Do I have to go to College? Education Level Average Income Male Average Income Female Less than 9 th grade $20,789 ($10/hr) $15,978 ($7.5/hr) Some high school but no diploma $25,095 ($12/hr) $17,919 ($9/hr) High School Diploma/GED $34,300 $24,900 Some college, no degree $40,300 $28,697 Associates degree (2yr) $41,952 $31,071 Bachelors Degree (4yr) $56,334 $40,415 Masters Degree (2 more yrs) $68,322 $50,139 Professional degree (3 more yrs) $99,411 $58,957 Doctorate degree (4 more yrs) $80,250 $57,081
How to Prepare for College
Preparing for College starts your Freshman year of High School!
College will look at your body of work from Freshman year forward.
Grades, failures, retakes, summer school, suspensions from every year show up on your transcript
Colleges will look at the entire transcript
How to Decide on a Career and Major
Education and training is required
Where is the work done?
Is the work dangerous or physically demanding
Work hours, overtime, travel?
What classes can I take in H.S., college or vocational school to help prepare me for this career?
Is part-time work available in this occupation
What rewards and satisfaction are likely to be found in this occupation?
What are the opportunities for advancement in this occupation?
What is the employment outlook in this occupation?
What is a typical starting salary in this occupation?
How much do people who have been in this occupation for 10 years occupation usually earn?
Select one of the occupations you are interested in and conduct additional research.
Some Questions to Ask or Research when deciding on a College?
Does the school have the majors in which you are interested? Does the school allow you to minor in another subject?
Does the school have a strong program in your major? Are the professors published? Did they write the text book for the subject?
How well does the college help students from your major find jobs after graduation?
Do you learn better in a small class room or can you thrive in a large class?
Which extra-curricular activities are you interested in?
Do you want a school that is dedicated to public service and volunteerism?
Do you need a school that will look at more than just your ACT score to decide on your admission?
Do you need a school that will factor in your GPA, class rank and activities if your ACT score is not up to par?
Do you want to go to a four year college but have bad grades and a low ACT? What schools have an open admission policy?
If you have to start at a two-year college, do you have to stay in Chicago? Which two-year colleges have dorms?
Do you want to join a fraternity or sorority?
Do you want to stay in town? Get out of Chicago? Go out of state?
Can you and your parents afford to go out of state? Will the out of state schools offer you enough financial aid? Can you get a scholarship?
What about the school newspaper or radio station?
Do you want a party school or do you want to stay away from schools with a rep for heavy partying and drinking?
Do you want to play intramural sports (sports for fun) or do have what it takes to play sports competitively for your school?
Do you care about the dorm rooms, their size and what they look like?
How good is the cafeteria food?
How pretty is the campus? Do you care?
Do you want to attend a college with a diverse population?
Do you care if you are the only minority in most of your classes? Maybe not if they give you a good financial aid package. (consider what happened at University of Chicago and their Straight Thuggin Party)
Are you interested in a Historical Black College or a college with a large percentage of Latinos?
Do you need a campus that has an outlet for religious expression?
What about a campus that is accepting of alternative lifestyles.
Also, don’t forget about money. What percentage of students get 80-100% of their financial need met by the school so that they can afford to go there.
How Do you Chose a College
Know what you are looking for in a college
Know if your parents can contribute to your tuition expenses.
Go to Guidance Counselor’s office and use college books (Petersons, College Board, etc.)
Use websites: www.petersons.com , www.collegeboard.com
Make a spreadsheet to input research data and compare colleges.
The College Planning Calendar
11 th Grade
October take PSAT
November-Talk to college counselor
Let them know you want to go to college
Make sure you take courses colleges want to see
4 years of Math (Algebra, Ad. Alg, Geom, Trig/Pre Calc or Calc)
3 years of Science (Bio, Chem, Physics)
4 years of English
2 years of Foreign Language
2 years of computers
December-Identify what you want in school, February-get list of schools
Schools that will probably accept you
School you like
Go to Website, complete “Interest Form”
March-Study for ACT
Average ACT in Chicago public schools is 15
Average ACT required for admission to moderately selective schools is 20-22
Take practice test, use test prep software
April: Take ACT
Summer: visit any campuses you can, talk to parents about getting to and from school (via Amtrak, Greyhound or if they can drive you)
The College Planning Calendar
12 th Grade
September: Register to retake ACT/Ask counselor for application, fee waiver
October-Write personal statement
October: pay senior dues and any back fees because you can’t submit transcripts to college if you owe H.S. money
November-December: Complete application, take to Guidance Counselor-have her/him send off with transcripts.
December-Ask parents to do taxes in January, take parents to Financial Aid workshop (ask HS or college if they have one)
January-Apply for Financial Aid ( www.FAFSA.gov ) FAFSA report will be mailed to all schools and you within 6 weeks
February-Start looking for scholarships, both outside and school based)
March-April-Letters of acceptance, wait list or rejection come in. Talk to college admissions reps, find out how much money they can put together in grants, loans and scholarships. Wait for financial aid award letter from school.
May-June: Make final Decision. Call school with acceptance
June-July: Buy things for school (Linens, supplies, laptop, personal care products and work out transportation)