Page 1

MAGAZINE PRESENTS

COLLEGE GUIDE 2021

Finances Preparing in High School Surviving College Important Test Dates Landing an Internship


2021 COLLEGE GUIDE

contents

P. CG 04 

Spending Wisely at College

P U B L IS H E R

SCOTT SCHUMAKER ASS OC IAT E P U B L IS H E R

A Local Kid’s Guide to Surviving College

DONNA KODAMA-YEE E DITOR

CHRISTI YOUNG P ROJE C T MANAGE R

KATRINA VALCOURT

P. CG 08 

Preparing for College in High School

C RE AT IV E DIRE C TOR

JAMES NAKAMURA S E C T ION ART DIRE C TOR

JANELLE KALAWE-CHING

P. CG 10 

Ready, Set, College

ACCOU NT E X E C U T IV E S

DONNIE FORD KERRI MOKULEHUA MICHELLE STOFLE

P. CG 23 

Navigating Internships

O N THE COVER: Cover photo: Getty Images

2

| 2021 COLLEGE GUIDE

WRITTEN, DESIGNED AND PUBLISHED BY

The College Guide is published as a supplement to HONOLULU Magazine, October 2020. © 2020 by PacificBasin Communications, 1088 Bishop St. Suite LL2 Honolulu, HI 96813.

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF HAWAI‘I PACIFIC UNIVERSITY, CHAMINADE UNIVERSITY, HAWAI‘I TOKAI UNIVERSITY

P. CG 06 


SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL SECTION

A MESSAGE FROM

HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union Aloha!

College is a time for pursuing dreams, making lifelong friends, and tasting independence. It’s for taking risks, making mistakes, learning about yourself and how you can make an impact. And even though the backdrop has changed, it’s still all of that and more. Your generation is in a unique position to thrive despite adversity. Life will always present obstacles, but you’ll be better prepared to adapt. With great challenge comes great opportunity, and it’s those who remain optimistic and have the grit to put hope into action—despite the naysayers—who impact entire communities and lead us into new eras. As you prepare for this exciting season in your life, know that you’re not alone. We’ve partnered with HONOLULU Magazine to present this 2021 College Guide because dreams often require funding, and making financial dreams come true is what HawaiiUSA does best. Our commitment to education began more than 80 years ago as a credit union founded for teachers. It continues today through scholarships, teacher stipends, school and community givebacks, and the belief that building a better Hawai‘i starts with each one of us. Your story may look different from what you imagined, but it’s still up to you to create your own adventure. We can’t wait to see where it takes you.

Mahalo nui loa,

Karl Yoneshige P R E SI D E N T & CEO HAWA I I USA FEDERAL CREDIT UNION

How will I pay for college? Which one should I choose? Get answers to these questions and more: GoHawaiiGrad.com HawaiiUSA in partnership with HACAC

2021 COLLEGE GUIDE |

3


SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL SECTION

Spending Wisely at College HawaiiUSA FCU’s sustainable money management tips to take with you to college BY G A I L M I YA S A K I

DRIVE-THROUGH GRADUATIONS AND ZOOM CELEBRATIONS

Getting ready for college now and in the near future, however, still has ongoing challenges, especially higher concern over money management. “Many families are facing a different story from what they had imagined for their child’s college education. But there is much to be excited and hopeful about starting with these first steps for college and beyond. Students have a big part in making this happen with wise choices that make personal and financial wellness a lifelong priority,” says Karl Yoneshige, President and CEO of HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union, which has been helping families prepare for college for more than 80 years. What can students do financially to make their goal of higher education achievable? Here is what the experts at HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union offered as advice on what students can learn and control to make college a financial reality. MAY HOPEFULLY BE MILESTONES OF THE PAST.

G E T A C C O U N T S T H AT M U LT I -TA S K

College is a time of learning, exploration and growth. For Island youth, especially college freshmen going away from Hawai‘i for the first time, it can be a hectic time—from buying winter clothing, living in a dorm with a roommate, to navigating classes in a new school in a new city. It can be a lot to absorb, but it is also time to learn skills that can last a lifetime, long after you have forgotten Psych 101 or the taste of dorm food. College is the ideal time to start developing good financial habits such as establishing sustainable spending behaviors that will serve you well after graduation. And knowing what banking and financial tools are available can help you plan and stick to a budget. One way to make the most of your time and money is to get an account that multi-tasks. While P2P apps are great for splitting the lunch bill with friends, why not use one account to easily pay

4

| 2021 COLLEGE GUIDE


SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL SECTION

people, make purchases and even receive deposits from family and your part-time job? Would you be surprised to learn that a checking account can do all of that? Even if you never write a check, a checking account is a great way to track all your income and out-go in one place. Another multi-tasking feature is an account that earns rewards. While rewards credit cards are common, checking accounts that pay cash back are not. “Unlike credit cards, you don’t need credit history to qualify, and checking accounts don’t have the annual fees and interest payments that credit cards do. As long as you spend within your means, they’re a wise choice for college students,” says Kim Dodson, Financial Wellness Manager at HawaiiUSA. In addition to earning cash back on purchases, checking account rewards may include reimbursements on ATM fees. This is especially valuable if you are going away to the Mainland for college, where there may not be a branch of your local financial institution nearby. For those with a credit union account, such as HawaiiUSA members, you can still avoid additional fees every time you go to an ATM by using the CO-OP Shared Branching and ATM Network.

