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Thinking About College for High School Students: An Organizing and Instructional Packet

Thinking About College for High School Students: An Organizing and Instructional Packet

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Publicado porGregory Ngai Hom
This packet was designed to help often neglected high school students understand how to research and apply to four-year colleges. By directing readers to useful websites and providing easy-to-use work sheets, it helps students stay organized for college applications, and it helps encourage students to judge their interests when selecting majors. The packet is oriented towards Internet users, and includes a brief and thorough guide to researching scholarships. An excellent resource for over-worked guidance counselors and parents to help students get serious with college applications!
This packet was designed to help often neglected high school students understand how to research and apply to four-year colleges. By directing readers to useful websites and providing easy-to-use work sheets, it helps students stay organized for college applications, and it helps encourage students to judge their interests when selecting majors. The packet is oriented towards Internet users, and includes a brief and thorough guide to researching scholarships. An excellent resource for over-worked guidance counselors and parents to help students get serious with college applications!

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Published by: Gregory Ngai Hom on May 21, 2009
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Gregory Ngai Hom

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Table of Contents

Packet Introduction How to Use This Packet Checklist for Thinking About College Understanding Yourself Possible Careers & Related Majors Sheet Majors and College Courses Sheet Discussing College with Parents/Guardians Possible Colleges of Interest Sheet Organizing for Scholarships The Bare Necessities of College Applications Further Reading (For Students & For Parents/Guardians)
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Packet Introduction
Dear High School Student, I wrote this packet to introduce students (hopefully sophomores or juniors) to one possibility for after high school: a four-year college education (i.e., bachelors or baccalaureate degree). There are other options like the army or navy, vocational schools, or two-year schools, but you have to ask someone else (e.g., a guidance counselor) to learn about them. This packet will help you begin to understand the college application process; afterwards, you have to become motivated, take responsibility for your future, and get other people to help you. But first and foremost, it's up to you to continually understand yourself and your career interests -- and then you should test them out. IF YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS PACKET, OR YOU THINK SOME OF IT IS DIFFICULT, THEN GET A TEACHER YOU TRUST TO GO THROUGH THIS WITH YOU OR GET HELP FROM YOUR GUIDANCE COUNSELOR. Good luck! Gregory Ngai Hom Spring 2009
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How to Use This Packet
(1) Students should go through this step-by-step with a teacher. The teacher should constantly ask the student questions to find the student's possible desires. This will teach the student to self-reflect. (2) The teacher should help the student learn to navigate websites. The sites for Collegeboard.com and different colleges can be complex, so the student needs to begin to understand how they are laid out to find needed information (e.g., course descriptions). (3) The teacher should help the student learn to choose relevant websites from an online search (e.g., on Google/Blackle), and filter for information vs. advertising. (4) The teacher should also encourage the student to print out important information and record information sources in case they are needed later. This will teach the student how to research and organize. (5) The teacher should also find ways for the student to explore any interests they express. Whether extracurricular activities or volunteering at local institutions, they will teach the student the value of concrete experience.

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 How to Use This Packet: Method 1 
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 How to Use This Packet: Method 2 
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significant events. fun courses. at least 4 webpages) ᄆDecide on college characteristics that are important to you ᄆCreate a list of potential colleges based on offered majors (Sheet: Possible Colleges of Interest) Continued on next page Gregory
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 . Careers and Majors) ᄆPrint out course descriptions to compare ᄆGoogle/Blackle for more information on majors/topics of interest (background research. etc. ᄆResearch colleges and majors based on possible interests (Sheets: Majors and College Courses. activities (school and out-ofschool).
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 Checklist for Thinking About College ᄆBuy Three Folders ᄆCollege Applications Folder ᄆScholarship Applications Folder ᄆFinancial Aid Folder (parents/guardians) ᄆWrite down possible interests for future studies ᄆTake Personality and Career tests if unsure ᄆList past interests.

SAT/ACT: ᄆOne or two reach colleges ᄆOne or two safety schools ᄆTwo or three 'Can probably get in' schools ᄆGo to your Guidance Counselor ᄆAsk for more college suggestions based on interests and marginal interests ᄆAsk for advice on: .Google/Blackle ᄆBegin 'Bare Necessities of College Applications' sheet Gregory
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 .Classes for junior/senior year . Class Rank.Scholarships or programs ᄆAsk relevant teachers for similar advice ᄆDiscuss everything with family/guardians ᄆSearch for scholarships and programs .Volunteer opportunities or extracurriculars (during school and the summer) .
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 Continued from previous page ᄆNarrow list of colleges with GPA.family/friend connections? .

