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school tips

Get the Inside Scoop on Campus-life: Tips for Incoming College Freshmen

Get the Inside Scoop on Campus-life: Tips for Incoming College Freshmen

We hope our college-bound high school grads are considering taking part in pre-freshman programs. These programs give you a chance to learn during the summer and get better acquainted with the school and some of your future peers. If you are not yet convinced  you will want to keep reading. These tips are useful for both college-bound and high school students. 

Pre-freshmen programs often target students that colleges feel will benefit strongly from a nurturing head start. Maybe you’re a first-gen college student or you went to a less competitive high school. That doesn’t mean you’re not ready for college. It simply means you may need some help getting started. Summer Bridge and Pre-Freshman programs are designed to introduce students to the academic expectations of their colleges in a smaller, more structured environment. During the program you will be on campus with a few dozen other incoming students. You’ll receive mentoring from faculty and peers, be introduced to important support offices and resources, and build your confidence. By the time the rest of your class arrives, you’ll have already settled in. Some pre-freshman programs can even be done for academic credit.

If you can’t make it because of travel, work, or some other conflict, that’s perfectly fine. Maximize your summer time with family or save up as much as possible from your summer job. But don’t turn down this opportunity simply because you don’t feel like doing school work in August. If you haven’t been keeping up with your mail and didn’t even know about pre-freshmen programs, stop reading this and open up those letters from school!   

For high school students, you can find similar college readiness programs held during the days on a campus near you or overnight on campuses nationwide. College readiness programs will give you a good introduction to college life, making your eventual transition easier. Look out for these opportunities and add them to your summer calendars.

And remember, summer is a great time to apply for scholarships! 

Christopher Gray on 'How to know when scholarship winners are announced.'

Christopher Gray on 'How to know when scholarship winners are announced.'

At Scholly, we get questions from our users all the time about how to know if they won a scholarship or not. Since Scholly is only a way to search for scholarships we cannot dictate when or how a scholarship reaches out to winners, but we do have some insight on how you can find out.

1) Email:
Most scholarships will email winners (and sometimes those that didn’t win) to let them know their status. These emails can sometimes be tailored toward the individual with specific details or can be general email letting you know you have one and what next steps would be in the process. If it’s a general email, make sure you check your spam folder to make sure things didn’t get sent there.

2) Phone Call:
Although you should receive an email before or after a scholarship organization calls you, be on the lookout for a call and leave room in your voicemail just in case you missed it. Some of my biggest scholarships called me first then emailed me about next steps a week later.

3) Mail:
Yes, just like the IRS, some organizations still send you paper mail. Most scholarships don’t still do this, but some smaller scholarships do. I suggest checking your mail daily to make sure they haven’t sent you something.

4) Nothing at all:
Unfortunately, sometimes scholarships never notify those who didn’t win. So sometimes if you have done all of the above things, it may be best to focus on other scholarships, apply for as many as you can, and don’t sweat the losses.

Winning a scholarship isn’t a measure of your self worth as each scholarship looks for something different. So keep using Scholly, keep applying for more, and get as much money as you can. 

Three back-to-school survival tips.

Three back-to-school survival tips.

We post mostly about scholarships, scholarship-search and tips about winning scholarships here, but as summer comes to a close here are some other things to keep in mind that will help you stay sharp and on top throughout the year. And trust me, I know what I'm talking about ...  I'm heading into my senior year in one week!


I know you might be thinking that if there is any time you can survive without sleep, it’s college. However, scores of studies show that academic performance tanks when students are getting insufficient sleep. If you ever have trouble sleeping from late-night video game/movie sessions (or anything for that matter), create a bedtime routine for yourself. It’s a good way to wind down the day and it will help you fall asleep faster!


Between classes, friends, and everything else, you can sometimes forget pretty important things. No, not your mom’s birthday (well that too), but food! If you’re feeling worn out or low energy, make sure you eating a couple of full meals a day. Without calories to provide energy, good luck with that marathon study session or plain old marathon.


Some people are just born organized and then there are others that can’t seem to hold it together at all! If you’re one of the latter people, knock out the bulk of your organization at once. Once you’ve gotten the syllabi for your courses, sit down with a planner and/or calendar, and write down all the deadlines for homework, tests, and the like. Rather than having to worry about keeping organized over the semester, you’ll be set after just one day! 

So sleep, eat and organize! Sure, it's not as much fun as what you've been up to all summer, but it's time to take care of business.