Manual / YPAS An Overview of The College Application Process Senior Class of 2012
Acknowledgement of Sources • Fiske Guide to Getting Into the Right College Edward B. Fiske and Bruce G. Hammond Published by Sourcebooks, Inc. • The Truth About Getting In: If You’re Getting Ready for the College Admissions Process, Get the Facts Katherine Cohen, Ph.D. Published by Hyperion Books
College Preparatory Curriculum Graduation Requirements • 4 years of English (English 1,2,3,4) • 4 years of Math (Algebra 1 & 2, Geometry, or more advanced) • 3 years of Science (life, physical, earth/space, include at least one laboratory class) • 3 years of Social Studies (World Civilizations, US History, plus one of economics, government, geography, civics, or survey of social sciences) • .5 years of Health • .5 years of Physical Education (or 1 year of Fundamentals of Dance) Dance Majors do not have to take PE • 1 year of Humanities (or 4 years of specialization in the arts) • 2-3 years of the same Foreign Language • Computer Applications or Proficiency • 4-5 credits of Electives (your YPAS classes are electives)
Additional JCPS Diploma Requirements • Students must meet the minimum requirements of the Kentucky Department of Education program of studies which is 22 credits • The ILP (Individual Learning Plan) must be 100% complete EACH YEAR you are in high school • Computer proficiency (to be explained)
Graduation Requirements for the Advanced Program • For those students that have tested into the Advanced Program – 12 credits must be earned in Advanced Program classes in at least 3 of the following areas: English, Math (4), Science, Social Studies, Foreign Language • Advanced Humanities is also required (or specialization) • Students are also required to take 3 years of the same Foreign Language • A Cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required to stay in the Advanced Program • The Advanced Program is unique to Jefferson County Public Schools – most out of state colleges are unaware of this program – Honors is the highest level at most high schools across the nation other than Advanced Placement Courses.
Commonwealth Diploma • Please see your counselor if you are working toward the Commonwealth Diploma (add to sheet) • We must add your name to the list to order your Commonwealth Diploma in addition to your Manual Diploma • Required Coursework for the Commonwealth Diploma Includes: 1 AP English credit 1 AP Math or AP Science Credit 1 AP Foreign Language Credit 1 Elective AP Credit • Students must take the AP Exams for these courses and pass at least 3 with a score of 3 or higher • FINAL YEAR!!!
NCAA Clearinghouse • 16 Core Credits • 4 Years of English • 3 Years of Math – Algebra 1 or higher • 2 Years of Physical/Natural Science • 1 Year of Social Science • 1 Additional Math, English, or Natural/Physical Science • 4 Years of any of the above or Foreign Language • Mrs. Marti Johnston is our NCAA Clearinghouse Expert located in the Manual Counseling Suite
NCAA Clearinghouse – cont. • Make sure you have taken the ACT or SAT and reported your scores to the Clearinghouse • Register online at www.ncaaclearinghouse.net • The fee is $50.00 • Apply at the end of your junior year – Mrs. Johnston will send your transcript
Academic Status Report • Student’s name, counselor, grade level • Magnet Program • Required Credits • Credits Earned • Credits Needed • Failed Courses – Method of Completion • GPA – on transcript • Additional JCPS Graduation Requirements (ILP, Computer Proficiency) • Standardized Test Scores – must be sent by agency • NCAA Clearinghouse reminders
What is a Transcript??? • The transcript is the report sent to colleges that reflects every semester of high school that you have completed • Courses you have taken and credits you have earned each semester are on the transcript • The level of rigor of each class is included on the transcript (AP, advanced, honors, etc.) • Your total cumulative weighted and un-weighted GPA is on the transcript • Your attendance record is on the transcript • Grades, including all pluses and minuses, A’s, B’s, C’s, D’s, and U’s!!! • Your name, address, phone, birth date, and student ID numbers are also on the transcript, as well as the name and address of Manual High School
Transcript Review • Check to determine that all courses are reported accurately (name, grade, credit) • Make sure you have all required courses for graduation or you are taking those courses your senior year • Look for Summer School, eSchool, and Ind. Study grades • Write in any corrections and see your counselor immediately for edits • Notice the GPA – weighted and un-weighted • Notice your attendance record • Check for correct name, address, birth date, phone number, etc.
