As the end of junior year approaches, so does the perfect time to begin planning and exploring options for senior year and beyond. Use the following steps to make the coming months productive and the college application process manageable.
A final list may be narrowed in the fall, but for now, have some fun exploring which colleges might be the best fit using the College Board Big Future tool. https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/
REQUEST LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
A letter of recommendation is a very important piece of the college application. Many colleges and scholarships require a letter from a teacher and a counselor, so let's start there. By May 15th, email a request to the preferred teacher(s)* asking them to write the letter. Once the teacher has agreed, complete the information on the questionnaire link below and email the document to them by June 1st. *Check with specific colleges for the required number of teacher recommendations. https://1320c5d5-433d-3c29-d1f6-5ed577b033a0.filesusr.com/ugd/c09788_2dcca99ed22a45d38046cb63dfd1ab34.docx?dn=Teacher%20Questionnaire%20Class%20of%202021.docx
The appropriate senior counselor will need to write an enthusiastic, holistic letter of recommendation on your behalf. In order to assist them with comprehensive information, please complete the student questionnaire. (https://1320c5d5-433d-3c29-d1f6-5ed577b033a0.filesusr.com/ugd/c09788_b3b0f3d16e93454284b86897f91f84c8.docx?dn=Senior%20Questionnaire%20Class%20of%202020.docx). Ask your parent(s) to complete the parent questionnaire and then email both to the senior counselor by August 1st. (https://1320c5d5-433d-3c29-d1f6-5ed577b033a0.filesusr.com/ugd/c09788_7dd8aac063a74307a2c6f312d1ec6063.doc?dn=Parent%20Questionnaire.doc)
SENIOR COUNSELORS: (Manual A-L) email@example.com (Manual M-Z) firstname.lastname@example.org (YPAS) email@example.com
The application for admission to the college/university of your choice may be found on a college website. Many schools also use online platforms including The Common Application, a tool that allows students to apply to multiple colleges using one application format. The 2021 Common Application https://www.commonapp.org/ opens on August 1st, but an account may be created before that time and then rolled over (be sure to review all the instructions). If your selected college is a member of the Common Application, you will need to complete an essay using one of the 2021 prompts. Summer is a great time to create and refine the essay. The 2021 essay prompts may be found here: https://appsupport.commonapp.org/applicantsupport/s/article/What-are-the-2020-2021-Common-Application-essay-prompts
If a specific college/university is not listed on the Common Application, visit that school's admissions web page to see if an essay is required. If you plan to apply for a university honors program and/or institutional scholarships, check for essay requirements related to those, as well.
VIEW THE SENIOR SEMINAR INFORMATIONAL VIDEO
Senior Seminar is the annual event where detailed steps in the college application process are discussed. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the original in-person senior seminar sessions have been cancelled. Instead, Class of 2021 seniors and parents will receive a senior seminar video. The video will be sent to all senior households via messenger on July 31st, 2020.
LEARN HOW TO PAY FOR COLLEGE
In order to apply for financial aid, a family must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The window to apply opens on October 1st. To help families prepare, a virtual FAFSA workshop will be held in the coming weeks. More info will be sent soon. In the meantime, families may estimate aid prior to October 1 at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/estimate. Families are also strongly encouraged to visit the KHEAA.com website. https://www.kheaa.com/website/kheaa/home
Visit the Manual weebly page to find multiple scholarship search engines and to review scholarship opportunities from this past year. Make a list of the ones that interest you and develop a plan for completion of each preferred scholarship application during the senior year. https://gomanualgo.weebly.com/
REVIEW ADDITIONAL COLLEGE APPLICATION RESOURCES
The following resources contain excellent, detailed information about the various steps in the application process.
UTILIZE A COLLEGE ADMISSIONS GUIDE
Fair Opportunity Project is an online comprehensive college admissions guide. It's completely FREE and is available in multiple languages. It's also shareable. https://www.fairopportunityproject.org/
USE FINANCIAL CALCULATORS
The Net Price Calculator is a tool that students may use to estimate the cost of attendance at any college/university. The NPC tool and other college cost calculators may be found here: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/tools-calculators#. Another cost calculator, specifically for Ivy/Ivy Plus schools, is https://myintuition.org.
CHECK ADVANCED PLACEMENT CREDIT
Did you take AP exams? As you narrow your college list, be sure to cross reference the college's AP credit policy with the general education requirements for the schools where you want to apply. Find college AP policies here: https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/getting-credit-placement/search-policies. Find general education requirements by visiting each individual college/university website and typing "general education requirements" in the search tool.
Do you love data? Do you want to dig deeper into admission and numbers? If so, these links are for you: www.college-kickstart.com * www.collegedata.com * www.collegeraptor.com * https://nced.ed.gov/ipeds/
REFER TO THE MANUAL COUNSELING OFFICE WEBPAGE
Numerous additional resources are available on the dMHS counseling website. Find the college planning resources page here: https://www.dupontmanualcounseling.com/college-apps
LIVE FOR TODAY...PLAN FOR TOMORROW
Class of 2021, your counselors are so incredibly excited to work with you during senior year! We are here to help and no question is too big or small. See you soon!