COLLEGE APPLICATION PROCEDURES FOR SENIORS. O’NEILL CLASS OF 2013. AGENDA. College Testing Service Academies and ROTC Senior Conference Applying to Colleges—Applications, Deadlines, Transcripts and Recommendations Senior Grades Financial Aid and Scholarships Financial Safety School SUNY
O’NEILL CLASS OF 2013
Service Academies and ROTC
Applying to Colleges—Applications, Deadlines, Transcripts and Recommendations
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Financial Safety School
Narrowing Your College Choices—Campus Visits and Interviews
Facebook, MySpace and College Admissions
Register for required college testing. Four-year colleges generally require either the SAT or ACT and some of the more competitive colleges require one or more SAT Subject Tests). Check the admissions requirements for the colleges you are considering.
You are encouraged to register online for the SAT at http://sat.collegeboard.org and for the ACT at www.actstudent.org. Paper registration materials, including a practice test, are available in the Guidance Office.
BE CAREFUL OF DEADLINES. We give the following tests here at O’Neill:
Sat., 10/6: SAT or SAT Subject Test(s)—The registration deadline is 9/7, and the late registration deadline is 9/21 for an extra $27. (The waitlist fee is an extra $44.)
Sat., 10/27: ACT—The registration deadline is 9/21, and the late registration deadline is 10/5 for an extra $22. You are advised to register for the ACT Plus Writing. (The deadline to request standby testing is 10/22 for an extra $43.)
Sat., 11/3: SAT or SAT Subject Test(s): The registration deadline is 10/4. The late registration deadline is 10/19 for an extra $27.
The SAT will be given on 12/1 and 1/26 but not at O’Neill.
The ACT will be given on 12/8 but not at O’Neill.
Go online to find out where the tests will be given and what the registration deadlines are.
NOTE: You should try to avoid these test dates because of possible weather complications.
If you have any questions, please see your counselor.
If you think you may qualify for a FEE WAIVER, please see your counselor A.S.A.P.
If you are entitled to testing modifications, please see your counselor A.S.A.P. If you have already been approved, you need to be careful to check the appropriate box when registering.
Arrange to have your test scores sent directly from the testing company to the colleges to which you are applying. Please follow the instructions in the registration materials.
New: There is no longer standby testing for the SAT. You must register online for waitlist status. To be considered for standby status for the ACT you must also register online, and there is a deadline.
New: If you do not take both your admission ticket and acceptable identification when you go to the test center, you will NOT be admitted.
New: Both the SAT and ACT are now requiring you to upload a photo when you register. This is effective with the October ACT and the March SAT. Read the instructions carefully.
New: You may not make changes to your test center, test date or test type on the day of the test.
There are some colleges that do not require ACT or
SAT scores, but you need to read the instructions
carefully for each college. For example,
Some simply state that test scores are optional (like Marist College and Bates College).
Some state that students may choose to submit one or more graded writing samples instead of test scores (like Franklin & Marshall College).
Others, like NYU and Hamilton College, state that the SAT or ACT can be replaced by SAT Subject Tests, APs, IBs, or other comparable standardized tests.
Students interested in applying to one of the service academies (the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy) or for an ROTC scholarship need to start the process immediately.
Students applying to the academies must also seek nominations, and the deadlines are early in the fall.
We plan to meet with each senior individually for a senior
conference during the next two months. Your parent(s) is
(are) also encouraged to attend. Bring your completed
Senior Information Form. During the conference we will:
Review your graduation status and the kind of diploma you will earn;
Review your permanent record card and transcript;
Review your Senior Information Form. If you know to which colleges you will be applying, please include these. If not, we will help you do a computer search to start a list.
Review your testing needs and plans to take or retake the SAT, ACT and/or SAT Subject Tests;
Review college application procedures as needed;
Review procedures for applying for financial aid as needed and possible sources of scholarships as needed;
For athletes, review the NCAA Eligibility Center procedures. Please let your counselor know if you are an athlete and plan to participate in intercollegiate athletics;
Review your plans to visit colleges, and, if applicable, interview; and
Address any addition concerns you may have.
