SCHOOL Academic Bulletin
Vol. 20, No. 5 PUBLISHED BY IRVINE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT May, 2007
Inside This Beware:
Issue: Scholarship Scams
• College Admission Every year, several hundred thousand
Game Plan......................2 students and parents are defrauded by
scholarship scams. The victims of these
scams lose more than $100 million
• SAT & ACT annually. Scam operations often imitate
Test Dates ......................2 legitimate government agencies, grant-
giving foundations, education lenders
• Internships for and scholarship matching services, using
High School official-sounding names containing
words like “National,” “Federal,” educational loans deduct the fees from
Students .........................3 the disbursement check. They never
“Foundation,” or “Administration.”
require an up-front fee when you submit
• College Fairs...................4 In general, be wary of scholarships with the application. If the loan is not issued
an application fee, scholarship matching by a bank or other recognized lender, it is
services who guarantee success, probably a scam. Show the offer to your
• Writing the local bank manager to get their advice.
advance-fee loan scams and sales pitches
disguised as financial aid “seminars.”
The Scholarship Prize. This scam tells
• Hidden College If you have to pay money to get money, you that you’ve won a college scholar-
Costs...............................5 it’s probably a scam. Look for these ship worth thousands of dollars, but
tell-tale signs of scholarship scams... requires that you pay a “disbursement”
or “redemption” fee or the taxes before
• AP Student Info.............6 Scholarships that Never Materialize. they can release your prize. If someone
Many scams encourage you to send says you’ve won a prize and you don’t
• Borrowing for College ....7 them money up front, but provide little remember entering the contest or sub-
or nothing in exchange. Usually victims mitting an application, be suspicious.
write off the expense, thinking that they
• Summer Opportunities..8 simply didn’t win the scholarship. The Guaranteed Scholarship Search
Service. Beware of scholarship matching
• Nine College Myths.......9 Scholarships for Profit. This scam looks services that guarantee you’ll win a
just like a real scholarship program, but scholarship or they’ll refund your
requires an application fee. The typical money. They may simply pocket your
• JC Info..........................10 scam receives 5,000 to 10,000 applica- money and disappear, or if they do send
tions and charges fees of $5 to $35. you a report of matching scholarships,
These scams can afford to pay out a you’ll find it extremely difficult to
$1,000 scholarship or two and still qualify for a refund.
pocket a hefty profit, if they happen to
Future editions of the Academic Bulletin will award any scholarships at all. Your odds Investment Required for Federal Loans.
be available on the IUSD website.
(Previous editions are also available online.) of winning a scholarship from such Insurance companies and brokerage
http://www.iusd.org/parent_resources/academic.htm scams are less than your chances of firms sometimes offer free financial aid
striking it rich in the lottery. seminars that are actually sales pitches
for insurance, annuity and investment
The Advance-Fee Loan. This scam offers products. When a sales pitch implies that
Irvine Unified School District you an unusually low-interest educa- purchasing such a product is a prerequi-
5050 Barranca Parkway
Irvine, CA 92604
tional loan, with the requirement that site to receiving federal student aid, it
District (949) 936-5000 you pay a fee before you receive the violates federal regulations and state
loan. When you pay the money, the insurance laws.
promised loan never materializes. Real (Continued on next page)
2 May 2007 • Academic Bulletin
(Continued from page 1)
Free Seminar. You may receive a letter
advertising a free financial aid seminar or
“interviews” for financial assistance.
Sometimes the seminars do provide some
useful information, but often they are
cleverly disguised sales pitches for financial
aid consulting services (e.g., maximize your ! Get ready and then register for the May and/or June SAT Reasoning and
eligibility for financial aid), investment Subject Tests. Log on to www.collegeboard.com and visit the SAT
products, scholarship matching services and Preparation Center to take a free full-length official practice test and get a
overpriced student loans. score and skills report.
! Start visiting local colleges: large, small, public, and private (spring
According to the “Federal Trade break is a great time!)
Commission’s Scholarship Scams,” if you or ! Prepare for the AP Exams. Do well and receive credit or placement at
your child hears these lines from a scholar- most colleges.
ship service, you may be getting duped: ! Plan your senior year schedule with your counselor. Challenge yourself
with honors and AP classes.
