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105 Interesting Persuasive Speech Topics for Any Project

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Mar 5, 2018 12:00:00 PM

Other High School, Extracurriculars

Are you struggling to find good persuasive speech topics? It can be hard to find a topic that interests both you and your audience, but in this guide we’ve done the hard work and created a list of 105 great persuasive speech ideas. They’re organized into ten categories and cover a variety of topics, so you’re sure to find one that interests you.

In addition to our list, we also go over which factors make good persuasive speech topics and three tips you should follow when researching and writing your persuasive speech.

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Having a Job in High School Has More Benefits Than Just a Paycheck

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Feb 22, 2018 12:00:00 PM

Other High School, Extracurriculars

Having a job used to be a rite of passage for high school students. They’d put in some hours during the school year and over the summer and often be able to pay for most of their college expenses with the money they earned. However, as today’s current high schoolers are facing piles of homework, pressure to excel on sports teams and clubs, and tuition costs that no entry-level job could ever cover, many people are rethinking the concept of high schoolers working.

Are there still benefits to having a job in high school? Yes. There are many reasons for a high school student today to have a job, and those benefits extend far beyond just a paycheck.

Having a job in high school can not only be a great experience in and of itself, it can also set you up to get even better jobs in college and beyond. In this article, I use my experience of working as a teenager to go over the key benefits of having a high school job. I also end by giving tips on the best jobs for high school students.

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Should I Take a Gap Year? 6 Reasons the Answer Is Yes

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Feb 8, 2018 12:00:00 PM



Not excited about the idea of starting another year of school in the fall? What if you could instead take a break from school and spend a year backpacking around Europe, volunteering for a cause you care about, or getting paid to work on a cruise ship? With a gap year all those things possible!

Have you heard of gap years but aren’t sure what they are? Do you know other people taking gap years but aren’t sure if they’re a good idea for you? What are the benefits of taking a gap year anyway? In this guide, I use my own gap year experience to explain the major benefits of gap year programs and why they’re such a great choice for many students. I end with some tips to ensure you get the most out of your own gap year.

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My Successful Harvard Application (Complete Common App + Supplement)


In 2005, I applied to college and got into every school I applied to, including Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and MIT. I decided to attend Harvard.

In this guide, I’ll show you the entire college application that got me into Harvard - page by page, word for word.

In my complete analysis, I'll take you through my Common Application, Harvard supplemental application, personal statements and essays, extracurricular activities, teachers' letters of recommendation, counselor recommendation, complete high school transcript, and more. I’ll also give you in-depth commentary on every part of my application.

To my knowledge, a college application analysis like this has never been done before. This is the application guide I wished I had when I was in high school.

If you’re applying to top schools like the Ivy Leagues, you’ll see firsthand what a successful application to Harvard and Princeton looks like. You’ll learn the strategies I used to build a compelling application. You’ll see what items were critical in getting me admitted, and what didn’t end up helping much at all.

Reading this guide from beginning to end will be well worth your time - you might completely change your college application strategy as a result. 

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The National Youth Leadership Forum: Should You Go?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Jan 24, 2018 1:00:00 PM


Have you heard of the National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF)?  Perhaps you’ve heard that attending the NYLF is a great way to improve your chances of getting into top colleges, and you’re wondering if that’s true or not. Spoiler: If you're considering NYLF because you think it's prestigious, you'd be dead wrong. Keep reading to find out why.

This guide will explain what NYLF is, what its benefits and drawbacks are, and how you can decide whether or not you should participate in it.

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129 Great Examples of Community Service Projects

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Jan 17, 2018 8:30:00 AM


Are you interested in performing community service? Do you want examples of service projects you can do? Community service is a great way to help others and improve your community, and it can also help you gain skills and experience to include on your resume and college applications.

Read on for dozens of community service ideas to help you get started volunteering. 

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Complete List of Extracurricular Activities: 100s of Examples

How do you like to spend your time after school? Did you know that how you choose to spend this time could be one of the most important ways you shape your future?

Extracurricular activities are a critical component of your college application, and you need to impress colleges with your interests. But you might not know what good extracurricular activities look like or what you should be spending your time on.

