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Studying in the usa

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  • Thank you for spending your Saturday afternoon with us. We know there has been a lot of information for you to take in and process. There is a broad spectrum of knowledge about the US in the room so we are aiming towards the middle of that spectrum with what we share. Because there is a lot of information to share, we’ll address questions at the end. Keep in mind that parents and students will have one on one meetings later this semester with their counselor as well.
  • Critical thinking & analysisTeam workDiscussion & debateIndividualityWork ethicCreativity
  • Timeline is also available on the new ISM College Counseling Site
  • There are over 3,000 institutions of higher education in the US to choose from.The seven original Liberal Arts date back the medieval times as subjects that were essential for a free person to master:Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, AstronomyIn modern times, these also include:Visual Arts, Great Books, Languages, Literature, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, etc.
  • Let’s look at some factors to consider when searching for US universitiesMany of the discussions students, families, and counselors should begin having now focus on criteria for choosing universities. We’ll talk a bit more later about visiting universities which is an important factor. But for now, here we’ve included some initial criteria that will help you filter your search.Size: Keep in mind size can vary given the number of students but also the “feel” of the campus. Some universities with large student populations might have a smaller feel because the university is divided into smaller residential colleges. Some small colleges might also be part of a consortium of other colleges so while a school might have a small class size and population, it has increased access to more classes and students on other campus’. Stanford for example has under 7,00 students. But when you walk on their campus, it feels HUGE with students biking all over campus. The University of Virginia however has over 15,000 students but the campus itself feels a bit more cozy and there is a limit on how tall buildings can be. Selectivity: We’ll talk a bit more in depth about selectivity and what that means. But we recommend students apply to a variety of universities with a range of chances of admission. On average, students should apply to 2 schools they are confident they will be accepted to (Safeties), 4 schools they have a possible chance of acceptance, and 2 schools that are a “reach” meaning they have a very small chance of acceptance to.Campus Culture: Each school will vary in terms of their culture or climate. Does the school have a strong focus on leadership? Is it very competitive (student to student)? Supportive? Politically active? How will this culture impact your experience? After all, you will be there for 4 years….maybe longer! 
  • We won’t go into too much detail here as there are two other sessions today focusing on financing education in the US for both US citizens and non citizens.
  • Of all the countries a student considers for university, the US tends to be more expensive. With that said, cost can vary from school to school and depending on a family’s circumstances and can make cost more competitive with universities throughout the world.Public vs. Private can determine the cost. However, don’t rule a school out solely on this basis. Some private schools might have strong aid packages and public school costs are increasing given the current economic climate.Refer to each university website. Two years ago, the Federal Government mandated that each university publish a Net Price Calculator. This will allow you to estimate the actual cost of attendance.As with attendance to any university, there is more than tuition. How much is housing & food and what other expenses will you need to provide for?Whether financial aid is needed or not, all International Students will be expected to provide information about the ability to pay for university. The Federal Government requires this before issuing a student visa. Begin researching now what documentation universities will need (each school might require different forms). Some will want this information when a student applies and others will want it only after a student has been accepted and plans to attend. It will take time to gather these documents (bank statements, proof of employment, etc.).
  • For more information on Financial Aid to US universities, please attend the break out sessions today.Financial Aid is money supplied by some source outside the family to help pay of the cost of the student’s education. The basic premise is that the students and parents are the primary source of funds for education and are expected to contribute to the extent they are able. This can mean sacrifices on the part of the family.Financial aid can come in a variety of forms. We’ll talk about that a bit more shortly.US Citizens and International students are looked at differently in terms of financial aid because US citizens can receive federal support. Let’s look at US families first.Aid for US students can come in the form of Federal Aid (ONLY for US Students), Institutional Aid, and/or Private Aid. US families are required to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) beginning January 1, 2014. Some schools might also require the CSS/Financial Aid Profile (College Scholarship Service). Anyone interested in financial aid will need to provide financial information to universities. Aid can be need-based or merit based.In general, there is less aid for International Students and what aid is available will for the most part be merit-based. Aid can come in the form of Institutional Aid or Private Aid. Families if need be, can seek out private loans.
