Welcome to your senior year! This is the year you will be applying to colleges, getting accepted to colleges, and deciding which college you will attend. It can be an exciting but stressful process for you and your parents. Please remember your Counselor will be there to help you through the entire process. Be sure to make an appointment with your Counselor when you need assistance.
Take difficult classes. Remember, your “Strength of Schedule” is a key factor that colleges look at when they are deciding if they want to admit you. Therefore, impress them by taking classes that push you to your academic limits.
Senior year grades do matter… a lot! When you apply to a college in the fall of your senior year, you will need to send your official transcript to the college after you submit your application. Your official transcript includes your G.P.A., class rank, a list of all the classes you took (freshman through junior year) and the semester grades you earned in each class. Although your senior year grades are not on the initial transcript you will send, most colleges ask to see your 7th semester grades. Therefore, it is important to strive for excellence in the classroom your senior year. Your 7th semester grades can lead to an admission offer if they are good, and also, your 7th semester grades can lead to a rejection letter if they are poor.
LIKE Brother Rice College Counselor page on Facebook, and follow BR COLLEGE COUNSELOR @crusadercollege on Twitter to access valuable information about the college admissions, careers, scholarships, etc. If you are not on Twitter, you can access the page at https://twitter.com/crusadercollege.
Stay committed to your extracurricular activities. Colleges look for consistent participation from one year to the next, and they are impressed when you take on a leadership role. Also, remember quality over quantity. Colleges want to see a strong commitment to one or two extracurricular activities that truly interest you. These activities can be at school or in the community.
Crusader athletes…if you think you will be playing a Division I or Division II sport in college, visit the NCAA Eligibility Center website (www.eligibilitycenter.org) and complete the application process early in your senior year. After completing the application, you must send your official transcript to the NCAA Eligibility Center. Your Counselor can assist you with this process. Also, meet with your Counselor to make sure that you have all the core courses and ACT/SAT test score required for eligibility.
Attend the Brother Rice/Mother McAuley College Fair in September. Approximately 200 colleges attend our College Fair. This is an excellent opportunity for you and your parents to speak to college representatives from the colleges that interest you the most.
Throughout the school year, over 100 colleges visit Brother Rice to promote their schools and to recruit you. During your lunch, stop by their table to pick up information booklets and ask questions you may have about their school. This is a great way for the college representatives to get to know you as well.
You and your parents should attend the College Financial Aid Night in October at Mother McAuley. If you attended the session last year, please go again. Things are ever changing in the world of financial aid. The presentation will guide you through the financial aid process, from selecting affordable colleges to completing the FAFSA forms.
If necessary, register to take the ACT, SAT, and/or SAT Subject Tests in September, October, December. To register for the ACT, go to www.actstudent.org. To register for the SAT and/or SAT Subject Tests, go to www.collegeboard.org.
Visit the colleges on your list. On your visit, talk to current students, professors, and Admission Counselors. Also, try to sit in on a class or two.
Early in your senior year (August, September), ask your teachers, coaches, counselors, bosses, community member etc., for a letter of recommendation if it is required for admission. Please ask them in person. DO NOT ask them in an email. Ask them in person. It is the professional way to do it. Prior to asking your recommender in person, you should complete the “Information for Recommendation Letter” questionnaire in Naviance. The information you provide in this questionnaire will help your recommender write a quality letter for you. If your recommender works at Brother Rice, he or she will be able to view your responses online in Naviance. However, we advise you to print out your responses and provide it to your recommender when you ask them in person to write for you. If your recommender agrees to write for you when you ask them, the next step is to add them in the “Recommender” section in Naviance. In this section in Naviance, let the recommender know the colleges you would like them to send your letter, and the deadline it needs to be submitted by. See your Counselor if you need help completing this step in Naviance. Remember, faculty members at Brother Rice get overwhelmed with letter requests, so please provide at least 4 weeks of notice. Also, it is your responsibility to follow up with your recommenders to ensure that they send your letters prior to your deadlines.
You have done the research on the colleges you are interested in using Naviance. You have narrowed down your choices using the criteria most important to you and your family (for example…location, academic major, GPA and ACT/SAT Score requirements, tuition and fees, school size, extracurricular activities, campus setting, financial aid, etc.). You have visited several colleges over the summer. You have used the Net Price Calculators to make sure you can afford to pay tuition, room & board, fees, etc. Now is the exciting part…it is time to start applying for admission. We recommend applying to at least 5 colleges.
