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“A Guide Through the Maze” Navigating the College Search and Admission Process Nordonia High School Guidance Department
Agenda • Career exploration • College search process • Admissions testing – ACT and SAT • Financial aid/scholarships • Post Secondary Enrollment Options/Advanced Placement • Next steps for juniors
Career Exploration This is a process. These suggestions can help: • Volunteer • Job Shadow • Work • Take elective classes at NHS to introduce you to a possible career • Take time to complete an interest inventory (Kuder, ACT, websites). • Talk to family, community members, etc. • Utilize opportunities the first year of college to continue this process.
Know yourself and your reasons for attending college • Academic strengths • Recognize your strengths and weaknesses • Analyze your interests and values • Achievements/talents? • Why do you want/need to go to college? • Prepare for a career • What are your ambitions? • Set realistic goals
What is the agenda for the junior year to achieve college and career goals? • Continue to work hard academically • Continue career exploration • College exploration/search • Meet with college representatives who come to guidance • Visit colleges-spring college/career shadow days (handout) • Start college admissions testing- ACT, SAT • Activities – Continue to be involved • Leadership/Volunteerism • Schedule challenging classes for the senior year
Types of Colleges • Four year state colleges and universities • Degrees offered – Bachelor’s and beyond • Typically under $15,000/year • Requirements – SAT/ACT, GPA, Class rank, Essay, Extra-curricular activities, letters of rec., transcripts , foreign language • Provides well-rounded college experience that includes an academic area of study. • Private/Liberal arts colleges • Degrees offered – Bachelor’s and beyond • Typically more than $20,000/year • Requirements – SAT/ACT, GPA, Class rank, Essay, Extra-curricular activities, letters of rec., transcripts , foreign language • Provides well-rounded college experience that includes an academic area of study.
Popular state schools in Ohio • Bowling Green State Univ. – mod. sel. admission • Kent State University – mod. selective admission • Miami of Ohio Univ. – selective admission • Ohio University – mod. selective admission • The Ohio State University – selective admission • University of Akron – open admission • University of Toledo – mod. selective admission • Youngstown State University – open admission
Popular private colleges • Baldwin Wallace College – mod. sel. admission • Case Western University – very selective admission • Denison University – selective admission • John Carroll University – mod. sel. admission • Mount Union College – mod. sel. admission • Ohio Wesleyan – selective admission • Wittenberg University – selective admission • Walsh University – mod. selective admission
Factors which differentiate between state and private schools • Size • Admission requirements • Majors • Tuition/Room and board • Scholarship opportunities • Co-curricular opportunities • Faculty/student ratio
Types of Colleges (cont’d) • Community/Two year colleges • Degrees offered – Associate’s • Typically around $4,000/year • Requirements – Open door admission policy • A way to ease into college/take general ed. college classes for credit. Typically have agreements with four year colleges to transfer credits. • Kent State Regional Campuses-Stark, Twinsburg/Geauga, Lakeland Community College, Stark State College of Tech., Tri-C (four locations), University of Akron Summit College • Technical colleges • Generally a two-year college which provides specific skills for employment or trained labor, such as computer technology, medical careers, or office management. • DeVry University, ITT Technical Institute, Stark State College of Technology
What is a Proprietary School? • Proprietary schools are for-profit businesses which provide education and training. They may be privately or corporately owned. • Examples are Brown Mackie College, National College, North Coast Medical Training Academy, Fortis College • apps.scr.ohio.gov/schools/query.asp
Credit Transfer More students are choosing to begin their post-secondary education at a community college to complete general education courses, for financial reasons or for ease of transition, and then transfer to the four year college of choice. Be sure to inquire about credit transfer agreements to various programs at the universities and colleges. Discuss this not only with the community college, but with the school to which the student will transfer.