# “The scholarship is guaranteed or ! Plan summer activities early. Enrich yourself by volunteering, getting an
your money back.” No one can guaran- interesting job or internship, or sign up for special summer learning
tee that they’ll get your child a grant or a programs.
scholarship. Refund guarantees often
have conditions or strings attached. Get
refund policies in writing—before you or Seniors
your child pays. ! The Letters are Rolling In! You should get acceptance letters and
# “You can’t get this information any- financial aid offers by mid-April.
where else.” There are many free lists of ! Compare financial aid awards from different colleges. Talk to financial
scholarships available. You and your aid officers if you have questions.
child should start researching scholar- ! MAY 1ST. . . FINAL DECISION TIME! You must tell every college
ships at the high school or library before of your acceptance or rejection of offers of admission or financial aid by
you decide to pay someone to do the May 1st. Send a deposit to the college you choose.
work for you. ! Wait listed? If you will enroll if accepted, tell the admissions director
# “I just need your credit card or bank your intent and ask how to strengthen your application.
account number to hold this scholar-
ship.” You or your child shouldn’t give
out credit card or bank account number
on the phone without getting information
in writing first. It may be the set-up for
an unauthorized withdrawal from your LAST CHANCE
# “We’ll do all the work.” Don’t be THIS SCHOOL YEAR!!
fooled. There’s no way around it. Your
child must apply for scholarships or To register for the
grants himself. SAT Reasoning & SAT Subject Tests
# “The scholarship will cost money.” log on to www.collegeboard.com
Don’t pay anyone who claims to be
“holding” a scholarship or grant for your
child. Free money shouldn’t cost a thing.
Test Date Due Late
June 2 Apr. 27 May 9
# “You’ve been selected by a national
foundation” to receive a scholarship or
“You’re a finalist” in a contest you
never entered. Before you or your child
sends money to apply for a scholarship, To register for the
check it out. Make sure the foundation or
program is legitimate.
log on to www.actstudent.org
Every year, students and parents are
defrauded by scholarship scams. If you’re Test Date Due Late
not sure about a scholarship source bring the June 9 May 4 May 5-18
information to your counselor and he/she can
help decipher the information.
Academic Bulletin • May 2007 3
Internships for High School Students Volunteer .... or
Internships are one of the most important ways students
gain experience and start to make contacts within their Get an Internship
field. College students hold most of the available
internships but more opportunities are now available Volunteer activities are important for
for high school students looking to get valuable work your personal and professional develop-
experience. ment—and it also looks good on your
college application. While volunteering
Why intern in high school? places a greater demand on your time, it
The idea of pursuing an internship probably doesn’t provides many benefits, including:
cross most high school students’ minds, which is an
excellent reason to pursue one. Work experience at a Helps you explore career options
respected company or organization, especially if it’s related
to a field one might pursue in college, will only strengthen one’s Cultivates responsibility
college applications. It’s a great way to stand out from the crowd.
Provides a “real world,” “adult”
Secondly, an internship will allow an individual to explore potential careers and environment in which to learn
courses of study for college. One might confirm that newspaper journalism is the
career of one’s dreams, or find out that software programming isn’t exactly how one Benefits the community
had imagined it. One may also discover other fields and positions that hadn’t Improves discipline and people
considered before. skills
Finally, an internship can help a person understand how a professional organization Provides task/goal-oriented activities
operates. Within that organization one gains access to valuable contacts who may
lead one to other opportunities as you progress through school. Enriches your life
Where to find an internship? PARENTS: Your involvement is very
Some organizations like Microsoft, the Museum of Modern Art and the Smithsonian important if your children are consider-
have formal internship programs designed for high school students. Typically, these ing volunteering. They will need your
programs are limited to students in the region. One should research companies in help to organize their time and to stay on
industry of interest and check their Web sites for opportunities. track.
Internships are not just available with large corporations in urban areas either. Often local SOURCE: www.uctv.tv/collegebound
newspapers, museums and other businesses will offer internship opportunities. Start
asking around at local business associations to see what is available in the community.
