Dobyns-Bennett High School A Guide to the College Search and Application Process

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1 CLASS of 2015 Dobyns-Bennett High School A Guide to the College Search and Application Process C O L L E G E A P P L I C A T I O N Dobyns-Bennett High School 1800 Legion Drive - Kingsport, TN B O O K

2 Welcome To the college search and application process!! Dear Student, Congratulations!! You are approaching one of the most exciting time of your life. Utilize the College Application Book to guide you through a smooth process to determine where you will pursue your post-secondary education and/or training. As you move though this journey, remember to rely on all of your resources: Parents Counselors Teachers Friends in college College Admission Representatives Financial Aid Representatives DB Career Counseling Center DB College Advising Meetings College Representative DB Remember, you are not on your own! Dobyns-Bennett is committed to helping you find your path after high school. Reach out to your resources for help. It is one of the most important times of your life so be prepared, stay focused, and work hard. Enjoy the journey, Counseling Staff 2

3 TABLE OF CONTENTS Welcome... 2 Table of Contents... 3 Four Year Guideline, High School... 4 Guideline, Applying for College... 5 Counselor Roles & Responsibilities... 6 Student Roles & Responsibilities... 7 Parent Roles & Responsibilities... 8 Frequently Asked Questions... 9 Dobyns-Bennett Deadlines The Process College Admission Testing College Search/Scholarship Search Financial Aid Website Resources Financial Aid Resources Students with Disabilities Keys to Success in College Appendix Personal Data Sheet Transcript Request

4 Planning Grades Year Guideline Preparing for College 9th Grade Remember your GPA counts Join a club or sport for 4 years Start volunteering Begin a resume Take a career & interest inventory assessment with the Career Counselor. Research careers from the assessment results. Take classes at DB that relate to your career goals. Meet with your counselor to discuss any schedule changes that need to be made. Begin to research colleges and/or technical schools Create a folder of all awards, honors, volunteer work & extracurricular activities you do. 10th Grade Maintain or raise your GPA Be active in clubs/sports Volunteer Continue to research colleges and/ or technical schools Take PSAT and PLAN Update resume/folder of information Prepare for the ACT/SAT in the summer before junior year Update the career assessment & interest inventory assessment Consider applying to attend governors school in the area of your interest in the summer. 11th Grade Concentrate on your GPA Continue to identify areas of interest that you would like to study in college or receive technical training through the College & Career Counselor Schedule/take the ACT Volunteer for a leadership role in a club or activity Prepare a list of colleges or technical schools that you would consider attending Visit potential college/technical school campuses during your fall, spring and/or summer breaks Attend a College Fair Meet with college representative during college visit days at DB Narrow your list of potential schools Continue to volunteer Update resume/folder of information Discuss with your counselor in your rising senior scheduling meeting your career and education plans Take the PSAT If planning to continue with sports in college, register with NCAA, NAIA or NJCAA. 4

5 Planning Grades Year Guideline Applying for College 12th Grade Take and/or retake the ACT/SAT college admissions test. Attend college representative visits and College Fairs Decide to what college/technical school you want to apply!! Apply to colleges online and request copies of your transcript in the Counseling Office. Request for letters of recommendation if needed and allow two weeks notice for recommendations. Write and edit college essays if needed Ask 2 teachers if they will write recommendation letters to specific colleges & give them a copy of your resume Request transcripts and test scores to be sent to colleges/technical schools Apply for institutional scholarships listed on the schools website. Pay close attention to deadlines. Apply for transferrable scholarships which are listed in the Go For It newsletter and DB Announcements. Pay attention to deadlines. Other transferrable scholarships may be found online through online research. If planning to continue with sports in college, register with NCAA, NAIA, or NJCAA. Submit TN/VA scholars volunteer hours to the Counseling Office before Jan. 15 Register for your FAFSA pin number in December at Apply for federal financial aid on or after January 1st of your senior year at Use an estimated tax statement from the previous years tax return, then update the FAFSA when tax returns are completed. You should receive your Student Aid Report within 3 days to 3 weeks after you submit your FAFSA. Make any corrections if needed and submit them to the FAFSA processor. Keep a copy of every form submitted for your files as well as usernames and passwords! Compare the cost of all the colleges you have been accepted for admission. Universal deadline for making a commitment to a college is May 1st. Follow all instructions from the college for admissions and housing requirements if necessary to complete your enrollment process. Follow all instructions from the college for housing, financial aid, and admissions. 5

