Danbury High School. College Application Procedures and Information. Danbury College Board Code:

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1 Danbury High School College Application Procedures and Information Danbury College Board Code:

2 Table of Contents Organizing the College Application Process... 3 Senior Planning Calendar... 4 September... 4 October... 4 November... 5 December... 5 January... 6 February/March... 6 April... 6 May... 6 June... 6 Transcript Requests... 7 Completing and Printing colleges I m applying to in Naviance... 8 Determining Which Colleges Accept Online Transcripts... 8 Important Additional Information... 9 Teacher Recommendations The Application Guidelines Tips for Online Applications The Common Application Universal College Application How Does Everything Get There? Financial Aid and Scholarships Parent/Junior Year Checklist Winter Spring

3 Organizing the College Application Process The Guidance Department has put together this booklet for you to explain the college application process and answer commonly asked question. To begin, it is important to understand the components of a completed application. In general, the colleges to which you are applying must receive: 1. School materials, which include the transcript, secondary school report form, school profile and counselor recommendation, sent by the high school. 2. Test scores (SAT and/or ACT) requested by the student and sent from College Board or ACT. Student will log into their College Board and/or ACT account to specify which tests to send to the student s particular colleges. 3. Teacher recommendations requested by the student and sent directly to the college by the teacher. 4. Application, essay and fee sent by the student. In addition, please always be aware of college deadlines. If you are applying through an early application plan (i.e., early decision or early action), deadlines are typically in November. If you are looking at colleges that use a rolling admission plan, it would be best to complete the process as early as possible in the fall. Regular decision deadlines typically do not begin until January. Remember, your school counselors are here for you so feel free to contact us. Sincerely, Vikki Lynn Carlson Lead Counselor 3

4 Senior Planning Calendar September Register for October SATs and/or ACT. Remain mindful of deadlines for registering for each test! Please make sure you are having your test scores sent to colleges directly from and/or Students make appointments to see counselor as needed. Plan to attend Danbury High School s College and Career Fair at the Danbury Fair Mall in October. Begin completing the Common Application at Ask teachers for recommendation letters at least 4 weeks before application deadlines. Complete and return to your teachers the Student Activity Sheet found in Naviance or on our school s website under the Guidance tab. Begin drafts of essays/edit essays. Visit colleges and attend college representative visits (held in the Career Center, located in the cafeteria). To see a listing of which colleges will be visiting, visit Schedule remaining college visits and interviews. Finalize your Colleges I m applying to list in Naviance. Have your Transcript Release Form signed by your parent/guardian and return to your school counselor. For prospective Division I or Division II athletes, register with NCAA and send official transcript and test scores. Schedule remaining college visits and interviews. October Begin filling out applications. Attend Danbury High School s College and Career Fair at the Danbury Fair Mall in October. Continue to work on college essays. Register for November and December SATs/ACTs. Make sure you are having your test scores sent to colleges directly from and/or Review your college list in Naviance and move the colleges you plan on applying to from the Colleges I am thinking about list to the Colleges I am Applying to list. Finalize resume, portfolio, CD/DVD or other appropriate reflection of special talent as advised. 4

5 Send Rolling, Early Decision or Early Action applications (if applying early). Check CSS Profile Form to see if it is required by any of your colleges for financial aid. Check with your colleges regarding possible scholarships. Request transcripts to be sent to your colleges using Naviance. This is an ongoing process but we recommend that you complete your transcript request by Thanksgiving. Complete applications for every scholarship for which you may be eligible. Check Naviance frequently under the Colleges tab and Scholarship List for an updated list of scholarships. November Register for November and December SATs/ACTs. Make sure you are having your test scores sent to colleges directly from and/or If required, request 1 st quarter grades to go Early Decision/EarlyAction/Rolling colleges from your counselor. Prepare a list of 5 to 7 well-chosen college applications and submit applications by the college s specified deadline. Sign up for a PIN at This PIN will allow you to being your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) in January. Write thank you notes to Danbury High School staff who have written your letters of recommendation. Early applicants: Confirm with all colleges that they have received all of your application materials. December Attend Financial Aid Night in early December. Register for the SAT/ACT/SAT II make sure to send updated test scores to all the colleges you have applied through and/or Check all application deadlines. Inform your counselor of admission decisions. Update your admission decisions in Naviance. If admitted to your early decision college, withdraw other applications. 5

