Tagged: college applications

How Can I Stand Out On An Ivy Application?

Cindy Greatrex
Cindy Greatrex, Associate Medical Officer

A friend of mine was in Admissions at Columbia for many years and had some good advice. So I assume you have the baseline excellent grades and test scores. But how to stand out? Look at what is missing at the school.

My friend said she read through thousands of applications every year where the applicant was a violinist. Problem? Orchestras need only so many violinists. What was desperately needed was a French horn player. Orchestral music scores almost always have the French horn. But she almost never received an application from a French horn player!

Sane is true for Fencing and Squash. Ivies tend to need more fencers and squash players than they have applications from.

Also look at niche majors. Cornell has a fantastic Forestry major but not a ton of Applicants.

Lastly look at what you can Create. Ivies look fondly on inventions, trademarks, patents, something that you felt passionate about and created. The Ivies get tons of Applications from people who worked with the homeless, or in a clinic, or in a food pantry, or off to Africa for the summer to assist in vaccination programs. All outstanding things, obviously.

But show Admissions what you Created, not just what you Joined.

Readers: this advice is solid and highlights one of the difficulties in gaining admission to selective colleges: qualified applicants are a dime a dozen but finding the few who have something unusual is difficult.  Fill a niche and you increase the chances of success.  Lets talk about your unique opportunities. stephanie@accessguidance.com or 610-212-6679.

It Takes 4 Minutes To Read Your College Application

From the Huffington Post

It Takes Four Minutes to Review What You’ve Done in Four Years

Sara Harberson 3/24/17

Four minutes. Four years. Oh, the irony and the sobering reality of modern day elite college admissions.

There used to be so much secrecy surrounding how admissions officers read college applications and how much time they spent on each application. Not anymore. The University of Pennsylvania Undergraduate Admissions Office recently revealed in an article for The Chronicle of Higher Education that it takes their staff a mere four minutes to read one application.

When I worked in that same office, it took me five or six times as long to initially read an application. That didn’t include the unaccounted time I spent re-reading, preparing, and meticulously going over each application for the selection committee. Back then, the reading and selection process moved swiftly. Fast forward to today, and Penn’s new reading and selection process moves at warp speed.

Penn officials say they needed to come up with a more sustainable model to handle the volume of applications they receive. Now, a team of two admissions officers reads a student’s application side-by-side. One person reviews the academic criteria (transcript, test scores, and recommendations), while the other person “reads” through the rest of the application (extracurricular involvement, essays, and interview report).

Within the four-minute period of time allotted, the two staff members make a recommendation on the admissions decision: ADMIT, WAITLIST/DEFER, DENY. And, then they move on to the next application.

Penn is not the only college doing this. Swarthmore, Emory, The California Institute of Technology, and Pomona College have all streamlined their reading and selection processes. I predict there will be more colleges to follow. This needs to be viewed as the new “normal” when applying to elite colleges.

How has it gotten to this point? The answer lies in the economics. All colleges want more applications and the lowest admit rate possible. But they do not want to enlist more admissions officers—that would be very expensive. So the only way a college can pull off reading tens of thousands of applications is to significantly reduce the amount of time they spend considering each student.

At least we know the truth. And knowledge is the ultimate power. Students should approach this process understanding that their very best self needs to be represented in the most succinct and powerful way in their application. Those four minutes should be the best four minutes of an admissions officers’ day.

Here are five ways to do that:

  1. Sync your objective measures to match the school you want to go to. Make sure your curriculum, grades, and test scores measure up with the profile of the admitted pool of students at the college. The objective pieces of the application need to be competitive for everything else in the application to matter.
  2. Strike gold with your recommendation letters. Every person writing a letter for you should know who you are, what you offer, and how the school community has been influenced by you. If the teacher or counselor writing for you sees you as a once-in-a-career student, the letter they write for you will reflect that.
  3. Optimize your extracurricular self. Find something so important to you and devote every chance you get to developing the idea, passion, or ability to its highest possible level. Significant impact on one extracurricular activity is much more powerful than a long list of “involvement” with little or no impact.
  4. Soul search for your college essay. This will lead you to choosing the best topic for your main college essay. If the things that you write down could be written by anyone, cross them off the list. Your essay should be one-of-a-kind.
  5. Crush the college supplement. The supplement for elite colleges usually separates the “competitive students” from the “admitted students.” The essays on the supplement should have the same high quality craftsmanship as everything else in the application.

