College Admissions Boot Camp - Applications, Essays, & More
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College Admissions Boot Camp - Applications, Essays, & More

Two minute videos with college coaching advice on applications, essays, financial aid, scholarships, interviews & more
3.0 (2 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
587 students enrolled
Last updated 10/2016
English
Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Includes:
  • 2.5 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Build a customized list of schools to apply to
  • Fill out applications to showcase their talents
  • Write compelling college admissions essays that make them stand out
  • Understand how to apply for financial aid and get the best offer
  • Ace the interview
  • Find, apply for, and win scholarships
View Curriculum
Requirements
  • Be ready to take the initiative and the time to win the college application game. It isn't quick or easy, but the more effort you put in, the better the result will be.
Description

College Admissions Boot Camp is college application coaching and counseling without the expense of a private consultant.  This course is a ten week course consisting of daily two minute videos.  Each week focuses on a different topic in the college admissions and applications process.  Each video is a single topic with three points to remember.

This is a basic course that touches on every topic a high school student or parent needs to keep track of and will help them maximize the limited time the typical student and parent gets with a high school guidance counselor or college counselor.  Everything from the Common Application to FAFSA to college essays to college admissions interviews to teacher recommendations letters is included.

The weeks' topics:

  1. Introduction
  2. Searching and building a list of colleges to apply to
  3. Standardized testing - SAT & ACT
  4. Filling out applications
  5. Writing your essays
  6. Recommendation letters
  7. Interviews
  8. Financial aid 
  9. Scholarships
  10. Making the final decision

All of the information you need to get started on competitive college applications is right here--so let's get started!

Who is the target audience?
  • High school students, their parents, educators, and counselors will find this course helpful
Compare to Other College Admissions Courses
Curriculum For This Course
70 Lectures
02:33:53
+
Week one - Introduction
7 Lectures 13:01

Welcome to Alpha Academia's College Admissions and Applications Boot Camp!  This is Day 1, Week 1- Introducing you to the camp!

Preview 01:14

Welcome Back! Today's session discusses who this course is for--high school students, parents, and those that help guide them!

Preview 01:27

Ten weeks of daily two-minute videos.  One new topic each week.  
Week 1 - Intro, Warm-up
Week 2 - Building the list of schools to apply to
Week 3 - Standardized Testing - SAT and ACT
Week 4 - Applications 
Week 5 - College Essays and Personal Statements
Week 6 - Recommendation Letters
Week 7 - College Interviews
Week 8 - Financial Aid
Week 9 - Scholarships
Week 10 - Decision Time!

Preview 01:39

Who is your college coach for boot camp?  Sarah Ballard is a Georgetown University and Law Center alumna.  After college, she was endorsed to compete for the Rhodes Scholarship and won the George Mitchell Scholarship.  She has her Masters and her Juris Doctor.  She was never rejected from a single school to which she applied, including the Ivy League, graduate school, and law school.  She has personally won more than $150,000 in competitive, merit scholarships and has coached high school and graduate students through their admissions and scholarship applications. She has read and reviewed applications for the Mitchell and Fulbright scholarships and has volunteered to do admission interviews at the undergraduate level.

Preview 01:34

What should you get done when on your college applications?  Aim to at least get you essays, resumes, and list of schools to apply to in order by the time you go back to school for your senior year.

Preview 02:07

Your high school guidance and college counselors are your most important allies in the college admissions process.

Preview 02:18

There are a ton of other resources for help on college admissions and applications, so how do you figure out the best?  We strongly recommend our online courses and e-Book at www.AlphaAcademia.com.  Two other AWESOME sites?  The Khan Academy for expert, free (yes, free!) SAT prep and Edvisors for all things college finances.

Recommended resources
02:42
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Week two - Searching for colleges and building the list of schools to apply to
7 Lectures 16:55

Welcome to week two of Alpha Academia's College Admissions and Application Boot Camp!  This week we'll be talking about building the list of schools to which you're going to apply.  How many schools should you apply to?  That advice, and more, today!

How many schools should you apply to?
01:45

Today's boot camp session is focused on developing search criteria for building your list of colleges to apply to.  What factors should you consider first?  We suggest you focus on location, cost, size, and academic program first.

Search criteria
02:28

Now that you've decided on the factors that will drive your college search and build the list of schools to which you will apply, use a couple of college search engines to start to narrow the list!