6 College Applications How Applications Are Evaluated Most colleges evaluate applicants from a holistic approach, meaning there is not a solid cut off for test scores for admission. Colleges will evaluate a prospective students acceptance based on: GPA is converted to an overall 4.0 scale (unweighted). Weighted classes are then factored back into admission consideration to compare rigor to achievement factor. Individual Subject Area Test Scores ACT/SAT median score of college applicant pool Overall Test Scores (ACT/SAT Composite) Essays or candidate statement Rigor of senior academic schedule Overall grade trends through junior year Recommendation letters Extra-curricular involvement/leadership in and out of school Admission by specific program such as honors or competitive scholar programs TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) may be required of non-native speakers of English. Counselor Roles & Responsibilities 1. Advise on College Choices Your counselor can help with the college search process. Just ask!! 2. Coordinate the Admission Process Review the Process for Submitting Your College Applications 3. Write a Letter of Recommendation Two weeks notice, resume, and the Student Information Recommendation Form is required for a recommendation in order for your counselor to write the best letter possible. 4. Advocate the Student s Best Interests 4. Advocate the Student s Best Interests Your counselor can advocate on your behalf in the admissions process should you need your counselor to intervene on your behalf. For example, a misinterpretation of a transcript or misunderstanding during t he application process. You must let your counselor know you need their help to settle the misunderstanding!! 6

7 College Applications Student Roles & Responsibilities Selecting a school to continue education after high school is a crucial decision that must be made by the individual student. Although teachers, counselors, and parents are willing to support the process, there are many responsibilities along with the application process that relies solely upon the student. 1 Meet with Your Counselor for Suggestions & Assistance The first step is to identify what you are interested in pursing beyond high school. If you do not know, schedule a career assessment with the Career Counselor to identify your career interests. Also complete a college search which will identify colleges to attend that match your educational goals. The Career Counselor can assist you with developing a plan so you can receive help from your counselor with the application process. Plan to attend the senior meeting in September and refer to the Go For It Newsletter online. Do this early in your senior year!! 2 Review Application Procedures Most colleges require students to apply online at the college s website. Some colleges participate in the Common Application service located at which can save a huge amount of time. Regardless, most colleges require an application fee which is paid upon applying to the school. Some colleges will waive the fee or allow a time period for free application. It is recommended that you should apply to more than one school to guarantee acceptance, however; applying to many schools can be costly and stressful when it is time to make a decision on the 3 Complete Application & Required Admission Forms Although your senior year is super busy, it is your responsibility to complete the admission requirements set forth by the schools. Budget your time wisely so you can meet deadline dates! 4 Complete All Standardized Tests Required for Admission Research which tests are required for admission at the colleges/technical schools of your choice. Most schools accept the ACT and/or SAT but may require additional tests. Schedule and take the required tests well in advance of the deadline just in case you want to retake the test. 5 Meet all Required Deadlines for Dobyns-Bennett High School Dobyns-Bennett Counseling Office and colleges have deadline dates. Counselors require a two-week notice for recommendation letters. Colleges have application, scholarship, and housing deadlines that you must become familiar with as you plan your list of things to do. Become familiar with all of the deadline dates and do not procrastinate!! 7

