Applying to college? These links might provide you
with helpful information!
EARLY DECISION/EARLY ACTION
COLLEGE RECOMMENDATION LETTERS
HELPFUL LISTS TO ORGANIZE
YOUR APPLICATION PROCESS
Receiving letters from colleges? These link might provide
you with helpful information!
MAKING YOUR DECISION
ARE YOU WAITLISTED?
HAVE YOU BEEN REJECTED?
Early Decision and Early Action:
Does the Early Bird Get the Worm?
Senior year has just begun, but already your classmates
are talking about applying
to college. With all of the talk about college applications,
you may be considering
whether or not to take advantage of some colleges' early
decision or early action programs. But applying early
is not a decision to make on the spur of the moment--no
matter what your friends are doing. Take some time to
think about whether Early Decision or Early Action is
right for you.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Early
Decision and Early Action Plans
The college-search process is both exciting and anxiety
provoking. As a college
counselor, you know how challenging it can be to find
a school that fits a student's
academic needs, personal interests, geographical preferences,
and so on. You also know that during this process, sometimes
a student hits upon his or her absolute perfect school.The
question then is whether or not to encourage that student
to take advantage of the school's early decision (ED)
or early action (EA) plan.
Early Action Versus Early Decision
There is a widespread belief that early action and early
decision applications are in the
best interests of all students. Indeed, early action and
early decision admissions policies have resulted in unprecedented
numbers of students applying early to colleges. As a result,
it is imperative that today's high school seniors make
educated decisions about these early admissions options.
Applying Early Action: No Strings
If applying Early Decision is too much of a commitment
for you, you may want to try
"Early Decision light," otherwise known as Early
Action. Early Action, like Early Decision,
allows you to get a jump on the college application rush
by applying in the fall of your
senior year, rather than waiting until spring. (Only 18
percent of colleges, mostly private
colleges, offer Early Action.) While they can share the
same fall deadline and have the
added bonus of an admissions reply before you put on your
skis for winter break, there are some key differences
between the two.
The Common Application
The Common Application is the recommended form of 241
selective colleges and universities for admission to
their undergraduate programs. Many of these institutions
use the form exclusively. All give equal consideration
to the Common Application and the college's own form.
Contents of an Admissions Folder
When you apply to college, the college admission office
collects a folder of information to consider as it makes
a decision about you. There are five main areas of an
Completing College Applications
College applications can seem overwhelming at first
glance. What needs to be done, and when?
College Application Checklist
Here is another application checklist that will help you
organize as you send off your applications to college/university.
Keeping Track of College Applications
If you are a senior, you are probably knee deep in preparing
applications. The following links provide some ideas
for charts to help you track the application process.
THE COLLEGE INTERVIEW
The College Interview The Basics
A college interview is a chance to show that you're more
than just test scores and grades. It's an exchange of
information—you learn about the college and the
college learns about you. It can last anywhere from 30-60
Interview Checklist For Before, During, and After
Print out this checklist to make sure you are absolutely,
positively ready for the interview.
Practice Interviews Warming Up for the Hot Seat
Before you do the real thing, try a practice interview.
Invite a family member or friend to practice with you,
each of you taking turns as the interviewer and the interviewee.
That way, you'll become accustomed to both asking and
College Admission Interviews: Putting You with
Your chance to stand out from thousands of other applicants
Preparing for your College Interview
At most schools, interviewing for college admission is
optional. However, it is still a good opportunity for
you to demonstrate your outstanding qualities and to learn
more about the college at the same time. If you do decide
to interview with colleges, here are some tips to help
The College Admissions Interview
Does the prospect of talking face-to-face with admissions
officers give you fits? Before your nerves get the better
of you, learn what to expect - and how to ace your college
Getting the Best Letters of Recommendation
Think of applying to college as if you were applying for
a job. For both, you need to demonstrate that you have
what it takes to succeed
The Recommendation Letter
The recommendation letter is just another tool that a
college or university will use to get to know their applicants
a little better. Its purpose is similar to that
of the college essay and interview as it can set you apart
from the thousands of other applicants and bring you one
step closer to receiving your acceptance letter.
Four Steps To Getting Perfect
In college admissions, application forms and essays
give admissions officers your own perspective on your
achievements. However, to get another person's viewpoint
they often turn to your letters of recommendation.
One purpose, obviously, is to give us a sample of your
writing. Liberal arts colleges place a premium on strong
writing skills. We look for a mastery of the mechanics
of writing (grammar, syntax, and organization) as well
as for fluency and originality. Your essay gives us
a taste of the maturity of your thinking and writing,
and of your readiness for a competitive liberal arts
Gaining entrance to just about any college continues to
get harder as more and more applicants are applying for
a limited number of spaces. How can you improve your chances
to being admitted to the college or university of your
choice? By writing a stellar personal essay as part of
your college application.
College Essay Question Help
The Personal Statement
Writing your personal statement can be one of the most
satisfying--or frustrating--writing experiences you'll
Writing the College Essay –
The Process View
The easiest way to begin writing a college essay is with
brainstorming, clustering, or listmaking. There are other
ways, but these are the simplest. With brainstorming,
you simply write down everything you can think of about
the topic, without rejecting any idea.
