Wash U College Prep

Washington University is having their free annual college prep program for talented high school students. Washington University launched the program in 2014 and is still going strong today. High school students spend two weeks after freshmen year and three weeks after sophomore and junior year of living on campus at the university during the summer. The school invites the students to get an all around experience of college beforehand.

This program offers workshops, lectures, and activities for the students on campus. High school students can take classes to gain college credits, get ready for the ACT, and learn about the financial process of college. The program also prepares high school students for their career path in the future, which is the most important thing. In order to be eligible, students must be a St. Louis resident starting high school as a ninth grader, first generation to attend college, and low financial resources.

For more information, please visit Washington University College Prep Program website today!



Source: https://collegeprep.wustl.edu/%E2%80%8Bwas...

The Added Benefits of Community Service

By Malaika Charrington

When applying to colleges or applying for jobs, it’s always good to have something on your resume that will allow you to stand out from the other applications in the stack. For many, volunteer work has proven to do just that.

Many high schools require that students fulfill a fixed amount of service hours to be able to graduate (mine requires 300!), and they do this for several reasons. First, having volunteer hours on your diploma shows your future employers or the admission staff at schools that you apply to that you are dedicated to bettering the community, and improving the well being of others. Another reason is that volunteering your time within the community shows colleges and jobs that you’re a well rounded individual, and you would be a good fit for that school or position. Typically, it’s best that these hours are spent either helping the community in a measurable way, or showing support to important causes, but if you have another way to help the community, go for it!

Often, schools will offer significant scholarships to students who have worked toward change in their communities, or contributed significant time to the volunteer workforce. So, even if your school doesn’t make community service a requirement, it’s still a very valuable way to spend your time, and most of the time it’s fun too! There are tons of community service opportunities in your community that would be perfect for your interests; lucky for you, we’re here to help you find them.

Volunteer Match

Volunteer match is a large volunteering database that lists thousands of volunteer opportunities near you and allows you to specify your interests and find opportunities that work with your schedule.


Idealist lists a large collection of jobs, internships, volunteer opportunities, events, and organizations for people looking to serve their community in one way or another.

HandsOn Network

HandsOn Network is a site that allows you to find hundreds of volunteer sites based on the issues you’re interested in.

VolunTEEN nation

VolunTEEN nation is a volunteering organization founded in St.Louis that makes it easy for teens 13 to 17 years old to get engaged in the community.

Volunteering is undoubtedly rewarding work both in terms of the external benefits it supplies as well as the internal comfort that it can bring volunteers. It’s even been known to improve your health! It’s a great way to spend your time, so get involved!

Getting College Ready

Tasha L. Jordan

Summer is the best time to get ready for college.  There are 6 tips below that will help teens get ready during the college decision-making process to identify their prospective schools.  According to statistics, students who “match” well have a better chance to graduate within 4-5 years.  Students should use these tips during their high school years before they start to apply to college:

  1. Students should register for the SAT/ACT, take the appropriate prep courses, and shoot for high scores.  The numbers that students affect the post secondary institutions that they will be admitted to and then attend.  St. Louis University High School often offers an ACT Prep Course that students can sign up for to prepare for their high score.  

  2. Research shows that a college degree leads to more job opportunities and higher paying careers post graduation.  Students should talk to their teacher, college counselors, and other students to help understand their options.  Talk to your support system about the different options available for financing college.   

  3. Lists are your friend.  Make a list of the schools that you would like to apply to.  According to KIPP Through College, students’ lists should “include at least nine possible schools -- three likely, three target, and three reach schools based on the likelihood of admission, graduation rates, financial aid packages, and fit. Also, make a list of scholarships that you are eligible for and make a timeline for when to apply to each.

  4. Students...get started early.  Applying to college takes a lot of time.  By getting an early start, you can apply ahead of admissions deadlines and increase your chances of more aid.  But not just summer before ready.  Check out these timelines from Princeton Review to learn how you can make the necessary steps towards college throughout your years of high school.    