8 College Applications Parent s Role & Responsibilities The parent s role in the college preparation process is to assist & support their child in making the best decision of where to attend college or technical school. The college application process requires effective communication between the parent and the child. Review the tips below to help make this process easier as you give guidance to your child: 1 Provide Encouragement & Support The college and career application process can be one of the most stressful times of a student s life. It can be equally as frightening and confusing to the parent. As your child completes this process, give them support and encouragement to navigate their way. With your support they will make the right decisions. Communication is key between the parent, student, and counselor in order for the college search and selection process to be productive and less stressful. Treat it as a working partnership! 2 Assist with Deadlines It is the student s responsibility to meet the required deadlines set forth by the colleges and Dobyns-Bennett High School. However, a reminder to meet those deadlines could be helpful to your child. For some, the reminder must be constant to ensure they do not miss the necessary deadline! 3 Determine the Financial Plan The financial plan to pay for college or technical school is the primary responsibility of the parent. Students have a vested interest, however; financial aid forms require tax return information of the parent. The student should become familiar with the overall process of determining a financial plan so they can properly select a school in which they can afford and the financial parameters that are in place to assist in payment of their education. It is helpful to use the Net Price Calculator on every college s website in the Financial Aid area to help to determine the overall cost of the specific school. Financial aid and scholarship awards normally begin in March of the senior year after the FAFSA has been received by the schools. 4 College Visits Parents are encouraged to attend college visits with their child. Parents have a vested interest in the college or technical school their student will be attending. Attend college fairs with your child, but don t takeover the conversation with the college representatives. Just listen, and let your child do the talking. 5 School Counselor Resource Contact your child s school counselor via or by phone if you have questions regarding the application process. 8

9 Frequently Asked Questions Question Answer When should I apply to college? What is early action and early decision? Should I try to graduate early from high school to start college early? What if I do not know what college major to select or have no idea what I want to major in my freshmen year of college? What about selective service? Colleges encourage students to apply as early as possible during the senior year. Some colleges begin acceptance as early as September 1st. Students should become familiar with application and scholarship deadlines. Keep in mind that colleges prefer to see a strong senior schedule and good grades for competitive admissions. Some (ED) early decision plans are binding-a student who is accepted as an ED applicant must attend the college. Early action plans are nonbinding students receive an early response to their application but do not have to commit to the college until the normal reply date of May 1. ED application do not have the opportunity to compare financial aid packages from other colleges which can be a disadvantage of early decision. Early graduation can impact financial aid and scholarships. If considering early graduation, you must see your counselor. Approximately 60% of college freshmen are undecided about their major. It is important to meet with your College & Career Counselor in high school in order to identify possible areas of interest so that you can chose a college to attend that has areas of study you are interested in. It is equally as important to utilize resources offered by the college in your freshmen and sophomore years to properly advise you in your search of a college major. All young men must register with Selective Service when they turn 18 years old. If you do not register, college financial aid may be withheld. Register online at 9

10 College Applications DB Deadlines 1 Student Recommendations Seniors must provide their counselor and/or teacher with a resume. Counselors will also need a student information recommendation form before recommendations can be processed. (See Appendix for forms) 2 Application Deadlines College Application Teachers and Counselors must have a 10 school days to complete recommendations. Please follow the deadlines listed on the left side to the teacher/ counselor due dates on the right side to insure recommendations can be completed. Application fee waivers might be accepted for students receiving free or reduced lunch. See your counselor for more information. 3 Early Action or Early Decision Students who apply either early action or early decision must request letters of recommendation prior to October 15!! 4 Deadlines Due Date To Request Recommendation November 1 October 15 November 15 October 31 December 1 November 15 December 15 November 30 January 1 December 7 Student Follow Up Students are responsible to verify with college admissions that all admissions processing is complete. Students should notify their counselor via when admissions activities are processed so they are fully informed of your status. Students should also keep copies of all documents, user names and passwords that have been created. This information will be needed frequently throughout school. 10

11 College Applications The Process Student submits online college application August-May Have someone proofread your application before you submit Verify the college received your application through confirmation Request your transcripts to be sent to the college in the Counseling Office Provide documents to counselor Counselor recommendation sheet Student Resume Provide documents to teacher Student Resume Teacher mails or s recommendation letter directly to the college. (Provide self-addressed stamped envelope if mailed) Counselor submits electronic secondary school report via online or mail hard copy Registrar mails transcript to college or counselor submits transcript electronically Student verifies status of application process College notifies student of decision 11

