WHEN: Monday October 16- Friday October 20
WHAT: The counselors will be calling all students into their office to discuss what colleges they are applying to, and to complete any outstanding college applications. If a student isn't applying to college, but rather a job or the military, we will discuss that too. Everyone needs a plan!
It’s fall, and that means it’s time for seniors to start applying to colleges—how exciting! Below is general information to keep in mind throughout the college application process.
Start thinking about schools during junior year. Start visiting colleges junior year, in the summer after, and during the fall of senior year. Sign up on colleges’ websites for a visit, and physically visit the school. Talk to current students and graduates of those schools. Ask yourself at each school: Could I see myself here? Do they have my major? How far is it from home? Do I feel excited for college after visiting that school? How much does it cost?
There are also plenty of college representatives visiting MRHS this fall if you are unsure of where to apply. Sign up in the counseling office to meet with them! They are scheduled during various class times, so you will have to plan ahead and talk to your teacher about missing part of class.
Looking at all the schools you may apply to, make sure you are in the right classes senior year in order to meet their admission requirements. Need an extra semester of social studies to apply to Illinois State? Talk to your counselor asap.
Decide where to apply ahead of time. During College Application Week, it's go-time. In the college application world, the early bird DOES get the worm. Have a list of schools ready for us to help you apply to. Here is one of many guides to help you pick: http://www.learnhowtobecome.org/college/illinois/
You do not have to be sure where you are going for college by application time, just have it narrowed down to places you want to apply to.
Start thinking about a major before you apply. All college applications will ask what major you would like to study. If you don’t know, you can select “undecided.” Individual majors may have their own special admission requirements. Do some research online.
Pay Attention to Deadlines. Deadlines tell you when you must have your full application submitted-- including transcripts, essays, ACT scores, and any application fees. Each university has its own application deadlines, so you should refer to their websites for an exact date on which you have to have an application submitted. A safe deadline is November 1.
Applications may have a fee. Application fees may range from $20-$60. Applications cannot be submitted until the fee is paid or waived. If you are unable to pay an application fee, contact the college to see if you can get the fee waived. (WIU and Carl Sandburg have FREE applications.)
Request transcripts to be sent. All college applications will require an official transcript from the MRHS registrar, Mrs. Neal. Official transcripts must go directly from the registrar to the college. In order to request an official transcript, click here. (If the link doesn’t work, it’s also on the high school homepage.) If you can’t print it, there are also forms in the office. Fill out the form, and return it to the office. If you are 18, you can sign the form yourself. If you are not 18, a parent/legal guardian must sign. The office requires at least 3 business days to get it in the mail. Don’t procrastinate!
You will also need an end-of-year transcript with your senior year grades sent to the college you decide to attend. You will fill out another transcript request form at graduation practice.
Send your ACT or SAT scores. You can choose to have your ACT/SAT scores sent with your official transcript (on the transcript request form), but some colleges want them directly from ACT/SAT. If that’s the case, visit the websites for ACT or SAT make an account or sign into an existing one, and have them sent directly to the college. Remember that you may have designated a few schools to receive your ACT/SAT scores when you took the test(s) junior year. When in doubt, have an extra set of scores sent.
The majority of schools will look at your highest composite score (if you took it multiple times), as well as your highest individual subject scores. If you don’t like your score, you can take it the test again during the summer before or fall of senior year. You can sign up to do so on their websites. (Links to: ACT & SAT)
Request letters of recommendation ahead of time. Who should you ask to write recommendation letters? Teachers, counselors, coaches, club leaders, your boss at work, etc—anyone who knows you for your positive attributes would be a good candidate to write you a letter. Do not ask a family member for a letter of recommendation, even though your grandma probably has plenty of nice things to say about you. Remember to ask them to write a letter, don’t tell them to. They are doing you a favor! Give the people whom you ask to write the letters time to get them done. Also, give them a list of your activities and accomplishments—this will help them write a better letter for you. Be sure to tell them what to do with the letter when they are done.
We want to know when you have been accepted into or rejected from a college. Tell us when you hear from a school! If you have been accepted, WONDERFUL! Let us celebrate with you! If you were rejected, it is NOT the end of the world. Talk to us about your next plan-of-action.
As always, ask us questions. We want to be useful to you in this process!
Emily Adolphson— firstname.lastname@example.org
Amanda Mendez— email@example.com
High School Phone: 309-734-5118