• SENIOR ADVICE to JUNIORS

    **  KNOW YOUR VALUES  **

    • Reflect on what you want from your college experience
    • Make a list of the top five to ten things you want (i.e., medium school, near mountain or water, good food, campus environment, athletics, academic major).  Take this excel spreadsheet and personalize it for your use
    • Don't have one dream school (have 8 first choices instead)

    **  SAT/ACT STUFF   **

    • Take SAT/ACT this year, then use your best score
    • No testing in fall unless absolutely necessary - fall you will be too busy with applications
    • Take a Pre SAT - See college and career center for info
    • A dull pencil saves time
    • Take prep course if you feel unhappy with score and are not eligible for schools of your choice.  Classes are expensive but there are some free prep sitesKhan academy is awesome for SAT prep.  So is Free Rice  

    **  COLLEGE VISITS  **

    • Take notes.  Schools may run together if no notes. Give mom a camera
    • School VIBE is important - Trust your gut instinct
    • Sit in on a class, have lunch in the dining hall, watch how people are interacting
    • Go with friends or a parent, but it is helpful to step away from them for part of the tour and imagine how you would feel attending this campus
    • Schedule tours online or call the admissions office. You should call, not a parent because schools track this information
    • Use school breaks for visits
    • Set up time with Drake grads during visit
    • Meet professors and associate dean & admissions reps

    **  COLLEGE CHOICES, MAKING DECISIONS, APPLICATIONS  **

    • Be REALISTIC - Accurately assess your goal with your gpa and test scores
    • Don't stress. Everyone is going to go somewhere
    • Read about the schools – Naviance, Princeton ReviewUnigo, College Prowler
    • See college reps at Drake.  The rep is the one who will read your application
    • Don't let your friends decide for you
    • Contact people at colleges - coach, professor student, college admissions officer - talk to them about your important criteria - ratio, major, sports, Greek life.  Students already away at college really want to help you
    • Vicky applied to 12 schools - likes the feeling of having options. All over the map - 3 backups, 3reaches, 6 in the middle
    • REACH. POSSIBLE ADMITS. SAFETIES. 2-4 of each is a good number
    • Start asking questions: Will I get the connections and education I need for this career?  Create connections – specifically, ALUMS
    • Look at the applications and supplements now of the schools that you want.  Each school has their own essays - this can be a lot of work
    • Have range of schools to visit.  If you can't afford to go far, look around here - COM, Dominican, Sonoma State, SF State, USF, UC Berkeley
    • Start college apps over summer and it will be out of the way for the school year
    • What inspires you?  Why this field?  Why this school?
    • Keep in mind the cost of applying to college - Nine is a good number
    • Make every school your first choice school

    **  EARLY DECISION/ACTION  **

    • If apply to Early Decision, you must be CERTAIN you want to attend, as it is binding.  Early Action you have more options
    • Applications - start figuring it out by fall semester.  Early Action can be great: find out early if you are accepted.  Negative:  have to rush and commit

    **  SENIOR YEAR  **

    • Do everything you can - hard schedule senior year
    • Be motivated for yourself – intrinsic rewards of hard work
    • Use the resources in counseling, college center
    • Senior grades DO count
    • Get all the awards and accomplishments you've got together

    **  ESSAYS  **

    • Know the COMMON APPLICATION – which schools require supplemental essays
    • Don't write tragedy's, don't write about drugs, don't make them pity you
    • Think now re essay topics – brainstorm, save notes, editing, be ready to write
    • Don't get stuck in the USC film school essay nightmare!
    • Get lots of help on your essay
    • Sheila rules when it comes to editing essays
    • Write your own essays - Don't let your mom write your essay
    • Essay help - counselor, writers, editors, English teachers, anyone you know in college admissions
    • Figure out what you want to tell colleges.  Know why you want to go there

    **  LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION  **

    • Get information and list of activities you've done all together
    • Develop a relationship with your counselor and each teacher you may ask for a letter
    • Talk with teachers now, in junior year, about writing your letter in fall
    • Complete the Letter of Recommendation form for Ms Souder before October 1st!!  Really?  Really!!

    **  SUMMER  **

    • Do something in the summer including college apps or take a class, get a job, volunteer.  You are not entitled to a lazy summer
    • Write the essay early
    • Get guides to each school and read info on the school before you go.  
    • Do sports camp in summer
    • Road trip with parents or friends

    **  COLLEGE OF MARIN  **

    • Take classes at COM. GOOD PLACE.  Awesome teachers
    • Most important part is having a goal and staying focused on goal
    • Math placement test and English placement test
    • Counseling hours at COM are confusing so read the website, meet counselor and set up a plan - Figure out what classes transfer to 4 year school
    • Guaranteed transfer agreements for UC’s - know the requirements
    • Start looking at where you want to be in two years
    • College is a clean slate.  No one will ask for your high school GPA after COM

    **  TOP ADVICE FROM STUDENTS  **

    • Don't get super stressed about colleges – the process will make you crazy, but only if you let it - Five minute stress attacks pass
    • Have some safety applications - ones that you know you will get in & be happy to attend
    • Don't pin your hopes on one dream school (have 5-8 first choices)
    • No matter what have a goal for one year, two years, four years.  Have something to point to and keep on track - good guide even if you change your mind
    • Don't overload self - MAINTAIN BALANCE
    • Follow Sheila's advice and do each step and you'll be fine
    • Talk to seniors and staff about applications
    • Talk with your parents about how much money to spend on colleges
    • Do your best- take pride in your efforts
    • Don't slack off senior year, no matter what your friends say
    • START EARLY!!  Get your ducks in a row
    • One sheet with all deadlines - keep reviewing it
    • Write your passwords on one sheet
    • College won't make me - I'm going to make college
    Have FUN!  YOU WILL HAVE A FUTURE!