Today’s admissions officers have extraordinarily less time to consider the nuances and details of a student’s college application. This new approach forces students to think more succinctly about who they are and how they want to present themselves in an application. The new mantra for the applying student needs to be seize the moment; that’s all the time you get.

Four minutes. Four years. Oh, the irony and the sobering reality of modern day elite college admissions.

There used to be so much secrecy surrounding how admissions officers read college applications and how much time they spent on each application. Not anymore. The University of Pennsylvania Undergraduate Admissions Office recently revealed in an article for The Chronicle of Higher Education that it takes their staff a mere four minutes to read one application.

When I worked in that same office, it took me five or six times as long to initially read an application. That didn’t include the unaccounted time I spent re-reading, preparing, and meticulously going over each application for the selection committee. Back then, the reading and selection process moved swiftly. Fast forward to today, and Penn’s new reading and selection process moves at warp speed.

Penn officials say they needed to come up with a more sustainable model to handle the volume of applications they receive. Now, a team of two admissions officers reads a student’s application side-by-side. One person reviews the academic criteria (transcript, test scores, and recommendations), while the other person “reads” through the rest of the application (extracurricular involvement, essays, and interview report).

Within the four-minute period of time allotted, the two staff members make a recommendation on the admissions decision: ADMIT, WAITLIST/DEFER, DENY. And, then they move on to the next application.

Penn is not the only college doing this. Swarthmore, Emory, The California Institute of Technology, and Pomona College have all streamlined their reading and selection processes. I predict there will be more colleges to follow. This needs to be viewed as the new “normal” when applying to elite colleges.

How has it gotten to this point? The answer lies in the economics. All colleges want more applications and the lowest admit rate possible. But they do not want to enlist more admissions officers—that would be very expensive. So the only way a college can pull off reading tens of thousands of applications is to significantly reduce the amount of time they spend considering each student.

At least we know the truth. And knowledge is the ultimate power. Students should approach this process understanding that their very best self needs to be represented in the most succinct and powerful way in their application. Those four minutes should be the best four minutes of an admissions officers’ day.

Here are five ways to do that:

  1. Sync your objective measures to match the school you want to go to. Make sure your curriculum, grades, and test scores measure up with the profile of the admitted pool of students at the college. The objective pieces of the application need to be competitive for everything else in the application to matter.
  2. Strike gold with your recommendation letters. Every person writing a letter for you should know who you are, what you offer, and how the school community has been influenced by you. If the teacher or counselor writing for you sees you as a once-in-a-career student, the letter they write for you will reflect that.
  3. Optimize your extracurricular self. Find something so important to you and devote every chance you get to developing the idea, passion, or ability to its highest possible level. Significant impact on one extracurricular activity is much more powerful than a long list of “involvement” with little or no impact.
  4. Soul search for your college essay. This will lead you to choosing the best topic for your main college essay. If the things that you write down could be written by anyone, cross them off the list. Your essay should be one-of-a-kind.
  5. Crush the college supplement. The supplement for elite colleges usually separates the “competitive students” from the “admitted students.” The essays on the supplement should have the same high quality craftsmanship as everything else in the application.

Today’s admissions officers have extraordinarily less time to consider the nuances and details of a student’s college application. This new approach forces students to think more succinctly about who they are and how they want to present themselves in an application. The new mantra for the applying student needs to be seize the moment; that’s all the time you get.

Increasingly, competition for college admission is making it difficult to predict where a student will gain the the coveted “Yes!”.    Every section of each application must be carefully curated with targeted information.  I’m here to help you develop the application that will stand out from the pack.  stephanie@accessguidance.com or 610-12-6679

Lessons From The College Application Process

Rising seniors are beginning to assemble documentation for their applications, and filling in the Common App which now rolls over for the next application season.   I’ve heard college students lament choices they made at this point in their journey and I’ve read about the lessons others have learned.  Here are a few.

1. Get your priorities straight before you start choosing where to apply.  If you don’t know what you want from a college or the education it offers, you can’t begin to make good decisions.

2. Getting into an ultra-selective college may boost your ego but the actual environment might not be so appealing.  One student was upset to find her friends took free time when she was studying and studied when she wanted to play or sleep.  The constant pressure of exams and projects wore her down, resulting in a 6-week bout with mono.

3. Choose your colleges wisely.  Don’t add some just because Uncle Henry went there, your mom liked the campus, or it has a respected name.  If you don’t like a college or don’t think you’re a good fit, don’t apply because you might be the only one you get into and the one you will attend.

