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Navigating College Admissions. Deer Park High School Parent Presentation 2011-2012. Deer Park High School Guidance Counselors. Kim Shafer last names A-K Jan McNulty last names L-M. Student Responsibilities.

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navigating college admissions

Navigating College Admissions

Deer Park High School

Parent Presentation


deer park high school guidance counselors
Deer Park High School Guidance Counselors
  • Kim Shafer last names A-K
  • Jan McNulty last names L-M
student responsibilities
Student Responsibilities
  • To research and to be personally knowledgeable about all of the colleges to which you will apply.
  • You must complete all application materials on or before deadlines and be the sole author of your application.
  • You should seek the assistance of your counselor!
  • Perform well in college!
a note to parents and students
Be Realistic About Your Profile


Test results

Curricular choices

Your special talents and needs

“Lay all your cards on the table” about:

College cost vs. Family income

Student achievement and progress at college

Expected student financial contributions

Final choices-A family decision

A Note to Parents and Students
post secondary institutions
Post-Secondary Institutions
  • Liberal Arts College
    • Wilmington, Xavier, College of Mt. St. Joseph
  • University
    • O.S.U., Miami U, U.C., Xavier
  • Technical/Community College
    • Cincinnati State, Sinclair, Raymond Walters
  • Engineering or Technical Institute
    • Cincinnati State, ITT, DeVry
  • Nursing School
    • Good Samaritan, U.C., Cincinnati State, N.K.U., Xavier
  • Music, Drama, and Art
    • Cincinnati Art Academy, Cincinnati Art Institute, U.C. (CCM, DAAP)
what admission committees review
The Objective

Curriculum choices

Standardized testing

Grade point average

Class rank

The Subjective

Time commitments outside of class


Letters of recommendation

Special talent, legacy, diversity (of ALL sorts)

Degree of interest

What Admission Committees Review
a good application
A Good Application
  • Rigorous curriculum
  • Broad range of extracurricular activities, inside the high school and out
  • Strong GPA
  • Test Scores
  • Essays
  • Recommendations
  • Interest
building the college list
Size of student body


Social Life






M/F Ratio

Study Abroad


Class sizes

Student Activities

% of students returning


Campus setting

Greek Life

Graduation rate

Who Teaches?

Dorm Life


Building the College List
Admission Plans
  • Regular Decision
  • Early Decision
  • Early Action
  • Rolling Admission
  • Wait List
early decision ed
Early Decision (ED)
  • You apply early and make a contract with the college that if accepted you WILL attend their school.
  • Deadlines are usually October 15-December 1st.
  • If accepted ED you must withdraw your other applications.
  • Be 100% SURE before you apply ED.
  • Colleges improve their yield by accepting students ED, and thus your chances of acceptance are higher at most ED schools.
  • Scholarship implications?
early decision
Positive Features

Early response from admission committee

Smaller applicant pool

Demonstrates strong interest

Greater chance of gaining admission?

Less stress!

Negative Features

Eliminates options


Tentative financial aid offer

Limits scholarship/aid opportunities

What high school senior is sure of anything?

Early Decision
early action ea
Early Action (EA)
  • Similar to Early Decision, but not binding.
  • Deadlines tend to be from Oct. 15th to December 1st.
  • You should find your status between December 1st and February 1st.
  • Less of an admission advantage than ED.
early action
Early Action
  • Gives students the benefits of early notification without the obligations of early decision
  • Students are free to apply to other schools and to compare financial aid offers
  • SINGLE CHOICE EARLY ACTION requires students not to make other EA applications to schools
rolling admissions
Rolling Admissions

When you apply, your application is reviewed

soon and you will generally be notified of the

admission decision in 3-8 weeks.

  • Apply early! October/November
  • Your chances are improved early in the admission cycle year with Rolling Admissions.
  • Most (but not ALL) state schools use Rolling Admissions.
late decision or the wait list
Late Decision or the Wait List

You have not been accepted or denied. There may be room if they need you.

