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High School and the College Application Process

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1 High School and the College Application Process
North Hollywood – January 31st 2010 Saanjh College Workshop

2 Why Go to College? Helps you discover your calling
Increase your understanding of the world and community around you Gives you the skills to be successful Critical Thinking Communication Skills **Raises in salary over a person’s life are going to be dependent on their degree, so these disparities are going to increase with age

3 Why Go to College? Monetary value
National Median earnings for someone with a: HS Diploma $32,500 Associate’s $42,000 Bachelor’s $53,000 Master’s $63,000 Advanced (PhD, MD) $100,000+

4 Why it is Important for Women to Attend College

5 Types of Colleges Community Colleges 4 Year Universities Public
Private Trade Schools/Vocational Military

6 Community College Pros Cons
Public 2 year schools that grant certificates and Associate’s Degree Examples – Valley Community College, Santa Monica College, College of the Canyons After completing Community College, some students transfer to a 4 year university. Note: Cons aren’t reasons not to go to school, just downside of that particular type of college Pros Cons Inexpensive Convenient Locations (Closer to Home) Smaller Class Sizes More interaction with professors Easy to get stuck and lose time Smaller variety of courses/majors Difficulty transferring credits

7 Community College Must be the step towards a Bachelor’s Degree

8 Public University Pros Cons
4 year publicly funded. (90% of funding comes from state) Examples - UC System- Berkeley, UCLA, Davis, Irvine, San Diego, Riverside, Santa Barbara, Merced, Santa Cruz CSU – CSUN, CSU Fullerton, CSULA, CSU Long Beach, CSU Bakersfield Pros Cons Affordable Tuition Dynamic Atmosphere (Social, Diverse) Flexibility Numerous Majors Knowledgeable Professors Very large student populations Access to information Lack of access to Professors

9 Private University Pros Cons
4 year privately funded universities that differ substantially in academic standards and mission statements Examples - Ivy League- Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Brown, Penn, Cornell, Dartmouth California - USC, Stanford, Pepperdine, Loyola Marymount, Pomona College Pros Cons Academic Excellence Close-knit community Students tend to be more involved academically Class Size Offer Merit Scholarships Less diverse student population Cost of Tuition

10 Target is a 4 year University
A Bachelor’s Degree is the goal. You can achieve this by: Attending a 4-year University after High School Attending a Community College for 2 years and transferring to 4-year University after your second year

11 How High School Works

12 What you need to know about HS
How long does it take? What do their grades mean? What do they do there? What help and assistance can they get? How are they prepared for getting into college?

13 High School Timeline 4 years to complete
Student starts when they’re 14 years old Freshman - 9th grade Sophomore - 10th grade Junior - 11th grade Senior - 12th grade

14 High School Class Schedule
Polytechnic High, Van Nuys High, Kennedy High, Grant High, North Hollywood High, Simi Valley High Traditional Schedule - Student takes 6 classes per day for the entire year - option of taking prep. period before school starts Chaminade College Preparatory Block Schedule - Student takes four 1 ½ hour classes per day from Aug.- Dec. - In Jan., student begins four new classes - Total of eight classes per year

15 Honors/Advanced Placement (AP) Courses
Honors/AP Courses are advanced courses taken by HS students to help them prepare for the difficulty of college AP Courses are rigorous, college- level courses taken by students that require them to pass an exam at the end of the year in order to receive college credit (i.e. AP U.S. History) In terms of G.P.A., Honors/AP classes are usually weighted on a 5 point scale (possible to get a 5.0 or higher) Colleges have their own way of calculating G.P.A. (some schools do not consider weighted G.P.A.s)

16 Grades A 90% - 100% Excellent B 80% - 89% Good C 70% - 79% Average D
Grades assigned by letter. +/- also used to distinguish i.e. B+ is between 87-90% Teachers have different grading scales for various classes, but this scale is usually the most common: A 90% - 100% Excellent B 80% - 89% Good C 70% - 79% Average D 60% - 69% Below Average F 59% and below Failing

