The purpose of this page is to briefly guide you through the somewhat confusing College admissions procedures.
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 the APPLY TEXAS APPLICATION.
- Complete your college application. Keep track of all user names, application numbers and passwords. 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, provide the recommender a stamped addressed envelope to the college. Give a resume as well see resumes on this website.
- Request transcripts from the registrar's office at least 48 hours from the time you need it. The cost is $2.00 per official transcript.
- Schedule an interview with the college if one is required.
- 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.
EARLY DECISIONOther Admissions Considerations
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.
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.
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's office. There is a $2.00 fee for each transcript. The turnaround time is usually 48 hours, but at busy times may be longer. 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 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 $2.00 per transcript, payable when submitting the request. The forms will be included in your sealed official transcript. Pick up the transcript and documents and place in another envelope and address it to the admissions offices of your target colleges.
The college that you plan to attend will require a final transcript to prove High School graduation. Final transcript orders will be taken by the Registrar in April and May. There is a $2.00 fee payable at the time of the request. Final transcripts will be mailed directly to the college upon completion of High School in early June.
NOTE: If you have dual credits or concurrent credits with Lonestar College or credits at any university, you will also need to have transcripts sent from Lonestar or that University, to receive college credit.
- Take the SAT or the ACT tests and have results sent to colleges you are considering.