College counseling class 16: Advanced Extended Class
Heather M. Butts, J.D., M.P.H., M.A.
Quick Resume Review show them
If you have your resumes with you, please
to me so we can go over them!
Resume Guidelines – Remember!
Limit your resume to ONE typed page!
12 point font
8.5 x 11, high quality paper
Make notes about why I want to attend this college.
Make notes about my academic background and high
Make notes about my life outside the classroom,
including activities, community service and hobbies.
More Interview Prep
Research the college by checking out its website,
brochure and course catalog.
Choose appropriate clothes to wear for the interview.
Create a folder to take to the interview with
appropriate information (resume, business card, other
In Class Exercise #1
I will select a volunteer to role play the interview process
with. We will role play the following questions:
1. Tell me about yourself?
2. What courses have you taken that will prepare you for
school work in college?
3. Name one strength and one weakness about yourself?
4. Tell me about a time when you handled a challenge
5. Why should a college accept you over other applicants?
Class Exercise #2
List out 5 characteristics that you would like to see in a
college that you go to?
Review: Questions to ask when you
visit a school!
You can ask these questions of the individuals doing the tours,
financial aid, admissions, professors you meet with. . . .
—How much time do students typically spend on homework?
—How much writing and reading are expected?
—What is the average class size of introductory classes?
—How widely used are teaching assistants on your campus?
—What is the average class size of upper-division courses?
—What opportunities are there for undergraduate research?
—How many students participate in undergraduate research?
—Is there a culminating senior year experience?
—Do you have an honors college?
—Do you have a learning community or other freshman experience?
The College Essay
Practice, Practice, Practice!!!!
Critical that you do a great job on the college essay!
The Common Application College Essays are already
out – so you can get a jump start!
The College Essay
Distinguish between short answers, direct questions
and general essay/personal statement
What does the school want from you – make sure you
give them what they want!
College Essay Tips
Think about what you want to write about
Do you have a resume? If so take a look at it to refresh
your memory about what you’ve done. What have you
What makes you unique or different?
Do you have a favorite book or movie that has had
particular importance in your life?
Other topic areas:
A trying time in your life that you’ve overcome?
Very substantial extracurricular activities that you have
or are participating in?
Someone who has a great deal of meaning for you and
has been a great influence on your life
Discuss why you want to go to this particular school and
how the school will help you reach your goals/dreams
(and discuss what THOSE are!)
You’re stuck! You need more help deciding what to
Talk with friends, teachers, family members, trusted
mentors (don’t forget about your mentors!)
Keep thinking! As long as you’ve started early enough
you’ll have enough time to come up with a topic
Essay Writing Tips
Write your first draft and the continue to write drafts.
You’ll need several drafts before you can finalize the
Have someone else read it to make sure it conveys what
you want it to convey
Read it once more before considering it final
Take-aways (make sure you do
Make your essay consistent with the rest of your
application (if you have a 2400 SATs and 4.0 average
you’re not struggling in school so don’t write an essay
that says that)
You can use your essay to explain certain parts of your
application, just don’t repeat what’s already in your
Diversity is great – discuss this if it applies to you
Remember – your essay topic says a lot about who you
are and what you care about so choose wisely
Pitfalls to avoid
Don’t try for tricks or something for shock value
The essay should tell your reader something that the
rest of the application does not tell them
Don’t go over the word limit (part of this is to test can
you follow directions)
Don’t make up stories (honesty is the best policy)
Class Exercise #3
We will go over in class common application essay #3:
Indicate a person who has had a significant influence
on you, and describe that influence.
Class Exercise #4
You are going to practice writing an essay!
Common Application Question #2: Discuss some issue
of personal, local, national or international concern and
its important to you.
Introducing the timeline and
checklist (much more to come!)
Today we will just go over the timeline from freshman-
junior year in high school.
When we deal with the timeline and checklist we will
go MUCH more in-depth and include senior year!
Timeline Freshman-Junior Years
Do well in school
Cultivate relationships with mentors
Begin to visit schools
Do well in school!!
Start to research scholarships and grant programs
Create your resume
Timeline Freshman-Junior Years
Get involved in extracurricular activities you actually
Review your timeline and make sure you’re on
Create a checklist of “to do” items
Having trouble in a particular area – get help from
teachers, after school programs and mentors
Surround yourself with supportive friends. If your
friends aren’t supporting you then they’re not your
Junior Year/Summer before
Review your resume
Visit as many prospective colleges as possible and
make appointments with admissions counselors and
other counselors (is community college an option?)
List all the colleges you want to apply to
Register for SATs
Take an SAT prep course (I.E.S of course!)