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COLLEGE PREPARATION 2014 -2015 Eleventh Grade Fall Meet with your counselor to review the courses you’ve taken & what still needs to be taken Check your.

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Presentation on theme: "COLLEGE PREPARATION 2014 -2015 Eleventh Grade Fall Meet with your counselor to review the courses you’ve taken & what still needs to be taken Check your."— Presentation transcript:



3 Eleventh Grade Fall Meet with your counselor to review the courses you’ve taken & what still needs to be taken Check your class rank. It’s never too late to improve; colleges like to see upward trends Make sure you have a SS # Take a long, hard look at why you want to continue your education after HS to choose appropriate college Make a list of colleges that meet your most important criteria & weigh accordingly Visit college fairs and campuses Speak to college rep’s who visit your HS If you want to participate in Div I or II sports, check with counselor that curriculum meets requirements If interested in military academies, start application process now

4 Eleventh Grade Winter Collect information about college application procedures, entrance requirements, cost, etc. Discuss PSAT score with counselor Narrow college choices. Determine if colleges of choice require SAT I, ACT, or SAT II Subject Tests Register for SAT, ACT or TOEFL. Consider preparation workshops Discuss college choices with parent & examine financial resources Set up a filing system for each college’s printed materials & correspondence Keep your grades up!

5 Eleventh Grade Spring Meet with counselor to review senior year course selection and graduation requirements Take ACT/SAT; discuss results with counselor. Register to retake if you’d like to try to improve scores Stay involved with extracurricular activities. Colleges look for consistency and depth. Determine who to ask for recommendations Call or write for summer or early fall campus tours/interviews Apply for summer jobs, internships, and/or on- campus summer programs Gather applications from colleges (at least 15 to 20 to begin) you’re interested in

6 Eleventh Grade Summer Visit the campuses of your top five college choices After each college interview/tour, send a thank-you letter Talk to people you know who have attended the colleges of interest Practice completing college applications; prepare resumes Volunteer in your community Compose rough drafts of college essays. Review them with a teacher. Proofread at least three times Develop a financial aid application plan Save summer earnings

7 ACT Assessment What you need to know: The ACT is given five times each year The ACT is a 3-hour exam of 215 questions, divided into four sections that test skills in Standard English, math, reading comprehension, and science reasoning. The raw score is determined by the number of correct answers and is then scaled. A 36 is a perfect score. Take the ACT as early as possible, so you have time to retake it if necessary. Your ACT score is only one of the factors considered by college admissions

8 SAT Understanding the SAT: The SAT is divided into seven sections. Within each question set (except critical reading), questions are arranged from easiest to most difficult Remember that all SAT questions count the same. So nail the easier questions – they’re a good source of points! Random guessing will have no effect on your score, but educated guessing will boost your score

9 ACT & SAT Test Dates ACT Sept 13, 2014 (registration date – Aug 8) Oct 25, 2014 (registration date – Sept 19) Dec 13, 2014 (registration date – Nov 7) Feb 7, 2015 (registration date – Jan 9) Apr 18, 2015 (registration date – Mar 13) June 13, 2015 (registration date – May 8) SAT Oct 11, 2014 (registration date – Sep 12) Nov 8, 2014 (registration date – Oct 9) Dec 6, 2014 (registration date – Nov 6) Jan 24, 2015 (registration date – Dec 29) Mar 14, 2015 (registration date – Feb 13) May 2, 2015 (registration date – Apr 6) June 6, 2015 (registration date – May 8)

10 Special Information for Athletes The NCAA has three membership divisions: Div I, II, and III If you are planning to participate in Division I or II athletics as a freshman in college, you must be certified by the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Center: Students should start the certification process as a junior (or earlier) in high school. Check with the eligibility center and college coaches to ensure core curriculum meets NCAA requirements. Also, take the ACT or SAT as junior. Student Release Form should be submitted to the Clearinghouse by beginning of senior year Please visit the eligibility center to understand GPA and standardized test minimum requirements.