17 Grade Point Average (GPA)
Numerical representation of grades 0.00 to 4.00 All A Grades GPA All B Grades GPA Report cards and grades are mailed home/available online Go online to see your child’s current progress

18 Sample Report Card Subject Grade Biology 1 A- Algebra 2 B+ English 2C
Physical Education A Total GPA 3.5

19 Average GPA at Colleges
UC Berkeley UCLA- 4.36 UC Davis

20 Class Rank Each student is given a ranking relative to their fellow students Valedictorian - First in class Salutatorian - Second in class

21 Extracurricular Activities
Extracurricular activities help students gain responsibilities and refine focus Sports and Activities Student Government Community Service Clubs Academic Clubs Work Experience

22 Sports Football Volleyball Baseball Track
Sports are great for learning teamwork/out-of-classroom skills, but reality is very, very few kids will be able to play at college level or beyond

23 Student Government Class and school government
Students can be officers for their classes and school Student can get involved immediately at any grade

24 Community Service Key Club Interact Club Red Cross Club FBLA
Can be found through School Local and Community Organizations Hospitals

25 Academic Clubs Mathletes Decathalons Biology Club Science Bowl

26 Work Experience Working part-time during the school years
Summer work and internships

27 Parent Teacher Conference
Questions to ask during the conference How has my child performed so far this year? What skills and knowledge will my child be learning in your class? Will my child complete any major projects or term papers this year? How do you determine grades on assignments? How do you determine his or her overall grade for the class? If my child needs help, is tutoring available? If my child is a fast-learner how can you and the school make sure he or she is challenged? Is this a college-track class? How does this class help students build skills to succeed in college? What resources are available at school to help my child with your class? How can I help my child succeed in your class this year? What resources would help my child do his work better? Are there additional books or resources available at school or in the community that would help him or her? **These conferences are usually optional, but require parents should really maintain a relationship with teacher

28 High School Resources H.S. Counselors Career Center Avid Program
Academic advisors who help students pick classes, register for SAT/ACT, apply to different colleges, and find activities Career Center Helps students find info on colleges, tests, and scholarships/financial aid Avid Program Program focused on students who are going to be first generation in their family to attend college Help with admissions process Assist with finding scholarships

29 Planning your HS Classes
Meet with your counselor as early as possible Come up with a 4-year plan Review College requirements Ex. UC/CSU A-G requirements Select a challenging course load

30 Personal High School Stories
Experience with certain courses? Extracurricular Activities (sports, clubs, etc.)?

31 College Admissions Process
October to January of your Senior Year

32 What it takes to get into College
Good Grades Difficulty of course selection is also measured Test Scores SAT and ACT Involvement in Extracurricular Activities Passionate involvement and leadership Essays and Personal Statement Clearly communicate what your goals are Letters of Recommendation Pick teacher and people who know you the best Standing out Leadership and being unique

33 Finding the Right College
Students should fill out the College Questionnaire attached to this presentation. Determine what matters to you and your student (size, costs, location etc) Come up with a list of choices Determine which choices are practical Resources (Princeton Review and College Board) .jsp 

34 Grades Difficulty of course selection is regarded as one of the most important factors in admissions For more competitive colleges, students need to take AP/IB and honors courses

35 Average GPAs UC Berkeley - 4.34 UCLA- 4.36 UC Davis - 4.03
UC Santa Cruz- 3.76

36 SAT and ACT 800 Points Critical Reading Mathematics Writing
Standardized Test that all College Applicants take SAT Reasoning Test points 800 Points Critical Reading Mathematics Writing

37 SAT and ACT ACT test Some Schools prefer either SAT or ACT
Scored on a 36 point scale Math, English, Reading, Science Sections Some Schools prefer either SAT or ACT For more competitive schools, students generally take both SAT and ACT

38 SAT Subject Tests (SAT II)
SAT Subject tests are exams in specific subjects Graded on an 800 point scale 2 Sat Subject Tests (along with SAT Reasoning or ACT) are required for admission into UC schools