G O D I G I TA L : S P E N D L E S S T H A N YO U M A K E

Some of the most important uses for your smart phone are digital banking tools that offer contactless convenience, security, and personal safety by minimizing trips to a bank branch. Use your smart phone to make a mobile deposit by taking a picture of a check and depositing it electronically to boost your checking account balance. Mobile wallet offers advantages over carrying around physical debit or credit cards to make payments. Whether using Apple Pay, Google Pay, MasterPass or Samsung Pay, mobile wallets simplify the in-person or online checkout process with one account, in addition to protection protocols providing extra security benefits. It also can be nice to not need to carry your wallet or loose cards when you are going to the gym or beach. You can also make tracking your spending easier and more secure by adding notifications and alerts to help you stay on budget and guide financially healthy habits. Enroll in text message or email alerts that can tell you such things as each time your debit card is used, or your checking account balance for that day. In a time crunch because of classes, midterm exams or part-time work? Set up a text, email, or push notification that alerts you when your account balance dips to a specified dollar amount. “Notifications serve two important purposes. They help you keep track of your spending to avoid overdraft fees. They also alert you of potentially fraudulent activity on your account,” says Dodson.

H E A LT H Y S P E N D I N G B U I L D S H E A LT H Y C R E D I T

“Managing your own money wisely is the foundation for building good credit,” says Dodson. “When you have practiced healthy spending habits, you start to show your trustworthiness for credit.” Whether to use debit or credit cards for spending at college depends on personal and family considerations, as well as financial goals, say the experts. Both provide easy purchasing, but through different means. Debit cards help build healthy financial habits by giving you access to your checking account and ATMs that require responsible money management. You must maintain and spend within that account balance.

Credit cards can help build your credit history by extending you borrowed money that also requires responsible money management because of interest rates charged for the use of that line of credit. If you can consistently pay your credit card bill on time and in full, you can establish good credit early and avoid significant credit card debt. And by building your credit you can put yourself in a better position to take out an auto loan, rent an apartment and even get a job that requires a background check. The wise money habits you build during school will also come in handy once it is time to pay back student loans. It’s true that the monthly payments will increase your expenses, but balanced with a post-degree salary and the money management skills you’ve learned, you’ll be well-prepared. College is a time to try new things, including exploring what it means to be financially well. As you begin an exciting chapter in your life, know that you have the support to do it on your own, but you are not alone.

2021 COLLEGE GUIDE |

5


A Local Kid’s Guide to Surviving College Tips to stay on top of academics, money and more.

BY C AS S I DY K E O L A AND SHINAE LEE

Scheduling Classes 1.

With so many options available, pace yourself. Make sure you’re on the right track by talking with an academic or major adviser. That’s why they’re there!

2.

Take a mix of subjects. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself with hard classes, but you also don’t want to bore yourself with too many easy ones.

3.

Don’t stack all of your classes on the same days. If you have to, check if your professors allow you to eat in class and bring a lunch. Don’t starve!

6

| 2021 COLLEGE GUIDE

Getting Around

4.

Have some backups ready. There is a chance that as a first-year, you won’t get everything you want, so look for courses that may count toward your requirements, even if they’re not among your top choices.

5.

Remember to check not just the times, but also locations. If you have back-to-back classes across campus from each other, will you make it? And remember, Hawai‘i kid, if snow is involved, it could take you longer to get there.

6.

Try out your options. The course descriptions you liked on paper may not be as appealing in person. Visit multiple classes that interest you during the first week, then add or drop before the deadline.

• Research public transportation. Bus or metro passes are often included in a university’s student fees. • Split rides with friends. Riding by yourself in an Uber or Lyft can be expensive and sometimes sketchy, so travel in groups. • Find the nearest Zipcar. The minimum age for most car rentals is 25, but Zipcar members can rent a car at 18 with a valid driver’s license. • Depending on the size of your school, you may want to invest in a bike or skateboard to shave off minutes when switching from class to class.


SURVIVING COLLEGE

Working Part-Time • Search the school’s job database. Campus jobs usually hire for the next year or semester, so more crop up near the end of term.

• Walk into places where you want to work and ask if they’re hiring. Bring your résumé and leave it with them in case of an opening.

• Look for “help wanted” signs on and off campus. Go on a walk downtown and keep your eye out around campus. Some jobs might not be posted online.

• If all else fails, the dining hall is usually an easy place to get hired as a student.

Gearing Up 1

If you’re heading someplace cold on the Mainland, it’s best to buy winter jackets there. Winter clothes can be expensive in Hawai‘i; plus buying them when you arrive saves space in your suitcase. 2 Check which appliances are allowed in the dorms before buying a rice cooker.

3 Be the cool kid from Hawai‘i with all the ‘ono Hawai‘i snacks—Spam, furikake popcorn, li hing mui sour belts. Spread da aloha. 4

Talk with your roommates about splitting the cost of cleaning supplies such as a Swiffer or vacuum. Don’t be that kid who has to be reminded to keep his/her dorm clean.

