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Bucket List 101 College Advice 

Bucket List 101

Don’t take this the wrong way (meaning “DON’T SKIP CLASS”), but college isn’t all about tests and grades. You’ll learn plenty and make a lot of memories outside the classroom, too. Here’s a sample bucket list. Borrow from it—or not—but make your own list and then soak up as much of the college experience as you can. Study abroad. You can earn credit while experiencing a new culture. Time abroad can be life changing. Your academic advisor can get you started. Join a club—or start one. Schools have clubs for…

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First Year Away from Home? Avoid Freshman Mistakes College Advice 

First Year Away from Home? Avoid Freshman Mistakes

First-year college students who struggle academically or socially often fall into one of two camps: The homesick, whose longing for home causes them to miss out on many of the opportunities the first year on campus has to offer. And the undisciplined, whose new-found independence results in poor choices and bad grades. It’s normal to be a little homesick, but don’t let it hold you back. Remember, you’re surrounded by other people your age who are going through the same thing. As for independence—sure, it’s great to be on your…

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College Entrance Exams: They Still Matter College Advice 

College Entrance Exams: They Still Matter

Even before the pandemic, many schools were making the SAT and ACT optional. The reason? Concern that the exams weren’t accessible or affordable enough for low-income students, and a growing body of evidence that high school grades, activities and other achievements are better predictors of college success. Then the pandemic struck, forcing cancellation of the exams and causing even more schools to stop requiring them—at least temporarily. Now that the tests are being administered again, many schools still require them as part of your college application. It’s best to take…

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College Visits—In Person, Virtual and A Little of Both Featured College Advice 

College Visits—In Person, Virtual and A Little of Both

The best way to zero in on your favorite school or schools is to schedule a campus tour. With the pandemic easing, some schools are returning to guided, in-person tours, but others remain locked down. Find out if in-person tours for prospective students are possible (some are only for those already admitted). Don’t be discouraged. Between virtual tours, self-guided visits and a combination of both, most schools have created opportunities to introduce themselves to prospective students. Here are some common alternatives to guided, in-person tours: Virtual tours. An easy, free…

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Diversity Matters College Advice 

Diversity Matters

Whether you go away for college or study at a school in your hometown, you’ll be better prepared for life and career if you continue your education in an environment that celebrates diversity. Almost every school tries to project an air of diversity and inclusion. Finding the ones that truly are diverse is the trick. Here are some things to look for: A dedicated diversity office or office of multicultural affairs. Multicultural clubs and associations. The more the better. The percentage of the student body that is part of a…

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College Trivia College Advice 

College Trivia

What is the oldest college or university in Indiana? Vincennes University (founded in 1801 as Jefferson Academy.) How many Indiana schools belong to the Association of American Universities, a prestigious group of 64 public and private research universities that was founded in 1900? Two. Indiana University-Bloomington (joined 1909) and Purdue University (joined 1958.) What is the oldest private college in Indiana? Hanover College (founded in 1827.) Which university has the state’s largest planetarium? Ball State (The Charles W. Brown Planetarium.) Which university’s library was designed by the same architect that…

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Choose Your Top Schools College Advice 

Choose Your Top Schools

Picking a school might seem like an overwhelming task, but you can boil your choice down to three main factors: academics, environment and cost. Academics: You might be in love with a particular campus—or at least have a clear vision of the college experience you think is right for you, but what do you want to study? Once you’ve answered that question (or at least have a few ideas), do your research and find out which schools offer the courses you need. Environment: Big school or small? Urban campus or…

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College—Or Another Path College Advice 

College—Or Another Path

It’s never been more important to continue your education after you graduate from high school. By 2027, approximately 70 percent of jobs will require additional schooling, according to some projections. Here’s the good news: You have lots of choices. There are degree programs to fit every interest, timeline, lifestyle and budget—and you can find almost all of them right here in Indiana. Go to for a list of jobs and the academic training they require. 1 Four-year degrees: This is the traditional (but far from only) route to a…

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Indiana Colleges Map College Advice 

Indiana Colleges Map

IN Public Colleges 1 Ball State University D3 2 Indiana State University A4 3 Indiana University-Bloomington B4 4 Indiana University-East D3 5 Indiana University-Fort Wayne D2 6 Indiana University-Kokomo C2 7 Indiana University-Northwest A1 8 Indiana University-South Bend C1 9 Indiana University-Southeast C6 10 IUPUC (Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus)• C4 11 IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) C4 12 Ivy Tech Community College-Anderson C3 13 Ivy Tech Community College-Avon C3 14 Ivy Tech Community College-Batesville D4 15 Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington B4 16 Ivy Tech Community College-Columbus C4 17 Ivy Tech…

