Monthly Newsletter

November 2016

Did everyone hear the nationwide collective sigh once we passed the early application deadline on Nov. 1? For many schools, ours included, a large percentage of the senior class will decide to apply early to at least one school. Their options include schools that offer rolling, early action (EA), restrictive early action (REA), single choice early action (SCEA), which are all nonbinding, and early decision (ED), which is binding. Most colleges and universities use Nov. 1 as their early deadline, so this "compression" of the admission timetable can create complex time management challenges and cause stress, particularly when students are also focused on their academics and extracurricular activities.

Even in the face of a busier-than-usual fall, it is also an exciting time, one filled with opportunities for self-reflection, heightened engagement in the writing process, and the confidence and personal growth that emerge when taking ownership of a challenge. This is the time of year when college counseling offices feel charged by a palpable and distinct energy unique to the college application season. It is a time when the courage to embrace the unknown is weighed against risk and an unpredictable landscape. It is a time when students anticipate the future and its possibilities. It is a time when independence drives action. Once that ever-looming Nov. 1 deadline passes, there is a discernible shift in the admission landscape, and college and university admission offices now find themselves at the center of everyone's attention. Though there are still essays to be written, applications to be completed, and deadlines to be met, the pace becomes more reasoned and balanced, and an air of calmer expectation settles on the high school side. That early November collective sigh from students, parents, and college counselors alike speaks to a sense of accomplishment, as well as signaling a welcome return to a more reasonable workload and the day-to-day business of life.

As we approach our upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, we want to thank our students for the opportunity to work with them and be a voice in their application process; our parents for trusting us to challenge their children to self-reflect, engage in the process, and find their best selves; and our faculty for their dedication and selfless support of our students, and most notably this time of year, our seniors.

With warmest wishes for a much-deserved Thanksgiving Break from your College Counseling Team.
Spring Break College Tour
Registration closes soon for our Spring Break college tour in early March 2017. Our travels will take us from New York City to Washington, D.C., with a variety of college visits and activities planned for the week. For more information and to register, click here. The deadline to register is Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 24.


If you have searched the web for available scholarships, you have likely visited Fastweb, a comprehensive database that includes 1.5 million scholarship listings. That is a lot of scholarship options! It can be overwhelming to navigate through so many scholarships in order to determine if any of them match your profile and meet your needs. For a more focused search of possible scholarships, check out the ones we have listed on Naviance. Though our list is markedly smaller (with a whopping total of 16!), the scholarships listed are worth exploring to see if one of them might be a good fit. Check back often as our list will keep growing; when suitable scholarships come to our attention, we will add them to our list on Naviance.

Financial Aid

Parents, if applying for financial aid, now is the time to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), and for some schools, the CSS Profile as well. The FAFSA must be completed for all students interested in financial aid for college. For those schools that require the CSS Profile, you'll need to complete an additional financial aid form. Requirements vary, so be sure to check each school's website and reach out directly to a school's financial aid office with any questions.

Updating Naviance

Seniors, be sure to keep your "Active" or "Colleges I'm Applying To" list of colleges on Naviance updated, including your application plan (RD, EA, etc.) for each school and when you submit your application. We track your college lists regularly to check on the status of your applications, so it is important to keep your Naviance account up-to-date. As you start to hear from schools, you will also need to add that information to your account.

Watch Out for Those Fast Apps!

This is the season of the fast app, those tempting invitations to apply to a school you may or may not have heard of that suddenly arrive out of nowhere. These fast apps are designed to entice you to apply by making it exceptionally easy to do so. There is often no essay or application fee, and then there is the alluring promise of a quick decision. Proceed cautiously when you receive a fast app; don't fall prey to that institution's marketing drive to increase application numbers. Do your research as you would for any school you are considering and ask yourself if it is truly a school you would like to attend if offered admission. If you receive a fast app and have any questions, please come see us in the College Counseling Office.

Featured Blog

Once again, we have selected a blog post from Richard Clark at Georgia Tech. Posted in October, "The Admission Guide to… Soup Making?" speaks to the complexity of "shaping" a class – or as the process is described by Mr. Clark, "making soup."

Suggested Reading

Those of you who are in the thick of the college admission season will appreciate this article from The Washington Post on the challenges of the college search process and choosing schools. The author is not only a father going through the process for the first time, but is also a college admission dean, offering a particularly interesting perspective.

On the Horizon

All essays and supplements for regular decision applications need to be completed by Wednesday, Dec. 14. This allows you plenty of time to submit all of your applications prior to the Winter Break that starts after Lessons & Carols on Friday, Dec. 16. Our office will be closed during the break, so it is important to have everything taken care and submitted by then; doing so will ensure that you have a restful and restorative holiday season.

Follow Us!

We are on social media! Follow us on Instagram (@stabcollegecounseling) and Twitter (@STAB2College) to stay up to date on the daily happenings in the College Counseling Office.

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