Why College? Amount of EducationEarningsUnemployment Rate • High School – no diploma $17,077 11.4% • High School Graduate $25,288 6.3% • Some College $28,625 5.4% • Associate’s Degree $30,047 3.4% • Bachelor’s Degree $40,925 2.1% • Master’s Degree $48,642 1.8% • Doctoral Degree $66,032 1.5% • Professional Degree $83,649 1.3% 2008 median earnings of people in Kentucky over age 25, both sexes, with a full time job – U.S. Census Bureau
Home Health Aides Network Systems & Data Communications Analysts Medical Assistants Physician Assistants Computer Software Engineers/Applications Physical Therapist Assistants Dental Hygienists Dental Assistants Personal and Home Care Aides Network and Computer Systems Administrators Database Administrators Physical Therapists Forensic Science Technicians Veterinary Technologists and Technicians Diagnostic Medical Sonographers Occupational Therapist Assistants Medical Scientists Occupational Therapists Preschool Teachers Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians Postsecondary Teachers Hydrologists Computer Systems Analysts Hazardous Materials Removal Workers Biomedical Engineers Employment Recruitment and Placement Specialists Paralegals and Legal Assistants Top Occupations in the U.S.A. Based on Growth Rate to 2014
Academic Rigor, Talent, and/or Mastery of Skills Cumulative GPA Grades in Advanced Placement Courses Grades in College Prep Courses Grades in All Subjects ACT & SAT Test Scores Class Rank (JCPS does not rank) Essay or Writing Samples Honors, Awards, etc. Counselor Recommendations Teacher Recommendations Interviews (if required) Community Service Work and Extra Curricular Activities College Admissions Criteria by Importance
The ACT consists of four multiple choice tests in English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science The English Test measures standard written English and Rhetorical Skills The Math Test measures mathematical skills students have typically acquired in courses taken up to the beginning of Grade 12 The Reading Test measures Reading Comprehension The Science Test measures the interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning, and problem-solving skills required in the Natural Sciences The Optional Writing Test measures writing skills emphasized in high school English classes and in entry level composition courses All together, the test predicts college readiness in the areas evaluated and sets benchmark scores for college success The ACT Test
ACT College Readiness Benchmark Scores • A benchmark score is the minimum score needed on an ACT subject area test to indicate a 50% chance of obtaining a B or higher, or, a 75% chance of obtaining a C or higher in the corresponding credit bearing college course • College English Composition 18 on ACT English Test • College Algebra 22 on ACT Math Test • College Social Sciences 21 on ACT Reading Test • College Biology 24 on ACT Science Test • Overall College Readiness 21 on ACT Composite Score These are the minimum scores you need to indicate to the average college you are ready for postsecondary work – More competitive colleges will require higher benchmark scores
ACT Content based – core curriculum knowledge Includes science reasoning Math includes trigonometry No guessing penalty Tests grammar Scored on a scale of 1-36 1 composite score and 4 subject scores, plus 7 subscores SAT Tests critical thinking and problem solving skills Tests vocabulary much more Not entirely multiple choice Includes a guessing penalty Does not test grammar Scored on a scale of 200-800 and has seven sections – 3 math, 3 verbal, plus an experimental section ACT vs. SAT – What’s the Difference?
Are You Ready to Apply? • Have you decided what your college major will be? • Are you happy with the lifestyle and eventual pay scale you will be earning upon graduation? • Are you satisfied with your employability upon graduation? • Will you be happy doing this for the rest of your life? • Have you researched to find the schools that are strong in that area? • Have you found a Kentucky College you would happy attending? • Have you visited the college campuses, experienced the culture on campus, satisfied with safety concerns, checked out the dormitory and food services, explored the town or city, met with admissions counselors, and talked with your prospective primary teacher? • Do you know the entry requirements, audition repertoire you will be expected to perform, and have a good grasp of that material so it will be prepared by audition day? • If you have answered yes to all of these questions – you are ready to begin the college application process!!!
