Guide to College Applications Common Application Coalition Application Institutional Application
Essays Recommendations Demonstrated Interest
C O N T E N T S college terminology simplifying the college application process essay tips form an admission representative
college essay prompts importance o a teen checking account
8 social media and resume building demonstrated interest: what it means for admissions
PRINTABLE Look for this icon throughout the magazine to find free printables to download from www.unmaze.me
3 reasons why you should never be afraid to ask for help
5 (more) misconceptions about attending college in Florida
standing out in selective admissions: one interviewer's guide
evolution of a college student and their parents
ask the expert: how to get a great recommendation
Subscribe today NOW GET YOUR FREE MONTHLY MAGAZINE DELIVERED TO YOUR EMAIL 30 30
www.unmaze.me J ULY 2018
UNMAZED Letter from the Editor This past eekend I loaded up the ”ar, and headed out of to n ith my t o daughters, Eden and Rilah. The goal as to isit some of the key Florida sites, seek some fresh air and sunshine, and isit a fe ”ollege ”ampuses along the ay. While my girls are only 11 and 9, e talked a“out hi”h ”ampuses e liked or disliked, hat types of programs ea”h had, and hat their goals ere for the future. Ha ing these ”on ersations, no matter the age of the student, is e tremely important. Last month, UnMazed fo”used on the ”ollege resear”h and ”ollege isit pro”ess. Taking time to do informal tours, like e did this eekend of E”kerd College, Uni ersity of South Florida- St. Peters“urg, and Uni ersity of Florida, allo s a student at any age to start en isioning themsel es as "”ollegeready" and "”ollege-a“le". Visiting the sites around ea”h ”ampus or along the ay made it more fun and real as a pla”e that they ”ould possi“ly li e some day. We talked a“out many of the key terminology used throughout this month's magazine and they asked good uestions. O erall, our trip “rought us ”loser together as e talked a“out hat as most important to us no simply enjoy the time e had.
and in the future, and allo ed us to
As this month's edition of UnMazed ”ame together, I as reminded ho different the ”ollege pro”ess has “e”ome from hen I as going through it all. With the different types of appli”ations, essays, inter ie s, and deadlines it ”an “e o er helming for parents and students. Ho e er, e perts from all o er the state ”ame together to share their kno ledge of the entire pro”ess. After helping hundreds of families through this pro”ess, I kno that this edition should “e sa ed for referen”e, as it ”ontains a ealth of information not often found in one pla”e- parti”ular for our Florida students. No matter the grade of your student, if they are looking for in-state or out-of-state s”hools, open admission or highly sele”ti e s”hools, “eing ”ollege-ready is more a“out a mindset of su””ess. Start the dis”ussion early and stop along the ay to take a “reath and enjoy the journey.
By: Dr. Amanda Sterk, Senior Editor and Founder of UnMazed Magazine
August 2018, ISSUE 5
Magazine articles and more can be found at www.unmaze.me Where Florida experts meet for teen success.
Contact us: We enjoy hearing from from parents, students, and educators throughout the state. Send us your photos, letters, or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit us online: www.unmaze.me Do you want to collaborate? This magazine is designed for educators across the state to share their expertise on a variety of topics. We welcome those who would like to participate in creating this resource.
UnMazed Where Experts Meet for Teen Success
Editors SENIOR EDITOR
Amanda Sterk, Ed.D., is author of College UnMazed: Your Guide Through the Florida College & University System. She currently works at Florida SouthWestern State College as Director of Accelerated Programs. Dr. Sterk has been an educator for 20 years as a teacher, school counselor, and administrator. She is founder of the Florida teen resource, www.unmaze.me.Â
Katie Reilly is an English teacher at one of the highest ranked collegiate high schools in the state, Florida SouthWestern Collegiate- Lee Campus. She is currently working towards her Master's in School Counseling and is passionate about student success.
Contributing Writers Rob Hicks, M.Ed.,has worked in public schools for 16 years. He is a school counselor at Fernandina Beach High School and the Ogburn School. He maintains the "Getting My Guide On" blog about all things school counselor at guidey.blogspot.com and writes about local history. Scott Daigle is passionate about college admissions. As a former school counselor, and now private college consultant, he understands how to navigate the college process with ease. He is an Independent Educational Consultant at Premier College Advisors.
Courtney Faunce is a mental health clinician at Lifescape Counseling Services, LLC,. She specializes in working with young adults and families utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) practices with a humanistic client-centered approach.
Dave Rathmanner is the VP of Content for LendEDU – a site dedicated to helping consumers with their personal finances. In his free-time, you can find Dave working out, playing lacrosse, or dreaming about his next dog.
Sydney Nanberg is an anti-bullying activist, located in Miami Beach, Florida with a mission to educate students and parents on the effects of bullying. sydneynanberg.com.
Do you have a passion for teens? Would you like to write for an innovative magazine written by educators across the state and country?
Brittany Cortez has a Master’s degree in College Student PersonnelAdministration and. worked at the University of Illinois in admissions. She currently works with dual enrollment students at Seminole State College. She is passionate about helping students and parents navigate the college process
Connect with us today!
Bill Parker is a proud alumnus from the University of Chicago where he is the regional interviewer for the University. He is passionate about helping students through the selective college process Bill is a retired business man who enjoys living in SW Florida.
http://ww w.unmaze. me/collab orators-3/
Jackie Plucker has been a school counselor in Lee County for 7 years. She has Bachelor’s in Social Work and two Masters degrees in School Counseling and Educational Leadership. Jackie loves being a high school counselor and working with families to navigate not only high school life, but life after high school.
Ashley McNaughton is an independent college counselor and founder of ACM College Consulting, LLC. She has her BS in Business from Bucknell,, and Certificate in College Counseling from UCLA. Alongside her consulting work, she volunteers with ScholarMatch, a nonprofit helping high achieving, low income students get to college. www.acmcollegeconsulting.com.
SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH
Upcoming Featured Featured: Teen's Guide to Academic Success; time management, study skills, and college-readiness skills
Featured: Teen's Guide to Financial Aid & Scholarships; local, state and national scholarships, Bright Futures, loans and grants, and award letters Featured: Teen's Guide to Mental & Physical Health; bullying, mental health, and wellness
Featured: Teen's Guide to Careers; career and technical programs, choosing a major, career exploration, and personality tests Featured: Teen's Guide to High School and Program choice; accelerated programs, high school options, and specialized schooling Featured: Teen's Guide to Mastering Testing; test preparation, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Cambridge AICE, ACT, SAT, state testing Featured: Teen's Guide to Community Service; Internships, Volunteering, Local and State Organizations
Do you want UnMazed directly to your inbox each month? Subscribe today at www.unmaze.me! Join 4,000 subscribers
What are you most worried about during the college application process? From UnMazed Parents
My daughter leaving home! - Shawn
Filling out scholarship applications! -Mary
Deadlines and admission criteria, and how they can vary! - Jessica
Essay, different applications, costs & scholarships! - Claudia
Transcripts for homeschool students. - Lisa
College Application Apps
The C'reer app matches students with their college choice by taking a quick 5-7 minute personality test which indicates what career they would be best at. From there, the app shows universities and colleges that have the majors to obtain the career, and then connects students to admission representatives from that school.Â
The Prep4ACT & Prep4SAT app helps study for the ACT/ SAT on their own time. Their lessons and practice sets makes studying manageable for busy students. It also contains analytics to see the student's improvement over the course of the app. This app gives over 60 lessons, 1,000 flashcards, and 1,000 practice questions. After a brief diagnostic, the app customizes a course for each student's needs.
Without fail, every parent and student conversation I have asks the question, "Where do I look for scholarships?". The Scholly app, as shown on Shark Tank, asks a series of questions and formulates what scholarships are worth applying for. For the few dollar charge, it does not "sell" your information and you are not bombarded with ads.
Common App App Common App onTrack is a companion tool to the Common Application, a application that is used by over 700 colleges throughout the United States. Common App onTrack helps you stay on track with what you need to successfully complete your college applications. You can view each deadline and submission status, add and invite recommenders, and create your own list of reminders and task.
Institutional Common App Coalition App
Resume Essay Letters of Recommendation
Virtual College Fair School Visit
Competitive Selective Highly selective
2+2 Pathways Direct Entry Honors
Terminology in BOLD will be found throughout this magazine edition. The August and October editions will showcase the other terms.
