College Visit Preparation

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College Visit Preparation

  1. 1. December 14, 2008 College Visits
  2. 2. <ul><li>WHY VISIT COLLEGES? </li></ul><ul><li>STEPS </li></ul><ul><li>FORMS </li></ul><ul><li>ADMISSIONS GUESSING GAME </li></ul><ul><li>NEXT YEAR – CHANGES TO PROGRAM </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>“ Home” for the next 4 years. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Will I be happy living here? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will I enjoy the type of classes I take? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will I like the people I work with? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will I like the system here? </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Academic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do they offer the major I am interested in? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the workload “just right” for me? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What special things does this college offer? </li></ul></ul>
  5. 7. <ul><li>Call the Admissions Office. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Schedule a visit with an admissions officer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Schedule a campus tour. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Roaming around campus on your own. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2 schools per day. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Give yourself ample time to roam the campus before or after the interview. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 8. <ul><li>Be Punctual! Plan for </li></ul><ul><li>Get Write </li></ul>
  7. 10.   TALK DISTANCE
  8. 11. <ul><li>How large are all of your classes? </li></ul><ul><li>Who teaches you in these classes? (Graduate assistants or professors? </li></ul><ul><li>Does this school have a core curriculum? How restrictive is it? Is there a foreign language requirement? </li></ul>
  9. 12. <ul><li>How adequate is the library? The computer facilities? </li></ul><ul><li>When do you have to declare your major? What are the most popular majors? </li></ul><ul><li>Are some dorms much better than others? Are dorm rooms wired? Do many students live off campus? Why? </li></ul>
  10. 13. <ul><li>Do students seem to work primarily for grades? How competitive are the students? </li></ul><ul><li>How accessible is the faculty? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you tell me anything first-hand about the _____________ department? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the biggest issue in local campus politics? </li></ul>
  11. 14. <ul><li>What percentage of students study abroad at some time? </li></ul><ul><li>What impact do fraternities/sororities have here? Athletics? </li></ul><ul><li>What are weekends like? Are there alternatives to the typical party scene? </li></ul><ul><li>How active is student government? What activities are popular? </li></ul>
  12. 15. <ul><li>Are the arts supported here? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you think is the greatest shortcoming of this college? What do students complain about? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you like best about your experience and education here? </li></ul><ul><li>Where do students come from? Is this a diverse community? </li></ul>
  13. 16. <ul><li>Why did you choose this school? What others did you apply to? </li></ul><ul><li>What kinds of kids do you think are happiest here? Least happy? </li></ul><ul><li>If you could attend another college now, where would you go? Why? </li></ul>
  14. 17. <ul><li>http://www.collegeweeklive2008.com/en_CA/visitors/app-lobby </li></ul><ul><ul><li>College Hall </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ARCHIVED PRESENTATIONS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Inside the College Admissions Process </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>http://collegeprowler.com/ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Subscription (CP?) </li></ul></ul>
  15. 18. <ul><li>https://www.collegedata.com/cs/admissions/admissions_tracker.jhtml </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.wsjclassroomedition.com/pdfs/wsj_college_092503.pdf </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Top 50 feeder schools to top MBA, Law, Med Schools </li></ul></ul>
  16. 19. <ul><li>http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2008/0519/030.html </li></ul><ul><li>CEOs and their Colleges (Brilliant) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.ensmp.fr/Actualites/PR/EMP-ranking.html   </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Time Higher Ed - world U </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/hybrid.asp?typeCode=243&pubCode=1&navcode=137 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Newsweek </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_100_Global_Universities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>FOR TECH ED AND SCIENCES - WUHAN U R$ANKING </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://rccse.whu.edu.cn/college/sjdxkyjzl.htm </li></ul></ul>
