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Roadmap to College - 2012

College Help 360 Workshop
by

Katherine Hooker

on 10 November 2012

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Transcript of Roadmap to College - 2012

Roadmap to College Explore the road ahead ... Topics College Selectivity and Fit Planning Ahead Application Process Roles & Responsibilities Admissions Considerations
College Selectivity
How Admissions Decisions Are Made
Finding the Right Fit
Tools & Resources Admissions Considerations
Transcript
Academic Rigor
Activity Resume
Sports, Music, Art
Tests
Visits
College List Interviews
Essays
Recommendations
Applications
Financial Aid
Scholarships
Technology Student Counselor Parent Roles and responsibilities
How admissions decisions are made
How to find the right college fit
How you can prepare to be a stronger candidate
The application process and timeline
Financial aid and scholarship process Most Competitive/Elite High schoolers need guidance from school and parents The college planning relationship can get stressful. Control That's my password! But I have to pay the bill! Independence I can do it myself... So ... when are you going to start? Separation I can't wait 'til I'm outta here! Ouch! No class rank?
1/3 of schools no longer rank students Compare

Your SAT Composite

to

Last Year's College Freshman The secret to a successful relationship:

Do your part.
"A" students ~ Top 20% at CHS

Even "A" students face stiff competition at highly selective schools Preparation SATs are less important than people think,
but more important than schools want to admit. Help from the Guidance Department

Guidance Counselor

Naviance

School Presentations

Post-Secondary Planning Guide

College Fairs

Resource Materials in Guidance Office Careers and Majors

Follow your interests

Think about what you like to do

Identify favorite subjects and activities

Use Naviance - "Do What You Are"

Book of Majors - College Board Favorite Books


Princeton Review's Best 376 Colleges (2012)

Fiske Guide to Getting into the Right College

How to Get Into the Top Colleges

Colleges That Change Lives Online Tools

Naviance

collegeboard.org (great site for researching schools and selectivity)

princetonreview.com

colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com

WSJ.Unigo.com (packed with interesting media)

collegeconfidential.com (scoops from other parents)

commonapp.org Environment

Large vs. small

Urban vs. Rural

Instate vs. Out-of-State Mix

State/Distance from Home

Availability of on-Campus Housing

Campus Feel

Class Sizes Planning Ahead Admissions Considerations
Transcript
Activity Resume
Tests
Visits
College List Academic Rigor

"B" in AP or Honors is better than "A" in academic level. APs show you can do college level work. "Studies have shown that the rigor of a student's high school curriculum is the
single best predictor of success in college."

source: professionals.collegeboard.com Visits


Always register!!!

Visit early and often - before application deadlines

See a variety of types

Don't visit favorite school first

Get to know likes/dislikes Advantages

Face on your application

Demonstrated interest

Opportunity to learn more Prepare for Interviews

Know why you're interested

Be able to describe yourself

Prepare for standard questions

Tell me about yourself.
Why do you want to go here?
What are your favorite activities?
What did you do last summer?
How will you be remembered at your h.s.?

Ask a few good questions Dates

Decisions

Common App

Financial Aid Apps

Organization Box

Senior Checklist Application Process Get a Box! File the Forests

Categories

You transcript, activity resume, essays, etc.

Guidance packets, school profile, etc.

Tests registrations, score reports, order histories

Financial tax returns, FAFSA, CSS Profile, back-up docs

Each School separate file for apps, correspondance, details, etc. Application Strategies

Academic Rigor
Activities
College List
Visits
Essays
Recommendation
Tests
Application Dates
Organization Get Organized! It's Time to Apply

Video Clip: "Red Flags"
Panel of Admissions Officers from Elite Schools

wsj.unigo.com Application Steps


Request recommendations - spring

Complete applications - summer/fall

Complete activity resume - start asap

Finalize/proof essays

Request transcript - Guidance paperwork - 2-3 weeks advance

Give SR forms and activity resume to Guidance

Give TE forms to teachers

Order test scores to colleges - online - in advance of deadline Financial Aid Steps

