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Roadmap to College 2010-2017
Transcript of Roadmap to College 2010-2017
Explore the road ahead ...
Roles & Responsibilities
Admissions Selectivity -
Other Admissions Considerations --Planning Ahead for a Strong Application
Rigor, Rank & GPA
Finding the Right Fit -
Types of Schools
Tools & Resources
Student Counselor Parent
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Did you know where you wanted to go to college?
Did anyone guide you?
Did you know anything about schools?
Right Amount of Guidance
to Become Independent
The college planning relationship can get stressful.
That's my password!
But I have to pay the bill!
I can do it myself...
So ... when are you going to start?
I can't wait 'til I'm outta here!
No class rank?
1/3 of schools no longer rank students
Your SAT Composite
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
SATs are less important than people think,
but more important than schools want to admit.
Help from the Guidance Department
Post-Secondary School Planning Presentation
Financial Aid Night Presentation
Post-Secondary Planning Guide
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
Princeton Review's 382 Best Colleges (2018)
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
Naviance (Family Connection)
collegeboard.org (research schools and selectivity)
WSJ.Unigo.com (packed with interesting media)
collegeconfidential.com (scoops from other parents)
Large vs. small
Urban vs. Rural
Instate vs. Out-of-State Mix
State/Distance from Home
Availability of on-Campus Housing
"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."
Visit early and often - before application deadlines
See a variety of types
Don't visit favorite school first
Get to know likes/dislikes
Face on your application
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
Financial Aid Apps
Goals for Juniors and Seniors
Get a Box!
File the Forests
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.
It's Time to Apply
Video Clip: "Red Flags"
Panel of Admissions Officers from Elite Schools
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
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
Place college marketplace
Price value proposition
Promotion application process
SAT Scores (standardized)
GPA or Grade
Types of Schools
College Freshman Profiles
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,
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."
Transcript & Cumulative GPA
Effort and Ability
Positive junior/senior trend
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
Not Just Clubs
Beyond school walls
Related to a potential major or career
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
3) Contact college coaches
4) Send athletic resume and cover letter to college coaches:
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
"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."
Info Session and Tour
Notes - observations/thoughts
1-2 in a day
Listen for Key Messages
Tag Lines, Themes, Strengths
Skidmore - Creative Thought Matters
Dickinson - A Useful Education
Northeastern - Co-op - Graduate with a resume
Champlain - Upside Down Curriculum
Environmental Sustainability --
You'll know the difference when you visit
Diversify Your College List
Interview Do's & Don'ts
Relaxed but engaged in the conversation
Admissions Officers are human.
Preparation for the Arts
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
What Admissions Officers Want to Know
How well you write
What you are like as a person
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
Keep them positive
Write them yourself
Always have teacher/parent review
Why Us? (Distinguish yourself with specific answers)
Use correct school name and details. (If you reuse an essay, Find and Replace ALL - school name!)
Opportunity to connect
Spring of junior year
Plenty of lead time (min. 3 weeks - not enough)
Waive your right to see (FERPA option)
Application Dates & Strategy
- Early Decision - binding
higher accept rate / higher yield
ED I, ED ll, none
- Early Action - non-binding
slightly higher accept rates
EA I, EA ll, none
Dates - financial & space
Types of Decisions
Spring term start
Contingent summer pre-college
Types of Applications
The Common App: 700+ schools
5 Common Sections
My Colleges - school supplements
School-specific application fees
ED for only one school
Schools don't see each other
Coalition App: 90 + schools (access, affordability)
State Apps (UC, GA, TX)
Individual College Apps
Presidential & Fast Forward Apps - free
Honor Program Applications
Scholarship Applications (some schools)
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
Expected Family Contribution
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
& Scholarships - no repayment
- must be repaid
Subsidized Federal Loans
Unsubsidized Federal Loans
Apply for Scholarships
Sources - public, private, colleges
Room & board (verify what's included)
Travel & personal allowance
Better Financial Packages Possible
Private colleges with extra funds
Merit scholarships (GPA/SAT) at some colleges
Applicants who fit enrollment objectives
To Do List for Juniors
Research & Visits
Counselor (get to know)
Recommendations (spring, fall)
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
Your High School
What you like about it
How it has challenged you
Your high school experience
Your learning style
Goals for college experience
Books for pleasure
What the Interviewer Wants to Know
Knowledge of self and school
Background & Goals
Schools & Deadlines
Link in Naviance
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:
