Coordinators have been calling and emailing with great questions in the last few days. I suspect that others who haven't contacted us have similar questions, so for everyone's sake, here are some of those questions/answers. And don't forget to also review the questions/answers on the coordinator training post.
- With respect to having admissions officers as volunteers, do I really need to use the VolunteerSpot system? Can't I just call them directly?
Yes, you can. But we strongly encourage you not to do that. We've heard from a couple of enrollment managers that they've received calls requesting help from upwards of 5 CAW sites. On the one hand, we think that's great! On the other hand, we've provided the VolunteerSpot option because we know that it will make it much easier for college folks, especially, to sign up to volunteer at multiple sites. The more streamlined we can make the process of scheduling their volunteering, the more likely they are to be able to committ to more than one site/volunteer shift. Plus, VolunteerSpot is kind of amazing - it will send automatic reminders to your volunteers (you don't have to do it!); it will send you a message when someone signs up and/or cancels (you don't have to keep track of that!); it allows you to print reports and schedules of when volunteers are coming (one less thing for you to do!); it will notify volunteers if you change the volunteer shift in any way (all you have to do is make the change in the system). And so much more!
- When can we expect to receive our CAW promotional items?
We are getting these out to everyone as we are able. We had a small supply in the office from past years, and those have all been sent out. One of our vendors is delayed in getting an item to us (and believe me - I think I'm more anxious about this than any of you!). As soon as the shipment arrives, I'll be packing items up and getting them out the door. If you want to promote your event with posters before we get them to you, remember that there are some 8.5"x11" posters available for download on the coordinators' resource page here and here.
- I know that each school is different, but what are some good ways to get students into the computer lab to work on applications? During designated class times? On their own? Before/After school?
One of the few requirements of the program is that it happen during your regular operating hours, so you should offer all students an opportunity to participate during the school day. If you want to extend the hours when students can participate, you may do so – but only as additional time. Some schools assign whole classes to be in the computer lab/library. Others offer a drop-in situation, where students are excused from class to work on the applications. Others assign individual students to a specific time. We’ve learned that offering the program only during the lunch hour is not effective.
- I’m hopefully going to have the chance to get all seniors for one class period during our CAW by having them come in with their English class. What if a student doesn’t want to fill out an application?
If a student has already completed their application – or doesn’t use the whole class period to complete the one they’re working on, we recommend that you encourage them to get started on their OSAC scholarship application. That should go live on November 1, so it’s the perfect timing for students to get started.
- What are the most commonly filled out college applications? I mean, if a student comes in and they have no idea where they want to go, should I just have them fill out our local community college app?
Last year, 51% of applications were submitted to community colleges; 37% were submitted to public 4-year universities, and the remainder were submitted to 4-year private schools, mostly not-for-profits. We strongly encourage you to help students prepare for the event and come with an idea of the college(s) they’d like to apply during the event. We do know that some coordinators require students to apply somewhere, and that’s often the local community college – with the admonition that applying opens a door that would otherwise remain shut AND gives them practice for applying if they decide they want to apply elsewhere in the future.
- Student incentives – what are some creative ideas schools have used in the past? I’m thinking of having food available all day, and for every application submitted that week a student can put their name in a hat for prizes…
These are great ideas! Also, be sure to check the blog for some great ideas (especially the green and blue icons to the right)! You’ll be receiving your shipment of CAW promotional items soon, and you can certainly use those as student incentives. Prize drawings/raffles are popular at some schools.
- I’m new to our office, and this is my first time going through the college application process with students. How does a student qualify to fill out a fee waiver? And what proof do they need to do so? Both for the Oregon Public University fee deferral form and the National Association for College Admission Counseling Fee Waiver form?
Waivers and deferrals are available to students from low-income households. Each of the forms has a list of indicators that would deem a student eligible. The most common way a student qualifies is by being on a free or reduced lunch plan. Also note that students who have qualified for and used ACT or SAT/College Board waivers will have access to college application fee waivers through those companies as well. College Board has taken their waiver system online for the first tiem this year. You can read more about that here.