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Post-High School Planning


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Title: Post-High School Planning

Post-High School Planning
  • Colleyville Heritage High School
  • Junior Student/Parent Meeting

Post Secondary Options
  • College
  • University
  • 2 Year College
  • Community College or Technical school
  • Specialized Schools
  • Military Academies
  • Military Service
  • Apprenticeship Training

College Admissions At a Glance
  • Take entrance exams
  • Gather information
  • Narrow your choices
  • Apply for admission
  • Apply for money
  • Accept offer of admission
  • Apply for housing
  • Register for courses

Admission Terminology
  • Rolling admission candidates are invited to
    submit their applications to the university
    anytime within a large window. Usually notified
    within 2-3 weeks.
  • Regular decision applications should be filed
    by a set deadline. The deadlines usually run
    between January 1st and March 1st. Decisions are
    usually made by April 1st.
  • Early decision plans are binding. Students
    must attend the college. Receive admission well
    in advance of the usual notification date
    (usually by Dec. 1st)
  • Early action nonbinding students receive an
    early response to their applications but do not
    have to commit to the college.
  • Restricted Early Action same as Early Action
    except that the students may apply to only one
    Early Action school (similar to early decision
    except this process is not binding). Very few
    school use this.

Applying To College
  • Strategy
  • Apply to schools of varying selectivity. Do not
    put all your energy and efforts in to one level
    of school. Give yourself some options when it
    comes time to make a decision.
  • Consider applying early if applying to selective
    schools. Some studies have shown that applying
    early is the same as adding 100 points to your
    SAT score. By applying early, you will have a
    decision on that school or schools in December.
    This strategy is the norm, not the exception for
    most private secondary schools in the northeast.
  • Apply early to rolling admission schools. You may
    apply any time to most schools in this category,
    but they will still have financial aid and/or
    housing deadlines. They may also have priority
    deadlines this means that you will receive first
    consideration for housing and/or money.

Winter Junior year
  • Sign up to take the college admission tests in
    the spring.
  • When you apply for either the ACT or the SAT, you
    must indicate your high school code.
    Colleyvilles code is 441408. This has to be on
    the registration form in order for CHHS to
    receive your scores.
  • It is strongly recommended that students take
    both the ACT and SAT. All colleges will accept
    either and use a conversion chart to compare the
    two test score results.

  • What is Tested
  • Always take the ACT plus Writing as opposed to
    just the ACT. If you do not take the writing
    portion and later apply to a school that requires
    it, you will have to re-take the entire test. The
    ACT consists of an English, math, reading and
    science test. You will receive a score for each
    area plus a composite score.
  • Scoring
  • Students and colleges will still receive your ACT
    score based upon the 1-36 point scale for the ACT
    whether or not you take the writing test. If you
    also take the writing test, it will be reported
    as a separate score on a 1-12 scale but on the
    same score report form. There is no deduction for
    wrong answers (no penalty for guessing).
  • When to Take
  • The April and June tests offer the Test
    Information Release (TIF) (an additional 18)
    which, in addition to your scores, will provide
    you with the questions and answers from the test
    which can be used for future preparation.
  • How to Register
  • Go to If you are on free or
    reduced lunch, you may take the ACT twice for
    free. Your counselor can provide you with a fee
    waiver form.

  • What is Tested
  • The SAT tests include Critical Reading, Math and
    Writing. Unlike the ACT, the writing test is not
    optional. The writing test has a 35 minute
    multiple choice test on grammar usage and word
    choice questions and a 25 minute essay. The SAT
    Critical Reading test has eliminated analogies
    and added short reading passages. The SAT Math
    test has eliminated quantitative comparison
    questions but will now go through Algebra II
    instead of just through Algebra 1..
  • Scoring
  • All three tests are scored on 200-800 scale with
    a top score of 2400, though many colleges still
    just look at the Critical Writing and Math parts
    which would have a top score of 1600.There is a
    correction factor of ¼ a point for each wrong
  • When to Take
  • The January and May tests offer their Question
    Answer services (an additional 18) which will
    send you the questions/answers for this test to
    help you study if you retake the test. If you
    need to take a subject area test for college
    admissions (small group of selective schools) the
    best time is June, right when you have completed
    the courses the tests will assess.
  • How to Register
  • Go to If you are on free or
    reduced lunch, you may take the SAT once for
    free. Your counselor can provide you with a fee
    waiver form.