College search engines
02:10

So, you've narrowed down you list of colleges to apply to?  Still having trouble?  Spend some serious time on the websites of the schools you're considering and become an expert on the school, and specifically the academic program/major of your choice.  Scouring the school's website is the only way to unlock the tiny details that will prove life changing--like, can you double major? study abroad? change your program and graduate on time?

Researching schools on their websites
02:37

Should you visit a college's campus before applying?  How do you make the most of a college visit?  Take the campus tour or wing it?  The answers to these questions and more are in today's College Admissions Boot Camp session!

Campus visits
02:26

This video explains why it is so very important to do your research on academic programs and policies at the colleges you're considering before you apply.  The more you know and consider, the fewer surprises (expensive ones!) you'll have once you're in school.

Evaluating academic programs
02:40

This week of the College Admissions & Application Boot Camp closes with a session discussing how you should tailor your college search if you have no idea what you might want to major in.  For those likely to apply to school with an undeclared major, there are certain things you should consider when building your list.

No idea what you want to study?
02:49
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Week three - Standardized testing, SAT & ACT
7 Lectures 12:42

This week we're going to talk about standardized testing and how it fits in to your college application.  You need to decide whether to take the SAT, the ACT, or both.  You need to research what scores you need to get into the schools you want.  We'll also talk about test prep strategies and sending your scores.

Do I need to take the SAT? ACT?
01:42

So, which test do you take, the SAT or the ACT?  Figure it out the smart way!

SAT or ACT?
01:35

What is the best strategy for maximizing your score on the SAT and ACT?  Well, that depends on how much you need to raise your score, how much time you have, and how much self-discipline you've got!

Test prep
02:03

So you're not thrilled with your SAT or ACT score?  How do you decide whether to take the test again?  Today's boot camp session walks you through the retest conundrum.

Take the test again?
02:12

Today we're going to talk about whether you need to take any SAT Subject Tests (formerly called SAT IIs) and whether you should really consider the essay section on the SAT "optional."

SAT II Subject Tests? SAT Essay?
01:42

So now that there are a bunch of schools that don't require the SAT or the ACT, do you still need to take it?  Find out in today's session why you REALLY should still get a score on the books!  (Hint - it is all about keeping your options open!)

Test "optional" schools
01:51

Got AP and IB scores?  Make sure you get credit for the work you've done by submitting those scores properly!

AP and IB scores
01:37
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Week four - Filling out applications
7 Lectures 14:35

One of the first decisions you'll have to make with you college applications is whether to apply anywhere Early Decision or Early Action.  Today's session walks you through the pros and cons so you can make the best decision for your personal situation.

Early decision?
02:16

You'll almost certainly need to fill out the Common Application for one or more of your college applications.  Today's video walks you through some of the things you'll need to keep in mind.

The Common Application
01:44

Start working on your personal resume early and then check out the Common Application form fields so you understand what space you have to work with when it comes to listing all of your activities and awards.

Your resume
02:13

There's a new kid on the block in terms of college applications - the Coalition Application that stands to be a substitute for the Common Application for some schools.  Check out today's video for a little bit about it.

The Coalition Application
01:59

Some parts of the college application are submitted by the student, and some parts are the responsibility of others.  Today's video session focuses on what the student needs to submit.

Your responsibilities submitting applications
01:56

Some parts of the college application are submitted by the student, and some parts are the responsibility of others.  Today's video session focuses on what the other people submit on the student's behalf--recommendation letters, transcripts, and other evaluations.

Outside submissions to monitor
02:07

Some parts of the college application are submitted by the student, and some parts are the responsibility of others.  Today's video session focuses on what the other people submit on the student's behalf--recommendation letters, transcripts, and other evaluations.

Potential pitfalls
02:20
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Week five - Writing your college application essays
7 Lectures 17:48

The name if the game when it comes to college essays is to write the fewest number of essays possible for all of your applications so you can spend more time on each one, use your best stories, and therefore put your best work forward.  Today's session talks about how to get started.

Planning out how many essays to write
02:25

What makes a good college essay topic?  Does any good personal story work?  How do you pick which stories to make the subjects of your essays?  All this and more as Alpha Academia's College Admissions and Applications Boot Camp continues today with a session on brainstorming your college essay topics!

Brainstorm essay topics
02:07

Nearly all college essays--and the exceptions are very few--should attempt to connect a story from your past with you high school accomplishments to your future goals.  The idea here?  Hit past, present, and future.

Why?  The often ignored secret is that colleges are interested as much (if not more) in your future potential and goals as they are in your past accomplishments.  So...tie them all together in a perfectly crafted essay!

