COLLEGE / UNIVERSITY PLANNING GUIDE CLASS OF WILDWOOD CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL

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1 COLLEGE / UNIVERSITY PLANNING GUIDE CLASS OF 2015 WILDWOOD CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL CEEB Code Number: Guidance Office: Guidance Fax:

2 FAFSA Parents- Submit your application early, but not before January 1 Sign your FAFSA with a Federal Student Aid PIN. If you do not have a PIN, you can apply for one at before beginning the FAFSA SAT REASONING / SUBJECT TEST You should have already taken the SAT at least two times by then end of your Junior Year. If you have not done so you must sign up for the next possible dates. ACT The ACT is a great option for you to take. It should be used to supplement you SAT score. It can be used by schools to accept you, especially if you SAT scores are not as high as you had hoped. NCAA CLEARING HOUSE Student/Athletes that want to continue to play sports in college must be approved by the NCAA Clearing House. Students must apply online at the address listed above. After you apply, please bring in the secondary report to the Guidance Office so we can send your transcript.

3 Thinking about college? You are entering a very exciting period of your life. The transition from high school to college is filled with challenge, opportunity, and decision making. This transition period can be a difficult and confusing time, but it will have its rewards if you work at it. Remember that it is a process with a beginning, middle, and an end. Approaching college selection with this perspective in mind will lead to effective decision making. Because the process of selecting college is very personal, it must begin with self reflection. You must consider many things about yourself: your goals, strengths, weaknesses, and reasons for going to college. Then, consider the many criteria that you will use in choosing which colleges to explore. Finally, factor in finances. When you are thinking about yourself, be realistic. Dream, but keep one foot on the ground. Consult your parents and others about your future, but keep in mind that it is your future and you must make the decisions. You don t have to find the answers to all of your questions, but you do need to consider questions about your future as you approach the process of applying for admission to college. Throughout the Process of making a college decision the Guidance Office is here to help you with the various steps in the admission process. You will meet with Mr. Quinn in an interview at the beginning of the school year. You will also receive a packet and instructions on the process that you must follow. There are specific guidelines that must be followed in order to process your requests. Let s take a look at the questions that you should begin asking yourself. They are: Location How far away from your family and friends do you want to be? If you go far away please consider travel expenses and the ability to come home. Do you want to go to college in a specific region of the country? Are there areas that you do not want to go to? Do you want a college that has co-op and internship possibilities? Are you more interested in an urban, suburban, or rural setting? Does this matter to you? Do you want a campus that offers cultural/sporting events on or off campus?

4 Cost How large of a role will cost play into your decision? How much can your family afford to contribute? Are you willing to take loans? Do you know what type of financial aid is available to you? Do you know what types of loans and grants are available to you? Have you consulted with any college financial aid offices to investigate your chances of receiving aid? Have you looked into which schools give the most aid? Will you investigate scholarship opportunities in the community and state? Have you investigated the scholarship opportunities available nationally? How alert are you going to be when scholarship opportunities are announced through the Guidance Office? Size Do you prefer a small, medium, or large school? Does it matter to you? Have you considered the size of the program in which you are interested and the average class size in it? Do you prefer a diverse student body? Standards for Admissions Have you investigated how competitive admission is at the schools that you are applying? Have you investigated which factors (Grades, SAT/ACT Scores, Extra-curriculars) each college considers to be important? Have you objectively judged yourself against the average standards for admissions at each school? Are you considering schools across the spectrum for standards? Have you been careful to select schools that you feel give you a good chance of gaining admission? Do you have a safety school? Do you have a Longshot school?

5 Choice of Programs Are you considering schools based on a particular academic interest or on a more general criteria? If you are selecting based on a specific area, are you absolutely sure it is what you want to study? Should you seek to gain admission in the general admission process, then focus on your major once school begins? Are you going to apply for Early Decision? Early Action? You must know the difference! 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. School Life Do you want an active school? Do people stay on the weekends? Do many students commute? Will my lifestyle fit in? Will I be happy with the location? Application Options Will you apply directly to each school? Will you use Common Application to apply the current list that accepts the common app can be found at Focus Questions 1. Why do I want to go to college? 2. How good are my grades? Have I challenged myself enough? 3. Have I looked at admission standards? 4. Do I have a profession or career in mind? 5. Do I have any specific preferences for college? 6. How will I pay for school? List six characteristics that the perfect college will offer you.

6 Next steps Summer College Thinking 1. If the SAT scores have revealed a weak spot, plan a program of self-improvement. 2. If you are planning to apply Early Decision, begin making a definitive choice. 3. If you are travelling you should plan college visitations. Call for an appointment if possible. 4. Use the College Atlas at to help you begin investigating schools. 5. Begin to focus on some school choices start to narrow your searches. College Tours over the Summer or in the Fall Think of a campus visit as a test drive. It lets you get a sense of whether or not you feel the school is right for you. Below are some things to keep in mind. Plan ahead Schedule a personal interview or meet with an Admissions Representative *(see section below) Take the official campus tour Attend a class Explore the dorms, dining hall, library, and the student center Note how far the dorms are away from the academic center of the campus Talk with students Do you want to spend the night with a host student? Ask about campus safety - Alarms, lights, security, etc. Can you have a car? Get to know the area and town When you are finished with the tour you should write down your impressions somewhere so you can reflect on them later.