TERMINOLOGY: TERMINOLOGY: WHAT WHAT TO TO KNOW KNOW ACT A two-hour-and-55-minute examination that measures a student’s knowledge and achievement in four subject areas -- English, mathematics, reading and science reasoning -- to determine the student’s readiness for college-level instruction. There is also an optional writing test that assesses students’ skills in writing an essay. The ACT is scored on a scale of 1 to 36 for each of the four areas. The four subject area scores are averaged to create a Composite Score. ADMISSION Admission is the act of being accepted into a post-secondary institution. After the application process to a post-secondary institution, the admissions office at the institution will notify the student by phone, mail or e-mail of whether or not the student has been admitted. Admission to a postsecondary institution does not mean the student is required to go there, and does not mean the student is automatically enrolled. Admission is simply the acceptance of a student into the institution. APPLICATION DEADLINE The date set by college admissions when applications are due. If deadlines are missed, students will usually be denied or lose valuable opportunity for scholarships. CAMPUS VISIT/TOUR A service by the college admissions office for prospective students, allowing them to visit various campus buildings, meet key institutional personnel, and get a firsthand look at campus life. COLLEGE ENTRANCE EXAMS The ACT and SAT are national exams that students must take to be admitted to most colleges and universities. Both tests are designed to measure a student's level of knowledge in basic areas, such as Math, English, Reading, and Science. It is recommended students take both the ACT and SAT. It is best to take at least one test during the junior year. Students may retest either test and should do so at the start of the senior year. The SAT II Subject area test is also required by some colleges and universities whose admission standards are more select. Visit www.actstudent.org andwww.collegeboard.com for more information and registration. Some schools use tests such as ACCUPLACER and PERT. Typically these are 2 year community colleges that will take these or the ACT/ SAT. COLLEGE ESSAY A brief composition on a single subject, required by many colleges as part of the application process for admission. COLLEGE FAIR An event at which colleges, universities, and other organizations related to higher education present themselves in an exposition atmosphere for the purpose of attracting and identifying potential applicants. COLLEGE REP VISIT This is when a college or university admissions representative visits a high school or community site for the purpose of recruiting students for admission to the institution. COMMON APPLICATION A general application accepted by 517 colleges (www.commonapp.org).eceive college application
FEATURED DEFERRED ADMISSION A college’s option to postpone making a decision on whether to accept or deny an applicant. If deferred, they may be waiting for additional information from the student, like end of semester 1 grades for seniors, or to move you from one type of admission (early) to another (regular). DEFERRED ENROLLMENT An accepted student’s decision to put off a college’s offer of admission in order to take a one-year absence (e.g., to travel, work or take care of a family member). DEMONSTRATED INTEREST This includes a student’s expression of his or her desire to attend a particular college through campus visits, contact with admissions officers, and other actions that attract the attention of college admissions personnel. While not all institutions use this as a factor in accepting students for admissions, studies have shown that more than half of schools do consider demonstrated interest in their admissions decisions. EARLY ACTION A process that allows students to apply to a school earlier than normal (often before November) in order to receive an earlier decision (usually by mid-December). Students are allowed to apply to other schools as well, but they typically need to let the accepting colleges know by late spring if they’ll be attending. With early action, you don’t have to accept an offer of admission. EARLY DECISION A process that allows students to apply to ONE college or university with the promise to attend if accepted. Early decision is binding, so students should be sure it’s the school they want to (and can afford to) attend before applying early decision. FEE WAIVER Students with financial need may receive fee waivers to take the SAT, SAT II, and the ACT. Students who take the test using a fee waiver may then receive college application fee waivers. FIRST GENERATION COLLEGE STUDENT Any student whose parents did not obtain a Bachelor's degree or higher at a U.S. accredited institution. It is up to the individual institutions to evaluate any Bachelor's degree or higher obtained from outside of the U.S. FIT The college search is not about getting into the best college. There is no school that is best for all students. Some students do best at large public universities; others excel in small liberal arts colleges; still others want to study far from home. If you want to make the most of college, don't just apply to the big–name schools or the ones your friends are excited about. Do your own research to find schools that are the best fit for you. INTERVIEW This is a personal, face-to-face interaction between an admissions applicant and an institutional representative (admissions officer, alumnus, faculty, etc.). Interviews are rarely required, but at colleges that offer them it can be beneficial to take advantage of the opportunity. NON-RESIDENT A student who is not an official resident of the state where a public university is located. Tuition at public universities is less expensive for residents. AUGUST 2018
PERSONAL STATEMENT An application essay in which a student gives more insight into his/her personality, achievements, history and character. REACH SCHOOL A college or university that you have a chance of getting into, but your test scores, GPA and/or class rank are a bit on the low side when you look at the school's profile. The top U.S. colleges and top universities should always be considered reach schools. RECOMMENDATION A letter written on your behalf, explaining why you make a good candidate. Most applications require three recommendation letters and include teachers, counselor, or school administrators. REGULAR DECISION The application period in which a student applies that does not have any binding or non-binding agreement attached to . RESIDENT A student who lives in and meets the residency requirements for the state where a public university is located. Tuition at public universities often is more expensive for non-residents. ROLLING ADMISSIONS A process of reviewing and making decisions on applications as they are received, rather than according to a specific deadline. SAFETY SCHOOL A college or university where you clearly meet the admission requirements: minimum GPA, test scores, etc. It’s important, though, that the school also be one that you would want to attend, should you not gain admission to more selective colleges. SAT SAT is shorthand for the Scholastic Assessment Test. The SAT is a standardized test which may be used for admission into postsecondary institutions. It tests knowledge in writing, critical reading and math. The exam is typically taken in the Spring of a student's Junior year, and can be retaken beginning in Fall of Senior year of high school as a student works to increase his/her score. SCHOOL PROFILE This is an overview of your high school’s program, grading system, course offerings, and other features that your school is submits to admissions offices along with your transcript. For better or worse, admissions offices use this information to weigh your GPA, placing a student’s GPA against the academic reputation of the school she or he attends. TRANSCRIPT An official academic record from a specific school, typically your high school or post-secondary institution. It lists the courses you have completed, grades and information such as when you attended. WAIT LIST A list of college applicants who haven’t been accepted or denied. If openings develop, the college may offer admission to some of the students on the wait list.
Simplifying the College Application Process
hatv mostv studentsv strivev for,v andv most
buildingv theirv hours.v Iv havev createdv av listv ofv things
studentsv andv parentsv shouldv kno v andv dov henv it
thev time,v studentsv andv parentsv orryv aboutv hatv it
takesvtovgetvintovcollege,vandvho vtovpayvforvcollege. th- th Grade
Basicallyvho vtovgetvstudentsvscholarshipsvconsumes ouldv lovev for
- Startingvjuniorvyearv orvsooner ,vstartvsearchingvfor
majorsv andv hichv collegesv offerv thosev majors.v Look
freshmanv year.v Iv alsov getv questionsv aboutv ho v to
apply,v andv mostv studentsv assumev thatv thev online
thev latterv halfv ofv myv schoolv year.v Iv
thev puzzle.v Communityv servicev hours,v SwT/wCT scores,v andv GPwv alongv ithv thev levelv ofv course ork
- SignvupvforvyourvwCTvandvSwT.vIval aysvencourage
taken,v arev becomingv thev corev piecesv tov bev an
attractivev applicantv forv colleges.v Studentsv should
startv early,v andv talkv tov theirv highv schoolv counselors
Takevthesevtestsvduringvjuniorvyearvsovifvyouvneedvor antvtovre-testvforvhighervscores,vyouv illvhavevtime
aboutvappropriatevvolunteervopportunitiesvtovstart AUGUST 2018
throughvyourvhighvschoolvregistrarvorvguidancevoffice. - Ifvyouvarevunsurevofv hichvcollegevorvuniversityvto attend,vvisitvthemvifvpossible,vorvseevifvtheyvhavevvirtual
illv sendv ,v av preliminaryv transcriptv for
tours.v Visitingv av collegev orv universityv canv givev youv a
collegev acceptancev andv partv ofv thev application
process,v andv av finalv transcriptv afterv graduationv to sho vthatvthevdiplomav asvearned.
