StPauls=2009-2009=College Handbook 0809

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					©2003 The New Yorker Collection from All Rights Reserved.

     Top Ten Reminders
 1. Do not bring a cell phone to your interview.
2. If you forget, and your cell phone rings, apologize,
   excuse yourself, and turn it off.
3. When you apply to a college, make sure the College
   Office knows.
4. For every college you apply to, turn in a typed
   Secondary School Report Form.
5. Bring your best effort to the classroom and your
   extracurricular activities.
6. Abide scrupulously by the School’s expectations.
 7. When contacted by an alumni representative,
    respond promptly to arrange an interview.
8. Read and respond to your e-mail.
9. Meet your appointments.
10. MEEt aLL dEadLinEs, including the internal
    deadlines for questionnaires.
                   College Office
                 325 Pleasant Street
              Concord, NH 03301-2591


NAME _________________________________________________

HOUSE ________________________________________________

VOICEMAIL ____________________________________________

E-MAIL ________________________________________________
                          Table of Contents
COLLEGE OFFICE STAFF ......................................................................................4

COLLEGE OFFICE MISSION .................................................................................5

COLLEGE OFFICE PArTNErSHIP AGrEEMENT ................................................6

COLLEGE PLANNING CALENdAr ......................................................................7

CrITErIA FOr SELECTING COLLEGES .............................................................9
    Researching Yourself........................................................................................9
    Researching Colleges ....................................................................................10
    Resources .......................................................................................................11
    College Visits and Interviews .......................................................................12
    Visit and Interview Worksheet .....................................................................14

THE APPLICATION ..............................................................................................16
     Academic Criteria ..........................................................................................16
     Non-Academic Criteria .................................................................................16
     The Personal Application .............................................................................17
     College Admissions Plans .............................................................................17
     Thoughts on Early Applications....................................................................18
     Supplemental Essays ....................................................................................19
     Common Application Tips ............................................................................19
     Essay Tips ......................................................................................................20
     Extracurricular Activities ..............................................................................21
     Athletics ........................................................................................................22
     Sample Athletic Resume ................................................................................23
     Sample Letter/E-mail to a Coach or
       Special Interest Person ..............................................................................24
     Visual and Performing Arts ...........................................................................25
     Secondary School Reports ............................................................................26

FINANCIAL AId ANd SCHOLArSHIPS..............................................................31
    General Definitions .......................................................................................31
    Scholarships ..................................................................................................31
    Applying for Financial Aid ............................................................................31
STANdArdIZEd TESTING ..................................................................................34
    (PSAT/NMSQT) Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test
    and National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test ...........................................34
    SAT Reasoning Test .......................................................................................34
    SAT Subject Tests ..........................................................................................34
    AP – Advanced Placement .............................................................................35
    ACT – American College Testing Program....................................................35
    TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language ...........................................36
    Test Preparation .............................................................................................36
    Non-Standardized Testing .............................................................................36
    SAT Registration Deadlines ...........................................................................37
    SAT Online Registration Guidelines ..............................................................38

COLLEGE OFFICE POLICIES ..............................................................................39
    Reporting and Sending Standardized Test Scores ..........................................39
    College Visits .................................................................................................39
    Application and Essay Review.......................................................................39
    Disciplinary Reporting Policy .......................................................................39
    Health Leave Reporting Policy ......................................................................39
    Independent Counselors ...............................................................................39

COMMONLy ASkEd QuESTIONS ......................................................................40

AFTEr THE dECISIONS.......................................................................................42
    Getting In ......................................................................................................42
    Getting Waitlisted .........................................................................................42
    Getting Denied ..............................................................................................42
    Interim Year ...................................................................................................42

GuIdEbOOk rECOMMENdATIONS ..................................................................43

SuMMEr CHECkLIST FOr FIFTH FOrMErS ...................................................44
    College Off ice Staff
             Mr. W. Tobias brewster
           Director of College Advising
                Mr. Parker L. Chase
       Associate Director of College Advising
            Mrs. Heather b. deardorff
       Associate Director of College Advising
               Mr. Timothy W. Pratt
       Associate Director of College Advising
                  (SYA 2008-09)
              Ms. Catherine M. Green
              College Office Manager
                Ms. Anne H. Clark
              College Office Assistant

         College Office Fax 603-229-4879

    CEEB #300-110
    (College Entrance Examination Board Number)

              College Off ice Mission
While the key objective of St. Paul’s School is to support our students’ personal and
intellectual growth, admission to college is regarded by many as the culmination of
the St. Paul’s experience. The college office provides support at this pivotal point in
our students’ lives when they are asserting their independence, defining their dreams
for the future, and preparing for the transition to college.
We treat the college admissions process as an opportunity for growth and self-
knowledge, and we want to ensure that our students come away from it with a better
understanding of themselves. This process has been described as an “independent
study in decision-making,” and we are here to provide the guidance and resources
so that our students can make good decisions.
Throughout the college admissions process, the chief concern of the college advis-
ers is giving each student – and his or her family – tools adequate to the task of
finding the right match: that institution best suited to offer academic and personal
challenge appropriate to the students’ ability following graduation from St. Paul’s.
There are many institutions throughout the country where our students can thrive
and succeed. The challenge our students face is to find that environment which
will best allow them to use their talents. In order for them to maximize their
growth during their college years, we feel it is critical that they choose fit over pres-
tige – and not get caught up in the college rankings. We believe that a good educa-
tion is as varied as the temperaments and interests of our students.
Our goal in the college office is to give students (and their families) the guidance
they need to help them sift through often dizzying amounts of information so that
they can make informed choices at each stage of the journey. We aim to demystify
this potentially intimidating process and teach students, first, where they have oppor-
tunities to control the process, and, second, how to exert that control. While we
believe that students need to play the lead role in this process, we invite parents to
work with us in preparing their children for the critically important transition from
adolescence to adulthood that college matriculation represents in today’s society.
In his book, The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness, Ed Hallowell writes about the
importance of enabling students to take ownership of the college process, and he
addresses the ways we define success:
  What determines success and happiness in life, of course, is not the quality of
  the college to which a person goes but the quality of the person who goes to the
  college. . . . If you focus on helping your child develop into a good person who
  does her best to develop her talents and interests as well as her concern for other
  people, then “success,” however you define it, will follow in proper proportion.
We have a wonderful opportunity to set our students up for success, and while we
may not control where they get into college, we can control how we approach the
process. We want our students to have realistic expectations placed on them, to
pursue their interests, and to find their own path. As a school community, we have
the ability to allow them to embark on this journey with feelings of confidence,
success, and self worth. The College Office will provide the resources to support
our students in this process, and provide guidance at each step of the way.

    College Office Partnership Agreement
           Responsibilities of the Student, the Parents, and the College Adviser
STuDENT RESpONSIBILITIES                               Listen carefully to the impressions your child
Bring your best effort to the classroom and your       has gathered and help him or her to take notes,
extracurricular commitments.                           but keep your own opinions to yourself unless
Participate fully in the life of the school – set a    they are solicited.
tone that younger students can admire.                 Keep an open mind, and encourage your child
Abide carefully by the School’s expectations. Rec-     to keep an open mind as he or she researches
ognize the consequences of disciplinary action,        colleges and universities. Help them avoid get-
and understand that most schools will require          ting fixated on one or two schools too early in
you (and the College Office) to report the cir-        the process.
cumstances of any major disciplinary infraction.       Take the opportunity to complete the parent
Research schools and visit during the spring and       questionnaire. It helps bring your voice, thoughts,
summer. Take tours, attend information sessions,       and wishes into the process.
ask questions of current students. At St. Paul’s,      Be familiar with the policies and recommendations
make a point to meet the visiting representatives      in the College Handbook – also available on our
whose schools interest you.                            website.
When making your final college list, be certain that   Communicate openly and honestly with the
you would like to attend every college on that list.   College Office.
We strongly recommend that your limit yourself
to 8-10 schools. Try not to prioritize the schools     COLLEGE ADvISER RESpONSIBILITIES
until you know where you have been accepted.           Work hard to get to know our students – to un-
                                                       derstand and appreciate their goals, talents, and
Meet all deadlines and fill out applications with
care – begin early. Remember the smaller dead-
lines for materials required by the College Office     Work with our students to construct an appro-
– a draft of your essay, copies of your secondary      priate list of college choices that is both broad and
school report forms, and your final college list.      deep. Developing an intelligent and balanced list
                                                       is an essential task.
Register for the appropriate SAT Reasoning tests,
SAT Subject tests, and/or the ACT. Make sure           Be effective advocates for our students, presenting
that all colleges that you are applying to receive     their transcripts and official school recommenda-
official score reports.                                tions to the colleges so that they have the strongest
                                                       chance of being given favorable consideration.
Read and understand the College Handbook.
                                                       Treat the college admissions process as an oppor-
Communicate honestly with your college
                                                       tunity for growth and self-knowledge and to
counselor and your parents.
                                                       ensure that students come away from it with a
pARENT RESpONSIBILITIES                                better understanding of themselves. The college
Register unconditional positive support for your       admissions process has been described as an
children. Remind them of their strengths and their     “independent study in decision-making” and we
talents, independent of any college admissions         are here to provide the guidance and resources
decisions, grades, or standardized tests.              so that our students can make good decisions.
Help your Fifth Former visit as many colleges          Listen to, learn from, and communicate with
as possible in order to gain a broad perspective       parents.
of how many fine choices are available to them.

                    College Planning Calendar
This is a general guide to help you understand
how the next 18 months will look during your
                                                      •	Take	appropriate	SAT	Subject	Tests
college selection process.
                                                      •	Plan	summer	college	visits	–	tours,	information	
                                                        sessions, and interviews; remember appoint-
FIFTH FORM YEAR: Winter Term                            ments do fill early. Try to visit with professors
JANUARY                                                 and/or coaches if appropriate and possible
                                                      •	Speak	with	departing	teachers,	or	SYA	teach-
•	Familiarize	yourself	with	the	College	Handbook
                                                        ers, if you’d like to have one write a college
•	Review	PSAT	results	and	look	to	see	where	you	
                                                        recommendation for you
  need to improve
•	Complete	and	return	Winter	Term	Questionnaire
•	Take	the	SAT                                        FIFTH FORM YEAR: Summer
•	College	Advisers	will	be	assigned	in	latter	part	
  of January
                                                      JULY and AUGUST
                                                      •	Participate	in	summer	activities
FEBRUARY                                              •	Visit	and	tour	colleges,	interview	when	possible	
                                                        (prepare for interview by researching the college
•	Do	a	college	search	using	the	Internet
                                                        and anticipating possible questions), and
•	Meet	with	assigned	college	adviser	for	pre-           request applications
  liminary interview, and to start developing a
  college list if you plan to visit some colleges     •	Complete	Common	Application	(mailed	to	
  during Spring Break                                   you), and the Sixth Form Questionnaire
•	Register	for	March/April	SAT	(Note	that	SPS	        •	Take	an	SAT	preparatory	class	at	home,	if	
  is not a test center)                                 you wish
•	Arrange	visits	to	colleges	for	Spring	Break,	if	    •	Continue	to	refine	your	college	list
  possible and convenient                             •	Register	for	SATs

MARCH                                                 SIXTH FORM YEAR: Fall Term
•	Visit	various	types	of	schools	over	spring	break	
  if possible                                         SEPTEMBER
•	Prepare	for	May	SAT	Tests                           •	Hand	in	your	common	application	and	fall	
                                                        questionnaire to the College Office
FIFTH FORM YEAR: Spring Term                          •	Meet	with	adviser	to	finalize	college	list
                                                      •	Continue	to	gather	application	materials	
APRIL                                                 •	Speak	with	your	teachers	about	teacher	recom-
•	Meet	again	with	college	adviser,	and	your	            mendations, provide them with a list of your
  teachers, to discuss standardized testing             activities/accomplishments, recommendation
  plans and courses for Sixth Form year                 forms, and self-addressed, stamped envelopes
•	Research	colleges                                   •	Work	on	applications
                                                      •	Financial	aid	applicants	file	a	CSS	PROFILE®
MAY                                                     registration form (see Financial Aid chapter)
•	Attend	the	College	Fair                             •	Attend	college	mini-fair(s)
•	Take	appropriate	SAT	Tests	and	AP	Examinations	     •	Register	for	SATs
•	Continue	meeting	with	adviser
•	Finalize	your	preliminary	college	list	
•	Register	with	NCAA	Clearinghouse	if	you	
  might play Division I or Division II athletics

