Introduction to the College Admissions Process
June 2010 Mrs. Asare â€“ College Counselor
Commonly Asked Questions
Why college? How can your child learn about colleges? Are all colleges the same? What are colleges looking for? What factors should be considered when selecting a college? What can you do to prepare? What does your child need to do to prepare for college? What are other ways to prepare? Are there any special programs that could help your child prepare for college? What types of classes should be taken to prepare for college? What types of standardized tests need to be taken for college admission? How will I pay for college? What other financial resources are available? What happens if a scholarship offer is too good to be true? What is the cost of a college education? What additional costs may be incurred? How do I get started? Resources
Benefits of attending college:
Increased earnings over a lifetime Better job opportunities Job security More personal options Increase in academic knowledge Get a good start in life
How can your child learn about colleges?
Ways to learn about the colleges:
Go on College Visits/Tours Attend College Fairs Go to Open Houses View Virtual College Tours On-line Talk to Guidance/College Counselors Visit College Websites Look through College Handbooks and Guides Read College Newspapers Meet with College Alumni Ask Parents and Mentors about their experiences
Are all colleges the same? What types of colleges are there?
No, there are actually different types of colleges:
Institution that grants a two-year degree
Public vs. Private Colleges
Similar to a College but also grants graduate degrees
Institution that grants both two-year and four-year degrees
Public Colleges - academic institutions financed primarily through tuition, endowments, and state or local taxes. Tuition for in-state students is reduced and programs & policies are state-regulated Private Colleges - institutions financed primarily by tuition and endowments
Special Interest Colleges (i.e. Women’s, Historically Black Colleges, Hispanic Serving Institutes)
What are colleges looking for?
Key College Selection Criteria
Academic Achievement Test Scores Course Selection Extracurricular Activities/Volunteer work Letters of Recommendation Application Quality/Essay Interview (If applicable)
What factors should be considered when selecting a college?
It is important to remember to seek out the right “fit” for your student when selecting a college
Size of Institution Academics Setting Enrollment Distance from home Student Life Lifestyle Campus Culture Classes (Variety & Class size)
What can you do to prepare?
Tips for Parents
Maintain active involvement with the Parent and Teacher Association Develop a relationship with your child’s counselors, teachers and co-principals Speak up for your child and be an advocate Provide a quiet study area at home for your child to study Find after school and summer enrichment programs for your child. Our team at iSchool can help identify programs that are a good fit for your child Help you child find a mentor – it could be an older relative, family friend or through a formal mentoring program Offer encouragement and support Be sensitive to the demands of school work and extracurricular activities Help your child learn about colleges, financial aid, and how to apply
What does your child need to do to prepare?
“By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail” - Benjamin Franklin
Develop good study habits Keep their grades up Take academically rigorous courses Earn college credits in high school through AP courses and through partnerships with local colleges Start taking note of their academic and extracurricular interests Read to develop reasoning skills Listen and ask questions Sit in the front row – pay attention & take notes! Take advantage of teacher’s office hours
What are other ways to prepare?
Encourage your child to get involved!
Extracurricular Activities - Participate in extracurricular activities such as athletics, yearbook, newspaper, clubs, theater Volunteer - Get involved in activities at school or in your community Employment - a job can give your child a sense of purpose, develop new skills, help them learn responsibility and earn money to help pay for college Apprenticeships and Internships - both allow them to explore career roles and gain valuable work experience Job Shadowing - allows them to experience what a particular career is really like by going to work with an adult
Are there any special programs that could help your child prepare for college?
Upward Bound provides fundamental support to participants in their preparation for college entrance. The program provides opportunities for participants to succeed in their pre-college performance and ultimately in their higher education pursuits Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) purpose is to increase the number of students from under-represented groups who are pursuing professional licensure and careers in mathematics, science, technology and health- related fields Sponsors for Educational Opportunity Scholars Program helps students of color from New York City public high schools gain admission to and succeed at competitive colleges throughout the country Liberty Partnerships/I-Lead - serves promising, high-achieving students at under-resourced schools and prepares them to become competitive applicants to selective colleges and universities Harlem Education and Activities Fund (HEAF) - a non-profit organization dedicated to helping disadvantaged children in Harlem, Washington Heights and the Bronx become successful college students CollegeNow - a free program designed to prepare New York City's public high school students for college. College Now is a collaborative program of the City University of New York and the New York City Department of Education Be sure to read the iNotes regularly to learn about other possibilities
What types of classes should your child take to prepare for college?