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)
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
110 Highly Competitive
290 Very 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
- Choices relative to opportunities
Finding the Right Fit
Types of Schools
Small- to Mid-sized Liberal Arts
Two or more undergraduate colleges + graduate schools
More course selection
Strengths in less common majors
Strong pre-professional programs
Research opportunities - focus and funding
Students need to:
Look out for themselves
Be able to fight the bureaucracy
Find ways to connect with professors
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
Professors know their students
Student opportunities for all
Research as early as freshman year
Strong sense of community (gets too small for some)
Study abroad is usually common and strong
Campus housing more available
Learn how to learn; make connections between ideas; solve problems, not formulas
Preparation for jobs that don't even exist today
Liberal v. Conservative
Options and Opportunities
Interests and Majors
Residential Living/Learning Options
Career Counseling/Alumni Network
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
3) Community Service
4) Work Experience
PSAT - practice for SAT
PLAN - practice for ACT
Standardized - objective comparison nationwide
Score report to college - optional
Keep Student ID # (student pack) - several years
Score of 3 or better may qualify for college credit
College course placement - at some schools
Money-saver if it supports graduation in 4-years or less
2 or 3 in depth- better than a laundry list
document long-term involvement
colleges like to see awards and recognition
leadership & making a difference
Practical and Financial Reasons
Change of heart
Large & small
At least one from another part of country
Public and private
Don't leave anything on the table
If accepted to all, did you reach high enough?
Good match doesn't equal guaranteed acceptance
Some admissions considerations out of your control
(enrollment objectives, geography, activities, majors)
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
When & Where
After you know a little about the school
With regional alumni or rep at a coffee shop
Common App Essay - one size fits all
Supplemental School Essays - customize accordingly
School-specific Essay Questions
1) How did you first learn about Bowdoin?
2) How have you prepared for the academic challenge at Bowdoin?
1) Discuss a situation in which you made a difference.
2) How did you become interested in Gettysburg?
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.
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
(TE, 1-2 standard)
core courses preferable
insights, not grades
Set up Accounts
Naviance - cantonschools.org
Common Application Essay 250 to 650 words
Total Cost to Attend
= 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)
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
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
Do students stay on weekends?
What percent live in university housing?
To Do List for Seniors
Sept. - Oct.
Guidance Counselor Meeting
Guidance Dept. Paperwork
How Are Admissions Decisions Made?
- potential for success in environment
You as an Individual
- interests, character, goals, talents, etc.
- you in context - opportunities, school
- 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
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)
Juniors - PSAT
National Merit Scholarship Qualification (NMSQT)
National Merit Scholar
Top 5% in state - Commended Student
Top 1% in state - Semi-Finalist/Finalist
90% advance to finals
50% receive scholarships
Application, grades, essay
best test date
Colleges That Change Lives
Loren Pope, 2000
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)
Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be
Finding the Right Fit
Know yourself & your goals
Waitlists can be huge
Might accept 1 or 2 out
Can be < 5% of 1000
10% from a list of 600
Around the Admissions Table
Sort by characteristics, activities, etc.
Read, Discuss, Decide
Around Your Table
"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)
"Sacred Heart also looks for
and how well a student
responds to adversity
Kevin O'Sullivan, Executive Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Sacred Heart
(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?
Acceptance Rate (%)
Peer group compatible?
Class Rank - Top 10% / 25% / 50%
Evidence of quality & student success?
Graduation Rate 4 yr/6 yr
Acceptance to Med School/Law School/etc.
Employment and Grad School Stats
Recognition - Forbes, Kiplinger, Associations, etc.
People you know who have attended
What goes into the formulas?
Incoming Freshmen Metrics (GPA, SAT)
Acceptance Rates & Yield
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
In-state vs Out of State
National Study of Student Engagement
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
What are the key parts of the college application process?
Common Data Set
Your Curriculum and Intellectual Curiosity in Context
Canton Average Composite
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 Optional Writing add-on
Emphasizes critical thinking Emphasizes knowledge
Tracks with Common Core English mechanics; less vocabulary
Reading comprehension (tip: focus, practice) 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
SAT Scores (2016 and beyond)
= Total Composite Score
800 + 800 = 1600
Optional SAT Essay, scored separately
Evidence-Based Reading: 200-800
Reading sub-score, 10-40
Writing and Language sub-score, 10-40
2017-18: New SAT Score Conversion - calculation at collegeboard.org