1 Dream, Believe, Succeed! A College Plaig Hadbook for Eglish Laguage Learers ad Their Families
3 Itroductio Itroductio 4 Navigatig New York City s Schools as a ELL 5 High School Educatio at a Glace 7 What Happes after Graduatio 10 College/Career Readiess 12 Timelie for College Plaig 16 Colleges/Uiversities i the USA 18 Payig for College 22 College/Career Readiess Activities ad Programs 26 Glossary ad Terms to Kow 29 Ackowledgmets This hadbook is the result of a collaboratio of may people at the Departmet of Educatio (DOE). A special thak you to: Pat Lo, a former Office of Eglish Laguage Learers (OELL) Seior Curriculum Specialist, for esurig that the project got off of the groud; Agelica Ifate, the Chief Executive Officer of the Office of Eglish Laguage Learers, for her commitmet to icreasig resources for ELLs ad their parets; the etire OELL staff, for their expertise ad feedback; the Office of Postsecodary Readiess staff, for creatig helpful resource documets; ad the Academic Policy staff, for esurig that oly the best ad most accurate iformatio is offered throughout this hadbook. A College Plaig Hadbook for Eglish Laguage Learers ad Their Families 2
4 Dear Studets ad Families: Cogratulatios! If you are lookig at this hadbook it is because you are plaig for the ext step i your educatioal career. What a excitig time you are about to embark upo. We at the Office of Eglish Laguage Learers wholeheartedly believe i your success ability to meet your goals ad i your ultimate success. To help you avigate through the fial years of high school, we have put together this hadbook, which cotais may valuable resources, icludig timelies to follow ad websites to visit. Remember that beig multiligual is somethig to celebrate a asset: colleges ad employers are lookig for cadidates who ca commuicate ad perform i a global settig. We ecourage you to be proactive about your future, ad to prepare ad thik beyod high school graduatio to college ad graduate school. We wat you to be successful ad that is why we created this hadbook. Our future depeds o your success. Be sure to refer back to this hadbook ad ever hesitate to reach out to folks at your school like your guidace couselor, as the Departmet of Educatio very much wats to see you reach your goals. Best of luck with your college ad career pursuits! Agelica Ifate Chief Executive Officer, NYCDOE Office of Eglish Laguage Learers 3 DREAM, BELIEVE, SUCCEED!
5 Itroductio We have created this booklet for curret 1 ad former 2 Eglish laguage learers (ELLs) ad their families. The Uited States school system is differet from school systems i may other coutries, ad we wat to help you uderstad what happes leadig up to ad followig high school graduatio. High school is a very importat time, both for studets who wat to go to college ad for those who are lookig to get ready for the future workforce. This hadbook icludes iformatio about how to avigate New York City s school system as a ELL, high school graduatio requiremets, a timelie for college plaig, tips o selectig a college or uiversity, optios for payig for college, ad much more. We hope this hadbook helps studets achieve their dreams of a college degree ad successful career. To fid additioal iformatio about preparig for college, we ecourage you to log o to these DOE web pages: ad which iclude additioal college ad career resources. Additioally, if you come across a ufamiliar term, please refer to the glossary at the ed of this hadbook. A special ote to studets who are readig this booklet with their parets: Gettig ready for college ad your career after high school requires a persoal commitmet that will help maximize your potetial. You must take charge of your learig ad follow through with meetig high school ad college requiremets ad deadlies. Alog the way, we ecourage you to seek help, ot oly from your parets, but also from your teachers, ad your guidace/college couselors. 1 A ELL is a studet who eeds additioal support for Eglish laguage developmet. This status is determied by the New York State LAB-R ad NYSESLAT results. 2 A former ELL is a studet who had bee erolled i a ELL program, but has tested out of the program ad is ow takig all classes with ative Eglish speakers. A College Plaig Hadbook for Eglish Laguage Learers ad Their Families 4
