The Silver Lake Blog

Benjamin Wideman

Benjamin Wideman joined Silver Lake College in 2014 as its Director of Communications and Sports Information following a 20-year career as a journalist in northeast Wisconsin (where he won more than 50 awards from the Wisconsin Newspaper Association). With a background in writing, editing, photography and graphic design, he helps spread the word about the good things happening at Silver Lake College to media outlets and people throughout the state. Benjamin holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. In his free time, he enjoys photography and traveling.


Recent Posts

Why Campus Visits Are Still Important

Posted by Benjamin Wideman on 10/19/16 9:32 AM

The classic Reuben is a deli sandwich, served hot. It’s comprised of corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing all packed between two slices of grilled rye bread. (And, it’s delicious.)

But knowing the ingredients and hearing that it’s a tasty sandwich don’t give you an accurate experience of the hot, grilled and crunchy sandwich on your taste buds. Maybe you won’t like it. Maybe you will.

Similarly, you can hear all about the various “ingredients” available at a particular college. But you’ll miss out on the true flavor unless you visit for yourself.

Here are four reasons why you should take advantage of a campus visit to the college of your interest.

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Topics: College Visits/Events

An International Student's Map Through the TOEFL iBT

Posted by Benjamin Wideman on 9/1/16 10:30 AM

Attending college in the U.S. holds a variety of educational opportunities — flexibility in coursework, cutting-edge technology, opportunities for research, campus life experience, and diversity.

If this appeals to you and you’re looking to apply to study in the U.S., then you’re aware that you have to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT in order to apply to colleges in the U.S. However, you may not know what that entails.

Here is what you need to know about the TOEFL iBT.

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Topics: International Students

10 Things to Know about the 2016-2017 FAFSA

Posted by Benjamin Wideman on 1/14/16 10:30 AM

It’s that time. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid has officially opened for the 2016-2017 academic year. If you haven’t filled out the online application, now is the time.

For those of you who don’t know, the FAFSA is one requirement every student needs to be considered for loans, grants, scholarships and to qualify for the federal work study program. There is ample opportunity once the FAFSA has been filed. 

Here are 10 things you must know about the FAFSA:

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Topics: FInancial Aid

5 Ways to Pay for Graduate School as an Undergrad Student

Posted by Benjamin Wideman on 12/17/15 10:30 AM

The thought of financing graduate school immediately after your graduation as an undergraduate can seem unnerving, to say the least, but it’s crucial to know that it is possible, and there are ways it can be done without being consumed by student debt.

There are a few things to remember when considering this: 1) you are your own worst enemy, and 2) you are your own biggest advocate. In short, if you tell yourself you won’t be able to finance graduate school or that you aren’t smart enough, then your chances are slim. On the other hand, if you say, “Yes, I can do this!,” you’re on the right track to saving money for and earning your graduate degree.

Don’t be disheartened by your own negative thoughts, use the resources around you, and work hard. You can accomplish whatever it is you set your mind to.

Here are a few things you can do now to start preparing for graduate school (the holiday season is the perfect time to start!):

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Topics: Graduate School

How to Assemble an Impressive College Application

Posted by Benjamin Wideman on 11/19/15 10:30 AM

If you’re a high school student, you’ve probably sorted through prospective colleges and picked the ones you’re going to apply to. Congrats!! Now that the hard work is done, you need to actually apply to these schools.

College applications have many different components. The actual application mostly asks about demographics and grades. There will often be an essay portion, resumes, and required letters of recommendation.

The application is often the first “look” that prospective colleges will have at you. While this can make them seem intimidating, don’t worry! Following these tips will help your application look professional and stand out to college admissions staffs.

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Topics: Applying to College

The Do's and Don't's of Researching Colleges [Infographic]

Posted by Benjamin Wideman on 10/29/15 11:55 AM


For you high school students, college searching can seem like a foreign language. And to be honest, it really is. Come junior year you are expected to know the ins and outs of the process as if you have done it several times before. No one really spells it out for you, they just assume you know. 

News flash: There is a right way and it's crucial that you follow a few basic guidelines. 

The college search is important as it sets the framework for the college decision-- one that that will effect you the next four years, and likely more. Has anyone ever told you exactly what you should and shouldn't do?

Here's an infographic to help you begin your college search the right way:

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Topics: Applying to College

3 Ways to Enhance Your College Visit This Fall

Posted by Benjamin Wideman on 10/13/15 2:15 PM

The college visit is essential to the college decision process. It’s hard to find the “perfect fit” if the only way you visit the school is virtually, over the internet.

Time spent physically touring campuses is time well-spent, especially when you schedule and map out your days so you take in (1) the necessary components of the college visit (campus tour and information session) and (2) the fun things (sports games, classroom visit, and town events).

It hard to imagine yourself in a place if you haven’t actually been there, right? Often, campus visits exist purely to inform, but there is one inherent component that is commonly overlooked—campus personality. Although information sessions and tours are crucial to the college visit, here are a few other things to squeeze into your schedule that will not only make your college visit more informative, but more fun!
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Topics: College Visits/Events

Top 10 Things to Love about Silver Lake College

Posted by Benjamin Wideman on 5/9/15 1:39 PM

What do we love about Silver Lake? We wanted to share with you a little bit of our Lakers pride.

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Topics: College Life

Nurse in Training: One Student's Journey to Nursing School

Posted by Benjamin Wideman on 4/25/15 3:01 PM

Silver Lake College freshman Shamir Jackson isn’t the first in her family to attend college.

However, she is determined to be the first to graduate with a four-year degree.

The 19-year-old nursing major from Milwaukee is a recipient of a number of grants, including a $2,900 Wisconsin Tuition Grant and a $1,000 Wisconsin Talent Grant.

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Topics: Nursing

5 Things to Do on Your Campus Visit

Posted by Benjamin Wideman on 3/28/15 12:00 PM

Visiting the colleges you’ve applied to is an important step in the college application process — nothing can give you an inside look at a school quite like walking around campus, meeting students, and learning about its facilities.

Here are five things to do once you get to campus for your visit:

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Topics: College Visits/Events

About This Blog

Deciding where, when and by what means to go to college can be a difficult decision process. We want to help! The Silver Lake Blog is intended to be a resource as you navigate these choices, from what type of school to choose to how to finance your education. Watch this space for helpful tips. 

For free, downloadable resources for those considering graduate or undergraduate studies, visit our resource library!

Go to Resource Library