Loomis Chaffee 2oo8–o9

College Guidance Handbook
A Resource for Juniors & Seniors

College Guidance StaV
Webster Trenchard Director of College Guidance Phone 86o-687-6133 e-mail: webster_trenchard@loomis.org Alison Burr Associate Director of College Guidance Phone 86o-687-635o e-mail: alison_burr@loomis.org Jennifer Kincaid Associate Director of College Guidance Phone 86o-687-6352 e-mail: jennifer_kincaid@loomis.org Tim Lawrence Associate Director of Studies and Associate Director of College Guidance Phone 86o-687-6211 e-mail: tim_lawrence@loomis.org Amy Thompson Associate Director of College Guidance Phone 86o-687-6349 e-mail: amy_thompson@loomis.org Karen Pennell Administrative Assistant to the College Office Phone 86o-687-6351 e-mail: karen_pennell@loomis.org

Table of Contents
Welcome Myths About College Selection The Parent’s Role Junior Year Step-by-Step Junior Year Nuts and Bolts Beyond Vacationing: College Visits Senior Year Step-by-Step Permission for Senior-Year College Visits Early Admissions Options: Rolling, Early Decision and Early Action What Do Colleges Want? Choosing Which Application to Use Completing Your Applications Financial Aid Waiting The Letters Have Arrived - Now What?

1 2 4 6 7 1o 17 18 19­ ­ 21 23 25 32 35 36

Index

Appendices
APPENDIX A: Questions to Ask When Choosing a College APPENDIX B: Standardized Testing APPENDIX C: SAT: Preparing, Registering, Taking & Reporting APPENDIX D: College OVice Yellow Sheet and Application Checklist

Welcome to the Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

T

HIS handbook is designed to be a resource for you and your parents to refer to throughout the college application process. It is arranged in chronological order so you can track what you should be doing and when. This handbook provides practical information and advice about determining what you are looking for in a college, choosing the colleges to which you will apply, arranging college visits, tackling the application essay, choosing teachers to write recommendations for you, and more. If used properly, it will help you avoid anxiety because you will feel knowledgeable, self-confident and in control. The search for the college you will ultimately attend begins oVicially when you are a junior. The process is important because, in a very real way, it will move you along to the next stage of your life. And it is a process — one that, if undertaken seriously, involves taking responsibility for your own life and making major decisions. You will think about what is important to you and what qualities, facilities and programs you want in a college. With the help of your college counselor and family, you will identify colleges to consider and, through researching and visiting, learn which ones are most appealing to you. Then, as a senior, you will choose the colleges to which you will apply, write the applications and complete the other tasks associated with the process, wait for the decisions and, finally, choose the college you will attend. HE goals of the College Guidance OVice are straightforward. First and foremost, we want to work closely with you to help you find – and be admitted to – colleges and universities that appeal to you and that meet your needs, interests and abilities. There are more than 3,ooo institutions of higher learning in the United States. You are looking for approximately eight colleges or universities that meet your personal criteria and make up what we refer to as a balanced list. Before we get to the nuts and bolts of what we will do and what you must do, we would like to identify those goals. They are: to enable you to make good decisions throughout the college admission process by providing you with timely, up-to-date and accurate information; to help you identify those qualities that define who you are and what expectations you have for college, and then to help you discover those colleges that are best suited to you; to empower you to take charge of the college process; to underscore and support your innate worthiness so that your sense of value as an individual will be neither enhanced nor diminished by college admission decisions; and to help ensure that you have choices as you decide where to enroll.

There are more than 3,000 institutions of higher learning in the United States.

T
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

1

Myths About College Selection

B
If you have made up your mind that there is only one perfect school, you may be setting yourself up to be disappointed; we urge you to look at a variety of colleges and universities so you will see for yourself the opportunities available to you.

EFORE you begin the college process, it’s important to know that there are several myths about selecting a school and being admitted. Some are based in fact while others are purely the stuV of legend. Please keep these myths, and the truth, in mind.

U

Myth 1

“There is a perfect college for me.”

NDERSTANDING that there is no perfect college for you will make the application process more exciting and less stressful. If you focus on only one college, you may spend too much time worrying about getting into that particular school, which may prevent you from exploring other institutions. If you have made up your mind that there is only one perfect school, you may be setting yourself up to be disappointed; we urge you to look at a variety of colleges and universities so you will see for yourself the opportunities available to you. There are thousands of colleges and universities in the United States. Some are private and some are public. Some are large; some are small. Some are liberal arts colleges; some specialize in pre-professional programs. Some are in rural areas; some are in cities. Exploring this exciting variety will help you determine which opportunities appeal to you most.

I

Myth 2

“Researching colleges is an unpleasant chore.”

F you are like most students, you may already be thinking that the college search is a particularly diVicult and unrewarding task. Actually, looking at college should be part of an exciting search for your future. It is wise to approach the admissions process with optimism and excitement since your enthusiasm will also come through in your application essays and campus interviews.

Myth 3

W

“I need to decide my career before I can choose a college.”

HILE it is important to have a goal, or at least to be aware of your major interests, you do not have to know what major or career you intend to pursue. If you are undecided, consider the academic subjects you like best. For example, if you’re particularly interested in English, art and physics in high school, you will probably continue to be interested in those three areas in college. Don’t be surprised, however, if you find that the subjects you now enjoy become somewhat less important to you as you discover courses not oVered in high school.

Myth 4

“I’ve never heard of this college, so it can’t be any good.”

I

T is not unusual for students to have preconceived notions about a particular college because their parents attended it or because someone they admire—teacher, coach, or friend—is a graduate. These are strong influences and should not be ignored. However, most people know very little about colleges. The average, well-educated man or woman can probably name only 1oo of the over 3,ooo colleges and universities in the

2

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

United States, and these tend to be older Eastern colleges and universities, large state universities, those with outstanding athletic teams, or ones that happen to be near his or her home. Some very appealing colleges in the country may not be well known to the general public but oVer outstanding educational opportunities. It is important to remember that a college that could be right for you may be one which is unknown to you at this point in the process, and some of the universities you have heard the most about may not be a good fit for you. The best way to discover the college for you is to visit a number of schools, spend some time on campus, and keep an open mind.

Myth 5
Your high school transcript, including the rigor of your course load, is most important.

“The most important factor in college admission is standardized test scores.”

Y

OU may have heard that your test scores, particularly the SATs, will be the most important factor in determining whether you will be admitted to a college. While it is true that these scores are considered by most colleges and universities, the college admissions oVicers also look at many other factors to determine whether you will be admitted. Your high school transcript, including the rigor of your course load, is most important. Colleges generally look for a healthy balance made up of high school record, test scores, extracurricular activities, teacher recommendations, and other personal achievements.

I

Other Myths
f you hear a “fact” that, when you stop and think about it, seems illogical or too good or bad to be true, bring it to the attention of your college counselor. He or she can often ease your mind by providing you with more accurate information.

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

3

The Parent’s Role

S

O where do parents come into this process, and what role should they play in it? As people who know their child best, parents can be a wonderful resource and support as their child navigates the college search and application process. We do expect the student to take control of this project, as the experience can help them develop important life skills such as self-evaluation and expression and thoughtful decision making. However, parents can provide emotional support, help the student maintain an appropriate perspective and remind him or her that self-worth is not related to the outcome of the college process. More concretely, parents can use the questions in Appendix A to help their child assess his or her academic and personal interests as he or she begins the search. We aid parents in their role by keeping them up to date on their son or daughter’s college plans via a number of mailings throughout the junior and senior years, as well as through their participation in several college programs held on campus and through conversations they have with their child’s college counselor.