6 Navigatig New York If your child has bee idetified as a ELL, you have the right to choose oe of three ELL programs (see below for more iformatio about each program). By law, all ELLs must be provided with Eglish as a Secod Laguage (ESL) services at a miimum. If you choose to eroll your child i a biligual program, you may wat to speak with a erollmet ceter represetative or with a school couselor ad other school persoel to lear which schools offer these programs. Whichever program you choose, your child will receive the same curriculum as Eglish-proficiet studets ad will be resposible for learig the same iformatio as his or her o-ell peers. Here is a descriptio of the three ELL program choices: Trasitioal Biligual Educatio Trasitioal Biligual Educatio (TBE) programs iclude all subject matter istructio i the studets ative laguage ad Eglish, as well as itesive istructio i Eglish as a Secod Laguage. As the studet develops Eglish proficiecy usig the stregtheed kowledge ad academic skills acquired i the ative laguage, istructio i Eglish icreases ad ative laguage istructio decreases. Dual Laguage Educatio Dual Laguage (DL) programs provide a certai amout of time of istructio i Eglish ad a certai amout of time of istructio i the ative laguage (e.g., Spaish, Chiese, Haitia Creole) as determied by the program model. Studets of the ative laguage are taught alogside Eglish-speakig studets so that all studets become bicultural ad fluet i both laguages. Freestadig Eglish as a Secod Laguage Freestadig Eglish as a Secod Laguage (ESL) programs provide all laguage arts ad subject matter istructio i Eglish through the use of specific istructioal strategies with supports i the ative laguage. Visit for more iformatio about these program choices. A special ote to parets who are readig this booklet hadbook with their childre: Usig your ative laguage, each day ask your child to tell you oe thig he or she leared i school, ad ask them to give you specifics. The share somethig you leared that day. It is importat that you support your child s educatio by demostratig that learig does ot stop oce you leave the classroom. 5 DREAM, BELIEVE, SUCCEED!
7 Meet Hele Samuels A studet who moved to the Uited States as a 9th grader ad graduated as the Brookly Iteratioal High School salutatoria Hele Samuels remembers her brother droppig her off outside the school buildig o her first day of summer school, because they did t thik that families were allowed i the buildig. Hele said that after she got settled ito her school routie ad she bega learig Eglish, she felt that her listeig skills were much stroger tha her speakig skills. But over time, thaks to her good attitude ad the support of her teachers, she bega to grow more cofidet. She explaied, [My teachers] did t give me the aswers, but they helped me to fid the aswers. So that is how I ed[ed] up like this.... After graduatig at the top of her Brookly Iteratioal High School class i the fall of 2012, Hele erolled i Triity College. Iterestig facts about ELLs i New York City 41% of NYC public schools studets come from a home where a laguage other tha Eglish is spoke. Durig the school year, 14.4% of public school studets (a total of 150,053) were ELLs. ELL studets who have become proficiet i Eglish (i.e., former ELLs) graduate at a higher rate tha studets who are a part of the geeral studet populatio. A College Plaig Hadbook for Eglish Laguage Learers ad Their Families 6
8 High School Educatio at a Glace High schools i the Uited States cosist of four years of study, begiig i the 9th grade ad edig upo the completio of the 12th grade. I order to be promoted to the ext grade level, a studet must ear credits by passig classes that relate to certai subject areas (Eglish, sciece, math, etc.). Studets must also pass Regets exams i specific subject areas as they progress through their courses. You ca track your child s progress toward completig these requiremets by reviewig his or her high school trascript, which you ca access 24-hours a day through the Departmet of Educatio s Achievemet Reportig ad Iovatio System ( High School Graduatio Requiremets: Credits 3 Studets must complete 44 credits of coursework i specific subject areas ad pass the New York State Regets exams to graduate from high school. Regets exams are stadardized tests that all New York State public school studets must take before graduatig from high school. Each exam focuses o a particular subject area (Eglish, sciece, math, etc.). Studets may ear either a Regets diploma or a Advaced Regets diploma depedig o the courses ad exams they complete. Studets with disabilities may also ear a local diploma. Visit the DOE s website for additioal iformatio o graduatio requiremet: Subject Regets Diploma Advaced Regets Diploma Eglish 8 credits 8 credits Social Studies 8 credits distributed as follows: 8 credits distributed as follows 4 i global history 4 i global history 2 i US history 2 i US history 1 i govermet 1 i govermet 1 i ecoomics 1 i ecoomics Math 6 credits 6 credits Sciece 6 credits distributed as follows: 6 credits distributed as follows At least 2 credits i life sciece At least 2 credits i life sciece At least 2 credits i physical sciece At least 2 credits i physical sciece Laguage Other 2 credits 6 credits Tha Eglish (LOTE) Visual Arts, Music, Dace, 2 credits 2 credits ad/or Theater Physical Educatio 4 credits 4 credits Health 1 credit 1 credit Elective Courses 3 credits 3 credits 3 This data reflects DOE stadards at the time of the Sprig 2013 publicatio of this booklet. 7 DREAM, BELIEVE, SUCCEED!
