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Beyond the College Fair: College Admission Counseling ASCA 2008 Bob Bardwell, Director of Guidance, Monson High School Jean Jordan, Director of Admission,

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Presentation on theme: "Beyond the College Fair: College Admission Counseling ASCA 2008 Bob Bardwell, Director of Guidance, Monson High School Jean Jordan, Director of Admission,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Beyond the College Fair: College Admission Counseling ASCA 2008 Bob Bardwell, Director of Guidance, Monson High School Jean Jordan, Director of Admission, Emory University

2 A little test…Jeopardy style The other common application A.What is Worldwide Common App B.What is the Universal Common App C.What is the Complete Common App D.What is the Only Common App

3 Heres another question When a college tracks the number and ways a student makes contact and uses that information to make admission decisions A. What is applicant tracking B. What is demonstrated tracking C. What is applicant tracking D. What is demonstrated interest

4 And yet another question The new College Board program which allows students to choose which SAT scores to send to colleges A. What is Score Choice B. What is Score Select C. What is Student Select D. What is My Choice

5 And the final one…. The term used for applicants whose first contact with the institution is the application. A. Who is a stealth applicant B. Who is a first timer C. Who is a primary contact D. Who is a primary applicant

6 The changing admission world A record number of 18 year olds will be graduating from high school The majority of colleges are receiving a record number of applications The methods in which students and admission offices communicate have changed considerably

7 The changing admission world continued The increasing cost of higher education has a dramatic impact on college choice & selection The current financial aid and loan scrutiny will impact access and affordability for many families The media has a great influence on admissions

8 The Age of Technology Online applications –Colleges own process – – Contact with applicants –Internet – websites, IMing, blogging Once enrolled

9 The hiring of Independent Counselors/Coaches Good or bad? Do they help or get in the way? What to look for –Affiliations/certifications/memberships IECA NACAC and its affiliate associations –Rates Work in partnership, not in opposition

10 Using Data Why is data important? –It improves our programs and the services for students and families –Students benefit from it –You probably already have it –Others are using it –Real estate agents want it –We are accountable –Why not?

11 Using Data (continued) Tracking data –Naviance, Connectedu;; –Microsoft Access Analyzing data – Reporting data –Scattergrams –Other reports

12 Counselor letter of recommendation Should provide an overview of the applicants strengths and potential for success in college Dont repeat what is already in the application (I.e.: activities) Reveal things that are not necessarily known to the reader Make connections, especially with events which have shaped their goals/choices

13 Counselor letter of recommendation (continued) Fill in the gaps Give insights that most people wouldnt know Explain problems/issues (assuming you have the permission of the student) Respect confidentiality Be positive, yet honest Dont state the obvious

14 Counselor letter of recommendation (continued) Three parts –Introduction - context in which you know the student –Body - provide specific examples and documentation; can include teacher comments, but…… –Conclusion - summary of recommendation To show or not to show?

15 Counselor letter of recommendation (continued) Where to gather information –From student interactions & past experiences –From faculty –From records/cumulative folder –From parents How long should it be?

16 Teacher Letters of Recommendation Dont have too many; 2-3 at the most Have different disciplines represented unless specific individuals are needed Try to include letters from outside of the school if appropriate –Clergy –Coach –Advisor –Employer

17 Teacher Letters of Recommendation Ideally a student should have had the teacher for at least two classes Choose teachers from junior or senior year courses Student should provide information sheet What does the teacher do with it after it is written?

18 The Personal Statement/Essay This is a personal experience; dont talk about other people or if you do, how he/she impacted you Be yourself This may be the only subjective information that the reader has about the candidate Should provide reflection about the individuals strengths and weaknesses

19 The Personal Statement/Essay Should expand upon the application, not repeat it Should be your best effort, not a last minute piece Dont write about what you think they want to hear Answer the question(s) Follow directions

20 The Personal Statement/Essay Provide concrete, vivid examples Avoid gimmicks, humor (if youre not funny) and preaching Avoid controversial topics Can be used to explain something Develop an outline prior to writing Dont use big words or thesaurus words Make your introduction memorable

21 The Personal Statement/Essay Demonstrate higher level thinking; make the connection If you are going to mention the school, make sure to send the correct one Revise & rewrite Have others proofread it How long?

