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Roadmap to College 2010-2016

Workshop
by

Katherine Hooker

on 12 November 2016

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Transcript of Roadmap to College 2010-2016

Roadmap to College
Explore the road ahead ...
Key Concerns
College Selectivity and Fit
Application Process
Roles & Responsibilities
Admissions Selectivity -
Competitive Landscape
Admissions Considerations
Planning Ahead for a Strong Application

Finding the Right Fit -
Types of Schools
Tools & Resources
Interviews
Essays
Recommendations
Applications
Financial Aid
Scholarships
Technology
Student Counselor Parent
Roles
Admissions Considerations
Right Schools
Applications, Financial Aid & Scholarships
Most Competitive/Elite
Did you know where you wanted to go to college?
Did anyone guide you?
Did you know anything about schools?
The right amount of guidance from school and parents
to become independent







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%

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

Post-Secondary School Planning Presentation

Financial Aid Night Presentation

Guidance Meeting

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"

Try activities related to interests and careers
Favorite Books

Princeton Review's Best 380 Colleges (2016)

Fiske Guide to Colleges

Fiske Guide to Getting into the Right College

How to Get Into the Top Colleges

Colleges That Change Lives

America's Best Colleges for B Students

K&W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities

How to Pay for College Without Going Broke, by Princeton Review
Online Tools

Naviance (Family Connection)

collegeboard.org (research 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
Academics
Tests
Activities
Recommendations
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

Goals for Juniors and Seniors
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, correspondence, 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


Activity Resume - Do now and keep current
Share with Guidance Counselor, Recommenders, Interviewers
Send with Common App or school packet

Recommendations - spring/fall
SR & TE Forms - Common App

Interviews - spring/ summer/fall

Applications - summer/fall - August 1 Common App

Essays - Draft/Finalize/proof

Guidance paperwork - 3-4 weeks advance

Score reports - order online - in advance of deadline
Financial Aid Steps

FAFSA - Available Oct 1 (check school deadlines)

CSS Profile - can be 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.org
Good Luck!
Keep Your Grades Up!
College admissions consultant - since 2009

Marketing communications - 17 years

School Counseling sub-committee
NEASC - Accreditation - 2010

Dickinson College admissions volunteer - since 2010
Product you

Place college marketplace

Price value proposition

Promotion application process
Metrics

SAT Scores (standardized)

GPA (variable)

Rank (relative)
Alternative:
GPA or Grade
Distribution
Selectivity
Types of Schools
Size
Location
Environment
Learning Style
Majors
Flexibility
Interests
Goals
Attitudes
College Freshman Profiles

collegeboard.com
publications
college web sites
Admissions Reps Know Your School

"It's our job to understand the different high schools in our area."
(Harvard Admission Officer, collegeconfidential.com)
"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
"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
Transcript & Cumulative GPA

Academic Evidence
Curiosity
Stamina
Effort and Ability
Trend
Positive junior/senior trend
can mitigate
Freshman/Sophomore drag on GPA
Degree to which student takes advantage of opportunities
AP, Honors and Activities

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

Duration -

Distinction -


Contribution -

Passion
Not Just Clubs

Beyond school walls

Related to a potential major or career

Demonstrating skills
Highly Selective Schools


"Well-Rounded" vs. In-depth Talent
Preparation for Athletes

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
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

Champlain - Upside Down Curriculum
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.
Preparation for the Arts

Artists
Portfolio in proper format

Musicians & Actors - major or extracurricular
Audition - Pre-screening, uploads, CDs, live auditions

Talk to Guidance

Get advice from Dept. Chair/Teacher

Contact college department
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 curiosity, self-determination, thought process

Sense of humor, perspective, personality

Your fit for the program, type of school, activity, campus community
Essays

Keep them positive

Write them 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. 3 weeks - not enough)

Background information

Waive your right to see (FERPA 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
EA I, EA ll, none

Regular
Deadline

Priority
Dates - financial & space

Rolling
Admissions
Types of Decisions

Accept
Defer
Spring term start
Affiliated campus
Contingent summer pre-college
Waitlist
Reject
Types of Applications

The Common App

600+ Schools
Some exclusive users
9 Common sections
My Colleges - school supplements
School-specific application fees
ED for only one school

