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Answers to Your College Questions

Diane Melville

Diane Melville

Diane Melville has experienced community college transfer success first hand. After earning her AA in biomedical engineering from Miami Dade College, she was accepted into some of the best schools in the nation. She ultimately transferred to Babson College to earn her bachelor of science in entrepreneurship and marketing. Diane has dedicated her career as an education professional, entrepreneur, and public speaker to advocating for community college reform and bettering the financial aid system.


Melville is the author of The Community College Advantage.

Posted by on in College

community college prideSo, you’re going to community college.

Let me be the first to congratulate you on making an incredible decision! Yes, I know that “congrats” isn’t the most common response to sharing your community college decision, but it ought to be. Some of the most successful people of our time went to community college (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Hanks, George Lucas, and Walt Disney to name a few), and there is no reason why you shouldn’t feel like you are walking in the footsteps of giants. I want you to walk away from this article feeling excited and proud of yourself for making the decision to attend community college. I want you to know that you haven’t missed out on anything, you are not at a disadvantage, and a world of opportunity awaits you as a community college student.

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Posted by on in College

ultimate-guide-to-community-college-summer-classesAre you a community-college student who’s thinking about enrolling in courses this summer? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Taking summer classes is a great way to get ahead and ensure that you’ll graduate on time. Registration for summer courses usually begins in April/May and classes fill up quickly! Be sure to make your plans early to avoid missing out on the classes you need.

I’m here to help you make the most out of your summer courses by taking the right ones, avoiding common pitfalls, and knowing how it will affect your financial aid. Let’s get started.

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Posted by on in College

Community college is a very popular topic right now. And with popularity comes rumors and misconceptions. Selecting an educational path is a big decision, and before you make that decision (or help someone to make that decision) it’s important to have a clear understanding of the alternatives. So, to put an end to some of these misconceptions, here is a list of the most common myths about community colleges!

Myth #1: Community College Students Can’t Transfer into Ivy League Institutions

False! While I can’t quote exact numbers (to my knowledge this data is not tracked), I can tell you anecdotally that Ivy League transfer is not only possible, but probable with the right guidance. Community college transfer students are proven, mature students and are more likely to graduate than incoming freshmen. Don’t take my word for it, UCLA’s Alfred Herrera said this to the College Board on the topic of transfers:

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Posted by on in Paying for College

Scholarship ApplicationsIf you have no idea what you are doing, asking for a letter of recommendation for a scholarship application can be kind of a nerve-wracking experience. Who should you ask? When should you ask? How can you tell if someone is going to write you a good letter of recommendation or a terrible one? Whether you’re a high school student going to college for the first time or a community college student transferring to a four-year institution, knowing how to get the best letter of recommendation possible can make all the difference. Luckily, I have all of the answers for you neatly packaged into this blog post!

Ask the Right People:

The “right person” depends on the purpose of the letter of recommendation. For scholarship applications, the readers want confirmation that you are indeed a good student—an educator is typically the right person to convey this message about you.

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Posted by on in College Admissions

do transfer students have an edge over high school gradsThe short answer to that is yes, but, since that wouldn’t be a very useful answer, allow me to elaborate.

I would venture to say that transferring is actually easier than applying to college as a high school student. That’s a big statement, so let me back it up. First, the application pool is totally different. Everyone remembers that one person in high school who did well at everything, graduated valedictorian, and was voted “most likely to be great at everything.” When you are applying to schools as a high school student, you are going head-to-head with these kinds of students. As a transfer applicant, you are applying with other community college students and students who are leaving their current four-year university. The application pool is smaller for transfer students (on average 30,000 students apply to the Ivy Leagues from high school while only 1,500 apply for transfer), so you’ll have a much easier time standing out.

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