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US Applicants – Spring Orientation. Summer Research and Preparation. Choosing Schools. Do your homework – this is half the battle Trust logic & Sanity – there is more than one school where you will be happy Be Realistic – use your support Network – parents ***

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us applicants spring orientation

US Applicants – Spring Orientation

Summer Research and Preparation

choosing schools
Choosing Schools
  • Do your homework – this is half the battle
  • Trust logic & Sanity – there is more than one school where you will be happy
  • Be Realistic – use your support Network – parents ***
  • Evaluate your grades, skills and SAT/ACTscores – compare in Naviance
  • Craft reasoned & thoughtful applications
  • Only apply to those schools you really want to attend
  • If want 1 school – may apply early – Look at early acceptance rates for that school
  • Select a range of schools (big, small, urban, ivy)
questions to ponder
Questions to ponder?
  • What are your academic Interests?
  • What kind of student are you?
  • How do you learn best?
  • What activities outside of class matter most to you?
  • How important is prestige to you?
  • Do you want a diverse college? Race, Gender, international students?
  • Where do you want to live for the next 4 – 10 years?
  • What kind of social and cultural environment would you like best?
the liberal arts choice
The Liberal Arts Choice

Focus on undergraduate education

Social science, science humanities and arts

Almost 90% of the 220+ liberal arts colleges are private

Core foundation in english, philosophy, history, music, science and math

Not career focused

Often in small towns or non-urban centres

Sense of community – close bonds with staff

Easier to get involved in sports and other extra-curricular activities (newspaper, debating, clubs)

Examples: Pomona, Claremont-Mckenna, Reed, Davidson, Chapman

the research university
The Research University

Generate new knowledge

Well equipped with top faculty and facilities but classes may be large

Provides opportunities as an undergraduate to do research with faculty, particularly in science

Discovery and scholarship are the primary focus

Examples - All Ivy Leagues are in this category (Brown, Yale, Harvard etc) but also schools like Dartmouth, CalTech, and UCLA

special colleges
Special Colleges

Religious Affiliations

  • Jesuit Colleges (Examples include Georgetown, Boston, Brandeis,Univ of San Francisco)
  • Religion not always evident on campus
  • Most welcome students of all backgrounds

Other Colleges

  • Specialty colleges – Harvey Mudd for Engineering, Cornell for Hospitality

Women’s Colleges

  • Single Sex
  • Academically strong
  • Supportive environment
  • Examples include Scripps, Wellesley, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Bryn Mawr
  • Consortium Colleges – allow for flexibility with classes and add variety
selection of schools
Selection of Schools

Six to ten universities, these should include:

- 2 “reach” schools – use SAT admission scores to determine eligibility

  • 2 “choice” schools
  • 2 “for Sure” Schools
  • Back up Schools are good insurance
  • Other factors: Location, program of study (curriculum), distance from home, professional network, financial cost, future goals
  • Encourage students to look beyond the “brand name”
sat scores subject tests
SAT Scores Subject Tests
  • Range of scores is what students should compare
  • If you are in the range the institution will consider you
  • Score Choice – some schools will ask to see ALL your scores anyway
  • Caution to not write too many times
  • Should reflect your intended major
  • Research indicates that AP courses help to improve overall SAT subject scores
  • Language subject tests may or may not be an advantage in this process
prep me naviance
Prep Me – Naviance
  • Personalized Learning through Naviance
  • SAT training with support – access this anywhere as it is web based
  • Lower fee – approx. $100 - $110 annually
  • Other choices: Choose an accredited program:
  • Princeton Review
  • Kaplan