Suggested ACT/SAT Time Line
October January April May June Fall Senior Year
PSAT SAT ACT SAT 2nd time if needed ACT 2nd time if needed _________ SAT Subject Tests If desired, take the test on which you scored better
Winter junior year
  • Begin a search for financial aid sources. The
    CHHS counseling center website has a section
    dedicated to the scholarship search. Dont
    overlook local and state aid sources.

Winter Junior Year
  • If youre in Advanced Placement Program (AP)
    classes, register for the AP Exams given in May.
  • You can earn college credit for courses not given
    in the AP Program by taking CLEP tests at a
    college test center. Visit
    to learn more.

Spring Junior Year
  • Visit some local colleges large, small, public
    and private. Get a feel for what works for you.
    Attend college fairs, too.
  • Scan local newspapers to see which civic,
    cultural and service organizations in your area
    award financial aid to graduating seniors. Start
    a file.

Spring Junior Year
  • Develop a list of 15 or 20 colleges that are of
    interest to you.
  • Browse the school websites for information about
    financial aid and academic programs.
  • Visit some colleges during your spring break.

Spring Junior Year
  • If you are considering military academies or ROTC
    scholarships, contact your counselor before
    leaving school for the summer. If you want a
    four-year ROTC scholarship, you should begin the
    application process the summer before your senior

Summer Junior Year
  • If you are an athlete planning to continue
    playing a sport in college, register with the
    National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
    Eligibility Center (

Summer Junior Year
  • Find a full-time or part-time job, or participate
    in a summer camp or summer college program.
  • Visit colleges. Take campus tours and, at
    colleges youre serious about, make appointments
    to have interviews with admission counselors.
  • Create a résumé a record of your
    accomplishments, activities and work experiences
    since you started high school.

Summer Junior Year
  • Become familiar with the application process for
    the colleges to which youll apply. Check
    application dates large universities may have
    early dates or rolling admission.

College Application Types
  • Applications Even if something says a part of
    an application is optional, it is notdo it all.
    Choose applications in the follow order
  • 1. Over 450 schools nationwide
    (including Austin College, Rice, SMU,
    Southwestern, TCU and Trinity College in Texas)
    use this one application. You complete his one
    application and send it to any school that uses
    the Common Application. This saves you, parents,
    teachers and counselors a lot time. Be sure to
    complete the on-line version (not the
    downloadable one). Schools that accept the Common
    Application do not give preference to this form
    or their own.
  • 2. - 35 public universities in
    Texas use this one application. Each school may
    have different supplements and/or scholarships
    that you will also complete. Three ApplyTexas
    schools also use the Common Application (TCU,
    SMU, and U of Dallas). For those schools, use the
    Common Application, as letters of recommendation
    cannot be sent hrough the ApplyTexas website.
  • 3. School Application Applications for schools
    that do not use the Common Application or the
    ApplyTexas are typically on the schools website
    where you may fill them out and submit them
    electronically. At a minimum you will be able to
    order a hard copy on-line. Colleges prefer that
    you do an on-line version but will accept a hard
    copy instead do not do both a hard copy and the
    on-line version because it may slow the process.

College application checklist
  • Check out this useful tool!
  • College Application Checklist

September Senior Year
  • Narrow your list of colleges to between five and
    10. Meet with a counselor about your college
    choices and, if youve not yet done so, download
    college applications and financial aid forms.
    Plan to visit as many of these colleges as

September Senior Year
  • Create a master list or calendar that includes
  • Tests youll take and their fees, dates and
    registration deadlines
  • College application due dates
  • Required financial aid application forms and
    their deadlines (aid applications may be due
    before college applications)
  • Other materials youll need (recommendations,
    transcripts, etc.)
  • Your high schools application processing
  • If you cant afford application or test fees, a
    counselor can help you request a fee waiver.
  • Be sure to have your college admission test
    scores sent to the colleges to which you are

