Does it seem like everyone else around you is all set with their life's plans? Does it seem like you are the only one who has no idea of how to begin your college search process? And do you sometimes feel like it might be best to forgo the college route and just join the Marines? Call yourself normal. Every student and parent with whom I have worked over the past fifteen years in College Coaching has had the same doubts and fears. In this book I will share some of those stories. I promise that all of the stories end well with students happily settled in college. It is the getting there that is hard, more emotionally-charged, than anything else. A neat part about Getting into College with Julia Ross: Finding the Right Fit & Making it Happen is that it is designed to help all types of students. The process and strategies outlined in this book will work for middle of the road B students, mid-range C struggling students and the all-A- superstars. Will all of these students get into Harvard and Yale? Absolutely not. Do they all want to go to Harvard and Yale? Again, absolutely not!
We tend to get caught up in the brand name of colleges just as we do in the brand name of cars and clothing. The goal of the college coaching handbook is to help students identify colleges that meet their individual needs (academically, socially, athletically, and financially). Yes, you are in the driver's seat. You will choose colleges that will fit you! In Chapter Two, you will read about decision criteria, take a survey and develop your very own college list. Chapter Three will help you understand the Numbers Game, made up of test scores and your GPA. It will help you to calibrate your safety, attainable and reach schools so that you can develop a realistic list of colleges to visit and submit applications. Of course, the next question is how to make the colleges want you. Right? Once you have developed a list of colleges with appropriate admissions standards, you will give a lot of thought to what you have to offer these colleges. The admissions process from the colleges' point of view is no secret. Colleges are looking to develop a community of students; students who are leaders, musicians, athletes, researchers, etc.
They want to fill their classes with a diversity of interests and talents. In Chapter Four, you will work on packaging yourself to present to the colleges. Just as your parents develop a resume or fill out a job application listing their experience and skills, you will also. It is about packaging -- not with glitter and bows and untruths. Instead you will work with your parents, teachers, mentors and guidance counselors to develop a glowing Student Resume. Yes, you can glow too! Your student resume will accompany your requests for recommendations. Your resume will help your teachers, guidance counselors, coaches or family friends to write about what a great addition you will be to the college community. Chapter Six will help you to choose potential recommenders and write letters requesting recommendations. Chapter Five will help you fill out those all-important college applications. Your student resume will help you to fill out your applications; it will remind you of your achievements to include on the application. This chapter will also help to unravel the complexities of Early Decision, Early Action, Rolling Admissions Plans, among others.
In Chapter Seven, you will face the task of writing the dreaded college essay. In addition to providing an overview and list of do's and don'ts, the chapter includes essays ranging from two full pages (1000 words) to the short answer (200) word essay. You will surely enjoy these essays as they range from the comical to the tear-jerker. You may be surprised to find out that none of these great essays was written by an academic superstar and at least two were written by students in the low-C range. You will learn about interviewing, visiting college campuses, and Romancing the Admissions Officer in Chapter Eight. College Admissions Officers are people, too; they respond to students who are excited about their schools. They want to fill their classes with young people who are passionate about attending. No college admissions counselor wants to know that a student considers his/her individual college a safety school, only a back up. Chapter Nine will support the U.S. Service Academy and Reserve Officer Training Corps (R.O.T.C.) candidate. This chapter also includes a sample Athletic and Arts Resume. Chapter Ten is the piece de resistance.
After your successful search, packaging and applications, you will look at scholarships and financial aid. As unbelievable as it may seem, colleges and universities are looking to give away money, even in this financial climate! Many, many private schools offer merit awards (not need-based financial aid) in their initial interviews or even in their pre-application letters. Many of my students find that they can attend a private college for the same or nearly the same cost as their in-state public school. In addition, private and public colleges across the nation offer merit awards to students who qualify for their honors programs.
Julia Ross, author of Getting into College with Julia Ross: Finding the Right Fit and Making it Happen, is dedicated to the education and development of teenagers. Her business, Professional Tutoring, LLC, has grown exponentially since its founding in 1994, from a handful of students its first year to hundreds in 2009. In the 15 years since its inception, annual revenues have increased 100,000%. Professional Tutoring clients travel from throughout the tri-state National Capital Area to seek Julia's tutoring, SAT classes, college coaching and other educational services. Additionally, Julia accepts long-distance students working by phone and internet. It is Julia's gift with teenagers that lies at the heart of the success of Professional Tutoring, LLC. While educational theories abound and much can be boiled down to science, it is the ability to understand and relate to teenagers that singles out Julia Ross and her wonderful college admissions guide, Getting into College with Julia Ross: Finding the Right Fit and Making it Happen. The guide reads in Julia's conversational tone that teenagers love. Parents embrace the organized step-by-step approach. A native of New Jersey, Julia grew up in the competitive academic environment of the New York City suburbs. She graduated with Distinction from the University of Virginia in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts in French Language and Literature with a concentration in Spanish and Italian. The degree included Julia's direct matriculation at the prestigious and highly competitive University of Paris at the Sorbonne. Upon graduation, Julia began a management intern program with the government in Federal Property Management and Sales. In 1992, at the age of 27, Julia became manager of a team of architects and urban planners. It was in this job that she learned to manage professionals effectively. While working full-time, Julia completed a Masters of Urban Planning with a concentration in finance, again from the University of Virginia and again with a near-perfect grade point average. In 1994, Julia gave up the Washington rat race to pursue her own passion, working with young people, and thus, founded Professional Tutoring, LLC. Julia's personal life is full of kids as well. Since marrying in 1987, Ms. Ross has had the blessing of three children in her life, Meredith, 18, Emma, 16 and William, 5. Julia's passion for education extends to her children; all three are bilingual. In addition, the Ross family has dedicated itself to children from around the world. Since 1995, the family has hosted 23 young people from six continents in medical exchange, student exchange and foster programs.