2013 November College Readiness Tips for Teachers and Other College Advocates

1. Help students with their state university applications. In California, the Cal State and UC applications came online October 1. Both must be submitted by November 30. The Cal States can be submitted October 1-November 30, while the UCs can be submitted November 1-30. Both applications have students self-report their course and grades, so they need access to their most current transcripts. Please help them with their application completion and calculation of GPAs for the Cal States. Other public university systems are all online. Help students!!!

2. Encourage seniors to apply for EOP and other support programs. These programs provided amazing support for low-income students throughout the admissions, college readiness, and college survival process. The Cal States have a separate EOP application with several short responses and two required recommendations. As space is limited, have students apply as early as possible. http://www.csumentor.edu/planning/eop/. On the UC application, students just have to check that they want to be considered for EOP. Inform students about college application fee waivers. Students who qualify for free or reduced lunch qualify for fee waivers for most college applications. The Cal States and UCs allow students to apply to four of their campuses for free. Private colleges accept NACAC or College Board fee waivers or will waive fees if counselors, teachers, or students request them for students. http://professionals.collegeboard.com/guidance/applications/fee-waivers. Undocumented students qualify for fee waivers for most colleges, including the CAL STATES for the first time. Sadly public colleges in Arizona and some southern states ban undocumented students from applying or getting aid.

3. Hold college application and college essay workshops before, during, and after school. Your students need help with their essays. These essays make them pop for college admissions officers who are desperate for your students. Encourage grade 12 teachers to make these essays requirements and provide students with a variety of brainstorming, drafting, and revising strategies. Help students read great samples and see ways to use their essays more than once. Remind seniors of upcoming standardized tests. Yes, students can still take the SAT, ACT, or SAT Subject Tests. They can qualify for two fee waivers per test. Encourage them to keep trying as their scores usually go up. See below for test registration dates and deadlines.

4. Help students learn more about colleges by attending college and non-profit events in your area. Colleges are in your area right now. Find out where they are or take your students to a college fair. If your high school doesn’t have a college night, perhaps you can crash one at a local high school in your area.

5. Many colleges are still hosting fly-in programs for under-represented students. LA Cash for College, for example, is coming up in November. http://www.lacashforcollege.org/home.html NACAC has traditional and performing and visual art college fairs around the country. http://www.nacacnet.org/college-fairs/FallNCF/Pages/default.aspx

6. Continue to encourage students to research colleges online. Colleges want your students. But students need to apply to match colleges. College Green light is hosting a College Marathon on October 12, 2013. http://www.collegegreenlight.com/blog/. You University offers great video tours of colleges. http://www.youniversitytv.com/ Take advantage of College Week Live. This free website offers amazing webinars and workshops for students applying to college. http://www.collegeweeklive.com/

7. Write great letters of recommendation. Please write recommendations that make your students pop. Follow our Into-Through-Beyond approach so that you can help colleges see why these students belong on their campuses. Give details about their academic performance if you’re a teacher. Highlight their leadership and initiative if you’re a counselor. If you can’t remember or just don’t know them, have them submit detailed brag sheets. These letters can make or break an admissions or scholarship decisions. Please, write and submit your letters online.

8. Connect with current college students. Keep ongoing contact with your graduates. Ask these students to write tips for your students and post them around the classroom and college center. Ask them to visit during their fall visits home.

9. A PLEA…Help homesick college freshmen. We send our students away, and in October they begin to get very homesick. Their parents often can’t visit them, and they are beginning to struggle, at times, with their workload. So please keep in touch with freshmen. Send them care packages. Or just FB message or text them. They need your ongoing support.

10. Test Deadlines

SAT/SAT Subject Tests (http://professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/sat-reasoning/register/test-dates)
• Nov 2 (Oct 18 late registration). Listening part of foreign language tests offered.
• Dec 7 (Nov 8 registration)
• Jan 25 (Dec 27 registration)
ACT Tests (http://www.actstudent.org/regist/dates.html)
• Dec 14 (Nov 8 registration)

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