October Senior Year
  • Try to finalize your college choices.
  • Prepare early decision/early action or rolling
    admission applications as soon as possible.
  • Ask a counselor or teacher for recommendations if
    you need them. Give each teacher or counselor an
    outline of your academic record and your
    extracurricular activities. Complete the Senior
    Information sheet located on the counseling
    center website.
  • For each teacher recommendation, provide a
    stamped, addressed envelope and any college forms
  • If youre submitting essays, write first drafts
    and ask teachers and others to read them. If
    youre applying for early decision, finish the
    essays for that application now.
  • Be sure to have your college admission test
    scores sent to the colleges to which you are

  • Nov. 1 For early decision admission, colleges
    may require test scores and applications between
    these dates.
  • Complete at least one college application by
  • Ask counselors to send your transcripts to
    colleges. Give counselors the proper forms at
    least two weeks before the colleges require them.

  • As you finish and send your applications and
    essays, be sure to keep photocopies.
  • If the college wants to see second-semester
    grades, be sure to give the form to your

January February
  • If you apply online to colleges, be sure to have
    your high school send a transcript it is sent
    separately by mail to colleges.
  • No senioritis, please! Accepting colleges do look
    at second-semester senior grades.

March April
  • Keep active in school. If you are wait listed,
    the college will want to know what you have
    accomplished between the time you applied and the
    time you learned of its decision.
  • You should receive acceptance letters and
    financial aid offers by mid-April. If youve not
    done so yet, visit your final college before
    accepting. As soon as you decide, notify your
    counselor of your choice.
  • If you have questions about housing offers, talk
    to your counselor or call the college.

  • Colleges cannot require your deposit or your
    commitment to attend before May 1. By that
    postmarked date, you must inform every college of
    your acceptance or rejection of the offer of
    admission and/or financial aid. (Questions? Talk
    to your counselor.)
  • Send your deposit to one college only.
  • Wait listed by a college? If you intend to enroll
    if you are accepted, tell the admission director
    your intent and ask how to strengthen your
    application. Need financial aid?
  • Ask whether funds will be available if youre
  • Work with a counselor to resolve any admission or
    financial aid problems.

  • Ask your high school to send a final transcript
    to your college.

Financial Aid
  • If you are in doubt as to whether or not to apply
    for aid, apply!
  • Do not wait for college acceptance letters before
    filing for aid. File in January or February the
    earlier the better. You do not need to have
    completed your tax returns prior to filling out
    the Free Application for Federal Student Aid
    (FAFSA) or the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE
    (PROFILE). An estimate of income and/or income
    tax information is adequate. You cannot file the
    FAFSA until after Jan. 1, but complete it before
    Feb. 1 if at all possible.

Step 1
  • Complete FAFSA on the Web. Get worksheets to fill
    out prior to filing the FAFSA at
  • Filing online is much faster than by mail, and
    the website has prompts that help you avoid
    making mistakes. You and your parents will both
    need a PIN, or electronic password, before
    completing the form available at Its a good idea to get your PIN
    in advance of the deadline, although PINs can
    still be obtained during the FAFSA sign-up

Step 2
  • If you are applying to colleges that require
    PROFILE (mostly private schools), file that form
    as early as possible as soon as you can
    estimate your and your parents income tax
    information, keeping in mind your colleges
    deadline. If you are applying under an early
    decision plan, complete your PROFILE in late
    November or early December.

Step 3
  • Complete income tax forms as soon as possible in
    order to provide accurate data on financial aid
    forms. Some colleges have early February
  • Make a list of the financial aid priority dates
    and deadlines at the colleges to which you are
    applying. Ask each college if it requires
    supplemental forms, and obtain them as needed.
  • Apply for federal and state funds by answering
    the appropriate questions on the FAFSA.

