College Admissions……PART 2
Steps in the Admissions Process you Cannot Afford to Miss!
Now that you have submitted your applications, you are in the finish line for college admissions! It is time to work hard to be able to meet all college deadlines in full. The following requirements are essential in the application process and must be addressed in order to successfully complete the admissions process:
1 – DEADLINES:
Be aware that the first deadline to submit some applications is October 15 (Georgia Tech, FSU, Yeshiva University and UNC Chapel Hill, among others). The second deadline is November 1st (this applies to all students who are pursuing Early Decision or Early Action decision options). Make sure you submit all your materials prior to the dates indicated, to be considered for admissions in your preferred deadline.
2 – LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION FROM TEACHERS AND FROM THE SCHOOL COUNSELOR:
It is best to send letters of recommendations electronically via CommonApp. The following explains in detail the electronic submission process:
a. To send the letters online, please submit the request directly from the CommonApp. Please enter the information about the person who will be recommending the student in the section of the CommonApp called “School Forms”. The information to be entered is: name, last name, email and subject taught (teacher or counselor). The request will arrive electronically to the teacher or counselor. The student will not be able to see what the teacher writes but only when the recommendation was sent out.
b. If for any reason the letter of recommendation is sent out via regular mail, the procedure will be as follows:
i. Ask the counselor (in some cases especially with international students, the school’s principal) and two teachers to write the letters of recommendation. First, ask for them to complete the recommendations online. If that is not possible, ask them to write one letter of recommendation and have them print out the necessary copies for each one of the colleges or universities and then have them sign each of the original copies. If the signature is not original on all of them, the letters will not be valid.
ii. Ask them to fill out the original forms without their signature. Make as many copies as you need of the unsigned forms and then ask them to sign the 15 copies of each original. If the signature is not original, the form will not be valid.
iii. After having all these letters and forms signed by each counselor or teacher, a packet must be put together that contains: letter from each recommender (counselor letter with form SSR, on one side, then, letter of teacher #1 with form of teacher #1, and on the other side, letter from teacher #2 with form of teacher #2). Then place each set in a sealed envelope with the school letterhead.
3 – TRANSCRIPTS:
It is extremely important to understand how to send school transcripts to universities in the application process. Some colleges require ORIGINAL TRANSCRIPTS in sealed envelopes sent by the school. Others (especially colleges in the CommonApp and others with their own online applications, like University of Florida and Georgia Institute of Technology) want you to fill out a self-reported transcript within their application. Make sure that your transcript has been reported as received by the university/college where you sent it. This is a CRUCIAL part of the admissions process and you MUST make sure your colleges receive your transcripts in order to have complete applications for review. If your colleges do not receive your transcripts, they will not review your application. Check with each school to make sure they do receive your transcripts as they are requesting them.
Also request in your school information on the method to make requests for college transcripts. Follow the steps indicated by the school in order to complete the process.
If the colleges you are applying to are requesting official transcripts over the mail, DO NOT send COPIES of the ORIGINAL. Universities ask for ORIGINALS in sealed and stamped envelopes.
Always ask for extra sets of transcripts for yourself from your school, in case any university or college requests them.
4 – FINANCIAL AID:
Please submit your CSS Profile immediately. The FAFSA application for financial aid will have to wait until January 1st, since the new year application is the one colleges require, even when applying early. If applying early, many colleges accept the CSS Profile, and this application is available for you to send anytime, even in October.
It is IMPORTANT to fill out the FAFSA application regardless of whether the student qualifies for financial aid or not. Submitting financial aid applications may also qualify the student for other financial aid or merit based scholarships. Students submitting these applications early, may use information of the income taxes of the current year. New financial aid forms come out on January 1st.
Parents whose children are in college, should begin tax preparation as early as possible to be able to submit accurate financial information.
5. SAT AND ACT TEST REPORTING:
Send the HIGHEST test scores. In the event you have different tests scores, make sure to send out the highest one of the SAT’s and ACT’s. Send them via College Board, ACT.org or ETS. The scores are not sent out automatically to the colleges and universities that the student applies to, unless it is indicated in the original test application. If a test was retaken, make sure that you send out only the highest score achieved.
To send scores, contact CollegeBoard or ETS directly by going to their websites and login to your account. The order process is electronic. You can also reach both test providers over the phone.
Please call the college to find out if they require an interview with the prospective student. If they do, schedule one as soon as possible and schedule a visit on campus. Usually, Universities have an October 15 deadline to schedule interviews with the student.
7. COLLEGE FAIRS AND SELF-PROMOTION WITH COLLEGES:
Consider attending events in your area, related to the college you are applying for. By doing so, it will let the admission staff know your genuine interest in your school of choice.
It is IMPERATIVE that you do follow up of your application process. Once you submit your electronic application, colleges will send you a website, a login and password to do follow-up of the process. In that website, they will provide information on what you are missing in order to finalize the submission of your application process. You need to login to this site EVERY WEEK AT THE VERY LEAST!!! Failure to login and follow up your admission process can cost you a denial (if all documents are not received by a certain date, they will either deny you or move you to the next admission deadline). If the college website indicates you are missing any of your application materials, IMMEDIATELY contact the school in order to send the missing requirements right away or provide information regarding the college’s request.
In order for the application process to be considered as COMPLETE, it is imperative to send the application online AND all the requirements explained herein. If colleges receive one and not the other, the application will be considered INCOMPLETE and the student will not be evaluated for admission.