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Senior Presentation September 2013

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1 Senior Presentation September 2013
Medford High School Guidance Department

2 Welcome! Our goal today is to make the stressful college search & application process easier by highlighting many of the key elements students & parents will need to know We understand that every student’s needs are different, and as a department we feel it is our job to help ALL STUDENTS develop a plan for life after high school

3 Student’s Responsibilities
Involve parents in the conversation about post high school/ college/career plans Research colleges using Collegeboard, Naviance, or any of the other web or printed resources available Register and take (or retake) any standardized tests required for admission Make an appointment to speak with counselor about post high school plans Visit potential schools of interest to see if they might be a good fit Know each school’s deadline and turn in all transcript request at least 2 weeks prior! (Brag sheets need to be submitted at least 1 month prior) Maintain a rigorous senior year schedule & put forth your best academic effort (all year long)

4 Student’s Responsibilities Use all the online resources available to you Collegeboard’s college comparison is a great tool!

5 Student’s Responsibilities Use all the online resources available to you Consider student-faculty ratio & freshman year retention rate

6 Student’s Responsibilities Know your DEADLINES and whether or not the colleges on your list accept the Common App.

7 Student’s Responsibilities Use Naviance to compare yourself to other Medford high students who have previously applied to a particular college!

8 Student’s Responsibilities Use key features under the college tab in Naviance “Colleges I’m Thinking About / Colleges I’m Applying To”

9 Student’s Responsibilities Use key features under the career tab in Naviance “Career interest profiler, Personality type, Cluster finder”

10 Student’s Responsibilities Visit the Medford high guidance website for news, tips & advice

11 Counselor’s Responsibilities
What to expect from your counselor: An individual meeting with or without parents present Interest, support and encouragement Suggestions for schools to look at (assistance fine-tuning your “list”) Ongoing Feedback Guidance through the college application process Sharing of knowledge and resources with you Suggestions for further independent college exploration What not to expect from your counselor: Ability to read your mind/Know your thoughts Keep track of deadlines and appointments for you Apply to schools or scholarships for you Write recommendations without notice or your completed Senior Brag Sheet Financial aid consultation/advise (we ask that you seek outside experts or this)

12 Parent’s Responsibilities
What parents can do to help: Foster an open and ongoing dialog with your child about what they envision for their future Be honest and realistic with your child about any financial concerns that may affect their college search or application process As much as possible, try to let your child take the lead Pick a time and place to bring up the “college” topic, (maybe once per week over Starbucks, or at Sunday dinner, etc…) Realize that for many teens, every day may feel too often to be talking about college or their “future” What parents should not be doing: Applying to colleges ON BEHALF of your son or daughter Writing application essays FOR your child Visiting potential colleges solo, without your child present Calling up admission offices to “explain” away a poor grade your child recently received

13 Class of 2014 Graduation Requirements
112 credits minimum Required courses: 4 English, 3 Math, 3 Social Studies, 3 Science, 4 Wellness, 1 Fine Art MCAS (English, Math, and Science) 60 Hours of Community Service (or 15 hours for each year enrolled at MHS)

14 4 Year College Requirements
4 years of English 3-4 years of Math (through at least Algebra II) 3-4 years of Social Studies 3-4 years of Science (2 years of lab sciences) 2-4 years of the same foreign language MCAS (ELA, Math, & Science) As you can see the MHS graduation requirements are closely aligned with most 4 year college requirements.

15 Post High School Options
4 year colleges or universities 2 year colleges 2 + 2 colleges Technical colleges Military Academy Military Service ( Post Grad Year Gap or Service Year Employment

16 Community College The price is right
Students often take the same courses as they would at a 4 year college Do not require SAT/ACT Do not usually require letters of recommendation Students are able to transfer to 4 year colleges after 1 or 2 years Some community colleges have agreements with the state colleges (MassTransfer Program) No housing on campus

17 Mass Transfer Program MassTransfer has two main purposes:
Provide community college students who complete associate degrees (consisting of at least 60 college-level credits) and enroll in linked MassTransfer programs with the full transfer of credit, guaranteed admission, and a tuition discount (each based on final GPA) Provide any student in the Massachusetts public higher education system who completes the MassTransfer Block (consisting of 34 college-level credits) with the benefit of satisfying the general education/distribution/core requirements at any other public higher education institution (with the receiving institution able to add no more than six additional credits or two courses). For more information please visit:

18 UMass System & MA State Colleges
UMass Amherst UMass Boston UMass Dartmouth Umass Lowell Bridgewater State Fitchburg State Framingham State Salem State Westfield State Worcester State Mass Art Mass College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) Mass Maritime Academy

19 Massachusetts State Schools Minimum Admission Standards/ Sliding Scale
UMass System State Colleges GPA SAT / ACT / 20 / 21 /22 /23 /24 /25 GPA SAT / ACT / 19 / 20 / 21 / 22 / 23 / 24 This is simply the sliding scale. However, with college admissions getting more competitive every year, most of public 4 year school in the Massachusetts system are looking for around a 3.0 GPA and around a combined SAT (math & verbal). Umass Amherst rarely takes a student with a GPA below a 3.5 (regardless of SAT scores).

