Guide to College Planning


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Use this presentation with our College Prep Handbook to help students learn about the types of colleges, and the application process for admissions and financial aid. Includes timelines for juniors and seniors.

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  • Click 1 – College and University Information: Talk about the type of degree available and differences between public and private schoolsClick 2 – Community College: Discuss the variety of degrees available and length of time to attend. Also make sure to discuss the option to transfer to a 4 Year College/UniversityClick 3 – Private Career School: Talk about the types of degrees offered and differences when attending a private career school FACT – (no click needed) 2 Sec delay after click 3 and it will appear.
  • Click 1 – College and University Information: Talk about the type of degree available and differences between public and private schoolsClick 2 – Community College: Discuss the variety of degrees available and length of time to attend. Also make sure to discuss the option to transfer to a 4 Year College/UniversityClick 3 – Private Career School: Talk about the types of degrees offered and differences when attending a private career school FACT – (no click needed) 2 Sec delay after click 3 and it will appear.
  • Change the College Planning Program or College Fair Bullet to reflect any upcoming fairs or EPPS in your area.Slide has hyperlinks to College Profiles and if you wish to show those webpage.
  • This slide is to discuss some of the things students may want to look for in a college.
  • This slide is meant to break things up a little and provide some interaction with the group. Click 1: Brings up the question of the day and possible answersClick 2: Drawing of the rectangle and the measurementsClick 3: x = 2*3Click 4: x = 6Click 5: Area of rectangle = length * widthClick 6: 6*3 = ____ (and then the answer will be highlighted)Click 4
  • This is meant to be an overview of the test options, possible scores for ACT and SAT, and test areas. May want to mention the minimum score for many colleges (4 year) is a 20. The next 4 slides will be used to discuss when you would take each test. Cost and fees: ACT – no writing ($35); with writing - $50.50 (Mention there are no schools in Nebraska that currently need the ACT writing section for admission. Students will want to check with each college to determine if they require the writing portion for admissions).SAT - $50 (additional subject test additional costs). If you have free/reduced lunch you may get a fee waiver for these tests (up to two total for each test).
  • Point out that ACT is preferred by most Midwest colleges, but they will accept the SAT as well.
  • Pointing out preference for SAT on the East and West coast
  • Point out you can take the ASSETT test instead of the ACT or SAT, however even if they are looking to attend a community college it may be beneficial to take the ACT/SAT if they are going to be applying for scholarships or transferring to a 4 year college after 1 year.
  • An opportunity to talk about ACT/SAT also being used for scholarships so it is a good idea to take at least one of the tests. Can also talk about schools typically accepting both SAT and ACT scores.
  • Meant to provide basic test taking strategies for all standardized tests. You may want to point out there are test prep books, websites, and classes (at different price levels) that students can do.
  • Dream school – a school that students would like to get into but they may not have all the necessary requirements for admission (lower than needed ACT score, etc). The cost may also be higher so without a good financial aid package it may be difficult to attend there.In the middle schools – schools that students know they can most likely be admitted to, but it is not guaranteed. The cost for these schools may be higher than the family can afford without a good financial aid award.Sure-Bet School– a school that the student knows they can be admitted to (meets all the requirements) and it is a school the family can most likely afford. Early Action – Students apply early (usually by Nov. 1) and are notified earlier of their admission acceptance (typically in Dec.). Students can apply to multiple colleges under this approach and it is nonbinding.Early Decision – Students apply early to the college and it is a binding commitment. If a student is accepted under this admission process, they agree to withdraw all application from other institutions.Regular Admissions – Regular Admission applications are due to most colleges and universities between January 15 and February 1. Rolling Admission - Under Rolling Admission, there are no application deadlines; colleges accept applications and applicants throughout the year.  Decisions to admit students are made on a case-by-case basis and students usually receive decision letters within 4 to 8 weeks.
