- If you are a high achieving first generation college applicant, a student of color or a low income student, who takes primarily honors and AP classes, you might want to look at:
It is a list of special fly-in programs offered by many liberal arts colleges and some universities. The programs are free. Applications are required for these programs, which are designed to help you learn about colleges and help them learn about you! It’s a great way to figure out what you like.
If you are a very high achieving student with almost all honors and AP classes and with a family income under $60,000, you might want to apply to colleges through the highly competitive Questbridge program, which offers full scholarships to many of the country’s most selective colleges. They have a late September deadline. Go to questbridge.org for complete information. If you are seriously thinking about Questbridge, tell or e-mail me, your recommending teachers, and your counselor ASAP.
Remember, the summer is the best time to write application essays. You will not be a happy camper if you leave this chore for the fall. Besides, many of you will need to write additional essays in the fall. The Common Application and Coalition Application essay prompts are in the link below.
If you plan to take the September 9 ACT or the August 26 or October 7 SAT, you might want to register soon, before you forget about school for a while. The registration deadlines without a late fee are August 4 for the ACT and July 28 for the August and September 8 for the October SAT. You can register late for the ACT until August 18 and late for the August SAT before August 8. If you qualify for a fee waiver, see Mrs. Cappelli before June 28. Unused fee waivers will expire in August!
Remember that demonstrated interest is increasingly important to colleges for admissions purposes. Visit, visit, visit! Interview! Get the name of your admissions counselor at colleges you will apply to and stay in touch.
I expect that most of you have secured your teacher recommendations. Don’t forget the last step – naming those teachers in Naviance. Go to colleges/letters of recommendation/ and select your teachers from the dropdown list. Unless you will be applying to colleges for which you might want to send different recommendations, you should select “for all colleges” for each teacher you select. You can amend this later if necessary. You might want to put a quick thank you to your teachers in the Notes section. Remember – if you decide to apply to a college early (November deadline), you need to let your teacher know ASAP so the recommendation will be ready on time.
In the next few months you may begin to receive mailings or e-mails from honor societies, Who’s Who, National Society of High School Scholars and various other organizations who say they can get you scholarships and other advantages. Allegedly there is currently one going around from Vector. Some of these are scams outright and some are just benign businesses that will not hurt you except in the wallet. By and large, ignore them, unless you want to put your name in their publications and purchase them. Colleges are not impressed by membership or participation.
The 2017-18 Common Application (commonapp.org) will go live on August 1. If you are inclined to begin in July, the current form is supposed to convert to the new one on August 1, if you choose the correct application year when beginning the application. They say it will work! There will be no Common App access between July 24 and August 1.
The Coalition Application (www.coalitionforcollegeaccess.org/), which is an alternative application for about 100 mostly elite institutions, will be available to you in July. UMASS will not be accepting that application, so if you plan to apply to UMASS you will need to use the Common Application. It’s your call as to whether you want to do the other one as well. Only three institutions, the Universities of Maryland, Florida, and Washington (state) will use this application exclusively. All other members will use the Common Application as well as the Coalition Application. As members of the Common Application, they are required to treat all applications equally in the Admissions process.
Research shows that at least 20 hours of preparation for standardized college admission tests can improve your scores significantly. Most of you will have 20 hours available for this purpose in the summer. In addition to the free test prep available through Khan Academy for the SAT and through the Method Test Prep link on your Naviance home page, Method Test Prep offers a few additional paid options, some of which are extremely affordable. See their links on the next page.
Have a relaxing and productive summer.
Myra Ross, College Advisor