Everything You Need to Know Everything You Need to Do (Most information taken from Countdown to College: 21 ‘To Do’ Lists for High School by Valerie Pierce.

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<ul><li><p>Everything You Need to KnowEverything You Need to Do(Most information taken from Countdown to College: 21 To Do Lists for High School by Valerie Pierce with Cheryl Rilly)</p></li><li><p>Discovering and Choosing the Right Post-Secondary Education Choice for YouTestingFinding and Choosing the Right SchoolCampus VisitsApplying for CollegeThe Application, Teacher Recommendations, the Resume, the EssayApplying for Financial AidScholarshipsFAFSABASIC NOTE: KEEP COPIES OF EVERYTHING!</p></li><li><p>Entering the WorkforceStatistics show that typically, students who enter the workforce directly will earn less in their lifetimes than their peers who obtain some type of training/skill or further education. See http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/moneymatters/a/edandearnings.htmJob ApprenticeshipCenturies old, this program allows students to train while on the job, earning money. After obtaining more certification, earning power rises. See HandoutVisit www.moapprenticeships.com </p></li><li><p>Choose from various branches:Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, National Guard for each branch, Coast Guard, ?AdvantagesBills are taken care of while in the serviceObtain funding for college education following serviceDisadvantagesPostponing educationMay get sent to war</p></li><li><p>Technical SchoolsCareer School which help you to obtain specific skillsUsually done with degree more quickly anywhere from 1 to 3 yearsUsually move at a quicker paceMore hands-on; less book and lecture-type classesIn Missouri: DeVry, Linn Tech, Cosmetology Schools, Etc.</p></li><li><p>2-Year CollegesObtain Associates Degree4-Year CollegesObtain Bachelors DegreeCan also obtain Masters, Specialists and Doctorate</p><p>Handout on Colleges and Schools in MO</p></li><li><p>Compass TestingUsed for those entering any community collegeFreeMay be set up at the nearest community college; may be used at any community college.Used as a placement test for classesMay still take the ACT test toward end of community college; scores may look better to go into 4-year college of choice</p></li><li><p>ACT Testing (Handout of dates, codes, costs)Given 6 times a yearMay be taken here at WHS or in SedaliaMeasures: English, Math, Reading, Science, and Optional Writing.May take with Writing Portion or Without most MO schools do not require the writing sectionMay register on-line using credit card or on paperIf Free or Reduced lunch, student may use a fee waiver two timesPreparing for the TestBookletOn-line preparationWorkshopsBooks in library</p></li><li><p>College search sites match colleges to your interests and abilitieswww.usnews.com/usnews/edu/college/tools/cpq/coquiz.htmwww.collegebaord.orgwww.petersons.comwww.collegereview.comChoosing the right school for you not you and your high school friendsIf you do, just remember that sometimes, rooming together can ruin a frienship.</p></li><li><p>Academics:What do you want to study?Do you want a specific major or liberal arts degree?Does your area of study require specific facilities?SizeLarge student body or small?100 students in class or 30?Location and DistanceWhere do you want to live?Big city? Small town?Beach? Mountains?In state? (cheaper tuition) Out of state? (more expensive)Stay at home? Close to home? Move far away?</p></li><li><p>YouMore comfortable in a structured class or focused enough for independent study? Academically challenged or not?Extra-curriculars and SportsWhat activities do you want to participate in outside the classroom? Do you want to join a sorority or fraternity?Do you want to play a sport? Does it have to be Bowl Game-bound every year?ReputationDo you want to go to a party school?Or one that is more selective?MoneyWhats affordable?If you rely on student loans, is a more expensive school worth it?</p></li><li><p>Check into the following publications:US News and World Report: Americas Best CollegesNewsweek: How To Get Into CollegePricey Schools Dont count them outYour Expected Family Contribution (EFC) the amount of tuition your family is expected to pay- stays roughly the sameSchools want a diverse population, and to get that, they may be willing to help you.If you total your federal aid, scholarships and work-study programs, your student loan may be the same as a less expensive school.</p></li><li><p>By this time, if possible, seniors should have narrowed down to three choices:A first-choice schoolA second-choice schoolA school you KNOW you will be accepted toPicking the right one:Make those campus visits and check the fitSee what financial package each is willing to offerHandout on Choosing the Right School</p></li><li><p>The Campus VisitSet up an appointment with an advisor by calling the admissions office of the college you want to visit.Take a tour with a student guide.Some colleges offer overnight dorm experiences to get a real feel for the school; determine if this is something you want to do.If allowed, sit in on classes, meet with professors and coaches, visit the department of your chosen major.Check to see if they have a specific day set aside where all high school students are invited to explore the campus. Many times, theyll have special activities.