F

Family Connection

AMILY Connection is a web-based college counseling program that is provided to all students in their junior year. It is especially helpful in keeping all parties – students, parents, and college counselors – on the same page, and facilitating all aspects of the college search and application process. Family Connection is a one-stop shop for all things “college,” from general information on deadlines and test requirements to scattergrams that indicate college admissions results of Loomis Chaffee applicants in previous years – a terrific way for students to contextualize their own chances for admission at particular institutions. To parents, perhaps the most useful aspect of Family Connection is the “My Plan” section, where various college application milestones are listed that students are expected to complete. Parents can keep track of whether their child has submitted transcript requests, registered for the SAT, and had meetings with his or her college counselor, for example. Students also keep a “real time” list of colleges in which they are interested. Family Connection is intended to augment, not replace, the individual relationships students have with their college counselor. We encourage all parents to talk to their child about Family Connection and encourage its use as a valuable communications tool between home, student, and the College Office.

Mailings and Events for Parents
FReshMan and sOphOMORe YeaR Winter mailing about registration for the June SAT Subject Tests JunIOR YeaR August Mailing of fall calendar listing events appropriate for juniors and/or their parents College Evening programs at which over 15o colleges are represented Parents Weekend College Admissions Program

October

4

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

November

Mailing of the College Guidance OVice Handbook, Parents’ Questionnaire, and spring events calendar SAT Subject Test registration mailing Mailing of an initial list of colleges after student’s meetings with college counselor Mailing of an announcement of the Junior Parent Program Junior Parent Program — college admissions professionals join the college counselors to oVer advice on navigating the college application process and to review case studies Mailing with student’s group list and suggestions for summer college visiting

January February–April

March May

June

senIOR YeaR August September October November Mailing of fall events calendar and SAT registration reminder Introduction to College Financial Aid mailing including CSS Profile College Evening programs Parents Weekend—appointments with college counselors available Parents Weekend Senior Parent Financial Aid Program December Mailing regarding financial aid applications Mailing indicating where your son or daughter has asked us to send application materials Mailing with advice about how to support students as college decisions arrive Universal deposit deadline — the date when each student must make a final decision about where to matriculate, submit a deposit to that college and notify the other colleges of that decision.

March

May 1

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

5

Junior Year Step-by-Step
October Take PSAT *. Attend College Evening programs. december Complete Junior Questionnaire. January Make first appointment with a college counselor after submitting Junior Questionnaire to College Office. Log on to Family Connection and update your profile. Register for May SAT Reasoning Test and June SAT Subject Test *. March Visit colleges over spring vacation. May Take SAT Reasoning Test*. Attend presentations on interviews, visits, and essays by college admissions oVicers during class meetings. Return your College Preference Sheet to the College Guidance OVice. Submit draft of college essay to both college counselor and English teacher. June Take SAT Subject Test(s)*. * Please see Appendix B for more information on standardized testing. June–august Visit colleges and interview (where available). Complete copy of Common Application and final draft of college essay.

6

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

Junior Year Nuts and Bolts

B
I

EFORE you can begin choosing schools to which you would like to apply, you need to consider who you are: your strengths and weaknesses, attitudes, style of learning, and issues of importance to you. You must also make an honest evaluation of your academic and personal achievements. A thorough review of Appendix A will help you in this important task.

College evening programs
N October, Loomis ChaVee hosts two College Evening programs showcasing more than 15o colleges from across the country. Juniors, seniors and their parents are invited. While as a junior you are at a very diVerent place in the process than the seniors in attendance, you can learn a great deal by participating in these programs. You may have no idea what you want in a college and possibly have not even begun seriously thinking of yourself as a college student, but this should not keep you from attending. In fact, the programs can help you focus. Looking at the materials colleges oVer, hearing what representatives have to say about their schools and listening to questions seniors ask can help you orient yourself to the college process.

Appendix A will give you an idea of the elements you will want to consider as you complete this Questionnaire.

T

The Junior Questionnaire

HIS questionnaire asks you to list and explain your activities at Loomis ChaVee outside of school and during the summer months. You are asked to assess your academic strengths and to reflect on your overall experience at school. And, of course, you are asked to delineate your “college selection criteria.” Appendix A gives you a more complete idea of the elements you will want to consider as you do your research, but this questionnaire asks about some of the more obvious ones for you to use to get started. In what part of the country would you most like to spend your college years? In what setting (urban, suburban, rural) should that college most likely be located? How big should it be? What academic majors or programs most interest you at this time? Few students know the exact answers to all of these questions at this point in the process, and even the ones who think they do may change their criteria significantly in the months ahead. However, responses to these questions provide an excellent point of departure for you and your counselor during your first meeting. In fact, you will only be allowed to schedule your first meeting after you have completed and handed in the questionnaire.

I

Junior Year Meetings
N these meetings, you will have a chance to discuss several elements that play an instrumental role in the college process, including your transcript and senior course selections. You will review and discuss your performance on the October PSAT to assess which areas you need to study to be even more prepared for the SAT Reasoning Test in May, as well as which, if any, SAT Subject Tests you should take in June (see Standardized Testing in Appendix B). Perhaps most importantly, you will discuss your thoughts about college, begin to develop a list of schools that best match your criteria, and be sent oV with a “homework assignment” to research schools on the list.

T

The preliminary List
HE preliminary college list is developed from two sources: the schools you have identified on your own and the schools your college counselor determines match the criteria stated in
Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

7

A preliminary list is meant to be quite broad and it is meant to be added to, subtracted from, shaped, discussed and fine tuned.

the questionnaire and discussed in your meetings. While the counselors may not yet know everything there is to know about you or your college interests, they do possess a great deal of knowledge about colleges across the country from personal visits, contact with the colleges and recent work with other Loomis ChaVee students who may have had similar interests. Above all, a preliminary list is just that — preliminary. It is meant to be added to, subtracted from, shaped, discussed and fine-tuned. Also, it is meant to be quite broad, listing a wide range of colleges, some where even a competitive applicant might find it diVicult to gain admission, but also some where you might be among the more competitive applicants. Your parents will also receive a copy of the preliminary list with a letter informing them that you have begun the college process formally.

T

Research

HE next step is often the most diVicult one for students to take; actually looking into the colleges on the Preliminary List in a serious, careful and open-minded way takes time, energy and self-discipline. In addition to being busy with life at school, some students are also anxious about trying to make sense of the decisions that lie ahead. Whatever your feelings, the best place to begin the research phase of the process is right here at Loomis ChaVee in the College Resource Room. After your first college meeting, you will be given an assignment to begin your college research. Choose two schools from the Preliminary List to research in detail, using the wide variety of sources in the College Guidance OVice Resource Room, Brush Library, and Internet. You will find that diVerent guidebooks, websites, and college marketing materials will provide you with diVerent kinds of information about each college. By researching two colleges in depth, you will learn more about the colleges, become familiar with diVerent sources, and learn which sources serve you best. You may then rely on those sources more heavily as you continue to research each of the other colleges on your list. Take careful notes about each college as you complete your research so that you will be prepared to discuss your impressions about each school in your second college meeting. (You may wish to use the College Evaluation Chart in Appendix A). The Resource Room contains valuable tools for learning about colleges. We have a number of college guidebooks for you to read. These range from books such as Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges and Peterson’s Four-Year Colleges, which provide information about everything from the size of the undergraduate population to a list of every available major, to The Fiske Guide to Colleges, a book that oVers information and opinion ranging from academic departments to social and extracurricular activities at a particular school. We have the undergraduate course catalogs of hundreds of colleges. If you are seeking material about a specific academic discipline or program, you will find information regarding courses oVered and degree requirements in disciplines from history and English to physical therapy and sports administration. The College Board Book of Majors can help match your skills and interests to fields of study. In addition, we have a multimedia lab that allows you to visit these schools without leaving Loomis ChaVee. If you wish to adjust or reassess your college criteria, or just take a look at what other colleges might fit your profile, there are many search engines available on the internet.