FAFSA - January 1

CSS Profile - same date as application

College Aid Forms - if applicable

Use estimated tax data if necessary

Final Tax Return - submit copy if requested Get a calendar of deadlines - all schools

at collegeboard.com Good Luck! Keep Your Grades Up! College admissions consultant

Marketing communications - 17 years

School Counseling sub-committee
NEASC - Accreditation

Dickinson College admissions volunteer Product you/college (goes both ways)

Place college marketplace

Price value proposition

Promotion application process 3 Students - Class of 2010
Applied to 17 Schools
Accepted to 15:

Bard
Skidmore
Dickinson
Northeastern
Elon
Elizabethtown
Washington & Jefferson
Washington College
UConn
University of Vermont
University of New Hampshire
University of Colorado
Montana State - Bozeman
University of Oregon
University of Delaware Since June 2010 Intense Competition at Elite Level

25 "Elite" schools (Fiske 2007)

27,000 Incoming Freshmen (2011)

1.3% of all Applicants Selectivity Metrics

SAT Scores - standardized

GPA - variable

Rank - relative Fairfield University

Middle 50% range
Reading 520-610
Math 530-630
Writing 530-630

Composite
Range 1580-1870
Avg 1725 Middlebury

Middle 50% range
Reading 638-730
Math 650-740
Writing 650-740

Composite
Range 1938-2210
Avg 2074 Harvard

Middle 50% range
Reading 690-780
Math 690-790
Writing 690-780

Composite
Range 2070-2350
Avg 2210 Northeastern

Middle 50% range
Reading 580-670
Math 620-700
Writing 580-670

Composite
Range 1780-2040
Avg 1910 Alternative:
GPA or Grade
Distribution Selectivity

Types of Schools
Size
Location
Environment
Learning Style

Goals/Features
Majors
Flexibility
Interests
Internships

Culture/Attitudes College Freshman Profiles

publications (books & online)

collegeboard.org ("Big Future")

princetonreview.com

college web sites High School Profile
Admissions Officers Know Your High School


"It's our job to understand the different high schools in our area." Personal Characteristics Matter

"When I see a grade like 6.85, the first thing I ask myself is,

'What does this really mean?' I look at the rest of the applicant's

file and especially at the applicant's activities to find out if the

applicant is the real deal." Another Harvard Admissions Officer on collegeconfidential.com Rankings (Hype)
Formulas have different components

SAT / GPA / Rank - Incoming Freshmen

Lower Acceptance Rates / Higher Yield

4-Year Graduation Rates

Price

Infrastructure Investments

College and/or Student Input

Who's Teaching - Professors vs. Assistants

Outcomes (employment, income, etc.)

Who's Who; Rhodes Scholars; Nobel Prizes "In a tight job market,
the all-around,
small-college do-er
beats the face-in-the-crowd
large university type
of person every time." Fiske Guide to Getting into the Right College, 2007 "I'd rather see a B, or even a C, in an AP course than an A in an easy course. This is why we don't make decisions based only upon grade point average." Ann Wright, Rice University
Fiske Guide to Getting Into the Right College, 2007 "Don't hunt for a high GPA at the expense of avoiding intellectual challenge in your course selection and extracurricular involvements --that won't fool anyone." collegeconfidential.com, 2010 Know Your Transcript & GPA Transcript & GPA

Academic Evidence
Curiousity
Stamina
Effort and Ability
Trend Positive junior/senior trend
can mitigate Freshman/Sophomore drag on GPA Challenge and Intellectual Curiosity


Degree to which student takes advantage of opportunities
AP's, Honors and Activities

No penalty if school doesn't doesn't offer as many levels Depth -

Duration -

Distinction -


Contribution -

Passion Activities

Beyond school walls

Related to a potential major or career

Demonstrating skills Highly Selective Schools


"Well-Rounded" vs. In-depth Talent Athletes Prepare

1) Register with NCAA - junior year

2) Get guidance and support from high school coach:
Call to college coach
Letter of recommendation
Follow-ups

