and each has organized an academic and experiential educational exchange focused on dialogue and debate, leadership development, and community service. Recruitment areas and application deadlines vary, so please check the American Youth Leadership Program website for more information.  ( http://exchanges.state.gov/youth/programs/ylp/current-youth-leaderships-programs.html )