Junior Parent Presentation Fall 2016 Preparing for the College Search

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Junior Parent Presentation Fall 2016

Preparing for the College Search

Know Thyself

  • Values
  • Ambitions/Goals
  • Achievements
  • Academic Strengths
  • Personal Interests
  • Unique Talents

Types of Colleges:

  • Type
  • Description
  • Tuition
  • Four year
  • Degrees offered:
  • Bachelors, Masters, & Dr.
  • Provides: A well-rounded college experience that includes an academic area of study.
  • State: Usually around $20,000/year
  • Private: Typically more than $40,000/year
  • GPA
  • SAT/ACT score
  • Class rank
  • Strength of Schedule
  • Extracurriculars
  • Letters of Rec
  • Personal Essay
  • Transcripts

Types of Colleges:

  • Type
  • Description
  • Tuition
  • Admission Requirements
  • Two year
  • Degrees offered: Associates
  • Provides: A way to ease into college ~ take general college classes for credit.
  • Typically have agreements with four-year colleges to transfer credits.
  • Guaranteed admissions
  • Typically around $4,000/year
  • Open-door admission policy
  • Graduation from high school

Choosing Your College Priorities:

  • What is important to you?
  • Degree/Major
  • Location
  • Academics
  • Size
  • Campus Appeal
  • Social Life
  • Total Cost – Including aid

Not sure where to start???

  • College Board-
  • http://www.collegeboard.org
  • Interested in staying in VA?
  • http://schev.edu/students/collegeListAlpha.asp
  • Schools on Demand
  • http://www.schoolsondemand.com
  • Want to take a virtual tour?
  • http://www.campustours.com

Collecting College Information – Where to go??

  • Cappex.com - College search made simple. Your first stop to kick-start your college and scholarship search
  • nacacnet.org - National Association for College Admission Counseling. Offers national college fair information and articles about the college process
  • collegeboard.org - Information about the SAT
  • act.org - Information about the ACT test

What are colleges looking for???

College Admission Tests

  • ACT
    • Consists of four tests: English, Math, Reading, Science, & Writing
    • Writing component is optional (encouraged) first time
    • Top composite score is 36
  • SAT
    • Consists of three tests: Verbal, Math, Writing (optional)
    • Each test is scored on a scale of 200-800
    • Back to the old 1600
    • www.kahnacademy.org/test-prep/sat

What information do college admission officers review?

  • Grades / Overall GPA
  • Strength of high school course selections
  • Admission Test Score (take higher of SAT/ACT)
  • Essay
  • Class rank
  • Student’s demonstrated interest
  • Personal accomplishments
  • Personality characteristics
  • Courses in progress Junior and Senior year


Merit Scholarship Tips

  • Merit scholarships are where the money is:
  • There is more than $18 billion in merit scholarships available to students from colleges
  • Not just for “A” students
  • Many awards emphasize leadership or school involvement
  • Nearly all colleges offer merit aid scholarships
  • The average merit scholarship is $5,000
  • Many awards can be renewed yearly

Scholarship Resources

  • Fastweb.com - Private scholarships
  • fafsa.ed.gov - Free Application for Federal Student Aid
  • Studentaid.ed.gov - The federal government’s website about paying for college
  • MeritAid.com - $14 billion in merit scholarships
  • Cappex.com - Scholarship matching
  • finaid.org - Free student resource for learning about all types of financial aid


  • Janet Andrews- DSF GRASP advisor
  • http://www.grasp4virginia.com/

Next Steps . . .

10 Tips Parents

  • Help your student understand the college search process
  • Be realistic and non-judgmental
  • Be in the "back seat" - and not the driver - of the college search process
  • Be open to dialogue and responsive to questions
  • Be aware of deadlines and fees due
  • Know that things have changed since your college days
  • Don’t overemphasize your own alma maters (hint: VT)
  • Don’t compare your student with others
  • Pace yourself; it’s a marathon, not a sprint
  • Celebrate successes!

Next Steps for Juniors

  • In School
  • Stay focused on academics
  • Do not lighten your academic load for senior year (increase it)
  • Meet with your school counselor
  • Stay involved in school activities
  • Standardized Testing
  • Prepare for and register for ACT / SAT tests
  • Register for AP tests as appropriate
  • College Exploration
  • Explore colleges on the Web
  • Visit colleges if you can
  • Meet with college representatives
  • Attend college fairs

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