3) Contact college coaches

4) Send athletic resume and cover letter to college coaches:
Athletic background
Honors/awards
Stats
Off-season participation

5) Call, visit, write thank you's

6) Showcase and/or short video

7) Check for Supplemental Application Forms Art, Music and Performing Arts

Talent - common admissions consideration

Pleasure or major

College search - focused Visits

"Those who visit are more likely to enroll." Fiske Guide to Getting into the Right College, 2007 Prospective Applicant Letter from Washington College, 2009

"...In most cases, applicants who have come to campus are given preference over similarly qualified applicants who have not been to campus." Visits

Info Session and Tour

Notes - observations/thoughts

1-2 in a day

Google Maps Listen for Key Messages

Tag lines

Strengths/themes/emphasis

Evidence Tag Lines, Themes, Strengths


Skidmore - Creative Thought Matters

Dickinson - A Useful Education

Northeastern - Co-op - Graduate with a resume Evidence


Environmental Sustainability --

You'll know the difference when you visit Diversify Your College List Interview Do's & Don'ts

Tidy, appropriate

Robust Answers

Relaxed but engaged in the conversation

Hand shake

Eye Contact

Composure Admissions Officers are human. Artists and Musicians Prepare

Art Supplement to Application

Artists
Portfolios in proper format

Musicians - major or extracurricular
Tapes or live auditions
Music Resume

Talk to Guidance
Talk to college X What Admissions Officers Want to Know

How well you write

What you are like as a person Essays Reveal...

Interests, passions, foundation for future plans

Intellectual curiousity, self-determination, thought process

Sense of humor, perspective, personality

Your fit for the program, type of school, activity, campus community Essays
Make it interesting and insightful

Consider interesting topics involving conflict, emotion, resolution, growth

Avoid common sports and travel stories - unless there's a twist

Don't go negative

Write it yourself

Always have teacher/parent review

Proof-read

Keep copies School-Specific Essays Re-purposed

Find and Replace ALL - school name! Essays
Opportunity to connect Spring of junior year

Plenty of lead time (min. two weeks - not enough)

Background information

Waive your right to see (option) Application Dates & Strategy

ED - Early Decision - binding

higher accept rate / higher yield
ED I, ED ll, none


EA - Early Action - non-binding

slightly higher accept rates vs tougher standards

Restricted EA

Regular Deadline

Priority Dates - financial & space

Rolling Admissions Types of Decisions

accept
reject
defer
waitlist
spring term start
affiliated campus

(waitlist admits can be 1 or 2, sometimes <5% of 1000) Types of Applications

The Common App

over 450 schools
some exclusive users
9 common sections
school supplements for some schools
school-specific application fees
ED for only one

Universal App and others

Individual College Apps

Presidential & Fast Forward Apps - free

Honor Program Applications Steps

Tax Return - Use estimated tax data if necessary

FAFSA - January 1

CSS Profile - some schools - same date as application

School Financial Aid Forms - varies FAFSA

Expected Family Contribution
EFC Financial Package w/ Acceptance Letter

If your cost is...

< EFC school is offering its own money

= EFC offer is fine / as expected

> EFC there's a gap Financial Package Components

Grants & Scholarships - no repayment

Loans - must be repaid
Subsidized Federal Loans
Unsubsidized Federal Loans

Work Study Apply for Scholarships


Sources - public, private, colleges


Search

guidance office

online

college Gaps

Private loans

Other arrangements

Scholarships Costs

Tuition (annual)

Room & board (verify what's included)

Fees

Books

Travel & personal allowance Better Financial Packages Possible

Safety schools

Private colleges with extra funds

Merit scholarships (GPA/SAT) at some colleges

Applicants who fit enrollment objectives

Athletes

Talent To Do List for Juniors

Research & Visits
Counselor (get to know)
Activity Resume
Tests
Essay Practice
Recommendations (spring, fall) Tips

