January Newsletter: Seniors
January 2017 | Waiting is the hardest part....” Many of us enjoyed this Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers tune in the early '80s and now our seniors are feeling the truth in these lyrics. As hard as our seniors have worked to get to this point, the next few months can feel like an eternity. And, that there’s nothing left to be completed. All the essays have been written, the standardized tests taken, the applications submitted. However, now is the time to revisit the college list once more as the last round of deadlines is approaching. Seniors should keep in conversation with their counselor as we are in communication with colleges to which our students have applied and welcome any news students may have to share. An award won or recognition received, an update that a college is now clearly a top choice, or some other tidbit could prove helpful in conversations with our colleagues at the colleges to which our students apply.
We ask that you take a few moments to review the checklist below with your child.
- Check the status of all applications. Confirm the colleges once more in Naviance. Be proactive in checking your application status at each college to which you have applied. It is a good idea to check the admission offices’ websites or portals about one week after the due date to make sure they have received every aspect of your application and that your file is complete. Some colleges send notices about missing information, and some do not; it is important for you to check the status of your own file. Please let us know if something is missing. Often colleges contact the student regarding missing documents, not the College Counseling Office.
- First semester grades (Mid Year Report) will be sent shortly. The College Counseling Office will begin submitting your first semester transcript to all of the colleges to which you are applying when grades become available. We DO NOT need college-specific forms for most colleges as many accept them electronically.
- Complete financial aid applications immediately. Be sure to follow directions for each specific college closely and submit by the published deadlines. If you have questions, please speak with your counselor as soon as possible. Any delay in submitting financial aid applications can impact the aid allocated. Now is also a good time to look at scholarships; many students will visit www.finaid.org, www.fastweb.com, or College Board’s Big Future to search for scholarship opportunities. There are also scholarships listed in Naviance.
- Please let us know as soon as you hear any admission decision. We want to be able to offer our support and our congratulations as appropriate. College decisions will arrive in fits and starts with a vast majority arriving in March.
- Speaking of decisions, if you were deferred from an early application school, check in with your counselor. There may be an opportunity for you to connect with the college once more, provide updates, and strengthen your position.
- You will pay only one enrollment deposit, but a major state university may allow for a refundable housing deposit. Read the fine print. If you were admitted to a large public university, you may have received a “request for housing” application form. If you are not sure you want to attend the university, you still may want to register for housing since on campus housing may be tight. Confirm with the housing office or the admissions office that the deposit is refundable.
- March mid-semester grades can still matter. Final grades definitely do. It’s true, colleges may hold off on making a decision about you until receiving mid-semester grades in March. And all colleges review final transcripts. Every effort on your part to perform as strongly as possible may help colleges make a positive decision. The news is the number of applications keeps going up and acceptance rates continue dropping. Don’t jeopardize your chances! Rather, use this as an opportunity to strengthen your application by putting up your best grades.
- NCAA athletes should verify their materials are completed and can confirm with Ms. Dohr that the final transcript will be submitted when available in June. Students who are expecting to compete at the Division I or II level need to be sure that they are registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center at www.eligibilitycenter.org.
- AP Exams are approaching! Every student currently enrolled in an AP course is already registered for that exam. If a student is interested in taking other AP exams, you must speak with Mr. Nicholson and then inform Ms. Dohr in the College Office by March 10. AP exam dates are May 1-5 and May 8-12.