Don’t give up if these companies don’t formally list an internship program for high school students. Try to identify a human resources
representative or department manager one can
send an email or letter to. Ask parents, friends’
parents, relatives and anyone else who might be INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS:
willing to help if they’re aware of any opportu-
nities. Contact professional organizations in Microsoft
one’s area of interest. http://www.microsoft.com/college/highschool/
How to apply
Companies with formal internship programs Museum of Modern Art
generally have specific procedures outlined on http://www.moma.org/education/internships_high.html
his/her Web sites. If one is trying to create one’s
own opportunity, one should craft a one-page Smithsonian
resume that outlines his/her skills, education and http://www.nmnh.si.edu/rtp/ret/ramhssindex.html
interests along with a cover letter that explains
his/her interest in their organization. Rockefeller University
Below are links to some internship programs Berkeley Center for Science and Engineering Education
designed specifically for high school students. http://www.lbl.gov/Education/CSEE/hssrpp.html
Each one has different qualifications and
parameters, so be sure to read the information National Heart Lung and Blood Institute
carefully. If she/he doesn’t see a program that’s http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/funding/training/redbook/hsnihbio.htm
right in the list, one should access the Internet,
your local library and personal connections to Johns Hopkins University: Materials Research Science and Engineering Center
uncover other opportunities. http://www.pha.jhu.edu/groups/mrsec/11/hsstudents/
SOURCE: Stephen Borkowski for fastweb
Academic Bulletin • May 2007 4
At the Fair
All those booths filled with material can
be overwhelming. It can be confusing to
visit booth after booth and remember
who said what. Feel free to take notes.
Representatives are willing to invest
more time in someone who appears to
be taking the fair seriously. Ask repre-
sentatives for their business cards and
phone numbers. This will give you a
contact at the school should you have
FAIR ADVANTAGE further questions. Visit the booths of the
schools on your list first, but don’t feel
you must stick strictly to the colleges
you chose beforehand. There might be a
YOU WON’T FIND RIDES OR YUMMY TREATS AT school you overlooked that meets your
THESE FAIRS, BUT COLLEGE FAIRS CAN HELP YOU requirements. Along with a bag of
pamphlets and catalogs, you should
THROUGH THE MAZE OF COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY, leave the fair with answers to your pre-
determined questions. Leave the fair
TECHNICAL AND LIBERAL-ARTS SCHOOLS FROM confident that you have done something
WHICH YOU’LL HAVE TO CHOOSE. positive to help your college decision.
But your work is not done yet. Compare
the information to find the school that
best meets your needs. Write what you
liked or disliked about each school to
help you sort through the large amounts
College fairs are one of the best Go prepared of material you’ve received. Use every
sources of information if you’re looking Your research should begin before the opportunity you have to visit a fair, and
to continue your education beyond high fair. If you don’t do your homework, get exposure to as many different
school. There you’ll find the informa- you’ll find yourself meandering from colleges as you can. Taking advantage
tion that, if used properly, can help you booth to booth picking up more of college fairs now will help you sort
make the all-important decision of what pamphlets than you’ll ever read. through your choices!
to do next. But when there are other Fletcher recommends that you make a
resources, such as the Internet and tons list of schools about which you’d like to SOURCE: www.nextstepmagazine.com
of viewbooks sent in the mail, why learn more. Think about the size, loca-
should you attend a college fair? tion, cost and housing opportunities you
Though text-based resources are valu- expect from a college. This list will give
able, they lack the one-to-one contact your search direction, allowing you to
with school representatives that fairs make the most of your time at the fair.
provide. College representatives can Once you have a general idea of the
give you specific information about booths you want to visit, write down
their college’s programs and campus questions for the school representatives
that you might not find in a brochure. concerning admission requirements,
College fairs offer the opportunity to get costs, majors and help for those who are
your questions answered, narrow your still undecided. Fletcher suggests also
choices and make a difficult decision a considering the school’s campus, job
little easier. Before you go, read this. opportunities, extracurricular activities
and career-counseling services. College
Finding a fair fair representatives are there to answer
There are numerous fairs offered in the your questions. “Representatives,
spring and fall. “In the spring of their depending on the size of the fair, are
junior year of high school, students start able to give a significant amount of time
to take part in local and regional fairs,” to people who have specific questions,”
says Tom Fletcher, a university admis- Fletcher says. Fletcher also says it’s
sions officer. “Between your junior and important to keep a personal profile of
senior years, you can visit those your class rank, grade point average,
colleges. Then in the fall, seniors can SAT scores and special talents on hand
touch base with those schools again.” to give representatives an idea of your
The Orange County College Fair was educational background. Once you have
held Sunday, April 22nd at the your list of schools, questions and per-
Anaheim Convention Center. sonal information, you’re ready to go.
5 May 2007 • Academic Bulletin
Scholarship Essay Hidden College Costs
You’ve calculated tuition costs, figured in room, board and books. You’ve even
The personal checked out scholarships and grants, filled out the FAFSA and budgeted for day-to-
essay. It’s the day expenses like groceries and laundry money. You’ve covered all your financial
hardest part of bases.
