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Welcome to College Process Night. Fairfield Area High School September 29, 2014. Mrs. Swope’s Philosophy…. You don ’ t have to go to college to be successful…but you MUST HAVE A PLAN . What is a “ PLAN ” ? College Military Work. What is “College”? .

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Welcome to college process night

Welcome to College Process Night

Fairfield Area High School

September 29, 2014

Mrs swope s philosophy
Mrs. Swope’s Philosophy…

  • You don’t have to go to college to be successful…but you MUST HAVE A PLAN.

  • What is a “PLAN”?

    • College

    • Military

    • Work

What is college
What is “College”?

  • For the purpose of this presentation, the word “college” will refer to any post-secondary educational option.

    • 2 year schools

    • 4 year schools

    • Business schools

    • Tech schools

    • Trade schools

    • Community colleges

      • certificate / diploma programs

Why go to college
Why go to college?

  • It has been shown in data gathered by the U. S. Census Bureau that people who attend college will earn more income over the course of their lifetimes.

  • Average Annual Income

    • Professional degree $127,803

    • Doctoral degree $103,054

    • Master's degree $73,738

    • Bachelor's degree $56,665

    • Associate's degree $39,771

    • Some college $32,295

    • High school graduate $30,627

    • High school dropout $20,241

  • Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 data


  • Standardized Test

    • Has been “normed” over time with many people

    • Considered “fair” to all involved

  • Pre-requisite

    • Something required prior to future course taken

  • Official Transcript

    • Copy of student’s grades, credits, attendance

    • Signed by school official, never touched by student

  • Early Admission / Early Application process

    • Early action = not a binding agreement

    • Early decision = a BINDING agreement


    • Family Educational Rights Protection Act

Why plan ahead
Why plan ahead?

  • Although you can begin college at any age after high school, if you are considering going straight from high school to college, you need to be prepared and be competitive.

  • BUILD bridges….don’t BURN them.

What s the plan
What’s the Plan?

  • Decide what you want to study.

  • Decide what type of college you need to attend.

  • Take the ACT or SAT twice (spring of 11th / fall of 12th)

  • Make a list of what you want your college to have.

    • Sports? Greek life? Size? Rural/Urban? Far away?

  • Visit colleges that have what you want.

  • Narrow down the list of possible schools.

  • Apply to at least 3 schools, meeting all deadlines.

  • Complete the FAFSA in January.

  • Decide which offer to accept by the college’s deadline.

How to explore colleges
How to Explore Colleges

  • So you know what you want to study…..now how do you go about figuring out which one of the over 4,000 post-secondary schools to look at?

    • Location – distance from “home”

    • Environment – urban or rural? co-ed? religious?

    • Academics – majors, special programs, study abroad

    • Size - number of students, acreage of campus

    • Activities – athletics, clubs, organizations, sororities / fraternities

    • Housing – residence hall, freshman requirements

But where do i find college ideas
But where do I find college ideas?

Adams County Area

College & Career Fair!!!!

Thursday night – October 2, 2014

7:00 – 8:30 pm

Hauser Field House, Gettysburg College

OVER 100 different institutions will be there!

The time line of your junior year
The Time Line of Your Junior Year

  • October – Attend the Adams County College Fair

    • Thursday, October 2nd – 7:00 – 8:30 PM

    • Gettysburg College campus

  • October – TAKE THE PSAT

    • October 15th, 2014

  • January – Attend Financial Aid Night

    • Wednesday, January 21, 2015 6:30 – 8:30 pm

  • February – Take the ASVAB

    • Wednesday, February 11, 2015

    • Awesome career assessment

  • Spring – TAKE THE SAT or ACT – watch the registration deadlines!!

  • Spring/Summer – Visit college campuses

What to do on the visit
What To Do On the Visit

  • Ask LOTS of questions (“interview” them!)

    • How big are the classes? Ask to sit through one.

    • How easy is it to meet with my professors?

    • Where do most freshman live? Ask to see a dorm room.

    • What is the food like? Eat in the dining hall.

    • How user friendly is the tutoring center? Ask to see it.

    • What do students do here on weekends? Appropriate options, please…..and there are many!

    • Where is the ____________ department? Ask to see it.

    • How many students complete the program in four years? Where do they typically go after they graduate?