6 January Submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) directly to Federal Student Aid Programs as soon after January 1 st as possible. On-line applications can be filed at Update your admission decisions in Naviance. February/March If you completed a FAFSA, you should receive your Student Aid Report (SAR). Review your SAR carefully and check for any inaccuracies. Request mid-year transcripts for colleges as needed. Check the Career Center and/or Naviance for scholarships. Notify your counselor of admission decisions. Update your admissions decisions in Naviance. April Review your admission decisions and aid offers with parents/guardians and counselor. Make a final decision as to which college you will attend. Send a deposit by the deadline to the one college you will attend. Notify the other colleges that you will not be attending their schools. This will free up a spot for another student. Update your admissions decisions on Naviance. May May 1 st is National Decision Day Students are required to notify the one college they choose to attend of their decision by the May 1 st deadline. Take Advanced Placement (AP) exams, if appropriate. Request AP scores to be sent directly to the college you will be attending. Update your admissions decisions on Naviance. June Send thank you notes to everyone who helped you prepare for college. Congratulations! It is time to get ready for college! 6

7 Transcript Requests In order to have your school transcript, counselor recommendation, secondary school report and school profile sent to colleges, please complete the following steps at least four weeks prior to your college application deadline: 1. Common Application Account Matching a. Create a Common Application account at b. Add at least one college to your My Colleges list and complete the Education section of your Common Application. c. Complete the FERPA Release Authorization. d. In Naviance, click on the colleges tab then click colleges I m applying to. e. Complete the Common Application Account Matching. 2. Submit the following items to your guidance counselor: a. Danbury High School Transcript Release Form (on Naviance and DHS website under the Guidance tab) This PDF is interactive and the information can be typed directly into the form. This form is required in addition to the Privacy Notice completed online. Complete only one Danbury High School Transcript Release Form regardless of how many college to which you are applying. b. Student Activity Sheet on Naviance and DHS website under the Guidance tab) This PDF is interactive and the information can be typed directly into the form. Your counselor, in writing his or her recommendation, will use this. c. Parent/Guardian Brag Sheet on Naviance and DHS website under the Guidance tab) This PDF is interactive and the information can be typed directly into the form. Your guidance counselor, in writing his or her college recommendation, will use this. d. Print-out of colleges I m applying to from Naviance and give list to your school counselor (see below) If you are applying to a Common Application college, it must be listed on both your Common Application My Colleges List and colleges I m applying to in Naviance prior to submitting your transcript request. e. $5 fee per transcript Danbury High Schools sends out 10 transcripts per student free of charge. There is a $5 fee per transcript for each transcript over 10. 7

8 If needed: f. Only for colleges that do not accept online transcripts provide your guidance counselor with the name and address of college. Completing and Printing colleges I m applying to in Naviance 1. Log into Naviance, click on the colleges tab, then colleges I m thinking about. 2. All prospective colleges should be listed under colleges I m thinking about. If not, you must first add each college to which you are applying to that prospective list. 3. From your list of colleges I m thinking about, check the box next to each college you plan to apply then click on Move to Application List at the bottom of your list. 4. For each college, select the application plan from the drop-down menu (regular decision, early, etc.) then check the appropriate box if you have submitted your application. 5. Click on colleges I m applying to, print that page and give to your school counselor. Please note: You are free to edit your list of colleges I m thinking about, but you cannot delete colleges from your list of colleges I m applying to. Determining Which Colleges Accept Online Transcripts Log into Naviance, click on the colleges tab, then click on colleges I m applying to. Under colleges I m applying to, find the column labeled Submissions. You will see one of three symbols identifying whether the colleges accepts online transcripts: College accepts paper transcripts only College accepts online transcripts Common Application colleges accepts online transcripts 8

9 If a college offers the choice of their own application or the Common Application, we recommend using the Common Application. If you choose to use a school-specific application over the Common Application, be sure to see your counselor. Important Additional Information Your counselor, if requested, will write a letter of recommendation to accompany your transcript once all required items are received (items a-f above). Once the initial request has been made, additional transcripts may be requested by submitting an updated print-out of colleges I m applying to from Naviance with additional colleges highlighted and the $5 fee per transcript if necessary. 9

