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College Application Night

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1 College Application Night
Avon Grove High School Guidance Department September 30th Avon Grove Guidance Counselors Elaine Markowitz and Duane Carroll Welcome to College Application Night. It is great to see such a high turnout. I assume you have plenty of questions regarding the college application process. For example: Where do I start? When are applications due? How do I go about writing an essay? Who do I ask for letters of recommendation? How will I pay for college? We hope to answer these questions and more throughout the presentation. At the end, we will break out into smaller groups with individual guidance counselors to answer more specific questions and review applications. So let’s get started!

2 The topics that we will cover
The college identification process College application strategies Using the Common Application Writing the college essay Financial aid Scholarships

3 So you want to go to college…..
Avon Grove High School Graduates: 65% go on to 4 year colleges 19 % go on to 2 year or Technical Schools. According to the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education*, PA ranks 5th in the nation for sending high school students to college PA ranks 45th in the nation for graduating the same students According to, PA colleges and universities have an 80% retention rate (after the first year of school), and 65.7% graduation rate for Bachelor's degrees (graduation within 6 years) According to US News and World Report, 1 in 3 students do not return to college after the first year

4 Why are you going to college?
What is the college experience? How much does that cost? Have you done the research? What the retention/graduation/transfer rates are for schools that you are interested in? What are some of your must have’s?

5 How are you locating possible schools?

6 Common Sites to search Others???
(retention rates info.) Others???

7 Overview of the College Application timeline.
Research schools Narrow choices What are the “filters that you are using? Apply to schools Waaaaiiiiiitttt Make final selection High School visits or fairs Go to websites for individual colleges! Last spring most of our juniors started exploring potential colleges. Students may have used the eDiscover program through the high school’s website. If you need your username and password, please see Ms. Meyers or your guidance counselor. eDiscover allows students to search for colleges by characteristics and helps narrow down the vast amount of colleges across the United States. Majors, Type of Degree, Admissions Selectivity, Geographic Location, etc. Rolling Admissions: The earlier you apply the more likely you will be accepted. Students typically hear back within 5 -6 weeks. Early Action (Non-Binding) Early Decision (Binding) Regular Admissions – The deadline varies from school to school, typically January 1. Wait to hear!!! This is probably the hardest part having to wait and see. Students should start to hear back on Regular Admission decisions in early April and will need to make a decision and make a deposit by May 1 for most schools.

8 Reality Check of the schools you are interested in… How Likely are you to be Admitted to Penn State?
The graph on the next page is intended for use as a counseling tool to assist students interested in attending Penn State. Admission to Penn State is competitive, and admission to the University Park campus is particularly competitive..

9 SAT Scores

10 Here are the Pieces of the college application
#2 Supplemental Information #1 Student applies Typically online/paper application Student uploads essay or personal statement if appropriate Student pays the application fee Student/parents requests a transcript be sent from the high school to college Student arranges for letters of recommendation to be sent

11 How do you send your transcript and other information to colleges?
You must use Avon Grove High School Transcript request form

12 Transcript Request Form
Avon Grove HS Transcript Request Form Each school or scholarship application requires a separate form and a check or money order for $5 for each request made payable to Avon Grove High School. Allow 10 school days for the requested transcript to be sent. Fill this form out completely and return to the Guidance Office. Student Name (print clearly) _________________________________________________________________ Institution/Scholarship Name _________________________________________________________________ Institution/Scholarship Address _________________________________________________________________ Application Deadline Date _______________ Proposed Major________________________________ Type of Application: Online or Paper Counselor Form Attached? Yes No Common Application Used? Yes No Did you select Mr. Carroll as Counselor? Yes No Include Keystone Scores? Yes No Transcripts include your top SAT scores; however, most institutions require SAT scores to be reported directly from College Board. Recommendation Letters to Include: Are these on file? Yes / No If a letter is on file, please list names on lines below. ______________________________ _____________________________ If a letter is not on file please, provide the teacher with a stamped, addressed envelope. Also, please ask the teacher(s) to send a copy of the recommendation letter to the Guidance Office for your file for future applications. Please note that families do not have access to recommendations on file in the Guidance Office without the written permission of the evaluator. Parent/Guardian Information If there are any questions in reference to this form, a parent/guardian will be contacted by or phone. Please provide a parent/guardian’s address or phone number so contact can be made in a timely manner. Parent/Guardian Address ____________________________________________________ Parent/Guardian Phone Number ____________________________________________________ Parent/Guardian Signature (required) ____________________________________________________