College Deadline October 1, 2011 October 15, 2011 November 1, 2011 November 15, 2011 December 1, 2011 December 15, 2011 January 1, 2012 January 15, 2012 Due Date to Counselor September 16, 2011 September 30, 2011 October 15, 2011 October 31, 2011 November 15, 2011 November 21, 2011 December 1, 2011 December 16, 2011 2011-2012 College Application Deadlines
What Will Be Your First Impression??? The appearance of your college application is very important: • If you are completing your application on-line, make sure all the blanks are filled in and your application is complete • If submitting a hard copy – type the application or print VERY NEATLY in black ink. • Make sure all the components of the application are in the correct order • If you are mailing the application – address the envelope in a very professional way – typed address labels are great
Facebook, MySpace, Email Address, and College Applications • Consider that the information posted on these sites is basically public domain. • In as few as 10 minutes after you have posted something on these sites they are archived forever in over 20 locations throughout the world. • Your personal sites can be viewed by college admission counselors, college professors, employers, stalkers, that creepy kid obsessing over you, as well as campus and local police • Make sure your email address is a professional or generic name and not something that causes one to pause and doubt your integrity or character
Time To Do Some Cleanup??? • Remove photos showing you doing anything that could be interpreted as inappropriate • Remove rude gestures, inappropriate comments, questionable photos, etc. • Unsubscribe to questionable groups • Remove contact information • Choose attractive/professional looking photos to post • Un-tag any unflattering photos your friends may have posted • Perhaps let your grandmother approve of what you have posted!!!
How Many Colleges Should I Apply To??? • For most it will be a list of about six schools (more for theatre and musical theatre students) • Aim for one or more “reach” colleges that are highly desired and highly selective. If you don’t, you’ll always wonder, “what if?” • It is wise to include one or two schools where the odds are 50/50 that you will be accepted. • Include at least one or two colleges where admission is highly likely and a college where you can afford to attend if you receive very little financial aid • The easy part is finding your dream and reach schools • The hard part is finding your safety schools that are also a really good match – keep an open mind about the many fine colleges that are not intensely competitive in admission • Two safety schools are preferable to guarantee a choice between two offers • The potential for heartache in April can be drastically reduced by a few good decisions in October and November
The Academic Common Market • If the program you are interested in studying is not offered at a college in Kentucky, you may be able to pay in-state tuition at an out-of-state school through the Academic Common Market • Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia participate at the undergraduate and graduate levels • Florida, North Carolina, and Texas participate at the graduate level
Applications Via Download • Application software that comes via download from a website that allows students to generate applications on their own computer • Students generally print and send the application via the post office
Applications Through the Web • To use these, students access a website that houses the software rather than downloading • Generally, a username and password will be provided that will allow you to save your work from multiple sessions • The final copy is either transmitted through the Web or printed and sent via snail mail
Take Precautions!!! • Resist the temptation to impulsively hit the “send” button until you have thoroughly proofread your application – have at least one other person also check for typos • It is advised that you compose essays and short answer questions offline and transfer them to your application after you have refined those responses • Review a printed copy of your work whenever possible before sending and keep it for your records • Electronic filers should receive an acknowledgement via return mail • Don’t forget you may need to print and mail a signature page with a check for the application fee • Other parts of the application (recommendation page, counselor page, secondary school report, etc.) must be printed and given to your teacher or guidance counselor • If you print your application, make sure you sign it and enclose your check
The Old Fashioned Way • If you plan to stick with paper applications, make at least two photocopies of the original • Practice on them and get all the typos and coffee or pizza stains out of your system • A sloppy application is the quickest way to get a rejection letter • Proofread for spelling, spacing, word choice, and anything else you can think of • Type the final copy yourself – don’t worry about a “few” neatly corrected errors, but avoid a sloppy appearance • If you print instead of type (less professional looking), make sure your penmanship is neat and easily readable
