Get Me Into College: Ten Tips to
Strengthen Your College
Applications
Dr. Rebecca Joseph
Getmetocollege.org/hs
getmetocoll...
What Do Colleges Look For…











Grades
Rigor of Coursework
Test Scores
Applications
Essays
Recommendations...
Grades
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

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Grades are the top factor of admissions.
Please make sure to enter all academic information cor...
Rigor of Coursework






Colleges expect you to keep the difficulty of
your classes consistent through senior year.
...
Test Scores
You have one more time to take SAT or
ACT.
 You must send your test scores to
colleges. They are not official...
Applications
Keep all application usernames and
passwords on your phone and on your
computer
 Once you apply, please make...
Applications-Part 2
Make sure you fill out all sections of
applications.
 Look at optional sections and see if you
can su...
Recommendations
Please remind teachers and counselors to
submit your recommendations in time for
your colleges.
 Track th...
Activities







Make sure to continue with your leadership
and initiative in activities.
If colleges ask for activi...
Application Essays
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

You need to keep revising your essays
Make sure they answer all parts of the
prompt
Make sur...
10 Essay Reviewing Questions
1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Does your essay start with a story that hooks us in from the first
paragr...
More Reviewing Questions
6.

If you are writing about an obstacle or challenge or failure overcome, do you get
to how you ...
Interviews and Campus Visits
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Go to college websites and see if they conduct
interviews
Check my tips.
http:...
Demonstrated Interest
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Try to visit local colleges on your list if you haven’t
already.
Even if you can’t vis...
Senior Year
Senior year is difficult in many ways but it
is essential to do well.
 You must keep your grades as high as
p...
You can do it!
I know you can make the next few
months really count.
 If you need any help,


◦ Look at my website: getm...
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College Week Live: Get Me To College: Ten Tips to Strengthen Your College Application

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This is the powerpoint from my College Week Live presentation. The webinar will be live on the CWL website for the next few days. http://www.collegeweeklive.com/en_CA/Guest/College-Events-November

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College Week Live: Get Me To College: Ten Tips to Strengthen Your College Application

  1. 1. Get Me Into College: Ten Tips to Strengthen Your College Applications Dr. Rebecca Joseph Getmetocollege.org/hs getmetocollege@gmail.com
  2. 2. What Do Colleges Look For…           Grades Rigor of Coursework Test Scores Applications Essays Recommendations Activities Interviews Demonstrated Interest Strong Senior Years
  3. 3. Grades          Grades are the top factor of admissions. Please make sure to enter all academic information correctly on applications. Get an official copy of your transcript and check. Get extra copies for future usage. Make sure you report the correct GPA—don’t estimate. Ask your counselor. Senior year is critical year. Colleges will see your grades. Most colleges will see your first semester even after application is submitted You can even send in first quarter grades to early colleges. Colleges will see second semester-avoid the black hole of senioritis
  4. 4. Rigor of Coursework      Colleges expect you to keep the difficulty of your classes consistent through senior year. You list your senior grades on applications. If you change classes, you must notify colleges. You cannot drop classes. If you are planning on transferring, your grades all year are the most important of all time.
  5. 5. Test Scores You have one more time to take SAT or ACT.  You must send your test scores to colleges. They are not official unless you send them.  Double-check that colleges received scores.  Some colleges take  ◦ Only highest overall day ◦ Highest per section
  6. 6. Applications Keep all application usernames and passwords on your phone and on your computer  Once you apply, please make sure to keep all emails—they will send you college specific user names, enable you to track status of all submitted materials, and send you info about scholarships  Make sure all paperwork is submitted 
  7. 7. Applications-Part 2 Make sure you fill out all sections of applications.  Look at optional sections and see if you can submit key additional information  Spend the rest of November and December completing high quality applications.  Print them out before submitting and double-check for mistakes or omissions. 
  8. 8. Recommendations Please remind teachers and counselors to submit your recommendations in time for your colleges.  Track the submission on Naviance, Common Application, and individual college websites.  If you need extra recommendations, contact recommenders now and find out how to submit the recommendations  Give gift cards and thank you notes. 
  9. 9. Activities      Make sure to continue with your leadership and initiative in activities. If colleges ask for activities, be as descriptive about your leadership and initiative as possible. Keep a record of what you do all year. If you are planning to transfer, your activities are key this year and next summer. Make sure you have an up-to-date resume.
  10. 10. Application Essays      You need to keep revising your essays Make sure they answer all parts of the prompt Make sure you give visuals and key examples of your leadership and initiative Have someone you trust proof them for grammar and technical Format the essays correctly. ◦ Common Application ◦ Other applications
  11. 11. 10 Essay Reviewing Questions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Does your essay start with a story that hooks us in from the first paragraph? If you start in the past, do you get to the present very quickly? Colleges want to know about the recent you. Great essays can start more recently and weave in past events. Do you write only in the first person and not spend too much time describing anyone or anything else? Use my one-third-twothird rule.You may not spend more than 1/3 of the essay describing anything other than your own activities and goals. If you are writing about your community or family or location, do you get to the present and your life and life works quickly? Can this description only connect to you and your story of who are you and how you are making a difference? Do you only tell one story and not try to tell your entire life story?
  12. 12. More Reviewing Questions 6. If you are writing about an obstacle or challenge or failure overcome, do you get to how you have responded and made a difference in the life of your community by the second or third paragraph of the essay? Admissions officers want to know who are you and how you make an impact drawing upon your obstacles or challenges or failures. 7. Do you have a metaphor that goes through the entire piece…does this metaphor reveal who you are and what you offer to potential colleges? You can embed this metaphor throughout out your piece. 8. Can I close my eyes and picture your story? Does it make you sound unique and not like anyone else applying? Can I see your leadership and initiative and the power of what you will offer a college campus? 9. Do you tell new stories and qualities in each separate essay your write? Do you make sure to reveal powerful information and core messages that colleges will need to know to admit you and give you money to attend? 10. Endings-Do you end with a bang? Do you make it clear by the end you have goals and aspirations that drive you. Your endings must be specific for some prompts like the University of California and University of Texas, but can be more oblique and implied in Common Application and many supplementary essays. Do you end your essays leaving the reader with the desire to get to know you more, to see you on his or her campus, and to share your essay with someone else?
  13. 13. Interviews and Campus Visits       Go to college websites and see if they conduct interviews Check my tips. http://getmetocollege.org/hs/short-and-sweetinterview-tips Interviews are information or evaluative. Many campuses do them after you submit application. Make sure your respond to requests immediately. Make sure you prepare and send a thank you note within 48 hours. Also it’s not too late to visit colleges on your list that are within an hour or two away.
  14. 14. Demonstrated Interest       Try to visit local colleges on your list if you haven’t already. Even if you can’t visit, you can demonstrate interest to a college. One of the college specific webcasts today counts. You can read their blogs, you can follow them on twitter, you can go to local events. Keep track of what you learn so you can use it in a college specific essay or contact info on Common Application. If you apply, and then something really cool happens, send the admissions officer in charge of your area with an update email.
  15. 15. Senior Year Senior year is difficult in many ways but it is essential to do well.  You must keep your grades as high as possible.  You can apply for as many scholarships as possible.  You must enjoy yourself but not allow the black hole of senioritis to take over your life.  ◦ Two stories
  16. 16. You can do it! I know you can make the next few months really count.  If you need any help,  ◦ Look at my website: getmetocollege/hs ◦ Follow me on twitter @getmetocollege ◦ I will post this powerpoint on Slide Share: Get Me To College

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