To obtain an application, go to the college website
to apply online or download the application. Many
colleges encourage students to submit applications
You can use the SUNY application at www.suny.edu/student for most SUNY schools, both 4-year and 2-year.
A number of the 4-year SUNY schools give you the option of submitting the Common Application instead.
Some of the 2-year community colleges have their own applications. These include Rockland Community College and Westchester Community College.
Almost 500 colleges and universities in the U.S. encourage the use of the Common Application, and some use it exclusively.
The Common Application simplifies the college admission process: Once submitted online or on paper, copies may be sent to any of the participating colleges and universities.
We encourage you to look at both demos at the Common Application website (www.commonapp.org).
How the Common Application works:
You must submit your parts of the Common Application (i.e., your application, supplements, and payment or fee waiver) all online or all by mail. Do not mix and match.
You must invite school officials to submit the school forms on your behalf. You will be asked to give your counselor’s name and email address as well as the names and email addresses of any teachers you would like to recommend you. You need to ask the teachers if they would be willing to write a letter of recommendation for you before inviting them on the common application. You should also ask if the teachers plan to submit the recommendation online or on paper: If on paper, you need to print out the form.
Each college has its own admissions policies and schedule of notification.
ADMISSIONS DEADLINE: Some colleges have one admissions deadline and will not start to make decisions until that date, although it is generally to your advantage to get your application in early.
ROLLING ADMISSIONS: As soon as all of the required forms are received, the college will make a decision so that the sooner you apply, the sooner you will know the decision.
EARLY DECISION: If you are sure that you want to attend one particular college, you may apply by an established deadline in the fall (usually November 1st or mid-November). In return for an early decision and notification, you will be expected to attend that college if you are accepted and to withdraw your applications to other colleges. (Not all colleges offer this option.)
EARLY ACTION: If you submit your application by an established deadline, you will receive an early reply. Unlike early decision, an offer of admission does not bind you to early acceptance.
RECOMMENDED DEADLINES FOR STATE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES, INCLUDING SUNY, ARE USUALLY IN THE FALL. Also note that some programs at SUNY Colleges of Technology and the Community Colleges may have deadlines or close when full.
Every college requires a transcript, whether you apply online or complete a paper application. Fill out a transcript request form, available in the Guidance Office or at www.hffmcsd.org (click on O’Neill, then Guidance, and then Forms).
Note that signatures are required from you and a parent.
To be official the transcript must be sent directly from the Guidance Office to the Admissions Office.
Please allow at least one week for processing. If you are requesting a counselor recommendation, allow at least two weeks for processing.
New: SUNY colleges and universities are encouraging students to self-report their transcript information. Then the high school must send a final transcript at the end of the year.
If you plan to self report, please stop by the Guidance Office and request an unofficial copy of your transcript.
New: SAT and ACT scores will NOT be included on your O’Neill transcript. Most colleges require that scores be sent directly from the testing agency, so you must arrange to have the scores sent directly from the testing agency.
If one or more teacher recommendations are required, we suggest you discuss with your counselor which teachers you will ask.
Some applications specify which teachers you should ask. If not, note that colleges generally want to hear from a teacher who has taught you an academic subject in 11th or 12th (or 10th) grade.
Please ask teachers at least two weeks before the application deadline if they would be willing to write you a letter of recommendation. If you are providing a teacher’s email address online as a reference, you should talk to the teacher first. You should discuss with the teacher whether the evaluation will be done online or on paper.
You should email or give the teachers a note telling them the deadline(s). Also, be sure to thank them.
Many but not all colleges require an essay or personal statement. “Think of it the essay as a way to personalize your application and give it life. That’s the way colleges view it.” (Admissions Matters by Springer and Franck) Springer and Franck suggest the following steps:
Brainstorm about the personal qualities that you would like to convey in your essay. Involve family and friends in the process of helping you identify what makes you special.
