GUIDE TO COLLEGE APPLICATION PROCESS
WHAT ARE THE COMPONENT OF THE COLLEGE APPLICATION?
Listed below is everything that could be required, but you might not be asked to submit everything on this list to every college. For example, there are many colleges that do not require students to write essays. There also are many colleges that do not require standardized test scores.
Official Transcript: Your transcript is the record of all the courses you have taken for high school credit, your grades, and credits earned. This is the information you should have on the curriculum planner you completed in Session III. Other information that might be included on a transcript: GPA, class rank, standardized test scores, courses in progress. This is normally sent directly from your high school to the college.
Standardized Test Scores : SAT and/or ACT scores
The Application Form: The student is responsible for requesting an application form, completing it, and submitting it by the college deadline (by mail or online). Many colleges accept The Common Application. No matter what school or what application, these will be important components:
Personal and Educational Data (i.e., name, address, phone number, email, citizenship and residency information, high schools you have attended, college credits you have earned, parental information, senior year schedule, standardized test scores)
Honors and Awards
Extracurricular, Personal, and Volunteer Activities
Employment, Internships, and Summer Activities (Some colleges allow you to submit a résumé in addition to the activity section of their application.)
Essays, both short answer and a longer personal essay
Application Fee (many colleges will accept fee waivers which can be obtained from the guidance office)
For certain majors, students might be required to audition or asked to submit a portfolio of artistic work.
Secondary School Report Form or Counselor Recommendation Form: This is not required by all colleges but, if it is required, the high school is responsible for submitting this form to the college. However, you will need to request that it be sent. It is important to know and follow your school’s procedures. (Tip:Usually the person at your school (probably your counselor) who is completing this form asks for information from students and parents ahead of time. If possible, meet with this person before he or she writes a letter of recommendation).
Mid-Year Report Form: This form is not required by all colleges but, if it is required, it will be submitted by your high school. However, you must request that it be sent. The purpose of the form is for the college to see your grades from the first term of your senior year.
Teacher Recommendation Form: This form is not required by all colleges but, if it is, the teacher is responsible for sending it. However, you are responsible for asking a teacher to complete it and giving that teacher all the necessary information. Look over this form and imagine what one of your teachers would say about you. Colleges are not only looking for teachers from courses where you have received an A, but from teachers who know you well and can talk about your work ethic, inquisitive nature, and motivation to learn.
Letters of Recommendation
Most four-year colleges and universities outside of the C.U.N.Y. system will require students to obtain letters of recommendation as part of the application process. Typically, this includes a letter from the guidance counselor or college adviser, along with letters from two teachers. Some colleges may ask for an additional letter or letters from more specific sources; students must be careful to follow instructions based upon where they apply. Generally speaking, students should ask teachers who have had them in class in recent years, who have taught them in major subjects (English, History, Math, Science or Spanish), and who are able able to best illustrate the student's individual strengths, character, and potential. Students should request recommendation letters no later than mid-October (see Brag Sheet or College Office calendar for specific deadlines) so that their teachers/ counselors have ample time to write a good letter.
Recommendation letters at HSEF are kept confidential; that is, students do not get to see their letters. This is done to ensure that the admissions officers value the feedback provided about each student in these letters. Teachers complete letters and upload them to Naviance. Mr. Makris then submits these materials online directly to colleges in December once students have finalized the list of colleges to which they will apply in their Naviance Family Connection account.
The College Essay
This is often the first thing that admissions officers read about an applicant that is not statistical. It also does not provide someone else’s opinion about a student. This is the chance for your voice to be heard–where you can share your passions, dreams, talents, story, and most importantly, what makes you special. Spend a good amount of time developing your essay, starting in the summer of your junior year. A well written essay is often what an admissions officer will remember most about an applicant, and can create an advocate for that student in the office of admission. Many students spend hours –days- thinking about what to write that they believe the admission office wants to hear. The truth is that they are not looking for anything in particular. The essay gives admissions officers a window into the personal lives of young people. Write about something you are passionate about...not what you think someone else wants to hear. Passion makes an essay interesting, memorable, and can show the officer just who it is that they may be bringing to campus.
UAG will cover the college essay/personal statement in fall senior English classes under the guidance of the Director of College Counseling. Interested students can pick up materials to help them with this process in the College Office.