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									                                              SENIOR
                    COLLEGE APPLICATION
                                                GUIDE




                                CEEB/ACT CODE
                                               052740



St. Helena High School   ▪   1401 Grayson Avenue, St. Helena CA 94574   ▪   707 967-2740   ▪   shusd.schoolwires.com
SENIOR COLLEGE APPLICATION GUIDE                                                                                                                  2012 - 2013

                                                                   TABLE OF CONTENTS


COLLEGE PLANNING CHECKLIST………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…. 2 – 4

INITIAL COLLEGE LIST…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………...5 – 6

SEMIFINAL LIST OF COLLEGES…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….7

FINAL WHERE TO APPLY LIST…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 8

COLLEGE ADMISSION INFORMATION – Application Deadlines……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 9

SENIOR COLLEGE TESTING……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 9

OVERVIEW – TYPES OF PUBLIC COLLEGES & THEIR APPLICATION PROCESSES……………………………………………………………...…….10

OVERVIEW – PRIVATE SCHOOLS & THEIR APPLICATION PROCESSES (the Common App)………...…………………………………………. 11 – 12

TIPS FOR COLLEGE ESSAY………………………….……………………………………………………………………………………………………... 12 – 13

BRAG SHEET QUESTIONS…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………... 13 – 14

SENIOR INFORMATION SHEET…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 14 – 15

STUDENT LIST OF REQUIRED APPLICATION MATERIALS………………………..…………………………………………………………………………16

TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL COLLEGE ADMISSION INTERVIEW……………………………………………………………………………………………. 17




  College information was collected and simplified by Terri Meineke, Counselor, to assist seniors in planning their post-secondary education. Please feel free to
                     contact Ms. Meineke at 707 967-2740 ext. 2105 should you have any questions regarding any of the contents. ENJOY!

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SENIOR COLLEGE APPLICATION GUIDE                                                                                                       2012 - 2013

                                                         COLLEGE PLANNING CHECKLIST
SEPTEMBER
____ Read or listen to the high school daily bulletin for college admissions, SAT/ACT test dates, financial aid, etc.
____ Either create a new, dedicated e-mail for all of your college and financial aid business, or create folders inside your existing e-mail account to
     put this information. Your email should NOT be foxychick@hotmail.com. It should be your name@gmail.com.
____ Keep a folder of all college correspondence with copies of applications, etc. Write down all user names and passwords or keep in phone.
____ If you have not yet taken (or plan to retake) a college admissions test, take the ACT in September, October or December or the SAT in
     October, November or December. Most colleges will not accept the SAT or the ACT taken after December 1 or the ACT taken after December
     8.
____ Make sure your parents attend the senior parents’ college night on September 25 at 5:30 p.m. in the school library in English or September 27
     at 5:30 p.m. in Spanish in the school library.
____ College bound student athletes who plan to participate in college athletics need to register with the NCAA Clearinghouse at
     http://www.eligibilitycenter.org. You need to send your SAT scores to code 9999.
____ Sign up for the October 27 ACT by September 21. Online registration is available at www.actstudent.org.
____ See Ms. Meineke to discuss if you should take the SAT Subject Exams.
____ Register for the October 6 SAT by September 7. Online registration is available at www.collegeboard.org.
____ Meet with college admissions representatives visiting our school. The calendar of visits is available on our counseling website at
     shusd.schoolwires.com.
____ Schedule college campus visits. Check the College Preview Day list on our website.
____ If you are having trouble selecting a college, make an appointment with Ms. Meineke.
____ Register for the November 3 SAT by October 4.
____ If you are applying to a private college, start your application on commonapp.org. Make sure you complete the supplemental questions for
     each school (waive rights to see letters of recommendation).
____ Don’t forget to release your SAT and/or ACT to the colleges you plan to apply.
____ See Ms. Meineke if you plan to apply for Early Decision or Early Application.
____ Start preparing essay notes and an outline now for your college and/or local scholarship application.


OCTOBER
____ Start on your local scholarship application. The application is available online at the SHHS website. You should also talk to your parents about
     writing their essay about you.
____ For private schools you may need to submit the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE online at www.collegeboard.org. Click on students, then college
     planning, then pay for college, then click on CSSPROFILE.
____ If you plan to apply for Financial Aid, both you and your parent should apply for your unique FAFSA PIN number, which lets you sign your
     name online electronically. You can get a FAFSA PIN at www.pin.ed.gov.
____ Schedule an individual student/parent conference with Ms. Meineke if necessary.
____ Applications for all California State University and University of California campuses must be submitted online. The CSU site is
     www.csumentor.edu. The UC site is www.universityofcalifornia.edu/apply. You can start these applications in October.
____ Analyze college application instructions to find out what information is required and when it must reach the college. Check your e-mail
     frequently.
____ Talk to Ms. Meineke and teachers you are asking for recommendations and give them copies of forms provided by the colleges to which you
     are applying. If you are applying online with the common application at www.commonapp.org, make sure you invite the teachers so they get a
     link to complete your recommendation.

