Shmoop launches new College 101 updates

Lauren Williams's picture
Thursday, October 17, 2013

For most students, the changing leaves and smell of pumpkins signify the start of holiday-flavored lattes, trick-or-treating, and other seasonal shenanigans. Unfortunately for high school seniors, October is also now synonymous with looming college application deadlines. Early decision applications are due in November and FAFSA becomes available in January, which means college bound seniors need to start shaping up their essays, test scores, and grades - stat. It’s a lot to process, but luckily Shmoop, one of the world’s largest digital publisher of educational guides and resources, launched its newly revamped College 101 just in time to take students’ sweaty-palmed hands through this all-important decision.

Shmoop’s updated sections now feature a newly-updated College Essay Lab, checklists for every step of the admissions process, and a ‘madlibs’ style assessment quiz that recommends relevant articles for you.

College Essay Lab

Writer’s block is bad enough, but having writer’s block two hours before the ‘application-to-determine-the-rest-of-your-life’ is due really sucks. Shmoop’s new College Essay Lab is designed to prevent this from happening for students, whether it’s warming up their creative juices with dozens of brainstorming exercises and personal statement examples, or narrowing down their focus so their essay really shines in front of those stone-faced admissions officers.

Master Checklists

For students who want to up their game before they become seniors, Shmoop has checklists by grade level written by students and experts who provide excellent guidance. (The main takeaway for middle school students - take a breather and relax!) For the more imminent tasks related to college admissions, students of all ages can take a sneak peek at the Senior Year Checklist to see what standardized tests to take, what the top deciding factors for choosing a college are, or what the the difference between early action vs. regular admissions is (other than, early action is, well, earlier). After all that work is done, they’ll finally be able to check out the last item on the list after they’re admitted: how to prepare for college!

Financial Aid/Scholarships

Once students complete these steps, they’re ready to ask the million dollar question - how much does it really cost to go to college? What is the difference between grants, loans, and scholarships and how can they get one? Shmoop gives the real deal with the Real Costs of College page and lays down a comprehensive guide to teach students how to hack the FAFSA, apply for financial aid, and apply to more scholarships than you can dream of (there’s even one for designing the best duct tape prom dress). We even have a section on how to be smart with your money once you're actually in college so you don't go broke buying energy drinks to pull all-nighters. (Note: Shmoop is pro-sleep and is therefore not endorsed by any energy drink companies.)

Shmoop’s College Assessment

If students are feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, Shmoop’s even created a fun, ‘madlibs’ style fill-in-the-blank quiz that personalizes and recommends content to help them on their totally clutch collegiate campaign. Whether students are juniors who want to get recruited for Division 1 fencing or a freshman who is freaking out, the quiz helps them get organized, narrow down their focus, and generate relevant recommended articles that will help them figure out that pesky future business in no time at all.

So wipe those palms, roll up those sleeves, and get started on the college journey by visiting www.shmoop.com/college today!

About Shmoop

Shmoop is a digital curriculum and test prep company that makes fun, rigorous learning and teaching materials. Shmoop content is written by master teachers and Ph.D. students from Stanford, Harvard, UC Berkeley, and other top universities. Shmoop Learning Guides, Test Prep, and Teacher’s Editions balance a teen-friendly, approachable style with academically rigorous materials to help teachers help students understand how subjects relate to their daily lives. Shmoop sees over 7 million unique visitors a month on its site, and offers more than 7,000 titles across the Web, iPhone, Android devices, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and Sony Reader. The company has been honored twice by the Webby Awards, named “Best in Tech” for 2010 and 2011 by Scholastic Administrator, and awarded with two Annual Education Software Review Awards (EDDIES) in 2013. Launched in 2008, Shmoop is headquartered in a labradoodle-patrolled office in Mountain View, California.