College Planning Program January, 2012

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1 College Planning Program January, 2012

2 Planning for College

3 3700 Colleges in the U.S. *Ivy League Schools *Major Prestige Colleges & Universities *Major State Colleges & Universities *Liberal Arts Schools *Specialized Institutions (art, music, automotive, culinary, etc.) *Community Colleges (Associates Degree) *Two-Year Private Colleges (Associates Degree) *Military Academies

4 Fastest Growing Careers Careers Athletic Trainer Biochemist & Biophysicist Biomedical Engineer Computer Software Engineer Dental Assistant Dental Hygienist Financial Examiner Medical Assistant Medical Scientist Network Systems & Data Communications Analyst Nursing/Home Health Aide Personal & Home Health Care Aide Physical Therapist Aide Physical Therapy Assistant Skin Care Specialist Veterinary Technician Training Needed Bachelor Degree Doctorate Degree Bachelor Degree Bachelor Degree On the job training Associate Degree Bachelor Degree Certificate Doctorate Degree Bachelor Degree Associate, Bachelor, Master Associate, Bachelor Degrees On the job training Associate Degree Certificate Associate Degree *U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics of Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections

5 Decision Factors *Size of School *Location *Distance from Home *Activities/Athletics *Public/Private *Coed/Single Sex *Entrance Requirements *Entrance Difficulty *Reputation of School *Majors available *Commitment to Major by school *Cost *Commuter School *Campus Personality

6 Narrowing the focus: What else should be considered *How does your SAT scores and GPA compare to the students at that college *What percentage of students graduate in four years? And what percentage of freshman return for their sophomore year? *Student/professor ratio? *Is housing guaranteed? *What percentage of graduates are placed in jobs related to major? *Safety? *Opportunities for employment, study abroad, internships? *Opportunities for study at other schools? Consortium? *Support services? *Athletics, activities, clubs?

7 Your search should include: *NAVIANCE *College Fairs *College Brochures *School counselor conferences *School Visits: campus tours, open houses, interview, overnight stays class visits *Internet Searches *Guidebooks *Videos/Blogs of College *Family, friends, teacher recommendation

8 and ARE VERY IMPORTANT

9 How Colleges Evaluate Candidates *Course selection (difficulty; extended languages, math, & science; honors & AP courses) *Grades/Grade Point Average (GPA) *Rank in Class *SAT scores: --Take the SAT I in January of your junior year and depending on your score, take it again. --Check schools for SAT II Subject Test and ACT requirements --Review for the SAT or take a SAT preparation course. Scores will improve with practice. Free resources: NAVIANCE--SAT Test Prep, The College Board

10 Evaluation (continued) *SAT II Subject Scores --Required by some colleges: curriculum based tests in Literature, US/World History, Foreign Languages, Sciences, Math etc. *Leadership Positions *Activities --Sports --Clubs and high school activities --Community/church activities --Volunteer community service activities --Part-time jobs

11 Evaluation (continued) *Essay *Recommendations --Ask for letters of recommendation from two or three teachers at the end of junior year --Your school counselor will write a counselor letter of recommendation for colleges that require this --Remember to write them a thank you card and let them know where you have been accepted *Interview *Your Preparation and Planning

12 More Competitive Colleges *What makes student stand out *Is the student well-r0unded *Leadership qualities *Character: #1 non-academic quality *Did student take advantage of what their high school had to offer --AP courses, honors courses, leadership opportunities, etc. Colleges look for students who want to challenge themselves. *What can student bring to college: athletics, music, art, talents *Remember that the college is selecting a Class rather than Just an Individual

13 Admissions Ratings *Most competitive schools Top 10% of graduating class GPA of 3.75 or higher (un-weighted) SAT I Scores: on each of the three sub-tests Due to volume of applications, fewer than 33% are accepted Examples: Princeton, Georgetown, the Ivy Leagues

14 Admissions Ratings *Highly competitive schools Top 20-35% of graduating class GPA of or higher (un-weighted) SAT I Scores: 575 or higher on each of the three sub-tests Accepts between 30-50% of applicants Examples: Boston College, Drew, Middlebury, and Rutgers Universities

15 Admissions Ratings *Competitive schools Top 50% of graduating class GPA of 2.5 or higher (un-weighted) SAT I Scores: 475 or higher on each of the three sub-tests Accepts between 75-80% of applicants Examples: College of St. Elizabeth, Montclair State University, Ramapo College

16 Admissions Ratings *Less competitive schools Top 65% of graduating class GPA of 2.0 or higher (un-weighted) SAT I Scores: 450 or slightly lower on each of the three sub-tests (one really good subscore could balance out a lower score) Accepts over 85% of applicants Examples: Bloomfield College, Felician College

17 Admissions Ratings *Non-competitive schools Looks at the overall student profile and accepts most applicants

18 Exploring Careers & Majors *While some students know exactly what they will choose as a major, most do not. *Those who are not sure about their plans, should research possible majors/careers. Your child will complete the Personality Inventory and Career Interest Inventory on NAVIANCE at school. *Read about careers and majors at mymajors.com, collegeboard.com, and princetonreview.com *Relax many students apply undeclared and most students change their major at least once in their four years of college.

19 The College Visit *Call for an appointment at least two weeks before visit. *What to wear: --Look neat and clean --Slacks, button-down shirt NO JEANS --Slacks, skirt, classic top NO JEANS --NO HATS --It is OK to show your own style *Introduce yourself with a hand shake and make eye contact. *Visit a real dorm room. Have lunch in the cafeteria. Sit with students. Stop students and ask, what do you think, Ask directions. *Visit the library, classrooms, and student center. *Keep a journal. Write down your experiences both pros and cons as soon as possible after your visit. *Ask about overnight visits.

