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Jocelyn Wright April 2011. To how many schools should I apply? There is no perfect magic number for everyone Apply to a range of schools One or two schools.

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Presentation on theme: "Jocelyn Wright April 2011. To how many schools should I apply? There is no perfect magic number for everyone Apply to a range of schools One or two schools."— Presentation transcript:

1 Jocelyn Wright April 2011

2 To how many schools should I apply? There is no perfect magic number for everyone Apply to a range of schools One or two schools where you are sure you will be accepted – these are called “safety” schools Several colleges where you fit the admissions criteria well, based on the schools’ average GPAs, test scores, etc. One or two schools where you are still within range of admissions standards but that may be more of a reach It is important to have a back-up option with which you would be satisfied

3 What are the parts of the college application? The application form The transcript Standardized test scores Recommendations (if required by school) Essays (if required by school) Supporting documents (if needed)

4 The Application Form Many colleges have their own application form. Ways to submit applications vary by school: Submit online through the college/university website Download PDF from college/university website Obtain paper copy from counseling office or directly from college/university 350 schools accept the Common Application Only needs to be completed once Can be copied and submitted to participating schools Individual schools may require supplemental forms Can be obtained from

5 The Application Form If you apply Early Decision or Early Action, there might be a separate application form – be sure to check with the school. Regardless of how you apply, be sure to have someone review your work before you submit it! If applying online, print a draft out for proofreading If applying by hard copy, complete a draft in pencil before doing a final draft -typed or neatly written in black ink Inform the counseling office of each school to which you apply so that transcripts will be sent. Be sure to give AT LEAST 3 weeks lead time in advance of the application deadline.

6 The Transcript Can be the most important document in the application process Official transcripts must be sent directly to colleges and universities by high school You and (and parents for students under 18) will sign a release that allows transcripts to be sent directly to schools

7 The Transcript One will be sent to each requested school at time of application Notify the counseling office of all schools to which you are applying at least 3 weeks before deadline so that transcripts can be sent Selected college will receive 2 nd and 3 rd trimester transcripts –so no slacking off!

8 Standardized Test Scores Official score reports must be sent directly to colleges from testing company. Test registration fee includes score reports sent to a certain number of schools Additional score reports can be requested for a fee by going to test organization website: ACT – SAT – Request additional score reports well in advance of admissions deadlines

9 Recommendations Schools might require recommendations from A Counselor A Teacher Another person in your life (employer, minister, coach, etc.) Only select someone from this category if the college requests it – otherwise, stick with school staff. Can play an important role in admissions process, especially if you have lower grades or test scores

10 Recommendations Request recommendations from people who: Know you well and know your strengths Can discuss the quality of your work and work ethic Have worked with you in the recent past (the last year or two at most) Ask if the person is willing to write a recommendation Remember, writing a recommendation is a favor Give writers at least a month’s notice Let them know if letters should be mailed or returned to you If they should be mailed, provide addressed, stamped envelopes

11 Recommendations Provide information that will help in writing letter Provide resume, brag sheet, or work samples if needed Talk with writer about your experiences, goals, etc. Follow up a week or more before deadline to verify that letter has been written or provide a gentle reminder if necessary Write a thank-you note to the writer Let writers know if you are accepted

12 The Application Essay May be called either application essay or personal statement More selective schools may require an essay as a part of the application Other schools may require supplemental essays for admission to honors programs or academic scholarship programs Still other schools may offer student the chance to submit an essay as an optional component

13 The Application Essay Can tell a college about you in ways that grades and test scores can not Shows schools critical thinking and writing skills Gives a chance to share special interests and experiences May allow you to discuss what is important to you, how you see yourself, and plans for the future Provides opportunity to demonstrate creativity and personalize your application

14 The Application Essay Two basic kinds of essays Open-ended essay Allows you to write creatively about yourself and your worldview Example from Leigh University: Step out your front door and tell us what you would change about what you see. Personal description essay Asks you to describe yourself, reasons for applying to college Offers you a chance to write about yourself – take advantage of it! Example from The Common Application: Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and describe its impact on you.

15 The Application Essay Read the prompt carefully and be sure to answer the question being asked Focus on your thesis – do not try to make your essay too broad or too general Provide specific facts and vivid details that support your statements – avoid just using generalizations Don’t include information found in other parts of your application, like grades and lists of activities

16 The Application Essay Get help from teachers, counselors, parents, friends Essays must be in your own words, but get feedback According to the Univ. of California at Berkeley, ask helpers: “What worked? What didn’t? What sounds like me? What doesn’t? If you didn’t know me, would this essay tell you enough about me? Is it clear and understandable?” Proofread, proofread, proofread! Do not rely on spell-check to do your editing for you – it can miss many spelling errors Don’t just write what you think colleges want to hear – be yourself and bring a creative approach to your essay

17 The Application Process Applying to colleges can seem overwhelming, but you CAN get it all done Start by being organized Create a calendar of application deadlines Create folders with materials for each school If applying online, save drafts so you can edit and won’t lose work Get started on applications early Give yourself plenty of time – do not wait until the last minute! Request test scores and ask for recommendations well in advance of deadlines Ask someone to check everything over one last time before sending Keep in contact with the Counseling Office – we can help!

18 Sources College Counseling Sourcebook, 6 th Edition, College Board, 2009.

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