Fairfield College Preparatory SchoolJunior College Planning NightJanuary 9, 2014 RICK HUTCHINSON - COLLEGE ADVISOR (A-F) SUZANNE GORAB – COLLEGE ADVISOR (F-M) JOHN HANRAHAN - DEAN OF GUIDANCE & COLLEGE ADVISING (M-Z)
One Exciting Year • Year of definition – personal and academic • Ultimate decisions – one after another • Defining challenges • Unique opportunities to represent self
Guidance Groups and Individual Meetings Fall of Junior Year: • Overview of the Junior Year • Importance of Academic Record • Standardized Testing– overview and strategy • Identifying Appropriate Colleges • Naviance
Guidance Groups and Individual Meetings Spring of Junior Year: • Junior Interview – schedule with advisor • Standardized Testing Review • Key Factors in College Admission • Activities Resume • Campus Visits • Senior Course Selection • Admission Glossary • Summer Strategies
Guidance Groups and Individual Meetings Topics for Fall Senior Year: • Check in meeting with College Advisor • Finalize Application Strategy • Coordination of Application process: application forms, essay (s), recommendations, sending SAT/ACT scores to colleges • Continue to demonstrate interest – visiting colleges
NAVIANCE Research and develop prospective college lists: https://connection.naviance.com/fairfieldprep Students: Username/email: students’ Prep email address Password: student created Parents: Accounts established for all parents
Naviance – Document Library https://connection.naviance.com/fairfieldprep The “Document Library” link on the Main Page of Naviance Family Connection provides information on a variety of college planning topics: • Interviewing • Factors in College Admission • Glossary of College Admission terms • Resume models
Evaluating Academic Records • Course of Study • 5 core subjects: English, Math, Science, Social Science, Foreign Language • Grade Point Average (GPA) • Grade Trends → An appropriately challenging course load that the student can manage successfully. → Limited # of “lighter” electives. → Junior year, 1st quarter senior year and 1st semester senior year
Standardized Testing Students register themselves for all SAT/ACT exams SAT www.collegeboard.com • 1 to 2 tests taken in spring Junior Year (January 25, March 8, May 3, June 7) • At least once in fall of Senior Year (October 11, November 8, December 6) ACT www.act.org • Spring Junior year dates: February 8, April 12, June 14 • Fall Senior year dates: September 13, October 25, December 13 **Security procedures require photo upload for SAT and ACT.
Standardized Testing • SAT Subject Tests Some colleges may require (see websites) • 1 Hour Long Multiple Choice Tests. • Take up to 3 on one test date. • Offered in Core Subject Areas • Literature, US History, Math I and/or Math II are taken most often by Prep Students • Can highlight an academic strength • “Super-Scoring”
“Tip” Factors Teacher/Counselor Recommendations: Highlight individual academic strengths and personal qualities Essay(s): Reveals self – authenticity is essential “Show, Don’t Tell” Most Significant activity(ies): Will show depth and commitment to personal interests and growth.
“Tip” Factors (Continued) • Early Decision (E.D.) • Demonstrated Interest • Athletic recruitment • Special talents or attributes • Interview (admission counselor, current student or alumni) • Supplemental letters (use sparingly)
Application options and strategies Regular Decision Early Action (E.A.) Restricted Early Action Early Decision (E.D.) Early Decision II (E.D.II) Rolling Decision (w/ priority dates)
Construct a Prospective College List • Size (# undergraduates) • Geographic Location • Campus setting (urban, suburban, rural) • Academic focus • Areas of study • Facilities: Library, Research Labs, etc. • Social Atmosphere • Campus Life, Sports, Arts • Religious affiliation • Support services • Cost • Financial Aid • Housing – 4 year guaranteed? • Diversity (Ethnic,Geographic) • Admission Criteria • Graduation + Retention Rates • Outcomes: employment and graduate schools • Greek system
Prospective College List Consider many different types of institutions. Do not always go with the pack. Break new ground in the search process.
Search List Up to 15 – 20 Research Place in 5 Categories (as designated in Naviance): Far Reach, Reach, Possible, Likely and Safety Use NavianceScattergrams as a guide – not as an absolute.
Final Application List Up to 10 (+/-) Fairfield Prep Average Application: 8 Prioritize the list Only a “safety” school if you would attend. Contact (i.e. demonstrated interest) is more important with small/medium sized schools.
Campus Visit Options • Campus Tour • Information session • Open House/Special Event • Sit in on a class • Interview • Athletic visit • Overnight • Shadow student
Why is the Campus Visit Important? • Demonstrates YOUR interest • Experiencing the campus to help decide if you want to apply. • Find the institutions that are the right “Fit”.
Preparing for the Campus Visit • Visit website to explore visit options • Do your homework before the visit • Make reservations/appointments for campus tours, interviews, open houses and meetings with faculty or coaches. • Stick to the Office of Admission schedule • Avoid the Drive-Thru visit – if possible • Always sign in… smaller colleges tend to track this information. Campus Visit is a
What to look for while on campus General University/College Information Campus Life • Residence halls, dining options, parking, student center, chapel Student Life/Athletics • Clubs & organizations, social life, recreation facilities, visual/performing arts, varsity athletics Academic Life • Classrooms, professors, course offerings, internships, research opportunities
College Planning: Spring of Junior Year • Initial Student/Advisor College Planning Meeting • Research: Web -based resources are best • Contact institutions • Visit campuses • Attend spring open house programs • SAT/ACT/Subject Tests- first/second round • Attend local/regional college fairs • Consider teacher recommenders • Develop an Activities Resume – excellent document to present at interview. • Initial contact with athletic coaches etc.
College Planning: Summer before Senior Year • Campus Visits • Refine list • Consider application options: Regular, EA, ED, Rolling • Establish Common Application account. • Determine what application and/or supplement forms each school requires. (i.e. common application) • Start filling out applications • Begin first draft of essay(s) • Continue to develop an activities resume.
College Planning: Fall of Senior Year • Check in meeting with College Advisor • Meet admission representatives who visit Fairfield Prep • Ask teachers to write recommendations • Parent/Family Recommendation for counselor • Attend College Fairs and Information Night programs • Finalize essays and applications • Final campus visits (tours, interviews, overnights, class visits, open houses) • Standardized Testing – final round • Check merit scholarship requirements and deadlines. • Financial Aid Instruments - FAFSA/CSS Profile
Trends in Admission • Early Decision (E.D.) • Increase in ACT “Super-Scoring” • Fast Track/Priority Applications • Interview (smaller colleges) re-emergence • “Authenticity” • Increase in writing requirements • Test Optional Colleges • Public School interest on the rise • Requests for financial aid rising
Useful Web Sites • www.collegeboard.com • https://connection.naviance.com/fairfieldprep/ • www.commonapp.org • www.fafsa.ed.gov • www.act.org • www.ncaa.org
Miscellaneous Thoughts… • Encourage student to stay in contact with the College Advising Office. Communication is essential. • Allow ample time for essay writing (2 months) • Discern all requirements of your list early(Standardized testing requirements, supplements, essays, deadlines, etc.). • firstname.lastname@example.org 203-254-4200 ext. 2502 (A-F) • email@example.com 203-254-4200 ext. 2133 (F-M) • firstname.lastname@example.org 203-254-4200 ext 2238 (M-Z)