Role Reversal Mock Admissions Exercise: Each group will be the admissions panel at Lex Vegas University. Your responsibility will be to choose one student to be a graduate of your school in 2017. Information provided.
College Search Myth: As a college-bound senior, you have to rely primarily on your parents’ and your own knowledge and research as you wade the difficult waters of college admissions.
College Search Fact: There are a number of excellent resources available to you, including your high school counselor and independent college counselors, as well as guides, books, and Internet sites devoted to the complex issues facing today’s students.
College Search - College Counselor - Independent College Counselor - Guidebooks CollegeBoard: College Handbook 2013 Fiske Guide to Colleges Insiders Guide to the Colleges Choosing the Right College - Internet – see list of providers
Planning for College Myth: It is okay to sit around all summer working on your tan.
Planning for College Fact: Summer is a great time to be productive – attend sports camp, get an internship, join a community service organization, find a job or even start a business. Boards of admissions specifically look to see that you have remained productive during your time away from school. You may want to take a few weeks off, but use the rest of the time wisely.
Important Terms Common Application: Allows a student to fill out one application form (the Common Application) and photocopy the application and recommendation forms for filing at more than one college (done online as well – not need to photocopy – just save and print). Make sure to check with the admission office to see if a college will accept the Common Application and if any supplements are required.
Important Terms Early Action: Students apply early and receive a decision from the college well in advance of the institution’s regular response date. You can apply to more than one school EA, even if you are applying to one school Early Decision (ED).
Important Terms Early Decision: Students make a commitment to a first-choice school where, if admitted, they definitely will enroll. The application deadline and decision deadline occur early. If a student and their parents are wanting to find the best financial aid package – ED is clearly not an option. Students can only apply to one school ED.
Important Terms Restrictive Early Action: Students apply to an institution of preference and receive a decision early. They may be restricted from applying ED or EA or REA to other institutions. If offered enrollment, they have until May 1 to confirm.
Important Terms Regular Decision: Students submit an application by a specified date and receive a decision in a clearly stated period of time.
Important Terms Rolling Admission: Institutions review applications as they are submitted and render admission decisions throughout the admission cycle.
Important Terms Wait List: This is an admission decision option utilized by institutions to protect against shortfalls in enrollment. By placing a student on the wait list, an institution does not initially offer or deny admission, but extends to a candidate the possibility of admission in the future, before the institution’s admission cycle is concluded.
Important Terms Highly Selective College Admissions Calendar: Many college admission office timetables call for applications to be filed during the fall or early winter of the senior year. Supporting data (standardized test scores, high school records and recommendations) are sent to the college at the student’s request. Admission committees retreat from February to March to read applications and make decisions. Decisions are mailed to applicants from early to mid-April and accepted applicants are expected to accept or decline the offer by May 1.
Important Terms Deferred Admission: Opportunity for a student who has been accepted to a college to delay or defer enrollment for a year or a semester. Students who defer cannot attend another school during the deferment period. Most students will work or travel during the time off – most schools expect the student to be able to account for the time spent between high school and matriculation.
Important Terms Safety School: 60 – 90% chance of gaining admission Good Fit School: 30 – 60% chance of gaining admission Reach School: less than 30% chance of gaining admission
Financial Aid Myth: Only students with the best grades qualify for financial aid. Fact: some scholarships are merit-based, that is they are awarded based on a student’s academic performance… however, most financial aid is need-based, or awarded based on a family’s ability to pay for college.
Financial Aid Myth: Since my parents haven’t saved anything for college, community college is my only option. Fact: One way to prepare for the cost of college is to fill out the FAFSA before the senior year. You will get a Student Aid Report which will let you know the EFC (Expected Family Contribution). Schools are now required to have a financial aid calculator on their website. This may help you and your parents feel more comfortable about college options.**
Financial Aid ** It is important to remember that the financial aid calculators are only an estimate and are not what you and your family will officially have to pay to attend that school. An official financial aid package will be sent to you in the spring.
Financial Aid Myth: Only rich kids go to elite, expensive schools. Fact: Studies have shown that parental incomes of students in private colleges are, on average, lower than incomes of students at large state universities. Apply to the schools YOU want to attend. Wait for financial award letters and acceptance letters, THEN decide which college you would like to attend.
Financial Aid Myth: Only students from really low-income families qualify for financial aid. Fact: The higher the cost of the education, the easier it is to demonstrate financial need.
BASIC College Admissions Process Step 1. Complete Brag Sheet and Senior Profile. Step 2. Approach teachers for recommendations. Step 3. Attend school presentations in the guidance office – visit your top schools. Step 4. Begin a file for information (applications, mailings, etc.) for each college Step 5. Begin applications, essays – make sure you understand each schools admissions deadlines and procedures. Stay in contact with Ms. van Ravenswaay. Step 6. Take SAT/ACT/Subject Tests and continue to carry good grades during your senior year.
College Admissions Process Senior Monthly College Planning Calendar Highlight Key Notes.
