Doorway to College Blog

When do I apply for scholarships?

Posted by Kristen Steinbeck

Sep 22, 2017 9:54:49 PM

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Topics: scholarships, college, money, college scholarships

Take Note of These Important Dates

Posted by Kristen Steinbeck

Aug 6, 2017 11:02:01 PM

Is this the year you plan take the PSAT/SAT, ACT, or both? Make sure you make the registration deadlines, especially if you're a senior hoping to get the test in before sending off applications. Good luck!

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Topics: ACT test, SAT test, FAFSA, act prep, ACT, sat prep, deadlines

Gap Year FAQ

Posted by Kristen Steinbeck

Aug 4, 2017 1:57:12 PM


Photo by Sonja Guina

While the word "gap" might have negative connotations, we believe a gap year — when you defer college for a year to get some real-world experience — is an excellent way to mature and grow before heading off to college. But there are many questions about how to navigate these years; below, we answer a few of them:

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Topics: college admissions, College Essay, gap year

The 8 Best Apps to Stay Productive in College

Posted by Kristen Steinbeck

Jul 21, 2017 2:03:42 AM

Going to college means suddenly managing your own time while also being able to do whatever you want. It's overwhelming! While it's good to take advantage of the fun parts, you'll also thank yourself later for staying productive — you wouldn't want to look back on your early-college grades and cringe. That's why it's helpful to have apps — those wonders of modern technology — to keep you accountable. Here are the ones we suggest.

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The 5 Best Apps to Manage Your College Classes

Posted by Kristen Steinbeck

Jul 15, 2017 8:38:02 PM

Simplify your college life by making sure your classes, studying, and textbooks are in order (and easy to access!) with these super-helpful apps.

Brainscape flashcards

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Topics: college prep, college planning, college, apps, technology

Early Decision, Early Action, or Neither?

Posted by Kristen Steinbeck

Jul 14, 2017 1:04:10 PM

If you’re close to college application season – or if you’re thinking ahead – you’ve probably heard the terms ‘early action’ or ‘early decision’ bandied about. So which one, if at all, should you take part in.

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Use the Time You Have: College Planning During High School Summers

Posted by Kristen Steinbeck

Jun 13, 2017 2:21:59 PM

There are 168 hours in a week – 112ish waking hours. Why not use two of those hours per week this summer to work on college planning? Your older self will thank you for handling part of the load, and, come college application season, you'll be glad you did the bulk of your research when you didn't have homework and extracurriculars coming out your ears.

To make it easier to plan, we devised a to-do list for every high-school summer. Read on for tips!

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Topics: SAT test, financial aid, PSAT, ACT, college prep, college planning

Social Media DOs and DON'Ts During College App Season

Posted by Kristen Steinbeck

May 26, 2017 10:57:19 PM

One question that’s come up more often in recent years: Colleges don’t actually spend time looking at everyone’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc – right? 

Well, not all of them. But according to a recent study by Kaplan, 35 percent of colleges do look at your pages. The good news is that of that 35 percent, 47 percent reported reacting positively to the students’ pages. Alternately, 42 percent found the pages to have a negative impact on the applications. OK, so should you or shouldn’t you comb through your social media before applying? Here’s what we think:

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Topics: college admissions process, college application, college admissions

Why You Should Mark Up the SAT and ACT Reading Passages

Posted by Kristen Steinbeck

Apr 28, 2017 4:46:03 PM

On the ACT and SAT reading tests, taking control of the passages is key. One way to own them is by marking up the text with notes and indicators that will not only keep you focused on the reading at hand but also make it easier to flip back from the questions and find what you’re looking for. Think of the markups as breadcrumbs that will help you find the way “home” faster—that is, if “home” is a cabin on the edge of the woods full of all the right answers.

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Topics: test taking strategies, SAT test, study skills, ACT, sat prep

4 Ways to Maximize Time and Improve Accuracy on the SAT

Posted by Kristen Steinbeck

Apr 4, 2017 9:58:38 AM


In an article for Business Insider, Steven Salzberg, a professor of some very mathy topics (biomedical engineering, computer science, and biostatistics) at Johns Hopkins University, writes about how he got a higher score on the SAT as a teenager than he did when taking the practice tests recently with his daughter. Why? Timing, timing, timing.

His point is this: The math on the SAT is pretty basic, but the speed with which you have to complete the questions isn’t. Never fear, though—with some timing practice ahead of time, you’ll go in with confidence knowing you and the clock are chummy.  

Some basic need-to-know timing facts:

  • Arrive no later than 7:45 a.m., as the doors close at 8 a.m.
  • The test is 3 hours long. This includes the reading (65 minutes), writing and language (35 minutes), and math (80 minutes) sections.
  • The math section is split in two: a 25-minute, 20-question “no-calculator” section and a 55-minute, 38-question “calculators permitted” section. Reading is 65 minutes for 52 questions, and writing is 35 minutes for 44 questions. The optional essay is 50 minutes.

The only way to successfully improve your speed and accuracy is with practice tests. Here’s how:

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