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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT APPLYING TO COLLEGE NORTH ROYALTON HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELING DEPARTMENT High School Counseling Office Phone: Fax: School Code: School Counselors: Rachel Hoag A-Di *Kriste Smith Dj-J Michelle Toth K-M Scott Spessard N-Sd Monica Boduszek Se-Z *Department Chairperson Career Specialist: Jill Larson Counseling Office Secretary: Sue Ballas Counseling Office Aide: Susan Charles The NRHS School Counseling and Naviance websites are both available on the High School website under the Academics tab. In this packet, you will find Senior Year Planner Naviance/Family Connections College Application Process The Common Application ACT and SAT NCAA Recommendations The College Essay Admissions Decisions and Options Parent Role in the Application Process Financial Aid ACT vs SAT Glossary of Terms Brag Sheet Transcript Release Form In the Senior Year September-October-November-December *Register for the ACT or SAT if not taken or need to retake. *Meet with your School Counselor to discuss college plans and review graduation checklist. *Update your Naviance account ( and password) *Complete college applications. *Parents and Students complete the FAFSA *Check deadlines of colleges and scholarships. Remember--the School Counseling Office requires (10) ten school days to process materials. This also applies to teacher letters of recommendation. *Attend the CVCC College Fair: 10/5/2016 from 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM *Sign up to meet college representatives visiting NRHS. You do this online through Naviance. *Register with the NCAA if you are an athlete intending on playing Division I or II sports. *Research college scholarships. *Attend college visits. Forms are available in the School Counseling Office. January-February *Inform the Counseling Office if your college requires a mid-year report. *Apply for Local Scholarships. Check the meeting dates and deadlines for Local Scholarships available in December on our website. April-May *Make final decision on college of attendance. Send in notification to the college. *Senior checkout day/senior survey you will make your final transcript request at this time. *Commencement *Final Transcripts are sent to the college you plan to attend before July 1. Family Connection Naviance Family Connections is a web-based program that promotes college and career readiness. Naviance is also a vehicle for the NRHS Counseling Department to electronically send student records to colleges during the application process. Account *Update username if your has changed. Update your profile. Colleges *Colleges I m Thinking About Add colleges to this list. *Colleges I m Applying To -See when your transcript was sent. -Add a teacher letter of recommendation request. Please do this only after you speak to your teacher face to face. -Common App Match: For students who are applying via the Common App you must do a match so that Naviance and the Common App are linked. This enables the school (teachers and counselors) to send documents to Common App. *Letters of Recommendation Request a letter of recommendation from a teacher. A dropdown list of all teachers is listed. College Research *Information is listed in Naviance regarding the application history for students from NRHS. *College Match *College Maps *Scattergrams *Acceptance History Scholarships: A listing of Local and National Scholarships will be listed on Naviance. Please refer to other sources for a more extensive list of national scholarships. Links to such sites are provided on your Naviance homepage. Some examples are: *http://www.collegenet.com/elect/app/app *http://www.fastweb.com/ About Me: Complete and print out a resume in the Resume Builder in Naviance as part of your Senior Exit Portfolio requirement. You may also use this area to upload your references, cover letter and Brag Sheet into your Naviance journal. College Application Process 1. The Application Students will complete their college applications online either through the Common Application website (if the college is a member) or directly through the college s website. 2. The Transcript Even though you know that you have applied online to a college, the School Counseling Department does not. All colleges require an official high school transcript. Students must complete and parents must sign a Transcript Release Form (obtained online or in the School Counseling Office) and bring it to the School Counseling Office along with a $2.00 per college fee. The School Counseling Office submits transcripts and other supporting materials electronically to colleges and universities. 3. Naviance Naviance is a web-based program to which the NRHS School Counseling Department has subscribed to help students with college and career readiness. This website also allows students to keep track of deadlines, do test preparation, resumewriting and career assessments. **Additionally, Naviance is a vehicle for the School Counseling Department to send student transcripts, recommendations and other supporting materials directly to colleges electronically. Teachers use Naviance to submit letters of recommendation. (Naviance is not a college application or a place where students apply to college. Students apply to college directly on college websites or the Common App.) 4. School Counselor Recommendations (if required by the college): Students should complete a Brag Sheet and attach it to the Transcript Release Form. This gets turned into the School Counseling Office. Because of the high volume of applications processed, please allow up to TEN (10) school days to process this request. 5. School Counselor Forms (if required by the college): For Common Application Colleges, the School Counselor will complete the Secondary School Report as well as the written evaluation and send it electronically through Naviance. Students should complete a Brag Sheet and turn it in to the School Counseling Office along with the Transcript Release Form. 6. Teachers Recommendations (if required by the college): Students should first find out whether a recommendation is required. Students must speak to and ask their teacher for a recommendation IN PERSON. If the teacher agrees, please supply him/her with a completed Brag Sheet at that time. Students must then follow up this face-to-face request with an online request in Naviance. Go to: Colleges/Letters of Recommendation. Please give teachers at least TEN (10) school days for writing letters of recommendations. Please do not ask a teacher for a letter if one is not required. 