  • Discuss the benefit of applying online – the college gets the application quicker, easier for the school to read, sometimes the admissions fees are waived.Opportunity to discuss some of the things a student may need to apply for admission. Point out that all applications are different – some may require more or less information
  • This may be a good time to let the audience know you are not going to be going into detail on the financial aid process during this presentation . If you are going back for a financial aid presentation later, you can mention the date of the presentation.
  • Briefly define the types of financial aid.Click 1:Scholarships – Money for students based on talents such as academics or leadership. Tell them that the scholarships don’t go only to the best academic or athletic students. There are students available from religious organizations and community groups. There are scholarships based on your race/ethnicity, based on what you choose to study in college, and from your parents' work. There is even a scholarship for the best duct tape prom outfit!Click 2: Grants – Money for college that is based on financial need that students do not need to repay.Click 3: Work Study – A program that allows students to earn money at a job while attending college.Click 4: Student Loans – Money students borrow for college that must be repaid with interest.Click 5: Money is available to go to college buy you must APPLY to receive it.Share what types of aid you are receiving to help pay for college.
  • Define college costs for students:Tuition – the amount of money a college charges for courses you will takeFees – the amount the college charges for services like computer labs, the fitness center, and career servicesBooks – the college will require you to purchase textbooks for most of your classesRoom and Board – If you live on campus, the college will charge you to live in a residence hall and for the meals you eat in the college cafeteria.
  • is hyperlinked if during your presentation you have time to clink on the link. This is optional based on time allowed.
  • [Animations – 3 clicks: 1=merit/need, 2=leadership/community service, 3=talents/athletics/drama/music]Explain a little bit about the different types of scholarships. Many scholarships require a mix of all the above categories. Obviously these are some of the main types – there are others out there, ex: religion, ethnicity, military, etc.
  • Beware of anything asking for money or very personal information (i.e. SSN, mother’s maiden name, bank account numbers, etc.). You should never pay for a scholarship.
  • Update with new info
  • Preparing for college might mean shifting expenses and making choices (ex: downgrade to a cheaper car, shift other bills). Be realistic with yourself and your student! Talk to your student about what you can afford! (Ask how many people have had a conversation with their student about what they can realistically afford to pay toward college.)(Percentages roughly based on IFAP parent income protection allowance.)
  • [Animations – 2 clicks: 1=resources box, 2=ScholarshipQuest**]Before clicking to pull up larger resources box, talk about logging in to MyEducationQuest to set up a profile (explain the process). ScholarshipQuest: database of over 2000 Nebraska-based scholarships (must be NE resident, not necessarily going to NE school). Create profile and check it regularly (saves for 9 months).
  • Guide to College Planning

    1. 1. Your Journey to College Begins with Us! Welcome to College Planning Presented by EducationQuest Foundation
    2. 2. What we will cover… Preparing for college Applying to college and testing Paying for college Timeline
    3. 3. Preparing for College!
    4. 4. Think about your future What are your talents? What do you like to do? What is important to you? WIN
    5. 5. What are my college options? College type: Degrees and other info: Private Career Schools (for-profit) • Variety of degree types • Shorter program lengths Community Colleges • Associate Degree, Certificate, Diploma • Academic Transfer • Bachelor’s and Advanced Degrees • Public or Private Colleges and Universities
    6. 6. How do I narrow my choices?  Use College Profiles or Big Future  Check out college websites  Attend the College Fair or Educational Planning Program in your area – Register for a barcode at!  Talk to admission reps at your high school  Visit, Visit, Visit!
    7. 7. Things to consider… Social Climate
    8. 8. Why visit a college?  Get answers specific to your college  Learn about programs  Get a feel for the college  Meet students and staff Visit for campus visit tips and questions.
    9. 9. Applying to College!