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SENIOR COLLEGE APPLICATION GUIDE                                                                                                 2012 - 2013

____ Give Ms. Meineke the Secondary School Report section of your private college application forms and a current resume this month. If you are
     applying online with the common application at www.commonapp.org, make sure you invite Ms. Meineke as your counselor so she gets a link
     to complete your school reports online.
____ Complete your admission essay/personal statement this month. Talk to your English teacher, Ms. Meineke or Ms. Swan about evaluating it
     and leave ample time for revision.
____ Submit the initial Local Scholarship Application to Ms. Meineke by October 19.


NOVEMBER
____ Register for the December 1 SAT by November 1.
____ Submit your online completed CSU application beginning Nov. 1 through Nov. 30. Be sure to print a copy of your completed online
     application.
____ Submit online your completed UC applications between November 1 and November 30. Be sure to print a copy of your online application.
____ Register for the December 1 ACT by November 1.
____ Investigate all potential sources of financial aid. Write to any private programs you have located to ask for information and application
     materials or go online to their web site. Use the collegeboard.org scholarship information or fastweb.com.


DECEMBER
____ Remind teachers that recommendations are due soon. Write thank you notes to your teachers.
____ Complete your applications for private and out-of-state schools and check the deadlines before Winter break.
____ Ms. Meineke will have the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms in December. You should, however, apply online at
     www.fafsa.gov.
____ Your family should be working on the FAFSA for mailing immediately after January 1. Apply for your FAFSA PIN number at www.pin.ed.gov
     so that you can submit the FAFSA online.
____ Prepare for your high school final exams. Your high school grades are important to colleges considering your application. Many schools ask
     for mid-year grades.
____ Watch your e-mail for messages from the schools to which you have applied. Most schools will instruct you as to how to create a web portal
     for further communication with them.


JANUARY
____ Submit the FAFSA online as soon as possible after January l. Be sure to print a copy of your completed FAFSA for your records.
____ Have your parents attend the Financial Aid Workshops. Dates and times to be announced.


FEBRUARY
____ Ask Ms. Meineke to submit mid-year grades if any of the colleges to which you have applied require them.
____ Respond promptly to all requests from colleges to which you have applied.
____ Pay close attention to housing information you receive from the colleges you have applied to. Some campuses require you to submit housing
     applications before you know whether you have been admitted. Read deadline information carefully.
____ FAFSA deadline is March 2 for Cal Grants.


MARCH
____ You should hear from most colleges between March 1 and March 31. Respond quickly to their notices. Check your e-mail frequently.


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SENIOR COLLEGE APPLICATION GUIDE                                                                                                       2012 - 2013

____ Continue to investigate all possible sources of financial aid. Submit your Local Scholarship update information to Ms. Meineke by March 22.
____ If necessary, sign up for college placement exams in English and mathematics. Registration deadline for the California State University
     system is early March.
____ Please let Ms. Meineke know when you have been accepted to a college and/or received financial aid or scholarships


APRIL
____ Selective colleges begin announcing their selections this month. Seniors accepted by more than one college must make a choice based on
     individual needs, interests, and preferences. In that situation, visits this month to college campuses may help you decide which to attend.
____ If you have been accepted to one or more colleges but have not heard from your 1st choice, contact that college or ask Ms. Meineke for help
     in getting a decision before any non-refundable deposits are due.
____ If you have chosen a Community College as your 1st choice, talk to Ms. Meineke about taking their placement tests and registering. Napa
     College and SRJC admissions counselors will be on campus this month to advise prospective students
____ If necessary, register for the University of California Analytical Writing Placement Exam. The exam date is May 11.


MAY
____ Take AP exams.
____ Most colleges require a statement or intent from you (with deposit) by May 1st.
____ If required, take the UC Analytical Writing Placement Exam on May 11.
____ As soon as you have decided which college's offer of admission to accept, notify all colleges to which you have been accepted of your
     decision.
____ Send acceptance deposit by deadline specified and sign-up for any required summer orientation programs. Check your e-mail frequently.
____ Finalize your college housing plans and send required deposits.
____ Senior Academic Awards on May 30 at 6:30 p.m.