OCTOBER                                              SIXTH FORM YEAR: Spring Term
•	Retake	SAT	or	SAT	Subject	Tests,	have	scores	
  sent to four colleges on your list; your regi-
                                                     •	Receive	decision	letters
  stration fee includes the cost of sending your
  scores to four colleges                            •	In	writing,	notify	College	Office	of	all	decisions
•	Early	applicants	hand	in	all	Secondary	School	     •	Meet	with	adviser	immediately	if	you	plan	to	
  and Mid-Year Report forms to College Office          stay on one or more wait lists
•	Continue	to	meet	regularly	with	college	adviser    •	Notify	all	colleges	of	your	decision
•	Work	on	college	essays	and	applications
•	Visit	a	college	or	two	the	day	after	Family	
                                                     •	Mail	a	deposit	to	ONE	college	by	May	1,	
  Weekend if possible                                  even if you are remaining on a wait list
NOVEMBER                                             •	Fill	out	final	college	forms	and	return	them	
                                                       to the College Office
•	Hand	in	final	college	list	to	College	Office	
                                                     •	Take	Advanced	Placement	examinations,	
•	All	Secondary	School	Report	forms	are	due	
                                                       if appropriate
  to College Office
•	Take	the	SAT	or	SAT	Subject	Tests	and	have	
  scores sent to colleges; your registration fee
                                                     •	Graduate
  includes the cost of sending your scores to four
•	Early	applications	due	by	November	1	or	15	
  (check deadlines)
•	Continue	to	meet	with	adviser	and	work	on	
  applications (even if you have applied early
•	Visit	a	college	or	two	over	Thanksgiving	Vaca-
  tion, if possible

•	Continue	to	work	on	applications	(even	if	you	
  have applied early somewhere)
•	Take	the	SAT	or	SAT	Subject	Tests,	if	necessary
•	Wait	for	decision	letters	if	you	applied	early	
  (usually sent by December 15)
•	Notify	the	College	Office	and	teachers	writing	
  recommendations of admissions decisions and
  future plans

•	Keep	working	–	grades	still	matter
•	Financial	aid	applicants	file	the	FAFSA	
  (as soon as possible after January 1)
•	Continue	meeting	with	college	advisers,	
  if necessary
                                                                                          Liliana Hoversten ’09

            Criteria for Selecting Colleges
RESEARCHING YOuRSELF                                    want to revisit all or some of these questions
Perhaps the single most important aspect in begin-      from time to time to test your original responses
ning the college process is to know yourself.           and to develop a better sense of your evolving
First, before you do anything else, you must take       priorities. An honest and thoughtful effort at
a good look at your-self and ask, “Just who am          self-evaluation can:
I, anyway?” The key to a successful college ap-         •	 help	you	find	the	colleges	that	are	right	for	you	
plication is the ability to project a clear, distinct   •	 prepare	you	for	statements	you	will	be	asked	
voice. Your most difficult task throughout the             to make about yourself in application essays
year, then, will be to find that voice inside of you       and interviews
and project it outward in your applications and         •	 help	you	present	yourself	effectively	to	the	
during your interviews. There is no “right” voice,         colleges of your choice
no magic combination of personality traits that         •	 help	you	to	take	an	honest,	realistic	look	at	
will guarantee admission. Avoid falling into the           yourself in the college process
trap of manufacturing the “perfect” voice – the
one you think your friend has, for example.             Your Personality and Relationships
Simply be yourself. The rest will fall into place.      with Others
Following is a series of activities that will help      1. How would someone who knows you well
you in the often-difficult task of getting to the          describe you? Your best qualities? Your most
                                                           conspicuous shortcomings? How have you
bottom of who “you” truly are.
                                                           grown or changed during your high school
Self-Evaluation                                         2. Which relationships are most important to
The self-evaluation is for your eyes only . . . but        you and why?
feel free to bring it to a meeting with your college    3. Describe the students at St. Paul’s. Which
adviser to discuss its contents. These are some of         ones do you feel you are close to?
the questions you may be asked during interviews        4. Are you influenced by others who are im-
and on essay questions, so it is worthwhile to             portant to you? How important to you are
spend considerable time and thought on them.               approval, rewards, and recognition? How
Throughout your work with your college adviser             do you respond to pressure, competition,
in the months ahead, you will be immersed in               or challenge? How do you react to failure,
talk about maintaining rigor and depth in your             disappointment, or criticism?
course of study, about your overall achievement,
and about the level and significance of your com-       The World around You
munity contributions. It is generally true that the     5. How would you describe your family and
                                                           home? How have they influenced your way of
way to be a compelling candidate for college is to
                                                           thinking? How have your interests and abilities
be an active and involved contributor – in a variety       been acknowledged or limited by them?
of areas – in the St. Paul’s School community.
                                                        6. What do your parents and others expect of
But what about you? Never mind what the                    you? How have their expectations influenced
colleges want. What do you want?                           the goals and standards you set for yourself?
The many questions that follow are intended to             To what pressures have you felt it necessary
                                                           to conform?
help keep your focus on college where it belongs
– on you as an individual. You may feel embar-          7. What is the most controversial issue you have
rassed or self-conscious as you consider these             encountered in recent years? Why does the
                                                           issue concern you? What is your reaction to
questions, but no one will see your answers but
                                                           the controversy? What is your opinion about
you. This is your private worksheet. You might             the issue?

8. Have you ever encountered people who think
  and act differently from you? What viewpoints         Your Goals and Values
  have challenged you the most? How did you             19. What aspects of your high school years have
  respond? What did you learn about yourself                been most meaningful to you? If you could
  and others?                                               live this period over again, would you do
                                                            anything differently?
9. What concerns you the most about the world
  around you? Assuming obligation and oppor-            20. How do you define success? Are you satisfied
  tunity to change the world, where would                   with your accomplishments to date? What
  you start?                                                do you want to accomplish in the years ahead?
                                                        21. What kind of person do you want to become?
Your Education                                              Of your unique gifts and strengths which
                                                            would you like to develop? What would you
10. What are your academic interests? Which
    courses have you enjoyed most? Which                    most like to change about yourself?
    courses have been most difficult for you?           22.      Is there anything you have ever secretly
    Why?                                                    wanted to do or be? Is there a profession you
11. What do you choose to learn when you can                admire or would like to learn more about?
    learn on your own? Consider interests pursued
    beyond class assignments: topics chosen for         RESEARCHING COLLEGES
    research papers, lab reports, independent pro-      There are over 3,500 accredited four-year col-
    jects; independent reading; school activities;      leges and universities in the United States and
    job or volunteer work. What do your choices         Canada. Generally, they can be broken down into
    show about your interests and the way you           three categories: highly selective, selective, and
    like to learn?                                      less selective.
12. How do you learn best? What methods of              The best advice we can offer you is to make every
    teaching and style of teacher engage your           effort to begin your college search with an open
    interest the most?                                  mind. Your objective ought to be to find the
13. How well has St. Paul’s prepared you for college?   colleges that are best suited to your interests and
    In what areas do you feel most confident?           needs. It’s time to do some soul searching and,
    Least confident? Have you been challenged by        more importantly, some in-depth research about
    your courses?
                                                        your options. What’s important to you? Do you
14. Have you worked up to your potential? Are           want to become a small fish in a huge pond? Or
    your academic record and/or your SAT scores
                                                        would you like to pursue one-on-one relation-
    accurate measures of your ability and potential?
    What are the best measures of your potential        ships with faculty members, like you have at
    for college work?                                   St. Paul’s? Are the departments you will explore
15. Are there any outside circumstances (in your        as an undergraduate strong, weak, or non-existent
    recent experience or background) that have          at the colleges you are considering?
    interfered with your academic performance?          As you begin to think about where you’re going to
                                                        spend the next four years of your life, it’s important
Your Activities and Interests                           for you to remember that you are interviewing
16. What activities do you most enjoy outside the       the colleges just as much as they are interview-
    daily routine of classes and other responsibili-    ing you. The research phase is challenging and
    ties? Which activities have meant the most to       time-consuming, but rewarding. Remember how
    you? Looking back, would you have made              you felt when you visited St. Paul’s? What made
    different choices?
                                                        you decide to come here? Did you have a gut
17. How would others describe your role in the          feeling that this was the school for you? If you
    School? In your home community? What
                                                        did, hopefully your instincts are alive and well
    would you consider your most significant
    contribution?                                       as you begin to research and create your own
                                                        college list.
18. After a long hard day what would you most
    enjoy doing? What is fun or relaxing for you?

Research Tips                                           College off ice
There are three phases of research that you             The office area, located on the 3rd floor of the
ought to consider:                                      Schoolhouse, provides valuable information.
1. learn everything there is to know about the          When you have a free period or time between
   college before you visit                             classes, come up and browse through our view-
                                                        book, catalogue, and guidebook collection. We
2. ask the right questions and gain information         make every effort to update our files and keep
   during your visit                                    current copies of catalogues and viewbooks.
3. follow up on information or instincts after
   your visit
                                                        World Wide Web
Of these, the first phase is simultaneously the most    You have the option of visiting college campuses
important and the most difficult. It is crucial for     through virtual tours and Web sites. These are
you to do your homework before you visit a              frequently more current than the college viewbooks
school so that when you get there, you can apply        and are a great way to access addresses, names,
                                                        department listings, student organizations, and
the information and ask pertinent questions. By
                                                        alumni networks. Most colleges have an online
reading up on the school before you visit, you’ll
                                                        inquiry form which you can fill out to receive
be well aware of the number of students enrolled,       more specific information about the school.
the male/female ratio, average SAT scores of
admitted candidates, study abroad programs, etc.
It is important to be well informed.
                                                        Book Stores/Guidebooks
                                                        Keep in mind that of the many guidebooks that
                                                        deck the shelves of your local book store, a few
RESOuRCES                                               are plainly terrible, most are adequate, and some
There is a myriad of resources available to you that    are credible sources that we have relied upon for
range from highly subjective opinions about the         many years. Rather than using guidebooks as
schools you are considering, to more objetive           your primary source of information, think of
descriptions about a school’s programs and philo-       them as resources to guide you in your opinions
sophies. Just like any research project, it’s a good    and help you pose appropriate questions of
idea to surround yourself with a variety of sources     admissions officers, your adviser, and yourself.
from both ends of the spectrum so that you may
ultimately form your own opinion about a college        Spring College Fair
and make an informed decision about whether it’s        This is an ideal time to investigate schools you
right for you. As you begin to research colleges, you   may be considering but don’t know too much
will be surprised at how much information people        about. Use this opportunity to speak with admis-
around you willingly offer.                             sions officers from schools that might be diffi-
                                                        cult for you to visit. It’s also a good idea to meet
College Advisers                                        representatives from those schools you know
                                                        you’d like to apply.
You will be assigned an adviser in January, but
please feel free to consult with any one of us
anytime, keeping in mind the busy nature of
                                                        Fall College Mini-Fairs
                                                        Sixth and Fifth Formers should attend these fall
our schedules, particularly at certain times of         sessions with selected college admissions officers.
the year. We are here to help guide you in your         Held in September, these fairs provide an oppor-
research, formulate an appropriate list, and be         tunity for Sixth Formers to further establish
your advocates during the process. In order to          contact with the schools on their list, and for Fifth
do this most effectively, we need you to work           Formers to begin to sample various types of schools.
with us in meeting deadlines and keeping us             This is a good time to check in with colleges that
informed. The more we know about you, the               you may have visited over the summer, or speak
more we can help you in this process. Once you          one-on-one with a representative from a college
are assigned an adviser, make sure to schedule          in which you are interested but were unable to
regular meetings and provide us with the infor-         visit. Express your interest to these admissions
mation we request in a timely fashion.                  officers and use this time to build your informa-
                                                        tion base and expand your network.
COLLEGE vISITS AND INTERvIEWS                           public speaking always been a sore spot with
Once you have completed some preliminary                you? Speak with your adviser before scheduling
research on colleges, you ought to have a good          interviews if you think they might put you at a
idea of which ones merit further investigation –        disadvantage.
i.e., a visit. Visiting college campuses is crucial
for two reasons:                                        When to Plan Your College Visits
1. You are able to gain a feel for the campus, stu-     The best way to gain a gut feeling about a school
    dents, academic departments, and areas that         is to visit it when the students are in session.
    interest you specifically, rather than those that   Unfortunately, since you are also enrolled as a
    interest the editor of the viewbook.                student, this is not always possible. Do your best
2. You can demonstrate your interest in the school,     to visit when you can see the students, sit in on
    and simultaneously apply the homework you           a lecture, meet faculty members from the depart-
    have done prior to your visit.                      ments in which you are interested, etc. While
                                                        you should certainly call the schools on your list
When you’re visiting a school, your goal ought          to determine their school calendar and if/when
to be to balance the impressions you have gained        they offer interviews, here are several blocks of
from your preliminary research with your own            time during which you and your family could
personal instincts. In other words, don’t believe       consider visiting schools:
everything that you read or hear, but use the infor-
mation to guide you towards asking the right            Spring: Spring Vacation, Spring Recess
questions in the limited time that you have on          (Fifth Form)
any given campus. Be tactful, but ask good ques-        Summer: mid-to-late August, since most
tions of the right people at each school you visit.     schools begin fall sessions then
Depending on your interests, you might set up           Fall: during your college weekend; the day
a meeting with someone in a particular academic         after Family Weekend; Thanksgiving Vacation
department, an athletic coach, or a student leader.
Whoever it is, make the most of your visit and          Winter: the first few days of Christmas Vacation
let people know that you are interested.
                                                        Maximizing Your College Visits
A Word about Interviews                                 While it is possible to have a successful college
                                                        weekend with very little prior planning, the best
In many cases, a visit to a college campus will
allow you the benefit of an interview. If a school      way to make the most of your visit is to plan ahead.
offers interviews, or features them as something        If you’re going to visit schools with your parent(s),
that is “optional” or “not required,” strongly con-     make sure you sit down with mom and/or dad to
sider scheduling one. Regardless of the relative        plan a calendar of visits. Your parents most likely
importance of an interview in the overall appli-        want to help you in this process in every way
cation process, one-on-one contact with as many         that they can. Ask them for advice about calling
representatives from the college or university of       schools, or ask them to help you set up appoint-
your choice is important. And don’t stop with           ments. Of course, it’s best if you do most of the
just your first choice. Arrange on-campus inter-        legwork yourself, because you will appreciate
views at as many schools as you possibly can.           the effort that went into your visit and learn
Not only are interviews a great way for you to          more in the long run.
articulate your interests, they also provide you        Here are a few thoughts to get you going on
with more insight into the college admissions           planning your visit and setting up meetings
process and the unique features of the various          with the appropriate people:
schools you are considering. Who knows? You             a. Plan to spend at least half a day at the school.
may even be surprised at the answers you come           b. Call the admissions office to arrange an
up with.                                                   interview if they offer interviews on campus.
A final thought: are you painfully shy? Do you          c. Incorporate one of the school’s general infor-
get tongue-tied when you are nervous? Has                  mation sessions into your day.