State of Ohio Core Curriculum Requirements / Minimum Recommendations • High School College Prep curriculum: 4 units English 4 units Mathematics (Alg, Geo, Alg II) 3 units Science (Life, Physical, Advanced) 3 units Social Studies 1 unit Fine Arts (art, drama, music, photo) 2-3 units Foreign Language (1 unit = 1 credit)
What information do college admission officers review? • Strength and depth of high school curriculum • Grades/Overall GPA/Class Rank • Admission test scores - ACT/SAT More selective schools/programs may also require/consider: • Co-curricular activities • Leadership • Service • Letters of recommendation (teachers and counselor) • Essays • Demonstrated interest • Courses in progress senior year • Personal accomplishments
Admission/Selection Not all colleges are created equal. Some treat your SAT scores as a combined score, others treat sub-tests separately. Some make testing optional. Some offer personal interviews while others only offer group information sessions. Roll with the differences! Same student, different eyes Size of freshman classes varies as does the number offered admission from college to college. Control is in the hands of the college in terms of what they are looking for. Applications are up and spaces are fixed.
Evaluating Applications The ultimate goals for every college are the same: • Admit a freshman class with many different dimensions. • Admit students who can successfully pursue both academic and extracurricular programs at the college/university. “Because colleges want to build a variety of strengths and interests into the freshman class – and in so doing to add geographic, cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity – applicants feel that they have been treated unfairly. The feeling on most selective college admissions committees is that the campus community is made vital and interesting by enrolling freshman classes that bring with them as broad a range of interests, talents, and diversity as possible…”
Reality Check • 250,000 high schools in the U.S. each with a top ten list of students. Therefore, 250,000 seniors are applying to the same group of highly selective schools. Top NHS students become “typical” looking in this group. Perfect scores on ACT/SAT not unusual in this group. • No one is entitled to admission to an Ivy League or highly selective school. • This process is an art, not a science. There is no perfect equation that will equal guaranteed admission. • Many top students across the country are denied admission to the most selective colleges each year. • So what do you do?
Choosing your college priorities What is important to you? • Location • Academics (major, academic support) • Admission standards • Size • Social Life (athletics, extra-curriculars) • Campus appeal (Do I feel at home?) • Total cost (including aid) • Religious affiliation • Facilities/Housing • Security
College Exploration • Compile information from several resources • Internet/Websites (NHS Guidance list!) • College representatives and college fairs • Teachers, counselors, parents, students, and alumni • College visits • College & Career Fairs • Nacacnet.org – National Association for College Admission Counseling. Offers national college fair information and articles about the college search process. • Cappex.com and BigFuture.collegeboard.com • Get Set for College (handout)
Best college to go to for…(major) • Rugg’s Recommendations on the Colleges • Book of Majors 2012 (College Board) • Both books are available in the guidance office. • www.myplan.com/majors/what-to-do-with-a-major.php
Early Decision vs. Early Action • ED and EA plans can be beneficial to students but only for those students who have thought through their college options carefully and have clear preference for one institution. • Early Decision • Plans are binding – student must attend college • Apply to one college only ED & all others regular admission. • Receive decision well in advance, usually by December. • If accepted, withdraw all other applications. • Early Action • Plans are non-binding • Receive admission decision early, usually Jan. or Feb. • Consider acceptance offer & give decision no later than May 1
College admissions testing ACT/SAT
College Admissions TestingACT • ACT - American College Test consists of tests in English, math, reading, science, and an optional writing subtest (check with college admissions). • The test consists of multiple-choice questions. • 3 to 3½ hours (includes administration instructions, a break after the first two tests, and the optional writing test) • Breakdown: • English-45 minutes • Math-60 minutes • Reading-35 minutes • Science-35 minutes • Writing-30 minutes
How is an ACT scored? • Students are given a score (1-36) for each section of the test. The four scores are averaged to arrive at a Composite Score. • Writing score will be combined separately with English for a separate composite. Writing Test Subscore 2-12. • Since there is no penalty for guessing, students should answer every question on the ACT.
College Admissions TestingSAT • 3 hours, 45 minutes including Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing (not optional) portions. • Critical Reading Subtest • 70 minutes (67 questions) • Sentence completion & passage-based reading • Score: 200 – 800 • Mathematics • 70 minutes (54 questions) • Multiple choice items & student-produced responses • Score: 200-800 • Writing • 60 minutes (35 min. multiple choice, 25 minutes essay) • Score: 200-800
How is an SAT scored? • The SAT will have 3 scores of 200-800 for each of the 3 sections (Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing). • Score of 2-12 for the essay. • Total possible score of 600-2400. • One point for each correct answer. • Zero points for questions omitted. • Lose ¼ of a point for each wrong answer, except for student-produced math questions.
