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SCHOOL

College Information


College Timeline for Juniors
   Click here for a copy


Three areas to focus on in your junior year:

    1. Researching careers, majors, and schools for after high school

 ~ community college
 ~ four-year colleges or conservatory schools
 ~ vocational/technical schools

  1. Taking college entrance exams (SAT or ACT) ~ take one of these at least once during your junior year
  2. Getting the most out of junior year classes /earning grades of C or better
November
  • Check the school’s College Information Board for scholarship information from now until the end of your junior year.  Some scholarships are available for juniors.
  • Attend any College presentations offered at school
  • Look over the schedule for testing for the SAT and the ACT.  Decide when you will take each or both tests at least once during your junior year.  If you are going to use scores from the SAT II test, you should plan on taking those in June.  University of CA will no longer require the SAT II in addition to the SAT I or ACT.  The SAT II recommendation for the UC system consists of two tests of your choice as long as they are in two different subject areas.  However, you can submit scores from SAT II Subject exams to strengthen your application. Check college catalogs or college websites for specifics regarding test requirements.  Register ahead of time.  Test sites fill up quickly! 
  • Review your current classes and grades; work to improve your grades if needed 
  • Get to know your teachers and others that you think you might ask to write your letters of recommendations next fall 

 December

  • Visit college campuses during Winter Break – you may not be able to set any appointments, but you can at least get a feel for the campus 
  • Continue to research information about colleges through the Internet 

(The more you do now, the easier your senior year will be!)

  • If you took the PSAT, you will receive your scores soon.  Look over your results to determine how you might improve on future SAT tests
  • Register to take the SAT and/or ACT, as well as the SAT II if you will need these tests for college admission.  It is recommended that you take the SAT II exams in June. 
 March
  • Write to colleges on your list and begin reviewing their literature
  • When registering for your senior classes, continue to challenge yourself.  Don’t look for an easy senior year.  College admission offices look to see that you are serious about preparing yourself for college

April

  • Write for college catalogs and information.  You may check out catalogs from the Student Services Office
  • Check admission requirements against your own course of studies
  • Visit colleges and take tours during Spring break
  • Talk to current students and/or alumni from the colleges on your list to get an idea of campus life at those schools
  • Attend National College Fairs
  • Take ACT test, if needed

 Mary/June

  • Take the SAT I and SAT II (optional).
  • Consider enrolling in an academic course at a local college or working as a volunteer during the summer.  Check out your options for strengthening your resume

 

Summer
  • Improve your reading and vocabulary skills
  • Visit colleges going to or coming from vacation spots
  • Start working on your college essay (personal statement)
  • Plan your fall college visits to the most competitive colleges and call for interview appointments for private and out-of-state schools as early in the summer as possible
  • Write for scholarship applications which will be due during your senior year
  • Work on your resume to give to individuals you will be asking to write a letter of recommendation for you
  • Write to colleges on your list and request applications

 

College Entrance Exams

Most four-year colleges/conservatory/art schools require one set of scores from either of the following college entrance exams:

SAT

ACT

 

These are timed, multiple-choice tests that measure math, reading, and critical thinking abilities for college entrance.  The exams also have a writing portion that measures a student’s skill in developing a point of view on an issue.  The ACT exam’s writing portion is optional, BUT it is STRONGLY recommended that all students take the writing portion as some colleges require it.

Colleges use these scores to predict a student’s success in their freshman year.  Some colleges also use the scores for class placement and exemption purposes, helping identify appropriate courses for their incoming freshman.

How to prepare for these exams ~

            ~ take the most challenging courses possible

            ~ read and write as much as possible (in and outside of school)

            ~ become familiar with the tests’ format, directions, and question types

                        1.  log on to the specific test’s website for helpful information

                                    SAT ~ www.collegeboard.com

                                    ACT ~ www.actstudent.org

                        2.  public libraries and bookstores have books on test preparation

                        3.  take prep/tutoring courses at community college or through private companies

            ~ review algebra and geometry

            ~ DO NOT wait until your senior year to take either exam for the first time

When to take the exams ~

Since most colleges will take scores from either exam, it is in your best interest to choose the exam on which you will receive the best score.

Did you take the PLAN (practice exam for the ACT) in your sophomore year?

Yes     No

 Did you take the PSAT (practice exam for the SAT) in your sophomore or junior year?

Yes     No

 



If you said Yes to both questions, then look at your scores and see which one you did better on and take that exam in the spring of your junior year.

If you said No to either question, then, as soon as possible, take the college entrance exam for which you do not have a set of scores.  Once you receive that score, you can then compare it with the practice test score and decide which exam to take in the spring of your junior year.

If you said No to both questions, then you will need, as soon as possible, to take the SAT and the ACT so that you can determine which test is best suited for you.  Repeat that exam in late spring of your junior year or early fall of your senior year.

Some colleges require scores from the SAT II subject exams.  They use these scores as an additional admissions tool equal in value to your other SAT or ACT scores, your GPA, and other factors, like the difficulty of your high school course load.  The SAT II test scores may allow you to test out of taking specific first year college courses at some schools as well.  Any student taking an AP course in their junior year should consider taking the SAT II exam in that same subject in June of their junior year.

The SAT II Subject tests include the following areas:  Literature, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math (level 1 and 2), U.S. History, World History, French, Spanish, German, Modern Hebrew, Latin, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

It is the responsibility of the student to determine if they need to take the exams and which ones to take. 