22 Secondary School Report Basic academic information GPA Rank Strength of curriculum in comparison to others Ratings/checklists Statistics about placement rates List of senior courses/grades Transcript request Letter of recommendation/counselor comments Discipline/suspension issues

23 Campus visits Are a must Make an appointment; be sure to get credit for being visiting Bring a notebook to take notes Ask questions Observe students on campus and in the student center Visit a class

24 Campus visits (continued) Dont schedule more than two a day Dont schedule your first choice school first Visit classrooms and talk with faculty Eat in the cafeteria if possible Take part in activities if possible

25 Campus Interviews This is a chance for the student to get to know the campus as well as the admissions office to get to know you Dont schedule first choice school first Learn as much as you can about the school before the interview Ask questions that are not already answered in the literature Be positive

26 Campus Interviews (continued) Be yourself Explain things not already found in your application Dress neatly Practice before going Dont try to bluff; if you dont know say so If possible, apply before interviewing Send thank you note

27 Alumni or Off Campus Interviews Make an appointment Individual vs. group interviews Have one if far from campus and cant visit Do it even if you have been on campus; shows enthusiasm and interest Will give you a different perspective

28 The Common Application Used by 320 institutions Provides common form May be used in lieu of the schools application or may be the only application Easily reproduced

29 The Discipline Question Has the applicant ever been found responsible for a disciplinary violation at your school from 9th grade (or the international equivalent) forward, whether related to academic misconduct or behavioral misconduct, that resulted in the applicants probation, suspension, removal, dismissal, or expulsion from your institution? Yes No To your knowledge, has the applicant ever been convicted of a misdemeanor, felony, or other crime? Yes No If you answered yes to either or both questions, please attach a separate sheet of paper or use your written recommendation to give the approximate date of each incident and explain the circumstances. Check here if you would prefer to discuss this over the phone with each admission office.

30 Confidentiality Counselor expectations –FERPA Student expectations Follow SPGP guidelines Be sure to get student permission to send anything or make contact

31 Standardized Testing To test or not to test What scores are needed and who wants them? Why even use test scores? Do they predict college success?

32 ACT Assessment Formerly called American College Test Includes World-of-Work Map $30.00 basic fee 4 areas –English 75 question, 45 minute test; 2 subscores Usage/mechanics –Punctuation (13%) –Grammar and usage (16%) –sentence structure (24%)

33 ACT (continued) Rhetorical skills –Strategy (16%) –Organization (15%) –Style (16%) –Mathematics 60 question, 60 minute test –Pre-algebra (23%) –Elementary algebra (17%) –Intermediate algebra (15%) –Coordinate geometry (15%) –Plane geometry (23%) –Trigonometry (7%)

34 ACT (continued) –Reading 40 question, 35 minute test; 2 subscores –Social studies (25%) –Natural sciences (25%) –Prose fiction (25%) –Humanities (25%) Questions ask to derive meaning by referring to what is explicitly stated and reasoning to determine implicit meanings

35 ACT (continued) –Science Reasoning 40 question, 35 minute test –Data representation (38%) –Research summaries (45%) –Conflicting viewpoints (17%) Includes biology, chemistry, physics and earth/space sciences Measures the interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning and problem solving skills required in the natural sciences

36 ACT (continued) –Writing Test Optional 2 additional scores –Combined English/Writing score (1-36) –Writing subscore (2-12) »Scored holistically by 2 readers (1-6) 30 minute test Writing prompt with two viewpoints $44.50

37 PLAN Practice test for sophomores Similar to ACT but less time and fewer questions –English - 50 questions, 30 minutes –Mathematics - 40 questions, 40 minutes –Reading - 25 questions, 20 minutes –Science Reasoning - 30 questions, 25 minutes Can be given at any time from September through December $9.30 per test depending upon # of tests to score

38 SAT Reasoning Test Formerly called Scholastic Aptitude Test $45 Basic registration fee Mathematics, critical reading and writing sections Scores range from point for every correct answer; no points for omitted questions; lose a fraction of a point for each wrong answer Calculators permitted on math sections

39 SAT Reasoning Test (continued) Critical reading –3 sections; minutes and 20 minutes Reading comprehension Sentence completions Paragraph length critical reading Math –3 sections; minutes and 20 minutes Multiple choice –Number and operations; algebra and functions; geometry; statistics, probability, and data analysis 10 student produced responses

40 SAT Reasoning Test (continued) Writing – 2 sections –35 minute multiple choice Identifying sentence errors Improving sentences Improving paragraphs –25 minute essay Always the first section of the test Scored from 1-6 by two readers online Equating section - math or verbal 25 minutes –not included in your score

41 SAT Subject Tests Formerly called SAT IIs 20 individual subject tests; $20.00 basic registration fee + $9 per test (Language w/listening $20) Listening tests are only offered in November Should be taken at the end of the course 1 hour long; can take up to three in one day Not offered in the March/April administration

42 SAT Subject Tests (continued) Required by more selective colleges –Will indicate if specific tests are required –Will usually want 2 or 3 tests English literature Math Third in an area of intended study, in an area of strength or an area of extended study –New SAT Reasoning test has caused colleges to change their requirements

43 PSAT/NMSQT Preliminary SAT Given the Wednesday after Columbus Day or 3rd Saturday in October at high schools nation wide $13.00 per test, although administrative fees can be charged Normed for juniors although some sophomores take it –Should this be encouraged?