Universal App and others

Individual College Apps

Presidential & Fast Forward Apps - free

Honor Program Applications

Scholarship Applications (some schools)
Steps

Tax Return - Use estimated tax data if necessary

FAFSA - Available October 1 - school deadlines vary

CSS Profile - some schools - same date as application

School Financial Aid Forms - varies
FAFSA

Expected Family Contribution
EFC

Financial Package
w/ Acceptance Letter

Package + EFC = Total Cost


If you owe < EFC, you got merit/institutional $

If you owe > EFC, you have 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

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

Honors Program

Applicants who fit enrollment objectives

Athletes

Talent

ROTC
To Do List for Juniors

Activity Resume
Research & Visits
Counselor (get to know)
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
Supply and Demand

3800+ Colleges (1650 4-yr, non-profit)

~2 Million Applicants
4-Point Scale / Conversion

Weighted vs. Unweighted GPA

Comparison Across Districts & States
Athletics

NCAA/NAIA/NJCAA

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 for pleasure
Current events
What the Interviewer Wants to Know

Communication skills

Knowledge of self and school

Enthusiasm/engagement

Intellectual curiosity
Requesting Recommendations

Conversation
Background & Goals

Activity Resume

Teacher's/Councelor's Questionnaire

Schools & Deadlines

Link in Naviance
Financial Tools

finaid.gov

FAFSA worksheet

collegeboard.com

Guidance office

scholarshiphelp.org

SAT - 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
Status of submissions now online!

Account - Application ID & Password

Verify receipt of each requirement
More Demand - More Competition


More students (U.S., Global)

Rankings (Princeton Review, U.S. News)

Brand recognition

Peer opinion

Location (i.e., Boston vs. Ohio)
~ 14,000 seats at the Ivies

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

75 Elite
110 Highly Competitive
290 Very Competitive
600 Competitive
1,650 Colleges in Barron's Profiles

You in Context

Rank - GPA relative to others at your school

Rigor - Challenge relative to available levels

School Profile
- Choices relative to opportunities

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

Residential Living/Learning Options

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.
Don't get caught up in the
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.

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
Types 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 by phone (keep # / student pack)

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 of heart

Financial options

Acceptance assurance
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)

Likely/Probable/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 rep at a coffee shop
Online
Essays
Plan Ahead

Common App Essay - 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, letter if requested)

school input synthesized

special circumstances noted


Teacher Recommendations
(TE, 1-2 standard)

core courses preferable

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

Naviance - cantonschools.org

collegeboard.org

commonapp.org

FAFSA.gov
Common Application Essay 250 to 650 words
Total Cost to Attend
- EFC
_____________________
= Financial Aid Need

Test Prep Considerations

Determination and self-discipline

Test scores don't reflect grades

Highly selective schools; public universities

Thresholds for certain majors (i.e. nursing; education)

Scholarships
Data source:
National Center for Educational Statistics, 2012
"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
Rigor & GPA - Evidence on Transcript
Rigor

Academic Challenge, Stamina and Performance
are part of the college fit


"What has prepared you for the level of academic rigor at our school?"

Research, Visit and Verify

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

Are you pleased with the level of diversity?
Observe cliques or lunch mix
Look at geographic distribution
(instate/out-of-state %)

Do students stay on weekends?

What percent live in university housing?
To Do List for Seniors

Activity Resume
Visits
Recommendations
Tests

Sept. - Oct.
Guidance Counselor Meeting
Transcript
Visits
Interviews
Essays

Oct.
Guidance Dept. Paperwork
Application Submissions
Score Reports
CSS Profile

Jan.
FAFSA
Scholarship Research
How Are Admissions Decisions Made?

Metric Thresholds
- potential for success in environment

You as an Individual
- interests, character, goals, talents, etc.
- you in context - opportunities, school

Admissions Objectives
- class composition
(Fiske Guide to Getting into the Right College, 2007)
Check the Details
See "Finding The Right Fit"

Core requirements/Distribution Requirements./Open Curriculum
Advisory Process and access
Ease of registration
Class sizes; who does the teaching; role of TAs
Access to professors; interaction with students
Academic and counseling support services
Responsiveness of Administration
Campus and area safety
Local entertainment, shops, conveniences
Access to transportation
Housing availability and options
Internship opportunities
Alumni network
Specific activities and majors - verify
Opportunities for jobs, experiential activities and leadership roles
Study Abroad details - cost, credits, major, school program/partnership/agreement
Schedule (semester, trimester, block, special J-term, May, summer)
Credit transfers, Accreditation/transferability
Take the PSAT