7 Interview The interviewer wishes to understand you, the applicant. In some cases he/she will have to defend your case before the admissions committee and impressions established during the interview are crucial. It is important for you to use this opportunity to try to understand the college, to determine if the fit is right. Keep in mind the following points when interviewing: 1. The interviewer is a professional who understands that high school seniors are often nervous. Open-ended questions will put you at ease and give you a chance to talk freely and intelligently. Be yourself. 2. Think carefully before answering a question. Don t worry about moments of silence as you collect your thoughts. Impulsive answers may not be appropriate. Don t be afraid to admit that you don t know something. 3. This is your one chance to honestly brag about yourself. Be positive and confident, but don t be pushy or boast. 4. If you feel as though the conversation is starting to spiral in the wrong direction, simply compose yourself and change the subject to a more comfortable topic. Have many questions prepared ahead of time. 5. Bring a notebook or tablet with you. Have on it a list of questions that you have. You can interview the school as well! General tips and suggestions: 1. Remain standing until you are asked to sit. 2. Leave your parents outside unless the interviewer requests them to join in this moment is about you. 3. Be as relaxed and poised as possible. 4. Shake hands and look people in the eye. 5. Be prepared to discuss your vocational interests and plans. Tell them why you have chosen their school as an option. 6. Ask for the business card of the interviewer or Admissions Rep this is now your contact person in the office. The Application Process Upon completing your investigations you must begin the final and most crucial step of the process: filling out the applications. The sooner you start the easier the year will be for you.

8 Become acquainted with the procedures before hand and follow the instructions throughout the stages of the filing process to create the least amount of confusion. Deadlines are extremely important. You must make note of all deadlines to ensure that all paperwork makes it to the admissions office of your choice. Whether you are applying online, through the school s website or Common App, or through the traditional paper application, it is imperative that you keep the Guidance Office aware of sent applications by filling out a TRANSCRIPT REQUEST FORM each time you apply to a school. All colleges and universities will receive a packet from Wildwood Catholic High School that contains your transcript, student profile, and school profile. Teacher recommendations are an important part of the application. You must ask your teachers if they would write you a letter of recommendation don t just expect them to do so. If your teacher agrees to write your letter you must either provide them with the submittal information. If they are to submit the forms online let them know where to send it. If they are to submit the form through traditional mail you must provide them with an addressed envelope. Essays Every school has their own essay options. However, most schools tend to ask the same type of questions. Think of the essay as an opportunity to convey your personal factor to the school. Your essay is a chance to talk with anyone who reads your application. Your ultimate goal should be to write an essay that causes the reader to want to show their colleagues your story. Do not lie, exaggerate, or plagiarize your essay. Steps Prepare a rough draft Make sure that your essays answer the questions, but interpret the topics in your own style. Have someone check your work over before entering the essay as part of your application. Please be sure to visit the Guidance tab on our website for information regarding scholarships, financial aid info, and the College Atlas. Good Luck!

9 Senior Year September- 1. Study Read Continue to do your best work. Your college acceptance may depend on what you do this school year. 2. SAT Registration for Subject Tests or if you feel as though you must take the SAT Reasoning test again. November should be your final attempt unless a school asks you to try again for a specific score. Look into ACT testing. 3. Complete initial meeting with Mr. Quinn and get to work on the materials in your folder resume, signed release forms, updated transcript, etc. 4. Make choices and start applying! October 1. Continue to work on college selection. 2. If applying for Early Decision or Early Action, don t miss the November Deadline 3. Contact teachers about recommendations. Give them ample time to write them at least 2 weeks good letters take some thought and therefore, some time. 4. Now that you have established contact with a college and started to narrow down your search please note the steps to final admission. The sequence will differ slightly from college to college, but all candidates should expect to complete all steps. a. Application for admission b. Personnel and character recommendations as required c. Official school records provided by Guidance Office d. Financial Aid applications if applicable November 1. November 1 (a common application deadline for many schools) 2. Deadline for Early Decision 3. Take November SAT Reasoning if necessary 4. Continue to work on applications December 1. Inform G.O. of your acceptances and scholarship notices.

10 2. Utilize the Christmas Break for finalizing applications for schools with January 1 deadlines January 1. Deadlines for many college admissions and scholarship applications 2. Parents should Submit FAFSA after January 1 as soon as possible money is given out as it is available you don t want it to run out by not submitting until February or March. PLEASE NOTE- For Financial Advice you should seek professional help. Each family has a unique set of circumstances that could potentially change regularly. February 1. First Semester grades will be automatically sent out to the schools that you applied to. 2. This is the traditional waiting period for acceptances and rejections. This time period extends into March, April, and sometimes May. When you have been accepted, and made your choice, you should write to the other schools and withdrawal your application. 3. Do not fall into a slump college acceptances are not final until END OF THE YEAR TRANSCRIPTS ARE RECEIVED. You do not want to be denied acceptance due to poor grades at the end of your Senior Year. March/April/May 1. Make certain that any and all information sent to you by accepting/rejecting colleges is read carefully and completely. Make sure that you fulfill all requirements by the dates mentioned. 2. Send in deposits if you have made your decision 3. Finalize any financial aid packets with the financial office at the college/university of your choice. June 1. GRADUATE

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