Transcript

Guidance Counselor

Interview Uniform

Organizational System

Online Accounts/passwords Katherine E.W. Hooker
College Help 360 4 P's of Marketing College Process Since 2009 Supply and Demand

3800 Colleges (1600 4-yr, non-profit)

2 Million Applicants Differences Between High Schools
Resolved by Admissions Officers


4-Point Scale / Conversion

Weighted vs. Unweighted GPA

Comparison Across Districts & States

Rank Athletics

NCAA - Division I, II or III

Intramural

Club Your High School

What you like about it
How it has challenged you Other Topics

Your high school experience
Your learning style
Goals for college experience
Books read for pleasure What the Interviewer Wants to Know

Communication skills

Knowledge of self and school

Enthusiasm/engagement

Intellectual curiosity Requesting Recommendations

Conversation
Background & Goals

Activity Resume

Schools & Deadlines Financial Tools

finaid.gov

FAFSA worksheet

collegeboard.com

Guidance office

scholarshiphelp.org Score
Considerations

Test 2-3 times
8 timed practice tests

Score Choice - varies by school
best test date(s)
all test dates - school considers best sections
all test dates - school considers all

Test Optional Considerations:
scholarship requirements
selectivity ladder
GPA should be strong

Super Score vs. Best Test Date - varies by school Status of submissions now online!

Account - Application ID & Password

Verify receipt of each requirement More Demand More Competition


Brand Recognition

Location (i.e., Boston vs. Ohio)

Rankings (Princeton Review, U.S. News)

Peer Opinion ~ 2 million applicants

~ 14,000 seats at the Ivies

18,000+ High School Valedictorians National Bureau of Economic Research
Payoff to Attending an Elite College College Selectivity
(Barron's Profiles)

1650 4-year Colleges in Barron's

75 Elite
110 Highly Competitive
290 Very Competitive
600 Competitive
over 500 less competitive You in Context

School Profile - Opportunities

Transcript
Level of challenge and intellectual curiosity
Academic preparation

GPA/Rank - Relative to Others at your school

Personal Characteristics, Contributions and Goals Finding the Right Fit Types of Schools

Large Universities

Small- to Mid-sized Liberal Arts Large Universities

Two or more undergraduate colleges + graduate schools

More course selection

Strengths in less common majors

Strong pre-professional programs

Name recognition

Research opportunities - focus and funding Students need to:

Be proactive

Look out for themselves

Be able to fight the bureaucracy Large Universities

Big opportunities for students really good at a special interest

A lot of competition for the top spots (i.e., an editorship) Must apply to specific college

Cross-registration difficult at some

Large, lecture classes common (especially freshmen cores)

Lectures/classes by grad students filling in for famous profs Small Liberal Arts Colleges

Typically 2,000 (Medium 5,000)

More hands-on learning

Class discussion

Professors know their students

Learn how to learn; make connections between ideas; solve problems, not formulas

Preparation for jobs that don't even exist today

Strong sense of community (gets too small for some)

Study abroad is usually common and strong

Campus housing more available Attitudes

School Spirit

Honor Code

Liberal v. Conservative

Religious Attitudes

Diversity Options and Opportunities

Interests and Majors

Honors Programs

Study Abroad (programs, credit, cost)

Residential Learning Options

Jobs on Campus (work study)

Internship Opportunities

Career Counseling/Alumni Network

Athletics Learning Style

Collaborative vs. Competitive

Class discussion vs. lecture

Structure vs. self-determination 40 Colleges That Change Lives

"Prestige schools put the greater emphasis on research and publishing, students come second." School selectivity, measured by average SAT of attendees, doesn't pay off in higher income over time.

Students who attend colleges with higher average tuition (or spending) per student tend to earn higher incomes later on.

Avg SAT of schools applied to, but not attended, tends to be a stronger predictor of income than the avg SAT of the school attended.