th Grade - 1ov notv limitv yourself,v ifv youv havev goalsv tov attendv a
- v Completev anyv otherv requestedv documentationv the
collegev thatv seemsv outv ofv yourv reachv basedv on
requirements,v applyv any ays.v wpplyv tov collegesv that
arevconsideredv safe vasv ell,vmeaningvyouvhavevavgood
probabilityv ofv beingv acceptedv basedv onv the
inv statev tuitionv insteadv ofv outv ofv statev tuition.v 1uev to mostv studentsv beingv minorsv rightv outv ofv highv school,
- v Ifv youv canv affordv thev collegev applicationv fee,v then
applyv tov atv leastv 5v colleges.v Iv learnedv a hilev agov that
fivev isv av realisticv number.v wpplyv forv v safev schools, meaningvyouv ouldvattendvthem,vandvmeetvorvsurpass
-v Mostv collegesv dov notv requirev recommendation
theirv admissionv requirements.v Thev rdv schoolv should
letters.vMostvdovnotv antvtovreadvthem,vandv on’tveven
bev av schoolv youv antv tov attend,v andv yourv mayv meet
somev requirements,v butv itsv close.v Thenv thev finalv
schoolsv arev yourv reachv schools.v Schoolsv youv mayv not
themv andv theyv arev av piecev ofv yourv application
meetv allv requirements,v butv theyv offerv hatv youv ant
recommendations,v itv isv helpfulv tov havev av resume
rittenv upv ofv allv achievements,v higherv levelsv of - Somev studentsv canv qualifyv forv applicationv fee
course orkv taken,v a ardsv orv recognitions,v and
aivers,v thev samev ayv theyv canv qualifyv forv SwT/wCT
anythingvthatvyouv ouldv antvthevpersonv ritingvyour
feev aivers,v basedv onv familyv incomev andv somev other
goodv amountv ofv informationv tov
ritev av great
recommendationvforvyou. - wpplyv onlinev throughv thev college/university.v Online applicationsv arev justv thev firstv stepv ofv thev application
-v Finally,v completev yourv FwSFw!v Thev Federal
wpplicationvforvStudentvFinancialvwidvisvavgreatv ayvto receivevfederalvfundsvtovhelpvpayvforvcollege.vColleges
- Submitv wCT/SwTv testv scores.v Youv havev tov logv into
andv universitiesv alsov usev thev informationv providedv on
yourv testingv accountv andv requestv theyv sendv an
thisv applicationv tov seev ifv youv qualifyv forv anyv college
Officialv Copy v ofv yourv testv scores.v Youv canv also requestv scoresv bev sentv
henv youv applyv forv thev test
initially.v Somev studentsv preferv tov aitv thoughv sov they
By: Jackie Plucker, School Counselor at Lehigh Senior High School, Lee County
YOUR KEY TO COLLEGE ADMISSIONS
Basic information Leadership roles Extra-curriculars Certificates Volunteering
Applications CollegeBoard ACT Specialized Email
DEADLINES Create List Applications Financial Aid Scholarships
Transcripts Essays Letters of Recommendations Application Fee
Personalize Questions Research Learn from Others Write Down
As you begin the college application process, there are several key things you should know. Use this guide to help you navigate through the various applications you will find.
. Build a resume!! Thev bestv keyv isv tov createv a
1ocuments & 1eadlines- wsv youv beginv the
do nv allv yourv highv schoolv information,v suchv as
havev completedv andv sent.v Thisv includes
curricularv activities,v communityv service,v and
teacherv andv counselorv recommendations,
a ards/v honors.v Gov throughv andv thoroughly
transcripts,v wCT/v SwTv scores,v application
rankv andv editv yourv informationv sov itv best
e emplifiesv yourv academicv andv personal
applicationv process,v therev arev severalv key
. Store all passwords & user id codes! Often collegev admissionsv
. Ask questions and seek answers. Parents
ritev tov youv inv your
andv teensv oftenv dependv onv othersv to
applicationv accountv aboutv admissionv decisions,
providev information,v probablyv onev ofv the
financialv aid,v scholarships,v and,v hopefully,
reasonsv hyvyouvarevreadingvthisvrightvno !
Ho ever,v justv becausev somev site,v one
tov keepv av chartv ithv allv pass ordsv andv userv id
school,v orv onev personv tellsv youv onev thing,
continuev askingv questionsv throughoutv the
documents.v Beforev youv beginv yourv college
entirev process.v Thev collegev application processv isv continuallyv changingv andv every schoolv doesv thingsv differently.v Createv av list
ofv thingsv tov askv seev Collegev Visitv Checklist
applicationv isv askingv tov bev sent.v Studentsv often
fromv thev Julyv editionv tov seev somev ofv the
timev andv couldv potentiallyv derailv their acceptancevandvscholarshipvopportunities.
Do you need help through the entire high school to college process? College UnMazed: Your Guide through the Florida College and University System keeps both students and parents on track!
FloridaShines FloridaShines is allows students to explore Florida' colleges and universities to find the right school! It has a great career connection.
Big Future CollegeBoard's Big Future is a great interactive website to help find your perfect college fit.
FEATURED Essays Tips from an Admission Representative
s ”ollege appli”ation season is upon us, many are
spe”ifi” referen”es for ea”h institution. Do not say Go Blue
in an essay to the Uni ersity of Illinois. Yes this does happen
onder a“out the essay uestion. Should
I a”tually put forth the effort to
more often than you think.
rite the essay or just
”opy and paste the same thing o er and o er again? Will anyone a”tually read the responses? What ”arry
5 Be ”reati e! Reading the same Biology essay response
eight does it
ith the appli”ation?
you olunteered at a hospital and no
to “e a do”tor gets really old. Dig deep and find out hy you
I am here to tell you that YES ”ollege admissions
ant to “e a do”tor and tell me that..
”ounselors are reading your essay uestions! As a former admissions ”ounselor I ha e read to ”ount… and they
ay too many essays
018- 019 Common App essay prompts ha e
already “een released. Use your time this summer to start
ere good, “ad and ugly. I am not
orking on them so you aren’t inundated
going to lie, essays get pretty “oring to read o er and o er again so the ones that
ork this fall
“et een high s”hool ”lasses, e tra”urri”ular a”ti ities and
ere ”reati e and
applying for ”olleges.
interesting ere the ones that stood out to “e admitted. And my eyes didn’t gloss o er .
Let’s keep the 50 ”ent I ha e learned a fe looking for and
ould you “e and
8 Just don’t use the ”li”hé uotes i.e. If you find a jo“ you’ll
hat they are
ere an animal
hy . They really are
pull out the di”tionary.
ould like to share some tips:
asking of you. Think, if you
to see that you ha e a “road o”a“ulary, “ut I don’t
hat ”ounselors are
1 Read the uestion and fully understand
ords to a minimum. Yes
lo e, you’ll ne er
ork a day in your life .
anting to see if
you ”an “e ”reati e.
you ha e heard these tips multiple times from so
many different people, “ut e eryone you ha e heard it from Follo
ord ”ount. If your prompt says 550
is telling you the truth. Any arti”le that you read online a“out
or less then keep it pretty ”lose to that limit or e en a little
shorter. That 1500
listed a“o e. Take note of these tips “e”ause they are
ord response that you
rite the essay is going to say e erything that is
long on did not get read to the end.
In ”on”lusion, please take the time and effort to 3 Please please please spell ”he”k, grammar ”he”k and
essays. I kno
they are a pain to
ha e someone else read through it “efore you su“mit it.
applying to so many more ”olleges no , it
ith students ill take fore er
Comments are made on the appli”ation if there are
or at least feel like it . The essays really ”ould “e the
grammati”al errors or if the ans er doesn’t e en address
de”iding fa”tor on if you are admitted to your dream s”hool
or reje”ted all together. Do you really
as asked. This refle”ts negati ely on the
ant to take that risk
“y not paying attention to your response?
4 IF you are going to ”opy and paste
By Brittany Cortez, Dual Enrollment
hi”h I don’t
Coordinator at Seminole State College
re”ommend , please make sure to ”hange all
of the College Essay
Don'ts of the College Essay
Do use the essay to reveal something new, a story or idea that showcases your personality and is meaningful to you.
Don't use the essay to repeat your resume. Use this opportunity to reveal something unique about you.
Do show your knowledge of the college, with specific details you have learned through research and visiting.
Don't copy and paste your essays, even if you are applying to multiple schools. Take the time to write original responses.
Do use your voice to tell your story. Don't try to be someone you're not.
Don't write an essay for what you "think" college admissions is looking for. This is a time to tell something unique about you.