4. Mind your deadlines! Everything must be in on time and there are no do-overs.

5. It isn’t possible to know or understand the variables that each college considers and how the elements are weighted.  If you did, you would still not be able to maximize your use of the application real estate.  Stop worrying about getting everything right on each application.  Do the best you can.  When you click Submit, let it go and enjoy peace of mind.

6. Prepare for disappointment.  No matter how wonderful you are, how bright, thoughtful, charismatic, committed, you are, college admissions decisions can seem random (and maybe they are).

7. Do not prepare for failure.  Getting a “Dear Suzie” letter only means that you weren’t the right person at the right time for that college.  It isn’t a failure.  We humans are good a picking ourselves up and moving on.  I give the same advice for college rejections as I do for dating or not getting the perfect job: Why would you waste time on someone who doesn’t want to be with you, want to hire you, or admit you to their freshman class: step right up to the person, job or college that really wants to have you.  That is the one that deserves you!

Plan your college applications carefully, execute diligently, trust your own judgement.  I’m here to help.  Stephanie@accessguidance.com or 610-212-6679.

Please share with others who may need this information.

 

 

Self Reported Academic Records: New and Time Consuming

Some seniors will find that college applications are asking the student to fill in a form with details of all of the courses they have taken and will take over 4 years of high school, including the final grade.  According to one admissions office, this is because while high school transcripts have pretty much the same information the format is different on each one.  Figuring out the location of the material the admission officer is hunting is time consuming. Students are asked to use the form so information is presented in a standardized  manner making comparisons among applications much easier.

Now is the time to take a look at the applications you will be using to see if any prefer SRAR.  Another avenue to get this information is to email your admissions rep at each college and ask about self reporting grades and scores.

If  at least one college uses this form, check online to see if your entire high school transcript is available to you.  Should only the last year’s curriculum and grades appear, contact guidance for an unofficial copy of your entire history.  Perhaps in 8th grade you took Algebra I or a year of foreign language that counts toward fulfilling a foreign language requirement; you may need to access your 8th grade record, too.

Once you have the transcript in front of you, make notes.  Start with 9th grade and write down your courses, final grade and a description of what the course covered.  If your high school has an electronic course book from which you choose your classes, consult this tool to help with course descriptions.  Avoid guessing.

Why should you do this now?  The SRAR is a convenience for the admissions office and a nuisance for students.  Filling out the form is time consuming.  Do it now as the school year winds down and you have fewer pressing assignments so that when you are ready to apply you won’t need to invest a couple of hours tracking down the information.

Be assured that if you are accepted you will be required to submit official test scores and an official transcript from each high school you have attended.

If you’re ready for a consult on your list or to begin writing essays, filling out your apps, lets make an appointment! stephanie@accessguidance.com or 610-212-6679

Tips On Getting Letters of Recommendation

 

All college applications request a letter from your guidance counselor and usually expect 1 or more teacher recommendations.  Your counselor is predetermined but you get to choose who will write the teacher recs.  Please read to the end of this post to learn what to do if you are asked to write your own recommendation.

1. Most schools prefer that students ask for recommendations at the end of junior year so that teachers can take time to write thoughtfully over the summer.  If you school has other policies, be certain to follow them.

2. Who should you choose?  Ideally, the persons you approach should know you well.  Perhaps you’ve taken  more than one class with a favorite teacher or one of your current teachers is the advisor for a club or organization you belong to.  The more interaction  you’ve had, the more detailed the letter from the teacher can be.

3. Its helpful to write a note asking for the recommendation and to present the note to the teacher during a free period, before or after school.  If you have copies of assignments from the class you took with this teacher, you could offer them along with the note, or continue the conversation by mentioning how much you enjoyed, or struggled, or learned from the work.

4. Also give the teacher a list of colleges to which you are applying.  Know if there are special requirements for submitting the letters via Naviance, if you high school uses this tool.  If the letters will be submitted by mail, attach any forms and addressed, stamped envelopes.

5. Before school begins for senior year, check with the guidance office to make certain that all recommendations have been turned in.  Then write a thank you note to each person who wrote a recommendation.

What Should You Do If Asked To Write Your Own Recommendation?

I’m learning that self-written letters are becoming a common practice, particularly at large high schools.  Unfortunately, many counselors don’t know all the students in their cohort and use the self-written recommendations as guides (or just turn in the student’s work).  If you are asked to write such a letter here’s what to do.

