12th Grade Comprehensive School Counseling Program

Sept. 22, 2016 Presentation  Class of 2017 Application Workshop

Sept. 29, 2016 college-financial-aid-night-presentation-2016

SENIOR TIMELINE:

  1. September
    Meet with your counselor to discuss your college plans.

    • Check to be sure you know all your college deadlines.
    • Visit and tour all interested colleges. Tours and interviews can be arranged through all undergraduate admissions offices.
  • Sign up for October, November or December SAT, SAT SUBJECT TEST(S) or ACT. Please note you will be offered four free score reports when registering.
  • Begin application process (application(s), essay, resume/activity sheet).
  • Decide if you wish to apply for early decision or early action.
  • Sign up to see college representatives in the College Career Center. A schedule of visiting college representatives can be accessed through Family Connection or posted in your homeroom, college career center and guidance offices.
  • Review your Senior Credit Check.
  • Ask two teachers for a letter of recommendation if you did not do this in June.

October

    • File any applications for early decision or early action.
    • Make an appointment with your counselor to review senior application packet materials.
    • Sign up for December SAT, SAT SUBJECT TEST(S) or ACT, if necessary.
    • Visit, Visit, Visit Colleges!
    • Sign up to see college representatives in the College Career Center.
    • Ask two teachers for a letter of recommendation if you have not already done so.
    • Check transcript to be sure it is accurate.
    • Research sources of financial aid including the FAFSA and CSS profile. (see page 13)
    • Check homeroom, Guidance, Main Offices and in Family Connection under Colleges tab for notices of scholarship information.
    • File Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form for financial aid.

November

Take November SAT or SAT SUBJECT TEST(S), if appropriate.

    • Continue visiting colleges.
    • Complete college applications and submit release forms to your counselor.
    • Continue researching colleges in the College Career Center.
    • Sign up for January SAT or SAT SUBJECT TEST(S), if necessary.
    • Release official SAT, SAT SUBJECT TEST(S) and/or ACT scores to all your colleges through COLLEGE BOARD or ACT.
    • Check with your school counselor to review your lists of schools.

December

Complete college applications.

    • Expect notification of early action / early decision.
    • Access Financial Aid Form (FAFSA) on line. Plan to attend Financial Aid night at Fairfield Warde High School.
    • Take December SAT, SAT SUBJECT TEST(S) or ACT, if necessary.

 

January

Take SAT or SAT SUBJECT TEST(S), if necessary.
Rolling admissions schools will begin notifying students.
Inform your counselor of all admissions decisions and update Family Connection.
Make sure to write a thank you note to anyone who wrote a letter of recommendation.

February – June

Beware of “Senior Slump.” All colleges accept students on the condition that they maintain their grades and can rescind the acceptance if a student’s grades decline.

  • Sign up for Advanced Placement Exams, if appropriate.
  • Complete applications and interviews for local scholarships.
  • Notify your counselor as to which school you will attend.
  • Check in the College Career Center for summer and full-time jobs.
  • Apply for State of Connecticut loans from your local bank.

TESTING CALENDAR & INFORMATION C.E.E.B. Code for Fairfield Warde High School – 070186

Financial assistance for all testing fees and college applications may be available if you qualify for Free and Reduced lunch or there are extenuating circumstances. Please see your counselor for further information.

SAT

We recommend that Juniors take the SAT in March or May and reserve June for SAT SUBJECT TEST(S), if necessary. However, students may opt to take the SAT in June if the other dates are not convenient. Be certain to put our school code on all forms so your counselor has a copy of your scores and take advantage of the four free score reports sent to colleges when registering. Register online with a credit card at www.collegeboard.com.

ACT

The ACT is a test designed to assess high school students’ general education development and their ability to complete college level work. The test covers four skill areas: English, Mathematics, Reading and Science Reasoning. While it is not necessary to take both the ACT and the SAT, some students may wish to use it as an alternative measurement. Most colleges will accept ACT scores. Check your schools to be certain! Register online with a credit card at: www.act.org. The following testing dates are available for the ACT:

SAT/ACT Score Reporting

It is the responsibility of the student to release and send his or her official test scores to each prospective college. Fairfield Warde High School will not send unofficial test scores with a student’s transcript automatically. Unofficial test scores can be sent if there are extenuating financial circumstances and prior arrangements have been made with the school counselor.

Free Test Preparation: 

 

Advanced Placement Tests

MAY 2017 – All Advanced Placement tests are given during the school day. Applications for these tests must be handed in during registration week in February. Registration information has been mailed to all AP students in January, 2017.

