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Union Public Schools College Planning Guide Table of Contents 1. Understanding Yourself and Choosing a Career Path 2. Selective Service and Military Opportunities 3. EXCELerate! Concurrent Enrollment 4. Career Tech Cooperative Alliance 5. Graduation Requirements 6. College Timetables 7. ACT and SAT Test Information 8. Investigate and Compare Colleges a. In State Admissions Standards b. College Comparison Charts c. College Visits 9. The College Admission Process a. b. c. d. e. f. g.

General and Fee Waiver Information Tulsa Achieves Common Application Transcripts College Essay/Personal Statement Letters of Recommendation Letter of Recommendation Form

10. Financial Aid and Scholarships a. b. c. d. e.

Oklahoma Promise FAFSA Types of Financial Aid Award Letters Locating Scholarships

Understanding Yourself and Choosing a Career Path As you begin to plan for your next step after graduation, understanding your strengths and weaknesses along with your likes and dislikes is crucial. In

addition to taking time to reflect on your goals for your adult life, you should begin planning for the type of post secondary training you will need to reach them. Learn About Yourself  Values--What is important to you? Do you like working with others, or do you prefer working by yourself? Do you like working with your hands? Do you prefer variety or a familiar routine?  Interests--What appeals to you? What do you enjoy? Do you like solving problems? What gets your attention?  Aptitude--What are you good at? Are you good with words? Do you have artistic talent? Can you fix things? A first step in deciding what to do after high school is to talk with a school counselor or teacher for advice. Take an aptitude test or interest inventory to determine your strengths and weaknesses and to discover potential career choices that are right for you. A tool that is available for all students and parents to help in this process is the Oklahoma Career Information System-OKCIS. This on line tool, funded by Tulsa Technology Center, will be referred to throughout this College and Career Planning Guide. Every student will be given a specific user name and password. In addition, when you take the ACT, be sure and thoughtfully complete the included Interest Inventory (UNIACT). The results of this inventory will point you toward occupations that will be appropriate to your goals and personal characteristics. Learn About Career Choices One you've narrowed your career choices, talk to people who are working in that field or, if possible, find a part-time job in that field. People who like their jobs (and even people who don't) are usually happy to talk about them. It's helpful to ask questions such as: "What's good and bad about this job?" Ask them how they learned their trade. There are many sources of career and job outlook information available--go to your school library, public library, or school counselor. Consider Training Today, some form of formal postsecondary education or training is required for almost every well-paying job. Consider how much training you will need for the career you've chosen. The information below is from The Department of Labor and Statistics.

Work-related training

Work experience in a related occupation. Most of the occupations in this category are first-line supervisors or managers of service, sales and related, production, or other occupations; or are management occupations. Long-term on-the-job training. Occupations in this category generally require more than 12 months of on-the-job training or combined work experience and formal classroom instruction for workers to develop the skills necessary to be fully qualified in the occupation. These occupations include formal and informal apprenticeships that may last up to 5 years. Long-term on-the-job training also includes intensive occupation-specific, employer-sponsored programs that workers must complete. Among such programs are those conducted by fire and police academies and by schools for air traffic controllers and flight attendants. In other occupations—insurance sales and securities sales, for example—trainees take formal courses, often provided on the jobsite, to prepare for the required licensing exams. Individuals undergoing training generally are considered to be employed in the occupation. Also included in this category is the development of a natural ability—such as that possessed by musicians, athletes, actors, and other entertainers—that must be cultivated over several years, frequently in a non-work setting. Moderate-term on-the-job training. In this category of occupations, the skills needed to be fully qualified in the occupation can be acquired during 1 to 12 months of combined on-the-job experience and informal training. Examples are truckdrivers, heavy and tractor-trailer; and secretaries, except legal, medical, and executive. Short-term on-the-job training. In occupations in this category, the skills needed to be fully qualified in the occupation can be acquired during a short demonstration of job duties or during 1 month or less of on-the-job experience or instruction. Examples of these occupations are retail salespersons; and waiters and waitresses.

Postsecondary awards

Postsecondary vocational award. Some programs last only a few weeks, others more than a year. Programs lead to a certificate or other award, but not a degree. Examples are nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants; and hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists. Associate degree. Completion of the degree usually requires at least 2 years of full-time academic study. Examples are paralegals and legal assistants; and medical records and health information technicians. Bachelor’s degree. Completion of the degree generally requires at least 4 years, but not more than 5 years, of full-time academic study. Examples are accountants and auditors; and elementary school teachers, except special education. Bachelor’s or higher degree, plus work experience. Most occupations in this category are management occupations. All require experience in a related nonmanagement position for which a bachelor’s or higher degree is usually required. Examples are general and operations managers; and judges, magistrate judges, and magistrates. Master’s degree. Completion of the degree usually requires 1 or 2 years of fulltime academic study beyond a bachelor’s degree. Examples are educational, vocational, and school counselors; and clergy. First professional degree. Completion of the degree usually requires at least 3 years of full-time academic study beyond a bachelor’s degree. Examples are lawyers; and physicians and surgeons. Doctoral degree. Completion of a Ph.D. or other doctoral degree usually requires at least 3 years of full-time academic study beyond a bachelor’s degree. Examples are postsecondary teachers; and medical scientists, except epidemiologists. Selective Service and Military Opportunities What You Need to Know About Registering With Selective Service Q: What is Selective Service? A: The Selective Service is a government agency whose job is to provide untrained manpower for the Armed Forces if there’s a national emergency.

Q: What is Selective Service Registration? A: By registering, you add your name to a list of all the men in the nation, ages 18 through 25. The list would be used to identify men for possible military service in case of a national emergency. Q: What happens if there’s a draft? A: There hasn’t been a draft since 1973. If there were an emergency sufficient for congress to order another draft, Selective Service would conduct a birthdate lottery to decide the order in which to call men. Those who turn 20 during that calendar year would be called first in a sequence determined by the lottery. If more men were needed, those 21 to 25 would be called, youngest first. Q: Who is required to register? A: The law says that all 18-year-old men (including U.S. citizens living abroad and non-citizen immigrant males 18-25 residing in the U.S.) must register. The only young men exempt from registration are non-citizen males who are in the U.S. temporarily as tourists, diplomats and their family members or foreign exchange students; incarcerated or institutionalized men; men on active duty in the Armed Forces; and students at U.S. military academies. Q: Why don’t women have to register? A: Our nation only registers men. This has always been the case. Selective Service law as it is presently written refers specifically to “male persons” in stating who must register and who could be subject to a draft. Therefore, Selective Service procedures do not apply to women. In order for women to be required to register with Selective Service, Congress would have to change the wording of the law. Q: What if I don’t register? A: You are breaking the law. If prosecuted, you could be sent to prison for up to 5 years and may be fined up to $250, 000. In addition, if you fail to register, you cannot qualify for federal student grants or loans for college, job training benefits and many state and federal jobs.

