High School Students

“Why do you deserve this scholarship?”

December 5, 2014

How should I go about answering “Why do you deserve to win this scholarship?” without sounding cocky? This is my first scholarship application and I’m a freshman student at a community college. -Emilio Good question, Emilio – why do you deserve a scholarship?  Notice the emphasis on the “you” and not necessarily the “why.”  Anyone can […]

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Wait to start college to find more affordable option?

December 2, 2014

I have read a lot of your answers to questions on the site and I know you recommend that people go to community college than transfer to save money. I have been known to suggest that, Nick – this is true. I thought about this for a little while than when I talked to my […]

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What to do on a college visit?

November 21, 2014

Hey Judge Josh, I’ve read your book and it has helped me a lot! Awesome !  Comments like this are the reason I write the books.  Glad you enjoyed it! But my question has nothing to do with the never ending quest for money, it has to do with college visits. I really can’t get […]

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Expensive Dream School vs. Cheaper, Not-Dream School?

October 6, 2014

Dear Judge Josh, First, I just wanted to say I think you are great! I read your posts everyday and not only have I learned quite a bit, but I have been thoroughly entertained. Go on, Whitney, I’m listening… Now for my question. Since I was ten years old my dream school was a small […]

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Should I Go To Go To My Dream School, Or Stay In-State & Pay Less?

September 11, 2014

Okay, so I don’t know what to do. I want to go down the “pre-med” track in college, and I have always thought that I would go to a big, showy, pricey university with lots of bells and whistles. I was always content with the amount of college debt I would have after school as […]

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I Was Raped. Should I Tell The Committee?

December 28, 2010

Sarah was finishing up a stellar undergrad career at a very selective university, and then she was raped. That changed things, but it didn’t derail her, and she needs some advice on how to continue righting the ship. Hi Judge Josh, Hi! I’m a longtime reader and fan of your Q&A section, just never thought […]

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I Want Baylor. Parents Want Ivy League.

December 15, 2010

Danielle wants to a be a neo-natal nurse, and she wants to go to Baylor, which is an expensive private school. Mom & Dad don’t approve…but not for the reasons you might expect. Hello there. Hi. I’m a Senior in high school in Oklahoma City. I’ve known all of my life that I’ve wanted to […]

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Bad College Advice, Volume I

December 13, 2010

Man, Rebecca’s been getting some terrible college advice. I want to thank her in advance for allowing me to smash some of it here in a public forum. My question has two parts. I will be graduating with my A.A.S in Accounting this December with a 3.6GPA after taking classes for four years. Congrats! It […]

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When It’s OK to Lie

December 8, 2010

Sheri’s trying to get me in trouble today. Hey Josh, Hey! I’ve got a pretty great thing going on. I’m currently a debt-free sophomore in college with a 3.86 cumulative GPA, my family is supportive of me, and I’ve never had any trouble with people bullying me about my race, religion, or other attributes. To […]

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Weighted GPA vs. Non-Weighted GPA

December 3, 2010

Brittany has an interesting question today. If a scholarship committee asks for your GPA but doesn’t specify weighted or unweighted, which one should you give ’em? At my high school we are currently on an honors grading scale for majority of our classes. We are given a GPA that is considered to be weighted; when […]

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I’m Average. Should I Drop Out?

December 1, 2010

Jatna’s having a rough time with college. It’s been harder for her than high school was, and she has that gnawing feeling that she wasn’t meant for it. That she should quit. First of all let me say that I absolutely love this blog, it has helped me get through some pretty tough times while […]

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Jewelry Design: Good Career Choice?

November 30, 2010

Forget world travel. Lydia wants to stay put here in the U.S. and design jewelry for a living. But does that make sense? Will you be able to support yourself and possibly a family with that job in the coming decades? Hey Josh, Your blog is wonderful, I think it’s so great for someone to […]

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Parental Horseshit

November 23, 2010

Elayne wants to be a horse trainer. But you know how it is with horse training — like its sister occupations, exotic dancing and prostitution, parents will stop at nothing to keep their children out of this sinister line of work. Or so it appears. I know you’ve answered this type of question a lot […]

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Are Students Over-Exerting Themselves? (Counselor Buddy Advice!)

November 10, 2010

Today Counselor Buddy tells us there is such a thing as too many student activities. What do you guys think? How many activities are you involved with and do you ever get burned-out? Read Counselor Buddy’s guest article and leave a comment below. The increasing demands on students to market themselves to their colleges of […]

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The Priority Deadline: Guest Post by Anjilee Dodge

November 3, 2010

Today we have a helpful guest post from Anjilee, a financial aid advisor from Seattle. As an advisor, Anjilee insists you meet the deadline for filling out your FAFSA. She also has some answers for the feeble excuses students give when they can’t seem to allocate 20 minutes every year for their financial well being. […]

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Unique & Obscure Degrees: Worth it?