9 Credits from classes take outside the Uited States Parets, if your child wet to school i your coutry i 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grades, you should show his or her report card to a high school guidace couselor. Some coursework ca be trasferred ito credits i the New York City school system; this will esure that your child is placed i the appropriate grade level. High School Graduatio Requiremets: Exams I additio to earig credits, all studets must pass five Regets exams with scores of 65 or higher i order to receive their high school diploma. May Regets exams are provided i Chiese, Haitia Creole, Korea, Russia, ad Spaish. Studets who pass additioal exams i math, sciece, ad a laguage other tha Eglish (LOTE) ca receive a Advaced Regets diploma. For additioal iformatio o the exam requiremets for studets with disabilities, visit this DOE website: See the chart below for more iformatio about the specific Regets examiatios required for high school studets. Subject Regets Diploma Advaced Regets Diploma Eglish Comprehesive Eglish Regets exam Comprehesive Eglish Regets exam Social Studies Global History Regets exam Global History Regets exam AND AND Uited States History ad Uited States History ad Govermet Regets exam Global History Regets exam Math Oe of the followig Math All of the followig Math Regets exams: Regets exams: Itegrated Algebra Itegrated Algebra Geometry Geometry Algebra 2/Trigoometry Algebra 2/Trigoometry Sciece Oe of the followig Livig Eviromet Regets exams: Sciece Regets exams: AND Livig Eviromet Oe of the followig Earth Sciece Earth Sciece Chemistry Chemistry Physics Physics Laguage Other No exam required NYC LOTE exam Tha Eglish (LOTE) Additioal resources regardig the Regets ad other exams ca be foud by visitig ad A College Plaig Hadbook for Eglish Laguage Learers ad Their Families 8
10 It may ot be too late to graduate If you are a studet who is betwee the ages of 15 ad 21 who has falle behid i credits, it is ot too late to graduate. New York City has several schools ad programs to help you get back o track to graduate ad prepare for life after high school, whether i college, at work, or i a traiig program. Trasfer Schools - Studets betwee 15 ad 21 of age, who have completed oe year of high school, are eligible to eroll i a Trasfer School. The miimum age ad umber of credits required for etry varies by school. Studets atted classes durig the day to ear a high school diploma. A tip for parets: Your child s biligual skills will give him or her a competitive edge i the future job market. It is importat to help ad ecourage your child to maitai his or her ative laguage proficiecy. Youg Adult Borough Ceters Studets betwee 17.5 ad 21 of age, who are i their fifth year of high school ad have at least 17 credits, are eligible to eroll i a Youg Adult Borough Ceter (YABC). Studets atted late afteroo/eveig classes to ear a high school diploma. Geeral Educatioal Developmet GED Programs Studets betwee the ages of 18 ad 21 are eligible to eroll i a GED Plus program. Studets ca fid a program offerig full-day or eveig classes ad ca atted school o either a full-time or part-time basis i order to ear a Geeral Educatioal Developmet (GED) credetial. Meet Berie St. Pierre After a Massive Earthquake Ravaged His Hometow, he started Fresh i New York City Whe a 7.0-magitude earthquake hit Berie St. Pierre s home coutry of Haiti i 2010, his life was tured upside dow. Two weeks later, at the age of 14, with o experiece speakig Eglish ad with oly some of his belogigs, Berie was forced to leave his hometow ad move with his older sister to the Uited States. He moved i with his aut i Quees, where he ad his sister erolled i the Humaities ad the Arts High School (HAHS). While at HAHS, Berie studied hard to master the Eglish laguage. I was able to pick up Eglish so quickly, thaks to the help of my teachers, he said. They were urturig ad patiet with me. It was because of their support that I was able to pass my Eglish Regets exam o my first try. I fact, Berie passed all of his required Regets i just two years. Berie missed his family dearly his father is i Haiti but they served as his biggest source of his motivatio. I did t wat to let my parets dow they were coutig o me, Berie said. I kew I had to be a role model for my youger brothers. I had to be brave ad show them that aythig is possible. Berie s perseverace ad hard work helped him ear a diploma. He ow atteds Nassau Commuity College ad is studyig computer sciece. For a full list of optios for studets who have falle behid, visit 9 DREAM, BELIEVE, SUCCEED!
