In This Issue Join the conversation Join the conversation – get help

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					                                      Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School
                                      College Bound Newsletter
November 2010                                                            Volume 4, Number 3

In This Issue                         Krop’s College Bound
• Krop’s College Bound
                                      SENIORS, each year we have had a tradition of recognizing students when they are
• “miamidadecap” – College            accepted to college. Your success is highlighted on a regular basis by an e-mail that I
  Discussion Forum                    send out to all seniors and faculty. This year is no different. You should all be very proud
                                      of your accomplishments and join in by letting us all here Krop share in your joy and
• Important Dates and Deadlines       accomplishments. All you need to do is make a copy of your acceptance letter and give i
• Financial-Aid Myths that Hold       to me
  Students Back
• Maximizing Your Financial Aid
  Awards                              “miamidadecap” – College Discussion Forum
• College Fairs                       What is “miamidadecap”?
• Study Abroad...Is the Glass Half    It is a community discussion form where you will be able to ask any question about
  Empty or Full?                      college, testing, scholarships and financial aid.
• Checking out if an institution is   Students, parents, college admissions, CAP Advisors are invited to ask questions, share
  accredited                          information, post valuable announcements and enter into meaningful discussions about
• Colleges of Distinction             any and all aspects of the postsecondary education process.
                                      “miamidadecap” is about sharing information and helping our students.
• Advice from Current College
  Students                            How do I find “miamidadecap”?
• Too Many Letters of
• Study in Britain                            Join the conversation – get help – help others!!!
• Becoming a Foreign Service
 “I have an open door policy. That
means that if the door is open –      Important Dates and Deadlines
“come on in” you are welcome
anytime.”                             December 1, 2010: (Seniors)
                                      Seniors, I will be sending you an e-mail when I have confirmed that the Florida Office of
                                      Student Financial Aid has activated their website. At that time I will give you the link
                                      directly to the site where you can register for Bright Futures and other scholarships,
                                      grants, loans and work study programs offered by the state of Florida. Please register
                                      before the end of the first semester

                                      Beginning January 1, 2011: (Seniors)
                                      FINANCIAL AID - FAFSAs for the 2011-2012 academic year can be filed beginning
                                      January 1, 2011 by going to . I highly recommend that your parents
                                      finish their 2010 Federal Income Tax as soon as possible. I will be talking to all seniors
                                      through their Govt./Econ classes soon.

                                      SAT / ACT Testing: (Juniors)
                                      Register by December 23 for the SAT and Subject Tests on January 22 and by January
College Searches                                                th
                                      for the ACT on February 12 . I would like all juniors to finish their SAT/ACT testing
                                     the end of their junior year!!!!! … just ask a senior why?
College Board:
Princeton Review:                    Financial-Aid Myths that Hold Students Back
EduPrep:                              From: Miami-Dade College
                                      “Educators Lead the way” 10/10
Search for colleges,
and scholarships:                    You might know these statements are false, but do all of your students?
College and scholarship searches     Unfortunately, these myths are still alive today and keep many from applying for
Knowledge for College:               financial aid. Keep reading for some facts you can use to combat the most
                                     common myths about financial aid.
Art and Design Colleges:
College Accreditation:
                                         Only families with really low income get aid.
Colleges that Change Lives:
Florida Health Careers:                  Only students with great grades get financial aid.
Colleges in the UK:
                                         Students should wait to be admitted before applying for financial aid.
Virtual College Tours:

College Confidential                     Aid is not for students with grades like mine.
College View                             It's about need. GPA might be important for scholarships, but most federal ai
                                         programs don't look at high school grades.
Occupational Outlook Handbook
The common Application:                  I plan to work my way through college and don't need aid.
                                         There's nothing wrong with working one's way through college. But aid can b
                                         the difference between studying full time or part time. Research shows studen
                                         who study part time and work full time are less likely to finish their degrees.

                                         I'll apply for aid after I get admitted.
                                         By then it might be too late. Students should apply for aid first, even if they'r
                                         sure of their plans. Financial aid will then be in place when they are ready to
                                         make a decision.

