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Welcome to College Process Night

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  1. Welcome to College Process Night Fairfield Area High School September 25, 2013

  2. Mrs. Swope’s Philosophy… • You don’t have to go to college to be successful… but you MUST HAVE A PLAN. • What is a “PLAN”? • College • Military • Work

  3. What is “College”? • For the purpose of this presentation, the word “college” will refer to any post-secondary educational option. • 2 year schools • 4 year schools • Business schools • Tech schools • Trade schools • Community colleges • certificate / diploma programs

  4. Why go to college? • It has been shown in data gathered by the U. S. Census Bureau that people who attend college will earn more income over the course of their lifetimes. • Average Annual Income • Professional degree $119,009 • Doctoral degree $92,863 • Master's degree $67,898 • Bachelor's degree $54,689 • Associate's degree $37,990 • Some college $31,421 • High school graduate $29,448 • High school dropout $19,915 • Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2005 data

  5. Definitions • Standardized Test • Has been “normed” over time with many people • Considered “fair” to all involved • Pre-requisite • Something required prior to future course taken • Official Transcript • Copy of student’s grades, credits, attendance • Signed by school official, never touched by student • Early Admission / Early Application process • Early action = not a binding agreement • Early decision = a BINDING agreement • FERPA • Family Educational Rights Protection Act

  6. Why plan ahead? • Although you can begin college at any age after high school, if you are considering going straight from high school to college, you need to be prepared and be competitive. • BUILD bridges….don’t BURN them.

  7. The Time Line of Your Junior Year • October – Attend the Adams County College Fair • Thursday, October 3rd – 7:00 – 8:30 PM • Gettysburg College campus • October – TAKE THE PSAT • October 16th, 2013 • January – Attend Financial Aid Night • Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 6:30 – 8:30 pm • February – Take the ASVAB • Awesome career assessment • Spring – TAKE THE SAT or ACT – watch the registration deadlines!! • Spring/Summer – Visit college campuses

  8. The most important part of junior year? • Keep your grades up or try to improve them! • Stay involved in your activities and get involved if you haven’t been • You are more than just your GPA

  9. The Time Line of Your Senior Year • October – Attend the Adams County College Fair • Thursday, October 3 – 7:00 – 8:30 PM • Gettysburg College campus • Complete ALL applications by Halloween • Scholarship research (Fastweb.com, collegeboard.org., etc.) • October / November – TAKE THE SAT or ACT (again) • January – Attend Financial Aid Night • Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 6:30 – 8:30 pm • February – Take the ASVAB • Awesome career assessment • Spring – Make your final decision, send in that deposit • Summer – Get Packing! You are on your way!

  10. Resources www.educationplanner.org www.actstudent.org www.collegeboard.com www.fafsa.ed.gov www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov www.fafsa4caster.ed.gov www.fastweb.com

  11. BigFuture • Bigfuture.collegeboard.org • Get Started • Tools for students and parents • Find Colleges • College search tool (i.e. type of school, size, location, specific majors, cost, etc.) • It’s not too late! • Explore Careers • Pay for College • Scholarship search • Students and parents • Get In • Make A Plan • Great place to start! • See what steps you still have left to complete

  12. The GPA Myth • Your grade point average (GPA) is not the final determining factor. • If you are taking courses below your academic level, the college admission person will recognize this and your wonderful GPA will be negated. • Course selection – especially in your senior year – is carefully examined during the admission process. • Colleges can (and will) rescind their offer of admission if they believe you’ve slacked off your senior year.

  13. Making the Most of High School • Besides just taking challenging, college prep classes… • Look at test scores and take classes that strengthen your weaker academic areas • Seek out tutoring to improve your skills • Establish personal goals and find support to meet them • Explore careers – internet, shadowing, talking to people • Never accept good if better is an option

  14. 12th Grade • Courses / Extracurricular Activities: • Honors English 12, POD/Econ, Calculus, Chemistry II or Biology II, Spanish or French IV • Continue playing sports – be a team captain, try out for the lead in the school play, run for class president • Goals: • Attend the Adams County Area College & Career Fair • Visit your last two colleges by mid-September • Take the SAT or ACT one last time in the fall • Take the ASVAB test • Complete all college applications by Halloween • Maintain position on High Honor Roll all four marking periods • Complete all scholarship applications on time • Attend Financial Aid Night • Complete the FAFSA by February 15th • Visit all colleges that offer admission before accepting any offers • Resources: • High School Counselor • Parents • Teachers, Coaches

  15. Standardized Tests – the SAT • SAT – Scholastic Aptitude Test (College Board) • Offered 7 times a school year • Math, Critical Reading, Writing – most people are looking at the Math + Critical Reading score • Each section’s perfect score is 800 • A good average is 500 on each section • Recommended that you take it twice • Cost is $51 (late fee is $51 + $27.50) • Register for the “Question of the Day” • Best preparation….READ!! • You can’t expect to finish the Boston Marathon if the most you’ve ever run is in P.E. class.