  • Subsidized loans – loans on which no interest is accrued while a student remains enrolled in college/universityUnsubsidized loans – loans on which interest accrues while the student is enrolled in college/university
  • Our final point – College VisitsVisits allow you to really know a universitySpring break is a great time to visit, if possible, because school is in sessionTours – TS College Tours – good feedback from students; limited numbers of tours currently offeredCollege Visits – an older company – many different tour plansmay want to use both of these as starting points to develop your own university tour!
  • Top 50 Public (ex: Berkeley, UCLA, UVA, etc.)Public Flagship (ex: Uni of Madison Wisconsin)Regional Public (ex: James Madison, SUNY’s)
  • Break out session to look at these further
  • Average apps per ISM student: just over 6Don’t have to apply to reach schoolsBetter to focus on schools in your strike zone
  • The US has a variety of application types and deadlines and each mean something different. You don’t need to commit to any of these now. You’ll do that next school year, but be aware what each means for a student’s chance of admission.
  • Alright – so let’s take a look at some factors in the admissions process. This information is updated annually by our national organization – NACAC (say all words). This organization sets the standards by which we all abide. NACAC surveys universities throughout the US each year – this data is taken from the most recent, 2011 (2012 report). 2013 report has been delayed as of November 2013. It becomes pretty obvious that it is your data or your numbers that get your foot in the door. (go over factor and percentages of univ…) Data is the baseline for all admissions decision. Should be used when creating your list of universities – data determines which of your schools are reaches, targets, safeties.Once you get the first door opened – then other doors open as they read your essays and recommendations(notice that student essay is more important than counselor and teacher evaluations) Don’t underestimate the essay which gives the student VOICE. Some univ read essay first to get a feel for applicant’s personality.If a student is just shy of being a clear admit but has a compelling voice, that voice – or essay – could tip the scales into a favorable admissions decision.
  • Bottomline – what do the universities really want to know(read slide)Compare – other applicants; sometimes his/her HS; with other students currently on campusContribute – add to campus and campus lifeStudent take away – how can the university benefit the student; is the univ a good fit for the student; do they offer what the student needs
  • Bring color and life to application – 3 dimensionalDo you do things that would make a university interested in you or excited about you? Impact – how will you leave IS? What have you changed, improved, initiated? What mark will you leave?
  • Key is that we MUST get to know youWe work hard at gathering that information – need you to work with us
  • Organization when applying to US colleges is incredibly important!!!
  • Here are some events this semester to support you in this process:Mock – your chance to be an admissions officer and select students for your universityLet’s you experience the complexity in making decisions and the job that the admissions people haveGives you greater insight into the processFor students – essay writing workshopsPart I – selecting your topic and getting startedPart II – in the fall – refining/editing your essay
  • Transcript

    • 1. Qualities Valued in US Higher Ed Discussion & Debate
    • 2. Timeline • Now - June • – Academic performance – Standardized testing • June – August – Exploration • Service work, Internships, travel, college visits – Research universities & narrow down list (ISM limit of 10 worldwide) • September – December – Verify requirements for final list of schools – Academic performance – Standardized testing • – Submit applications – Submit financial documents SAT, ACT, TOEFL – Research universities – Attend visits to ISM • December – January SAT, ACT, TOEFL – Essays • January – March – Wait…. • April 1 – Decisions • May 1 – Deposit to ONE institution
