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College Advising 101. The Bear Creek School September 10, 2009 NEED TO UPDATE 19-20!!!. College Advising Resources. The Essential Guide to College Advising Blog, forms, sem. materials, calendar, more Contact

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College advising 101

College Advising 101

The Bear Creek School

September 10, 2009


College advising resources
College Advising Resources


  • The Essential Guide to College Advising


    • Blog, forms, sem. materials, calendar, more

  • Contact

Juniors in the fall
Juniors in the Fall

  • Brown Bags through mid-November

    • (lunch, Room 210 - Norris)

  • National College Fair (November 14)

    • (Washington State Trade and Convention Ctr, 12-4)

  • Junior Tour (October 11-12)

    • UW, SPU, WWU

  • Christian College Fair (October 18)

    • The Bear Creek School

  • PSAT (October 16 – morning)

    • @ TBCS, 7:45 am

  • Parent Office Hours: 9/28, 10/26, 11/23

Working definitions
Working Definitions

Institutional Type

  • Research v. Teaching

  • Public (State) v. Private

  • Faith-based v. Secular

  • Residential v. Commuter

  • Liberal Arts v. “Professional”

First step you
First Step: You

  • Why do I want to go to college?

  • What type of experience do I want?

  • What do I want to study?

  • What do I want to do when I’m not studying?

  • How good are my grades and test scores, really?

  • What do I want to do after I graduate?

Next step the institution
Next Step: The Institution

  • Institutional Type: research/teaching, public/private, religious/secular, urban/rural, residential/commuter, small/large, geography

  • Academic Offerings: Liberal Arts, Majors, Research opportunities

  • Extra- and Co-Curricular Offerings: Athletics, Leadership, Internships, Residential Life, Clubs, Study Abroad

  • Intangibles: Amenities, Friends, Legacy

Your needs the institution best fit
Your Needs/The Institution = Best Fit

  • College might be the most critical chapter of your life.

  • Self-reflection, prayer and discussion are the keys to the right decision.

  • Do not risk a bad experience by focusing on the institution first (succumbing to reputation, pressure, or the end-game).

  • It’s NOT a prize to be won. It does not matter where anyone else is going, because they’re not part of your equation.

Institutional information how beware the mass marketing
Institutional Information: How?Beware the Mass Marketing


  • CollegeBoard.Com: register for MyCollege

  • School websites: depth of information AND get on mailing list (Admissions site)


  • TBCS College Advising Center

  • College Fairs

  • Brown Bag program

  • College Visits: get on campus whenever possible

The key on campus visits
The Key: On-Campus Visits

  • The Strategy: be a student

    • Overnight stays, class visits, appointments (admissions AND professor), dining halls

  • Find others who have been in your shoes (TBCS alumni, relocated-Eastsiders, others from faith-based institutions)

  • What NOT to ask: profile information

Instead of asking these questions
Instead of asking these questions…

  • What is your graduation rate? (too broad, too many factors)

  • What is your average financial aid package? (too broad, too complex)

  • What is your average class size? (too many upper-division courses skew the norm)

  • What is your student to faculty ratio? (eased by part-time, adjunct hires)

  • What general education courses will I take?

Get info that means something
…get info that means something

  • What percentage of freshmen return for their next year? (called “rentention” or “persistence”)

  • What is the average academic profile for your entry-level merit scholarship?

  • How large is Intro Psych, Intro Biology, and each section of Freshmen Composition?

  • What percentage of your faculty are part-time?

  • What is the University’s program for freshmen advising?

  • Other tips: pick up a copy of the student newspaper, drink a cup of coffee in the Student Union, visit at least one place they left off the tour.

Weighing all things
WeighingAll Things

  • Begin NOW with your own reflections

  • Cast your net wide through the winter

  • Research, visit, and narrow through the summer

  • Shoot for not more than 6-10 applications in the fall, based on:

    • Reach, Reasonable, Safe

    • “Safety” redefined

In the meantime how they will decide
In the meantime…How they will decide

  • School achievement (GPA/Rigor) 93%

  • Test Scores (SAT/ACT) 87%

  • Teacher Recommendations 50%

  • Application Essay 44%

  • Interview 33%

  • Activities 30%

    Source: Fall 2004 Annual College Board Survey (1818 respondents, rating as “Important” or “Very Important”

The reality yale s snapshot
The Reality: Yale’s Snapshot

  • Median SAT: 750 (V), 740 (M)

  • 10.6% int’l, 31.1% of-color, 54.4% public

  • Admission rate: 7.5% (9.7% for F, 05)

  • 85% of applicants are “qualified to do the work here”

  • Questions:

    • “How do I distinguish myself from the pool?”