I know you have heard these tips
In conclusion, please take the time and
multiple times from so many different
effort to write your essays. I know they
By: Brittany Cortez, Dual Enrollment Coordinator at Seminole State College and former admission representative
are a pain to write and with students Don't rely on spellcheck. It is extremely Do make sure you answer the to so many more from is telling you the truth. Any article applying colleges now, important you have multiple people prompt. that you read online about how to write it will take forever (or at least feel like it). read and check your work before you the essay is going to say everything that The essays really could be the deciding submit. is listed above. Take note of these tips factor on if you are admitted to your people, but everyone you have heard it
because they are important!!
dream school or rejected all together. Do you really want to take that risk by not paying attention to your response?
Do understand all of your deadlines and make a plan for your writing process.
Don't wait until the last minute. Waiting until last minute leads to increased stress and poorly written essays.
FEATURED College Essays Are About Telling A Story Coalition Essay Prompts: 500 to 550 words (suggested)
1. Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it. 2. Describe a time when you made a meaningful contribution to others in which the greater good was your focus. Discuss the challenges and rewards of making your contribution. 3. Has there been a time when you’ve had a long-cherished or accepted belief challenged? How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your beliefs? 4. What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What’s the best part? What advice would you give a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)? 5. Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.
Common Application Essay Prompts: 1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. 2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? 3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? 4. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. 5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. 6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? 7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.
5 Mistakes in College Admissions START
OVER CONFIDENCE Many students and parents think they kno all about college admissions. The process is al ays changing.
! AL GO HED AC RE
LACK OF CONFIDENCE Unfortunately, many students think they cannot go to college or cannot afford it and don't apply.
3. ORGANIZATION Mistakes happen, but at this stage it can cost you college acceptances and scholarships.
4. FRIENDS - Students rely on information from friends, hich is often inaccurate or not applicable to their situation.
RESUME- Students do not ha e a resume to begin ith. By just " inging it" the application lacks direction.
PARENTING Importance of a Teen Checking Account For most young adults, their personal finance behaviors and
Is Your Child Ready for a Teen Checking Account?
habits are acquired during their formative years, and many
The teen years are an awkward period when it comes to
consider themselves to be financially illiterate. Unfortunately,
money. Teens have outgrown their piggy banks and really
too many young adults struggle up a steep learning curve,
don’t want to go to their parents when they need money.
often backsliding due to costly mistakes.
They also yearn to be treated like adults. However, whether they are ready to assume the responsibility of managing a
Those who are taken under the wings of their parents early on
checking account is totally the parents’ or guardians’ call. If
are much more likely to make good financial decisions and
your teen has yet to demonstrate responsibilities in other
gain control of their financial future. The best place to start
areas, then maybe a checking account is not the place to
instilling good money habits in them is at your bank by
helping them open their own teen checking account.
The best time to open a bank account for teens is when it
Why a Teen Checking Account is Important
coincides with other benchmarks they have achieved, such
A checking account is the most fundamental and useful
as finding and keeping a part-time job. Or, maybe it is after
tool in learning about financial responsibility. Teenagers like
they have demonstrated a high degree of responsibility
the idea of having some responsibility, especially when it
when they first start driving. Although some banks allow kids
means having more control over their money. Once they
as young as 13 to open a checking account, the right age
grasp the importance and practice of managing a checking
may be when your teen demonstrates a willingness to
account, they can graduate on to more advanced personal
accept responsibility. A checking account can be recognition
finance concepts such as credit cards.
of that achievement.
continued from p.25
What to Look for in a Teen Checking Account
But the real reason for having one is so you too can monitor
The first step in opening a teenage bank account is to
the account. It is a good practice to sit down once a month and
find one of the best banks for you. Of course, you should
review their account together.
check with your local bank first as not all banks are set up to cater to teenage bank accounts. You should follow
Opening a Teen Checking Account
a list of criteria that would be important in determining if
Although some banks do not require it, it is recommended that
it is the right bank for your teen to learn the ropes.
you open your teen’s first account under your own name. This allows you to monitor your teen’s activities and enables you to
Spending limits: If you want the ability to place limits on
transfer money instantly if it’s needed.
your teen’s spending, some banks offer such controls for daily ATM withdrawals or debit card use. You can also
The bank will issue a debit card in your teen’s name as well as
consider other restrictions for transferring funds, making
a small number of free checks. You should decide if you want
withdrawals, or depositing money.
your teen to have checks. Although they probably won’t have a big need for them, it is not a bad idea to teach them how to
Mobile and text banking: Most banks offer mobile and
write one. The biggest decision you will need to make is
text banking, which makes it easier to track account
whether you want to opt out of insufficient funds protection.
balances and recent activities. Most apps have push
With it, the bank will cover any insufficient funds from debit
notifications about low balances. When your teen starts
card purchases, but you will incur an insufficient funds fee.
earning paychecks, they can use their smartphone to
Without it, your teen’s debit card will be declined if there are
deposit them via remote capture. Your teen should form
the habit of reviewing their account daily.
From there, it becomes a daily teaching and learning
Low or no fees: Most banks offer a no-frills teen version
experience. Taking the time to work with your teen to develop
of their checking accounts. There should be no monthly
critical spending and saving habits can mean the difference
maintenance fees, but you can still expect to pay normal
between early adulthood financial struggles and long-term
bank fees for overdrafts.
Dave Rathmanner is the VP of Content for LendEDU
Online account management: Your teen will quickly learn
The likelihood that ”ollege admissions offi”ers
of a””eptan”e, the same per”entage said they found
out your Instagram or Fa”e“ook in addition to your GPA
details, su”h as leadership roles or ”ommunity ser i”e, that
and appli”ation essays is gro ing, a””ording to a
refle”ted positi ely on an appli”ant.
re”ent sur ey from Kaplan Test Prep. A surprising 40 per”ent of admissions offi”ers say they isit appli”ants’
What’s more, as ”olleges ha e started using more “ig
so”ial media pages to learn a“out them, four times the
data to help make ”ollege admission de”isions, and is not
amount that did so ten years ago.
un”ommon for admissions offi”es to tra”k
Social Media & Resume Building
Ho e er, most admission representati e respondents 89%
ho ”he”ked student’s so”ial media pages said
appli”ants’ so”ial media “eha ior to help predi”t ho
they are to enroll or su””eed on ”ampus. Some ”olleges ”an
they did so rarely and on a ”ase-“y-”ase “asis. Major
photos they upload or ho
anting to learn more a“out an
appli”ant’s ”reati e interests, note orthy
erifying unusual or
inappropriate or illegal “eha ior, a””ording to the
interested appli”ants are “y ho
many friends they ha e on the
”ollege’s so”ial sites for appli”ants. This is one find student’s demonstrated interest,
hi”h is 1 % of
fa”tors going into admission de”ision NACAC, 016 .
sur ey. Today’s te”h-sa
y teens should kno
The result isn’t al ays “ad ne s. While a third of
Instagram, or T itter persona refle”ts on their a”tual
admissions offi”ers said they’d dis”o ered something
negati e that hurt an appli”ant’s ”han”es
Don't put ANYTHING on
SOCIAL MEDIA THAT YOU WOULDN'T SUBMIT AS PART OF YOUR COLLEGE APPLICATION
Webinar Link AUGUST 2018
FEATURED Demonstrated Interest: What It Means for Admissions A term
hi”h is some hat unkno n to many ne
How do you do it? There are many
the ”ollege sear”h and appli”ation pro”ess has “een
demonstrate interest, most of
gaining a lot more attention re”ently. Demonstrated
on their o n as you are doing proper resear”h to find
Interest’ is real and ery mu”h ali e! Although one ”an
hi”h s”hools are a good fit. Going on ”ampus isits,
not “e ”ertain ho
eight it has in the
ill likely o””ur
re uesting information, emailing admissions
admission de”ision, it is not something to “e “rushed
uestions, attending ”ollege fairs and speaking to
your lo”al admissions representati es, parti”ipating in inter ie s if a aila“le, follo ing the s”hools on so”ial
In the 016 NACAC Admission Trends Sur ey, nearly
media platforms, and applying to Early De”ision or
40% of the ”olleges responding rated demonstrated
Early A”tion deadlines are all ”ommon and some hat
interest to “e of moderate or ”onsiderate importan”e
in their admissions de”isions. Although
e ”an not “e
offi”ial ”ampus tours, the ”olleges usually ”olle”t your
e ”an safely assume that
information. If you de”ide to do your o n, “e sure to
hat that means,
if a student is mat”hed up
ith a ”andidate of ery
similar ”ali“er, ha ing demonstrated interest
ays to demonstrate interest. When you attend
stop in at the admissions offi”e and speak
representati e to get your name on their list’.
gi e them the ad antage. No need to go ”razy emailing admissions on What is it? It is pretty mu”h all in the name. It is the
repeat and risk annoying the already e tremely “usy
student sho ing their interest in their potential
staff, just do your due diligen”e
”olleges. It is the student letting the s”hool kno
and “e sure to sho
are ”onsidering it. It is a student esta“lishing a relationship
ith your resear”h
the s”hools you are interested in
some lo e! As al ays, “e real, “e YOU.
ith the s”hool. It is the student putting
themsel es on the s”hool’s radar.