Yet even with careful planning, you may encounter college costs that take you by
surprise. These costs crop up in the form of “miscellaneous fees” charged by your
it’s also the part
school for services or as penalties. Some colleges and universities provide lists of
of the application where the ‘real you’
these fees on their Web sites. More often students learn of these fees only after they
can shine through. Make a hit with these
have incurred them.
tips from scholarship providers:
Here are some fees to be aware of:
Think before you write. Brainstorm Application and admission: These fees don’t just apply when you enter school as a
to generate some good ideas and college freshman. You may find them added to your tuition statement or sent as a
then create an outline to help you separate bill if you take a leave of absence or even if you transfer to another “school”
get going. (e.g. from School of Speech to Journalism School) within your college or university.
Be original. The judges may be Course materials / laboratory use: You might assume that these fees would be built
asked to review hundreds of essays. into tuition, but frequently materials-intensive classes (ranging from art to engineer-
It’s your job to make your essay ing) will saddle you with additional required costs.
stand out from the rest. So be
creative in your answers. Card replacement: Hang onto your student ID and meal
Show, don’t tell. Use stories, card to avoid paying replacement fees (usually $15-$20).
examples and anecdotes to individ- Late tuition payment: Penalties for late payment are stiff,
ualize your essay and demonstrate generally ranging from $50 to $100.
the point you want to make. By Service fees for cancellation, adding / dropping classes and
using specifics, you’ll avoid late or changing registration: A little preparation can
vagueness and generalities and mean significant savings in change of registration fees. If
make a stronger impression. you like to “shop around” for classes, do so the semester
Develop a theme. Don’t simply list before you plan to register.
all your achievements. Decide on a
Official documents: Just because you’ve completed coursework, don’t think you’ll get
theme you want to convey that
those records for free! Transcripts, diplomas and “good student” auto insurance
sums up the impression you want to
certification all come at a price.
make. Write about experiences that
develop that theme. Missed student health appointments: Many schools charge for missed appointments
Know your audience. Personal essays with health services. It pays to call ahead.
are not “one size fits all.” Write a Degree candidacy / degree processing / thesis and dissertation filing: These fees gener-
new essay for each application— ally apply to graduate students, although special undergraduate programs may charge
one that fits the interests and them as well.
requirements of that scholarship Returned checks: Don’t bounce checks to your school! Not only will your bank
organization. You’re asking to be charge you, the school may also charge you as much as $60.
selected as the representative for
that group. The essay is your Dorm damage: Just like a landlord, your school reserves the right to bill you for wear
chance to show how you are the and tear to its housing facilities for anything ranging from broken fixtures to
ideal representative. adhesive tape left on the walls.
Submit an essay that is neat and How can you get advance warning of these hidden costs? Some fees are automatic —
readable. Make sure your essay is practically every school will charge you for late tuition payments, card replacements
neatly typed, and that there is a lot and returned checks. Your best bet for dealing with these sorts of fees is to call the
of white space on the page. Double- appropriate office in advance and explain your special case (e.g. if you need a
space the essay, and provide replacement card because your wallet was stolen). Many offices will make
adequate margins (1” to 1-1/2”) on allowances for extenuating circumstances.
all sides. To find out more about course material fees, try calling the department offering the
Make sure your essay is well written. courses. You will probably still have to pay the added fees, but you’ll at least get
Proofread carefully, check spelling some advance warning so you can adjust your budget accordingly. You might also be
and grammar and share your essay able to get some of the necessary materials at a discount or secondhand.
with friends or teachers. Another
For general service and official document fees, call either your registrar’s office or
pair of eyes can catch errors you
your bursar’s office to request a complete list of fees.
SOURCE: Kathleen Carmichael, Ph.D. for Fastweb
SOURCE: Kay Peterson, Ph.D. for Fastweb
Academic Bulletin • May 2007 6
AP Student Information... Day of Exam
WHAT TO BRING WITH YOU: ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
Picture ID (school ID/Driver's To leave campus after testing, you
License) !!!! must have a note with the exact
Your social security number. If time, date and signature of parent.