Q: Is registration hard? A: No. In fact it’s never been easier. A young man can register with Selective Service in less than 2 minutes via the Internet at You can also register by going to your local post office and completing a registration form. It’s as simple as filling in your name, address, telephone number, date of birth and Social Security number. Registration forms should be available in your local

recreation or social service center, school’s guidance or registrar office, or you may receive a form in the mail. Simply complete it and mail the form to Selective Service. Q: When should I register? A: Within 30 days of your 18th birthday. If you cannot register on time because you are hospitalized or in prison, you have 30 days in which to register after you are released. If 30 days have already passed since your 18th birthday, register immediately, either online or at your post office. Although Selective Service will accept a late registration, the longer you wait, the longer you are breaking the law and jeopardizing your future benefits. Q: How do I prove I registered? A: When registering via the Internet, you will receive your Selective Service number immediately. That number is your proof of registration – for safe keeping, jot it down. You will receive a Selective Service card by mail within 2 weeks confirming that number. (Note: If you registered by mail, you will receive a card confirming your registration with 60-90 days.) If you don’t get your card within 90 days, write to: Selective Service System Registration Information Office P.O. Box 94638 Palatine, IL 60094-4638 Or call 1-847-688-6888

Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) ARMY ROTC A program which provides college-trained officers for the regular Army or Army Reserve. Four-year scholarships pay tuition, lab fees, on campus educational

fees and $100 per month subsistence allowance. Minimum requirements include SAT 850 or ACT 19. Many other characteristics are considered. Deadline for application is December 1 of senior year. Take ACT or SAT on a national test date no later than December. Begin application spring of junior year. Need ACT or SAT tests early second semester of junior year. NAVY/MARINE ROTC These pay up to four years tuition, costs of textbooks, fees and a subsistence allowance of $100 per month. The selection process is very competitive. Obtain information from the CCRL or call the Navy Recruiting Command at (918) 4380380. Deadline date is December 1 of senior year. Take the ACT or SAT before November 18 and preferably during spring of junior year. Minimum scores are ACT English – 22; Math – 22; SAT English – 450; Math – 500. To be competitive, it is best to have 3.8 GPA with combined English and math on ACT of 50+ or a combined SAT of 1150+. AIR FORCE ROTC These pay up to four years tuition, costs of textbooks, fees and a subsistence allowance of $100 per month. Deadline is December 1 of senior year. Selection is based on scores on SAT or ACT, high school academic records, recommendation from a high school official, extra-curricular activities, personal interview, medical exam, and acceptance into a college or university offering Air Force ROTC. Minimum requirements are to be in top 25% of class, ACT of 24, and SAT of 1000. Begin application in spring of junior year. Note: Students who enroll in an ROTC class on their own in college are eligible to apply for ROTC scholarships for the following years in college.

Military Educational Funding Programs All branches of the military provide an educational funding program that can be used after or during military service to pay for college or special training. Contact recruiters from each branch to obtain the latest information:

Army – (918) 250-5159 Navy – (918) 250-5066 National Guard – (918) 250-1380 Army Reserve – (918) 744-6331 Air Force – (918) 250-5939 Marines – (918) 234-5600 Air Force Reserve – (918) 582-3400 Naval Reserve – (918) 251-2531 Military Service Academies Because of extremely keen competition for nomination for an academy, students are urged to apply to every nominating authority which eligibility allows (i.e. student’s two senators, congressman, President, Vice-President, children of deceased or disabled veterans, etc.). Students selected for an academy receive four years college expenses including tuition, room, board, fees, and a monthly salary, part of which must be used for some expenses. After graduation from aan academy, a student is obligated to serve on active military duty for five years.To begin the application process, send for Pre-Candidate Questionnaire from the appropriate academy. To learn more, contact the following academies:

Director of Admissions United States Military Academy West Point, NY 10996-1797 Telephone: (914) 938-4041

Director of Candidate Guidance United States Naval Academy Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5018 Telephone: (800) 638-9156

Director of Admissions United States Air Force Academy Colorado Springs, Colo. 80840-5000 Telephone: (303) 472-2520

Admissions Office United States Merchant Marine Academy Kings Point, NY 11024 Telephone: (800) 732-6267

Director of Admissions United States Coast Guard Academy New London, Connecticut 06320-4195

Telephone: (203)444-8270

EXCELerate! Concurrent Enrollment Students have the opportunity to take excellent, academically challenging courses for college credit while still in the supportive high school environment

where they can participate in regular school activities. Not only do they earn college credit, but their college courses also count toward high school graduation requirements. Tulsa Community College professors are teaching the courses on our campus, basically free for our students. There is not tuition for up to six credit hours per semester. Since Union supplies the textbooks, the only charge to participants is TCC’s minimal student fee which has been reduced to $12.75 per course for participants of this program. Eligible students are those with a 3.0 or higher GPA and a composite ACT score of 19 or greater, including a 19 in reading. Depending on the course selected, a 19 is usually required in the subject area, but for College Algebra a 21 ACT score in math is required. Attendance and eligibility are monitored as required by the Oklahoma State Department of Education and the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association (OSSAA). College-level course rigor requires disciplined study habits, research, independent study, and group work. Grades placed on the transcript are used for GPA and class ranking calculations and are assigned a 4.0 weight on the Union weighted grading scale. College course grades are monitored and used for determining OSSAA eligibility on a weekly basis. TCC professors are the teachers of record, and students are required to follow the procedures for reporting grades to the high school. The TCC course meets on our high school campus Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday during the school day. Students have access to a free tutoring lab directed by a certified UHS teacher on Wednesdays and Fridays 8:15-9:10 a.m. if additional help is needed. The UHS teacher and TCC instructor work as a team to monitor student progress and provide a safety net for students to get extra support while ensuring their college success. Career Tech Cooperative Alliance Program As part of the Cooperative Alliance Project, Oklahoma State University-IT, Rogers State University, and Tulsa Community College, in partnership with Tulsa Technology Center, have been approved to allow high school students to enroll in technical programs and courses under separate admission standards. This allows an 11th or 12th grade student enrolled in an accredited high school to be admitted to OSU-IT, RSU, or TCC and enroll in technical courses only for concurrent credit. Students must meet the following standards: Option I-ACT: 19 composite without the writing component

Option 2-ACT PLAN: 15 Option 3-High School GPA: 2.5 In addition to meeting the requirements above, students must provide a letter of support from a high school counselor and written permission from a parent or legal guardian. All other concurrent admission policy requirements remain in effect for technical students, including retention standards. Once a student has qualified for admission into an Alliance program, that student needs to only maintain the 2.0 GPA requirement to enroll for the next semester’s classes. Students who wish to exceed the 19 hours allowed for this program may petition the higher education institution. Certain technology courses are OHLAP (Oklahoma Promise) approved courses. A list is available at or the student may consult his or her counselor. Oklahoma Promise students must have two years of the same foreign/nonEnglish language OR two years of computer science/computer technology. One year of each will not count for Oklahoma Promise. Graduation Requirements All courses taken for high school credit will be included on the student transcript. Courses taken in grades 9-12 will be considered when calculating the grade point average (GPA). Courses taken for high school credit in grades 7-8 will be listed on the student transcript as a letter grade but will not be considered when calculating the grade point average (GPA). Union Minimum Graduation Requirements: Language Arts/English: 4 units which include Grammar and Composition, American Literature, World Literature and English Literature or their equivalent Math: 3 units including Algebra I (three units in mathematics must be completed in the ninth through twelfth grades) Science: 3 units including Biology I History: 3 units including 1/2 (unit or competency) OK History, 1/2 US Government, US History and World History Arts Competencies: 2 competencies which will be met through satisfactory completion of World History Electives: 9 units Total: 24 units and/or sets of competencies College Preparatory/Work Ready Curriculum

