Application Process

QUICK TIPS

 

 Take as many A.P. level courses as you can handle

Top colleges want to see you challenge yourself (realistically of course) with AP classes, and to see you do well in them. So take the AP courses for your strong subjects.
 

 Only do extracurricular activities that you love

Admissions would rather see a student stick to a few activities and really move up in the ranks, rather than a whole list of one-year long involvements. Students who rise up to leadership positions, start new ventures and really show a passion for how they spend their extra time is very attractive to an admissions committee.
 

 Take 3 SAT Subject Tests

Many colleges do not require SAT II tests, but the more competitive colleges require scores from two. Some Ivy League colleges want three. Even if they are not required, submitting high scores from your favorite subject tests will bump you up when there is a "gray area".
 
 

CHOOSING YOUR SCHOOLS
As you make your initial list of colleges, consider these points:
  • Do you know what your major might be? If so, does the school offer a strong program for that degree?
  • In the possibility that you may change your major, does the school offer strong alternatives?
  • Climate/location- it's possible to find a strong university in almost any part of the country.
  • Are your grades, courses, and standardized test scores up to par with the entrance
  • requirements of the school- Be sure to include at least 1 "safety" school, 2 "likely" schools, and "reach" school.
  • What sort of environment does the university provide its students? Is it an urban or rural environment? Is there a strong social atmosphere? Does the Greek system interest you? Is it common for students to leave campus on the weekends?
  • How are the facilities? Consider the class buildings, dormitories, eateries, athletic facilities.
 

VISITING COLLEGES
Visiting firsthand while school is in session is a great way to experience what a typical day might be like. Before visiting, visit the admissions website or call the office to see about tours, information sessions, schedules, and reservations. Aim to visit two schools a day.
*
Be sure to tell the admissions office that you’re there! Colleges keep track of contacts and it will be helpful if you should choose to apply there.
 

STANDARDIZED TESTING
  • All but a handful of schools take either the SAT or ACT.
  • Recommended to take both
  • See if TOEFL is a requirement for you
  • SAT (http://www.collegeboard.com/) send your most recent score, and all the scores before that VS
  • ACT sends a single score of your choosing
  • Most schools accept November scores, and some accept December.
 

REQUESTING TEACHER RECOMMENDATIONS
  • Check each school and how many recommendations they want They may also specify the course of instruction (i.e. one recommendation from a math/science teacher, one recommendation from an English/language teacher, etc)
  • Choose teachers who know you well and appreciate your attitude, effort, and ability to do well at a competitive college; not necessarily the teacher who gave you the highest grade.
  • Talk with your recommenders and refresh their memories with your greatest attributes.
  • Colleges appreciate recommendations that are"waived" by the students. This means that the students agree not to ever see the recommendations. These result in more candid reviews.
  • Fill out the top of the recommandation forms with your information.
  • Give your recommenders stamped, addressed envelopes for each of the schools.
 

COLLEGE ESSAYS
DON'T   DO
  • Write what you think the college wants to hear or you've missed the whole point of the essay!
  • Pretend to be an expert on something when you're not.
  • Be afraid to be creative and authentic
 
Topics to Avoid Like the Plague:
  • How your trip to _______ taught you about cultures.
  • How you learned the importance of independence
  • How your sports team taught you about teamwork
  • Your boyfriend/girlfriend
  • Your political views
  • Anything that sounds like whining or giving excuses it's not my fault
 
  • Choose topics that interest you
  • Open up and let your essay truly reflect who you are, and what you want to show them
  • Tell the story only you can tell - they don't want a research paper, they want to hear your opinions!
  • Be specific - reveal yourself in detail so that they remember you
  • Keep the essay informal, like a wonderful letter to an intelligent friend.
 

 

 
HIGH SCHOOL ACADEMIC PLAN

 

1

 
A GENERAL COLLEGE COUNSELING TIMELINE
 
  • Students begin individual meetings with counselors.
    (first meeting must occur before Spring Break)
  • Students and counselors develop testing plans and archetypal college lists.
   
   
  • Students are encouraged to visit a variety of college campuses during spring break in order to assess institutional qualities
   
   
  • Students continue to shape their college vision by identifying the institutional qualities they want to drive their search and by researching a variety of colleges that match their objectives
  • Students create a “Working College List.
  • Students finalize senior schedule with their counselor
  • .
   
   
  • Parents receive a status report which summarizes the student’s initial search criteria and college list and includes additional suggestions to help achieve variety and balance.
  • Summer Mailing (late June) including important research aides, application information, and summer projects.
   
   
  • Students continue college visits, interviews and research with the goal of narrowing their list to 8-10 schools with 2-3 schools in each selectivity category (Reach, midlevel, probable).
  • Families evaluate and discuss financial plan for paying for college and whether aid will play a role in the search.
  • Students draft application essays and short responses.
   
   
  • Students finalize Early Application plans and work toward final lists.
  • Students get essay feedback in individual meetings and at the College Counseling Essay Workshop.
  • Students meet with visiting college representatives for information sessions and interviews when available.
   
  • Students polish all applications for submission before January deadlines.
  • Parents receive a copy of student’s final list with counselor comments regarding necessary adjustments.
   
   
  • Students discuss loose ends with counselor in advance of March deadlines.
  • Everyone endures the long wait for decisions
   
   
  • Students and counselors discuss outcomes, options, financial aid packages, and develop wait list strategies as appropriate.
   
 
 
 
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Paramus, NJ 07652 U.S.A.
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