Tuesday, April 11, 2017

NACAC College Fair: 4/13/17

Student reminder: 
Don't forget to register for the NACAC College Fair, April 13th at NRG arena from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. or 6:00 p.m.-8:00p.m.!

NACAC National College Fair FAQs:

How much does it cost to attend?
FREE and OPEN to the PUBLIC, NACAC's National College Fairs allow students to interact with admission representatives from a wide range of postsecondary institutions to discuss course offerings, admission and financial aid requirements, college life in general, and other information pertinent to the college selection process.

In which grade should students attend a NACAC National College Fair?
We encourage parents and students to investigate the college admission process as early as middle school, however, high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors are our primary audience.

What happens at a National College Fair?
National College Fairs provide exciting opportunities for students and their parents to meet face to face with admission representatives from a variety of colleges and universities. Below are additional components of a National College Fair:

Counseling Center: 
Guidance counselors are available to answer college admission questions. For example, cross referencing your intended major or interests with the colleges/universities that are present at the National College Fair.

Resource Center: 
Services that will help with your transition from high school to college.

Information sessions regarding various topics from financial aid and essay writing to NCAA requirements. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017



Reviewing and comparing award letters is an important part of the decision-making process for college-bound students.

Learn how to help families understand and interpret financial aid offers next week during a Twitter chat organized by the National College Access Network and the American Council on Education.

The hour-long discussion kicks off at 3 p.m. (ET) on Tuesday, March 28. Follow along and ask questions using #AwardLettersChat.

Featured guests include:
National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (@NASFAA)
Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (@KHEAA)
Loyola University (@LoyolAdmission)
Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis (@SFofStL)
Holley Nicols, University of North Carolina Scholars Program (@holleybnicols)

Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017


Class of 2018... guess what?

Students applying to schools using The Common Application will have some new choices next fall when it comes to crafting their college essay.

2017-2018 Common Application Essay Prompts
1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. [No change]

2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? [Revised]

3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? [Revised]

4. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. [No change]

5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. [Revised]

6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? [New]

7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. [New]

“First, there’s a new prompt that invites you to discuss your curiosity, and the counselors and admission officers we’ve spoken to are excited to see where you take it,” Scott Anderson, Common App’s senior director for access and education wrote in a Huffington Postpiece aimed at students. “Second, you’ll find the return of an explicit invitation to write an essay on a topic of your choice, a change that may have some of you celebrating the freedom to write anything you want.”

In addition, three Common App essay prompts regarding student beliefs and experiences have been reworded. The changes were based on feedback from more than 5,000 individuals, including students.

“The goal of these revisions is to help all applicants, regardless of background or access to counseling, see themselves and their stories within the prompts,” according to the Common App website. “They are designed to invite unencumbered discussions of character and community, identity, and aspiration.”

Yet even though the prompts are available, it’s probably too early for high school juniors to begin drafting their essays, Anderson said.

“The prompts weren’t released this early to get you writing,” he told students in his Huffington Post piece. “They were released to get you thinking–about yourself, about what is important to you, about the interests and experiences and talents and relationships that reveal who you are.”

No matter which topic students choose, creativity counts. Good essays are easier to craft when you write about a topic you’re passionate about, admission professionals say.

“One of the biggest mistakes students make is writing what they think others want to hear, rather than about an issue, event, or person they care about,” according to a NACAC tip sheet. “An essay like that is not just boring to write. It’s boring to read…Think of your essay as a creative way to help college officials get to know you as a person.”

ApplyTexas Essay Prompts found here

Thursday, January 26, 2017

National Association for College Admission: State of College Admission

Interesting report on the State of College Admission by NACAC. Below you will find an excerpt from Chapter one on College Applications.

Each year, US colleges and universities receive hundreds of thousands of applications from first-time domestic students, transfer students, and students from abroad. Key findings regarding application volume, acceptance, and yield rates include:

Growth in Application Volume Continues: Between the Fall 2014 and Fall 2015 admission cycles, the number of applications from first-time freshmen increased 6 percent; applications from prospective transfer students increased by 4 percent; and international student applications increased by 23 percent, on average.

Online Applications Are the Norm: For the Fall 2014 admission cycle, four-year colleges and universities received an average of 94 percent of applications online, up from 68 percent in Fall 2007 and only 49 percent in Fall 2005.

Colleges Accept Nearly Two-Thirds of First-Time Freshmen Applicants; Slight Decline in National Average Acceptance Rate Stabilizes: The average selectivity rate—percentage of applicants who are offered admission—at four-year colleges and universities in the United States was 65.8 percent for Fall 2014. The national average acceptance rate has edged up from 64.7 percent in Fall 2013, after reaching a low of 63.9 percent in Fall 2012.

Decline in Average Yield Rate for First-Time Freshmen Stabilizes: The average yield rate for Fall 2014 (36.2 percent) increased slightly after a long and steady decline from 48.7 percent in 2002 to 35.7 percent in Fall 2013.

