Presentation on theme: "“Deciphering the College Application Process” PTO Conversations September 21, 2009."— Presentation transcript:
“Deciphering the College Application Process” PTO Conversations September 21, 2009
The Sum of the Parts Entire application should be a consistent portrait of the student – who they are and what they will bring to the college. Applications vary from college to college, but most require some or all of the following parts:
Parts of a College Application Application Form – apply online, or use the Common Application - entering your information just once, or a hardcopy of an application. Application Fee – average cost is $35 (some are free or up to $80), nonrefundable.
Parts of a College Application (continued) High School Transcript – HC has a transcript request form, student needs one per college application, requires a parent signature. Test Scores – student selects on HC’s transcript form to include/not to include test scores (ACT/SAT). Official test scores should be requested by the student from the testing agency and sent directly to the college with each application.
Parts of a College Application (continued) Letters of Recommendation – student should research how many letters are required per school. Student needs to ask his/her teacher AHEAD of time and allow for 2+ weeks for writing. Essay – student’s opportunity to set himself/herself apart from other applicants. The essay should be written, rewritten and reviewed by an English teacher and guidance counselor. Additional help during ALL lunch periods for six weeks is available through the guidance department. The essay adds a student’s personality to the application.
Parts of a College Application (continued) Resume – may be submitted as a hardcopy by the counselor, or listed on an application. A student’s resume should list activities involved in both inside and outside of school – clubs, activities, church activities, scouts, interest groups, music lessons, community service, employment, awards, recognition, and travel, etc., should all be listed (length of time should be included). Remember - quality of commitment and passion is much better than quantity. Interview – required or recommended by some colleges. Prior to visiting a campus, call the Admission Office and make arrangements to see the HC admissions representative, if possible. Or, meet with an alumnus in your community.
Parts of a College Application (continued) Audition/Portfolio for Music, Art, or Design – student may need to document prior work by auditioning on campus or submitting an audiotape, slides, or some other sample of his/her work to demonstrate ability. Athletes – student needs to talk to coach and counselor about NCAA paperwork, transcript and scholarships.
Sum of the Parts The more the pieces of the puzzle support one impression, the more confident the admissions committee will be in admitting a student. If an essay or interview contradicts information that a student has previously given on other forms, this may cause a school to have doubts about accepting the student.
Best Light Possible If all the parts of the college application are filled out honestly and carefully by a student, with an attention to conviction that the school is a good match for him/her, then he/she will come across in the best light possible!
Supporting Your Student in the College Application Process Encourage your student to IDENTIFY who they are – know his/her own strengths, passion, weaknesses, learning style (large classes vs. small classes), values, interests, abilities, level of comfort being away from home (how far away?). Is he/she a risk taker? Ultimate DREAM job?
Supporting Your Student in the College Application Process Encourage your student to be RESPONSIBLE – he/she needs to take charge of the application process, regularly check in with his/her counselor, know deadlines (especially for EA/ED decisions), and perform the legwork necessary to accomplish the job (request letters of recommendation from teachers, if required).
Supporting Your Student in the College Application Process Encourage your student to be ORGANIZED – each student should make a chart to keep track of colleges’ requirements, timelines, and deadlines (See College Planning Guide for chart). Having a separate folder for each application keeps materials organized and easy to access.
Supporting Your Student in the College Application Process Encourage your student to be EARLY – essays, recommendations, and transcript request forms should all be completed and submitted at least two weeks prior to the application deadline! (Good idea to factor in additional time for unanticipated errors, delays, illness, etc.)
Supporting Your Student in the College Application Process Encourage your student to find BALANCE – to take breaks when needed, the college application process is just a series of steps he/she needs to complete. They need to focus on the tasks at hand.
Supporting Your Student in the College Application Process Encourage your student to be PATIENT when waiting for a response from the school – typically a timeframe may be located on the school’s website as well as information on documents received. Every year, schools receive a huge number of applications and supporting documents. Each document (whether an application, a transcript, a recommendation, test scores, etc.) must be processed and placed in the applicant’s file (along with any online components). It may take two to six weeks to sort and file all these documents.
The College Application Process Yes, the process can be stressful! Yes, the process can be exhausting! COMMUNICATION, ORGANIZATION, PATIENCE, and REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS are the keys to making it a manageable and successful experience! Encourage your student to seek help from his/her Guidance Counselor!