Steps in the Application Process
- Take the SAT or the ACT tests and have results sent to colleges you are considering.
- Obtain applications from colleges. Write, call or e-mail. Many schools have on-line applications, and prefer that you apply that way, or they may have a printable version on-line. Visit their web sites. Texas Public schools accept a Common Application , available in the College/Career Resource Center, or on-line.
- Complete your college application. Make an extra copy for your records. If you are submitting on-line do so now, and obtain transcripts and/or recommendations separately.
- Request teacher recommendations at least two weeks in advance, along with a stamped addressed envelope to the college.
- If your college requires that your transcript and application arrives together, bring the entire application packet to the registrar in the counseling office. It should include:
- Application and the application fee (NOT CASH) with the student"s name and social security number written on the check.
- Forms for counselor or principal recommendations or request for a letter (if this is your first request bring in a completed Senior Brag Sheet). Recommendations require at least two weeks, so allow enough time. The registrar will obtain the recommendations from the counselors, make an official copy of your transcript, and mail it all along with your application to the college of your choice. All official transcripts will be mailed directly to the schools.(First transcript is free, all subsequent transcripts are $2.00 each.)
- Schedule an interview with the college if one is required. For college visits: You may have 3 official college visit days beginning your Junior year until the 5th six weeks of you Senior year that will be counted as absence but will not penalize you towards exam exemptions. You must make an appointment with the school and bring a dated letter back to KPHS from the University (on their letterhead) that confirms your visit.
- Do not hesitate to call the college admission counselors if you have questions. Many colleges have toll free numbers and e-mail addresses.
IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO WATCH THE APPLICATION DEADLINES. Letters of recommendation from the counselor"s office require two weeks, and transcripts need at least 2 days, and more during busy times. THERE MAY NOT BE ENOUGH TIME TO PROCESS IF YOU WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE.
When to Apply
Make sure you find out all the details of the admissions programs of schools in which you"re interested because requirements can vary.
Some schools make provisions for a well qualified student to apply early in the fall of the senior year and be notified of admission my mid-December. These programs are binding, meaning that if a student is accepted to a college through the early-decision process, he/she must rescind all applications to other colleges, and sign a contract to attend the college granting early admission. Students are allowed to have only one early-decision application pending at any time. Check with the college regarding Early decision, rules can vary. (Three results are possible: acceptance, rejection, and deferral to the regular admissions pool.
Students who apply under a college"s early action plan receive a decision earlier than the standard response date, but are not required to enroll at that college, and may apply to other colleges without restriction .
Some colleges feature rolling admissions, which means that they accept students throughout the application period. It"s always to your advantage to apply early to such a program because there are more spaces open early on.
This is the practice of permitting students to postpone enrollment, usually for one year, after acceptance to the college. Reasons for doing this include health, work or travel.
Other Admissions Considerations
Some selective colleges ask you to write a short essay to describe yourself, a significant experience or an achievement that has special meaning for you or to discuss some issue of personal, local or national concern, and its importance to you. Keep it simple and straightforward. Try not to deal with difficult ideas such as our philosophy of life or how to solve the world"s problems. Don"t try to con the admissions staff with high-flown statements or obvious flattery.
A few very selective colleges require the on or off campus interview, which provides an opportunity for the college and the applicant to get to know each other better. Here are some suggestions for the admission interview:
- Be on time for your appointment.
- Be knowledgeable about the college; you should have read the admissions materials and the catalog before the interview.
- Have a list of questions which are not answered in the literature. Paper and a pencil for notes may be helpful.
- Meet your interviewer with a firm handshake and maintain eye contact as you talk and listen.
- Don"t expect trick questions, but be prepared to talk about yourself and your interest in that particular college.
- Don"t be unduly nervous; remember that the college is just as interested in selling itself as you are in selling yourself to the college.
- Note your interviewer"s name so you can later send a letter thanking him for his time.
THE RESUME http://www.collegeconfidential.com/college_admissions/high_school_resume.htm
There are many advantages to creating a resume. It provides a snapshot of you, your interests, accomplishments and achievements. Make several copies and update it whenever something new occurs. Give it to everyone who is involved in your search for a college, and for scholarship applications. Use parts of it to copy/paste into applications for admission or scholarships. Give a copy to your high school counselor and teachers who are writing letters of recommendation. It should be short and sweet, no more than two pages, preferably only one.
CRITERIA FOR SELECTION
After reviewing your school record, recommendations, testing and motivation, the college admissions committee"s first concern is whether you can handle their academic program with success and reasonable comfort. In the more highly competitive colleges where academically qualified applicants outnumber the spaces available, a number of other admission factors then become important.
- Special talents - It is important to submit a tape of musical or dramatic performance, several slides of your art work, a sample of your creative writing, or evidence of exceptional athletic ability to the admissions committee. If your talent is in athletics, contact the college coach of your sport as well.
- Alumni connections - If you have a parent or sibling who attended it may help.
- Geographical mix - Colleges prefer to maintain a geographical mix in the student body.
- Exceptional academic talent - Independent research, a science fair project or National Merit recognition may the thing that singles you out as the candidate to accept.
- Extracurricular involvement - Admission committees are impressed by students having a significant commitment to one or two areas, as opposed to superficial involvement in many areas. Leadership and volunteer work also impresses the officials.
- Diversity of backgrounds and cultures.
More about Transcripts
A transcript contains the following information: School name and address, CEEB number, Student"s demographics, GPA and Rank, Graduation plan, Course titles, Semester grades, and Credits. Standardized test scores, PSAT, SAT, ACT, TAKS, AP, and End of Course exams are listed on a separate sheet. To include these, you must indicate you want them included.
There are two types of transcripts: Official and unofficial. The Official transcript bears the signature of the registrar, and is embossed with the school seal. College and University admissions offices require an official transcript, and with it our school provides a school profile and grade point scale. For college visits, the student may take an unofficial transcript.
Transcript orders are placed with the registrar, in the counseling office. The first order is free, each one after that costs two dollars, payable when placing the order. The turnaround time is usually 24 hours, but at busy times may be longer. Official transcripts will be mailed directly to the college. Some colleges require a form be sent with the transcript, so check your application packet and submit the form to the registrar when ordering your transcript.
The Secondary School Counselor Report form, or a request for a letter of recommendation when there is no form, should be submitted to the and the transcript ordered at the same time. A completed Senior Brag/Information Sheet must be submitted with the first request for a counselor recommendation. (submit a resume if you have one). . The counselor will complete the form or write the letter within two weeks and return to the to be mailed directly to the institution along with the transcript. All paperwork goes through the registrar, not the counselor.
The student should submit the following to the teacher: The teacher recommendation form if there is one, a stamped and addressed envelope, full legal name, social security number, and the date by which the recommendation must be received by the college. (Also submit a resume if you have one). Teachers should mail these directly to the college, or university. For scholarship applications, follow instructions. Most scholarship applications require mailing everything in one mailing. Finally, check with the teacher to see if the letter was sent, and be sure to show your appreciation. Ultimately the responsibility is yours.
Some schools require a mid-year report. The forms should be submitted to the registrar along with any required secondary school counselor report forms. The cost is two dollars per transcript, payable when submitting the request.
The college that you plan to will require a final transcript to prove High School graduation. Indicate where your final transcript should be sent on your check out form.
DON'T FORGET- if you have Lonestar Dual Credits or Credits with UT onRamps- you must send those to your 4 year college as well.
Lonestar transcript request: Click here
OnRamps transcript info: Click here and scroll to "Transcripts"