ADMISSION/APPLICATION INFO

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1 ADMISSION/APPLICATION INFO Students and Parents should be aware of the variety of admission options available to students. The majority of institutions employ one of two options: Rolling Decision or Regular Decision. However, some private colleges also utilize an early application option. Following are definitions of the different options available: Non-Restrictive Application Plans Students are not restricted from applying to other institutions and have until May 1 to consider their options and confirm enrollment. Rolling Decision: Institutions review applications as they are submitted and render admission decisions throughout the admission cycle. Regular Decision: Students submit an application by a specified date and receive a decision in a clearly stated period of time. Early Action (EA): Students apply early and receive a decision well in advance of the institution s regular response date. Restrictive Application Plans Students are responsible for determining and following restrictions. Early Decision (ED): Students make a commitment to a first-choice institution where, if admitted, they definitely will enroll. The application and a decision deadline occur early. Restrictive Early Action (REA): Students apply to an institution of preference and receive a decision early. They may be restricted from applying EA or ED or REA to other institutions. If offered enrollment, they have until May 1 to confirm. HOW MANY APPLICATIONS SHOULD YOU SUBMIT? Experts say that 2-3 good-bet-colleges that you would gladly attend, along with 2-4 possible colleges, and 2-3 long shot colleges is plenty of options to call your application list complete! BUT CONSIDER FINANCES! If scholarships will be an important part of your college package, then you need to apply to schools where you have a good chance of obtaining scholarship money. If you barley get admitted, you will likely NOT get any scholarship money that is not related to financial qualifications. So, maybe long-shot colleges should not be on your list at all.

2 Online College Applications WHY USE IT? Once completed online, copies of the Application for Undergraduate Admission and teacher recommendations can be sent to any number of participating colleges. This allows you to spend less time on the busywork of applying for admission, and more time on what's really important: college research, visits, essay writing, and senior year coursework. IS IT WIDELY USED? Absolutely! Last year almost 1.4 million applications were submitted online via the Common Application. To see the complete listing of all member institutions go to https://www.commonapp.org/commonapp/members.aspx The Universal College Application (UCA) aims to transform online college admissions applications. Through innovation and creative collaboration with students, colleges, and not-for-profit organizations our technologies, products and services make applying to colleges online more accessible, faster, and easier. To see a complete listing of all 86 participating institutions, go to: https://www.universalcollegeapp.com/ **If you are applying to schools that do not use these applications, the next best place is each individual school s online application. You can access these from your Naviance account! Just be sure to print any additional forms the application may require such as a counselor/teacher recommendation form or a signature page. Official Transcript An important piece of your application is your official PHS transcript. You MUST send in a request from your Naviance account (If you need directions, check the right side of your Naviance Home Page, under Updates). Application Fee Waiver For those of you that fit the income requirements, many colleges allow the application fee to be waived. NACAC makes a widely accepted fee waiver request form. For the waiver and the income guidelines, go to: You may also select the application waiver option on the Common Application, if the colleges you are applying to offer it

3 The College Admission Essay By: Amy Markham The Admission Essay Has Two Main Purposes: To assist the Admission Committee in evaluating a candidate's writing skills. To give the Admission Committee additional information about the applicant that is not mentioned in another part of the application or to expand upon something about the candidate that may be referenced elsewhere in the application. A Good Essay Does Several Things: Provides the reader with a better sense of something that is important to the applicant. Leaves the reader with a clear understanding of why the topic is meaningful to the student. Shows the reader how the student has learned/grown/changed as a result of the experience or issue described in the essay. Is organized in such a way that the writer's main point is clear to the reader before the end of the essay. Shows that the student has given serious thought to the topic and has reflected on its meaning in his/her life. Common Mistakes Students Make When Writing Their Essay: Taking on too much/poor organization - Some students try to say too much in their essay and end up wandering from one point or experience to another, never giving thorough attention to any aspect of the essay. Such essays come across as autobiographies and leave the reader unsure of the author's main point. It is better to deal fully with one issue or experience than to write an essay that is little more than a laundry list of interests and experiences. Generalizations without specific examples - An essay that tells about an experience and then ends with a concluding statement that hasn't been introduced at an earlier point in the essay often leaves the reader wondering why the student chose to write about this topic. The main point should be introduced at the beginning of the essay, illuminated by examples in the main body of the text, and then reiterated at the end of the essay. Only addressing half of the essay topic - Most essays have a Part A and Part B embedded in them. One of the Common Application essay choices, for example, asks students to talk about a person who has had meaning in their life and to explain that person's influence. In this example, Part A is to write a bit about the person, while Part B is to explain how the student has been shaped by the person. Many students write wonderful testimonials about people they admire, but fail to explain how this person has influenced them. Equal attention should be paid to how and why the subject of the essay has influenced the candidate as is spent describing the subject's qualities. One size fits all essay - It is easy to tell when a student has taken an essay that was written for College A and made a couple of small changes in an effort to adapt it to College B's essay topic. Such essays do not fully address College B's topic and expose the student as one who has cut corners and has not given full attention to College B's essay. What's the point? - An essay that merely tells a story or describes an experience that the candidate has had leaves the reader wondering what the essay is supposed to be about. If a story is used to address an essay topic such as "Evaluate a significant experience," the writer