    • 3. Timeline
    • 4. Types of Institutions • Distinctions – Public vs. Private – Universities • Graduate level research, includes pre-professional programs – Liberal Arts Colleges • Undergraduate level research, broad preparation in academic disciplines – Community Colleges • 2 years, general education requirements, vocational training
    • 5. Factors To Consider • Cost & Financial Need • Location – – – – Rural vs. Urban Jobs & Recruitment Climate Distance to Family/Friends • Size (1,000 students to 60,000) • Major • Selectivity – Reach – Possible – Safety • Campus Culture
    • 6. COST & FINANCIAL AID
    • 7. Cost • Total cost up to US$60,000 – Public: ~$20,000 to ~$52,000 – Private: ~$35,000 to ~$60,000 • Billable Expenses – Tuition, Room & Board (About $10,000+) • Indirect Expenses – Books, Travel, Spending Money
    • 8. Financial Aid in the US • Basic premise of Financial Aid: Students and parents are the primary source of funds and are expected to contribute to the extent they are able • Not based on what the parent’s would LIKE to pay
    • 9. Financial Aid in the US US Citizens • Eligible for – Federal Aid – Institutional Aid – Private Aid International Students • Eligible for – Limited Institutional Aid – Limited Private Aid
    • 10. Financial Aid • Grants & Scholarships – No stipulation of repayment – Originate from • Federal or State government • Private Sources • Institution – Grants tend to be based on need – Scholarships • Financial need • Merit • Particular talents or skills • Loans – Requires repayment, usually with interest • Subsidized • Unsubsidized • Jobs – On campus • Work Study – Off campus • International students not eligible
    • 11. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
    • 12. Where Do You Want To Live? • City Living vs. The College Town • Jobs – Internships – Recruitment • Environment • Staying close to family & friends – Where will you spend holidays (Thanksgiving, etc.)?
    • 13. College Visits • With family, if possible • Visit a variety of colleges in a variety of locations to help refine your preferences • Schedule interviews, if offered • Go when classes are in session, if possible – Spring Break, October Break • Organized Tours – Trevor Sturgeon College Tours • www.tscollegetours.com – College Visits • www.college-visits.com
    • 14. COLLEGES VS. UNIVERSITIES
    • 15. The BIG Schools • • • • • • More majors and classes Larger size classes Research Diversity International name recognition Large scale events, sports NYU 22,000 students 26 apps UC Berkeley 25,000 students 32 apps U of Michigan 27,000 students 16 apps
    • 16. The Small Schools • • • • • • Intimate community Smaller classes Easier to build relationships with professors Focus on teaching & learning Recommendations for graduate school Opportunities Claremont McKenna Wesleyan Barnard 1,250 students 10 apps 2,850 students 8 apps 2,400 students 8 apps
    • 17. Did You Benefit From The Teaching At Your College? 80.00 Liberal Arts 72 70.00 Private 60.00 Top 50 Public 50.00 Public Flagships Liberal Arts 45 Regional Public 40.00 33 30.00 29 Private 25 20.00 Top 50 Public 10.00 0.00 Regional Public Public Flagships
    • 18. Rankings • US vs. Other Countries – US = for profit media as opposed to government • Tell you, in general terms, about the academic credentials of the students they attract • Be informed • Only one criteria in researching colleges • Go well beyond rankings using other data – Career Placement Office • Companies that recruit • Services provided – Retention Rates – Graduation Rates – Employment rate after graduation
    • 19. SELECTIVITY
    • 20. Apply To A Selectivity Range • Based on 8 applications – 2 Safety: 95% chance – 4 Possible: 35% to 75% chance – 2 Reach: less than 35% chance • Consult with counselor
    • 21. Are You Competitive?
