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Parents’ Guide to College Search Ronald W. Reagan High School
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  1. Parents’ Guide toCollege SearchRonald W. Reagan High School

  2. What Is College Search? • A volunteer program to help high school juniors understand their higher education options. • A time set aside for members of the junior class to learn about the programs available to search out options for higher education and available institutions or colleges. • Online computer programs allowing students to look at: • What strengths to focus on as they decide on a possible career • What types of institutions of higher learning are available to enhance and realize their career goals • What school best fits their needs: location, major, finances • Registration on College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) to facilitate college application process. • Registration on College Board to facilitate their search for the right school.

  3. Dear Parents, Parents, not experts, are a part of the College Search Team. This process is one in which volunteers help members of the junior class to understand what their college search process is and what is available to them during the search and application months. This step is a starting point for the college application process they begin as juniors and continue as seniors. Volunteers meet with a student one-on-one during the school day. The parents show them what is available in the Student Services Office and also introduce them to the computer programs to begin the process of discussing and thinking about their goal(s) upon high school graduation and what they need to do to achieve their goal(s). The PTSA coordinates the program. Chairs of this group vary from year to year, please consult the Reagan PTSA directory for current chairpersons.

  4. College Search Quick Facts KNOW YOUR STUDENT SERVICES COUNSELOR: He or she is the best resource for questions concerning college information, financial aid, or other needs concerning the college application process. A – B Joel Cordray C – Gn Randy Norris Go – L Carly Youngman M – R Tameka Oliphant S – Z Marissa Dancy Adm Asst. Mitzi Davis KNOW SAT REGISTRATION AND TESTING DATES: For the current SAT Booklet, go to the bookshelf in Student Services. You can also get all the information you need at www.collegeboard.com. Ronald Wilson Reagan registration # for SAT and ACT is 343-134. TESTING DATES REGISTRATION DATES September 29, 2012 September 1, 2012 November 3, 2012 October 6, 2012 December 1, 2012 November 3, 2012 January 26, 2013 December 29, 2012 March 9, 2013 February 9, 2013 May 4, 2013 April 5, 2013 June 1, 2013 May 7, 2013 KNOW ACT REGISTRATION AND TESTING DATES:For the current ACT Booklet, go to the bookshelf in Student Services. You can also get all the information you need at www.studentact.org. TESTING DATES REGISTRATION DATES September 8, 2012 August 10, 2012 October 27, 2012 September 14, 2012 December 8, 2012 November 2, 2012 February 9, 2013 January 11, 2013 April 13, 2013 March 7, 2013 June 8, 2013 May 3, 2013

  5. SAT/ACT FACTS • SAT and ACT scores can tell admissions staff how well prepared a student is for college-level academics. The scores also allow colleges to compare college readiness among other students in a standardized way. • Registration for the test can be online (a credit card is required) or by mail. • Online sites are: SAT – www.collegeboard.com ACT – www.actstudent.org. • Students typically take the test three times, March and May of their junior year of high school and October of their senior year. • Schools take the best of the scores in each area. Some colleges now waive the need to submit SAT/ACT scores. Look at each college’s website to get more information about this practice or at www.fairtest.org. • The ACT® test assesses high school students' general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work. • The multiple-choice tests cover four skill areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science. The Writing Test, which is optional, measures skill in planning and writing a short essay. Some colleges will accept the ACT in place of the SAT Subject II tests. Check the colleges you are interested in about this practice. • The SAT Reasoning Test is a measure of the critical thinking skills needed for academic success in college. The SAT assesses how well the students analyze and solve problems—skills learned in school that are needed in college. • SAT Subject II tests are usually taken at the end of junior year or during the fall of the senior year. Check your college selections for how many and if specific tests are required. • TESTS MAY NEED TO BE TAKEN EARLIER • FOR STUDENTS APPLYING FOR EARLY • ADMISSION.