Take careful notes about each college as you complete your research so that you will be prepared to discuss your impressions about each school in your second college meeting.

S

using Family Connection
TUDENTS are encouraged to use their Family Connection account for research purposes. Family Connection is a web-based college counseling program individualized for Loomis Chaffee students. One of its many features is a college search engine that not only provides names of colleges based on criteria the student selects but also links to individual colleges’ websites and offers a page outlining general information about each college. The Family Connection site serves as the home for each student’s prospective college list and offers a journaling section where students can keep notes on college research and visits.

8

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

S

Visiting Colleges during spring Break

PRING Break is an excellent time for your first college visits. Colleges are often in session during Loomis ChaVee’s vacation, so you may have a chance to experience the campus in full swing. Many students choose to use their first college visits to explore and compare diVerent types of colleges, such as urban versus rural, large versus small, or liberal arts versus pre-professional. Gaining a sense of your own preferences will help you and your college counselor refine your college list as you discuss your impressions of the schools you have seen.

Many colleges require SATSubject Tests in two areas of your choice. Most students take the appropriate mathematics test (Math Level 1 or Math Level 2) and another test in a subject area such as foreign language, literature, history or science.

Y

standardized Testing in the Junior Year: psaTs, saT Reasoning Test and saT subject Tests

OUR junior year is an important one for taking the standardized tests associated with college admissions. You will automatically be registered for the PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test) and take it in October. Results of the test are available in late November or early December and include a breakdown of your answers for each section that will help you prepare for the SAT Reasoning Test. That test is generally taken in May with registration in January. You should consult your college counselor and the appropriate teachers about which SAT Subject Tests, if any, to take on the June test date. Many colleges require SAT Subject Tests in two areas of your choice. Most Loomis ChaVee students choose to take the appropriate mathematics test (Math Level 1 or Math Level 2) and another test in a subject area such as foreign language, literature, history or science. (See Appendices B and C for more detailed information about standardized testing.)

I

The nCaa Clearinghouse
F you are interested in competing in Division I or II college athletics, you must register online with the NCAA Clearinghouse at www.ncaaclearinghouse.net in June before your senior year. After completing the clearinghouse registration, print two copies of the Student Release Form, sign and submit them to Mrs. Pennell in the College OVice so she can send oVicial transcripts to the NCAA. For additional information, request the College OVice publication, “College Athletics and Recruiting — A Guide for Student Athletes.”

I

The College preference List
N mid-May we ask each student to return a Preference List to the College Guidance OVice on which you list the fifteen or more schools that remain of interest to you. The list represents your best attempt to begin narrowing your college list into workable and realistic shape, thus completing the first stage of your research into colleges.

B

The Group List

Y July 4, the College Guidance OVice will provide each student with a Group List. Taking into account your Preference List, transcript through the junior year, program of study for senior year, May SAT Reasoning Test results, and all the current information about the college admissions scene that we have at our disposal, we list your colleges in Group I+, I, II and III (see definitions below). If there is a need, we will make additional suggestions of colleges for you to consider. Our goal in doing this is to provide you and your family with two things: a realistic picture of the highly competitive nature of college admissions today and an understanding of how to proceed with college visits and (eventually) applications to achieve a well-balanced list. It is important to remember that your application to a college is seen in a context. Your chances of admission are aVected by how your application is viewed in relationship to the rest of the applicant pool. We take into consideration the record of Loomis ChaVee students who have applied in the past and any changing trends we have observed from year to year in the admissions standards of any given school. To help you as you work to establish a balLoomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

9

anced list, we will outline how these considerations will likely aVect your intended applications. Group III: Based on your academic credentials, you will be a very competitive candidate. While admission to any college with a competitive admissions process can never be guaranteed, your credentials look similar to or stronger than those of previously successful candidates. Group II: Based on your academic credentials, you will be a competitive candidate. You will be in a pool of very qualified applicants; while many will be successful candidates, some may not be oVered admission. Students with credentials similar to yours have been offered admission, have been wait listed, or have been denied. Group I: Based on your academic credentials, you may be a competitive candidate. You will be in a pool of many equally or more qualified applicants and, while all competitive applicants are considered, many with credentials similar to yours will not be admitted. Group I+ : You will be in a pool of many equally or more qualified candidates. This school will oVer, with few exceptions, admission to candidates with stronger academic qualifications than you currently present.

B

achieving the Balanced List

ECAUSE we feel that every student should have a number of options at the end of the college process, we believe in what we call the “balanced list.” This means that the list of schools to which you will apply both allows you to stretch yourself academically and personally and to reach the end of the process with the decision of where to matriculate very much in your own hands. Obviously, if you were to choose to apply to an “unbalanced” list of schools made up of colleges almost exclusively from Group I and had little or no interest in any from Group III, then your choices in April could be quite limited. It is our expectation that you will discover and select a final list of schools that covers each of the three groups. Doing so means you will apply to a number of colleges that will provide you with good matches at all levels of selectivity and allow you to make your final college choice from a position of strength.

Beyond Vacationing: College Visits

U

NTIL this point, your research sources have been secondhand. That is, you have read up on the schools you are considering in Barron’s, Peterson’s and other guidebooks, as well as in more anecdotal sources, such as the Fiske Guide, for more subjective evaluations. You may also have asked friends and family about their experiences at the colleges they attended or are about to attend. While these sources will give you some sense of the colleges, spending time on each campus will allow you to develop your own opinion about the school and help you find schools that are a good “fit” for you. The ideal time to visit a campus is when college is in session and you can see the campus “in action.” Unfortunately, for most of the year, your schedule is the same as the colleges’, except for spring vacation of junior year and the final three weeks of summer vacation. (Many colleges begin their fall term before Loomis ChaVee does.) Also, as a junior you cannot receive permission to miss any school obligation to visit a college (see “Permission for Senior Year College Visits”). Even if you visit a college while school is out, you can still have an interview, attend an information session and go on a tour.

1

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

More and more colleges are considering a student’s level of interest as they make admissions decisions. Visiting campus is one of the best ways for students to demonstrate that they have researched a college carefully and are considering it seriously. If you are unable to visit a campus, there may be other steps you can take to show sincere interest, such as attending a local college reception or scheduling an alumni interview. The quality of your visit is very important. Spending a morning or afternoon at the college, taking advantage of a tour, attending an information session, talking with professors, coaches and students and having an interview will give you a more thorough impression than a quick drive through the campus. If possible, an overnight stay with a student will allow you to experience residential life and provide the opportunity to speak with many students. Cost, logistics or family vacation schedule may make it diVicult to visit each school on your list. If this is the case, make sure to have a thorough experience at the colleges you do visit so you will not feel the need to go back to see them again in April once you have received all your admission decisions; you may need to use that time to visit schools to which you have been admitted but were unable to see during the summer. An alternative, which will cause less interruption in your spring trimester studies, is to visit during spring vacation.

If possible, an overnight stay with a student will give you the chance to experience dorm life and provide the opportunity to speak with many students.

