College and applications

In addition to our main and competition branches, Robin’s Nest has a college branch that aims to help students from the application process onward, providing a place for advice from current college students. The college branch also directs students to SAT/ACT tutoring in the main branch and hosts Q&A webinars about every two weeks with current college students and university administration.

We’re also looking into providing college essay mentoring workshops in the near future – stay tuned!

Q&A College Webinars 2020

Below, we have uploaded our recordings of our webinars from the 2020 application season, which range from discussing CommonApp to financial aid information. For our 2021 webinars, scroll down to find more information.

Webinar 1: General application information

Webinar 2: ApplyTexas

Webinar 2: ApplyTexas

College Application Team

Hannah Kang

Sophomore pre-med student of Bioengineering at Rice University

Jeffrey Zhou

Sophomore engineering student of Engineering Physics at Cornell University

Zarek Driver

Sophomore pre-med student of Biochemistry at Texas Tech University

Jilpa Patel

Freshman pre-med student of Biology at Texas Tech University

Satish Banjara

Freshman pre-med student of Biology at the University of Texas at Austin

Aetizaz Sameer

Freshman IT student of Computer Science at Princeton University

Yash Mittal

Freshman engineering student of Electrical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin

Q&A College Webinars 2021

For the 2021 application season, we currently plan to host four online webinars and four online workshops, all presented by undergraduate students and university faculty. Webinars are solely presentations by people experienced in the topic, and will give highly useful information over the processes behind said topics. Workshops, done by Hannah Kang and Jeffrey Zhou, are more interactive, as they will personally discuss how to create successful essays through breakout rooms.

  1. Essay Brainstorming Workshop: Wednesday, September 1st at 6:00 – 7:30 PM CDT
    In the first part of the essay series, the presenters will go over example prompts that universities commonly ask (such as Why [insert college name] / Why [insert major name]) and provide strategies tackling how to answer them. After, they will host breakout rooms which will brainstorm over two prompts already discussed. We hope to promote discussion about what ideas to include in those prompts and how to portray them in the essays.
  2. Texas Public Schools Webinar: Saturday, September 4th at 7:00 – 8:00 PM CDT
    Current Texas Public School undergraduates will present the process of applying in Texas through ApplyTexas. They will show you how to navigate the system, how to answer the prompts, and speak about the non-application requirements that these schools require (such as transcripts, SAT / ACT scores, etc). They will also discuss financial aid options provided by these schools, especially through merit-based scholarships.
  3. Financial Aid (Questbridge) Webinar: Sunday, September 5th at 7:00 – 8:00 PM CDT
    Two presenters will discuss the variety of aid options that colleges provide and accept, along with crucial information on how to access them. They will discuss both need-based and merit-based aid, much of which can be found within Texas (and as a Texas resident). After the general information is presented, Aetizaz Sameer will go over Questbridge, a national college match program for high-achieving, low-income students (which Sameer was a finalist for). This webinar’s purpose is to emphasize that the cost of university can be significantly reduced through making financial aid easier to find.
  4. Outline Writing Workshop: Wednesday, September 15th at 6:00 – 7:30 PM CDT
    In the second part of the essay series, the presenters will introduce outline advice to smooth out the transition from randomly jumbled ideas to a cohesive network of stories and statements. For example, they will provide tips and tricks over how to organize your ideas chronologically and where to place analysis commentary and ending statements. Like the last workshop, they will also host breakout rooms for you to practice creating these outlines, providing feedback along the way.
  5. Top 20 Schools Webinar: Saturday, September 18th at 7:00 – 8:00 PM CDT
    This webinar pertains to any American university belonging to the Top 20 category according to the US News and World Report. However, the advice given here can apply to any prestigious out-of-state university (including Rice University). Presented by current students of these world-class schools, they will discuss what factors are important in determining your admission and the process by which you apply. They will also mention reasons why you should still try to apply to these schools, even if the tuition / room and board are costly and the acceptance rates are low.
  6. Draft Writing Workshop: Wednesday, September 29th at 6:00 – 7:30 PM CDT
    In the third part of the essay series, the presenters will show how to write your first drafts, which can be derived from the outlines created earlier. Transition statements and relevant word choice is of most importance to successful essays, so we will focus on these especially. The main goal is to create a readable, applicable essays, since admissions officers will have only a few minutes to skim through them. Breakout rooms will also be hosted, so that the audience has practice in turning their outlines into drafts, while having help from both presenters and any volunteers associated with them.
  7. Community Colleges Webinar: Saturday, October 2nd at 7:00 – 8:00 PM CDT
    This webinar will provide essential information about the usefulness and cost effectiveness of community colleges and their role in transferring to universities. Within Texas, both types of higher education are interlinked through credit hours and GPA, which are both factors that influence the transfer process. We will discuss how through these colleges, you can receive a smaller yet significantly cheaper education for specific classes and degrees that can provide enough requirements for sending job applications. Moreover, these credits can be easily transferred to public Texas universities, allowing you to maximize your time and money. The purpose of this webinar is to educate and advocate the audience to effectively take advantage of the community college system, especially if they cannot afford a university education.
  8. Essay Revising / Editing Webinar: Wednesday, October 13th at 7:00 PM CDT
    This is the final part to the essay series, whereby presenters will speak about the importance of continuous revising / editing and the discussion of your essay with guardians peers you trust. Moreover, they will mention how to handle constant criticism and use it to your benefit. After, they will host breakout rooms where they will analyze rough-drafts essays and fix them to better suit the college process.
  9. Open Office Hours: Wednesday, October 27th at 6:00 – 9:00 PM CDT
    Have any burning questions that need answers before you send those applications? Stop by within the above time-frame to get those answers. They can be about anything related to university, even those not related to the college app process. Ask away, and we shall answer to the best of our ability. Moreover, you can also receive any quick essay advice from us to finalize them, although we will not be able to help you write one from scratch.