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Willmar Public Library Selective College Admissions Presented by Todd Johnson © 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Willmar Public Library Selective College Admissions Presented by Todd Johnson © 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Willmar Public Library Selective College Admissions Presented by Todd Johnson © 2009

2 What is a selective college? A selective college is one that does not accept all or almost all of the people who apply. A selective college is one that does not accept all or almost all of the people who apply.

3 How hard is it to be accepted to a selective college? Selective-Accept between 50 and 80% Selective-Accept between 50 and 80% University of Minnesota University of Minnesota University of Wisconsin University of Wisconsin Students Typical GPA Students Typical GPA 3.5 or better unweighted 3.5 or better unweighted Test Scores Test Scores ACT ACT 25-30

4 Highly Selective Colleges Highly Selective-Accept 35% to 50% Highly Selective-Accept 35% to 50% Macalester Macalester Carnegie Mellon Carnegie Mellon Students Typical GPA Students Typical GPA 3.8 or better unweighted 3.8 or better unweighted Test scores Test scores ACT ACT

5 Most Selective Colleges Most Selective-Accept Less than 35% Most Selective-Accept Less than 35% Carleton Carleton Harvard Harvard Students Typical GPA Students Typical GPA 3.9 or better unweighted 3.9 or better unweighted Test Scores Test Scores ACT ACT Students with perfect grades and test scores often rejected at these schools Students with perfect grades and test scores often rejected at these schools

6 What does it take for acceptance to selective college? Most important factors Most important factors High School grades High School grades Classes taken for those grades Classes taken for those grades Must take the most challenging classes you can handle Must take the most challenging classes you can handle The more selective the more it is expected that student will have APs if available The more selective the more it is expected that student will have APs if available

7 Schools with No AP Courses Colleges expect you to challenge yourself with the courses you have available. Colleges expect you to challenge yourself with the courses you have available. If you go to a school with few or no AP courses, colleges will understand If you go to a school with few or no AP courses, colleges will understand

8 Classes to Take 4 years of English 4 years of English 4 years of Math 4 years of Math 4 years of Science 4 years of Science 4 years of Social/History 4 years of Social/History 4 years of single Foreign Language 4 years of single Foreign Language Take most challenging courses you can and still do well Take most challenging courses you can and still do well

9 Test Scores No preference for SAT or ACT No preference for SAT or ACT Some selective colleges require SAT Subject tests Some selective colleges require SAT Subject tests Student should compare their test scores with middle 50% of test scores to a particular college Student should compare their test scores with middle 50% of test scores to a particular college Poor test takers may consider test optional colleges Poor test takers may consider test optional colleges

10 Other Admissions Factors At most selective colleges all of the students have great grades and test scores At most selective colleges all of the students have great grades and test scores Selective colleges generally figure that 80% of students applying can do the work Selective colleges generally figure that 80% of students applying can do the work So how do they decide who to admit So how do they decide who to admit

11 The HOOK Great athlete is a hook Great athlete is a hook Legacy is a hook Legacy is a hook Under represented minority is a hook Under represented minority is a hook But what about everybody else But what about everybody else What makes you different from all of the other good students What makes you different from all of the other good students And how can you show that to a college And how can you show that to a college

12 Application Essays Colleges use essays for two reasons Colleges use essays for two reasons Evaluate students writing ability Evaluate students writing ability Gives students chance to tell something about themselves not otherwise on application Gives students chance to tell something about themselves not otherwise on application What makes you interesting What makes you interesting

13 Application Essay Spelling and grammar are important Spelling and grammar are important Important to answer the question you are asked Important to answer the question you are asked Pay attention to requested length of essay Pay attention to requested length of essay Should not exceed requested length by more than about 5% Should not exceed requested length by more than about 5%

14 Essays Cont. Student should be the focus of essay not grandma. Student should be the focus of essay not grandma. Focus of essay should be very tight. One small thing to explain something about student to college. Focus of essay should be very tight. One small thing to explain something about student to college.

15 More Essay Needs to be personalized Needs to be personalized Often in the first person Often in the first person Never smell the inside of a hockey bag. Trust me. Just imagine the bouquet of a dumpster on a hot day combined with the odor of sweat. Never smell the inside of a hockey bag. Trust me. Just imagine the bouquet of a dumpster on a hot day combined with the odor of sweat.