Preparing to Visit
— Plan your trip well in advance of the time you intend to visit the college. Call to make your arrangements as soon as you know when you will be visiting the campus. Particularly at busy times (June and late August/early September), interviews can be booked a month or so in advance. Also, while most schools don’t set limits on tour or group information session participation, some do. The college may also be able to help you with your itinerary; they may be able to suggest hotels in the area as well as the time and distance to other colleges you plan to visit. — Dress neatly. Even if you are not having an interview, you want to show that you care about your appearance. It may be hot, and you will be walking a good deal, so comfortable clothes and good walking shoes are a good idea. The bottom line: comfortable and neat. — Notify the college if your plans change. If you are delayed or are unable to attend a scheduled appointment (tour, information session, interview), you should call the college as soon as you know of your change in plans. — Bring your parents. While this is your college search, your parents may have questions of their own and may want to visit with you. Remember that they care about you and have an interest in what you do. They also know you better than anyone and are good sounding boards as you work through the college process. Many families balance college visits with sightseeing; this can relieve the overload of visiting many schools in a short period of time and create an enjoyable family trip. — Read the college’s admission materials or check out the website before heading out on your visit. Familiarizing yourself with the college will help you to identify questions to ask people you meet on campus. It will also help you focus on aspects of the college that appeal to you. — Prepare a list of questions. This exercise will help you get the most out of your college visit. Throughout your visit, whether talking to an interviewer, tour guide, professor, coach or student, you will find yourself in a position to learn more about the college. Be prepared with questions. Although you will develop your own repertoire of questions, below are some that might give you a good basis on which to build. AcAdemic: — What is distinctive about the education at this school? — Is there a core curriculum? A language requirement? — How much flexibility will I have in designing my curriculum?
Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

11

Remember that your parents know you better than anyone and are good sounding boards as you work through the college process.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Are there any curricular changes contemplated? What are the most popular majors? How easy is it to change majors? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the advising system? What are students’ attitudes toward the academic life of the school? Are they actively involved in the classroom? Do graduate students teach courses? Are professors accessible to students? Are they involved in other aspects of student life? What computer facilities are available? What other support services are available? How would you describe the students who attend this college? Is the student body politically active? Conservative? Liberal? Diverse? Are the students included in decision-making on college committees? What have been major issues on campus recently? Is there an active Greek life on campus, and what percentage of the students are members of fraternities or sororities? What is the social scene for those not involved in Greek life? What extracurricular activities are supported strongly by the college? What other factors shape and influence the social scene? What are weekends like? How accessible is the nearest town, and what is there to do? Are students involved in community service? Does the community support athletic events? What are the various housing options? Are the residences appealing?

StuDeNt LIfe:

— Keep an open mind. Try not to go on your visit with preconceived notions of the college you are visiting; take in everything you hear and observe and then assess how you feel about the school and its appropriateness for you.

W
Try not to go on your visit with preconceived notions of the college you are visiting.

Tour
HILE the primary purpose of the tour is to give you a sense of the physical campus, it also provides an opportunity to ask questions of a current student. (If your visit is in the middle of the summer, this may be the only student with whom you get to speak. Remember, however, that while the guide is a good resource, a poor tour guide does not equal a poor school.) Ask questions of your guide during the tour and/or afterward. Many of the questions in the previous section would be appropriate to ask. You may also want to know: Where else did you apply? Why did you decide to come to this school? What was diVerent than you expected it to be? What would you change? Over time you will develop your own questions that give you answers of particular relevance to you.

M

Information Session
ANY schools will oVer a group information session, held right after or before the tour, in which a member of the admissions staV gives a presentation covering such topics as admissions criteria, special programs oVered, freshman advising systems, housing, etc. They will also field questions. The information session, together with the tour, should give you a very thorough understanding of the factual aspects of the college. To get a more complete sense of the school, you will need to spend some additional time talking to students and faculty members.

12

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

S
A poor tour guide does not equal a poor school.

Interview

OME colleges do not interview prospective students, some oVer interviews and some highly recommend them. It is important to determine which of the schools you are interested in oVer, or strongly urge, interviews and then arrange to have one at each of those schools when you visit campus. (If that cannot be arranged, you can usually request an alumni interview.) The schools that strongly recommend interviews tend to be smaller and, therefore, approach the application evaluation process quite personally; they see the interview as an integral part of the picture they are trying to establish of a student. It is important to have an interview if the college recommends that you do so because, in some cases, it can actually hurt your chances if you do not. At most colleges, you do not need to have applied to have an interview. You do not even have to be sure that you will be applying since you will do most of your interviewing in the summer while you are still shopping around. The colleges understand that some of the people they interview will not end up applying. The purpose of an interview is to give the admissions committee a more in-depth understanding of who you are, both academically and personally, beyond the information presented in your application. The interviewer is there to guide and enjoy the conversation with you, and most students actually find the interview to be a positive experience.

The most important things to remember are:
— Be yourself. Don’t try to be someone you think they want you to be. Act naturally. Don’t try to impress — that usually backfires because you aren’t relaxed and comfortable. Don’t pose as an expert on matters you know little about; it’s okay to say, “I don’t know.” — Be focused, positive and interested in the college. Realize that you are there to talk about yourself and to learn more about the college. You are 5o% of what is going to make the interview work. Slouching in your seat and mumbling one-word answers to the interviewer’s questions doesn’t give the impression of someone who is truly interested in learning about or attending that school. — take an active role in the interview. While you do not want to dominate the interview with your questions, you are there to “interview” the college as well as to be interviewed. Don’t be afraid to ask your own questions. — telling isn’t bragging. We have often heard from students that they feel they are bragging if they talk about themselves. It is important to remember that there is a difference between bragging and informing someone about yourself and your activities. The only way your interviewer will know anything about you is if you tell him/her. — Don’t avoid bringing up important issues. If there are situations about your background or achievements about which the admissions committee should know, you may want to discuss them in your interview. The purpose of the interview from the interviewer’s perspective is to get to know you better. — It is impossible to know exactly how each interview will go. Each interviewer has his/her own style: one interviewer may have a set group of questions to ask you, while another may spend the whole time talking with you about a shared interest. You might walk away from the latter interview thinking, “Well that was a fun interview, but I didn’t tell the interviewer anything about me.” And the interviewer is saying, “What a neat person. She expressed herself well, had a real commitment to that activity and presented a positive attitude!” — It is actually very difficult to have a bad interview. Being silent or impolite is about the only way to guarantee one. The interview is meant to be a pleasant experience,

It is important to have an interview if the college recommends that you do so.

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

13

not a torturous interrogation where the interviewer tries to trip you up with trick questions. The interviewer is just a person (who had to go through this once too) who understands that you are a bit nervous. So relax and enjoy yourself. Many students have found that interviews are actually fun! — Be sure to ask for the business card of the person with whom you interview. You will need to write a thank you note and may want to e-mail the representative with additional questions.

Interview Questions: Yours and Theirs
The interview revolves around questions: yours and theirs.
— You should prepare a list of questions that are important to you. (Refer to the College Visits section for questions you may want to ask your interviewer.) It’s okay if you write them down on a piece of paper and take them into the interview with you. Also, you don’t have to restrict yourself to asking just those questions, since others may arise during your conversation. Avoid basic, factual questions that you could have researched. — As mentioned above, it is impossible to know what questions you will be asked, but it is wise to have considered your responses to frequently asked questions. Below is a list of questions you may be asked. Even if you aren’t asked these, considering your answers will put you in a good interviewing frame of mind.

The interview is meant to be a pleasant experience, not a torturous interrogation where the interviewer tries to trip you up with trick questions.

