FINDING YOUR PATHWAY TO COLLEGE

A College Preparation Guide
For Juniors and Seniors

Can you believe it? The beginning of your senior year is right around the corner! While there are so many things to look forward to this year, there are also many things to accomplish. Senior year will be one of your most challenging years, but will also be one of the most rewarding. So, whether you are a student who has it all together or a student in need of a little guidance throughout this college going process, do not worry, we are here to help!

College Student
 

FINDING YOUR PATHWAY TO COLLEGE

A College Preparation Guide
For Juniors and Seniors

Can you believe it? The beginning of your senior year is right around the corner! While there are so many things to look forward to this year, there are also many things to accomplish. Senior year will be one of your most challenging years, but will also be one of the most rewarding. So, whether you are a student who has it all together or a student in need of a little guidance throughout this college going process, do not worry, we are here to help!

College Student
Graduates Holding Diplomas

HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR YEAR CALENDAR

October

 

GRADUATION NOTIFICATION AGREEMENT

At the beginning of each year, seniors will meet with their Professional School Counselor to review their status as it relates to satisfying graduation requirements. During this meeting, you will complete your Graduation Notification Agreement. is agreement details the number of courses and credits that you need to obtain in order to graduate this year. Your Professional School Counselor will also review whether or not you have met state testing requirements (PARCC, MISA etc.) and earned the minimum number of Student Service-Learning independent hours (24). It
is extremely important that you attend this meeting and that you are engaged in the process. Ensuring that the information is correct early in the year is the only way for you to be sure that you have everything that you need in order to graduate in May/June. A sample copy of this agreement can be found on pages 29-30.

SCHOLASTIC APTITUDE TEST (SAT)

AND AMERICAN COLLEGE TESTING (ACT)

If you have already taken the SAT/ACT but were not completely satisfied with your scores, you should consider taking the SAT/ACT again. For most colleges with November 1st deadlines the last test date that they will accept will be from October and November (depending on the school). Again, make sure that you select the schools in which you plan to apply to receive your scores. Not selecting them on or by the test date can delay your scores from being received by 1-3 weeks and can cause you to spend extra money.

ADMISSIONS OPTIONS

Be aware of the different types of admissions applications and deadlines that exist:

Early Action - Apply November-December, receive decision by mid-December (or January). Early Action is NOT binding. You can apply to as many Early Action schools as you like. You have until May 1 to accept.
Early Decision - Many private colleges o er Early Decision which is an early BINDING route to college admissions. You apply in early to mid November to ONE college, and you nd out by mid-December. You must attend if you get accepted.

Priority Deadline - If you apply before this deadline, you have a higher chance of getting admitted and/or receiving a nancial aid or scholarships to a public university.
Regular Admissions - Set deadline to apply, usually January or February.
Rolling Admissions - You apply as soon as you can and within a few weeks you can nd out whether or not you get in.

FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID (FAFSA) / FEDERAL STUDENT AID ID (FSA ID)

Would you like to be considered for free money from the government? Well, this is your opportunity! Although not all students and families qualify for grants, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a great resource for funding to attend college. e form is o cially available each year on October 1st. Even parents who feel that
they may make too much money to be considered for funding, many colleges require the FAFSA to be completed in order for the student to be considered for scholarships. erefore, it is crucial that each student le their FAFSA before March 1st, which is the deadline to receive monies from the state of Maryland. Please review our FAFSA tab for more information.

COLLEGE APPLICATIONS

Navigating the college application world is not as straightforward as we would like it to be. Some colleges have their own process for how to submit their application and supplemental materials. erefore, it becomes critically important that you visit each college/university’s website to determine how each speci c institution would like for you to submit their application. There are a few frequently used application systems for students to utilize listed below:

THE COMMON APPLICATION

Thee Common Application is an online application system used by students to apply to over 700 colleges and universities across the country and around the world. We advise students to utilize the Common Application as a starting point as it houses a vast number of colleges in its system, including Johns Hopkins University and University of Maryland, Baltimore County, making it easier for students to apply. We encourage you to set up an account and browse the colleges who participate in the Common Application by going to http://www.commonapp.org/.

COMMON BLACK COLLEGE APPLICATION

Like the Common Application, the Common Black College Application is an online system by which students can apply to over 50 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) for a fee of $35.00. If you would like to see which colleges are in this system, go to the HBCU Common Application (www.commonblackcollegeapp.com).

COALITION FOR ACCESS, AFFORDABILITY, AND SUCCESS

MyCoalition is another online application system that o ers free online college planning tools that helps students learn about, prepare for, and apply to college. Unlike the Common Application, MyCoalition o ers an online storage locker for students to house portfolio documents before even reaching 12th grade. One popular college on MyCoalition includes the University of Maryland, College Park. To set up an account you can start on the Coalition Application.

REQUESTING TRANSCRIPTS

The vast majority of colleges/universities require students to submit official transcripts from their high school to their institution. Each high school may have their own procedure for how this process looks in their building; so, it is important that you check with your Professional School Counselor about the steps for requesting and sending official transcripts. One way you may be able to request the transcript is by using the online Naviance system. However, we strongly recommend that you speak with your Professional School Counselor before beginning this process.