"2009 2010 Handbook College Application Process"
The College Application Process The process for applying for college admissions varies from one college to another. It is possible, and preferable, to apply online to most colleges. It is the applicant’s responsibility to know the steps to follow for a particular school. The application process requirements include sending an application form, high school records, and entrance exam scores to the college. It is the sequence, forms and deadlines that vary. HOW TO GET APPLICATIONS You can obtain an application for admission in a number of ways: By downloading or linking from the college website (#1 way to apply!) By emailing or calling the college From a college representative visiting campus or at a college night program From the College & Career Center Frequently Used Applications Two different application forms are available that allow the applicant to complete one single form for submission to a number of different schools. These forms are a great way to save time, especially when using the electronic version. The application is completed once and then submitted electronically to each school. Most schools prefer the electronic application method, but if you do not have internet access at home you may simply make copies of the paper version and mail it to schools. ApplyTexas Application - The Texas application for admission www.applytexas.org This application may be used to apply to any of the 35 public four-year colleges/universities in Texas. Some of the private colleges such as Baylor University also use this application. Please visit your counseling office if you need a paper copy of this application. The Common Application – www.commonapp.org This application may be used at almost 300 colleges across the United States. Universities in Texas that accept this application include Rice, SMU, Southwestern, TCU, Trinity and the University of Dallas. See Quick Reference pages for specific information on ApplyTexas. TIPS FOR COMPLETING COLLEGE APPLICATIONS In an admissions report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Education Council, the following reminder was given to future applications: “People do not apply to college; folders do. The folder and application are a single opportunity to influence the process. Approach each aspect of the application as an opportunity. Devote time and thought to each of the various portions.” As you think about your folder circulating among members of an admission committee, consider the following: Carefully follow directions. Read every word of the directions before you even print your name. Do not leave anything blank. If a question doesn’t apply to you, write “does not apply” or “N/A”. Demonstrate your best work – something of which you can be proud. Spend considerable time on essays and statements; always proof essays before sending (consult your English teacher and counselor for assistance). This is your chance to shine, and to show your creativity and uniqueness! Essays should be error-free, thoughtful, logical and organized. Use comfortable vocabulary. Be yourself. The essay should say something the rest of the application doesn’t say, or at least should elaborate on something the application barely suggests; a talent, interest, thoughts on a world or local problem, or a personal accomplishment. Do not write what you think the admissions office wants. The committee reading your application wants to know you – whatever you think and do. No matter how “ordinary” you may feel, your folder represents a different individual from all the others. Use specific examples when describing your interests and achievements. Explain your involvement – why things you chose to discuss are important to you. It is better to emphasize the degree of involvement in a few activities than a long list of superficial interest. Always be truthful on an application of any kind. Do not try to over-compensate for a weakness by inflating activities or leadership roles. IT WILL COME BACK TO HAUNT YOU!!! Why are you going to college? To learn? To learn what? Why? A college should be convinced that you truly want an education. Avoid simplistic answers and reasons. If you want to be an engineer, for example, cite some experience from your own life and thoughts that led you to this present choice. If humor is a part of your style, feel free to use it. Typing or printing is acceptable. In some cases, you will be required to write an essay in your own handwriting. Neatness and legibility are obviously essential. Proofread. Spelling errors are unacceptable. Xeroxed copies (clear ones) are perfectly acceptable, but sign each one individually. Your name should be on each page or article submitted in addition to the application. Proofread again! Get organized! Set up a file system Always allow two weeks notice before the deadline for any part of the application thatmust be completed by a counselor and/or teacher. Check to be sure you know all the requirements for each college. Complete applications may require any or all of the following: transcript, essays, SAT or ACT, SAT Subject Tests, application fee. Your application is not considered complete until all requirements are met! Cardinal Rules for ALL Applications 1. Print neatly in black ink 2. Consistently use your full legal name and social security number or school ID 3. Make copies for the application for “rough draft” purposes. Do not rough draft on the original. 4. Make copies of all papers before mailing. 5. Be sure to mail all forms by the deadlines. Colleges don’t accept “late work REQUESTS FOR TRANSCRIPTS Request for copies of a student’s transcript should be made through the Registrar’s Office Each copy costs $3.00. College and scholarship applications usually require an OFFICIAL copy of a transcript. An official copy carries a special seal and is always given to a student in a sealed envelope or mailed directly from the high school. The transcript must remain in the sealed envelope to be official. In some cases, the transcript will accompany the counselor recommendation form. Instructions from the college should be read and followed carefully. Please remember the high volume of requires made daily from the Registrar’s office and make transcripts requests well in advance of the necessary date. Every college requires a final transcript, which includes second semester work. This should be requested in May, to be sent after graduation. APPLYING FOR HOUSING Since many college require on-campus living for freshman students, it is important to know the procedure for housing arrangements at the school of your choice An application form and a deposit are usually required to reserve housing Write to the “Housing Office” for the proper forms and other information Some colleges only accept housing applications from students who have been accepted for admission. Other universities have specific early deadlines. Check the college catalog carefully Many colleges have housing shortages. APPLY EARLY AWAITING ADMISSION DECISIONS Once you have made copies of all forms and mailed all papers, you may sit back and wait. Some colleges have a “rolling” admissions, and you may hear a response in four to six weeks. Some colleges have a notification date (i.e. April 15). Again, check your college information bulletin. You should respond to the school of your choice by May 1 st. TOP 10 PERCENT RULE FOR ADMISSION Texas students who are in the top 10 percent of their graduating class are eligible for automatic admission to any public university in Texas. To be eligible for automatic admission, a student must: Graduate in the top 10 percent of his or her class at a public or private high school in Texas , or Graduate in the top 10 percent of his or her class from a high school operated by the US Department of Defense and be a Texas resident or eligible to pay resident tuition; Enroll in college no more than two years after graduating from high school; and Submit an application to a Texas public university for admission before the institution’s application deadline (check with the university regarding specific deadlines). Students admitted through this route may still be required to provide SAT or ACT scores, although these scores are not used for admissions purposes. Students must also take the THEA test, unless exempted from the test requirement. Check with the admissions office regarding THEA, SAT, and ACT requirement. After a student is admitted, the university may review the student’s high school records to determine if the student is prepared for college-level work. A student who needs additional preparation may be required to take a developmental, enrichment, or orientation course during the semester prior to the first semester of college. Admission to a university does not guarantee acceptance into a particular college of study or department. COLLEGE VISITS Seniors can have 3 excused absences to visit a college campus that do not count against exam exemptions. Prior to your visit inform your teachers of the intended absence and turn in a Pre-Approved College Visit form. Proper documentation needs to be submitted to the Attendance Office upon your return to school. Pick up tips for making the most of your visit from your counselor, and then HAVE A GREAT VISIT! ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Also remember….many college reps schedule visits to the high school campus. Be sure to check the schedule in the College & Career center or online to see who will be on your campus this year!