Buying Books Don’t go to the campus bookstore first! While it’ll be your No. 1 resource for school swag, the books are almost always pricier there. BookFinder.com is an incredible online resource—it compares prices of new and used books from more than 100,000 sellers, so you can be sure you’re getting the best deal.

ILLUSTRATIONS: GETTY IMAGES; THENOUNPROJECT.COM

Money Tips Download an app such as Venmo or Cash App. Every time you go out to eat with friends, come across a campus fundraiser or just need to pay your roommate for toilet paper, various apps and some banks let you do it instantly, so you can request and send money from a bank account.

Does your school have a Facebook page where students sell old textbooks? What about a used section at the bookstore? Buying used textbooks is cheaper; plus you may find useful notes to help you ace the test. (Think of it as a free personal tutor.) Check Amazon for textbook rentals. Anyone with a school email address can start an Amazon Prime Student account for half the usual membership price, which comes with free two-day shipping and access to free movies and music. (Amazon also offers a six-month free trial.)

2021 COLLEGE GUIDE |

7


Preparing for College in High School

CHESS CLUB. MOCK TRIAL . THE SCHOOL NEWSPAPER. CHINESE CLUB. VOLLEYBALL . Sign up for it

A student’s involvement sets the foundation for college acceptance—and beyond. Here’s how to build that foundation with strength and purpose. B Y K AT H R Y N D R U R Y W A G N E R

8

| 2021 COLLEGE GUIDE

all! Not so fast. It’s not the number of activities students do in high school that counts, experts say. Think quality over quantity. “And whatever you choose, do it consistently,” says Amy Prince, a school counselor at Southampton High School, in Southampton, New York. “It’s what you’re engaged with actively. Somebody might do 40 hours of community service, but was it 40 hours over one week during a church mission, and the other 51 weeks of the year they did nothing?” Compare that to a student who volunteers with, say, Best Buddies, helping people with developmental disabilities, once a week, all year.


“When students can demonstrate they have had consistent involvement and that they are leaders within the organizations, we get excited about their potential to contribute positively on our campus,” says Mark Cortez, director of Outreach and Recruitment at The Ohio State University. “This doesn’t have to just be school activities; we want students to think broadly about experiences like community opportunities and/or work experiences. They each add something a little different and that is what we consider.”    CONNECT THE DOTS

Students should seek out areas where they can take on leadership roles. “That doesn’t always mean being the president of a club or its founder,” says Prince. “What events did you organize? If you’re just listing on your application that you were a member—what does that mean to an admissions officer? Define your role. Now, in ninth or 10th grade, there aren’t a lot of leadership roles but, if you stick with it, if you rise up to captain or co-captain in an athletic setting, or treasurer or president in a group; this shows the qualities colleges are seeking within their own school’s population.” Schools can tell from a mile away when an applicant is trying to build a résumé out of nothing, grabbing onto 15 random activities. If, on the other hand, a student is involved with Model UN and student government and Girls Learn International, the school can see a pattern and a purpose. According to Prince, students should use ninth and 10th grade for experimentation, to find out what they are most interested in, and then hone in. Remember that “colleges and universities have seniors graduating and need to fill leadership roles or spark something new,” Prince points out. For an athletic program, they may need a new quarterback; for an orchestra, a new cellist. “It’s not like they put an ad out: ‘Hey, we need a cellist,’ but it’s part of the thought process,” she says. “I think one of the reasons I got into the college I did, York College of Pennsylvania, was that I had been a DJ for a high school radio station and they had a radio station that needed a manager.”

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

CHOOSING COURSEWORK

Even though AP coursework is a great opportunity, again think quality over quantity. Consider your strengths and your goals. For example, someone interested in engineering might not want to take AP literature, but, instead, explore an engineering program, even without an AP label attached to it. “Schools are trying to figure out: What drives the student?” says Prince. “If you want to be pre-med, and haven’t done well in science or math, maybe that’s not a realistic goal. That’s a student who is going to change major.” Think about classes that are genuine passions, things that can extend into interests in college. Otherwise, Prince warns, “students become machines of cranking out grades and don’t find what resonates with them.”

FINISHING STRONG SENIOR YEAR

Students should avoid giving in to senioritis, or playing what Prince calls, “a game of academic chicken.” That’s when seniors try to find the line of how little effort they can put in. “It’s not a good game to play,” she says. “If you were a 90 student, you should stay a 90 student, even in senior year. Schools are still watching.” There is some wiggle room, of course. For example, if a student is challenging himself or herself with AP physics, he or she might not get a 90, and schools will understand that. Also, “We encourage students to stay in a foreign language, and recommend electives. It’s free in high school!” says Prince. “Electives cost a lot of money in college. Take advantage. A lot of the AP and honors-level kids haven’t gotten to take a lot of electives,” she says. Last, remember that being engaged doesn’t stop after college acceptance. “Once they get on campus we expect that students will be actively involved, as doing so contributes to their social and academic success,” says Cortez. “As students work to discover their passions in college, they are doing this with [other] students who are diverse in majors, experiences and backgrounds. This discovery stage leads to rich experiences where students can learn from those around them and, in most cases, benefit.”