Read the essay topic(s) carefully and think about ways to convey these qualities through the essay.
If you have a choice of topics, select the one that is the best match for what you want to say.
Outline and then draft your essay. Be sure to show by example, not just tell.
Set your essay aside for a couple of days, and then revise it. Repeat as needed until you are ready to show it to others.
Ask your English teacher or counselor or both to read and comment on your essay. Your parents will probably be eager to read it as well.
Incorporate the best suggestions into another draft. Set it aside for a couple of days and then reread, making changes until you have a final draft.
Proofread your essay carefully. When you think you are finished, proofread it again.
There are books available in bookstores and libraries that focus
on writing the college essay. There are also a number of articles
online. English 12 Regents students also spend time in class
writing the college essay.
You may want to include an activity sheet that includes some or
all of the following:
Awards and honors
Hobbies and special interests
Work experience and internships
By including a separate activity sheet, you can include 2-3
sentences that “capture that essence of your involvement in each
activity, if it is not obvious from its name” (from Admissions
The format should be similar to the one provided on the Common Application (which is available online at www.commonapp.org). The instructions for the Activities section of the Common Application are as follows: Please list your principal extracurricular, community, volunteer and family activities and hobbies in the order of their interest to you. Include specific events and/or major accomplishments such as musical instrument played, varsity letters earned, etc. The format used is similar to the one on the reverse side of the Senior Information Form.
When you ask teachers to write a letter of recommendation for you, they will want a copy of your activity sheet for reference. You can also take it with you on interviews.
For each application read the instructions carefully.
Use a chart or checklist to keep track of the following:
What is the application deadline?
Which test(s) is(are) required? Arrange for the scores to be sent.
Are one or more teacher recommendations required? (Is there a form?)
Is a counselor recommendation required? (Is there a form?)
Arrange for your transcript to be sent.
Are one or more essays required?
Is an interview required?
What is the fee?
Note the date that you mail or submit your part of the applications.
KEEP YOUR GRADES UP: 1st SEMESTER GRADES MAY
BE A CRITICAL PART OF YOUR APPLICATION.
Your cumulative grade point average and class rank will be recalculated at the end of the 1st semester to include 1st semester grades.
Graduation honors—that is, the top ten students on the rank list, including valedictorian and salutatorian—are determined at the end of the 3rd quarter.
Colleges make their acceptances contingent upon satisfactory completion of your senior courses.
If you plan to apply for financial aid, carefully read the instructions for each college to which you apply. For each college note the PRIORITY FILING DEADLINES for the FAFSA and, if applicable, the PROFILE.
Everyone who applies for financial aid must submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). You are encouraged to file the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov, but if you want a paper copy there is an option—under “FAFSA Filing Options”—to download the form.
Submit the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1, 2013, which is the earliest date that the form may be submitted.
You can plan ahead and register for your PIN numbers (both student and parent) at www.pin.ed.gov.
New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP): Students who are legal residents of New York and who pan to attend college in New York State may be eligible for TAP. The TAP application will be generated by the FAFSA, provided you are a legal resident of New York and list at least one New York college or university on the FAFSA.
Some colleges and universities, especially private ones, require the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE. This form must be filed online at www.collegeboard.org (click on College Planning and then under Pay for College click on PROFILE Online). The PROFILE for 2013-14 will be available on 10/1/12. It should be filed no later than two weeks before the earliest priority filing deadline specified by the Financial Aid Offices at the colleges to which you are applying.
There is a fee to file the PROFILE, so check the instructions for each college to which you are applying to determine if the PROFILE is required.
Some colleges and universities require that their own supplementary forms be completed. (Again, please read the instructions carefully.)
There are ways to estimate how much your family will be expected to contribute to the cost of college. You can do this online at www.collegeboard.org (click on College Planning, then Pay for College, and then Calculators).