SAT: Reasoning Test & SAT II: Subject Tests

Test Dates               Regular/Registration   Deadlines/Late

Dec. 4

Nov. 5

Nov. 19

Jan. 22

Dec. 23

Jan. 7

Mar. 12**

Feb. 11

Feb. 25

May 7

Apr. 8

Apr. 22

June 4

May 6

May 20

 

**On this date, only the SAT I is offered.  You can register by mail or online at www.collegeboard.com

ACT Assessment and ACT Assessment Plus Writing

Test Dates              Regular/ Registration  Deadlines/Late             

Dec. 11

Nov. 5

Nov. 6 - 19

Feb. 12

Jan. 7

Jan. 8 - 21

Apr. 9

Mar. 4

Mar. 5 – 18

June 11

May 6

May 7 - 20

 

You can register by mail or online at www.actstudent.org  OCHSA’s CEEB code is 053266

  

CHOOSING A COLLEGE

It is very important to begin your college search process before your senior year.  Students who wait until the fall of the senior year often feel rushed since application for college admission most often are completed in October and November. It is best to generate a list of schools (somewhere between 5 and 15 schools) that range from schools that will accept you easily to schools that are more competitive.  In narrowing college choices, consider the following criteria:

  • Atmosphere of the campus
  • Size of campus
  • Size of student body
  • Geographic location
  • Weather pattern in that area                                                   
  • Availability of good program in desired major
  • Cost of attendance, including housing
  • Admission standards/selectivity
  • Library, technology and research facilities
  • Facilities in your major/department
  • Campus life
  • Housing type and availability
  • School support services
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Admissions office/advisors; counselors
  • Financial Aid/Scholarships
  • Work-Study opportunities
  • Exchange student programs
  • Faculty credentials
  • Career placement office/ graduate job placement stats
  • Internship opportunities

·         Student Union/dorms/cafeteria

 

Additional:

  • Talk to current students
  • Take a tour
  • Schedule an interview with admission office and office of your intended major
  • Talk to alumni

 

COLLEGE COMPARISON WORKSHEET

 The following is criteria that can be used when making college comparisons.  Add other criteria, as appropriate for you particular needs.

                                                                                             

COMPARATIVE CRITERIA

 College A

  College B  

 College C

Enrollment

 

 

 

Cost

 

 

 

Admission Requirements

 

 

 

Tests Required

 

 

 

Majors of interests

 

 

 

% of Commuters

 

 

 

% who graduate in four years

 

 

 

% going on to higher degrees

 

 

 

Housing availability

 

 

 

Application fee

 

 

 

Enrollment deposit

 

 

 

Scholarship/grant/aid

opportunities

 

 

 

% of students receiving aid

 

 

 

Scholarships/Financial Aid availability

 

 

 

Faculty-student ratio

 

 

 

Faculty credentials

 

 

 

Average SAT/ACT scores

 

 

 

Class size of freshmen courses

 

 

 

Technology and media resources

 

 

 

Extra-curricular programs

 

 

 

On campus work opportunities

 

 

 

College library

 

 

 

Other

 

 

 

Order of preference

 

 

 

Chances of admission

 

 

 

 

Using the Internet to Research Colleges

 

nacacnet.org/MemberPortal/Events/CollegeFairs

Information regarding regional college fairs

 

cappex.com

Free college and scholarship search engine based on student profile.

 

collegeboard.org

The official website of the SAT.  There is a comprehensive menu of information to aid in the transition to college

 

collegexpress.com

Search colleges by state, major, and other factors.  Take a virtual tour of some colleges and ask experts questions about the college admissions process.  There is also a good parent’s site

 

collegeanswer.com

Contains links to assess career interests, researching occupations and schools as well as financial aid.

 

universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/welcome.html

General information about each of the 9 UC campuses, including addresses, phone numbers, and direct links to helpful sites, such as admissions, financial aid offices, room and board information, and student organization information.  There is also a link to the UC online application, Pathways.

 

csumentor.com

General information about each of the California State University campuses and helpful information regarding college preparation throughout high school, admissions, financial aid, etc.  There is also a link to the online application.

 

Goseecampus.com

A completely free resource for planning campus visits and making the most of the college search.  Find schools by location, majors, and more. Get college reviews and advice.

 

 review.com

The Princeton Review helps people find and get into the right college or other school.  They have great resources to help with testing, admission, financial aid, etc

 

collegebound.net

Helpful links for researching different types of post-secondary schools and educational/training options.  Up-to-date articles on careers. 

 

collegebound.net/community-school-guide

General information about educational opportunities through the community college system including specific majors.  Helpful link to use when looking for a specific community college.

 

OVER

 

peterson’s.com

The Education and Career center includes organized information about educational opportunities at all levels.  It also gives the ability to search Peterson’s databases and share information with others. Online applications for 209 universities and graduate schools – some can be transmitted electronically and some can be printed and mailed in the usual manner

 

 

communitycollegelisting.com

Links for information on admission to community colleges, programs offered and for researching community colleges.

 

assist.org

Online student-transfer information system. Provides the most accurate and up-to-date information about transferring within the public university system in California

 

communitycollegelisting.com

Links for information on admission to community colleges, programs offered and for researching community colleges

 

collegebound.net/community-school-guide.com

General information about educational opportunities through the community college system including specific majors. Helpful link to use when looking for a specific community college.

 

HELPFUL WEBSITES:

 

CAREER INTEREST INFORMATION:               FINANCIAL AID:

www.review.com                                                        www.review.com 

www.career.missouri.edu/holland                              www.fastweb.com

www.careerkey.org/english                                    www.wiredscholar.com

www.MappingYourFuture.org                                   www.finaid.org

                                               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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