COLLEGE PREPARATION

  • Educational Development Plan (EDP)
    One component of career planning is the Educational Development Plan (EDP). EDPs are planning tools used by students to put into writing their education and career goals, including strategies and high school courses, to help them reach their goals. EDPs are “living” documents that are updated as interests and abilities become more obvious and focused. Parents and students should review EDPs on a regular basis. That’s easy to do with Xello. Please contact your counselor for more information.

    Jumpstart Your College Planning
    It’s amazing, but decisions you make as early as 8th grade have a huge effect on your college career. They can affect how soon you’ll go to college, what type of college you’ll attend, and even whether you will go to college at all.

    Get Involved
    Getting ready for college isn’t all work. Find something you really enjoy doing, and then dive into it. Maybe you’re drawn to sports, student council, music, art, etc. You’ll develop skills and show colleges your ability to make a commitment and stick with it.

    Take Challenging Courses
    Colleges do look at your grades, but they also pay attention to how difficult your courses are. They want to see that you’ve challenged yourself.

    Read
    Read at least 30 minutes every day, beyond study and homework. People who read more know more! And when you take the ACT and SAT tests, the time you put into reading will really pay off.

    Prepare for College Entrance Exams
    Most students take the ACT or SAT in their junior year. Be sure you’re taking the solid math and other courses that will get you ready. Talk to your counselor to make sure you’re on track.

    Get the College-Bound Facts
    How can you find out about college admissions, work and campus life? Ask someone who’s done it, such as a family member or college students who went to your high school. Get to know your counselors. Ask a career planner at a local college or a teacher. Do Web research.

    Involve Your Family and Find a Mentor
    When parents or guardians haven’t been to college themselves, they may think they can’t help you. That’s not true. They can talk to counselors and help you stay on the right path. Look for adults who can lend their enthusiasm and help you succeed at your goals.

    Extracurricular Activities
    The good news is that colleges pay attention to your life inside and outside the classroom. Yes, your academics probably come first, but your activities reveal a great deal about you, such as:

    • how you’ve made a meaningful contribution to something
    • what your non-academic interests are
    • whether you can maintain a long-term commitment
    • whether you can manage your time and priorities
    • what diversity you bring to the student body

    Maintaining a Balance
    Keep in mind colleges are not interested in seeing you “do it all.”  Colleges are looking for a commitment to, and a passion for, an activity outside of the academic setting – they are looking for depth rather than breadth. Colleges don’t have a checklist of requirements when it comes to extracurricular activities – they want to see your individuality – and your consistent commitment.

    Getting Involved
    Many school, community, and religious organizations give you a chance to explore your interests and talents. If you haven’t felt drawn to something yet, there is no shortage of opportunities for you to explore. For example:

    School Activities
    Find something you like to do and stick with it. If you are interested (and have extra time), try to excel in more than one area. For example, write for the school paper and volunteer. But make sure you are giving your all to each activity, and most importantly, to your school work.

    Community Service
    You can gain skills and experience through volunteer work, such as by tutoring elementary school kids, or spending time at a local hospital. Your counselor may be able to suggest local agencies in which you can volunteer.


    YOUR FUTURE, YOUR PATH...
    Use these helpful resources to plan your college and career goals


    Xello College and Career Planning Exploration Tool: All secondary KPS students have access to Xello through Clever for college and career planning. Students can create and update their Educational Development Plan (EDP), a living document of their career goals and related action plan aligned with their changing interests and abilities. Using the College Planning tool, students can research schools they are interested in, build a plan, and then track the action items, deadlines, application process, and admission decision through the Common App integration.


    College Board provides information on college board tests and planning, finding, applying, and paying for college. Students can also access BigFuture, a career and college exploration program to help them explore postsecondary options and plan for college.

    Common Black College App allows students to complete one college application that is sent to 65 Historical Black Colleges and Universities. KPS students can also access this information through Xell. Students can contact their counselor to receive a code that covers the application fee.

    National College Resources Foundation serves underserved, underrepresented, at risk, low resources, homeless and foster students who are interested in attending college. Students can access information on the steps to plan for college, internships, scholarships, careers, financial aid, college tours, and other helpful resources.

    Planning for College Guidebook includes information on planning, applying for college, including financial resources to assist with affording college in Michigan.

    Michigan Student Aid provides resources on how to help pay for college including scholarships, fellowships, and FAFSA. Students can also learn about the Michigan Future Educator Program that provides stipend support for aspiring teachers to become educators in Michigan. Students interested in becoming a teacher should contact their counselor about Teach Kalamazoo.

    Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) aims to help students access and attain college certificates and degrees so they can set and achieve a lifetime of their own goals, both economically and intellectually. MCAN provides students with a brighter long-term future through college access and postsecondary certificate and degree attainment.

    Michigan Colleges Alliance (MCA) represents private colleges and universities in Michigan. MCA focuses on three areas: building awareness among students and other stakeholders about educational options offered within the collective; enhancing affordability for students attending our campuses; and connecting students to fulfilling Michigan career opportunities, both during their education and after graduation.

    Michigan Community College Association (MCCA) focuses on increasing degree completion, transfer, and student success. Students can access resources on academic support, workforce development, basic needs, and financial wellness.

    Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers provides links to Michigan college home pages, online admission applications, and a calendar of high school college nights.


    SELECTING A COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU 

    • Always visit the college campus - take a tour! Walking the campus will give you a feel for the environment, which is important (as you may very well be living there for four or more years). Bring a family member.
    • Just because you may have heard of a school’s “reputation” does not mean it is or is not a good fit for you.
    • Investigate two or three colleges that you may know nothing about but offer good programs in your field of interest. You may make a great discovery.
    • Speak with the advisors. Learn about your program:
      • How long will it take?
      • Is the program accredited?
    • Do not choose a college simply because you have friends who go there. 
    • Do not rule out colleges because of cost. You may be able to receive enough funds to make it affordable. You can make this determination at the end of the college selection process.
    • Meet ALL of the deadlines! 
      • College applications
      • ACT/SAT tests/retests
      • Financial Aid
      • Scholarships
      • Campus housing
    • Apply to a “reach” school (one you hope to get into) and a school you’ll most likely be admitted to (safety college). 
    • To make a final choice, discuss with family members, school counselors, college advisors, athletic coaches, etc.
    • If you're playing the GPA game and taking a light schedule that isn't challenging, it will catch up with you at the college level very quickly. One of the things admissions officers pay attention to, besides GPA, is course selection throughout high school and especially senior year. They like to see students have momentum going into their freshman year at college. If you sit back your senior year, it's hard to recapture that momentum.
    • Course selection can also affect admissions test scores. If you go for just a good GPA, you'll be less prepared for college and will score lower on entrance exams.

    Kalamazoo Promise Students:

    • Fill out the application during the fall of your senior year.
    • After submission you will receive a certificate indicating the amount of scholarship for which you qualify.
    • After deciding on a college, fill out the scholarship acceptance form. This form is an agreement between the student and the Promise on what each party will do to maintain the scholarship. 

    All Students:

    • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be filled out between October 1 and should be done before March 1. It will qualify you for scholarships, grants, work study programs, and loans. 
    • The Kalamazoo Foundation offers local scholarships (more easily obtained than competing statewide or nationally). Check it out at www.kalfound.org.
    • Contact the colleges or universities of interest and speak with the financial advisors and contact the department (intended major) to identify other scholarships and opportunities available specifically through the program.
    • Volunteer in your community: service is a great qualifier for scholarships! Choose a means wherein you can learn more about your interests. Don’t dabble in this and that, but really become involved in one or two organizations.

    ACT & SAT 
    Admission to college is usually based upon a combination of factors which include Grade Point Average (GPA), class rank, and national test results. The common tests taken are the SAT and/or ACT (usually taken during a student’s junior or senior year). 

    •  All 4-year colleges require the SAT and/or ACT
    •  Many community colleges do not require the SAT/ACT
    • The SAT is one component of the MME. There is no cost to 11th grade students who take the SAT as part of the MME on the scheduled day in April. All high school students may take or retake the SAT at their own expense on any of the national testing dates listed below. Your counselor can provide you with specific information or visit the websites listed below:
    • There is a fee for taking the ACT or SAT exams, and advanced registration is required.

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP) COURSES
    AP can change your life. Through college-level AP courses, you enter a universe of knowledge that might otherwise remain unexplored in high school. 

    • AP courses provide an opportunity to earn college-level credit while enrolled in high school by taking the AP exam. All students enrolled in an AP course will be required to take the related AP exam in May. AP courses follow guidelines as suggested by The College Board. 
    • Due to the rigor of AP courses, students are strongly encouraged to complete a summer assignment as suggested by the AP teacher. Content from summer assignments will be included on an assessment during the first trimester. A packet with detailed course information is available in the office. Advanced Placement courses are intended for students in grades 10-12.

    Why Participate?

    AP courses offer something for everyone. The only requirements are a strong curiosity about the subject you plan to study and the willingness to work hard. Here are just a few reasons to take AP courses:

    Gain the Edge in College Preparation

    • Get a head start on college-level work.
    • Improve your writing skills and sharpen your problem-solving techniques.
    •  Develop the study habits necessary for tackling rigorous course work.

    Stand Out in the College Admissions Process

    • Demonstrate your maturity and readiness for college.
    • Show your willingness to push yourself to the limit.
    • Emphasize your commitment to academic excellence.

    Broaden Your Intellectual Horizons

    • Explore the world from a variety of perspectives, most importantly, your own.
    • Study subjects in greater depth and detail.
    • Assume the responsibility of reasoning, analyzing, and understanding for yourself.

    The following AP courses are available to KPS students:

    • AP Art History
    • AP Biology
    • AP Calculus AB
    • AP Chemistry
    • AP English: Language & Comp
    • AP English: Literature & Comp
    • AP European History
    • AP French Language & Culture
    • AP Latin
    • AP Precalculus
    • AP Physics I
    • AP Psychology
    • AP Spanish Language & Culture
    • AP Statistics
    • AP Studio Art Portfolio
    • AP United States History
    • AP World History
    • AP United States Government & Politics
    • AP Comparative Government and Politics