The Opportunity: A College Access Newsletter

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We believe in human potential, opportunity, and the ability to succeed.
We are student-founded, student-led, and dedicated to empowering students to access and afford college.

This is The Opportunity: A College Access Newsletter.

It features tools, tips, and advice from our own experiences and also the best college access tools we've found.

Issue Nineteen: September 10, 2019
Issue Theme: New college app resources, new tools, new opportunities

Our signature resource is The Guide: A College Admissions and Financial Aid Guide for All Students.

We're a team of top college students, advisors, admission officers, and high school counselors driven to increase access to college.

What make our resources different?

Our team brings a broad perspective on what works and what's helpful. We pool our experiences and knowledge. We continually evaluate and update The Guide with the best, student-first tips and web tools. Our team continues to grow with others who share our vision and commitment to provide the best information out there to help students succeed.

We put this together because we care. 

Here's an excerpt from 

The Guide: A College Admissions and Financial Aid Guide for All Students. 

You can access and download the full version of The Guide at our website:

As you begin your senior year, this is what you should be working on: 


    1. Create a working college list. Start making a list of colleges. The list doesn’t have to be long – a list of one or two schools is great, but more is welcome. This process involves researching each college, its affordability, and its application requirements. Chapter 2 and Chapter 4 have much more information on this process.


    2. Consider writers for your letters of recommendation. During junior summer, you should start thinking about whom you will ask for letters of recommendation. Chapter 6 goes into this subject in more detail.


    3. Create a student resume. This gives you the chance to brag about yourself. This is not the place to be modest, or shy! This area is meant to highlight all that you’ve done. List all of your honors, achievements, initiatives, awards, etc. This will be extremely helpful to your recommenders later on, and you may even be able to send it into certain colleges. In addition, don’t hesitate to include places where you’ve worked. Resumes are just ways to assert who you are, and admissions counselors love seeing whether you scooped ice cream or took your turn at lawn mowing. TopCV and LiveCareer are two of many online resume generators. Microsoft Word also offers a free resume template.


    4. Start writing college essays. Start brainstorming topics, maybe even writing an early draft. The essay is a significant part of the college application and requires a fair amount of time and effort – get as much done as you can during the summer! We describe the process of writing a college essay and how you should approach it in Chapter 8. Look to Section IV for successful college essays.


  5. Make a scholarship list. An important part of affording college is applying to scholarships. Although some scholarship deadlines are in the fall, many are in the spring. Apply for those that are available and start making a list of those that are due in the spring, with their respective deadlines. We’ve included lots of valuable  information about scholarships in Chapter 13.

Want to share this excerpt? We've prepared a downloadable PDF to make sharing easy.  

Downloadable PDF : College Timeline

Fair Opp Faves: Tools We Like

Each issue of this newsletter we’ll highlight one cool tool or resource. Maybe it’s for finding the right college, covering college costs, or staying on top of the application process. We only share tools that we’ve checked out and that are free for students.

The personal statement or college essay might be one of the toughest parts of the college application. We've got tips and actual samples in our Guide, and we feel like the more kinds of advice, the better! The College Essay Guy offers free resources, a blog, and a podcast. It's good advice for getting to your best possible draft. 

Now is an excellent time to consider college campus fly-in opportunities

Visiting a college campus is a powerful way to learn how well you connect with it. Here's a terrific list from College Greenlight and contains details on nearly 90 programs that offer some or full support for travel and the campus visit, along with special programs and activities. These programs have deadlines so check it out NOW!


Send us your questions and we’ll respond to them here!

"My friends are talking about these test prep and essay prep classes but they look pricey. Are there other options?"    ---Ruby S. 

Hey Ruby! Preparation is a good thing. It can also be an expensive thing. Our Guide includes lots of free tools and tips to help with standardized tests and essays. You absolutely can find some great, FREE resources out there. The trick is that you will need to set your own, regular schedule for using the resources. Self-discipline!

Here are some of our favorites, all free: 

Khan Academy. These videos can really help you brush up on math or English topics. 

College Board offers practice questions and practice tests for the SAT. 

The College Essay Guy offers some solid essay tips and advice. 


A New, Shareable Scholarship and Test Date Calendar for You!

Scholarship and Test Deadlines are Here!

We've developed this public Google calendar for the latest updates. Here's why we're excited about this new resource:
  • We add to it regularly.
  • You can share this with your students and families!
  • You can add it to your Google calendars.
  • You can  embed it in your school website.
  • You can insert it in your school newsletter.
  • You can share it an email with parents and students 

Here’s the URL:

Here's the link for accessing the calendar in non-Google calendars:

Help us build the calendar! If you have a scholarship or other deadline that we should include, you can submit it here.
Downloadable Google Calendar of Key Deadlines

The Checklist Program:
A New Opportunity for Your Students


Do you know a high school student who is passionate about getting into college but needs a roadmap for the application process?

This is our new, no-cost pilot program launching this fall for students who do not have other robust resources for finding this support. This includes students not served by college access organizations, students who are first generation, low income, or living in rural communities.

You can learn more and register here

We're a nonprofit team. Your donation to Fair Opportunity Project will allow us to reach more students with free resources about college admissions and financial aid.

That’s it for this issue! Thanks for reading. Our newsletters are published twice a month during the school year. You’d make us even happier by sharing this newsletter. It’s all about giving and getting a Fair Opportunity.


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Copyright © 2019 Fair Opportunity Project. All rights reserved.

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Previous Newsletters

Issue Eighteen: June 7, 2019 (It’s All About College Success)

Issue Seventeen: May 16, 2019 (What are those Final Steps Before College)

Issue Sixteen: April 26, 2019 (Making College Accessible to You )

Issue Fifteen: April 17, 2019 (Know What Your College Choice Will Cost)

Issue Fourteen: April 5, 2019 (Decision Time)

Issue Thirteen: March 19, 2019 (Planning for Summer)

Issue Twelve: March 6, 2019 (Why Campus Visits are So Important)

Issue Eleven: February 20, 2019 (Financial Aid February #FinAidFeb)

Issue Ten: February 6, 2019 (It's National School Counseling Week! #NSCW19)

Issue Nine: January 23, 2019 (It’s #NationalMentoringMonth!)

Issue Eight: December 18, 2018 (Been There, Done That!)

Issue Seven: November 29, 2018 (Great Organizations that Help Students Succeed)

Issue Six: November 13, 2018 (Scholarship Searches Don't Need to Consume Your Life)

Issue Five: October 31, 2018 (The College Essay Should Not be like Halloween)

Issue Four: October 17, 2018 (Finding the Right College (Part Two))

Issue Three: October 2, 2018 (Finding the Right College (Part One))

Issue Two: September 19, 2018 (Making the Most of High School)

Issue One: September 4, 2018 (Thinking about College & How to Pay for It)