Students and parents are encouraged to attend the financial aid program that will be given at O’Neill (date and time to be announced).
Applying for financial aid is a process that is separate
from applying for admission.
Keep a checklist of which forms must be submitted for each college and the filing deadlines for each college.
Note that some financial aid is given out on a “first come, first served” basis so that families are encouraged to submit the forms as soon as possible after January 1st, even if this means estimating income.
While families are advised not to let financial aid considerations determine where the student applies (and are encouraged to apply for financial aid to see what they get), your list of colleges should include at least one financial safety school—that is, a school where you have a good chance of admission, that you would be happy to attend, and that you can afford without financial aid (based on what your family can contribute).
Public colleges and universities are supported by the state in which they are located and are less expensive, generally less than half the cost of a private institution. Please note that students who live at West Point pay in-state tuition for SUNY schools.
The State University of New York consists of 64 campuses:
The University Centers
The University Colleges
The Technology Colleges
The Community Colleges
Pick up the Viewbook 2013 in the Guidance Office and the Admissions Information Summary 2012.
The cost to attend a 4-year SUNY college and live on campus for the 2012-13 school year: $21,740
Compare to the following private colleges:
Syracuse University: $55,600
Marist College: $42,690
Mount Saint Mary College: $38,375
Compare to the cost of the following out-of-state public colleges and universities:
Florida State University: $ 33,928 ($18,762 in-state)
University of Delaware: $39,650 ($22,560 in-state)
University of Vermont: $49,135 ($28,463 in-state)
While most financial aid is need-based, colleges and universities also award merit-based scholarships. These scholarships include those awarded for academic accomplishments and special skills in athletics, art and music. Check individual college websites for information about non-need-based scholarships.
Local scholarship packets will be distributed to all seniors in March. You and your parents should check with your employers (through the personnel offices) to see if they award scholarships. Other scholarship information can be investigated through the Internet (try www.finaid.org or www.collegeboard.org)or reference materials in the Guidance Office or library. Scholarship information received by the Guidance Office is distributed in a newsletter every few weeks.
If you plan to investigate scholarship possibilities, you need to invest time in researching, obtaining applications, and completing applications. Be careful of deadlines.
CAMPUS VISIT: The best way to make the most of a campus visit is to go through the Admissions Office (visit the website or call ahead). Options include campus tours, information sessions, and open house programs. Try to schedule your visit when classes are in session. If possible, make it an overnight stay in student or campus housing (contact the admissions office to see if this is possible).
On your campus visit, you should try to do the following:
Attend at least one class.
Meet with faculty in the department that interests you.
Eat a meal on campus and observe the food, the students, and the environment.
Pick up a copy of the campus publication and read it to see what currently concerns the student body. Also, check out bulletin board postings, clubs, activities, campus gov’t, etc.
Talk to as many students as possible.
Check out the surrounding area. Is there a town? A city? Countryside? Do you feel right with the local geography? The weather?
Campus tours are usually conducted by students.
Since these students are not involved in the
admissions process, you can ask questions you might
not want to ask during the interview.
For example, students can tell you about such things as dorm life, social activities, and the quality of food in the dining halls.
You can make a list ahead of time of questions to ask.
INTERVIEW: You should ascertain the importance of the interview in the admissions process for each college you are considering, since this varies widely. While some colleges do insist on an interview and use it as one means to evaluate a candidate, others make the interview optional or informational only.
If you would like an interview or are required to interview, make an appointment for your visit at least several weeks in advance. Try to arrange to have a tour before you have the interview.
Prepare for the interview by reviewing material related to
the college on the website or any written material you have
before you go. Make a list of thoughtful questions showing
knowledge of the college, not questions that can be easily
answered by reading a college handbook or looking at the
website. You might ask:
Which departments are strong and why are they strong?
Can I get an internship in my major field?
Do graduates find jobs? Are they helped finding jobs? With whom do they find their jobs?
What percentage of graduates are accepted to graduate, medical, or law school?