JUNE
____ Ask Ms. Meineke to send your final transcript to your college.
____ Make sure you respond for Cal Grants, Pell Grants, and any other financial aid offered to you. Failure to do so will result in the aid offer being
     withdrawn.
____ Send thank you notes to the donors of any local scholarships which you received.




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SENIOR COLLEGE APPLICATION GUIDE                          2012 - 2013

                                   INITIAL COLLEGE LIST




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SENIOR COLLEGE APPLICATION GUIDE   2012 - 2013




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SENIOR COLLEGE APPLICATION GUIDE                                                                                                 2012 - 2013

                                                       SEMIFINAL LIST OF COLLEGES

                                                   College’s           College’s          College’s                             Gut Guess: Is
                                                                                                            Your SAT/ACT
                                                 Total Score         Total Score           Median                               This a Reach,
                                                                                                               Score
NAME OF COLLEGE                                  from Page 5         from Page 6        SAT/ACT Score                          Core, or Safety?

 1.   _______________________________


 2.   _______________________________


 3.   _______________________________


 4.   _______________________________


 5.   _______________________________


 6.   _______________________________


 7.   _______________________________


 8.   _______________________________


 9.   _______________________________


10.   _______________________________




DEFINITIONS

REACH: Reaches are those places you dream about attending – and which are usually super-competitive in their admission practices. And your
grades/scores may be just below what they typically accept.
CORE: Core schools (or possibles) are those where you are certainly competitive, but there is a lower chance of admission. Your qualifications
may fall squarely in their admission standards, but this school may have a more competitive applicant pool, with many applicants with credentials
similar to yours.
SAFETY: Safeties are your “best bets” for admission; those that are most likely to admit you. Again, based solely on your grades and SAT/ACT
scores – and the college’s historical admission data – you have an excellent shot at admission.




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SENIOR COLLEGE APPLICATION GUIDE                                                                                           2012 - 2013

                                                      FINAL WHERE TO APPLY LIST

REACH COLLEGES

1. _____________________________________________________

2. _____________________________________________________

3. _____________________________________________________

4. _____________________________________________________

CORE COLLEGES

1. _____________________________________________________

2. _____________________________________________________

3. _____________________________________________________

4. _____________________________________________________

5. _____________________________________________________

6. _____________________________________________________

SAFETY COLLEGES

1. _____________________________________________________

2. _____________________________________________________

3. _____________________________________________________




Pages 5-8 (College Lists) Adapted From: Cohen, Dwane, de Olivera, and Michael Muska. Getting In! College Admissions and Financial Aid in
the Digital Age. New Jersey: Wiley Publishing, 2011.

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SENIOR COLLEGE APPLICATION GUIDE                                                                                       2012 - 2013

                                        COLLEGE ADMISSIONS INFORMATION – Application Deadlines

Community College: Late Spring

CSU (California State University): Application Opens

   The CSU application is available as of October 1 at www.csumentor.edu
      Application can be submitted between October 1 – November 30

UC (University of California): Application Opens

   The UC application is available as of October 1 at www.universityofcalifornia.edu/apply
     Applications can be submitted between November 1 – November 30

The Common Application:

   The Common Application is accepted by over 400 mostly private colleges and universities across the country and is available now at
    www.commonapp.org
     Application deadlines vary by college AND university



                                                          SENIOR COLLEGE TESTING

                                    When Registering for SAT & ACT – Use School Code/CEEB Code: 052740

ACT (register at www.actstudent.org):

   Test Date:  October 27, 2012
     Registration Deadline:      September 21, 2012
     Late Registration Deadline: October 5, 2012 (Late Fee Required)

   Test Date:  December 8, 2012
     Registration Deadline:      November 2, 2012
     Late Registration Deadline: November 16, 2012 (Late Fee Required)

SAT & SAT Subject Tests (register at www.collegeboard.org):

   Test Date:  November 3, 2012
     Registration Deadline:      October 4, 2012
     Late Registration Deadline: October 19, 2012 (Late Fee Required)

   Test Date:  December 1, 2012
     Registration Deadline:      November 1, 2012
     Late Registration Deadline: November 16, 2012 (Late Fee Required)



              Check out http://shusd.schoolwires.com for more information and scholarship details!