39 Average SAT Score UCLA- 2004 UC Berkeley- 2034 UC Davis- 1887

40 SAT and ACT Test Dates ACT Test Dates 2009-10 September 12, 2009
October 24, 2009 December 12, 2009 February 6, 2010 April 10, 2010 June 12, 2010 SAT Test Dates Test November 7, 2009 SAT & Subject Tests December 5, 2009 January 23, 2010 March 13, 2010 SAT only May 1, 2010 June 5, 2010

41 Essays Most colleges require some sort of essay or personal statement
CSU Application does not require an essay UC Application requires two personal statements. Usually about your background and goals Private Schools Require several essays or short answer responses on the application

42 Essay Prompts Prompt #1 Describe the world you come from — for example, your family, community or school — and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations. Prompt #2 Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are? See that attached worksheet, “Personal Statement Tips” to learn about how to write a thorough and compete personal statement.

43 Letters of Recommendation
A personalized recommendation from a teacher, counselor, coach or another person on behalf of the student UC and CSU do not require letters Private Universities usually require several letters of Recommendation

44 Letters of Recommendation
Over the years, you have been in many classes and have had many teachers. Out of all of them, which ones have you connected with the most?  If a school would like two recommendations, it is ideal to choose one teacher from a social science department and one from an either math/science department.  If a school asks for one, pick the one in which you have more of a personal connection with.  Try to pick teachers that know you outside of the classroom and can remember specific things about you and the relationship you have with one another. 

45 Brag Sheet It is important to gather all your extra curricular activities and/or honors together on paper and categorize them  This process is called the Brag Sheet and takes form in a document that summarizes one's accomplishments It makes it easier for the common application as well as the UC application because this exercise is basically what is on the application This is particularly helpful during interviews as well as "additional information" sections  See the attached document

46 Personal Experience with College Admissions Process
Experience with taking SAT/ACT? Writing admission essays/getting letters of recommendation?

47 By the End of Junior Year
Maintained good study habits Participated in Extracurricular Activities Took challenging coursework -Advanced Placement courses (AP) Took SAT Subject Test in Math Level 2 and Literature Started attending college fairs and identifying schools to visit

48 Summer after Junior Year
Harjit gets a job for the summer working at the supermarket. This helps her save some money for college. She spends the summer studying for the SAT test. Takes a SAT prep course Buys SAT prep books from the bookstore

49 Summer after Junior Year
Harjit decides that she wants to visit some colleges she’s interested in attending. She and her parents go to see Berkeley and Stanford University Campuses Harjit starts working on her personal statement

50 September of Senior Year
Harjit meets with her guidance counselor to make sure she is taking all of the required courses. She chooses a challenging set of classes She picks 10 colleges that she wants to apply to and develops her application plan. Harjit notes all of the application deadlines and sets up an application filing system.

51 October of Senior Year Harjit plays on the varsity volleyball team and her team has been doing well. Harjit takes the SAT I and receives a great score! She has been drafting her college essays and reviews them with her counselor and english teacher. She asks her Biology teacher and counselor to write her recommendation letter.

52 November of Senior Year
Harjit submits her application to the UC schools because the deadline is… Continues to maintain her grades and excel in her classes. She continues to complete her community service hours at the hospital

53 December of Senior Year
Harjit submits applications for Stanford, etc on December 15 She obtains financial aid forms from Takes her finals and does well.

54 January of Senior Year Harjit meets with her guidance counselor and reviews her grades She submits applications for the following schools: Stanford Berkeley Davis Harvard Sacramento State University of Pacific Harjit submits her completed FAFSA forms She begins searching from scholarships

55 February of Senior Year
Harjit starts looking for summer work. Continues to look for scholarship money Responds to requests from colleges for additional information

56 March of Senior Year Harjit receives Student Aid Report (SAR) from the Federal Student Aid Program and reviews for accuracy. Harjit receives acceptance letters from 4 schools where she applied. Stanford, Berkeley, Univ of Pacific, Sacramento State She can’t decide amongst these schools and so she plans to visit her top 3.