2021 COLLEGE GUIDE |

9


Ready, Set, College! HONOLULU Magazine’s guide to navigating the road to college.

BY K AT H R Y N D R U RY WAG N E R

10

| 2021 COLLEGE GUIDE

and it seems we go from talking about the Tooth Fairy one minute to having serious conversations about college the next. The opportunities provided by higher education— economic, social and psychological—are enormous, but the task of finding the right school can seem just as huge. Soaring tuition costs have raised the stakes, and there’s a lot more college pressure on young people than there was just a few decades ago. But, with research, patience and organization, you can definitely come up with a strategy that works for your family. TIME FLIES WHEN YOU’RE PARENTING,


PHOTO: COURTESY OF CHAMINADE UNIVERSITY

R E A DY, S E T, C O L L E G E

It’s never too early to start looking, even freshman or sophomore year,” says former Mō‘ili‘ili resident Pamela Funai, who has completed the college search process for her two kids and now lives in New York. “If you go on family vacations or the kid has the opportunity to travel, take half the day to go see a school in that city just to see what it’s like. After a while they all start to look the same, but you’ll get a better sense of where the student wants to be.” Her son, Thomas Ikeda, graduated from the University of British Columbia at Vancouver in May 2019. “The program they have—a forestry program—[was] perfect for him,” says Funai. “I mean, they have a farm on campus.” Funai’s daughter, Madeline Ikeda, is beginning her senior year at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. “She [wanted] to play volleyball,

so she became interested in seeing the school because they were interested in her,” says Funai. Then, when she visited, “Having the chance to stay there in the dorm with some of the other students helped her make her decision.” Funai and her family have learned the importance of being proactive during a college search. Bits of advice from a veteran? Complete essays and scholarship applications the summer before senior year. Visit colleges during vacations or on trips with a team, even

2021 COLLEGE GUIDE |

11


R E A DY, S E T, C O L L E G E

“Growing up, you think, oh, scholarships are for the top, smart people and you don’t think you’re worthy of them, but there are so many scholarships, you just have to look.” — Jamie Hearther

12

| 2021 COLLEGE GUIDE

with that talent or gift,” says Donna Finley, founder of a private college counseling practice in San Diego. “Maybe your child is great at soccer and she or he can give classes to underprivileged kids. It’s not always about the résumé. It’s about being a good human being. And, hopefully, the side effect is finding a good school and something they want to study.” FINANCIAL AID

The parents and education experts we talked to agree on one thing: It’s critical to involve teens in the financial conversation from early on. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and not look at the financial realities. “College is ridiculously expensive, especially for kids coming from Hawai‘i. It’s important to find out what the price tag is and what resources they have to minimize the cost,” says Kellee Hearther, a mother who completed a college-search process for the second time three years ago. “I’ve spent hours and hours on the internet myself looking for scholarships.”

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF HAWAI’I PACIFIC UNIVERSITY; OPPOSITE PAGE: COURTESY OF HAWAI’I TOKAI INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE

if you don’t want to go to school there. Visiting colleges in different areas gave her children the chance to get a feel for what environment they were looking for. “If the kid feels good about being at the school, that makes it a whole lot easier,” says Funai. “They know what to expect, they’re not going someplace completely brand new.” According to Malia Kau, a college and career counselor at Radford High School, students are applying to an average of seven schools. “Have two ‘reach’ schools, schools they’ve always dreamt of attending. Have two ‘guaranteed I’m going to get in’ schools, and then three in that middle range,” she says. “We aren’t just talking about the academic range, but also looking at cost.” The key is to start early with your strategy, around the freshman year of high school. “Encourage your child to do what they love, but to also give back


R E A DY, S E T, C O L L E G E

UPCOMING DATES

OCT. 1 FAFSA forms become available. The online FAFSA application must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Central time on June 30, 2021. However, many colleges will require this earlier. Complete the CSS/PROFILE to find more scholarship options.

NOVEMBER Hawai‘i Community Foundation opens its scholarship application process. Check hawaiicommunity foundation.org for updated deadlines.

FEBRUARY/MARCH The deadline for financial aid applications at most colleges.

MARCH Many colleges send out acceptance letters during this month.

MAY 1 Many colleges require that you reply with your intent to enroll by this date.

The biggest provider of student aid in the country is the office of Federal Student Aid, which handles loans, grants and work-study programs to the tune of $150 billion each year. Other sources include state aid, aid from colleges and aid from nonprofits and private organizations, like Rotary or Lions clubs. All students should start with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which takes about half an hour to fill out online once you gather tax returns and other pertinent documents. The application will also be shared with the financial-aid offices of the colleges listed on the application, so the colleges can figure out what aid they want to offer. Colleges look at the cost of attending the school, subtract the expected family contribution, and that indicates the financial need. Applications are available each year on Oct. 1 for the following year at fafsa.gov. Important note: FAFSA applications need to be filled out each year a student is in college. Anywhere from three days to three weeks after filing, the office of Federal Student Aid sends you a Student Aid Report. Look this over closely to make sure everything is correct. From there, a college can send you an aid offer, either on paper or electronically. Don’t discount the possibility of independent scholarships. Mid-Pacific Institute graduate Lamar Carter, for example, armed with his FAFSA application, landed one of only 10 scholarships offered annually by the John A. Burns School of Medicine that not only paid for his entire undergraduate tuition at UH Mānoa, but also guaranteed admission to the School of Medicine. Many students would have been happy to call it a day at that point, but Carter had also used his FAFSA results to pursue a wide range of independent scholarships. “There were organizations giving out anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $2,000,” he says. “I wouldn’t get any of the scholarships I didn’t apply to, and there’s no harm in applying, so it just made sense.” However, it’s important to note that scholarship money is available even if you’re not at the top of your class. “Growing up, you think, oh, scholarships are for the top, smart people and you don’t think

