The Private College Admission Process. Valparaiso High School Workshop April 3, 2014

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1 The Private College Admission Process Valparaiso High School Workshop April 3, 2014

2 Gathering Information Websites & Guidebooks to research admissability: The College Board, LearnMoreIndiana, Barron s, Peterson s s Guide, U.S. News & World Report, etc. Use career interest inventory and college navigator search button at learnmoreindiana.org. Select specific schools to research. Request college published brochures from the schools on your long list. Indicate on PSAT, SAT, PLAN, ACT and AP that you would like to receive information from colleges interested in you. (Test takers receive a great deal of college material this way).

3 Additional Sources Chat with High School Guidance Counselors. Meet with college reps when they visit VHS. Attend college fairs in your area. Purdue North Central in the Fall Semester Valparaiso University in the Spring Semester Visit colleges. Student Student guided tour of the campus Conversation with admission counselor Sit in on classes/meet with faculty Eat a meal in the dining hall Spend the night with a current student.

4 Comparing College Choices Look for the differences. Consider the fit fit academically, extracurricularly, spiritually, geographically. Don t t eliminate more expensive private schools until you compare bottom line after financial aid. Narrow the choices: High, medium, and low interest. Apply for admission in the fall of senior year.

5 The Admission Process We focus on academic records and skills: Grades in a strong college prep program. Class Rank Standardized Test Scores (SAT or ACT) Advanced Placement Scores, Dual Credit, or IB We do like to see these courses. Special talents and interests

6 Standardized Tests The SAT or the ACT Take as early as March of the junior year and no later than December of the senior year. Be prepared for the writing component. Test more than once. Have your scores sent directly to the schools to which you are applying.

7 Desired College Preparatory Courses 4 Years of English 3 Years of College Preparatory Mathematics 4 years for business, engineering, nursing 2 Years of Laboratory Science 4 for engineering, nursing 2 Years of Social Studies 2 Units of the same Foreign Language Round out with more academic classes Some majors may require specific courses e.g. physics and pre calculus for engineering

8 The Interview Many colleges and universities recommend, others may require, a meeting with a member of the admission counseling staff. During this meeting, students may share decisions on course selection in high school, extracurricular activities, and special career interests. Dress appropriately, be prepared to discuss with the rep, don t t just answer question. Come armed with some questions of your own.

9 The Admission Application The application is the primary vehicle used to introduce yourself to the admission office. Most are now online; follow directions closely. Check to see if colleges you re looking at will accept the Common Application. Proofread all parts of the application. Spellcheck! Submit application well before deadline. Students, not parents, complete applications! Make notes of when you submitted applications or requested transcripts through Parchment.

10 The Essay One of the best avenues to get to know you. Must be well written written and grammatically correct. Select from among suggested topics the college gives you do not send the same word processed essay to all colleges (exception: Common App). Tell your story in a way that your feelings, perceptions, values, commitments, and special interests come through naturally. Suggestion: write in Word, then copy and paste into the online application.

11 The Transcript Often considered more important than test scores; shows your strengths, weaknesses, commitment to education. Outlines courses taken plus those in progress. Shows AP/IB/Dual Credit. We pay attention to courses that are college preparatory and challenging, including senior year choices. We note class GPA and rank.

12 The Application Review Process Reader Review At many private colleges & universities; two admission staff members review each application. Committee Review A committee member is assigned a number of applications to read and present to the committee for discussion and a vote. Counselor Review In some selective institutions, the counselor working with a school or territory makes the admission decision based on pre established established criteria. Computer Generated Review Some universities that process thousands of applications each year use a computer generated guideline to screen applicants.

13 Admission Notification Systems Rolling Admission Notification comes within a few weeks after applying. Deferred Admission Notification is generally made in the spring, most often early April. Early Action Notification in late fall/early winter. Early Decision Notification (usually in December) means you have committed to this school; it is binding. Use when the school is your top choice; apply to only one ED school. National enrollment date is May 1 st.

14 The College Choice Compare what you have discovered about college options with your original list of important criteria. Factor in bottom line after financial aid. Look beyond cost to the pros and cons of each college. Identify the college that best matches your interests and feels like a place you could consider home for the next four years. Send in admission deposit to the college of your choice postmarked by May 1. Housing and course selection may be assigned as deposits are received.

15 Suggested Timeline, Web Sites n n Spring Junior Year: Standardized Testing ( Spring Junior Year: Standardized Testing ( SAT and ACT SAT and ACT ) n n Summer & Fall: Visit Colleges (take advantage of those in your own back yard back yard ) n n Fall Senior Year: Repeat Testing Testing, College Applications n n Winter/Spring Senior Year: Overnight Visit at favorite schools, Financial Aid (FAFSA) before March 10 (FAFSA) before March 10

16 Thank you! Barbara Lieske, Director of Admission Programs Valparaiso University Duesenberg Welcome Center (219)

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