Language Arts/English: 4 units (which include Grammar and Composition, American Literature, World Literature, and English Literature) Math: 3 units (must include Algebra I) Science: 3 units (must include Biology I) History: 4 units (which include US Government, ½ (unit or competency) Oklahoma History and ½ American History, US History and World History) Arts Competencies: 2 competencies (which will be met through satisfactory completion of World History) Electives: 8 units Foreign Language or non-English language: 2 units (or 2 units of computer technology approved for college admission) Total: 26 units and/or sets of competencies *Students may “opt-out” of the college preparatory / work ready curriculum and meet the district’s current minimum diploma requirements by having a parent/guardian sign a release form. Because of ACE (Achieving Classroom Excellence) legislation passed in 2006, in addition to the course requirements of the current standard diploma or the course requirements of the college preparatory / work ready curriculum all students must meet the following testing requirements to earn a high school diploma. End-of-instruction exams will include the following:       

Algebra I Required English II Required Algebra II Optional Geometry Optional English III Optional Biology Optional U.S. History Optional

Students must pass the two required exams plus two optional exams for a total of four before obtaining a high school diploma. ACE: Intervention Strategies End-of-instruction tests will be administered at the end of each course. Students who fail any of the four end-of-instruction tests have up to three chances to pass per calendar year. Many students will do well without any extra help. For those who need it, Union has tutoring, reading and math support programs and an opportunity to take double academic sections rather than electives to assist students.

intervention/implementation models including characteristics of the ‘school within a school’ strategy, block scheduling, literacy strategies, development of social capital, and reduced class sizes. Students must pass the two required exams plus two optional exams for a total of four before obtaining a high school diploma. What Can Students Do?        

Commit to succeed. Attend school every single day. Take these exams seriously by working hard in class throughout the year. Make school and graduation a priority. Communicate with your teachers. Ask for help, if you need it. Take the most challenging courses that you can handle. Complete homework and all assignments regularly.

What Can Parents Do?       

Become actively involved in your child’s education. Make sure your child is in school every single day. Emphasize the importance of classroom achievement. Make school and graduating a priority over other activities. Talk to your child about his/her class work daily. Communicate with your child’s teachers. If you can keep your children in the same school over a long period of time, research shows they do better academically. Junior Year College Timetable


Follow cccunion on Twitter. Testing dates, visiting college reps presentations and sign ups, and scholarshp information will be regularly posted.


Attend College Night at Union High School (September 12th) to visit college representatives. Check the CCC calendar for special financial aid and NCAA presentations times and locations. Register for the PSAT


Take the PSAT. The scores from this year’s test will qualify you for possible scholarships including Naitonal Merit. Set up a portfolio on OKCIS and take all the career accessments


Check the CCC calendar or cccunion twitter for information about visiting college representatives and scholarship deadlines. Attend a College Career Center Open House


Check the CCC calendar or cccunion twitter for information about visiting college representatives and scholarship deadlines.


Plan to attend the financial aid seminar for parents and students in the CCC. Check the CCC calendar for specific date and time. Sign up for the February 11th ACT by January 13th. This will ensure you have a qualifying score in order to apply to take dual credit concurrent classes next year as a senior.


Check the CCC calendar or cccunion twitter for information about visiting college representatives and summer workshops.



Check the CCC calendar for scholarship deadlines and testing dates. Check the CCC calendar or cccunion twitter for information about visiting college representatives and summer workshops.

 

Check the CCC calendar or cccunion twitter for information about visiting college representatives and summer workshops. Find a summer program, internship or job that you will enjoy. Colleges want to know how you spend your time each summer.

MAY  

Take Advanced Placement exams, if needed. Check the CCC calendar or cccunion twitter for information about visiting college representatives and summer workshops.


Check the the CCC section of the Union website for testing dates and summer workshops on applying for college, searching for scholarships, and writing college essays to be held in the CCC. Senior Year College Timetable


Follow cccunion on Twitter. Testing dates, visiting college reps and sign ups to attend, and scholarshp information will be regularly posted.


Check with your counselor to be sure that you are enrolled in enough credits to graduate. Register for ACT or SAT tests if necessary. If you miss the first fall test date, your next opportunity may be too late to submit scores to your college choices. Test dates amd deadlines are posted on and Complete a letter of recommendation form. This form is on the college and career website and in the CCC. If you will need recommendations written for your applications, contact those teachers, counselors or other individuals this month.


Attend College Night at Union High School (September 12th) to visit college representatives. Check the CCC calendar and cccunion twitter for special financial aid and NCAA presentations times and locations. If you have not narrowed your college choices to a few schools, do this and locate the application on the specific college’s website. If you have not started your college search, meet with our counselor and start now!

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If your applications require essays, get started! Choose an English teacher to help critique your work. Check the CCC calendar or cccunion twitter for information about visiting college representatives and scholarship deadlines. Turn in transcript release form (with parent and student signatures) to counseling office.

OCTOBER     

Complete essays (if needed) and keep a copy for yourself. Finish making college visits. Give recommendation forms to teachers and counselors writing recommendations for you. Decide on early decision or early action. Check the CCC calendar or cccunion twitter for information about college reps visiting in October, for ACT/SAT test registration dates, and for scholarship deadlines. Request financial aid information and/or applications from colleges.

NOVEMBER     

November 1 is deadline for early decision applications. Send additional ACT/SAT score reports for colleges if needed. (You may pick up forms in the college/career office.) Pick up financial aid forms--FAFSA--in the college/career office in late November. Check the the CCC calendar each week or cccunion twitter regularly for visiting college reps, testing dates and scholarship deadlines. Begin gathering family income information for tax preparations and completion of financial aid forms.

DECEMBER    

Sign up for transcripts prior to the December 8 deadline if your transcript needs to be mailed by January 15. Check to be sure your applications and recommendations, if necessary have all been completed and mailed. Check the CCC calendar or cccunion twitter for information about visiting college reps, testing dates, and scholarship deadlines. Be sure you have compiled all family financial information for complete financial aid forms.


Plan to attend the financial aid seminar for parents and students in the Check the CCC calendar for specific date and time.

