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Selecting a College & Becoming a Competitive Applicant: a 4 year process. 9th Grade. Get serious about your studies. GPA & Class rank are important for acceptance into most colleges. Develop effective study habits Strengthen your vocabulary by increasing reading

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Selecting a College & Becoming a Competitive Applicant: a 4 year process


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9th grade
9th Grade
  • Get serious about your studies. GPA & Class rank are important for acceptance into most colleges.
  • Develop effective study habits
  • Strengthen your vocabulary by increasing reading
  • Plan involvement in extra-curricular, class, & community activities purposefully
  • Meet with your counselor about your plans for the next 4 years.
  • Start browsing college literature and online resources to get ideas of schools you may be interested in.
  • Keep an academic portfolio and record of your co-curriculars to begin building your resume. Resumes should include academic achievements, awards, honors, GPA, leadership positions & school/community involvement.
  • Start thinking about possible career interests.
  • Begin saving for college!
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10th Grade-Concentrate on academic prep and continue to develop basic skills and co-curricular interests.
  • Fall-
    • Consider taking the PSAT on October 15th. The PSAT is a preliminary test that will prepare you for the SAT.
    • Stay on top of academic work
    • Get involved in co-curricular activities (*The level of involvement and accomplishment is most important, not the number of activities.)
  • Winter-
    • Visit college campuses while on vacation!
    • Volunteer in the community
    • Take a few career/interest inventories
    • Keep browsing college literature to get ideas
  • Spring-
    • Register for the June SAT Subject test if you think you may apply to colleges that require or recommend these tests.
    • Plan for your summer- consider taking summer courses if necessary or participating in special programs at our local colleges.
  • Summer-
    • Consider working or volunteering
    • Take the SAT subject tests you registered for
    • Read to increase your vocabulary
    • Visit college campuses while on vacation!
11 th grade
11thGrade
  • Fall-
    • Begin college selection process.
    • Attend college fairs, financial aid seminars, general info. Sessions, etc.
    • Make sure you’re meeting NCAA requirements if you want to play Division I or II sports in college.
    • Junior year grades are EXTREMELY important in the college admission process as well as for scholarships and financial aid opportunities.
    • Take the PSAT to become more familiar with standardized tests, and possibly qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Competition.
  • Winter-
    • Go over score results with your counselor. Consider registering for the ACT that will be given in February. At GWHS, all juniors will take the state ACT in April, but you will likely wish to take it more than once.
    • As you explore various colleges, note if they prefer or require the ACT, the SAT, and/or the SAT subject tests.
    • Make preliminary lists of colleges you’d like to investigate further. Surf the internet, check in the counseling office, and continue visiting campuses.
    • STUDY for the ACT & SAT with online prep support. Consider taking the SAT/ACT prep course offered in the Spring at West.
11 th grade1
11th Grade
  • Spring-
    • Update your resume
    • Request information from schools you’re interested in
    • Register for the May/June SAT and/or SAT subject tests
    • Register for the June ACT with writing, if you plan to retake it
    • Eliminate colleges from your list that you’re no longer interested in
    • Visit colleges during your spring break!
    • Start looking for scholarship opportunities, and what their requirements are.
  • Summer-
    • Take SAT and/or ACT tests you registered for in spring
    • Get on the road to visit colleges. Seeing the college firsthand, taking a tour, and talking to students can be the greatest help in deciding whether or not a school is right for you.
    • Involve your parents and siblings in each step of the application process. The opinions of those who know you best can provide helpful insight into which college is best.
    • Begin preparing for the actual application process: draft application essays, collect writing samples, and assemble portfolios.
    • Register and send transcripts to the NCAA Clearinghouse if you hope to play DI or DII sports.
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12th Grade-Apply to colleges, make decisions, and finish high school with pride in yourself and your accomplishments!
  • Fall-
    • Check application and financial aid deadlines for the schools to which you plan to apply. They may vary.
    • Meet with counselor- review school choices and admissions deadlines
    • Register for the Oct/Nov SAT &/or ACT
    • Begin asking teachers and counselors to write letters of recommendation- give at least 3 weeks notice.
    • Attend college fairs
    • Attend weekly scholarship luncheons on Wednesdays, room 305
    • Continue updating your portfolios/resumes/etc.
  • Winter-
    • Be sure when registering to take SAT/ACT to have your scores sent to the schools you’re applying to.
    • Keep back up copies of all applications submitted
    • Don’t lose sight of your classes in the madness of applying to College.
    • Ask your counselor to send your transcript again after first semester
    • Complete the FASFA as early as possible (opens Jan. 1)
    • Stay on top of things! Don’t procrastinate!
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12th Grade-Apply to colleges, make decisions, and finish high school with pride in yourself and your accomplishments!
  • Spring-
    • Continue to submit scholarship applications. You may be eligible for more scholarships than you think!
    • Don’t take Rolling-admissions applications for granted. They will stop accepting after they’ve reached capacity, so the earlier you apply, the better.
    • Review college acceptances and financial aid awards. Be sure to compare financial aid packages in your decision-making process.
    • As you’re admitted, start to consider which schools are a definite ‘Yes’. Be sure to let the other schools you’ve been admitted to that you’ve chosen another school as soon as you can.
    • You must decide which offer of admission to accept by May 1st, at which time you should send in your tuition deposit.
    • Get ready for graduation! Keep your counselor informed of your plans so that your successes can be celebrated!
  • Summer-
    • Request that your final transcript be sent to the school you’ve chosen.
    • Know when the payment for tuition, room and board, meal plans, etc. is due. Check with your financial aid office about payment options.
    • CONGRATS! You’ve made it through high school!
    • Look for info. From the college about housing, roommates, orientation, course selection, etc.
    • Pack for college, prepare for change, and have a great freshman year!
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PSAT
  • Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying test
  • Given only in October on 2 national test dates (Wed. 10/15 & Sat. 10/18)
  • New changes will be introduced this year
  • Scored on 20-80 scale (comparable to 200-800 SAT scale)
  • Targeted to Juniors, but taken by sophomores and even freshmen
  • Cost- $14
  • National Merit Scholarship Program uses Juniors’ PSAT results to qualify students for consideration.
  • Score report mailed to schools, and provides significant feedback to students on how to improve their SAT scores.
  • PSAT practice test- given upon payment, or found online at www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/PSAT/prep.
slide9
SAT
  • Three Sections: Writing, Critical Reading, & Math
  • Each section is scored individually to reach a total score.
  • The total composite score for all subtests combined will fall in a range of 600-2400.
  • Perfect score on each section= 800, overall exam= 2400.
  • The essay score range is 2-12.
  • Critical reading, formerly known as Verbal, includes questions on reading passages and sentence completion. Math covers arithmetic, geometry, Algebra 1 & 2.
  • Cost- $52.50
  • Testing Time: 3 hours 45 min
  • Students can take the SAT or up to 3 Subject tests, but not both, on any one national test date.
  • The SAT does penalize students for wrong answers, so students are not encouraged to guess, rather to leave answers blank.
  • The SAT will change again in the spring of 2016. Changes will include an essay analyzing a source, focus on math that matters most, solving problems grounded in real-world context, analysis and science and in history/social studies, close reading, and no penalty for guessing. The scoring range will also revert back to 200-1600.
  • Practice Tests: www.collegeboard/practice/SAT-practice-test.

