December 2018

Monthly Newsletter

Behind the glass doors to College Counseling, our excitement grows each day as we wait for news about the early round of applications. We have loved working with our seniors and truly appreciate the time and attention they have devoted to their college process. We enter the holiday season with an optimistic view of what the future holds and urge our seniors to take a moment to reflect on their efforts and appreciate the time and energy they have devoted to the college process. Our hope is that everyone will receive good news, but we recognize that such a wish is not realistic, and therefore we encourage our seniors to be prepared and have all of their applications ready to submit, should they need to do so. Once we return from Winter Break, we transition to the junior class and the cycle begins again.

Best wishes for a wonderful Winter Break!
 
The College Counseling Team

Winter Break Schedule

 
Just a reminder that the College Counseling office will be closed from the morning of Lessons & Carols on Friday, Dec. 14 until we return to school on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019.

Seniors

 

December is an important month in the college search and application process since decisions will be released by most schools for their early applicants, and the next "big" deadline arrives on Jan. 1 while students are away on Winter Break.

 

Whether students have applied in the early round or not, we strongly encourage our seniors to complete and submit all of their applications prior to Lessons & Carols on Friday, Dec. 14. This way, they can relax and enjoy their break.

 

Some important reminders for all seniors:

  • Have you sent your test scores to all of your schools? This is your responsibility since schools need official scores, and those can only be sent from the testing agencies (ACT, College Board, TOEFL, etc.). Scores need to be ordered at least three weeks before the application deadline to ensure they arrive by that date.
  • Have you submitted your FAFSA and/or CSS Profile? If not, be sure to do so as soon as possible since available funds are limited and given out "first come, first serve."
  • Have you updated your Naviance account so that it reflects your final list of schools, as well as your admission plan (EA, RD, etc.)? Naviance will be locked at the end of the school day on Thursday, Dec. 13, and you will not be able to make any changes to your list after that time. We can only submit your school packet to the schools listed on Naviance, so please make sure it is accurate and includes ALL the schools to which you'll be applying.
  • Have you checked the Common App schools listed on your Naviance account to make sure they are also listed on your Common App? Unless your schools are listed in both places (the Common App and Naviance), we are unable to submit documents on your behalf.
  • Have you checked the status of the applications you have already submitted? This is typically done by accessing the portal the school provides once you have submitted an application. Most schools use the portal to share important information about the status of your application – including their decision – so be sure to check regularly.
  • Have you checked your email for any communication sent by your schools? This should be done regularly since schools will often reach out directly via email with important information about your application. This outreach is usually related to incomplete applications resulting from missing documents (i.e. ED agreements) or test scores.
  • Have you updated Naviance to reflect admissions decisions you have received? This is an incredibly important step we would like you to attend to.
  • If you haven't done so recently, be sure to check your SPAM folder regularly throughout the admissions season to see if any communication from colleges has ended up there. Though it doesn't happen often, we have known students to miss out on important, time-sensitive information because the email was in their SPAM folder. 

Juniors

 

Prior to the Thanksgiving Break, we began individual meetings with juniors, and we found this first round of introductory conversations to be both informative and engaging. Our first junior class meeting took place on Tuesday, Dec. 5 following the morning's HealthFest activities. During this all-class meeting, students had time to explore and become more familiar with Naviance, as well as begin responding to the all-important junior questionnaire. Part one of the questionnaire is due prior to the next scheduled meeting with the student's college counselor in January.

Junior Parent Meetings
The junior parent meetings will be scheduled following the January individual student meetings. Each junior will be responsible for coordinating with parent(s)/
guardian to determine several mutually convenient times to meet, and then following up with Mrs. Sanford in our office to schedule the meeting with the appropriate college counselor. These meetings include the student.  
Junior Parent Questionnaire
In preparation for the junior parent meeting, we ask that all parent(s)/guardians complete a parent questionnaire. We value parental insight and find it to be an important tool in helping us get to know students. The questionnaire will be available in early January.
Hidden Curriculum
There is a method to our madness, and as your child begins the college search process, you will likely notice that we emphasize student responsibility and action at every stage of the process. Whereas it might be easier as adults for us to take care of a task in support of our children because of their busy lives, we feel it is essential that students take full ownership of the process and thus handle the many administrative tasks associated with their search and submissions. Their actions are a reflection of, and are in preparation for, the independence and self-advocacy that will be required of them in college. We are always here for back-up and to provide support as needed, but our expectation is that students will take the lead.
 
PSAT Information
Sophomores and juniors should receive an email from College Board in mid-December with information about how to access test scores from their October PSAT. Paper copies will be mailed directly to families by College Board later in December. Should you need help accessing your scores or want assistance interpreting test scores, please check with our office before we leave for break or after we return.
On the HorizonOur Junior College Night will be on Monday, Jan. 28, at 5:45 p.m. The program will include admissions representatives from Bucknell University, Colgate University, James Madison University, Johns Hopkins University, St. Lawrence University, Texas Christian University, and Yale University. Juniors and their parents are invited to this informative event. Be on the lookout for additional information about the program in January.Registration for AP exams will begin in January.It is not too early to start thinking about next summer. Since selection is competitive for the following programs, you might want to start thinking about them now:
 
St. Anne's-Belfiled School
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