11 Choosing a Major What if I don’t know what I want to do with my Life? It’s okay if you have not decided upon a major yet. In fact, more than half of all freshman are undecided and prefer to get a feel for what’s available at college before making a decision. Most 4-year colleges don’t require students to formally declare a major until the end of their sophomore year.

12 Choosing a Major Can I change my major if I change my mind? Choosing a major does not set your future in stone. However, there are advantages to choosing a major sooner rather than later. If you wait too long to choose, you may have to take additional classes to satisfy the requirements (extra time and money)

13 Choosing a Major Where do I begin? Choosing a major usually begins with an assessment of your career interests (interest inventories). Once you have taken the self-assessment, you should have a clearer understanding of your interests, talents, values and goals. Then review possible majors that appear to correspond.

14 Campus Visits Planning Your Visits St. Joe HS offers excused days to visit campuses (provided you bring in a signed document from the admissions department) Try to schedule several schools in one trip (suggest no more than 5 schools in 3 days) Figure out driving distances between schools and which schools make the most sense to visit on the same day. Make overnight accommodations Research colleges and determine if you need an interview. Try to schedule your interview with your first choice school after you have had several other interviews Review college’s catalogs or web sites for background information Ensure you have good directions/maps and allow plenty of time to get there in time

15 Setting Up a Tour or Interview Call the college (usually admissions office or visitor center) to set up an appt. 3-5 days before you plan to visit. Have a list of two or three possible dates ready. In addition to tour, ask if you can visit classes, labs, sports facilities, etc. Ask if you can speak with professors in your major, students with similar interests, or coaches. If interested, ask if you can stay overnight in a dorm

16 Confirm The week before your appointment, call to confirm Be sure to have a list of questions to ask during your visit After the Interview Write thank-you notes to your interviewer and anyone else you met with formally If you spoke with students and got their email, send an email thank-you

17 Campus Tour Questions Questions for Admissions 1.Are dorms spread throughout the campus or clustered together? Is there any shuttle service? How late does it run? 2.Is there any security system to bar outsiders from entering dorms? What is the campus crime rate? 3.How large is the campus security police force? Does it patrol campus regularly? 4.In what areas is the college seeking to improve?

18 Campus Tour Questions 5. What services are offered by the campus health center? What assistance/facilities are available for students with special needs? 6. Does the student health center refer students to the local hospital if necessary? How near and large is it? 7. Average GPA of college? What are this school’s top three programs? Are there internship/cooperative work experiences available? Study abroad opportunities? 8. Type of student admitted? Should freshman do any summer preparation? 9. Graduation requirements? Do most students graduate in 4 years?

19 Campus Tour Questions Questions for Students 10. How many of your courses are taught by a big- name professor and how many by a teaching assistant? Is the teaching innovative and project- oriented, or mostly lecture? 11. How well did the school meet your expectations? What was the biggest surprise or most significant disappointment about the school or campus life? 12. Can you get the classes you request during registration? Do most freshmen class lectures take place in auditoriums? 13. What are the strong majors? Weak ones? 14. How hard do you have to work for your grades? How many hours a week do you have to study?

20 Campus Tour Questions 15. What’s the reputation of _______department? 16. How adequate for your needs is the campus computer network? 17. Do fraternities and sororities dominate the social life of the college? 18. What do students do on weekends? Do most go home? What is the campus alcohol policy? 19. How is the advisement system? Do you feel that your professors really care? 20. How open/welcoming are organizations on campus? What kind of variety of organizations exist?

21 Campus Tour Questions Questions to Ask Yourself 21. While you were waiting for your interview in the admissions office, how did staff members interact with students, i.e. were they friendly, annoyed with interruption…? 22. Was the admissions office a friendly and inviting place with a great deal of information about the school, or was it cold and aloof? 23. What did your parents find out about the career planning services offered to graduating seniors?

22 Campus Tour Questions About the Student Body 24. Do most of the students seem to be like you, or are they completely different? 25. Either way, how would you feel being in a classroom full of these students? Sharing a dorm with them? 26. Do the students try to make you feel at home? Are they willing to answer your questions? How do they interact with one another?

