GET ME IN: Non academic factors affecting competitive college admissions


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This is my powerpoint for my keynote address at Arcadia High School in Aprl 2010 about competitive college readiness It focuses on non-academic readiness to help students distinguish themselves as powerful members of the community, including major activities and powerful college applications.

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GET ME IN: Non academic factors affecting competitive college admissions

  1. 1. “Get Me In”: Keynote Speech Arcadia High School College Night, April 2010 “Get Me In”: Keynote Speech Arcadia High School College Night, April 2010 What Else Colleges Look For: Essays, Applications, Recommendations, and more. Dr. Rebecca Joseph
  2. 2. TO LEARN MORE  Email    Phone  323-646-5759  Facebook  Getmetocollege Freeadvice  Twitter  @getmetocollege  Website  (focus on first generation and under-represented students)
  3. 3.  Colleges are more expensive than ever…  There is still the big bubble of high school students…  More affordable public universities are  receiving more and more applications  raising tuition,  using waitlists for the first time, and  cutting back on freshman admissions.…  The economy is hurting families and colleges…  Family savings and incomes are decreasing  Colleges are struggling as their endowments and budgets have fallen and reducing services and raising costs. A Perfect Storm …A Perfect Storm …
  4. 4. Most competitive year ever for UCs  Email    Phone  323-646-5759  Facebook  Getmetocollege Freeadvice  Twitter Total applicants-82,056, 71.6% admitted to at least one campus. Down from 72.5% in 2009, and 75.4% in 2008. More out of state and international students admitted, especially at UC Berkeley.
  5. 5.  Grades  Academic Rigor  Standardized Test Scores  Strong applications  Great essays  Counselor Reports  Extracurricular Activities  Teacher Letters of Recommendation  Other Unique Features MOST COMPETITIVE YEAR FOR PRIVATE COLLEGES
  6. 6.  College is still worth the investment and the effort  But families may have to make some difficult decisions  Key is making sure your student can be competitive on campuses that value more than just academics.  Essential is finding the right match between the strengths of your child and colleges that  Provide unique learning communities  Value what your child has to offer  Want to accept your child  Offer enough financial support Yet…
  7. 7.  Grades  Academic Rigor  Standardized Test Scores  Strong applications  Great essays  Counselor Reports  Extracurricular Activities  Teacher Letters of Recommendation  Other Unique Features WHAT COLLEGES LOOK FOR IN MATCH STUDENTS
  8. 8. HOW DO WE BEGIN TO PREPARE?: Non Academic Factor That Affect Admissions
  9. 9. Grades and Test Scores Are Not Enough Even For Those Not in Top 4%  There is increasing pressure on campuses to diversity campuses.  That means they want to focus on areas that are not just academic.  They want students who will add their leadership, social skills, experiences in activities, talents, and initiative.  They want students who have played an active role in their highs schools and communities because these students will do the same at colleges.
  10. 10.  The application itself really matters.  Most are now online.  Public colleges have their own applications.  Fortunately, most private colleges use the Common Application.  Sigh, not USC or most state universities.  Fortunately, all have overlapping features.  Develop a plan for organizing application requirements.  Make sure you fill in every component and leave nothing to the imagination.  Many students neglect to fill out the activities section to reveal their consistency, development, and leadership  TO DO: Develop a detailed resume!!! The actual COLLEGE APPLICATIONS
  11. 11. OTHER KEY FACTORS: APPLICATION ESSAYS  Application essays are often the top non- academic component colleges use in admissions.  Essays must have a sizzle, a message, a unique story.  Essays can tip student in or break ties.  Essays must have details and reveal unique features that your child has to offer the college.  I created a course that helps students write powerful essays that UCLA Summer Extension offers….this summer August 9-12.  "Writing my personal statement with Dr. Joseph not only helped me get into college, but also helped me discover my true potential and inner self. She really taught me how to add that special personal touch to my essays."
  12. 12. COUNSELORS-Key Allies • Counselors letters are a required component of most private college and some public college applications. • The more your counselor knows your child the better a letter the counselor can write. Counselors often call schools on your behalf. • Yet counselors have large caseloads. Students/ Families need to be proactive (not pushy). • ATTEND every workshop/meeting your school counselors offer! • Listen to the bulletin. • Read all the literature sent home (mailings, flyers, and CollegeBLASTER) • Check NAVIANCE – often! • Fill out the brag sheet (AHS Student Data Sheet) with as many details as possible. • Use NAVIANCE Family Connection and all of its wonderful resources.  TO DO: Spend significant time on student and parent brag sheets.