Register at school - speak to guidance in September

Sophomores - PSAT 10 (doesn't qualify for National Merit Scholarship)
Early practice
Early gauge
Improvement feedback

Juniors - PSAT
Practice
National Merit Scholarship Qualification (NMSQT)

National Merit Scholar
Top 5% in state - Commended Student
Top 1% in state - Semi-Finalist/Finalist

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


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

College Board Books

Peterson's College Guide Books

Barron's College Profiles

US News and World Report Rankings

The Gatekeepers, Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College (2002)

Excellent Sheep

Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be
Finding the Right Fit

Know yourself & your goals
Research schools
Visit
Ask questions/verify
Check details
Interview Uniform!
Waitlists can be huge

Might accept 1 or 2 out

Can be < 5% of 1000
or
10% from a list of 600
Admissions Considerations

Around the Admissions Table
Metric filters
Sort by characteristics, activities, etc.
Rate/score attributes
Read, Discuss, Decide

Around Your Table
Match/Fit
Selectivity
Student/Graduate Success




SAT Scores

"We use them, but there are so many other factors that are important, too...
grade point averages
in four years of high school are better predictors..."
(of how well students will do in college)

Kevin O'Sullivan, Executive Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Sacred Heart

"Sacred Heart also looks for
leadership
ability and how well a student
responds to adversity
."


(source: Connecticut Post, 9/26/2013)
Sherman's Score = 1275
Sherman & Mr. Peabody cartoon
Does the School Measure Up?

Match your goals?

Metrics within range?
SAT, GPA
Acceptance Rate (%)
Admissions Rating

Peer group compatible?
Class Rank - Top 10% / 25% / 50%

Evidence of quality & student success?
Graduation Rate 4 yr/6 yr
Retention Rate
Acceptance to Med School/Law School/etc.
Employment and Grad School Stats
Academic Rating
Recognition - Forbes, Kiplinger, Associations, etc.
People you know who have attended
Rankings/Ratings
What goes into the formulas?

"Input" Metrics:

Incoming Freshmen Metrics (GPA, SAT)
Acceptance Rates & Yield
Infrastructure investments

"Output" Metrics

Retention Rate
4-Year Graduation Rates
Post Employment & Income Stats
Graduate School Stats
Who's Who; Rhode Scholars; Nobel Prizes, Fulbright Awards

Who's Teaching: Professors vs. Assistants
Reputation per Peer Institutions
College & Student input
Price
In-state vs Out of State
National Study of Student Engagement
Correlation to:

Student Retention
Graduation
Employment Success


STUDENT GUIDANCE COUNSELOR PARENT SUPPORT
College List Guidance Meetings Fees
SAT & ACT Transcript Score Reports/Fees
Essays School Rpt/Recommendation Financial Aid Apps
Requests for Recs Guidance Assembly
Activity Resume Guidance Meeting w/ Parents
Visits Visits
Interviews
College Apps
Scholarship Apps
What are the key parts of the college application process?
March 2016 SAT Redesign:
Back to 2 sections, 1600 + Separate Writing Optional
PSAT will reflect changes in 2015


Common Data Set
Rank
Your Curriculum and Intellectual Curiosity in Context
Diversity
Canton Average Composite
1668
Rigor, Rank & GPA
Test Prep Methods

Self-study - books and online - free and fee

Class - tricks and tips to recognize types of questions

Tutor - addresses specific weaknesses
New SAT Test Prep

Kahn Academy - free SAT test prep

Question of the Day - free IOS Download

Scan & Score - full length practice tests
How do you prepare to be a strong applicant?
SAT II - Subject Tests - Dates

Same dates, place & time as SAT

Not all topics on all dates

Look up dates at collegeboard.org

Time for up to 3 Subjects per date
Reading + Math = score up to 1600 English, Math, Reading, Science (36 point composite)

Optional Writing add-on (2016) Optional Writing add-on

Emphasizes critical thinking Emphasizes knowledge

Reading comprehension (tips: focus, practice) English mechanics; less vocabulary

Tracks with Common Core Hard to finish on time (budget time carefully)

Math, through Algebra 2; ~5% Trig (sine/cosine/i) Math (through Algebra 2; some Trigonometry)
Calculators (approved types), some sections Calculators (approved models)

No science section Science section - emphasis on comprehension

No penalty for wrong answers (2016) No penalty for wrong answers

Popular in the east Popular in the south and west

Accepted by nearly all schools Accepted by nearly all schools

SAT vs. ACT
OLD DATA
Full transcript