57 April of Senior Year Harjit begins receiving financial aid awards letters from the colleges that accepted her. She talks to her parents about the options and gets ready to make her decision before the May 1st deadlines

58 May of Senior Year Harjit decides to attend Stanford!
Harjit makes loan arrangements and reports all of the private scholarships that she received as well. She notifies the colleges that she won’t be attending. She sends thank-you notes to the teachers and counselors who advised and assisted her.

59 High School Plan Checklist

60 9th Grade Meet with your counselor to begin talking about colleges and careers. Make sure you are enrolled in the appropriate college-preparatory or tech- prep courses. Get off to a good start with your grades. The grades you earn in ninth grade will be included in your final high school GPA and class rank. Explore your interests and possible careers. Take advantage of Career Day opportunities. Get involved in extracurricular activities (both school and non-school- sponsored). Talk to your parents about planning for college expenses. Continue or begin a savings plan for college. Look at the college information available in your counselor’s office and school and public libraries. Use the Internet to check out college Web sites. Tour a nearby college, if possible. Visit relatives or friends who live on or near a college campus. Check out the dorms, go to the library or student center, and get a feel for college life. Read a lot. Consider spending your free time reading the following classic works rReading.htm Investigate summer enrichment programs. Center for Talented Youth (Johns Hopkins - Educational Program for Gifted Youth (Stanford -

61 10th Grade Fall In October, take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) for practice. When you fill out your test sheet, check the box that releases your name to colleges so you can start receiving brochures from them. Ask your guidance counselor about the American College Testing program’s PLAN (Pre-ACT) assessment program, which helps determine your study habits and academic progress and interests. This test will prepare you for the ACT Assessment next year. Take geometry if you have not already done so. Take biology and a second year of a foreign language. Become familiar with general college entrance requirements. Participate in your school’s or state’s career development activities.

62 10th Grade (cont) Winter Discuss your PSAT score with your counselor.
The people who read college applications aren’t looking just for grades. Get involved in activities outside the classroom. Work toward leadership positions in the activities that you like best. Become involved in community service and other volunteer activities. Read, read, read. Read as many books as possible from a comprehensive reading list. Work on your writing skills—you’ll need them no matter what you do. Find a teacher or another adult who will advise and encourage you to write well.

63 10th Grade (cont) Spring Keep your grades up so you can have the highest GPA and class rank possible. Ask your counselor about postsecondary enrollment options and Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Continue to explore interests and careers that you think you might like. Begin zeroing in on the type of college you would prefer (two-year or four- year, small or large, rural or urban). If you are interested in attending a military academy, such as West Point or Annapolis, now is the time to start planning and getting information. Write to colleges and ask for their academic requirements for admission. Visit a few more college campuses. Read all of the mail you receive from colleges. You may see something you like. Attend college fairs. Keep putting money away for college. Get a summer job. Consider taking SAT II Subject Tests in the courses you took this year while the material is still fresh in your mind. These tests are offered in May and June.

64 11th Grade Fall Meet with your counselor to review the courses you’ve taken, and see what you still need to take. Check your class rank. Even if your grades haven’t been that good so far, it’s never too late to improve. Colleges like to see an upward trend. If you didn’t do so in tenth grade, sign up for and take the PSAT/NMSQT. In addition to National Merit Scholarships, this is the qualifying test for the National Scholarship Service and National Hispanic Scholar Recognition Program. Make sure that you have a social security number. Take a long, hard look at why you want to continue your education after high school so you will be able to choose the best college or university for your needs. Make a list of colleges that meet your most important criteria (size, location, distance from home, majors, academic rigor, housing, and cost). Weigh each of the factors according to their importance to you. Continue visiting college fairs. You may be able to narrow your choices or add a college to your list. Speak to college representatives who visit your high school. If you want to participate in Division I or Division II sports in college, start the certification process. Check with your counselor to make sure you are taking a core curriculum that meets NCAA requirements. If you are interested in one of the military academies, talk to you guidance counselor about starting the application process now.