*** If hire an independent counsellor be sure they are accredited and member of IECA***

how not to choose a school
How NOT to choose a School
  • Solely on where your sibling, parent or grandparent attended (although being a legacy can be helpful)
  • Don’t be a lemming (Boyfriend, girlfriend best friend is going there)
  • Do Not let distance be the sole deciding factor
  • Do not let tuition cost determine your school
  • Do not choose solely based on campus appeal, although visiting campus is helpful!
landscape of admissions
Landscape of Admissions
  • US hit an all time high in numbers of applications in 2009 and they continue to be high for the most competitive schools
  • Some US schools using Application software to sort initial applications (Diversity is an issue here – consistent standards and measurable outcomes are legally important in the US)
  • Ivy League schools by sheer volume reject 60% of legacy candidates, valedictorians and class presidents
  • Some schools have international quotas
admissions philosophy
Admissions Philosophy
  • *Students should be able to show they can handle the rigour and challenge of first year

*Assessment of depth and scope of learning

* Students are evaluated within the context of their school *(school profile goes with every application)

* External AP courses are not seen as necessary and may impact negatively on the selection process

the admissions office what are they looking for
The Admissions Office – What are they Looking for?
  • Verification of qualifications
  • Prediction of performance
  • Indication of long term potential
  • Suitability to intended Study
  • Assessment of ability to cope away from home – emotionally and psychologically
  • Authenticity/Synergy

***You may have all the qualifications and still not be accepted at the Ivy league schools****

See Smith Evaluation Sheet for Applicants

holistic applications include
Holistic applications include:
  • Completing forms accurately – Common App
  • Essays
  • US Recommendations – Teachers
  • Counsellor Recommendations
  • SAT score and Subject tests should be a reflection of your entire application
  • Other Recommendations (professional)
  • Visits to Prospective Schools
  • Interviews
admission cycles
Admission Cycles
  • Regular Decision – apply Dec. 15th
  • Early Decision – Apply by Nov 1 – Binding Can only apply to one school
  • Early Action- Apply Nov. 1 Non-Binding

Who Should Apply Early?

  • Compelling argument for one school – legacy, program available, geographic location
  • More than 35% accepted through early cycle
how to get ready to apply
HOW to get Ready to Apply:
  • Naviance – register and manage your applications & access resources, talk to your counsellor
  • Complete the Survey in Naviance for your counsellor NOW
  • College Board ( for checklists and support
  • SAT – Plan out your subject tests
  • Other resources:
  • “How to Survive Getting into College” Rachel Korn, Special Editor
  • “Less Stress, More Success”…Marilee Jones and Kenneth Ginsberg
  • Our focus at CHS is help you to find the “Fit”
  • See or

to project your suitability (MATCH)

common application
Common Application
  • Complete online by the student (Personal Data, Education, Test Data (SAT/ACT), Family, Extracurricular, elect Privacy notice) Opens August 1st
  • Secondary School Report and Teacher report– completed on-line by CHS staff through Naviance. These accompany the Common Application and are linked electronically
  • Incomplete forms will be result in a delay in your application or risking the file to be designated incomplete
  • Financial Statements for the family generally are required
common application1
Common Application
  • Accepted by most US institutions-

  • Should be completed on – line by early December - only one account
  • Can be accessed through Naviance – Family Connection on the schools web site
  • CHS does not calculate GPA or rank students due to small size because it is statistically not valid
tackling the college essay
Tackling the College Essay
  • Follow directions and answer the question
  • Be honest and be yourself….do not write what you think they want to hear. Be Original! Authenticity Counts! DDI
  • Target your essay to the Institution
  • Leave yourself time to do a good job, rewrite and reflect – then finalize
  • Seek input on your final draft from people you respect.
some do s
Some DO’s
  • Write about something you really care about
  • Remember the point is that you are an interesting , mature person and that you can write
  • Submit extra material if it is called for
  • Be neat and well presented
  • Avoid generalities. Write about something specific – readers will remember this
some don ts
Some Don’ts
  • Don’t repeat information from other parts of your application
  • Avoid generalities. Write about something specific – readers will remember this
  • Avoid politics, religion, sex ,drugs or the importance of a college education
  • Don’t apologize or explain
  • Every essay does not need a moral – too contrived
the essay
The Essay

Should Demonstrate:

  • Serious intent to pursue an education
  • Genuine desire to attend THEIR institution
  • A match between interests, abilities and what the school has to offer
  • Your ability to think clearly, logically and creatively
  • Your ability to write an engaging and thoughtful essay that keeps the reader’s attention
qualities of an effective essay
Qualities of an effective essay:
  • Be truthful and authentic – Who are You?
  • First person is more powerful and interesting to the reader
  • Emphasize skills and achievements
  • Relevant to course work
  • Include: Goals and Aspirations

Work Experience

Volunteer work

Admissions offices are looking for unique individuals: intellectual curiosity, leadership - in and out of class, strong academics, commitment to community and engagement with life in general

essay resources
Essay Resources

1)Dr. Rebecca Joseph – Telling your Story – Website/Facebook:


  • Check out the VINE for handouts from her session at CHS 2010
  • Search out topics on the school web sites – in advance (June/July)

3) Sources of Information on Essay Topics /Techniques:

  • Read model college essays – lots of resources available
  • Do not talk about money, sex or other controversial topics
  • Essay should entertain and engage the reader
  • Litmus test – could anyone else have written your essay?
  • Counsellor Feedback
  • English teacher Feedback
  • Have a trusted adult read – not edit your essay for tone, message, meaning
essay and application howlers
Essay and Application Howlers
  • Spelling – Have a trusted Adult Proof read, this may include a teacher/counsellor
  • Typos - “At school I held the position of Head Gig”
  • Meaningless verbiage “As a direct result

of my interest in the human race…I became increasingly fascinated by the scientific trend to emulate mankind.”

  • Student e-mail addresses
  • Wrong dates or city or college
teacher recommendations
Teacher Recommendations
  • Ask teachers early in the year and consider subject area in relation to program applied for
  • Provide background resume and information to teacher/counsellor
  • Provide ample time for teacher/counsellor in respect of deadlines
  • Recommend begin by utilizing the journal option in Naviance and making this available to CHS staff
  • Over the summer you should create an athletic resume detailing your sport, competitions, strength and endurance tests , awards, etc.
  • Connect with the coaches at each of the schools where you want to apply
  • Research the requirements as they relate to athletes for specific schools
  • Be clear that ONLY ADMISSIONS can actually present you an offer for admission, regardless of what the coach promises.
  • Be certain that you review the university to see that they offer the academic program you truly want
this summer
This summer
  • Create e-mail account
  • Wall calender for dates and deadlines
  • Start a binder, file or folder with names, contacts, deadlines and financial info
  • Visit schools of interest
  • Focus on field of study
  • Look at essay topics and plan, begin drafting essays (
  • Identify 6 t0 10 schools MAX, through active research
  • Make a plan for ACT or SAT’s & Subject tests,
parental checklist
Parental Checklist

1.Learn factors that matter to your

daughter – programs , location

2. Arrange to visit the schools that most interest her

3. Get onto Naviance so that you can share in your daughter’s journey

4. Have financial discussions early in this process to avoid disappointment

5. Meet with your daughter’s CHS counsellor

6.Read and look at some resources (see handouts)

***Keep in mind that this is a journey for parents as well

chs admissions stats us

Data from (2013) and Naviance CHS stats 2008 - 2012

chs graduates at us universities
CHS Graduates at US Universities
  • Recent CHS Graduates are in attendance at:

Brown, Boston University, Berkeley,Chapman ,Claremont McKenna, Princeton, Columbia, Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, FIDM, Harvard, Haverford, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, Rice University, Rhode Island School of Design, Smith, University of Santa Barbara,Stanford, University of Michigan, University of Southern California, University of Pennsylvania, University of Washington St. Louis, Wellesley, Yale, and many others.

  • Two University Counsellors and all the Planning teachers are available in Planning classes to assist students with their queries
  • Encourage you to come to the source for accuracy of information and a direct line to the Admissions Offices.
  • MsManhas and the new University Counsellor areavailable for individual interviews with students and parents anytime and throughout the year as needed
  • Students are able to take advantage of posted Office hours during the year, to drop in and discuss concerns – without an appointment
  • Parents are also welcome to make appointments and meet as a family with the counsellors