Another great school year has come to a close. You deserve a great summer. Dr. Joseph is so excited to be piloting the College Advocate Teacher Training Institute this summer for 45 LAUSD teachers and counselors. We all have so much more to do to help our students get ready for college. Let us know if you need help with brainstorming summer boot camp or other college readiness ideas or plans.
- Plan student and family college readiness workshops. Hold workshops for families so they understand high school graduation requirements along with college readiness strategies. Dr. Joseph has developed many powerpoints you can use and/or adapt. They are all on available at http://www.slideshare.net/getmetocollege
- Encourage students to plan active summers. Colleges want active and engaged students. Students should spend-at least 20 to 30 hours per week taking classes, working, volunteering, doing internships, and more. They should also prepare to take leadership roles this fall in and out of school and really push the initiative factor.
- Remind students to do all they can to prepare for August fall standardized tests. The SAT is holding its first August test take in its history, so there are four summer and fall tests dates for the SAT and three for the ACT. Remember the “optional” essays are truly mandatory. Please do not plan any required events on these days for juniors or seniors. Also please make sure counselors have enough waivers ordered for the August and beyond test dates as registration dates fall often in the summer.
- Encourage students to make a resume. High school students should have current resumes that should focus on leadership and initiative. Many colleges now allow them to upload these resumes, and they are very helpful for interviews. We have great resume tips on our website: http://getmetocollege.org/what-colleges-look-for/application-essay-tips/resume-building-and-writing-tips
- Help students develop a college list that matches their talents. Rising seniors should have a range of schools that match their interests and abilities. College Greenlight is an amazing program that counselors and teachers serving low-income students can access for free. You can track your students, and students can find schools around the country who are seeking students like themselves. http://www.collegegreenlight.com/
- Help students see colleges in action. Help them book fall trips and arrange interviews either here or there. They can plan to meet with professors, students, and other campus representatives that interest you. See if they can stay in a dorm and eat in the cafeteria. Many colleges fly under-represented students for free. Application deadlines start now and run through mid-fall. Dr. Joseph maintains a list and you can check out the 2017 deadlines. http://getmetocollege.org/what-colleges-look-for/2017-fall-diversity-visit-programs. Students can also visit colleges virtually via e-campus tours (http://www.ecampustours.com/) and YOUniversity (http://www.youniversitytv.com/). They can also email and contact diversity programs at colleges on their own.
- Encourage seniors to start writing their major essays their college applications. Consider holding a summer college application essay bootcamp—private schools are all doing them. Please help your students address the correct prompts-Note the Common Application prompts have new additions and revisions. Dr. Joseph has developed a free 4 to 10 day curriculum you can use to help students develop these essays. They connect with new Common Core standards for 11th and 12th grade English. Email her for a glimpse: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Help students begin completing applications now and during the summer. There is constantly evolving college application landscape. The Common Application allows students to roll over accounts, while the Coalition application is at least doubling its membership this year. The UC and UT applications will open August 1, but kids can work on their essays now.
- Research major scholarships that are due. Posse nominations occur between the spring and early fall
http://www.possefoundation.org/about-posse/program-components/recruitment/nomination-process. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation offers a merit scholarship for top under-resourced students. The Phase 1 application will come out in August. http://www.jkcf.org/scholarships/college-scholarship-program/. Questbridge (http://www.questbridge.org/) and other major scholarships are due in the fall. Be willing to nominate students and to write powerful letters of recommendation early for these scholarships.
- Remind everyone of the fabulous FAFSA PRIOR-PRIOR practice and opening date of October 1. FAFSA is now so much easier for all college applicants, current students, and their families. It now requires last year’s taxes so there are no excuses for not submitting the application on time. Early action and early decision applicants can now get real offers. Students and their families can use Net Price Calculators on college websites to begin getting familiar with college financial aid programs. Also don’t forget many schools use the CSS Profile, so you can a head start on that as well. https://student.collegeboard.org/css-financial-aid-profile