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SENIOR COLLEGE APPLICATION GUIDE                                                                                                    2012 - 2013

                              OVERVIEW – TYPES OF PUBLIC COLLEGES & THEIR APPLICATION PROCESSES

Factors taken into account by all colleges:
 A sound college preparatory program                                          Good writing skills
 Challenging course selection that requires critical thinking                 Indication of personal development (maturity, responsibility, ability
 Participation in extracurricular activities                                   to collaborate, decision-making skills, and flexibility
 Participation in community activities

The CSU/UC “A – G” course requirements are:
    A. History/social Science ……………………..… 2 years required                 E. Foreign Language ……………...…………. 2 years required
    B. English ……………………………………….... 4 years required                                                        3 years recommended
    C. Math ……………………………………………. 3 years required                            F. Visual/Performing Arts ……………………… 1 year required
                                            4 years recommended            G. Electives ……………………………………... 1 year required
    D. Lab Science …………………………………… 2 years required
                                            3 years recommended

COMMUNITY COLLEGES (in California)
The community college may be a good choice for you if:
 You plan on four years of college, but for financial or other reasons, you prefer to stay at home for the first two years.
 You plan on four years of college, but you haven’t met the academic requirements to directly enter a four-year college.
 You know you want to attend college, but you are unsure of where to attend or what your career focus should be, so you want to complete your
    general education requirements first with fewer costs.
 You wish to attend a college which will train you in two years for a vocation.
Apply in late Spring. Please note that the A-G requirements listed above do not apply to community colleges.

CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY
The California State University system is comprised of 23 campuses throughout the state. The CSU system is mandated to provide admission to the
top 33% of the state’s high school graduates. The emphasis of the CSU system is undergraduate education leading to a bachelor’s, master’s, and a
limited number of doctoral degrees.

Admissions offices at the 23 campuses use three criteria to determine eligibility:
1. Specific high school courses (see A – G course requirements at top of this page)
2. Grades in specified courses and test scores
3. Graduation from high school

Most CSU campuses utilize local admission guarantee policies for students who graduate from high schools that are historically served by a CSU
campus in that region (Sonoma State is our local college). For students outside the area, campuses may have higher standards (supplementary
admission criteria), due to a large volume of applications received by California residents. Additional admission criteria may also be utilized by
campuses to determine admission into certain impacted majors and programs. (16 of 23 campuses are impacted)

The application filing period for the CSU system is October 1st through November 30th. Applications can be accessed on line through
www.csumentor.edu. Also available on the web-site is a high school planner that includes the eligibility index for California residents, financial
planner and GPA calculator to assist students in determining their eligibility for admission.

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
To be qualified for admission to any of the nine UC campuses, a student must:
 Meet all the “A - G” course requirements (see top of this page)
 Meet the eligibility index
 Take the SAT Reasoning Test or ACT with Writing Test.
 Submit the two required responses to the UC essay prompts
    — Read and respond to all parts of each prompt carefully using a maximum of 1,000 words total. Use specific, concrete examples to support
         the points you want to make. You may allocate the work count as you wish. If you choose to respond to one prompt at a greater length,
         we suggest your shorter answer be no less than 250 words.
         o Prompt #1: Describe the world you come from – for example, your family, community or school – and tell us how your world hs
               shaped your dreams and aspirations.
         o Prompt #2: Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about
               this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?
 Complete and submit online the UC application between Nov. 1 st and Nov. 30th with the appropriate application fee.


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SENIOR COLLEGE APPLICATION GUIDE                                                                                                         2012 - 2013

                          OVERVIEW – PRIVATE SCHOOLS & THEIR APPLICATION PROCESSES (The Common App)

COLLEGE ADMISSION PLANS
 Regular Decision . . . Most colleges have a particular deadline for the receipt (or postmarking) of applications; ranging from December 15 to
   April 1. In this type of admission plan, the college informs applicants any time before April 15 and the student is asked to respond to their offer
   of acceptance by May 1 (known as the Candidate Reply Date).
 Rolling Admissions . . . Candidates’ credentials are reviewed in the order in which they are submitted and candidates are notified of decisions
   in a relatively short time. In general, the more academically successful students are, the earlier they hear of their acceptances. Colleges with
   rolling admissions start sending their acceptances early in the academic year and this may cause them to become more competitive as the year
   progresses so it is to the student’s advantage to apply as early as possible. This is particularly true of many state universities (outside of
   California) that use this plan. These colleges still honor the May 1 Candidate Reply Date, however.
 Early Decision . . . A relatively small number of colleges have this option which involves a contractual agreement between the student and the
   college. The admissions committee will review the student’s application earlier than those applying by the regular deadline and the committee
   will inform the student of its decision, generally before Christmas. In turn, if the student is admitted, they are obliged to attend the college and
   must not file (or must withdraw) all other college applications. A student may only submit one Early Decision application. The counseling office
   will only send transcripts to one Early Decision school as it is considered unethical to do otherwise.
 Early Action . . . This plan is similar to Early Decision, but without an obligatory attendance commitment. It is much more student friendly since
   a student learns of either his acceptance or deferral (when a new decision will be made during the regular decision time) earlier than others, but
   does not need to tell the college of his or her decision until the May 1 deadline.
 Early Action, Single Choice . . . This plan is a new one and several schools have jumped on board this option. It is like Early Decision in that
   students must agree to only apply to one Early Action school, but it is also like Early Action in that students may apply Regular or Rolling
   Decision (or even Early Decision) to other schools and make their final enrollment decision by the May 1 deadline. In other words, they are not
   locked in to attend this school, although they will receive an early reply to their application.