educationplanner. Interesting Career Suggestions ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ (2) Take a Career Test Strong Characteristics: ________________ URL: http://www.aspx Then click through these links for the test: 'Assessments and Career Tests' 'Free Online Assessments and Tests' 'Jung Typology Tests' Search for your personality type on Google/Blackle.org/Audience/Students/Students.careeronestop.
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 Understanding Yourself (1) Take a Jung (Myers-Briggs) Personality Test Personality Type: ___ ___ ___ ___ URL: http://www.com Then click through these links for the test 'Your top career choices' 'Take the Career Key Assessment' Interesting Career Suggestions ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ Gregory
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This can include significant events in your life (tragic or magnificent).
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 (3) List fun or interesting classes you have taken. ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ (7) List any problems or issues that you have strong opinions or questions about. ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ (6) List any honors and accomplishments (with dates). ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ Now you can bring this sheet to any teacher or Guidance Counselor to discuss possible majors you might enjoy! Note: You can also take a personality test at www. but it will not give you any suggested careers (unless you pay money…). Gregory
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 . ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ (5) List all out-of-school activities (with dates).com. ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ (4) List all in-school activities (beginning & end dates).assessment.

and write down which careers they suggest on this sheet.Find the career listing on Collegeboard.Search on Google/Blackle. explore each separately. take a Personality or Career Test. and find 3-4 useful articles. look for common majors among your career ideas.com .
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 "Possible Careers & Related Majors" Sheet This is for students who think they already know what they want to be after college. (2) Find commonly listed college majors for your career idea and record them. (4) If you have more than one career idea. Gregory
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 . (If you are unsure. (3) Find extracurricular activities associated with your career idea (ask your Guidance Counselor about possible volunteering opportunities).) -----------------------------------------------------------------------(1) Write down a career idea and research it . at the end.

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"Majors and College Courses" Sheet
This sheet is for students who already have a topic or a few subjects that they are very interested in studying. -----------------------------------------------------------------------(1) Find a major you are interested in on www.collegeboard.com. (2) Browse and read about related majors listed on the webpages for each major you picked. (3) Record those majors on the sheet. (4) Search for colleges that offer one of the majors you are interested in on www.collegeboard.com. Go to the websites of those colleges (‘.edu’ websites), and search for the departments of the major(s) you’re interested in. (5) Browse through the courses in those majors. (6) Record the courses that you find interesting, and write down which major/department they belong to. You should also print out the descriptions. (7) Now you can look at which major(s) you might be best suited for.

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Discussing College with Parents/Guardians
Going to college is not an individual decision: because you are a student, you probably won't be able to pay for college by yourself. (There are exceptions where students work while they study, but it can be very difficult.) Going to college is usually a family decision if you have parents/guardians, and sometimes what you want will be different from what your parents/guardians want. If you are unfortunate, your opinions will clash, so you should prepare and think about what you want first and why. If you can write down what you want with a clear rationale, you will be better able to discuss your opinions. Go to collegesearch.collegeboard.com, click 'College Search' and then browse through the different college criteria the site lists. If anything looks really important to you (e.g., you MUST go to school in Alaska), then write it down in the chart and explain your reasons. You should find a teacher to help you think of an argument.
Tip: The most important criteria are usually: (1) majors available, and (2) location. It's VERY important to think about college size, too -- it depends on whether you need structure (small colleges), or you are an independent learner who feels comfortable with regularly approaching teachers for help (large colleges). If you have specific desires like religion or sports, consider doing some Google/Blackle searches. You can also search for colleges based on LGBT friendliness/safety, race/ethnicity and gender (i.e., women’s colleges). And, yes, other countries have colleges, too.

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"Possible Colleges of Interest" Sheet
This sheet will allow you to begin narrowing down your list of potential colleges. -----------------------------------------------------------------------(1) Complete the "Majors and College Courses" sheet. (2) Research which colleges offer the majors you desire. - You can search on collegesearch.collegeboard.com (click 'College Search'). - You can ask your Guidance Counselor. - You can ask any relevant teacher. - You can ask any relevant family member. (3) Record the colleges' names on the sheet. (4) Find the websites for each college, and fill in the chart. Some information can be found on: collegesearch.collegeboard.com Click 'College Search' Type in the "College Quickfinder" box. (5) Now you can begin narrowing your list of colleges! (See tip at bottom of page 14.) (1-2 Reach Schools; 1-2 Safeties; 2-3 Probably-Get-Ins)

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Organizing for Scholarships
Scholarships are basically money prizes given out by groups of people. Start early when looking for scholarships because: (1) some scholarships are only for juniors; (2) starting early will make it easier for you to look for scholarships later; and (3) you will be very busy during your senior year. Many scholarships are only for college students, so this is a good time to better understand them and to plan when to apply. You should apply for scholarships because it's money!!! You need money for tuition, books, transportation, food, housing, stationery/computers, medical fees, & staying alive! Use the chart to keep track of potential scholarships, and to schedule when to apply for them (you may have to wait until you're in college to apply, but you need to remember and plan!). IMPORTANT: When doing online searches, always find the website of the organization giving out the money. Many search engines have outdated and incomplete information.

