A young man studies after school at the West Angeles Education & Enrichment program.

Education Enrichment: 4 Mistakes Class of 2017 Families are Making Right Now

Deacon John Wilson, Director of West Angeles’ Education Enrichment Ministry, explains the 4 mistakes to correct if a great, affordable college is the goal for your 2017 graduating senior.

If a member of your family is a high school student who’s graduating in the Class of 2017, it may be hard to believe, but, yes – even in June 2016 – there are things which families typically need to do today in order to help secure an affordable and appropriate college for their 11th grade youth.

Here are 4 often missing steps which parents should be taking NOW – in June of the 11th grade year:

  1.  Review transcripts & SAT scores to ensure that HS Course Requirements are complete and adequate for the colleges of your choice.

Reviewing these items NOW will help give you options for make-up classes, or can help you to strengthen your youth academically in the right areas this summer. Very often when I meet with families in the fall of the 12th grade year, I find that the student may have gotten D’s and/or F’s in earlier semesters which could have been made up. However, high school counselors may not have notified students of this, or parents may have made their own assumptions concerning the courses needed for college. This is understandable, but wrong assumptions are often reinforced by well-meaning friends and/or family members. Meet with a knowledgeable college guidance professional to confirm (a) if HS courses need replacement; and (b) which colleges are best to apply to. In our program, we call these “College Readiness Conferences.” Contact us or another college prep professional to set up the required meetings.

  1.  Register Your Youth for High Quality, Reduced Cost SAT Class for the October SAT.

Many families whose students really need higher SAT scores determine that their youth can study on their own for the SAT; in fact, the College Board is making this claim to HS Counselors and educators! It was their hope that prep would not be needed, and students could teach themselves online. Here in our program, we do not deny this could be true, but it’s very rare. Why? Nearly all 11th graders we’ve worked with are not as adept at the self-study techniques needed to adequately learn content. They need human motivation to learn difficult material, which is even harder than disciplining themselves to do well on school tests. We are certified SAT preparers, and we know that training in SAT test-taking techniques help with over 90% of students. Contact us for more information for low cost SAT Prep for the October SAT.

  1.  Apply for the FAFSA Username and Password NOW.

The 2017-18 FAFSA should be submitted in the first 2 weeks of October of 2016. Due to a recent change in the Federal Financial Aid regulations/procedures, your 2015 income will be used for financial aid determination. In response, many colleges are making their financial aid deadlines for Fall earlier this year. Naturally, I am advising BOTH parents and Class of 2017 students to order their usernames and passwords early. All you need to apply for the FAFSA username and password is the Social Security Number, date of birth and names as they appear on the Social Security Cards.

We produced a GREAT procedure for finding the FAFSA username and password; you can find at the following link:

http://www.mathinkers.org/uploads/8/8/4/4/8844425/how_to_order_a_username_and_password.pdf

NOTE:  Both student and parent need to apply for the FAFSA username and password.

  1. Allow your youth to take AP Classes during the 12th grade year ONLY if their Unweighted GPAs are already above 3.5, AND if you know they have a very good chance of getting an “A” in the AP course.

What’s more important is that a student’s GPA actually increases the first semester of the 12th grade year. The best way to raise a GPA is for the student to get A’s. The best way for a student to get A’s is for them to study HARD and to not have AP Courses to focus on. The ONLY time students should be taking AP Courses during the 12th grade Year is (a) when they have gotten A’s in similar courses; (b) if they have earlier experience with AP courses; and  (c) if they are looking seriously at University of California Campuses and have a GPA of 3.6 weighted and 3.5 unweighted. I know it’s a difficult decision to make when teachers and counselors insist that AP courses MUST be taken to get into a great college, but it’s simply not true. Please contact our office if you have questions or want to know more details.

Please review the above information carefully and get a great start RIGHT NOW in preparing your youth for admission into an affordable, cost sustainable and GREAT college!

 

Deacon John Wilson is Director of West Angeles Church of God In Christ’s Education and Enrichment Ministry (EEM). EEM is provided in accordance with the Urban Initiatives of the Church Of God In Christ (COGIC) International, through the leadership of Presiding Bishop, Charles E. Blake, Sr. Please contact EEM at 323-733-8300 X 2629 to find out more about the various programs and services provided, or click please HERE.


It’s Summer Enrichment time again! Mandatory orientation for the West Angeles Summer Enrichment Program is Thursday, June 30 at 6:30pm. To find out more about the program including deadlines and registration materials, please click HERE.