</p></li><li><p>Some Tips from College StudentsTours of campus can provide a reality check.College is a whole lifestyle and youre not going to experience it on a two-hour tour. Plan on spending one or two nights with a student at the college. If its Tuesday night and theres a lot of partying going on, are you going to be able to study?Visit the school. Visit the town. Visit the stores. Visit the people.Dont wait until August to visit. The place can be a ghost town!Lose your parents at some point. Walk around campus by yourself. Theyre not coming to school with you.Trust your gut. If you dont feel right, its not the school for you.</p></li><li><p>WHS Rules for Campus VisitsSet up your campus visit. If you need help doing this, see the counselor.Parents are encouraged to go with the student.Once the visit is set, fill out and turn in the top portion of the campus visit form to the office at least one week ahead of time.Take the bottom portion of the form with you. When visiting with an advisor or professor, have him/her sign your form to show that you were there.Bring that portion back to the office to verify you made the visit.Seniors are allowed 2 days for College Visits. Any extra are parent requests.(Handouts for Campus Visits form and questions)</p></li><li><p>Applying to SchoolsOnce you have narrowed down your choices, begin applying.Application fees range from $25 to $75, so choose wisely. (If you have free or reduced lunches, you may ask the counselor for a fee waiver letter.)Read applications carefully and follow them to the letter! Omitted or incorrect information will cause your application to be returned.Deadline admissions: applications are sent in by deadline and only then does the school begin the process.Rolling admissions: applications are accepted or rejected when they arrive. Most large state schools use this process. The schools get choosier as they get closer to the deadline date. APPLYING EARLY IS VITAL!Out-of-State may have different deadlines check carefully.</p></li><li><p>More on ApplyingMost schools have THEIR scholarship deadlines by December 1st. Be sure to apply for that school and its scholarships by that date.Its easier than it used to be. Most schools have on-line applications on their websites, as well as downloadable forms. You can also use the common application for many schools. See www.commonapp.org. Some are even free.Once you have applied, you will need to fill out a transcript request form for me so I can send a transcript to your school.Double-check with me within a few days to make sure Ive sent it, then check with the college in a few more days to make sure it was received. Sometimes, they disappear on their end, believe it or not.</p></li><li><p>Admission TricksThe college that everyone at your school wants to go to will be harder to get into. They only take so many they like diversity.Colleges give points for geographical diversity (state and rural/urban), being related to alumni, and ethnicity. Consider schools in various locations and dont forget schools family members may have attended.If you dont need financial aid, let them know. It may help your chances.If you really want to get in, offer to do a face-to-face interview and talk to professors in your desired major.</p></li><li><p>More TricksColleges are more likely to accept you if your major is an under-enrolled area. Ask how your choice of major affects your chances.Stand OUT! Colleges give extra points for talent and athletic ability. Let them know what you can do. And market yourself send a sample of your work.Choose at least one safety school in the bunch.Call every school youve applied to and make sure your application has been received and is complete. If anything is missing, get it to them pronto.Send a thank you note after interviews, visits or if an admissions officer has been extremely helpful. Youll get your name in front of them again.</p></li><li><p>More TricksDidnt make the cut? Find out what community college that school uses as a feeder school. Do your 2 years of core curriculum there and youll be able to transfer. Its a great way to save money.NOTE: If you choose a community college and you intend to go on, be sure to either choose a 4-year university which has an articulation agreement with that cc, OR be double-checking all along the way to see which courses will transfer to the college of your choice. You dont want to waste your time or your money on courses that wont transfer!!</p></li><li><p>Last Set of TricksApply Early Decision ONLY to your first choice school applying ED is like adding 100 points to your SAT score. Just remember that it is binding if you do this.If you know alumni from the college a relative, employer, volunteer supervisor ask them to write a letter of recommendation for you.FOLLOW UP ON EVERYTHING!