10 Please download from DHS Guidance website under Student Activity Sheet DANBURY HIGH SCHOOL 43 Clapboard Ridge Road, Danbury, Connecticut Guidance Department Fax: (203) Transcript Release Form Students Who Currently Attend Danbury High School Name of Student: Student ID: Phone: Current Grade: Cell Phone: School Counselor: In order to have your transcript sent to colleges, please complete the following steps: If applying with the Common Application, you must use the Naviance program for Danbury High School to process your information online. I. Complete the Important Privacy Notice for Common Application. 1. Create a Common Application account at 2. In Naviance click on the Colleges tab, then click colleges I m applying to 3. Check Yes, I do waive my right to access. Check the box underneath authorizing DHS to release your records. Enter your Common Application username and Common Application password and submit. II. Submit the following items to your guidance counselor: 1. Danbury High School Transcript Release Form (only one is needed for all your colleges) 2. Print out colleges I am applying to from Naviance 3. $5 fee per transcript for every transcript sent after first 10 (cash or check made payable to Danbury High School) Note: Do not submit your transcript request for a college unless you will submit your application within 60 days or have already done so. If you submit your application after 60 days has passed, your application will not be matched with the online transcript already submitted by Danbury High School. If you are applying to private high schools, summer programs, the NCAA Eligibility Center, scholarships or are requesting your transcript for any other purpose, submit only the Transcript Release Form and $5 fee per transcript, if necessary. In accordance with Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (Public Law #93-380), I authorize Danbury High School to release my transcript to the recipient(s)/college(s) I have indicated. Furthermore, I release any person and/or Danbury High School from all liability and hold them harmless for providing such information via transcript, school report or recommendation. Student Signature: Date: Parent/Guardian Signature: Date: 10

11 Please download from DHS Guidance website under Student Activity Sheet DANBURY HIGH SCHOOL 43 Clapboard Ridge Road, Danbury, Connecticut Guidance Department Fax: (203) Student Activity Sheet The purpose of the Student Activity Sheet is to provide detailed information to your teachers and/or counselor that he/she can utilize when writing your college recommendation. We encourage students to download this document from Danbury High School s Guidance Website (under Publications and Forms) and type in your responses, then print, sign, and submit the Student Activity Sheet to either your teacher or counselor. This document is to be completed by the student. Please note that only your teacher and/or counselor will have access to this document. Name of Student: Cell Phone: School Counselor: My teacher and/or counselor, in his/her recommendation, may use any information I provide. Student Signature: Date: Chronicling Your Involvements and Activities Extracurricular: List any clubs or activities at Danbury High School or in the community in which you have been involved in order of importance to you. Please note any leadership roles and level of involvement. Club/Activity Grade(s) Position Held, Details and Accomplishments Athletics: List each sport, level of participation (Freshman, Varsity, JV, or Club) and any special recognition you have received (Captain, All-Star, All-FCIAC, etc.). 11

12 Sport Grade(s) Position/Awards Community Service: List any volunteering you have done from Grade 9 to present, including through school and in the community, in order of importance to you. Volunteer Activity Grade(s) Hours Per Week Weeks Per Year Employment: List all jobs you have held from Grade 9 to present. Include internships, summer jobs or work during the school year. Place of Employment Position(s) Held Avg. Hours/Week Dates Summer Activities: Describe your summer activities. Between Grades 9 & 10: Between Grades 10 & 11: Between Grades 11 & 12: 12

13 Answer the following questions as completely as possible (3-5 sentences each), typing your response below each question or attaching additional sheets. Please share any anecdotes and specific examples you think would be helpful. 1. Choose one activity or experience that has been important to you? Please explain why. 2. List any special awards, honors, or recognitions received not already noted. Please explain. 3. Do you have an intended area of study? 4. Which courses have you enjoyed most? Why? 5. What would your closest friends say your three best qualities are? 6. What circumstances, if any, have presented a challenge to you during high school? 7. How would you describe your role within your family? 8. Please indicate your essay/personal statement topic. Remember, your teacher and/or counselor would be happy to read and review your essay while still in draft form. 9. What would you most like your teacher and/or counselor to highlight in his/her letter of recommendation? Is there anything else you would like your teacher and/or counselor to know? 13