Writing the Essay: Sound Advice
from an Expert
Ninety percent of the applications I read contain what
I call McEssays - usually five-paragraph essays that consist
primarily of abstractions and unsupported generalization.
They are technically correct in that they are organized
and have the correct sentence structure and spelling,
but they are boring. Sort of like a Big Mac.
HELPFUL LISTS TO ORGANIZE YOUR
Application Form Tracking Worksheet
All these forms! Different schools may collect
a variety of forms necessary to complete your aid application,
sometimes making it a challenge to keep track of them
all. Duplicate and use this worksheet to track forms and
correspondence for each school to which you are applying.
How Many College Applications? Finalizing Your
Some students send as many as 15 applications,
while others send only one. To ensure a successful match,
apply to a diverse group of schools and be realistic about
the strength of your application. Here are a few things
to keep in mind as you create your list.
Why 20 Is Too Many: Understanding the Application
Colleges and universities across the country have reported
record-breaking numbers of applicants over the last few
years. For example, the University of Vermont had a stunning
36.6 percent increase in applicants from 2005 to 2006,
according to data from the National Center of Education
Statistics. Applications to the school have more than
doubled since 2001. At Boston College, the number of students
applying early action rose 20 percent in 2006, and regular
applications increased by 15 percent. Is this phenomenon
the result of a sudden surge in the number of high school
graduates? No, the main reason for the application increase
is that high school seniors are applying to 20 or
more colleges rather than the traditional five to eight.
The fact is, however, that 20 is way too many.
Making Final Selections and Applying to Colleges
Before you finalize your list of colleges and universities
to apply to, you should have completed the following steps.
MAKING YOUR DECISION
Making the Final Decision
You've been accepted, maybe even to more than
one school. You've now got a big decision to make. What
are you going to do?
Making the Final Decision
After a year or more of working and worrying, it's
done: you've received word from all the colleges to which
you applied. All that remains in your college quest is
making the final decision. Which college will you attend?
College Decision-Making Guide
If you've been accepted by more than one college, congratulations!
Now YOU get to do the choosing. Here are some tips to
help you make up your mind.
You got "fat envelopes" -- now what? Congratulations,
you got in! Of course, if you've been accepted by more
than one college, you have to choose. Here are some tips
for doing just that.
Understanding Acceptance Letters
You peer into your mailbox. You hesitate, then
muster up the courage to open the letter and behold! It
begins with a hearty "Congratulations!" Take
a deep breath—you're in! But don't stop there—read on.
There's important information in that letter. You may
have some decisions to make and deadlines to meet.
ARE YOU WAITLISTED?
What to Do When You're Waitlisted
You thought that as of April 1, your collegiate destiny
would be sealed: You'd round up your acceptances and
rejections, make a decision, and wash your hands of
the whole admissions game. The energy you once poured
into agonizing over your fate could be transferred to
college-sweatshirt shopping and dialing up relatives
to deliver the great news.
What Does it Mean to be Waitlisted or Deferred?
After all the frantic work of putting together
an application, waiting for an answer can seem to take
forever. Most applicants assume that eventually they will
receive a letter with one of two simple outcomes: acceptance
or rejection. Yet there are actually other possible outcomes
– as if there weren't enough confusion already in the
college search process!
Playing the College Waiting Game: Is it Worth
How long will your other schools wait around
for you while you're pining for #1 U. to let you in? How
good are your odds? And, how long can you wait before
you put your chances of attending any college in the fall
at risk? Before you play the waiting game, consider these
waiting words of wisdom, straight from college admissions
officers and experts.
What to Do if You're Waitlisted - Boost
Your Chances of Getting In
Colleges may put you on a waitlist if you meet
the admission requirements,but they've already accepted
the maximum number of applicants. You'll be offered a
place only if space becomes available. If you get a wait
list notice, decide whether you really want to attend
the school before you agree toremain on the list. If you're
eventually accepted, you often get only a few days to
decide. Also investigate the conditions attached to being
waitlisted; you may lose priority housing or financial
HAVE YOU BEEN REJECTED?
Getting Rejected and Moving On
Getting rejected from college can be like getting dumped
by your first love. You were sure you were perfect
for each other! Then the letter arrived, the truth
came out, and now you're facing a long, hard bout of melodramatic
Why Do Some Students Get Accepted To College and
Others Do Not?
No doubt if you've already applied to college,
or are thinking about doing so, the thought of rejection
has crossed your mind. It may seem baffling why some schools
may accept some students while rejecting the rest, but
there are many criterion college admission officers look
for, and some factors that set students apart.
Rejected: Now What? What to Do When Colleges Say
"We're sorry, but we won't be able to offer you a
place in our first-year class. We had many qualified applicants
This is not how you wanted your college letter to read,
but there it is. After all of the work you put into
your application and the months of anticipation, it's
understandable if you're upset about the outcome. However,
it's important to keep rejection letters in perspective
and to understand that you have options.