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SAT : FOR PARENTS


§ The Top Factors Considered by Colleges for Admission


Our counselors can help your children construct optimum college application packages, focusing on the primary considerations that colleges look to in admissions decisions, such as:

1.Courses taken, with particular emphasis on the difficulty of courses and whether they are college prep
2.Grades received and overall grade point average (GPA)
3.Class rank
4.Application essays and personal statements
5.Standardized test scores
6.Personal statements and other essays
7.Recommendations (from teachers and counselors primarily, but also may include others)
8.Extracurricular activities and leadership experience
9.Interviews
10.Employment experience

Many smaller, selective colleges focus more on personal statements and essays, recommendations, leadership experience and individual talents. In contrast, large, public state university systems often make admissions decisions on the basis of a more set formula based on a combination of GPA and standardized test scores (SAT or ACT)
Additional factors to consider
Many colleges set aside spaces for students who may not meet traditional criteria but will add to academic diversity. Colleges are looking for students who will not only excel after college but add to the learning experience of others while in college. Geographic location, racial, cultural or ethnic background, extenuating, challenging or unusual life circumstances and experience living or studying abroad may all be considered to varying degrees of importance. In some cases applying for early decision may also increase the chances of admission.

♦ College admissions timeline:

It’s not just your child who needs to keep a schedule of important steps to take en route to applying for college. Keeping the following in mind during your children’s high school career is essential to improving their chances for acceptance into colleges of their choice:

1.Freshman year: Talk to your children about a four year “game plan” to improve their chances for admission to the college of their dreams, including all of the below considerations. Help your children keep an activities record of academic and extracurricular involvement and accomplishments. Heap praise for any achievements to encourage them to continue extracurricular activities that are an important part of the application process. Maintain a continuing dialogue regarding how well they’re doing in their classes and what classes they should sign up for throughout their high school career. Make sure they keep up with summer reading lists. New Hope’s professional staff, teachers and counselors can assist in all these matters.

2.Sophomore year: Make sure your children keep track of application deadlines for the PSAT and talk to counselors about the testing schedule. After your children take a practice PSAT test, discuss with them about planning to strengthen weak areas. New Hope Academy has a world class SAT and PSAT preparation program that can help students in that area. If you haven’t yet done so, make sure your children have social security numbers. When summer approaches, discuss with your children job options. Even if your children don’t have a financial need for jobs, job experience can enrich their application packages. Keep track of test dates and key deadlines. Help your children begin a preliminary college search. Continue a dialogue about grades and consider tutoring for weak areas. New Hope has highly skilled tutors and classes for academic enrichment. Discuss what classes your children will take the next year.

3.Junior year: Keep track of the PSAT test and registration dates. Keep in mind that the PSAT not only helps your children prepare for the SAT but also can qualify them for the National Merit Scholarship Program. Work with your children on planning college visits. After your kids take the PSAT and receive their results, identify what areas in which they need help. Keep in mind that studies have shown that classes such as New Hope’s are far more effective in improving test scores than prepping at home with test prep books. Check into college fairs and college representative visits to your children’s school. Continue dialogue regarding college options. Note deadlines for registration for the SAT. Discuss senior year classes. Make sure your kids take the PSAT and start intensive preparation for the SAT. New Hope has a world class test prep program.Talk about career goals and which colleges are the best for such careers. Work with your children on narrowing down college options. Learn about financial aid and begin search for scholarships.

4.Senior year: Sit down with your children and talk about the college application process. Keep them on track with test prep for the SAT. Work with them on a final list of colleges and help them each step of the way on the application process. Look into financial aid prospects at the colleges being considered. There might be documentation you need to fill out for financial aid, such as tax documentation. Start visiting colleges. Consider early admission. Discuss retaking the SAT if your child is unsatisfied with how well he or she did. Follow up on all required paperwork and have a dialogue with your child on college application essay topics. New Hope counselors are here to help every step of the way.



SAT : FOR STUDENTS



Keep in mind the following rough timeline for planning your application process for college. 
You can’t just wait until your junior year. Planning should begin by your Freshman year at the latest. 
At New Hope, our counselors are available to help guide your college admissions planning through all four years, focusing on such issues as the following:

1.Freshman year: Consideration of extracurricular activities and a college savings plan. As one option for extracurricular activities, New Hope has a renowned and fun debate program; college admissions officers highly prize debate experience. Begin consideration of career options.

2.Sophomore year:
 Taking a practice PSAT as preparation for the PSAT the following year, maintenance of grades, beginning the college search and engaging in extensive academic reading and writing that will help for the SAT. New Hope has a summer writing program and book club that can pay off not only in helping prepare for the PSAT and SAT but also in reading intensive classes. We also have a math club that will be helpful not only for SAT prep but also high school math classes.

3.Junior year:
 Take the PSAT and start intensive preparation for the SAT. Work with a New Hope counselor to identify career goals and the educational necessities to reach those goals. Start to narrow down college options. New Hope has a world class test prep program. Learn about financial aid and begin the search for scholarships.

4.Senior year:
 Take standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT. Your New Hope counselor can help you decide which is best for you. Ask teachers, counselors and others for recommendations. Finalize your college list. Complete applications for scholarships and college admission.

♦ Researching Career Options:
The College Board has a resource for exploring career options
https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/explore-careers
♦ Researching colleges:
The College Board has a resource for college research:
https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/find-colleges

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