11 What Happes After Graduatio? May families come to the Uited States i pursuit of a better educatio for their childre. It is importat to keep i mid that a child s educatio does ot stop i high school it cotiues i postsecodary educatio. Postsecodary educatio refers to the learig that takes place at istitutios where studets ca ear academic degrees or professioal certificatios, whether at a college, uiversity, or trade school 5. I this hadbook, we will focus o the iformatio that studets eed to help them eter a college or uiversity. Why is a college educatio importat? A college educatio provides studets with the essetial skills they eed to compete i a global ecoomy. There are may good reasos to go to college. The most commo reasos are: (1) Future fiacial security (2) Career freedom ad flexibility (3) Adveture ad challege (4) Meetig ew people ad makig coectios Educatio Pays These 2009 U.S. Cesus Bureau figures compare the media aual icome agaist the years someoe has spet i school: Did ot fiish high school = $18,432 Graduated from high school = $26,776 Completed some college or eared a associate degree = $31,906 Eared a four-year bachelor s degree = $47,510 Eared a advaced degree = $62,313 Over time, a college graduate ca ear double the icome of someoe who did ot complete high school. 5 I this booklet, you will otice that we use the terms college ad uiversity iterchageably; geerally speakig, i the Uited States, these terms mea the same thig. A trade school is differet, as it is a istitutio that teaches skills ad kowledge related to a specific job or career (like facilities maagemet techology or paralegal studies). U.S. Cesus data ca be accessed at // A College Plaig Hadbook for Eglish Laguage Learers ad Their Families 10
12 What your child eeds to do durig high school to prepare for college Whe applyig for college, schools will look at your child s grade poit average 6 (GPA) durig the first three years of high school. It is importat for your child to stay focused ad complete all assiged work to demostrate his other ability to do well i all subject areas. Ecourage your child to take challegig classes, such as hoors ad Advaced Placemet (AP) classes: these demadig courses ca show admissios officers that your child is prepared for the rigors of college. Ask your child to participate i extracurricular activities, such as joiig a school club or voluteerig with a commuity orgaizatio. These activities will ot oly help your child lear about commuicatio ad civic resposibilities, they ca also help a college better uderstad your child s visio ad abilities. This is particularly importat for studets who have recetly immigrated, as they will lear more about the Eglish laguage ad America culture by iteractig with others. Biligual skills traslate ito career ad academic readiess skills Did you kow that whe two cadidates possess similar qualificatios, the cadidate who speaks two or more laguages has a higher probability of gettig a job tha the perso who speaks oly oe laguage? Professioal fields that iteract with the global ecoomy, such as medicie ad atioal security, desire staff members who are proficiet i a additioal laguage. 6 A GPA is a umber that reflects how well a studet is doig i all of his/her classes: the lowest GPA a studet ca have is 0.0, while the highest (without doig hoors or Advaced Placemet work) is DREAM, BELIEVE, SUCCEED!