  16. SAT Prep Resources • Online • www.collegeboard.org • SAT Question of the Day! • www.ineedapencil.com • www.princetonreview.com/college/free-sat-practice-test.aspx • Offline • The Official SAT Study Guide – availble to borrow in the counseling office • Try to do at least one full-length practice test before your test date • Cracking the SAT, 2012 Edition –SAT for Dummies

  17. Standardized Tests – the ACT • ACT – once called the “American College Test” but then went international so now it is just the ACT. • Offered 6 times a school year • English, Reading, Math, Science, optional Writing • Each section’s perfect score is 36 • A good average is 25 on each section • Recommended that you take it twice • Cost is $52.50 (w/ writing) (late fee is $50.50 + $22) • Best preparation….READ!! • You can’t expect to finish to Boston Marathon if the most you’ve ever run is in P.E class.

  18. Other Important Considerations • NCAA – much planning ahead needed • www.ncaa.clearinghouse.net register in your Junior year. • Military Service Academies – must be outstanding in ALL areas • Plan ahead to secure a nomination – DUE by Oct 1 of senior year. • Students with special needs • Ask very specific questions – get the complete answers • Very Specific Majors / Programs • Be sure they have assistance for you to go on from your undergraduate program • How many students actually make it?

  19. How to Explore Colleges • So you know what you want to study…..now how do you go about figuring out which one of the over 4,000 post-secondary schools to look at? • Location – distance from “home” • Environment – urban or rural? co-ed? religious? • Academics – majors, special programs, study abroad • Size - number of students, acreage of campus • Activities – athletics, clubs, organizations, sororities / fraternities • Housing – residence hall, freshman requirements

  20. Narrowing It Down to Five or Six…. • Apply to at least three schools – as many as five or six • One “stretch” school • One “comfort” school • One “fall back” school • If it has all of your qualifications on the previous slide then make the visit • Look at the statistics on the College Board website for information about average admissions requirements and rate of return for college sophomore year • Your application allows them to decide if THEY like YOU • Your visit allows you to decide if YOU like THEM

  21. What To Do On the Visit • Ask LOTS of questions (“interview” them!) • How big are the classes? Ask to sit through one. • How easy is it to meet with my professors? • Where do most freshman live? Ask to see a dorm room. • What is the food like? Eat in the dining hall. • How user friendly is the tutoring center? Ask to see it. • What do students do here on weekends? Appropriate options, please…..and there are many! • Where is the ____________ department? Ask to see it. • How many students complete the program in four years? Where do they typically go after they graduate? • May I bring my car during my freshman year? Where will I have to park it? • Interview! • Make sure to prepare with knowledge about the school and questions • Mock interviews

  22. The Final Decision • You’ve done all of your college planning and preparing ….the deadline to send in your registration payment is getting closer….you’re having trouble sleeping at night because you can’t decide which one to choose….. • RELAX. • Go with the one your heart leads you to. • You can transfer…so this decision is not completely final.

  23. Bad Reasons to Choose a School • Your boyfriend / girlfriend / best friend goes there • It has a good party reputation • You like the school’s colors / mascot • Your parents or family members went there • Someone told you it is the best • It is too close / too far away from home

  24. Good Reasons to Choose a School • They have the program / major you are most interested in • Students who complete the program go on to things you want to do • They have a campus culture that fits who you are / who you want to be • You can “see” yourself actually studying in the library or learning center • There are activities on campus that you will actually participate in

  25. You’re still nervous about the process… • You should be! This is a big deal. You are not alone. • Use the time during Parent Conferences to schedule a meeting with Mrs. Swope to go over where you are in the process and what you need to be doing next. • Gather a group of friends together and set up a meeting with Mrs. Swope during school to go over the process together. • Explore websites for more information. • Most importantly --- DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS.

  26. THANK YOU • Thank you for your interest in this process. Whether you will use it this year, in three years, or in ten years….it is important. • Please contact Mrs. Swope if you have any questions. Email: swopeh@fairfield.k12.pa Phone: 717-642-8228 ext. 2007

  27. Upcoming Events Adams County Area College & Career Fair Thursday, October 3rd 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Hauser Field House – Gettysburg College Financial Aid Night Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Fairfield Area MS/HS Auditorium Fairfield’s CEEB Code is: 391-360