    

Sign up for a transcript prior to February 1 if you transcript needs to be mailed by February 15. Students are responsible for mailing their own transcripts. File financial aid forms AS SOON AS POSSIBLE after January 1. The earlier you file, the greater your chances of receiving all the aid you need. Write thank-you notes for recommendations and interviews. Sign up for seven semester transcripts, if needed. Check the CCC calendar or cccunion twitter for information about visiting college reps, testing dates, and scholarship deadlines. Check with your counselor to be sure that you are meeting all graduation requirements.


Check the CCC calendar or cccunion twitter for information about visiting college reps, testing dates, and scholarship deadlines. FAFSA's should be sent in by February 15.

MARCH   

Return verification or corrected information on financial aid forms (if requested) as soon as possible. Check dates for Advanced Placement tests, if needed. Check the CCC calendar or cccunion twitter for information about visiting college reps, testing dates, and scholarship deadlines.

APRIL   

Notices of acceptance or rejection from colleges usually arrive by April 15. Respond promptly, in writing, for action on admissions, scholarship and financial aid applications. Check the CCC calendar or cccunion twitter for testing dates, and scholarship deadlines.

MAY     

Inform colleges (in writing) whether you will or will not attend no later than May 1 Take Advanced Placement exams, if needed. Check the the CCC calendar or cccunion twitter for testing dates and scholarship deadlines. Return all books, equipment and uniforms to school personnel and pay any fines or clear any hold on your records or diploma. Turn in a list of all scholarship offers to the college/career office. Include merit and athletic scholarships and their total value if renewable.

Sign up with your high school counselor for your final (eight semester) transcript to be mailed to the college of your choice.


Check the the CCC calendar or cccunion twitter for testing dates and scholarship deadlines.

ACT Test Dates 2011-2012 Test Date September 10, 2011 October 22, 2011 December 10, 2011 February 11, 2012 April 14, 2012 June 9, 2012

Registration Deadline August 12, 2011 September 16, 2011 November 4, 2011 January 13, 2012 March 9, 2012 May 4, 2012

(Late Fee Required) August 13-26, 2011 September 17-30, 2011 November 5-18, 2011 January 14-20, 2012 March 10-23, 2012 May 5-18, 2012 SAT Test Dates 2011-2012 October 9, 2010

SAT & Subject Tests

September 10, 2010

September 24, 2010

November 6, 2010

SAT & Subject Tests

October 8, 2010

October 22, 2010

December 4, 2010

SAT & Subject Tests

November 5, 2010

November 19, 2010

January 22, 2011

SAT & Subject Tests

December 23, 2010

January 7, 2011

March 12, 2011

SAT only

February 11, 2011

February 25, 2011

May 7, 2011


April 8, 2011

April 22, 2011

Subject Tests June 4, 2011

SAT & Subject Tests

May 10, 2011

May 20, 2011 for paper registrations May 23, 2011 for online and phone registrations only ACT and SAT Test Information Most college-bound students know that a necessary component of an admission application is a college entrance examination score; a university cannot process an application without one. Most students also know that there are two exams-the ACT and the SAT--and that almost all U.S. colleges accept both. The average student may not, however, know a great deal about the two tests and how they differ and, therefore, may be unsure about which test would be best for them to take--based upon their abilities, experience and needs. The option is the student's, as colleges use the results from either in the same ways-for admission, talent identification and academic advising. Counselors, teachers and parents are a good resource in helping students choose the test that will best demonstrate achievement. Either way, students should remember that entrance exam scores are only one piece of information a college considers. Class rank, grade point average, school/community activities and work experience (if applicable) will also be factored in. ACT The Enhanced American College Testing Program (ACT) is administered annually to approximately one million college-bound students. Designed to assess each student's general educational development and ability to complete college level work, the main use of the ACT is for college admission and scholarship purposes. All Oklahoma colleges accept the ACT. The ACT test is administered at Union High School. Registration forms are available in the College and Career Center and students must register at least one month in advance by completing the form and mailing by the registration deadline. There is a charge for taking the test. The ACT consists of curriculum-based subject tests in the areas of English, mathematics, reading and science reasoning. In addition to the collection of demographic information, students are offered assistance with educational and career planning based upon the results of the ACT Interest Inventory--which

helps them match preferred work activities and environment with careers and college majors. The ACT lasts approximately three hours and the fee is $34.00 without the writing component and $49.50 with the writing component. The College and Career Center offers two 8-Night ACT Preparation Courses, one in the fall and one in the spring and four Super Saturday Preparation Courses. In addition, one ACT Test Taking Strategy workshop will be offerred in the fall.

SAT The SAT Reasoning Test is a college entrance exam required by many colleges outside of Oklahoma and a growing number of scholarship programs. It measures verbal and math abilities, which the student has developed over many years. SAT registration forms are available in the CCC. The SAT tests are administered in several locations in Tulsa. Students must mail registration forms by specific deadlines and there is a charge for taking this test. The SAT is a test of standard written English, verbal skills and mathematics. It also collects demographic information to share with colleges, takes approximately three hours to complete, and costs $49.00. Subject Tests are one-hour, multiple-choice tests in specific subject areas. Unlike the SAT, which measures more general abilities, Subject Tests measure your knowledge in a particular subject area and your ability to apply that knowledge. Some colleges require one or more Subject Tests for admission or placement purposes. All subject tests with the exception of the Language and Listening test which is $22.00 are $11.00 per test. STUDENTS WITH HANDICAPS OR DIABILITIES Eligibility requirements and special accommodations for taking these tests are explained in "Information for Students with Special Needs" and in other registrations materials available in the College and Career Center. FEE WAIVERS

ACT High school juniors or seniors who can't afford the registration fee for the ACT (No Writing) or ACT Plus Writing, may be eligible for an ACT Fee Waiver. Information about the eligibility requirements and how to request a fee waiver is sent each summer to high schools. To be eligible, a student must meet the following requirements: 1. He or she must currently attend high school as a junior or senior in the United States, U.S. territories, or Puerto Rico. 2. He or she must meet at least one indicator of economic need listed on the ACT Fee Waiver form. Students should ask Mrs. Johnson or Ms. Howell for more information. If a student is eligible, he or she may use a maximum of two fee waivers total. The waiver is used once the student registers, even if he or she does not test on the requested test date. Fee waivers cover only the basic registration fee for the student’s test option, including up to four college choices (if the student provides valid codes when he or she registers). Waivers do not cover the late registration fee, test date or test center changes, stand by fee or any other services. A student cannot request a fee waiver directly from ACT; he or she must contact Mrs. Johnson or Ms. Howell. If a student receives an ACT Fee Waiver Form, he or she should follow the "Student Directions" on it for the registration method (or if requesting Special Testing). Note: If a student registers online, and registers during the late period or request any additional services, he or she must enter a credit card to pay those fees before submitting the registration. http:// SAT High school students in the United States or U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico, who cannot afford to pay the test fees are eligible. If testing internationally, only U.S. citizens are eligible for fee waivers. What the waivers cover  Each SAT waiver covers the registration fees for a single test date, either for the SAT or for up to three SAT Subject Tests.  A total of four additional flexible score reports can be ordered any time after you register, even after you've seen your scores.  Waivers cover either the Question-and-Answer Service or the Student Answer Service Question (for the SAT only) when ordered during registration.  A discount on The Official SAT Online Course is available when ordered during online registration. Where to obtain a waiver The student should contact Mrs. Johnson or Ms. Howell to request a fee waiver since they are not available through the College Board. He or she can download

the Student’s Guide to SAT Program Fee Waivers from the College Board website for more information. How many? Four total waivers are available — two for the SAT and two for the SAT Subject Tests. SAT Subject Test fee waivers can be used any time from 9th grade through graduation. SAT fee waivers can be used from 11th grade through graduation. How to register with the waiver For online registration, the student should enter the entire 12-digit code when prompted. If the student is registering by mail, he or she should submit the completed fee-waiver card in the same envelope with the completed registration form. Restrictions Fee waivers cannot be used for late registration except for the October test date. Fee waivers cannot be used for standby registrations.

