College planning WHS Counselors Lynn Hundley, M.Ed. and Sheri Pelham, M.Ed.
Post Secondary Options • Junior College or community College (Open, can transfer to university, more affordable) • Public University or 4 year college (ACT/SAT based admission, More expensive) • Private University or 4 year college (ACT/SAT based admission, most expensive) • Technical or Vocational School (can transfer to University or get certification for work) • Military
9th grade planning • Meet counselor • Get involved in school activities • Make good grades • Explore interests and careers (see counselor webpage for resources – Big future) • Consider a college savings plan • Begin Community service • Keep binder or folder of important documentation
10th grade planning • Take PSAT • Continue making good grades • Explore careers and interests (see counselor or Counselor webpage for resources – Big Future) • Begin looking at different colleges and options • Summer job or community service
11th grade planning • TAKE PSAT in fall • Take sat/act in spring • Evaluate your options after high school (military, Tech or Vocational School, Jr. or Community College, Public or Private University) • Make a list of colleges to begin narrowing choices • Make a testing plan for taking your SAT/ACT • Visit your top college choices – Note admission deadlines • Keep your grades up • Meet with counselor
12th grade planning • Finalize college choices • Keep grades up • Retake SAT/ACT • Make a deadline calendar • Letters of recommendation • Meet with counselor • Complete applications (Be aware of Admission deadlines)
12th grade planning (cont.) • Search for and complete scholarship applications • Submit the FAFSA (October 1st opens) • Compare Financial Aid Packages from colleges • Make final decision • Contact all colleges involved • Complete enrollment paperwork • Contact College Financial Aid office
Meeting with Counselors • Ask teacher to visit counselor • Fill out pass for appointment • Stop by between classes (counselor will contact teacher) • Stop in before or after school • Counselor may call you out of class • Parents are welcome to meet by appointment • Counselors will help with any part of the planning process
What to look for in a college • Program – Do they offer the degree plan for your career choice? • Place – is the location good for you? Weather? Rural, urban, suburban? Size? • People – ethnicity and religion? Activities and organizations? Diversity? personality? • Price – will it fit in with your financial position? Can you afford it?
Step by step • Step 1: graduation requirements - your counselors will verify your courses, but if you have a question, please ask them • HB 5 (Foundation with Endorsement) plan
STEP by step • Step 2: college admissions exams • Sat – College board.org • Act – act.org • Tsi – texas success initiative for Jr and community colleges (may be exempt depending on staareoc scores)
Step by step • Step 3: apply to colleges • Reach schools : most selective – might be a long shot but not impossible – might need more financial assistance • Target schools: more that 50/50 chance to get in, more in the “ballpark” • Safety schools: little problem being admitted and better financial fit
Step by step • Step 4: send transcript – transcripts must be requested via a transcript request form which may be filled out at the office or accessed on the school webpage • Final transcript will be sent after graduation • Current student transcripts are sent free of charge • Official and unofficial • Dual Credit College Transcripts must be sent
Step by step • Step 5: resume: A resume should be created outlining all extracurricular activities, honors, clubs, awards and the years of participation • Document hours per week and hours per year • Include information on community service (volunteer) hours • Community service can come through churches, after school clubs, community organizations, or personal service projects
Step by step • Step 6: scholarships • Search for scholarships – scholarships 360, fastweb, scholly (app), unigo, JLV • Local scholarships usually open in the spring • Listen for announcements/Follow Whitney High Counselors FB page • Check WHS counselor webpage often for added scholarships • Different types and differing criteria • Put forth the time and effort • Each institution has its own application for scholarships – see institution webpage
Step by step • Step 7: Letters of Recommendation • Plan ahead – do not request at the last minute – this is not respectful to the person writing your letter • Provide your list of accomplishments with your request • Provide the purpose and institution or group to whom it is being written (scholarship, application, other) • Use appropriate form for requesting (if one is required)
Step by step • Step 8: fill out the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) • fill out in October – Opens October 1st • Have parent tax return information available (2016 finances) • Unless there are special circumstances, parent financial information must be used • Use FAFSA4caster to get an estimated award amount
What are colleges looking for? • Program – how challenging was the coursework? • Performance – how well has the student done? • Potential – indicated by standardized test scores • Participation – what commitments outside the classroom? Job? Activities? Community service? • Personality – essay and teacher/counselor recommendations. May require an interview.
Parents should… • Listen and be supportive • Advocate • Advise of deadlines • Organize college trips • Research • Encourage – but be realistic • Career counsel • Enjoy your time, it will go fast • Be open to options other than the first plan
Parents should not…. • Call school other than for financial reasons • Complete applications • Write essays • Encourage application to colleges you can’t afford • Be Be naïve about what financial aid really means • Forget this isn’t about you (except for the money part)
Social media implications for admission • College admissions officers are looking at social media accounts to get a better idea about you • “Clean Up” your social media pages • Use the “grandma rule” – don’t post something you wouldn’t show your grandma • Even if they love your GPA, they may hate your twitter/facebook/insta…etc.
Thank you for coming!! Please let us know how we can assist you on your college planning journey!! Mrs. Hundley, M.Ed. and Mrs. Pelham, M.Ed.