June 2012 Teacher and Counselor College Readiness Tips

  1. Make sure your school has submitted all necessary paperwork to colleges. For example, June is the deadline for schools to submit their ELC list for the UCS. Each public university system sends out newsletters and holds conferences. To sign up for the UC listserv, send an email to listserv@listserv.ucop.edu with “Subscribe CAB-L” in the body of the email. You can do this for the Cal States and for other universities in your state.
  2. Help your students finalize summer and fall plans to focus on leadership and initiative. Encourage them to be busy this summer. 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 take leadership roles this fall in and out of school and really push the initiative factor.
  3. Encourage students to make a resume. It should focus on leadership and initiative. Categories: Education, Activities, Work, Service, and more. Tips–Always start with most recent and work your way to the past. Use power verbs to begin each entry.
  4. Remind students to do all they can to prepare for fall standardized tests. There are three ACT and three SAT dates you can take this fall. Did you know there is Score Choice—so students take the tests as many times as possible and send out only scores they want? Did you know students can take the SAT twice? The ACT twice? SAT Subject Tests-3 per day-twice? Help them find free online prep programs. https://www.number2.com/. Encourage them to find free programs in their communities. They can buy an practice book for less than $20. NOTE: Make sure your counselors have enough waivers ordered for the fall and that students can access them for September and October registration deadlines.
  5. Help students develop a college list that matches their talents. They should have a range of schools that match their interests and abilities. Naviance is a great online system to help students. The Fiske Guide is great as is Unigo.com to help students learn about colleges. The College Access and Opportunity Guide is great for first generation and under-represented students. http://www.csopportunity.org/whatwedo/guidebook.aspx. Reminder: Students can apply to four Cal States (not undocumented kids), four UCs, and unlimited private colleges for free if they qualify for free or reduced lunch.
  6. 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. Email Dr. Joseph for the current list. We are updating it now for the 2012-2013 year. Students can also visit colleges virtually via e-campus tours (http://www.ecampustours.com/) and YOUniversity (http://www.youniversitytv.com/).
  7. Encourage your students to start writing their major essays their college applications. Tufts (http://admissions.tufts.edu/apply/essay-questions/past-essays/). Connecticut College (http://www.conncoll.edu/admission/essays-that-worked.htm), and Johns Hopkins  (http://apply.jhu.edu/apply/essays.html) share essays that real admitted students wrote. Students should only write stories that are unique and interesting to read. They should plan to use essays more than once. Their essays should always be as specific and powerful as possible.
  8. Help them begin completing applications now and during the summer. CSU mentor (http://www.csumentor.edu/Planning/) allows kids to enter their grades and courses at any time in high school and that transfers to their application this fall. They can start working on the Common Application (http://commonapp.org) on August 1 when it goes online (USC is now on it).
  9. Insist students save all application, standardized test, financial aid, and scholarships passwords on their computers and phones. Even be willing to store them for them as kids lose these and they need them for every part of the application, financial aid, and enrollment process.
  10. Research major scholarships that are due. Posse is due in late June.  Questbridge and other are due in the fall. Be willing to write powerful letters of recommendation early for these scholarships.
  11. Encourage undocumented students. Remind them that the full Dream Act goes into effect for CA students graduating in 2013. They can qualify for Cal Grants and must submit a Dream Act financial aid application next spring. But in the meantime, they can research other colleges that are friendly to undocumented students. Email Dr. Joseph for that list.

About rjoseph

I am the creator and visionary behind this site. I want to do everything I can to help students consider college as an option, even when they may be the first in their family to go or may not have the funds at hand. Don't let anyone tell you that you don't have the right or the ability to go to college.

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