you’re worthy of them, but there are so many scholarships, you just have to look,” says Hearther’s daughter, Jamie, who attended Radford High School. Nationwide (but not federal)

Nearly 400 colleges, universities and scholarship programs use the College Board Scholarship Service application, called CSS/PROFILE, to determine to whom they’ll grant aid. The application is different from FAFSA and takes between 45 minutes and two hours to complete. There is a fee to file this application, so only do so if the school(s) or scholarship programs of your choice are asking for it. It’s $25 for one college or program; additional reports are $16. State level

In 2018, the University of Hawai‘i Foundation raised $180.3 million to support UH students, programs, research and faculty. “The bulk of our students are still first-generation kids or of minority/immigrant status, so the need for scholarships

2021 COLLEGE GUIDE |

13


R E A DY, S E T, C O L L E G E

A P P L I CAT I O N S

When it came time to find a college, Le Jardin Academy parent Jennifer Souza let her daughter, Taylor, take the reins. “Let them have ownership of it,” she says. “Don’t try to do it and apply to schools you want them to apply to.”

U.S. News & World Report and Forbes are helpful resources for comparing schools. Websites such as cappex.com can help inform you of what your chances are of getting in. The Souza family incorporated college visits into vacations, and, when Taylor traveled for volleyball, her team would take some time to visit a college in the area. “I wish that some of my friends took more control of their application process rather than their parents,” says Taylor Souza. “When you ask them, ‘Why are you applying to this school?’ and they say, ‘I don’t know, my parents want me to apply there,’ that won’t work. If you don’t have a reason you want to go there, you’re not going to enjoy it.” Taylor Souza applied to 13 colleges and was accepted to 12. The only college she was not accepted to was her “reach” school. She advises other students to not be too disappointed if they receive a rejection. “If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be,” she says. “Admissions directors know their schools, and the application process is so complex that, just reading your answers to these questions, they can tell what kind of person you are. So, if they don’t think you’re a good fit, there’s probably a reason for it.” T H E C O M M O N A P P L I CAT I O N

Nearly 900 colleges and universities, including some schools abroad, accept the Common Application. That’s a lot of schools, and can save you time on not having to fill out what feels like 413 applications. CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

Crunching The Numbers At UH Mānoa

(2019–2020 School Year)

14

$11,304

$33,336

$16,956

$16,632

In-state tuition (average)

Nonresident tuition (average)

Western Undergraduate Exchange rate

Pacific Island Exemption rate

| 2021 COLLEGE GUIDE

PHOTO: COURTESY OF HAWAI’I TOKAI INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE

is particularly great,” says Donna Vuchinich, former president and CEO of the UH Foundation. She recommends using the organization’s database, found at uhfoundation.org, to “slice and dice it” to see what financial aid might be a good fit. She has two pieces of advice. One, if a student is enrolling in a community college, ensure she or he is taking at least 15 credits. “If kids don’t take that many credits, they don’t tend to do as well.” Second, apply early: “November and December for summer scholarships; February through May for fall. Don’t wait until you graduate to start looking.” The Hawai‘i Community Foundation administers more than 200 scholarship funds and annually awards $4.5 million in student aid for students bound for college locally or on the Mainland. “We begin the process in November, and encourage families to start early,” says Eric La‘a, the philanthropic adviser at HCF. “The application process is quite extensive.” The good news? The platform is set up so students can be matched with more than one scholarship. But the number of applicants has increased significantly in recent years, so apply as early as you can. Students who are of Hawaiian ancestry may be eligible for scholarships through the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA). Visit oha.org/scholarships for information on the OHA programs.


R E A DY, S E T, C O L L E G E

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14

“If a family takes a trip to Los Angeles for a family vacation freshman year, I would definitely tell them to take a look at a couple of campuses where they’re at.” — Malia Kau

However, check with every college to which you’re applying to ensure they accept the Common Application. Use the Common Application at commonapp.org. T H E E S S AY

Colleges and universities are most interested in grades and scores, but essays can be a tiebreaker. It’s similar to a job application: The résumé is like the application, and the essay is more like a job interview, a human connection. Here are some helpful tips: • Parents should not write their children’s essays for them, but should help proofread. • Skip the story about volunteering abroad. It’s become a cliché. • Google the school of interest, plus “essays that worked.” • The website inlikeme.com, which focuses on college applications, has a lot of resources on essay writing.