    • May I bring my car during my freshman year? Where will I have to park it?

    • Interview!

      • Make sure to prepare with knowledge about the school and questions

      • Mock interviews

Standardized tests the act
Standardized Tests – the ACT

  • ACT – once called the “American College Test”but then went international so now it is just the ACT.

    • www.actstudent.org to register

    • Offered 6 times a school year

    • English, Reading, Math, Science, optional Writing

    • Each section’s perfect score is 36

    • A good average is 25 on each section

    • Recommended that you take it twice

    • Cost is $52.50 (w/ writing) (late fee is $52.50 + $22)

    • Best preparation….READ!!

      You can’t expect to finish the Boston Marathon

      if the most you’ve ever run is in P.E class.

Standardized tests the sat
Standardized Tests – the SAT

  • SAT – Scholastic Aptitude Test (College Board)

    • www.collegeboard.org to register

    • Offered 7 times a school year

    • Math, Critical Reading, Writing – most people are looking at the Math + Critical Reading score

    • Each section’s perfect score is 800

    • A good average is 500 on each section

    • Recommended that you take it twice

    • Cost is $52.50 (late fee is $52.50 + $28.00)

    • Register for the “Question of the Day”

    • Best preparation….READ!!

      You can’t expect to finish the Boston Marathon

      if the most you’ve ever run is in P.E. class.

Sat prep resources
SAT Prep Resources

  • Online

    • www.collegeboard.org

      • SAT Question of the Day!

    • www.ineedapencil.com

    • www.princetonreview.com/college/free-sat-practice-test.aspx

  • Offline

    • The Official SAT Study Guide – available to borrow in the counseling office

      • Try to do at least one full-length practice test before your test date

    • Cracking the SAT, 2012 Edition –SAT for Dummies

  • JUNIORS – SAT Prep course HERE in February


  • Bigfuture.collegeboard.org

    • Get Started

      • Tools for students and parents

    • Find Colleges

      • College search tool (i.e. type of school, size, location, specific majors, cost, etc.)

      • It’s not too late!

    • Explore Careers

    • Pay for College

      • Scholarship search

      • Students and parents

    • Get In

    • Make A Plan

      • Great place to start!

      • See what steps you still have left to complete

BigFuture has 3900+ institutions in a database, but that’s too many at once. Why not start with 100+ all in person?

Adams County Area

College & Career Fair

Thursday night – October 2, 2014

7:00 – 8:30 pm

Hauser Field House, Gettysburg College

OVER 100 different institutions will be there!

Making the most of high school
Making the Most of High School

  • Besides just taking challenging, college prep classes…

    • Look at test scores and take classes that strengthen your weaker academic areas

    • Seek out tutoring to improve your skills

    • Establish personal goals and find support to meet them

    • Explore careers – internet, shadowing, talking to people

    • Never accept good if better is an option

The time line of your senior year
The Time Line of Your Senior Year

  • October – Attend the Adams County College Fair

    • Thursday, October 2nd – 7:00 – 8:30 PM

    • Gettysburg College campus

  • Complete ALL applications by Halloween

  • Scholarship research (Fastweb.com, collegeboard.org., etc.)

  • October / November – TAKE THE SAT or ACT (again)

  • January – Attend Financial Aid Night

    • Wednesday, January 21, 2015 6:30 – 8:30 pm

  • February – Take the ASVAB

    • February 11, 2015

    • Awesome career assessment

  • Spring – Make your final decision, send in that deposit

    • May 1st

  • Summer – Get Packing! You are on your way!


  • Are you crazy, Mrs. Swope? I have WAY too much to do right now to spend time on college applications!

  • Reasons behind the Halloween deadline:

    • You get them DONE. D – O – N – E.

    • Some schools have application deadlines in November.

    • Some schools have MERIT SCHOLARSHIP deadlines in November.

    • Because if you think you are busy now…..just you wait!

  • This is Mrs. Swope’s deadline. The world will not end if you don’t meet it….but life might be easier if you do.

Narrowing it down to five or six
Narrowing It Down to Five or Six….