13 Guidance Procedures Complete the Transcript Request Form $5.00/per
One for each school The request will be sent out within 10 working days Paperclip it to the application or to the counselor section of the on-line application

14 The Process of Applying
Online Application Preferred by most schools. Paper Application DCCC, Del Tech; and some others…… Accepted at over 500 schools Supplement section is college specific to see the list or get started. There are two ways to apply to college - either online or the paper application. Colleges will tell you that this does not make a difference to who is accepted. However, we can tell you that the online application is processed quicker. The paper application has to be entered into the computer system and that takes time. You may have come across the option to use the Common Application. Currently the Common Application is accepted by 299 of the nation’s most selective colleges and universities. Once completed online or in print, copies of the Common Application can be sent to any number of participating colleges. However, be sure to fill out the supplement section if your specific college requires it. This is on a school by school basis. The Common Application requires 2 teacher evaluations and a school report. The teacher evaluations are in addition to the letters of recommendation we will talk about a little later.

15 Use Google Chrome when applying with the common application!
Please select Mr. Carroll in two sections of the Common Application 1st spot: Mr. Duane Carroll (counselor) 2nd spot: Under Recommenders:

16 (two to three) Target Schools
Applying to College Strategy (one) Reach School (two to three) Target Schools (one) Safety School Don’t put all your eggs in one basket! We recommend that students apply to 4-5 colleges. How do you know what category the schools you are looking at fall into? The first thing to look at is the average admission standards for each specific school. For example, average GPA, Rank, and SAT score. Reach is a school with criteria above your current GPA, Rank, and SAT score, but you may apply to one of these schools just to see if you can get in. This is where your extracurricular activities throughout high school, letters of recommendation, and essay can help your chances of being accepted. Target is a school that has the average GPA, Rank, and SAT score right where you are now. It’s helpful to apply to 2-3 of these schools to allow you to have a choice of where to attend. Sometimes you are going to be dead set on a school, but if you truly do not have a preference the financial aid package may help in your decision. Safety school is just that. You have a higher GPA, Rank, and SAT score than what they require. You apply to one of these schools so you know that you are definitely going somewhere a year from now. The ultimate safety school would be a community college as they are open admissions. Meaning that everyone can attend there.

17 (Keep deadlines in mind!)
Types of Admissions (Keep deadlines in mind!) Early Action Non-Binding Commitment You will receive the admission decision earlier. Early Decision Binding Commitment Rolling Admissions The earlier you apply, the more likely that you will be accepted. For example, Indiana University of PA (IUP) receives approx. 12,000 applications per year. Between Sept. - Dec. they receive 2,000 and between Jan. – March they receive 10,000. The longer you wait, the more competition! Regular Admissions The deadline varies from school to school

18 Admission Tests SAT ACT Upcoming Tests
SAT Upcoming Tests Date Deadline Status Oct Sep 30 Late Register Nov Oct 9 Register Now Upcoming Tests Date Deadline Status October 25,  September October Late Register December 13, November 7 Register NOW

19 Letters of Recommendation
In situations where all else is equal, such as GPA, SAT score, and essays, the recommendation can be THE distinguishing factor in being accepted! The more specific a student is when they fill out their recommendation form (Brag Sheet), the more detailed and thorough their letter of recommendation will be! UPDATE: Some schools don’t ask for letters of recommendation so make sure to know which schools want them and which schools don’t!