                                         A college degree is too expensive.
TESTING                                  Remind students of the cost of not getting a college degree. Without one, they
Here are some websites that              will be limiting their career options and income potential. A degree is an
provide SAT and ACT preparation          investment in the future. For more information on the value of college, see a                              recent report from the College Board, Education Pays (pdf).
Max the Test
                                         I have a Bright Futures Scholarship, so I don't need financial aid.
Princeton Review                         Students should apply for financial aid anyway, since Bright Futures scholars
                                         offer a maximum dollar amount per credit hour. Financial aid might pay for a
                                         difference that isn't covered.
State University Minimums:
                                         I have prepaid college tuition, so I don't need financial aid.
Math: 460 / Verbal: 460 / writing:       Even a prepaid plan might not fully cover all costs. Last year, many parents
440                                      bought basic Florida prepaid plans covering less than half of the tuition and f
                                         To avoid a shortage of funding, students should apply for aid as well. If they'
ACT: 19 Reading
     19 Math
                                         awarded aid and don't need it, they don't have to use it.

                                         I wouldn't qualify for aid because my parents make too much money.
                                                 There's no maximum income or cut-off amount that would disqualify someon
                                                 from getting aid. Also, income isn't the only factor. The size of the family, th
                                                 amount of tuition needed and even the age of the parents are all considered.
                                                 Students shouldn't assume they won't qualify for aid.

                                             •     Financial-aid forms are too complicated.
                                                   Yes, they are somewhat complicated. But students should consider that the
                                                   get thousands of dollars in exchange for a few hours of work. Plus, FAFSA
                                                   been somewhat simplified. The online FAFSA form offers instructions for
NCAA INFORMATION                                   step. There's even an early test run at FAFSA 4caster (www.fafsa4caster.ed
NCAA online:                                       Free help is available online, through live chat and by phone (1-800-4-FED
                                                   so there is no excuse not to apply!
NCAA Clearinghouse initial

Recruiting search website:               We know it can be challenging to provide financial-aid help to your students.
                                         These free resources may help: -
Tennis Recruiting:                       The Dept of Education's Federal Aid Site for Counselors
*****************                        Counselors and Mentors Handbook on Federal Student Aid (pdf)
                                         "Myths about Federal Aid" Printable Sheet from the Dept. of Education (pdf)
If you have any favorite                 Miami Dade College's Financial Aid Site
websites that you would like
to share with us, please e-
mail the links to me at:                 Help us combat these myths so more students apply for aid! Contact Miami Dade
                                         College with any questions or visit our financial-aid website                   .

                                         Maximizing Your Financial Aid Awards
                                         The College Solution Newsletter – October 2010
                                         by Lynn O'Shaughnessy

                                         Today I want to share with you a wonderful resource - TuitionCoach - that may be able
                                         to help you boost the financial aid awards that your child receives. Until recently, you had
                                         to pay to use TuitionCoach, but not anymore.

                                         The site contains college funding videos, a library of financial aid resources and software
                                         that can help you evaluate competing financial aid awards. On the site, you can also
                                         learn how to avoid the most common mistakes families make on student financial aid
                                         forms. Most parents, by the way, make errors on their financial aid applications, which
                                         can cost them dearly.
Common Application Errors
“I’ll start the application next         The College Board also provides a financial calculator on its site that will generate your
week.” Don’t run out of time to          Expected Family Contribution.
complete the application. Give
yourself at least two weeks to find      There are other free EFC calculators on the web, but here is what's different about
mistakes.                                Tuition Coach's EFC calculator: Once you obtain your EFC, Tuition Coach will help you
                                         attempt to lower that figure. The lower your EFC, the more likely that you will be eligible
“I already ran a spell-check on my       for a better need-based financial aid package.
computer.” Words can be spelled
correctly but used incorrectly. Ask a    If you don't know what an ECF is, check out my post on the the subject:
counselor, teacher or family member
to proof read the application to catch   What Is Your EFC?
any errors or poor phrasing.

“One copy is enough.” Print out any
online forms and keep copies of all
                                        Ft. LauderdalethNACAC College Fair
                                        Thursday, November 4 5:00 - 8:30pm
“I can send my application
                                        Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County Conv. Center / Ft. Lauderdale, FL
as soon as I’m finished.” Before you
                                        This is an excellent fair for undecided seniors and other students who are eager to dig
seal the envelope
                                        into the college search process. Approximately 150+ colleges and universities will be
or click “Send” on your computer,
                                        represented. Informative workshops on admissions, testing, scholarships and financial
double- and triple-check that you
                                        aid will also be given.
have included
all necessary materials.