Motivation, ambition, desire to learn have stronger effect on subsequent success than average academic ability of classmates. "The Race to Nowhere"

Be who you are.

Do what you love.

Make smart choices and do your best.

Don't harm your health and wellness.

Don't get caught up in the race to nowhere! What's the better school?

"That's like asking: 'Which is better, a pick-up truck or a mini-van?'" David L. Marcus, Seven Secrets of College Admissions, Forbes.com "Generally speaking, a B student who takes a school's most challenging courses is rated higher than an A student who sticks with an easier curriculum." Article about the Admissions Process at Bates College
"Who Gets In?," DownEast.com, November 2007 Talent and/or Athletics

Can Have Favorable Impact on Chances of Admission Talent

Get guidance and recommendations
(H.S. Department Chair/Teacher)

Contact college department

Prepare for auditions, performance tapes, portfolio reviews

Check for Supplemental Application Forms Categories of Activities

1) Co-curricular

2) Extra-curricular

3) Community Service

4) Work Experience

5) Summer Tests PSAT - practice for SAT
PLAN - practice for ACT
SAT I
SAT II
ACT
AP AP Exams

Standardized - objective comparison nationwide

Score report to college - optional

Score reports from collegeboard.com

Score of 3 or better may qualify for college credit

College course placement - at some schools

College Credit

Money-saver if it supports graduation in 4-years or less Activities 2 or 3 in depth- better than laundry list

document long-term involvement

colleges like to see awards and recognition leadership & making a difference Practical and Financial Reasons

change your mind

financial options

guarantee acceptance Consider:

Large & small

At least one from another part of country

Public and private Include:

Reach
Don't leave anything on the table
If accepted to all, did you reach high enough?

Target
Good match doesn't equal guaranteed acceptance
Some admissions considerations out of your control
(enrollment objectives, geography, activities, majors)

Safety
Make sure you get into college
Increase chances for scholarships and grants AP Scholar Awards

AP Scholar: >= 3 on three or more exams

AP Scholar with Honor >=3 on four or more exams; avg score >=3.25

AP Scholar with Distinction >=3 on five or more exams; avg score >=3.5 Interviews When & Where

When
After you know a little about the school

Where
On campus
By Phone
With regional alumni or representative at a coffee shop Essays Plan Ahead - Which Essays and Where

Common App - one size fits all

Supplemental School Essays - customize accordingly School-specific Essay Questions
Examples

Bowdoin 2009

1) How did you first learn about Bowdoin?

2) How have you prepared for the academic challenge at Bowdoin? Gettysburg 2009

1) Discuss a situation in which you made a difference.

2) How did you become interested in Gettysburg? UCONN 2009

1) What makes you unique and how would that benefit the UCONN community?

2) Describe a person or event that has had a profound effect on your life.

3) Ask and answer a question you wish we had asked. Recommendations Other Recommendations

Coach - if playing in college

Music and Arts - as needed

Other - appropriateness varies Guidance Counselor Recommendation (SR) - required

school input synthesized

special circumstances noted


Two Teacher Recommendations (TE) - standard

core courses preferable

insights, not grades fafsa.ed.gov Financial Aid CSS Profile collegeboard.com Set up Accounts

Naviance

collegeboard.com

commonapp.org

FAFSA 150 words or less
elaborate on one activity or work experience 250 word minimum
choose from list Total Cost to Attend XYZ
- EFC
_____________________
= Financial Aid Need Test Prep Considerations

Determination and self-discipline

Test scores don't reflect grades

Highly selective schools


Methods:

Self-study - books and online - free and fee

Class - tricks and tips to recognize types of questions

Tutor - addresses specific weaknesses "Extraordinary in Context"


"...grabs onto every opportunity that he finds in his environment to advance every skill set that he possibly can." Jeff Brenzel, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, Yale
2011 interview, "Where We Live," NPR Cumulative
GPA
Academic Stamina and Performance are part of the college fit When You Visit
Ask

Access to academic advisor
Access to professors
Ease of class registration
Typical class size (1st year, major)
Who teaches class, labs, breakout groups
Responsiveness of administration
Counseling support services
Alumni network support
Access to internships
Opportunities for
jobs
clubs/activities
experiential learning & leadership
Finding the Right Fit
Research & Verify

How enthusiastic are the students about learning?
Listen to conversations
Observe a class
Look at top 10/25/50 distribution

Look at the geographic mix
What's the out of state %?
Do students stay on weekends?
Is it a commuter school?

