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College Admission Counseling 101 ASCA 2007

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The Fundamentals of College Admission Counseling ASCA 2006 Bob Bardwell, Director of Guidance, Monson High School Andrew Sison, Dean of Admission, Lewis.

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1 College Admission Counseling 101 ASCA 2007
Bob Bardwell, Director of Guidance, Monson High School Roberto Garcia, Director of Admission, Colorado College

2 Why teach college admission counseling?
43% of counselors surveyed spend more than 20% of their time doing college admission counseling More people going to college Only 1/3 of HS graduates in 1960 went to college Today - More than half do 50% of bachelor degree students drop out Lots of misinformation is out there Under-represented students need help

3 National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC)
Networking with over 8000 members Premiere organization for professional and ethical issues facing college counseling Access to national conference and professional development opportunities Web site ( E-list Newsletters/Journals

4 Statement of Principles of Good Practices
All members must adhere to these ethical and professional policies Reviewed annually Two articles Promotion and recruitment Admission, Financial Aid & Testing policies and procedures Mandatory practices vs. best practices

5 The role of the secondary school counselor in college admissions
Advisor Information provider Researcher Sounding board Surrogate parent Advocate Financial aid expert Teacher

6 Working with parents, faculty and administrators
What do (some) parents expect? You are the expert Lots of information Available 24/7 You to do the work for them Some parents are not involved at all

7 Working with parents, faculty and administrators (continued)
What do the faculty expect? Letters of recommendation assistance Course placement information Grading and test score information Do they need my course to go to college? Classroom guidance lessons/presentations General college planning (ie: junior seminar) Essay writing College searching (internet or reference book) Primarily serve as a resource

8 Working with parents, faculty and administrators (continued)
What do administrators expect? Excellent placements/Where students got in Professionalism High quality college admission counseling programs/activities Satisfied students and parents Good publicity for the school/community

9 Setting up the College Counseling Office
Reference materials print search guides - Peterson’s, College Board, Chronicle catalogs/viewbooks non-fiction books free materials multimedia (Videos, DVD’s, CD-ROM’s) online maps/guides

10 Setting up the College Counseling Office
Programs grade level programs junior prep night senior financial aid night junior/senior seminars Newsletters /e-group options

11 Required college counseling seminar for juniors
Introduction to the college search process Timelines Identifying needs/self-exploration/values clarification Testing issues Exposure to college materials, critical thinking Dispelling myths, creating awareness, getting kids “on board”, alleviating anxiety Planning for junior spring & summer visits The essay

12 Profiles Should accompany every transcript sent
Tell the college about your school School & community facts name, address and contact information type of school (public/private) enrollment by grade level accreditation(s) calendar system (quarter/semester/trimester) description of the school community

13 Profiles (continued) Staff Grading system Name of principal/headmaster
Name(s) of counseling staff w/contact information Grading system Computation of class rank (if computed) policy Grade weighting policy Graduation requirements Special situations (ESL or special needs students)_

14 Profiles (continued) Recent college admission test scores
Percent of students taking ACT/SAT Range of scores Further schooling of graduates chart or table showing percent of graduates attending various types of post secondary schools Curriculum information All courses offered Designation of honors, AP & IB courses Unusual programs or opportunities

15 Timeline for Conducting the College Search
Sophomore year Junior year Fall Take PSAT’s Winter/spring Research schools; narrow down your list Prepare for the SAT/ACT Select appropriate senior year courses Summer Visit Schools

16 Timeline for Conducting the College Search (continued)
Senior Year Fall Finalize your list of potential schools Visit schools Get letters of recommendation Take SAT/ACT APPLY Get financial aid information/forms Begin to apply for scholarships

17 Timeline for Conducting the College Search (continued)
Winter Continue to apply for admission and scholarships Apply for financial aid If accepted, make sure to let the admissions office know if you want an extension until May 1 Spring Evaluate acceptances and financial aid offers Send non-refundable deposit by May 1 Send final transcript after graduation