14 Please download from DHS Guidance website under Parent/Guardian Brag Sheet DANBURY HIGH SCHOOL 43 Clapboard Ridge Road, Danbury, Connecticut Guidance Department Fax: (203) Parent/Guardian Brag Sheet The purpose of the Parent/Guardian Brag Sheet is to provide a description of your child that the counselor, administrator or teacher can refer to when writing his/her college recommendation. Any specifics you can offer including opinions, insights, and anecdotes are extremely useful. We encourage parents/guardians to download this document from the Danbury High School Guidance website (under "Forms") and type in your responses, then print, sign, and submit the Parent/Guardian Brag Sheet as part of the transcript request. Please note that only your child s counselor will have access to this document. Name of Student: Name of Parent(s)/Guardian(s): Phone: School Counselor: Any information I provide may be used by my child s counselor in his/her recommendation. Parent/Guardian Signature(s): Date: Answer the following questions as completely as possible, typing your response below each question or attaching additional sheets. Please share any anecdotes and specific examples you think would be helpful. 1. If you had to describe your son/daughter in five adjectives, what would they be? 2. What do you consider to be the personality and character traits that make your child special (i.e.communication skills, willingness to take risks, social skills, leadership style)? 14

15 3. In what area do you feel your child has shown the most development and growth? 4. What has your child accomplished during the past three or four years that is most meaningful? Please do not recount your child s résumé. 5. Are there any unique personal or family circumstances, which have affected your child? 6. Is there any additional information you would like the counselor to know? 15

16 Teacher Recommendations The college application process often requires one or two letters of recommendation from academic teachers. Read each college s application instructions carefully to determine recommendation requirements. The purpose of the teacher recommendation is to describe their experience with the student in their class and to give colleges an idea of how a student is likely to perform academically. Colleges are interested in various qualities including a student s work ethic, motivation, creativity and capacity for growth. 1. Be sure the FERPA Release Authorization for Common Application is completed in Naviance. 2. Four weeks before the first application deadline, request teachers to write a recommendation. 3. If you are applying to a Common Application college, it must be listed on both your Common Application My Colleges List and colleges I m applying to in Naviance prior to requesting the recommendation. If you request the recommendation prior to completing the Common Application, you must let the teacher know, as they will be unable to upload their recommendation. It is your responsibility to let the teacher know when you have made application through Common Application, so they can upload the recommendation. 4. For any college that does not accept online submission of recommendations, it is the student s responsibility to provide the teacher with a stamped envelope addressed to the college. 5. The teacher either uploads the letter of recommendation or sends the letter of recommendation directly to the college. 6. A written thank you note to your teacher is most appreciated. Please note: Letters of recommendation are confidential and are not shared with students or parents. Colleges prefer that you waive your right to access so that more credibility is given to the teacher s letters of recommendation. 16

17 The Application There are three different types of applications: The Common Application, Universal College Application and school-specific applications. The college s website will list which application(s) it accepts. If a college offers the choice of their own application or the Common Application, we recommend using the Common Application. If you have questions, please see your counselor. Guidelines Begin well in advance of the deadline. Set up an appropriate address to be used for college correspondence. Make sure you name the correct school in responses. If you have an intended major you can list it, otherwise Undecided is an appropriate choice. When asked to list activities, remember to include out of school activities. Clarify activities so the admissions committee has a clear idea of its purpose and your commitment. Be sure to send any supplemental material if required. Don t rely on spell-check. Proofread yourself then have the application proofread by an adult. Tips for Online Applications Follow directions and complete all steps. It may be helpful to print the application directions so you can check off tasks as you can complete them. Use Microsoft Word to complete your personal essay and writing supplements, then copy and paste into the appropriate box on the online application. 17

18 If the application you are using does not provide adequate space to thoroughly explain your activities or achievements, you may also wish to use the Additional Information section. Consult with your counselor as to what information, if any, to include. Review your application before you submit the final version. Save a printed copy for yourself. After submitting your application, look for confirmation that your application has been received. Print and file the application receipt. 18

19 The Common Application The Common Application (www.commonapp.org) is a single application that students can use to apply to over 500 colleges. The participating colleges will not differentiate between use of the application developed by the college itself and the Common Application. If a college offers the choice of using their own application or the Common Application, we recommend using the Common Application. If you have question, please see your counselor. On August 1 st of each year the updated version of the Common Application is released. Any time after August 1 st, you can begin completing the application. Danbury High School submits your school materials online through Naviance; therefore, it is essential that your Common Application and Naviance Family Connection accounts match. To ensure your accounts match, follow the instructions below: 1. Create a Common Application account at Be sure your name and match exactly in both your Common Application and Naviance accounts. 2. Add at least one college to your My Colleges list on the Common Application. 3. Complete the FERPA Release Authorization. 4. In Naviance Family Connection, select the Colleges tab then select Colleges I am applying to. 5. Complete the Common Application account matching by entering the address you used on the Common Application. If you are applying to a Common Application college, it must be listed on both your Common Application My Colleges list and Colleges I m Applying to in Naviance. If the lists from Common Application and Naviance do not match, your school materials will not be sent to the appropriate colleges. Students need to remain organized and be aware of necessary supplements and deadline dates including an Early Decision Agreement if applying Early Decision. Please note that more specific and detailed information is shared on the Common Application website. 19