  6. SAT/ACT PREP RESOURCES FREE RESOURCES WSFCS SAT Prep Course – ½ year ACT, Inc. www.actstudent.org Free ACT prep on-line COLLEGE BOARD www.collegeboard.com Free SAT prep on-line COLLEGE FOUNDATION OF NORTH CAROLINA www.cfnc.org Free SAT/ACT practice on-line NUMBER 2 www.number2.com Free SAT/ACT prep online and vocabulary builder PRIVATE RESOURCES FOR A FEE Many options are available, please use the Reagan Student Services web site, the Web, or see your Student Services counselor or the Yellow Pages for researching other testing services. COLLEGE CONSULTANTS FOR A FEE Private consultants are available to help guide students on their college selection journey, but they represent a significant cost. The following web sites are for agencies who certify college consultants and may help you find a consultant in your area. www.nacac.com – National Association of College Admission Counseling www.educationalconsulting.org – Independent Educational Consultants Association BOOKS The Truth About Getting In, Katherine Cohen, PhD, Hyperion Publishing, ISBN: 0-7868-8747-8

  7. Helpful Internet Sites College Search College Board: www.collegeboard.com*** College Confidential: www.collegeconfidential.com*** College Data: www.collegedata.com*** College View: www.collegeview.com Princeton Review: www.review.com US News Online: www.usnews.com/usnews/edu Pathways NC Mentor: www.ncmentor.org Peterson’s Education: www.peterson.org Scholarships: www.wiredscholar.edu Go College: www.gocollege.com College Prowler: www.collegeprowler.com SAT/ACT Practice Tests and Information SAT: www.collegeboard.edu ACT: www.act.org or www.actstudent.org Number 2: www.number2.com*** Act Test Prep Review: www.testprepreview.com Internet Resources and Financial Aid College Foundation: www.cfnc.org College Vision: www.collegevisionfund.org Winston-Salem Foundation: www.wsfoundation.org Financial Aid: www.finaid.org *** These are excellent web sites.

  8. Interested in Financial Aid and Scholarships? • Web Sites • www.college-scholarship.com - 101 top college, university and scholarship websites. Provides links to scholarships, financial aid, help with letters, applications, etc. • www.srnexpress.com - Scholarship Resource Network – free scholarship search • www.scholarships.com - Scholarship Resource Network – free scholarship search • www.fastweb.com free scholarship site • www.cfnc.org - College Foundation of North Carolina – search site for need or merit based North Carolina scholarships • www.wsfooundation.org - The WSF offers scholarships based on merit. Many of the scholarship are restricted to Forsyth County residents, although not all of them are exclusive. • www.fafsa.ed.gov - Free Application for Federal Student Financial Aid provides opportunities for federal grants, loans and work-study from the government or attending university. Complete after January 1 of the student’s senior year of high school. • Other Resources – check with the Student Services Office, Companies, Clubs, Organizations, Churches, Scouts, etc. • Ms Norris maintains a scholarship newsletter for seniors and updates the scholarship newsletter frequently. Check the Reagan Student Services website for all the details. • PLEASE BEGIN CHECKING INTO SCHOLARSHIPS DURING THE SUMMER BETWEEN YOUR JUNIOR AND SENIOR YEAR. MANY SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY OCTOBER OR NOVEMBER OF YOUR SENIOR YEAR!!!

  9. CFNC Information All students should register on CFNC.org, which is a NC based website about planning, selecting and attending college. Use the web to bring up the CFNC.org web site and select the Create My CFNC Account function on the left side of the page. Select the High School Student prompt, the site now requires you to enter your birthday and the high school you attend. Select Ronald W Reagan High School from the list. When you completely enter your demographic information, hit Create An Account. The system assigns the user Account Name and you to select a password and question/answer for later identification purposes. Write the information down so you will remember it for future use. Some students enter the information onto their cell phone. Once the registration is complete review the tabs. The site has been updated and is more robust than in past years. Click on the PLAN tab, it has multiple sub tabs for you to explore. The Learn About Yourself tab is a set of short tests which may help you narrow career choices that fit your interests and ambitions. Go back to look at all of the information several times. Student encourage your parents to review the site as well. There is a wealth of financial aid and 529 information that may prove to be helpful.

