Spectacular September 2018 Tips For All College Advocates


We are delighted to provide these 10 tips to add to your college readiness efforts.

  1. Encourage under-represented high seniors to apply for free trips to colleges this fall. Now is the time for diverse high school seniors to visit many colleges for free. Deadlines are now through October for visits to more than 65 four-year colleges. Undocumented students can also apply to many of the colleges—This list is greatly expanded from last year. http://getmetocollege.org/what-colleges-look-for/2018-fall-diversity-visit-programs
  2. Arrange campus tours and invite colleges and/or alumni to visit you. All colleges host open houses and special events this fall. Visit a campus with your students. Send them to visit some campuses on their own. They can visit classes, spend nights in the dorms, interview, meet professors, and more. Local private colleges will expect students to visit sometime before applying. Many colleges have reps visiting your area this fall. Many are booked already but call and see if they can come or send an alum or parent to visit. Also contact local college students to come and visit your classes. Don’t wait until Thanksgiving as that may be too late for students to pick new colleges to consider.
  3. Offer financial aid workshops now. Remember, the FAFSA now opens October 1 and uses PRIOR-PRIOR tax years. So for the class of 2019, the FAFSA will use 2017 taxes. Colleges offer earlier financial aid deadlines so encourage students and families to fill out FAFSA early so they can get financial aid offers at the same time as acceptances.
  4. Sign up for fall tests. Make sure kids take the PSAT this October. It’s a great diagnostic tool, and counts for National Merit. Remember, if they get extended time for the PSAT, it will apply to the SAT. Seniors should take fall tests at least twice this fall. Many colleges are now allowing students to self-report their scores. Also the ACT is allowing students to send scores to many more colleges for free if they get fee waivers. SAT/SAT Subject Tests (http://professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/sat-reasoning/register/test-dates ACT Tests (http://www.actstudent.org/regist/dates.html).
  5. Have seniors complete brag sheets. You will have to write many letters of recommendation, and colleges want very detailed ones that describe leadership and initiative, so have students complete a brag sheet for you. If you’re writing a teacher letter, focus on academics. If you’re writing a counselor letter, emphasize academics, extracurriculars, and character. Have students write examples of their favorite assignments, papers, projects, and class moments. Have them attach copies of best papers and projects.
  6. Have students start working on college application essays. Embed application essay writing into your homework or teaching curricula. These essays make for great autobiographical assignments. Kids should use these essays to advocate for themselves.
  7. Encourage students to research private colleges. Please have students apply to at least four public and four private colleges. Privates often cover more than public universities for diverse students. College Greenlight, http://www.collegegreenlight.com/ has a great free site to direct under-represented students to colleges who seek them. It provides them with all resources and school based scholarships.
  8. Direct students to great websites that promote college attendance. http://www.collegeweeklive.com/; org; http://striveforcollege.org/
  9. Encourage students to research scholarships. Some major scholarships are already online and students can start working on then now. California Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard maintains a great scholarship resource. https://roybal-allard.house.gov/issues/issue/?IssueID=42779. Maldef maintains a comprehensive list of scholarships and mentions whether undocumented students can apply to each. http://maldef.org/leadership/scholarships/
  10. Make a college corner in your classroom. Put up a college board of your own college years.
    • Post pictures, a copy of your diploma, and some memorabilia. Contact your college to send you free stuff.
    • Focus on different colleges each week or two to three days.
    • The Strive for College guide focuses on colleges that welcome diverse students.
    • The Cal States and UCs will send you free materials.

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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