Questions Interviewers Ask
about your high school experience:
— — — — — — — — — — What would your teachers call your greatest strength and weakness? What courses have you enjoyed most, found most challenging? Where and when do you find yourself most intellectually stimulated? Is your record an accurate gauge of your abilities and potential? Has any outside circumstance interfered with your academic performance? How would you describe your school? What has been a controversial issue at your school? What was your reaction? How would you describe your ideal teacher? If you were chosen head of your school, what would be your first action? What sets you apart as an individual in your school?

about your extracurricular activities:
— — — — — — What is your role in the school community? What is the most significant contribution you have made to your school? What are your reasons for participating in athletics/theater/music/art/other? What do you find most satisfying about that activity? What do you enjoy doing most for fun, relaxation or stimulation? How did you spend last summer (or the money you’ve earned)?

about your college plans:
— — — — Why do you want to go to college? Why have you chosen to investigate this college? What do you want to know about this college? What academic and/or personal qualities do you hope to develop in the next four years?

14

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

about you and the world around you:
— What three adjectives describe you best? — What book are you reading now that is of interest? Have you read deeply into any one author or field? — What literary character do you admire? — Do you have any heroes? — About what events, issues, opinions have you become angered or inspired? — What person, living or dead, would you most like to talk to and what would you talk about? — Tell me something about your family. — Describe ways in which you act independently from your friends. — Who has influenced you? — Have you ever thought of not going directly on to college? What would you do? — Where would you like to see yourself in 2o years? — What diVicult situation have you been in, and how did you resolve it? — If you had the political power to do anything you wished, what would you do?

I

Investigating Areas of Personal Interest
F you have a particular interest or talent that you want to pursue in college (computers, competitive sports, theater, anthropology or the oboe, for example), you may want to investigate it during your visit. Depending on your interest, this may only be possible if school is in session. When calling to get tour and interview information, ask if the professor/ coach/program director will be on campus when you visit, or get the appropriate address or telephone number and contact that person yourself to make an appointment to meet with him/her while you are on campus. If school is in session, attending a class can be helpful as well.

I

Talking With Students
F school is in session, it is very valuable, in some ways more than the tour and information session, to spend time with current students. The best way to start a conversation is to approach students and introduce yourself, explain that you are a prospective student and ask them if they would be willing to answer some questions. The best place to find students in a relaxed mode is in the student center or, if the weather is good, outside. You can also ask Mrs. Pennell to provide you with names of LC alumni at an institution. Remember, all of these students have recently gone through the college search process, so they are likely to be very happy to help you. Use some of the questions outlined earlier in this section, or come up with your own to start the ball rolling. Every conversation will be diVerent, and you may even gain answers to questions that you hadn’t thought of asking. Remember: don’t just talk to one person or just one group of friends; “sample” the student community. That way you are more likely to get an overall sense of the types of people who attend the college. If you have an extracurricular activity that you are very interested in pursuing in college, you may want to locate the student in charge of that organization to ask about the size, strength and activities of the group.

C

Bulletin Boards and Newspapers

HECK out the bulletin boards in the student center, dorms and classroom buildings. They are a great way to get a sense of what is appealing and oVered to students in both academic (study abroad programs, internships, lectures) and extracurricular areas (community service opportunities, clubs and school organizations, parties, concerts and other social

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

15

events). You can also learn a lot about what issues are important to the school community through the school paper.

A

When Your Visit Is Over
S soon as you finish your visit, write down your impressions. You don’t have to publish this, so it doesn’t have to be perfect prose. Noting your impressions on paper before you confuse them with the next college on your trip or the one you saw two days earlier will help a great deal. You may think you’ll keep them all straight in your head, but you won’t. An added benefit of this is that you can refer to them, not only when finalizing your list of schools and completing application supplements in the fall, but also in the spring when it comes time to make your final decision about which school to attend. Finally, remember to send a thank you note if your visit included an interview.

As soon as you finish your visit, write down your impressions.

16

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

Senior Year Step-by-Step
June/July/august Register for October SAT Reasoning Test and November SAT Subject Tests*. Visit colleges and have interviews. Complete final draft of college essay. september Make appointment with your college counselor to discuss summer college visits and update college list. Ask teachers for recommendations. October Take SAT Reasoning Test *. Attend College Evening programs. november Meet with your college counselor to finalize your list. Take SAT Subject Test(s) *. October–January Complete yellow sheets. Work on applications. Don’t miss any deadlines! Keep up your studies - winter grades often are required by colleges. april Celebrate your success and choose a college! Let your college counselor know where you intend to enroll and if you wish to remain on any waitlists. Keep up your studies - your final transcript will be reviewed by the college to which you matriculate. May Be sure to respond to all colleges by May 1. * Please see Appendix B for more information on standardized testing.

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

17

Permission for SeniorYear College Visits
The school year is not the time to concentrate on college visits.

P

ERMISSION for senior-year college visits is limited to two days between the beginning of school and spring vacation and two days between the beginning of spring term and May 1 (the day that colleges require you to decide where you are going to matriculate). Juniors will not receive permission to miss school to visit colleges. It is important to keep this in mind when planning your college travel. The school year is not the time to concentrate on college visits. The bulk of these should be done during spring vacation of your junior year or the summer before your senior year. If you do need to visit a school in the fall, the two days should be used to visit schools in which you have become newly interested, possibly to visit a coach or to spend time with students at a school that was not in session when you first visited. If you are looking for a ride to a college or are willing to give a ride to someone when you visit a college, you should access the Ride Share folder in the College Guidance OVice email conference and post your request or oVer. If you plan to miss any school responsibilities (classes, athletics, rehearsals), there is a special permission form — a green college visit per — that you must fill out and have signed by your college counselor, as well as your adviser, dorm head (if you are a boarder and your per includes an overnight stay), the director of the work job program (if you will miss a responsiblity) and your dean. You should fill out your college permission at least three days in advance of the day you plan to be out of school, as it may take you a few days to get all the necessary signatures. While these forms are similar to the ones used in the dorms, they are not the same. You should use only the college permission form for college visits.

Students who have been admitted Early Decision to a college may not take a day off from school for a college visit.

Students who have been admitted early Decision to a college may NOt take a day off from school for a college visit. The purpose of a spring college visit is to help students decide which school they want to attend. A student applying ED has already made that decision. You may receive an invitation from the college to which you were admitted ED to attend a spring admissions program. The program is designed to convince accepted students to matriculate at that school, and therefore you do not need to attend. If you are interested in visiting your college, we suggest you do so during spring break.

18

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

Early Admissions Options:
Rolling, Early Decision and Early Action

A

LTHOUGH there is some common ground, every college has its own procedures and policies, as well as its own set of admission options. You should become familiar with several of the more frequently used and discussed of them: rolling admissions, Early Decision and Early Action. Rolling Admission: Large public universities such as Indiana University, Michigan and Wisconsin most often oVer rolling admission, although some private colleges also employ it. This means that students are admitted as applications are completed, or on a “rolling” basis. Once that college’s “window” for applications is open (usually sometime in mid-fall), they review completed files and begin accepting qualified candidates. If your application is among the stronger ones received, you could be admitted quickly. If the college receives applications from more qualified students, you might not get a response until later in this rolling period of reviewing applications. Consult your college counselor to determine when to submit your application to a school with rolling admission. He or she can advise you whether to apply early in the fall or to wait for the fall term grades and additional SAT scores to become available. Either way, you should submit an application by mid-December. The good news for you is that you might receive a favorable decision fairly early in the process. The bad news is that, unless you are a top applicant, you may not hear for some time, even though your application was on file near the beginning of the review period. In most cases, however, you will receive a response from a college with rolling admission before you hear from those with set application deadlines and reply dates. early Decision is oVered by many private colleges, as well as a few public institutions. With deadlines that fall as early as November 1, this admissions option should be approached with a good deal of planning and forethought. Early Decision programs are binding; you agree at the time of your application to matriculate at that school if you are admitted. In addition, you may submit one and only one early Decision application at a time. As you would expect, many colleges speak highly of Early Decision. These applicants represent a “captive audience;” if admitted, they are bound to matriculate at the school. For this reason, some colleges will admit Early Decision applicants in slightly greater numbers than they do regular decision candidates. What may not be as clear in what the colleges have to say about Early Decision is that applicant pools tend to be a bit more “crowded” in the early round. That is, the number of well-qualified or attractive applicants tends to be rather large, so even though the colleges may take a higher percentage of the pool, they often have a stronger group from which to choose. And, contrary to what many have heard, Early Decision candidates who are “deferred” to the regular pool are not necessarily admitted at a greater rate than those who simply apply regular decision. In other words, the colleges may not “like you better” because you applied early. If you can answer “yes” to the following questions, you may be a good candidate for Early Decision: — Is this the school, above all others, to which I am ready to commit? — Am I, as things stand now, the best possible candidate I can or will be? — Am I willing to commit to this institution without comparing my financial aid award with awards from other schools? If you are admitted Early Decision, you will not be granted permission to miss school for a college visit day in the spring.

