Wednesday, August 27, 2008

College Questions? School Finders Has Answers!

With the end of summer quickly arriving, is your family starting to get nervous about a student who will be a junior or senior in high school? The 11th and 12th grades are exciting years, however they are also packed with extra demands and some nervous concerns for the future. So many questions and too often a family too busy to notice how worried that student really might be at this time.

Typical questions that nag at junior and senior high school students and their families include:

• What do I want to do when I graduate?
• Will I get accepted to a “good” college?
• How do I decide on a major when I don’t know what I want to do with my life?
• Is college absolutely necessary for everyone?
• Should I go to a community college and work part-time?
• Do I want to be close to home or far away?
• What if I don’t do well on the SAT or ACT exam?
• When is the best time to apply to colleges?
• How many times can I take the entrance exams and will the colleges see all of my scores?
• Are there colleges that will give me the accommodations I had in High School and how do I get them?
• How do I get money for college?

At School Finders, LLC, it is our job to answer these questions and to solve the issues behind them. You do not have to know what specific job you want to do when you graduate. Many students do not even know what field interests them, but that is okay, too. A “good” college is getting harder to find and harder still to expect to receive that coveted acceptance letter from, so starting early is extremely important. We work out a timetable that keeps each student on track and help to get all the forms and papers completed long before the due dates, so everyone can relax by Homecoming weekend!

For many students a community college is a great idea. The two-year programs may be enough for the type of work that interests your student and for others it allows a gradual entrance into college with the opportunity to transfer to a four-year school. Most community colleges have a broad range of majors, age of students, and a terrific system of internships for which students may be paid, and also receive credits. This hands-on approach to learning is a wonderful way to get experience in a field and to see if it is appealing or perhaps one that does not really feel like a good fit.

Being close to home or far away may be an issue parents care more about than students do, however, many students do have a region of the country that they are thinking of as the best place for them. We try to work out the best compromise!

The SAT and the ACT entrance exams are difficult and should be taken seriously. Some students have told me that they think the ACT is easier even though there is an extra subject, science. Others are certain that the SAT is easier. The reality is that both tests will contain questions that boggle your mind and seem impossible to answer. That is why it is best to take time to study either on-line, in a course or with a tutor. Learning the art of test taking is something you can benefit from throughout high school and college so the cost of preparing for the entrance exam is well worth the money, especially when your scores are good. Students can take the SAT three times in a calendar year. Starting with the graduating class of 2010, only your best scores will be sent to the colleges of your choice. This is new and far better than having colleges see all of your efforts, both good and not so good.

Colleges vary in the degree of help and accommodations that are given to students with Learning Disabilities. Many colleges list a learning program, but you need to look closely as that program might only be peer tutoring and available a few hours a day. Other colleges have superb programs with special advisors for students with ADHD, advisors who help students to pre-register and thus get professors who are more familiar with LD needs and find it easier to work with a student’s extra time or class notes requirements. Such colleges have tutors, writing and math centers, a program director able to look at your file and determine options that might fit you better than the current approach. The two most important things to know and remember are that colleges want your latest (about 2 years prior is the oldest it should be) psychological-educational testing NOT your high school IEP and that once you are accepted to a college you must be your best advocate. The help is there, however, you have to go ask for it and keep going to tutors and help programs. The help does not come to you. If you ask for help, you will get it.

One of the best and easiest ways to get money for college is to find out the merit grant scholarship level for the schools that are of interest to you. If your grade point average and SAT score hit the level of a school, you can receive $7500-15,000 per year! Check with the financial aid office to find out about other scholarships for which you may be able to apply.

At School Finders, LLC, we work with all types of learners and have had a 100% rate of placing students in a college of their choice. We work with families to keep the stress levels low and the excitement of getting ready for college high. Students can come to us for SAT or ACT prep. We offer both small, (3-5 students) classes, or individual tutoring. When your scores are returned, we go over them with the students and/or families to determine if there are areas that might be improved upon with further tutoring. If there are some areas, there is no further charge if original payment was for the prep and college packet.

It is important to remember that there are many thousands of colleges and universities in the US and throughout the world to which students can apply. Selecting those that best fit each student is important and not always easy. Just looking for a “name” university and hoping to get in, never works. Selecting appropriate schools, working the system and being prepared and finished on time are the best steps to success.

Call School Finders, LLC to help get college right!
School Finders Has All Your Educational Needs Under One Roof