Building a Competitive College Application. Presenter: Karen Stabeno Department Chair, Counseling Beaverton High School Certified Educational Planner

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1 Building a Competitive College Application Presenter: Karen Stabeno Department Chair, Counseling Beaverton High School Certified Educational Planner Ll

2 Agenda Ê Understanding What Selective Colleges are Seeking in the Ideal Applicant Ê The Importance of a College Preparatory Curriculum Ê Assessing Your Child s Interests and Strengths as they Relate to Extra Curricular and Leadership Activities Ê Financing a College Education

3 What is a Selective College? Most Selective: Harvard 6%, Stanford 7%, Pomona 12%, Northwestern 18% Very Selective: Carnegie Mellon 27%, Carleton 31%, Boston University, 44% Somewhat Selective: Case Western 51%, University of Puget Sound 52%, University of Redlands 69%

4 Know What Matters Rank from 1-12 the importance of the following components of a college application. Admission Test Scores Grades in College Prep Grades in all Courses Courses Students Demonstrated AP/IB Test Scores Interest Extra- Curricular Activities Counselor Recommendation Class Rank Teacher Recommendations Strength of Curriculum Grade/Course Rigor Trend Essays

5 NACAC State of College Admissions Report 2011 Ranked as Considerable Importance: Ê College prep course grades (AP, IB and Honors) - For most selective institutions, college prep courses count more than those of regular courses. (84.3%) Ê Strength of Curriculum - (67.7 %) Ê Standardized test scores - These include the results of the SAT Reasoning Test, the ACT test, the SAT Subject Tests, and Advanced Placement (AP) tests. Colleges will let you know which of these tests you will need to submit. The SAT Reasoning Test and the ACT scores are the two most requested. (59.2%)

6 NACAC State of College Admissions Report 2011 (cont d) Ê Overall high school grades - Your transcript will list every class that you have taken in high school and the grade you received in that class. Colleges will be looking to see whether you took challenging courses or whether you opted for the easier route. (51.9%) Ê The admission essay - Almost every application will ask you to submit an essay or personal statement based on a question the college provides. You usually choose from several questions. Your essay is your opportunity to put a personality behind the application. The essay gives you a chance to say why you want to attend that particular college. A good essay can tip a decision in your favor, especially at private colleges. (24.9%)

7 NACAC State of College Admissions Report 2011 (cont d) Ê Demonstrated interest - Whether it s showing up for a college visit, calling admission officers, or an enthusiastic interview, showing that you really want to attend a college can help your chances - especially at private colleges. (20.5%) Ê Class Rank - (18.8) Ê Counselor/Teacher Recommendations - (19.2%) Ê Extracurricular commitment - What you do in your spare time says a lot about you. Maybe you ve pursued a sport, spent years developing a talent, or made a strong commitment to work or volunteering. What counts most to colleges, especially highly selective colleges, is how long you have been involved, how much time you allot each week, and whether or not you have taken a role of leadership in your activity. (5%)

8 The Importance of a Strong College Preparatory Curriculum Ê Rigor Ê 5+ college preparatory core classes each year Ê AP/IB/Honors/Advanced Curriculum Ê College classes Ê Grade Trend Ê Rank in Class

9 Standardized Tests Ê ACT Tests Ê Explore: 8 th & 9 th grade Ê Plan: 10 th grade Ê ACT Plus Writing: 11 th grade Ê SAT Tests Ê PSAT: October of the 10 th & 11 th grade Ê SAT Reasoning: Spring of 11 th grade, Fall of 12 th grade Ê SAT Subject Based: Spring of 10 th or 11 th grade, Fall of 12 th grade; after completion of AP or IB course

10 Building Your Resume Ê School & athletic activities Ê Volunteer service/community activities Ê Paid work (after school or summer job) Ê Summer enrichment programs

11 Doing Your Research Ê College Guidebooks Ê Computer Resources Ê College Fairs and Open Houses Ê People Resources Ê Visits to College Campuses

12 Basis of Federal, State, College and University Financial Aid Programs and Calculations Ê It is the family s responsibility to pay for higher education expenses to the extent it is able. Ê Financial aid programs have been designed to make up the difference between the family s ability to pay for college and the cost of a college education.

13 EFC Calculators Click on Calculators Click on Expected Family Contribution and Financial Aid Calculator Under For Students Click on Pay for College Click on Financial Aid Easy Planner

14 What You Actually Have to Pay Ê Most financial aid awards are made up of a combination of gift aid (scholarships and grants) and self help aid (loans and work- study). Gift aid reduces your college cost, dollar for dollar. Self- help aid does not reduce your college cost. You either have to pay back the money or you have to work for it. Ê Further, many colleges simply don t have enough financial resources to fully meet the need of every student. So, your true out- of- pocket, or net cost, comes from three sources : your EFC, your self- help aid, and your unmet financial need.

15 Net Price Calculator Ê 6 out of 10 families rule out some colleges because of sticker price, yet many do not know that the Net Price is typically far lower. Ê The Net Price of a college is what you pay after grants/ scholarships are subtracted. Ê In 2008 the federal government mandated that each college must provide a Net Price Calculator on their website. Ê A Net Price Calculator provides families who take advantage of them with a personalized estimate of what a particular school will cost them.

16 Selecting Schools Strategically to gain the Best Financial Aid Package Ê Estimate financial aid need. Use the online expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculators to determine, at a minimum what you will have to pay at any school. Ê Start using net price calculators. Regardless of your EFC, your job is evaluating schools to see which would be the most generous for your child. Ê Students should typically aim for colleges where they would be in the top 25% to 33% of the applicants.

17 Don t Qualify for Need-Based Aid Ê Remember colleges give 98% of the merit scholarships ranging from $1,000 to full tuition. Ê 36% of private colleges give merit aid. Ê Two types of merit aid: 1) guaranteed based on GPA and test scores (grid), 2) competitive aid involves application, essay, and/ or interview. Ê Many colleges have early scholarship deadlines dates: 11/1, 11/15, 12/1. Ê Keep sports in mind as merit money. Only 1 % of athletes get a full ride.

18 Questions?

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