you provide the number, it is used NO EXCEPTIONS (NO telephone
calls allowed). GUESSING ON THE EXAMS
for identification and appears on
your AP Grade Reports. If you have The morning tests begin at 7:00 Scores on the multiple-choice sections
taken an exam and did not give a.m.; the afternoon tests at 11:30 of the AP Exams are based on the num-
your SS#, do not do so on any a.m. ber of questions answered correctly
future exams. Scores, with an explanation are sent minus a fraction of the number of ques-
Small snack for a very short break! to your home in July. tions answered incorrectly. No points
Several sharpened #2 pencils (with Scores can range from 1-5; some are awarded or deducted for unanswered
erasers) and sharpener for all colleges accept 3, most accept 4 & questions. For questions with five
multiple-choice answer sheets. 5. answer choices, one-fourth of a point is
Black or dark blue ballpoint pens Advanced Placement or college subtracted for every wrong answer. For
for free response questions in most credit is given for accepted scores. questions with four answer choices, one-
exams. To receive credit for IB or AP third of a point is deducted for every
A watch (in case your exam room exams, students are responsible for wrong answer. Thus, random guessing
does not have a clock you can see having test-score transcripts sent to is unlikely to raise or lower your grade.
easily). You are responsible for the campus which they are However, if you have some knowledge
pacing yourself during the exam. enrolling. of the question, and can eliminate one or
more answer choices, informed guessing
Calculators for the Calculus AB, Any student can take the exam.
from among the remaining choices is
Calculus BC, Chemistry, Physics B, No refunds are given. usually to your advantage.
Physics C, and Statistics examina-
tions. See the exam descriptions
beginning on page 4 of booklet for
restrictions on the types of calcula- 2007 Exam Schedule
tors you may use on these exams.
Calculators may not be shared with Date Morning 8 a.m. Afternoon 12 noon
other students. Unless permission
Mon., May 7 Gov’t & Politics: US Gov’t & Politics: Comparative
is expressly given on a particular French Language
exam, calculator use is not allowed.
A ruler or straight edge for the Tues., May 8 Computer Science A & AB Statistics
Physics exams only. Spanish Language
Wed., May 9 Calculus AB Chinese Language & Culture
WHAT NOT TO BRING WITH YOU: Calculus BC
Watches that beep or have an Thurs., May 10 Eng. Literature Japanese Language & Culture
alarm, portable listening or record- German Language French Literature
ing devices - even with headphones Fri., May 11 U.S. History European History
- photographic equipment, beepers Studio Art (portfolios due)
or cellular phones. Students who Week 2
bring these into the testing room Date Morning 8 a.m. Afternoon 12 noon Afternoon 2 p.m.
will be dismissed from test per
Collegeboard instructions. Mon., May 14 Biology Physics B Physics
Music Theory Physics C: Mechanics C: Electricity &
Books, dictionaries, notes, scratch
Tues., May 15 Environmental Science Psychology
paper, compasses, highlighters, Chemistry
rulers, straightedges and calculators
(except as previously noted). Wed., May 16 Italian Language & Culture Art History
Typewriting equipment, computers
(except as noted under specific sub- Thurs., May 17 Macroeconomics Microeconomics
jects). World History
Clothing (t-shirts, for example) Fri., May 18 Human Geography Latin Literature
with subject related information. Spanish Literature Latin: Vergil
7 May 2007 • Academic Bulletin
Borrowing for College:
How Much is Too Much?
Too much of Johnson, a financial advisor at the rather than a cheaper alternative?”
a good thing Millstone Evans Group of Raymond said Johnson.
can be bad, as James & Associates, a brokerage Students must take into account new
Shakespeare firm in Boulder, Colorado. laws and policies that make debts
demonstrated, If there is ever a time for discipline nearly impossible to write off.
and the axiom and independence, this is it, experts Student loans are no longer easily
is true of stu- say. That’s because lenders are in the swept away under today’s tougher
dent borrowing for college. Students business of urging students to bankruptcy laws. The Bankruptcy
may believe it is difficult enough borrow as much as possible, and Abuse Prevention and Consumer
worrying about the big exam next won’t warn of the financial Protection Act of 2005 extended
week or whom to take to the spring consequences. non-dischargeable debt to student
dance. Yet students must stretch loans from private lenders, so they
themselves and imagine a much Also, beware of a list of preferred
cannot be automatically written off.
greater consequence, years into the lenders from college financial aid
Instead, people seeking bankruptcy
future, when they consider how offices. By shopping around for
protection must prove that they can-
much money to borrow to pay for a lenders, students and their families
not repay a student loan and still
higher education. may find better deals on their own.
maintain a minimally adequate
After all, the average price of a After students come up with a standard of living.