*SAT Reasoning only (No Subject Tests). SAT Registration can be completed online at www.collegeboard.org. Testing locations available online.

sat subject tests
SAT Subject Tests
  • 2-3 subject tests are required for admission by a small handful of highly competitive colleges and universities, including specifically, the University of California system.
  • Each test is one hour long.
  • Perfect score = 800, Score range = 200-800
  • 20 Subject tests including: English Lit, US History, World History, Math 1, Math 2, Biology E/M, Chemistry, Physics, French, German, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish
  • All Subject Tests are not offered on the same dates, so students need to look closely at the registration form.
  • Cost: $26 registration fee, plus $26 per Language with Listening, and $16 for all other tests.
  • Practice tests: SAT Subject Test prep booklets: SAT.collegeboard.org/practice/SAT-subject-test-preparation
slide11
ACT
  • Four sections: English, Math, Science, & Reading
  • Scores on each section are averaged to reveal the ACT Composite Score that colleges use for admission
  • Perfect Score= 36
  • 2013 National Average= 20.6
  • Testing time: 3.5 hours
  • Cost: $38 for ACT, $54.50 for ACT plus Writing.
  • Most collegiate institutions will accept either the ACT or the SAT; many require the ACT/SAT plus writing.
  • The ACT does not penalize students for wrong answers, so students are encouraged to guess, rather than to leave answers blank.
  • Results mailed about 3-8 weeks after the test date.
  • Students choose which test results to send to colleges during registration.
  • Practice: www.ACTstudent.org/testprep