13 College/Career Readiess Childre from immigrat families may be the first i their families to have the opportuity to go to college. This is very excitig, but it is importat to keep i mid that graduatig from high school does ot guaratee success i college. Studets eed to be prepared for the demadig courses i college. What does it mea to exhibit academic behaviors? Studets must have a strog work ethic to be college ready. Studets who perform well i college are those who maitai a positive attitude about the challeges of school, develop study habits that reflect the demads of the coursework, ad use campus resources such as professors ad advisors whe they eed help. Preparatio for this comes years before someoe is accepted ito college. Parets play a major role i shapig their child s attitudes, beliefs, ad expectatios about the value ad importace of educatio. Time maagemet ad study skills are orgaizatioal tools that should help studets develop academic success throughout their high school years ad beyod: Time maagemet Make to do lists. Use a plaer to record assigmets ad due dates. Schedule short breaks whe studyig. Get eough sleep ad eat properly. Begi assigmets as soo as possible. Set log-term academic ad persoal goals. Study skills Take otes ad summarize mai poits from the day s lessos. Create a orgaized ad quiet study eviromet. Do t be afraid to ask questios. Use study groups. Quiz yourself o the material. Do all homework ad prepare for exams far i advace. Paret-specific: Atted paret cofereces ad PTA meetigs. Paret-specific: Use the DOE s website, alog with the sources/liks foud at the ed of this hadbook, to lear more about how you ca support your child. The home eviromet should support these study practices. Parets should ecourage their childre to form good academic behaviors ad help them tur these behaviors ito habits. Families should talk regularly about the importace of goig to college, ad have a pla to get there. For more iformatio or advice about how you ca help your child, read the New York Urba League guide published at: A College Plaig Hadbook for Eglish Laguage Learers ad Their Families 12
14 What are colleges lookig for? While may parets would like their childre to go to college, they may ot be aware of what it takes to get there. The followig sectio provides iformatio regardig the requiremets for applyig to college, as well as the types of colleges studets ca atted. Each school may request additioal iformatio (supplemets) from applicats; some supplemets are madatory while others are optioal. Academic readiess Trascript: A trascript is a documet that lists the courses a studet has take, whe the class was take, who the teacher was, ad the grades the studet eared. Colleges are iterested i the classes a studet has take, as well as the grades he or she received. Keep i mid that a trascript that shows steady academic growth is a plus! Seior Grades: Although college acceptace is based o a studet s 9th to 11th grade trascript, colleges look at performace durig 12th grade very closely. Colleges ca withdraw acceptace if there is a sigificat drop i grades durig a studet s seior year. Stadardized Exams: The SAT is a stadardized examiatio that is accepted by most colleges. Offered seve times a year, the SAT is owed, published, ad developed by the College Board, a oprofit orgaizatio i the Uited States. New York City public schools offers free practice exams, like the Practice SAT ( PSAT ), to high school juiors. Talk to a school couselor to lear whe the PSAT is beig offered i your area. Aother popular stadardized examiatio is the ACT exam. Like the SAT, the ACT is offered atioally, ad is used by colleges as a tool to evaluate studets applicatios. Studets are commoly required to take the SAT I Reasoig Test or the ACT plus Writig. Some colleges may require studets to take two SAT II Subject Tests to demostrate subject area stregths. These tests are ot oly importat for admissio, but also for receivig merit scholarships. Takig these exams ca help a studet demostrate his or her Eglish proficiecy. For example, for the City Uiversity of New York (CUNY), a SAT I verbal score of 480 or higher, critical readig score of 480 or higher, or a ACT Eglish score of 20 or higher is eough for a studet to demostrate Eglish proficiecy. Demostratio of Eglish proficiecy Studets Make sure to ask your high school couselor or the college admissios officers at the schools where you are applyig what each applicatio specifically requires. Colleges wat to be sure their studets are ready for college-level work, ad Eglish proficiecy is oe of the importat areas that they look for i a applicat s qualificatios. Here are a few thigs that ca be used to show Eglish laguage proficiecy: Coursework: To graduate from high school, ELLs must ear eight credits of Eglish, which may iclude Eglish as a Secod Laguage (ESL) classes. New York State Eglish as a Secod Laguage Achievemet Test (NYSESLAT): Durig the sprig of each school year, ELLs i grades K-12 take the New York State Eglish as a Secod Laguage Achievemet Test (NYSESLAT), which is desiged to measure laguage developmet. Passig this exam is oe way to demostrate Eglish proficiecy. 13 DREAM, BELIEVE, SUCCEED!