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

19

it is your responsibility to check each college’s Early Decision/ Action policy carefully and consult your college counselor about your plans before submitting any applications. A small number of Early Decison and Early Action schools will not allow you to submit any other early applications.

early Action is another option that allows students to receive an early response to an application, but it is not binding. Even though you will receive a decision in the same way you would from a school with Early Decision, with few exceptions you will not have to respond to the college until the universal reply date of May 1. The applicant pools are highly competitive, the colleges generally oVer admission only to the top candidates, and there is no significant advantage to your candidacy in the regular decision pool should you be deferred in the Early Action round. In fact, gaining admission Early Action is often more diVicult than doing so Early Decision as the college doesn’t have the guarantee that the students they admit will matriculate. So they admit only the top candidates and then spend the rest of the admissions year trying to convince them to matriculate. One possible advantage in applying to an Early Action school is that, unlike Early Decision, you will not only have an acceptance to a college of great interest to you, you will also have the chance to explore your college options until May 1. Early Action is not binding, so some students choose to file more than one early application, either by applying to more than one Early Action college or by filing applications at one Early Decision and one or more Early Action schools. If you choose to do this, it is your responsibility to check each college’s Early Decision/ Action policy carefully and consult your college counselor about your plans before submitting any applications. A small number of early Decison and early Action schools will not allow you to submit any other early applications. NOTE: Sometimes a college will defer making a decision on a student’s application until it can be reviewed within the larger context of the regular applicant pool. More information about deferrals is available in the section, “The Letters have Arrived — Now What?”

2

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

What Do Colleges Want?

Y

OU’VE undergone the self-assessment, researched a group of colleges that could provide exciting opportunities for you and found a final group. The time has come to begin the self-presentation: assemble your applications, interview with schools of interest, refine your essays, make a “best of” tape of your performances (if appropriate), arrange to have your standardized testing sent, etc. While there are certainly many factors to consider in best representing yourself, with careful planning and attention to the details, this can be a managable process. Knowing what colleges seek in a candidate can give you a better sense of what to emphasize and what to expect. The best approach is to plan your strategies carefully and not to procrastinate. Make sure you have accurate and current records of your achievements, give yourself the time to focus on the essay(s) with care, and read through each college’s application so you are cognizant of all requirements and not rushed in fulfilling them. This is a time when it will be important to have regular contact with your college counselor to discuss your plans and to review your progress.

N

Are admissions oVicers human? Will they view me as a real person?
O one wants to be thought of as merely an assemblage of numbers and labels, and this holds true for both applicants and admissions oVicers. In oVices across the country, into the wee hours of the morning, these counselors are poring over applications very carefully. They will scrutinize curricula and grades, compare test scores with transcripts, evaluate essays for ability and content, read and interpret recommendations, and try to get a sense of applicants as more than just the papers in front of them.

O

Are all application requirements standardized?
NE can expect that the criteria listed below will be part of every admissions review. The importance of each criterion will, however, vary from one institution to another. For example, a smaller college will place greater importance on indicators of community presence (essay, extracurriculars, recommendations) when trying to assemble a new class than will a large university, which may focus more heavily on grades and testing. This is a generalization of course, but each institution has its own priorities. Your self-presentation should be equally complete for each application, but learning the nature of each prospective college’s priorities will allow you to place particular emphasis where it can be most eVective.

Exactly what will they consider? What is most important?
transcript: Without question, the academic record is the most important factor in the admissions process. This will be evaluated by the following criteria:
Without question, the academic record is the most important factor in the admissions process.

— Achievement in a well-balanced curriculum. Some institutions have very specific requirements of the number of years of study in given subject areas; others are more flexible. All colleges give foremost consideration to what admissions oVicers consider traditional core courses: English, math, science, social science, foreign language. They will also give consideration to achievement in other courses such as the arts, independent study projects and teaching assistantships. — The level of curricular demand in courses taken throughout high school in relation to all courses available (regular, advanced, Advanced Placement). Have you taken the

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

21

most challenging academic load appropriate for you throughout high school, including your senior year? — Sustained achievement or improvement over the high school years. — Comparison of academic record to pool of applicants. Self-representation: Second only to the transcript, your own voice is a strong indicator of your intellectual and community presence. — Essay(s): While some colleges spend more time reading your essays than others, even the speed-reader will look to see that an essay question is fully answered, that there are no glaring typos, and that you share an aspect of yourself with depth. — Interview: Find out whether an interview is required, recommended or unavailable. If possible, interview on campus to demonstrate your interest and to be better able to answer and ask questions with immediate reference and inspiration. Interviewers want to get a sense of your depth of thought, commitment to your chosen activities, interest in learning and in their college, and of how articulate you are in discussion. — Video/audio tapes of performance work, portfolios, auditions, tryouts. extracurriculars: Quality certainly wins over quantity in this case, and generally signs of commitment, well-roundedness, utilization of opportunities for personal development, and being a contributor are sought. Including school-related activities, local community involvement and summer activities, extracurriculars can be grouped broadly as: — Music, theater or visual arts — Athletics — Leadership activities/positions — Special interest clubs or organizations, independent projects, hobbies — Work experience, religious activities, commitment to community service. Miscellaneous: — The Secondary School Report: the letter of recommendation from your college counselor, which is accompanied by your transcript and the Loomis ChaVee profile — Teacher recommendations — Supplemental recommendations from non-academic or summer program teachers, clergy members, family friends, peers, etc. (Please discuss whether or not a supplemental recommendation is appropriate with your college counselor.) — Standardized test scores — Transcript of grades from summer course work — The quality of your overall presentation: depth, neatness, attention to detail, match — Legacy issues: children of alumni, siblings of current students.

22

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

Choosing Which Application to Use

I
You complete the application (available in the College Guidance Office and on the Internet at www. commonapp. org) once, then submit it with the appropriate application fee to each college where you plan to apply.

The College’s Own Application Form

F you attended the College Evening programs at Loomis ChaVee in your junior year and filled out cards requesting to be put on any college mailing lists, you will probably get application materials from those colleges. You can get applications for any additional colleges in which you are interested by either calling or writing the admission oVice of that school or, often, by going to its website. You may also be able to pick up an application when you visit the campus. Note that many colleges require applications to be submitted online. Make sure you are familiar with each school’s application requirements.

T

The Common Application

HE Common Application is a generic form accepted by over 3 colleges and universities. You complete the application (available in the College Guidance OVice and on the Internet at www.commonapp.org) once, then submit it with the appropriate application fee to each college where you plan to apply.