4 must pay particular attention to the word "evaluate" or else his/her work will be nothing more than a recounting of an event, not a true essay. In this example, the "point" of the essay should be how and why the significant experience was influential. This is what separates an essay from a story. Use of creative writing or poetry - An essay should be a straightforward presentation of a topic that the student cares about, not an example of fictional, creative expression. Short stories and poetry do not enable the reader to clearly and accurately understand the thesis and, therefore, should not be used as essays. Students who are proud of a short story or piece of poetry they have written, may include it as a supplemental part of the application. Essay Do's: Proofread carefully - spill chuck does nut pack up ever mistake! Type or word process your essay unless asked to submit handwritten work. Start early and write multiple drafts - your essay will become better with each rewrite. Be careful when you cut and paste; make sure text appears where you want it and is not repeated elsewhere within your essay. Essay Don t s: Allow someone to correct your essay. The essay should be your work, not someone else's. It is okay to ask someone to give you feedback and suggestions about how to improve the essay, but you must make the changes yourself. Use the essay as an opportunity to explain a weakness in your record. This will dilute your topic, resulting in a less effective essay. If you want to explain something about your record, it is better to include a separate statement addressing your concern. Use words that are not part of your day to day vocabulary. If you use a thesaurus to find sophisticated words, they will not sound natural and will weaken your essay. Write in your own voice. Ignore the essay topic assigned by a college in favor of another topic that you like better. This will show that you did not follow instructions.

5 Tips for a Successful Application Presentation Counts - Show You Care! 1. Adhere to Deadlines Is it a "Postmarked" or "Received by" deadline? Plan accordingly. Send in your application well before the deadline to leave time for follow-up, if necessary. If others are mailing information on your behalf, make sure they also know the deadline and follow up with them to make sure their materials are submitted a few days before the deadline. 2. Follow Directions Many applications will outline space and length requirements, tell you if they prefer/accept handwritten applications vs. typed applications, require you to use the application forms they provide, accept supplemental material like resumes, news clippings, etc. Read the instructions carefully and pay attention to these specifics when completing your application! 3. Be Neat and Complete If it is a paper application, copy the blank application to practice rough drafts before you fill out the actual application. Write clearly and not too small (no smaller than 10 point font, if typing). Use correct grammar, spelling and punctuation. Indicate not applicable "N/A" rather than leaving any section blank. Make sure your address reflects your maturity! is NOT appropriate!! 4. Review Everything Again Did you explain how you fulfill the selection criteria and why you're a good candidate? Proofread! Have a few people read the application for clarity and mechanics. Keep a copy of everything for your records. Many interview questions come from the application, so keeping a copy to review before an interview can be helpful. As you fill out subsequent applications, it can also be helpful to refer to those you have already completed. 5. Focus on the Selection Criteria Since your application will be read and scored based on the stated criteria, make sure you have addressed them throughout the application. 6. BE SPECIFIC and DETAILED About Your Past Achievements While every space does not need to be filled, make sure each entry is specific and detailed. Instead of writing "Prom committee," try "Designed 3-month advertising campaign for Prom." Instead of just "Volunteer," try "Organized yearly bingo night for over 100 senior citizens." Most importantly, BE HONEST! Don't invent or embellish your accomplishments. 7. Essays and Short Answers Answer the question/prompt and remember the selection criteria in your response. Be personal and descriptive. The readers want to get to know you and your experiences. Be organized and concise, demonstrating the critical thought you have given your application and your ability to articulate your thoughts clearly and effectively. 8. Recommendations Ask writers approximately four weeks before you need a letter. Provide a resume and encourage writers to focus on how you fulfill the selection criteria. Follow up to remind writers about the deadline and ask if they need any more information. Write a thank you note to the person for his/her time and help in the application process.

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