16 College Specific Essays College specific essays often ask why student is interested in that college College specific essays often ask why student is interested in that college Give specific reasons Give specific reasons If have been on campus mention that If have been on campus mention that Mention specific programs that you like Mention specific programs that you like Mention professors that you have met or researched that you would like to work with Mention professors that you have met or researched that you would like to work with

17 Interesting Students 2 students Bob and Sarah 2 students Bob and Sarah Bob was on the football team for 2 years, now trying soccer Bob was on the football team for 2 years, now trying soccer Played trumpet in the band in 9 th grade Played trumpet in the band in 9 th grade Just joined business professionals association Just joined business professionals association Did speech in 10 th grade Did speech in 10 th grade Yearbook staff 12 th grade Yearbook staff 12 th grade

18 Interesting Students Sarah likes theater Sarah likes theater She has been in the high school musical all 4 years. She has been in the high school musical all 4 years. She has done the one act play every year She has done the one act play every year She helped direct a play at the Barn She helped direct a play at the Barn She put on skits at her church to raise money for the less fortunate She put on skits at her church to raise money for the less fortunate

19 Interesting Students Cont. Selective colleges are looking for well rounded classes; NOT well rounded students Selective colleges are looking for well rounded classes; NOT well rounded students Colleges want students that have a focus on one or two things. Colleges want students that have a focus on one or two things. Colleges dont care what the students focus is Colleges dont care what the students focus is They want Sarah not Bob They want Sarah not Bob

20 Students with Feelings Colleges like to see a student with a passion but also students with compassion Colleges like to see a student with a passion but also students with compassion Volunteer efforts can be very important Volunteer efforts can be very important Doesnt matter what volunteer effort student does Doesnt matter what volunteer effort student does BUT if you can tie a volunteer effort into your passion, you make your self strong candidate BUT if you can tie a volunteer effort into your passion, you make your self strong candidate

21 Teacher Recommendations Generally will need two Generally will need two Choose teacher of academic subject that you had as junior or senior. Choose teacher of academic subject that you had as junior or senior. Choose someone who knows you well. Choose someone who knows you well. Doesnt need to be the teacher you got the best grade in Doesnt need to be the teacher you got the best grade in Provide teacher with a resume of all your activites Provide teacher with a resume of all your activites

22 Recommendations Cont. If asked, agree to waive right to see recommendation If asked, agree to waive right to see recommendation Ask early-At least a month in advance Ask early-At least a month in advance Remember to say thank you Remember to say thank you

23 Counselor Recommendation Get to know your counselor early so that they can write the best recommendation Get to know your counselor early so that they can write the best recommendation Colleges understand that not everyone knows their counselor Colleges understand that not everyone knows their counselor If there is a problem that you had the counselor can put it into perspective If there is a problem that you had the counselor can put it into perspective

24 Demonstrated Interest Demonstrated interest is simply showing interest in a college Demonstrated interest is simply showing interest in a college Visiting a college shows interest Visiting a college shows interest ing admissions counselor with questions shows interest ing admissions counselor with questions shows interest Requesting information about the college shows interest Requesting information about the college shows interest

25 Demonstrated Interest Not all colleges use demonstrated interest but the number that do is increasing Not all colleges use demonstrated interest but the number that do is increasing If live far away from campus they understand you may not be able to visit. If live far away from campus they understand you may not be able to visit. Go to NACAC fair in Minneapolis Go to NACAC fair in Minneapolis

26 Interview 2 types of college interviews 2 types of college interviews Evaluative and Informational Evaluative and Informational Evaluative- college wants to see if you are a good fit for the college. Admission decision may be influenced by interview Evaluative- college wants to see if you are a good fit for the college. Admission decision may be influenced by interview Informational-college there to give information only and has no effect on admission decision Informational-college there to give information only and has no effect on admission decision

27 Interviews May be with admissions officer May be with admissions officer May be with local alumni May be with local alumni Show up on time Show up on time Dressed Appropriately Dressed Appropriately Be prepared to answer questions Be prepared to answer questions Be prepared to ask questions Be prepared to ask questions

28 Work Most colleges will say this has little effect on admissions decisions Most colleges will say this has little effect on admissions decisions BUT at highly selective colleges it can make a difference BUT at highly selective colleges it can make a difference Very few students at these colleges have ever worked Very few students at these colleges have ever worked You demonstrate maturity if you have worked You demonstrate maturity if you have worked If you can tie work into your interests, even better If you can tie work into your interests, even better

29 Other Factors Boy or Girl Boy or Girl Colleges like to try and keep fairly even ratio Colleges like to try and keep fairly even ratio Most colleges have many more girls than boys applying so admission rates lower for girls Most colleges have many more girls than boys applying so admission rates lower for girls But some colleges have more boys and girls have easier chance. MIT is example But some colleges have more boys and girls have easier chance. MIT is example

30 Geographic Issues Colleges like to have geographic diversity Colleges like to have geographic diversity Student from Minnesota may have better chance at college in Maine than one in Wisconsin Student from Minnesota may have better chance at college in Maine than one in Wisconsin

31 Application Timing Early Decision- ED Early Decision- ED Early Action- EA Early Action- EA Single Choice Early Action- SCEA Single Choice Early Action- SCEA Regular Regular Rolling Rolling