Many Common Application schools require you to complete a supplemental form. Supplements may be available through the Common Application website, through the college’s website, or directly from the college via mail. it is very important that you complete all requirements of a common Application supplement and review it with your college counselor.

A

Common Application vs. the College’s Own Application

question we are often asked is, “Don’t the colleges really prefer that I use their own application instead of the Common Application?” The answer is, “No.” Every year, at every school that participates in the Common Application program, all admissions oVicers who read applications must sign a contract agreeing to honor the Common Application as their own. Some schools do not even have another application; the Common Application is their only application. The colleges do want to know that you are truly interested in them. However, using their forms instead of the Common Application is not the most eVective way of showing them that. What does demonstrate your interest in the colleges, especially small, liberal arts schools such as many of those subscribing to the Common Application, is a visit to the campus and an interview. Good reason to use the Common Application: It saves time by reducing the number of applications you need to complete and allowing you to do a thorough job. Bad reason to use the Common Application: To submit additional applications at the eleventh hour to colleges that you have not properly researched.

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

23

Application Options
Common application
The Common Application is available in the College Guidance OVice or on the Internet at www.commonapp.org.

College Websites
Colleges post information (including links to their online applications) on their admissions sites. These pages will also have the most updated information about deadlines, forms to complete, and admission requirements.

24

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

Completing Your Applications

C
A T

OMPLETING the application does not have to be the dreaded event that so many people believe it to be. The trick is to not wait until the last minute and to break it up into smaller tasks. Most applications can be divided into four parts: teacher recommendations, the school report, standardized testing, and your application.

Your Application:
S noted previously, most applications are now submitted online. We strongly recommend you print our a copy of your completed application before submitting it.

Basic Information Section

HIS is the easiest section to complete and shouldn’t take long. Much of the information should be straightforward (name, address, high school, parents’ names). You might have to do a bit more digging for other facts (parents’ colleges, previous high school’s zip code, SAT dates).

A

Extracurricular Activities and Work Experience
GAIN, this section is pretty straightforward — that is, you know what you’ve done. The key to this section is deciding how you’re going to present your information. Sit down, take some time to think about all that you do. You may have a ready list at your fingertips or you may groan and say, “I don’t do anything! I don’t participate on an athletic team, and I don’t belong to any clubs.” STOP! This does not mean you don’t do anything; it just means that you don’t do those things. So the question is, “How do you spend your time?” Do you read a lot, participate in 4-H or skateboard every free minute of your life? Once you have your list of activities, you need to think about the best way to present them: Chart format: Most applications have a chart that you can fill out listing your activities, which years you participated in them, how many hours a week you were involved, any leadership positions you may have held and whether you are interested in continuing these activities in college. For work experience, they want to know what you did, who employed you, how many hours a week you worked and the dates of your employment. Resumé format: You may feel, however, that you are not able to say all that you want to about one or more of your experiences in a chart format. In that case, you might want to try writing up your activities, or a certain portion of your list, in an additional resumé or activities list. This allows you to organize the information any way you want as well as to write about it in greater detail. Maybe you want to list each aspect of your work in the theater (tech, acting, directing), outlining in each area your various roles or responsibilities. Or maybe you’ve played soccer since you were four, first on the Pee Wee squad, then Tiny Kickers, then a summer state team (for which you were captain) and four years on the Loomis ChaVee varsity team (most improved freshman year and MVP as a junior). Or you started a skateboarding club at Loomis ChaVee, built your own skateboard, read five diVerent skateboarding magazines, wrote a paper for philosophy class on the Zen of skateboarding, and recently won a skateboarding competiLoomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

25

Colleges are looking to see that you are passionate about something, that you are willing to get excited about an activity and commit yourself to it.

tion. Note: if a college includes an extracurricular chart as part of its application, you should complete it even if you provide an additional resumé. This is especially true of the common Application.

Things to remember about extracurriculars:

— Don’t underestimate your activities or accomplishments. For most people, it is diVicult and uncomfortable to talk about themselves. They think it sounds like bragging. You have to understand, when it comes to college applications, it isn’t bragging — it’s informing. If you don’t paint a picture, and as completely as possible, the admissions committee will not thoroughly understand who you are. — Don’t exaggerate either. Don’t try to make what you do seem like more than it is. The admissions counselors have read many, many applications and can sense those kinds of distortions easily. — Finally, it doesn’t matter what you do in your spare time, as long as you do something. Colleges are looking to see that you are passionate about something, that you are willing to get excited about an activity and commit yourself to it. So tell them about your flower arranging, your frog collection or your interest in worm holes and space travel. They really are interested.

Don’t write what you think they want to hear, write what you want to say.

T

The Essay
HE essay is one of the few pieces of the application that gives the admissions committee a sense of your personality. It should be taken seriously. You should put some thought and quality time into completing it and not wait until the last minute. At the same time, showing it to so many people and changing it so much that there is nothing left of you in it isn’t constructive either. The most important thing to remember when writing your essays is: don’t write what you think they want to hear; write what you want to say. (Really, this will appeal to them, and you will enjoy your writing more.) Try to consider aspects of yourself that are not conveyed through other parts of the application.

some additional pointers about the essay:
— There is no perfect essay topic. Any topic, written about with style and insight, will be appealing. Throughout the process, keep asking yourself, “Am I giving them a sense of who I am, what I value, my attitudes, my humor? Am I telling them something beyond what they are getting from the rest of my application? Why am I telling them this?” For example, don’t just reiterate part of your list of extracurricular activities or simply give an example. Explain why that first season on the tennis team was so significant for you; i.e., through succeeding in tennis, you developed the confidence that has since helped you in your academic work, particularly a diVicult course you are taking senior year. Use the event that you describe as a mechanism by which you show them who you are and what you believe and value. — Respond to the question; you may be given a choice of questions, but be sure you are responsive to the one you have chosen. Typical questions fall into three categories: 1. The “you” question: “Describe a significant interest or experience.” “How have you grown or developed?” “Describe the greatest challenge you have had to face.” 2. The “why us?” question: “Why have you chosen college X?” 3. The creative question: “What do you think has been the most important political or social movement of the twentieth century, and how has it aVected you?” “Do you have heroes? Explain.” “You have been asked to speak at your high school graduation; what will you say?” “What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?” “If you could invent anything, what would you create?”

26

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

Write with care and precision and do several drafts. Sloppy spelling, grammar and/or typographical errors will work against you.

— Choose your subject matter with care. Colleges want the essay to tell them more about you than what simple biographical information provides. And the fact is, no matter what your topic is, the essay will reveal more about you than you may realize: preferences, values, mental processes, intelligence and insight, creativity, sense of humor, depth of knowledge. — Write with care and precision and do several drafts. Your essay should reflect your powers of persuasion, your personal style, your mastery of standard written English. Bring everything you have learned at Loomis ChaVee to bear. — Proofread. Sloppy spelling, grammar and/or typographical errors will work against you. — Get at least one adult—a teacher, college counselor, adviser, parent—to read your essays. And don’t wait until the last minute. People will be reluctant to oVer suggestions if you are standing by with the stamped envelope on your way to the mailbox.

some reasons you may have trouble writing your essays:
Think of your audience this way: it’s an old family friend who is interested in you but has been out of touch for a while and needs to be brought up to date on what’s important to you these days.