We've got you covered here in our guide of hundreds of examples of extracurricular activities. Read on to get some inspiration for how to spend your valuable free time during high school!

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The 3 Best Extracurricular Activities for Your College App

Posted by Mary Ann Barge | Jan 10, 2018 9:00:00 AM

College Admissions, Extracurriculars

As you know, extracurricular activities are an important part of your college application. The things that you choose to do outside of the classroom help college admission officers understand your personality in a way that your grades and test scores can’t show.

With so many activities to choose from, how do you know which ones are going to make the biggest impact on your application? Do colleges prefer students with traditional activities like sports and student council, or are you better off if you have something unconventional on your activity list?

If you're unsure about how to strategize a list of activities that will make an impact on your application, read on to see the three best extracurricular activities that will really get you noticed.

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How to Win a Student Election, by a Former Class President

Posted by Dora Seigel | Jan 10, 2018 8:00:00 AM


Hoping to be your class president? Winning the position takes a lot of work, but you can absolutely make it happen. Why should you trust me? I was my Junior Class President and Student Government President my senior year, so I know what it takes to get there. In this article, I've outlined every step you need to take to become class president: starting with just getting on student council freshman year, all the way through running in a big election as a senior. 

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No Extracurricular Activities? Here's What You Should Do

Posted by Mary Ann Barge | Jan 1, 2018 8:30:00 AM

College Admissions, Extracurriculars

Extracurricular activities are one of the most important parts of your college application. After your test scores and grades, they are the best way for a college to get to know more about you and to understand what kind of student you might be on campus.

But what if you have no extracurricular activities? Is all hope lost?

Read on to find out why things might not be as bad as they seem and what you can do to make up for not having extracurriculars.

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Should You Participate in the National Student Leadership Conference?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Dec 27, 2017 2:00:00 PM


Have you heard of the National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC)?  Maybe you’ve heard that participating in NSLC is a great way to impress colleges, and you’re wondering if that’s true. Spoiler: If you're considering NSLC because you think it's prestigious, you'd be dead wrong. Keep reading to learn why.

This guide will go over exactly what NSLC is, what its potential benefits and drawbacks are, and how you can decide if you should participate in one of its programs.

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The 39 Best Clubs to Start in High School

Posted by Dora Seigel | Nov 15, 2017 8:00:00 PM


Thinking about starting a club? It’s a great way to meet people with similar interests, do an activity you enjoy, learn more about an activity you're interested in, and gain leadership experience for your college application! But what are good clubs to start in high school? In this article, I’ll give you a list of dozens of clubs you can start!

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59 Great Medical Programs for High School Students + Advice

Posted by Dora Seigel | Oct 30, 2017 7:00:00 PM


Thinking about a career in medicine? I highly recommend trying out some medical experiences in high school before committing to a pre-med track. Many of my high school friends who hoped to go into medicine ended up changing their major during college when the pre-med courses got too difficult.

Doing a medical internship, summer program, or community service project in high school can help you decide if medicine is the right track for you before you waste time and money trying pre-med in college. This guide will explain what experiences are open to you as a high school student, what those experiences involve, and how you will benefit from them.

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129 Pre-College Summer Programs for High School Students

Posted by Justin Berkman | Oct 4, 2017 10:00:00 PM


Summer programs provide high school students with opportunities to explore their academic interests and spark new passions. They also allow high school students to get a taste of college life and meet other students from all over the world.

In this article, I'll provide a list of 129 colleges throughout the United States that host summer programs for high school students. Furthermore, I'll give you information about what pre-college summer programs are like and how you can select the right program for you.

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Pre-College Summer Programs: Should You Go?

Posted by Justin Berkman | May 8, 2016 8:00:00 AM

College Admissions, Extracurriculars

If you're contemplating your summer plans, you may want to consider pre-college summer programs. These programs offer high school students the opportunity to live and learn on a college campus.

In this article, I'll explain the different types of programs and let you know the benefits and drawbacks of attending them. Furthermore, I'll let you know if doing one of these programs can help you get into college.

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