How to Apply to College will empower learners of all backgrounds to demystify and better understand the college search and selection process, combining the expertise of an Ivy League admissions office and a leading college access and success organization. Led by expert educators, including Eric J. Furda, Dean of Admissions at the University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Sean Vereen, President of Steppingstone Scholars, Inc., this free course will help students, family members, college counselors and any inquisitive learner to navigate each stage from the start of the college search process through the transition into a college environment.
Through dialogue with students applying to and currently in college as well as campus advocates, How to Apply to College also aims to close the information gap for students who may be the first in their family to attend college and students who are underrepresented in higher education.
A range of video and web resources are provided through a collaboration with a number of educational partners including The Common Application, with nearly 700 colleges on the application platform, and Raise.me, which provides a new way for high school students to earn money for college starting in 9th grade based on their achievements in school and life. Other resources and tools featured in the course include Naviance, College Greenlight, College Scorecard, BigFuture by the College Board, College and Pell Abacus, ZeeMee and Federal Student Aid.
Starting the Journey to College
This module provides an introduction to the course and overview of the college application process , financial aid, and why college matters. Dr. Vereen will discuss the range of two-year to four-year colleges and levels of selectivity will be discussed to better understand potential college options for students.
Self-Assessment and Telling Your Story
This segment will take students through the journey of self-assessment through Dean Furda’s Assess Yourself framework of the 5 I’s (Identity, Ideas, Interests, Intellect, and Inspiration) and Assessing Colleges through the 4 C’s (Culture, Curriculum, Community, and Conclusions). Steppingstone Scholars’ staff and students will address how and why telling your story is important when applying to college.
Paying for College
This segment provides insight into the resources available to make college affordable with step-by-step exercises to enable students and families to apply for financial aid. Financial aid professionals and Steppingstone Scholars will discuss their experiences applying for financial aid. Viewers will also be introduced to Raise.me for college scholarship resources and Pell Abacus to learn about college "net prices."
Exploring College Campuses: What To Consider
With a better understanding of ‘what to look for’ in colleges, viewers will gain insight and direction on college visiting opportunities, including ‘fly-in’ programs where colleges pay for your campus visit before you apply and after you are admitted. Steppingstone Scholars will bring participants through their visit experiences and Philadelphia area colleges will highlight their campuses and resources. Resources into the college search and scholarship process via College Greenlight are offered.
The Pieces of the College Application
In this segment, you will come into Dean Furda’s office and learn about the different forms of a college application and how to tell your personal narrative in each section. Students will discuss their experiences and expert advice will be shared by a senior member of The Common Application which serves a diverse membership of nearly 700 colleges and universities.
Transitions to College
This segment is the culmination of our journey together as you consider your college options and set yourself up for success in planning for the transition to college. The goal isn’t to ‘go to college,’ rather the goal is to ‘graduate from college.' Hear from faculty, academic advisors and students on how to navigate these transitions to maximize your experience and success.