Applying to College 101
Presented by the Guidance Department
Finding colleges that fit you best begins withself-discovery— that means getting to know your interests, your goals and what's most important to you. The following five steps will get you started on the right path.
How do you figure out which colleges to apply to?
Answering questions like these will help you focus your college search:What am I interested in?How do I spend my free time?What do I feel passionate about?How do I learn best?What do I think I want to do in the future?
Ask yourself some questions…
Public colleges are funded by local and state governments and usually offer lower tuition rates than private colleges, especially for students who are residents of the state where a college is located.
Private colleges rely mainly on tuition, fees and private sources of funding. Private donations can sometimes provide generous financial aid packages for students.
Public and PrivateColleges
For-profit collegesare businesses that offer a variety of degree programs which typically prepare students for a specific career. They tend to have higher costs, which could mean graduating with more debt. Credits earned may not transfer to other colleges, so be sure to check with the admission office at each college.Universitiesoften are larger and offer more majors and degree options—bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees—than colleges. Most universities contain several smaller colleges, such as colleges of liberal arts, engineering or health sciences. These colleges can prepare you for a variety of careers or for graduate study.
Liberal arts collegesoffer a broad base of courses in the liberal arts, which includes areas such as literature, history, languages, mathematics and life sciences. Most are private and offer four-year programs that lead to a bachelor's degree. These colleges can prepare you for a variety of careers or for graduate study.Community collegesoffer two-year associate degrees that prepare you to transfer to a four-year college to earn a bachelor's degree. They also offer other associate degrees and certificates that focus on preparing you for a certain career. Community colleges are often an affordable option with relatively low tuition.
Different Types of Colleges
Arts collegesand conservatories focus on the arts. In addition to regular course work, these colleges provide training in areas such as photography, music, theater or fashion design. Most of these colleges offer associate or bachelor's degrees in the fine arts or a specialized field.Vocational-technical and career collegesoffer specialized training in a particular industry or career. Possible programs of study include the culinary arts, firefighting, dental hygiene and medical-records technology. These colleges usually offer certificates or associate degrees.
Different Types of Colleges Continued…
Four-year collegesoffer four-year programs that lead to a bachelor's degree. These include universities and liberal arts colleges.
Two-year collegesoffer programs that last up to two years that lead to a certificate or an associate degree. These include community colleges, vocational-technical colleges and career colleges.
Four Year VS. Two Year Colleges
Here are some aspects to consider:SizeLocationDistance from homeAvailable majors and classesHousing optionsMakeup of the student bodyAvailable extracurricular activitiesCampus atmosphereDISCUSSION QUESTIONS:1.) Which of these aspects are things you feel you must have to be comfortable at a college? Which things are you flexible on?2.) Also, think about what you want to accomplish in college.3.)Do you want to train for a specific job or get a wide-ranging education?4.)If you have a major in mind, are the colleges you’re considering strong in that area?
Decide What YOU Want in a College
Applyingearly can be a good idea if you’re sure about which college you want to attend. That means you’ve researched its programs and, if possible, visited its campus.But think twice about applying early if:1.) Youwant to compare admission and financial aidoffersfrom several colleges.2.) You’dbenefit from having another year of high schoolworkto show colleges.
How to Decide If Applying Early Is Right forYOU!
Early Admission Options:
There are three main types of early admission plans. All three plans usually require you to apply in October or November. All the plans give you an early decision; you’ll know in December or January if you’ve been accepted.Earlydecision plans:You can apply to only one early decision college.If the college accepts you and offers you enough financial aid, you must go to that college. That’s why these plans are referred to as “binding.”Some colleges have two early deadlines, called early decision deadline I and early decision deadline II. They both work the same way, but the second deadline gives you more time to decide whether to apply early.Although you may apply to additional colleges through the regular admission process, you must withdraw all other applications if you’re accepted by this college.Early action plans:You can apply to more than one early action college.If you're accepted, you can say yes right away or wait until spring to decide.You can also decline the offer.Single-choice early action plans:You can apply early to only one college. Otherwise, these plans work the same as other early action plans.You can still apply to other colleges through the regular admission process.You don't have to give your final answer to the early application college until spring.
Rolling Admission-Notification is given within six weeks of the completion of all application forms.January-February Decision- Notification is made between January 15 and February 15.Spring Decision - Notification is sent about April 1.Deferred or Delayed Admission- Deferred or delayed admission to college is not a standard practice, but may be a possibility for some students. Under this type of admission, college acceptance is postponed for a year or more with a guarantee from the college of admission later, or application for admission is not made at all until after a year or more of experience in employment, travel, community work, etc. Any student who considers this type of approach should contact the college directly.- Allcollege acceptances are provisional until the student successfully completes the year in high school. A final transcript is requested from theuniversity at the endof the school year. The student must not permit academic achievement to go into severe slump because acceptance may be withdrawn.
Types of Admissions
NCAAEligibilityAre you considering playing sports in college? If so, check out this website:http://www.ncaaclearinghouse.org
ApplicationRecommendationsTranscript- Parchment“Your brag sheet” (list of honors, activities, volunteering)Portfolio- Specifically for music and art. (There are others as well)Personal statementSupplemental questionsSAT or ACT scores submitted
What Do You Need to When Applying?
GrantsLoans-Need to pay backWork StudyMeritFINANCIAL AID NIGHT IS:December 1st
Important Websites When Applying