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~Frank Sachs~ Director of College Counseling at The Blake School (MN) 2005 NACAC President

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“College is a match to be made, not a prize to be won. If you make a good match, isn’t that the best prize?”. ~Frank Sachs~ Director of College Counseling at The Blake School (MN) 2005 NACAC President. March 14, 2012. It Takes a Village. Guidance Counselors – write your SSR recommendation

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“College is a match to be made, not a prize to be won.If you make a good match, isn’t that the best prize?”

~Frank Sachs~Director of College Counseling at

The Blake School (MN)

2005 NACAC President

March 14, 2012

it takes a village
It Takes a Village
  • Guidance Counselors – write your SSR recommendation
  • College Counselors-meet with you and offer college advice
  • Teachers - write recommendations
  • College Reps- personal resource for individual colleges
  • Parents– too many roles to list
  • Siblings and Friends - can be helpful
  • Parent Coordinator – liaison to parents
  • YOU - make final choices

The College Office Staff

  • Ms. Cleary - College Counselor

Homerooms A - H

  • Ms. Pedrick - College Counselor

Homerooms I - Q

  • Ms. Ferrer - College Counselor

Homerooms R - Z


  • Ms. DiPaola – Transcripts for scholarships and summer programs
  • Ms. Demasi – SAT and ACT Fee Waivers for eligible students
ssr background questionnaire and college advisement worksheet must be entered online
SSR Background Questionnaire and College Advisement Worksheet MUST be entered online
  • Log in to your Student Tools account from the Stuy home page
  • Go to Onward to College and click on Enter the Data in your SSR Background Questionnaire as well as Enter Info in Your College Advisement Worksheet

**The SSR Background Questionnaire and the College Advisement Worksheet should be completed as soon as possible

what are these very selective schools looking for the holistic approach
What are these very selective schools looking for – the “holistic” approach
  • Transcripts,
    • both grades and rigor of curriculum
  • talent/creativity/leadership
  • Research, sponsored or individual
  • essays/very specific essays related to that particular college
    • U Chicago, Columbia, Dartmouth (peer)
  • outside of the classroom experiences/activities
  • Interview
  • “demonstrating interest” such as:

- registering on college’s website as a prospective student

- joining mailing list

- meeting college admissions reps here at Stuy in the Fall

- attending colleges’ information sessions held in NYC. . .


intellectual passion enriching life experiences


high test scores sustained commitment to activities

well-written essays talent

curiosity service creativity

interesting viewpoints academic success

demonstrated interest aspirations

quality of coursework leadershiplife goals

Our application review is holistic.

what are you looking for in a college
What are you looking for in a college?
  • which academic subjects interest you the most? does the college offer this area of study?
  • large class size or small class size? lecture vs. classroom discussion?
    • Undergraduate Enrollment: approximately 2000 students (Liberal Arts and Sciences College), 5000 to 10,000 students (Private University), 20,000 students or more (Public University)
  • location: city, a town close to a city, a rural setting, distance from home?
  • What is the general student climate like on campus
    • Princeton Review gives lists:
      • Students Study The Most
      • Class Discussions encouraged/rare
      • Most Happy Students / Least Happy Students
      • Most Liberal Students / Most Conservative Students
      • Most publically active
      • Great College Town / College Town Not So Great
      • Everyone Plays Intramural Sports / No One Plays
      • Best College Theater

Find schools that are a good match for YOU

keep in mind
Keep in mind…

there is not one school out there that is your PERFECT match…

…you could be happy/fulfilled/challenged at a number of different colleges.


Time Management

  • Junior Year Homework: spend ½ hour, maybe 1 hour, per week researching colleges – a small time commitment that will affect 4 years of your life.
  • Summer Homework: spend 1 – 2 hours per week researching colleges – a small time commitment that will affect 4 years of your life.