d. Niche interviews: If you don’t know them already,    polished, and something that accurately conveys
   ask the admissions office for the name(s) and        your character and persona.
   phone numbers/e-mail addresses of the athletic       When you contact an admissions office, make sure
   coaches, and/or the music/art/drama/dance            that it is to provide them with something mean-
   professors who represent your interests. Con-
                                                        ingful that builds your case as an applicant: an
   tact them to let them know that you are coming
                                                        academic, athletic, or cultural award that you
   and ask whether you might meet with them
   or someone in their department.                      win, a new position that you earn, outstanding
                                                        inside grades, an article that you wrote/published,
e. Academic interviews: Call the departments in
                                                        etc. Do not send them fluff. Rather, furnish them
   which you are specifically interested and repeat
                                                        with appropriate updates.
   step ‘d.’ Remember, this is a time for you to
   continue your research into the academic             If you have questions about potentially mean-
   departments as well as to establish contacts.        ingful addenda to your application, consult your
e. Contact any friends/acquaintances/SPS alumni         college adviser.
   you know at the school and try to meet them
   for coffee or lunch (if you can’t stay with them).   Enough is Enough
   These are frequently the best sources for the        Remember to keep your correspondence with a
   inside scoop . . . but remember to maintain          college at an appropriate level. Use your judgment
   your objectivity and form your own opinion.          or ask your adviser to help you determine what
                                                        “appropriate” might be, in your case. Do not barrage
Etiquette during and after Your Visit                   an admissions office with daily letters, phone
When you visit a school, remember that you are          calls, or e-mails or your name will be uttered with
representing both yourself and St. Paul’s. In other     dread. Do make sure that your correspondence is
words, act naturally but remember that what you         meaningful, memorable, and well presented.
do or say may ultimately impact your standing
in the admissions office. You will never under-
stand the complexities of each school’s network,
                                                        Getting Organized
                                                        After each visit, you ought to consider recording
so assume that everyone you meet is in some way         your impressions in either a journal or on a check-
connected to the admissions process and treat           list. Write down the names of all the people you
them with due respect. This means dressing              meet and anecdotes that will help you remember
appropriately for your visit and conducting             who they are and what they do. What sort of
yourself in a positive manner: from your initial        feeling did you get from the school? How was the
handshake, to your undivided attention, to your         music department? Was the campus appealing to
parting thanks and gracious good-bye. Remember,         you? Could you imagine yourself there for four
you have requested to spend time with their staff,      years? Keep in mind that your visit gives you a
so make the most of the opportunity.                    one-snapshot impression; don’t overreact to a
                                                        poor tour. For your convenience, on the next page
After Your Visit                                        we have constructed a sample checklist that might
It is always a good idea to send a thank you note       be helpful in evaluating your college visits. If this
to the person with whom you interviewed. While          particular checklist isn’t your style, create your
this note may wind up in your admissions file, at       own. The important thing is for you to keep a
some point along the way, the best reason for doing     comprehensive record of the things that you see
so reverts to basic rules of courtesy. Especially       and people you meet from one school to the next.
with the ease of e-mail, a brief note is an effort-     Along these same lines, keep copies of your cor-
less way to show your appreciation for someone          respondence with every school you are considering.
having spent time with you.                             The best way to do this is to start a file on each
                                                        school as you begin your preliminary research
Every Piece of Communication Counts                     and add to it as the process evolves. You never
Whenever you contact the admissions offices at          know when you might need to reference a
the schools to which you are applying, assume           postcard that you sent to a director of admis-
that your phone call, e-mail, letter, or fax is         sions. Keep track of everything that you send.
recorded and added to your file. Make it concise,

College Visited _______________________________________________________________________

Date of Visit _________________________________________________________________________

Interviewer __________________________________________________________________________
Title ________________________________________________________________________________
Phone ______________________________________________________________________________
E-mail ______________________________________________________________________________

Admissions Officer ___________________________________________________________________
Title ________________________________________________________________________________
Phone ______________________________________________________________________________
E-mail ______________________________________________________________________________


Campus _____________________________________________________________________________

Surrounding Area _____________________________________________________________________

Students ____________________________________________________________________________


Extracurricular Activities_______________________________________________________________

Library _____________________________________________________________________________

Other _______________________________________________________________________________

1. __________________________________________________________________________________

2. __________________________________________________________________________________

3. __________________________________________________________________________________


1. Would I fit in and feel comfortable here?

2. Does this school meet my needs?

3. What is my general impression?

                                  The Application
The application is the best opportunity for you
to speak directly to the admissions office and is
                                                         St. Paul’s School Support
                                                         Your college adviser will write a summary of your
second in importance only to the transcript. Good
                                                         SPS experience highlighting your academic and
essays are written and rewritten; yet the writer’s
                                                         non-academic achievements and contributions
voice, values, and identity remain clear and distinct
                                                         to the School. We take information from adviser
in the final draft. By and large, the application
                                                         letters, teacher comments, the parent question-
(particularly the essay) is what admissions readers
                                                         naire, our conversations with you, your responses
remember about a candidate. It is the only piece         to our questionnaires, coaches, and other faculty
of the puzzle with the potential to sway a decision      to produce a document that most accurately reflects
on its own. In your search for colleges that meet        your capabilities and achievement. We do not rank,
your needs, it is important to consider the full         nor do we compare students in this document –
range of factors the colleges will use in evaluating     we simply tell your story.
your application.
                                                         NON-ACADEMIC CRITERIA
ACADEMIC CRITERIA                                        your Activities and Interests: What activities
Proven Academic Performance                              have you been involved with at St. Paul’s?
                                                         What involvements have you had with the
Your transcript, which records grades and courses for    community, both here and at home? Which
all years in high school, is the single most important   activity is most important to you?
piece of the puzzle. It reflects academic ability,
interest, and achievement over time (i.e. Rigor +        Evidence of Leadership
Depth + Performance).                                    You don’t have to be a Sixth Form officer or a team
Note: Institutions consider at least the final three     captain to be a leader. Think of any instance when
                                                         you have initiated an activity or project, when you
years of high school and are looking for students        have been a strong voice in your House, or when
who have taken challenging and broad programs            you have set an example for others.
of study. It is important that you have taken the
most demanding courses appropriate for you.              Outside Recommendations
                                                         If a person outside of the School community knows
Standardized Testing                                     you well and can relate valuable information an
Your SAT scores are generally recognized as a            extra letter may be helpful. Letters from an
reliable predictor of success during your first year     alumnus/a or a friend of a friend who does not
of college. SAT Subject Test scores are also used        know you well are not likely to add much to
                                                         your application. If the person is actively involved
as important predictors of performance. Most selec-      in the school and knows you well, it could prove
tive institutions require the SAT (or the ACT) and       to be helpful.
two or three different SAT Subject Tests, but it is
important that you research and find out specific
requirements for each institution.
                                                         Special Talents
                                                         Colleges want a well-rounded student body, so they
                                                         are usually looking for students with specific
Teacher Recommendations                                  talents to add to the freshman class. Let them
                                                         know if you have something different or special to
Most colleges require two teacher recommenda-
tions to help them more closely evaluate your            contribute. Having good grades and being a good
                                                         person is expected of everyone.
potential as a college student with anecdotal
evidence from someone who has taught you.

THE pERSONAL AppLICATION                                about decisions any time before early April and
                                                        the student is asked to respond to an acceptance
Ethics                                                  notification no later than May 1.
When you sign your name to the application,
you are stating that all of the information you
provided therein is true, and that the application      Rolling Admissions
and essays were written by you. Please take your        Candidates’ credentials are reviewed in the order
signature, your honor, and your word seriously          in which they are submitted, and candidates are
in this process.                                        notified of decisions generally within six to eight
                                                        weeks. In general, the more academically suc-
Helpful Tips                                            cessful students are, the earlier they hear of their
•	 How	many?	Eight	to	ten	applications	with	two	        acceptances. As colleges with rolling admissions may
   or three in the “stretch” or “reach” category;       send out their acceptances early in the academic
   two or three in the “mid-range” or “possible”;       year, it is to the student’s best advantage to apply
   and two or three in the “safer” or “probable”        as soon as possible. This is particularly true of
   category. Obviously, the final alignment will
   very much depend on the individual, but we           many state universities that use this plan. Although
   strongly recommend you apply to no more              a college with this policy accepts its applicants
   than ten schools. By doing your homework             early, the students do not have to notify the college
   early, making some choices, and focusing             of their decision until May 1.
   your efforts on a smaller selection of schools,
   you will be better prepared to do a thoughtful
   job on each application.
                                                        Early Decision I (ED-I)
                                                        Some colleges have an early decision plan, involv-
•	 Be	absolutely	certain	you	have	read	the	colleges’	   ing a contractual arrangement between the stu-
   admissions requirements (e.g. 4 years of English,    dent and the college. Students generally apply by
   3 years of mathematics, 3 of science, etc.)
                                                        early November and the admissions committee
•	 Colleges	take	great	pains	to	detail	clearly	their	   will review the student’s application earlier than
   specific procedures for completing and filing
                                                        those applying by the regular deadline, and the
   each part of the application. Different colleges
   have different application requirements. It is a     committee will inform the student of its decision
   step-by-step process to be completed with the        generally by December 15. In turn, the student, if
   greatest of care and thought.                        admitted, is committed to attending that college
•	 Read	all	instructions	carefully.	                    and must withdraw applications to other colleges.
                                                        A student may submit only one Early Decision I
•	 Have	an	objective	adult	review	your	application.	
   They may pick up on something you missed.            application.
•	 Never	try	to	do	an	application	in	a	hurry,	late	
   at night, or at the last minute.                     Early Decision II (ED-II)
•	 Be	sure	to	build	in	sufficient	time	for	online	      Some colleges offer an early decision plan with
   applications as servers get very busy near           an application deadline that is later than ED-I,
   deadline time.                                       usually in December, January or February. The
•	 Photocopy	all	parts	of	the	application	before	       same rules apply as those for Early Decision I.
   mailing.                                             These plans are designed to give you more time
                                                        to make a thoughtful college choice decision.
                                                        As with ED-I, you will be notified of the decision
COLLEGE ADMISSIONS pLANS                                approximately four to six weeks later.
(All plans described here are specified in the
colleges’ admissions materials.)                        Advantages of Early decision: a wonderful way
                                                        to go if you are absolutely certain you want to
Regular Decision                                        attend that particular college, since the college
                                                        application process will be concluded for you if
Most colleges have a particular deadline for the
receipt (or postmarking) of applications, most          you are admitted. If you are a recruited athlete,
range from December 15 onward. In this type             applying ED helps to cement your commitment
of admission plan, the college informs applicants       to a coach.

disadvantages of Early decision: the commit-            •	 If	you	are	a	strong	applicant	in	every	way	and	
ment you must make so early in the process;                you are certain that the institution you are
yon need to be a strong candidate since the Early          applying to is your first choice, applying early
Decision pool is still a predominantly high-pow-           may be the way to go. Although there is
ered one; financial aid awards are, at this point,         evidence that colleges are taking more stu-
only estimates, so, if the size or nature of your          dents early, remember: they are continuing
                                                           to take only the most academically qualified
financial aid award is of great significance, you
                                                           candidates in the pool.
may not want to close out all other options by
being accepted “ED.”                                    •	 In	the	absence	of	outstanding	academic	
                                                           qualifications, an early application, coupled
When a student is deferred in the early admis-             with a special consideration (as defined earlier),
sion process, it actually feels like rejection and         may improve your chances of admission in
can be devastating to your ego at a time of year           some cases.
when you need to be at the top of your game for         •	 An	early	application	in	and	of	itself	does	not	
filing applications to other colleges. Also, when          constitute a “special consideration!” By simply
you are deferred early admission, your applica-            applying early, you do not gain an appreciable
tion goes into the regular applicant pool and              advantage. You must first meet the general
may not be as impressive as those submitted                standards of the college to which you are
by students who had almost two months longer               applying. If you do not, ED or EA will do
to polish their applications. There is also the            virtually nothing to improve your chances for
possibility that you will be denied early.
                                                        •	 You	do	not	need	to	apply	early	in	order	to	
Early Action                                               prove to a college that it is your first choice.
                                                           There are other ways of conveying that message.
This plan is similar to Early Decision, but with-          A handwritten note explaining that you simply
out its obligatory commitment. Early Action is             are not ready to apply early shows an admis-
available at a limited number of colleges.                 sions staff that you are thoughtful enough
Advantages of Early Action: again, a wonderful             to know what is best for you.
way to go if you have managed to narrow your            •	 If	you	do	not	feel	ready	to	apply	early	for	what-
focus by the fall of your Sixth Form year.                 ever reason, you should not. Always consult
                                                           with your college adviser if you feel pressured,
disadvantages of Early Action: you need to be              one way or another, about this issue.
a very strong applicant to be considered competi-
tive in this early pool, and in some cases your         Paper or Electronic Application:
best work may still be ahead.                           What Should I Do?
Single-Choice Early Action: you do not commit           This is your one and only chance to make a good
to the school but, similar to Early Decision, you       impression on the entire admissions committee
can only apply early to one school.                     so, whichever method you choose, do it right.
                                                        A growing number of students are filing electron-
THOuGHTS ON EARLY AppLICA-                              ically. It is much easier than writing out the same
TIONS                                                   information over and over again. If you still prefer
We continue to be embroiled in the early application    paper applications, be sure it is neat. Some stu-
controversy in this country, and everyone seems         dents elect to fill out the forms online and mail
to have good arguments both in support of and           in a downloaded paper application. Whatever
against early. Here are a few observations and a        method you choose, be sure to follow all directions
little advice. In the end, the decision is yours, but   carefully. Please read the college’s instructions to
always be sure to talk the issue through with your      be sure you have satisfied all their requirements
college adviser and parents before proceeding.          (i.e. signature). You might also download appli-
Beginning in the fall of 2003, a number of              cations directly from the college’s Web site.
prominent schools adopted a “single-choice
Early Action” program.

Common Applications: The Common App-                     COMMON AppLICATION TIpS
lication can be used at over 300 colleges and            •	 Use	the	same	name	on	everything.
universities that evaluate students using a holistic     •	 Put	your	name	and	either	your	address	or	
selection process. Many of these institutions use           your social security number on everything
the form exclusively. All give equal consideration          you submit.
to the Common Application and the college’s              •	 Keep	a	copy	of	every	application	you	submit.
own form. However, if you use the Common                 •	 Type	all	responses	–	or	write	neatly	and	legibly.
Application, you must be aware of any supple-            •	 Answer	all	questions.
mentary forms they may ask you to complete.              •	 Use	a	reliable	and	appropriately	named	email	
Whichever form you choose to use, do not                    account – preferably your SPS account.
“mix-and-match” forms.                                   •	 Make	sure	that	if	you	put	down	a	special	field	
                                                            of study or college division, it actually exists
SuppLEMENTAL ESSAYS                                         at the college to which you are sending the
The essay is your one direct and personal link to           application.
the admissions committee. Even your interview            •	 If	you	are	planning	to	put	down	engineering,	
is indirect since it is transmitted to the committee        any of the sciences, pre-med, pre-law, or
via the interviewer’s report. The essay is, therefore,      pre-business as a field of study, discuss this
perhaps the most vital part of the application.             with your college adviser.
Think about your writing before you actually do          •	 If	you	are	planning	to	apply	for	financial	aid,	
it. Most good essays are composed in the mind               make sure to check that box.
long before they are set to paper. Some colleges         •	 Optional	information	is	just	that,	but	if	you	
will give you a topic; others leave that to you.            are going to fill out that section, make sure
Supplemental essays are as important as the long            you fill it out completely.
essays. They are a test of your ability to express       •	 The	School’s	CEEB/ACT	code	is	300-110.
yourself well in a short space. More importantly,        •	 The	School	address	is	325	Pleasant	Street,	
they are used to determine both how well you                Concord, NH 03301.
know the school, and how suitable you are as a           •	 The	School,	college	office,	or	college	adviser	
candidate. Please take time with them.                      number is (603) 229-4881.
                                                         •	 The	School,	college	office,	or	college	adviser	
Unless instructions call for handwritten essays,
                                                            fax number is (603) 229-4879.
you can cut and paste a computer-generated
                                                         •	 List	your	three	best	SAT	Subject	tests	and	the	
copy neatly in the space provided, or attach an
                                                            dates taken.
extra sheet (with your name and social security
                                                         •	 Fill	out	the	family	section	completely	and	
number at the top of each attachment). Sloppy
                                                            thoroughly – do not leave a blank space
papers with spelling and grammatical errors, or             because you do not know the answer. Go find
poorly written statements will move the applica-            the answer.
tion rather quickly to the “reject” pile. Length?        •	 Make	sure	you	list	all	awards	or	distinctions	
“In the space provided,” means just that and you            that you have received, beginning in the Third
should do your best to adhere to word limits.               Form (or 9th grade if you attended another
It is your opportunity to give the reader a better          school). If you earned First or Second Testi-
sense of you, your values, or your perpective.              monials or special prizes and awards (including
The best essays are the ones an admissions                  Dickey awards), make sure to include them.
officer would describe as reflective, thoughtful,        •	 Do	not	sell	yourself	short	with	activities,	but	
and well-written. Again, have an objective adult            do not go overboard. You can add an extra
review what you have written. A fresh set of eyes           activity sheet to provide more detail if you
is better than those that have looked at the same           would like to, but be careful about sending
                                                            too much additional information.
page over and over again.
                                                         •	 List	activities	according	to	importance	to	you	
                                                            and years involved.

•	 Do	not	abbreviate	your	activities.	Use	your	
                                                       FOCUSING YOUR THOUGHTS
   extra activities sheet to explain things like
   community service or Robotics, but under            and CHOOSING A TOPIC
   no circumstances should you list Foosball or        1. Read all of the essay questions asked by all of
   video gaming as an extracurricular activity.           the colleges you are applying to. If you can
                                                          write one essay which is appropriate for three
•	 There	are	only	30	weeks	in	the	school	year	            colleges, all the better. Two schools may have
   – 10 weeks each term. Do not overstate your            open-ended topics, one may be more focused,
   hours or time commitment.                              and if you gear your essay towards the more
•	 Do	not	write	essays	about	the	same	thing	that	         focused topic, you may be able to/want to use
   you write your extracurricular paragraph about.        it for all three schools. Then…
   Doing this wastes the little space you have to      2. Sit around and THINK for awhile. What is
   tell as much about yourself as possible.               this college asking? Make sure your essay
•	 Always	fill	out	the	top	part	of	the	teacher	           answers it, but tell your own story. If the
   recommendation form and the SPS secondary              question gives you some latitude, mull over
   school report form, listing your classes for           various ideas until you hit upon one that
   each term.                                             “feels” right, or about which you’re more
•	 The	Common	Application	Web	site	(www.                  excited than others. has lots of information, tips        3. An interesting topic does not automatically
   and helpful responses to                               mean an interesting essay. Similarly, an
   frequently asked questions.                            ordinary topic does not automatically mean
                                                          an ordinary essay.
WRITING YOuR COLLEGE                                   4. Write about something that is important to
AppLICATION ESSAY:                                        YOU (not to your brother, mother, counselor,
SOME THOuGHTS AND TIpS                                    or any of the other people who are giving you
From Margit Dahl, Director of Undergraduate               advice). It will be easier to write and will have
Admissions, Yale University.                              a more natural voice.
                                                       5. Don’t try to second-guess the admissions
TO BEGIN                                                  office. Not “what do they want to hear?” or
                                                          “what would they like?” but “what do I want
1. Remember that this is the part of the applica-
   tion that you have total control over. (That’s         to tell them? What do I want them to know
   good.)                                                 about me before they make a decision? What
2. Don’t write your essay at the last minute. This        should I talk about that will give them a feeling
   is an important part of the application. Leave         for what makes me tick?” Remember, you’re
   yourself enough time to be able to think about         in the driver’s seat for this one.
   it for awhile, talk about it with others if you
   want, write it, leave it for a few days, and        WRITING
   come back to it.                                    1. Don’t try to cover too much. All-encompassing
3. Take seriously any specific instructions the           essays will be too long or, if shorter, superficial.
   admissions office includes. If they ask you for        Think about the things you have read and
   a one-page essay, don’t send three pages. And          enjoyed: writing is usually interesting because
   don’t fit into one page by shrinking it into tiny      of its detail, not generalities.
   type on your word processor. People have to         2. Be personal. It’s your application, your experi-
   be able to read it. You do not want to annoy           ences, your thoughts, interests, and personality.
   the admissions office.                                 The admissions committee is trying to get to
4. If you have questions relating to any applica-         know you through your own words. Even if
   tion, don’t be afraid to call the admissions           the topic is an intellectual one, the school is
   office. They’re used to getting calls like yours.      looking for a personal response.
                                                       3. Convey your feelings. If you’re excited about
                                                          something, convey that. If you feel strongly
                                                          about something (positive or negative),
                                                          express that. Dry essays devoid of feeling do
                                                          not tend to be very interesting.

4. Don’t try to be something you aren’t. If the         a piece of the application ceases to be exclusively
   humor feels self-conscious, forget it. Don’t         the student’s in both thought and word. That
   force a “creative” essay. Write in a voice which     is not to say that it is wrong to solicit feedback,
   feels natural to you.                                just that there is a difference between ‘feedback’
5. Be reflective. Write in some depth. Use some         and ‘coaching.’”
   detail or specifics, not just general (and super-
   ficial and easy) statements. Flesh out your          and From a former Harvard
   thoughts. Ask yourself WHY and HOW a lot
   as you write, not so much WHAT, WHEN, or
                                                        admissions officer:
                                                        •	 It’s/its;	their/there/they’re
                                                        •	 Trite	phrases	or	words	–	myriad,	plethora,	
6. What you say as well as how you say it are              broaden your horizons, etc.
   both important. A great idea poorly expressed
   will not seem so great.                              •	 Using	larger	words	that	don’t	fit.	As	Strunk	
                                                           and White advise, “Do not be tempted by a
AFTER WRITING                                              twenty-dollar word when there is a ten center
                                                           handy, ready, and able.”
   Neatness and accurate spelling and punctuation       •	 Relying	too	much	on	spell	check,	resulting	in	
   count. Some students may not have access to             typos slipping through
   a word processor; if you need to hand-write          •	 Treating	online	applications	like	email,	failing	
   an essay that’s fine, as long as your writing is        to take care in crafting responses
   EASILY legible. (And don’t YOU be the judge          •	 Top	ten	topics	that	can	kill	an	essay
   of that – we can all read our own writing! Ask          1. Profanity
   someone else.)                                          2. Drugs/alcohol
2. Do not ask other people to revise your essay.           3. Describing inappropriate behavior
   Honesty also counts. It’s YOUR essay. Some-
   one else can read it and react to it, but they          4. Boyfriend/girlfriend relationship issues
   shouldn’t be taking a red pencil to it.                 5. Shock value/gimmicks
                                                           6. Sympathy
AND FINALLY                                                7. Travel/community service (“Those poor
Once you’ve sent your application in, stop worry-               people”) You can write effective essays
ing about it. If you did your best, that’s all you              on this topic, just be careful of your tone
can ask of yourself.                                            and language.
                                                           8. Inappropriate humor
more From the Stanford                                     9. Writing about depression or other mental
Admissions Office:                                              health issues
“Many applicants believe that in order to stand out       10. Writing about your parents’ divorce
in the admissions process, something remarkable         Additional advice: Recruited athletes should
must have happened to them (either positive or          avoid writing about the “big game.”
negative) so they have something distinctive to
write about in their essays. This is simply not true.   EXTRACuRRICuLAR ACTIvITIES
It is not what you have experienced that counts,        Unless they specify which order to state your
but what you make of an experience. Think about         activities, you should rank them by importance
what matters to you, think about the experiences        to you. Also, do not “pad” your list with those
you have had and how these experiences have             activities that are either dormant or insignificant.
influenced you, and go from there.”                     This same rule applies to your estimation of the
“One question we are frequently asked by prospec-       hours involved, inflated numbers are easy to
tive applicants and their parents relates to getting    spot. College admissions officers are trained
help with the application process: ‘How much            professionals, and they know what constitutes
help is too much?’ While there are few hard and         substantive involvement.
fast rules, we believe a clear line is crossed when

