Takeaway Tweets  #CampusChat: FAFSA: Pros, Cons, and Deadlines
Jan12

Takeaway Tweets #CampusChat: FAFSA: Pros, Cons, and Deadlines

January 12, 2010 Results of last night's #CampusChat (01/11/12) per Hashtracking.com: 324 tweets generated 870,993 impressions, reaching an audience of 56,305 followers within the past 24 hours The top 3 Takeaway Tweet messages:  File the FAFSA  File it NOW Update date it after you've completed your 2011 income tax filing More Takeaway Tweets  NEVER exclude a college based on sticker price. Ignore price until you get your aid package. #campuschat Akil Bello If filing FAFSA online- use the federal FREE site fafsa.ed.gov/#campuschat Wendy David-Gaines College Bound teens need to encourage their families to complete the FAFSA in January #campuschat Fuji Fulgueras Apply for everything. The worst you can be told is NO. #campuschat Akil Bello File the FAFSA and then apply for as many college scholarships as you possibly can! #campuschat Monica L. Matthews Always fill out the FAFSA, even if you don't think you'll get any federal aid–it's FREE and u just never know about school aid #campuschat Suzanne Shaffer File the FAFSA in January and use estimated figures–the early bird always gets the worm #campuschat Suzanne Shaffer Fin Aid runs out and the the early bird gets the worm! #campuschat Akil Bello SAR=Student Aid Report. It's sent after you filed FAFSA. Use it to make corrections. #campuschat Wendy David-Gaines  For the complete transcipt, click...

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Expert Tips on How to Prepare for SAT/ACT Tests, Part 1: The Environment
Nov29

Expert Tips on How to Prepare for SAT/ACT Tests, Part 1: The Environment

Akil Bello ALL YOU EVER NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE SAT AND ACT: The Environment The following is Part 1 of our 4-part series on SAT/ACT test prep developed by Akil Bello, co-founder of Bell Curves: In my 20+ year career in test preparation, I’ve been asked at least 1000 times “what would you tell a child getting ready for the SAT or ACT?” My response is universally the same: “Prepare.” This short answer is really the best advice anyone can give anyone getting ready for any test. It’s what we all did for our driving test; its what we did for our weekly spelling test in 3rd grade; its what people do when they defend their dissertations in graduate school. This test is no different from any other in that preparation results in better scores. That being said, how one prepares for the SAT/ACT is very different than how one prepares for a test in school, so to help you out I’m going to give a bit more clarity to the truism “prepare.” The short list to the short answer: Prepare for the environment. Learn the scoring and content. (Re)Learn the content. Learn the tricks Now for the details: 1. Prepare for the environment. Taking the SAT or ACT is a very tough and strange experience for most kids and the PSAT or PLAN are like running a 5k to prepare for a marathon – it’s nice but not enough. To get yourself ready for the SAT/ACT you have to experience it. Think of it this way: if you were getting ready to perform a Chopin piece in Carnegie Hall would you prepare by playing Do-Re-Me at home? Probably not. You’ve got to simulate the full experience as much as you can. NFL Players will practice with crowd noise blaring in the background to simulate a loud stadium. You should do something similar. Take a full-length proctored practice test in a room with other kids (sniffling, tapping, grunting, and groaning when you are trying to concentrate). Take a full-length practice test with a proctor who doesn’t give a 5 minute warning. If you prepare for the testing environment you increase you chance of success on the day of the actual test. –>Continue to Part 2: Scoring. *** Akil Bello is co-founder of Bell Curves, a socially responsible test preparation and educational services company based in New York City. Since its inception, the company has developed a diverse clientele comprised of non-profit organizations, educational institutions, young professionals, and college and graduate school-bound students. For more tips on test prep, check out the Bell Curves Blog. Related SAT/ACT Test Prep...

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Takeaway Tweets & Transcript from #CampusChat: What are You Reading?
Feb10

Takeaway Tweets & Transcript from #CampusChat: What are You Reading?