Courses that provide English credits (Recommended: 4 years) People who succeed are people who can read and write. No matter what you end up doing, it pays to be able to speak clearly and write well. You should prepare by taking as many classes in reading, writing and speaking as you can fit into your schedule. Courses that provide Mathematics (Recommended: 4 years) Everyone uses numbers in the real world to solve problems. Math teaches you to think logically and abstractly. Two years of algebra and one year of geometry are recommended for all high school students, but it's always good to take even more than that. Courses that provide Science credits(Recommended: 3-4 years) Learning how things work and studying the world around you is exciting and will help you understand how scientific discoveries affect you, your community and the world. Biology,- chemistry -and physics –based courses are good for college preparation. In today's world, it's more important than ever to understand what's going on around you and connect globally. Courses that provide Social Studies credits(Recommended: 3 years) Classes in geography, civics, history and economics will help you understand what is happening in the world and how you fit in it. They also prepare you for college-level courses. Courses that provide credits in World Languages (Recommended: 3-4 years) Studying different languages is a great way to understand how other people live and think. You'll not only learn more about another culture but your own as well. This will help you work with people from all over the world. Take at least two years of the same language. Courses that provide credits in The Arts (Recommended: 1 year) Art helps you explore and appreciate your creative side and those of others. Classes might include music, drama, dance and the visual arts Note: Credits can either be earned through modules, core experiences or field experiences
What types of standardized tests need to be taken for college admission?
There is one pretest and two standardized tests students should take:
Pre-Scholastic Aptitude Test – is one of the best ways to prepare for the SAT and allows the student to compete for National Merit Scholarships. Includes a critical reading, math and writing section Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) – has three components including a critical reading, math and writing section
Students may also take the SAT Subject Tests – there are 20 different tests in the following subject areas: English, History, Mathematics, Science and Languages
American College Testing Program (ACT) – has up to 5 components: English, Mathematics, Reading, Science, and an optional Writing Test
What is the difference between the two standardized tests? And do they have to take both? The basic difference between the SAT and the ACT are in the skills needed, scoring penalties and the format of the tests :
SAT requires effective use of time, familiarity of test taking strategies and a knowledge of how to approach different types of questions. It is largely based on critical thinking and logic. Students are penalized for guessing and getting wrong answers. The SAT has three sections. ACT is designed to evaluate your overall educational development and your ability to complete college-level work. There is no penalty for guessing. The ACT has up to five sections including an optional essay.
In general, both scores are accepted by most colleges. It will depend on whether the colleges to which your child is applying require one test rather than the other. If it doesn’t matter which test they take, decide which test is better suited to their skills (i.e., the test on which they’ll score better).
How will I pay for college and what types of financial aid are available ?
It’s never too early to begin thinking about how you are going to pay for your child’s college education. Financial aid is money that is available to help students finance the cost of an education
Free money, some skill required
Federal and Private Loans
Gift Aid, usually need-based
Must be paid back
Opportunity to earn money for college expenses
What other financial resources are available?
Other financial resources
Private Scholarships Employee Benefits High School/Community Awards
What happens if a scholarship offer is too good to be true?
It probably is. Common Signs of scholarship scams:
“Exclusive Scholarship Information” “No work - free money for college” “Scholarship guaranteed!” “You have been selected” A company asks for application fees “Free Seminar” or “Candidate Interview”
Please consult with the college office if you have any questions regarding unsolicited letters and emails You can also contact the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commissions with any concerns or doubts
How much does a college education cost?
Average College Tuition & Fees
Private four-year - $26,273 (up 4.4 percent from last year) Public four-year - $7,020 (up 6.5 percent from last year) Public two-year $2,544 (up 7.3 percent from last year)
Average College Room & Board Fees
Private four-year - $8,193 (up 5.2% from last year) Public four-year - $9,363 ( up 4.2% from last year)
Note: Cost and aid figures are from the College Board's Trends in College Pricing 2009, Trends in Student Aid 2009, and Education Pays 2007.
What are some additional costs that may be incurred?
The total cost of attendance includes:
Tuition and fees Books and supplies Room and Board Transportation getting to/from home Miscellaneous personal expenses Loan Fees Expenses Associated with Disability* Dependent or Elder Care Expenses*
Expenses for Study Abroad or Cooperative Education Programs*
What special programs are available to help ease my child’s transition to college?
All of the programs listed below are designed to help ease the transition to college for capable students who otherwise would not be able to attend college due to their educational and financial circumstances. These programs offer additional academic support and financial aid:
Educational Opportunity Programs at the State University of New York colleges (EOP) Higher Educational Opportunity Programs at New York State private universities (HEOP) Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge (SEEK) programs for colleges within the City University of New York system Please see your college counselor for questions on these programs and information on similar programs
How do you get started?
Now Become familiar with college admission requirements Meet with your child’s counselor to ensure they are taking courses that meet college entrance requirements Discuss Advanced Placement courses and course choices with your child’s guidance counselor Encourage your child to explore interests and to start thinking about potential careers Support good study habits Use the internet for college research Attend college fairs with your child Inquire about college summer programs for high school students that allow for enrichment
Summer Start college visits Fees for college applications and entrance exams can be expensive so start saving money to pay for these expenses Encourage your child to create a resume of high school accomplishments including activities, awards, jobs, etc. Select a calendar to use for important deadlines
Guidance/College Planning Counselors Career Centers Internet
General Sites CollegeBoard.com Knowhow2go.com Petersons.com Collegeaccess.org Firstinthefamily.org
Program Sites Collegenow.cuny.edu Heaf.org Bankstreet.edu/libertyleads/ Seo-usa.org/Scholars