The College Application Process at Solon High School Class of 2011 SHS College Counselors for Seniors: Mrs. Wendy Dingman A-C & Skok-Stawiarski Mr. Rick Nowak D-G & Steidley-Thomas Ms. Ann Bruce H-K & Thompson-Wang Mr. Calvin Washington L-O & Waters-Wood Mrs. Anne Johns P-Si & Wu-Zysek SHS College Planning Support Staff: Ms. Carol Rymaz Secretary Mrs. Marcia Elbrand Financial Aid Consultant Mrs. Mary Jane Reed Essay Consultant So far, So good in 9th-11th Practice tests: Explore, PLAN, PSAT College/career search and discovery Annual meetings with counselors Résumé created in 11th grade ACT and SAT testing College exploration and visitation Beginning of 12th Grade I have a list of colleges that match my profile and interests. I have taken SAT and/or ACT. (SAT IIs ?) I have registered for a fall SAT/ACT if needed to raise scores. I have completed the Student/Parent Questionnaires & Transcript Release Form and submitted to counselor. I have updated my résumé and given copy to counselor. Where do we go from here??? 1. Meet with your counselor for specific help and guidance in September. (Counselors will send you a pass. Have your questions written down to bring to your appointment.) 2. Request letters of recommendation if needed 3. Register/Complete ACT/SAT/SATII testing 4. Meet with Mrs. Reed if essays are required 5. APPLY!!! Three Basic Steps in Applying to College 1. Apply online to the college/university. 2. Send test scores to college/university via ACT/College Board websites. 3. Submit form to Guidance to request mailing of transcript, counselor form and recommendation letters. But there’s more to consider… Does this application need an essay? Does this application require teacher recommendation letters? Does this application have a counselor page or “school report form”? Does this college/university use the Common Application? Does this college/university require SAT IIs? Do I send all scores or only my best scores? College Admission Timeline SEPTEMBER – NOVEMBER Meet with counselor for individual appointment Write essays/consult with Mrs. Reed Request recommendation letters Complete ACT/SAT testing Attend College Representative Visits to SHS APPLY Seniors/parents may meet with Mrs. Elbrand JANUARY – MARCH Seniors/parents complete FAFSA form Seniors complete local scholarship applications MAY 1st – National deadline for college commitment/deposit What is most important in college admissions? Top three factors that “open the door”: Grades Test Scores Strength of Curriculum Next three factors that can help make the final decision: Essay Letters of recommendation Extracurricular activities/leadership Pointers for Students Take charge of your college application process Stay organized: forms, deadlines, requirements Communicate with your parents, counselor and recommending-teachers throughout the process Focus on the right fit for you, not the most “name-brand school” or where your friend is applying Don’t panic! Counselors are here to help you through the process Pointers for Parents Let your student control the application process. Offer support, but do not do the applications for him/her. Reassure your son or daughter that you will be proud, regardless of the admission decisions. Use the resources: the Guidance website, Prep HQ, Senior Packet and SHS information sessions, to help understand and navigate the process. Remember, there is a school out there for everyone. Help your student find the right fit. GUIDANCE PAGE and access to DOWNLOADABLE HANDOUTS, WEBSITE RESOURCES AND PREPHQ IN OFFICE DATE STAMP: Solon High School Guidance Office College Application Processing Request Form Submit this form to the Guidance Secretary every time you need a transcript sent. Copy this form or print from website as many as needed. STUDENT __________________ _________ ID# ____________ College/University: _______________________________ (OR: Send transcript to ___NCAA ___Scholarship ___ROTC ___ Other) Date Submitted to Guidance Office _________________ Using on-line application? ___ YES ___ NO Using Common Application? ___ YES ___ NO Scores sent to college by ACT/SAT? ___ YES ___ NO (Student must have scores sent!) Must be postmarked by: ________________ (allow two weeks for processing) Include rec letters from: _____________________________________________________ Include teacher forms from: __________________________________________________ Notes to Counselor: ______________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ CHECKLIST OF ITEMS TO TURN IN TO GUIDANCE: _____ College Application Processing Request Form with completed info (in box above) _____ Large envelope addressed by student to college AND postage _____ Counselor/School Report form with student section complete and signed (printed by student from college website) _____ Resume _____ Postcard for proof of receipt (from Ms. Rymaz when you are