TOEFL

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) evaluates the English proficiency of people whose native language is not English.

NATIONAL COLLEGIATE ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION (NCAA)

The college-bound student athlete must meet academic eligibility and core course requirements in order to qualify for Division I and Division II college athletic teams. At the end of junior year, student-athletes should see their counselor for the NCAA Eligibility Guide and information. The information is on-line at the NCAA Website. The Eligibility Center will not review any student who has not completed three full years of high school.

Division I Academic Eligibility Requirements

  • Graduate from high school
    • Successfully complete a core curriculum of at least 16 academic courses in

English, math, science, social studies, and academic electives such as foreign language. • Earn a minimum required grade-point average in core courses; and
• Earn a combined SAT or ACT sum score that matches the core-course grade-point average and test score sliding scale

Division II Academic Eligibility Requirements

  • Graduate from high school
  • Successfully complete a core curriculum of at least 14 academic courses in English, math, science, social studies, and academic electives such as foreign language.
  • Have a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the core
  • Have a minimum SAT score of 820, ACT sum score of 68.

Division III Academic Eligibility Requirements

  • Graduate from high school

 

THE COLLEGE VISIT

Visiting colleges is a critical part of the decision making process. Every college is unique and you need to see how you “fit” into the college. You should visit the colleges any time during your junior year. It is important to call ahead requesting a tour of the college. At that time, you can also make arrangements to sit in on classes or stay overnight if you have the time. Students usually conduct tours of the campus. Ask any questions you want. They are trained at most colleges to answer even the most unusual questions. Contact the college through their website or call to find out the time of tours.

Some points to remember if you intend to visit colleges:

  • Know something about the college before you go. Be sure to look over the catalogue and any other materials you have received from the college.
  • Sign in at the admissions office. Schools like to know you took the time to visit and it shows serious consideration for that school.
  • Know where the college is located and budget plenty of time for travel.
  • Allow enough time to get the “feel” of the campus. A three-hour visit should give ample opportunity for a fairly extensive tour and an informational session with admissions staff.
  • Limit yourself to touring two colleges a day.
  • Be Prompt!
  • Pick up application and scholarship forms if needed and a campus map. The map is essential if the college doesn’t offer an escorted tour.
  • Don’t hesitate to discuss finances, including scholarships, loans and work opportunities.
  • Talk with someone in the financial aid office.
  • Be sure your tour includes a freshman dorm, the library and the snack bar. There are usually students available in the snack bar. They are happy to answer questions about their college.

THE COLLEGE INTERVIEW

Many schools offer only group interviews where representatives answer questions about the school. Some colleges will grant private interviews and a few will make those interviews a part of your file. It is important to have questions or to know what to expect at the interview. Basically, it is an exchange of information. Many schools are now using alumni to interview students. Ask questions that are not easily answered through research on college websites.

  • The following are some questions you might ask during your interview:
    What types of college housing are there for freshmen – suites, doubles, and singles?
  • How many students are there per room? Are students ever tripled in double rooms?
  • How are roommates assigned?
  • How will my faculty advisor be assigned?
  • What is the average class size for a freshman course?
  • What kinds of financial aid programs are available? What forms should I fill out? Are there any special scholarships offered by the school or alumni? Are there deadlines for financial aid?
  • What job placement/recruiting is conducted on campus?
  • What kinds of activities are available on the weekends?
  • What percentage of students remain on campus on weekends?
  • What meal plans are available? Are meals offered on weekends?
  • Are there fraternities or sororities on campus and what percentage of the students join?
  • How much is the college involved with the community?

 

THE COLLEGE INTERVIEW 

The interviewer may ask you a number of questions to relax you and get to know you. Although you can’t anticipate everything that will be asked, the following are some typical questions:

  • How do you spend your leisure time?
  • What activities are you involved in at school?
  • Why did you choose this college?
  • What’s the best book you have read?
  • Have you held a part time job during high school? What did you do
  • What major do you intend to pursue? What career are you hoping to enter?
  • What was the hardest course you took in high school?

LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION are sent electronically through Family Connection

Letters of recommendation are the part of the application that allow college admissions officers the chance to hear from your school counselor and teachers what you are like as a student. In general, colleges will be looking for a letter from your counselor, as well as one or two from your classroom teachers. Each letter provides admissions counselors with different information about you. It is the student’s responsibility to coordinate teacher letters of recommendation to their prospective colleges. The general application requirement is one counselor and two teacher recommendations.