What is the average class size? Largest? Smallest?
What percentage of the faculty teach freshmen and sophomores? Are they full professors? Will I be taught by graduate students?
How accessible are the faculty members? Do they have office hours? Do they act as faculty advisors?
What help is available if I have difficulty with English, math, or another subject?
If am still undecided concerning my major, what help will I be able to get?
What matters socially to your students?
What happens on this campus on the weekends?
Will I have ready access to computers and the other equipment on campus?
Think of the interview as a conversation during which you will be able to tell the interviewer more about yourself and learn more about the college. Before the interview think seriously about your educational goals: Evaluate your needs, strengths and interests, especially in light of that particular college. Imagine how you might answer typical interview questions, such as:
Why have you picked this college?
What are your favorite school subjects? Least favorite?
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
How do you spend your free time? Do you have any hobbies?
What books have you read in the past year that were NOT required reading?
Do you have any heroes?
What type of career do you wish to pursue?
What extracurricular activities do you participate in?
What books or films have made a lasting impression on you?
What three adjectives best describe you?
What three events would you deem crucial in your life thus far?
What is your work experience?
On the day of the interview BE EARLY. DRESS APPROPRIATELY. Take an unofficial copy of your transcript that shows your grades and SAT/ACT scores and a copy of your resume or activity sheet. Take a positive, motivated, and excited attitude with you.
Be sure to get the name and email address of the person who interviews you. After the interview write a brief THANK YOU NOTE (you can do this by email).
If you plan to participate in Division I or II sports in college, you must be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center. For more information and to register visit www.eligibilitycenter.org.
If you register, you need to request that your transcript be sent from the Guidance Office to the NCAA Eligibility Center. A transcript will be sent by the Guidance Office at the time you register and again after you graduate.
Test scores: You must also have your test scores (SAT/ACT) sent directly from the testing agency to the NCAA Eligibility Center. Input the NCAA Eligibility code of 9999.
Transfer students: Note that you will need to list all schools you have attended during grades 9-12. If you have any questions, please see your counselor.
The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) published an article called “MySpace in College Admission” by Nicole Verardi in April of 2006 that was updated in 2010. She cautions you that “…Whatever you post, it never goes away. Once your information is online—even if you take it down—it becomes public information, as your page can be saved on anyone’s computer.”
What you can do (according to Verardi):
First, be safe! Never post personal information such as your address, daily schedule, phone number, etc.
Make your profile private so that strangers can’t look at your information, and be cautious about adding new friends whom you do not personally know.
Take down any questionable photos or exchanges between you and your friends. Give it the “Grandma Test.” If you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see it, then you don’t want other adults to either. Remember, pictures and references of you on your friends’ pages can be damaging, too. You can ask them to take down this kind of information.
Don’t get a false sense of security on social media sites. It’s easy for faculty, alumni and random people to get on and look at the information you have posted.
“Whether it’s through Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr or another social media service, students are online—online sharing details with friends, online for everyone to see.”
“Although social networking can be fun, remember that sometimes what you post will be in public view, like broadcasting it on the six o’clock news.”
“So when it’s time to apply for college, give your social networking profiles a second look to make sure you feel comfortable sharing everything you have posted with an admission officer and, later, with potential employers because your site becomes permanent, public information about you.”
By early April (if not before) colleges will notify you about the status of your application for admission and your application for financial aid.
By May 1st you must make your final decision regarding the school you want to attend and send in your deposit. Check deadlines for each college.
Also, be sure to notify the colleges you are not planning to attend.
Visit the above SUNY website for information about
Visit the same website for the SUNY Community College Admissions Information Summary 2012
Click on O’Neill and then Guidance. You can access
This PowerPoint presentation (College Application Procedures for Seniors/Class of 2013)
Transcript Request Form
Don’t forget to make an appointment for your senior conference!
Also, keep in mind that you can contact Mrs. Kolewe or Mrs. Mackey with questions that come up: