STEP-BY-STEP HOW TO APPLY TO COLLEGE GUIDE ETOWAH HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELING DEPARTMENT

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1 STEP-BY-STEP HOW TO APPLY TO COLLEGE GUIDE ETOWAH HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELING DEPARTMENT Seniors, your EHS Counselors are here to help you with your college decisions. There are lots of questions we ask to help you narrow down your college choice. How large a college do you want to attend? Do you want to live at home or in the dorm? Which colleges offer your proposed major? Ultimately when it comes time to apply, the job falls to you. Below is a list of steps to follow when applying to college. Let me caution you that these steps are a general list, as some colleges require more to apply and others less. READ THE INFORMATION PROVIDED BY COLLEGE ADMISSIONS DEPARTMENTS; USE THEIR WEBSITE OR CALL THEM WITH QUESTIONS. THEY ARE THE EXPERTS ON THEIR ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS. 1. Narrow down your choices: There are thousands of colleges to choose from. The first step is narrowing down your choices. Ask yourself, Do I want a technical college or a university? Will I commute or live on campus? Can I afford this college if I am accepted? Do I have the grades and test scores to apply to this college? Once you have limited your college choices by your list of preferences and the colleges entrance requirements, you should further narrow your list by visiting the colleges to see if they feel like a good fit. Limit your list to at least 2 and more than 5 colleges. 2. Apply: You ve narrowed your list of colleges; now you have to apply. Generally, the application is found on the college/university s Admissions web page. Look for the Undergraduate, Prospective Student or Freshmen link. The requirements and process vary from college to college. Follow the application directions and keep notes of the steps required and deadlines to submit the required information or documents. Applying to multiple colleges is confusing, so keep good records. NEVER call the college by the wrong name in your admissions application. Most colleges require you to complete their online application, pay an application fee, submit ACT or SAT scores, and submit an official high school transcript. The online application and application fee you will complete at home with the assistance of your parents. ACT and SAT scores can be requested at the time you take the exam. If you did not request your scores be sent to your colleges at the time you tested, you will need to request an official transcript from CollegeBoard.com for SAT scores or ACT.com for ACT scores to be sent to the college. EHS is prohibited by College Board and ACT from sending your test scores to colleges. If you are applying to an in state college you can use GACollege411.org to request a transcript be sent electronically at no cost. If you are applying out of state, you have two options for sending a transcript. You can (1) complete a paper copy transcript request form available in the counseling office, 3108 or (2) visit and request a transcript be sent electronically to an out of state college/university. There is a $5 per copy cost for an official transcript ordered through parchment or the EHS counseling office. 3. Submit supplemental materials: In addition to these commonly requested application requirements, some colleges will ask students to write an essay or submit letters of recommendation. Many of these requests are electronic and students will enter in a counselor s or teacher s address to request a recommendation letter. The automated is sent to the teacher or counselor with instructions on how to complete the request. Make sure you ask your teachers and counselors in advance of sending them a request for a recommendation letter. EHS Counselors have a Counselor Recommendation Request Form that we require be completed for us to write a personal letter for each of our students. The form is on the following pages with instructions and deadlines for receiving letters of recommendation. You may want to give teachers or others similar 1

2 information when requesting they write a letter of recommendation. Colleges want letters of recommendation that don t just list facts about a students, but instead tell a student s story and make the reader want to get to know more about the student. 4. Be Patient: Colleges communicate by , so make sure you provide an address you are sure to check. You may be asked to set-up an account with the college/university admissions website so that you can log in and check the status of your application. Be sure you read each communication received from the college so you don t miss out on an opportunity or deadline. te all dates of acceptance that a college has posted, so you will know when to expect to hear back on an application. Once you are accepted you will continue to receive information from the college concerning scholarships, housing, meal plans, orientation Accepted/Denied/Wait Listed: Whatever the decision you receive, there is a best fit for you. Please feel free to speak to your counselor about your college search and application process. We love to talk about your future and help you realize your goals. 2

3 Etowah High School School Counseling Department Counselor Recommendation Request Packet 2015/16 INSTRUCTIONS: If you are applying to any college or scholarship program which requires a counselor recommendation, please use the following procedures to ensure that all required forms and letters of recommendation are completed and sent electronically or mailed in accordance with the deadlines set by the college or scholarship provider. Please indicate on the Counselor Recommendation Request form if the recommendation is an online submission or hard copy. If hard copy (this is very rare), print the form, complete your portion (student name, address, etc.), and attach it to the Recommendation Request form. Step 1. Read all instructions before doing anything! There are 2 parts of this application. Step 2. Know the deadlines set by the colleges, scholarship providers Step 3. Know the deadlines set by the Etowah Counseling Department: If the recommendation is due at the college by... Then the request for the recommendation from your counselor must be made by... October 15, 2015 (UGA & October 1, 2015 Tech Early Action Deadline) vember 3, 2015 October 17, 2015 vember 14, 2015 October 30, December 1, 2015 vember, 7, 2015 (earlier due to Thanksgiving Break) January 1, 2016 December 5, 2015 (earlier due to Winter Holiday) January 15, 2016 December 5, 2015 (earlier due to Winter Holiday) ANY OTHER DATE 10 school days prior to the due date (please keep in mind that holidays and beginning/ending semester activities can cause delays) Step 4. Complete the Recommendation Request Form and the Student Self-Assessment Form completely. Your recommendation will not be the best possible letter written for you without this portion of the packet being completed in its entirety. If you do not answer the questions in your packet, we have a standard form letter we will send to meet your deadline, but we do not recommend it. If colleges ask for letters of recommendation, it is because they want to know more about you than your grades and test scores. Step 5. Give the Parent Rating Form to your parent/guardian to complete, and the two Teacher Rating Forms to two different teachers that know you well. **te: These forms are extremely helpful in writing a recommendation, but will not delay submission if not turned in.** Step 6. Turn in the form by the 2 week advanced notice deadline. 3

4 ETOWAH HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELOR RECOMMENDATION REQUEST FORM Student Name: ID #: address: Cell Phone: Counselor (please check one): Minton (A-C) Findlay (D-G) Shull (H-L) Dowd (M-R) Brangan (S-Z) Part 1. Use table below to indicate exactly what you are requesting. COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY or SCHOLARSHIP NAME: DEADLINE: postmarked date (PM) or received by date (Rx) Have you ed a link to the recommendation form to your counselor? If no, do this immediately. If the college s form is paper, is it attached? Attach the form and provide a mailing address. PM Rx PM Rx PM Rx PM Rx PM Rx 4

5 Part 2. Complete the Student Self-Assessment Form and turn it in with your list of colleges needing recommendations. SELF-ASSESSMENT FORM PLEASE TYPE OR WRITE LEGIBLY. ATTACH ADDITIONAL SHEETS IF NECESSARY. Student Name: ID #: TAA Teacher: In-School Activity (Sport, club, organization, etc.) Grades Position Held, honors won, or letters earned Describe your involvement Out of School Activity Grades Position Held, honors won, or letters earned Describe your involvement 5

6 The questions below are the kinds of things colleges want to know about their applicants. Please attach additional pages if needed. 1) What five (5) words best describe you? 2) What are your two most significant activities? What have they meant to you? 3) A leader is someone who influences others. Tell of a time or event that best describes your leadership skills. 4) Which subjects do you hope to study in college? Why? 5) Detail any learning you have pursued in these subjects outside of the classroom. This could be volunteer work, reading, a summer program, shadowing, etc. 6) Describe your hobbies and why you do them. For example: I have my own web design company. I am a member of a garage band. I have been studying Indian dance since I was five. I spend my weekends rebuilding my car. 6

7 7) How have you spent each summer in high school? 8) What accomplishment are you most proud of? 9) Who has made the most significant impact in your life? How has this person influenced you? 10) Describe any special circumstances or obstacles that have influenced you or affected your grades. What did you do and what did you learn? 11) What do you see yourself doing: In 5 years: In 10 years: 12) List any other honors and awards you have received you have not yet mentioned. 13) What has been your greatest contribution to your school community? Or, if there was one thing you would want to be remembered for, what would it be? 7

8 14) Include here anything else about yourself that would help your counselor get to know you better. 8

9 Student Name: Parent cell #/ ETOWAH HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELOR RECOMMENDATION PACKET PARENT RATING FORM (Our preference is that you complete this electronically and to your student s counselor. Otherwise, please number your responses and answer on a separate sheet of paper). Parent Name: Thank you for answering these questions. We know your son/daughter in the context of the school, but your insights from home can really lend substance and life to a description of your child s personality and character. 1. Briefly describe your son/daughter, including outstanding or unusual qualities (personal stories and anecdotes are very helpful). 2. List any events or experiences you feel have significantly influenced him/her. 3. What do you hope your child will gain from his/her college experience? 4. Does your child s academic record accurately reflect his or her academic ability? If no, please explain. 5. In what areas has your child shown the most development and growth during high school? 6. Please share an anecdote that demonstrates one of your student s most distinguishing qualities. Please be as specific as possible. How does this anecdote reflect the kind of person your child is now? 7. What has been your child s most challenging experience (in or out of school)? 8. Please relate a favorite recent memory/anecdote/story which best describes your child. 9. Is there anything else your child s college counselor should know about your child or your family? 9

10 EHS TEACHER RATING FORM PLEASE RETURN TO 3108 BY: Student Name: Teacher Name: Thank you for the time spent completing this form. We regard your active relationship with the student as the most authentic resource with which to create an accurate and compelling overview of this student for college admissions. Your evidence- based information is very important. When you complete this form, please print and return it to the counseling office. PLEASE COMPLETE THIS SECTION! According to your professional judgment, how would you rate this student in the following categories compared to other students in their graduating class. Check 1 box per row. Basis for Judgment Below Average Average Above Average (top 20%) Excellent (top 15%) Outstanding (top 5%) ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT CO- CURRICULAR INVOLVEMENT COMMITMENT TO SERVICE ABILITY TO INTERACT WITH DIFFERENT GROUPS POSITIVE IMPACT AT SCHOOL CHARACTER & INTEGRITY You do not need to list the student s activities, GPA, or courses taken. We are most interested in their functioning in your class/activity. And what you know/perceive about the student s character. In what capacity do you know this student? How long have you known the student? What words come to mind when you think of this student? 10

11 CHOOSE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS THAT YOU FEEL CAN OFFER THE MOST INSIGHTFUL INFORMATION ABOUT THE STUDENT. 1) What makes this student stand out from other students you have taught? Please relate any special anecdotes which demonstrate this student s uniqueness and that would define this student 2) Describe a piece of work that the student has done that stands out to you. 3) What strengths and/or weaknesses do you see in this student with regard to academics, character, work ethic, leadership, social maturity, etc? 4) Please share any other thoughts, observations, or feelings that would help us better understand this student. Is there a metaphor, quote, word, or picture that would capture the essence of who this student is? 5) Please describe any unusual circumstances, special background information, or other factors (positive or negative) that may be relevant to the applicant s academic performance or pertinent to the overall evaluation? What question number are you answering? 11

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