College Admissions Ellen Richards educational services
WHY SHOULD STUDENTS & PARENTS START THINKING ABOUT COLLEGE NOW?
Avoid the anxiety associated with the college admissions process.
Gain confidence and remain calm as they move through the process.
Make informed choices during freshman through senior years.
Thinking About College?
Start a college file
Research & visit colleges
Prepare for standardized tests
Become a well-rounded student
Plan summer activities(classes, volunteer, internship, summer job, travel, etc.)
Discuss college financial optionswith your family
A Good College “Fit” Will…
Have a program of studyto match your interests and needs
Provide a style of instructionto match the way you like to learn
Supplya level of academic rigorto match your aptitude and preparation
Offer a community that feels like home
Value youfor what you do well
How do college admissions committees make their decision??? Admissions officers want to know: “How have you taken advantage of your opportunities, and what will you bring to our campus?” Comprehensive Evaluation
Rigor of Classes over 4 Years
GPA / Transcript
SAT or ACT Scores
Extra-Curricular Activities/Community Service
Teacher & Counselor Letters of Recommendation
Math Course Choices Trig/ PreCalculus Advanced Algebra Geometry Algebra I Intro. To Statistics Problem Solving AP Calculus AB Honors Geometry Honors Trig/ Pre-Calculus Honors Advanced Algebra AP Calculus BC
Science Course Choices Biology Physiology Integrated Physical Science Chemistry Physics For selective colleges and majors in the sciences, pre-med or engineering, Physics is highly recommended and often required. Physiology Physics Chemistry Biology AP Biology AP Physics Honors Chemistry Honors Biology AP Chemistry Honors Physics
Types of Colleges & Universities Community Colleges State Universities Private Colleges & Universities
Characteristics of Community Colleges Perks of Attending
Priority transfer programs with the state
Take lower division general education courses, improve grades, time to mature
No SAT or ACT
Minimal application process in spring
Characteristics of State Colleges & Universities
Usually no letters of recommendation
Most use separate application & do not accept the common application
Applicants from out of state can pay the same amount as they would at a private college
Characteristics of Private Schools Many private schools have:
Smaller class sizes
A lower student to faculty ratio
Classes taught by professors
Higher four-year graduation rates
Transfer options as early as sophomore year
A specific affiliation or sense of community
Application Process Admission policies & deadlines Early Decision Early Action Regular Action/Decision (more on these options in a minute…) Use the individual Institutional application and/or common application (www.commonapp.org)
Application Requirements Official transcript (9th thru 12th grades) SAT and/or ACT scores Essay / Personal Statement Extracurricular activities Letter(s) of Recommendation Interviews Program-specific requirements: auditions, portfolios
Create Your Preliminary College List Your list should include at least: 1 Reach (highly competitive) 3 Possible (competitive) 1 Likely (probable admission) * Your “safety” school is your most important choice – will you be happy there if it is your only option?
PUTTING THE COLLEGE PROCESS IN PERSPECTIVE Students should build a solid academic foundation while:
Exploring new options outside of the classroom
Continuing to pursue the activities they enjoy
Challenging themselves academically to do their best work
Achieving the personal goals they set for themselves
Taking advantage of opportunities
Early Decision & Early Action Early Decision binding plan student must attend the school if the school accept them may apply to only one college for early decision Early Action not binding student can choose to commit to the college immediately, or wait until the spring student may also apply early action to other colleges
Early Evaluation & Early Notification Receive a letter from college stating the likelihood of acceptance in late February The official decision letter mailed in early April
Rolling Admissions Common at large state universities Allows students to apply at any time during their admission period; typically, September through July Schools evaluate each college application as they are received Acceptance letters immediately mailed to students who meet their requirements
Plan for Standardized Tests
Each person has different strengths, so each student’s strategies will differ.
Take “practice” standardized tests.
Take SAT Subject tests in your areas of strength.
Aim to complete all required college testing before the end of your Junior year!
STANDARDIZED TESTING ACT Sophomore PLAN SAT Subject Tests PSAT SAT / ACT Junior SAT Tests SAT / ACT Retakes only (by December) Senior
PSAT/ PLAN Purpose
Preparation test for the SAT &ACT
Familiarize students with the SAT and ACT Tests
Give students an analysis of their strengths and weaknesses
SAT Test Three sections: Critical Reading Mathematical Reasoning Writing Duration: 3 hours and 45 minutes Offered: seven times a year
SAT SUBJECT TESTS 60 minute multiple choice tests on specific subjects Some colleges require that a student submit 2 or 3 subject tests SAT Subject Tests include:
U.S. History and World History
Mathematics I and II
Foreign Languages – Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Modern Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Japanese, and Korean
ACT EXAM All Colleges accept ACT or SAT Consists of four 30 to 50 minute sections in English, mathematics, reading and science reasoning Scores are averaged into a composite score that ranges from 11 (low) to 36 (high)
Advanced Placement (AP) Exams Taken in May 3-hour long examinations based on full- year college level courses offered in high school. Scored from 1 to 5 Subjects Art History Biology Calculus AB Calculus BC Chemistry Chinese Language and Culture Computer Science A English Language English Literature Environmental Science European History French Language German Language Comp Government & Politics U.S. Government & Politics Human Geography Japanese Language and Culture Latin: Vergil Macroeconomics Microeconomics Music Theory Physics B Physics C Psychology Spanish Language Spanish Literature Statistics Studio Art U.S. History World History
Testing TOEFLTest of English Foreign Language Used for international students whose native language is not English and who are applying for admission to colleges and graduate schools in the United States.
Sending Your Scores Score Choice Follow admissions policies of colleges Colleges cannot “opt out of” or “reject” score choice The College Board does not release SAT test scores without student consent
InterviewsSummer Before Senior Year Purpose:
Reinforce interest in a particular institution
Opportunity for the admission staff to clarify the match between school’s offerings and student’s interest/abilities
Types of Interviews:
Writing Your College Essay
Personal Statement / Essay Capture reader’s initial attention Maintainconsistent and logical flow Leave reader with lingering thought or lasting impression Avoid common traps -Plato’s Pitfall -Over use of the thesaurus -Use of your resume as an essay outline
Process: Writing the Essay “SHOW Don’t Tell!” Be concise
Letters of Recommendation Ask teachers:
in academic areas
who know you well
Senior year grades don’t count.
Once I’m accepted to college I can stop studying.
I must declare a major.
I should know what I want to do for the rest of my life.
“C” students don’t go to 4-year colleges.
UC Berkeley is the best school for me.
CSU’s are not good schools
Community Colleges are only for students who didn’t do well in high school.
In an increasingly competitive college market, it is no longer enough just to be smart. Colleges want to know what students will offer to the community. Beyond the Classroom
Beyond the Classroom Find a balance between extra-curricular pursuits & school work.
Beyond the Classroom Do what you are passionate about - your enthusiasm and sincerity will shine through. Pursue interests that make you happy and are enriching and rewarding.
Become a Leader During your high school years dive into one or more areas of interest. Leadership
Financial Aid Financial aid is available for InternationalStudents Research if your specific situation qualifies