Archive for the ‘Admissions Advice’ Category
If you are a senior, but have not yet decided where you will be attending college in the fall, you may be feeling a bit panicky at this point of the year. It could be that you’ve opted to attend your local community college because you weren’t able to make a decision on a four-year school by May 1st. (And who can blame you? This is a pretty tough decision!) Now that Decision Day has come and gone, you and your parents may feel that community college is your only option for next year.
Great news – there is a lengthy list of four-year colleges and universities that are still accepting applications for the 2014-2015 school year! If you have your heart set on attending a four-year school, it isn’t too late.
Why might you choose to attend a four-year school over a two-year school? I advise my students to attend a four-year college directly after high school under two conditions:
1. If you have been accepted to a four-year school
2. If you can afford the four-year school
With this advice in mind, some of the four-year colleges and universities still accepting applications for the 2014-2015 school year include the following (see below for a link to the full list):
Check out the full list on the website for the National Association for College Admission Counseling. If you are interested in any of these schools, don’t forget to add them to your College List on Cappex!image credit: distance-education.org
So you’ve made your final college decision, sent in your deposit to secure your place, and celebrated. Now what? Here are a few things you should be focusing on now that you’ve made your big decision.
Register for Placement Testing
Almost all schools require you to take a few placement tests before enrolling. Don’t stress yourself out preparing for them, though! These tests, usually in general subjects like math and English, simply provide you and your school with an idea of where you are at academically. Then you can enroll in the appropriate level classes for your first semester and start your college career on the right foot. If you’re not sure how to register for placement testing at your school, check out the Admissions website or contact the Admissions department directly.
Register to Attend Orientation
Find out how to register to attend an orientation session at your school over the summer. If you are having trouble finding the information you need to get registered, check out the Admissions website or contact the Admissions department directly.
Research More Financial Aid Options
If you need to take out a student loan, start researching your options now. Carefully review your award letter to get an idea of how much you’ll need to borrow. If you need assistance, contact the Financial Aid office at your school. Don’t forget to keep applying for scholarships! Scholarships are available year-round, and they’re not just for high school seniors either. There are just as many scholarships available for college students as there are for high school students, so don’t pass up all those opportunities for free money!
Start Thinking about Living Arrangements
Most schools require incoming freshmen to live in on-campus housing or dorm rooms. If you have more options, however, look into them and start thinking about what would work best for you.
Begin Purchasing College Items
Make a list of the items you’re going to need for your dorm and and college life in general. Begin purchasing these items little by little. Smaller purchases over the course of the summer is a much more manageable approach than going on one big, expensive shopping trip.
Enjoy Your Summer
Lastly, make the most out of your summer! Spend time with your family, hang out with your friends, and take time to do a few things that make you happy and relaxed. Once you start college, your life will change in big ways, so slow down and enjoy this time.image credits: uoregon.edu, huffpost.com
If you are a junior in high school, chances are you have already begun receiving information from colleges and universities. As you’re reading over this information, you may notice that some of these schools are in-state, while others are out-of-state. You may be hearing from large public schools, small private institutions, or a mix of both. Some colleges may offer outstanding athletics, while others focus on having great student services on campus. No matter what types of post-secondary institutions you are hearing from, one thing is certain: you will need to determine which campus is the best match and fit for YOU.
When I was a junior in high school (which was not too long ago), I remember receiving mail from dozens of colleges and universities from all around the country, and I had absolutely no idea what to do with all of that information. No one was there to tell me how to organize my interests or how to choose the college that would be a good match and fit for me. Thankfully, you have Cappex to assist you with this oftentimes confusing process.
By narrowing down and organizing your college list as a junior in high school, you will benefit in several ways:
1) You’ll have time over the summer to visit the colleges on your list to determine if that campus is a good fit for you. As a former college and career counselor, I heard horror stories every year from former students that chose to attend a campus they had not visited who, after their first semester, decided the college wasn’t how they thought it would be. Don’t be that student!
2) You will begin applying to colleges at the beginning of senior year. To save yourself time, you will want to strategically choose a list of schools for which to apply. If you apply to every school that sends you information, you won’t have time to determine if the school is the right fit or your chances of being accepted. You don’t want to be the student who only applies to schools that are academically out of reach.
3) By applying early during your senior year, you are sure to make important deadlines that could likely increase your chances of being accepted, as well as receive scholarships offered by your various colleges.
