College Night Presentationwith assistance from Cappex.com and NAIS.com for Juniors and their Parents of Abbeville Christian Academy
Agenda●Letter●Us and Them●Myths Parents Believe●Words of Wisdom●Preparing for a College Search●Scholarships●Parent Tips●Next Steps for Juniors
Excerpt of Letter to Dean of AdmissionsSince we realized about a year ago that the college application cycle was about to materialize for us, my wife Barbara has been in a constant state of agitation. To say that she has made life miserable for my daughter Alison and me would be a colossal understatement; we are talking about daily SAT vocabulary words, nagging about homework, reminders about college essays, and the like. The only way for me to placate her was to promise her that Alison would be accepted at an outstanding college. Now I must produce the results I promised. …Were Alison not to be admitted, I would beg that you could notify me in advance, confidentially, so that I could make my plane reservations for Zimbabwe before the rejection notice appears. I know as well that your burdens of decision are many. Just know as well that my whole life rests in your hands. I am praying daily for you, your family, and your favorite charity.
Us and Them● Anthony Campolo’s dictum: “I want me child to be… ● In Japan: “…successful.” ● In US: “…happy.” ● Better answer: “…good.” ● Douglas Heath research: Schools of Hope, Lives of Hope: those who turn out “good” more likely to be both successful and happy.
Myths Parents Believe● Myth: “There’s only one right college (or school) for my child.”● Reality: Of the 4000 colleges and university in the US, there are dozens where any child of whatever ability can make the most of his or her potential.
Myths Parents Believe● Myth: “Our family paid dearly for independent school tuition. That investment had better pay off in the form of admission to a prestigious college.”● Reality: Independent schools do offer a solid return by providing a challenging academic environment and rich extracurricular opportunities…but what a student makes of this is the biggest factor in where they are admitted to college…. Like paying for membership in an expensive health club: must exercise to benefit from it.~College is a match to be made, not a prize to be won --Frank Sachs, College Counselor, Blake School, MN
Myths Parents Believe● Myth: Guidance counselors are responsible for getting a student accepted to his/her favorite college.● Reality: Guidance or college counselors do not get a student in…the student’s record does.● Most selective college do “keep score.” Applicants must have the right “colored dots” on their folder to get into the pool of those seriously considered: within the college’s mid-50% of SAT scores, high GPA and class rank, rigorous 4-year program and leadership.
Myths Parents Believe● Myth: “In a label-conscious culture, if students don’t make it into a big- name college, they’ll always lag behind those who did.”● Reality: All the research shows zero financial impact on long-term success of attending a big-name university: what one does in college tracks with success not where one went to college.
Myths Parents Believe● Myth: “My child must go to college right after high school.”● Reality: A “gap year” can be invaluable in terms of developing maturity and perspective and a wise and safe strategy, given the deferred admissions option.
Words of WisdomRelax…You will get in.70% of colleges acceptan average of 70% oftheir applicants.
Words of WisdomYou don’t need to gofar away.88% of high schoolstudents go to college intheir home state.
Words of WisdomIf you don’t have amajor, it’s OK.More than half of newcollege students say avery important reasonfor going to college is “tofind my purpose in life.”
Types of CollegesType Description Tuition Admission RequirementsFour year Degrees offered: State: Typically ● SAT or ACT Bachelors and beyond under $15,000 ● GPA /year ● Class rank Provides: A well-rounded ● Essay college experience that Private: ● Extracurricular includes an academic area Typically more activities of study. than $20,000 ● Letters of /year recommendation ● Transcripts
Types of CollegesType Description Tuition Admission RequirementsTwo year Degrees offered: Typically around Open-door Associates $4,000/year admission policy Provides: A way to ease into college / take general college classes for credit. Typically have agreements with four year colleges to transfer credits.
Choosing YourCollege PrioritiesWhat is important to you?●Location●Academics●Size●Campus Appeal●Social Life●Total Cost – Including aid
About College Admission Tests● ACT ●Consists of four tests: English, Math, Reading, Science, and Writing ●Writing component is optional ●Top composite score is 36● SAT ●Consists of three tests: Verbal, Math, Writing ●Each test is scored on a scale of 200-800
What information do collegeadmission officers review?●Grades / Overall GPA●Strength of high school course selections●Admission Test Score●Essay●Teacher and counselorrecommendations●Class rank●Student’s demonstrated interest●Personal accomplishments●Personality characteristics●Courses in progress Junior and Senioryear
Collecting College Information –Where to go● Cappex.com - College search made simple. Your first stop to kick-start your college and scholarship search● nacacnet.org - National Association for College Admission Counseling. Offers national college fair information and articles about the college process● collegeboard.com - Information about the SAT● act.org - Information about the ACT test
Merit Scholarship TipsMerit scholarships are where the money is.●There is more than $11 billion in merit scholarshipsavailable to students from colleges●Not just for “A” students●Many awards emphasize leadership or schoolinvolvement●Nearly all colleges offer merit aid scholarships●The average merit scholarship is $5,000●Many awards can be renewed year after year
Scholarship Resources●Fastweb.com - Private scholarships●fafsa.ed.gov - Free Application for Federal StudentAid●Studentaid.ed.gov - The federal government’swebsite about paying for college●MeritAid.com - $11 billion in merit scholarships●Cappex.com - Scholarship matching●finaid.org - Free student resource for learning aboutall types of financial aid
Are You a Helicopter Parent?
10 Tips for would-be HelicopterParents ● Help your student understandthe college search process ●Be realistic and non-judgmental ●Be in the "back seat" - and not the driver - of thecollege search process ●Be open to dialogue and responsive to questions ●Be aware of deadlines and fees due ●Know that things have changed since your college days ●Don’t overemphasize your own alma maters ●Don’t compare your student with others ●Don’t dwell on disappointments, like a rejection letter ●Celebrate successes!
Next Steps for JuniorsIn School●Stay focused on academics●Do not lighten your academic load for senior year●Meet with your school counselor●Stay involved in school activitiesStandardized Testing●Prepare for and register for ACT / SAT tests●Register for AP tests as appropriateCollege Exploration●Explore colleges on the Web●Visit colleges if you can●Meet with college representatives●Attend college fairs
Other pointsSet up a dignified/respectful email● ●Use it in all communications with the colleges or universities ●email@example.com. firstname.lastname@example.org is better than email@example.com●Set up a blog or website to display yourexpertise, hobbies, academic work, orathletic prowess. Better than Face Book ●Take down your social network or hide it.●
Other Points●Set a conference with me (parents-student-me)- 30 min at most●Visit colleges and universities during thesummer. ●Go a a week day ●Go through the admissions office ●Get a tourPrioritize your choices –● Apply to all you feel comfortable with ●●Get to know the admissions reps on a firstname basis