12 College Planning Checklist College Admission Testing DB students have the opportunity to take the ACT college admissions test for free in their junior year in the spring semester of get a ACT voucher from the Counseling Office and apply to test for free on a National test date. All students are encouraged to take the ACT at least one time. Students should check with the college of their choice to verify requirement of the writing section of the ACT. Some students retake the ACT in order to improve their scores. Colleges use these scores as part of the award process for scholarships as well as admission. Some colleges require the SAT college admission test. Students are advised to check with the schools of their interest to verify which test is required. DB will send ACT/SAT test scores to the requested institutions along with transcripts; however some colleges require test scores be sent directly from the testing company. Students should contact ACT and the College Board to order score reports. SAT TEST DATES ACT TEST DATES TEST DATES TEST DATES REGISTRATION DEADLINE October 11, 2014 June 6, 2014 November 8, 2014 September 13, 2014 August 8, 2014 October 25, 2014 September 19, 2014 December 6, 2014 December 13, 2014 November 7, 2014 January 24, 2014 March 14, 2014 February 7, 2015 January 9, 2015 April 18, 2015 March 13, 2015 May 2, 2014 * See website for June 13, 2015 May 8, 2015 DB school code for registration # DB test center code : ACT SAT TOEFL ibt test is used for ESL students to demonstrate their English-Language proficiency. It measures the ability to use and understand English at the university level. It evaluates how well the student combines their listening, reading, speaking and writing skills to perform academic tests. Colleges will notify a student if the TOEFL is required. Go to for more information. 12

13 College Search How do you determine what college or technical school is the best fit for you? In order to compare colleges that you would like to attend, a student must identify the important aspects a school must have in order to identify colleges/technical schools that best meet your needs. Type, location, size, academic majors, cost, and extracurricular activities are some of the most important aspects to consider when making a decision as to where to attend. WEB RESOURCES FOR COLLEGE SEARCH College for TN College Board College Confidential College Navigator College View My College Guide Peterson s Princeton Review KnowHow2Go https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/college-search National Association for College Admission Counseling WEB RESOURCES FOR SCHOLARSHIP SEARCH College Board TN Achieves FASTWEB ZINCH https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/financial-aid https://www.tnachieves.org TN Student Assistance Corporation 13

14 Financial Aid Resources FAFSA Free Application for Federal Student Aid All students must complete the FAFSA in order to receive any type of financial aid and to receive the Tennessee Hope Scholarship. Financial aid can include both grant monies (no repayment) and federal student loan monies (repayment required). The FAFSA should be completed after January 1st of the year the senior plans to attend school. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible since some grants expire once funds are depleted. Parents will have to estimate income information to complete the FAFSA. Once tax return information is completed, the FAFSA income estimate be updated online. Students and parents must register for an account at and remember their secret pin number for future use every year when applying for federal student aid. It is advised that students keep their pin number in a safe place. *This is a FREE service. Do not ever pay to complete the FAFSA. Requirements: Award: Tennessee Hope Scholarship 1. Freshmen must have a minimum of a 21 ACT (980 SAT), exclusive of the essay and optional subject area battery tests OR overall un-weighted minimum 3.0 GPA 2. Enroll within 16 months following high school graduation 1. Up to $1,750 for four-year institutions for Freshmen & Sophomores 2. Up to $2,250 for four-year institutions for Junior & Seniors 3. Up to $1,500 for two-year institutions for Freshmen Toll Free Assistance Free scholarship help is available to TN to contact Outreach TN. US Department of Education provides information about federal student assistance

15 Financial Aid Resources Tennessee Promise For more information and to apply, visit Tennessee Promise offers 2 years of tuition-free community or Technical college to Tennessee high school graduates beginning with the Class of Apply By November 1: 2. File By February 15: 3. Meet Spring 2015: 4. Submit Spring 2015: 5. Serve Apply for the Tennessee Promise scholarship at A local partnering organization will contact you to help you complete your Tennessee Promise requirements. File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on Meet your college mentor and attend two mandatory meetings held by your local partnering organization. Submit a college application and enroll in an eligible college program. In the Summer: Complete your first 8 hours of community service Toll Free Assistance Free scholarship help is available to TN to contact Outreach TN. US Department of Education provides information about federal student assistance