Follow-up in two weeks to verify
that all mailed                         Study Abroad...Is the Glass Half Empty or Full?
materials have been received.
                                        Many American students spend some time studying abroad. They immerse themselves
 “I assume this is right.” If you’re    in another culture and improve their foreign language skills. And many college students,
confused by a question or any part of   according to new research from the University of Wisconsin, funded by the National
the application, ask someone. A quick   Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drink more alcohol while they're away – a
call to                                 pattern that may continue when they return home.
the admissions office can save you
from making an embarrassing error       To learn more, please go to: Study Abroad

                                        Checking out if an institution is accredited
                                        Have you ever wanted to know if the college you are interested is accredited? The
                                        accrediting organizations identified in this website are recognized by the Council for
                                        Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Recognition by CHEA affirms that the standards
                                        and processes of the accrediting organization are consistent with the academic quality,
                                        improvement and accountability expectations that CHEA has established, including the
                                        eligibility standard that the majority of institutions or programs each accredits are degree

You must go to the Registrar’s          To learn more, go to the following website:
Office to request copies of your
Transcripts to be sent to those
Colleges you applied to.
                                        Colleges of Distinction
                                        From time to time I want to highlight some colleges of distinction that you may have
                                        never heard of. Beyond the more popular universities, I would like students to be open-
                                        minded with the hope that “the perfect college” for them may not be the one everyone
                                        talks about, but the “diamond in the rough” that strikes that chord within. To find more
                                        colleges of Distinction go to:

                                        Advice from Current College Students
                                        • Visit a variety of types of schools (big, small, private, public, different geographical
                                          locations) during the summer so you'll be sure of what kind of school you want to go

                                        • Start early in organizing your application materials. Investigate the application
                                          requirements of the colleges you are considering as early as possible. Keep a list of
                                          your schools and what you have to send them so you don't miss any deadlines.
                                        • Don't forget to make copies of everything!!!!!
Sponsored by:
Office of Student Financial
Assistance (OSFA)                       • Start early and reduce stress! Apply to rolling admission schools as early in the fall as
Florida Department of Education           possible- it makes you feel good to know you're in somewhere, and you have a better
                                          chance of being accepted.

                                        • Don't let anyone tell you that you cannot be accepted at a specific college. The worst
                                          is you get a "no" or "waitlist" and the best is you get a "yes", but you will never know
                                          unless you try.

                                        • Check the Common Application. If more than one school you're going to apply to
                                          accepts the Common Application, just do that.

                                        • Be patient and get your applications in on time. Apply where you want and don't let
                                          your friends influence you.

Steps to College                        • Don't rule out schools just because they're too expensive; you never know what will
                                          come through scholarships or financial aid.
Steps to College is NACAC's online
newsletter for and about students in
the school-to-college transition.       • Don't apply early to a school just to be "done with it" if you are not POSITIVE that that
                                          is the school for you. There's a school that's right for everyone, you just have to take
                                          the time to find it.
Resources and Tips as You
Begin Your College Search
                                        • Start looking for scholarship opportunities early. Some scholarship deadlines are
   •   Surviving Your College Search:     before the start of school.
       The Adventure Begins
   •   An Internet Road Map for the
       College-Bound Student            • In your essay, be sure to write about something that is really a part of you, something
   •   Career Planning and College        important. It shows if you bluff.
   •   College Rankings: Helpful or
                                        • If there is an optional essay, do it anyway to show that you are really interested in the
   •   Faring Well at College Fairs
   •   College Visits: A Planning
       Checklist                        • If you are asking teachers for recommendations, give them at least a week so that you
                                          do not inconvenience them.
Preparing for College While
You're in High School
                                        • Have an open mind and go where you feel comfortable.
   •   Choosing High School Courses
       for College Success              • Visit the colleges before accepting an offer of admission. Get a feel for the campus.
   •   Choosing High School
       Activities Wisely
   •   MySpace in College Admission     • I think it is important to spend the night at the schools you are interested in and talk to
                                          as many people as possible. Also see what the weekends are like and what the
Choosing the Best-Fit College             atmosphere of the school is like.