Jamie Hearther turned to counselor Kau and Radford’s College and Career Research Center’s staff. “I don’t feel the need to leave that room,” she says. “I could probably do the entire college application process right there in that room with those amazing women.” Kau meets at least once with every high school senior at Radford, but shares her college expertise with any student. “I wish all of our students and parents knew about it,” she says. “It’s really a

service open to everybody no matter what grade they’re in, no matter what they want to do in their future.” But some counselors are simply overwhelmed. “Nationally the average is 400 students per counselor; that’s why people turn to independent educational consultants,” says Finley, the private college consultant. She works with students as early as freshman and sophomore year, helping with course selection, extracurricular activities and developing career interests. “Kids used to think they had to be well-rounded. Now, it’s go deeper, instead of wider.” She works with juniors on applications, essays, college selection and financial aid options. CONTINUED ON PAGE 18

16

| 2021 COLLEGE GUIDE

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF CHAMINADE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI‘I

S H O U L D YO U HIRE A COLLEGE COUNSELOR?


Thought you could not afford to go to college? Learn more about the Holomua Commitment • Offered to first-time, full-time freshmen who are legal residents of Hawai‘i. • Ensures that HPU will cover 100 percent of unmet tuition need for students with federal Expected Family Contribution (EFC) lower than HPU’s regular tuition rate. • Makes an excellent private university-experience comparably affordable as a public university. HPU is rated the #1 return on investment among Hawai‘i universities and the most diverse private nonprofit university in the country.

LEARN MORE AT HPU.EDU/HOLOMUA


R E A DY, S E T, C O L L E G E

CONTINUED FROM 16

Some consultants charge hourly, others have a package price. Visit the Independent Educational Consultants Association at iecaonline.com to find a consultant. W E S T E R N U N D E R G R A D UAT E EXCHANGE PROGRAM

Hey, neighbor! Can I get a kama‘āina discount? Actually, you can. The Western Undergraduate Exchange Program allows students from 15 western states, plus the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam, to attend

colleges and universities at 150% of the school’s in-state tuition, rather than at an out-of-state rate. There are more than 160 institutions participating; check the database at wiche.edu/wue/students. But there are loopholes, too. Some colleges require a certain ACT or SAT test score, others limit the number of program participants each year, and still others only feature it for certain majors. There is no separate application process; it’s part of the regular process and you check off the WUE box. Our advice? Apply early and check with the admissions office for the institution you want to attend for more details. MAKING THE MOST O F YO U R C O L L EG E V I S I TS

Since road trips from Hawai‘i can’t happen, it can be challenging for families to tour Mainland colleges. But if you can afford a trip, there are two schools of thought: Go before the application process, to narrow down choices, or go after acceptance, to aid in the final decisionmaking. The costs of college tours are not tax deductible, but, if parents can piggyback a legitimate work trip onto the college visit, that may be a way to cut down the costs of airfare, hotels and a rental car. “If you can physically visit, visit—if you can afford it,” says Hearther. “It can rule out spending money on applications for universities that your kid probably isn’t going to like.” She points out that all college brochures have beautiful pictures of their school, and you don’t realize how physically big or small a school is until you visit. “If a family takes a trip to Los Angeles for a family vacation freshman year, I would definitely tell them to take a look at a couple of campuses where they’re at,” says Radford’s Kau. “Even if it’s just to get a feel for what colleges have to offer.” After visiting family in Montana, the Hearther family decided to take a look at Montana State University. It wasn’t Jamie Hearther’s first choice, but after visiting she was impressed and put it on her college list. Lamar Carter says doing a site visit really helped clarify the decision he had to make between two schools. He was considering the prestigious Johns Hopkins University, and took a guided tour of the Baltimore, Maryland, campus to get a better sense of the school. “I had a host student and stayed in one of the dorm rooms for two nights,” he says. “There were activities, and all the admitted students got a chance to know each other. I had been feeling CONTINUED ON PAGE 20

18

| 2021 COLLEGE GUIDE

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF HAWAI’I PACIFIC UNIVERSITY

Viewpoint: go before


Timeline to Success Finding and getting accepted to the right college or university is actually a four-year process. That may sound daunting, but take each step one at a time and stay organized, and you’ll be fine. Here’s how to manage the road to college admission:

9th Grade

• Enroll in challenging classes. • Keep grades up. • Get involved in extracurricular activities. • Explore potential career paths. • Set up a college savings plan. • Develop good timemanagement skills.

10th Grade

• Try some AP classes. • Take a practice Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/ NMSQT) in October (this year, it’s Oct. 14, 17 and 29). Juniors qualify to compete for the National Merit Scholarship Program, but younger students can take it for practice. collegeboard.org/ psat-nmsqt • Consider volunteering during the summer. • Visit campuses while traveling, just to get a sense of what type of college appeals to you. Small? Big? Public? Private?

11th Grade

• In October or early November, take the PSAT/NMSQT. • Sign up to take the ACT or SAT. Colleges usually accept either one, but check with where you’re interested. Many students will take the test once as a junior and again as a senior. Is it worth taking it twice? According to ACT, 57% of students increased their Composite score on the retest. • Visit campuses if possible. • Attend college fairs and network with the college representatives.