When should students take an ACT (or SAT)? • We recommend that students begin taking these tests during the spring of their junior year. • This way students still have time to take the test again, several times, before applying to colleges. • Students are currently completing courses/content that they will be tested on.
Which test should students take? • Students should practice both tests. • Feedback from PLAN or PSAT will help determine which test student scores best on. • Both tests are suggested to see which one is the best fit: • ACT – tests all subject areas; achievement • SAT – tests English and math skills; aptitude • NOTE: Most colleges in the United States will accept either test score. Check with the college to see what score is preferred.
Test Dates/Registration/Fees • Visit testing websites for more information. • ACT – www.act.org • SAT – www.collegeboard.org • See handout for a copy of testing dates and deadlines. • Register online - you will be able to see a list of testing locations and fees. • Be sure to enter our high school code (363835) along with the codes of the colleges you are applying to (see list online during registration)so that test scores can be sent directly to these schools. • If you do not do this at registration and need to have scores sent after the test, you will pay an additional fee. • Special Testing Deadlines • Check online and communicate with your special education teacher.
How to Prepare for the ACT or SAT • High School Curriculum • Sample tests on ACT/SAT websites • Online prep services • Prep manuals • available through ACT/SAT or bookstores • Prep courses (substantial fees required) • Club Z – (330) 656-4360 • Sylvan Learning Center – (330) 929-6554 • Huntington Learning Center – (330) 673-7200) • Private tutoring • Check out: • www.actstudent.org • www.kaplan.com • www.collegeboard.org • www.zinch.com • ZAPS - ACT Seminar • March 20 and 21 (2:30 – 5:00) at Nordonia High School
Why should students retake an admissions test? • Admission standards • Scholarships • Freshman honors/departmental • Other scholarships • The above information should be researched when exploring colleges. • Practice will improve skills and reduce test anxiety.
Howmany times may students take these tests? • ACT limits you to 12 tests. • Recommend taking the test twice the junior year. Retest early senior year (Sept or Oct) if needed. • Colleges will consider best score no matter when test was taken.
How do colleges receive admissions scores? • Students will indicate college codes when registering for admissions tests. Maximum of four colleges included with registration fee; can add additional schools for a fee. • Most colleges now require scores to be sent directly from ACT/SAT. If not sent directly a fee will be charged for this request. Students should be sure to include all colleges they are considering applying to when registering for tests.
Types of Financial Aid • Loans – Money that is “borrowed” and must be paid back. • FAFSA application will determine types of loans you are eligible for through the government • Can also research private loans. • Grants – Money that is received that does not need to be paid back. • FAFSA application will determine types of grants you are eligible for through the government. • Scholarships - Money for college that does not need to be paid back. • Merit based and non-merit based • Private organizations, educational institutions • Work Study
Financial Aid • Discuss scholarships and financial aid with college admissions officers – part of the college search process. • Complete the FAFSA in January of senior year. • College Goal Sunday • It is recommended that every student complete a FAFSA. Colleges cannot grant financial aid if they have no record of FAFSA information. • December, senior year – Evening meeting for seniors/parents giving a general overview of the financial aid process. • For now, begin looking for scholarships.
Scholarships - Where are they? • Explore colleges for freshman honors and departmental scholarships. • Search the web – fastweb.com , scholarships.com, tuitionfundingsources.com • Check at work places. • Explore organizations of affiliation – community organizations, church, scouts, ethnicity. • Local scholarships available in guidance – March of senior year
What are scholarships based on? Some possible requirements include: • GPA • Test scores • Rank • Leadership • Service • Talent - (sports, art, music, etc) • Ethnicity • Deadlines for scholarships given by colleges may be earlier than deadlines for admission. • Scholarship application may require a transcript, letter of recommendation, essay, or resume. • NCAA Division I or II and NAIA athletic scholarships register at website and request transcripts for junior and senior years.
Watch for Scholarship Scams! • Beware when you are asked to pay a fee. • Be cautious of high pressure sales pitches.