Admission Standards 2011-2012 Option 2 Minimum GPA and Class Rank

Minimum High School Performance Criteria for Admission of First-Time-Entering Students Option 1 Minimum ACT/ SAT University of Oklahoma

Resident: 24/1090 AND

Option 3 Minimum GPA1 in the 15-Unit Core

Resident: 3.0 GPA AND top 25%2

Resident: 3.0 GPA AND



3.0 GPA or top 50% Nonresident Nonresident: 3.5 GPA : 26/1170 AND 3 AND top 25% 3.0 GPA or

ACT 22 or SAT 1020 Nonresident: 3.0 GPA AND ACT 22 or SAT 10204


top 50% 24/1090

3.0 GPA 3.0 GPA AND AND top 33% ACT 21 or SAT 980 Option 4 ACT/SAT or High School GPA plus Cognitive Factors and NonCognitive Factors5

Oklahoma State University

Students who score between current OSU admission standards and the minimum State Regents’ standards (22 ACT/1020 SAT or unweighted high school core curriculum GPA of at least 3.0) Cognitive Factors (60 percent) Non-Cognitive Factors (40 percent) 3.0 GPA AND top 25%

University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

Regional Universities



3.0 GPA AND ACT 22 or SAT 1020 2.7 GPA

top 50% No minimum required

Community Colleges

FIRST-TIME ENTERING STUDENTS 1 Additional weighting (1.0) will be added to GPAs of students who take Advanced Placement and higher-level International Baccalaureate courses. Students meeting the following requirements under each admission option will be placed on a waiting list and evaluated according to stated policy: Option 1--students with the required ACT score but less than a 3.0 GPA and lower than the top 50 percent of the high school class; Option 2--students in the top 26-30 percent of their high school class with at least a 3.0 GPA; and Option 3--all students. 3 Nonresident students not meeting these standards but otherwise meeting admission standards for resident students may be placed on a waiting list and evaluated according to stated policy. 4 Nonresident students meeting standards in this category will be placed on a waiting list and evaluated according to stated policy. 5 Cognitive: Noted academic admission standards; quality, quantity and level of coursework throughout the entire high school program; completion of a progressively challenging math sequence, demonstrated by performance; and class rank taken in context with academic rigor and class size of high school attended. Non-Cognitive: Students must demonstrate strengths in non-cognitive factors such as positive self-concept, realistic self-appraisal, long –term goals, leadership experience, community, and knowledge in an acquired field. 2

2010-11 Estimated Average Costs for Resident Students at Oklahoma Public Colleges and Universities (30 credit hours) Expenses

Research Universities

Regional Universities

Community Colleges

Technical Branches

Tuition Mandatory Fees Average Academic Service Fees Room and Board* Books and Supplies TOTAL

$3,890 $2,891 $795

$3,313 $1,087 $200

$2,051 $790 $69

$2,617 $798 $91

$6,763 $1,030 $15,369

$4,586 $1,056 $10,242

$4,279 $1,096 $8,285

$4,886 $1,325 $9,717

For more information about Oklahoma colleges and universities: 800.858.1840 (Student Information Hotline) Out of State Colleges and Universities Arkansas, Univ. of Fayetteville 479-575-2000 Baylor University Waco, TX 254-710-1011 Colorado, Univ. of Boulder 303-492-1411 Drury College Springfield,

YearsPublic/ Private

Undergrad Enrollment

Annual Tuition

Annual Housing

4-Yr. Public

15, 835



Annual Cost Including Fees and Books $25,204

Financial Aid Deadline

March 31

4-Yr. Private

12, 149

4-Yr. Public

27, 069



$39,483 March 1



$42,033 March 15

4-Yr. Private




$28,225 April 1

MO 417-873-7879 Hendrix College Conway, AR 501-329-6811 John Brown University Siloam Springs, AR 479-524-9500 Kansas, Univ. of Lawrence, KS 785-864-2700 Missouri Southern Joplin, MO 417-882-2121 Missouri, Univ. Of Columbia, MO 573-882-2121 Rice University Houston, TX 713-527-4036 Southern Methodist Univ. Dallas, TX 214-768-2000 Texas A&M College Station, TX 979-845-3211 Texas Christian Univ. Ft. Worth, TX 817-257-7000 Texas, University Of Austin, TX 512-471-3434 Vanderbilt Univ. Nashville, TN 615-322-7311 Washington Univ. St. Louis, MO 314-935-5000 Westminster College Fulton, MO 573-642-3361

4-Yr. Private


4-Yr. Private


4-Yr. Public


$31, 740


$42,026 April 1



$27,716 March 1



$29,320 February 1

4-Yr. Public





March 1

4-Yr Public





March 1

4-Yr. Private





March 15

4-Yr. Private





March 1

4-Yr. Public





March 31

4-Yr. Private





May 1

4-Yr. Public





Check with Financial Aid Office

4-Yr. Private





February 1

4-Yr. Private





February 15

4-Yr. Private





February 15

Oklahoma Colleges and Universities Bacone Muskogee 918-781-7340 Connors State Warner 918-463-2931 Langston Univ. Langston 405-466-2984 Northeastern OK A&MMiami 918-540-6210 Northeastern StateTahlequah 918-456-5511 Oklahoma Baptist Shawnee 405-878-2033 Oklahoma City Okla. City 405-521-5050 Oklahoma State Stillwater 405-744-6858 OSUOkmulgee Okmulgee 918-293-4678 Oral Roberts Tulsa 918-495-6518 Rogers Claremore 918-343-7546

Southern NazareneBethany 405-491-6324 Southwestern State Weatherford 405-774-3777 Tulsa Community

