1. This time of year in the senior college admissions calendar is often the most stressful. Most seniors must reckon with some disappointment over denials or insufficient financial aid. Many of you will be on waitlists at colleges you would like to attend. You have until May 1 to make decisions about what you will do next year and to deposit at the college of your choice. All of this and the coming of spring (at least on the calendar) bring the end of high school more into focus. While this is certainly a time of excitement, it is often also a time of unexpected sadness and anxiety. Seniors experiencing difficulty about college planning should see me ASAP, for help and ideas. All seniors should know that all guidance counselors can be a source of support at this time.
2. Students and families who need help sorting out their financial aid situations should feel free to see me for help. Be sure to bring your actual award letters.
3. Remember that on April 4, at 7:00 in the ARHS library, we will host a MEFA presentation on how to go about making your college decision, how to read and choose between financial aid awards, how to go about getting loans, and how to get additional information you might need. People have found this event to be very helpful in the past. Bring your award letters. Presenters will stay to work with you individually if you like.
4. Please enter all of your admissions decisions into Naviance ASAP. When you decide for sure about what you will do next year please complete BOTH the Naviance “Graduation Survey” and my own “Graduation Survey Supplement.” Between them the task should take less than five minutes. You will be issued your cap and gown during senior week after these surveys are complete.
5. If you are put on a waitlist, what should you do? First, ask yourself whether you would really go to that college above all others at which you have been accepted. If the answer is “yes,” then you might want to consider the following:
a. Contact the ARHS reader at the Admissions Office to learn how many students are also on the waitlist with you, learn whether the list is ranked, and if so where you fall on the list, ask how many students have been admitted from waitlists in the last two or three years. Most importantly, if you need financial aid, ask if they admit students who need financial aid from the waitlist. Many colleges, even those that are otherwise need blind, do not. From that information you should get some kind of an idea about your eventual chances.
b. Whether you remain on the waitlist or not, you should make a choice between the colleges that admitted you and deposit there by May 1 to secure a place in the class. Extensions of this date are almost unheard of. Know that your deposit will likely not be refundable after May 1 if you eventually accept a place at a college at which you were waitlisted.
c. Be aware that students rarely are moved off waitlists before May 1. Colleges need to know how many students have accepted their offer of admission before they can assess whether or not to go to the waitlist. Then they must determine to whom they will offer a position. Students usually hear about waitlists in May, but June and even July are not impossible.
d. If you decide to pursue a waitlist, take the steps outlined in the college’s waitlist letter. Also, write a carefully crafted letter to the Office of Admissions explaining that you want to remain on the waitlist, and why you are so well-suited to that college. Tell the Admissions staff about any of your recent activities or accomplishments; send your second semester progress report. Contact the college shortly after May 1 to inform them of your continued interest and to get the latest information about prospects for waitlisted students.
6. PLEASE APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS.
A. REVIVED SCHOLARSHIP!! Daily Hampshire Gazette Scholarship:
Awarded to a senior expressing an interest in journalism, communications, photography or English, with preference for those who have exhibited an interest in journalism and photojournalism. Strong academics and demonstrated financial need required. Essay should indicate these criteria; 1 at $500.
B. Continue to look through Naviance. New awards are being posted regularly as we receive them.
C. The Community Foundation deadline is March 31, only two weeks away. Be sure to complete the application and upload your SAR and your transcript (which you must request from Miss Garrity (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you are seriously considering UMass, you should do this because of the Wilbur Ward scholarship.
D. The ARHS scholarship deadline is April 1, only seventeen days away. There are some lucrative awards, particularly for low income or first generation college students.