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
• 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 www.fafsa.ed.gov . 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?
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:
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
Number2.com 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
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.
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 http://www.chea.org/Directories/regional.asp.
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!!!!!
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
• 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 http://www.studyinbritain.com/
• Tips for Parents: Helping Your
Child Through College Becoming a Foreign Service Officer
• Books for Parents of College- from the ACT's Activity Publication
• 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.
The Life of a Foreign Service Officer
New environments and challenges keep job fresh for this 20-year veteran of the Foreign