Myth: College tuition costs more than $20,000 a year.
Reality: Of the 3,600 colleges and universities in America, 200 charged $20,000 or more for tuition and fees in 2002-03. Nearly 80 percent of full-time undergraduates at 4 year institutions face tuition of less than $8,000.
Myth: Private colleges are always more expensive than public colleges.
Reality: On average, private colleges usually cost more than public institutions, even after aid is deducted; however, there are instances in which a private college is less expensive, after student aid, than a public institution. For example, the cost of a private institution, less student aid, often is less than a public institution outside one's home state.
Myth: Only the very rich can afford college.
Reality: Nearly 20 percent of traditional-aged undergraduates come from families with income below $25,000 per year. The federal government, states, and institutions all offer financial aid to help low-income students afford college.
Myth: The middle class gets socked by college costs -- there's no help for them.
Reality: A wide variety of aid programs are available to help middle-income families, including many grants and scholarships as well as tax incentives and benefits related to higher education. At public 4 year colleges, about 40 percent of students with family income between $40,000 and $80,000 receive grants averaging $2,900. At private institutions, almost 75 percent are awarded grants or scholarships that average $9,300.
Myth: It actually hurts you to save for college because you get less financial aid.
Reality: Those who save will be expected to contribute more toward their children's education than those who don't save. However, the formulas for determining the expected family contribution count income far more heavily than savings, so the difference is usually not substantial. Furthermore, a family that saves will have the funds necessary to meet their expected contribution, while a family that does not save may have to borrow -- with interest charges more than making up for the smaller expected contribution.
Myth: You really don't need college to be a success -- look at Bill Gates.
Reality: Bill Gates' story is exceptional. Today, the average annual income of full-time workers with a bachelor's degree is almost 45 percent higher than for those with a high school diploma. Those with an associate degree earn 19 percent more than high school graduates. Today, some postsecondary education or training is necessary for almost every good job.
Myth: Only big-time athletes get scholarships.
Reality: In 1999-00, less than 1 percent of undergraduates received athletic scholarships. Most student aid is awarded on the basis of financial need -- not athletic talent.
Myth: Only minorities get extra help.
Reality: The majority of student aid is awarded on the basis of financial need. Very little aid is awarded solely on the basis of students' race or ethnicity. According to a recent survey of financial aid officers, less than 10 percent of institutions' budgets for non-need-based scholarships go toward scholarships for members of specific minority groups. Generally, students from racial or ethnic minority groups are more likely to receive scholarships because they are more likely to have financial need.
Myth: Only white people know how to pull the strings to get to college.
Reality: Socio-economic status and previous experience with higher education are much more important in determining who goes to college than race or ethnicity. The admissions and financial aid process is daunting for many families, but especially for those with no previous college experience. Families can get help from a number of sources. This website is a great place to start. Libraries and high school guidance offices offer resources and assistance. In addition, many communities have a federally funded Educational Opportunity Center with trained counselors to help students and parents through the admissions and financial aid process.
Myth: It's not what you know when it comes to college and financial aid -- it's who you know.
Reality: It is most important to forge relationships with people who can provide solid information and advice, such as high school guidance counselors and college admissions or financial aid personnel.
Myth: Community colleges offer only vocational education.
Reality: Community colleges provide a wide range of educational options, all at a low cost to students. In addition to career and technical education, community colleges offer the first two years of academic course work to transfer to a four-year institution. They also help workers upgrade their skills and provide courses for lifelong learning and personal enrichment. Open admissions, nearby locations, a wide array of courses, flexible class schedules, and low tuition prices make community colleges readily accessible to everyone.
Myth: Colleges charge whatever they want -- they've got a monopoly.
Reality: Public and private colleges set their tuition in very different ways. Generally, state policy makers set tuition for public institutions. Tuition decisions are driven by the funding colleges receive from the state. When states cut their appropriations for colleges and universities, they have to raise tuition to make up at least part of the resulting budget shortfall. Private colleges set their own tuition, but they operate in a very competitive environment. They have to construct tuition and aid policies that allow them to fill their classes and offer the programs and facilities that will keep them competitive.
Myth: There is no basis for the soaring increase in college prices.
Reality: Many factors influence college cost increases - technology and facility costs, faculty salaries, student aid expenditures, and cuts in state appropriations to name just a few. Despite cutbacks in state appropriations and decreasing endowment values colleges are trying to do even better, searching for new and innovative ways to cut costs and minimize tuition increases.
A student's interpersonal and leadership skills as well as outside interests and goals are all important for college preparation. Independent reading and study, extracurricular activities, and work experience will all help your child develop his or her skills, interests, and goals.
Independent Reading and Study
Independent reading and study will help your child to prepare academically for college. This is a good way to develop interests, expand knowledge, and improve the vocabulary and reading comprehension skills needed for college and the SAT or ACT. Encourage your child to read all kinds of books for fun -- fiction and non-fiction. The school library and the local public library are good sources of books, magazines, and newspapers.
Many school, community, and religious organizations enable high school students to explore their interests and talents by providing activities outside the classroom. Colleges are often interested in a student's extracurricular activities such as school clubs, the student newspaper, athletics, musical activities, and arts and drama, especially if a student has excelled in one or more of these areas.
