Guidance Department College Admissions Counseling

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1 Guidance Department College Admissions Counseling

2 3 Ryerson Avenue Caldwell, NJ Fax: Dear students and families, As your school counselor, I look forward to working with you throughout junior and senior year through individual appointments and guidance classes. Class time will be spent discussing post-high school planning topics such as, how to use the online program Naviance, how to create a college list, pieces of an application, college admissions terminology, majors and fields of study, and processes in our guidance department. I encourage students and families to make individual appointments with me during the school day to discuss post-high school planning and the college admissions process. The enclosed packet of materials has been given to juniors during class and is also posted on Edline. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns, as I would be happy to help. Sincerely, Miss Kathryn DeBlock, MA School Counselor x1128 Empowering Young Women

3 checklist Junior Year Work hard in all of your classes at MSDA. Use various online and book resources to prepare for SAT testing. Create an account on and register for SAT testing. Determine whether you need to take the SAT Subject Tests, and in which areas. Decide if you want to take the ACT test and register for ACT testing at Seriously begin your post-high school search. (Junior Parent Conferences and Guidance Class will enable you to begin with a plan for research.) Use Naviance Family Connection and Collegeboard Big Future to learn about majors, colleges, careers, and scholarship information. Visit college campuses on your spring and summer breaks. Collect information in admissions and be sure your name is on mailing lists. Remember to sign in when you attend an information session or tour. Attend local college fairs and speak with college representatives. Set up appointments with your counselor frequently to help narrow your college list and pick possible majors.

4 Naviance Our guidance department is pleased to introduce Family Connection from Naviance, a Web-based service designed especially for students and parents. Family Connection is a comprehensive website focused on helping students with post high school planning decisions, including career development and the college application process. Family Connection is linked with Counselor s Office, a service that we use in our office to track and analyze data about college and career plans, so it provides up-to-date information that s specific to Mount Saint Dominic Academy. We hope that you will find Family Connection to be a helpful resource throughout the college search and application process. If you have further questions about Family Connection, please contact Miss DeBlock. Family Connection allows students to: Get involved in the planning and advising process Build a resume, complete online surveys, and manage timelines and deadlines for making decisions about colleges and careers. Research colleges Compare GPA, standardized test scores, and other statistics to actual historical data from our school for students who have applied to schools you may be thinking of and their admittance rates. Sign up for college visits Find out which colleges are visiting our school and plan on speaking with the college representatives. Family Connection allows counselors to: Submit supporting application materials The guidance department and teachers are able to submit transcripts, letters of recommendation, and other documents electronically to colleges and universities. Share information Counselors can share information about up-coming meetings and events, local scholarship opportunities, and other web resources for college and career information.

5 Find your Fit How to Create a College List Factors to consider Size Location Cost of Tuition Financial Aid/ Scholarships Program of study Internship/research opportunities Athletics Student life on campus Graduation rate/ Job rate Faculty to Student Ratio Campus Setting and Surrounding Area Career Services Tutoring and Writing Center Resources Your college list should have a balanced number of reach, target, and safety schools. Reach School Target School Safety School Your academic credentials fall below the school s standards. The school has a lower acceptance rate. Your academic credentials fall within or above the school s range. The school has an average acceptance rate. Your academic credentials fall above the school s range making you feel reasonable certain you will be admitted. The school has a higher acceptance rate.

6 process Parts of a college application Sent by Student Application (paper, electronic, or Common App) Essay Fee SAT/ACT Scores Sent by Guidance Transcript with School Profile Counselor Letter of Recommendation First Marking Period Grades Mid-Year Report Final Transcript Any additional documents Sent by Teacher Letter of Recommendation

7 the Lingo College Admission Glossary ACT A standardized college admission test. It features four main sections: English, math, reading and science and an optional essay section. Articulation Agreement An agreement between two-year and four-year colleges that makes it easier to transfer credits between them. It spells out which courses count for degree credit and the grades you need to earn to get credit. Candidates Reply Date Agreement (CRDA) An agreement many colleges follow that gives applicants until May 1 to accept or decline offers of admission. This agreement gives students time to get responses from most of the colleges they have applied to before deciding on one. Class Rank A measurement of how your academic achievement compares with that of other students in your grade. This number is usually determined by using a weighted GPA that takes into account both your grades and the difficulty of the courses you ve taken. College Application Essay An essay that a college requires students to write and submit as part of their application. Some colleges offer applicants specific questions to answer, while others simply ask applicants to write about themselves. Colleges may refer to this as a personal statement. Common Application A standard application form accepted by all colleges that are members of the Common Application association. You can fill out this application once and submit it to any one - or several - of the 475-plus colleges that accept it. Deferred Admission Permission from a college that has accepted you to postpone enrolling in the college. The postponement is usually for up to one year. Early Action (EA) An option to submit your applications before the regular deadlines. When you apply early action, you get admission decisions from colleges earlier than usual. Early action plans are not binding, which means that you do not have to enroll in a college if you are accepted early action. Some colleges have an early action option called EA II, which has a later application deadline than their regular EA plan. Early Decision (ED) An option to submit an application to your first-choice college before the regular deadline. When you apply early decision, you get an admission decision earlier than usual. Early decision plans are binding. You agree to enroll in the college immediately if admitted and offered a financial aid package that meets your needs. Some colleges have an early decision option called ED II, which has a later application deadline than their regular ED plan.

8 Financial Aid Money given or loaned to you to help pay for college. Financial aid can come from federal and state governments, colleges, and private organizations. Legacy Applicant A college applicant with a relative (usually a parent or grandparent) who graduated from that college. Some colleges give preference to legacy applicants (also called legacies ). Need-Blind Admission A policy of making admission decisions without considering the financial circumstances of applicants. Colleges that use this policy may not offer enough financial aid to meet a student s full need. Placement Tests Tests that measure the academic skills needed for college-level work. They cover reading, writing, math and sometimes other subjects. Placement test results help determine what courses you are ready for and whether you would benefit from remedial classes. Priority Date or Deadline The date by which your application whether it s for college admission, student housing or financial aid must be received to be given the strongest consideration. Rolling Admission An admission policy of considering each application as soon as all required information (such as high school records and test scores) has been received, rather than setting an application deadline and reviewing applications in a batch. Colleges that use a rolling admission policy usually notify applicants of admission decisions quickly. SAT The College Board s standardized college admission test. It features three main sections: math, reading and writing, which includes a written essay. SAT Subject Tests Hour-long, content-based college admission tests that allow you to showcase achievement in specific subject areas: English, history, math, science and languages. Some colleges use Subject Tests to place students into the appropriate courses as well as in admission decisions. Based on your performance on the test(s), you could potentially fulfill basic requirements or earn credit for introductory-level courses. Transcript The official record of your course work at a school. Your high school transcript is usually required for college admission and for some financial aid packages. Waiting List The list of applicants who may be admitted to a college if space becomes available. Colleges wait to hear if all the students they accepted decide to attend. If students don t enroll and there are empty spots, a college may fill them with students who are on the waiting list. Weighted Grade Point Average (GPA) A grade point average that s calculated using a system that assigns a higher point value to grades in more-difficult classes. For example, some high schools assign the value of 5.0 (instead of the standard 4.0) for an A earned in an AP class. College Admission Glossary: Learn the Lingo. Big Future by The College Board. College Board, n.d. Web. December 2014.

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