College Prep Information

LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION-

 

Seniors, you will be needing letters of recommendation for some of your college applications and scholarships.  It’s perfectly fine to have a couple “generic” letters on hand at all times.  If you are going to be asking your counselor, teachers, and/or administrators to write one for you, you need to follow a couple of quidelines: 

  1. Give them plenty of time to complete the letter that you’ve asked them to write for you.This means about a week, not 2 hours!!!Haha

  2. Give them a resume’ that they can easily look at while “bragging” on all your accomplishments.

  3. If your recommendation letter needs to address a certain subject, be sure they know that ahead of time.

  4. If your recommendation letter needs to be in a sealed envelope, provide the envelope for them.

  5. If your recommendation letter needs to be mailed directly, provide a stamped, self-addressed envelope for them.

  6. Be sure to ask teachers that can adequately describe and recommend you.

 

ESSAY COMPETITIONS-

 

I cannot stress this enough.  You NEED TO BE ENTERING some of these essay competitions.  This is usually CASH money that can be used for books, room/board, meals, etc.  Write an essay and keep it on hand for essay competitions.  Have your English teacher or counselor proof-read it for you.  You can probably “tweek” just a few words on ones you have saved to use for other ones needed.  Many times the number of students that actually enter these competitions is very low, so you have a good chance of winning. 

Essay Contest-

                   Students, you SHOULD enter every essay contest that comes your way.  You would be surprised at how many students don’t enter at all.  Even if it’s just $100 or $500, that is usually CASH money given to you for college, and you can use it for anything (gas, food, books, etc.)  You need to get a “generic” essay written that you can modify as needed.  Many of the contests will have a title such as, “Your Hopes and Dreams for the Future.”  Get a good one written, let your English teacher proof-read it for you, and use it several times if you can.  If you win several contests, it could add up to quite a bit of money. If you are a pretty good writer, this is an easy way to win money for college.  Don’t assume that you won’t win.  I know a student that won $500 because he was the only one that entered!!!!

 

 

Letters of Recommendation-

                     Students, many of your college applications will ask for a letter of recommendation.  Let me give you a few tips on this:

  1. Ask your teachers, counselor, or principal at least a week in advance. 
  2. Ask someone that knows you well and will give you a great recommendation.
  3. Give that person a copy of your resume’ so they can “brag” on you.
  4. Keep several copies to use for other applications. 

 

 

 

Resume’-

                     Every senior should have an updated resume’ on hand to send in with applications.  There are several examples on the web if you need help.  Here are some additional tips:

  1. Tell the truth.  Don’t embellish your accomplishments, but at the same time, give yourself credit for the things you’ve done. 
  2. It should look “professional”.  Make sure spelling and grammar are correct.  Don’t be afraid to let your English teacher help you. 
  3. Keep several copies on hand.  Your resume’ will come in handy for job applications also. 
  4. Stay away from the fancy or cute paper.  A professional resume’ doesn’t have flowers or hearts around the border. 
  5. Include examples and numbers.  If you have community service hours, explain (briefly) what those activities were.  See my example attached.

This is just a generic example.  Don’t use relatives as references, even if you have worked for them. 

 

Community Service-

     Keep track of your community service beginning with grade 9.  Community service is anything that you volunteer to do that benefits your community, church, or school.  It’s anything that you don’t get paid (directly) to do.  This is HUGE on scholarships. 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

YOUR NAME

39665 W. 45TH Street

Shawnee, OK  74883

405-996-9745

ccantrell@dale.k12.ok.us

 

Education-

     Dale High School-Honor Graduate-GPA 3.9

 

Extra-Curricular-

     Baseball-4 years-lettered-varsity                                     Academic Team-4 years

     Band-3 years                                                                    FFA-4 years

 

Organizations-

    FCCLA-2 years                                                                 Student Council-3 years

    FCA-4 years                                                                      Spanish Club-President

    SADD-4 years                                                                   Yearbook-Editor

 

Awards/Honors-

    Science Fair-3rd place                                                        Outstanding English Student

    MVP-Harrah Tournament-Baseball                                  Supt. Honor Roll

    Student of the Month

 

 

Community Service-

    Salvation Army Angel Tree-30 hours                               American Cancer Society-25 hours

    Youth Camp-First Baptist Church-100 hours                    Baseball Booster Club-20 hours

   

References-

    Bill Cunningham-Sonic Drive-In, Manager

    405-778-9800

 

    Leslie Hall-Target, Asst. Manager

    405-775-9122

 

    Carren Cantrell, Counselor-Dale School

    405-964-5555

   

 

 

 

 

   

HELPFUL INFORMATION

 

Scholarship Scams-

 

You DO NOT need to pay for scholarship searches!!  Fastweb is free.  My help is free.  There are tons of scholarship websites that are free.  Some organizations want to charge thousands of dollars to do the searches for you or charge you a portion of the scholarship amount. 

That scholarship packet that I provided you earlier is a excellent source of scholarship materials.  Plus, I am updating you each week with new ones that come in to my office. 

If you have not registered on fastweb, you need to do that soon.  www.fastweb.com

Also beware of scams with FAFSA.  This is what you’ll fill out in January to see if you qualify for any financial aid.  www.fafsa.ed.gov

There is another FAFSA form that looks identical to the real one, but when you get to the end, they ask for your credit card number and charge you.  FAFSA is free.  Don’t mistakenly go to fafsa.com.