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click 'Scholarship Search'. click 'Scholarship Search' (3) Fill out a list of your characteristics/preferences. http://www. and then you'll get a list of scholarships you're likely eligible for.educationplanner.com/ Click 'Browse'. but because it's College Board. the opportunities are more likely to be legitimate.. aspx Under 'Pay for Education'. Use this as practice and see that there are scholarships for both high school students AND college students (i. try this website: it's a well-known website and should now be easy to navigate.careeronestop.
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 Continued from previous page (1) A small website to begin becoming familiar with scholarship notices and their categorization. http://apps.com Continued on next page Gregory
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 .com Under 'Paying'. (2) An easy scholarship database to navigate because it's small.jsp (5) After getting a feel for how to search for scholarships. (4) Similar to (3). http://www.collegeboard.org/Audience/Students/Students. http://www. http://www.com/cbsearch_ss/welcome.e.fastweb. and with a smaller database.scholarship-page. undergraduates).

http://www. http://www. click ‘Scholarships’.org/ Under ‘Features’.college-scholarships. Gregory
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 Continued from previous page (6) TRY THIS LAST! It's a general database of scholarships. Not Satisfied? Use these websites to find more scholarship-search websites. Your school may also create newsletters about scholarships or college-related activities.html http://www.aie.com/ Note: Ask your Guidance Counselor whether local scholarships are available.com/teen_aid.quintcareers. but students need to be familiar with keywords already when searching for scholarships.

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The Bare Necessities of College Applications
If you do not pay attention to all of the following, then you are DOOMED … just kidding, but this is serious stuff. -----------------------------------------------------------------------(1) Application form (Individual colleges’ or common applications; can often be done online) - Sometimes requires essays (use pg 9) - Sometimes requires a résumé/activity list (use pg 9) - There are deadlines (2) Academic Transcript (i.e., good grades) - Must work with the Guidance Office - Note: Some majors (e.g., art, music) require portfolios, interviews, or some other form of demonstration of your ability (3) Letters of Recommendation (2-3) - Provide teachers with an Activity List/Résumé - Remind teachers regularly - Thank you cards - Report acceptance outcomes (4) Application Fees - Talk to Guidance Office about Fee Waivers (5) Standard Examinations - SATs (study for the exam, but also read newspapers, magazines, and books for reading comprehension) - ACTs (6) Financial Aid - Talk to your Guidance Counselor
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Take this test to find out your learning style.com/2007/05/02/conan-obriensgraduation-speech/ Idealist. http://www. Video and transcript. http://www. http://www. http://painstakinglydrafted.wordpress.academictips.edu/~acskills/success/index. Learning Style: ________________________ http://www.
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 Further Reading For Students VARK Learning Style To improve your studying skills.com/english/page.com/blogs/college-flashback/ Blog: Professors' Guide Figure out how to prepare for and study in college.com/ Gregory
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 .dartmouth.vark-learn.html http://www.usnews. it’s important to understand how you learn in general. http://www.org Begin finding volunteering opportunities.usnews.testtakingtips.com/blogs/professors-guide/ Comedian Conan O’Brien Speech Speech given to the 2006 graduating class of Stuyvesant High School.org Studying and Test-taking Tips A variety of sites to help students improve their academic abilities.org/ http://www.asp?p=questionnaire Blog: Celebrity College Flashback Learn about different celebrities' college experiences and improve your expectations.idealist.

com/blogs/college-cash-101 Blog: University Scholar Skim for a few useful articles. Very smart.com/ Blog: College Cash 101 Covers a variety of finance-related questions for those thinking about college. http://www.nytimes.com applywise Browse for a wide variety of articles. http://makecollegepayoff.org/ Blog: Guide & Seek by Jaye Fenderson Useful as an area to look for new information resources.com/guideseek/ CollegeToolKit.applywise. and take your time scanning before clicking any links: it’s very dense.aspx Any Major Newspaper’s Education Section The New York Times (http://www.com/wp-dyn/content/education/) Gregory
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 .com/resources.
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 For Parents/Guardians Blog: Make College Pay Off Covers a wide variety of topics from the perspective of a professor at Syracuse University.com/ College Parents Tips and Ideas for College Contains a variety of articles and an ongoing blog to help both parents and students. http://jayefenderson. http://colleges.washingtonpost.com/pages/education/) The Washington Post (http://www. http://collegetipsforparents. http://www.blogspot.usnews.com Click the ‘Articles’ tab. http://university-scholar.collegetoolkit.

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