1. Special circumstances.   Counselor recommendations are used to explain circumstances not in evidence elsewhere in the documentation.  When a family experienced trauma, death, financial hardship, student academic problems, learning challenges or any other factor affecting the student’s performance, it is usually the counselor who offers the information.   If this applies to you, write this part of your story.  First, the circumstance (what happened); next, how you were affected; the current state of your recovery or accommodation.

For instance, in 11th grade you were found to have dyslexia; what treatment has occurred and how have your grades improved?  Ex 2, Your parents experienced a messy divorce and you were unable to focus on academics; what has changed and how are you coping?

2. Your Achievements.  Take out your resume and activity lists.  The format you should have used to create both is: List the organization, dates participated, what you did and how it benefited the club.  Ex. French Club, 3 years, As program chair started a French club at an elementary school; increased membership by 20%.  Ex. International Club, 3 years.  Facilitated the smooth running of meetings by setting up, arranging refreshments, cleaning up.

Don’t just copy your Resume or Activities List, choose a few items and amplify what you’ve written, including the importance to you of this activity or event, something you particularly enjoyed or learned, leadership role, how the experience might impact your college experience. Ex. Environmental Club.  I worked with local organizations and officials to clean up a trash from a creek.  I’ve learned about the world-wide clean water shortage and hope to take a trip to Africa where I can participate in a clean water project as well as taking courses in hydrologly in the geology department to learn more about water.

3. Executive functioning.  These skills include persistence, organization, time management, and so on.  You want to present the skills with supporting evidence. Ex. Persistent: failed 2 tests Algebra 2, got help from teacher and secured a tutor from National Honor Society.  Brought grade up to a C+.   If you are unclear on what to say, try asking teachers and classmates to describe you in 1 word, or in 3 words.  Use their comments to develop this section.

4. Goals.  What do you want to get out of your college experience?  Are you planning your coursework so you can study abroad?  Do you have plans to take specific courses to learn about a special interest?

When you’ve completed your recommendation, have several people you trust read it over.  Discuss it with your guidance counselor.

Asking for your letters of recommendation is good practice for getting a job.  You will need to know your strengths and who can best describe them to others.  Don’t gamble on getting winning testimonials, prepare the path for the people whom you will ask.  Be professional in your approach and show your appreciation generously.

Questions?  Call/text  me at 610-212-6679 or email stephanie@accessguidance.com

 

Student Over 18? Your Need to Know Isn’t Your right To Know

As a parent, you may be familiar with FERPA, the Federal Education and Right  To Privacy Act.  This piece of legislation ensures that parents have the right to see their student’s school records and have explained to them anything in the records.  It also prevents schools from disseminating information about your child without your permission.

When the student applies to colleges, she will find a question on each application asking if she waives her FERPA rights.  Checking the box permits the high school to send her transcript and other identifying information about the student.  Every student must waive their rights in order to complete the application.

So, you’ve delivered your newly eighteen year old to college.  You’re paying the bills, even borrowing money.  Can  you see the grades?  No.  Can you find out if the student is attending class?  No.  Can you ask if he has paid the tuition from the account you’ve set up? No.

College related issues can be addressed by having your child sign a waiver to FERPA upon arriving on campus.  With a couple of phone calls before orientation you can learn whom your child should speak to and where the waiver will be held in case you need access to the signed document later. (see final paragraph)

Signing the waiver is something to consider.  Teens handle some of their own money but rely on parents to take care of the major transactions.  They may not be punctual in paying rent, college bills, recognizing overdrafts on accounts or understanding credit card bills.  If, among other issues,  you think that your help may be needed in financial matters or in persisting in a college environment, the waiver is probably a good idea.

Your student has been taken to the hospital.  What information can you get?  None.

HIPAA prevents anyone in the college medical center or a hospital from talking to you without the patient’s permission, even in a medical emergency.

There are a few things you can do to have permission in place to participate in your student’s medical care.

A signed HIPAA Authorization form, which can be found on the internet, doesn’t need to be notarized.  The student can place limitations on the type of information they wish to keep private.  Parents will gain permission to talk to treating physicians, and understand the nature of the medical problems.

Medical Power of Attorney  (POA)  This is the same authorization most of us have given to someone to make decisions for us if we are unable to make them for ourselves.  You could be called upon to evaluate treatment options or give permission for surgery.  Laws governing POAs vary by state; some require a witness and notarization.  Some include the HIPAA Authorization within the POA.

Consider also a Durable Power of Attorney.  This POA appoints someone to act on the individual’s behalf; it can be granted with a specific time limit.  If the student plans to study abroad this might be a good document to have.  It can give access to bank accounts so the bills can be paid, tax forms or leases signed, college and scholarship forms submitted.   A durable power of attorney grants more power to the holder; be certain everyone is comfortable with the arrangement.