So how do you begin narrowing down your college list? When I advise students, I tell them to focus on two factors: College Match and College Fit. College Match refers to your academics and how you compare to the average incoming freshmen class of an institution. College Fit is everything else: size, location, tuition cost, private vs. public, programs, activities, etc.
Choosing the right college for you is a very personal experience and you may not be looking for the same things as, say, your best friend or significant other. I often compare choosing the right college to picking out the right car. Imagine that you are buying a car and are able to pick from any car in the entire world. What features are you looking for? Some may want a car with good gas mileage, while others care more about how it looks. What about cost? Special features? Chances are, because we are all unique individuals, we each look for something different in our dream car. The same goes for when it comes to choosing your college.
Once you’ve determined which “fit” components you are looking for from you schools, make sure you include a variety of schools for which you can be accepted. As I mentioned before, College Match is when you are comparing your GPA and Placement Test (ACT or SAT) scores to the average incoming freshmen class of a college or university. There are three different categories for College Match: Safety, Target, and Reach.
Safety: Your academics fall above that of the average incoming freshmen class (Example: the average incoming freshmen class has a 2.5-2.7 GPA and 19-21 on the ACT and you have a 3.0 and a 22). It is a safe bet that, based on just academics, you will be accepted to this school.
Target: Your academics fall within the average of the incoming freshmen class (Example: the average incoming freshmen class has a 2.5-2.7 GPA and 19-21 on the ACT and you have a 2.6 GPA and a 20 on the ACT). This school would then be a good match for you academically. When making your list, it is advised to have a majority of schools that fall in the Target range.
Reach: Your academics fall below the average of the incoming freshmen class, but you are still “within reach”(Example: the average incoming freshmen class is a 2.5-2.7 GPA and 19-21 on the ACT and you have a 2.4 and an 18). Although you do not fall within the average, you are just below it, meaning you are still within reach.
It is important to remember that because these are averages, there were students who were admitted whose GPA and test scores fell above these averages, as well as below. That is why you should still consider both safety and reach schools when making a college list.
Good news! We can make this process easier for you!
Cappex offers several tools that not only help you find the right college, but we also take it a step further and allow you to connect directly with college admission representatives. Here is a list of some of our tools and how you can use them to help you find the college that is the right match and fit for you:
Student Profile: By keeping your profile as up-to-date as possible, you allow Cappex to match you with best-match and best-fit colleges from around the country (and even the world if you’re interested). Tell us your academic information, your activities while in high school, as well as what “fit” components are important to you in your future college, and we’ll do the work for you. Not only are we showing you colleges you are interested in, but also colleges that are looking for a student like you (pretty cool, huh?). To access your Cappex profile, log in to your Cappex account and click “Profile” in the top navigation bar.
What Are My Chances® Calculator: This tool allows you to determine your chances of being admitted into a school. Use this tool to assist you with organizing your college list to include Safety, Target, and Reach schools. For best results, ensure your profile is complete and up-to-date. To access this feature, log in to your Cappex account, click on any of the schools in your College List, and click “Admissions” in the left sidebar.
Visual College Admission Scattergrams: With this tool, find out how you compare to other students who have applied to a college. See which scores were admitted, denied, and waitlisted. To access this feature, log in to your Cappex account, click on any of the schools in your College List, and click “Admissions” in the left sidebar.
College Comparison Tool: Compare the schools on your college list to see how all of their attributes stack up against one another. To access this feature, log in to your Cappex account, click “Colleges” in the top navigation bar, and click the “Compare” tab in the “My College List” section.
College Message Center: You’ll receive messages from colleges that are a good match and fit for you based on your profile information. You’ll have the chance to connect with these schools to receive more information! This also allows you to be proactive and let schools know you are interested in them. Networking with college admission representatives gives you a chance to stand out and be more than just numbers on an application. To access this feature, log in to your Cappex account and click “Colleges” in the top navigation bar.
Campus Visit Planner™: Once you’ve narrowed down your college list, make a plan to visit the campuses. You wouldn’t buy a car if you had never seen it in person, right? In my opinion, you also shouldn’t choose your college if you haven’t stepped foot on campus. To access this feature, log in to your Cappex account and click “Visits” in the top navigation bar.
Now that you have an understanding of which types of schools to include on your list, which factors are important to consider in a college, as well as which tools will help you along in the process, hopefully you feel more prepared to handle all of the information you’re receiving on these colleges and universities. Good luck in your college search process, and remember, Cappex is always here to help!
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