7. The College Essay (if required by the college): The essay should be carefully prepared and checked for spelling and grammatical errors. Please make sure to check the personalization of your essay. You don t want it to say Ohio State if you mean to send it to Miami! Colleges are looking for qualities that distinguish the applicant from the others. The college essay matters. Your essay reveals something important about you that your grades and test scores can't your personality. It can give admission officers a sense of who you are, as well as showcasing your writing skills. 8. Test Scores Many colleges require official test scores be sent directly from the testing agency. The School Counseling Office can submit unofficial test scores and this request can be made by checking a yes on the Transcript Release Form. It is the student s responsibility to check what the testing requirements are for each college. Requests for transcripts must be turned into the School Counseling Office ten (10) working days prior to a college or scholarship application deadline. Your college application is comprised of many parts: your online application, high school transcript, test scores and recommendations. Items will arrive to the admissions office in parts. Do not panic if you receive an indicating that the college has not yet received your high school transcript or other items. You can check in Naviance to see when it was sent. The Common Application: (www.commonapp.org ) The Common Application is a standardized, first-year college application used by nearly 700 colleges (31 in Ohio). Students will create an account on the CA website and submit to any of the member colleges they choose. The CA consists of several parts. They are: *The Common Application the part every applicant completes. There is an essay required. *The Secondary School Report-completed by the School Counselor. This includes a written evaluation, evaluation form and high school transcript. *Teacher Evaluation--if required. This includes a letter of recommendation and evaluation form. *Supplements specific to a college if applicable. This may include an additional essay. *Mid-year Report and Transcript required by some, but not all colleges. Students must request this at the mid-year point. An will be sent from the School Counseling Department in January prompting students to make this request, if needed. Visit: https://appsupport.commonapp.org/link/portal/33011/33013/article/999/live-common-app- Member-Schools-A-M for a complete list of colleges that are members of the Common Application system. *Many colleges offer both an online application on their website and the Common App as a means of applying. Put another way some colleges are Exclusively Common App and some are not. If given a choice between Common App or college-specific application, choose carefully. The questions are the same and you may end up doing double the work otherwise. If you are applying to multiple colleges that accept the Common Application, it may be worth your while to use the Common Application. However, if only one of your colleges accepts the Common App, and that college will accept applications either way, it may be easier to do the college s online application. Important notes about the Common Application: 1. Letters of recommendation Some, but not all CA colleges require letters of recommendation. Once you begin your CA, you will be able to find out if your college has this requirement. 2. Supplements many, but not all colleges will have an extra supplement within the Common Application. 3. Deadlines many CA colleges will have early deadlines. Some of the early deadlines are November 1 st and December 1 st. If this is the case, you must turn in your transcript release form into the School Counseling Office, as well as speak to any teacher writing a letter of recommendation AT LEAST TEN (10) school days in advance. This would place you at October 15 th and November 15 th for making these requests. This is why you must begin the process of the Common Application early!!! Ohio colleges that are members of the Common Application system: Akron Denison Malone Ohio Wesleyan Cincinnati Antioch Baldwin Wallace Hiram Marietta Otterbein Dayton Bowling Green John Carroll Miami Ohio State Ursuline Capital Kenyon Oberlin College Ohio University Wilberforce Case Western Reserve Lake Erie Oberlin Conservatory of Music Findlay Wittenberg Wooster Lourdes Ohio Northern Toledo Xavier (Please check the CA website for the most up-to-date list of member colleges.) ACT/SAT North Royalton High School Code: ACT The ACT is a four hour college entrance exam that consists of four tests in the areas of English, mathematics, social studies, reading and science reasoning. Each test is scored out of 36. There is an optional writing assessment which is required by certain colleges. Check the ACT website or the individual college website to see if the writing test is required. The NRHS School Counseling Department recommends all students take the ACT writing test at least one time. Next test dates: Deadline to Register: October 22, 2016 September 16, 2016 December 10, 2016 November 4, 2016 SAT The SAT is a three hour and 45 minute test which measures critical reading, mathematical reasoning, language usage and writing. Each of these areas has a total score of 800 and is reported as part of a top score of Next test dates: Deadline to Register: November 5, 2016 October 7, 2016 December 13, 2016 November 3, 2016 SAT Subject Tests These are one-hour tests measuring knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge in specific subject areas. Some highly selective four-year colleges require anywhere from one to three SAT subject tests. Frequently asked questions regarding college tests: 1. Which test should I take ACT or SAT? a. All colleges will accept either test. b. The tests assess student abilities differently. If you are pondering which one to take and can t decide, it may be best to take both. Once you take both the ACT and SAT, you can decide if you want to retake one or both of the tests, or not at all. 2. What is the difference between ACT and SAT? (see attached) 3. I m afraid I won t do well on the test. Should I still send the scores to colleges? Colleges look at all aspects of the trends, sub scores, grade level when taken, etc. Some colleges will even use all your scores and compute what is called a SuperScore, which combines elements from all tests taken. Even if a college does not use a SuperScore, it will always look at your best score. 4. How do I prepare for the test? All NRHS students have access to Naviance Test Prep a free test prep course to help prepare for the ACT. This course is very comprehensive and tailored to meet individual student needs. The link to PrepMe is located on your Naviance homepage. Also consult the ACT or SAT website for resource information. 