Applying To Colleges SJA Guidance Department College Applications’ Elements 1. College Application Form: Prefer online applications over paper applications Usually takes 45 minutes online Some will allow stopping, saving and returning later; others don’t. Need credit card Need unofficial transcript College Applications’ Elements 2. Application Fee: Credit card will be needed for online applications Check may be used for paper applications Average amount is $20-35 per application; some are as high as $65 Students should apply to about 5 colleges 1 ‘long shot’ 1 ‘sure thing’ 3 that you would be happy to attend College Applications’ Elements 3. Official Transcript from SJA: Fill out the green Transcript Request Form in your Red College Folder Turn in the Red Folder to Ms. Bernhard in Guidance Allow 2 days for the transcript to be sent Guidance will send the transcript directly to the college First five transcripts are free Xerox copy stapled in Red Folder and returned to senior for your Planner College Applications’ Elements 4. Counselor’s Recommendation A single recommendation requested by a college is usually from the counselor Multiple recommendations should include additional ones from teachers, pastors, family friends, and employers If the counselor’s recommendation is not sent, and another one is sent in its place, the assumption by the college is that the counselor would not write a recommendation for serious reasons. This can cause a rejection of your college application. Each request should be filled out on a green Counselor Recommendation Form and the FIRST ONE should include a copy of the salmon-colored Recommendation Resume filled out. A Letter of Recommendation will be attached to all college recommendation forms and will be sent by itself if there is no specific form Each Letter of Recommendation takes about one hour to write. Two weeks notice must be given for letters of recommendation. A xeroxed copy of the Recommendation Form and the Recommendation Letter will be included in the Red Folder when it is returned to the senior. Significant disciplinary action will make it impossible for a Letter of Recommendation to be sent. Colleges will be contacted to withdraw recommendations if letters have been sent and then a serious disciplinary action occurs. College Applications’ Elements 5. College Essays Many colleges now require a college essay. If it is an option, be sure to write one to show your strong desire to attend that college. Be sure to have your essays edited by at least one teacher before you submit it. It is expected to be a polished piece of writing, not a rough draft. Save your essays on your computer. Some colleges have very similar essay topics and you may be able to recycle some parts of a previously used essay. Follow the guidelines for length exactly. Refer to the yellow handout sheet for some help writing a college essay Types of Admissions Rolling Admissions: You will receive a decision within 2-4 weeks after your completed application arrives at the Admissions Office Deadline Admissions: You must have all parts of your application in by a specific date. There is a date for notifying students of admissions decisions by the college, usually a few months later. Types of Decisions by the College Admissions Offices Regular Decision: reviewed at the normal deadline for admission or reviewed in the normal amount of time for a Rolling Admission Early Decision: reviewed at an earlier deadline for admission, usually slightly more difficult criteria but much earlier notice of admission. Admitted students are contractually bound to attend that college. Early Action: a newer admission option which offers a deadline after the Early Decision, before the Regular Decision and without the contractual obligation of Early Decision Some of the State Universities, especially UF, have started to accept admissions applications in the summer before the Senior year. Contact each college’s admissions office about their deadlines, as not all websites have been updated at this time. College Admissions Levels Handout from the SUS of Florida Name, website and phone number of the college or university Average re-calculated, weighted gpa on academic courses only (Core 19). Previous year’s information in parentheses. Average SAT/ACT scores. SAT is best combination of math and verbal (reading and math) and ACT is best composite score from various test dates. SAT writing scores should not be a part of this total. Previous year’s information in parentheses. Entire enrollment and freshmen enrollment. Previous year’s information in parentheses. Application fee amount and the college’s preference for either paper or online applications. May use the www.FACTS.org application at all SUS schools. Tuition deposit required at the time of accepting an offer of admission from that school. Only one deposit should be sent. All acceptances to colleges are conditional. Essay requirement Type of admissions offered by the college as well as helpful information about that school. For more information, go to that college’s website and/or call their Admissions Office. There are over 1600 colleges in the United States and over 50 in Florida, including community colleges, private colleges, technical institutes and state colleges and universities. This chart only offers information about the 11 State Universities and Colleges in Florida. Each college-bound senior is expected to do their own research on other schools. Common Assistance with College Costs There are 11 state-funded colleges in Florida, called the State University System (SUS). There are over 20 private colleges in Florida, part of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida (ICUF). Florida Resident Access Grant (FRAG) is a grant offered to Florida high school graduates who attend private colleges in Florida. It is designed to help offset the cost of a private college and is usually about $2500+ each year, though the exact amount varies each year. Bright Futures Scholarships may be applied to private colleges. It is not a percentage of the tuition costs, as it is at SUS colleges. It is a set amount, usually similar to the amount of the FRAG. Florida Pre-paid Tuition Program may be applied to SUS schools and, as a set amount, to the ICUF schools, too. Review the Financial Aid questions and terms on the yellow handout before talking to a college financial aid advisor. You need to set up an appointment for yourself after you have been admitted to the college. College Visits and Interviews Setting up the interview is explained in the green handout. Arranging with SJA for an excused College Visit must be done through Mr. Maloney’s office. He will require proof from Guidance that you have sent a transcript to that particular college. Dressing for a successful interview is extremely important. It is considered an insult to the representative of the college for you to come for the interview in casual, beach-type clothing. Wear it to class AFTER you are a student at that college. For the interview, wear dressy clothing that you would wear to the Academic Awards/Senior Breakfast in the Spring. Open House/Campus Tours are often held in the fall. There are three local College Fairs this fall. SJA Field Trip to UNF and Flagler College was taken in the junior year. Many of you went on that trip with Dr. Weimer. Scholarships for College Five different types Federal Scholarships, Grants and Loans: need to fill out the FAFSA FORM online at www.fafsa.ed.gov . State Scholarships: need to fill out the BRIGHT FUTURES FORM online at www.MyFloridaEducation.com/brfutures OR www.floridastudentsfinancialaid.org/home . Individual Colleges and Universities: fill out the Financial Aid Form used by that school. You usually must ask for this form. Sometimes it is not given until you have been received an acceptance to that school. Local/National Groups or Organizations: These are the ones announced on the morning and afternoon announcements. There is a scholarships file box in the Guidance Office. Be sure to take time to go through it frequently. You should have opened a www.FastWeb.com account and be receiving emails about other scholarships. If not, do so right away. Special Talents/Athletics: All athletes should be registered with the NCAA Clearinghouse online at www.ncaa.org . All students with special talents, particularly in the arts, such as music, drama, painting, sculpting or dance, should contact the Fine Arts Department at the individual college and find out if they offer any talent-based scholarships and when the auditions are for them.