  10. College Board Information • Use the internet to log on to collegeboard.com Select the College Search tab on the left side of the page. On the next page a Create A Free Account Sign Up box appears on the left side. Select this box and create your account. You will need an account to register for the SAT exam. • Information entered into the College Board search engine will help you get an idea of what schools meet some of the criteria you may have about college. • Enter demographic information to register. Once you are registered, copy down your user name and password for future use. • Select the College MatchMakertab to search for schools. • Type of School – the more choices listed as No Preference, the more schools will be available in the results at the end of the search. • Location – selection can be made by region or by individual state. Try to limit it to 3 states and come back for more state selections. More than 3 states often provides you with too many choices. • Majors – the entry of a major will provide you with more detailed wording about majors in a specific area. They may enter more than one major. In the second box the student can click on the specific majors and ADD them to the list which will appear in the third box on the screen. • You can continue beyond this point but the results will get very limited. It is recommended you seek the Results after entering the Majors information. • Upon getting the results you should review the list the system has compiled for you. Select one school to review in detail. These are the areas you should pay close attention to as you review a college. • Is the size of the school close to what they believe you will be comfortable with attending? • Is your GPA in the range of the top 50% of the students accepted to the college? • What is the admission date deadline? • Have they taken an appropriate number of courses to meet the college’s requirements (i.e.: 3 lab science vs. the number taken at Reagan.) • How do your SAT or ACT scores compare to those admitted to the college? • Does the college have a or any of the major(s) you are considering? • Go back to the first screen of the information for the specific college. Click on the school’s web site address and browse through the site to get an idea of what a site has in terms of information. Do this for all of your college selections. • If a school interests you, Add To My List on the left side of the screen any school you wish to review at a later time. • You are able to go back and use MatchMaker with different parameters. • If College Search does not seem to meet your college needs, you can go to Google and enter criteria such as BEST COLLEGES ENGINEERING or BEST SMALL LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGES and you should get a a list of sites listing colleges highly regarded in a specific field. The US News and World Report site is a good site.

  11. College Search Questions and Answers What should students who are going to a community college do for admission? These students should search for 2 year programs and 4 year programs as well. It is best if the students have some idea of what 4 year college they might want to attend because the community college counselors will work with the student to maximize the number of courses that will meet the 4 year college’s transfer requirements. Suggest the student save all papers, tests and syllabuses from their courses to ensure they receive transfer credit for the work. What to advise students who are hoping for athletic scholarships? These students should talk to their coaches and student services counselors about rules, signing dates, and the NCAA Clearinghouse. Students must complete their junior year of high school before they can file an application with the NCAA Clearinghouse. The website is www.ncaaclearinghouse.net/ncaa/NCAA/common/index.html. What does the Reagan Student Services advise for when to take the SAT or ACT? Student Services recommends a student take one or both tests during the early spring of their junior year and consider retaking the tests in late spring of their junior year. Some schools also like to see scores from tests taken in the fall of the student’s senior year, dependent on the scores of the test (s) taken during their junior year. Many colleges like to see if the senior score has been enhanced by the completion of the student’s junior year in high school. What if a student can not afford the SAT/ACT fee? Anyone who qualifies for free or reduced lunch also qualifies for a waiver of the test fee. The waiver is for one test during their junior year and one test during their senior year. If a student does not qualify for a free or reduced fee lunch, the student can still see their counselor or the social worker for other financial help with the SAT fee. Can a student visit a college at anytime? Colleges suggest students visit their college choice during their junior year. Students should visit each school’s ’website to determine when tours are given and what they may be expected to do to visit their college choices. Saturday tours are not offered year round, therefore, summer or holiday visits should be considered. Can a student take time off from school to visit colleges? Students are given two days of excused absence to visit schools their junior year ,as well as senior year. Student may be required to bring back a booklet from the school to verify their visit to the school. Students should check with their student services counselor.

  12. Student Services Resources • College Search volunteers are not experts. The student services counselors are the ones to answer specific questions. Information is available in the Student Services Office. • Bulletin Board • Online notices in the Announcement section of the Reagan website. • College catalogues, information books and SAT prep books. • SAT and ACT booklets. • Reference Books: • College Board College Handbook • College Board Book of Majors • College Board College Costs and Financial Aid Handbook • Fiske Guide to Colleges • Peterson’s Scholarship Almanac • Princeton Review The Best 377 Colleges • Student’s Guide to Colleges • College Prowler Guide • College and University catalogues and information pamphlets are grouped by: • North Carolina Schools • Southern Region Schools • Non-Regional Schools • There are numerous other small booklets and pamphlets on the shelves in the office

  13. Final Thoughts • The college application is usually not an easy process. How many of us as high school students really understood what college was about and what we really wanted to study? College is the time to search, explore and grow in knowledge and wisdom. • Allow for a dream school, one never knows what may happen and dreams do come true. While allowing for a dream school also select a college with a high probability of offering admission to your child, the safety school. • Touring colleges is a great way for your child and for you as a parent to understand what is unique to the college and how its curriculum and traditions may affect your student. • A spreadsheet of college choices with pertinent data is a good way to track the information specific to the college and also key deadlines. Colleges do not care if you miss their deadline, there are thousands of other students who got the application in on time. • Offer your child support and help them examine their options. • Keep calm or at least try to, the process is over before you know it and then you just wait for the results.