    • “How do I present my best true self?”

Will i have enough yes

Typical 4-yr Requirements

4 years of English

3 years of Science (2 lab)

2 years Social Studies

3 years Mathematics (Pre-Alg+)

2 years Foreign Language


TBCS Requirements

4.5 years of English/Rhetoric

3-4 years of Science

4-5 years of Social Studies

3-5 years of Mathematics

3-4 years of Foreign Languages

2.5 years of Electives

100 hours of Community Service

Senior Project

Will I Have Enough? Yes.

Standardized testing


Princeton Review SAT/PSAT prep course 1: summer/fall

PSAT/NMSQT: October (SAT prep and National Merit Scholarship test)

Princeton Review SAT prep course 2: spring

SAT I: March, May or June (June only if not taking SAT Subject Tests)

SAT Subject Tests: May or June

ACT: April or June.

AP exams: May


SAT I retakes (September or October)

ACT: retakes (September or October)

SAT Subject Tests: retakes (September or October)

AP exams: May

Standardized Testing

  • Sophomore

  • PSAT: October (does not count for NMSQT

  • Princeton Review course in Summer

  • PLAN: November

  • AP exams: May

Making the decision a preview of what s to come
Making the Decision: A Preview of What’s to Come

  • Developing “The List”

  • Early Action, Early Decision, Regular

  • Our role in the application process

  • Essays and Recommendations

  • The Decision

  • Costs and Financial Aid

    • Merit-based

    • Need-based

Fall of the senior year
Fall of the Senior Year

  • September: Organize

    • Establish accounts, compile deadlines, develop essays, request letters and transcripts

  • October: Write Apps

    • Fill-out applications, refine essays, collect letters, organize “the packet”

  • November: Submit

    • Most “Early” program deadlines are between 11/1-12/1

  • December: Breathe

    • Goal should be to have all apps submitted by Christmas

Admission selectivity snapshot entering fall 2010
Admission Selectivity Snapshot*Entering, Fall, 2010

Higher education costs
Higher Education Costs

  • Average Yearly Costs at 4-Year Schools

    • In-state Public: $6185

    • Out-of-state Public: $16,640

    • Private: $23,712

    • Less than 10% are $30,000+

  • Cost Trend: Public, +6.6%; Private, +5.9%

  • Debt: 6 million/year, avg debt of $20,000

  • Debt Trend: +12%

Financial aid a comprehensive explanation
Financial Aid: a “comprehensive” explanation

  • Step 1: save

  • Step 2: fill out the FAFSA on January 1 (school may also require the CSS Profile)

  • Step 3: be upset with the government because of your EFC (estimated family contribution)

  • Step 4: wait for your financial aid package to be assembled by the University

    • Merit: general scholarships, talent scholarships

    • Need (in this order): loans, work-study, grants (school, state, and federal)

Who this decision involves
Who this decision involves:

  • YOU and your goals

  • Prayer and exploration of your faith

  • The Institutions

  • Your family and their expectations

  • Your College Advising office

  • Your peers, friends and teachers

College advising resources1
College Advising Resources

  • Mr. DeYoung


  • Brown Bags and Off-Site Visits

  • (MyCollege)

It’s All About You(No, really. For once, it is.)A few thoughts on the college search and decision process

Blake DeYoung

Director of College Advising

The Bear Creek School

Bellevue Christian, ’93

Seattle Pacific, ‘97 and ‘02

1 focus on you common opposite focus on the institution
#1: Focus on You(Common Opposite: Focus on the Institution)

  • The school is neat, clean, presentable… measurable. You are murky, complicated and “constantly” changing.

  • We’ve been taught to look at schools as a commodity (e.g., rankings). This is not a consumer eating a pizza; it’s a two-way street, an interactive experience, so there has to be an understanding of what makes you tick.