YearsPublic/ Private

Undergrad Enrollment

Annual Tuition

Annual Housing

Annual Cost Including Fees and Books

Financial Aid Deadline

4 yearPrivate





March 31

2 yearPublic





March 1

4 yearPublic





March 15

2 yearPublic





April 1

4 yearPublic





April 1

4 yearPrivate





March 1

4 yearPrivate





February 1

4 yearPublic





Check with Financial Aid Office

2 yearPublic





March 15

4 yearPrivate





Check with Financial Aid Office

4 yearPublic





Check with Financial Aid Office

4 yearPrivate





March 1

4 yearPublic





March 1

2 year-





April 15

College 918-595-7834 Tulsa University Tulsa 918-631-2307 Univ. of Central Oklahoma Edmond 405-974-2000 University of Oklahoma Norman 405-325-2151


4 yearPrivate





April 1

4 yearPublic





May 31

4 yearPublic





Check with Financial Aid Office

College Visits Considering the financial investment made in a four year college education a campus visit should be an essential part of that decision. A campus visit can help you decide what you are looking for and what it would be like to live on campus. Economics may prevent you from visiting all the schools to which you have applied, however, you should definitely visit all those that offer you admission. Preparing for your visit: A practical minimum for a college visit is a half day, however, an overnight visit is ideal and most colleges can make arrangements for you to stay in a dorm with a student. Most college admissions offices will help make arrangements for visits to the campus. You can e-mail them, but it may be more efficient to telephone and find out immediately what is available to you. Make arrangements to have a guided tour of the campus, a classroom visit, and visit with a professor. Travel directions, a campus map, a college information can be found on the college’s website, but you may need to contact someone in admissions to get campus parking instructions. You may also want to inquire about campus activities scheduled during your visit and names of college students from your hometown that you may contact. If you have a special talent or area of interest you may want to ask to include a visit with people in this area. Be sure to contact the admissions office well in advance of your intended visit to avoid any scheduling problems. Be prepared for your visit by reading the college catalogue and other materials the college may have sent you or exploring the college’s website. It is a waste of everyone’s time and reflects poorly on you when you ask questions that are already covered in their printed or on-line materials. Use the checklist on the following page to be sure you are on time and at the correct locations for your visit.

A tour of the campus should include most of the following: 1. Financial Aid Office 2. Library 3. Housing 4. Student Dining Areas 5. Students 6. Faculty 7. Special talent or interest 8. Religious Organizations on Campus 9. Extra Curricular activities 10. Campus Atmosphere Parents should have their most active participation in visiting with the financial aid office. Ask about the typical aid package, how are they awarded and what percentage of students receive financial aid. Also ask for the average amount of financial aid per student receiving aid. At the library the student should be concerned with quality and quantity of research materials, but most importantly, how accessible they are. Talk to the library staff to determine procedures and library hours. Always talk with students. They will give you candid information and will usually give both the good and bad they see in their own school. Approach students anywhere on campus and ask questions about the college’s academic strengths, social life, and what they like or don’t like about their college. Check the student bulletin boards and school newspaper to see if their extra curricular opportunities interest you. Try to visit with at least one faculty member, either by appointment or stop in and ask someone you see in their office. Don’t expect to take a lot of their time, however, most will be willing to talk with you and your parents about the university and especially what their department has to offer. Learn what your housing options are and take a look at the dormitories. Plan to eat a meal in the cafeteria and see what study facilities are available in your dorm. Bring a camera and take pictures to keep the different schools you visit from blending together. Make a list of pros and cons after each visit. If you are having an interview, make it after your tour of the campus. You will be better prepared and probably have more knowledgeable questions to ask.

Don’t be intimidated by size. You will end up having about the same number of close friends at a large as well as a small school. Don’t look for an ideal college, every school will have some flaws. Don’t pretend to be someone you are not and don’t let your parents run the visit. Ideally parents should be part of the visit, however, this is a good chance for you to present yourself as mature and independent. Don’t let one unusually good or one unusually bad experience influence your choice. Look for an overall feeling that a college is a good “match” for you, your abilities, interest and goals. Trust your gut. Be sure to write thank you notes to everyone who was helpful in your visit. A thank you note is both polite and a reminder of your interest.

The College Admission Process General and Fee Waiver Information To prepare to apply for admission to college, students will need to take the following steps:    

Review their high school course preparation to determine they have met all requirements Take appropriate college admission tests Determine application fees and deadlines for each college of interest Submit application materials, including application for admission, a high school transcript, letters of recommendation, if needed, and admission test results Determine scholarship requirements

The number of colleges to which a student applies depends on several factors: educational opportunities, chances for admission and potential financial aid. For example, if after a careful study of colleges a student finds that his or her firstchoice college fits within his or her financial resources and there is no doubt about admission there, the student may need to apply only to that school. On the other hand, the student may find that his or her first-choice college cannot accept all qualified applicants, or that attendance there may depend heavily on a financial aid offer. In this case, the student will want to apply to one or more second-choice colleges as well. Because every school has its own requirements, prerequisites, and levels of selectivity, the application process at each institution is unique. The student should determine application deadlines and fee schedules for each school, then complete applications carefully and return to admission offices as early as possible.

The student should contact the CCC to arrange for the submission of all necessary transcripts, records, test scores and applications. In addition, some colleges may ask that the student submit personal and academic references. The student should select people who know him or her well and can support the application. Students should always obtain their permission to use their names as references. Some colleges may also request a personal interview or examples of a student’s work in special areas such as art or music. Fee Waiver Information With the average college application fee now around $35, applying to several colleges can be expensive for any student—and prohibitive for some families. Eligibility The SAT and the ACT program fee waiver service is available for students who are US citizens or foreign nationals testing in the USA. Whether you are eligible for the college application fee waiver or not is determined by your family’s income or participation in any public assistance program solely meant for financially disadvantaged families. If you are really in a financial crisis, you may be asked to detail the type of your crisis and your hardship by the college admission authority. Some colleges have their own policies involving the application fee waive program and prefer students follow their income guidelines. Please see Mrs. Johnson or Ms. Howell in the CCC for more information. The College Admission Process Tulsa Achieves Tulsa Community College helps eliminate the financial burden of attending college by providing additional funding to fill the "gap" between financial aid and the cost of attending college. For eligible students, Tulsa Achieves pays up to 100% of tuition and fees for a maximum of 63 college credit hours. As a gap-funding program, Tulsa Achieves pays any remaining balance after all state, federal and private aid and grant funding have been applied. There is no cost to the student!* Tulsa Achieves students begin their coursework the fall semester after high school graduation and may continue in the program for 63 credit hours of three years, whichever comes first. *Tulsa Achieves does not cover the cost of books.

All students have to do is:     

 

Be a U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident of the U.S. Live in Tulsa County Have and maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average Enroll at TCC the fall semester after they graduate and every fall and spring semester while attending Provide the college with their ACT or SAT scores, four-year high school transcripts, and Free Application for Federal Student Aid and Tulsa Achieves Application (FAFSA) Complete three-fourths or more of their college classes and fill out the FAFSA every year Complete 40 hours of community service each year

Students who have lived in Tulsa County from ninth through 12th grade will have 100 percent of their tuition and mandatory fees paid; 10th through 12th grade, 75 percent; 11th and 12th grade, 50 percent; and 12th grade, 25 percent. Mandatory fees are those that all TCC students pay and do not include program-specific fees, such as fees for certain classes. Applications are available at, in TCC registration offices, and at Union High School’s College and Career Center. Please make note of the application deadline which varies slightly from year to year. Once the deadline passes, the opportunity is over, no exceptions.