The Common Application • Available online at www.commonapp.org • Approximately 300 schools, including the most selective liberal arts colleges, accept the Common Application • You can either download the software or transmit through the web • Use the college’s own application form if they have one – but many have adopted the common application as their own
Cultivating Colleges • Many colleges are reluctant to accept an applicant unless they have reason to believe that he/she is seriously interested. • Many colleges track every contact the applicant initiates and are more likely to accept students who have made multiple contacts A few ways to communicate interest include: • Visit the college – if you do not have a personal interview stop by the admissions office and let them know you came • If the college sends a rep to Manual or YPAS, go to their session and communicate your interest • Attend a college fair in your local area and speak to the representative • Get a business card from any college representative you meet and write or email that person to thank them and emphasize your interest • Note in your application that a particular college is your first choice school or one of your top choices • Make sure your email address stays the same throughout the college search process – if it changes tell the colleges
Listing Activities • Always list activities from most important to least important • The ones that are significant, as evidenced by leadership and time commitment, will be obvious • Marginal activities like membership in the Monogram Club should be de-emphasized • Don’t make a big production out of honors from companies that put your picture in a book and then ask you to buy it • Follow the college’s preferred format for listing activities • If the space is too small, attach extra sheets where necessary as supplemental material, especially when activities of in-depth involvement need further explanation – however, submit one of these in addition to filling out the college’s activities form
Explain Everything • If one of your activities was chairing the Founder’s Day Committee, it won’t mean anything to the admissions office unless you explain what you did and why the committee was important • If it was an honor bestowed on only one senior, say so • If it involved presentations to alumni and coordination of twenty volunteers for six months, spell that out • You could also have the sponsor, counselor, or principal write a letter outlining the significance • The same goes for a weak spot in your record like a suspension or failing grade – any reasonable explanation you can give without sounding bitter or whiny would be helpful • Even more impressive would be an account of how the experience helped you to mature as an individual
Avoid Gimmicks • Do not send cookies, flowers, or letters with creative ways of saying “Please Accept Me” • According to one famous admissions counselor: “I don’t need a chocolate layer cake, your kindergarten report card, or all the poems you wrote in the ninth grade. I am very interested in seeing the results of whatever you consider your finest accomplishment, whether that be photographs of your set designs, your concerto performance, you solo dance routine, or your best theatrical monologue”
Get It In Early • Keep on top of deadlines - there will be different ones for each college and for each part of the application process • Some deadlines are as early as Oct. 1st • If the college offers rolling admissions they admit the first good applicants that come along leaving fewer slots for later applicants • If the college evaluates in one big pool, applying early shows you are interested and they know that stronger applicants tend to file early – waiting later risks getting less consideration because of the flood of applications pouring in all at once
Early Decision vs. Early Action • Both require students to apply by an early deadline - usually between October 15th and December 1st • Decisions are usually rendered between December 15 and February 1 • Borderline students are usually deferred and considered with the regular applicant pool at a later date
Early Decision • Early decision involves a BINDING DECISION to enroll if accepted - you have to attend that school regardless of other offers and without knowing any financial aid package that may or may not be offered • You may only apply to one school through Early Decision and if accepted, you must withdraw your applications to all other schools • Early Decision offers a slight advantage of acceptance - colleges usually accept a higher percentage of applicants than those that apply for regular decision - colleges desire students that really want to attend their school • Early Decision is a good option for borderline students with LOW financial need who have a clear first choice school - others should be very CAUTIOUS!!!!