ready to turn in materials) _____ (Application/essay/check - if completed on paper) _____ (Copy of essay for counselor to read - if applicable) GUIDELINES: Before submitting any applications you must be registered on Prep HQ and have turned in your signed Transcript Release Form. (Both can be accessed on Guidance Webpage.) Hand the application materials directly to Ms. Rymaz for review. Do not just leave it on the desk. Allow two weeks for processing. Watch your deadlines! If applying online, print out the counselor page if required and complete/sign the student section. The counselor will complete the form after you have turned in your materials. Be sure to sign your application if using a paper application, and write your social security number on the check for the application fee. The Guidance staff will add your transcript, complete the counselor form, and include rec letters (as indicated above). Be sure to send ACT/SAT scores through the testing companies. Do this ASAP to allow processing time. Date ready but ON HOLD for letters/forms: ____________ Date MAILED: ____________ Using the Common Application Common App: Student Application Forms Common App: School Report Form Common App: Teacher Evaluation Form Student Athletes: NCAA Eligibility The College Essay, Mary Jane Reed Financial Aid, Marica Elbrand FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS QUESTION: If I apply online, am I done? ANSWER: No! In addition to online completion: - Submit College App. Processing form - Submit envelope with postage - Submit counselor forms - Submit verification postcard - Have test scores sent QUESTION: What happens if I apply online and then receive an email stating that the Admissions Office did not yet receive my transcript and other materials from Guidance? ANSWER: Don’t worry! Online submission needs to catch up with what is sent from the Guidance Office. Check PrepHQ to confirm status. QUESTION: Should I wait until I retake the ACT/SAT to submit my applications to colleges? ANSWER: Complete and send applications ASAP. Have scores sent later directly from the testing agency. Remember, scholarship deadlines will not allow for late scores. QUESTION: What is the advantage of completing college applications early? ANSWER: Goal: applications submitted by Thanksgiving! Advantage for rolling admissions: student will be notified sooner regarding admissions. QUESTION: Do grades really count senior year? Don’t high school transcripts just show grades 9 through 11? ANSWER: Yes! Transcripts in the fall only reflect final grades from 9th -11th grade. Senior year does matter! Colleges expect to see 7th semester transcript and a final transcript. Admission status can be revoked if your transcript shows a decline in performance. QUESTION: With the new “Score Choice” program implemented by the College Board, do you recommend just sending the best scores? ANSWER: Some colleges require scores from all tests taken. Some use best sub-scores from different test dates. Generally, we recommend sending all test scores from all tests. Consult with your guidance counselor. QUESTION: Must my letters of recommendation be from teachers? ANSWER: Recommender should know you well. Recommender could be a teacher, administrator, coach, club advisor, employer, youth leader, or peer. Be sure to follow the instructions of the application. QUESTION: How has the economic downturn impacted student choices regarding colleges? ANSWER: Increase in applications to public universities Greater interest in merit-based scholarships Increase in Early Decision/Early Action apps Some adding financial-safety schools Some choosing two-year colleges then transferring to four-year universities Many choosing in-state schools to ensure credit for AP work QUESTION: Could you recommend any resources or books which would be helpful at this stage of the application process? ANSWER: SHS Counselors Cleveland Scholarship: Mrs. Elbrand (financial aid) Mrs. Reed (essay) PrepHQ - our college counseling website Guidance Website – which also provides many college resource documents and website links Guidance section in the monthly PTA Newsletter College Rep Visits to SHS for seniors ANSWER: (continued) Seniors may attend sessions of our 2010-2011 College Seminar Series: Sept 29 Using the Common Application Oct 27 Reviewing the Application Process Dec 1 Seniors Seeking Scholarships April 13 College Decision Time for Seniors ANSWER: (continued) Helpful Books: - Colleges That Change Lives by Loren Pope - The Gatekeepers-Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College by Jacques Steinberg - Getting In-Inside the College Admissions Process by Bill Paul - Student’s Guide to Colleges-The Definitive Guide to America’s Top 100 Schools College is not a prize to be won . . . but rather a match to be found.
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