Senior Handbook

 Guidelines for the College Application Process

IMPORTANT EVENTS AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR SENIORS

SEPTEMBER/

OCTOBER

9/12

Deadline for SAT registration (Oct. 11 test date)**

9/15

Individual CCRs begin for seniors

9/19

Deadline for ACT registration (Oct. 25 test date)*

9/3-9/30

Register for ACT prep Classes at AF High

9/30

ACT prep classes begin

10/9

Deadline for SAT registration (Nov. 8 test date)**

10/11

SAT test day (register by Sept. 6)

10/21

UHEAA Financial Aid night @ Timpview High

10/25

ACT test day (register by 9/19)

10/25

Rocky Mountain College Fair @ Juan Diego H.S. from 1-3:30 PM

10/27

College Day

NOVEMBER

11/3-11/18

Register for ACT Prep Classes at AF High

11/5

AF High Senior Information Night (students & parents)

11/6

Deadline for SAT registration  (Dec. 6 test date)**

11/7

Deadline for ACT registration (Dec. 13 test date)*

11/8

SAT test day (Register by Oct. 9)

11/18

ACT Prep Classes Begin at AF High

11/10

Order transcripts for priority admission and scholarship deadline (Dec. 1)

Ex.  BYU, U of U, USU, UVU Regent’s Scholarship, etc.

DECEMBER/

JANUARY

12/1

Deadline for priority admission/scholarships to various schools in Utah

12/6

SAT test day (Register by Nov. 6)

12/13

ACT test day (Register by Nov. 7)

12/15

Complete all applications for college admissions and additional scholarships

12/22-1/2

Christmas Break

12/29

Deadline for SAT registration (Jan. 24 test date)**

1/9

Deadline for ACT registration (Feb. 7 test date)*

1/24

SAT test day (Register by Dec. 29)

*Register for ACT at www.actstudent.org

**Register for SAT at www.collegeboard.com

Senior Year To-Do list

September/October

November

December

January

February

March/April

May

June


Choosing a College/University

Which College/University is right for you?

 How do you select the right college/university for you? Spend a few hours investigating college or university websites. Go to their “Prospective” or “Future Students” tabs to see how well their profiles fit what you are looking for in an institution of higher education. Answer the following questions for at least three institutions. Look at both in and out-of –state campuses; be sure to select at least one shoe-in and one reach school (your ultimate preference). Ask the questions below to narrow your options:

ACADEMICS AND CAREER PLANNING

FINANCES

HOUSING AND CAMPUS RESOURCES


CAMPUS VISITS

ACADEMIC FOCUS

EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES        

QUESTIONS FOR COLLEGE ADVISORS OR RECRUITMENT OFFICERS

* Take notes after each college visit so you don’t forget your initial impression.


COLLEGE COMPARISON CHECKLIST

(MAKE COPIES OF THIS WORKSHEET TO USE AT COLLEGE VISITS)

COLLEGE NAME:

LOCATION:

SIZE:

ENVIRONMENT:

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS:

ACADEMICS:

COLLEGE EXPENSES:


FINANCIAL AID:

Deadline

HOUSING:

FACILITIES:

JOB PLACEMENT SERVICES:

ACTIVITIES:

CAMPUS VISITS:

CONTACT PERSON:

ADDITIONAL NOTES:


APPLICATION GUIDELINES

FOLLOW DIRECTIONS

THE FIRST IMPRESSION IS THE ONLY IMPRESSION!

MAKE YOUR APPLICATION STAND OUT

TOP TIPS FOR ADMISSIONS


Personal Data Form

Letter of Recommendation

It is IMPORTANT that this form be filled out accurately and completely to aid your counselor in preparing the recommendation for your college or employment application.

Student Name: __________________________________________________

List four teachers or staff members who know you well.

1. _______________________________    2. _______________________________

3. _______________________________     4. _______________________________

Describe your college/career plans.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

List advanced courses which you have completed or in which you are currently enrolled (i.e. AP courses, Math, Physics, etc.).

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

List clubs, activities, sports, and/or student government participation (indicate grade levels and offices held).

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


List any awards and/or honors you have received.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Describe community service or church activities in which you have participated.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Describe work or volunteer experiences you have had.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Describe your travel experiences.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

If there is something special or unique about you that you would like to have mentioned in the letter, please explain.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Discuss your personal and professional goals.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY APPLICATION CHECKLIST

Keep track of the application process by inserting a completion date in the appropriate column or row.

College Name

College Name

College Name

College Name

Found and began application

Application Deadline Date

Date Application Submitted

Priority Deadline

Campus Visit

Campus Interview

Tests Required

Dates tests were taken

Test results to Colleges/Universities

Scholarship Deadline

Date Scholarship App. Submitted

Priority deadline for FAFSA

Date FAFSA submitted

Date other financial aid forms were submitted/mailed

Transcripts requested

Transcripts sent

Recommendations requested

Recommendations submitted/sent

Essay completed

College/University confirmation of application received

Letter of acceptance

Letter of rejection

Colleges notified of intent

Tuition Deposit sent

Housing submitted

Orientation schedule

Award Letter received

Freshmen Registration Dates Open


PAYING FOR COLLEGE

WHAT IS FINANCIAL AID? INTRO TO GRANTS AND LOANS

WHAT IF I AM OFFERED WORK STUDY?


WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR APPLYING FOR FINANCIAL AID?

STEP 1:  Get free information and help from your school counselor, the financial aid office at the college or career school you plan to attend, or from the US Dept. of Education.

STEP 2: Get a PIN, personal identification number. This is required to sign your on-line FAFSA application. To do this, go to www.pin.ed.gov.

STEP 3: Collect documents needed to apply: income tax returns (parents) and w-2 forms (parents and yours). A complete list of required materials is at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

STEP 4: Complete a FAFSA between January and June of your senior year in high school. These are state and federal deadline dates, so don’t be late!

STEP 5: FSA will send you a Student Aid Report (SAR) within 4 weeks from the time you completed your on-line application. Review your SAR, and if necessary, make changes or corrections and submit your SAR for reprocessing. Your complete, corrected SAR will contain your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) - the number used to determine your federal student aid eligibility.

STEP 6: If you are selected for verification, your college/university’s financial aid office will ask you to submit tax returns and other documents, as appropriate. Be sure to meet the college/university’s deadlines, or you will not receive federal student aid.

STEP 7: Whether you are selected for verification or not, make sure the financial aid office at the college/university has all the information needed to determine your eligibility.

STEP 8: All students: contact the financial aid office if you have any questions about the aid being offered. First-time applicants: review award letters from schools to compare amounts and types of aid being offered. Decide which school to attend based on combination of (a) how well the school suits your needs and (b) its affordability after all aid is take into account.

WHO GETS FEDERAL STUDENT AID?

BASIC ELEIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

HOW TO GET SCHOLARSHIPS

SCHOLARSHIP SEARCH WEB SITES

Collegescholarships.com

Wiredscholar.com

Princetonreview.com

Collegiate.net

Fedmoney.com

Supercollege.com

Frenshinfo.com

Scholarship.geoportals.com

Fastaid.com

Collageboard.com

Collegeview.com

Fastweb.com

Collegenet.com

Anycollege.com

Nextstepmag.com

Uheea.org

Utahfutures.org

UTAH REGENTS SCHOLARSHIP (go to www.higheredutah.org)

Students who complete the above requirements with no grade lower than a “B” in the core course of study, obtain a 3.5 or higher cumulative high school GPA, and achieve a 26 or higher on the ACT, are eligible for an Exemplary Academic Achievement Scholarship worth approximately $1,475 towards tuition for 4 semesters at any Utah college or university, public or private.

The Application Essay

*The following guidelines also apply to scholarship essays

The secret to a great essay is to know you. You’ve had many experiences up to this point in your life; one of them will form the perfect departure point for your essay. The key to standing out is your unique personality, verbalized in a compelling and effective manner, highlighting your character and your achievements in your own voice.

Sample Essay Questions:

Insider Tips:


More on the Application Essay

Myth vs. Reality

Myth: You need a gimmick to make your essay stand out from the competition.

Reality: Don’t rely on gimmicks. They are merely an attempt to compensate for a bad essay. Instead, spend time getting to know yourself, probing your thoughts, and mining your past for a great story.

Myth: in your personal essay, list as many achievements you can from your personal data sheet in order to ensure that your admissions reader is aware of all the great things you have done.

Reality: Admissions committees want to know something about you that they can’t learn from your applications; so choose a single incident from your past, a single moment that defines who you are and write a clear and creative essay about it. You may write in detail about something on your personal data sheet, but listing your achievements in the essay is redundant and insults the intelligence of your reader.

Myth: The content of the essay is important, not the look.

Reality: Presentation can make or break your college/university essay. Catch all typos and grammatical errors, and be sure to read the instructions! They vary from application to application.

Guidelines for Writing an Outstanding College/University Essay

Style and Tone: Show, Don’t Tell

In your personal essay, you want to avoid making overt statements about your character such as “I am a great person” or “I’m responsible, hard-working, intelligent, creative, and an effective leader.” Although this is precisely what colleges/universities want in an applicant, there needs to be more finesse in the way you get your point across.

Diction and Vocabulary: let the reader hear your own voice

You should use vocabulary with which you are familiar, not complex words taken from a nearby thesaurus that end up sounding not only pretentious but uneven and stiff. Your own voice will distinguish what you have to say more effectively than an unnatural, borrowed diction. Trying to tailor your essay to the imagined expectations of an admissions committee is a recipe for disaster. The essay is a prime opportunity to express your individuality.

Format and Length:

Most colleges/universities require the essay to be typed and usually electronically submitted. Follow the instructions, but if given a choice, never go beyond two pages double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman. An admission officer’s time is limited and valuable; he/she will take no more than twenty minutes per application. Stick to the topic and use wording that is concise and effective.