  • Students respond to stay or not on the List
  • If the student is still very interested, he/she should express very clearly that they will attend if offered a spot from the wait list.
  • Unfortunately, the odds are stacked against wait list students.
Cost and Value
    • Complete a Financial Need Estimate
    • IF you look like you WILL qualify for aid, don’t rule out private schools!
    • IF you WILL NOT qualify for aid, but want to attend a smaller, private school apply to safe schools for scholarship money.
    • Some out-of-state, State schools are as affordable as in-state, State schools!
    • Consider State schools. Ohio has many different options.
  • MORE at the Financial Aid Meeting, January 2011
College Goal Sunday
  • Locations throughout Ohio
  • College Goal Sunday offers the opportunity to have expert help completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Financial aid professionals from Ohio colleges & universities will be available to walk you and your family through the financial aid process
  • College Goal Sunday is brought to you by the Ohio Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.
  • Need Information for College Goal Sunday?
  • Call Ohio’s College Access Information Hotline
  • 1-877-I-ATTAIN (428-8246)
  • Mon.-Fri. 10am-6pm
A Final Word about Cost

Please discuss cost as a family now, not


If cost is a major factor, design your list to maximize your money.

Please attend the Financial Aid meeting:

January 2011 in the

High School Media Center

college applications
College Applications

When applying on-line ALWAYS:

  • Have someone you trust review your application before you submit it.
  • Print out the counselor form for Mrs. Shafer or Ms. McNulty and bring to the counseling office
  • Remember to tell the counselors that you applied, the colleges do not.
  • Call the admission office to verify that your application was received.
the application
The Application

The application will include:

  • On-line application form
  • Essay?
  • Teacher recommendation?
  • Counselor Form and Transcript
  • Test Scores (you may need to have these sent)
  • Interview?
  • Audition?
  • Portfolio?
  • Additional Materials?
application tips
Application Tips
  • Watch out for Deadlines, including scholarship Deadlines.
  • Complete an Inventory of the application
  • START EARLY and make a schedule for completion.
  • Don’t add too much extra information, but some may be OK.
  • Be sure the application is 100% accurate
the common application
The Common Application

The Common Application is a single college application good at over 450colleges.

  • Students may complete on-line or type in to web site and print out whenever you need it.

  • Many schools still need an additional supplement completed as well.
  • Some schools which accept the Common Application: Miami U (OH), Denison, Wittenberg, University of Dayton, UK, University of Findlay, Xavier University, etc.
A Word about DEADLINES
  • Applications must be turned in at least two weeks prior to any deadline.
  • Work backwards from the due date to determine your timeline.
  • Plan to complete and turn in all applications one month before deadline and definitely by Christmas.
  • 95% of all deadlines are absolute! Colleges and definitely scholarships will not modify their deadline for you no matter how good your reason.
recommendation letters
Recommendation Letters

Recommendation letters can help your application.

Some general guidelines about recommendations:

  • Ask someone who will write positively about you!
  • Ask someone to write about you who knows you well!
  • Ask at least TWO WEEKS IN ADVANCE for your letter. Forms are available in the counseling office.
  • Put it all together neatly and ask nicely.
  • In most cases you can include an extra recommendation letter, but do not include too many.
  • Recommendation Letters are confidential between the writer and the college
testing act vs sat

Score of 36 is perfect (National average is 21)

4 sections (English, Math, Reading, and Science) + OPTIONAL writing section

More common in the Mid-West and South

Ohio State requires the writing portion!

Free ACT prep at


Score of 2400 is perfect (National average is 1500)

3 Sections (Math, Critical Reading {formerly verbal}, and Writing

More common on East and West Coast

Free SAT prep at

Testing… ACT vs. SAT
sat subject tests sat 2 s
SAT Subject Tests/SAT 2’s

Three tests at one sitting, usually one Math, and two others of your choice

  • Few schools require, BUT these are generally the more SELECTIVE schools in the country
  • Often used for placement
act sat continued
ACT/SAT Continued…


If you have NOT yet completed an ACT or an SAT, please do so ASAP!!