  5. Talk to your counselor.  School counselors have all of the inside tips on applying to colleges, scholarships, and can help write recommendations that will make or break your chances at college acceptance.

  6. Be smart about college finances.  Close friend Karen Shumaker encourages prospective students to “remember that [they] will have to pay back what [they] borrow in students loans.” You can always negotiate the financial package you are initially offered by your school, Shumaker says.  

Applying to college can be stressful.  We hope that these 6 tips will help you be #collegeready.  Stay tuned throughout the summer for more tips about being college AND career ready for our #careercollegethursday! 


Getting College Ready with St. Louis Graduates

What are you plans for the summer? What about your plans for college? St. Louis Graduates are here to help for the fifth summer through their High School to College Center. Since 2013, St. Louis graduates hosts the High School to College Center to support students—and those who support them—to facilitate getting ready...

Read More

Discovering College Board

By Kenyae Shelton

Are you stressed about college? Do you have a game plan? Do you know where and when to start? 

Thanks to College Board, I do.

Graduating from high school and starting college is a very important part of life. It is critical that you understand and are prepared for every step of the way. College Board breaks it all down for you and shows you how to get started. All you have to do is search collegeboard.com, make an account, and take advantage of the effective tips for college.

One of the most important steps is knowing where you are going. College Board can help. Just click “college search” at the top of the webpage. You will be asked several questions to narrow your search and make finding “the college for you” easier. Some of the components to finding that college are test scores and selectivity, campus size and housing, majors, cost, sports and activities, location, and environment. Once you review your results, College Board provides a link to each school’s website. You can select the link to read more or personally visit the campus of the college.


College Board has so much to offer. They provide advice and motivation, including “five things you should know about college admission” and “how to get started.”  They also provide assistance with paying for college. On the website they explain how to complete the FAFSA, get loans, and provide websites and ways to receive grants and scholarships.

Membership continues to expand and here’s your opportunity to take advantage. Explore College Board and be prepared for college success.

Major FAFSA Alert!! 4 Major Changes with the FAFSA

Can you tell me when FAFSA opens? Do you know when the deadline is?What about the changes made with the entire process to make it easier for students? It’s time to pay attention, guys. Why?  According to Kim Cook, Executive Director of the National College Access Network, over 1.4 million students left $2.7 billion in financial aid on the table by not completing the FAFSA. That’s money for your education that was wasted. But like I said, changes were made so you can complete your FAFSA easier this year. Here are some changes:

  • Students can more easily transfer their tax information because it’s currently available tax data. In the past, students were asked to transfer the date that wasn’t available until tax filing deadlines.

  • Students don’t have to think about which colleges they would apply or go to before they had any sense of their aid eligibility, never mind what they will have now, which is a commitment of federal student aid on the front end as they go into their college search and application time.

  • Student will have an early commitment of at least their federal aid, so a low-income student who receives a Pell Grant and subsidized loans could have up to $11,500 of a commitment as they look around and make the important decision of which college to go to and if it’s affordable.

  • Some factors to be aware of: type of household that you’re in, if you have other siblings in school, the number in college, whether your family qualifies for other federal means-tested benefits, where you go to college.

  • For more information about the updated FAFSA, click here. To get started on your FAFSA, click here.


#BlackGirlMagic Coming at You Dentist Style

By Dominique Shields

So the world’s FIRST school of Dentistry just met their FIRST black valedictorian since it was established almost 200 years ago!

Tera Poole had no idea she was the valedictorian until she saw it 2 days after graduation. But what she did know was that she was dedicated and working hard the whole time. Her and nine other black students held each other down to make it through the year. “When it came to studying for classes, we'd study together in the library. If it came to things outside of school that we were having hardships with, we always made sure we were there and speaking with each other,” Poole said in an interview.