23 Campus Tour Questions About the Campus 27. Does the campus seem too big? Too small? 28. Do freshmen live in their own dorms? How do I feel about living in a single-sex or coed dorm? 29. Are the dorms quiet or noisy? Do they seem crowded? 30. How large are the rooms? Is there adequate space and light to study? 31. Does each room have access to the internet and the campus LAN?

24 Campus Tour Questions 32. What’s advertised on dorm and classroom bulletin boards? What does this tell me about campus life? 33. How good is the lighting around each dorm, classroom, lab, etc.? 34. Do the buildings and grounds look well cared for? Or are they in need of painting and general repair? 35. Is the grass cut and grounds well landscaped? 36. What’s the condition of the playing fields and sports equipment? 37. How is the quality of the food in the cafeteria or dining hall? Are there a variety of meal plans?

25 Campus Tour Questions About the Nearby Area 38. Does it look like there is much to do outside the campus? 39. How easy is it to get to places off campus? Are there places within walking distance? 40. Do you feel comfortable and safe? 41. Are there places to get extra furniture, like bookcases, for your dorm room? 42. Is there a supermarket nearby to stock up on snacks and soda? 43. If you move out of a dorm after freshman year, what are the options in apartment complexes or houses? 44. Urban or rural atmosphere?

26 College Comparison Select top five criteria of importance to you Rate each college using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is poor and 5 is excellent, on each criteria Total each college to see which rates the highest based on your criteria Am I most interested in a: 1.Two year or four year school? 2.Christian or a non-religiously affiliated school? 3.Location – how far am I willing to go from home? 4.Urban, suburban, or rural campus? 5.Larger or smaller environment? 6.Nationally revered or regionally known?

27 Analyzing the College Look at your notes from your first visit. Why did you think this school was right for you? Think again about your answers to questions about the Campus atmosphere Student body Academics; faculty-to-student ratio Social life – extracurricular activities and organizations, Greek life… Campus itself – food service, facilities, LAN Nearby area Occupations of graduates and career services offered You may need to visit some colleges a second time!

28 Prepare Your Resume A student resume can help your guidance counselors and teachers when they write recommendations Include: Academics GPA Honors/AP Courses Taken Standardized Test Scores Special Talents

29 Prepare Your Resume Academic Awards Theatrical Productions Sports Traveling Teams Musical Groups Extracurricular Activities Offices held Part-time jobs Goals

30 How Admission Decisions Are Made The Good News: Admission decisions are fair and thorough, and admission professionals take this part of their job very seriously The Bad News: So many factors go into these decisions that the results can sometimes seem unpredictable and maybe even off-the-mark

31 How Admission Decisions Are Made First, all application materials are collected in a folder. Every scrap of paper which bears your child’s name – from supplemental essays to phone message slips and thank you notes. Then, each folder is read carefully. WARNING: Incomplete folders stay on the shelf until complete At small schools, the entire admission staff may evaluate each applicant; at larger ones, a single official may be the sole judge

32 How Admission Decisions Are Made Transcripts High school transcript is almost always the most important component (exceptions include specialized schools in areas such as art, music, or drama) School profiles (included with most applications) explain grading system, show avg. median grades and standardized test scores, show number of honors/AP courses More competitive colleges expect to see four years of English, at least 3 years of social studies, 4 years of mathematics (including precalc or calc), three years of science, and at least 3 years of foreign language (same language) Many state universities require a minimum of trigonometry for math

33 How Admission Decisions Are Made Honors/AP courses versus less demanding “B”s in first-string classes are more impressive than “A”s in easier ones. Even an occasional “C” in demanding classes won’t rule out a career at a highly selective college. However, one or two regular level courses in a weaker area may work better for your child. Another advantage to AP courses is some schools will grant credit for courses if you score a 4 or 5. They are also used for placement into freshman classes. Dual Enrollment Dual enrollment programs allow students to take some college courses for credit while they remain enrolled in high school classes. While impressive, some institutions may not necessarily award college credit for the work (check with the university)

34 How Admission Decisions Are Made Test Results Usually the next criteria reviewed after transcripts. Admission officers consider: Is the testing pattern consistent? Did a student clearly have an off day? Are scores compatible with academic achievement? If not, why? Are there strengths in one area while others are weak? Were tests taken under special conditions (e.g. extended time)? Does the student have a diagnosed disability? Is English spoken at home? Were SAT II tests taken close to course completion or a year or more later? If language test scores were low, how many years of study has this student had?