15 NYS Eglish Regets exam: To pass the Eglish Regets exam, a studet must ear a score of 65 or higher. However, certai colleges, icludig the City Uiversity of New York (CUNY), require studets to ear score of 75 or higher to demostrate Eglish proficiecy. SAT 1: A SAT Critical Readig score of 480 or higher ca demostrate Eglish proficiecy. TOEFL: Colleges may require applicats who are recet immigrats to take the Test of Eglish as a Foreig Laguage (TOEFL). This test, offered atiowide, evaluates a studet s ability to uderstad ad use Eglish i a academic eviromet. Idividual school exams: I additio to the Regets exam ad TOEFL, schools may offer Eglish laguage learers idividual etrace exams or place them i remedial classes. For example, the State Uiversity of New York (SUNY) applicats who do ot meet the miimum laguage proficiecy through examiatios may be offered coditioal admissio to select SUNY campuses; these studets must successfully pass a Eglish-proficiecy class durig their first year of college i order to stay erolled. Additioally, qualifyig CUNY applicats who have ot demostrated a miimum proficiecy i all subject areas ca eroll i the Uiversity Skills Immersio Program (USIP), the Witer Immersio Program, or the Prelude to Success Program, i order to become academically college-ready. Legal status U.S. citize or legal residet: Studets will be asked to provide proof of citizeship (with a passport) ad/or residecy (with a permaet residece or gree card) whe applyig to college. Udocumeted studets: Udocumeted studets ca apply to college. School policies regardig required documetatio vary; some colleges do ot require applicats to have a Social Security umber, while other colleges will allow applicats to leave their respose regardig their Immigratio Status blak. Additioally, as will be discussed i the fiacial aid sectio of this booklet, udocumeted studets i New York may be eligible for i-state tuitio at state-operated colleges, which ca lift a heavy fiacial burde off of both applicats ad their families. For example, the Hispaic Outlook Scholarship Fud offers scholarships to udocumeted studets. Positive persoal traits ad qualities Essay: Most college applicatios require studets to submit a essay based o ifluetial experieces or people, or their ow talets ad iterests. This essay is a opportuity for studets to showcase their abilities ad passios. Studets ca write about travelig, joiig school clubs, or the uique experieces they ve had beig a Eglish laguage learer. May schools also require studets to write additioal essays perhaps explaiig why they would like to atted the college, or i respose to questios askig for specific iformatio about them. For each essay, applicats should write i their ow words ad address all of the questio(s) posed i the essay prompt. Extracurricular activities: Competitive colleges are iterested i more tha just academics ad wat studets who will add to their campus commuity. New York City offers so may opportuities to discover ew iterests ad possible careers. Visit the New York City Departmet of Youth ad Commuity Service s webpage to fid out about computer camps, sciece programs, performig arts programs, or whatever else may be of iterest: A College Plaig Hadbook for Eglish Laguage Learers ad Their Families 14
16 A iterest i college Colleges like to see that applicats are iterested i their campus, their studets, ad their faculty. Showig iterest i a college ca be doe i a variety of ways: visit that college meet with a college represetative ad follow up with her/him atted a college ope house joi mailig lists; befried the college o Facebook, or follow the school o Twitter iterview with a admissios officer or alumi spokesperso Parets: Ecourage your child to make use of his/her summer break ad free time durig the school year by participatig i voluteer opportuities, sports, school clubs, employmet, iterships, etc. Studets: As applicats it is importat that you show that you have stregths outside of academics. Parets: There are books ad olie resources to help studets write their essays. It is importat to be ecouragig throughout the writig process! 15 DREAM, BELIEVE, SUCCEED!