Outlining essays
02:09

What is a personal statement?  How is the personal statement different from other types of essays?  Today's session explores how you write your personal statement for your college applications.

The personal statement
02:42

How should you handle really specific (even bizarre) essay prompts on your college applications?  Can you get away with writing a generic essay? (no!)

Specialized essay prompts
03:19

What do you write about in that 100 word space intended for a "short answer response?"  Here's why to treat it like an entirely separate essay and how to write it!

Short answer responses
02:27

You've spent weeks writing and re-writing your college essays and you think you're ready to submit?  How do you make sure there are no typos or grammatical errors that slip through?  Today's session outlines some steps you can take to make sure those personal statements, short answers, and prompted essays are perfect!

Edit & polish
02:39
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Week six - Recommendation Letters
7 Lectures 14:01

What makes for a good recommendation letter?  It is one that talks about you at length and in detail.  The reader needs to get to know who you are and what you've done from another perspective.

What makes a good recommendation letter?
02:04

Yesterday we talked about what makes for a good recommendation letter for a college application.  Wonder what a bad one looks like?  Want to know how to avoid getting one?

What makes a poor recommendation letter?
01:29

Who should you choose to write your college application letters of recommendation?  Try for people who have known you for more than one year in more than one capacity--e.g., your history teacher who is also your soccer coach or your English teacher who is also your school newspaper adviser.

Choosing your recommenders
01:54

How do you ask someone to write you a letter of recommendation for your college applications?  Just send a quick email?  Nope!  Ask in person and one-on-one.

Asking your recommenders to write for you
01:56

Set your recommenders (and your recommendation letters!) for success by providing you recommenders with everything they need--college information, resume, essay, submission guidelines--to help them write the letter you want and get it submitted to the right place on time!

Preparing your recommenders
02:05

What are the common problems and pitfalls that arise with letters of recommendation for college applications?  How do you avoid them?  Tune in!

Potential problems
02:22

For the last session of our week on recommendation letters, we advise you to thank your recommenders swiftly and then follow up with them to let them know where you'll be going.  You never know when you might need to impose on them for a last minute tweak to your letter for a scholarship application!

Thank your writers!
02:11
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Week seven - College admissions interviews
7 Lectures 15:15

If a college says that an interview connected to your application is "optional," how optional is it really?  Stay on the safe side and do what you can to do the interview.  Prepare and practice first with this week's video tips!

Is an "optional" interview really optional?
02:23

Got a college admissions interview?  Get the who/what/where/when/how of the meeting figured out well in advance to help take some of the stress away!

Logistics of the college interview
01:53

There are a few questions you'd better be able to answer in any college interview:

1 - Tell me a little bit about yourself?
2 - Why do you want to go to this school?
3 - Do you have any questions for me?

Figure out your answers in advance!

Substantive prep - what are you going t say?
02:24

You've done your research to prepare for your college admissions interview, but have you practiced actually answering the questions out loud?

Practicing interview questions
02:12

No college admissions interview preparation would be complete without a realistic mock interview session.  Practice the way you will actually interview!

A mock interview
02:01

So what are the last minute details you should be focused on the day before and the day of your college admissions interview?  Tune in!

Last minute details
02:00

What should you do after the interview in terms of a thank you?  Are there any other details you should consider?

After the interview
02:22
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Week eight - Financial aid
7 Lectures 15:53

Most students don't end up paying the full cost of college because of financial aid and scholarships.  But, how can you get an idea of the difference between the sticker price and what it will cost you?

What will college cost?
02:19

College financial aid applications all start with the FAFSA.  Fill it out as soon as you can.  After that, understand that most schools require other submissions and have deadlines--all of which you'll need to satisfy to compete for aid.  Keep in mind - you're asking the school to lower its price for you!

Applying for financial aid
01:58

The FAFSA is the foundation of college financial aid applications.  Fill it out as soon as you can as accurately as you can.

The FAFSA
01:59

While the FAFSA is the start, colleges often want other documents to supplement your financial aid application--such as the CSS Profile and copies of your tax returns.  Make sure you submit everything that is requested.

Other parts of the financial aid application
01:52

When you get your financial aid package from a school, take the time to read it carefully and understand what it is saying.  Each school is different, but almost all offers will contain a mix of loans. grants, scholarships, work study, and expected contributions from savings--even from future earnings.  If you don't understand something in your letter, call up the college's financial aid office pronto!