  • Apply to at least three schools – as many as five or six

    • One “stretch” school

    • One “comfort” school

    • One “fall back” school

  • If it has all of your qualifications then make the visit

  • Look at the statistics on the College Board website for information about average admissions requirements and rate of return for college sophomore year

  • Your application allows them to decide if THEY like YOU

  • Your visit allows you to decide if YOU like THEM

12 th grade
12th Grade

  • Courses / Extracurricular Activities:

    • AP English Literature & Composition, AP US Government & Politics, Calculus or AP Statistics, Chemistry II or Biology II, Human Anatomy & Physiology or Organic Chemistry, Spanish or French IV

    • Continue playing sports – be a team captain, try out for the lead in the school play, run for class president

  • Goals:

    • Attend the Adams County Area College & Career Fair

    • Visit your last two colleges by mid-September

    • Take the SAT or ACT one last time in the fall

    • Take the ASVAB test

    • Complete all college applications by Halloween

    • Maintain position on High Honor Roll all four marking periods

    • Complete all scholarship applications on time

    • Attend Financial Aid Night

    • Complete the FAFSA by February 1st

    • Visit all colleges that offer admission before accepting any offers

  • Resources:

    • High School Counselor

    • Parents

    • Teachers, Coaches

Other important considerations
Other Important Considerations

  • NCAA – much planning ahead needed

    • www.ncaa.clearinghouse.net

    • Register in your Junior year.

  • Military Service Academies

    • Must be outstanding in ALL areas

    • Plan ahead to secure a nomination

    • DUE by Oct 1 of senior year.

  • Students with special needs

    • Ask very specific questions – get the complete answers

  • Very Specific Majors / Programs

    • Be sure they have assistance for you to go on from your undergraduate program

    • How many students actually make it?

The gpa myth
The GPA Myth

  • Your grade point average (GPA) is not the final determining factor.

    • If you are taking courses below your academic level, the college admission person will recognize this and your wonderful GPA will be negated.

    • Course selection – especially in your senior year –is carefully examined during the admission process.

      • Colleges can (and will) rescind their offer of admission if they believe you’ve slacked off your senior year.

The final decision
The Final Decision

  • You’ve done all of your college planning and preparing ….the deadline to send in your registration payment is getting closer….you’re having trouble sleeping at night because you can’t decide which one to choose…..

    • RELAX.

    • Go with the one your heart leads you to.

    • You can transfer…so this decision is not completely final.

Bad reasons to choose a school
Bad Reasons to Choose a School

  • Your boyfriend / girlfriend / best friend goes there

  • It has a good party reputation

  • You like the school’s colors / mascot

  • Your parents or family members went there

  • Someone told you it is the best

Good reasons to choose a school
Good Reasons to Choose a School

  • They have the program / major you are most interested in

  • Students who complete the program go on to things you want to do

  • They have a campus culture that fits who you are / who you want to be

  • You can “see” yourself actually studying in the library or learning center

  • There are activities on campus that you will actually participate in








You re still nervous about the process
You’re still nervous about the process…

  • You should be! This is a big deal. You are not alone.

  • Schedule a meeting with Mrs. Swope to go over where you are in the process and what you need to be doing next.

  • Gather a group of friends together and set up a meeting with Mrs. Swope during school to go over the process together.

  • Explore websites for more information.

  • Most importantly ---


Upcoming events
Upcoming Events

Aviation Career Expo (Juniors & Seniors)

Friday, October 24th, 2014

8:00 am – 3:30 pm

Leesburg, VA

JUNIORS - Lenfest Overnight College Visit Trip

Monday & Tuesday, March 30 & 31, 2015

6:00 am Monday – 6:00 pm Tuesday

Visit three colleges - yet to be determined.

JUNIORS - SAT Prep Course

2/17, 2/18, 2/24, & 2/26 – 3:00 – 5:00 pm

Saturday, February 28, 2015 – Full length practice test

MS/HS Cafeteria @ 7:45 am

Upcoming events1
Upcoming Events

Adams County Area College & Career Fair

Thursday, October 2nd , 2014

7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Hauser Field House – Gettysburg College

Financial Aid Night

Wednesday, January 21st , 2015

6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Fairfield Area MS/HS Auditorium

Fairfield’s CEEB Code is: 391-360

Thank you

Thank you for your interest in this process.

Whether you will use it this year, in three years,

or in ten years….it is important.

Please contact Mrs. Swope if you have any questions.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 717-642-8228 ext. 2007