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Charting The Course to College. College Planning Workshop July 15, 2011. Warning Signs for Parents… (resource: Put the high school college counselor’s home number on speed dial. House-hunt in North Dakota to enhance child’s “geo” appeal

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Charting The

Course to College

College Planning Workshop

July 15, 2011

Warning signs for parents resource www fiskeguide com
Warning Signs for Parents…(resource:

  • Put the high school college counselor’s home number on speed dial.

  • House-hunt in North Dakota to enhance child’s “geo” appeal

  • Change license plate to read “650CR/610M” on family car

Warning signs for students resource www fiskeguide com
Warning Signs for Students…(resource:

  • Message on cell phone notes you are on the honor roll and a member of the National Honor Society

  • Demand that your family only communicates with you using SAT vocabulary words

  • You memorize the Tier I and Tier II institutions of the U.S. News national rankings

Values for the voyage
Values for the Voyage

  • Why do I want to go to college?

  • What excites me most about college? What scares me?

  • What are my strengths? Weaknesses?

  • What type of student am I?

  • How do I prefer to learn – in small group discussions or larger class lectures?

Values for the voyage1
Values for the Voyage

  • What are my educational and career goals? Academic interests?

  • What activities mean the most to me?

  • What excites me most about college? What scares me?

  • What makes me special? What talents or insights can I contribute to a campus community?

  • What experiences help to make me a bit uncommon?

Back to the basics
Back to the Basics

  • Academic Plan: Challenge yourself (you may surprise yourself)

  • Pursue your passions – it’s about quality, not quantity

  • Ask people you know & respect for referrals

Back to the basics1
Back to the Basics

  • Start with a map!

  • Check out the web resources

    Individual college websites

  • Make the time – 1 hour each week

Back to the basics2
Back to the Basics

  • Get organized!

    -Read, assess, file & recycle

    -Not interested? Let the college know

    -Interested? Respond to requests

    -Create a timeline of important dates

    - Application deadlines (6-8 schools)

    -Financial aid & scholarship deadlines

    -Test dates

    -Open house or HS visit opportunities

    -Start a journal or pro/con list for each college choice (continually assess/refine your college list)

Back to the basics3
Back to the Basics

  • Avoid being a “stealth applicant”

    -Initiate contact

    -Respond to paper/online requests

    -Connect at your high school or local fair

    -Alumni interviews

    -Campus Visits

Demonstrate interest
Demonstrate Interest

  • Make reference to distinctive characteristics of the college and how those qualities fit your abilities, personality and style particularly well.

  • Pay attention to the entire application – College Application Supplements (

  • Keep note of admission decision notification dates. If the dates have passed (or close to the date), contact the office to inquire about your file’s status with the admission committee.

  • If wait listed at your top choice, be sure the admissions office is aware of your interest. Send a letter of interest to the director. If capable, visit to speak with a counselor.

Back to the basics4
Back to the Basics

  • Clear, thoughtful and accurate communication is key

    -Create a connection (counselors, teachers, college professionals…and your parents!)

    - Read the instructions

    - Do it yourself

Charting the

Course to College

College Planning Workshop

July 15, 2011

Final Thoughts…for Parents

  • Recognize that gaining admission to college is merely one step in a process of education.

  • Resist doing for your students what they are capable of doing themselves.

  • Resist relying on rankings and college selectivity alone.

  • Realize that researching, selecting and applying to colleges does not have to be an expensive process.

  • Keep this process in perspective.

Final Thoughts…for Students

  • Be confident! Take responsibility.

  • Be deliberate!

  • Be realistic and trust your instincts!

  • Be open-minded!

  • Use a variety of resources for gathering info.

  • Be honest; be yourself!

  • Limit applications to a well-researched number

  • Know that what you do in college is a better predictor of future success than where you go.

“It is your future and no one else should prepackage your approach to the process.”

- College Unranked