College Application Nuts and Bolts for Senior Year
Senior College Application Nuts & Bolts
RHS Counseling Office
College application season is in full swing so the RHS Counseling Office wanted to get some important information out to you about basics steps and how to access the counselors to help with this process.
Tip #1: If your list of colleges is long, consider narrowing to 10 or fewer – some that are reach schools for you, some that are possible schools and some that will most likely admit you.
One tool to pare your list down is www.collegeboard.org. On the main page, do a college search. Click on the college name, then on the tab that says “Am I on Track?” and last on the tab that says “How Do I Stack Up?” This will show you average GPA and test scores for the current freshman class at that college. If you fall well within that range it is a possible or probable school for you. If you are below the range then it is a reach school for you.
Tip #2: Organize – Check the website for each college on your list. Most colleges want you to do an online application now. And over 500 colleges use the Common Application – you can check at www.commonapp.org You might want to make a spread sheet of all the steps for each application so you don’t miss anything.
Tip #3: Plan ahead and watch those deadlines. Try to get things done early to avoid stress and last minute scrambles – especially if you need letters of recommendation from teachers or your counselor.
Tip #4: Give lots of lead time for letters of recommendation. Determine how many recommendations are required (most public universities DO NOT require or want recommendations) Talk with your counselor and teachers far in advance of any deadlines (at least 3 weeks) to make your request. We suggest you waive your right of access to recommendations, because colleges put a lot more value in recommendations that are confidential.
Tip #5: Scholarships – start working on them now! The Roosevelt Scholarship Bulletin is live on the RHS website – find it under the academics tab. This great resource will be updated October through May. In addition, two commonly used online scholarship sites are www.thewashboard.org and www.fastweb.com. Many colleges have their own scholarships for which you may qualify – so check with them as well. Really watch the deadlines on those – they are sometimes different than the general application deadline.
Also remember to file the FAFSA after October 1st – www.fafsa.ed.gov – this is how you qualify for grants & loans. And many scholarships ask for information from the FAFSA.
Transcripts & Test Scores
- Some colleges do not want a transcript at the time of application (UW is one) – they have you self-report your grades and send a transcript if you are accepted.
- If you are applying through the Common Application and/or Coalition your counselor will upload your transcript.
- Colleges not using the Common Application or the Coalition, please request a transcript through your Naviance account.
Arrange to have your SAT and/or ACT scores sent directly to colleges.
Many schools also require a mid-year report and/or first semester grades. Counselors will send in the mid-year report and updated transcript online for Common Application schools. For other colleges, bring to your counselor by late January stamped envelopes addressed to the college admission office(s), with your name on the back of the envelope, and we will then send out first semester grades.
Accessing Counselor Assistance
Seniors can email their counselors with questions and/or make an appointment for assistance with any part of this process. The Common App and other online applications ask for your counselor’s name and email address and will alert us when you have completed that step. But counselors will need more info from you in order to complete their portion – so be in touch! Email and ask your counselor for a “brag sheet”.