12th Grade

• In the fall, repeat the ACT/SAT tests. Sign up for the SAT Subject Tests, if appropriate. Send in scores. • Gather teacher and other personal recommendations. Send thank yous afterward! • Narrow down the list, but have at least four to eight schools to apply to. • Draft your essay. Leave enough time for at least two people to read it and comment. • Check all due dates at the colleges you want to attend; they vary by institution and you don’t want to miss anything.

2021 COLLEGE GUIDE |

19


R E A DY, S E T, C O L L E G E

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 18

a little paranoia about getting into that competitive of a university, especially in such a different environment from Hawai‘i. But, after going there, you see that people are just like you. They’re humans, they bleed blood.” Carter ended up deciding against Johns Hopkins, in favor of UH Mānoa and the John A. Burns School of Medicine, but says he’s glad he was able to make a choice based on the full set of facts, rather than assumptions about a school he had never seen in person. “I think it’s always good to visit colleges as early as possible to get a feel for what a college campus is like,” says Kau. If you can’t make it for a tour, take advantage of the opportunities to meet with college representatives when they visit the Islands, and contact the school to see if you can talk with current students, ideally those who came from Hawai‘i.

For visits to local colleges such as UH, Chaminade, HPU and the community colleges, work with the admissions office prior to a visit. Sometimes there are open house days, other times, you can set up a tour of campus and housing. Feel free to ask to meet with someone from the department you’re interested in to get a feel for the program and faculty. Viewpoint: go after acceptance

“Why would I spend $1,000 going to a school that my kid might not even get into?” says Lillian Klein, a mother of three children who have gotten into college. “This is a strategic mission. You can wait and do your visit when you have choices, once you have acceptance.” In the meantime, she and her daughters researched schools online. “Look at the message boards, communicate with parents whose kids are at the school. You can get a sense of the flavor of the student body.” Another way to get a feel for a college campus without physically visiting is by taking a virtual tour online. Marissa Lum, a 2015 Castle grad who attended UH Mānoa, was unable to visit the Mainland schools she was considering due to extracurricular activities. Instead of flying to California, she looked up the schools online. “It didn’t really matter the size of the school. The location mattered somewhat, if there were things to do around campus,” she says. The website

Standardized Tests SAT/SAT SUBJECT TESTS The nationally administered SAT tests reading, writing and math and is used to test how ready a student is for college. The SAT Subject Tests are also used by many colleges for admission consideration, particularly for certain majors, and to help with course placement. For bilingual students, the Subject Tests are also an excellent opportunity to show off mastery in another language, like Mandarin, Japanese or Korean. For more, go to sat.collegeboard.org/home. The SAT underwent a revamp in early 2016, notes Denise Yamamoto, a college and career counselor at Mililani

ACT

20

High School. “There was a revision in 2005 with the writing component; now they are making the writing component optional again and kind of following what the ACT is doing. The SAT [used to] penalize you for guessing, but with the revision, they aren’t going to penalize you for guessing.” For more on the changes that took place in spring 2016, visit collegereadiness. collegeboard.org/sat/inside-the-test/ compare-old-new-specifications. Registration deadlines are typically a month ahead of the test. Test dates are as follows: Oct. 3, Nov. 7, Dec. 5, March 13, May 8, June 5. collegereadiness. collegeboard.org/sat/register/ dates-deadlines

The ACT is a national college admissions exam that includes English, math, reading and science questions. The ACT Plus Writing includes a 30-minute writing test, which is required by some colleges and not others. In Hawai‘i, the state picks up the cost of taking the ACT test for all juniors, says Yamamoto. To register, visit act.org.

| 2021 COLLEGE GUIDE

DO bring a current photo ID issued by a city/state/ federal government agency or the high school, as well as printed test ticket and calculator. DON’T bring a cell phone to an SAT test; they are prohibited. ACT test sites allow cell phones if they are turned off and placed out of reach.


R E A DY, S E T, C O L L E G E

Upcoming ACT Test Dates Oct. 10

Register by Sept. 17; late registration until Sept. 25

Dec. 12

Register by Nov. 6

Feb. 6

Register by Jan. 8

April 17

Register by March 12

June 12

Register by May 7

July 17

Register by June 18

campustours.com has stats on more than 1,800 schools, with links directly to each school’s virtual tours and campus maps. Lum also says it really helped her get to know some of the schools when she met with representatives here in Hawai‘i, since talking to a real person was more important to her than the scenery. In the end, Lum chose UH Mānoa for a number of reasons, including saving money in case she wants to attend a Mainland university for grad school. And she’d been to Mānoa on multiple occasions, including field trips and a two-week summer program during which she got to live in a dorm, which inspired her to live on campus. “It’s definitely a good experience,” she says. “You get to know all the people around you.”