private college has hit $88,872, and a number for the amount they expect
Furthermore, interest rates are going
public college, $23,344, according to to borrow, they should make sure the
up on student loans, so students will
the College Board’s “Trends in loan amount, plus other expected
pay more in the future to get rid of
College Pricing 2006” report. The debts such as rent and car payments,
the debt. In June 2006, the interest
implications are enormous. do not exceed 33 percent of their
rate on Stafford loans increased from
expected future income, Johnson
The first step is to try to avoid bor- 5.3 to 7.14 percent on existing loans
said. Free online calculators are
rowing in the first place, experts say. and to 6.8 percent on new loans. The
available to help put together a
“Students should thoroughly explore jump translated into $2,000 in
budget and estimate future costs. If
scholarships, grants and community additional interest payments for the
college-loan and other debts
service awards before they begin typical undergraduate borrower who
consume more than a third of future
borrowing for college,” said graduated with $17,500 in debt.
income, look for alternatives. For
Marianne Ragins, author of Winning
example, your budget might look The idea that using credit cards to
Scholarships for College and pub-
like this: pay for college will be easier is a
lisher of ScholarshipWorkshop.com,
delusion with terrible consequences,
based in Centreville, Virginia. (Budget based on roughly $30,000
said Robert M. Manning, author of
net yearly salary.)
The next step is to set up a budget Credit Card Nation and director of
based on the salary you’ll likely Rent $550 the Center for Consumer Financial
make after you graduate from Debt $130 Services at the Rochester Institute of
college, Ragins said. Students can Phone $45 Technology’s College of Business.
check average starting salaries in Utilities $100 Credit cards carry even higher fees
their field at Web sites such as Cable/Internet $20 than traditional student loans,
Salary.com and the U.S. Department Food $100 leaving the unsuspecting to fall into a
of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Car/Insurance $205 situation where it would take their
Handbook. Personal $240 entire lifetimes to pay off a credit-
Medical $100 card debt, Manning said. Students
Most importantly, students must
Savings $110 who want to attend graduate school
view each dollar they borrow for
TOTAL $1,600 or another professional school after
college as a dollar that they will be
(take home after taxes) college must include those debts in
unable to spend to buy such essen-
tials as a car, a house, or to start a any calculation of their future
family, and a dollar that they cannot “It’s going to be each student’s standard of living, Manning said.
put into a retirement-savings decision – is it absolutely worth it to “It forces people to say, ‘If I’m going
account. “It’s important for families me to go to the University of to graduate with $50,000 of student-
to work that through, to write down Chicago rather than to a public loan debt, how am I going to make it
numbers and understand what you college, or must I go to Juilliard or on a $40,000 salary?’” he said.
are signing up for,” said Rita another outstanding ‘name’ college SOURCE: Sandra Guy for fastweb
Academic Bulletin • May 2007 8
Summer break is a great time for you to may have suggestions you can use to students have kept busy doing some-
pursue interests and gain experience continue your search. Consider pursuing thing constructive with their summer
through paid or volunteer jobs, intern- a paid or unpaid internship. vacations, but that doesn’t necessarily
ships, and other activities. And don’t mean you have to have a traditional job.
forget, college admission officers see 3. Think About Creating Your Own Job Maybe you’re really into acting or dance
meaningful summer activities as a During your job search you’re likely to or sports and you want to devote your
demonstration of commitment and come across a potential employer that full-time energy to formally developing
responsibility. just can’t afford to hire you. If you’re those skills. Not only are there special
really interested in working there, offer programs out there, but most colleges
Tap Your Network your services for free. The job skills you will allow high school students to take
gain may be worth their weight in an actual college class.
One of the best ways to find opportuni- gold—just as you pay college professors
ties is simply by asking people you to teach, work experience can be equally 7. Think About Volunteering
know, a.k.a. networking. Start with your valuable. Treat unpaid jobs and intern- Spending a summer pitching in at a
parents, friends, teachers, counselors, ships as you would a paid position. Be local charity is a great way to learn
and relatives. If you’ve already got on time, pay attention, and work hard. about life and yourself. And it can help
something in mind, tell them. They may In return you’ll get great skills, a you develop leadership skills that will
have suggestions you haven’t thought glowing recommendation, and maybe last a lifetime.
of, and may know people you can even an offer of a paid position down SOURCE: www.collegeboard.com
contact for more information. the road.