APPLICATION TYPES
 Common Applications . . . The Common Application can be used at over 300 selective, independent college and universities. Many of these
   institutions use this form exclusively. All give equal consideration to the Common Application and to the college’s own form. However, if a
   Senior uses the Common Application, they must be aware of any supplementary forms the college wants included in order to complete the
   Common Application. The Common Application form can be found at www.commonapp.org.
 Electronic Applications . . . Most colleges prefer on-line applications to the paper versions, although most will accept either. In any case,
   students should always keep a copy of the applications submitted along with the confirmation of receipt of that application.

ESSAYS AND SHORT ANSWERS
The essay is an important part of the application for many colleges. For others, it is not even a part of the application (for instance, CSUs and
several other out-of-state, state universities).

It is critical that a student use this opportunity to express his or her own voice. Although a great essay would not likely make up for a weak academic
profile, it can be a tipping point for students on the cusp of admission. In any event, the essay should reflect a student’s best efforts and reveal their
best writing style. It should be edited more than once and be free from all grammatical and stylistic errors. English teachers and counselors are
willing to help students compose a compelling and unique essay.

COMMON APPLICATION ESSAY
Please write an essay of 250-500 words on a topic of your choice, or on one of the options listed below, and attach it to your application before
submission. Please indicate your topic by checking the appropriate box. The personal essay helps us become acquainted with you as a
person student, apart from courses, grades, test scores, and other objective data. It will also demonstrate your ability to organize your thoughts and
express your Common Application essay should be the same for all colleges. Do not customize it in any way for individual colleges. Colleges that
want will ask for them on a supplement form.
____Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have.
____Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance.
____Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.
____Describe a character in fiction, a historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music) that has had influence on you, and explain that influence.
____A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds Given your personal background, describe an experience that
    illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.
____Topic of your choice.

EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
Often students have compiled a long list of activities that do not fit into the available application space. Unless requested otherwise, students should
rank their activities by importance beginning with those with which they have spent the most time and effort. Do not “pad” the list with those activities


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SENIOR COLLEGE APPLICATION GUIDE                                                                                                          2012 - 2013

that are either dormant or insignificant. Students should be careful to accurately estimate their hours of involvement as too often quick addition
reveals that students don’t have time for school due to the time consumed by their extracurricular activities!

SECONDARY SCHOOL REPORTS
Most colleges (but NOT the UCs and the CSUs) require a package of material from the high school in order to complete the college applications.
Forms for these purposes are called the Secondary School Reports and the Mid-Year School Reports. Seniors should accumulate all of these
school forms in an organized fashion and fill out the top portion of the forms and give them to their counselor. We will then attach it to our own
Secondary School Report form for each individual senior, the School Letter of Recommendation, a high school transcript and a School Profile. Many
times colleges will notify a student that they have not yet received a transcript, when, in fact, it is simply sitting in their unopened mail. We can verify
when each SSR package has been sent and, 9 times out of 10, they do find it when called to verify receipt. All colleges would like to receive high
school transcripts after the 2nd semester senior grades have been published.

TEACHER RECOMMENDATIONS
Some colleges do not accept ANY letters of recommendations (like the UCs and the CSUs). Most private colleges require one from a teacher. A
few colleges want two teacher recommendations (and they usually draw from specific academic disciplines). A number of colleges – particularly
Christian colleges – want letters of recommendation from a youth pastor or someone who has had a spiritual impact on a student. When considering
whom to ask for a letter, it is important for a student to ask the question, “Which teacher knows my work and knows me well enough to make a
positive evaluation?”

Teachers always have the right to say “No” to a student who requests a letter (although we’re confident they would be gracious). Students should be
aware that certain teachers do a LOT of letters of recommendation and they have to do these letters on their own time, outside of their daily teaching
obligations. Because these letters take time and care to do, it is critical that Seniors request a letter at least 3 weeks in advance of the application
deadline. Students should graciously follow-up with their written request to determine if the recommendations were sent and, of course, they should
always write a thank you note in response to the teacher’s efforts.

