The College Search

College planning:  How to get started

JUNIORS:

Each October the Otsego County Counselors' Association hosts a College Fair at SUNY Oneonta. Juniors should plan to attend this event to begin gathering information.  This will be held on Monday, October 16.  On Wednesday, October 11, juniors will have the opportunity to take the College Board PSAT.  This is a practice test for the SAT as well as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. 

During January and February, I meet with juniors to review PSAT scores, discuss the upcoming senior year and start the college and career planning process. 

Spring is the time for juniors to get out there and visit college campuses. I have included links to several great web sites to begin the college search.  There are key points for juniors to consider in finding the right college. 

*Determine what you are looking for.

Start with you:  Make lists of your abilities, social/cultural preferences, and personal qualities. Make a list of criteria that are important to you and that you will use to evaluate all the colleges you visit, such as academic programs, class size, campus housing, sports, clubs and activities, job placement statistics, study abroad opportunities, internships, etc... L

* Prepare for college visits. 

Log in to your Naviance account and explore the Supermatch College search link.  There is so much great information available to students and families. You can explore the links to each college that comes up on your search.

Talk to friends, family, teachers, and recent grads of your school now in college.  Make a list of questions to bring along on the visit.  Take a tour, meet with an admissions representative, ask students what they think of the college.  

* Schedule the visit when classes are in session. 

Although it is not always possible to visit during the academic year, being on campus when classes are in session will give you a better feel for the campus.  If the visit occurs during class times, when registering for the visit and tour, ask if it would be possible to sit in on a class. 

* Take notes. 

Jot down your impressions during or immediately after the visit.  This will help you when you are comparing colleges later. 

College Comparison Worksheet

* Send a thank you. 

If you had an interview or had a great tour guide, write a short thank you note!  It will further demonstrate your interest in the college. 

SAT and/or ACT registration

Students should sign up to take the SAT and/or ACT at least once in the spring and again next fall.  The tests are offered locally at either Oneonta High School or Cooperstown High School.  Students must register online by the deadlines.  The links to register for the ACT and SAT are below. The SAT is scheduled for either May 5 or June 2.  The ACT is available on April 14 or June 9.  The SAT deadlines are April 7 for May testing and May 9 for the June test.  The deadline for the ACT is March 9 for the April test and May 4  for the June 9 test.  Fee waivers are available for students with financial need.  To prepare, download practice booklets form www.collegeboard.com  (for the SAT) or from www.actstudent.org (for the ACT).

You may want to consider taking the SAT Subject tests in the spring.  You should take them while course material is still fresh in your mind.  You can download "Taking the SAT Subject Tests," which offers test-prep advice, from www.collegeboard.com.

SENIORS:

At the beginning of the senior year I schedule a meeting with each senior. All parents are welcome to be a part of this important meeting.  The college search process may seem overwhelming.  However, I have created a document called the Senior Year Checklist to help create a sense of order to the many dates, deadlines, and information students need to remember.  You can click on the file below to view the document.

Related Files

College Application Checklist
File Senior Year Checklist

Related Links



Naviance.com

The College Board
 
The College Board is the website to go to for the SAT registration, but there is so much more to the site. It has an online search engine for students to begin the college search process.
State University of New York online 
This website has information on all the two and four year colleges in the SUNY system. It is also THE website to apply online to SUNY schools.
The Common Application 
The Common Application is a great way to apply to multiple schools using one application. You can access specific college supplements to the application as well. Not all schools subscribe to this service. However, check out this link to see if any of the schools to which you will apply offer this option.  Most of the SUNY schools subscribe to the CommonApp as well so please look on Common App before filling out both a SUNY application and a Common Application.  
New York State College Connections 
This site, maintained by the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, the association representing the 100+ private, not-for-profit colleges and universities in New York State, is updated biannually with data directly from the colleges and universities. The site offers many helpful resources for college admissions and financial aid awareness as well as detailed information about each of the colleges.
College Navigator 
College Navigator was developed by the National Center for Education Statistics to help counselors, students and parents search for information in the United States using a variety of data characteristics, including enrollment, graduation rates, and financial aid awarded.
SAT registration 
ACT registration 
* Conduct a career and college search. * Register for the ACT * Review test taking strategies and see sample test questions
Virtual tours 
Search for a college online and take a virtual tour of the campus.
NCAA Clearinghouse 
Determine academic eligibility for students considering participating in college athletics at the Division I or II level.
Petersons 
* College search * Financial Aid information * Test preparation
Cappex.com 
AnyCollege.com