WILL I GET IN?
This is perhaps the most difficult question for students and parents to sort out. Colleges base their admission decisions on a combination of the following items: course selection, grades, standardized testing scores, extracurricular activities, essays, teacher and counselor recommendations, interviews, and accomplishments and awards. In today’s admission process, there are a number of other factors that can influence the admission decision:
• Special talent: Playing the trombone, conducting college-level science research, playing a sport, etc.
• Legacy status: Defined uniquely by each college; generally, having a parent or grandparent who graduated from the institution.
• Demonstrated interest: Making contact with the college to “demonstrate” your interest; visiting a campus, attending a tour and information session. Maintaining email contact with an admission counselor, faculty member, or coach is another way of demonstrating interest. Early Decision (ED) demonstrates interest most powerfully since it is a binding agreement to attend that institution if admitted.
• Ability to pay: Being able to afford the cost of tuition, room and board without any financial aid or scholarships.
It is vital to bear in mind that each of these factors can influence the admission process, but not all of them do at any given institution. Your job is to review the admission and financial aid information carefully, so you understand each institution’s policies.
WHERE DO I START?
The College Guidance staff has created an outline for students to utilize throughout their high school experience at Wyoming Seminary. Whether you begin as a freshman or enter our program as a transfer, there are resources and staff to help guide your search for the right college fit. Take a moment to view the freshman plan, sophomore plan, junior plan or senior plan.
Ninth grade is an opportunity to learn and explore. Ask upperclassmen about their extracurricular and academic experiences that might interest you.
• Learn about clubs, sports and activities. Join some to build a level of commitment and increase your chances for future leadership positions.
• Start fulfilling your Excolo hours by taking part in community service activities.
• Set goals for yourself! List one that you can easily attain, one that will stretch you a bit and another that will really give you something to shoot for.
• Focus on your grades. Conference with your teachers so you can build relationships and fill in any learning gaps.
• Strategize about your summer plans. Research opportunities offered by various colleges and universities and prepare to do some SAT & ACT preparation. Visit colleges!
Tenth grade is an opportune time to refine your interests and add challenges to your academic schedule. Take advantage of leadership opportunities and take a chance to step out of your comfort zone!
• Seek leadership positions in clubs, sports and extracurriculars that are of most interest to you.
• Set academic and extracurricular goals for yourself.
• Focus on academics. Meet with your advisor and Class Dean to choose a schedule that has rigor within reason to create the best plan for you to succeed.
• Get to know your college guidance counselor and your teachers. Sophomores will be assigned counselors in early December. Your counselor will write a school statement and you will eventually ask some of your teachers for letters of recommendation in the college application process.
• All sophomores (Class of 2020) will take the PSAT10 and PreACT in Spring 2018. Dates TBA.
• Strategize your summer plans. Research opportunities offered by various colleges and universities, and prepare to do some SAT & ACT preparation.
Eleventh grade is the time to begin planning for the college admission process and narrow down your interests and college goals.
• Focus on your grades!
• Meet with your counselor for an informational interview.
• Take the PSAT/NMSQT (the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test). The PSAT/NMSQT will be administered at on Wednesday, October 11, 2017. For additional information please visit CollegeBoard.
• Develop an exploratory college list by spring of junior year that match your criteria, talents, and accomplishments. Counselors review the prospective lists with students to ensure appropriate range, both academically and financially, of likely, target, and reach schools.
• Prepare for springtime exams using online test prep tools in Family Connection.
• Complete a six-week college admission seminar in the spring of your junior year to familiarize you with the college application process. The seminar is taught by the Sem College Guidance staff to help you determine your own criteria for your college choices.
• Plan your senior schedule with your advisor, class dean and college guidance counselor.
• Work on your high school resume to include leadership positions, awards, jobs and internships.
• Request your teacher recommendations through the College Guidance office. Your counselor will provide you with the appropriate form and deadline in preparation for your senior year.
• Make use of your summer! Tour campuses, meet college reps, and take advantage of interview opportunities at colleges where your interest is high.
• Continually check your Family Connection account. Here you will be able to find out when college reps are visiting, explore colleges, take interest surveys, prepare for SAT/ACT, track your applications, and much more!