    • 22. Types Of Admission Early Decision (binding) ED I: Nov 1, Nov 15 ED II: Usually January You can do both!! Regular Decision Strict deadlines, usually around January 1 Early Action (not binding) “Single Choice” Rolling Admission Apply any time, quick replies Apply early, if possible Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanf ord “Restrictive” Boston College, Georgetown
    • 23. ADMISSION DECISIONS
    • 24. Factors In the Admission Decision Factor Considerable importance Grades in college prep courses 84.3% Strength of curriculum 67.7 Admission test scores (ACT, SAT) Moderate importance 11.9% Limited importance No importance 2.3% 1.5% 20.4 5.8 6.2 59.2 29.6 6.9 4.2 Grades in all courses 51.9 39.2 6.9 1.9 Essay or writing sample 24.9 37.5 17.2 20.3 Student’s demonstrated interest 20.5 29.7 24.7 25.1 Counselor evaluation 19.2 39.8 27.2 13.8 Class rank 18.8 31.0 31.4 18.8 Teacher recommendation 16.5 41.9 26.5 15.0 Subject test scores (AP, IB) 6.9 31.2 31.5 30.4 Portfolio 6.6 12.8 30.2 50.4 Interview 6.2 25.4 25.8 42.7 SAT Subject Test scores 5.4 9.7 22.6 62.3 Extracurricular activities 5.0 43.1 38.1 13.8 State graduation exam scores 4.2 14.9 23.8 57.1 Work 2.3 17.0 43.2 37.5
    • 25. Data Isn’t Enough • Data means… – Transcripts – Grades – Test Scores • Students need to demonstrate VOICE – Teacher Recommendations – Counselor Evaluations – Essays “We don’t want professional test takers. How are you and your perspective different?” -University of Pennsylvania
    • 26. What Colleges Want To Know… • • • • Can the student do the work here? What evidence do we have? How does he/she compare? How will the student contribute to our campus? • What will the student take away?
    • 27. From Admissions Officers “We are looking for people whose egos won’t get in the way of learning, students whose investment in ideas and words tells us - in the context of their records - that they are aware of a world beyond their own homes, schools, grades and scores.”
    • 28. From Admissions Officers “Students we accept haven't just gone through the motions—they've put heart and soul into the areas that interest them.”
    • 29. Essays & Activities • Are you consistently interesting? • Are you passionate? • Do you make an impact?
    • 30. Teacher Recommendations • Attest to you as a person in the context of the classroom • Powerful characteristics colleges seek – – – – – – – – – – • • • • Intellectual power Curiosity Love of learning Initiative to learn beyond the classroom Insightful in discussion Creative Willingness to take risks Independently motivated Collaborative Learns from mistakes Don’t feel like you have to be ALL of these things Ask a teacher who knows you well and can communicate your strengths Teachers need stories to tell Recommendations are honest but in a positive tone
    • 31. Counselor Evaluation • Put you in the context of our school • Tell stories that show what kind of person you are • Convey your interests, how you’ve pursued those interests and what impact you’ve made in those endeavors • Help us advocate for you – Allow us to get to know you; spend time in the Counseling Center – Give us insight into who you are and what you stand for, dirt and all – Senior profile, junior parent survey, and peer recommendations
    • 32. GETTING STARTED
    • 33. Where Should I Be In The Process Today? • Determine your own criteria for a “good college” – student/faculty ratio, internship opportunities, location, educational philosophy, etc. • Family conversations – Student priorities – Parent priorities • Create a college list – Now: 20-30 colleges – August: 5-10* colleges • Be open-minded • Create an organizational chart, including deadlines and requirements *ISM strictly limits students to 10 applications worldwide (UC’s and UCAS count as one)
    • 34. What To Do Now • Self-reflection; Determine priorities • Research • Junior college meeting #1 – December - February • Junior college meeting #2 (includes parents) – February - April • Register for: – SAT, ACT – TOEFL, if appropriate • Junior Parent Survey (in Naviance) due: Jan 10 • Senior profile due: First Day of Senior Year
    • 35. Upcoming Events **College Visits to ISM **Mock US Admissions For Grade 11 students and parents Tuesday, February 4 Wednesday, February 12 Tuesday February 18 5:00 – 6:30, Little Theatre **College Essay Writing Workshop, Part 1 For Grade 11 students only Tuesday, April 22 Thursday, April 24 Tuesday, April 29 3:00 – 4:30, Lofthouse
    • 36. HS Guidance Blog
    • 37. ISM College Counseling Site

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