Poole has expressed how she feels about her experience in a post on Instagram and she’s ready for her next step: to become the “‘Dr. Oz of Dentistry”’. Poole said she hopes to open up her own practice in the future, and resurrect a blog she let die during dental school. “I'll be pursuing my orthodontics residency but also branching out under the Dr. Tera name so I definitely want people to stay tuned for what's next," she said.

It’s clear Poole has more in store on her journey. And I have a feeling we’ll be hearing about it soon. Until then, shine on black woman, and spread that magic!

Your List of College Essentials

By Dominique Shields

I know you can’t wait for your first day of college. You have the chance to start from the bottom just one more time, and you want to make sure you got everything you need, because this time, you will be on your own. I’m sure some colleges send out a list of what you need to bring with you, but just in case you forgot, I’ll refresh your memory with the most essential items you CANNOT forget.


  1. Alarm Clock

  2. Full Length Mirror

  3. Hangers

  4. Small Trash Can

  5. Hangers

  6. Under bed Storage (because you won’t have enough room - trust me!)


  1. Mattress Pad

  2. Bed Bug Mattress Cover (can be found here)

  3. Twin Size Sheets and Covers (no, it doesn’t have to be Twin XL)

  4. Throw Blanket (when your roommate won’t turn down the AC)

  5. Pillows

  6. Pillow Cases (for the pillows)

Laundry (Yes, you have to do it yourself)

  1. Laundry Detergent (High Efficiency to be safe)

  2. Fabric Softener

  3. Bleach

  4. Laundry Basket

  5. Lint Brush

  6. Quarters (if you don’t have free laundry on campus)

Desk/School Supplies

  1. Sharpies

  2. Calendar

  3. Sticky Notes

  4. Paper (Print and Lined)

  5. Highlighters

  6. Index Cards (they will save your life)

TimeTable For College-Bound Youth

By Latahjia Robinson

Don’t know where to start with college? Always wanted a guide to help? With this timetable you’ll easily be focused for finding the right college for you.



  • With being new to high school it’s good to do extracurricular activities, it looks good on your college application and shows that you are a active and social student.


  • Since you’re starting off fresh it is best to make good grades, it’ll impact your GPA and Class Rank in a good way.

  • Find careers that  go well with your interest and hobbies.

  • Try to have a college saving plan. That is the easiest for you and your parents to save if they are willing to help you out.



  • See a guidance counselor to discuss plans for preparing for college.  


  • Talk to counselor about your college preparatory selection and also to decide what classes to take that are in your weaker areas.



  • Taking the PSAT qualifies for you to be in the National Merit Scholarship program to actually earn money for college which can be more money.

  • Now it’s time for you to decide which college is best for you (vocational college, two year or four year).

  • Try going to visit colleges in state and out of state colleges to see what sparks your interest.

  • Check your class rank and GPA, if it is not the greatest then there is always time to show improvement.

  • Make a list of colleges that you are interested in, and start looking into them to see if that’s the right for you.


  • Try staying involved in extracurricular activities.

  • Stay consistent with making a college plan.

  • Learn more about financial aides for college (scholarships, grants, etc.)


  • Start searching for scholarships that you can apply for.

  • If you are wondering who can write a letter of recommendation, try asking your guidance counselor or a teacher that will speak fondly of you.

  • Having an internship or summer job that you are interested in would look good on college applications and the money you earn would pay test and application fees.


  • Always trying maintaining improvement with your grades.

  • Complete applications.

  • Keep track of deadlines for you top 3 schools of interest.

  • Contact colleges for catalogs and information about financial aid

  • Complete FASFA!

With this timetable it should be an easier process to do, and good luck!


DIY Dorm Room Decor

By Dominique Shields

I know you can’t wait for your turn at freedom. The best part is, this year will be the first year you will have total control over how your room is decorated. Think about it; this is a serious task you have ahead of you; most of your time will be spent in this room.  I got your back, though. Here’s some DIY projects to express your new found freedom in your dorm room:

DIY flower lights can be the perfect beginning to getting your creative feet wet. You only need 4 simple tools to create a scenic rainbow of whatever colors you choose! Here’s more information.