Helpful Hints: Academic recommendations should be written by teachers who have taught the student recently (preferably no earlier than the Junior
               year), and who knows the student well. If there is someone in the community with whom the Senior is very close, they should ask that
               person to write a separate, personal recommendation on their own letterhead.

Pages 10-12 (Overviews) Adapted From: www.wacac.org.



                                                             TIPS FOR COLLEGE ESSAYS

QUICK TIPS FOR GOOD ESSAYS – college admissions readers look for:
 Matter of fact personal statements NOT imagery-filled creative writing pieces
 More substance, less fluff
 Would rather be hit over the head with the point rather than having to interpret
 Want to know who you are and how you will benefit from and contribute to the academic and student life programs at XXXX college
 Simplicity and honesty and a reason to offer you the space
 A little vibrancy to the language is OK, but don’t hide behind “flowery stuff”
 Show us, don’t tell us. A good essay shows - - appealing to all the senses, not just the visual. Appeal to the eyes, ears, etc. a weak essay tells.
    But don’t show us with flowery language.
 The smaller word is better than the bigger word.
 Creative writing narratives are not helpful to college admissions readers who are trying to get to know students in a matter of minutes.
 20/80 rule: 20% of the essay should describe a scene, experience, or significant person. 80% of the essay should be on its impact: What did
    you learn? How are you changed because of it? Why is this important to you? To your community? This is where you can show analysis,
    creative thinking skills.
 Write with texture and feeling, but avoid over-the-top “purple” prose.
 Write a story, not a statement. Elicit anemotional reaction.
 Write from the heart.
 Don’t cut the tear-rending parts, but go through them quickly and talk about the solutions or how you are mastering his/her world through good
    deeds.
 The best essays are crafted not from a formula for success, but by a voice that is practiced. Those who are willing to take a risk, to focus on
    that part of the world that matters to them and to show the passion and the practice it takes to write about it well, will help their chances of
    admission through their essay.
 Make sure your reader can answer these questions:
     What did I learn about you?

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SENIOR COLLEGE APPLICATION GUIDE                                                                                                2012 - 2013

     What did I remember about you?
     Do I have a sense of your intellect?
TIPS FOR NOT WRITING BAD ESSAYS
 Don’t force yourself to write about something profound .
 Don’t use clichés. If we are what we eat, we are also what we write.
 Don’t write a McEssay – 5 paragraphs of abstractions and unsupported generalizations. Example: “I have been a member of the band and it
    has taught me leadership, perseverance, and hard work.” Technically correct, but boring. Big Macs taste the same anywhere in the world.
 Don’t try to impress readers with big words. Don’t use a thesaurus and end up sounding pretentious. Read your essay aloud to someone who
    knows you and make sure it is your voice coming through.

NO-NO TOPICS
 Boyfriend trauma
 One thing people don’t know about me is…..
 Sports as a metaphor for life. However, if street basketball changed your life, that’s different.
 Religion, unless applying to a religious school
 I date the Homecoming Queen and throw the best parties at SHHS! This student had a 4.0 and earned a presidential scholarship to a major
    university… after he changed his topic.
 Your drug use – Even if you overcame it, don’t write about it
 Your sex life – This will not make readers cry. It might embarrass them.
 Your time in jail – Admissions staff wants a safe environment.
 Your Heroism – This becomes a bad topic when the essay is self-absorbed and arrogant.
 One-track social, religious or political lectures
 Woe is Me – certain topics have no place in college essays. Depression, suicide attempts, etc. might make your reader uncomfortable and/or
    make them wonder how ready you are for academic rigor.
 The travel journal – Colleges like students who have traveled, but it is a very common topic and should be an analysis of a single, meaningful
    travel experience, not a travelogue.
 The Comedy Routine - Your essay should reveal your sense of humor, but within good writing, not as the point of your essay.
 Excuses – Don’t use the essay to explain away bad grades. Tell the college about your personal/financial, etc., problems, but not in your
    essay.
 Your list of accomplishments – There is space on the application for your resume. Don’t repeat them in your essay.



