What is Socialization Like in an Online High School?

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The myths of socialization in online learning have long been debunked, but the question still remains: what does socialization in an online high school actually look like?

For ASU Prep Digital senior Hannah Stewart, it looks like joining clubs that align with her interest, taking on leadership roles, and becoming a role model for other students in the community.

Coming from a traditional school background, the transition to online learning actually allowed Stewart to explore different ways of socializing and set her own boundaries.

I’m an ambivert, so while I like being around people, school could be emotionally draining for me on the days I just wasn’t feeling the whole ‘being social’ thing,” Stewart said. “As an online student, I have clubs a few times a week and message with other students every few days, but I have the freedom to recharge when I need to, allowing me to be the best version of myself.”

As one of the first students to enroll at ASU Prep Digital, Stewart has made extracurricular activities a priority of her high school experience, immersing herself in the ASU Prep Digital community.

“My first year I joined the pen pal club and book club,” Stewart said. “I went on to become the president of the photography/yearbook club last year, and now I’m the president of student government and a writer for the student newspaper!”

Stewart likes keeping busy, but socialization is more than that for her—it’s a way to connect with like-minded peers and be a part of something bigger than herself.

“I like having a sense of community within a club,” Stewart said. “You see the same people every week, and you’re all invested in the same thing. You start to develop inside jokes and learn more about each other, so by the time you meet physically, you already know each other well.”

Stewart lives in South Korea, making it difficult to attend in-person events. But with senior year coming to a close, they’ll be a few opportunities worth making the trip to Arizona. 

“I am so excited to meet everyone at the end of the year when I go to Arizona for my graduation,” Stewart said. “And student government may be planning another event that will be a lot of fun to attend!” 

For those who are on the fence about online learning because of the socialization component, Stewart makes it clear that just like in a traditional school, it’s up to each individual to make the effort to be social and active in their school community.

A lot of people are turned off of online school because they think it just involves holing up with your computer all day,” Stewart said. “By making an effort, joining clubs, and actively participating, I’ve been able to make some great friends and keep myself from getting lonely. I’ve never felt like I was at a disadvantage because of my desire to receive the right kind of education for me.”

 

Interested in learning more about how socialization works at ASU Prep Digital? Be sure to check out our next blog post where we’ll talk about ASU Prep Digital community events, student clubs, and more! In the meantime, sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on all things ASU Prep Digital. 

Three Important SAT Prep Tips for High School Students

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‘Tis the season for cooler weather, fall activities, and SAT prep! It may not be as fun as pumpkin patches or haunted attractions, but preparing for the SAT is important since your score is a crucial part of your college application. This may feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of great tips for preparing for the exam, and we’re going to share a few:

Enroll in a prep course.

It has been proven time and time again that taking an SAT prep course helps improve your score. Not only do these courses break down and help you familiarize yourself with the different exam sections, but they also provide strategies on how to physically take the test. 

ASU Prep Digital offers an ACT/SAT Test Preparation course, open to all students who have completed Algebra 2 and English 10. The course includes assignments using an online resource called Shmoop, a ‘one-stop learning shop’ offering homework help, learning guides, and, most importantly, test prep!

Work on your weaknesses.

This may seem like a given, but it’s easy to find yourself working on sections you’re comfortable with because it keeps your confidence up. However, working on your weak areas will benefit you in the long run by helping you improve your overall score.

How will you know what you should focus on? One of the best ways is to take a diagnostic test. Before you begin any lessons or activities in the ASU Prep Digital ACT/SAT Test Preparation course, the diagnostic exam will pinpoint your weakest areas so you can tackle them head-on.

Take as many practice exams as you can.

The phrase ‘practice makes perfect’ exists for a reason! While you don’t want to burn yourself out before test day arrives, you also want to be prepared and familiar with the format before sitting for the exam. 

Experts recommend you complete at least three timed practice exams before taking the SAT, reviewing your results afterward to pinpoint areas that require more studying. If possible, you should take at least one test on paper to get comfortable filling out a scantron and writing by hand for 3-4 hours.

Ready to sign up for the SAT this semester? Here are the remaining test dates and their registration deadlines:

  • November 2 
    • Late registration ends October 22
  • December 7
    • Registration ends November 2
    • Late registration ends November 26

Looking ahead to the spring semester? Enroll in our SAT and ACT test prep course here to be ready by test day, then pick the exam date that best fits your schedule.