20 Universal College Application The Universal College Application (www.universalcollegeapp.com) was created as an alternative admission application to the Common Application. It is accepted by some colleges and universities. Forms for the two applications are very similar. As with the Common Application, a supplement may be required by the college. An added feature of the Universal College Application is that applicants can add a link to videos, pictures or other online medial files that demonstrate a student s talent or highlight an activity. 20

21 How Does Everything Get There? Application, Essay & Fee Transcript, Secondary School Report Form, School Profile & Counselor Recommendation Test Scores Teacher Recommendations Sent by student Sent by Danbury High School Requested by student; sent from SAT/ACT Requested by student; sent directly to college by teacher It is ultimately the student s responsibility to be sure all application materials have been received by the colleges. 21

22 Financial Aid and Scholarships Financial aid comes in four basic forms. Most financial aid packages usually offer a combination of the following: 1. Loans must be repaid with interest. 2. College Work Study allows the student to work on campus to contribute towards expenses. 3. Grants do not have to repaid. (Merit- and need-based monies) 4. Scholarships do not have to repaid. (Merit-based monies) Follow these tips: Discuss the family financial situation in regards to paying for college with your child. Check out the FAFSA Forecaster (www.fafsa4caster.ed.gov). It is a tool to help students and families estimate their eligibility for federal student aid. In the fall of your son/daughter s senior year, complete the individual financial aid (and scholarship) application forms for each college to which the student is applying if applicable. Attend the Financial Aid Night help at Danbury High School in early December. In addition to the FAFSA, some colleges also require the submission of the CSS/Profile. Go to Continue to check Naviance and the Career Center for a list of scholarships. Colleges may have an earlier application deadline to be considered for scholarships. Check the college s website for specific deadlines. Ultimately, all financial aid decisions are made by the individual college; therefore, it is necessary for you to work with the financial aid office at each college to which you are applying. Also, be sure to apply on time. There is no single source for all financial information available. Therefore, it is important to reach out to your place of employment, clubs and organizations, which also may provide awards. 22

23 Scholarship notices received by Danbury High School are posted on Naviance and cataloged in the Career center for easy accessibility. Families need to access these resources on a frequent basis since they are continuously being updated. 23

24 Parent/Junior Year Checklist Winter Review PSAT/NMSQT results together (given to students in December). Help your child prepare for college admission tests. See which tests your high school junior may need to take. Many juniors take college admissions tests, such at the SAT and the ACT, in the spring so they can get a head start on planning for college. Also encourage your junior to take SAT Subject Tests, which many colleges require or recommend in order to get a sense of your child s skills in a certain academic area. Discuss taking challenging courses next year. Taking honors or advanced placement courses as a senior can help your child prepare for college work, and these are courses that college admission officers like to see. Information regarding course selection is available in the Course of Study Guide found on Naviance and on Danbury High School s website. Spring Together search and develop a preliminary list of colleges which meet your child s needs. To begin, student should complete the college search activity in Naviance (College tab) at Once you have an idea of the qualities your child is looking for in a college, help him/her to create a prospective list of colleges to consider applying to in Naviance ( Colleges I m thinking about under the Colleges tab). Help your child research scholarships. This form of financial aid provides money for college that does not need to be repaid. Learn more through the Scholarships and Money heading under the Colleges tab on Naviance and through College Board s scholarship search at https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/scholarship-search. Attend college fairs and financial aid events. Attend Danbury High Schools college fair in October at the Danbury Fair Mall. 24

25 Help your child make summer plans. Summer is a great time to explore interests and learn new skills and colleges look for students who pursue meaningful summer activities. Visit colleges together. Make plans to check out the campuses of colleges your child is interested in. Use the Campus Visit Checklist to learn how to get the most out of these experiences at https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/find-colleges/campus-visitguide/campus-visit-checklist. Encourage your child to begin compiling a resume/list of activities, jobs and community service. All students should have a completed resume on Naviance (About Me tab). Encourage your child to begin identifying teachers whom they may ask for recommendations. If there are schools your child is definitely applying to have them check their application deadlines and get a head start on the essay question. 25

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