35 How Admission Decisions Are Made Essays/Personal Statements  A great essay can really make an admission official sit up and take notice. However, subjectivity prevails here. Some readers are biased toward content; some toward writing style and mechanics.

36 How Admission Decisions Are Made Recommendations Although quality and depth vary tremendously, specifics that admission professionals seek from recommendations include: Comparisons to others in the class Information about grading and/or competition Illustrative examples Personal Information Other personal traits or study habits

37 How Admission Decisions Are Made Extracurricular Activities THE GOOD NEWS: Colleges aren’t terribly picky about how your child spends non-class time, as long as it’s doing something meaningful. It isn’t necessarily a long list of activities, either, rather it is commitment, some level of accomplishment, initiative, and leadership or far more important. THE BAD NEWS: With so many high school students doing so much; with so many programs and organization, teams and clubs and causes, it’s hard to predict what will make a splash. However, some activities do stand out more than others, and proper presentation can help.

38 How Admission Decisions Are Made CONSIDERATIONS: How much time does this student devote to an activity? How significant is the contribution? (depth over breadth) Evidence of leadership. There’s a world of difference between a student who joined an organization and the one who founded it. Some balance is best. Organizations combined with athletics will stand out more than only choosing athletics as extras. Volunteerism; real hands on involvement. Specialists. Extraordinary talent in some area or possessing some off-the-wall interest or experience, i.e. prima ballerina, adolescent entrepreneurs.

39 How Admission Decisions Are Made Interviews  Interview evaluations often confirm the impression made by other credentials. However, an interview may also help a committee to see another side of a student, to understand why certain choices were made, to appreciate the extent of commitment, etc.

40 How Admission Decisions Are Made Hooks Any additional advantage, such as athletic ability, minority status, veteran status, alumni connections, special talent, underrepresented socioeconomic background (i.e., first generation college), geography, gender, VIP status, ability to pay full tuition, parents working at university… However, no matter how well connected or how gifted outside of the classroom, if he/she doesn’t have the grades or ability, he/she won’t be admitted

41 Applications Do Read applications and directions carefully. Make sure that everything that is supposed to be included is enclosed. Fill out your own application. Type or online. Start with simple applications and progress to more complex. Proofread and have someone else proofread. If asked, describe how you can make a contribution to the schools to which you apply. Be truthful, and don’t exaggerate accomplishments. Keep a copy of all forms you submit. Be thorough and on time.

42 Applications Don’t Use correction fluid. Write in script. Leave blank spaces. Missing information may cause your application to be sent back or delayed. Be unclear. Put it off!

43 Ways Not to Choose a College 1.Your boyfriend or girlfriend is going there. 2.Your friends are going there. 3.The tuition is low. 4.Because of its party-hearty reputation. 5.The college brochure or university guidebook showed all these fun students sitting under trees. 6.A computer college matching program said this was your best choice. 7.You visited just that campus. 8.It’s located in your city or state. 9.It’s the one college that you and your parents have heard of. 10.Because of its prestige. 11.It has the academic program you’re looking for.

44 Financial Aid: An Informational Tool for High School Students and Families

45 Paying for College The college you choose will offer financial aid to assist you in paying for college. Financial aid includes: Scholarships Grants Job opportunities Loans Tuition exemptions

46 Scholarships Scholarships are free money based on student achievements, such as: Academic Merit Athletic Service

47 Grants Grants do not have to be paid back Most grants are based on a family’s financial need Students must meet certain criteria in order to qualify for different grants

48 Job Opportunities Students may be able to work to pay some college expenses. Colleges likely offer need- based job opportunities such as: On/off campus positions Community service Tutoring

49 Loans Loans are monies borrowed by a student and/or parents Most colleges offer low-interest loans On most loans, payments are not required until after leaving or graduating No credit history is required for students but may be required for parents