32 Early Decision Not all schools offer Not all schools offer Requires all application materials to be submitted early, often November 1 Requires all application materials to be submitted early, often November 1 If accepted, student required to go to that college If accepted, student required to go to that college

33 Early Decision cont. Generally improves chances of admission to college Generally improves chances of admission to college Can be good choice if student has found their ideal college Can be good choice if student has found their ideal college Takes away comparison of financial aid options Takes away comparison of financial aid options Only apply ED if financial aid not a concern or understand colleges FA well Only apply ED if financial aid not a concern or understand colleges FA well

34 Early Action Apply early to college-November to December Apply early to college-November to December If accepted have until May 1 to decide whether to attend If accepted have until May 1 to decide whether to attend May improve chances of acceptance May improve chances of acceptance Still allows comparison of financial aid awards Still allows comparison of financial aid awards Good choice if available Good choice if available

35 Single Choice Early Action Apply early to college-November to December Apply early to college-November to December If accepted have until May 1 to decide whether to attend If accepted have until May 1 to decide whether to attend May improve chances of acceptance May improve chances of acceptance Still allows comparison of financial aid awards Still allows comparison of financial aid awards But can only apply early to that one college But can only apply early to that one college

36 Regular Admission Apply by certain date often around January 1 Apply by certain date often around January 1 Have until May 1 to decide whether to attend Have until May 1 to decide whether to attend

37 Rolling Admissions Apply anytime Apply anytime College will give admission decision generally in 4-8 weeks College will give admission decision generally in 4-8 weeks Some colleges with rolling admissions have priority deadline Some colleges with rolling admissions have priority deadline U of M U of M If submit after deadline may not be admitted even with good grades If submit after deadline may not be admitted even with good grades

38 Investigating Selective Colleges US News College Rankings US News College Rankings Rankings are arbitrary. Rankings are arbitrary. Information provided has some merit. Information provided has some merit. But information subject to manipulation by colleges. But information subject to manipulation by colleges. SAT averages dont include all students SAT averages dont include all students Selectivity may not include all students Selectivity may not include all students

39 Investigation Fiske Guide to Colleges Fiske Guide to Colleges Princeton Review Best 371 Colleges Princeton Review Best 371 Colleges Insiders Guide to Colleges Insiders Guide to Colleges Look at the colleges that are listed as crossovers to get other ideas Look at the colleges that are listed as crossovers to get other ideas

40 Investigation Look for colleges where your test scores put you in the middle 50% Look for colleges where your test scores put you in the middle 50% Look for colleges where you might have a hook Look for colleges where you might have a hook Legacy Legacy Sports Sports Ethnic Background Ethnic Background

41 Investigation Look at each colleges common data set if available. Look at each colleges common data set if available. This provides information on admissions broken down by sex, breakdown of number of students with particular test scores, class size, financial aid information and more. This provides information on admissions broken down by sex, breakdown of number of students with particular test scores, class size, financial aid information and more.

42 Reach, Match, Safety In deciding on which colleges you will apply to, have a range of acceptances In deciding on which colleges you will apply to, have a range of acceptances Do not apply only to reach colleges. Do not apply only to reach colleges.

43 Reach College A reach college is one where it will be difficult to gain admission with your qualifications. A reach college is one where it will be difficult to gain admission with your qualifications. If your test scores in the bottom 25% of college, it is a reach If your test scores in the bottom 25% of college, it is a reach If college has less than 35% acceptance, then generally a reach for anyone If college has less than 35% acceptance, then generally a reach for anyone

44 Match College A match college is one where your qualifications make you have a good chance of acceptance A match college is one where your qualifications make you have a good chance of acceptance Test scores in middle 50% of accepted students. Test scores in middle 50% of accepted students. You have strong grades in strong classes You have strong grades in strong classes

45 Safety College A safety college is where you are confident you will be accepted in most cases. A safety college is where you are confident you will be accepted in most cases. Test scores greater than 75% of scores at that college. Test scores greater than 75% of scores at that college. Strong grades in strong courses Strong grades in strong courses High acceptance rate-above 50% High acceptance rate-above 50%

46 Paying for Selective Colleges The most selective colleges are among the strongest for need based aid. The most selective colleges are among the strongest for need based aid. The more selective the college the less likely it will have merit based aid. The more selective the college the less likely it will have merit based aid.

47 Paying for College Dont worry about stated cost of college Dont worry about stated cost of college Only question is what your family will have to pay for this college. Only question is what your family will have to pay for this college.

48 Contacting Todd Johnson Webwww.collegeadmissionspartners.com Webwww.collegeadmissionspartners.com Telephone Telephone Work(320) Volunteer for families in Willmar school district for individual and family meetings to discuss particular students needs Volunteer for families in Willmar school district for individual and family meetings to discuss particular students needs


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