65 11th Grade (cont) Winter Collect information about college application procedures, entrance requirements, tuition and fees, room and board costs, student activities, course offerings, faculty composition, accreditation, and financial aid. The Internet is a good way to visit colleges and obtain this information. Begin comparing the schools by the factors that you consider to be most important. Discuss your PSAT score with your counselor. Begin narrowing down your college choices. Find out if the colleges you are interested in require the SAT I, ACT Assessment, or SAT II Subject Tests for admission. Register for the ACT Assessment, which is usually taken in April or June. You can take it again late in your junior year or in the fall of your senior year, if necessary. Begin preparing for the tests you’ve decided to take. Have a discussion with your parents about the colleges in which you are interested. Examine financial resources, and gather information about financial aid. Set up a filing system with individual folders for each college’s correspondence and printed materials.

66 11th Grade (cont) Spring Meet with your counselor to review senior-year course selection and graduation requirements. Discuss ACT Assessment/SAT I scores with your counselor. Register to take the ACT Assessment and/or SAT I again if you’d like to try to improve your score. Discuss the college essay with your guidance counselor or English teacher. Stay involved with your extracurricular activities. Colleges look for consistency and depth in activities. Consider whom you will ask to write your recommendations. Think about asking teachers who know you well and who will write positive letters about you. Letters from a coach, activity leader, or an adult who knows you well outside of school (e.g., volunteer work contact) are also valuable. Inquire about personal interviews at your favorite colleges. Call or write for early summer appointments. Make necessary travel arrangements. See your counselor to apply for on-campus summer programs for high school students. Apply for a summer job or internship. Be prepared to pay for college application, financial aid, and testing fees in fall. Request applications from schools you’re interested in by mail or via the Internet.

67 11th Grade (cont) Summer Visit the campuses of your top-five college choices. After each college interview, send a thank-you letter to the interviewer. Talk to people you know who have attended the colleges in which you are interested. Continue to read books, magazines, and newspapers. Practice filling out college applications, and then complete the final application forms or apply online through the Web sites of the colleges in which you’re interested. Volunteer in your community. Compose rough drafts of your college essays. Have a teacher read and discuss them with you. Proofread them, and prepare final drafts. Proofread your final essays at least three times. Develop a financial aid application plan, including a list of the aid sources, requirements for each application, and a timetable for meeting the filing deadlines.

68 12th Grade Fall Continue to take a full course load of college-prep courses. Keep working on your grades. Make sure you have taken the courses necessary to graduate in the spring. Continue to participate in extracurricular and volunteer activities. Demonstrate initiative, creativity, commitment, and leadership in each. To male students: you must register for selective service on your eighteenth birthday to be eligible for federal and state financial aid. Talk to counselors, teachers, and parents about your final college choices. Make a calendar showing application deadlines for admission, financial aid, and scholarships. Check resource books, computer programs, and your guidance office for information on scholarships and grants. Ask colleges about scholarships for which you may qualify. Give recommendation forms to the teachers you have chosen, along with stamped, self-addressed envelopes so your teachers can send them directly to the colleges. Be sure to fill out your name, address, and school name on the top of the form. Talk to you recommendation writers about your goals and ambitions.

69 12th Grade (cont) Fall (cont)
Give School Report forms to your high school’s guidance office. Fill in your name, address, and any other required information on top. Verify with your guidance counselor the schools to which transcripts, test scores, and letters are to be sent. Give your counselor any necessary forms at least two weeks before they are due or whenever your counselor’s deadline is, whichever is earlier. Register for and take the ACT Assessment, SAT I, or SAT II Subject Tests, as necessary. Be sure you have requested (either by mail or online) that your test scores be sent to the colleges of your choice. Mail or send electronically any college applications for early-decision admission by November 1. If possible, visit colleges while classes are in session. If you plan to apply for an ROTC scholarship, remember that your application is due by December 1. Print extra copies or make photocopies of every application you send.