Registration for the ACT can be completed online at www.actstudent.org. Testing locations are available online.

types of applications
Types of Applications
  • Online- Easiest, most convenient, and most accepted type.
  • Paper- Limited access
  • Common Application- available online at www.commonapp.org, is utilized by over 500 Universities across the country, all of which agree to accept this app. In lieu of their own.
  • Universal College Application- relatively new- just over 75 Colleges and Universities from out of Colorado. www.universalcollegeapp.com
application options
Application Options

Restrictive Application Options

  • Students are responsible for determining and following restrictions.
      • Early Decision (ED)- Students make a commitment to a first-choice institution where, if admitted, they definitely will enroll. The application and decision deadline occurs early.
      • Restrictive Early Action (REA)- Students apply to an institution of preference and receive a decision early. They may be restricted from applying EA or ED or REA at other institutions. If offered enrollment, they have until May 1st to confirm.

Non-Restrictive Application Options

  • Students are not restricted from applying to other institutions and have until May 1st to consider their options and confirm their enrollment.
      • Rolling Decision- Institutions review applications as they are submitted and render admissions decisions throughout the admission cycle.
      • Regular Decision- Students submit an application by a specified date and receive a decision in a clearly stated period of time.
      • Early Action (EA)- Students apply early and receive a decision well in advance of the institution’s regular response date.
10 rules for selecting a college
10 rules for selecting a college
  • Never make your final college selection without visiting at least your top two or three choices. No matter how well you think you know a college or university, you can learn a lot (good or bad) by spending a few hours on campus, including whether or not the college feels like a good "fit" for you. Having family members accompany you on college visits is a great idea because it gives you extra "eyes and ears" and people with whom you can discuss your impressions.
  • There are no exceptions to rule #1.
  • A college is not necessarily right for you because its name is familiar. That might seem pretty obvious, but you wouldn't believe how many students equate educational quality with name recognition.
  • Investigate at least three or four colleges you know little or nothing about but offer the field(s) of study of interest to you, are appropriately selective for a students with your grades and SAT or ACT scores, and are located in geographic areas attractive to you. You have nothing to lose and you might make a great discovery. A little research and an open mind can greatly increase the odds that you make a good college choice.
  • There very few worse reasons to select a college than because your friends are going there. Choosing a college because your girlfriend or boyfriend is headed there is one of them. In fact, if there is a worse reason to choose a college, it escapes us.
  • Investigate, investigate, investigate, and be sure to separate reality from (often baseless) opinions. Lots of folks will refer to a college as "good", "hard to get into", "a party school", "too expensive", etc. without really knowing the facts. Don't accept these kinds of generalizations without evidence.
10 rules for selecting a college1
10 rules for selecting a college
  • Do not rule out colleges early because of cost. Many colleges offer scholarships, financial aid, and tuition installment plans that make them far more affordable than they may first appear. You can't/won't know how much it will cost to attend a college until the very end of the process.
  • Deadlines, whether for college applications, SAT or ACT registration, financial aid, scholarships, campus housing, etc. are not suggestions. Miss a deadline and you may find yourself in deep you-know-what. Write down on a calendar and adhere strictly to all deadlines.
  • Don't be afraid to apply to a few "reach schools". You might be pleasantly surprised by the results if you are not entirely unrealistic. Then, apply to at least three colleges you like which are highly likely to admit you. Remember, choose these three colleges very carefully as they are the places where you are mostly likely to wind up. Finally, choose at least two "safety" colleges. Colleges to which you are virtually certain you will be admitted. Choosing "safety" schools they don't really like is a mistake many students make. If you take the time to choose safety schools you would be happy to attend, you'll eliminate all the anxiety some students experience in the college application and admissions process.
  • When it is time to make your final choice, discuss your options with your family, your counselor (if you have one), and others who know you well and whose judgment you value. If you have a tough time choosing among two or more colleges or universities it is probably because you have done a good job putting together your list and you will be happy at whichever institution you choose. Once you make your choice, don't agonize over it. If you have followed these rules there is an excellent chance your final college choice will be a good one.
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Questions?

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