For more information on this topi” listen to Ethan Sa yer,
Why should you do it? Colleges ha e a tough
de”ision de”iding “et een thousands of
appli”ants and kno ing that a student has taken the
authenti”-relationships- ith-”olleges-and- hy-its-
time to ”onne”t
ith the s”hool and get to kno
it demonstrates to them that they ha e a genuine interest. They
By Ashley McNaughton, College Counselor in SW Florida, ACM College Consulting, LLC
ant to enroll a ”ertain num“er of
students and students
ho ha e demonstrated
interested are more likely to a””ept their offers of a””eptan”e. Makes sense, right?
COLLEGE ADMISSIONS . %
Importance of Student Factors in Admission Decisions"Considerable Importance"
Grades in College Prep Courses
Essay or Writing Sample
Grades in All Courses
Student's Demonstrated Interest
Strength of Curriculum
Test Scores (ACT/ SAT)
www.unmaze.me NACAC (2016), State of College Admissions, Retrieved from www.nacacnet.org
What is interesting about the chart above is how the admission process has changed in just one year. The 2015 report stated these numbers:
79.2%- Grades in College Prep Courses 60.3%- Grades in All Courses 60.2%- Strength of Curriculum 55.7%- Test Scores 22.1%- Essay or Writing Sample 17.3%- Counselor Recommendation 16.9% -Student Demonstrated Interest 14%- Class Rank
Morevemphasisvonvthevtypesvofvcoursesv andvgradesvvinvcollegevprepvcoursesv 1ualv Enrollment,vwdvancedvPlacement,vIB,v wICE,vetc ,vlessvemphasisvonvtestvscores,v andvmorevemphasisvonvthev hatvthev studentvbringsvtovavclassroom/vcampusv settingv essayv&vrecommendations .
Student Link Webinars Finding Your College Fit Joseph Madigan, Senior Associate Director of Admissions from Florida Southern College Webinar Link
Top 5 Misconceptions of Florida Admissions Scott Daigle, College Consultant, Premier College Advisors Webinar Link
Florida Applications Coalition Application Universities
Documents Needed Essay Student Self Report Academic Record (SSAR) Resume Application Fee Website
Florida State University University of Florida Florida Southern College
Common Application Documents Needed
Essay Recommendations* (Counselor & 1-2 Teachers) Transcript Resume Application Fee Website
New College of Florida University of Central Florida University of North Florida University of Miami University of Tampa Florida Southern College Barry University Eckerd College Ave Maria University Flagler College Florida Institute of Technology Jacksonville University Johnson & Wales University Keiser University Lynn University Nova Southeastern University Ringling College of Art & Design Rollins College Saint Leo University St. Thomas Unviersity Stetson University
Documents Needed Transcript Resume Essay (depends on college) Recommendations (depends on college) Application Fee Website- see each college's website
Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University Florida Atlantic University Florida International University Florida Polytechnical University (SSAR) University of South Florida University of West Florida All Florida State Colleges
3 Reasons Why You Should NEVER Be Afraid to Ask for
Have you ever had trouble going out of your way to ask
When I went away to college I came out of my shell and
for help? It is safe to say that we all have!
wasn’t as shy. However, I still struggled to ask for help when I needed something because at that point, I didn’t
Let me share with you a quick glimpse of my life growing
want to come across as unintelligent.
up: Growing up in school, I was painfully shy and asking for
Fast forward to my sophomore year in college, I hit a road
help put me out of my comfort zone. I was afraid of
block. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life and
standing out and other people noticing that I even
what my passion was. I desperately needed help. I faced
needed help. Sometimes I struggled with understanding
consistent anxiety, and tried to avoid thinking about my
what we were reading in class or how to solve an
future. I was embarrassed to share that I was lost because
equation in math. But, it was easier for me to try and
it seemed as if I was the only one who was struggling. By
figure it out on my own or risk the lower grade. As I grew
avoiding this issue, it caused EVEN MORE anxiety and
up, I became very independent.
confusion. AUGUST 2018
Up until that point, I never really knew how life changing it
satisfaction. When it comes to getting what you want and
would be to ask for help. So, I took a leap of faith and began
succeeding, education is power. Asking for help might put
sharing what was going on with my friends and family. Not
you out of your comfort zone, but doing so will get you closer
only did asking for help feel like a weight lifted off of my
to what you want.
shoulder because I was able to get these feelings and questions off of my chest, but it actually helped me to figure
You need to be in uncomfortable situations if you want
out what I wanted!
something different than what you currently have. It may be asking for help in school because you are bullied, or asking
The Fear of Asking for Help
someone to give you an opinion on a new business you are
Asking for help is not always easy, but something that you
starting. Regardless, don’t be afraid to ask, because life is all
should never be afraid of doing. We all need help at times.
about learning. Without education, things will never change.
Whether it is at work, with friends, our relationships or at
school. Life would be so much easier if we had the answers to
REASON NO. THREE
everything, but the truth is that we don’t. Whenever we feel
People Can’t Help You If You Don’t Ask.
stuck or need some assistance, many people leave asking for
This applies to all struggles in life. How will others know you
help as a last resort because they fear feeling stupid or
need them if you don’t ask. If you need help, ask for it. No
bothersome. Therefore, projects, questions and situations
one can help you if you do not ask. No one can read your
are left as is for weeks because of that fear.
mind. If you are struggling in school, either with bullying or in a class, talk to someone. Your teachers are there to help you.
People do not want to face situations that they do not know
Don’t accept a bad grade in a class, ask for guidance. Don’t
how to handle. So, if they can’t figure it out on their own, they
allow someone to bully you, tell a teacher or speak up! If you
choose not to face it instead of seeking help.
need help with how to handle a situation, don’t guess. Ask someone with experience or someone you trust. Get the
This is why today, I will share with you the reasons why you
outcome that you desire.
should never be afraid to ask and how you can benefit! Final Words REASON NO. ONE
While many of us are independent and pride ourselves on
It’s All About Finding That Solution
being independent, sometimes we face situations that are
The sooner that you ask for help, the less time you waste.
new and challenging. Asking for help can only teach us
Despite the situation, whenever you need help with a project
valuable lessons, while finding solutions to the struggles we
at school, dealing with a client at work, handling an obstacle
face! We really have two choices. Ask for help. Or don’t. Get
in a relationship, the longer you wait to ask, the worse you
closer to what you want quicker. Or put it off and feel bad.
will feel. The sooner you get help, the quicker you will receive
The choice is yours!
what you want. REASON NO. TWO By Sydney Nanberg, Anti-Bullying Advocate
The More You Know, The More You Grow If we had all of the answers, there would be no room to grow in life, and therefore less
College Admission Decision Admission Review
The college's admission team reviews all necessary documents, discusses the students based on their admission criteria.
Accepted The college notifies students through the school's online admission portal, via email, or through a mailed letter. Some colleges release all decisions at the same time (UF & FSU), others as applications comes in.
Scholarship & Program Review Because of a student's academic standing, they may ask the student to apply to specific programs (Honors, International, etc) or for additional scholarships. There may be an essay or interview process.
Deferred/ Waitlisted The college has decided to defer the student either for 1) further review after more information is received (recommendation letters, semester grades, etc.), 2) to a different term/ program that was not requested by the student, or 3) put on a waitlist if admitted students drop.
The college admission team decides the student's application does not meet their criteria so they deny admission for the student. If a student feels this is a good fit for them, seek alternative paths to the college, such as a transfer status.
Application Review If students' feel like there is additional information that should be reviewed, they may ask for an application review. Information to be provided may be a personal statement, recommendation letter, and school information.
Timeline Award Letter
After acceptance, students will receive an award letter that details the provided financial aid package (including loans and grants), institutional scholarships, and some given state scholarship. Students may accept to deny any part of the award letter.