  • March 14, 2020
    • Registration ends February 24, 2020
    • Late registration ends March 3, 2020
  • May 2, 2020
    • Registration ends April 3, 2020
    • Late registration ends April 21, 2020
  • June 6, 2020
    • Registration ends May 8, 2020
    • Late registration ends May 27, 2020

Want more tips on navigating the college application process? Subscribe to our newsletter on our website and check out a few more posts here:

Four Things to Complete on Your Senior Year Checklist

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Senior year is here, which means the excitement, and nerves, have already started to kick in. Even though many college applications don’t open up until late August/early September, it’s never too early to start checking items off your ‘to do’ list. Here are four things you should be doing during the fall semester of senior year:

 

Start researching scholarships

FAFSA isn’t the only way you can get financial assistance for college! Pick up a scholarship book or browse the web for scholarships you can apply for. There are millions of dollars up for grabs as long as you’re willing to put in the work and apply. Some of them don’t even require an essay, making it even easier to obtain money to offset the cost of college. You can begin your search here.

Ask for letters of recommendation

Do you have a favorite teacher or club advisor? Consider asking them to write you a letter of recommendation that you can submit with your college applications. These letters will give colleges a sense of who you are, why you’ll be successful at their institution, and how you’ll contribute to the school community. Be sure that whoever you’re asking knows you well so they can confidently speak to your positive attributes and add a personal touch!

Sign up for the SAT and/or ACT

Even if you took these tests during the spring semester, it doesn’t hurt to take them at least one more time in the fall if you’re looking to improve your scores. And if you didn’t take the exams during your junior year, then you’ll need to sign up for one of testing dates as soon as possible. The earliest SAT testing date is August 24, and the earliest ACT testing date is September 14. If you’re looking for extra practice and prep material, check out the ACT/SAT prep course we offer here.

Sign up for a college course

Enrolling in a college class enables you to get a feel for the coursework while earning credit that, in many cases, can be transferred to whichever school you attend next fall. ASU Prep Digital students can enroll in university courses through Arizona State University at a discounted rate (or for free if they’re a full-time Arizona high school student). Check out the course catalog and find a class that matches your interests or potential college major!

5 Tips for High School Seniors During the College Application Season

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The last semester for high school seniors has begun, which means that the February 1 regular admission deadline for colleges is fast approaching. If you’re making last minute edits to your application or looking for ways to keep yourself in good standing as colleges make their decisions, we’ve rounded up the best tips for high school seniors who are hoping to gain entry to their top college choices for the fall 2019 semester:  

Send your transcript and test scores to colleges you’ve applied to.

The application for college is extensive, so it’s easy to feel like you’re done once you’ve sent it off. However, you have to make sure that your high school transcript and test scores from the SAT and/or ACT are sent to all of the colleges you’ve applied to as well. In many cases, your guidance counselor will be responsible for sending your transcript as long as you let them know where to send it to. Test scores must be sent directly from the College Board and can be done either before or after your test day.

Find ways to express interest in your top college choice.

Colleges want to know that you are serious about gaining admission and becoming part of their community. While scheduling an official tour of campus is a great option, sometimes that isn’t feasible. Luckily, there are plenty of other ways to express your excitement about being accepted. Signing up for their mailing list, reaching out to admissions recruiters via email, or writing a well-thought-out supplemental essay are all great ways to show interest without stepping on campus.

Be mindful of what you’re posting on social media.

Before you hit ‘send,’ take a moment to think: “could posting this make me look bad?” In an age where everyone is connected, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that anything you post is out there for anyone to see—including admissions advisors at colleges. The same way you can be denied a job for what you post on social media, you can be denied admission to a college for the same thing. A good rule of thumb to follow is if your grandma wouldn’t approve, don’t post it!

Highlight volunteer experiences on your application.

Do you spend time giving back to your community? In addition to good grades and test scores, colleges want to see that you’ve made an impact on the world around you. They want to make sure that the students they offer admission to will be successful and make a difference both inside and outside of the classroom. Be sure to include any volunteer experience you have on your college applications!

Maintain your good grades.

The first half of senior year is officially over—how are your grades looking? It’s important to maintain good grades in your final semesters of high school because even if a college has offered you admission, they can retract their offer if your grades slip. It may seem like a good idea to succumb to ‘senioritis,’ but your future self will thank you for staying on track when you’re attending your dream school.

February 1 is the regular admission deadline for many colleges, including Arizona State University. If you plan on applying by that date, make sure everything is completed and sent to the colleges of your choice. Be sure to follow ASU Prep Digital on Instagram and Facebook and check out our previous college admission tips blog to get even more tips.