Want a better way to put out your photos from home? Hanging your photos on the wall from a clothesline can certainly save some room on your shelves, and it also looks nice! Here’s more information.

Organization can save you from many disasters in college, so why not already be prepared? Having a unique way to organize your calendar and notes can start you off in the right direction. Check out more here.

Maybe you want to be more conservative this year. Try using a chalkboard for a table. You won’t have to worry about mixing up any important papers. Here’s more information.


How To Choose The Right College For You

By Kenyae Shelton

What are your thoughts about college? What in your future do you look forward to and stress about? Here is some advice from one rising senior to another that could help when deciding what is best for you and your future.

As you enter senior year, you should have some colleges that interest you in mind. You should start immediately the summer before senior year doing research to figure out how you can visit the campus and if it is the right college for you. You can even go on websites like collegeboard.com to look into the academics, campus, diversity, and cost of the school of your choice. It’s a good idea to go online, so you have an idea of the school before you waste a trip.

It’s also good to look on the school’s website for campus tours. There you can find information about when you can tour the campus and how it works because every school is different. Here’s an example! https://www2.howard.edu/contact/visit

Once you have visited some colleges and have an idea of what you want, you should find out what the admissions requirements are. This is important so that you are prepared and aren’t rejected over a silly mistake. Check for requirements like the ACT and SAT so if you haven’t already, you can sign up to take the test as soon as possible.

Lastly, you should look into what’s important to you. Search on the school’s website or through collegeboard.com for your major. This is one of the most important things to look for because if the school doesn’t have your major, there’s no point of attending. If you don’t feel comfortable going to a popular school with full classrooms, look into a smaller school. If you feel one on one assistance is unnecessary and you can function in a packed environment, look for a bigger school.

There are plenty of ways to make sure you are comfortable when you go off to college. Search all your concerns and ask plenty questions to make sure you are ready before the end of your senior year of highschool.


Easy Ways to Get Money for College

By Latahjia Robinson

For all you incoming freshman who are struggling to find ways to get money for college, you have come to the right place.We know that it seems like prices just keep rising up for college, which is hard for some people.There are so many resources but are not that reachable or not many people know of it. There are many resources out there, you just have to do some research! Let’s get started.

With scholarships, there are some simple and easy ways to get money. There are scholarships for different things like first family college students, minorities, or even simply wearing duct tape to prom. You can receive anywhere from $1,500 to $25,000 for that! There’s even a scholarship for being left-handed! We have found a few that may interest you!

Minority Scholarships

Scholarships for Outlandish Things

You can receive these scholarships with no problem. Looking for scholarships can be difficult. Hopefully you have found these suggestions helpful. We are confident that you’ll be rolling in scholarship money in no time!

4 Helpful Financial Tips for Choosing the Best College for You

By Khyle Buchanan


Autumn is fast approaching and for some it will be the beginning of their senior year of high school. Being a high school senior can be exciting, but it also means that you have to get ready for college and that decision process can be difficult. A major problem most students have when choosing a college is the cost to attend, but if you follow these tips, the cost of college will definitely be a smaller problem to deal with.


Set a price range.

When choosing a college, it is important that the cost of the institution you want to attend is in a price range you are comfortable paying. It’s also important that you never allow yourself to feel pressured, by anyone, into choosing a college that is more expensive than you’re comfortable with paying because it’s your financial future that’s affected and not theirs. Talk with your school’s college advisor for help with finding schools in your price range.


Apply for scholarships.

After you’ve set your price range it is important that you apply for scholarships. Scholarships are important; they save you a lot of money when paying for things, like those pesky college books. Apply for as many scholarships as you can.

You can find scholarships here: http://www.fastweb.com/


File your FAFSA.

This is the most important thing you have to do when applying for college. This not only helps your college put together a financial aid package for you, but it also helps the government set you up with grants (and loans) to pay for your education. I know that word loan scares you, but don’t worry, it’s completely optional to use.