18 Factors to consider when selecting a college
Location, location, location Large city Small city Rural area Major Size of school Extra large 15,000 + (University of Mass.) Large ,000 (Boston College) Medium (Springfield College) Small under 1000 (Elms College)

19 Factors to consider when selecting a college (continued)
Type of school Liberal arts (Amherst College) Technological (Worcester Polytechnic Institute) Health sciences (Mass. College of Pharmacy) Business (Bryant University) Art (Mass. College of Art) Military (Mass. Maritime Academy)

20 Factors to consider when selecting a college (continued)
Type Private Public Religious affiliated Lifestyle/Activities Fraternities/sororities Athletics Clubs/organizations Special programs - study abroad; co-op

21 Factors to consider when selecting a college (continued)
Selectivity Very selective (admits less than 30%) Selective (admits 30-60%) Competitive (admits 60-90%) Open enrollment (admits 100%) Institution selectivity vs. major selectivity Reputation

22 A word of caution about rankings/ratings
US News & World Report & Rugg’s Recommendations on the College are helpful, but…. The best school for a student may not have the best program Check the industry for programs that are accredited or endorsed

23 Resources to search for a college
College Search Books Peterson’s Guide College Board Handbook College Board Index of Majors Chronicle Guidance Publications Barron’s Guides Lovejoy’s College Guide The Fiske to the Colleges Rugg’s Recommendations on the Colleges

24 Resources to search for a college
Athletic resources National Directory of College Athletics Honors Programs Peterson’s Guide to Honors Programs & Colleges Vocational/Technical Schools Peterson’s Guide to Vocational & Technical Schools Religious Affiliated Schools Peterson’s Christian College & Universities Catholic Colleges –

25 Resources to search for a college
General Books A is for Admission- Hernandez The College Admissions Mystique - Mayer Colleges that Change Lives - Pope Admissions Confidential - Toor The GateKeepers - Steinberg The Public Ivys- Moll

26 Resources to search for a college
Magazines/periodicals US News & World Report Money Magazine The Gourman Report Newsweek - How to Get into College The Princeton Review The free stuff

27 Resources to search for a college
Placement Reports Database (Microsoft Access) Make your own program Scattergrams

28 College Fairs NACAC sponsored State & Regional ACAC sponsored
Almost 50 national fairs 15 Performing & Visual Arts college fairs State & Regional ACAC sponsored High school sponsored Other privately sponsored National Hispanic College Fair

29 College tours for counselors
Private College Visits, 207 East Bay Street, Suite 304 Charleston, SC 29401, , College sponsored College sponsored, usually ones situated close together Free or inexpensive; you may pay to get there Several days or part of the day Overnight programs for counselors and their families As part of conferences

30 College Tours for Students
Commercial packages The College Authority (949) Design your own college tour Field trip to local college College may offset cost of transportation & meals Field trip to local college fair

31 The counselor cycle College Planning begins in the middle school
Middle school early planning program for parents Early testing programs - SSAT Develop a 4 year plan with incoming freshmen emphasizing proper course selection and good grades Continue in grades 10 & 11 Taking AP/Honors courses vs. less challenging course

32 The counselor cycle (continued)
Fall of junior year Program to discuss calendar & resources available to search for colleges Voluntary Give out transcript PSAT administration Third Saturday or Wednesday after Columbus Day in October Given at most high schools nationally

33 The counselor cycle (continued)
Spring of junior year Program for students and parents Evening Panel of admission representatives SAT/ACT registration and administration College search College tours

34 The counselor cycle (continued)
Fall of senior year Large group meeting to gather information Review calendar & responsibilities Review letter of recommendation guidelines Deadlines Evening program Small group/individual appointments Folders SAT/ACT test administration & registration Letters of recommendation Financial aid night

35 The counselor cycle (continued)
Winter of senior year Letters of recommendation Reviewing applications and/or essays Financial aid deadline reminder Verification of transcripts sent

36 The counselor cycle (continued)
Spring of senior year Follow up with students who have not applied Field trip to local community college Assisting with financial aid award letter interpretation and decision making Coordinate program to help plan for the transition to college for parents & seniors

