Junior Parent Night 2/12/2014 Brett Levine, Director of Guidance Tonight’s Program

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Junior Parent Night 2/12/2014 Brett Levine, Director of Guidance

Tonight’s Program

  • 60-75 minutes
  • PPT on Web site
  • Information rather than advice
  • Financial Aid not covered
  • Scholarships Covered at Sr. Parent night
  • Informal Q/A up front at the end.

Milestone Dates

  • Winter of Jr Year-Jr. 11th Grade Parent Night
  • Winter of Jr Year-Jr Conference-Individual College planning conference
  • Spring Jr. Year: Junior Group Guidance: Teacher Recs
  • Summer bet 11-12 grade- Mailing from Guidance (nuts and bolts), Register on Commonapp.org
  • Fall of Sr. Year-Sr. Parent-Application Processing info
  • Fall of Sr. Year-Sr. Group Guidance
  • Fall of Sr. Year-Sr.Conference-Individual Conference

Non-College Options

  • Handled individually
  • Year off resources
  • Ranges from military to gap year
  • Advise to apply then defer
  • (GPA Binder)

Most popular schools (class of 2014 applications)

  • James Madison & Penn State (20)
  • U of Rhode Island (24)
  • Northeastern (25)
  • Montclair State (26)
  • U of Delaware (27)
  • U of Scranton (29)
  • Rutgers (30)
  • Fairfield (32)

Where students matriculated last year: class of 2013

  • 3 @ Elon, Loyola, Towson
  • 4 @ FDU, Fairfield, Rowan, Kean, Montclair State, Northeastern
  • 12 @ Rutgers
  • 13 @ CCM

But there is more…

  • Selective: Dartmouth (2) , Cornell, Yale
  • Liberal Arts: Smith, Drew, Amherst, Muhlenberg, Wellesley
  • Public (outside NJ): U of Alabama, SUNY Cortland, Towson U
  • Technical: Georgia Tech, RIT
  • Who Would of thought? Cal State: San Luis Obispo; Sewanee U of the South
  • Hate the cold: USC, U of Tampa
  • Love the cold: Syracuse, U of Vermont
  • City Slickers: NYU, Drexel, Carnegie Mellon
  • Across the pond: Durham University

The State of College Admissions: (From the 2013 State of College Admissions)

  • Source: NACAC
  • Colleges accept nearly 2/3 of applicants.
  • At colleges with early decisions policies the gap in acceptance rates edges up.
  • Grades, HS curriculum, and test scores top factors.
  • Average yield rate is 36.9%
  • Private colleges (and smaller colleges) assigned greater importance to subjective factors.
  • More selective more emphasis on SAT subject scores.

How we stay informed

  • Counselors attend conferences, college tours and local receptions to stay current and to network with college representatives.

Upcoming Events : Spring 2014

  • Date
  • Event
  • Time, Location
  • TBA
  • Practice SAT
  • 7:45, Cafeteria
  • Thursday, March 20
  • Understanding MOOCS
  • 5pm, Media Center
  • Wednesday April 23th,
  • Thursday, April 24th
  • Meadowlands Expo Center
  • Sunday, April 6
  • NACAC College Fair
  • 11-4, Javits Center (NYC)
  • Thursday , May 8
  • College Application Process; First Timers
  • 5pm: Media Center
  • Wednesday, April 2
  • College Information Night for Students with Disabilities
  • Media Center

Scheduling update for next year

  • Done at the Jr Conference
  • Course rec day on Wed, Feb 12th
  • 5 core classes
  • Don’t forget 4th year of science is possible (Ecology, Astronomy, Forensics, Env Science)
  • New math titles
    • Enr Alg 3 changes to Adv Alg & Trig
    • Alg 2 changes to Intermediate Alg
  • Zero Period PE for scheduling purposes
  • New tech elective: Engineering Design (Not official)
  • Financial Literacy Requirement (summer school?)
  • Humanities and (PS or CW or SF)
  • Curriculum guide on web site
  • Resolve changes before end of the year. (IMPORTANT)
  • Summer assignments


  • March 4,5,6
  • 1st day Math, then 2 days LA
  • Be prompt
  • Bring calculators, and pencils
  • Electronic devices OFF.
  • Graduation exam
  • Alternative assessments for those who do not pass..(I think )


  • A series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end…..
  • 8-9 month PROCESS of getting it done.