20 Admissions Information

21 College Admissions Exams
SAT: @ Duration: 3 hrs. 35 mins. Cost: $51.00 Three sections: Critical Reading, Math and Writing (total possible score-2400) Lose ¼ of a point for any incorrect answers (random guessing will likely lower your score!) SAT Subject Area Tests: @ Duration: 1 hr. Cost: $24.50 (basic registration fee), $13.00 (per test fee), $24.00 (per language test w/ listening) Subjects include: English Lit., Bio., Chem., Math, History, Foreign Langs. (full list on website) Duration: 3 hrs. 30 mins. Cost: $36.50 or $52.50 with writing Four sections: English, Math, Reading and Science Reasoning (total possible score-36) No points deducted for incorrect answers (So go ahead and answer ALL questions!) TOEFL(Test of English as a Foreign - $183 *Any student who has taken an ELL class in 9-12th grade, please see guidance counselor for TOEFL info packet Scores MUST be sent to colleges directly from testing agency ( or Some schools no longer require admissions tests, see

22 Admission Factors Colleges Consider
GPA and Class Rank SAT/ACT scores Rigor of secondary school record (transcript) Senior year academic performance Extracurricular activities/ Community Service College essay Recommendations Interview (if applicable) “Demonstrated Interest”

23 Admission Categories REACH – The student’s GPA and SAT / ACT scores fall below the historical averages for the college and / or past MHS students MATCH– The student’s GPA and SAT / ACT scores fall within the historical averages for the college and / or past MHS students HIGHLY LIKELY – The student’s GPA and SAT / ACT scores fall above the historical averages for the college and / or past MHS students

24 Almost Everyone’s Reach
Reach Schools Everyone’s Reach Almost Everyone’s Reach Boston College, Williams, Middlebury, Brandeis, Colby, Hamilton, Tufts, Vassar, Connecticut College, Wesleyan, NYU, Northwestern, Rice, Vanderbilt, Colgate (not a complete list) The 8 IVY League schools: Harvard, Dartmouth, Princeton, Yale, Brown, Columbia, UPenn, Cornell, + MIT, Stanford, John Hopkins, Georgetown, Swarthmore, Duke, UC Berkeley, Olin, Amherst (not a complete list) There are many more qualified applicants than there are spaces. Being an average to above-average candidate is no guarantee!

25 Admissions Options Regular Decision: This is the most common admission option. It means that you turn in your application by the college’s deadline, and it lets you know by a specified date if you have been admitted or not. Early Action: With Early Action, you send in your application earlier, and the college sends you its decision earlier. Make sure you read the instructions from each college carefully because some colleges have additional restrictions on their early action programs. Academically strong students will often apply to one Early Action school. Early Decision: You can apply Early Decision to only one college. You are committing yourself to going to a particular school if you decide to apply Early Decision and are accepted (the bind can only be broken for proven financial hardship). You should only apply Early Decision if you have a clear idea of your first-choice college. If you are looking at several colleges and don't want to limit your choices yet, Early Decision is not for you. Rolling Admissions: There is no deadline for this option. Schools review and make decisions on applications as they receive them.

26 Application Deadlines
Early Decision / Early Action - Usually Nov 1 or Nov 15 Regular Admission - Often Jan 1st, but can be as early as Nov 30 or Dec 1st Rolling Admission - Anytime - The earlier, the better Application materials must be received by guidance department 2 weeks prior to application deadline

27 Admissions officers look for students who…
Think globally, and act locally Challenged themselves academically during high school Can handle the academic workload of college Will contribute to college life (in a positive way) Demonstrate the qualities of a well-rounded student Think clearly, logically, creatively, and/or abstractly

28 New guidelines for the common application essay
Same as before: You must submit only one essay New this year: Essay must be no more than 650 words. The word limit was just 500 words last year, but it wasn’t strictly enforced. This year if your essay is OVER 650 words, you will not be allowed to submit it. There is now a 250 word limit. The system won’t accept anything shorter than that. The writing prompts have changed, “topic of your choice” is no longer an option.