   •   Is a Large or Small College
       Right for You?                   Too Many Letters of Recommendation???
   •   Career and Technical Colleges:
       Careers in Focus                 In a recent college counseling chat room a counselor asked a question about having wel
   •   Tips for Visual and Performing   known people who they know write letters of recommendation in order to grease the
       Arts Students                    wheels of admission. Here are some of the interesting responses from them.
   •   Community College: A Viable
                                             •   A majority of responders wrote with the old adage: "The thicker the file
   •   Exercising Your Options: Tips
       for Student-Athletes                       the thicker the student.
                                             •    Two points I'd have: 1. the record I've seen is 20 recommendations. I'd say
The College Admission Process                     18 said "he's a great guy" and not much else. Bottom line with him: he
                                                  stayed on the waitlist and none of those letters changed a vote in
                                                  committee. 2. I tell people that a file gets a finite amount of time in
   •   The Parts of an Admission
       Folder                                     committee. A quantity of information takes away from the time for
   •   Admission Tech 101: What                   thoughtful consideration of any individual piece.
       Students Need to Know                 •    Too much of this name dropping-esque behavior will make them appear to
   •   Early Decision/Early Action:               be pandering/sucking up. Not a good thing. The kid is either the college’s
       Does the Early Bird Get the                material or he isn’t…No amount of connections will really change that,
       Worm?                                      despite what people think
   •   Getting Great                         •    Based on conversations I have had with college admissions counselors,
       Recommendations                            they are most interested in getting recommendations from individuals who
   •   Top Ten Tips for Writing the               know you and can speak in the first person about the qualities and
       College Essay                              characteristics that you possess which make you a good candidate (which
   •   Help with the Writing Process              for you is a long list indeed!). They want to know what you are like as a
   •   The Truth About College                    student (teacher recommendation), and an overall view of you (counselor
       Interviews                                 recommendation). Sometimes students have circumstances whereby an
   •   The Waiting Game: What if I'm              employer or someone who has overseen volunteer work can also write a
       Wait-Listed?                               great recommendation that speaks to character, work ethic, etc.
   •   Making the Final Decision             •    If the parents know someone who really has the clout and wants to use it
                                                  on behalf of their kid, that person will know how to exercise his/her
Financial Aid                                     influence, and it’s usually by phone. Otherwise, recommendations from
                                                  well-connected people are less than helpful (and often annoying) unless
   •   Focus on Financial Aid: An                 the recommender had something specific and unique to say about the
       Introduction                               applicant, and then the person doesn’t need to be famous or connected to
   •   Focus on Financial Aid: How to             support the applicant. If it’s the usual "comes from a great family", "I know
       Apply                                      the parents well", etc., it’s a waste of time. I remember receiving a letter
   •   Focus on Financial Aid:                    once from a well-known author who wrote that he’d never met the
       Terminology and Words to                   applicant, couldn’t say anything helpful but wrote in order to be able to
       Know                                       honestly say to the parents that he’d written. We chuckled and
   •   Focus on Financial Aid:                    appreciated the honesty, but a letter from the applicant’s summer job
       Resources                                  supervisor would have been far more helpful.
   •   The Scoop on Scholarships             •    A large number of letters, ultimately and not so subliminally say is:
   •   Financial Aid Basics                       "you're not good enough to do this on your own." And you're completely
   •   Financial Aid Myths and                    right. These extraneous letters do nothing.
   •   Financial Aid Words to Know

For Parents                              Study in Britain

   •   Off to College? Enter Here:       StudyinBritain.Com , makes available free information to research UK and Irish
       The Changing Parent/Child         institutions through an on-line directory. These institutions are very keen to attract US
       Relationship                      and International Students to their campuses for full degree undergraduate programs
   •   For Parents: Preparing Your       and the level of academics in the UK and Ireland is stellar and also provides for a very
       Child for the Social Aspects of   diverse student body to engage with. There are also some wonderful scholarships
       College                           available for tuition as well.
   •   Tips for Parents: Countdown to
   •   Tips for Parents: Helping Your
       Child Through College             Becoming a Foreign Service Officer
   •   Books for Parents of College-     from the ACT's Activity Publication
       Bound Students
   •   A Parent's Guide to Financial
       Aid                               The U.S. Department of State may have a job for you—but the application process is
   •   Everyone in My Child's Space      rigorous, demanding, and highly competitive.

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                                         The Life of a Foreign Service Officer
New environments and challenges keep job fresh for this 20-year veteran of the Foreign

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