We recommend you take your first ACT/SAT in April of your junior year

Sign up for the PSAT test given on Oct. 13th

act sat continued1
ACT/SAT Continued…
  • Most colleges will only accept scores directly from the testing company
  • If you coded in colleges on your original exam, they have already been sent by the testing agency
  • If you forgot to code colleges on your original exam, you must contact the testing company to have your scores sent to the colleges

SAT: will send ALL of your test scores for $9.50 per school

ACT: will send ONE of your test scores for $9.00 per school

  • Deer Park High School’s testing code: 360-975 Scores will be sent to the high school if you code it (we need verification for some awards/scholarships)
  • PSAT (Practice SAT) Wednesday Oct. 12, 2011
  • Registration fee is $14.00

-Make checks payable to Deer Park High School

  • Open to sophomores in honors English and to ALL juniors
  • Students register with Mrs. Hester in the main office
  • Space is limited to the first 50 students who sign up
  • Upon registration, students will receive a practice PSAT
  • A good essay allows the reader to see who you are and understand what you are!
  • How do you write one?

-Good essays contain certain qualities:

1. They are well developed in thought and theme.

2. They are grammatically correct.

3. They display good vocabulary skills.

4. They hold your attention and are read easily.

5. They reveal your personality, position, passion, and ideals.

essay tips
Essay Tips
  • There are no right and wrong answers!!
  • Answer the question which is asked.
  • Be well organized in the essay. Is there a beginning, middle, end?
  • Support your main ideas with examples.
  • Avoid cliché topics: confessions, shock topics, vulgarity, girlfriend/boyfriend, “the injury”, Iraq
  • Is it coherent? Does it flow and make sense?
  • Don’t try to cover too much, rather focus in on a specific idea.
  • Proofread three times!!
  • Get a second and third opinion.
  • Make it your voice.
  • Do you have a story to tell?
  • Use wit and humor (just not too much).
  • When in doubt, keep it simple.
  • Show, don’t tell.
college bound student athletes
College-bound Student Athletes
  • Do you want to play sports in college?
  • Be realistic.
  • Seniors: Register NOW for the NCAA Clearinghouse for Division I & II prospects.

  • ACT/SAT scores must be sent directly to the Clearinghouse (code 9999)
  • Have strong grades your senior year.
  • Get promises in writing.
college visits
College Visits

Simply the best way to learn about a college and its potential match.


  • Make an appointment online or by phone with the individual college

-schedule a meeting with a college admissions counselor

- request meetings for any special needs you may have

  • Notify Mrs. Miskimens prior to the visit & pick up college visit form

-obtain signature from the college admissions counselor

-returned the sign form to Mrs. Miskimens

  • During the visit:

-Talk to students

-Visit the program(s) of interest

-Sit in on a class

-Eat in the cafeteria

-Read the student newspaper

-Take a journal to record notes and your impressions of the school

  • Do an overnight visit at a couple of schools you are very serious about
  • Send a thank you note
senior timeline
Senior Timeline
  • September – Review, research your college list. Begin your applications.
  • October/November- Finish testing. APPLY to those colleges! Pay close attention to deadlines.
  • October-April-Apply for scholarships. Pay close attention to deadlines.
  • January- Apply for Financial Aid through FAFSA
  • April 1-15- You should receive your decisions and financial information
  • MAY 1ST! You must make YOUR final decision.
admission myths
Admission Myths
  • I need to know my academic major before I can apply for admission.
  • The ACT or SAT results represent the most heavily weighted factor in selective admission.
  • Prospective students and parents have little control over the college selection process.
  • It’s better to have a highly developed, special talent than to be the ‘well rounded’ applicant.
college fairs
College Fairs
  • Go as a team with your son/daughter
  • Ask questions!
  • Be open-minded and look at a large variety of colleges
Thank You for attending tonight’s presentation. Any questions please contact Mrs. Shafer or Ms. McNulty