Here are some suggestions to help you 4. Think About Creating Your Own
start your brainstorming: Business
Being your own boss definitely has its
1. Think Big rewards. Be warned though, it can be
The world’s a big place; see if you can hard work, too! But don’t let that scare
come up with an idea to match. Start you off if you really want to try going it
thinking about what you would really on your own. There are lots of potential
like to do. For example, do you enjoy small businesses you could try to create.
For example, if you know a foreign
the outdoors and hiking? Look into
becoming a counselor-in-training at a language, people may pay you to teach is the time.
summer camp or getting a job at a them how to speak it. Or, if you’re good
national park—almost all of them hire with plants, you could spend the
summer help. Of course, you’ll have to summer as a landscaper. Start calling
get permission to range too far from people now and see if you can line up a Needs are
home, but don’t limit yourself. See how few clients.
crazy an idea you can come up with. Let great...
someone else say, “no.” 5. Think About Getting More Involved
Consider exploring the interests you
pursue during the school year more in-
2. Think About Careers
depth. If you have a job that really
If you already have an idea about a
career you’d like to pursue, summer interests you, consider asking not just possibilities
break is your chance to test the real for more hours but more responsibility,
thing against your expectations. You to expand your experience and knowl- are greater.
may be anything from an aspiring edge. Sticking with one organization or
attorney to a would-be bookstore owner. job gives you depth and breadth—and
Start by calling up businesses and shows you’ve made a real commitment.
organizations that are related to your
interests, and find out if they need any 6. Think About Not Getting a Job
help. Even if they’re not hiring, they Colleges, of course, like to see that
9 May 2007 • Academic Bulletin
NINE C OLLEGE M YTHS. . .
(And Why They’re Just Not True)
You know how it’s said that college is Lisa Jacobson, founder and CEO of Myth: Homesickness is for
one big party? It’s a myth. Or how Inspirica. “It is just too narrow a view.” babies
you’ve been told that your roommate What you have to find is the college that
will be a total creep, you’ll need to is right for you. “The right school is the Truth: “That’s ridiculous,” say Kent
maintain a 4.0 GPA, and that crashing place where you feel comfortable and and Kyle Healy, students at Saddleback
parties and getting drunk are the norm? confident enough to explore your College and Goldenwest College,
Myth, myth, myth. interests,” says Maben. “College is a respectively, and authors of the book
time to learn what engages and excites Cool Stuff They Should Teach in School.
There are so many widely circulated you academically. What better place to
myths about college that it’s typical for have that experience than at the school “There’s nothing wrong with missing
students to reach college and find out that feels the best to you?” Mom’s cooking or working on the car
that it’s absolutely nothing like what with your dad.” In fact, they say that a
they expected! Myth: You need to decide your lot of their friends have said that being
major before you begin college away from home for the first time really
To make sure that there aren’t any helped them appreciate how good they
unwelcome surprises, we’ve decided to Truth: Um, no. With approximately 70 had it for the first 18 years.
debunk some of the common myths for percent of college students changing
you. How many of these have you their majors before graduating, we say Instead of fighting homesickness, try to
bought into? it’s no big deal if you haven’t decided overcome it by interacting with your
on one before you head to college. It is new friends, calling home once in a
Myth: Without a good SAT score, wise to have a general direction of while, getting involved in other activi-
no college will accept you where you’re headed, but you probably ties and talking to your RA when you
won’t need to declare a major until the need help.
Truth: No amount of good SAT scores end of your sophomore year. So why pin
are going to cover up for the fact that down the specifics until you’ve actually “Look at it this way—now you’ve got
you slacked off in high school. That attended a few classes and found what the best of both worlds,” say the Healys.
doesn’t mean that your SAT or ACT really interests you? “You’ve got the independence and the
scores don’t count. But it does mean support of your family. You also have
that your test scores will be used in “I think students should focus on one the opportunity to go home, share your
combination with your curriculum, day at a time,” says Jacobson. “You may new set of experiences with good old
grades and rank—not as the only factor. find that, once you’re there, a particular Mom and Dad (and little brothers or sis-
According to Patricia Maben, director of course given in your junior year or a ters if you’ve got ‘em), and then get the
enrollment management at Hartwick professor you meet at some point just heck out of there before they drive you
College, some schools will emphasize pushes you in a completely different nuts again!”