20 What to ask the student tour guides *What do you like/not like about the college? *How large are the classes? *Do professors or teacher assistants teach introductory courses? *How accessible are the professors? *Are the dorms overcrowded? *What do students do off-campus? *What is it like on the weekend? *Are freshman allowed to have cars?

21 Questions for the Interview *What percentage of students graduate in four years? *What percentage of freshman return as sophomores? *What are the most popular majors? *When do you have to declare a major? *What employment opportunities are available on campus? *What support services are available?

22 How many colleges should you apply to *Two or three reach schools Just meet or fall below the SAT and GPA averages *Two or three target schools Just meet or are slightly above the SAT and GPA averages *Two or three likelies Are well above the SAT and GPA averages

23 Preparing to Apply *Prepare for and take standardized tests *Extra-curricular: Create a resume of accomplishments *Complete Senior Questionnaire on NAVIANCE *Complete Parent Questionnaire on NAVIANCE *Complete the Transcript Request form on NAVIANCE *Look at the application essay questions and begin to brainstorm ideas *Make sure you have an appropriate address Example:

24 PSAT Measures verbal and mathematical reasoning abilities as they relate to success in college and is the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. *Students who take the PSAT generally perform better on the SAT. *Students in the class of 2010 who took the PSAT before taking the SAT had a higher combined score of 146 points on average than students who did not take the PSAT. *Take the PSAT in October of your freshman/sophomore year as practice for the SAT. *In October of your junior year, take the PSAT to be eligible for scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. *On average, the NM scholarships are worth $2,500 and are considered to be an important and prestigious award.

25 What to do with your PSAT scores *Your scores give insight into potential SAT scores and provide a roadmap of where you need to go as you look toward the SAT s. *Scores fall within the range of 20 to 80 for each section, with 20 being the lowest possible score and 80 being the highest. *A score of 49 in any of the subject areas is about average. *Add a zero to the end of each of your scores to get an estimate of how your scores would convert into SAT scores. For example, a score of 61 in Critical Reading would translate to a SAT score of 610.

26 What is the SAT I Test Measures verbal and mathematical reasoning abilities as they relate to success in college. *Score Range: Reading/Math/Writing *The 2011 Average Scores (1,647,123 students tested) Reading: 497 Mathematics: 514 Writing: 489 *Average scores only get consideration at community colleges and average schools. Take the SAT several times. The higher the score, the better!!! Practice, Practice, Practice Students must register at

27 Score Choice AVAILABILITY *Score Choice is available to all students when registering via the web. *Scores from an entire SAT test (reading, math, and writing sections) can be sent; individual sections from different sittings cannot be sent independently. NO ADDITIONAL COST *Students can send any or all scores to a college on a single report it does not cost more to send one, multiple, or all test scores *Students receive four free score reports with their test registration fee that need to be sent within nine days of your test date. MORE INFORMATION *All scores will continue to be sent to students and designated high schools. *Score Choice is an optional feature. Students should still feel comfortable sending all scores, since most colleges consider a student s best score. COLLEGES WILL ONLY ACCEPT OFFICIAL SCORE REPORTS FROM COLLEGE BOARD

28 What is the SAT II Subject Tests A one hour Subject Test designed to show knowledge in a subject area and ability to apply that knowledge. Subjects: Biology Korean Chemistry Latin Chinese Math Level 1 and 2 English: Literature Modern Hebrew French Physics German Spanish Italian U. S. History Japanese World History Check with your college to determine if SAT II Subject Tests are required. Go to for more information

29 FREE SAT PREP ON NAVIANCE Click on Method Test Prep 2.0 on student s Naviance welcome page. Students can follow a 20 week lesson plan or create their own prep. They have access to practice questions, full length tests, test taking tips, explanations of correct answers etc.

30 What is the ACT Test National college admission achievement test that consists of English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science Reasoning. Score Range: 1 (low) 36 (high) The 2011 Average Scores (1,623,112 students tested) English 20.6 Mathematics 21.1 Reading 21.3 Science 20.9 Composite 21.1 Students must register at

31 Military Academies *Begin the process January of your Junior year *Websites outline the application process *Contact your Congressman or State Senator *Physical exam *Checklists by teachers *Each Academy has specific requirements *ROTC

32 College Athletics *All Division I and II athletes must be registered with the NCAA Clearinghouse *Must have minimum GPA, SAT scores, and courses to meet eligibility requirements. *Should register at the beginning of your junior year and speak with your school counselor. See handout for directions on requesting your transcript. *Division III athletes do not need to register. However, it is strongly suggested that if you plan to participate in college athletics, that you register. *Have your SAT and/or ACT scores sent directly to the Eligibility Center by using Code 9999 whenever you take the SAT or ACT exams. For more information, go to

33 Hearing from the Colleges *Regular Decision ( typically April 1) *Rolling Admission (application reviewed as soon as it is received) *Early Decision (early application and commitment) *Early Action (early application and no commitment) *Restrictive Early Action (early application, no commitment, but cannot apply for Early Decision or Early Action to any other school)

34 Financial Aid/Scholarships FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)filled out January of student s senior year. CSS Financial Aid Profile: College Board form only required for certain colleges. Scholarships Naviance SallieMae Local FastWeb

35 The THREE Most Important Actions Before Choosing a School *VISIT *VISIT *VISIT For more information, see Naviance for open houses and the bulletin board outside the counseling office.

36 What Can Parents Do To Help *LISTEN * So, how can I help? *Encourage the best fit for your child *Discuss strengths, needs, wants, etc. *Be direct about money *Hands-off the application (Proof reading is OK) *Stay involved *Be the Voice of Reason *Ask for guidance, Ms. Quinn is happy to meet with and talk to parents!

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