Welcome to the end of the school year. You deserve a great summer, and in fact, Dr. Joseph will enjoy her first summer off from teaching in almost 10 years. Yet 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 bootcamps or other college readiness ideas or plans.
- Plan student and family college readiness workshops. In LAUSD, A-G graduation requirements went into effect for the class of 2017, and many students are not on track to graduate. Hold workshop for families so they understand the A-G requirements. Dr. Joseph developed a Powerpoint you can use and/or adapt. She has other presentation as well on Slideshare. http://www.slideshare.net/getmetocollege
- Encourage students 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.
- Remind students to do all they can to prepare for fall standardized tests. There are three fall dates for both the SAT and ACT during the fall of 2016. 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 fall and that students can access them for September and October registration deadlines.
- Encourage students to make a resume. High school students should have current resumes that should focus on leadership and initiative. We have great resume tips on our website: https://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. Email Dr. Joseph for the current list. We are updating it now for Fall 2016: https://getmetocollege.org/what-colleges-look-for/2016-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 University of California and University of Texas released new prompts. The UC insight questions are out, and they could really help all students begin to brainstorm great longer essays. 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 me for a glimpse: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Help students begin completing applications now and during the summer. There is a a new college application landscape. The Common Application now allows students to roll over accounts, while the new Coalition application is open as well. 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 new 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 will now require 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