17 Timelie for College Plaig Gaiig admissio to a college i the Uited States is doe through a applicatio process. College admissios officers review each applicatio ad evaluate a studet s trascript, stadardized examiatio grades, essay, ad supplemetary materials. Preparig for college ca feel overwhelmig for parets ad studets. Remember that couselors are the sigle biggest resource whe it comes to preparedess. Parets ad studets should take a proactive approach i gettig iformatio from couselors; do t be afraid to schedule meetigs with them well before you mail your applicatios. Whe meetig with a couselor, here are some importat questios to cosider askig: (1) Who is resposible for sedig studets applicatios to colleges, studets or the school? (2) What are the differet colleges applicatio deadlies? (3) How much does each applicatio cost? Meet Elizabeth Caela Former ELL Who Wet o to Ear a Master s Degree from Duke Uiversity Whe Elizabeth Caela graduated with a master s degree from Duke Uiversity i 2012, her mother cried. Elizabeth was bor i Brookly ad raised i a Spaish-speakig home. She started school as a ELL. After exitig P.S. 94 s ESL program i first grade, she etered a maistream classroom but felt alieated ad struggled. To help Elizabeth excel academically, her mother ecouraged her to brig Eglish-speakig frieds home to study with her. Elizabeth recalled her mother emphasizig the importace of educatio (her mom would ofte show her rough ad calloused hads to Elizabeth after returig home from a day s work at a factory). Elizabeth was determied to go to a prestigious college ad bega doig a lot of research ad preparatio work. She took Advaced Placemet (AP) courses ad studied for hours each day for the SAT exam. With help from teachers ad frieds, she also rewrote her college applicatio persoal statemet over 30 times. As a result of her determiatio ad hard work, Elizabeth was accepted to Duke Uiversity ad received a full (eed-based) scholarship. I college, Elizabeth leared that her hard work was ot over. At Duke, she cotiued to devote time ad eergy to her studies, took advatage of the uiversity s writig ceter, ad asked professors for additioal help. She made it to the Dea s List ad eared her master s at Duke. Elizabeth is ow a New York City Coro Fellow. A College Plaig Hadbook for Eglish Laguage Learers ad Their Families 16
18 Studets, here are some suggestios regardig how to plot ad pla your applicatio process: Geeral Timelie for College Plaig 9th (Freshma) 10th (SOPHMORE) 11th (JUNIOR) 12th (SENIOR) Itroduce yourself to your guidace couselor ad express iterest i goig to college. Take the practice SAT (the PSAT) i October (it is free to NYC studets). Talk to a school guidace couselor about what steps to take to ear a Biliteracy Seal o your diploma. September/October: Meet with your high school guidace couselor to discuss the college process. Jauary, May, or Jue: Take the SAT or ACT. May: Ask two teachers (from differet subject areas) with whom you have a good relatioship to write you a college letter of recommedatio. Ask your guidace couselor to write a guidace letter of recommedatio o your behalf. May: Take Advaced Placemet (AP) exams, if AP courses are offered. Sprig: Take the SAT II if ecessary. Ogoig: Visit colleges durig the school year or summer if possible, parets should atted. Fall: Take the SAT or ACT a secod time. Colleges will take your best score i each sectio across both test dates. September: Meet with your college couselor. September: Check applicatio requiremets for colleges of iterest. Each applicatio may cost $20-$100. Ask about fee waivers (total or partial elimiatio of cost). Ogoig: Research ad apply for scholarships ad ask about low-iterest loas (ever assume that a school is too expesive to atted). November: Submit early actio/decisio applicatio(s). Ogoig: Check to see if colleges have received all of your documetatio; this ca be doe by callig the school s admissios office (remember to be professioal). December: Receive respose from early actio/decisio school(s). Jauary: File FAFSA (a fiacial documet that will be explaied i the fiacial aid sectio) with guardia ad studet tax forms. March/April: Receive admissios decisios. May: Studets must accept oly oe college ad parets must make a tuitio deposit (studets ca cotribute with extra moey if workig after-school or summer jobs). For additioal iformatio regardig specific steps studets ca take to prepare for college, refer to the DOE s Expect Success literature: Throughout your high school years: establish good study habits get good grades take challegig classes participate i sports, clubs, ad/or commuity service activities explore iterests sped time thikig about your future career research colleges ad uiversities save moey for college applicatios, exams, ad related expeditures 17 DREAM, BELIEVE, SUCCEED!