    10. 10. Apply for admission Make a list of 3 – 4 schools to apply to – Dream school – In-the-middle schools – Sure-bet school Understand the types of admission – Early Admission • Early Action • Early Decision – Regular and Rolling Admission
    11. 11. Complete admission applications – Online or paper format – Meet deadlines for full scholarship consideration! What will I need to apply for admission? – Admission application – High school transcripts – Test scores – Application fee – Recommendations – Essay DEFINITELY MAYBE Apply for admission
    12. 12. Test options
    13. 13. I’m thinking about attending a four-year college in the Midwest. Which standardized test should I take? – Test areas include English, math, reading and science – Perfect score = 36 – Average score in Nebraska = 21.7 ACT
    14. 14. I would love to live by the ocean! East or West Coast – both sound great to me. I just don’t know what tests those schools prefer. – Test areas include critical reading, math and writing skills – Perfect score = 2400 – Average score in Nebraska = 1745 SAT
    15. 15. I may start at the local community college and live at home. Do I still have to take the ACT or SAT? – Evaluates abilities in reading, writing and math ASSET or COMPASS
    16. 16. I am so confused! I don’t know where I want to go. Should I take all the tests or just skip them?
    17. 17. Test-taking strategies  Take free practice tests (online)  Practice like you’ll test  Pace yourself  Answer easy questions first  Mark answer sheet with care  Know your calculator  Eliminate wrong answers
    18. 18. Paying for College!
    19. 19. Understand the costs Tuition & Fees Room & Board Transportation & PersonalBooks & Supplies
    20. 20. Loans* Types of financial aid Scholarships Work-Study* Grants* *Based on FAFSA Results (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) $ $ $ $ 7
    21. 21. Scholarships Common criteria GPA Financial Need Ethnicity ACT/SAT score Field of study First- generation student Talents Community Service Employer College choice Leadership Activities Military service Disability State of residence Gender
    22. 22.  Begin research early  Colleges  School counselor  ScholarshipQuest at  Private organizations  The Internet Scholarships Search tips 8
    23. 23. Scholarships WARNING! 8
    24. 24. • Get organized • Put in the time • Write a good essay • Check, double-check, triple-check • Think local and small-dollar • Meet deadlines Scholarships Helpful hints
    25. 25. following directions meeting the deadline typing – or turning in a sloppy application proofreading including all necessary components answering the essay question as asked meeting the criteria Scholarships Common mistakes $
    26. 26. Eligibility Financial need 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale Attend a Nebraska public college (two- or four-year) Amount Up to $4,350 per semester Dates to remember Online application opens: November 1, 2015 Deadline: February 1, 2016 Student Aid Report due: March 15, 2016 Susan Thompson Buffett Scholarship
    27. 27. Tuition Assistance Programs Collegebound Nebraska – UNO, UNL, UNK, or UNMC – NE resident, full-time student, Pell eligible – Must complete FAFSA by April 1 Advantage – Wayne, Peru, Chadron – NE resident, full-time student, Pell eligible – Must complete FAFSA by June 1 If you meet the criteria, tuition is COVERED! !
    28. 28. Tuition Assistance Programs Access NWU – NE resident, full-time student – ACT of 25 or higher, GPA of 3.0 or higher – Live on campus – EFC of $1,000 or less – Complete FAFSA by March 1 If you meet the criteria, tuition is COVERED! $ !
    29. 29. Know your financial situation Household Bills Cars Other Debt Savings Other
    30. 30. Timeline!
    31. 31. Junior Year (SPRING) Visit colleges Start a scholarship file Prepare for and take the ACT and/or SAT Update Activities Resume Junior Year (FALL/WINTER) Research colleges Set up an Activities Resume Attend a College Fair or EPP Take the PSAT
    32. 32. WINTER Create an FSA ID for student and one parent Watch for acceptance letters from colleges Complete the FAFSA before the college’s priority date Continue to apply for scholarships FALL Retake the ACT/SAT Narrow list of colleges Apply to 3 – 4 colleges Begin applying for scholarships
    33. 33. SUMMER Apply for student and parent loans Attend freshmen orientation Work to save for college costs Buy necessary books & supplies SPRING Continue to apply for scholarships Complete verification, if required Compare award notifications Make your final decision by May 1
    34. 34. Questions? ?