Housing & Orientation
Students must provide their decision to their college by May 1st or sooner. Before deciding, it is important to visit the campus one more time, and talk to the financial aid office and program of interest to ensure the student's needs are being met.
Once the spot is accepted, there will be some additional documents to provide to the college. Official transcripts should be sent from the high school and any acceleration program they used. Students will also selecting housing (if applicable) and an orientation time.
FEATURED 5 (More) Misconceptions About Attending College in Florida Last month, I tou”hed upon the first fi e topi”s that most people ”ould find ”onfusing
hen ”onsidering in-state
edu”ational options. Hopefully, people
ere a“le to take
) Deadlines – There used to “e a ”ommon appli”ation for the SUS that
as dis”ontinued a fe
years ago. There is no set reasoning for the dates for
a ay some useful information from all of that. The State
ea”h ”ampus. FSU
Uni ersity System SUS here is so uni ue ”ompared to the
O”to“er 15th “ut, this year,
rest of the ”ountry that families need to ha e a “etter
on No em“er 1st. There is no ad antage to applying
understanding of ho
orks. It took me years of
earlier in the summer, regardless of
tells you. UF doesn’t make admissions notifi”ations
as the earliest in the ”ountry at
unfortunately, many of the poli”ies keep ”hanging on a
until Fe“ruary 15th.
regular “asis so it’s a ”hallenge to keep up. Here are
deadline to apply, as it goes
ill “e the same as UF
UCF doesn’t e en ha e a ith a rolling system.
“elie e to “e the ne t fi e most important aspe”ts of
What you do ha e to keep in mind is that housing,
staying in Florida for ”ollege:
honors programs, s”holarships and finan”ial aid all ha e arying deadlines. You don’t
) Non-Holistic Re iew – People get so
orked up all the
ant to get
admitted and then not ha e a pla”e to li e.
time a“out the personal statements, inter ie s and re”ommendations. Ho e er, in this state, those materials
8) GPA Recalculation – Students are a“le to a”hie e
are not re uired to apply for the pu“li” uni ersities. Yes, UF
has an essay “ut it’s really just a part of the Coalition
su”h as AP, DE, AICE and IB. Ho e er, the SUS has
Appli”ation. It’s up to the admissions offi”e if they
to “e fair to e eryone in the state
eighted GPA “y taking more rigorous ”ourses, ho is paying
do nload the file. When applying to the SUS, the s”hools
ta es to support the pu“li” uni ersities. As a result,
fo”us on the standardized test s”ores and the high s”hool
the FL Board of Go ernors made a poli”y that
GPA. With so many tens of thousands of appli”ations, they
e ualizes the playing field for students
don’t ha e time to read
hat your tea”hers think, ”he”k
your olunteer hours, look at your so”ial media, ha e you AUGUST 2018
”urri”ulum. The 38
ho attend rigorous
eighted points are ”ut in half. So if
By Scott Daigle, College Consultant at Premier College Ad isors
The differen”e is . Cut that in half for a 1 and then
indi idual poli”ies.
add that “a”k to the original 4 =5 . So any student
dire”tly applied to the major
ill ha e their GPA drop
hen applying to the SUS. A grade of an A in honors e uals a 5. No ne
ele”ti e ”redits
And any ”lasses that aren’t ould simply ”ount as
hi”h are still good to ha e and do
sa e you money .
you are gi en a 4.5 in the ) Bright Futures – In the past fe
”al”ulation. It’s something that almost no one
kno s a“out “ut it ”an make a “ig differen”e in
Go ernor has signed into la
an in”rease in the BF
your admissions profile.
S”holarship a ard le els. The A”ademi” is no 100% of tuition and fees at one of the 1
9) Dual Enrollment – Yes, e eryone ”an take DE
uni ersity ”ampuses @$6, 00 . The Medallion is
”ourses through their lo”al ”ommunity ”ollege “ut
that isn’t the same as signing up for uni ersity
remaining e penses are still re uired to “e paid “y
”lasses. If you attend a pu“li” uni ersity in Florida,
the indi idual families not ”ounting finan”ial aid .
then the la
says that they must a””ept those
So plan on another $1 -15,000 “ased on the
”redits. Ho e er, if you go to ”ollege out of state or
”ampus, dorm ”hoi”e, meal plan and “ooks needed.
at a pri ate s”hool, they don’t ha e to ”ount them
You do NOT attend ”ollege for free. I’ e had se eral
to ard your “a”helor’s degree. Four year ”lasses
people mention to me that they thought the ne
”ount e enly at other four year institutions. But,
there are a fe
apply those dollar
e ”eptions. For e ample, Johns
on’t a””ept ANY dual enrollment ”redits
from a high s”hool student – no matter are taken.
And Notre Dame
5% of this @$5,000 . Ho e er, ALL of the
”o ered the entire e pense. Ho e er, you ”an alues to a pri ate ”ollege in
on’t ”ount any
Later in the Fall, I
ill “egin to dis”uss the spe”ifi”
”ourses that are “eing used to satisfy a high
statutes that are
ritten into la
here that greatly
s”hool graduation re uirement, su”h as ENG 101 for
FEATURED StandingvOutvInvSelectivevwdmissions:v OnevIntervie er'svGuide
Application & Interview By William Parker, Alumni & Interviewer for University of Chicago
Late summer greetings from your friendly Uni ersity of Chi”ago alumni inter ie er and ”ollege fair rep. I hope your summer has gone
ell. As I
rite this, in most pla”es a”ross the land, s”hool
has started. Here in Lee County, s”hools are open for “usiness, and most ”olleges and uni ersities are greeting in”oming freshman and starting ”lasses. E ”ept, may“e, at the U of C, hi”h has long “een a laggard in getting ”ranked up in the fall. Ha ing, sin”e its founding, “ased its a”ademi” ”alendar on the uarter system
hi”h it originated , fall ”lasses at Chi”ago start
late. With high s”hool ha ing started, the num“er of ”ampus isitors has slo ed to a tri”kle, and most in”oming freshmen not sho
up until Mo e-In Day, Septem“er 18th. Fall
on’t “egin until Septem“er
6th. In the inter ening
eek, freshmen go through O-Week orientation , during
they isit do nto n i”ons like the Art Institute, attend a White So
game, tentati ely e plore the Uni ersity’s Hyde Park
neigh“orhood and, perhaps, take in a little of do nto n Chi”ago, learn a“out life in an ur“an setting, sit for mandatory and ele”ti e pla”ement tests, re”ei e a”ademi” ”ounseling, register for fall ”lasses, and attend the Aims of Edu”ation address.
ise: in filling out you appli”ation, “e yourself.
For e ample, if you su“mit a humorous essay, and you are not kno n to your tea”hers and ”lassmates for your effort
it, then the
ill pro“a“ly fall flat. More important, your appli”ation is
not the pla”e for modesty. As “ase“all great Jerome Dizzy Dean put long ago it, If you done it, it ain’t “raggin’. Sele”ti e ”olleges lo e students
ho e hi“it great and
and ha e already a””omplished great and They’re also keenly interested in the
ondrous talents ondrous things.
hole person, not merely
in your ”lassroom persona. So e erything interesting, great and ondrous,
a””omplished, e ery honor, in or outside s”hool, should “e made part of your appli”ation. Regarding supplemental material, if you ha e something that refle”ts signifi”ant a””omplishment or talent -- in musi”, drama, dan”e, mathemati”s, s”ien”e,
- send it along and ask to ha e it made part of your folder. Video tapes, essays, e en term papers or other
feel justly proud of, and prefera“ly earned high praise, send them, too. Caution: Be ”ompletely, e en “rutally honest. Some appli”ants, in their
uest to gain that e tra s”intilla of
”ompetiti e ad antage, su””um“ to the temptation to puff up
As the in”oming first-years arri e on ”ampus, they pass, administrati ely, from the Offi”e of College Admissions to the Dean of the College. And so, for the Admissions Offi”e,
Week in full s ing, attention shifts ”ompletely to the ne t ”y”le. In early fall, almost e ery“ody in the offi”e tra els; e en the Dean of Admissions isits a fe In fa”t, a fe
high s”hools outside Chi”ago.