You can file your FAFSA here: https://fafsa.ed.gov/


Get a part-time/summer job.

Before you start college get a part-time or summer job and save money to go towards your college fund. I know you’ll be tempted to spend that money when you get it, but it’ll be beneficial in the long run when you’re able to attend college without having to worry about debt.

The cost of college is always a major problem, but with these tips your financial college worries will be gone.

Why Getting a STEM Degree is Worth the Investment!

By Leonora Dullovi

          Are you stressing over what you want to major in once you go to college?  Whether all those years of going to school will be worth it in the end? Or maybe you feel like you’re making a mistake? Well I’m here to give you the facts and ultimately help you decide on which path is best fit for you to be successful after college!

    If you need a fast track towards getting into the job world with a steady financial pay after graduating college, you should consider going into STEM degrees. If you don’t know, STEM degrees include Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The National Association of Colleges and Employers came up with the top 11 degrees for those earning bachelors and the top 10 degrees for masters and doctorate grads. Turns out that Accounting tops the undergrad list, Computer Science being number one for master’s students, and electrical engineering as well for those who’ve received their doctorates.

    These jobs pay out about 70% more than the national average. Meaning STEM jobs on average earn $65,000 while other majors earn about $15,500 less. According to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, STEM jobs are also expected to grow almost twice as much as other jobs. By 2018, over 1 million job openings will be in the STEM category. People with STEM majors are also more known to be employed and hold only one full-time job, rather than a part-time job or multiple jobs. Better right?

    Are you convinced now?! Well if you’re still on the fence about this, I still suggest looking into specific majors in the STEM spectrum. Or maybe look into other fields and see if they come close to the same type of benefits STEM majors have. At the end of the day you should choose what you love to do and what you’re good at. That way you’ll see even more progress. It doesn’t make sense to go into a field you don’t like, right?

Pt 3 of Ronald's College Journey to Glo Up

We are now at the end of the road and it's time to make a decision. My decision is Bradley University.

What helped me determine my choice was the size of the school and the fact it wasn't far away. I was looking for a mid-size school and a place that was 2-5 hours away. Bradley University was the perfect choice for me. There were other factors but those were the main ones.

From there I went to visit to make sure Bradley was the school for me. I recommend you do the same before making your final decision as well. Once I did all that it was FAFSA time and I sent off my information to two schools Bradley and William Jewell. Even though I was set on Bradley I wanted to have a backup just in case.

It took about five weeks to get my award letter from Bradley, and that was the final Ah Ha moment for me.The next step was to send in my housing deposit($100.00), enrollment fees($200.00), and Orientation dues. I'm so excited to be a Bradley Brave and can't wait for the fall. I hope my College journey experience was helpful for you and remember there is ways to pay for college you just have to get out and get the money.

Pt. 2 of Ronald's College Journey to Glo Up

By Ronald Walter

I'm glad to see you came back from part 1 of my college journey. If you're new, I'm glad to see you too. Last time I talked about how I came up with my college list. This time I'm talking about what I did with my list.

The first thing I did was shorten my list down to five schools. They were:

Bradley University

Park University

Millikin University

William Jewell College

Roosevelt University

I put them in order from top choice to my last choice and Bradley University was number one.

The next thing I needed to tackle was college visits. Over my junior year of high school I became a College Summit Peer Leader and we would visit colleges and spend nights on the campuses. This program was something that was very helpful so I encourage you to find programs like this at your school. I got to visit University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Missouri-St.Louis, Harris Stowe State University, Park University, University of Central Missouri, Lincoln University, and University Missouri Kansas City.

Next, it was time to prepare for the ACT. In school I was in ACT Prep and that somewhat helped. I scored a 20, not great, but luckily my GPA and grades were good. To me the only struggle of the ACT was the math. It wasn’t hard it was just I forgot how to do easy math because I’ve been in so many advanced math courses. If you decide to do this make sure you don't forget the easy math. I took the test 3 times and got the same score but I applied to schools with my first score. I applied to 4 schools; Bradley University, Park University, Millikin University, William Jewell College, and got accepted into all four.