October 29, 2010

María has a question about college life outside the U.S., but that’s cool, because, in the immortal words of Lil’ Wayne, “We worldwide, hustlas!” I have a question regarding college majors. My situation is unique for this site because I don’t live in the US. But I read the advice you give and you’re always […]

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Double Degree: What’s The Point?

October 27, 2010

Tamorie is a woman of few words. But every word counts. Love your work! Aw, shucks… I have a quick question. What’s the benefit of a second bachelor’s degree? Is there one? Great question. I’ll assume that what’s given rise to this question is you being in some proximity to students pursuing or discussing double-degree […]

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17 on the ACT: Good Enough?

October 21, 2010

Christine is a high school senior who has a 3.7 GPA, but got a 17 on her ACT. What now? I’m afraid of how strongly colleges will judge me off my ACT score. Yep — it’s a valid concern, I’m afraid. A lot of the initial screening of college applicants involves a mathematical formula, a […]

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How To Deal With College App Stress

October 20, 2010

Alex wrote me this short and sweet email which I almost declined to answer because it was so brief and general. But then I thought, hey, maybe the high school folks out there getting ready for college need a little bit of a primer on what to worry about and what’s not worth stressing over. […]

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Free Degree at Home vs. Spendy Journalism School

October 15, 2010

Oh, Claire. If only you were born 20 or 30 years earlier. I am a senior in high school who is currently filling out college applications. I have applied to many places, some more prestigious than others. Ever since I was in middle school, it has been my goal to get into Columbia University and […]

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17-Year-Old Freshman Wants Out of Mom & Dad’s House

October 5, 2010

Usually when students ask me questions about residence issues, they usually want to move off-campus and get out of their dorms. But Kseinya has the opposite problem. She lives cheaply off-campus but wants a dorm life. Hi my name is Kseinya and I am a freshman at Whitworth University. Spokane, Washington. Just in case you […]

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Early Childhood Education vs. Teaching Degree

September 27, 2010

Amanda dropped out of high school, realized the error of her ways and clawed herself back into the college game. But when she missed that senior year of high school, she missed some key college advice that I’m trying to fill in today. Feel free to read along and help! Dear Judge Josh, I have […]

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Retake SAT after a 2090?

September 22, 2010

Erica must know how conflicted I feel about parents who want certain things for their kids, seemingly independent of what those kids actually want for themselves. My gut reaction is to get pissy with the mom or dad and tell them to quit trying to impose their will on their adult (or nearly adult) children, […]

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Rejected From Colleges, Part 2: The Italian Job

September 16, 2010

Chiara is Italian. And not the kind of Italian where the family has been here in the U.S. for five generations but still calls themselves “Italian” — I mean, she’s from Italy. She has an email address that ends with “.it” — that kind of Italian. Apparently she’s had a rough go of it with […]

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Flunked Out of College. Can I Get Into Grad School?

September 15, 2010

A few days ago, we talked about whether you can get into grad school with a GPA of under 3.0. Conclusion: Yes, but it’s hard, and you’re going to have to make up for it with other strengths (experience, recommendations, research, etc.). But now Kelsey has upped the ante. A low GPA is one thing, […]

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Should You Mention Your Disorders?

September 14, 2010

Scott’s in a jam! He’s good enough to excel at Harvard grad school if he can get in, but he’s got some black marks on his resume (black marks for Harvard, anyway). But there are good explanations for them. Problem is, the explanation may create new problems. I’ll let him tell it. Hello Judge Josh, […]

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Financial Aid For Americans in Canada?

September 8, 2010

I gotta be honest, I’m a huge fan of Canada. Canada has always reminded me of a giant version of America with a lot more breathing room and a lot less anger. Personally, I’ve been dying to visit Toronto for 10 years and still haven’t. Not to mention wonderful exports like Rachel McAdams, Will Arnett […]

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Early College High Schools: Advantage or Disadvantage?

September 2, 2010

Breanna and her sister are the first in their family to go to college, and if you’re in the same boat, you probably understand what it’s like to have very little college guidance under your own roof. Your folks are proud of you and supportive and all that, but they just don’t actually KNOW much […]

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Claiming Independent On FAFSA: Can Anyone Do It?

August 26, 2010

Krista’s firmly in the financial aid dead zone. You might be there, too. Hey Josh, thanks for your blog! It has been the MOST helpful resource I’ve found. Thanks! I mean, you’re welcome! I am currently a senior in high school, and taking 2 classes at the local community college for dual credit. I want […]

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Cost of Attendance: Can Your School Cut Off Your Student Loans?

August 24, 2010

Marissa’s a smart gal. She’s done her student loans homework and she knows how much she’s allowed to borrow from the federal government each year. She’s got kids to feed and bills to pay, and she’s counting on using those loans to do so. Problem is, well before she reached that point, her school has […]

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