Financial Aid
  • Details to remember
  • In all written communications to financial aid
    offices , put your name, address and date of
    birth on every page.
  • Keep your financial aid worksheets. Always make
    photocopies of your financial aid forms for your
  • If you have questions about an item, do not
    guess. See your counselor or speak with the
    college financial aid officer directly.
  • Do not leave blank spaces on the forms. Use zeros
  • Proofread! And again, make photocopies of

  • Check for scholarships for which you might be
  • Check with each college/postsecondary institution
    (your best source)
  • Those posted on the counseling office website
  • Local and state scholarships

How to Build A College List
  • College List Worksheet

College Matters- For Life
  • Individuals who have a college degree earn an
    average of 22,000 more per year than those with
    only a high school diploma.
  • A college education gives a person more job
    security. People with a high school diploma are
    more than twice as likely to be unemployed.
  • For most students who go to college, the increase
    in lifetime earnings far outweighs the cost of
    their education.
  • College is more than just a classroom. Its an
    important time in life to learn and grow as a
    person while gaining independence and life
  • Statistics show that a college education impacts
    health, family and community involvement.
  • Young adults with a college degree are much less
    likely to be obese than those with only a high
    school diploma.
  • Children of parents with a college degree are
    much more likely to be read to every day than
    children of parents with only a high school
  • Individuals with a college degree are more than
    twice as likely to volunteer as those with only a
    high school diploma.

College Essay
  • When you apply to college, youll need to
    complete an essay as part of your application.
    This is your opportunity to show admission
    officers who you are and to provide information
    about yourself that didnt fit in other areas of
    your application. The essay also reveals what
    you can do when you have time to think and work
    on a writing project.
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College Representative Visits
  • Many colleges will visit Colleyville Heritage on
    recruiting trips. These visits are an important
    way for you to discover information about a
    college and to establish a connection with
    someone at that campus. Often times, the school
    representative will be the person who will read
    your application and make admission decisions.
  • Important Points
  • Keep track of the colleges scheduled visits.
  • The visits are for you to learn about the school
    and to demonstrate interest. Gather some
    information about the school prior to the visit,
    and ask a question showing that knowledge, i.e.,
    Ive heard good things about your business
    school. What kind of internships do you have
  • If the school is one in which you have particular
    interest, make sure you introduce yourself and
    thank the representative for coming.
  • You can sign up for a college visit on the
    counseling center website.

College Night
  • Each October, GCISD hosts a college fair. Over
    200 colleges from throughout the country are
    represented. This is a great opportunity to pick
    up materials about those colleges.
  • The person representing each school will be
    either an alumnus of the school or an admissions
    representative from the school.

College Campus Visits
  • When you visit a college, take notes on your
    impressions immediately after the visit. Do not
    let weather conditions on the day of your visit
    affect your judgment. Pay attention to your
    feelings about the campus, but also do not judge
    the college solely on the basis of your visit,
    remember the information you found before your
  • Before you go, call the admissions office to
    arrange a campus tour, an interview (if
    available), and maybe an overnight stay. An
    overnight stay can be very beneficial in getting
    a feel for the campus. Get detailed directions to
    the campus and to the specific building where you
    will meet for the tour. It is best to go on a
    weekday during the school year so that you can
    see a campus full of people and possibly attend
    some classes. You may not be able to see all your
    schools under these conditions, but you will get
    a better feel for those that you can.
  • While there, take the tour, but also visit
    several classes and meet some professors from an
    area in which you are interested (the admissions
    office will be able to set that up for you). Also
    visit the student center, library, computer
    centers, academic support center, etc., if not
    included on your tour. Most importantly, talk to
    as many students as possible. Get their opinions
    on campus life, classes, activities, what they
    like/dislike about the school.

College Campus Visit
  • The following are possible areas through which to
    evaluate a school. Decide which are important to
    you prior to your visit(s) and make sure that you
    get answers and/or information about those items.
  • Retention freshman orientation programs,
    percent of freshman returning for sophomore year
  • Diversity diversity of the campus, what
    cross-cultural experiences are available
  • Technology connections available in the dorms,
    what computer labs do they have
  • Academic Challenge do students get to leave
    their comfort zone
  • Active Learning when are majors selected, what
    internships are available
  • Student-Faculty Interaction availability of
    faculty, opportunities for research with faculty,
  • average class size of freshman classes
  • Campus Environment what do students like about
    the campus, public transportation, academic
    support, weekend activities (a commuter campus?)
  • Out-of-Class Experience community service,
    leadership opportunities, study abroad, student
  • Post-College career placement assistance, job
    placement percentages, will this school help you
    get to where you want to be

  • Colleges may take 3-4 weeks to process your
    application. Do not be alarmed if their status
    check does not show them receiving your
    information immediately as they get thousands of
    pieces of information and update the status
    check manually.
  • Check your e-mail. Many schools will use e-mail
    to inform you if parts to your application are
    missing and will also communicate other needed
    information. Use the same e-mail for all
    applications and check it regularly.
  • Keep a copy of everything. On occasion, a school
    may lose part of what you have submitted. Also,
    you may be able to duplicate portions of one
    application to another.

