Types of Applications
- Early Admission- The practice of some colleges admitting students who have not completed high school. These students usually display exceptional ability and have not completed their junior year. They are enrolled full-time in college.
- Early Decision- Early decision plans are offered to applicants who are sure of the college they want to attend and are likely to be accepted by that college. An early decision application is initiated by the student, who is then notified of the college's decision earlier than usual- generally by late December. Some plans require a commitment to attend that school and the student must withdraw all other applications.
- Regular Deadline- Students have until a certain date to apply. All applications are reviewed at the same time and most students who meet the college's requirements are admitted.
- Rolling Admissions- Although there is an application deadline, these applications are processed as they are submitted and the supporting documentation is received. It is advantageous for the student to apply early in the senior year. As soon as the application is processed, the student will be notified of the admission decision.
Completing the Application
Most students should apply for admission during the fall of their senior year. The vast majority of applications are completed online, and college admissions personnel prefer this method. Once the application is completed, an official transcript will need to be sent. The district has partnered with Parchment, Inc. which electronically sends students' transcripts. To sign up for this service, go to www.parchment.com. The following tips should help ensure a smooth application process:
- The student's application should be completed and proofread before being submitted. Follow directions carefully. At many institutions, this form is brief and can be completed quickly. At other colleges, particularly competitive institutions, you will be asked to provide detailed information about your academic record, extracurricular activites, work experience, interests, talents and achievements.
- Most schools prefer submissions of applications online. For students interested in applying to any of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education schools, access www.applyweb.com/aw?passhe
- Most colleges require a fee ($25 - $60) for applying. Typically, this payment is made online or a check or money order can be sent.
- Some colleges require submission of a school report. This must be completed by the counselor. This report can include a listing of courses, final grades, class rank, attendance, and college admission test results. Please allow the guidance office at least two weeks to process these school reports.
- Some colleges, especially private ones, require that you submit one or more letters of recommendation. As a courtesy, give people ample time to complete these recommendations before the college deadline. Provide the teachers with the proper form as well as a stamped, addressed envelope.
- A personal essay or autobiographical statement may be required. Use this as an opportunity to express your individuality in a way that will set you apart from other applications.
- It is helpful to develop a file for each college to keep your catalogs, applications, letters and records organized and accessible. You may also want to photocopy any applications you send to colleges.
Standards for Admission
Waiting to hear from the college or colleges of your choice is sometimes the hardest part of the college selection process. Be sure that you have met all requirements for the colleges you are applying to by consulting an updated catalog from each institution.
Factors mentioned most frequently by colleges as playing an important role in their admissions decisions include the following: academic performance in high school; college board test scores; pattern of high school subjects completed; recommendations, and personal qualifications such as motivation, special skills or abilities, leadership capabilities, community or church involvement; and good moral character. Note that the more competitive the college, the more likely it is to consider personal qualifications in admissions decisions.
As you move into the spring of your senior year, you will have to make a final college choice. Your preparation and research may point clearly to one school or may require that you choose among several schools, all of which offer a high possibility of meeting your major needs. You may have to weigh the opportunities offered by a higher cost school with the greater financial burden you would have to carry there. Keep rethinking your goals and plans, evaluate your options at each college, and talk them over with your counselor and parents.
Once you have decided, notify all of the colleges to which you have applied of your final decision. Next, turn your attention to the task of preparing yourself for the college you have chosen. Learning as much as you can beforehand about life at the college will help you get off to a good start when you reach campus. Determine now what you will do to take advantage of the many opportunities that college offers you.