37 Parts of an application
Fee Personal statement/essay Secondary school report Counselor recommendation Teacher recommendations Standardized test scores Personal Interview Portfolio Other requirements for specific majors

38 How many applications? 3-5 was the average; 5-10 more common now
Community standard will determine this Sort institutions by selectivity Reach - tend to be more competitive Likely - a pretty good chance of getting in Safety - pretty much a guaranteed admission Try to put 1-2 schools in each category to ensure choices later on

39 When to apply? Most early admission programs have deadlines around November 1st More selective schools have deadlines around January 1st Most schools have February or March 1st Less selective schools may continue accepting students up to May 1st Financial aid award may be determined by when you were accepted (priority deadline)

40 Counselor letter of recommendation
Should provide an overview of the applicant’s strengths and potential for success in college Don’t 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

41 Counselor letter of recommendation (continued)
Fill in the gaps Give insights that most people wouldn’t know Explain problems/issues (assuming you have the permission of the student) Respect confidentiality Be positive, yet honest Don’t state the obvious

42 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?

43 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?

44 Teacher Letters of Recommendation
Don’t 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

45 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?

46 The Personal Statement/Essay
This is a personal experience; don’t 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 individual’s strengths and weaknesses

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

48 The Personal Statement/Essay
Provide concrete, vivid examples Avoid gimmicks, humor (if you’re not funny) and preaching Avoid controversial topics Can be used to “explain” something Develop an outline prior to writing Don’t use big words or thesaurus words Make your introduction memorable

49 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?

50 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

51 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

52 Campus visits (continued)
Don’t schedule more than two a day Don’t schedule your first choice school first Visit classrooms and talk with faculty Eat in the cafeteria if possible Take part in activities if possible

53 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 Don’t 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

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

55 Alumni or Off Campus Interviews
Make an appointment Individual vs. group interviews Have one if far from campus and can’t visit Do it even if you have been on campus; shows enthusiasm and interest Will give you a different perspective

56 The Common Application
Used by 320 institutions Provides common form May be used in lieu of the school’s application or may be the only application Easily reproduced

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

58 Computer Search Resources

59 Computer Search Resources (continued)

60 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?

61 ACT Assessment Formerly called American College Test
Includes World-of-Work Map $29.00 basic fee 4 areas English 75 question, 45 minute test; 2 subscores Usage/mechanics Punctuation (13%) Grammar and usage (16%) sentence structure (24%)

62 ACT (continued) Mathematics 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%)

63 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

64 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

65 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 $43.00

66 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 $ $9.00 per test depending upon # of tests to score

67 SAT Reasoning Test Formerly called Scholastic Aptitude Test
$41.50 Basic registration fee Mathematics, critical reading and writing sections Scores range from 1 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

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

69 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

70 SAT Subject Tests Formerly called SAT II’s
20 individual subject tests; $18.00 basic registration fee + $8 per test (Language w/listening $19) 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

71 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

72 PSAT/NMSQT Preliminary SAT
Given the Wednesday after Columbus Day or 3rd Saturday in October at high schools nation wide $12.00 per test, although administrative fees can be charged Normed for juniors although some sophomores take it Should this be encouraged?

73 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

74 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

75 Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
Moving towards entirely internet based test in 2006 $140 Measures proficiency in reading, listening, speaking & writing Approximately 4 hours long Score is based upon on how well you answer the questions (0-120)

76 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

77 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

78 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

79 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

80 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

81 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 High School of Commerce, Springfield

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

83 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

84 Test Prep Thoughts Lots of options Are they worth the cost & time?
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

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

86 Early Decision Binding contract with the school
Clearly one’s 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

87 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

88 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

89 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 one’s first choice school

90 Wait List You’re 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”

91 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

92 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

93 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

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

95 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

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

97 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

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

99 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

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

101 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?

102 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

103 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

104 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

105 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

106 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 Don’t give in easily; be persistent but not pushy

107 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

108 Military Academies Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, Military Academy (West Point) & Merchant Marine Academy US Coast Guard doesn’t 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

109 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)

110 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

111 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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