20 Letters of Recommendation
From Teachers From Counselors From Coaches/Employers/Advisors

21 Letters from Teachers Ask at least 2 teachers It helps if the teacher:
Knows you for excelling in class Knows you for more than 1 year Be careful with the common application Make sure that you have contact with the teacher... No surprises please. Please give teachers at least 2 weeks to write letters of recommendation

22 Keep an eye on admissions deadlines
When You Ask… What to have ready when approaching a teacher for a letter of recommendation Activity Resume GPA – see your counselor Student Recommendation Form “Brag Sheet” Envelope Addressed to the college of your choice (Remember a stamp) Addressed to the Guidance Office (No stamp) Keep an eye on admissions deadlines

23 Tips to Keep in Mind 1. Select a teacher who can highlight your strengths. 2. Select a teacher who is enthusiastic about writing this recommendation for you. 3. Select a teacher who supports the program you are entering or who is an alumni.

24 Letters from Counselors
Does the University/College require them? Fill out the Student Recommendation Form “Brag Sheet”

25 Letters from Coaches/Employers/Advisors
Only ask for these if you are: Currently working in a field related to your intended major Planning to play sports in college Taking leadership roles in activities

26 Your Audience: Admissions Officers Reflect on Application Essays
“It is crucial that applicants allow themselves to be as personal and self-reflective as possible when writing their essays. Avoid writing about something on a superficial level or resorting to a topic that does not reveal anything special about you.” ~ Richard Shaw, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid, Yale University “Students should write about what they think is important, not what they think we want to hear” ~ Lee Stetson, Dean of Admissions, University of Pennsylvania

27 Getting Started Think about your audience and your objectives
Think about what you want to say Develop and organize your material Outline your ideas Review basic writing and grammar rules

28 Hey (insert family member), can you
look over my essay? - “Over edited essays lose all their personality. Applicants shouldn’t have a lot of different people – ESPECIALLY PARENTS – give their input. This can really ruin an essay.” ~Karl Furstenberg, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Dartmouth College - Find someone to read and edit your work, such as an English teacher.

29 Don’t just substitute the new school’s name!
Reusing your Essays The good news is … The bad news… Don’t just substitute the new school’s name!

30 Typical Questions Don’t give typical answers!
What academic areas or extracurricular activities interest you the most? Why do you want to attend this college?

31 Whoops!

32 Common Application Questions
Common Application Essay Prompts Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.  Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure.  How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn? Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea.  What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again? Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content.  What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you? Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, 

33 Financial Aid Once you get accepted…..then it’s time to figure out how the bills get paid!

34 Financial Aid Night Avon Grove High School To Be Determined… Early January 2015

35 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
FED-AID ( ) Paper Application On-Line Application (2 PINs needed- Student and Parent) File after January 1, 2015 Deadline: June 30, 2015

36 Selective Service Males age must register to be eligible for Federal/State Financial Aid Can register on the FAFSA form

37 PHEAA (Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency)
File FAFSA before May 1, 2015 to qualify

38 CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE
Required by some schools to award Non-Federal Aid or There is a general registration fee Plus a fee for each school report sent The list of schools requiring the PROFILE can be found on the form, on-line, or by contacting the individual school’s Financial Aid Office

39 Institutional Applications
Check with each school’s Financial Aid Office to inquire if they have their own financial aid forms.

40 Financial Aid Falls into 2 Categories
Need-based Depends on the cost of college and your family’s ability to pay these costs Merit-based Usually awarded in recognition of special skills or academic ability

41 4 Types of Financial Aid Scholarships Grants Work Study Federal Loans
Private Bank Loans

42 Scholarships Definition Sources Private Colleges themselves

43 Award Factors Academic achievement Athletic ability Artistic ability
Choice of major Financial need Ethnicity, gender, or other group membership

44 Locating Scholarships
Colleges of interest and their financial aid office Guidance web page Internet search sites: Employers Local organizations

45 Scholarships (continued)
Scam “This scholarship is guaranteed or your money back.” “You can’t get this information anywhere else.” “May I have your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship.” Remember if it sounds too good to be true it probably is!

46 Questions

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