The College Admission Process Common Application WHAT IS THE COMMON APPLICATION? The Common Application is a not-for-profit organization that serves students and member institutions by providing an admission application – online and in print – that students may submit to any of the 415 members. WHY USE IT? Once completed online or in print, copies of the Application for Undergraduate Admission can be sent to any number of participating colleges. The same is true of the School Report, Midyear Report, Final Report and Teacher Evaluation forms. This allows the student to spend less time on the busywork of applying for admission, and more time on college research, visits, essay writing, and senior year coursework. IS IT WIDELY USED?

Millions of Common Applications are printed and accepted by the members each year. In addition, last year almost 2 Million applications were submitted via the Common App Online. IS IT TREATED FAIRLY? The college and university members have worked together over the past 35 years to develop the application. All members fully support its use, and all give equal consideration to the Common Application and the college's own form. Many of the members use the Common Application as their only undergraduate admission application. CAN ALL COLLEGES PARTICIPATE? Membership is limited to colleges and universities that evaluate students using a holistic selection process. A holistic process includes subjective as well as objective criteria, including at least one recommendation form, at least one untimed essay, and broader campus diversity considerations. The vast majority of colleges and universities in the US use only objective criteria – grades and test scores – and therefore are not eligible to join. If a college or university is not listed on this website, they are not members of the consortium. Sending the Common Application to non-members is prohibited.

WHAT IS THE COMMON APP ONLINE SCHOOL FORMS SYSTEM? As part of the application process, schools require a variety of information to be provided by teachers and guidance counselors who have interacted with the student in the high school environment. Until last year, those forms were only available as PDF files that could be printed, copied, and mailed to the appropriate colleges. Now each teacher and counselor will have the option to complete the forms online via the Common App Online School Forms system if they desire. There is no cost to the student or high schools, and using the online system is completely optional for the student’s teachers and counselor. When a student creates an account on the Common App Online, he or she must first indicate what high school he or she will attend. Once this information has been saved, the student can access a 'School Forms' section of the Common App where teachers and counselors can be identified. By adding a teacher or counselor to the list of school officials, an email is triggered to the teacher or counselor with information about how to log into the Online School Forms system or how to opt for the "offline" or paper process. The student can then track the

progress of his or her various teachers and counselors via a screen within the Common App Online. There are now 414 Common Application members in 44 states and the District of Columbia, as well as in Germany and Italy. They represent an enormously diverse variety of institutions: small and large, public and private, coed and single-sex, highly selective and relatively open enrollment. The member list can be found at

The College Admission Process Transcripts Students will need transcripts for a variety of reasons as they prepare for attending college, trade or technical school. In some cases, scholarship applications also require transcripts. While attending Union High School, students get one free transcript per semester from the registrar’s office. Additional transcripts are 25 cents a piece. Once a student has withdrawn or has graduated from Union High School, he or she will be charged $1.00 per copy. A Photo ID and 24 hour notice are required for obtaining a transcript. If a student is 18 years old, a transcript can only be released to him or her. The College Admissions Process The College Essay/Personal Statement Your audience: The overworked college admissions counselor who has already seen a slew of essays before yours rises to the top of the pile or the scholarship committee (usually volunteers) whose members’ heads could be turned by a well crafted essay. Your goals: 1. To address the prompt—Type it at the top of your Word document in bold. Remove it when you are finished with your essay. 2. To choose an experience that you can write about in a personal narrative format that addresses the prompt. 3. To identify a moment in the entire span of the experience that fills you with particularly intense feelings when you think about it. 4. To take that point in the experience that you identified above and develop it into a personal narrative

5. To have a fairly clear line from conflict to solution in the narrative. You want to come across as a person who can identify a problem and solve it—an active person with good ideas, energy, resolve, and courage. 6. To have a point. By the time you’ve reached the end of the narrative, you and your reader should have the answer to the question, Why? What’s the point of it all? Some of the best narratives require that you spend a few moments thinking about what it is that you’ve just read and what, in fact The Point might be. Think of your essay like a three-act play…or a three-paragraph narrative. Your first paragraph sets up the action and introduces the conflict. The second paragraph plays out the action and examines the conflict. The third paragraph finishes off the action and resolves the conflict. Three paragraphs = narrative. Each paragraph has and fulfills its purpose. Sources: Conquering the College Admissions Essay in 10 Steps by Alan Gelb The College Application Essay by Sarah McGinty

The College Admissions Process Recommendation Letter Information        

Determine if you actually need a letter of recommendation—the college or scholarship application will let you know. Do not solicit letters for a need you might have. Complete the Letter of Recommendation form and make copies to offer your recommenders. They may prefer to use their own forms, but you are prepared nonetheless. Ask for recommendations from teachers and others that know you well and are likely to take the time to write thoughtful comments. Ask for a recommendation from a teacher in the field in which you may wish to major, preferably a teacher who is genuinely interested in your future. Be sure and ask for recommendations well in advance (several weeks) of the deadline. Check back with your recommender in about three weeks as a “friendly reminder” in case they have forgotten about your letter. Provide stamped envelopes that are preaddressed to the colleges or the scholarship committee. Thank the teacher. Writing a good letter of recommendation is time intensive. At the very least, you should write a sincere thank you note! Be sure and inform the teacher about the result of his or her letter (admission or scholarship). Letter of Recommendation Form

This form may be given to your college recommenders if they do not have a specific form.

Full Name:___________________________________________________________ ___ LAST FIRST MIDDLE Date of Birth:________ID#___________E-mail_______________Cell Phone:______________

Activity ( in-school )

( Out of school )

Work Experience

Community Service







Positions, Level of Involvement

Pick three descriptive words of your choice (they do not have to be from the following list) and give an example from your life that demonstrates each word (three examples total). You may attach a separate piece of paper. able active adventurous alert ambitious attentive bold busy calm careful cautious cheerful clever concerned confident considerate cooperative courageous curious daring

decisive dependable depressed determined eager easygoing efficient encouraging energetic excited fair faithful fearless fierce friendly funny giving graceful grateful happy

helpful honest hopeful humorous imaginative independent industrious intelligent kindly leader lively loving loyal mature nice obedient peaceful pleasant polite positive

quick quiet rational reliable responsible satisfied serious shy skillful strong talented thankful thoughtful tolerant trusting trustworthy useful warm well-read well-rounded

Discuss how you have taken advantage of the academic opportunities at Union Public Schools or any other schools you have attended. (AP classes, concurrent enrollment, Tulsa Technology programs, etc.)

Do you believe that your transcript accurately reflects your abilities? Explain.

What are your dreams for the future?