ATHLETICS                                                reporting Test Scores: The Clearinghouse also
Suffice it to say, you are a “recruited” athlete in      requires SAT scores. St. Paul’s does not list test
the process once a coach has contacted you or            scores on transcripts; however, photocopies of
your coach here at the School. We are fortunate          score reports are acceptable if they are sent directly
that our coaches have years of experience in             from us. We will, therefore, send a copy of your
helping direct students to college programs that         scores with your transcript. We have your scores
best match their abilities. Our coaches speak with       only if you wrote the St. Paul’s code number
their college counterparts to gain information about     (300110) on your test registration forms – be
program needs and your potential as a recruited          sure we have them.
athlete. The most important advice for the pros-         IMPOrTANT: a reminder that the College
pective college athlete is to keep your college          Office is staffed in a limited capacity during the
adviser in the communication loop at all times.          summer – we are giving you this advance notice
                                                         so that you can take care of this prior to leaving
NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic                       School. Should you have any questions about
Association)                                             the certification process, you may also contact
By the spring of Fifth Form year, it is important        the Clearing-house directly at:
for you to be aware of your responsibilities in this
                                                             NCAA Clearinghouse
process, before you depart for the summer.
                                                             2255 North Dubuque Road
NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse: The                  PO Box 4043
NCAA Clearinghouse was established for athletic              Iowa City, IA 52243-4043
eligibility and certification purposes. If you hope
                                                             Telephone: 877-262-1492
to be recruited by a Division I or Division II
                                                             (8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays CT)
school and take an expense-paid visit to their
                                                             877-861-3003 (24-hour attendant) *
campus (whether it be a meal, an arranged over-
night accommodation, and/or travel expenses), you            Fax: 319-337-1556
must register and be certified for initial eligibility       Web:
by the Clearinghouse prior to your visit. These          * You must be registered and have your Personal Identification
visits generally take place in the Sixth Form year.        Number (PIN) to access the Clearinghouse’s 24-hour voice
Please remember this applies to expense-paid               response system (above). You may also check the status of
                                                           your file by visiting their Web site. On their home page,
visits – you may visit any campus at any time at           select Prospective Student-Athletes, then on the following
your own expense for academic purposes.                    page select Registered Student Login. Again, you must
                                                           know your social security number and your PIN to do this.
registering with the Clearinghouse: You need
to register and complete your Student Release
Form (SRF) online:            Questions to ask a coach when visiting
                                                         •	 How	many	seniors	are	graduating?	What	are	
You will need to have a credit card to pay your             your program needs for next year?
registration fee. After the registration is com-         •	 How	many	incoming	students	to	you	expect	to	
plete, you need to print out a copy of your SRF             recruit or support in the admissions process?
and the authorization form (Copy #1 and Copy             •	 What	does	the	recruiting	process	look	like	at	
#2) and give these to the College Office. This              your school?
authorization allows the high school to send             •	 What	kind	of	academic	and	athletic	creden-
your transcript and test scores to the Clearing-            tials are you looking for?
house. If you attended another school during             •	 In	my	conversations	with	you	or	other	coaches,	
your high school years, you will need to make               what kinds of signals should I be listening for
copies of those same forms and send them to                 to know if you or another coach is interested
your previous high school(s) so they can mail               and intends to support me?
official transcript(s) directly to the Clearinghouse     •	 More	general:	What	kind	of	time	commitment	
as well. You should know that your SRF will be              do you expect from the players on your team?
processed as soon as your final Fifth Form tran-            What is the expectation during the off-season?
script is available – usually by the end of June.
                     SAMpLE ATHLETIC RESuME

     John doe:       25 Blossom Lane
                     Marshfield, MA 00000
                     (978) 555-0000

                     St. Paul’s School
                     325 Pleasant Street
                     Concord, NH 03301
                     (603) 230-0000

    Academics:       St. Paul’s School Class of 2010
                     Second Testimonials (Honor Roll) 2008, 2009
                     SAT: 2050 (650 critical reading, 710 math,
                     690 writing)

Soccer Experience:   St. Paul’s School
                     Varsity Soccer, 2008-present
                     •	Starting	midfielder	2007
                     •	Honorable	Mention	all-ISL,	2008
                     •	Captain-elect,	2009
                     JV Soccer, 2006
                     •	Elected	team	captain
                     Assabett Valley Aces, 2001-present
                     •	Member	of	state	champion	U16	team,	2007

Other Athletics:     Member of St. Paul’s varsity basketball and tennis teams.
                     Elected co-captain in tennis for 2009.

    references:      John Pele, Soccer Coach, St. Paul’s School:
                     Franz Beckenbauer, Soccer Coach, Assabett Aces:
                     W. Tobias Brewster, College Adviser:

                     SAMpLE LETTER/E-MAIL TO A COACH OR
                         SpECIAL INTEREST pERSON

     Dear Coach Smith,
     My name is John Doe and I am an eleventh grader at St. Paul’s School who is very
     interested in your soccer program. I’ve been a varsity player here at St. Paul’s for
     the past two years, and started in the midfield this year. I was honorable mention
     All-ISL this year, and was elected to serve as co-captain of the team next year.
     I have also maintained a strong average in the classroom. While St. Paul’s does not rank
     its students, I have earned Second Testimonials (honor roll) during each of my three
     years at the school. I scored a 2050 on the new SAT in May (650 critical reading,
     710 math, and 690 writing) and am scheduled to take SAT Subject Tests in June.
     I would be happy to provide you with a copy of my transcript if you would like.
     I am very eager to continue my soccer career at the collegiate level, and will be
     working hard this summer to prepare for my senior season. I will be attending the
     Massachusetts Select Camp from July 2-6, and will be playing with my club team,
     the Assabett Valley Aces, throughout the summer. I hope that someone from your
     staff will be able to see me play.
     I would appreciate any information about BigState University and your soccer
     program that you could send me. You can also contact my coach, Joe Pele, at
     (603) 555-8888 or I look forward to hearing back from you soon!

     John Doe
     325 Pleasant Street
     Concord, NH 03301

vISuAL AND pERFORMING ARTS                              Performing Arts
Visual Arts                                             Music: The following procedures and suggestions
                                                        are intended as guidelines for anyone who is an
Plan well ahead. The following procedures and
suggestions are intended as guidelines for any-         accomplished musician. Again, we strongly rec-
one who has done a significant amount of visual         ommend that you create a CD of your best work
artwork while at St. Paul’s School. We strongly         as part of your college application, regardless of
recommend that you create a portfolio of your           whether you intend to pursue music in college.
best work as part of your college application,          What you have done to date will set you apart
regardless of whether you intend to pursue art in       from many other applicants, demonstrating an
college. What you have done to date will set you        unusual talent and skill. What you show them,
apart from many other applicants, demonstrating         if chosen and presented carefully, can only be to
an unusual talent and skill. What you show them,        your advantage.
if chosen and presented carefully, can only be to       1. In the absence of a live audition (typically
your advantage.                                             reserved for conservatories), a CD is the best
                                                            way to present your musical talent. You
Format                                                      should speak with Mr. Seaton and/or your
                                                            music teacher to determine the best pieces to
1. Some colleges may differ, but most will be look-
                                                            select (usually no more than three), and the
   ing for a selection of slides documenting your
                                                            best time and place to record them.
   work, usually no more than twenty submitted
   in a slide file page.                                2. Make several copies of the CD to send, since
                                                            they will not be returned to you.
2. Each slide should be labeled with your name
   and a number that corresponds to a typed list        3. You should also include a brief (half page,
   accompanying your slides. The list should                typed) artist’s statement that describes your
   have a title for each slide, identification of           interests and investment in the performing arts.
   the media, an indication of size, and a brief        4. Your CD should be labeled with your full
   description of the project or work.                      name and sent to the admissions office with
3. You should also include a brief (half page, typed)       your application in a large manila envelope.
   artist’s statement that describes your interests         The admissions staff sends it to the appropri-
   and investment in the visual arts.                       ate faculty member in the music department to
                                                            be rated then the submission will be returned
4. Other formats are possible, and may in some
                                                            to the admissions office.
   cases be advisable, depending on the scope
   and type of your work and the college you            dance: In the absence of a live audition (which
   are considering. Consult the college advisers,       is possible at several colleges), videotape is the
   your adviser, and your art teachers.                 best way to present your dance talent. You should
                                                        speak with your dance teachers to determine the
                                                        best pieces to select (again, no more than three),
                                                        and the best time and place to record them.
                                                        Repeat steps 2-4 above.
                                                        drama: Again, in the absence of a live audition,
                                                        a video is the best way to demonstrate your dramatic
                                                        talent. You should speak with your drama teacher
                                                        about the details of videotaping performances.
                                                        Remember to make several copies of the tape, as it
                                                        will not be returned to you, and also to include
                                                        an artist’s statement, as described previously.

SECONDARY SCHOOL REpORTS                                will be overburdened with writing, so it is best to
                                                        approach them in the spring of your Fifth Form
Transcripts and School Letters of Rec-                  year. It is helpful for teachers to have some know-
ommendation                                             ledge of you outside of the classroom, so include
In your application materials for each college, you     a summary of your activities (a photocopy of your
will usually find forms to give to the College Office   Sixth Form Fall Term Questionnaire is ideal).
called the Secondary School Report (SSR) and
the Mid-Year School Report (MY – we only need           To Waive or Not to Waive
the MY if you are applying to a college that has a      The College Office has a statement by the National
deadline prior to January 1). In lieu of the school-    Association of College Admission Counseling,
specific forms, St. Paul’s has its own Secondary        a group that represents the school counselors,
School Report (SPS SSR) that we use in place            college admissions, and financial aid officers,
of the college’s SSR. These forms authorize us          that you ought to read since it states your rights
to send your SPS transcript (and a copy of your         and responsibilities.
previous high school transcript, if applicable),
                                                        On waiving your rights: you should consider
your college adviser’s recommendation letter to
                                                        waiving your rights because doing so suggests
colleges, and our School profile.
                                                        to the reader that the recommendation has been
You are responsible for filling out your section        written objectively.
of these forms and submitting them directly to
                                                        When you waive your rights, you are stating
the office for review. Please do not leave these
                                                        that if you attend the institution you will not
forms in your adviser’s post office box, under or
                                                        attempt to view the full contents of your college
taped to any door, or in the Faculty Room boxes.
                                                        application – specifically, recommendations from
Unlike teachers, the College Office does not
                                                        teachers and your college adviser.
require envelopes from you.
                                                        When you do not waive your rights, you may,
The SPS SSRs and MYs are due in our office in
                                                        upon attending that institution, have access to
early November. (You will be notified of the exact
                                                        the full contents of your college application,
date.) Forms for early applications are due early
                                                        including recommendations. You do not have ac-
in October.
                                                        cess to applications to colleges to which you are
You should also submit a final list of colleges to      not attending, however.
your college adviser by mid-November.
                                                        A Little Etiquette Goes a Long Way
Teacher Recommendations                                 Just as you make every effort to maintain your
General Process – Some colleges do not require          own unique aura of grace and respect among your
any recommendations (however, they will accept          contacts at the colleges, you should also be aware
them); others may require one, two, or three. Some      of the effort your teachers and advisers at St. Paul’s
colleges will request teacher recommendations           make on your behalf, and treat them accordingly.
from specified academic disciplines, for example        Because we live and learn together in the close
English, mathematics, or science. Others may            community of St. Paul’s, it is sometimes easy to
seek a peer recommendation. In each case, con-          overlook just how much your teachers are doing
sider carefully whom you will ask to write on           for you and numerous other students. Keep in
your behalf. A good question to ask your teacher        mind that you are not the only responsibility of
is: “Do you know my work and me well enough             your recommender. Be thoughtful of other dead-
to make a positive evaluation?”                         lines and responsibilities that s/he faces daily
When you have decided whom you will be asking,          and act accordingly.
talk to the teacher(s) as far in advance of the
colleges’ deadlines as possible (at the very least
one month prior). Humanities teachers, particularly,

Other Helpful Tips                                     6. Complete a copy of the Letter of Recommen-
                                                          dation Information Form.
•	 Academic	recommendations	should	be	written	
   by teachers who have taught you recently            7. Compile a packet, using a large manila env-
   (preferably no earlier than Fifth Form), and           elope, and include teacher recommendation
   who know you well. If there is someone in              forms for each school (with all appropriate
   the community with whom you are very                   information completed), stamped, addressed
   close, ask them to write a separate, personal          envelopes for each school, and a Letter of
   recommendation on their own letterhead.                Recommendation Information Form. You
                                                          should give these to them personally. Keep in
•	 Try	to	balance	your	academic	profile	by	hav-           mind that a smile and a genuine “thank you”
   ing a recommendation from the Humanities               go a long way.
   division as well as one from the Mathematics
   or Science Divisions.                               8. Repeat steps 1-7 for each teacher writing a
•	 If	you	have	struggled	in	a	particular	discipline	
   over the years, but have worked hard to improve
   and impressed a teacher or two along the way,
                                                       1. Write a thank you note to each teacher who
   you might think about asking that teacher to
                                                          wrote a recommendation on your behalf.
   write an additional recommendation to address
   your experience. The more information an            2. Communicate your admissions decisions to
   admissions committee has when presented                those who wrote on your behalf.
   with a mediocre or poor grade performance,
   the better.                                         additional note on Counselor
REquESTING LETTERS OF                                  As you did with your teacher recommendations,
RECOMMENDATION                                         please submit the Letter of Recommendation
                                                       Information Form to your college adviser. You
Timing                                                 also need to include a completed SPS secondary
For those applying early, you should request rec-      school report form for each school to which you
ommendations by the end of September. For those        are applying. Please complete these carefully and
applying regular decision, you should request          accurately (using appropriate course titles). This
recommendations by October 15 and have forms           will be the cover sheet for the materials we send
to your teachers no later than November 15. At         on your behalf. You do not need to provide the
the very least, you need to request recommen-          College Office with envelopes and stamps.
dations two weeks in advance of any deadline.          If you are still confused, please see us in the Col-
Typically, colleges require two classroom teach-       lege Office. We are here to help!
ers to write recommendations on your behalf.

1. Fill in the teacher recommendation form from
   the common application with all information
   common to all schools. This includes all of
   your information at the top of the form.
2. Print it out (if you are filling it in online.)
3. Make the same number of photocopies as
   common application schools to which you
   are applying.
4. Fill in the teacher recommendation forms for
   all schools not on the common application.
5. Attach to each form a stamped envelope with
   the address of that college. (Envelopes and
   stamps can be purchased from the school store.)

                       2008-09 SECONDARY SCHOOL REPORT
Student’s Name __________________________________________
Home Address __________________________________________                    ❑ Toby Brewster, Director of College Advising
_______________________________________________________                    ❑ Parker Chase, Associate Director
                                                                           ❑ Heather Deardorff, Associate Director
Social Security Number ___________________________________
College applying to ______________________________________                 CEEB number: 300110

Plan: ❑ EA      ❑ ED     ❑ EDII      ❑ Regular      ❑ Special            Deadline ________________________________
Sixth Form (grade 12) courses:
 FALL                                     WINTEr                                      SPrING

        TO THE APPLICANT: After completing upper section, give this form to the College Advising Office.

St. Paul’s School does not rank its students or calculate a GPA. Of this student’s graduating class, 100 percent plan
to attend a four-year college. The size of the graduating class of 2009 is 143 students. Graduation is May 31, 2009.
Included in this packet are a transcript and the counselor’s recommendation. This report is based on personal
observations, records, teacher comments, and communications with parents.
rEMINdEr: We have three academic terms. Fall term grades will be available on december 1, winter term
grades will be available on March 5, and spring term/final grades will be available on June 10.
In comparison to other college preparatory students at our School, the applicant’s course selection is:
    ❑ Most demanding in all subjects                                    ❑ Most demanding in some subjects
    ❑ Most demanding in all, but _____________________________ ❑ Demanding
                                                                                                             ONE OF THE TOP
                                                                                                           FEW ENCOuNTErEd
                                                    AvErAGE               GOOd                 ExCELLENT   durING My CArEEr

  Academic Achievement
  Academic Promise
  Contributions to School and Community
  Personal Qualities, Character
College Adviser’s Signature ____________________________________________ Date _______________________
                          Please call the college adviser above if you need additional information.

 325 Pleasant street, ConCord, new HamPsHire 03301-2591       telePHone 603-229-4881      Fax 603-229-4879
                                           FINAL LIST OF COLLEGES
Sixth Formers: You must submit a completed copy of this form to the College Office on or before
November 12. If you make any changes to this list after November 12, you need to notify your college
adviser, your parents, and Mrs. Green in writing to let us know what schools you are adding and/or
what schools you no longer intend to apply to. You also need to update your list on Naviance.
Remember that your list should reflect an appropriate balance, and we recommend that you have 2-3
reach schools, 2-3 possible schools, and 2-3 likely schools. You should not plan to apply to more than
10 colleges without your adviser’s expressed permission.
We will send copies of this form to your parents on or before December 1. If you have not submitted your
list, or if your list is not appropriately balanced, we will communicate this concern to your parents.
Your parent signature is not required when you submit this form. We will ask them to sign this once
you have completed the form and the College Office has had a chance to review it. Please let us know
if you have any questions. (We would prefer you to type this form rather than handwriting. Thank you.)

Student Name _________________________ College Adviser_________________ Date ___________

List of Colleges, Application deadlines, Application Plan, and SSr:
Plan = Early Action, Early Decision, Regular, Rolling
SSR = Have you submitted an SPS secondary school report form? (Yes or no)

  COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY                                    DEADLINE                      PLAN            SSR

*If you plan to apply to more than 10 schools, please speak with your college adviser.

When you submit this form to the College Office, you also need to include completed (typed) second-
ary school report forms. Please use the SPS form – not the institutional forms – and complete course
information carefully and completely. Please do not bring stamped/addressed envelopes to the College
Office. The SPS secondary school report form is the cover sheet for the materials we submit on your
behalf so it needs to be neat and accurate.

College Adviser signature _______________________________________________________________
❑ I have shared my concerns in an attached letter.
I have reviewed this list, and I am aware of any concerns that my son or daughter’s college adviser has
communicated. (Please include any notes to the College Office on the back of this form or in an attached letter.)

Parent signature_______________________________________________________________________
Sixth Formers: Please give a copy of this form to each teacher from whom you are requesting a letter
of recommendation along with the recommendation form(s) and a stamped/addressed envelope for each
college. A request is to be made at least two weeks before any deadline.
Student’s name (as it appears on applications) _______________________________________________

Teacher’s Name __________________________________ Date form given to teacher______________

List of people writing letters of recommendation:

College Adviser ______________________________________________________________________

Teacher(s) ___________________________________________________________________________

Other/Additional Recommendation(s) ____________________________________________________

List of Colleges, Application deadlines, Application Plan, and Form:
Plan = Early Action, Early Decision, Regular, Rolling
Form = Institution’s Form, Common Application Form, No Form

  COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY                                   DEADLINE                 PLAN   TYPE OF FORM

*If you plan to apply to more than 10 schools, please speak with your college adviser.

When you submit this form to your college adviser, you will also need to include completed (typed)
secondary school report forms. Please use the SPS form – not the institutional forms – and complete
course information carefully and completely. Please do not bring stamped/addressed envelopes to the
College Office. The SPS secondary school report form is the cover sheet for the materials we submit
on your behalf so it needs to be neat and accurate.

               Financial Aid and Scholarships
For many families, a key piece of the college          SCHOLARSHIpS
admissions process may center on financial aid.        The College Office frequently receives literature
In the next few pages, we identify some of the         on scholarships. We also maintain and post a
important steps of applying for aid, explain how       scholarship database on the bulletin board outside
colleges factor financial aid into admissions and      the College Office. This database is updated as
award packages, and describe how the typical           we receive information from colleges and other
financial aid package might be developed. These        sources. Speak with us if you would like to browse
policies will vary from school to school, and we       through our scholarship files. If you would like
urge you to read the materials provided by each        to be nominated for a scholarship, see your
college and encourage you to contact their offices     college adviser.
if you have questions. In fact, any college finan-
cial aid office is an invaluable resource. Feel free   AppLYING FOR FINANCIAL AID
not only to call them with questions, but also to      Each school will have specific requirements for
make appointments to speak with them in person.        financial aid, so it is vital that you read the infor-
                                                       mation from each application. In most cases, this
GENERAL DEFINITIONS                                    may include a form as part of the application pro-
                                                       cess, or a request to fill out one of several forms:
A process where the admission decision is sep-         FAFSA (Free Application for Federal
arate (blind) from the financial aid process. The
admissions application is evaluated, a decision
                                                       Student Aid)
                                                       All students applying for any federal financial aid
is made, and those accepted are then sent to the       must file an FAFSA as soon as possible after Jan-
financial aid office for review.                       uary 1 of the application year. Analysis of the
                                                       data on this form will determine eligibility for
Need-Aware                                             Federal Pell Grants, Supplemental Educational
A process where the admission decision can be          Opportunity Grants (SEOG), Federal Work Study,
sensitive to the financial need of the applicant.      Federal Perkins Loans, Stafford Loans (subsidized
A growing number of schools with limited               and unsubsidized), and other federal and state
resources have become much more honest in              programs. Many states, while often requiring
admitting that they must look at their budget          their own forms, will also require the FAFSA to
carefully when accepting a freshman class. In most     award state grants to students. Since federal aid
cases, this will affect a handful of applicants, and   is a key component of most awards, it is critical
students are generally placed on a wait list.          that this is filed in a timely manner. You can file
                                                       the FAFSA online at There is
Gapping                                                no cost to process the FAFSA. Paper versions are
A process of admitting a student while providing       available between November and December of
a financial package that does not fully meet (gaps)    your Sixth Form year.
your calculated need.
                                                       CSS® (College Scholarship Service)
                                                       Prof ile
                                                       Separate from the FAFSA, some colleges may require
                                                       the CSS PROFILE to help determine a student’s
                                                       eligibility for the institution’s own funds. The
                                                       CSS PROFILE is available exclusively online at

In addition to the CSS® PROFILE, families may            •	 “If	the	cost	of	college	goes	up,	will	my	aid	go	
be asked to submit one or both of the following             up accordingly?”
(if applicable):                                         •	 “Can	the	school’s	financial	aid	be	used	to	
                                                            cover the costs of study abroad programs?”
Noncustodial parent (NCP) Application                    •	 “How	are	outside	scholarships	handled?	Are	
Students applying to colleges that require the              they credited against the loan component of
NCP will be given information about the process             my aid, the grant component, or the family
after they have registered for the PROFILE and              contribution?”
will be asked to pass the instructions along to          •	 “Do	I	need	a	certain	grade-point	average	to	
their noncustodial parent.                                  keep my institutional grant?”
                                                         •	 “Are	emergency	funds	available	for	short-term	
Institutional Forms                                         loans?”
                                                         •	 “Are	there	any	tuition	payment	plans	that	will	
Some schools may require additional information
on their institutional form, as well as copies of tax       allow me and my parents to spread out our
returns, to verify information.                             payments?”
                                                         •	 “What	is	the	policy	with	regard	to	non-custo-
Should I Apply For Financial Aid?                           dial parents and stepparents? Are they expect-
                                                            ed to contribute if financially able?”
If you and your family cannot afford to pay for
                                                         •	 “What	is	the	typical	financial	aid	package?”
four years of college without assistance from
outside resources, then by all means you should          •	 “How	much	indebtedness	can	I	expect	after	
                                                            four years?”
apply for financial aid. There is a debate in many
circles as to where college admissions is heading        •	 “How	many	hours	a	week	will	I	have	to	work	
                                                            to fulfill the work-study portion of my aid
in an effort to assist students in their ability to
afford college. Stories have appeared in the media
that accuse colleges of playing games with aid,          Should I Apply Early if I Need
often raising the question of how much applying
for aid will affect a student’s chances for admission.
                                                         Financial Aid?
                                                         By applying early, you limit your opportunities
In order to be clear about a school’s policies, and      to compare financial aid packages between
help you make intelligent decisions about where          schools. Since most of the schools our students
to apply, ask any or all of the following questions      are attending traditionally try to meet full need,
when visiting schools:                                   our experience has been that the package in the
•	 “Does	the	college	practice	a	need-blind	              early round has been no different than those
    admission policy?”                                   awarded in the spring. The Ivy League schools
•	 “What	percentage	of	students	is	receiving	            and many similar selective schools have gone
    financial aid?”                                      on record to say that no differences exist in the
•	 “What	percentage	of	students	had	their	full	          manner in which early and regular aid is awarded.
    need met?”                                           Think carefully and consult with your parents
•	 “What	percentage	of	the	funds	was	need-based?”        and college adviser.
•	 “What	percentage	of	the	funds	(if	any)	was	
    merit based?”
•	 “Do	the	same	financial	aid	procedures	and	
    policies apply for the entire four years?”
•	 “If	my	family	has	more	than	one	student	in	
    college, will that be taken into consideration
    when calculating my family contribution? What
    about another student in boarding school?”

The Financial Aid Package                              Usual College Breakdown for Awards
Financial aid packages come in all shapes and forms.   Self-Help: This may include an opportunity to
Many schools fail to give you the bottom line of       work on campus through a Federal work-study
what you will pay when all costs are calculated.       program, Federal (Perkins or Stafford) loans,
Take the time to go back and see what the basic        and/or school loans.
costs of the school are, add up what the various       Grants: if the college meets 100% of your need,
components of the aid package come out to, and         the remaining amount can be filled with grants,
see if it will work for you and your family. Once      which do not need to be paid back. These are a
you have sorted through the various packages,          combination of Federal grants, or grants from
you will be ready to make that determination.          the actual funds of the college.
(EFC) Expected Family Contribution: is deter-          Merit Awards: may also be a part of an award in
mined after income and assets are reviewed.            the form of a scholarship that goes beyond the
Allowances are made for the number of family           actual need of a student. It may even be awarded
members, the number of children in college,            to a student not applying for financial aid in the
necessary expenses, etc. Typically, you are asked      hope of attracting top scholars to that school.
to contribute a portion of your personal savings
and other assets. You are also expected to con-        We have seen discrepancies between financial
tribute a certain amount based on what you could       aid packages. Do not be afraid to discuss these
realistically earn during the summer, whether          with both our office and the college financial aid
or not you actually choose to work. Should you         office before making a final decision.
receive merit-based awards from organizations
outside of the college, these are considered as        International Students
part of your available resources and may be applied    International students applying for aid at Amer-
against the self-help portion of your aid package.     ican colleges are not eligible for Federal aid, and
Consideration is also given to special financial       as a result, find themselves in a much more com-
circumstances (illness, older parents approach-        petitive group for aid from the college’s institu-
ing retirement, or special educational needs). Be      tional resources. However, there are schools that
certain that colleges are aware of any unusual         have funded, financial aid specifically for interna-
circumstances that may exist in your family.           tional students. We will do our best to identify
                                                       these resources.
Please note: Colleges may handle different
situations differently, in which parents are
separated, divorced, and/or remarried. For
example, some colleges take into consideration
the income and assets of the stepparent with
whom the student lives. Others do not. Federal                      Suppo
fund eligibility (determined by the FAFSA) is
based on “household” income only – which can
include a step-parent and exclude a biological
parent. Always ask and/or read the fine print.