Early Action • Entails no commitment to enroll and therefore offers little advantage for admission • Early Action students, however, are often first in line for merit scholarships and housing • Competition in Early Action pools at highly selective schools is generally tougher than in the regular pool • Some Early Action colleges now ask that students apply early only to their institution, however, you may still apply regular decision to any other institution
Early Applications • It is difficult to give definitive advice regarding early decision and early action • Only students that have thoroughly investigated colleges and completed most standardized testing by the end of the eleventh grade with high test scores will be in a strong position to consider early application
Surviving the Interview / Mtg Step One - Prepare Your Resume! • You should have a resume to present at the meeting • Tell your story on paper with a quick summary of the basic facts needed to understand your experiences and strengths • Limit your resume to the most signification information - be brief and to the point • Use outline form with highly visible headlines • Use high quality paper and printing for the most professional look (the quality of your resume directly reflects your attitude and professionalism) • Have a professional Photo or Head Shot to include with your resume • Include your resume with your application
Surviving the Interview / Mtg:Resume - What to Include • Name and Contact Information - address, phone number, email address • Objective - career goals and college major • School Information - GPS, AP Courses/AP Scores, Magnet, ACT/SAT Scores • Awards/Honors • Extracurricular Activities and Leadership Positions • Community Service and Volunteer Work • Employment
Surviving the Interview / Mtg • College admission begins the minute you present yourself (even in the parking lot) • Your professional attitude and appearance do make a difference • Faculty look not just for talent, skill, and style, but for those students who apply themselves seriously and work cooperatively with others • Be courteous to EVERYONE - an enthusiastic attitude is contagious • Dress appropriately - a professional appearance with conservative jewelry • Arrive early
Surviving the Audition • No excuses - the counselor has heard them all • Answer and ask questions (based on your research) which are appropriate to the particular institution where you are applying • Do not present yourself as a “scholarship shopper” • Always thank the individual for the mtg
Interviews • Try to relax • Dress nicely • Be on time • Be prepared to discuss 2 or 3 topics at length (your school, favorite subject, extracurriculars, current events, favorite book) • Do not misrepresent yourself - don’t tell them you like current events and then go blank when they ask you about the Supreme Court’s latest decision • Keep your cool and be yourself
Expect Probing Questions • What books have you read lately? • Why do you want to enroll here? • What are your most important activities and why are they valuable? • What would you add to the life at this college? • What other colleges are you considering?
Good Questions to Ask an Interviewer • What is distinctive about your school? • What sets students here apart from those at similar schools? • What percentage of entering students graduate within five years? • What are the most common career paths for your graduates? • What is the average time a student gains employment after graduation?
Your College Essay Can Make the Difference!!! • Admissions officers are looking for spark, vitality, wit, sensitivity, originality, and signs of a lively mind • They want to know how well you can express yourself in writing • Try to be as concise and specific as possible • Don’t waste words that aren’t essential to your point • Reread the essay several times for word choice and typos • If you have time - put your essay aside for a few weeks and reread again to see if it still makes sense • When talent, GPA, and test scores are equal - the essay will often determine who is chosen for admittance
Five Fundamentals of a Successful Essay • Show, don’t tell - a skillful writer lets evidence show that a proposition is true; a clumsy one tells because his writing is not powerful enough to show • Use your own experiences - put yourself in the starring role and use your own real life thoughts and feelings. Give the reader a piece of your mind • Use the first person - the better the reader gets to know you as a person the more likely you will be admitted • Begin with a flourish - the most important sentence in your essay is the first one; hook the reader with a first sentence that surprises and piques interest to read further • Proofread - nothing is more damaging than an essay sull of typoes, speling misteaks, and grammar that ain’t no good
Best Essay Approaches • Openly discuss a personal problem or obstacle you have overcome (avoid common topics, i.e. Katrina) • Share something real even though baring your soul to a complete stranger may seem uncomfortable • Write about a life changing experience dominated by the facts that happened and tell the story straight from your heart
Essay Turnoffs • Trite phrases - don’t write about wanting to help people - think of something unique about you • Slickness - an essay that reads like it has been turned out by a public relations firm never works - let the real you shine through • Cynicism - a positive approach to life will score points • Life histories - don’t put the reader to sleep - make sure your essay has a point • Essay that goes on forever - more is not better - no sequels to War and Peace please - do not exceed the amount of space allotted for each essay • The Thesaurus Syndrome - Avoid the utilization of ostentatiously pretentious language to delineate the thematic observations you are endeavoring to articulate.
Recommendations • Letters of recommendation matter because of substance, not because of who is writing them • They should tell the committee something about you as a person that comes out nowhere else in your application • Find people who are familiar with your goals and aspirations and can write about you in vivid detail • You will not be able to see the recommendation before it is sent, so choose carefully • Most selective colleges require one recommendation from a teacher - pick one who has taught you in your junior or senior year, who respects you as a person, and who can testify to some of your deeper and less obvious qualities • In general, do not send more recommendations than the application calls for • October 1st is the deadline to ask teachers and counselors to write a letter of recommendation