Understanding your award letter
02:59

Disappointed with the financial aid package a college offered you?  There is a right way and a wrong way to appeal--and you need to act quickly.

Appealing your financial aid award
02:27

Most students end up having to take out student loans to cover the difference between financial aid and what they can afford to pay.  Not all student loans are created equally, and doing your homework in advance can help you make the right choice and avoid expensive surprises later on.

Student loans
02:19
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Week nine - Finding and wining scholarships
7 Lectures 17:04

Why focus on your college applications before you dive deeply on applying for scholarships?  Because you'll use many of the elements from your college applications in your scholarship applications!

Do your college applications first!
02:20

It can get really easy to lose track of which scholarships you've applied to already, which ones you've rules out based on the criteria, and which ones you still want to get to.  Put together yet another spreadsheet to keep yourself organized and meet all your deadlines!

Tracking scholarship applications
01:58

The scholarship search is a lot of work, but they are out there.  Ask locally--especially at your high school, your newspaper, and your peers.  Check out organizations that you're already involved in or that you might want to work for.  Finally, get on national-level search engines like FastWeb.com

Searching for scholarships
02:55

The scholarship search is a lot of work, but they are out there.  Ask locally--especially at your high school, your newspaper, and your peers.  Check out organizations that you're already involved in or that you might want to work for.  Finally, get on national-level search engines like FastWeb.com

Applying for scholarships
02:04

Make your scholarship applications as strong as they can possibly be by waiting until almost the last minute to submit them so you can update your resume to include all of your latest accomplishments and awards...and perhaps even which school you will attend!

Winning scholarships
02:57

Todays' session discusses how you tailor your college application essays for use in scholarship applications.  One caveat...if there is a crazy specific prompt, don't waste your time half-heartedly tweaking a generic essay--the award will go to someone who took the time to write the essay that the scholarship committee wanted.

Tailoring your application essays
02:12

School policies often do not allow students to keep financial aid beyond their "demonstrated need."  This probably won't affect the first few thousand dollars in outside scholarships you might win, but it could start lowering your grant aid (read, free money) at a certain point.  Learn your school's policies early on by asking the financial aid department.

Schools' financial aid policies on private scholarships
02:38
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Week ten - Making your decision on where to go to college
7 Lectures 16:39

Are you thinking about applying Early Decision or Early Action somewhere?  Make sure you understand the rules and the potential consequences!

Early decision? Early action?
02:23

Is there anything you can do to turn a deferral into an acceptance?  Yes, but play it smart so you don't annoy the admissions office or waste your best chance!

Deferred?
02:04

The dreaded waitlist... Is there any hope?  What can you do?  What should you do?

The waitlist
02:28

How do you make that final decision on where to go to college?  Refer back to your original search criteria, compare academic programs (and the nitty gritty rules and major requirements), and pick apart the financial side of it!

Picking between schools
02:41

Keep your stress levels low by making sure you have your student loans disbursed and your semester's bill paid before you arrive on campus!

Settle your tuition bill before you arrive
02:11

One big thing you can do over the summer before you start college is learning your schools academic rules and you major department's requirements.  Understanding prerequisites, credit hours, and course offerings will help you make smart decisions the first time and avoid having to extend your stay an extra semester.

Using the summer to prep for a successful college start
02:33

Watch your various mail boxes for "to-do's" from your school and knock them out as soon as they arrive.  Enjoy the last days of summer before college and then go to school!

Go to school!
02:19
About the Instructor
Alpha Academia - Sarah Ballard
3.8 Average rating
8 Reviews
691 Students
3 Courses
College Admissions Coach

Alpha Academia harnesses expertise--advice and tools--to give its students everything they need to be successful at gaining admission to their best school.

Sarah Ballard founded Alpha Academia to make top college admissions advice accessible to all. The company launched its inaugural course, The Complete College Admissions Adventure in 2015 and just published its book, Accepted! A Monthly Guide to College Applications and Admission to Any School.

Sarah is a Georgetown University and Law Center alumna. After college, she was endorsed to compete for the Rhodes Scholarship and won the George Mitchell Scholarship. She has her Masters and her Juris Doctor. She was never rejected from a single school to which she applied. This includes the Ivy League, graduate school, and law school. She has also won more than $150,000 in competitive, merit scholarships. She has read and reviewed applications for the Mitchell and Fulbright scholarships and has volunteered to do admission interviews at the undergraduate level.

Sarah knows what it is like to navigate the applications process on her own and has assembled a suite of videos and tools that she wishes she had when she was applying--just for you!