Senior Profile ORGANIZATION is KEY! Hand out and complete the Senior Profile… • Exercise Restraint. Don’t include something you did for only a few hours a year. • Every Detail Counts. Account for what you do outside high school. Remember you are trying to “sell” yourself. • Be yourself. Make the application come alive so the admissions counselors get a true sense of “you.” • Proofread, proofread, proofread…
Senior Profile Brag Sheet… If you need more room on an application – it is useful to have a brag sheet… Your Senior Profile can become your brag sheet. Reformat and make it look more professional. • Organize by year • Organize by Activity, Service, Position, etc.
The Common Application The Common App Online Demo for Students https://schoolforms.commonapp.org/CommonApp/FAQ.aspx
The Common Application What is included in a college application? • Official Transcript • Standardized Test Scores • The Application Form • Secondary School Report Form (Counselor Report Form) • Mid Year Report Form • Teacher Recommendations
Official Transcript Record of all the courses you have taken for high school credit, your grades, credits earned, GPA, class rank, standardized test scores, courses in progress… If you would like – you may request an unofficial copy of your transcript to make sure it is correct.
Standardized Test Scores If required, you will request from College Board or ACT that your official test scores (SAT, ACT, Subject Tests) be sent directly to the college’s admission office. MOST COLLEGES REQUIRE THAT THEY COME DIRECTLY FROM THE TESTING SERVICE TO THE COLLEGE.
The Application Form May be asked for the following: • Personal and Educational Data • Honors and Awards • Extracurricular Activities • Employment, Internships, Summer Activities • Essays • Disciplinary Information • Application Fee • Signature • For certain majors students may be required to audition or submit portfolio
Secondary School Report Form Not required by all colleges, if it is required, the high school is responsible for submitting this form to the college. However – You need to request that it be sent and follow the school’s procedures.
Mid Year Report Form This form is not required by all colleges. If it is – it will be submitted by the high school. Again – you must request that it be sent. The purpose of this form is for the college to see your grades from the first semester of your senior year… Also very important for students who have been waitlisted.
Teacher Recommendation Form This form is not required by all colleges. If it is – make sure you give teachers ample time to write a good recommendation. You will also want to choose wisely and find writers who know you in multiple capacities. It is also courteous for you to waive your right to see their recommendations. You will also want to give them a copy of your senior profile so they have something to work with. Be thankful… write thank you notes. Teachers do not have to write recommendations.* *If a teacher appears reluctant to write a letter – move on. They may be politely telling you that they would not be able to provide a supportive letter.
The Essay Myth: These days, every college applicant gets so much help with his or her college essays, you’d be a fool not to consult with a professional writing coach before submitting your application.
The Essay Fact: Colleges want to hear from you. They want to get to know your dreams, desires, triumphs, and failures expressed in your own voice. Chances are a hired gun won’t care as much about your application as you do and has a different voice than you anyway. If “you” emerge in a thoughtful essay that addresses both your strengths and your weaknesses in clear yet creative manner, you will already have a huge leg up on the competition.
The Essay Transforms the applicant from a series of numbers and statistics to a living, breathing human being. Don’t use gimmicks For example: 1. don’t write your essay backwards in order to convey how “different” you are. 2. don’t write about intimate subjects – first sexual experience, sexual abuse, fantasies. 3. don’t write about a sob story – puppies getting hit by a car. 4. don’t write in the third person. 5. don’t write about someone else tragedy and how that you were supportive in a time of need. 6. don’t write in another language .
The College Application Essay Write a Story… Avoid just listing all your brag sheet activities. Tell a personal story about a moment and what was meaningful to you. How did it change you? What did you learn? How is it so you?
The College Application Essay Show, don’t tell. Try to evoke your personality and character without actually stating your specific attributes.
The College Application Essay Do not delay… Begin writing at least a month before the application is due. Write multiple drafts and edit them carefully.
The College Application Essay Revise… Double-space your first draft, even if it is handwritten. This will allow room for revisions.
The College Application Essay Share your work… Read your draft out loud to someone and make sure each sentence is clearly written and properly punctuated. Put your draft aside for twenty-four hours and then read again.
The College Application Essay Proofread… Make an appointment with your English teacher for proofreading. Allow him or her to edit for typographical errors that you might have missed.
The College Application Essay Present tense… Even if you are writing about a past experience, try using the present tense, which will make your readers witnesses of the action.
The College Application Essay Beware of humor… Only use humor if you are truly funny. There’s nothing worse than being the only one who laughs at your own jokes. Your brand of humor may not be the same brand as your reader.
The College Application Essay Keep it short… Admissions officers are at times advised to spend no more than twenty minutes on an entire application folder.
The College Application Essay Follow directions… If an application allows for one extra sheet of paper beyond the given space, make sure you attach only one page. In addition to everything else, the application is a test of your ability to complete an application. Follow directions and pass the test.
NACAC’s Top 10 Tips for writing a college essay: • Start early. • Be yourself. • Be honest. • Take a risk. • Keep in focus. • Write and rewrite. • Get a second opinion. • Proofread. • Don’t confuse applying online with sending e-mail. • Don’t expect too much from an essay.
Common Application Essay Topics Which essay topics would you choose? Whatever essay topic you choose, your purpose is to tell the admission committee something important about who you are. Complete the Getting Started Activity
College Application Essay Sample essays. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.