44 PSAT (continued) Register directly with the high school; online registration not available Very similar to the new SAT, except –No Algebra II will be included –No essay Try to emulate the SAT as much as possible

45 Standardized Testing Comparison from SAT I - ACT –Can be used to predict scores on the other test –Based upon scores from previous test takers who took both tests –May find different tables depending upon data used by an individual institution

46 Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Most countries, including US offer internet based test $150 - $185, depending on where you take it Measures proficiency in reading, listening, speaking & writing Approximately 4 hours long Score is based upon on how well you answer the questions (0-120)

47 College Level Examination Placement (CLEP) Over 2900 colleges grant credit or advanced standing for satisfactory scores 90 minutes long $55 –Composition & Literature - 6 –Foreign Languages - 3 –History & Social Science - 12 –Science & Mathematics -7 –Business - 5

48 Advanced Placement 34 subjects offered –Art History & Studio Art –Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physics B & Physics C –Calculus AB, Calculus BC & Statistics –Computer Science A & AB –English Language & English Literature –Music Theory

49 Advanced Placement (continued) –Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, European History, Comparative Government & Politics, U.S. Government & Politics, Human Geography, Psychology, U.S. History & World History –French Language, French Literature, German Language, Latin Vergil, Latin Literature Spanish Literature & Spanish Language –Coming soon – Italian, Japanese and Chinese Culture and Literature

50 Advanced Placement (continued) Tied to standardized curriculum Earn credit or waive courses in college Tests are given in the first two weeks of May of each year; set schedule Scores range from 1-5 Exposed to college level material

51 International Baccalaureate The International Baccalaureate Organization aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect Available at schools in 121 countries Is a non-profit educational organization that was established in 1968

52 International Baccalaureate 3 program in schools worldwide the Diploma Program, for students in the final two years of school before university the Middle Years Program for students 11 to 16 the Primary Years Program is for students 3 to 12 The IBO provides IB schools with: detailed curriculum guidelines teacher training workshops online access to 3,000 education resources, subject area experts, and discussion sessions with teachers

53 Fee Waivers Must meet eligibility guidelines set by testing service based on household size

54 Fee Waivers (continued) Must be used initially to register for SAT Reasoning/ SAT Subject Tests or ACT –Subsequently can be used for application fee waiver Utilize school free/reduced lunch lists There is a limit to the number of fee waivers you can use, so be careful to ensure the most needy students get them; You can request more, but….. Request from the college directly

55 Test Prep Thoughts Lots of options –Princeton Review, Kaplan, Sylvan, etc. –Colleges/universities (I.e.: Westfield State) –High schools –Private companies (College Counseling Services) Are they worth the cost & time? Access & equity issues

56 Admission Categories &Decisions Early decision Early action Restrictive early action Wait List Rolling admission Denial Deferment

57 Early Decision Binding contract with the school Clearly ones first choice Student promises to withdraw all other applications from other schools if accepted School must provide adequate financial aid October 15 - November 15 deadlines Early notification, usually within a month If denied ED, can have file reviewed under regular application pool Counselor should only send 1 transcript ED

58 Early Action A non-binding admission process by which a student can apply to multiple schools Can have until candidate reply date to respond if attending Early deadline in November or December Early notification usually a month later Student does not have to withdraw other applications

59 Restrictive Early Action Recently changed for the admission cycle Similar to early action, however institutions may place restrictions on the student applying to other early plans Restrictions will be part of the written agreement Admitted students are not obligated to accept the offer or submit a deposit until the regular candidate reply date

60 Early or not? Many students see this as an advantage since in many institutions a greater percentage of applicants are admitted early Creates havoc in the admissions office Seen as a clear advantage for the college - gets committed students early; affects yield Has gotten away from the original premise of ones first choice school

61 Wait List –Youre almost good enough…but –To get on the WL is tied to number of applicants and strength of applicant pool –To get off the WL is tied to the number of students who deposit –Will not know the status of the wait list until well after May 1 –Will not likely get any financial aid –Students must deposit elsewhere or get permission to have their spot held

62 Rolling Admission Process by which students are accepted and notified anytime after their application is complete Schools usually have a February or March deadline (or no deadline) Majority of these schools are non-selective with no early deadline Usually send financial aid award letters under separate cover

63 Denial Or rejected? Either way, it is the same The thick or thin envelope? In some cases, it is to a major and other options are given, but in most cases it is to the institution

