The College Application
The College Application is your opportunity to let admissions officers know who you are. You can reveal your victories and your defeats in an attempt to stand out from the crowd. Spend some time reflecting on who you are and then build an application that reflects this. Colleges hope to build an interesting and interested community of people to make up their freshman class. Your hope is to be selected as a part of that class. Spend time on the application – more time than you think is required – as it may be your only chance to tell your own story.
The application is made up of a number of separate parts – a stand out application unifies these parts. A unifying theme is created so that the application flows logically from one part to the next, emphasizing its own interconnectedness.
First – The Numbers:
Your academic profile consists of your high school transcript –grades, level of curriculum, course choices, and class rank. Add to these the scores of the admissions tests of the SAT, SAT II subject matter tests and the ACT and the college admissions officers now have a academic profile of you.
These numbers are very important to admissions offices. They are an indication and a measurement of your abilities and your achievement and a tool to compare your academic accomplishments to other students.
Second – The Person
The information in this part of the application highlights your personal qualities. It continues and enriches the story of you. It is made up of the essays, extracurricular activity list and perhaps the personal interview. It is your chance to talk about you in your own words and with your own emphasis.
Admissions officers want to know who you are, how you spend your time and what you will add to their freshman class. We will spend some time having you consider and then construct a personal vision statement that reflects your values and goals.
Third – The Supporting Documents
This is the place where your unifying theme can begin to show itself. Your teachers and counselors can speak to your leadership abilities or academic prowess. Your supplemental materials can be used to bring together and support your activities.
Supplementary materials can add substance and a unifying theme to your application. These are any non-required materials you may wish to add such as an additional letter of recommendation, an art or creative writing portfolio, or a CD of your musical accomplishments. Whatever you add should be professional in quality and presentation.
The Common Application
The Common Application is accepted by over 200 schools, some of them most or very selective institutions. Students complete the Common Application once (www.commonapp.org) and send it to all of the schools on their list that accept it. Many schools have supplemental forms to the Common Application – make sure you complete these forms as well. Some schools accept both the Common Application as well as their own. We are going to complete the Common Application for each school that will accept it. Find it at www.commonapp.org .
Follow the directions on the Common Application carefully. We will be working together to make sure that all of the application requirements are met before you send in any applications.
All teacher and counselor recommendations can be found on the home page of the Common App under the heading Download Documents. If your teachers or counselor choose to send in a hard copy of the recommendation, you will download the document, complete your name and other required information and give the documents to the appropriate recommender at least two weeks before applications are due.
The 2013-2014 Common Application will be released on August 1, 2013.
Please be sure to send all Common Applications with Supplements at least three days before the final deadline – it often takes three days for the credit card payment to be processed.
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