Hi everyone, I’ve been getting a lot of emails from readers asking for my recommendations on everything from SAT prep websites to essay and brag sheet editing help.
While many of the services I’m recommending below are relatively new (and thus, I haven’t personally used them), I’ve had the fortune of investigating them closely and hearing feedback from lots of current and former Ivy League students.
If you do use any of the services below, let me know what your experience is like. I would love the feedback.
I’ll start with the 4 below which cover scholarships, resume/essay editing, SAT prep, and even renting textbooks for cheap (oh, how I wish I had something like this back when I was at Stanford!).
1. Win scholarship and free money using Fastweb
This is a GREAT resource for finding scholarship opportunities and free money for school. We all know Harvard costs $200K so the easier it is on your parents, the better!
The nice thing about Fastweb is the personalized alerts via their email newsletter that get sent straight to your inbox.
Fastweb can also be a useful resource to find out more about potential colleges outside of the Ivy Leagues, both to serve as backup options as well as legitimate choices for people with specific interests (for example, if you’re interested in becoming a chef, an education at Le Cordon Bleu may be more appealing than 4 years slaving away at Yale!)
It’s useful for both high school students and current undergraduates. I remember back in my day, I used FastWeb to find a few good national scholarship programs and earned a few thousand dollars…worth the effort, at least
Click here to get started.
2. Save money by renting textbooks using Campus Book Rentals
Back when I was an undergrad, the best we had was Half.com. Now, textbook rental companies have exploded!
I’ve read about and gotten feedback on the top ones, and the winner has been Campus Book Rentals. Not only do I have friends that work there whom I really respect, but they generally have the best prices, a great selection, and the most reliable delivery schedule (important if that Chemistry 101 class is starting next Monday!).
A few other perks:
-Free returns both ways, when the semester is over – save yourself the hassle of making $20 off a book that costs you $200 (or never finding another buyer) and just ship ‘em back to Campus Book Rentals. Plus it saves trees
-30 day return policy (so if you drop a class because the first few lectures sucked or there’s a 50 page paper due at the end of the semester, you can get your money back)
First, the resume/brag-sheet:
We’ve covered the importance of the resume and brag sheet before. It an be a tipping point for the success of your app, because it’s the first opportunity outside of your essays to showcase you as a person and highlight all the little interesting things you do that don’t find their way onto the Common App.
ResumeEdge has professional writers who will work with you over email and in some cases, over phone, to accomplish exactly that. Plus, they’re used to working with real working professionals, who have a higher quality standards than most high school students.
You’ll be in good hands.
Second, the essay editing:
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have multiple people review your essays and short answers and give detailed feedback. With EssayEdge, you get not only honest feedback (their salary depends on it), but thorough and detailed help rewriting your essay to retain your voice but making sure there are no dumb mistakes (eg, improper grammar) and better structure/clarity.
*I am NOT encouraging you to get an essay written from scratch. That’s plagiarism and completely wrong. However, getting assistance on a close-to-finished product is perfectly acceptable, and you’d be dumb not to at least get free feedback before looking into something like EssayEdge
4. Get better than my 1360 SAT score by using a service like Grockit
Now there are a lot of test prep companies out there like Kaplan or Princeton Review.
The reason I like Grockit is because of its CUSTOMIZATION and DIVERSE RESOURCES.
The way everyone learns is different – some like video, some like group studying, some like self-paced individual lessons. Grockit lets you do all of that however you think best, and learn best.
Click here to get started.
Ultimately, any of the reputable test prep services out there will be helpful if you’re looking to improve your SAT, ACT, SAT Subject scores. However, the most important thing is that you’re committed and put in the HOURS necessary to see improvement. None of these programs will do the work for you, and most importantly:
None of the services is a silver bullet. None.
Keep that in mind!
Want to attend Ivy League schools? Check out my insider’s course and guide to getting into Harvard, even with a 1360 SAT from a public high school.