 When I recieved my Bradley Acceptance letter (pre - haircut lol)

When I recieved my Bradley Acceptance letter (pre - haircut lol)

Come back next week to read how my college journey article ends and my physical college journey begins.

Ronald’s College Journey to Glo Up

By:Ronald Walter

Finding the right college has been one of the most stressful processes in my life. There are thousands of schools in the world. How will I know which one is right for me? This is part one of a series following my college journey that will last for three weeks.

The first step for me was to know what career path I wanted to go on. I want to be an Art Director, which is someone who works on visuals for magazines, newspapers, product packaging, and movie/television productions.

Next, I decided on what I wanted to major in for college. I plan to have a major in Fine Studio Arts, Photography, or any related major in the field. How I decided on being an Art Director was simple research. One resource I used was the Occupational Outlook Handbook. This website shows you and breaks down everything you need to know about a career. Get yours here!

Once I was sure I wanted to be an Art Director I started to look at colleges in certain areas I wanted to live in. My dream place to go to college in is New York. I picked three schools from New York which include PRATT Institute, New York University, and Fashion Institute of Technology(FIT). But then reality set in. My parents basically told me that New York was too far. I should have stuck with going to New York, but I looked close to home for a backup plan. I took a look at schools in Missouri and Illinois. I used websites like Niche, College Board, Big Future, and the school's website. From all the research, I made a list of 10 colleges I wanted to go to.

My List

  • Millikin University

  • Bradley University

  • Park University

  • William Jewell College

  • Washington University

  • University of Central Missouri

  • Roosevelt University

  • Baker University

  • University of Chicago

  • Ball State University   

Stay tuned for the next part of my journey next Thursday. I will explain what I did with my list and my campus visits.

2 Cheap Ways to Host Your Graduation Party

By: Emma Iffrig

After you graduate you’re pushed into what’s known as the “adult world,” but why not have some fun before while also benefitting financially? Why not throw a party? Here are two affordable graduation  party options where you can also receive useful items all at the same time!

Have a Potluck.

Throw a party for your relatives and/or friends. I know it may sound lame to have Aunt Betty singing karaoke music from the 80’s to help celebrate your graduation, but your family members are the ones who know you the best. This party will have all of your family and/or friends in your house/ backyard. Hosting a potluck makes your party essentially free since you can host it at your own home. Cost cutting benefits include: “Aunt Betty, will you please bring a vegetable? Uncle Jim, will please bring a dessert, maybe like some brownies?” Talk to everyone to figure out who wants to bring the bigger items.Food tip: You can purchase large packs of hot dogs at Costco (4.5lb.s) or Sam’s Club (5lb.s). If you or your parents aren’t a member of either, you can find them almost anywhere, but at a slightly higher price.

This makes no cost for you in the food department. You may just have to provide some napkins, plates, and silverware. Cool gift tip: I suggest asking your family for the bigger items, such as a mini fridge or even a microwave for you to put in your dorm room. This is the perfect time! Make sure you talk to your room mate too!

Trunk Party.

Hosting a trunk party prepares you for the after-graduation-life slightly differently. The idea is wrapped around you going to college and your guests include both family and/ or friends. The gifts they’d bring are gifts that could be what you need while living as a college student. A couple of specific examples include bedding, school supplies, an alarm clock, etc. They are smaller items that you could fit in a trunk, not a car’s trunk, but a trunk that looks like a chest.

What about food? Food for your guests may include small sandwiches and appetizers. You may not even need to purchase the trunk yourself, but if you want to the prices range from $30-$200. Try checking thrift stores or asking anyone in your family if they have one to cut costs!

Each graduation party is different. These are only a couple affordable options to keep in mind to prepare you for college on a budget!