To Do List for Seniors

Visits -ongoing

Sept.
Guidance Counselor Meeting
Transcript

Sept.- Oct.
Visits
Interviews
Essays
Activity Resume
Recommendations

Oct.
Guidance Dept. Paperwork

Nov.
Applications
CSS Profile

Jan.
FAFSA
Scholarship Research Admissions Selectivity

Competitive Landscape

Metrics

Admissions Considerations (Fiske Guide to Getting into the Right College, 2007) Academic Requirements

Core Requirements/Distribution Requirements
Open Curriculum
Advisory Process
Semester, Trimester, Block
Credit Transfers
Accreditation/Transferability
Graduation Rates
Retention Rates
Take the PSAT

Register and pay at high school - speak to guidance in Septemeber

Sophomores

Early practice
Early gauge
Report gives feedback

Juniors

Practice
Only Opportunity for National Merit Scholarship

NMS
Top 5% in state - Commended Student
Top 1% in state - Semi-Finanlist/Finalist

Scholarship Money
Application, grades, essay
90% advance to finals
50% receive scholarships Super-score
vs.
Best score date Value Proposition Colleges That Change Lives
Loren Pope, 2000 Mind-set


Selectivity vs. Right Fit Bookstores are loaded with great options:


Fiske Guide to Colleges

College Board Books

Barron's College Profiles

US News and World Report Rankings

The Gatekeepers, Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College (2002) Find the Right Fit
Do Research
Visit
Ask Questions
Verify Details Interview Uniform! Calculate Avg Freshmen Composite
Boston University (Example)

580 - 670 Reading
600 - 700 Math
590 - 680 Writing
_________________
1770 - 2050 Middle 50% Range

1770
+ 2050
______
3820 / 2 = Average Composite:
1910
(sample year) (Harvard Admission Officer, collegeconfidential.com) Key Considerations

Admissions Rating vs. Academic Rating

% Accepted

SAT Composite

Class Rank - Top 10% / 25%

Graduation Rate 4 yr/6 yr

Retention Rate

Internships, Career Services, Alumni Network, Outcomes Transcript

What has prepared you for the level of academic rigor at our school?
Starting Point for Assessing Selectivity

Your Score

Selectivity Ladder Admissions Considerations

Metrics - potential to succeed academically here

You as an individual - unique addition to our school

Admissions Objectives - well-rounded class / campus

Character (resilience, leadership, etc.)
Activities
Volunteer
Work
Talent
How will we know?
Essay
Recommendations
Interview Geographic Residence
Academic Major/Dept (distribution)
Talents/Activities
Demographics (racial, social, alumni, etc.) Admissions Objectives

Geographic Residence

Academic Major/Dept (distribution)

Talents/Activities

Demographics (racial, social, alumni, etc.) You as an Individual

You in context metrics and opportunities

Character (resilience, leadership, etc.)

Activities, interests, goals, talents

Volunteer

Work
Metrics

Rigor, Rank and GPA (Transcript)

Scores How will they know?

Essay

Recommendations

Interview Selectivity Metrics Go Both Ways

Rankings and Ratings
vs
Quality and Fit Campus Life
(Research, Visit, Ask)

Safety on campus (& impacts on student life)
Access to transportation
Access to shops and conveniences
Access to the arts and local entertainment
Housing options & availability
Social life
What happens on weekends?

Are you pleased with the level of diversity?
Observe cliques or lunch mix
Look at demographic distribution
Full transcript