There were 16 book recommendations for parents of college-bound teens during the 40th CampusChat on Twitter last night. The Takeaway Tweets below reference the titles and the complete transcript contains additional commentary. My favorite takeaway tweet was not a book recommendation but a reminder from #CampusChat regular, educator, and sage, Akil Bello:   @akilbello Reading is for those without TV #campuschat   Save 75% on college textbooks – fast shipping, largest selection of...

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Takeaway Tweets & Transcript from #CampusChat with Akil Bello, Bell Curves
Aug26

Takeaway Tweets & Transcript from #CampusChat with Akil Bello, Bell Curves

 Most Wednesday evenings, CampusChat is a lively, lighthearted conversation with an expert on topics related to college life, campus tours, or college admissions. My expert guest and co-host was Akil Bello, co-founder of Bell Curves, a test preparation and tutoring services company in New York. Test Prep was the topic of the August 25, 2010 chat and, instead of "light" or "lively," I'd say the conversation was more like "intense" and "engaged."  Getting into college is serious business and no one denies the important role test scores play when it comes to college admissions. While we debated whether or not the SAT and ACT is good or bad, our opinions really don't matter. The truth is that test scores are real and admissions counselors do consider them when reviewing applications.  Our conversation began by looking at when, or how, a parent (or student) determines test prep help is needed. Akil made these recommendations: akilbello: There is at least one free practice test available for ever major test. Have them take one timed. #campuschat akilbello: Best way to choose between SAT and ACT is to take a free practice test of each #collegechat Others added: SuzanneShaffer: I would recommend they take those practice tests early–sophomore year #campuschat jeannieborin: @akilbello big believer in practice tests – compare these tests to amarathon - and no one would show up to that w/out practice #campuschat RELATED RESOURCES  College Board's SAT 2009 Profile Rep http://bit.ly/9QVXqA A free ACT is found here (PDF) http://www.act.org/aap/pdf/preparing.pdf A free SAT is here http://sat.collegeboard.com/practice/sat-practice-test According to Akil, the biggest advantage to test prep is that the students become familiar with the nuances of the test itself and the information covered on the test. Learning the "how" is just as important at the "what." And while we focused on how test scores are used or perceived whether you are a student, parent, or admissions professional, Megan Wilson, from WCU reminded us that college admissions is still a human process: @megs0124: Students need not be afraid to call schls&chat w/admiss about their scores.I love hearing from concerned students. #campuschat The complete transcript is available here from...

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The 5 W’s of #CampusChat with Guest Akil Bello
Aug25

The 5 W’s of #CampusChat with Guest Akil Bello

WHO: Akil Bello (@akilbello), co-founder of Bell Curves. Contact: [email protected] or  phone at 646-414-1586. WHAT: Tonight's topic is College Board Test Prep WHERE: #CampusChat on Twitter WHEN: 9 PM Eastern, August 25, 2010  WHY: "Change a life! Change the World!" These words headline the career web page on the Bell Curves site and the testimonials from former Bell Curves students indicate their lives were changed and their educational opportunities blossomed thanks to the company's test prep services.  Akil Bello co-founded the company after discovering his own passion for sharing knowledge and helping others achieve academic success through what he calls a happy accident: "I was a student of architecture and was looking for a part time job. My aunt worked for one of the big prep companies and pulled strings to get me hired, I turned out to be really good at it." Bell Curves is located in New York City and offers GMAT, LSAT, and SAT test preparation services as well as tutoring. Workshops are hosted online via live web-based classrooms and in traditional classroom settings.  Akil has been an active participant in #CampusChat and his contributions are smart, witty, perceptive and informative. Parents, college-bound teens and those enrolled in college considering graduate or law school are encouraged to join us tonight for more of Akil's insight and tips related to college test prep. You won't be bored, and your life may be changed from the experience.  Related Reading How to Rock on a Twitter Chat - Handshake 2.0 Twitter Tools for #CampusChat - SmartCollegeVisit 3 Easy Ways to Keep in Step with a Twitter Chat - Handshake 2.0 Takeaway Tweets & Transcripts from past CampusChats –...

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