                           Standardized Testing
Standardized testing is an important factor in          the SAT once during the fall of the Sixth Form
admissions decisions at most highly selective           year. The total number of times a student takes
colleges and universities. A few institutions have      the test depends on his/her level of satisfaction
downplayed the importance of scores, and some           with the scores. Regardless of how many times
have eliminated test requirements entirely, but these   you take the SAT Reasoning Test, the colleges
institutions are in the minority. At most colleges      will receive all of the scores; you cannot choose
standardized testing still matters.                     which scores to send. Most colleges focus on a
We have found that students who plan carefully          student’s best verbal score and best math score,
and familiarize themselves with the test format         even if they are achieved on different testing days.
through use of practice materials are able to           When to Take: January or spring of Fifth Form;
attain scores that accurately reflect their school      and again in the fall of Sixth Form, if necessary,
performance. We want you to understand the              particularly if you enroll in a test preparation
testing requirements and, just as importantly, to       class over the summer.
keep testing in perspective.
                                                        SAT SuBjECT TESTS
(pSAT/NMSqT) pRELIMINARY                                This test is (200-800 score scale) one hour per
SCHOLASTIC ApTITuDE TEST AND                            academic subject, up to three tests per admini-
NATIONAL MERIT SCHOLARSHIp                              stration, administered from October through June
quALIFYING TEST                                         of each year on nationally determined test dates.
This test is (20-80 score scale) two hours, and is      In addition to the SAT, nearly all students will need
administered in October of the Fourth and Fifth         to have taken two SAT Subject Tests by the time
Form years. However, only the scores from the           they apply to college. (Please note that with the
Fifth Form are used for National Merit selections.      new SAT, with writing, only a handful of schools
In the spring of the Sixth Form year, finalists         are still requiring three, however three strong
will be notified if they have been awarded a            scores can only help your case.) SAT Subject
National Merit Scholarship.                             Tests measure achievement in a particular aca-
The PSAT helps familiarize you with the standard-       demic discipline. Not all colleges require these
ized testing format. When you receive a copy of         tests, but many of the colleges St. Paul’s students
your PSAT scores, you will also receive the test        applied to either require or recommend them. Deci-
questions, a copy of your answers, and an answer        sions about which Subject Tests to take are often
key. The results you receive are a worthwhile           the most complicated decisions for students to
tool in assessing areas of weakness as you look         make since the tests are largely curriculum-driven
forward to taking the SAT. Generally speaking,          and, thus, different for each student. Further
PSAT results will give you a rough projection of        confusion arises because there are 22 different
what your SAT Reasoning Test scores will be.            tests to choose from, and some of the tests are
                                                        best taken early in one’s high school career, long
SAT REASONING TEST                                      before most students are thinking about college
This test is (200-800 score scale) three hours          plans. For example, a strong chemistry student
and forty-five minutes, and is administered from        should take the Chemistry Subject Test at the
October through June of each year on nationally         end of the course, which often falls at the end
determined test dates.                                  of Fourth Form year. Our best advice: ask your
                                                        teacher what s/he thinks of your ability to score
All students should take the SAT at least once in       well on a given Subject Test.
their Fifth Form year. Most students will repeat

Guidelines for SAT Subject Tests                      Additional Report Request Form, online service
                                                      (credit card required); or by telephone (again,
Following are our general recommendations for
                                                      credit card required).
taking SAT Subject Tests. It is absolutely critical
that you discuss your plans with your teachers.
                                                      Ap – ADvANCED pLACEMENT
They know best what your academic strengths
                                                      This test is (1-5 score scale) three hours per
and weaknesses are:
                                                      academic discipline, and administered in May of
What to Take: Be sure you fulfill the specific        each year according to a nationally determined
college requirements.                                 test schedule.
When to Take: Preferably at the end of the            The Advanced Placement Examinations (AP) are
academic course (i.e. May and/or June; except         optional in the college admissions process. The
for Languages with Listening (which are only          designated purpose of AP exams is to provide
given in November).                                   opportunities for students to gain college credit or
Literature: anytime is fine, but Fifth Form           advanced placement in college courses. Teachers
spring is ideal.                                      will discuss with their classes whether taking the
                                                      AP exam in their subjects is appropriate, and
Math Level 1: after Algebra 2 and Geometry,
                                                      guide individuals who seek advice in making a
sometimes Precalculus (if you are a marginal
                                                      decision. Classroom teachers also handle regis-
‘H’ or ‘HP’ student).
                                                      trations for these exams prior to spring vacation.
Math Level 2: after Precalculus (if you are a         Although APs were not designed as admissions
strong ‘H’ or ‘HH’ student), Precalculus Honors,      tools, they are often used to document a stu-
and Calculus.                                         dent’s strength in a particular subject. When a
Sciences: immediately following the course            student scores a ‘4’ or a ‘5’ on an AP exam, the
(check with your teacher).                            college adviser highlights it in his/her recom-
Languages: usually after the third year of study.     mendation for that student. Once you select
                                                      which college you will attend, you should send
Languages with Listening: if you are fluent in        official AP scores to the college for credit and/or
the language, after a year abroad or summer travel    advanced placement.
in the native country, if you are at an advanced
level of study, with the advice of your teacher.      ACT – AMERICAN COLLEGE
History: Speak with your Humanities teacher.          TESTING pROGRAM
Note: The best resources for specific information     This test is (0-36 score scale) administered
on the SAT Reasoning Test and SAT Subject Tests       October through June each year according to
are the SAT Program publications: Registration        a nationally determined test schedule
Bulletin, Taking the SAT Reasoning Test, and          The ACT is an alternative test to the SAT and is
Taking the SAT Subject Tests, located on the wall     accepted at nearly every college in the country.
outside the College Office.                           Occasionally students find that they outperform
                                                      their SAT score when taking the ACT. A handful
HANDLING YOuR SAT SCORES                              of St. Paul’s School students take the test each
Please refer to Page 2 (inside cover) of the SAT      year. It covers English, Mathematics, Reading,
Reg-istration Bulletin for detailed instructions,     and Science Reasoning. St. Paul’s is only a test
addresses, telephone, and fax numbers for the         center for one test date each year. Speak with your
following:                                            college adviser if you are interested.

Sending Score Reports
You can have your scores sent to colleges several
ways: include college codes on your Test Regis-
tration Form; use the Correction Form or use the

TOEFL – TEST OF ENGLISH                                NON-STANDARDIzED TESTING
AS A FOREIGN LANGuAGE                                  Most tests that colleges require for admission such
This test is administered at more than 300 test        as the SAT-I, SAT-II, ACT, or AP subject tests can
centers around the world. Starting September 24,       be administered in a modified format. These
2005, the TOEFL was delivered via the Internet.        modifications to the test administration process
Internet-based testing (IBT) allows ETS to cap-        are only available to students with documented
ture speech and score responses in a standard-         disabilities. That is, the student must have a
ized and fair manner. You can register online          documented learning disability or physically
and obtain more information at their Web site:         handicapping condition to begin the eligibility                                     process. Such modifications can include extended
                                                       time, large print test materials, as well as admin-
The TOEFL is taken by students whose native
                                                       istration by audiocassettes or the use of Braille.
language is not English, and is often helpful as a
supplement to the SAT verbal score. Many colleges      There is a rigorous eligibility process for students
require this test of international applicants.         with disabilities who wish to take these tests with
                                                       modifications. Eligibility is determined by a process
TEST pREpARATION                                       established by the test publisher, and coordinated
                                                       through St. Paul’s School’s Student Support Serv-
Printed Guide Books                                    ices. The specific test publisher ultimately makes
For additional practice materials, we recommend        the eligibility decision and the decision is based
10 Real SAT’s: The College Board’s Official Guide to   upon certain specific types of documentation. If
the SAT. This guide contains ten complete versions     you have any questions concerning test modifi-
of the SAT Reasoning Test for practice, and is         cations or eligibility qualifications, please con-
comprehensive, helpful, and easy to read. For          tact the staff at Clark House. They will be happy
study guides to SAT Subject Tests, we recom-           to answer any questions you may have about
mend The Official Guide to the SAT Subject Tests,      non-standardized test administration.
also published by the College Board. Virtually
anything published by The College Board is a
good bet.
There are several other guidebooks and computer
software programs available today, but we hesitate
to recommend one over the other since they change
in content so quickly. Some are better than others,
but the effectiveness of any resource depends
largely upon your learning style and level of
We recommend taking any test preparation classes
during the summer months when you have more
time to take full advantage of its content.

free online service
We strongly recommend that all Fifth and Sixth
Form students register for free online test prep-
aration at:
Please be sure to list your college adviser as your
coach so they can receive progress reports.

       SAT Registration Deadlines

                                     TEST dATES

                                  January 24, 2009

                       March 14, 2009 (SPS is not a test site)

                                    May 2, 2009

                                    June 6, 2009

You should register online for multiple test dates and test types at the same time.
Registering 4-5 months in advance is not too early. SPS is a state test center open
to the public. We are not a test center for SPS students only. Registering far in
advance will help assure you a seat at SPS due to limited seating capacity.
Test preparation booklets are available in the College Office.

         SAT Online Registration Guidelines
The following information gives guidelines for            •	 SCORE	REPORTS	TO	COLLEGES –
the SAT online registration form found online at             IMPOrTANT: The first 4 score reports are
the College Board website               free. In the fall of your Sixth Form year, you
(“register now” tab).                                        are responsible for submitting official score
                                                             reports to all the schools to which you apply.
You may register for multiple test dates at the same         If you expect to compete as a Division I or II
time, but you will need to fill out a separate regi-         intercollegiate athlete, you should also send
stration online for each test date.                          official scores to the NCAA Clearinghouse
Register as far in advance as possible. 4-5 months           (college code for NCAA is 9999).
in advance is not too early! St. Paul’s is a state test   •	 STUDENT	DESCRIPTIVE	QUESTIONNAIRE:		
center open to the public. We are not a test center          Not necessary. Answer these questions only
for SPS students only, therefore, we fill up quickly.        after consulting with the College Office. Under-
                                                             formers: this is optional and we suggest you
•	 CREATE	A	USER	NAME	AND	PASSWORD:		                        do not fill it out.
   This will allow you to log in and complete
   the registration process. You will also be able        •	 E-MAIL	ADDRESS:		Please	use	your	St.	Paul’s	
   to access practice tests, testing schedules and           e-mail address. This will allow you to receive
   information, test scores, college information etc.        information and confirmations of your test
                                                             registration here at St. Paul’s.
•	 NAME:		Use	your	full	legal	name,	and	spell	it	
   the same way each and every time you regis-            •	 YOUR	MAILING	ADDRESS:		Where	informa-
   ter. Be consistent. This will prevent creating            tion and scores will be sent; Your name in care
   multiple records of test scores for you.                  of St. Paul’s School, 325 Pleasant St., Concord,
                                                             NH 03301. SPS PO will forward test scores
•	 SOCIAL	SECURITY	NUMBER:		Write	your	                      home over the summer vacation.
   exact SS number (if you have one). If you
   don’t know it, leave it blank. Do not guess.           •	 FEE	WAIVERS:		Students	registering	with	fee	
   Again, be consistent. If you have not used it             waivers can now register online with a unique
   in the past, do not use it now.                           fee waiver number printed on the bottom of
                                                             each fee waiver card. A fee waiver identifica-
• HIGH SCHOOL CODE: 300110 for St. Paul’s                    tion number can only be used once. A new
•	 CURRENT	GRADE	LEVEL:	12th	grade	for	Sixth	                fee waiver card/number must be used for
   Formers, 11th grade for Fifth Formers, etc.               every new test registration. Eligible students
•	 STUDENT	SEARCH	SERVICE:	Do	you	wish	                      can receive up to four fee waivers during
   colleges to search for a person like you? Do              their academic career, two fee waivers for the
   you want mail in the P.O.? Underformers                   SAT Reasoning tests, and two fee waivers for
   should probably indicate “no.”                            SAT Subject Tests. These can only be used in
•	TEST	CENTER	CODES:	First Choice: St. Paul’s                the 5th and 6th form years. Students who use
   #30-125                                                   these test fee waivers may also be eligible
If St. Paul’s is not a test center that day, as your         for fee waivers for their college applications.
2nd choice check the Concord High School test                Please come to the College Office to pick up
                                                             a fee waiver card.
center code #30-115 (within walking distance),
or the Bow High School test center code #30-108.          •	 SSD	ACCOMMODATIONS:		(Services	for	
                                                             Students with Disabilities) students who are
Only as a last resort and if necessary, please use
                                                             requesting testing accommodations can now
the Manchester Central High School test center               also register online. Students will need to have
code # 30-190 (particularly for June testing where           a copy of their eligibility letter that includes
seating is in high demand), or a test center code            their SSD eligibility code.
in your hometown if you are taking the test when
you are on a break from St. Paul’s.