  • Off-limits question: “How will this look?”

  • Who cares how it looks? Now the focus is solely on ‘others’ (usually the school). The question is: is this helping me become better, more self-aware, more interesting?

1 focus on you questions to ask
#1: Focus on YouQuestions to Ask

  • Do I understand what I am not good at or what I do not like, in addition to what I am good at and what I do like?

  • When do I perform better: when I’m the smartest/best, or when I have to push to keep up with the pace?

  • Am I content with some level of anonymity, or do I need to be visible and/or connected as I interact with my surroundings?

  • In what area do I have so much confidence and tangible success that I have absolutely no need to boast and am completely comfortable with the fact that I don’t know everything?

2 immerse yourself in the language culture common opposite wait then be rushed and ill informed
#2: Immerse Yourself in the Language/CultureCommon Opposite: WAIT - then be rushed and ill-informed

  • For most, higher education is a totally new experience: vocabulary, operation, autonomy.

  • Identify the available “teachers” of this language: school Guidance/College Advising office, older friends, siblings

  • Identify the available opportunities for exposure (think of language immersion): campus tours, admission officers, college websites.

  • Go below the surface: attend a game, concert or lecture; read the student newspaper, stay overnight, faculty/department websites and scholarly activities.

#3: Expect Unknowns and Overwhelming MomentsCommon Opposite: Be afraid of the unknown, act like experts to save face, and make poor decisions

  • It’s a whole new culture; you’re not supposed to know everything.

  • If you can identify the unknowns, you can at least focus on the “knowns” and use those to make decisions.

  • There are certain unknowns that cannot become knowns, but you can mitigate them:

    • Culture (esp. geographic) shock, personability of faculty, food

  • There are certain unknowns that will never be known:

    • Roommate concerns, the economy

  • 4 don t rush the process common opposite rush and make bad choices
    #4: Don’t Rush the ProcessCommon Opposite: rush and make bad choices

    • Too many people want to be “exceptions” and make decisions prior to when they are ready. There’s a good reason that:

      • Students start the process at the beginning of their junior year;

      • They visit schools in the spring;

      • They apply in the fall, and;

      • They decide in spring of their senior year.

    • And all the while, students are narrowing, narrowing, narrowing.

    • Avoid the temptation to narrow too early, to visit too early (though any visits are good visits), to write your essays too early, to apply to too few schools, or to make your decision too early.

    4 don t rush the process
    #4: Don’t Rush the Process

    • Trends that concern me: Early Decision, “Priority Applications,” early NCAA recruiting demands, contingent scholarships

    • Schools are concerned about enrollment planning, leading to earlier and earlier processes, but the best interest of the student must remain at the heart of policies.

    #5: You Won’t Know FOR SURE until JanuaryCommon Opposite: I hate it here, I made a mistake, and I want to go home NOW!

    • EXPECT to be all of the following: homesick, sick of the food, sick of your roommate, sick of classes, and actually sick.

    • The above do not mean you are too far away, going to starve, need a new roommate, in over your head, or your immune system doesn’t work on this specific campus.

    • For many students (and parents), fall semester is a constant roller-coaster of emotion, of success and failure.

    5 you won t know for sure until january
    #5: You Won’t Know FOR SURE until January

    • Whenever possible, students need to stick it out until the beginning of second semester.

    • Let yourself experience campus, and all the related activities, for a second time. Let them not be new anymore, then see how it feels.

    • Proverbs 16:9 – ‘A man makes his plans, but the Lord directs his path.’

    5 january when do we really know
    #5 (+): January?? When Do We REALLY Know?

    Wherever you go, you’ll top all the rest. Except when you don’t, because sometimes you won’t. I’m sorry to say so, but sadly, it’s true, that bang-ups and hang-ups can happen to you. You can get all hung up/in a prickly perch/And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a lurch. You’ll come down from the lunch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a slump. And when you’re in a slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.

    5 you won t know for sure until january1
    #5: You Won’t Know FOR SURE until January

    • You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step, step with care and great tact and remember that Life is a balancing act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left. And will you succeed? Yes! Yes, you will indeed. (98 and ¾ percent, guaranteed).

    • Kid, you’ll move mountains.