Work Experience and Community Service
Work experience -- paid or volunteer -- can teach students discipline, responsibility, reliability, teamwork, and other skills. A summer job may be a good way to gain experience and earn money for college as well. If your child works during the school year, he or she should not work so many hours that the job interferes with school work.
Some students also participate in community service activities such as tutoring elementary school children or volunteering in a local hospital. Such activities make valuable contributions to society and also help students to identify their career interests and goals, gain workplace skills, and apply classroom learning to real-world problem solving. Many colleges view community service as a valuable experience that enhances a student's college application.
Some schools offer academic credit for volunteer work through service-learning. This is a teaching method that integrates hands-on learning (through service to the community) into the school curriculum. To find out if your child's school offers service-learning, talk to your child's teacher, guidance counselor, or school principal. For information on how to start a service-learning program, contact the Learn and Serve America Clearinghouse at 1-800-808-SERVE.
TO FIND OUT IF YOUR COLLEGE OF INTEREST REQUIRES THE ACT WRITING PORTION
Go to: the ACT website at actstudent.org for lots more information
ACT testing information
At the ACT website you can click on the “Writing Test” and go to a page that will let you type in the name of a college and find out if the writing test is required, recommended or not needed. Web site: www.actstudent.org
You can also click on “college search” and find out very helpful, basic information about colleges you are considering. The information you read will NOT be for the fall of 2009 but it will give you some good insight into the probable cost to your family.
information will include:
This is a fast and easy method for parents to check and compare costs without going to each college’s homepage.
A third item of interest is to click on “test prep” and you will see that you can order a “Real Test Prep Manual” directly from ACT. The manual will include ACT tests including Writing. There are several items there that could be worth the investment if you are really trying to improve your score.
www.actstudent.org/aap/writing/index.html = list of colleges and status on ACT writing test
www.actstudent.org/aap/writing/sample/comment.html = if you took the writing test you can read comments made on your essay.
Missouri State Board of Education awards the College Preparatory Certificate
to Missouri students who successfully complete a rigorous academic program in
Requirements for the CPC are as follows:
1. The course program must include at least the following:
2. Earn at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale, in the combined subject areas of English, Math, Social Studies and Science.
3. Score above the prior year’s national average on the ACT test.
4. Complete a strong academic program:
● English – English I, II, III and IV or one unit of speech or debate can be substituted.
● Math – four units that are Algebra I and above, one of which must be Algebra II
● Science – three units, (NOT general science) selected from biology, chemistry or physics; one course must be a lab class. *see your counselor about the science requirement.
● Social Studies – At least three units one of which must be Am. History and at least one semester of Am. Govt.
● Fine Arts – One unit in visual arts, music, dance or theater.
● Specified Core Electives – At least 3 units selected from foreign language, (two units of the same language is strongly recommended) and/or combinations from two or more of the following course areas: English, math, social studies, science and fine arts, or advanced vocational/technical courses.
● General Electives – At least 5 units sufficient to meet state and local requirements.
Ask your counselor for the College Preparatory Studies Certificate
requirements and guidelines.
Smith-Cotton is on an 11 point scale. Colleges typically use a 4 point scale. The conversion from an 11 point GPA to a 4 point GPA is made by simply multiplying by .3636.
1. Assign each of your child’s course grades the correct point value.
2. Add all the points for a total amount.
3. Divide the total amount of points by the number of classes taken. This number is the students GPA on an 11 point scale.
4. If you wish to convert to a 4 point scale then just multiply the 11 point GPA by .3636 and you will have the actual GPA converted to a 4 point scale.
To calculate your class rank
your rank in class from the number of students in your class, and then divide
that number by the number of students in your class. For example, if you
are 24 in a class of 200, your class rank percentile is 88.
All sophomores, juniors, and seniors with a cumulative 9.5 GPA and above will be given an invitation to join. If interested, students will pick up their application in late February or early March and given information about NHS.
Included will be NHS Information Sheets for them to fill out and return to the Guidance Office if they are interested in being considered for membership in this elite organization.
Those students who meet the NHS standards of scholarship, leadership, character, and service are invited to join after the selection process is complete. After the Faculty Council evaluates all materials, they will make the final selections.
adviser does not take part in the selection process but does oversee the
selection process to ascertain that all NHS standards are
observed. Also, one teacher does not have the power to exclude any
individual from membership.).
Earn ½ unit of credit this summer by enrolling in a community service course.
Community service for credit is actually an independent study course. Students must enroll and register with their counselor. Students enroll for the course with their counselor.
This course is designed for any student with the desire to spend time in documented, approved service to some agency or project with a community service orientation, registered as not for profit. Eighty hours of documented service will equate to ½ unit of elective credit. Up to two units of elective credit may be counted toward graduation. Each student will maintain records of dates, times and services rendered. The time sheet will contain each volunteer entry and will be signed by the person(s) responsible for the supervision of the student. A checklist will also rate the success of the effort. The student will also compose a two-page summary of the total experience and submit it along with the documentation in order to receive credit. The volunteer work will be preformed outside of regular school hours. Examples of this would be assisting in local service club projects, aiding city and state agencies, and schools.
** You enroll for the community service course through your counselor.