Your first task is to get in touch with the colleges for information. The easiest way is to use the resources of the CAC office—catalogs, viewbooks, guidebooks or to go to the colleges’ websites. Make sure you get on their mailing lists so that you receive all relevant information.
Either in your English class or over the summer, you should have begun your essay. In fact, some of you may write several for different schools. This can be an opportunity to present the real you to the colleges. Write it, have a friend/teacher/parent review it, or bring it in to us.
An activities resume will help you with any application. It can also be mailed to a coach or included in your application. Include your name, social security number, school activities and positions held, out-of-school activities and positions held, any awards or recognitions received, and summer activities.
A critical piece of your decision will be how well a college meets your needs, so it is important to make a visit. Every type of visit: summer visits, Open Houses on weekends, visits to classes while school is in session, has its advantages and disadvantages. You may have to visit twice to get a real picture. Please don’t take someone else’s opinion (or a guidebook’s opinion) until you make your own informed decision about a school’s suitability for you and you can’t do that without a visit.
Some colleges require interviews, others make them optional, and some don’t even offer them. Generally, the smaller the school, the more their Admissions personnel would like to meet you. The "fit" between you and a small school is very important. A good interview will certainly help you when it comes time for your file to be reviewed. A "bad" interview is not fatal, but if you feel you just don’t interview well, you may be able to opt out of this component. Be prepared to answer the question, "Why are you interested in our school?" Check out their website, read about their mission, and understand why they feel they are offering something unique. In this way, you can answer that first question. Secondly, have two or three prepared questions for them: e.g., Study Abroad options, internship opportunities, success rate of graduates, etc. If a school is too far to visit, you may be able to arrange an alumni interview with someone in our area through their admissions office.
Colleges vary widely in what they expect in this area. Some schools want one, others two, and some require no teacher recommendations. (Remember that each student will receive a recommendation from their College Counselor). If the schools to which you are applying require recommendations, ask the same teacher. He or she will write you one recommendation, which then can be attached to the forms for any number of schools. Remember to give your teachers a stamped, addressed envelope along with a copy of your resume. Most teacher recommendations will be mailed directly to the school by the teacher. It would be great if the student wrote a thank you note to the teacher afterwards.
With only a few exceptions, all applications will be sent from your home or via your computer. In this way, you will be assured that your application went in before the deadline. Your cancelled check or credit card statement will serve as your receipt. As soon as (but not before) you have sent your application, you will notify college counseling and request that the supporting documents be sent. While some colleges state that they would like all portions (application, teacher and counselor recommendations) sent together in one envelope, this is a convenience for them and they will accept the documents separately.
All colleges require that a transcript be sent from your high school. Most colleges will also require the high school counselor to fill out a Counselor Recommendation Form or a Secondary School Report (SSR). After you have sent your application to the college, fill out the blue Transcript/SSR request form in our office. We will need your request at least two weeks prior to the due date to insure that the proper materials are collected and sent.
If you intend to try out for a sport in college, even at the Division III level, you should complete a Clearinghouse form online. Forms can be downloaded at NCAAClearinghouse.net. Even though they are only required for Div. I and II colleges, you may receive some interest from a Div. I school as a walk-on, and you will not be able to be invited by that coach until this form is processed. Remember that you can visit any school at any time as long as it is at your expense but are only allowed a certain number of official visits. The CAC office will forward your transcript after receiving the Waiver form you printed out from the NCAA website.