In some states the medical power of attorney can be rolled into a durable power of attorney.  As each state defines its own processes, check with your own state and the state where your student will be in school.

If your child attends college out of state, fill out all forms in both states so that there is no confusion about the legitimacy of the documentation.

When you have chosen the options that meet your needs and have the signed, notarized (if needed) documents in hand, scan them into your phone so that they will be available if ever needed.

 

 

 

FERPA HPPA and medical emergencies

 

https://www.consumerreports.org/health/help-your-college-age-child-in-a-medical-emergency/

Applying To College In An Electronic Age

The article below was written by a fellow admissions consultant and summarizes some of the details you need to know about electronic submissions.  I’ve added the photos.

APPLYING TO COLLEGE IN AN ELECTRONIC AGE

by Lisa Bleich

Written by Lisa Bleich

When I submitted my applications to college in the mid-eighties, I filled out my application on a typewriter, put in in an envelope and mailed it to my prospective colleges.  My guidance counselor gathered my letters of recommendations, transcripts, and SAT scores, put them into a manila envelope and mailed them to the schools.  Then I waited and assumed that the post office would deliver my applications in good faith.

For current high schools seniors, those same pieces still need to get to the colleges, but with transition to electronic applications, score choice, digital portfolios, and eDocs the process has become in some ways easier, but in many other ways more confusing.

Here are some resources to help make the process go smoother.

SUBMITTING YOUR COLLEGE APPLICATIONS

Common Application  

With over 500 members, the Common Application is the dominant electronic site for submitting applications to colleges.  The benefit is that students can fill out one application and submit it to all participating schools. Several state schools also participate including the University of Michigan, UMASS Amherst, UNC Chapel Hill, and University of Delaware.  Here is a video that demonstrates how to submit your CommonApp application.

The Coalition Application  

Several state schools, e.g. University of Maryland and University of Florida, have started using the The Coalition Application exclusively for students to submit their applications.  If you scroll down to the bottom of this link, you’ll find some videos that show you how to start a an application, manage document uploads, and submit an application using the Coalition.  If you’d like to do a preview of the entire application before you submit, you can do that after you have paid, but before you actually submit.  After you submit the payment, click on the Expand All button in the top right hand corner and that will allow you to see the full application before you submit.

State and School Specific Electronic Applications

Many large state schools such as UCLA and Berkeley, along with Georgetown and MIT have their own applications that can be found on their website. Several universities also you to input their transcript, eliminating the need to send a transcript from their high school.

SUBMITTING YOUR TRANSCRIPTS

Many high schools are using eDocs through Naviance to send the transcripts electronically to the schools, but many high school guidance departments still require that students fill out a paper form with all the information so they can send the transcripts by mail.

It is important to understand the process at your high school and allow at least three weeks before the deadline to make the request.

SENDING TEST SCORES

Students must request that test scores be sent to all of their colleges by the appropriate deadline. Your application will not be read until the colleges receive the scores.

Request SAT scores

Request ACT scores

FILL OUT FINANCIAL AID FORMS

Colleges like to receive your financial aid forms along with your application so they can provide financial information when they notify you about their decision. Here is a great article on how to fill out the FAFSA.

TIPS TO AVOID COMMON PITFALLS

Consistency the name of the game. When you sign up for the ACTs or SATs using your full legal name and e-mail, use that same name and e-mail for all subsequent application materials.

“The biggest problem is that various pieces can get lost and the easiest way to avoid mistakes is to have the same name and e-mail on everything. So if your legal name is Jonathan Brett Silver, but your nickname is JB, make sure to use Jonathan Brett on anything related to college.” Said J. Scott Myers from Susquehanna University. 

Key identity markers are

1)    Legal name (does not include nicknames)

2)    Email

Electronic does not mean immediateEven though you are used to text messages and e-mails being delivered immediately, it doesn’t work like that when submitting applications.  The applications go to a processing room and from there the application gets “input” into the college’s own proprietary system either by electronically populating the fields, scanning documents, or printing them for colleges that do not yet read electronically.

1)    Every school uses a different system to input data.

2)    “Some colleges receive testing information by mail and then enter scores into the student’s file.  Others receive test scores electronically and automatically integrate them into their system.” Nancy Rehling, a Director from ACT.