5. For a list of colleges and Universities That Do Not Use SAT/ACT Scores for Admitting Substantial Numbers of Students Into Bachelor Degree Programs: Reporting ACT/SAT scores to colleges: College requirements differ when it comes to how they wish to receive the test scores. Some colleges require reporting directly from the testing company, while others will accept reports from the high school. The NRHS School Counseling Department highly recommends students have their ACT/SAT scores sent directly from the testing company to the colleges to which they are applying. This simple step will ensure you are completely applied to a college. Colleges will not make a decision on admission unless they receive these scores, and in the fashion that they are required to be sent. ***IMPORTANT*** When registering online for the ACT/SAT, students are provided the opportunity to list numerous colleges and have the scores sent there. If you end up applying to a college that you did not previously have your tests scores sent to, you may go back to your ACT or SAT account to send additional scores. If you are unable to remember where you selected to have your scores sent, go back into your ACT/SAT account and look up past tests taken. NCAA If you intend on playing a sport at a Division I or II college, you must register with the NCAA. Once registered, you must complete a set of tasks, the most important of those being: *Request an INITIAL transcript. *Follow up in the School Counseling office by turning in a Transcript Release Form. *Have ACT/SAT scores sent directly from the test company. *Request a FINAL transcript IN MAY. Again, this is done within your NCAA account.. (Refer to your NCAA account for other tasks) Recommendations Most colleges do not require letters of recommendation. Some (though not all) colleges that are members of the Common Application system will require one, maybe two letters of recommendation. Once you create your Common App account and add your colleges, you will be able to see if any recommendations are required, and how many. School Counselors also write a recommendation for students applying via the CA. You will want to ask a teacher who knows you well. In addition, you may want to include extrastrong recommendations from a coach, employer or community-service related officials whom you know. Letters of recommendation can make a difference and have a positive impact on your application package. Be aware, however of overkill. There is a saying among college admissions counselors: thick folders, thick students. Teacher and School Counselor Recommendations: You should start thinking early about who you should ask to write the letter (providing you even need one). Remember that your teachers are doing you a favor, so give them plenty of lead time (at least ten (10) school days) to write the letter. Other tips: Ask the same one or two teachers for all recommendation requests. Ask the teacher in person if they will write the letter. Give the teacher and your school counselor your Brag Sheet in order to help them with the letter. For teacher recommendations, you must formally request the letter through your Naviance accounts. Do this AFTER you speak with the teacher. In Naviance go to: Colleges/Colleges I m Applying to/teacher Recommendations. School counselor letters are an implied and expected part of the Common Application no formal request in Naviance is necessary. Just make sure to turn in the Transcript Release Form and Brag Sheet. If you are applying via CA, you will not have to give your teacher or school counselor any collegerelated forms as they are generated and processed electronically in Naviance. Follow up with a thank you note to your teacher. School Counselor Recommendation: Many colleges, including all Common Application colleges, will require your school counselor to complete a School Report Form and write a letter of recommendation. Give the following to your school counselor: Brag Sheet. Turn this in with the Transcript Release Form. Remember the School Counseling Department requires ten (10) school days to process a transcript and recommendation request. The College Essay What Admissions Officers Want to Find: The essay is a window into your mind and personality; it reveals your uniqueness what you think about, what drives you and what you aspire to be. An effective essay can compensate for a weakness in other parts of the application. The best essays begin with a hook to catch the reader s interest. Write honestly about yourself-genuineness is important. Write a unique essay. Focus on a single area. Be proud of your achievements, but don t brag. Avoid repeating in your essay what you have written elsewhere. Have someone, a parent, teacher or school counselor read your essay and make suggestions revise it. Focus on educational or personal reasons for going to college, not on social, economic or family reasons. Clarity and originality of thought is important. Show maturity. Organize your thoughts. Brevity is key. Use precise and economical language. If you can say it using less use less. Always check grammar, spelling and punctuation. Here is What Irks Admissions Officers: Too many big words that are meant to impress. Sloppiness, mechanical errors, obvious professional input, reference to an incorrect institution. Poor writing or flimsy or fluffy content. Clichés. Merely putting your activity lists into prose form. Bland, impersonal writing. Excessive length. Doom and gloom essays. Stay positive. Essays that don t answer the questions. Admissions Decisions and Options Rolling Admission Many colleges make admission decisions on a rolling basis. This means that approximately four weeks after an application is received in the admission office a decision is made. Possible decisions are admit, not admit or defer. If deferred, you will need to inform the School Counseling Office to have a transcript sent after the end of first semester. Regular admission Many colleges notify students of admission decisions on set dates. Admission plans for colleges with set deadlines are regular decision, early decision and early action. Depending on the admission plan you choose, the college reads all the applications for that particularly group and then mails the admission decisions on one particular date. Regular decision involves applying by a set date and receiving an admission decision by another set date. Possible decisions for this plan are admit, not admit or wait list. Early Decision Early decision requires a bind
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