Senior Tidbits | Things To Do After Thanksgiving

The following Tidbits for Seniors come from Myra Ross, ARHS College Advisor:

  1. If you applied early decision, please be sure to have your back-up plan in Naviance by Monday, December 5.  (Remember that a back-up plan must include mostly colleges that are less selective than the one you applied to already; you will not need the back-up plan if you are admitted!)  For now, list the colleges but do not request the transcript.  If you are deferred or denied, you will only need to go into Naviance and request the transcript.  It is important for you to know what you will do if your first choice doesn’t work out in December.  Many of your other deadlines will be in early or mid-January.  Experience has shown me that it is better for you to take time to develop the plan now when you are thinking clearly than to try to do it when you are upset after having been deferred or denied.  It’s not fun to think about that, but if it happens to you, you will likely be glad you developed the plan fully.
  2. If you have not met with me this year, please make an appointment ASAP.  It is not too late.  You do not need to complete the senior questionnaire in Naviance to make the appointment.
  3. If you have not yet met with your counselor regarding your recommendation, make an appointment to do that ASAP.  We have a lot of recommendations to write and cannot do all of them at the last minute.  Recommendations may not be written on time if you don’t give us at least two weeks.
  4. If you have not already done so, see the teachers who have agreed to write recommendations for you to be sure they have what they need from you.  If your earliest deadline is January 1, their deadline for uploading your recommendations is Monday, December 5.  Please remind them of this deadline.
  5. Don’t forget to match your Common Application to your Naviance account.  There’s a blue box in “Colleges I’m Applying to” that requires your Common Application e-mail address and confirmation of your date of birth.  You must do the match if you are using the Common Application.  Remember, it will not work until you have put at least one college into the Common Application and completed the FERPA waiver.
  6. If you have not already done so, turn in your signed lime green release form ASAP or we won’t be able to send anything to colleges on your behalf.  It’s the easiest thing to do, and it’s of critical importance.
  7. WHEN YOU PUT YOUR COLLEGES INTO NAVIANCE, DON’T FORGET TO REQUEST A TRANSCRIPT SEPARATELY.  BE SURE THAT THE DEADLINE SHOWS.  IF IT DOESN’T, YOU PROBABLY DID SOMETHING WRONG.  Check the college website for the name of the application type.  If you can’t figure out why no date shows, see Mrs. Cappelli in 101 or Mrs. Tracy in 309.
  8. Do you have any colleges with January 1 deadlines that you have not entered into Naviance “Colleges I’m Applying to?”  If so, it’s time to put them in.  The deadline for this is Friday, December 2.  The deadline for listing colleges with January 15 deadlines is December 15.  Please don’t miss these deadlines.  If you need to add a college after these dates, please tell a Guidance secretary.
  9. The UMass regular decision deadline is Friday, January 15.  Deadline for all credentials (including official test scores) is Wednesday, February 1.  Most of you should apply.
  10. BE SURE TO SEND YOUR TEST SCORES OFFICIALLY FROM THE TESTING COMPANY!  You do not want to be the first kid on your block to be denied because a college never got your test scores.  Believe me, it happens.  If you are taking a December test, you should send the scores (four free) before you see them.  If you are on free/reduced lunch and took the test with a fee waiver, you get eight colleges free.
  11. Remember to list all of your colleges in the Common Application as well as in Naviance.  Both steps are required in order for electronic transfers of school materials to work.
  12. Once you have submitted an application to a college, check its status frequently to see that all materials have been received.  The best way to do that is to log onto the application tracker on their website.  If two weeks have passed since you submitted, you can call the Admissions Office to have them check your file.  If they say they are still missing an item, come into the Guidance Office and we will fax whatever they have not located.  Colleges lose materials all the time.  Don’t worry about this!
  13. It’s not too early to take action regarding financial aid.  The FAFSA and CSS Profile (required by many private colleges) are already available online.  Talk to your parents about completing the required forms by your first financial aid deadline.  Remember, it is not necessarily the same date as a college’s application deadline.  Some FAFSA deadlines are in January.  Many are on February 1.  UMass’s deadline isMarch 1.  All financial aid forms must be completed by the colleges’ deadlines.  Late filings often mean less or even no financial aid.
  14. We will be hosting a FAFSA-completion event on Thursday, January 19 at 7:00 p.m. in the cafeteria.  Financial aid counselors from several area colleges will be here to assist you with the FAFSA.  It’s a great opportunity for you to get help if you are a first-time completer.  More details to follow.
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