  • At least one letter should be from a junior year teacher.
  • At least one letter should be from an academic teacher.
  • Pick teachers who know you the best.
  • This is a two-fold process (a) speak to the teacher in person AND (b) indicate in Family

Connection on the “Colleges I’m Applying to” page who you are asking by sending an email.

  • Give the teacher plenty of time to write the letter. Approximately 2-3 weeks or check with teacher.
  • Make sure to write a thank you note to anyone who writes you a letter.

COLLEGE ESSAY

Most colleges are seeking complete information about you that will help them decide how happy and successful you will be on their campus. They want clues on the following:

  • Your thought process and problem solving skills
  • How resourceful you are
  • Your reasons for choosing their college or university
  • What you want to do with your education
  • How accurately you express yourself
  • Your values, strengths, weaknesses, achievements, aspirations, disappointments

In writing your statement, keep the following in mind:
Be pertinent:
avoid hyperbole and verbiage
Be clear:
answer the question
Be grammatical: use proper spelling, punctuation, etc.
Be prepared: conduct a short interview with yourself to begin the thought process.
Be thorough: include meaningful statements on involvement in hobbies, talents, work, community, vacation or travel experience, interests, books, kinds of movies, shows, concerts and games that you attend.

 

HOW COLLEGES REVIEW APPLICATIONS

The National Association for College Admission Counseling has been surveying institutions and the relative value of each factor in the admissions decision. According to the 2008 State of Admissions report published by NACAC, the values have remained fairly consistent over time. Listed below are the top factors in order of importance. Grades in college prep courses (which are an indication of the strength of curriculum) have remained the number one factor in the decision about whom to admit to college.

  1. Transcript
  2. Strength of schedule (AP, Honors, College Prep)
  3. Weighted grade point average
  4. Number of courses taken each year
  5. Grade Trend: an upward trend in grades will be noticed (but so will a downward trend)
  6. Senior schedule- is the student continuing to challenge him or herself
  7. Strength of high school
  8. Standardized test results- SAT, ACT (there are a growing number of colleges that list standardized testing as an optional part of the application)
  9. Student Essay or Writing Sample
  10. Demonstrated interest in the college- has the student visited? Met with the college representative when he/she visited the high school?
  11. Counselor Recommendation
  12. Teacher Recommendation
  13. Interview- if offered by the institution
  14. Advanced Placement Test(s)
  15. Extracurricular activities- athletics, clubs, volunteer
  16. SAT Subject Test(s) Scores
  17. State Graduation Exam Scores
  18. Employment

COLLEGE APPLICATION CHECKLIST

Complete the following:

Recommendation Questionnaire (in Family Connection > About Me)

  • Parent Brag Sheet (in Family Connection > About Me)
  • Transcript Release Form (Parent must sign)
  • Register with Common Application (www.commonapp.org)
  • “Colleges I’m Applying To” in Family Connection
  • College Application Form

Schedule a full period appointment with your counselor at least 3 weeks before your earliest college deadline.
Complete “My Resume” in Family Connection/prepare your own resume.
Submit SAT/ACT/SAT Subject Tests, as required.

Request teachers’ recommendations and write thank you notes to teachers.
Write your college essaty.
Complete college application (s), include payment and make a copy for your records. If applicable, register with NCAA & submit transcript request form.

STUDENT & PARENT ADVICE REGARDING THE APPLICATION PROCESS

  • Start looking at colleges in the spring; start your essays over the summer
  • Campus visits can help you narrow your lists down
  • Like your safety schools- you may need them
  • Don’t just pick a school because your friends like it
  • Don’t get hooked on just one school; you may not get in there
  • Your ideas about what you want will change over time
  • Don’t obsess about the college process; you still need to do well in school
  • Ask your teachers early to write letters for you so they have time
  • If you want to submit a portfolio with your applications talk to your art teachers for help
  • Familiarize yourself with an application
  • Think long term when scheduling your testing dates
  • Register for the SAT and ACT early so you get home site
  • Use the Common Application
  • Send an essay even if it is not required
  • Save a writing sample from your junior year
  • The college process is a stressful one; try to step back and relax
  • Fairfield students tend to apply to the same schools; work hard on exploring new options
  • Research many schools. Focus and apply to 6-8 to guarantee quality applications
  • Stay Organized
  • Encourage the student to take ownership and responsibility for this process.

FINANCIAL AID

Most financial aid is distributed by the colleges to students. In order to qualify for aid students must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in January or February of Senior year. Some schools also require the CSS Financial Aid Profile and/or forms of their own. These forms are available in the counselor’s offices or College Career Center at the high school or online.