64 Candidate Reply Date Universally accepted as May 1 Applicants must pay non-refundable deposit of at least $200 The timing of the deposit may be tied to housing Should never deposit until student knows the status of financial aid

65 Options after May 1 Many schools are still accepting qualified applicants May not get financial aid New England Board of Higher Education – NACAC –

66 Deferment Student knows which school s/he wishes to attend, but is not ready to start school Could be for one semester or one year Not all colleges participate Must have valid reason –Earn money –Travel –Volunteer work –Family obligations Advantage - have the acceptance in place

67 Taking a Year Off Options Explore the world –Global quest - - Thailand – - Greece Volunteer work – – – –

68 13th year Opportunity for students with weak academic credentials to continue their education; gives them a better shot at getting into a more competitive college Most private prep schools will admit students for a 13th year Sometimes athletes will be encouraged to participate to improve athletic skills and become more competitive

69 What will make the difference between acceptance and denial? Academic performance Strength of academic schedule –Test scores –Personal statement –Recommendations –Application –Activities –Interview

70 Financial Aid General Thoughts –As important as admission –Student is the applicant, not the parent –Cost of attendance - Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need –Special circumstances should be reported to the financial aid office directly

71 Financial Aid Resources Your financial aid administrator (FAA) FEDAID ( ) State agencies –Mass. Education Financing Authority FAFSA online

72 Working with special populations These students are in all schools –Students of various colors, cultures & ethnicities –Students of varying socio-economic status –Students from different religious backgrounds –Students with learning differences –Gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered students –Gender How do deal with issues of diversity?

73 Issues of Race Supreme Court Rulings –Regents of Univ. of CA v. Bakke (1978) Can use race to determine admission; it is a compelling interest of the institution –Grutter v. Bollinger et al. (2003) Univ. of Michigan Law School Can use race as one factor in determining admission –Gratz et al. v. Bollinger et al. (2003) Univ. of Michigan Undergraduate Admissions Can no longer automatically award points for minorities

74 Students with Disabilities Disclose or not disclose? Are supports/services/accommodations available? Is there a cost for these services? 504 plans go with a student to college; not the IEP

75 Testing Students with Disabilities College Board Programs –Register as early as freshmen year for PSAT/NMSQT, SAT Reasoning, SAT Subject Tests, AP –Must have documentation on file that supports the need for an accommodation –Receive and utilize the requested accommodation on school tests –Student only has to complete the registration form once

76 Testing Students with Disabilities (continued) –Center testing vs. school testing Center –regular Saturday exam –Extended time up to 50% extra (time and 1/2) School –100% extended time –All other accommodations »visual assistance, auditory assistance, scribe, etc. ACT has similar accommodation plans Each school should have designated testing coordinator

77 Student athletes Never tell a student which division they can play at; let the coach do that Make sure that students speak to coaches and ask the important questions; not parents Make sure the college coach has your schedule Visit during NCAA approved times Dont give in easily; be persistent but not pushy

78 Student Athletes (continued) NCAA Clearinghouse –For Division I & II schools only –List of Approved Courses (Form 48-H) –Core GPA calculation & Test score –Initial eligibility vs. final eligibility –Register after completion of junior year –Send final transcript after graduation

79 Military Academies Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, Military Academy (West Point) & Merchant Marine Academy US Coast Guard doesnt require nomination Must be nominated by U.S. Congressman, U.S. Senator, President, Vice-President or military affiliated nominations Maximum of 5 students per academy at one time; may nominate up to 10 candidates per vacancy

80 Military Academies (continued) Must be between 17 & 23, U.S. citizen, single, not pregnant and no dependents Very selective admission requirements Must meet physical aptitude requirements Should complete preliminary application with the academy in spring of junior year Should complete required file with Congressman by deadline (fall senior year)

81 Senior Slump/Senior Slide/Senioritis Why? Colleges can withdraw acceptances if serious; most give severe warning or put on academic probation What can you do to motivate these seniors? Some schools provide unique senior programs during the second semester or final quarter to avoid this problem

82 College Admission Counseling Resources National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) –Networking with over 10,500 members –Focused on professional and ethical issues facing college counseling –Access to national conference and professional development opportunities –Web site ( –E-list –Newsletters/Journals –23 affiliate organizations

83 Statement of Principles of Good Practices All members must adhere to these ethical and professional policies –Post-secondary members –Counseling members Reviewed annually Mandatory practices vs. best practices

84 Resources (continued) College Search – – –Counselor-o-matic – – Testing organizations – – – Financial aid organizations – – – – –

85 Resources (continued) Research/access issues – Athletics – – – Diverse populations – – – – – – Ethics – –

86 Final thoughts…... College admission counseling is an ever changing process which requires continual professional development Your role as a college counselor will depend on the community in which you work For some students, you may be the only help that they have

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