                                                            BRAG SHEET QUESTIONS

1.   Are there any circumstances in your life that might have had a negative effect on your grades?



2.   Are there any factors about the SAT scores you would like to address?



3.   What are your proudest accomplishments?
          Academic:

             Personal:

4.   Give five descriptive adjectives that tell something about you as a persion.



5.   Take one adjective and give an example of how it describes you.



6.   What extracurricular activity has been most important to you? Why?



SHHS CEEB/ACT CODE: 052740                                                                                                      13 | P a g e
SENIOR COLLEGE APPLICATION GUIDE                                                                                                        2012 - 2013

7.   What job/volunteer work experience has been particularly meaningful? Why?



8.   Have you formulated a career choice or college major at this time? If so, what is it?



9.   If you were to put a quotation about yourself in the yearbook, what would it say?



10. What is the best advice you have ever received?



11. How would you like your classmates to remember you?



12. Is there any other information you would like to share?



Pages 13-14 (Brag Sheet) Adapted from: “Senior Brag Sheet.” Guidance. Ledyard High School.2012.Web.1 September 2012.




                                                           SENIOR INFORMATION SHEET

                          [Use headings for sections that apply to you. List in chronological order, most recent first]

       Academic GPA (6 semesters)                                                 Include Results Only If Taking The Test
Unweighted              Weighted                        ACT                   SAT Reasoning Test                  SAT Subject Tests


FUTURE GOALS (Possible careers, colleges applying to, and possible majors):
I plan to attend Santa Rosa Junior College in the fall and transfer to a four-year college. I will determine my major after exploring my opportunities in
the subject areas that interest me.
   Examples                                                                   OR
   only:          I plant to attend a four-year university to major in engineering and pursue a career as an Electrical Engineer. I intend to apply to UC
                  Santa Barbara, CSU Long Beach, or Chapman University.
     Pick one                                                                 OR
    statement
     that fits    I plan to major in graphic design at El Camino College and transfer to a four-year university. I plan to pursue a career in animation
       you.       or architecture.

AWARDS/HONORS (Name of award, high school grade level awarded):
 Principal’s Honor Roll (12, 11, 10, 9) – 3.5 GPA or better
 California Scholarship Federation (CSF) (12, 11, 10)       NOTE: List awards
 National Honor Society (NHS) (12, 11)                         starting with the
                                                                  most recent
 Student of the Quarter (12, 11, 10, 9)
                                                                 received first!
 Student of the Month (12, 11, 10, 9)
 Boy Scouts Eagle Award (or Girls Scouts Gold Award)(12)
 Scholar-Athlete Award - JV Softball (10, 9)

SPECIAL INTERESTS, HOBBIES, TALENTS:
 Music – Played piano since the age of 10

SHHS CEEB/ACT CODE: 052740                                                                                                              14 | P a g e
SENIOR COLLEGE APPLICATION GUIDE                                                                                                   2012 - 2013

 Computers – Programming
 Bowling
 Biking
HIGH SCHOOL ORGANIZATIONS/SERVICE (name of organization, activities, total hours, and grade level):
 Yearbook Senior Editor (12) (100 hr.)
    -  Review articles and layouts
                                                                              Note: List most recent participation first!
 Interact Club (12, 11, 10) (85 hr.)
    -  Nature Walk – Skyline Park – Conducted tour of park                    Include service activities and total hours
    -  Run For Funds – Registered participants                                with each SHHS organization
    -  Heal the Bay Clean-up – Picked up trash from beach sites
 Swim Team (12, 11) (30 hr.)
    -  Run game clock, record scores during games
    -  Assist with pool set up and clean up
 Ecology Club (10, 9) (22 hr.)                                                                        Note: List most
    -  Beach cleanups – Cleared trash from beach sites                                                 recent first, with
                                                                                                       service activities
    -  SHHS Garden – Weeded, helped maintain garden                                                    and total hours.
    -  Water testing – Assisted with testing of water from local beaches

STUDENT GOVERNMENT (ASB) (grade level, total hours, activities):
 Associated Student Body (ASB) [position] (217 hrs.) (11, 10)
   -  Blood Drive – Organized and provided patient care
   -  Helped coordinate campus club activities

ATHLETIC TEAMS/BAND (name of sport, Varsity/JV/Fresh-Soph, grade level):
 Swim Team – Varsity (12, 11), Fresh/Soph (10) – Team Captain (12, 11)
 Cheer Squad (12,11) – Captain (12)
 Jazz Choir (11, 10)                                                                Note: List most recent participation first!
 Band – Lead Trumpet in Jazz Band (11)                                              Include non-school sports teams, if
 NYSL (5-11)                                                                        participated while in high school.
 Volleyball – JV (10, 9)
 Soccer – Fresh/Soph (9)