Transfer Acceptance Rate Slightly Lower than Freshmen Rate; Yield Much Higher: Among institutions that enroll transfer students, average selectivity for Fall 2015 was 61 percent, compared to 65 percent for first-time freshmen. However, more than half (55 percent) of transfer applicants who were admitted ultimately enrolled, compared to only 29 percent of freshman admits.

International Student Acceptance Rate is Low; Yield on Par with Transfer Students: At institutions that enroll first-time international students, the Fall 2015 admit rate for this population (34 percent) was much lower than the overall freshman acceptance rate. The average yield rate for international students is 52 percent.

To download the entire report, click here.

Also, please feel free to read the Winter 2017 Journal of College Admission

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Summer Enrichment Programs!

What are your plans for this coming summer? Below you will find many great options with deadlines that are fast approaching! Take a look and see if you have an interest in the following: 

*In addition to your Naviance Enrichment Opportunities, here is a quick list of summer programs:

IB Summer School Courses

Cornell University: School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

Brown University: Pre-College Programs

Hillsdale College High School Summer Study and Travel Programs

Penn Summer High School Programs

Programs for High School Students: Columbia

Yale Young Global Scholars

Western Kentucky University: Programs for gifted and talented high school students

Phillips Exeter Academy Summer Programs

AFS Summer Study Abroad

Middlebury Language Program

Northwestern University College Preparation Program

Projects Abroad

Summer Discovery (College Tours)

Stanford University: High School Summer College

Youth For Understanding

Blue Stamp Engineering

HBU Reading Skills and Speed Reading Programs
More info or call to register: 800-483-5013

Houston Cinema Arts Festival: Film Making Summer Workshops

Texas Tech Camps and Programs:
It’s a Girl Thing (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Camp, Generation TECH Camp, Sports Media Camp, Run on the Wind (wind power protection), Minecrafter Camp

WONDERWORKS @ Rice University

Monday, December 12, 2016


How do you access your PSAT/NMSQT results? 

CollegeBoard will begin releasing score reports to students on December 12th via their CollegeBoard accounts. Please ensure that you have registered for a free account, utilizing the same e-mail address that you included when taking your PSAT! To register or login to your account, please visit CollegeBoard. Score reports will also be available in MyBackpack by December 14th. If students would like to receive a copy of their PSAT test booklet, they will need to request the booklet from Mrs. Smith.

*If you cannot locate your scores online, please let Mrs. Smith know, as she is happy to download the score report for you and/or help you access your scores online.

Watch a video on how to interpret your scores:

You will also have the option to share your test results with Khan Academy and begin free test preparation!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Attend the HARN College Fair @POHS on 12/8/16!

WHO: All 9th-12th grade students! (Parents welcome)
WHAT: Houston Area Recruiter's Network College Fair 
WHEN: December 8th, 2016 @ 11:30 a.m.
WHERE: Post Oak High School Commons
WHY: Familiarizing yourself with colleges and their admission representatives is important!

Colleges attending:
University of Missouri, Aaron Cook
UT Dallas, Guy Graugnard
The University of Alabama, Elizabeth Thomason

The University of Tampa, Diana Trim
Mississippi State, Kaitlin Crepps
Texas Lutheran University, Tommy Newton
The University of St. Thomas, Marcos Canales
The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Tiffani Hoot
University of Houston - Main Campus, Tara Monson Tran
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Latisha Hull
Louisiana Tech University, Joseph Garbarino
Stephen F. Austin, Monica Gonzalez
Lamar University, Tony Sarda
The University of South Carolina, Ben Nelson
The University of Tennessee, Monica Thompson
West Virginia University, Madeleine Ryan
Texas State University, Bree Henderson
Texas Tech University, Ruby Grace
Texas State Tech College, Robert Frier
Radford University, Courtney Grymonprez
US Naval Academy, LT Romeo Garcia

Questions to consider asking representatives:
—How much time do students typically spend on homework?
—How much writing and reading are expected?
—What is the average class size of introductory classes?
—How widely used are teaching assistants on your campus?
—What is the average class size of upper-division courses?

Academic Perks
—What opportunities are there for undergraduate research?
—How many students participate in undergraduate research?
—Is there a culminating senior year experience?
—Do you have an honors college?
—Do you have a learning community or other freshman experience?

Financial Aid
—What is your average financial aid package?
—What is the typical breakdown of loans versus grants?
—What percentage of financial need does the school typically meet?
—What is the average merit award?
—What percentage of students receive college grants?
—What is the average college debt that students leave with?
—What work-study opportunities are there?

Graduation Track Record
—What is your four-year graduation rate?
—What is your five-year graduation rate?
—What does it take to graduate in four years?
—What percentage of freshmen return for sophomore year?

Academic Support
—What type of tutoring program do you have?
—How do you provide academic advice to students?
—Do you have a writing center and how do I access it?
—What kind of learning disability resources do you have?

Outside Opportunities
—How many students at the college get internships?
—What percentage of students study abroad?
—What type of career services do you have?