Five Pitfalls When Applying to Colleges

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					5 Pitfalls Parents & Students Can
Avoid When Applying to Colleges
    Opportunities for Gifted Students

                                 Karen Dash
5 Pitfalls Parents & Students Can Avoid

1. Thinking that you attend
  college because you are
  “supposed to go.”

What’s the value of a college degree?
  A bachelor’s degree is worth $2.8 million over the course of a lifetime

  College graduates earn 84% more over their lifetimes than those without
  college degrees

  Average salary for C2011 graduate is $41,701, which is nearly 60% higher than
  the median US salary of $26,364.

  In February, 2012, the U.S. unemployment rate was 9.2% for high school
  graduates vs. 4.3% for college graduates
5 Pitfalls Parents & Students Can Avoid

2. Making college choices
  based on the wrong criteria

College Choices

 Over 3,000 US colleges

 National Universities
 Liberal Arts Colleges
 Regional Universities
 Regional Colleges
 Community Colleges

What criteria do I use to select my
       student’s college?
I went to Duke University, and I loved it. I think my child
should attend Duke also.

My best friend is considering Rice University. I’m going to
apply there too.

My boyfriend is going to Northwestern, so I want to go to
Northwestern, even if I hate cold snowy winters.

5 Pitfalls Parents & Students Can Avoid

3. Ruling out colleges based
  on your student’s profile

Ruling Out Colleges Based on Your
        Student’s Profile
My math SAT scores are not great. I have no chance at a good college.

If I don’t have to have a million different extracurriculars and I’m not a
valedictorian, there’s no way I could get in there.

My sophomore year grades suffered when I missed school after that car
accident. Now I’ll never get in anywhere competitive.

I’ve got SAT scores in the top 10%, and I’m 2nd in my class; I can go wherever I

  Increased Applicant Pools

Top Applicant Schools, C2015
C2015 School             # Applicants
UCLA                     61,498
UC San Diego             53,455
UC Berkeley              52,920
UC Santa Barbara         49,015
New York University      42,242
Boston University        41,734
University of Michigan   37,136
Harvard University       35,000
Columbia University      34,587
Stanford University      34,200
         Increased Competition

In 2011, nearly 35,000 students applied for one of approximately
1,600 places for the Harvard Class of 2015.

Over 34,000 students applied to be one of the 2,427 members of
the Stanford University Class of 2015.

For the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill class of 2015,
nearly 24,000 students vied for one of 7,469 slots.

   Strategically Identify Target Schools

                                                               2012 “Dream Colleges”
Based on student/family preferences, Identify Target Schools   (Princeton Review)
                                                               1. Harvard
         Dream Colleges                                        2. Stanford
         Strong Matches                                        3. Columbia
         Safety Schools                                        4. NYU
                                                               5. Princeton
                                                               6. UCLA
                                                               7. Yale
Well-known schools aren’t always the best choice               8. MIT
                                                               9. Brown
                                                               10. USC

Develop a Strategic Plan

5 Pitfalls Parents & Students Can Avoid

 4. Ruling out colleges or
   financial aid based on
   family finances

Ruling Out Colleges Based on Finances

  We can’t afford such an expensive college.

  My family makes too much money to qualify for financial

Large Universe of Financial Aid

Each year, nearly $180 billion in
financial aid is available to US college

            Financial Aid Forms

Free Application for Federal
Student Aid (FAFSA) or

College Scholarship Service (CSS)

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

5 Pitfalls Parents & Students Can Avoid

5. Not Planning Early Enough

   Not Planning Early Enough
The courses I take in my freshman or sophomore year
don’t really count.

The grades I get in my freshman or sophomore year don’t
really count.

I’ll think about my college essay and my application in the
fall of my senior year, once I figure out where I’m applying.

Let me get through applying for colleges; then I’ll focus on
applying for financial aid and scholarships.

What Your Younger Student Can Do
 Get a sense of what careers, schools might interest you

 Challenge yourself in your courses

 Consider camps, enrichment opportunities aligned with
 your interests

 Start researching financial aid and scholarship

 Save money for college

               Gifted Student Options
                                                  NCSSM Quick Facts

                                                  Three time national Siemens Award
Nation’s first publicly-funded residential high   Winners
school for students gifted in science and         More semifinalists and finalists than
math                                              any other school

                                                  C2011 WINNERS
Best-kept secret in NC                            International Science and
                                                  Engineering Fair
                                                  Singapore Mathematics Challenge
Applicants compete against others from their      Intel Science Talent Search
Congressional Districts                           Stockholm Junior Water Prize

SAT Scores                                        44 National Merit Finalists
                                                  9 National Achievement Finalists
Mean combined Math and Verbal of 1277

5 Pitfalls Parents & Students Can
Avoid When Applying to Colleges

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