NCAA/NAIA Clearinghouse • Athletes vying for a Division I or Division II or NAIA scholarship must register and be cleared for eligibility through the NCAA Clearinghouse or NAIA Clearinghouse. • www.ncaaclearinghouse.net • www.playnaia.org • Code 9999
Post Secondary Educational Options • This program allows students to take college courses for both high school and college credit during high school. • If interested, plan to attend the PSEO meeting on February 7th at 7:00 p.m. in the high school auditorium. The state of Ohio requires that potential participants and parents attend this informational meeting. • Most colleges in Ohio will accept PSEO credit. Check with college. • Sometimes courses may not transfer to special, competitive programs. Always communicate with college.
Advanced Placement Courses • Scores on the AP courses will determine what credit the colleges will issue to the student. • Check out AP credit policy of colleges at • www.collegeboard.org/apcreditpolicy • The state universities in Ohio will grant college credit to students who earn a 3 or higher on an AP exam. • Private schools have not made this commitment. Communicate with admissions officers regarding the specific college’s policy.
Honors Diploma Students need to fulfill all but one criterion for either of the Honors Diploma criterion listed below. AcademicCareer- Technical 4 units English 4 units English 4 units math (including Alg I, Geom, Alg II) 4 units math including Alg I, Geom, Alg II 4 units science (including physics & chemistry) 4 units including physics and chemistry 4 units social studies 4 units social studies 3 units world language or 2 units in 2 lang. 4 units elective of career-tech program 1 unit fine art (art, music, drama) 3.5 Cumulative GPA 3.5 Cumulative GPA 27 ACT / 1210 SAT 27 ACT / 1210 SAT Achieve proficiency benchmark for appropriate Ohio career-technical competency assessment *Writing sections of ACT or SAT not included in Composite score listed above.
Next steps In School • Stay focused on academics. • Do not lighten your academic load for senior year. • Stay involved in school activities. Standardized Testing • Prepare for and register (in the spring) for ACT/SAT tests. College Search/Exploration • Choose college priorities • Explore colleges via website • Meet with college representatives at Nordonia • Attend college fairs • Visit colleges – use college visitation days • Compare colleges and finalize list to 3-5 schools • Be ready to apply to colleges in the fall of senior year. Scholarships/Financial Aid • Begin searching websites.
Recommendation for Juniors • PSEO mandatory meeting is February 7th. Attend if you are considering for senior year. • Choose senior classes carefully! • If you have not passed the OGT, make that a priority! Get to summer school to take the class and another opportunity to take/pass the test. • If there are graduation requirements to make up, do so in summer school so senior year has fewer opportunities to fail.
Recommendations for Parents • Help your students understand the college search process. • Be realistic and non-judgmental. • Be in the “back seat” and not the driver of the college search process. • Be open to dialogue and responsive to questions. • Be aware of deadlines and fees. • Know that things have changed since your college days. • Don’t overemphasize your own alma maters or college choice. • Don’t compare your student to others. • Don’t dwell on disappointments, like a rejection letter. • Celebrate successes!
Pearls of Wisdom • Relax…you will get in. • 70% of colleges accept an average of 70% of their applicants. • If you don’t have a major, it’s OK. • More than half of new college students say a very important reason for going to college is “to find my purpose in life”. • Keep an open mind – don’t stereotype people/colleges. • Seek advice, but make up your own mind. • Take the time to visit, research and really find the best match. • Complete your applications thoroughly and on time.
What is the Senior year agenda for college and career planning? • Apply to 3 – 5 colleges by November 1. • Apply early for best admissions opportunities • Scholarship possibilities • More specific information on the application process will be given to juniors in the spring and also the fall of next year. • Apply for other scholarships. • Submit FAFSA in January/February of senior year • Compare financial aid packages offered. • Apply for local scholarships in March. • Make college choice by May 1 of senior year.
Thanks for being here! • You will make it through the process; it is a stressful yet exciting time. • Enjoy your young adults! • I am looking forward to senior year with this amazing group of students that I have had the pleasure of getting to know these last few years. • Contact me with any questions: • email@example.com • (330)908-6003 College is not a prize to be won, but a match to be found.