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Paving the Road to College Katie Deihl Illinois Valley Community College District Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

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Presentation on theme: "Paving the Road to College Katie Deihl Illinois Valley Community College District Illinois Student Assistance Commission."— Presentation transcript:

1 Paving the Road to College Katie Deihl Illinois Valley Community College District Illinois Student Assistance Commission

2 Illinois Student Assistance Corps o State agency for financial aid o Approximately 80 Corps members from diverse backgrounds o Every community in Illinois o Changing the conversation about higher education

3 What is the ACT? o Standardized test used to measure how prepared you are for college o Usually taken in spring of junior year o Taken as a part of the PSAE, but you can also register to take it at other times of the year

4 ACT Sections o ACT o Math o English o Reading o Science o Writing (optional)

5 Structure of the ACT o Four sections English 75 questions, 45 minutes Math 60 questions, 60 minutes Science reasoning 40 questions, 35 minutes Reading 40 questions, 35 minutes Writing 30 minutes, 1 essay

6 ACT Scores o You can take the ACT up to 12 times o Most schools will take your highest overall score, not an average of all your ACT scores o Check registration deadlines

7 How Can I Improve My Score? o ACT Prep Classes o Check out an ACT review book from the library for additional practice questions and tips o Free website help o The more familiar with the test set up and procedures the better you will do

8 Middle 50% ACT Ranges School2010 Middle 50% ACT Composite Score Chicago State University19 Eastern Illinois University21 Governors State University N/A Illinois State University*22-27 Northeastern Illinois University19 or higher Northern Illinois University*20-25 Southern Illinois University- Carbondale21-25 Southern Illinois University- Edwardsville20-25 University of Illinois- Chicago*21-27 University of Illinois- Springfield*20-25 University of Illinois- Urbana-Champaign26-31 Western Illinois University21

9 Example 25% Middle 50%

10 Post-Secondary Options o 4 Year Public Universities o 4 Year Private Universities o Community Colleges o Trade Schools o Work o Military

11 Start thinking college o Your interests Major Career o Open savings account for college o Get to know types of colleges o Community colleges o Public universities o Private universities o Vocational/trade schools

12 What Features Do You Want? o Size o Fuel Economy o Brand o Cost o Loan Options o Entertainment o Safety options o Size o Tuition and other costs o Course Offerings o Financial Aid o Campus Life o Reputation of program

13 Making College Visits o Ask intelligent, prepared questions. o Schedule a one-on-one appointment with an admissions representative. o Talk to students who attend that school. o Consider an overnight stay. o Attend a class. Every school looks good on a brochure or website!

14 What do colleges look for? o Academic o Grades o GPA o Class rank o Improvement o ACT/SAT o Extracurricular o How many activities? o Professional skills

15 Tough Classes Subject AreaGraduation Requirements What Colleges Prefer English44 Math34 Science23-4 Social Studies23-4 Foreign Language 1 (or art, music, or vocational) 2

16 High School Activities Types of Activities o Sports o Clubs o Part-time jobs o Community service What They Demonstrate o Time management o Communication skills o Team work o Commitment o Initiative o Leadership o Organization

17 WhatsNextIllinois.org Sample College Profile

18 College Applications o A college application is part of the competitive college admissions process o Usually consists of: o Academic Records o Extracurricular Activities o Personal Essays o Letters of recommendations o Possibly an interview

19 True or False? Don’t worry about freshman and sophomore grades because colleges look only at junior and senior grades. FALSE – Those are two out of the three years of grades that you send to colleges, so they are important. On the other hand, showing gradual improvement can also impress colleges.

20 Academic Records o Transcripts o End of fall semester of senior year o Final transcript at end of last semester o ACT/SAT scores o Awards and Honors o List all academic awards/honors received since freshman year o List by title, description of award, and year

21 Deadlines & Costs o Deadlines vary o November 1 - March 1 o Fall semester of senior year o Application fees o $ o Fee waivers may be possible

22 College is an Investment

23 Know the Facts: Financial Aid o The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) o January o Every year o Tax information o FAFSA.gov

24 Types of Financial Aid There are many types of financial aid. These funds may be merit-based, need-based, or non need-based. gift aid self-help aid self-help aid Grants Scholarships Work-Study Loans

25 Sources of Financial Aid Financial aid comes from a variety of sources. college ( institutional aid) college ( institutional aid) outside/ private sources outside/ private sources federal government federal government state government state government

26 Things to keep in mind… o Many scholarships/grants come from school o Most financial aid comes from federal programs, state programs, and the institution the student is attending o No scholarship is too small to be worth applying for o Fill out your FAFSA every year!

27 Helpful Tools o Fastweb.com o Scholarship Engine o FAFSA4CASTER o Replica of the FAFSA o Provides insight to what the real FAFSA looks like

28 Additional Resources

29 Illinois Student Assistance Commission Katie Deihl “Like” me on Facebook Katie Deihl - ISACorps

30 Works Cited ACT. “2008 Average ACT Scores by State.” 9 May Greene, Howard and Matthew. “How Colleges Look At Your GPA Scale.” Peterson’s. 14 February Illinois State Board of Education. State Graduation Requirements. December February Kulla, Bridget. “The ACT: Why You Should Consider This SAT Alternative.” FastWeb. 1 March Morse, Jodie. “College Admissions Officers Look for More Square Pegs.” Time. 24 August February Peterson’s. “ACT vs. SAT: Which Test Should You Choose?” Peterson’s. 1 March Pugh, Mike. “What Are Colleges Looking For?” 14 February Springer, Sally et.al. “What Do Selective Colleges Look for in an Applicant?: Engagement Beyond the Classroom: The Extracurricular Record.” February


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