You will get in.
70% of colleges accept an
average of 70% of their
You don’t need to go far
88% of high school students
go to college in their home
If you don’t have a major,
More than half of new
college students say a very
important reason for going
to college is “to find my
purpose in life.”
Start practicing good time management,
prioritizing, and study habits.
Don’t get used to procrastinating because your
workload in college may overwhelm you.
Colleges are interested in students who
demonstrate a love of learning and are willing
to take on academic challenges.
AP and Dual Enrollment courses will grab their
attention and prepare you for college success.
Plan a rigorous schedule for next year = choose
AP and /or DE classes
Take a foreign language, English, social studies,
science, and math . . .
even if you have already satisfied your Richmond
Public Schools Advanced Studies Diploma
requirements in each of these disciplines.
Option 1: Four-year college or university for a
Option 2: Two-year community college for an
Option 3: Technical/vocational/trade school
for certification, license
. . . is to prepare our students for
Option 1, offering college-prep
courses to prepare students for
the academic challenges of
You could start right now, and continue working on this
over the summer.
will be available to Open students in the Fall.
Seniors will take interest, personality, and
learning style inventories and link to possible
careers and college major identification
What is important to you?
Total Cost – Including aid
What makes a college/university selective?
Answer: The number of applicants.
The more applicants for each spot in the
entering class, the more selective that college
Take a look at reported median GPAs and
Are you in the range?
This calculation will inform your concept of
The factors of
Cost and financial aid offered
are as close to matching your preferences, abilities, and
comfort level as possible
– Consists of four tests: English, Math, Reading,
Science, and Writing
– Writing component is optional
– Top composite score is 36
– Consists of three tests: Verbal, Math, Writing
– Each test is scored on a scale of 200-800
Open students are advised to take SAT and/or
ACT in the spring of junior year and in the fall
of senior year
Do take one of them a second time.
Colleges will accept either or both.
Available to those who qualify for
Students can use up to two each to take ACT &
4 fee waivers granted for college applications
from College Board
Read. A lot.
Whatever score you get the first time, work on
These scores are the most direct way to merit
aid. The higher the score . . .
ACT Composite score range
open admissions 16-21
highly selective 25-30
SAT combined verbal & math
highly selective 1140-1340
The higher your scores, the better your chances
are to go to a more selective college.
The more selective the college, the more likely
it is that you will graduate within 4-6 years.
Work to improve your scores
Summer is a great time to do this. How?
Pick up a copy of Jo’s handy, meticulously
researched, annually updated, and intensely
fascinating handout, which is creatively titled:
Taking the SAT and/orACT:
Strategies and Advice*
*It will be of absolutely no benefit to you
if you do not read it.
Start working on some essays (click here)
Work on the 21 Questions (click here)
Start a spreadsheet with applications due dates
for the colleges you’re interested in
Plan when you will take SAT or ACT (click
Create your resume/activities list (click here)
After self-reflection and your consideration of
“fit” factors, you should come up with a list of
They should ALL be schools you would be
happy to attend.
They should cover a range of selectivity.
Make separate files for each college/university
Use a checklist or spreadsheet to record
Record financial aid and scholarship deadlines
Research honors programs within institutions
(different deadlines for applications)
Know all the essay questions and begin
working on them in advance of deadlines
•Grades / Overall GPA
•Strength of high school course selections
•Standardized test scores
•Teacher and counselor recommendations
•Student’s demonstrated interests
•Courses in progress senior year
What classes did you take?
How did you do in those classes?
Colleges pay particular attention to the
challenging courses (AP and DE) a student has
Make final decisions about where to apply
Download or fill in online
Pay the fee or request a waiver
Request transcripts (click here)
Mail entire application (including Jo’s stuff)
- copy transcript, school profile, and
recommendation(s) and give to student within two
weeks of request
College and scholarship applications generally
require 1 or 2 recommendations
I will write one, if the student writes the 21
Decide which teacher knows you best and ask
whether they might be willing. Fill out the
Teacher Recommendation form and give it to the
teacher. Wait two weeks.
Please request only one from one teacher.
Jo will keep a copy to send in each packet.
is the only way colleges get first-hand
knowledge about you in the classroom
How does the student perform
in classroom discussions?
on research papers?
What skills have been developed?
Did the student meet your expectations?
Tell us about enthusiasm, cooperation,
attention to detail, patience, civility, persistence
Help your recommending teacher to remember
concrete details about your performance in
their classroom. Use the Teacher
Recommendation form for this.
Each college’s Financial Aid deadlines differ
Everyone must file the FAFSA (Free
Application for Federal Student Aid)
Scholarships can be national, local, nominated
by our scholarship committee or open to all
and have deadlines from fall through spring
File on or after January 1, 2010
The sooner you file, the closer you are to the
Research the financial aid filing deadlines for
the schools you’ve applied to
For detailed information go to
Begin watching for postings on line and in the
senior room in September
Postings will be updated, often weekly, so you
must stay tuned
Here’s where your resume comes in
Fill out a transcript request for each scholarship
you apply to
Virginia Commonwealth University 5
James Madison University 4
Clark Atlanta University 2
Hampton University 2
Howard University 2
Mary Baldwin College 2
Marymount University 2
Old Dominion University 2
Spelman College 2
University of Mary Washington 2
Virginia Union University 2
Bethune-Cookman University 1
Carnegie Mellon University 1
George Mason University 1
Regent University 1
Sweet Briar College 1
UNC Asheville 1
Virginia State University 1
Virginia Tech 1
Opportunities: Preparing for Higher Education
Guide and Workbook
Passport to Your Future
Taking the SAT and/or ACT: Strategies and
Senior and Parent Contract
College Planning Timeline