16 Financial Aid Resources Wilder-Naifeh Technical Skills Grant Students who want to enroll in a Certificate or Degree program at any Tennessee College of Applied Technology can receive the Wilder-Naifeh Grant. Students must be a Tennessee resident, be enrolled full-time (part-time prorated) in a TCAT Center and cannot be a prior recipient of the Tennessee HOPE Scholarship or Wildner-Naifeh Technical Skills Grant. $2000 award (or no more than the cost of attendance Need $ for College To find out what government financial aid you can apply for, and how, go to: Don t Get Scammed Searching for Scholarships Read Don t Get Scammed on Your Way to College! : Questions about Federal Student Aid If you have questions about the federal student aid program or need assistance with the application process, call FED-AID ( ) or the TTY for the hearing impaired, Federal Student Loan Information Learn the basics & manage your debt by going to and reading the sections Prepare and Receive. Federal Income Tax Credits for Education Expenses Learn how you may benefit from federal income tax credits for education expenses by going to and read IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education 16

17 Students with Disabilities WEB RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES Although students with disabilities are no longer eligible for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Act, students are protected under Section 504 from discrimination. It is important you know your rights and learn self-advocacy skills to transition from high school to college. Below are some resources to help with important information: Section 504 Your Rights & Responsibilities FAQs About Section 504 and Post Secondary Education Section 504 Subpart E: Postsecondary Education College Students and Disability Law by Stephen Thomas Comprehensive article about Section 504, ADA, qualifying as a person with a disability, admission, accommodations, and dismissal. Includes guidelines for higher education practitioners; legal references. Know Your Rights and Responsibilities Questions and Answers on Disability Discrimination under Section 504 and Title II Policy Statement: Disability Harassment in Colleges (U. S. Department of Education) Planning & Preparing for College College Planning for Students with Learning Disabilities Getting Ready for College: Advising Students with Learning Disabilities College: Continuing and Higher Education for Students with Disabilities - Wrightslaw Financial Aid Guides and Resources Wrightslaw Steps to College ***Students should contact the Office of Disability Services at the college of their choice to find out the required documents needed for enrollment. 17

18 Keys to Success in College WEB RESOURCES TO HELP BE SUCCESSFUL IN COLLEGE Study Strategies Keys to Success in College Study Skills Guide Ten Traps of Studying Cornell Note Taking System Self-Advocacy for College Students Planning for Successful Transition for All Students Internship & Service Programs Vault Career Intelligence The Washington Program U.S. Department of State United We Serve AmeriCorp Discovery Internships Student Athlete Resources National Collegiate Athletic Association National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics National Junior College Athletic Association 18

19 Appendix 19

20 DOBYNS-BENNETT HIGH SCHOOL PERSONAL DATA SHEET FOR GRADUATING SENIORS STUDENT S NAME Last First Middle ADDRESS CONTACT NUMBER A FINAL TRANSCRIPT WILL BE SENT TO ONLY ONE COLLEGE. PLEASE LIST THE COLLEGE YOU PLAN TO AT- TEND NEXT FALL. FINAL TRANSCRIPT TO: Name of Institution and Locations IF YOU NEED A FINAL TRANSCRIPT SENT TO NCAA CHECK HERE. IF YOU HAVE BEEN GRANTED ANY SCHOLARSHIP MONEY OR FINANCIAL AID, PLEASE LIST ALL MONIES OFFERED. PLEASE DO NOT WRITE IN FULL RIDE, WE MUST HAVE DOLLAR AMOUNT. SCHOLARSHIPS/FINANCIAL AID $ AMOUNT/YEAR # YEARS LOTTERY MONEY (HOPE SCHOLARSHIP) IF YOU DO NOT PLAN ON ATTENDING COLLEGE, WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS? Work Armed Forces (What Branch?) Other (Be Specific) IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED RECOGNITION FOR ANY OF THE FOLLOWING, PLEASE CHECK ALL THAT APPLY: Governor s School Participant All State Music/Choir/Drama Participant Which one Taken Dual Enrollment/Fast Track Classes NOTE: If any information given above changes or if you receive additional information about scholarships, it is your responsibility to come to the Counseling Office and make the changes on this sheet. Thank You! 20

21 SENIOR TRANSCRIPT REQUEST DATE: NAME: PLEASE SEND THE FOLLOWING: (Check all that apply) TRANSCRIPT ALL ACT SCORES SEND ONLY SCORES FROM THESE DATES ALL SAT SCORES SEND ONLY SCORES FROM THESE DATES SEND TO: Signature 21

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