reps are already on the road, fall ”ollege fairs
ill “e in Sarasota on Sept. 8th ,
enthusiasti” early appli”ants are filling out their appli”ation, and the first
Words to the
a e of 30,000-odd appli”ations
the offi”e like a tidal
ash o er
ork, and offer friendly “its of
ad i”e. Appli”ations are ”omposed of t o parts, 1 and . The first part ”ontains dry fa”ts -- name, home address, s”hool s attended, date of “irth, and a list of a”ademi” and nona”ademi” a””omplishments. In other
ords, a data sheet. Part
”ontains the real meat of the appli”ation:
trans”ripts grades and test s”ores; tea”her, ”ounselor and any other re”ommendations; essays; personal statements and any supplemental material that a””urately portray you and your a””omplishments. It
ill also in”lude the inter ie
”ampus or alumni inter ie er. The only “its of Part
report of a that you
dire”tly su“mit and ”ontrol are your essays and supplemental materials. Your s”hool, your tea”hers and ”ounselors, and your inter ie er must turn in the rest. When, and only is ”omplete
ill a reader re ie
College admissions readers possess finely-tuned BS dete”tors, and all it takes is a simple phone ”all to a high s”hool to “a”k”he”k an appli”ation, making it almost too easy to
uestiona“le ”laim. If an admissions offi”er does spot a “ogus ”laim -- an appli”ant ”laiming ”redit for something he or she didn’t do -- then the “ogus ”laimant ”an kiss that s”hool good“ye. Syonara! Just like that. Finally, if ”ir”umstan”es ha e unfa ora“ly affe”ted your s”holasti” performan”e -- death, si”kness, family pro“lems, et”. -- it is fair to e plain these to your admissions ”ommittee audien”e. Despite
For seniors applying to ”ollege this fall, this seems a timely pla”e to “riefly re ie
their a””omplishments. Don’t e en think a“out it!
think, admissions offi”es kno
hat many might
that ad ersity and misfortune do
happen, and they “end o er “a”k ards to gi e your appli”ation as fair a reading as possi“le. What fe
realize is that the majority of the admissions
”ommittee ”onsists, not of old goats like me, “ut of young adults ho graduated from the ”ollege remem“er e a”tly
ithin the last fe
hat it is like to “e in your shoes during this
pro”ess. Oh, I mentioned essays. Di”k Taliaferro used to say that the I ies paid little attention to essays, assuming that appli”ants ”ould easily ha e paid someone else to
rite them. At Chi”ago,
on the other hand, the admissions ”ommittee ha e al ays assumed that appli”ants
rite their o n essays, and for that
SelectivevwdmissionsvContinued... reason, they read them
ith intense interest and ”are. Sin”e
Di”k Taliaferro’s ie s on essays
ere propounded 30 years
ago, it’s fair to assume that e en if his assertion a””urate
hi”h I uestion , things may
ell ha e ”hanged, and
hether or not you are applying to the U of C, your interests are “est ser ed if you pro”eed on the “asis that your essays
re”ei e Chi”ago-style s”rutiny. Can you afford to assume other ise? I
ill add that Chi”ago does not
ant to re”ei e
essays re”y”led from appli”ations to Prin”eton or Yale. Its essay prompts,
ith the foregoing in mind and fun and funky
though they are, are deli“erately ”rafted to re eal ho
appli”ant ”an organize and present thoughts on a topi” that he or she hasn’t lain a ake thinking a“out during the prior year. I tell kids applying to Chi”ago, De ote lapidary ”are to your essay. The same applies to appli”ations to other sele”ti e s”hools.
adds depth to the dry data and other “its of the appli”ation, most of
hi”h ha e “een redu”ed to t o-dimensional
paper ork. Inter ie ers are delighted to meet and get to kno appli”ants I sure am , and the “est ones are keen judges of talent, ”hara”ter, and moti ation.
appli”ant gets admitted or not, they truly
ant him/her to do
ell later on, and they genuinely root for them. Inter ie s ideally offer a t o- ay e ”hange of information: you ”an ask uestions, too. I tell appli”ants that if they ha e uestions, I’ll “e there until they finish asking, not “efore. Plus, I gauge the suita“ility of an appli”ant in part “y the uestions I’m asked. A fe
Go into the inter ie
ith a smile on your fa”e, and “e
genuinely e ”ited a“out, and interested in, the s”hool. The old adage, you ha e “ut one ”han”e to make a first impression,
Regarding Inter ie s. Some appli”ants get admitted to highly sele”ti e ”olleges s”hools
ithout “eing inter ie ed, and these same
ill “e ui”k to say that inter ie s are not mandatory -
- “ut that they are still re”ommended. This means, if it as at all possi“le, ha e one. You ”an “e inter ie ed on ”ampus, usually “y an admissions offi”er, or, if your s”hedule or more likely your finan”es do not permit a ui”k trip to Palo Alto, you may opt for an alumni inter ie , right here at home. Why are inter ie s helpful? Well, a good inter ie
”an “e the s”ale-
tipper that gets you in; aspe”ts of your life and moti ation and, espe”ially, your personality often ”ome to life in a fa”e to fa”e meeting that may“e got left out of your appli”ation. The do nside: o””asionally, an inter ie other
are un anted at sele”ti e s”hools . A good inter ie
”an tip the s”ales the
ay. E en though alumni are not offi”ially
mem“ers of the admission ”ommittee, mem“ers, and
e are de fa”to
e o””asionally ”ast a “la”k“all -- something
I’ e done only infre uently and that saddens me profoundly hen I do it.
lo e. They genuinely seek to help it attra”t the most a“le, talented students, and their spe”ifi” jo“ is to gain a firsthand sense of the appli”ant as a person – oh, and to sell their s”hool. ay, they
ill gently pro“e the appli”ant’s kno ledge
and understanding of the s”hool and judge
ill ”ontri“ute to the ”ollege ”ommunity as a friend and ”lassmate.
and moti ation,
hy the ”ollege desires the inter ie
in the first pla”e. Listen to, and take ”ues from, your inter ie er. A re”ent appli”ant met me
ith a sta”k of a””omplishments, letters of
re”ommendation, and other desiderata. He proudly told of his impressi e ”olle”tion of AP s”ores 5s do n the line , ”lasses he’d taken and a multitude of e tra”urri”ular a””omplishments, all most impressi e -- “ut left me
ith the impression that to
him, learning and intelle”tual de elopment
ere se”ondary in
importan”e. I ”alled the area reader and informed him that I did not
ant this appli”ant at the Uni ersity of Chi”ago and
Do your home ork: kno Sele”ti e s”hools
the s”hool you are inter ie ing for.
ho are interested, ”urious
and ”ons”ientious enough to ha e learned a good deal a“out them. I lo e to get asked tough, sear”hing uestions. Ditto, for
Most alumni inter ie ers ser e their alma mater as a la“or of
holds more than e er. You also re eal a little of your personality
They also assess an appli”ant’s interpersonal
”ompeten”e interpersonally in”ompetent appli”ants – jerks --
uestions a“out aspe”ts of s”hool life or an a”ademi” program, “e”ause they re eal more than ”asual interest and sho
kid has dug do n “eneath the outrea”h materials in pursuit of his interest. You might “ring a list of
ell thought out uestions
for the inter ie er. I’ e pro“a“ly said enough, so I’ll ”lose “y ith your appli”ation, and three ”hoi”es.
ishing you good lu”k
ishing you a””eptan”e at your top
The Futuremakers Coalition is a coalition of educators, business e ecutives, and community members from all sectors dedicated to increasing the degree and certificate attainment for SW Florida students and adults. The Coalition is focused on cradle-to-career initiatives.
These charts are to be used by teachers, school counselors, mentors, and others to help e plain local workforce needs and how students should understand the importance of what careers are in low and high demand to be better prepared for a good living wage with a great possibility to being hired. Visit www.futuremakerscoalition.com for more information.