Preparing for the Jr. Conference

  • Parent and student survey
  • Remind your child
  • Discuss courses ahead of time
  • Discuss the big questions ahead of time

The college search: Where do I start?

  • Start by asking yourself, “What are the most important criteria?”
  • Variety of resources: Family Connections-web based service designed specifically for students and parents to help make decisions about colleges and careers, college books like Fiske Guide to College, school’s websites, MHS alum(huge resource available to us), etc.
  • Attend College Fairs: April 23rd and 24th
  • Open Houses
  • Use spring break to visit. Set up apt online.
  • Start narrowing things down for the Fall

7 Components of the College Application Process

  • Application
  • Test scores
  • Essay
  • Transcript
  • Recommendations
  • HS Profile
  • Supplemental Information

The Application

  • On-line preferred by colleges
  • Common app, school based app (Bucknell vs. Rutgers)
  • Create an account on common app over the summer (after August 1, 2014)
  • You send the application


  • Final Grades
  • Reporting rank is optional
  • The most important piece of the package
  • Answers the most important questions
  • Will have sr year schedule(currently enrolled classes)
  • We send mid-year transcript
  • We send (electronically)

Standardized Testing

  • SAT v ACT
  • When to take them
  • SAT subject exams
  • Score choice
  • Register on your own (collegeboard.com or act.org)
  • 3rd greatest factor in admissions decisions.
  • Test optional
  • You send

The Essay

  • Common app has generic essays for example Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?
  • Its value depends on the college: Montclair State (non C/A school): Develop the perfect college essay question…then answer it!
  • Common sense editing, language
  • Our English teachers are great with editing
  • 5th greatest factor in admission decisions.
  • You send along with application, standardized test and supplemental information

High School Profile

  • 4-page standard high school document
  • Tells about Madison HS and about Madison
  • Gives colleges a snap shot of test scores, course offerings and college matriculations. Helps them compare apples to apples
  • Take a look on-line (Guidance, Profile on Left)
  • We send (electronically)

Counselor Recommendation

  • Counselor letter of recommendation.
  • Answers the question, “Why you want this person as a member of the campus community?”
  • Can explain gaps in performance (sickness, injury, etc.)
  • Content should be discussed during the Jr./Sr. Conference
  • Sent in with secondary school report form
  • We send (electronically)

Teacher Recommendation

  • Answers the question, “What has this student contributed in my class?”
  • Some colleges want 1 or 2 or sometimes NONE
  • Ask teachers, follow up w/ e-mail (nuts and bolts outlined in summer letter and sr. conference)
  • Ask 2 teachers maximum.
  • Student should give teachers a short bio/resume
  • We send (electronically)*
    • *In most cases

Supplemental Info

  • Portfolio (Art Students and Performing Arts Audition)
  • Additional letters of recommendations (Church group, work experience, volunteerism)
  • Eligibility Center (NCAA.ORG) contact Mr. Levine for more info
  • Student is responsible for sending all of the above.

Counselor Role

  • Encourage students to find the right post-secondary match
  • Provide emotional AND practical support during the college process (keeping in mind the academic component)
  • Keep you informed & maintain open communication (parents/teachers/students/college admission representatives)

Parent Role

  • Fill out Parent Brag Sheet and try to attend Jr Conference
  • Have an open and honest dialogue with your child about college (finances, location, public vs. private, etc.)
  • Assist your child throughout the process
  • Fill out appropriate financial aid forms
  • Keep in contact with us about issues of concern


  • When we are young the words are scattered all around us. As they are assembled by experience, so also are we, sentence by sentence, until the story takes shape. Louise Erdrich

What we need in order to do our part:

  • 12 School days
  • Record release form
  • FERPA Release on FC
  • Transcript request form. (EDOCS or Envelopes)
  • Stamped envelopes if colleges don’t accept things electronically
  • Reviewed in detail at Sr. Parent Night

Family Connections

  • Family Connections is our web based college application program. Students have been trained. Demonstrated at 10th grade parent night. Will be presented to parents at 12th grade parent night and upcoming CWC.

Public Service Announcement

  • All male students, when they reach the age of 18, must register for the United States Selective Service. Information about this can be obtained by speaking to Mr. Levine or by visiting https://www.sss.gov
  • Girl’s Career/ Girl’s State/ Boys State
  • Fill out surveys (Math and others TBA on Homepage)
  • Sign up for email
  • “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” ~Lao Tzu

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