  13. 13. College Lists: A Mid Lecture Note • Listen to your counselor. They know the context of your school and its relationship to colleges the best. They help you develop a list with “MATCH COLLEGES” on it. • Develop a college list which includes colleges that are a good match: • Reach • Challenge • 50-50, and • Likely • Remember, an unbalanced list is dangerous. Find colleges that you are a good match and that you could realistically be admitted to • TO DO: Research colleges that respect your children and remember, Ivy League Colleges are wish upon a star colleges—not reach.
  15. 15. EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES  Colleges want varied student populations. They want students who enhance their campuses and take advantage of resources.  They look for students who participate actively in school and community activities.  They want students who show in their activity choices and participation  Consistency  Development  Leadership  Initiative.
  16. 16. CONSISTENCY Consistency 1.Start with at least two to three activities during the school year and use your summers. 2.Try to think outside the traditional activities of music and research. Top colleges need to distinguish students . 3.They can be in or out of school. 4.Follow passions if possible. 5.Consider taking ROP classes at Arcadia as they have links to work and can lead to internships and major community service. 6.Top colleges want at least two to four major ongoing activities. 7.If you plan to declare a major right away, you must have some kind of experience in that field…over time.  
  17. 17. Kinds of Activities Community Service Volunteer Work Clubs Athletics The Arts Student Government Internships Jobs Church Summer academic programs Family business Camp   ROP
  18. 18. DEVELOPMENT •Each year do more and more within those activities. Try new things. Explore. •If you drop, pick up something new. •Colleges do not want students to stop activities and do things for just a short time. Never stop an activity 11th grade. •While academics are important, development within activities is key. •Use your summers to explore new areas and fields and to gain experience in your areas of interest.
  19. 19. Try to…. •Do more and more within your activities. •Plan an event. •Recruit new members. •Find different summer programs that meet your academic, extracurricular, and community service interests. •Volunteer each summer for an organization. •Go from camper to CIT to Camp Counselor
  20. 20. LEADERSHIP •Take on leadership roles •Plan events within a big organization •Lead events or organizations into new areas and possibilities. •Go from secretary to vice-president to president. •Take on new roles. •Start a new chapter. •Do not do anything just once.
  21. 21. INITIATIVE 1. Start something new within a club or within your community. 2. Show your creative and ingenuity. 3. Start showing initiative in 9th and 10th grade. 4. Think outside the box. Break beyond stereotypes. So try to.. Start a new club Create a partnership with a non—profit Take a group of musicians or singers to a senior center several times Use the internet to market an idea Speak at an event Raise money for a charity or cause Translate for underprivileged people Work for your parents oversees and develop new products or ideas.
  22. 22. EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITY TIMELINE  Freshman-Sophomore Year; Participate in activities in and out of school that interest and motivate student.  Junior Year- Continue with current activities. Do not stop. Students can start an activity, but must plan to continue it through senior year.  Junior and Senior Year: Take on leadership responsibilities in current activities. Use your initiative.  Summer-Use each summer well---  Get a job  Get an internship  Volunteer  Take enrichment courses  Juniors-take college courses  Continue with camp, sports, and other activities
  23. 23. TEACHER RECOMMENDATIONS  Most private colleges and many public colleges want one to two letters of recommendations from teachers.  They want core academic letters— English, SS, Math, Science, and Foreign Language.  They prefer junior and senior year teachers or teachers that students have had more than once  They want teachers who know student well.  Extra letters are fine, especially for scholarships and if you get deferred or waitlisted.
  24. 24. TEACHER RECOMMENDATIONS: JUNIOR-SENIOR YEAR GRADE TIMELINE  Sophomore Year-Start saving core graded assignments.  Junior Year-If core teachers are planning to leave school…get contact info.  Senior Year Fall-Ask one to two teachers. Ask EARLY.  Senior Year Fall-Give teachers copy of AHS Student Data Packets with appropriate forms and envelopes. Remind them of all the wonderful things you did in class-written, oral, and more.
  25. 25. OTHER SPECIALTY AREAS  Sports  NCAA regulations  NCAA Clearinghouse  Varsity, clubs, summer programs  Arts  Auditions  Art Supplements  NACAC Visual and Performing Arts Fairs  va/Pages/default.aspx  Particular areas of expertise  Develop a strong, strong resume and/or portfolio
  26. 26. This is true and false!!!
  27. 27. TO LEARN MORE  Email    Phone  323-646-5759  Facebook  Getmetocollege Freeadvice  Twitter  @getmetocollege  Website 