PARENTING Evolution Evolution of of a a College College Student Student and and their their Parents Parents Youv havev spentv thev pastv seventeenv tov eighteen
studentv andv everyv family.v Overv thev yearsv asv a
yearsv gro ingv av human.v Youv arev av parentv livingv in
8,v akav av completelyv ne v henv youv
orldv comparedv to
erev inv highv school.v Therev
ithv students,v familiesv and
educators,v Iv havev observedv av fe v keyv featuresv that shouldv bev av partv ofv anv ongoingv conversationv
timesv andv bad,v youv havev beenv doingv yourv absolute
yourv collegev student.v Thesev includev thev follo ing:
best.v Nov onev kno sv yourv kidv likev youv do,v andv no
Empo erment,v Confidence,v andv Self-Identity,v Real
onev lovesv themv more.v Watchingv yourv child
Critical Thinkingv Skills,v Characterv Building:v Work
one ofvthevmostvproud vandvhappiest vmomentsvyet
Ethic,v Professionalism,v and Integrity,v Self-wdvocacy
tovcome.vSo, v hatvhappens v henvschoolvis voutvfor
and Personalv wccountability, v 1ecisionv Making
thev lastv time,v promv isv over,v graduationv photosv are
Based v onv Personalv Value v Systemv Freedom v from
taken,vandvyouvfindvyourselfvasking v Wherevdidvall
Fearv of v Failure:v Vulnerability;v Futurev Oriented
andv Boundaries;v Open-mindednessv andv wdventure, 1uringv thisv transitionalv time,v notv onlyv isv the
Selfv-Carev 1ov hatvyouvenjoy,vnovjustv hatvbuildsva
ithv inevitablev change,v thev entire
familyv mayv needv tov redefinev rolesv andv adapt.v This processv ofv transitioningv fromv adolescentv yearsv to
happeningv rightv beforev your eyesv inv aysv youv may havev neverv plannedv orv e pected. Forv parentsv and family,v av majorv crossv roadv arrives
finally mustvletvgo.vThisvmay vincludevallo ing your v student,v no v emerging adult,v tov make decisionsvthatvarevout v ofvyourvcomfortvzone.vItvmay bev havingv tov say,v inv an v assertive yet lovingv tone, No… v v today… v Notv anymore…. v Ourv natural instinctv asv parentsv andv caregiversv isv tov findv the solutionv andv fi v thev issuev inv thev easiestv most convenientv ayvpossible.vHo ever,vthevtotalvamount duev andv thev costv ofv overv protectingv ourv students mayv bev immeasurable.v Herev arev somev generalv tips forvavsmoothvtransitionvduringvthisvcriticalvtime:
For parents and family, a major crossroad arrives when we finally must let go.
. Keep up the effective communication.
. 5njoy the small things. wsvthevresearch
Bev honestv ithv yourv studentv inv av ayv that
educatesv andv demonstratesv av healthy
mutuallyv respectfulv relationship.v Wev
andv sensev ofv peace,v joy,v andv balance.v This
timev ofv transition,v althoughv stressful,v is
demonstratingv ev believev inv ourv students
andv ev valuev themv asv individuals.v Remind
thev family.v Goingv backv tov basicsv by
yourv studentv thatv theyv arev lovedv andv you
practicingv gratitudev forv thev simplev things
arev proud,v afterv allv mostv likelyv your
thev transitionv ofv theirv childv tov young . Be there. Timev isv currencyv andv
studentv isv relocatingv tov anv outv ofv state
campusv orv localv post-secondaryv school,
continuev tov makev timev forv phonev calls,
inv transitionv asv
ellv andv changev canv be
facev theirv fears,v andv setv forthv intov av ne orld,v
ev mustv alsov dov thev samev for
time,v kno v yourv boundaries.v Empty-
ourselves.v Cherishv thev gro ingv painsv and
nestersv especiallyv mayv needv tov rediscover
ne v orv oldv hobbies,v interests,v and
2. Do laundry . Read a map . Write a business email . Schedule appointments . Balance a budget
communityvactivitiesvtovreengagev ithvno thatv yourv studentv isv offv livingv thev college life.v Givev yourselfv permissionv tov focusv on you.v Establishv positivev healthyv boundaries andvbev illingvtovacceptvyouvstudent’svne boundaries. By Courtney Faunce, Licensed Mental Health Counselor Intern at Lifescapes Counseling, LLC
. Know when to hold back. Upvuntilvthis point,vparentvinvolvementv asvencouraged sincev itv isv av primaryv indicatorv ofv student academicv successv andv socialv adjustment. No v thatv yourv studentv hasv madev itv tov the
. Difference between debit and credit . Use public transportation . Write a resume/ co er letter
orldv ofv higherv education,v parentsv are only
illv havev differentv e periences
needv tov spendv itv isely.v Nov matterv ifv your
. Be there… when you can. wtvthevsame
Top 10 Things Teens Need To Know How To Do Before College
elcomedv onv campusv duringv parent
eekendsv orv movingv inv orv outv ofv dorms. wndvpossiblyvforvsportingvevents.vInstead,vit isv morev supportivev tov suggestv tov your AUGUST 2018
. Learn to clean
ASK THE EXPERT
Dear Mr. Hicks, I found I need recommendations for some of my college applications. What do I do?- Joey Dear Joey, An important component of any college or scholarship
life that can do that outside of your parents, well that is a
application is recommendation letters. However, there are
problem. Colleges want students who are ready to head out
things students should be aware of as they request these
in the world equipped with the tools needed to be influential
from writers and as they deliver them to readers.
in the world around them. They want students with potential. If you have done nothing to demonstrate that
The first thing students need to consider is whether or not
potential to anyone in your four years of high school, then
recommendation letters are desired in the first place. Some
perhaps you have not done all you can to make yourself a
colleges require them as part of their application, some will
strong college applicant. In this regard, think of high school
consider them, and some specifically state that they do not
as a four year long audition for college and the non-family
review recommendation letters. My advice here is to follow
members who sat on the front row during that audition are
instructions. No matter how amazing a letter made you
going to be the ones in the best position to write your
sound, if a college says they do not want letters, do not send
them. I once had a college admissions representative (who
worked for college that did not review letters) tell me they
I write my share of recommendation letters, an in all
throw away the rec letters they receive. I cannot imagine
honesty, I can write one for a goldfish if I need to do, but
this inconvenience does anything to improve the first
some of mine are better than others. Students who haven’t
made much of an impression on me or for whom I just don’t
have much to say are going to get a pretty basic letter. But,
RECOMMENDATION LETTERS .
those students who I’ve spent a lot of time with and have
demonstrated potential to me are going to get something
Conversely, if a college says they want two letters, you had
much more detailed and thoughtful. It is important to find
better send two letters. This brings me to my next point.
the people you have made a connection with who can and
How do you acquire them? There are any one of a number
will write you a good letter. Students connect with different
of people in a young person’s life who might be asked to
individuals. Some students create strong bonds with their
counselor, but others will attach to a teacher, a coach, a
are statements about who a person is, what their impact
principal, a church leader, or an employer. Whoever the
has been so far, and where their greatest potential lies. So,
person is that you attach to, that is who should be writing
the person writing the letter should be able to speak to
your letter. Create those people before you need them and
these elements about the subject. If there is no one in your
show them what you are capable of.
4 Steps to a GREAT Recommendation Thinkvofvcounselors,vteachers,vandvothervprofessionalsv thatvcanvattestvtovyourvacademicvandvpersonalv character.vFollo vguidelinesvonv hichv recommendationsvtovsubmit.
Createvav ellv rittenvresumevthatvdetailsvyourvhighv schoolvcareer,vincludingvacademicvachievements,ve tracurriculars,vandvothervimportantvfactorsvthatvmayvusefulv henvtalkingvaboutvyou.
wskvyourvrecommendersv ithvplentyvofvtimevtov ritevthev recommendation.vProvidevavcopyvofvyourvresume,v schoolsvyouvarevapplyingvto,vandvallvdocumentsvneededv plusvpostagevifvapplicable .
Thesevlettersvtakevconsiderablevtime.vFollo -upvbeforev deadlinev ithvavsmallvtokenvofvappreciationvtovsho v yourvgratitudevinvtheirve traveffort.
By: Rob Hicks, School Counselor at Fernandina High School and blogger at www.guidey.blogspot.com
Lastvmonth,vUnMazedvhadvanv articlevonvFly-InvPrograms.v Herevisvavgreatvopportunityv forvavfly-invatvonevofvthev country'svbestvliberal-artsv colleges. WilliamsvCollege-vvStudentsv considervapplyingvforvthev 8 Windo svonvWilliamsv WOW programvby wugustv !v WOWvprovidesvmorevthanv vhigh-achievingvseniorsv fromvacrossvthevcountryvthev opportunityvspendvthreevalle penses-paidvdaysvonv campus.vPreferencev illvbev givenvtovstudentsv hov couldn’tvother isevaffordvtov visit. Please contactvus ithv anyvquestions. Link for Application
UnMazed Magazine is dedicated to teen academic and personal success. Written by experts across the state of Florida, this online magazine pr...
Published on Aug 2, 2018
UnMazed Magazine is dedicated to teen academic and personal success. Written by experts across the state of Florida, this online magazine pr...