Complete and submit your college applications early senior year (August, September, October). You will complete your college applications for most schools online on the college’s website, or using the Common Application online. There are very few colleges who still require a paper application. Be sure to pay attention to application deadlines. Deadlines will vary by college. Early Decision, Early Action and Priority Admission deadlines are typically November 1st or November 15th. Regular Decision applications are typically due by December 15th or January 1st. See your Counselor for an explanation of the different types of college application options (for example, Early Decision, Early Action, Priority Admission, Regular Decision, etc.), and to discuss which application option is best for you.
After submitting a college application, your official transcript must be sent to the Admission office at the college. The Counseling office will send your transcript for you, but you must fill out and turn in (to the Counseling office) a paper Transcript Release form. Important***A Transcript Release form is required for every college you apply to (e.g. If you apply to 5 colleges, 5 Transcript Release forms are required…one per college). A parent signature is required if you are under the age of 18. Transcript Release forms are available in the Counseling office or you can download the form from our website. There is a $2 charge to send a transcript. ***Electronic transcript requests in Naviance are not accepted at this time.
After submitting a college application, your college entrance test score (ACT, SAT, SAT Subject test) must be sent to the college. This is your responsibility. To send your ACT Score, go to www.actstudent.org. It costs $12 to send your ACT score to a college. To send your SAT or SAT Subject Test score, go to www.collegeboard.org. It costs $11.25 to send your SAT score to a college.
COLLEGE APPLICATION TO DO’s SUMMARY:
Step 1: Complete and submit college applications online.
Step 2: Send your transcript to the college.
Step 3: Send your ACT, SAT, SAT Subject Test score to the college.
Step 4: Follow up with your recommenders to make sure they submitted their letters of recommendation for you.
Colleges typically will not make a decision on your application until they receive all required documents listed above.
If you applied Early Decision, Early Action, or Priority Admission, you should receive your admission decision prior to Christmas break. Getting an acceptance letter is an exciting time. Congratulations!!! You earned it. We are very proud of you! If you receive a rejection letter, please do not take it too seriously. Keep your head up and move on. If you are Deferred or Waitlisted, you still have the possibility of gaining admission. Admission counselors will look at your application again with the Regular Decision pool and you should receive a decision by March or April. See your Counselor if you are Deferred or Waitlisted. There are things we can do to help you gain admission.
If you applied for Regular Decision, you should typically find out if you were accepted within 6 to 8 weeks of submitting your application. At the latest, you should get your admission decision by March/April.
Continue to apply for scholarships. Use the following websites to conduct your search (Fastweb.com, CollegeProwler.com, Cappex.com, ScholarshipExperts.com). Listen for scholarship opportunities in the Brother Rice daily announcements. Look at the “Scholarship List” in Naviance. Check the websites of the colleges you are applying to for scholarships you can apply for. Also, check Brother Rice’s website in the Counseling Center tab for additional scholarship opportunities. Finally, be sure to see your Counselor for more scholarship resources.
Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) in January/February. You and your parents must file your taxes before you can officially complete and submit the FAFSA. Complete the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Regardless of your family’s income level, you should complete the FAFSA. You will not receive a financial aid package from the college(s) you applied to until you complete the FAFSA.
Your financial aid packages from the colleges you applied to should arrive in the mail/email sometime in March or April.
Compare the financial aid packages from each college. If you have any questions, or need further explanation, please see your Counselor or call the Financial Aid office at the college. Remember, you are not obligated to accept all/any of the pieces of the financial aid package. You can accept the pieces you want and turn down the pieces you do not want.
DECISION DEADLINE – MAY 1st: The time has come for you to make your final decision about the college you will be attending next year. You will need to complete paperwork and send in your deposit to accept your admission offer by May 1st. Please notify the college(s) you will not be attending as well. It is the respectful thing to do.
After you accept your admission offer, you will be able to select your housing and summer orientation date. If possible, select one the earliest orientation dates offered. Classes tend to fill quickly at some colleges. The earlier you attend orientation, the better your chances of getting into the classes you want to take.
Complete the Senior Exit Survey in May at Brother Rice. You will do this in a computer lab during your English class. In Naviance, update whether or not you were accepted at each college you applied to. Also in Naviance, update which college you will be attending next year. We will use your answer to send your final transcript to your college after you graduate from Brother Rice.
Congratulations!!! You have completed the college selection process. We wish you the best in college. Remember to always “Act Manfully in Christ Jesus” and to work extremely hard academically. Your G.P.A. in college will be key to gaining employment after graduating from college.