PREPARING FOR COLLEGE

Help your student make the right choices and be informed about how to become an excellent candidate for college.

ACADEMIC AND EXTRACURRICULAR CHOICES IN HIGH SCHOOL

The academic and extracurricular choices your student makes during the four years of high school will be carefully analyzed by admissions counselors. Here are some guidelines for helping your student make the best choices.

General Admissions Requirements for University of the Pacific
Here you will find the specifics of the high school courses that Pacific requires for admission.
http://go.pacific.edu/requirements

How to Select High School Courses
This CollegeBoard site specifies the general course titles needed to qualify for admission into most colleges.
http://www.collegeboard.com/student/plan/high-school/33.html

Advanced Placement (AP) Courses
This challenging program of study is available in many schools. Your student must demonstrate superior academic skills in order to participate.
http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/ap/about.html

Extracurricular Activities Quiz
From sports to community service, what your student does outside the classroom is also important to admissions counselors. Take this quiz from the American School Counselor Association.
http://www.familyeducation.com/quiz/0,1399,20-9999,00.html

STANDARDIZED TESTS

There are two main standardized tests administered in the United States. Depending on where you live, one may be easier to find than the other. Pacific requires one but accepts either test when considering an offer of admission. Any of these tests can be taken multiple times. Pacific will consider your best individual score only on any test or separately scored section of a test.

Compare SAT and ACT
For a quick comparison of the SAT and ACT, see the Princeton Review’s summary chart:
http://www.princetonreview.com/college/testprep/testprep.asp?TPRPAGE=141

College Board (SAT Reasoning Test)
This is the home of the SAT test people. The SAT is the most frequently cited standardized test.
http://www.collegeboard.com/

ACT
The ACT is the other standardized testing organization in the United States.
http://www.act.org/

PSAT
The PSAT is a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT Reasoning Test. Even though it says “practice,” the results of this test can qualify students for the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) scholarship programs. So make sure your student doesn’t blow this one off.
http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/psat/about.html

Official SAT Practice Test of the College Board
This is the CollegeBoard’s official sample test.
http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/sat/prep_one/test.html

Test Prep Review
This site offers free practice tests.
http://www.testprepreview.com/

Vocabulary University
This site can help with the vocabulary portion of tests.
http://www.vocabulary.com/

Traditional Prep Courses
There are several firms that offer courses to prepare for standardized tests. Before selecting a program, consider class size, location, price and guarantees. Here are some common ones:

Kaplan
http://www.kaplan.com/
The Princeton Review
http://www.princetonreview.com/home.asp
Sylvan Learning Centers
http://tutoring.sylvanlearning.com/index.cfm

EARNING COLLEGE CREDIT

It’s possible for your student to earn credit for college before entering by taking tests that demonstrate college-level knowledge and skills.

Advanced Credit at University of the Pacific
This summarizes Pacific’s Advanced credit policies, and links to appropriate testing resources.
http://go.pacific.edu/advancedcredit

Advanced Placement (AP) tests
These subject–specific tests may help your student receive college credit for certain introductory courses.
http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/Controller.jpf

International Baccalaureate Organization
This international organization provides a curriculum acceptable to most universities around the world. Its subject tests are also eligible for advanced credit.
http://www.ibo.org/

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
Pacific may also grant college credit, within certain limitations, for the General and Subject Examinations offered through CLEP when satisfactory scores have been earned.
http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/clep/about.html

Surveys

National Survey of Student Engagement
The National Survey of Student Engagement(NSSE) is designed to obtain, on an annual basis, information from scores of colleges and universities nationwide about student participation in programs and activities that institutions provide for their learning and personal development. The results will provide an estimate of how undergraduates spend their time and what they gain from attending college. Survey items on The National Survey of Student Engagement represent empirically confirmed "good practices" in undergraduate education. That is, they reflect behaviors by students and institutions that are associated with desired outcomes of college.
More abour NSSE at: http://nsse.iub.edu
Pacific's 2006 NSSE Benchmarks

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APPLYING FOR ADMISSION AND FINANCIAL AID

A true rite of passage for students and their parents is the completion of the application processes for college and financial aid. However you decide to allocate the responsibilities for this process, you’ll get a leg up by visiting these sites that can help you.

Disclaimer: Many of the commercial sites below offer free information fund their services through advertising or selling their mailing lists. Be aware that links to commercial vendors from these sites could be sponsored, as opposed to a recommendation by the publisher of the site.

APPLYING FOR ADMISSION

Pacific’s Office of Admission
Here you can find everything about applying for admission to University of the Pacific.
http://go.pacific.edu/admission

Admission Requirements for University of the Pacific
http://go.pacific.edu/requirements

University of the Pacific’s Key Dates and Deadlines
(note: the information on this page is out of date)
http://go.pacific.edu/admissiondeadlines

Tips for Applying to College
These tips are from Family Education Network. Skip the opening ad by clicking the link in the upper right corner.
http://school.familyeducation.com/college-prep/college-applications/34526.html?detoured=1

Apply to College
This help center from the CollegeBoard features article links and helpful hints.
http://www.collegeboard.com/student/apply/index.html

FINANCING A COLLEGE EDUCATION

The money to help families pay for college comes from scholarships and loans. Scholarships are abundant, frequently available from universities, states, local organizations and foundations. Loans are available for both students and parents. The two most common student loans are the Stafford Loan and the Perkins Loan. The government sites with information about these specific loans are below. Regardless of whether you think your family will qualify, you should apply for financial aid. What do you have to lose?

Applying for Financial Aid
To be considered for financial aid, Pacific requires only the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/

Student Aid on the Web
This Department of Education site offers a comprehensive guide to Financial Aid issues, focusing on federal programs.
http://www.studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/index.jsp

Guide to Financial Aid (pdf file)
This is a summary of financial aid from the Department of Education: It’s in government-speak, but it’s pretty thorough, all on one page, and no graphics or ads.
http://www.ed.gov/pubs/Prepare/pt4a.html#eligible

FinAid
Monster.com’s commercial version of similar information.
http://www.finaid.org/

Pacific Scholarships
Here are the scholarships offered by University of the Pacific.
http://go.pacific.edu/scholarships

FINDING SCHOLARSHIPS

There are a lot of sites that list scholarships. Here are just a few:

StudentAwards.com
http://www.ed.gov/pubs/Prepare/pt4a.html#eligible
Broke Scholar
http://www.brokescholar.com/
FastWeb
http://www.fastweb.com/
FindTuition
This site from CareerBuilder.com is a subscription site.
http://www.findtuition.com/

Stafford Loan
A low–interest student loan available to most college students, regardless of financial need.
http://www.studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/studentloans.jsp

Federal Perkins Loan
A very low–interest student loan available to college students with demonstrated financial need.
http://www.ed.gov/programs/fpl/index.html

Alternative Student Loans
Private loans are also available for students.
http://www.finaid.org/loans/privateloan.phtml

Summary – All Student Loans
A summary of all available student loans can be found here.
http://www.finaid.org/loans/studentloan.phtml

Parent Loans
Parents can be eligible for PLUS loans.
http://www.studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/parentloans.jsp

State Government–Sponsored Financial Aid
Your student may also be eligible for funding from your state government. Below is a list of the state organizations that administer state–based financial aid programs.
http://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/Programs/EROD/org_list.cfm?category_ID=SHE

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