19 Colleges/Uiversities i the USA There are thousads of colleges ad uiversities i the Uited States; fidig the right oe takes time ad effort ad ca be overwhelmig, especially whe the higher educatio system is differet from what you have experieced i your home coutry. This sectio provides iformatio regardig the differet types of colleges ad uiversities i the Uited States to help you ca make a more iformed decisio about your college educatio. Public ad private colleges ad uiversities: what s the differece? The primary differece betwee public ad private colleges is how they are fuded. State tax dollars help support public colleges, so tuitio is lower for studets who live i the state i which the college is located. For this reaso, it is less expesive for a New Yorker to atted public schools such as Brookly College or SUNY Bighamto, which are both located i New York. A New Yorker who atteds a public school that is outside of New York State (whether i New Jersey, like Rutgers, or i North Carolia, like the Uiversity of North Carolia) will pay higher tuitio tha a studet who is from that state. Private colleges, like Vassar College ad New York Uiversity, are fuded by studet tuitio ad alumi dues, makig their tuitio geerally more expesive tha public colleges. However, some private colleges have geerous grat ad scholarship opportuities to help studets alleviate the cost of tuitio. Two-year ad four-year programs: what s the differece? Studets erolled i a udergraduate program ca ear two types of degrees: a associate degree ad a bachelor s degree. Whe graduatig from a two-year college (ofte referred to as a commuity college), studets ear associate degrees. As the ame suggests, graduatig from a two-year college requires at least two years of full-time study; some studets will eed more time if they are required to take remedial courses or if they ca oly atted classes part-time. Upo graduatio, may studets decide to trasfer to a four-year college. The tuitio is usually much lower at a commuity college tha a four-year college. Whe graduatig from a four-year college, studets ear bachelor s degrees. Completig the required umber of courses at a four-year college or uiversity usually takes at least four years. Like two-year colleges, these schools ca be big or small. Cooper Uio i Mahatta has oly about 900 studets while Quees College i Flushig, Quees, has over 18,000 studets. A College Plaig Hadbook for Eglish Laguage Learers ad Their Families 18
20 Importat iformatio for New York City high school graduates There are a large umber of public colleges ad uiversities i New York. Studets who are state residets are eligible for lower tuitio rates at all of the colleges i the SUNY ad CUNY systems: The State Uiversity of New York (SUNY): SUNY is the largest comprehesive state higher educatio system i the coutry. It has 64 colleges across New York State, icludig both two-year ad four-year colleges. The City Uiversity of New York (CUNY): With 23 colleges across New York City, the CUNY system offers a lot of choices for studets who wish to pursue their college degree close to home. By attedig CUNY, ot oly could tuitio be lower, studets also have a opportuity to save o livig expeses. Resources that will help you research college choices A guidace couselor is usually the perso at the school who provides college iformatio, writes letters of recommedatio, ad compiles school documets to be set to colleges: it is always a good idea to set up a meetig with the guidace couselor to discuss college optios. You ca also fid reviews of colleges ad uiversities i books such as Fiske Guide to Colleges, Priceto Review, ad Admissio Matters. You may fid the most up-to-date iformatio regardig a college s applicatio procedures, deadlies, ad uique requiremets o the college s ow website ( or edu/, for example). Additioally, the College Board, a orgaizatio dedicated to college readiess, has a large amout of college-related iformatio (see Attedig college fairs ad visitig college campuses will help both studets ad parets gather more iformatio about the istitutios. Durig campus visits, take advatage of the opportuity to meet with admissios couselors, faculty, ad studets. With so may optios, how do you decide where to sed a applicatio? Selectig a college that fits your family s eeds requires that you evaluate a lot of factors. Families should have a hoest talk about all of the factors that may affect the decisio to apply to college. These factors iclude: a studet s academic iterests ad stregths the social ad cultural eviromet that will suit your child ad help him or her to best lear how your family ca fiacially maage college tuitio ad related costs PARENTS As soo as your child starts plaig to apply to colleges, you should work closely with him or her. Readig this hadbook is a step i the right directio! 19 DREAM, BELIEVE, SUCCEED!
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