  17. 22. <ul><li>SEPTEMBER </li></ul><ul><li>Begin and continue a thorough self-examination of your abilities and interests. </li></ul><ul><li>Study hard and get good grades. Set your academic goals now. </li></ul><ul><li>Think about careers. </li></ul><ul><li>Try a sport, club or other activity. (the more unique the better – but something you enjoy) </li></ul><ul><li>Begin your resume </li></ul><ul><li>READ </li></ul><ul><li>OCTOBER </li></ul><ul><li>Plan and become involved in extracurricular activities, clubs, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Position yourself for leadership in at least one area. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep up your grades. Be sure teachers know you care. </li></ul><ul><li>READ as much as you can. This has a huge effect on your vocabulary, hence your standardized test results. </li></ul><ul><li>NOVEMBER </li></ul><ul><li>Investigate the kinds of education available: two-year colleges, four-year colleges, universities, professional schools and more. </li></ul><ul><li>What are your college-related goals? Are you interested in the top tier, most selective schools? </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to your counselor about your ideas and ask questions. Get to know them as well as your teachers. </li></ul><ul><li>DECEMBER </li></ul><ul><li>If not already done, start a checklist of personal preferences in selecting colleges: selectivity, size, location, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Start your list of 10-12 target schools (It will likely change several times.) </li></ul><ul><li>READ over break! </li></ul><ul><li>Fill your spare time with community service, volunteer work and activities. (This will all go on your college apps.) </li></ul><ul><li>JANUARY </li></ul><ul><li>Think about college visits. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep up your grades. Freshman year DOES count! </li></ul><ul><li>READ! </li></ul><ul><li>Download the Common App for college and fill it out with your record as it stands today. </li></ul><ul><li>Fill out the app as realistically as you can as if you were a Senior. </li></ul><ul><li>Create an improvement plan. </li></ul><ul><li>FEBRUARY </li></ul><ul><li>Visit nearby campuses if you are interested in local schools. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep up your grades. Do extra credit whenever possible. Strive for A’s and B’s in all classes </li></ul><ul><li>MARCH </li></ul><ul><li>Put forth your best effort! (improvement counts) </li></ul><ul><li>Plan a challenging schedule for next year. (such as AP classes) Colleges look for indications that each student has tried to take the strongest possible course of study. </li></ul><ul><li>APRIL </li></ul><ul><li>Plan a productive summer – community service, volunteer work, extra classes, sports camp, summer school, unusual experience, job, </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to your counselor about what might help your resume. </li></ul><ul><li>MAY </li></ul><ul><li>Study hard for final exams. </li></ul><ul><li>JUNE </li></ul><ul><li>Have a fun and productive summer! </li></ul>
  18. 23. <ul><li>SEPTEMBER </li></ul><ul><li>Sign up to take PSAT. </li></ul><ul><li>(Good practice for next year when you will be eligible for the National Merit Scholarship competition) </li></ul><ul><li>Consider taking a career assessment test if offered. </li></ul><ul><li>Start or continue your “brag sheet” or resume. </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain good grades; READ! ( Sophomore and Junior grades almost always count the most ) </li></ul><ul><li>OCTOBER </li></ul><ul><li>Take the PSAT. </li></ul><ul><li>Attend any college-oriented school meetings. </li></ul><ul><li>Start or continue your resume. </li></ul><ul><li>Get to know your teachers. Be sure they know you are a serious student. </li></ul><ul><li>Research careers using the internet and/or high school resources. </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to adults about their careers. What appeals to you? </li></ul><ul><li>NOVEMBER </li></ul><ul><li>Investigate colleges using the internet or books. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on academics. Do extra credit whenever it is offered. </li></ul><ul><li>Time permitting, fill your resume categories with community service or activities. </li></ul><ul><li>Think about what makes you unique (this may become your “ACE”) </li></ul><ul><li>DECEMBER </li></ul><ul><li>READ! </li></ul><ul><li>(this can make a BIG difference on your SAT scores) </li></ul><ul><li>Use your holiday to research schools and think about summer opportunities. </li></ul><ul><li>(remember, college apps will ask for some combination of paid employment, clubs, community service, summer programs, activities, honors and awards) </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to older friends about their college experience and what campus life is like at their school. </li></ul><ul><li>JANUARY </li></ul><ul><li>Investigate colleges using computer search programs. </li></ul><ul><li>Use your PSAT scores to help indicate what may/may not be realistic for you. </li></ul><ul><li>Also use your PSAT scores to project what test prepping you might want/need to do to reach your goals. </li></ul><ul><li>Research different careers using the internet. </li></ul><ul><li>FEBRUARY </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Search for relevant summer activities that support your “ACE” (unique area of interest, talent etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to your counselor about your ideas and to ask questions. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep up your grades and do extra credit whenever you can. Show you care. </li></ul><ul><li>MARCH </li></ul><ul><li>Can you start to identify 10-12 target schools? You can modify the list as you go. </li></ul><ul><li>Get the admission stats & download applications for a couple of your top schools – see what they expect! </li></ul><ul><li>Register for AP exams if you will be completing an AP class this year. </li></ul><ul><li>APRIL </li></ul><ul><li>Register for June II Subject Tests in academic subjects you may complete this year (such as chemistry, physics, etc.) if this year represents your “peak” in that subject. </li></ul><ul><li>Visit some nearby colleges over break. </li></ul><ul><li>Be sure you are in your target schools’ databases so you will receive information from them. </li></ul><ul><li>MAY </li></ul><ul><li>Make use of your summer: </li></ul><ul><li>(college classes, special programs, community service, job, SAT prep etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Prep for SAT II’s as needed. (there are books available in every SAT II subject area) </li></ul><ul><li>Study for finals. Keep those grades high. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider Summer School if appropriate or you need to repeat a class. </li></ul><ul><li>JUNE </li></ul><ul><li>Take II Subject Test if appropriate. (some schools will require 2 or 3 different subjects) </li></ul><ul><li>Refine your target list of schools and be sure it meets the “RRR” range test. Fill out worksheet. </li></ul><ul><li>Hopefully you’ve planned a fun yet productive summer! </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t forget to READ! </li></ul>
  19. 24. <ul><li>SEPTEMBER </li></ul><ul><li>Register for PSAT. </li></ul><ul><li>Continue refining your list of target schools. </li></ul><ul><li>Research schools on the internet or via books and visits. </li></ul><ul><li>Update your resume with any new information. </li></ul><ul><li>Plan next two years’ extra-curricular and community service activities. </li></ul><ul><li>Think about when to take the SAT or ACT tests – develop your tentative “test plan” </li></ul><ul><li>OCTOBER </li></ul><ul><li>Take PSAT to be eligible for national Merit Scholarship competition. </li></ul><ul><li>Study hard! Aim for A or B grade point average. Do extra credit whenever you can. </li></ul><ul><li>Start a personal file updating information for your resume. </li></ul><ul><li>Locate and organize all awards, articles, prizes etc. earned. </li></ul><ul><li>Acquaint yourself with resources at your school. </li></ul><ul><li>NOVEMBER </li></ul><ul><li>Keep grades up. Improvement counts. </li></ul><ul><li>Get to know your junior year teachers, as these may be the best ones for letters of recommendation. </li></ul><ul><li>Take SAT Subject Tests, such as Language Tests With Listening, if appropriate. </li></ul><ul><li>Continue research on specific colleges. </li></ul><ul><li>Improve your vocabulary! Learn 20 new words a week. </li></ul><ul><li>Think about college majors. </li></ul><ul><li>READ! </li></ul><ul><li>DECEMBER </li></ul><ul><li>Study Hard! </li></ul><ul><li>Take SAT Subject Tests if appropriate. </li></ul><ul><li>Register for SAT if you would like to take it in January. </li></ul><ul><li>Receive results of PSAT/NMSQT. Use results to develop a prepping strategy to improve your SAT scores as needed. </li></ul><ul><li>READ over break! </li></ul><ul><li>Fill up your spare time with as much community service, volunteer work, club or sport activity etc. as you can </li></ul><ul><li>JANUARY </li></ul><ul><li>Continue college research. </li></ul><ul><li>Compare PSAT and projected SAT results to the averages at your target schools· </li></ul><ul><li>First chance to take the SAT. </li></ul><ul><li>Be sure to have your Social Security Number and your school CEEB code number. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider SAT prepping for the March or May tests </li></ul><ul><li>FEBRUARY </li></ul><ul><li>Register for SAT if you would like to take it in March. </li></ul><ul><li>Begin to prepare for SAT or ACT. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember how important junior grades are for your class rank and college apps. </li></ul><ul><li>Plan a challenging Senior curriculum. </li></ul><ul><li>(An easy schedule can cost you an acceptance.) </li></ul><ul><li>MARCH </li></ul><ul><li>Research interesting and challenging summer courses, jobs or volunteer activities. </li></ul><ul><li>Have your target list down to 10-12 schools. </li></ul><ul><li>Plan college visits to nearby colleges. </li></ul><ul><li>Register for SAT, ACT or SAT Subject Tests if you plan to take any in May. </li></ul><ul><li>Sign up for AP tests in your AP class subjects. </li></ul><ul><li>Plan a challenging Senior schedule – no Senioritis! </li></ul><ul><li>APRIL </li></ul><ul><li>ACT testing </li></ul><ul><li>Plan an interesting and challenging summer. </li></ul><ul><li>Get into the databases (mailing lists) of your target schools (via internet) </li></ul><ul><li>Attend college fairs. </li></ul><ul><li>Write letters of intent to the service academies if applicable. (military) </li></ul><ul><li>Prep for AP exams if applicable </li></ul><ul><li>College visits during Spring Break? </li></ul><ul><li>Think about financing college – will you need aid? </li></ul><ul><li>READ! </li></ul><ul><li>MAY </li></ul><ul><li>SAT testing </li></ul><ul><li>(many counselors think it is best to reserve May and June for SAT Subject exams in the subjects you will be finishing this year) </li></ul><ul><li>Students who will be applying Early Decision or Early Action should try to complete all testing during junior year. </li></ul><ul><li>Take your AP exams. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t forget to study for your high school finals!! </li></ul><ul><li>Use Scholarship Search programs to investigate scholarships that might be available to you. </li></ul><ul><li>JUNE </li></ul><ul><li>SAT and ACT tests as desired. </li></ul><ul><li>Arrange college tours for summer. Call Admissions office of schools to set up tours and interviews. </li></ul><ul><li>Visit colleges. Take tours and do interviews if offered. </li></ul><ul><li>Do something extra with your resume in mind. Develop your “ACE”! </li></ul><ul><li>Prep for SAT’s and work on vocabulary – READ! </li></ul><ul><li>Keep extra curricular activity and community service efforts going. </li></ul><ul><li>Refine your college list. </li></ul>
  20. 25. <ul><li>SEPTEMBER </li></ul><ul><li>Get a file “bin” and set up a file for each target school. </li></ul><ul><li>Attend all high school college-related meetings. </li></ul><ul><li>Meet with counselor and ask questions. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify all the application deadlines for your schools and fill out checklist. </li></ul><ul><li>Get your school’s CEEB code and have it handy along with your SS#. </li></ul><ul><li>Finalize your resume. </li></ul><ul><li>Prep for final SAT/ACT testing and register. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask teachers for letters of recommendation if your colleges want them. </li></ul><ul><li>Request interviews at privates whenever they are available. </li></ul><ul><li>Get a good senior picture, formal or informal. </li></ul><ul><li>Print practice apps for all your schools even if you will be doing them on-line. </li></ul><ul><li>Review your Handbook carefully. </li></ul><ul><li>OCTOBER </li></ul><ul><li>Take SAT/ACT as needed (register for Nov/Dec). </li></ul><ul><li>Work on applications. </li></ul><ul><li>See if college applications are on the internet yet </li></ul><ul><li>(be sure they are for the right admission term) If so, download & print them for practice and/or get the essays. </li></ul><ul><li>Think about essay topics. Brainstorm. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep grades up! Many schools will request your senior grades in their decision process. </li></ul><ul><li>Are you taking the SAT again? </li></ul><ul><li>Did you obtain all letters of recommendation needed? </li></ul><ul><li>Decide about applying early decision – you can only do one! </li></ul><ul><li>If you’re an athlete, talk to coach(es). </li></ul><ul><li>Polish your resume for the last time! </li></ul><ul><li>Are any of your target schools visiting your high school? </li></ul><ul><li>NOVEMBER </li></ul><ul><li>Attend any workshops/ meetings offered by your high school. </li></ul><ul><li>Think about financial aid needs. </li></ul><ul><li>Work on essays and applications. </li></ul><ul><li>Watch deadlines! (many early applications are due in November! ) </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t procrastinate with your apps! The earlier the better. </li></ul><ul><li>Want to take the SAT one more time? </li></ul><ul><li>Have your high school send transcripts to colleges that want them. </li></ul><ul><li>Send thank you notes to anyone who helped you (letters of recommendation etc). </li></ul><ul><li>Be sure your SAT/ACT scores have been sent to all your colleges after your last test. Send AP scores as well if they are strong. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure that your parents obtain a Federal Student Aid PIN. </li></ul><ul><li>DECEMBER </li></ul><ul><li>This is likely your last chance at the standardized tests – use it if you need it. </li></ul><ul><li>Study Hard! You can’t afford to let your grades slip. </li></ul><ul><li>(first semester grades may be used in decisions) Be sure to report your test scores to all your colleges. </li></ul><ul><li>Use the internet to research scholarships. </li></ul><ul><li>Finish any remaining applications! Proof them over and over. </li></ul><ul><li>Have others read your essays to be sure they are captivating and demonstrate something unique about you. </li></ul><ul><li>Think about financial aid needs and familiarize yourself with the forms. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep copies of everything you send. </li></ul><ul><li>If accepted Early Decision, inform other schools. </li></ul><ul><li>JANUARY </li></ul><ul><li>The last of the applications should be due this month for Fall admission. </li></ul><ul><li>Are your test scores sent? </li></ul><ul><li>Transcripts sent as required? </li></ul><ul><li>Letters of recommendation in? </li></ul><ul><li>Obtain FAFSA forms and file as soon as you can after Jan 1; </li></ul><ul><li>Consider using CSS/PROFILE for aid if your college(s) take it. (College Board website) </li></ul><ul><li>You may need a GPA verification form for some state grants. (research this). </li></ul><ul><li>Attend financial aid workshops at your school or elsewhere. </li></ul>
  21. 26. <ul><li>FEBRUARY </li></ul><ul><li>Finish financial aid forms. Timing matters! Being late can literally cost you. </li></ul><ul><li>Tell your parents you will need their 1040 tax information (as current as possible, last years at least) </li></ul><ul><li>You can estimate the financial aid you will receive. </li></ul><ul><li>Have school send updated transcripts or mid year reports if needed. </li></ul><ul><li>Pay attention to correspondence from colleges. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep your grades up! Offers can be rescinded! </li></ul><ul><li>MARCH </li></ul><ul><li>FAFSA form due (Review the SAR you will receive to be sure it is using the right data) </li></ul><ul><li>Register for AP tests. </li></ul><ul><li>Wait for acceptance letters! </li></ul><ul><li>( Pay attention to housing forms in acceptance letters. There may be deadlines and preference options) </li></ul><ul><li>Consider appealing a rejection. (if it was your first choice and you have some reason for them to reconsider you) </li></ul><ul><li>Notify your counselor when you receive college decisions and write waitlist letters if appropriate. </li></ul><ul><li>APRIL </li></ul><ul><li>Congrats on all your acceptances! You must generally select a school by May 1. </li></ul><ul><li>Final campus visits if needed to help make your decision. </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to people who can help you decide: alumni, older friends who are there, parents, and your counselor. </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare for AP tests and finals. </li></ul><ul><li>Review and discuss financial aid offers as part of your decision making process. These can be appealed also. </li></ul><ul><li>MAY </li></ul><ul><li>Most of your schools must be notified by May 1 with an SIR form. </li></ul><ul><li>Plan summer employment. </li></ul><ul><li>Pay attention to housing and meal plan information contained in your acceptance letter(s). </li></ul><ul><li>Inform the schools you will NOT be attending as well. </li></ul><ul><li>If needed, research loans (PLUS, Stafford etc) to make up for any financial gap after aid results are known. </li></ul><ul><li>Study for finals and APs! (use prep books?) </li></ul><ul><li>JUNE </li></ul><ul><li>Order final transcript and anything else to be sent to your college. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider computer needs for next Fall (notebooks, wireless connections, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Attend all orientations at your college. </li></ul><ul><li>Do some extra research on your college to think about what activities you will pursue. </li></ul><ul><li>Respond to any financial aid offers you received. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep READING! </li></ul><ul><li>Have a great summer and look forward to the amazing adventure that awaits you ! </li></ul>
  22. 27. That which we are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

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