                        College Off ice Policies
REpORTING AND SENDING                                     While disciplinary matters are a concern to
STANDARDIzED TEST SCORES                                  colleges, our experience is that they understand
You are responsible for sending standardized test         that young people make mistakes. Admissions
scores to colleges. You own your test scores, so          committees are typically more concerned with the
no one but you should have the right to send              manner in which students respond to disciplinary
them to colleges. Test scores are not included on
                                                          sanctions than the actual event leading to the
the St. Paul’s School transcript. We will not fax
or send test scores to colleges or coaches without        sanctions. A mature, graceful, and honest response
your permission.                                          to a discipline infraction can illustrate a student’s
                                                          growth and development as a young adult.
You are allowed one official “college weekend,” so        HEALTH LEAvE REpORTING pOLICY
use it wisely. You must secure two signatures for a       Because of the confidential nature of personal or
college visit – first your adviser’s, then your college   health-related absences, St. Paul’s leaves responses
adviser’s – not the other way around. Any additional      to such questions to the discretion of students
visits to colleges will fall under the regular week-
end rules: long, short, special, etc. Good times to       and their families.
visit during the school year are the Monday after         We strongly encourage students who have taken
Family Weekend, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and              an extended leave (more than three weeks) to sub-
Spring Break.                                             mit a written explanation to the colleges explaining
                                                          the absence. This leave will also be reflected in
As a rule, we do not look over the final drafts of        the number of credits on the student’s transcript.
your application materials. We recommend that             Students should review these statements with their
an adult, whose opinion you respect, read and             college adviser prior to submitting them to colleges.
critique your essays.
                                                          INDEpENDENT COuNSELORS
DISCIpLINARY REpORTING pOLICY                             Should your parents choose to hire an independent
                                                          counselor, we invite the opportunity to consult
It is our expectation that students will respond          with him or her. In fact, the better independent
truthfully to any questions on college applications       counselors contact us early in the Sixth Form
regarding their disciplinary records. Students            year to learn more about their client’s overall
who are required to do so will write statements           record in the context of St. Paul’s School. Your best
outlining circumstances of their infractions and          interest is our first priority, and to further that
will review these statements with their college           interest everyone involved in the process should
advisers prior to submitting them to colleges.            be talking openly and honestly.
The same holds true if a disciplinary infraction
occurs after the submission of an application.
Most colleges also expect the School to provide
written explanations of major disciplinary infrac-
tions, and the College Office will report the facts
of all major disciplinary violations and academic
dishonesty violations in a brief report, separate
from the School’s letter of recommendation.

               Commonly Asked Questions
Do I have to do community service                     Is it better to specify a major or
to be more attractive to colleges?”                   program of study on the application
Not if you are doing it simply to look good to        or to simply write ‘undecided’?”
colleges. It is far better to pursue one of your      If you declare Biology (or any science), En-
true passions. It is always nice, however, to give    gineering, or Business, you should have the
back to society simply for the sake of doing a        standardized testing and grades in those disci-
good thing.                                           plines to back it up. These majors attract some
                                                      of the strongest students in the country, so you
Do I have to take four years of                       will have stiff competition right away. If you are
English to be competitive? of math?                   certain that those are the areas of interest or
language? science?”                                   specialization for you, speak with your adviser
If you do not meet the minimum requirements/          before pigeonholing yourself. If not, declaring
recommendations published by each college, then,      ‘Undecided’ or writing down more than one
yes, you are putting yourself at a competitive dis-   academic interest is fine. College admissions
advantage at that institution. Usually, this means,   personnel understand that nearly every college
four years of English, at least three of math and     student changes his or her mind about a major
science, and work completed through the third         at least once – that is why many colleges do not
level of a language. We understand your desire        require official declaration of a major generally
to focus on your strengths by doubling or tripling    until the junior year.
up in one or two academic disciplines, but colleg-
es are looking for broadly educated high school       Isn’t big better, even though small is
students, not students who have majored in one        more personal?”
area already. Stay broad while also pursuing your     Better for whom? It all depends on you and your
interests, and always be well versed with what        needs. Access to faculty has more to do with the
colleges are recommending that you study.             nature of the place than size. If no one cares, then
                                                      500 students are too many. If most care about
Will colleges care if I drop a course                 you, or are friendly, then a mega-university
after December or once I have been                    (20,000+ students) is not too large. Large insti-
admitted early?”                                      tutions naturally offer more courses and more
Yes. Consistency and commitment are qualities         activities, but may also offer the opportunity to
that every college admires and expects from stu-      take courses with 500 other students, too. Look

dents who are supposed to be among the best in        closely at what small institutions have to offer
the nation.                                           these days – you might be surprised.

            ?               ?
After SPS, don’t I need to branch out                  Then, my grades are the only thing
and try a big place?”                                  the colleges care about?
Maybe. Take a look around the colleges you             Of course, colleges look closely at your courses
visit. Most that you will consider are well over       and your record, and the courses you intend to
three times the size of St. Paul’s, and a college      take in all three of the Sixth Form terms. They
of 1,500 will have about 400 new students every        also consider your school activities, the type of
year. Moreover, with any size college there are        service you perform, the sports you play – in
nearly endless opportunities which you ought           short, how you have spent your time over your
to explore: to volunteer in town, on the campus;       high school years.
to meet new people, to go elsewhere for a semester
or a year; to broaden your horizons.                   If I was disciplined in the Third Form,
                                                       do I have to report it to colleges?”
Isn’t the college admissions game                      Yes. If a college asks the question about your
like the lottery: If I apply to ten or                 disciplinary record, you are expected to answer
more I’m bound to get into one?”                       honestly. If you have ever sat before the Disci-
If all ten colleges are similar in their degree of     pline Committee, then you have been “disci-
competitiveness, you may receive ten letters say-      plined.” Understand that the question applies
ing ‘sorry.’ Writing applications is a difficult and   to your entire high school career – Third Form
time-consuming task. Write them as an individual       through graduation.
endeavor, not a mass process. If you apply cor-
rectly to six colleges that are reasonable for you,
you will probably be successful with at least half;
applying to ten doesn’t necessarily mean you will
gain admission to five. It is your care and prior
work, and the listening to advice that will help
you gain the success you want.

           ?                 ??                                       ??
                                After the Decisions
GETTING IN                                                   possible. Your college adviser will continue to
Step One: Celebrate! (but be sensitive to others)            play a vital role in lobbying on your behalf.
Step Two: Call home.                                         Step Four: Think about anyone else – faculty,
Step Three: Notify the College Office in writing.            family, friend, or peer – who might write an
                                                             additional letter of support.
Step Four: Accept the offer, if you wish to
attend; deny the offer if you do not.                        Offers of admission from the waiting list usually
                                                             occur after May 1 and can go on into the summer
NOTE: The deadline for accepting an offer of                 months, so be sure to accept one college’s offer by
admission is May 1 (generally a postmark date).              the May 1 deadline to secure a space somewhere.
You may accept at only one school. However,                  If you are admitted from a waiting list later and
you should respond to all acceptances – good                 decide to attend, you need to advise the college
manners still count. Most colleges want a deposit            whose offer you had initially accepted, and
– usually several hundred dollars – with your                forfeit your deposit there.
acceptance. Read the fine print.
Financial aid information may come with your                 GETTING DENIED
acceptance letters. Sometimes those letters are              It’s never easy to face rejection, but this, too, is a
sent separately – allow a few days before becoming           part of the college application process, unfortunately.
too anxious. However, if it gets to be mid-April             Once you have been denied, make an appointment
and you still have not received a financial aid              with your college adviser to discuss any issues
package, be sure to let us know.                             you might have. She/He may be able to provide
                                                             the insight that can help to ease the pain and
You may want to revisit a college. Talk with your            assist you should you try to apply to college again
college adviser. Try to miss as little school as possible.   later. Rarely, if ever, are negative admissions deci-
Do not make quick selections if you are fortunate            sions changed after the letters have been mailed.
enough to have several college choices. Talk with
your parents and adviser.                                    INTERIM YEAR
Remember that disciplinary infractions or academic           Increasingly, students are taking time off after high
performances that are a departure from your record           school. They may travel, work, or become involved
could put you on probation at a college freshman             in an organized program or series of organized
year or, worse, could cause the college to revoke            programs. Regardless of what you might choose
your acceptance.                                             to do, a year off is a terrific opportunity to recharge
                                                             your batteries and/or try something you never
GETTING WAITLISTED                                           again might have the opportunity to do.
To remain on one or more waitlists, you should:
Step One: Send the response card back immedi-                Many colleges now ask on the application if a stu-
ately. Colleges are always interested to know how            dent plans to defer a year. Be honest. It will not
interested you are in them. If they are going to             affect your chances of admission. In fact, col-
go to the wait list to admit more students – they            leges support the notion of a year off because
will go for the ones they believe will attend.               students subsequently enter their freshman year
                                                             with life experience, better perspective, and,
Step Two: Write a personal letter to the college             perhaps most importantly, a refreshed hunger
admissions office emphasizing how much you                   and excitement for learning.
hope to attend, why you think their school is
the best place for you, and highlighting any new             The College Office can put you in touch with people
accomplishments (including better grades) that               who specialize in coordinating this sort of thing
they may not know about.                                     and we have some material that might help you
                                                             get started. If you do decide to take a year off, you
Step Three: Notify the College Office in writing             still need to respond to offers of admission. Be sure
of your plans, and schedule a meeting to discuss             to determine – before May 1 – the procedure for
strategies with your college adviser as soon as              requesting ‘deferred admission’ from the college
42                                                           you have decided to attend.
       Guidebook Recommendations
Our Admittedly Biased Guide to the Marketplace
There are so many college guides on the market today – many claiming the definitive,
‘inside’ perspective – that one wonders if college campuses are not simply crawling
with the people who do research for these publications. And which ones to buy?
It can be a confusing choice in your local bookstore.
Over the years, we have had opportunities to examine and consult a number of
guides to colleges. A few are plainly terrible, most are adequate, and some others
seem, year in and year out, to be the ones we continue to seek out for help when
memory or experience fail us. These are described below.
By the way, you are free to use any of the resources on the shelves outside the College
Advising Office, as long as you read them there. Please do not take any of these
publications from the third floor of the Schoolhouse.

Available outside the College Advising off ice
•	   College Admissions Data Sourcebook, Wintergreen Orchard House
•	   The College Handbook, The College Board
•	   The Book of Majors, The College Board
•	   Scholarship Handbook, The College Board
•	   College Costs & Financial Aid Handbook, The College Board
•	   International Student Handbook, The College Board
•	   Paying for College, The Princeton Review
•	   The Best 361 Colleges, The Princeton Review
•	   The Fiske Guide to Colleges, Edward B. Fiske, Sourcebooks, Inc.

Worth looking for in a bookstore
•	 The Fiske Guide to Colleges, Edward B. Fiske, Sourcebooks Inc., Time Books, 2007
•	 Looking Beyond the Ivy League: Finding the College That’s Right For You, Loren
   Pope, Penguin Books, 1995
•	 Colleges That Change Lives, Loren Pope, Penguin Books, 2000
•	 Rugg’s Recommendations on the Colleges, Frederick Rugg, Rugg’s
   Recommendations, 2007
•	 Winning the Heart of the College Admissions Dean, Joyce Slayton Mitchell,
   Ten Speed Press, 2005
•	 The Insider’s Guide to Colleges, Yale Daily News staff, St. Martin’s Griffin, 2007
•	 The Gatekeepers, Jacques Steinberg, Viking, 2002

 Summer Check List for Fifth Formers
     In addition to participating in summer activities, reading some good books, and
     relaxing, here are our suggestions for what you should get done this summer. The
     more you do in June, July, and August, the better off you will be when you return
     to St. Paul’s in September.
            ❑ Visit and continue to research schools. Interview when possible.
              Narrow your list to 8-10 schools with 2-3 schools in each of the
              following categories: Reach, Possible, and Likely. Update your
              prospective college list on Naviance when you make changes.
            ❑ Complete the Common Application, and write a complete
              response to one of the 500-word Common Application essay
              topics (
            ❑ When available, download and review supplements to colleges
              and draft responses to questions on supplements.
            ❑ Register for all appropriate fall test dates. These might include
              the SAT Reasoning Test and/or the SAT Subject Tests for October
              and November and/or the ACT in October.
            ❑ Spend some time preparing for the SAT or ACT if you plan to
              take either one in the fall. You can do this independently by
              reading some good books, reading The New York Times each
              day, and familiarizing yourself with the test format through use
              of practice materials and practice tests; or you might consider
              taking an SAT-prep course at home.
            ❑ Research all merit and need-based financial aid programs and

     college off ice During the summer
     The College Office is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8 a.m. to noon
     during the summer, and is staffed by Cathy Green, our College Office Coordinator.
     Advisers will respond to e-mails when they can, but they will be unavailable
     through most of July and August. Please direct questions to Cathy Green or the
     Director of College Advising, Toby Brewster. The College Office phone number is
     (603) 229-4881.

     College Office
   325 Pleasant street
Concord, nH 03301-2591

 Copyright 2008, all rights reserved.

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