Don’t put it off!

the ivy league what is it
The “Ivy League” – what is it?
  • Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, U. of Pennsylvania, Princeton, Yale
  • These are 8 great schools, but there are DOZENS and DOZENS of schools that are equally fantastic – seek out/research these very selective Universities and “Liberal Arts” and Sciences schools
  • Mark Bittman ‘67…Clark University (Worcester, MA)
    • Author of “How to Cook Everything”, NY Times contributor
  • Stanley Greenberg ‘73…Stony Brook
    • Landscape photographer who has shown at every major U.S. museum
  • Lucy Liu‘86…University of Michigan
    • Star of television, movie, and Broadway
  • Bram Cohen ‘93…SUNY Buffalo
    • Created BitTorrent (file sharing), named one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2005
april 26 th
APRIL 26th
  • Make sure to visit a variety of colleges during our College Night. Ask Admissions Representatives - What are the advantages of attending:
    • a smaller Liberal Arts and Sciences college
    • a private university
    • a large public state university
resources where do i start
Resources (Where do I start?):
  • See the college counselors this term. We have a busy, intense schedule in the fall term of your senior year.
  • Review your transcript, then review the statistics on Stuy tools
    • Stuyvesant College Handbook (see Lists of Colleges – Selectivity)
  • Visit colleges, if possible
    • Review college websites for dates, register for tours/info sessions
    • Make the most of April break and days we have off in May and June
  • College guides – Fiske and Princeton Review are very reliable
    • Check “Overlaps” lists
  • Check out College Board’s “College Matchmaker”

and Princeton Review’s “Counselor-O-Matic”

  • College’s websites
    • Look for videos, photos, virtual tours
what are my chances of admission
What are my chances of Admission?
  • The College Office suggests that students develop a list of approximately 10 colleges (excluding SUNY’s, CUNY’s, out of state public colleges, and international colleges)
  • A mixture of:
    • “Reach” (10% acceptance rate or less),
    • “Possible” (30% acceptance rate or less) ,
    • “Target” (50% - 70% acceptance rate or less) ,
    • “Safety” (90% acceptance rate), and
    • “Financial Safety” schools
  • College Handbook: see the sections called “Ranking the Selectivity of Colleges” and “What Colleges Look for in Applicants”
  • Admissions Statistics in your Stuy Student Tools account
should i apply ed early decision
Should I apply ED (Early Decision)?
  • ED: In many cases, applying Early Decision can increase a student’s chance of admission – check stats
  • Keep in mind pros and cons of ED:
    • making commitment to one college if accepted and offered financial aid that “makes attendance possible”
    • not able to compare financial aid packages
    • won’t know with certainty what financial aid package will be (although approximate idea can be determined)
paying for college
Paying for College
  • Do not let the cost of a college prevent you from applying – FINANCIAL AID is usually based on the family’s ability to pay
  • Financial Safety schools (our New York Publics)
    • SUNY – numerous colleges in the SUNY system, many have Honors Programs
    • CUNY Macaulay Honors College (7 CUNY colleges participate) and General CUNY system
    • Other colleges less expensive than typical Private Colleges – Canadian schools, out-of-state publics, “Best Buy” colleges . . .
  • Discuss with your family and review individual colleges’ Financial Aid websites/policies:
    • how much financial aid can we expect to receive from a particular college (amount varies from college to college) [check cost calculators]
    • what can our family afford to pay each year?
  • Page 47 of the Stuy College Handbook lists helpful scholarship websites
  • Check the College Office Bulletin for monthly updates on additional scholarship opportunities
accept responsibility and have some fun
Accept Responsibility and Have Some Fun!

~~Things to Do List~~

  • VISIT COLLEGES (Have fun )
  • Complete SSR Background and College Advise forms found in your Student Tools Account
  • Organize college materials
  • Attend Stuy college fair APRIL 26
  • Take SAT I Reasoning Test, SAT II Subject Tests, and/or ACT Plus Writing Test by June 2012
  • By May 2012, request college recommendation letters from 2 teachers in different subject areas
  • Refer to your College Handbook