NON-SCHOOL SERVICE (name of organization, total hours, duties, grade level):
 Queen of the Valley Hospital (12, 11) (220 hrs.)
   -    Filing, nurse’s aid, deliver flowers to patients                                 Note: List most recent service first!
 Boys & Girls Club – Youth Group Leader (12, 11, 10) (120 hrs.)
   -    Organize and conduct activities for children                                     Include total hours of service with
 St. Helena Public Library (11, 10) (67 hrs.)                                           each group and describe service
   -    Cataloging books, stocking shelves, reading to children                          performed.
 Girl Scouts (11, 10, 9) (107 Hrs.)
   -    Bothe State Park Community Service project (directed troop refurbishing park pathways and planting new shrubbery)
 NYSL (11, 10) (70 hrs.)
   -    Coach for Under 12 Girls
   -    Referee for Under 8 Boys soccer games
 Upper Valley Disposal (10, 9) (100 hrs.)
   -    Clean bins, conduct tours

WORK EXPERIENCE (name of employer, hours per week, and duties – grade level):
 A, B, C, Law Offices – May 2009 to present (15 hrs./week)
   -   Receptionist, typing, filing                                                        Note: List most recent employment
 Cornerstone Child Care (11, 10) (6 hrs./week)                                            first! Include hours per week and
   -   Supervise children ages 4 to 10, plan activities, prepare snacks                    duties performed.




Pages 13-14 (Brag Sheet) Adapted from: “Senior Brag Sheet.” in Mira Costa High School’s College and Career Center, www.miracostahigh.org.



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SENIOR COLLEGE APPLICATION GUIDE                                          2012 - 2013

                         STUDENT LIST OF REQUIRED APPLICATION MATERIALS




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SENIOR COLLEGE APPLICATION GUIDE                                                                                                     2012 - 2013

                                         TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL COLLEGE ADMISSION INTERVIEW

BEFORE THE INTERVIEW
 Practice. Ask parents, counselors, or fellow students to interview you and give feedback. This is the very best way to increase your
   confidence and improve the way you present yourself.
 Record yourself giving a mock interview. Watch it to see what impression you give. Look for these pitfalls:
    Overusing “like,” “you know,” and slang
    Avoiding eye contact, mumbling, and slouching
    Giving yes or no answers, or rambling on with no focus
    Talking too fast or loud, or using way too much (or too little) body language
 Think about how you would answer some common interview questions. Don’t memorize a speech, but have some idea of how you
   would answer questions like these:
    Why do you want to attend this university?
    What is your strongest/weakest point?
    What have you done to prepare for college?
    What has been your best experience in high school? Your biggest challenge?
    What are your future plans?
    Tell me about yourself. (To answer this, students should focus on about three things.)
    Tell me about your interests.
    Tell me about your family.
    What do you think about such and such current event?
    What is your favorite book or author?
    What are you the most proud of?

DURING THE INTERVIEW
 Conduct yourself appropriately. Be clean, neat, and respectful. Don’t use offensive language or make off-color jokes. Use “Mr.” or “Ms.”
   when you address adults, unless you are invited to use a first name. Make eye contact, smile, stand or sit up straight, and give a firm
   handshake. And be on time!
 Try to make it a two-way conversation. Express an interest in the interviewer and the school. Don’t recite a monologue about yourself.
   Take pauses to allow the interviewer to respond.
 Ask questions about the institution. This really is your chance to get the inside scoop on the school, especially if the interviewer is an
   alumnus. And ask about the things you most care about, for example: What’s the town like? How about dorm life? The academic load? Are
   the professors accessible and friendly? What is the best thing about the school? Is there a club or activity the interviewer recommends?
 Focus on a few key points (interests, achievements, or personal strengths) that you feel comfortable talking about. Avoid speaking in
   vague generalizations or giving your complete autobiography.
 Be positive. Be upbeat about your accomplishments and your future. Don’t dwell on insecurities, problems, or complaints. If you do
   describe a bad time in your life, for example, to help explain a drop in grades, put it in perspective. The interviewer is not your therapist.
 Be yourself. Tell the truth and be sincere rather than trying to guess what the interviewer wants to hear. Teenagers aren’t expected to
   have all the answers. For example, if you’re asked about your planned major but don’t have a specific one in mind, a good response is,
   “I’m really not sure at this point. But what I’ve enjoyed most in high school is . . .”

AFTER THE INTERVIEW
 Send a thank-you note to the interviewer. Say that it was a pleasure to meet him, thank him for his time, and reiterate your interest in his
   institution.
 Don’t worry. You’re probably your own worst critic. No need to obsessively relive your performance. Remember that interviewers
   remember your overall impression. They are looking for students with the background and self-possession to do well at their school.




Page 17 (Admission Interview) Adapted From: www.collegeboard.org

SHHS CEEB/ACT CODE: 052740                                                                                                           17 | P a g e

								
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