SAT/ACT scores as heavily as they do direction.”
your GPA and rank. Others use them as Myth: You will hate your
a general guidepost to gauge your Myth: Your college friendships roommate
potential to succeed in college. And will last a lifetime
others don’t use test scores at all. Truth: Not necessarily. You never
Truth: Some do, some don’t. But if know, you might end up being the best
“The most important component of your you’re headed to college thinking that of friends. “In general, there are more
high school academic record is the you’ll either make no friends or that great friendships made than anything
strength of the coursework (Did you everyone will be your friend, listen up. else,” says Maben. “The bottom line is
take the required classes, and did you That’s not going to happen. Friendships that students need to be prepared to get
challenge yourself when appropriate?) will happen. But there’s no guarantee on along with their roommate; be open to
and the grades you receive,” Maben how great they’ll be or how long they’ll different perspectives, cultures and per-
says. last. That said, you’re going to be more sonalities. People with open minds and a
popular if you take the time to say “hi” good dose of patience are likely to have
Myth: You need to search for the to someone you don’t know or pass on a the best college roommate experiences.”
perfect college smile to a random stranger than if you
stay standoffish and stick to a corner of And while we’re on the topic, ever been
Truth: The fact is, there is no such the room. If you’re looking for like- told you should live alone rather than
thing as the “perfect” college. “That’s minded people to hang out with, seek with a roommate? Wrong, wrong,
like saying there is only one person in out an activity or club and get involved. wrong.
this world who is the right mate,” says
Academic Bulletin • May 2007 10
According to Harlan Cohen, author of gram has its grade requirements. “More important are the contributions
The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other However, the challenging courses will you’ll be bringing to your new employ-
Issues You Might Run Into in College, put you a step ahead in a competitive er,” says Branan. “Professionalism,
assuming that you don’t go to prison, career market. A student should think in competency to perform job skills, a
college is the only time in your life terms of, ‘What will strengthen my great attitude and even a sense of humor
when you get to live with a total résumé?’” have topped the ‘wish lists’ of employ-
stranger. To live with someone of a dif- ers when hiring.”
ferent culture, religion or lifestyle is Myth: If you don’t get good
invaluable. Sharing a space with a grades, no one’s ever going to Branan says that it all boils down to one
roommate opens you up to making new important question: “Would I want to
friends, dealing with conflict, appreciat-
employ you work with this person on a daily basis?”
ing differences and learning about your-
Truth: Sure, grades are important, but
self. Cohen says that even the nightmare
don’t go believing that they’re the only SOURCE: Mridu Khullar
roommate offers something of value—
things that count. Real-world experi-
once the nightmare ends.
ence, your personality and your aptitude
for the job count much more than any
Myth: Once you’re in college, it’s number of A’s you earned in college.
too late to apply for scholarships
Truth: You can always apply for schol-
arships. In fact, some scholarships
aren’t even available to high school stu-
dents and are only available to you once
you’ve picked your major. “Seek out
your financial aid counselors,” advises JUNIOR COLLEGE INFO....
Maben. “They are there to help you at
all stages of your college experience—
from prospective students to seniors.” In Are you planning on attending a local
addition, she suggests searching Web
sites for scholarships for college junior college next year?
students. Find more information and registration deadlines.
Myth: It’s better to get good Go online or call today!!
grades than to take challenging
courses Orange Coast College ............714.432.5072
Truth: “You need to take the courses www.orangecoastcollege.edu
that provide the skills,” says Dr. Neal
Prochnow, an education consultant and Irvine Valley College..............949.451.5461
author of Get Out of College and Get www.ivc.edu
On With Your Career.
As an example, he says that many stu- Santa Ana College ..................714.564.6015
dents avoid Speech 101. “This is the www.sac.edu
worst thing you can do. It should be
taken early on, and significant time Santiago Canyon College ......714.628.4901
(should) be spent to do well,” he says.
Prochnow says that taking courses that www.sccollege.edu
teach you critical skills will help you
once you’re out of college and in the Saddleback College................949.582.4555
Jean Branan, director of career services
at The Art Institute of California-San
Diego, agrees. “Every academic pro-
Sun Trust Off to College Scholarship
Hispanic Scholarship Fund
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A. Bannister Scholarship
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Deadline: June 15, 2007
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Deadline: July 15, 2007
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Deadline: May 15, 2007
Elder & Leemaur Publishers “Challenge the Experts”
Award: up to $10,000
Eligibility: Juniors and seniors and undergraduate students. You must submit an essay of 500 words or less addressing one of the
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Deadline: July 1, 2007