Financial Aid and Scholarships Oklahoma Promise Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program The Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program (OHLAP) has been available to students since 1992. The program provides resident tuition for courses needed to complete a degree or program within five years from award. House Bill 2728 changed the eligibility requirements for OHLAP, raising the family income threshold from $32,000 to $50,000. To be eligible students must:   

  

be a resident of Oklahoma, make commitment to the program as an 8th, 9th or 10th grader, complete the courses required for admission to any Oklahoma college or university plus 1 unit (these courses must include 2 units of foreign language or technology, and 1 unit of fine arts), graduate with a 2.5 grade point average within the previous three years, have a family income of $50,000 or less, and have been admitted and enrolled in an institution of higher education or postsecondary career-tech program.

For more information, call the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education's student information hotline at 800.858.1840, email or write to Oklahoma's Promise, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, PO Box 108850, Oklahoma City, OK 73101-8850.

Financial Aid and Scholarships FAFSA The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is the application used to apply for Federal, State, and some institutional financial aid. To be considered for financial aid students must complete the FAFSA every year. Some colleges and universities have a priority date for completing the FAFSA. That means students who complete the FAFSA by the date given are considered first for some types of limited grants and loans. Students are encouraged to

complete the FAFSA on the web as soon as possible after January 1 of each year as possible. How to Complete the FAFSA The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the financial aid application form you need to apply for federal and state student grants, workstudy, and loans. Although it may seem complex, there are many free resources to help you navigate the application process. Where to Find the FAFSA The FAFSA comes in two versions — electronic and paper. The electronic version is available online at FAFSA on the Web. If you need a paper copy, call 800-4-FED-AID (433-3243). FAFSA on the Web You can complete, submit and track your application online. This is the easiest way to apply for federal aid. The online program even checks your data before it is transmitted to the processing center, so there's less chance of making an error. Filing the FAFSA online can reduce processing time by one to two weeks. Before You Apply Complete Your Income Tax Return You and your family should complete your income tax returns before filling out the FAFSA — a lot of the information requested is the same. However, you do not have to file your income tax return with the IRS before you fill out the FAFSA. Here is a list of documents you need to get started. Get a PIN Obtain a U.S. Department of Education personal identification number (PIN) by filling out the brief application at You can get your PIN immediately by e-mail or have it mailed to you. You can still use FAFSA on the Web without a PIN; you just have to print out and mail in a signature page.

Completing the Application Here are some reminders and resources to help you complete the FAFSA.

January 1 is the first day you can file the FAFSA. You should try to file as close to this date as possible; college, state and private aid deadlines may be much earlier than federal deadlines. You should pay attention to your colleges' priority financial aid deadlines. If you have questions about any part of the FAFSA application, go to the government website Completing the FAFSA. It has a detailed, questionby-question guide to filling out the FAFSA. Many colleges also require you to submit additional financial aid forms, such as the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® or their own forms.

What Happens After You Apply Once you submit the FAFSA, your family’s financial information is analyzed using the federal need formula. The Student Aid Report (SAR) This form contains the data you entered on the FAFSA. The Department of Education will send it to you either by e-mail (three to five days) or postal mail (two to three weeks). Review the SAR carefully for errors (the form highlights items that may need attention) and follow directions for making and submitting corrections. Submit corrections promptly to avoid long delays in processing your application. Make sure to keep a copy of the SAR for your records. Expected Family Contribution (EFC) At the upper right of the front page of the SAR, you'll find a figure called the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is a preliminary estimate of the amount your family can contribute to college costs. The EFC is sent electronically to your state scholarship agency, as well as to the colleges you listed on the FAFSA. State agencies and colleges use the EFC to determine the size of your aid award. Learn more about your EFC. If you see an asterisk next to your EFC figure, it means that your application has been randomly selected for verification. Your colleges will request copies of signed tax returns or other information to verify the information reported on the FAFSA. Be sure to furnish this information as soon as possible after you receive the request. Help with the FAFSA If you have questions about the application, FAFSA on the Web, or federal student financial aid in general, call: 1-800-FED-AID (433-3243)

Financial Aid and Scholarships Award Letter Terminology Grants Money that does not have to be repaid. • Federal Pell Grant • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) • ACG • National SMART Grant • Institutional grants • State-sponsored grants Work-Study Money earned by working. • On-campus (work for the school) • Off-campus (private nonprofit organization or a public agency) Scholarships Money that does not have to be repaid. Any scholarships you informed the school about, as well as those the school has to offer, will be included on your award letter. Loans Money borrowed that must be repaid. • Federal Stafford Loan (subsidized) • Federal Stafford Loan (unsubsidized) • Federal Parent PLUS Loan • Federal Graduate PLUS Loan • Federal Perkins Loan • State loan programs • Private loan programs • Other loan programs It’s usually in your best interest to accept subsidized Stafford and Perkins loans that are part of the aid package; the repayment terms are good and the government pays the interest while you’re in school. Unsubsidized loans—such as unsubsidized Stafford, PLUS loans, and private loans from a bank—should be studied more carefully to make sure the terms are acceptable.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Locating Scholarships 

    

Begin with the colleges where you have applied because they provide many of the scholarships and grants received by students. Research scholarship opportunities in the financial aid portion of their websites. Follow cccunion on Twitter. Scholarships will be tweeted. Watch for scholarship announcements on the CCC calendar. Watch the newspapers for scholarship announcements. Watch for church-sponsored scholarships and for those sponsored by other groups to which you belong. Inquire of your parent's employers regarding company-sponsored scholarship programs for employees' children. Some company scholarships require national test scores.

How to Apply for Scholarships Many colleges and universities offer merit-based scholarships for students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership skills and academic achievements. Although these scholarships are based on merit, students will probably be required to complete a financial needs analysis. If a college awards its own scholarship dollars to students eligible for state or federal funds, this would eliminate the possibility of receiving outside need-based funds. This allows colleges to make the best use of their scholarship dollars and serve the greatest number of students. Students should investigate any private sources of financial aid available, including:          

Parents' employers Parents' fraternal or school organizations Professional organizations Contests Department awards within the university Business and service clubs Churches/religious organizations Cultural groups Foundations Banks

In most cases, scholarship decisions are based on a variety of criteria. These are a few of the most often used:  

Grade point averages Class rank

     

ACT or SAT test scores Extracurricular activities Leadership Letters of recommendation Interviews Autobiographical statement or essay

Visit the following Web sites to learn about additional scholarship programs: 

OKCIS: User Name: tulsaunionhs Password: okcis 106

College Board:


The Princeton Review:

Good sites to find financial aid for minority students include: 

Gates Millennium Scholars:

Hispanic Scholarship Fund:

Japanese American Citizens League:

LULAC-League of United Latin American Citizens:

American Indian College Fund:

United Negro College Fund:

Minority On-Line Information Service:

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute:

Other good sites: 

National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (this site contains a section on scholarships for specific majors or courses of study):

College Planning Guide  

Union Public Schools guide, providing tips and advice for college and career after High School

College Planning Guide  

Union Public Schools guide, providing tips and advice for college and career after High School