College Search and Writing the College Application Essay Things to Consider when Applying to College



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College Search and Writing the College Application Essay

Things to Consider when Applying to College

  • 1. Class Rank (576 seniors)
  • 2. Teacher Recommendation Letters (3)
  • Ask teachers who made an impact on you and who know you fairly well.
  • 3. Involvement in Sports/Clubs/Activities
  • Everything counts so try and list it all!

Things to Consider when Applying to College

  • 4. Community Service/Volunteer Work
  • 5. Application and College Essay-You can complete this right on the college website.

Things to Consider when Applying to College

  • 6. Register and take the SAT’s again so you can get the best possible score
  • You are looking for an average score of 1650 (550 per section).
  • Some colleges are now accepting ACT scores. The ACT is a little easier than the SAT.
  • 7. Application and college essay

OCC

  • You must take the Accuplacer test in Math and English in order to take regular Math and English classes. If you do not pass one or more sections you will be placed in review classes which do not count for credit but you still need to pay for.

You can test out of the Accuplacer if you have any of the following:

  • PSAT: 54+ Critical Reading and/or 53+ Math
  • SAT: 540+ Critical Reading
  • and/or 530+ Math
  • ACT: 23+ English/Writing
  • and/or 22+ Math
  • HSPA: 235+ Language Arts
  • & Literacy and/or
  • 250+ Math

What is the Accuplacer?

  • It is a college placement test
  • called the Accuplacer.
  • The College tests incoming students in reading, writing and mathematics skills. The results of these tests have no effect on admission to Ocean County College; their purpose is to help the college place students in courses appropriate to their backgrounds and needs.

After students are accepted by the college, they can call or stop in at the College Testing Center to schedule an appointment to take the College Placement Test. The test is also offered on a walk-in basis; no appointment necessary when computers are available. The test should be taken as soon as possible, since a delay in testing will result in a delay in the scheduling of courses. Also, early testing will enable students to make up any skill deficiencies during the summer session.

  • After students are accepted by the college, they can call or stop in at the College Testing Center to schedule an appointment to take the College Placement Test. The test is also offered on a walk-in basis; no appointment necessary when computers are available. The test should be taken as soon as possible, since a delay in testing will result in a delay in the scheduling of courses. Also, early testing will enable students to make up any skill deficiencies during the summer session.

Prepare for the Test!!

  • There are many great sites out there to help you prepare for college!

Ranking College Characteristics

  • Ranking College Characteristics
  • Do some soul-searching to figure out which of your colleges would provide the best fit for you. Which one offers the educational and social experiences you are seeking?
  • Here is a list of factors you might want to think about:

Location: Urban, suburban, or rural campus? How far from home?

  • Location: Urban, suburban, or rural campus? How far from home?
  • Campus Life: Is there an open or enclosed campus? Does the college offer on campus housing? Will you be commuting or living on campus?
  • Size: How big is the student population? What about class size?
  • Mix of students: Is the college coed? Are there students from all over the country, with different backgrounds and experiences?

Academics: Does the college offer programs of study that interest you?

  • Academics: Does the college offer programs of study that interest you?
  • Extracurriculars: Does the college have the types and ranges of extracurricular activities you are interested in?
  • Facilities: Will you have access to labs, computing centers, and music, theater, or athletic facilities?
  • Rank these characteristics in order of importance to you and see how well each college matches up.

When searching…

  • Look at college websites
  • to get a “feel”
  • E-mail Admission representatives
  • VISIT THE COLLEGE!
  • Review $$ opportunities
  • And remember, just because you haven’t heard of the school, or you don’t like how its name sounds, you still should RESEARCH the school before judging

Some last things…

  • Look at ALL options before narrowing down your choices
  • Be honest with yourself. Look at the general profile of the average student (the GPA, SAT score, and rank) that gets accepted. How do you compare? If you don’t even come close, it may be time to rethink your options.

Sit down and talk to your parents/guardians

  • Sit down and talk to your parents/guardians
  • Don’t be afraid of taking out student loans. They help to establish credit and will often be THE ticket that will eventually get you that high paying job in the career of YOUR choice.
  • The usual standard is one “reach” school, a few “safety schools” and 2-3 schools in the middle

THE COLLEGE APPLICATION ESSAY

Keep your focus narrow and personal

    • Prove one single point or thesis throughout
    • Do not tell the committee what you’ve done; they will read your application’s list. Instead SHOW THEM WHO YOU ARE.
    • You can’t be too comprehensive in your limited space; instead choose a narrow focus and stick to it.

Prove your main idea.

  • Use VIVID facts.
  • Boring: "I like to be surrounded by people with a variety of backgrounds and interests."
  • Better: "During that night, I sang the theme song from Casablanca with my favorite baseball coach, discussed religion with a little old lady, and heard more than I ever wanted to know about some woman's gall bladder operation."

Prove it even more!

  • Use SPECIFIC facts. Avoid clichéd, generic, and predictable writing by using vivid and specific facts.
  • Usual:  "I want to help people. I have gotten so much out of life through the love and guidance of my family, I feel that many individuals have not been as fortunate; therefore, I would like to expand the lives of others."
  • Better: "My Mom and Dad stood on plenty of sidelines until their shoes filled with water, or their fingers turned white, or somebody's golden retriever signed his name on their coats in mud. That kind of commitment is what I'd like to bring to working with fourth-graders."

DON’T TELL THEM WHAT YOU THINK THEY WANT TO HEAR!

  • Most admission officers read plenty of essays about the charms of their university, the evils of terrorism, and the personal commitment involved in being a doctor. Bring something new to the table, not just what you think they want to hear.

Don’t Write a Resume

  • Don’t include information found elsewhere in the application.
  • Your essay will end up sounding like an autobiography, travelogue, or laundry list.

Don’t use 50 words when 5 will do.

  • Eliminate unnecessary words.
  • Using active voice will help you write concisely and powerfully.
  • Remember: you have limited space; use it wisely!
  • Usual: "Over the years it has been pointed out to me by my parents, friends, and teachers -- and I have even noticed this about myself, as well-- that I am not the neatest person in the world.“
  • Better: “I am a slob.”

Remember

  • Have a focus.
  • Limit your words
  • Vary sentence structure and vocabulary.
  • Be vivid and concrete.
  • Let your voice come through.
  • Do not repeat information from your application.

When you are all done do your happy dance!!!!!



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