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Get ready, get set—if you are a high school senior, it’s time to apply to college. Even if deadlines for your school of choice are a few months away, you should begin your application sooner than later so that you can be ready to hit “send” when the time is right. If the school has rolling admissions—that is, decisions are made continuously throughout the year—you could find out within a few weeks whether you’ve been admitted and begin making choices about living arrangements and other important decisions. Start here: Choose…

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What We Learned About Online Learning in 2020 College Advice 

What We Learned About Online Learning in 2020

Last year at this time, you might never have even considered what it would be like to do high school at home. Now, we all know it’s possible—and that it might be necessary again. Here’s what we know now: Remote learning takes self-discipline. Get on a schedule, stay on the schedule and force yourself to stay on task. When you finish your day, get some fresh air and exercise. Don’t cheat. Most of us will have to keep learning our whole lives. You might as well try to learn the…

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How Will I Know If Something’s Wrong? College Advice 

How Will I Know If Something’s Wrong?

Sometimes things don’t go our way or bad and unexpected things happen. It’s normal to get upset or sad during upsetting times, but if you feel that your friend isn’t responding normally it might mean that there’s something more serious going on. The National Alliance for Mental Illness ( wants you to know about these signs: Withdrawing from social activities or appearing down for more than 2 weeks. This could mean crying regularly, feeling tired all the time or not wanting to hang out anymore. Self-harming actions such as cutting or…

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What if I’m not sure about college? College Advice 

What if I’m not sure about college?

This is more common than you think. When I was entering college, I did not truly know what I wanted to study or even do after college. My first piece of advice would be to connect with your college advisor (when you get one) and let him/her know what your passions are, which will then lead into creating goals for yourself in college. Your hobbies can possibly become a career for you so definitely keep an open mind in college. My next piece of advice would be to get involved…

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Making a college bucket list is your license to dream big and make a note of everything you hope to experience in your journey through college. Check out this list of ideas for inspiration—then get inventive and craft your own! Engage on Campus Write for a campus publication Take a class you’re interested in just for fun Complete an honors thesis Schedule coffee with a professor Join, lead or start your own campus organization “Working at the student newspaper, even if you aren’t a journalism major, provides a deep understanding…

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Take the SAT or ACT College Advice 

Take the SAT or ACT

Students who qualify for free or reduced lunch can also take the SAT and ACT for free. Ask your school counselor for more information. Learn more about the SAT at Learn more about the ACT at Test Optional? Among the many events cancelled in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic were SAT and ACT exams in the spring of 2020. Many colleges were already moving to becoming test-optional and many more removed testing requirements for applicants through at least 2021. Check with colleges you plan to apply to…

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21st Century Scholar Support Specialist College Advice 

21st Century Scholar Support Specialist

Brandi Lambertson 2020 Graduate, Ball State University In 2020, Brandi Lambertson graduated from Ball State University with a double major in Entrepreneurial Management and Marketing. She was president of Ball State’s Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization and was named the outstanding graduate for the Entrepreneurial Management Major. She also works for Ball State, as a 21st Century Scholar Support Specialist. A graduate student usually has that position, but Lambertson was chosen as an undergraduate by the AmeriCorps program and Ball State because of her unique qualifications. To this day, she enjoys helping…

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Day in the Life of a College Student College Advice 

Day in the Life of a College Student

Tyra Baker was in her senior year at IUPUI studying psychology with minors in International Studies and Culture Diversity when she landed an internship at the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. As an intern, she wrote a blog post for Learn More Indiana, which has been edited here for Next Indiana. Wake Up Call! My day starts at 6:30 or 7 a.m., depending on my class and work schedule. I get up, make breakfast of either oatmeal or eggs and make a delicious cup of French roast coffee to wake…

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Vote! College Advice 


Young voters are an important part of our election process. You can make an impact on your community, the state of Indiana and our nation by participating in the 2020 election. 3 Things to Know About Voting General Election Day is November 3, 2020. You have the right to vote in Indiana if: You are both a U.S. citizen and a resident of Indiana; and You will be at least 18 years of age on or before the next General or Municipal Election, and You are not currently in prison…

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Buzzwords: College College Advice 

Buzzwords: College

Starting college can feel like you’re learning a new language. Some terms you need to know: Academic Advisor A counselor or designated individual who has been formally trained to counsel students regarding academic choices. Your advisor’s advice will enable you to enroll in the courses that best support your academic goals. Accreditation Accreditation is the endorsement by a third party of an institution’s quality of education. A school’s accreditation determines its eligibility to receive federal (Title IV) and state financial aid. Proper accreditation is also important for the acceptance and…

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