• Check your Wyoming Seminary email account for communication from your counselor and from colleges.
• Sign up to meet with college representatives who come to campus.
AUGUST & SEPTEMBER
• Meet with your counselor to finalize your application and testing plan.
• Be aware of deadlines, college rep visits, and other opportunities that impact your acceptance
• Register for standardized tests (SAT or ACT). Use your four free score reports to send your test scores to colleges where you know you will apply.
• Work on your application(s). Open a Common Application Account. Record your username and password in your Family Connection journal. Use your counselor and teachers as resources to present your best self to the colleges. Attend Application Workshops in the Kirby Library (8/25, 9/24, 10/01, 10/22, 11/05). Be aware of supplements required by some schools on the Common Application. International students must also submit a financial statement from their bank and an Affidavit of Financial Support. A template for this form is available in the College Guidance office.
• Log into your Family Connection account, click on the “My Colleges” tab to complete the FERPA waiver and enter your Common Application account information.
• Turn in a Transcript Request Form (TRF) with the colleges to which you are applying at least one month in advance.
• Attend meetings with visiting college representatives.
• Visit college campuses.
• Participate in Parents Weekend presentations.
• Use the NPC (Net Price Calculator) available on every college or university’s admission website to estimate the cost of an institution for you. Each school has a unique NPC and different ways to determine need-based aid and scholarships. Check to see if the colleges to which you are applying require other financial aid forms such as the CSS (College Scholarship Service) Profile. Check here to see if your prospective colleges require this form. Deadlines for this form vary by college and university. Some colleges require this form as early as late October/ early November. For each of these forms, you can use information from your most recent IRS tax return and update them when your return for this year is filed.
• Start your financial aid process. Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) beginning October 1. Check to see if the colleges to which you are applying require other financial aid forms such as the CSS (College Scholarship Service) Profile. Check here to see if your prospective colleges require this. Deadlines for this form vary by college and university. If you have applied early and the college requires this form; it may be due as early as November. For each of these forms, you use information from your 2016 IRS tax return.
• Meet with your counselor regularly to report your progress on your applications.
• Know your deadlines! Submit all ED (Early Decision), EA (Early Action) and Rolling applications. Turn in your TRF for early application plans and send standardized tests scores to the colleges by the deadlines.
• Finish your regular applications.
• Meet regularly with your counselor to note your progress.
• Visit college campuses. Make journal entries of your impressions.
• Submit TRF’s (Transcript Request Forms) for all regular decision schools before Thanksgiving break.
• Send SAT or ACT Scores to colleges. International students must send a TOEFL score.
• Fall trimester grades will be sent automatically to all schools where you have applied and will be included with your transcript to be sent to schools with deadlines after Dec. 1.
• Submit any remaining applications.
• Report college ED, EA and rolling decisions to the College Guidance office.
• Follow your application online through your portals at the colleges to which you have applied.
• If you have submitted the FAFSA, you should receive the SAR (Student Aid Report) within four weeks after submission. Review the SAR for inaccuracies. If necessary, correct the SAR and return it to FAFSA.
• Report college decisions to the College Guidance office.
• Begin to explore outside scholarships.
• Your winter term grades will be sent automatically to colleges and universities where you have applied.
• Report college decisions to the College Guidance office.
• Stay focused and STUDY! Second trimester grades will be sent to colleges where you have applied.
• National Notification Deadline for colleges and universities. Schools must notify you of their decisions by April 15.
• Review your college acceptances and financial aid awards. If you are positive that you will not enroll at a college, notify the college and withdraw your name. If you know the college you will attend, send your tuition deposit and follow ALL other instructions.
• Notify College Guidance of your decision.
• May 1 is National Candidate Reply Date. You must deposit at the ONE school you plan to attend. You should notify the other colleges where you have been accepted that you have selected another college. After you have sent your tuition payment, follow ALL other instructions. Notify College Guidance that you have sent your deposit.
• Take appropriate AP tests and request that scores be sent to the college you will be attending.
• Enjoy your graduation week---You have earned it! Congratulations!
• College Guidance will release your final transcript to ONE college or university.
• Give your email address to College Guidance. Keep in touch!