THE JOURNEY OF THE COLLEGE SEARCH AND ADMISSIONS PROCESS

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1 THE JOURNEY OF THE COLLEGE SEARCH AND ADMISSIONS PROCESS

2 THE JOURNEY OF THE COLLEGE SEARCH AND ADMISSIONS PROCESS A SERIES OF STEPS

3 The Journey of the College Search Process: The college search process involves: 1. An understanding of what the student wants from a college or university and 2. A knowledge of what the college is looking for and what it has to offer a prospective student. The better the student understands these two parts of the process, the more a successful fit will occur between the student and his/her choice of college/university.

4 Choosing a College As a general rule, you should apply to between three and six colleges that vary in selectivity. Include colleges from each of the following categories: Reach School: Your top choice may involve colleges that are most challenging. Target or Match School: Your chance for admission at these schools is (50/50). Your academic record, test scores and rank should meet or exceed the school s published averages. Safety School: Your record should exceed all of the school s published requirements and averages.

5 What Are the Colleges Looking For From Student Applicants? Transcript (GPA) College Admission Testing (SAT or ACT) Recommendations College Application Personal Essay Interview and College Visit The Intangible

6 GPA GPA is determined by a student s grades and by the level of the class. Level 1 classes receive a higher quality point value than Level 2 classes, honors classes receive more quality points than Level 1, and so on. For example: an A = 4.0 in a college prep Level 1 class; A = 4.5 in an honors level class; A = 5.0 in an advanced placement level course.

7 Transcript

8 Transcript Transcripts reflect: the courses and final grades that a student has received in each course, each year, grades 9 12, the cumulative GPA, graduation date, and SAT/ACT scores. Colleges expect that students will take the most challenging courses that he/she can. Rigor is more important than GPA. Taking difficult classes speaks more about a student s capability for college-level work than getting A s in easy classes.

9 College Admissions Testing Students must submit their SAT or ACT scores to the colleges through the College Board.

10 College Admissions Testing SAT Reasoning Test is a college entrance examination that is generally taken at the end of the junior year and during first semester of senior year. This test has three sections: critical reading, math and creative writing. The ACT is an admission test that is also accepted by most colleges. It tests more content areas than the SAT. We are now a test center for ACT, we do have information on the test and students should register on-line.

11 College Admissions Testing The Subject Tests (formally SAT II s) are subject tests that some competitive colleges require students to take and they are primarily used for placement rather than admission. Only a minority of colleges require the SAT II, so be sure to research the admissions requirements of each college to which you are applying.

12 SAT and ACT TESTING DATES May 2, 2015 June 6, 2015 June 13, 2015 October 3, 2015 November 7, 2015 December 5, 2015 January 23, 2016 March 5, 2016 May 7, 2016 June 4, 2016 SAT at Matignon SAT at Matignon ACT at Matignon SAT at Matignon SAT at Matignon SAT at Matignon SAT at Matignon SAT at Matignon SAT at Matignon

13 College Admissions Testing All juniors were given SAT registration information in the spring. If possible, juniors should register on-line at All juniors have been shown how to use the My College Quick Start program through the College Board. They can use this program to review their PSAT scores and answers, find out their weaknesses in certain areas and better prepare for the SAT.

14 COLLEGE ADMISSION TESTING Register for the SAT or ACT on line. Matignon High School code # is SAT Test Center Code # is ACT Testing Code # is

15 Recommendations Colleges prefer a recommendation from a teacher that a student had during his/her junior or senior year. Students should ask teachers who know them well, and if possible have taught the student in a subject area related to his/her intended college major. Students must provide their teachers with a Senior Input Sheet (resume) and, in some cases, a teacher recommendation form (Common Application) when asking for a recommendation.

16 College Application It is important that the student chair the committee of the college process. The essay and every part of the application should be completed by the student. College admissions personnel can tell if the application or essay has been too influenced by an adult. The majority of colleges in the U.S. use the Common Application.

17 College Application The Common Application must be completed online. The Common Application can be accessed through the website: A minority of colleges that do not use the Common Application have their own application that is usually on-line. In rare cases, students must mail the application to the college.

18 College Application

19 Personal Essay The essay should contain something about the student that can not be found anywhere else on the application. The story is not so important. The college wants to see how well a student knows the mechanics of writing, but also what the student learned or gained from the experience that he/she is writing about. It is the message that the student wants the reader to learn about him or her that is most important. The average time that an admissions person spends reading a student essay is 110 seconds. The student should have the essay proof read by his/her English teacher or other adult before submitting it to the college.

20 Material sent to Colleges from MHS Student s Transcript-including current senior year report card Recommendation from Guidance Counselor; Common Application s Secondary School Report School Profile-this includes information re: the school s mission, grading system, and college acceptances of previous classes.

21 Interview and College Visit

22 Interview and College Visit Most colleges do not require an interview, but if a college does recommend one, be sure to schedule one (ex: Bentley, Bates). An interview can provide the student with the opportunity to explain circumstances for low grades, etc. Be sure to visit a school prior to making a decision to attend. Typically, parents and students visit colleges over the course of junior and senior year. Colleges offer several visitation days and open houses or you can schedule an individual date with the college by contacting the admissions office. During your college visit, you will have opportunities to speak with both students and admission personnel. Be sure to bring questions with you pertaining to specific programs, (honors, study abroad), facilities (co-ed dorms), instructors (do professors teach freshmen classes or do TA s).

23 The Intangible Colleges sometimes accept students for reasons that are not based primarily on a transcript or SAT s. From a college admissions perspective, they are asking: 1. Is the student a good fit into the community? 2. If the student is accepted, will he/she attend? 3.Can the student succeed at the college? 4. Will the student graduate from the college?

24 The Intangible Other factors that might influence a college admissions decision to accept a student: 1. Has the student overcome enormous adversity and still achieved high grades? 2. Will the student choose a major that is small, but one that the college/university would like to enlarge? 3. Leadership is more important than general involvement in lots of things. A student can demonstrate leadership in a variety of ways.

25 Some Points to Ponder: Spend as much time choosing your safety school as you do your first choice of college because you may end up attending that college. As more students apply to college, many schools have become more rigorous in their requirements. Be sure to research the minimum GPA/SAT requirements of each school to which you are applying. Early Decision limits your financial aid options, Early Action does not.

26 Explore Career Options On the My College Quick Start program, students can take a personal profile survey to help determine his/her personal qualities related to specific careers. Students can also research career options with different majors. Students should consider his/her values, interests, and abilities in considering career choice. Students should be sure to take courses that will best prepare him/her for career choice. It is recommended that students spend time with (shadow) a parent/friend in a career of interest to him/her.

27 Some important web sites: Collegeboard.com/cbsearch_sswelcome Collegeconfidential.com Peterson s.com Finaid.org/scholarships Fastwebscholarship.com Scholarships.com

28 This is a exciting time for you. Enjoy the experience. Good Luck.

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