70 12th Grade (cont) Winter Attend whatever college-preparatory nights are held at your school or by local organizations. Send midyear grade reports to colleges. Continue to focus on your schoolwork! Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and, if necessary, PROFILE®. These forms can be obtained from your guidance counselor or at to download the forms or to file electronically. These forms may not be processed before January 1, so don’t send them before then. Mail or send electronically any remaining applications and financial aid forms before winter break. Make sure you apply to at least one college that you know you can afford and where you know you will be accepted. Follow up to make sure that the colleges have received all application information, including recommendations and test scores. Meet with your counselor to verify that all applicable forms are in order and have been sent out to colleges.

71 12th Grade (cont) Spring Watch your mail between March 1 and April 1 for acceptance notifications from colleges. Watch your mail for notification of financial aid awards between April 1 and May 1. Compare the financial aid packages from the colleges and universities that have accepted you. Make your final choice, and notify all schools of your intent by May 1. If possible, do not decide without making at least one campus visit. Send your nonrefundable deposit to your chosen school by May 1 as well. Request that your guidance counselor send a final transcript to the college in June. Be sure that you have received a FAFSA acknowledgment. If you applied for a Pell Grant (on the FAFSA), you will receive the Student Aid Report (SAR) statement. Review this Pell notice, and forward it to the college you plan to attend. Make a copy for your record. Complete follow-up paperwork for the college of your choice (scheduling, orientation session, housing arrangements, and other necessary forms). Summer If applicable, apply for a Stafford Loan through a lender. Allow eight weeks for processing. Receive the orientation schedule from your college. Get residence hall assignment from your college. Obtain course scheduling and cost information from your college. Congratulations! You are about to begin the greatest adventure of your life. Good luck.

72 What Parents Should do Communicating
Give positive feedback and show appreciation for teachers and principals. Keep a positive attitude and an open mind when dealing with school personnel. Share expectations and set goals for your child with his or her teacher. Attend parent-teacher conferences make appointments as necessary to discuss your child’s progress. Understand and reinforce school rules and expectations at home. Attend PTA or parent meetings, education fairs, and other special events at the school. Read classroom or school newsletters, and visit the school’s web site. Notify teachers of any significant changes that have taken place in your child’s life, such as a death in the family, loss of income, or the divorce/separation of the parents. Meet your child’s friends and get to know their parents. Assist in developing parent support groups and programs.

73 What Parents Should do Student Learning
Discuss your child’s school day and homework daily. Know your child’s academic strengths and weaknesses. Know your child’s learning style to better understand HOW your child learns. Use the student Learning Style Quiz here in Education Planner. Provide a quiet, comfortable, well lit place with basic school supplies for studying and homework. Develop a consistent daily routine for studying and homework. Help your child avoid distractions by restricting telephone, television, and computer use during studying and homework time. Help your child break down big homework assignments into smaller, more manageable pieces. Assist with homework, but avoid doing it for your child. Provide your child with books, magazines, newspapers, and other materials and encourage regular reading, especially reading for fun. Provide encouragement and praise for your child’s efforts. 73

74 Story of the Application Process
Student has taken challenging courses(AP, Honors) Student has been in involved in the community and extracurricular Student studies for the SAT Student takes SAT Prepare your application     Write the essay     Get recommendation letters     Decide what major you want Prepare Financial Aid Application Colleges receive the application and begin processing Colleges make choices based on      Academic Qualifications     SAT     Grades     Diversity of student population     Essay Send acceptance notices in March and April Financial Aid sent in April to May

75 Online Resources

76 Scholarship Saanjh Sikh Scholarship’s mission is to work with parents, students and community members to encourage higher education of California Sikh Students by providing need- based and merit-based financial scholarships to selected students entering their first year of undergraduate studies. Flier and Application is being passed out right now. Go to for more applications. Site will be up in 1 week.

77 What Next? Questions?

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