50 Tuition Exemptions In some states, there are tuition waivers for eligible students to help decrease the cost of college, for example: Valedictorians Three-year graduates from high school Recipients of Assistance to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) or similar programs

51 Search for scholarships on your own. There are different applications and requirements Go through the financial aid office of the college you are interested in -- they will help you with applications for grants, loans, and job possibilities Start with the “FAFSA” Applying for Aid

52 FAFSA All students applying for any federal and most state assistance must complete the: Free Application for Federal Student Assistance (FAFSA). The FAFSA information is used to determine the student’s eligibility for most federal and state assistance.

53 When to Apply The FAFSA should be completed during your senior year in high school Applying for a scholarship varies, according to the scholarship provider Find out about deadline dates Apply early

54 Cost of Attendance Tuition and Fees + Room and Board + Books and Supplies + Miscellaneous Living Expenses __________________________________ = Cost of Attendance

55 Financial Need Cost of Attendance - Expected Family Contribution (EFC) _______________________________ = Financial Need

56 Family Contribution The portion of costs the family is expected to pay during the enrollment period.

57 Student Dependency Status You are dependent unless you: Are at least 24 years old by December 31 of the school year Are a masters or doctoral student Are married Have children who receive more than half of their support from you Are an orphan or ward of the court Are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces

58 FAFSA on the Web Available at English or Spanish Skip logic and online editing Electronic signature Can save for 45 days Electronic notification

59 Federal Financial Aid

60 Federal Pell Grant Need-based grant Uses: Tuition, fees, room, board, living expenses Amount of award is calculated by the college based on information from the SAR Awarded to eligible undergraduates pursuing first baccalaureate or professional degree

61 Need-based student loan The college is the lender 5 percent fixed interest rate Borrow up to $5,500 annually Repayment begins 9 months student falls below half-time enrollment College determines eligibility Federal Perkins Loans

62 Need-based grant Maximum award of $4,000 based on availability of funds at the college Priority to Federal Pell Grant recipients Awarded to undergrads pursuing first baccalaureate or first professional degree Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

63 Need-based employment program Provides jobs on and off campus Students earn at least current minimum wage Students normally work a maximum of 20 hours per week Federal Work-Study

64 Employment on campus Not based on financial need Not part of financial aid award Similar wages and hours to Federal Work- Study Non Work-Study

65 Low-interest loan the student takes out on his/her own behalf The FAFSA must be completed Fixed interest rates at 4.66 percent Repayment begins 6 months after the student falls below half-time enrollment Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

66 Parent is the borrower Fixed interest rate at 7.21 percent Maximum loan amount is the cost of attendance minus all financial aid received for the student Approval subject to a credit check Repayment begins 30-60 days after loan is disbursed Federal PLUS Loan

67 Must be enrolled/accepted in an eligible program of study Must be pursuing a degree, certificate, or other recognized credential Must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen Must be registered with Selective Service (if male) Must not have eligibility suspended or terminated due to a drug-related conviction General Eligibility

68 Must have a valid Social Security Number Must not be in default on a federal student loan Must not owe repayment of a federal grant Must maintain satisfactory academic progress as defined by the higher education institution General Eligibility

69 Other Financial Aid

70 Parents’ and/or student’s employer Private foundations Civic organizations Private Aid Sources

71 Libraries Financial Aid Office The Internet –Mapping Your Future –U.S. Department of Education –Naviance/Family Connection (See link under student tab of Saint Joseph home page) Researching Private Aid Sources

72 High interest rates High limits Safety Beware of Credit Cards!

73 Mapping Your Future


75 MYF’s mission is to enable individuals to achieve life-long success by empowering schools, students, and families with free, web-based college, financial aid, career, and financial literacy information and services. Mission



78 Plan ahead Apply early Read CAREFULLY Meet deadlines Keep copies Getting a college education is an investment that will pay back for a lifetime. If a four-year college doesn’t seem right, consider attending a community college. Two-year schools can provide and excellent education, whether you’re considering an associate degree, certificate program, technical training, or plan to continue studies at a four-year college. Reminders

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