The Newest Partnership in Education.

Hi All

Khan Academy has partnered with CollegeBoard on SAT preparation. I suspect the online preparation will be improved since Khan Academy is doing it.

The PSAT in October is the “new” PSAT and they are offering FREE test prep online!

Khan Academy Test Prep

We should send this out to our e mail list of students so they have the opportunity to prepare this summer.

Cheers,  George

George A. Letchworth, Ph.D.

Does the College You Want to Attend Match up With Your Needs?

Hi All

I am a fan of “college fit” and offer a workshop on that topic. The problem is that most students and families, especially first-generation, do not understand the importance of identifying colleges that are a good fit for the student. The article below provides some evidence on mismatching of students and colleges.

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Study finds widespread mismatching of students and colleges, primarily due to student choice | Inside Higher Ed

As you read the article look for their operational definition of mismatching……Overmatching or undermatching occurred, they argued, when there was a 20 point divergence between the percentile ranking of the students and the percentile ranking of the colleges.

As ASPIRE Advisors this is a topic that might be worthy of some thought and discussion.   What has been your experience with getting students to focus on colleges that are a good fit for them?  Any additional thoughts or advice?

Cheers, George

George A. Letchworth, Ph.D.

Education Credit Management Corporation

Hi All

I have used the Opportunities booklet and have found it to be really useful. Be sure to get the Oregon version which contains information specific to Oregon. The good news is that it is free and you can order copies for your ASPIRE program.

ECMC – Foundation – The College Place Resources

If you have used the Opportunities booklet how would you evaluate it?

Cheers,  George

George A. Letchworth, Ph.D.

Eight Components of College and Career Readines

Hi All

Here is the booklet on the eight components of career and college readiness.  There are booklets to apply the eight components to the elementary, middle school and high school.

The Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling provide a systemic approach for school counselors to implement, across grades K–12 — elementary through high school and beyond, to ensure equity both in process and results.

1. College Aspirations Goal:

Build a college-going culture based on early college awareness by nurturing in students the confidence to aspire to college and the resilience to overcome challenges along the way. Maintain high expectations by providing adequate supports, building social capital and conveying the conviction that all students can succeed in college.

2. Academic Planning for College and Career Readiness Goal:

Advance students’ planning, preparation, participation and performance in a rigorous academic program that connects to their college and career aspirations and goals.

3. Enrichment and Extracurricular Engagement Goal:

Ensure equitable exposure to a wide range of extracurricular and enrichment opportunities that build leadership, nurture talents and interests, and increase engagement with school.

4. College and Career Exploration and Selection Processes Goal:

Provide early and ongoing exposure to experiences and information necessary to make informed decisions when selecting a college or career that connects to academic preparation and future aspirations.

5. College and Career Assessments Goal:

Promote preparation, participation and performance in college and career assessments by all students.

6. College Affordability Planning Goal:

Provide students and families with comprehensive information about college costs, options for paying for college, and the financial aid and scholarship processes and eligibility requirements, so they are able to plan for and afford a college education.

7. College and Career Admission Processes Goal:

Ensure that students and families have an early and ongoing understanding of the college and career application and admission processes so they can find the postsecondary options that are the best fit with their aspirations and interests.

8. Transition from High School Graduation to College Enrollment Goal:

Connect students to school and community resources to help the students overcome barriers and ensure the successful transition from high school to college.

Cheers,  George

George A. Letchworth, Ph.D.

SAT Scores Are Flat

Hi All

Be sure to click on the ACT link and read the ACT article carefully. If Oregon is going to meet the 40-40-20 goals proposed by the governor student achievement needs to increase.

SAT scores are flat | Inside Higher Ed

On a side note:

I am finishing the book, The Smartest Kids in the World, which looks at student achievement in S. Korea, Poland and Finland. The book makes some really interesting observations related to the causes of student achievement.

Cheers, George

George A. Letchworth, Ph.D.

Characteristics of Success and Undermatching

Hi All

Here is an article that will give you some ideas.  The focus is on an urban setting but I suspect that some of the findings apply to those of us who work with rural first-generation students.  Skim through the first of the article to the list of student success characteristics.  The last characteristic is mutable and within our span of control, announcing college acceptances.  I am thinking that we could also announce who is going on college campus visits, receiving college scholarships, etc.

Later in the article he discusses the transition to a college setting.  I have taught at a large state university and several small liberal arts colleges.  It is important to understand the mission of a college because it will directly impact a student.  At a large research university professors are expected to write grants and bring in money, publish, and work with graduate students.  They may only teach one or two classes and if one is undergraduate it will probably be a large class of 100-500.  The chances of an undergraduate getting to know a professor is low unless they are outstanding and make a huge effort.  At a small liberal arts college or state university the mission may be rigorous undergraduate studies and the faculty know and interact with students.  From an ASPIRE perspective we need to need to know the size of undergraduate classes and if they are taught by tenure track faculty or graduate students and adjuncts.  On a campus visit high school students should ask college students if they know their faculty, how do they interact with them and who are their favorite faculty.

The issue of undermatching is an important issue for ASPIRE Advisors.  What colleges are we discussing with students?  We often work with first-generation students who on the FAFSA have an EFC of 0 so they qualify for a great deal of need-based aid.  If the student has great grades, SAT’s, leadership, and community service they may be a candidate for an elite school.  An elite college with a substantial endowment is often able to meet 100% of the financial need of a desirable student.  As you work with students you may wish to go on Oregon CIS and look at the percentage of financial need met by the college.  Since we are having the fall ASPIRE conference at Reed College you might like to know that the COA is $59,880 and they meet 100% of financial need.  The COA at the U of O is $23,965 so which college graduates, U of O or Reed, would have the least debt?

New study explores qualities that help black and Latino males succeed in high school | Inside Higher Ed

What are your thoughts???

Cheers,  George

George A. Letchworth, Ph.D.

How Application Fees are Effecting College Attendance Rates

Hi All

Here is an article that addresses application fees and under-matching.  This is the time of year that seniors are completing their college applications and the application fees can add up.  Here is what I know about avoiding application fees:

  1. There are need-based SAT application fee waivers.
  2. The OUS system has need-based application fee waivers.  The form is in the OUS Counselors Handbook.
  1. Many colleges will waive the application fee if asked.
  2. In the article below click on the Reed College link and you can read an interesting article on Reed where it announced that it is dropping the application fee.  Later in the article there is a comparison of net cost at Reed, OSU and UofO.

Study finds that small differences in application costs can have big impact | Inside Higher Ed

Getting our students to apply to several good fit colleges is often a challenge because of the application fees.  What solutions have you come up with to assist students?  Share with us your insights!

Cheers,  George

George A. Letchworth, Ph.D.

Paying it Forward

Hi All

As you are aware our legislature recently considered a “pay it forward” strategy to assist students in affording college. Below is a thoughtful essay by some of the major groups in higher education on the issue.

We all need to be informed if the pay it forward strategy comes up again in the legislature.

Investing, Not Cost Shifting

As as ASPIRE Advisor and a retired professor I find the student college debt issue interesting. I have not heard a cogent argument made for knowledge, planning and saving as a solution for reducing college student debt.

Cheers,  George

George A. Letchworth, Ph.D.