</p></li><li><p>How To Get Good RecommendationsSelect teachers who know you well.Give each teacher a copy of your resume and a personal statement of your goals. Include the colleges you are applying to and why you chose them. You can do the same for scholarship applications which require teacher recommendations.Include any necessary forms as well as a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Include the deadline!Ask earlybefore everyone else does. Do a polite follow-up to make sure the letter was completed and sent.</p></li><li><p>Teacher Recs.Follow instructions. If a school requests a letter from a language teacher, dont substitute. If they want 2 letters, dont send 3.Send thank you notes! Hand-written, no emails! Teachers eat that stuff up! And they save them too. Cause its sweet. And makes them feel good.Ask the teacher (who likes you) to save that letter. You may need another one down the road for another application, and with word processing, its easy to switch a few words around to make it fit the criteria.</p></li><li><p>The ResumeWhere to use it: applying for jobs and internships, attaching to scholarships (unless not specifically allowed), college applications, those writing recommendations for youWhat to include:Personal Info name, address, phone, emailScholastic Info h.s., class rank, GPA, test scoresAcademic Achievements honor roll, awards, tutoring or mentoring roles, Honors/Weighted classes, college credit classesComputer Skills programs you know, skills (web site design, programming, etc.)</p></li><li><p>The Resume (cont.)What else to include:Workshops, camps, programs, special classesWork experiences, internshipsClub involvement school, community, churchSpecial Interests hobbies, pursuitsVolunteer Work on-going and one-time eventsAthletic participation and achievementsLeadership Roles holding office in class, sports, clubs; taking initiative or responsibility for projects and committees; leadership camp participation</p></li><li><p>The EssayYes! Theres a reason your English teacher made you write all those essays! To get a life and get money!!!!Once youve written one, save it in case another app comes along that asks for something similar. You can always tweak it and revamp it.This is your chance to show them YOU and your personality outside of the numbers.(See Handout on Essay Dos and Donts)</p></li><li><p>Early Decision/Early ActionEarly Decision is an option offered by some schools. Simply, you must apply early and you find out early if youre accepted. Early Decision can lessen your senior year load, but it has its pitfalls.Its binding. If they accept you, youve got to go to that school. So make sure its your first choice.You cant compare financial aid packages. And they may not feel generous to you because you are committed.Early Action works the same way, but its non-binding. Check to see if they offer it.Dont slack off on regular applications to other schools.</p></li><li><p>Tips from College Students in Making the Final DecisionA&amp;M had my friends but SWT had the majors I was interested in. It was hard, but I left my friends. Its been a good choice. I couldnt be happier.I always thought I wanted a small school, but my mom made me apply to a large university too. Thats where I ended up. I love the environment, the diversity, and all the experiences that go with it. College is more than books.Dont choose a college to be close to your boyfriend. I fell out of love with him AND the college.Look at the freshmen support services, especially if youre an athlete. Youre not going to have the time other students have to figure out everything.</p></li><li><p>More TipsEveryone thinks its good to go away. But I missed home. I missed the place that I had hated my entire life. I came back. Its been a great experience.Both of my sisters went here. I just followed them. Ill always wonder how happy I could have been someplace else.Look for an environment with things to do outside of school.This schools in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere and its the most fabulous four years I could imagine. On campus and off, everyone feels like family.I didnt make a decision. I just went where my friends went. It was SO big. I felt SO lost. Great school but not for me.Listen to your heart. Pick a college that fits YOU.</p></li><li><p>The Community College EdgeOffer Advantages: flexibility in terms of time, money, and type of degree you can obtain 2 year associates, certification, or simply taking core classes close to home.Yearly tuition at CC is usually less than what it costs at 4-year institutions. Plus, if you have A+, you can use it.SATs and ACTs are not necessarily considered. You will take a Compass test to see what math and English classes you should take.Classes are at various times during the day, evenings, and weekends. And many have on-line courses.NOTE: Not all classes transfer. Look for 4-year schools that include articulation agreements!</p></li><li><p>Tech Schools/Career SchoolsIf you are on the fast track to get done, and you have a passion for a particular job you know you want, this may be for you.Every course you take will be related to the field or industry that you intend as your career.It can be fast 12 months to 4 years, depending on the type of degree or certification needed.You are plugged in to your field to latest trends and technology, as well as...</p></li></ul>

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