PHOTO: COURTESY OF CHAMINADE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI‘I

HELPFUL WEBSITES

Come up with a big-picture plan at the nonprofit College Board’s website, bigfuture.collegeboard.org, or knowhow2go.org, which helps middle and high school students prep for the college route. College Navigator is a resource provided by the U.S. Department of Education. It has the scoop on every college in the country, with data on admissions, retention, graduation rates and financial aid. Narrow down choices, build a list of favorites for side-by-side comparisons and create your own interactive maps and spreadsheets. nces.ed.gov/ collegenavigator

U.S. News & World Report has a College Compass service ($39.95/year) that has profiles of more than 1,900 schools, including data on campus life, sports and financial aid. usnews.com/usnews/store/ college_compass.htm The forums on College Confidential are renowned for providing information on what’s really happening on U.S. campuses. collegeconfidential.com The National Association for College Admission Counseling has an extensive offering of resources for students and parents, including schedules of college fairs and plenty of resources in the Knowledge Center. nacacnet.org If obstacles feel insurmountable, visit youcango.collegeboard.org, with success stories for students who overcame challenges getting into college—and resources to help others to do the same. Additional reporting by Cassidy Keola, Ashley Mizuo and Shinae Lee

Use an app, like Scholly Scholarship Search, to sniff out opportunities. Scholly requires a $44.99/year account.

2021 COLLEGE GUIDE |

21


GLOBAL PEACE THROUGH ALOHA

At Hawai‘i Tokai International College, peace, global citizenship and aloha are more than words—they are what define the Hawai‘i Tokai experience. Grounded in the values of Hawai‘i, our internationally oriented liberal arts education builds critical thinking, communication skills and lifelong intellectual curiosity. Here, you will meet new people, broaden your horizons and discover new pathways to peace. Let us show you the world!

91-971 FARRINGTON HIGHWAY • KAPOLEI, HI 96707 • (808) 983-4202


KEY TIPS

Navigating Internships A College Student Tells You What She’s Learned

 Establish good relationships with professors. Your professors are some of your best resources. They can give you a real feel for your future career and may have the inside scoop on internships and job opportunities.  Meet with your academic adviser or career counselor. Ask them about on-campus jobs and research positions. Also have them review your résumé. BY JENNIFER ADAMS

“A F T E R CA R E F U L C O N S I D E R AT I O N , W E W I L L N O T B E M OV I N G F O RWA R D

The words were beginning to feel a little too familiar. In my junior year at USC, I had received more than 20 job rejection emails. Other companies didn’t even bother to respond. Multiple rejections and three trips to my school’s career center later, I finally figured out why I wasn’t getting called back for interviews. My résumé was badly structured and my cover letter was so generic and boring, it’s almost funny thinking about it now. After some adjustments I finally got an internship in the spring of my junior year. (Audience cheers and applauds!) It was a cool one, too, researching for a documentary production company in Los Angeles that was working on a piece about the search for a cure for Type 1 diabetes. During my four months there, I created and maintained spreadsheets to optimize budgeting expenses and coordinated various pre-production-related elements of the documentary in addition to reaching out to various nonprofit organizations for funding and donations. The connections that I made were just as valuable. A few of my co-workers had graduated from USC, so they were able to give me some advice about on-campus opportunities that I hadn’t known about. LA is so big, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, especially for someone who grew up in Hawai‘i. Both of my bosses were LA natives, so they constantly gave me insight about the city and restaurants. Who doesn’t love a good food rec? My bosses and co-workers were also really involved with other ongoing projects in Hollywood, so they would offer to take me to shoots. I got to sit in on a video shoot with Erin Brockovich, the activist portrayed by Julia Roberts in the movie that earned Roberts an Academy Award. One opportunity leads to another. You know a guy who knows a guy, and suddenly you’re sitting in a room with a famous woman and a camera crew. I don’t necessarily see myself working in the film industry. But my internship helped me develop interpersonal skills and even gave me a working knowledge of Microsoft Excel. Most of all, my experiences made me excited for the perks of future jobs: cool co-workers, a communal Nespresso machine and a view of downtown LA. Again, it all starts with someone saying “yes.” To help you avoid the avalanche of rejections I received, here are a few tips.

ILLUSTRATION: GETTY IMAGES

W I T H YO U R CA N D I DACY AT T H I S T I M E .”

 Make your résumé and cover letter stand out. Nothing makes managers skip over applications faster than an obviously generic cover letter (or spelling and grammar mistakes). Tell them specifically why you want to work for their company. Note extracurricular activities, volunteering and even retail job positions but keep your résumé concise, no longer than one page. Submit it as a PDF so it is clean and clear on every computer.  Take advantage of networking events. Most colleges invite employers and alumni to campus to tell students about postgraduation life. Don’t just go and listen—ask questions and engage with the speakers. These events are opportunities to showcase your awesome personality, which will make you memorable if your application lands on their desk one day.  Join clubs and extracurricular activities. This is important, not only because employers are looking to see what your interests are, but clubs can also help you explore future careers and make friends.  Create a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is a great tool to find internship opportunities in your area. Connect with classmates and alumni to see where their professional lives are taking them.  Don’t get discouraged by rejection. Hearing “no” is part of the process. It doesn’t mean you’re not qualified or won’t be able to work there in the future. Take another look at your letter and résumé, refine them and try again later.

2021 COLLEGE GUIDE |

23


Off to college?

When every dollar counts, count us in

If you’re committed to making college a reality, our scholarships can help

20 scholarships $2,000 each hawaiiusafcu.com/college

2020

Profile for PacificBasin Communications

Honolulu Magazine 2021 College Guide  

Honolulu Magazine 2021 College Guide  

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded