Avoid Being Stressed
On June 4 at six o’clock AM, fifty Great Hearts students and their College Counselors set off on a weeklong adventure visiting 11 colleges across Southern California.
Monday, June 4, 12 Noon
The first stop on the college tour was University of Redlands, lo-cated just outside of Riverside. Students were impressed by the Johnston Center, where students create their own programs of study and combine unique majors. Redlands also has a robust NCAA Division III athletic program, and is located on a beauti-ful, large campus.
Monday, June 4, 3:30 PM
Just after 3 PM on Monday, our bus pulled into Claremont McK-enna College. CMC’s modern campus is home to academically rigorous programs including Economics, Political Science, Busi-ness and many other majors.
Monday, June 4, 5 PM
Walking mere feet from Claremont McKenna is Harvey Mudd College. This math and science powerhouse offers students the oppor-tunity to combine the liberal arts with fields like Engineering, Science, and Technology. As with all colleges in the Claremont Consor-tium (Pomona, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer, Claremont McKenna, and Scripps), students can cross-register with other campuses.
Tuesday, June 5, 8 AM
Monday night, we all enjoyed dinner and conversation in quaint downtown Claremont before heading to our hotel in Azusa. The first stop Tuesday morning was Azusa Pacific, a medium sized Christian university just outside of LA. This unique campus is split into two sections, not far apart. We were able to visit both, enjoying lunch in the college café before heading out to our next stop.
Tuesday, June 5, 1 PM
Occidental College in LA was our next stop. This small, liberal arts college offers students access to all the benefits a big city like LA has to offer, but in a quiet, lush, hilly campus setting. We enjoyed an admissions presentation in one of Oxy’s lecture halls after taking a tour of the campus. The views from the campus were amazing.
Tuesday, June 5, 5 PM
Tuesday evening our bus made its way north of LA, into the farmlands of Ojai where avocados seem to outnumber people. The wind-ing road into the mountains soon revealed Thomas Aquinas College, one of the most stunnwind-ingly beautiful campuses we had yet seen. This pristine, quiet campus hosts only 300 students, where they study the Great Books in a Catholic setting. Students enjoyed a work-shop followed by some free time in the dorms and a BBQ around a bonfire that night. (continued on page 2)
Southern California College Tour
Fifty students, eleven colleges, five days
Thomas Aquinas College
College Counseling Quarterly
Southern California, continued
Wednesday, June 6, 2 PM
We ate our breakfast in the Thomas Aquinas cafeteria and explored the campus through a tour first thing that morning. Next on the agenda was a seminar, followed by lunch before departing for Cal Lutheran University. Cal Lutheran, in Thousand Oaks, is a small suburban college that offers excellent athletics and academics alike. The school spirit on this campus was very alive, even though it was summer. We split up into groups for a brief workshop followed by a night of wiffle ball, volleyball, or boardgames. We stayed in dorms Wednesday night, getting a true taste of college dorm life.
Thursday, June 7, 8 AM
After an early breakfast in the Cal Lutheran cafeteria, we headed down the coast to Pepperdine University in beautiful Malibu. The views were amaz-ing from this mountainside campus, facamaz-ing the Pacific Ocean. We toured this small, Christian college campus before departing at 10:30 AM for the Getty Villa, a spectacular Italianate museum on the coast. Students ex-plored the ancient Greek and Roman-inspired gardens and grounds, get-ting a true taste of our Western Traditions so cherished by Great Hearts. After a picnic there at the Getty Villa, we headed to the University of South-ern California.
Thursday, June 7, 3:30 PM
Before arriving at USC, we were able to stop along the Malibu coast for some beach time. USC is a large, private school and an academic and ath-letic powerhouse, world famous for programs in the liberal arts, film, and business. After touring this impressive and historic urban campus in the heart of downtown LA, we headed further down the California coastline to Laguna Hills, in Orange County.
Friday, June 8, 8:30 AM
Soka University was our first stop on this last day. This private liberal arts university’s mission is to foster global citizens commit-ted to living a contributive life, founded upon the Buddhist principles of peace, human rights, and sanctity of life. The beautiful, pristine campus is very new, and decorated with beautiful landscaping, pools, and fountains, and just minutes from the beaches of Orange County.
Friday, June 8, 12 Noon
Our last college of the week was Chapman University, in Orange. Chapman mixes the old with the new, and offers numerous liberal arts majors like Business, Film Studies, Languages, and the Arts but in a small school
set-ting. Although sad to leave such a memorable week on the California coast, we returned back to Phoenix with a new understand-ing of so many different types of colleges.
Article by Kevin Randolph, Chandler Preparatory Academy
Photos by Bridget Kiley, ‘14, Chandler Preparatory Academy
Great Hearts Southern California College Tour at Malibu
Students enjoying the Malibu beach
Great Hearts College Symposium
n Saturday, October 13, over 45 colleges and
uni-versities from across the country will gather at
Scottsdale Prep to take part in the Fifth Annual
Great Hearts College Symposium. This event is a time for
Great Hearts juniors and seniors and their parents to learn
more about the college admissions process from
As students arrive at Scottsdale Prep they will check in and
be directed to a classroom with other Great Hearts students
and two college admissions officers. The juniors will take
part in classroom activities designed to get them thinking
about their college search and what colleges look for in an
applicant. Seniors will become “admissions officers” for the
time and will read fictitious applications of three students.
Then, as a committee, they will have to choose to admit,
deny and waitlist the applicants. Working with the
admis-sions officers, they will receive insight about how the
col-leges would view applications of students. From both
ses-sions, students will come away with tips for the school year
and their college search and application process.
Parents will be directed to a session for junior parents or
a session for senior parents. The junior parents will hear
from a panel of college admissions professionals on
every-thing from financial aid, the college search process to the
parent’s role in this process and how to best support your
student. The senior parents will hear from a Vice-President
of Admissions at a university who will share insights into
the application and financial aid process. Both sessions will
provide parents with a wide range of information on how to
help and support their student through this process.
At the conclusion of the evening families will have the
op-tion of staying for a college fair with all of the
participat-ing colleges. Each college will have a table with information
and families will be able to speak directly to the
representa-tive from that college. Students are encouraged to research
the schools attending before that evening.
Austin College Hillsdale College Soka University of America Baylor University Hope College St. Edward’s University Bowdoin College Illinois Institute of Technology St. Lawrence University Bryant University Illinois Wesleyan University Texas Christian University
Colby College Lawrence University The University of Alabama Colorado State University Lehigh University Thomas Aquinas College
Cornell College Lewis & Clark College University of Dallas Creighton University Northeastern University University of Pennsylvania
Earlham College Occidental College University of Portland George Mason University Pepperdine University University of Puget Sound
Gonzaga University Pomona College University of Redlands
Grinnell College Reed College Vanderbilt University
Harvey Mudd College Regis University Whitworth University Hendrix College Rhodes College Wyoming Catholic College
High Point University Saint Mary’s College
Colleges Attending the Great Hearts College Symposium
Saturday, October 13
K e e p i n g S e n i o r s o n T r a c k
Parents in the Loop
College application season is here.
Seniors have been given a number of checks and balances to make sure they are on track. College Counselors began meeting with seniors one-on-one in early August. Meetings are scheduled for seniors on a priority basis and they also can reach us via e-mail with questions during the week. Seniors are encouraged to send us copies of their resumes and essays so that we can give them solid feedback before they send them on to colleges.
Aside from group and individual meetings, each Great Hearts Academy uses a number of techniques to reach out to Se-niors and keep them on track as they wind their way through the college application process.
• College lunch workshops
• Discussion of last chance testing if required (SAT, ACT, Subject Tests) which are given in October and November • College Admissions 101 handbook should be used as reference for timelines and procedures
College representatives began visiting our schools in August to speak with the students. Most academies will see fifty plus colleges throughout the fall. Seniors are encouraged to visit with the representatives.
With the help of their counselors, seniors will: • Narrow their college list
• Choose colleges in the likely, mid-range and reach categories
• Complete applications , resumes and other pertinent information in Naviance • Complete the Common Application
• Work college essays
• Choose teachers to write academic recommendations
As seniors complete and send their applications, essays, supplements, your College Counselor will also send transcripts, a school profile, teacher recommendations and counselor recommendations to each college or university to which our seniors are applying. And then we wait.
The application process can be equally daunting for the parents of seniors. Here a few tips to help you stay in the loop as your senior applies to colleges this fall:
• Refer to the junior College Admissions 101 handbook that was given to your student last fall. • Read weekly Parent Newsletter
• Read Great Hearts College Counseling Quarterly
• Check Naviance and your school’s College Counseling calendar for college visit information • Get your Naviance account password and username from your College Counselor
• Check for parent college evenings that are held throughout the year
• We welcome inquiry calls; please feel free to make an appointment to talk with us
We are encouraging all seniors to have all applications finished and sent before December break so that they may totally focus on exams and senior thesis.
The college application process goes beyond submitting transcripts and test scores. Showcasing how you spent your time outside of the classroom is an important aspect in determining commitments, passions, and talents. Organizing and de-veloping an activity sheet allows admission committees to see a picture of your involvement in a concise profile. This information will be used to highlight your strengths not found on transcripts, so feel free to brag about yourself.
It is important to recognize that the activity sheet is an essential element to your application as it helps admission officers under-stand the person you are in relation to what is meaningful to you, what you have willingly committed time to and how you choose to engage in the few hours not spent inside of a classroom. College admission officers are interested in seeing how you might be utilizing your free time while you are on their campus.
Activity Sheet Tips:
• Keep it easy to understand.
• Make categories simple, such as Athletics, Service, Clubs, and Work Experience.
• Your most important activity (the one that you have dedicated the most time to) should be first. Showcase your most impressive achievements right away.
• Always show; not tell; to communicate your leadership or passion.
• Be descriptive and specific. Do not assume that an admission officer knows every aspect of what it means to be a Mentor or President of the Robotics Team. • Avoid listing activities that you had a passing familiarity.
• Place a heading on the top of each page, including your name and school.
• Do not comment on whether you “liked” something or not. Be objective, focus on what you did.
• Include descriptions of involvement not just the sport or club name. If you were a member of a team that won a conference championship, say so.
• Be sure to include personal recognitions or honors within the activity. If you were selected as most valuable player state that. If you voted by your team to be team captain, indicate such.
• Headings to include on an activity sheet would include: School Organizations, Athletics, Clubs and Services, Music/Theatre, Special Programs, Employment, Competitions and Awards, Honors and Recognitions.
• Be sure to include: the specific activity/award/honor/club; how long you were a member or participant; the position you held; how many hours a week you participated; and a description of your efforts or involvement.
• Keep a running list throughout high school so that you do not miss any important aspects of your extracurricular efforts.
Building an Activity Sheet
activ-ity sheet allows
admission committees to
see a picture of your
in-volvement in a concise
Article by Dee-Dee Sanders, Glendale Preparatory Academy
B e y o n d g r a d e s a n d t e s t s c o r e s :
College fairs are a wonderful opportunity for students
and families to get to know many different colleges all at once. In this buffet style of higher education options, one can sample everything from a small liberal arts college in Maine to a large research university in California. At the same time, the prospect of hundreds of colleges (and even more stu-dents) under one roof can be daunting. With some simple prep-aration and review of these tips, students and families can make the most out of their college fair experience.
The National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) National College Fair in Phoenix has over 300 col-leges in attendance. Spend some time on the NACAC website (https://www.gotomyncf.com/) to find the schools you know you want to connect with. At the fair, schools are not listed in alphabetical order, so be sure to grab a map and find the schools you want to target.
Even though you have your list of schools to talk with, keep an open mind (and eye) for colleges you haven’t heard of that catch your eye. It could end up being a great fit for you. Don’t know where to start? Ask your College Counselor for some suggestions—or for the NACAC fair, visit the in-formation center of the NACAC fair which is staffed with College Counselors who would be happy help.
Most colleges will ask students to fill out inquiry cards with their name and demographic information. This can take valu-able time away from connecting with the college representa-tive. Instead, consider printing labels with name, address, year in school, school, interested major, and GPA. When you are interested in a school, you can simply put the label on the card and start chatting with the rep. Even better, if you pre-register for the NACAC fair online at https://www.gotomyncf.com/, you can get a bar code that colleges simply scan and get your information.
Choose the right questions
“Where are you located” or “Do you have a psychology major” are questions that can easily be answered by looking at a col-lege’s website. Instead, ask questions you are interested in that cannot be found on a website such as, “What type of research opportunities do undergraduate students take part in” or “What do students do on the weekends.” These types of questions can gather more insightful information about the school.
Share information about you
Yes, this is a time for you to get to know colleges, but it is also a time for a college representative to get to know you! Share some brief interests or passions you have. This can allow the rep to tell you about programs or clubs that might be of interest to you and often, college reps will make a note of your conversa-tion on your interest card. Students in the past have had college representatives put them in touch with specific professors or program advisors due to conversations like these.
Below are four great college fair events. Be on the lookout in your college counseling center for more information on up-coming college fairs in your area.
Great Hearts College Symposium
Saturday, October 13 6:30-9 PM
Scottsdale Preparatory Academy
This annual event will conclude with a college fair of over 45 hand selected colleges and universities. The Symposium is for
Great Hearts juniors, seniors, and their parents only.
Scottsdale College Fair
Saturday, October 13 1-3 PM
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts 480-225-2472
NACAC National College Fair
Sunday, October 14 11-3 PM
Phoenix Convention Center https://www.gotomyncf.com/
Mesa College Night
Monday, October 15 6-8 PM
Mesa Red Mountain High School 480-308-7550
How exactly does one go about starting the college pro-cess? The whole experience can be so overwhelming and daunting, especially since there is a dangerous myth to which a student’s subconscious can fall prey - He or she is destined to go this one college, and if that college is not found or acceptance not admitted, life, as we know, is ruined… We many not even know what this “one” is, but we believe in it nonetheless, and we eagerly beg the gods to point us to it. Sure, this sounds like a bleak picture, but we do ourselves harm by believing that our happiness rests in one college or any one thing. Think of Aristophanes’ explanation of love in the Sympo-sium. No wonder students are severely stressed. Who wouldn’t be if one felt as though he or she had to wonder the earth find-ing his other half to be whole again? Great Hearts students have been given the exposure to ancient wisdom to know that all things have proper ends and our end as students is to learn within a worthwhile community so that we can discover more about the world, who we are, and what our place in the world is. For those students who have a passion to learn with a desire to contribute meaningfully to a community, college opportunities abound.
The answer to how you begin the college process is not much dif-ferent from the one of how you start reading a book or learning something new. When you embark upon a book for your Hu-mane Letters class, you do not know the characters yet or what will happen in the next chapter, and certainly not how it will end. Furthermore, recall the excitement and mystery when you talk over the storyline with your friends! Reading such difficult texts habituates in us a humble acceptance that we cannot always fully understand what is happening. Regardless, we recognize that we must stay the course and that, in the end, after many discussions with teachers and peers, we will have arrived to something pro-found and worthwhile. An understood virtue at Great Hearts is to suspend judgment while reading. This practice is stressed so as to prevent answering questions prematurely.
So, the question, “Where will I go to college?” can be one met with enthusiasm and willingness and an honest “I don’t know”; or, it can be met with dread if we judge the situation before ed-ucating ourselves, researching, and talking it over with friends and family. If you find yourself miserable, it may be that you aren’t spending the adequate time going through the process; the key is to remember that researching and reflecting is a process, and a slow one at that. College admissions work so hard to find the right student; it’s important that you are working just as hard to find the right college. In short, there are no short cuts. We College
Coun-selors recognize there is a lot at stake here, but want the experience to be an enriching one. The college process is ru-ined if you refuse to engage it and believe you can achieve hap-piness or satisfaction without doing the required work. So, roll up your sleeves and reach out to family, friends, and your College Coun-selor. Also, take note that there is no way of knowing
where you’ll end up until March of your senior year, so don’t make yourself miserable until then. If you trust the process, the end will work out. Viktor Frank is celebrated for educating us in an important value. “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s atti-tude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
How To Avoid Making Yourself Miserable
w h e n a p p l y i n g t o c o l l e g e
stu-dents have been
expo-sure to ancient wisdom
to know that all things
have proper ends and
our end as students is to
learn within a worthwhile
community so that we
can discover more about
the world, who we are,
and what our place in the
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing;
the last of the human freedoms –
to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
As more and more college representatives visit your high school, you may be asking yourself, “When should I begin visiting colleges?” While there is not a mathematical formula that equates when and where you should start visiting, here are a few ideas and considerations.
When should you start visiting colleges?
The most ideal time of the year is to visit colleges when they are in session--Fall and Spring Breaks may be the perfect opportunity. Summer visits to college campuses, long discredited because “students won’t be there,” can still be very valuable, for they do provide you with the opportunities to tour the campus and meet with your admissions counselor.
What should you do before the visit?
Go online or call ahead to arrange your visit. Setting up a formal visit will allow you to be in touch—and remembered by—the admis-sions office. Try not to set up a frantic pace that turns the trip into a total blur. When you set up an interview and a tour at the very least, 2-3 hours would be a good amount of time to spend at a single school.
Read up before you go.
Doing the basic research will stimulate useful questions to ask your admission counselor or a student ambassador.
What should you do while visiting?
Be comfortable with your family while touring college campuses. It may seem embarrassing to make a tour with your family, but you are not the first person to walk around a college campus with parents—and you certainly won’t be the last. You may actually be surprised how amiable and candid college students act towards families. In addition to your own independent explorations, try to coordinate more activities with the admissions’ campus visit coordinator. Instead of just taking a tour of the campus, spend the night in one of the dorm rooms or sit in on a few classes.
Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions.
No college is perfect, so it is important to ask questions such as, “What is your least favorite thing about the school?” There are also two tough questions that you have to ask yourself: “Do I feel at home here? Do I see myself spending the next four years at this school?”
It is perfectly normal and acceptable to linger around the college campus once the official tour ends. You need to know a university beyond the facades of the old brick buildings and the perfectly-manicured green lawns. Look at the school bulletin boards or pick up a school newspaper to know what events, trends, and concerns matter to the student body. Dine in the cafeteria or sip a cup of coffee in the school café. Peak around the bookstore, not only to purchase a college t-shirt, but to examine what kinds of books the students read during the school year. Most importantly, you should base your college decision on the education itself.
What happens after the campus visit?
Assess the school while the visit remains clear and fresh in your memory. Recall what you liked the most about a school—and what you liked the least about the school. Take pictures and take notes. When you return home, be sure to write thank-you notes. The school’s admissions office took the time to ensure that you enjoyed your visit. Although it is a small gesture, a thank-you note will be something that an admission counselor will remember.
Can’t make it across the country?
Visiting one of our Arizona colleges will give you an opportunity to learn more about the schools themselves and the particular programs that they offer. As you visit more and more schools, you will grow to understand what it is exactly that you want from the college experience. Make the most of those college visits that take place at your high school. You will get to learn first-hand about universities that may, or may not, be on your college list; plus, you will have the chance to meet someone who may review your ap-plication for admission. A great amount of information can be gleaned from college admissions officers who visit your school.
Article by Meaghan Colvin, Veritas Preparatory Academy
Location: Easton, Pennsylvania Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,400 Easton’s Population: 30,000 Student/Faculty Ratio: 10 to 1 Degrees: 37 in the Arts, 9 Bachelor of Science, 4 in Engineering Top Programs: Engineering (Chemical, Civil, Electrical, Computer, Mechanical) Campus: 60 buildings on 340 acres Athletic Division: NCAA Division I Admission Contact: Alex Bates Contact E-mail: email@example.com Fun Fact: Easton is home to the Crayola Crayon Company Endowment: $700 million Application Deadline: January 15 Member of the Common Application
C o u n s e l o r o n C a m p u s
Lafayette College and Lehigh University
Right: The Lafayette College Arch, Easton, Pennsylvania Below: The Lafayette College Crew women’s eight heads under the bridge during the first afternoon practice of the semester on the Lehigh River.
Location: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Undergraduate Enrollment: 4,700 Bethlehem’s Population: 75,000 Student/Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Degrees: 90 across the four
colleges-Arts and Sciencesl; Business and Economics; Engineering and Applied Sciences; Education
Campus: 153 buildings on 2,358 acres Athletic Division: NCAA Division I Admission Contact: Jessica DeSanits Contact E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fun Fact: Bethlehem Steel fabricated steel for the Golden Gate Bridge
Endowment: $1 billion
Application Deadline: January 1 Member of the Common Application