29 Essay Writing Tips Admissions officers read 50 essays a day. Make yours stand out!!! Avoid clichés Be honest Watch your tone (tell your story, in your voice) Write about something familiar to you / something you are passionate about Personalize your essay Write Authentically Read. Re-read. Ask an English teacher or your counselor to proofread and give constructive criticism.

30 Considerations for Special Education Students
UMass/State Colleges permit submitting IEP/Testing in lieu of SAT/ACT Search for colleges that provide a Learning/Support Center or Tutoring in addition to accommodations Community Colleges have special programs MHS Guidance only submits IEP/Testing information when requested by the students due to confidentiality

31 Brief Summary of Financial Aid & Scholarships

32 Financial Aid Financial Aid Night – Wednesday, Nov. 7:00pm ~Presented by MEFA (Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority) Website: FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid Available January CSS Profile - College Scholarship Service Profile- Some private schools require this Funding Your Education – See the list of websites in your packet

33 Scholarships Start at MHS
Community scholarship applications are available starting in January All scholarships will be posted in Naviance and updated frequently Hard copies will also be available in the guidance office Look Local- place of employment, community organization/affiliation, church, etc. Check with your colleges See websites in your packet

34 John & Abigail Adams Scholarship
Provides a tuition waiver for up to eight semesters of undergraduate education at a Massachusetts state college or university. The scholarship covers tuition only; fees and room and board are not included. Students will receive this letter by mail in the fall of their senior year. This letter will need to be presented to college after you are accepted. In order to use the scholarship, a student must: be accepted at a Massachusetts public college or university; complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); send the Adams Scholarship award letter to the financial aid or bursars office at the college or university that he or she plans to attend; and enroll as a full-time student. To continue receiving the Adams Scholarship, a student must continue to enroll full-time at a public higher education institution; maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 on all college work; and annually complete the FAFSA.

35 Student Athletes – NCAA (Division I & II)
Must complete NCAA Clearinghouse Eligibility Form Must send NCAA your SAT or ACT scores and a $20 fee Must add NCAA to your Transcript Request Form (to guarantee they receive an official transcript) Minimum 2.0 GPA required Should be in contact with coaches


37 1) Read Through Entire Packet
Important to know MHS Process We help you simplify applying to college!

38 2) Create Two Accounts! Common App Naviance
Account for STUDENTS to send their college applications Student completes on his/her own Naviance Account for MHS Staff to send the application materials Student adds schools, adds teachers, signs FERPA waiver, then MHS Staff completes

39 Naviance just created a great new video tutorial of this process!

40 Create Account Remember Your Username & Password! Write them down in your folder. Most colleges use the CommonApp, but if one doesn’t, make sure you apply on that college’s individual website



43 Add ALL your colleges to this list, even if they don’t accept the CommonApp. This is your way of informing us where you are applying Add your teachers writing your letters of recommendation

44 3) Request Supplemental Information
Request Letters of Recommendation Give your brag sheet to teachers & counselors Please allow at least 4 WEEKS Ask teachers if they will do this electronically or if they need stamped envelopes & CommonApp forms Request online that your SAT/ACT scores be sent directly to your colleges. Please note: This can take 6-8 weeks!

45 4) Meet With Your Counselor
Make an appointment with your counselor September/October appointments for Early Action/Early Decision November/December for Regular Decision Plan on bringing your parents if possible Come Prepared- Bring a list of colleges, your college folder and all other materials you have

46 5) Turn in your Transcript Request Form
Fill out your transcript request form completely with all your colleges Have your counselor sign the finished form Turn in the form to Ms. Sousa with your $15 fee Forms must be turned in 2 weeks before deadline

47 6) Submit Your Application
Through the CommonApp or the college’s website, submit your applications Be careful of deadlines! Review your application checklist Double check that your schools have received all materials CELEBRATE!!!

48 REVIEW Read the college packet
Create both the CommonApp & Naviance Accounts, and complete needed steps (as explained in packet) Request letters of recommendation & SAT/ACT scores through Collegeboard Meet with your counselor Turn in your transcript request form Submit your application

49 Thank you! Questions? Would you like more information?
Review the step-by-step instructions in your packet! It’s fool proof  Would you like more information? Come Tuesday, Sept. 17th to the Senior Parent College Presentation held in the Caron Theater at 7pm Forms, presentations, announcements, college resources & links will be available at This presentation will also soon be available online

50 Presented by The Medford High School Guidance Department. Counselors:
Presented by The Medford High School Guidance Department Counselors: Barbara Davis Victoria Glasser Krista Grifoni Wendy Horne Director: Amelia Westmark Secretary: Judy Sousa

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