Follow up is key!   Once you submit your application, most schools will send you a unique school ID and login information to check on your application status.  “Do this immediately and keep track of what pieces are missing” advises Deryn Pomeroy from Syracuse University.  Here is a link to an article about how to tracking your applications.

1)    Assume it will take from 2-4 weeks for your application to be processed. The closer to the deadline you submit, the longer it will take.

2)    If you do not get the green light within in four weeks of submission, call to follow up on the missing pieces.

Somehow the manila envelope that we all complained about does not seem so bad (just kidding!)

Submitting Graded Papers on College Applications

You may have noticed that some of the colleges on your application list request or have opportunities to upload a graded paper.

Submitting work that you produced after thoughtful consideration and without time constraints is likely to show your ability to think critically and to write proficiently.  The writing portions of standardized tests put the writer under pressure which often doesn’t result in one’s best work.

Beyond giving you a chance to choose the writing sample you share, if graded, the paper tells the admissions office much about your high school’s grading process.  With grade inflation on the minds of those charged with choosing the next class, there is an interest in comparing your work and its grade to standard college freshman writing.  The questions your paper answers is this: What grade would this paper receive in a freshman comp class?  Is the argument set forth clear?  The writing competent?

Set aside papers from various classes or use your portfolio if your high school saves your writing through 4 years.  When you’re ready to apply you will have several samples to choose among.

The invitation to add a graded paper may be on the application but the best place to confirm the opportunity is on the college website.  Look carefully at test-optional colleges as many use this extra chance to see how good a student you are.

Good luck and happy writing!

Write winning application essays and create applications that show off your best qualities.  stephanie@accessguidance.com or 610-212-6679

Restrictive Early Action – Will Colleges Know If I Cheat?

Restrictive Early Action is an application plan that is growing in popularity with colleges of more than average selectivity.  Every college needs to fill seats and beds.  To do so they calculate their yield: the per cent of admitted students who will send a deposit and show up as a member of the next entering class.

Early Decision students are admitted in larger numbers than regular decision applicants because they have committed to coming if admitted.  Early Action applicants have a definite interest in the school although they still have a choice to attend  or not.  Students typically apply Early Action to schools at the top of their list but also want the flexibility of deciding after they have heard from multiple admissions offices.

To reduce the number of admitted students who matriculate elsewhere, an increasing number of colleges have instituted REA, Restrictive Early Action.  An applicant choosing to apply  REA may not also apply to other colleges under any Early Action or Early Decision plan, although they may apply elsewhere as a Regular Decision candidate.

Do colleges know if you’ve violated the restriction?  If you use the Common App they can find out.  Applicants sign a confidentiality waiver meaning that you’ve released your application to the colleges you’ve applied to.  Each college has your name and ID number that they can run through the Common App to see where you’ve applied and under which decision protocol.

Keep in mind that Early Decision and Restrictive Early Action require you to sign a contract, one that is legally binding.  Violating the contract opens you to the possibility of legal action.  What is more likely to happen is denial of  admission by all affected colleges or having admission rescinded if you were admitted.

Plan carefully so that you apply in the most effective way to the colleges you want to attend.  Select the decision plan that optimizes your chances of admission without unduly inhibiting your ultimate choice of for enrollment.

Let me help you plan your application strategy! stephanie@accessguidance.com or 610-212-6679

 

Self-Reporting Grades On and Off the Common App

Computers are great for reducing paper work  and organizing materials coherently.  In recent years some universities have asked students to self report courses and grades.  When the student is admitted, the high school sends a transcript to verify the self reported information.  Rutgers University uses this method but is not a Common App school.

Based on feedback from member colleges, The Common App has added a section for self-reported courses and grades.  In order to complete this section of the Common Application the student needs access to her/his high school transcript.   High schools include an official transcript with the School Profile.

Currently, 7 colleges have signed up for self-reporting via the Common App:

Chapman (CA)

George Washington (DC)

Ohio State University (OH)

Purdue University (IN)

University of Southern California (CA)

West Virginia University (WV)

Tuoro College in NYC (The New York School of Career and Applied Studies)

Students filing applications beginning in the fall of 2017 will use Courses and Grades for the schools listed above.  There are a couple of other restrictions: the student must be in a high school diploma program and a school that is on semesters, trimesters or using block scheduling.

Be aware of changes to all application types that apply to the colleges and universities on your application list so that you have at hand the material you need to complete each section.  There are half a dozen multi-college applications this year, each with its own features and options.  Read carefully and be prepared with all you need before you begin to fill out online forms.

For information on the various application types, give me a call. 610-212-6679 or stephanie@accessguidance.com.