The Work Option
  • At some point, almost everyone ends up in the
    workplace. No matter when you plan to receive
    that first full-time paycheck, there are some
    things you will need to do to prepare yourself
    for the world of work. As you progress through
    high school, take courses that will prepare you
    for college as well as a career. It good idea to
    take college preparatory courses even if you are
    not planning on attending college right away
    because getting a good education always pays off
    no matter what you decide to do. Work training
    and work experience in high school will also pay
    off when attempting to seek employment after high

The Work Option
  • There are five steps in preparing for a career or
    for college followed by a career
  • Take an aptitude test The ASVAB (Armed Services
    Vocational Aptitude Battery) is a good test that
    can help with understanding your aptitudes and
    possible careers. You will have an opportunity
    during the school year to take this during the
    school day.
  • Research various careers Career books in the
    library as well as internet websites are great
    resources for learning about careers.
  • Job shadow when you get the chance to see
    first-hand what a job is really like.
  • Do volunteer work in an area of interest to see
    if that occupation fits your talents and
  • Network Become familiar with people in the
    industry of interest to you. This can happened
    through research listed above, contacts through
    family and friends, and actual job experience.
  • Create a portfolio Have on hand information
    that will help when seeking employment. This
    should include items such as a resume, writing
    samples, transcript, letters of recommendation
    and portfolio of work that you have done.
  • Apply Once you have an occupation in mind, set
    up interviews and fill out applications while
    still in school. Have a plan set for after

The Work Option
  • Writing a letter to apply for a job
  • Address it personally to a person (not To Whom
    It May Concern)
  • Be brief
  • Introduce yourself to the reader
  • Indicate the position for which you are applying
  • Mention how you found out about the position
    (friend, newspaper, etc.)
  • Include something about yourself that will arouse
    interest about your experience and
  • Request an interview
  • Sign and date

The Work Option
  • The Interview
  • Arrive early
  • Look your best and dress professionally
  • Be yourself you are both deciding if you and
    the job are a good match
  • Speak up and furnish the interviewer with
    information needed to make an informed decision
  • Practice with a friend by going over the
    following common questions
  • Tell me a little bit about yourself
  • Are you at your best when working alone or in a
  • What are your career goals
  • What are your questions for me (always have some,
    show some knowledge of the position)

The Military Option
  • The military is an option for a career and/or
    money for college. Thoroughly research the
    branches of the military in which you are most
    interested. Request brochures, talk to
    recruiters, and visit with family and friends
    with experience in the military.

U.S. Service Academies
  • The service academies are four-year degree
    programs followed by a commitment of service.
    Acceptance to a service academy requires a
    congressional or executive nomination by one of
    your U.S. Senators or Representatives or the Vice
    President. Children of career or retired military
    personnel may seek a nomination through the
    Office of the President. You are encouraged to
    pursue any and all of the avenues to increase
    your chances of securing a nomination. Generally,
    the timeline to apply to an academy starts in the
    spring of your junior year. If you are interested
    in an appointment and have not begun process you
    need to begin immediately.
  • You will need to apply to the academy in which
    you are interested and secure a nomination.

The College Career Search
  • Go to
  • Explore Careers
  • Major and Career Search
  • Begin exploring careers that might be of interest
    to you. You can read about the career, learn
    compensation information and determine the
    outlook of the field.
  • On right hand side explore the related majors
  • Begin exploring majors that might be of interest
    to you. You can read about the major and
    identify what skills you should build in high
  • On the right had side explore colleges with this
  • You can then narrow your list of schools based on
    the criteria on the left.

Next Steps
  • Complete Junior year activities
  • Contact your counselor before you leave for
    summer if you have questions about next steps
  • Big Future College Career search
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