— because you fail to see the parallels between academic and personal writing. “Tell us about yourself” seems like new territory, but if a teacher were to ask you to write about a significant event in the life of Jay Gatsby, you wouldn’t have any trouble. So, as you think about your essay, try to see yourself as a text; try to be your own oVicial biographer. — because you see the essay as requiring a kind of thinking you have never done before, but you have; people are always asking you to explain yourself. — because you find it diVicult to believe that anything that qualifies as “significant” has ever happened to you. After all, you are only 17- or 18-years-old. “Significant” can mean anything that has been important in your life. — because it’s diVicult to be objective about the life that you’re right in the middle of; you might choose instead to write about something from which you have enough distance to have more perspective. — because you aren’t sure who the audience is. Think of your audience this way: it’s an old family friend who is interested in you but has been out of touch for a while and needs to be brought up to date on what’s important to you these days.

W

Reporting School Violations to Your Colleges

E encourage and expect students to answer questions from colleges about their disciplinary history honestly. Depending on an individual college’s stipulations, students may be required to notify colleges to which they apply (or have applied to) of Level II disciplinary infractions. It is important to note, however, that Level II offenses do not result in probation or suspension. Therefore, students who have been placed on Level II and are asked if they have ever incurred a disciplinary response that resulted in probation or suspensions may answer “no;” students posed that same question who have appeared before the Disciplinary Committee must answer “yes.” In situations where the college asks about discipline without qualification or limitation to probation, suspension, etc., students who had a Level II violation must respond “yes.” Similarly, when asked about having violated school rules in a certain area of conduct (i.e. plagiarism or violence toward others), or having a grade reduced as a result of academic dishonesty or plagiarism, the student must answer “yes” if he or she has had a Level II violation for that specific reason. The College Office will also notify colleges about a student’s disciplinary history based on these specifications. In all cases, students should consult with their college counselor about the reporting of discipline to colleges.

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

27

If your winter midterm grades are strong, you should send them on to your colleges. Contact the College Guidance Office to send your winter midterms. If you are not sure if they should go, discuss this with your college counselor.

A

Supplementary Materials After You Have Applied
fter completing your application, you may find that you have additional information that you want the admissions committees to consider.

— Possibly you wrote an outstanding term paper, earned a role in a play, committed a lot of time to a volunteer project or received an award for your participation on an athletic team. You can send them a note or email informing them of this new information along with a copy of your accomplishment, if appropriate. — If your winter midterm grades are strong, you should send them on to your colleges. Contact the College Guidance OVice to send your winter midterms. If you are not sure if they should go, discuss this with your college counselor.

Other Parts:

T

school Report (or, Counselor Recommendation)
HE school report is written by your college counselor or one of a handful of faculty members who have been trained to write these reports. (If written by a teacher, it will be reviewed and edited by your college counselor.) It is meant to give an overview of your experience at Loomis ChaVee. We will describe what you are like as a student and member of the school community by using quotes from your parents, adviser, teachers and coaches, as well as music, theater and community service directors. This report will automatically be sent to all of the colleges to which you apply, provided you have submitted Yellow Sheets to the College Guidance OVice. (See “Transcripts and Yellow Sheets” on the following page.)

W
It is very important that you ask your teachers if they would be willing to write a recommendation for you, not tell them that they are going to do so.They appreciate being asked in a polite way and thanked when they have finished.

secondary school Report Form

E send our own Loomis ChaVee secondary school report form along with your transcript and school report. You need only bring into the College Guidance OVice the college’s own form if it includes a confidentiality waiver that you must sign. If you have questions about the waiver, speak to your college counselor.

T

Teacher Recommendations
HE first step is to decide who would be the best teacher(s) to write on your behalf. Generally, we suggest that you ask two teachers to write recommendations. Usually they should be people who have taught you in your junior or senior year. You should discuss your choices with your college counselor either in the spring of the junior year, or in the first meeting of the senior year. Your counselor should know whom you’ve chosen and can help if you are having trouble deciding. If you have a close relationship with an adviser, coach, or other member of the school community who is not a teacher in an academic subject, you may ask that person to forward thoughts to your college counselor to use in your school report. Although colleges generally are not interested in receiving separate recommendations from these individuals, your college counselor may find their insight useful for presenting a complete perspective of your contribution to Loomis ChaVee. NOTE: Do not think that asking many teachers to write for you instead of two will spread out the work involved. Teachers generally write one recommendation and either submit it to the College OVice or attach a copy of it to each of the forms you give them. Therefore, it is not an imposition to expect them to send letters out to all of your schools. Once you have decided who you would like to write on your behalf, you need to ask them if they are willing to do so. It is very important that you ask your teachers if they would be willing to write a recommendation for you, and not tell them that they need to do so. Writing recom-

28

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

mendations is additional work for teachers, and, while they are normally happy to help, they appreciate being asked in a polite way and thanked when they have finished. Teachers have been known to refuse to write recommendations when not asked in a polite, thoughtful way, preferably face to face. You should plan to ask your teachers for a letter of recommendation as early as possible. Students who plan to apply to an early admission program should ask their teachers soon after school begins in the fall. Otherwise, students should ask their teachers by the end of the fall term. Recommendations take time to write, and your teachers may ask you to provide them with information such as a résumé to help them complete the task. If you know that you would like to use one of your junior-year teachers as a reference, you may wish to ask them to write for you before summer break.
The College Office prefers to mail teacher recommendations with the packet we send to colleges on your behalf. The teacher should deliver to the College Office a formatted and signed original on plain, white paper.

Once your teachers have agreed to write your recommendations, you need to clarify how the teacher plans to submit the recommendation. The College OVice prefers to mail teacher recommendations with the packet we send to colleges on your behalf. The teacher should deliver to the College OVice a formatted and signed original on plain, white paper. If any teachers prefer to mail the recommendation directly to the colleges, you should provide them with the following: — an envelope for each college. Each should have a stamp on it, along with the correct, complete admissions oVice address, and the teacher’s name and The Loomis ChaVee School/Windsor CT o6o95 as the return address. Regardless of the way the letters are submitted, it is your responsibility to check with each admissions oVice after the deadline to be sure it has received all documents. NOTE: As with the school report form, you do not need to give your teacher the college’s recommendation form unless it includes a confidentiality waiver. — a list of your schools. Put your name at the top of the page. List all the schools where your teachers should send recommendations. Also include the date that each recommendation is due. And it is nice if you also add a sincere “thank you” to the note. NOTE: If a school does not require recommendations and does not include a form, it is still a good idea to have the recommendations sent (unless the application instructions specifically say not to send supplemental information). If you have any additional questions about teacher recommendations, contact your college counselor.

S

peer Recommendations
OME colleges require a peer recommendation. If you wish to submit a peer recommendation to additional colleges, you may use a form available in the College OVice. Your friend may also submit his or her recommendation to the College OVice to be included as a part of your oVicial School Report packet.

Transcripts and Yellow sheets
Please read the following carefully. It is very important.

T

HE College Guidance OVice will send all your supporting materials (transcript, school profile, school report and any teacher recommendations we have on file), but it is your responsibility to tell us where and when you are applying. There is a form to do this available in the College Guidance OVice; we call it the “Yellow Sheet” (see sample in Appendix D). The following is important to remember: — You must fill out a Yellow Sheet for each of the schools to which you plan to apply.
Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

29

You must fill out a Yellow Sheet for each of the schools to which you plan to apply at least three weeks before the application deadline.

— You must complete and submit the Yellow Sheet at least three weeks before the application deadline. Because of winter break, Yellow Sheets with January deadlines must be submitted on specific dates: Yellow Sheets for January 1 deadlines must be received by December 1; Yellow Sheets for January 15 deadlines must be received by December 15. — Some colleges oVer rolling admission. You must indicate on your yellow sheet the date you want your materials mailed to a college with rolling admission. Rolling admission schools have a final deadline after which they will not accept applications. That is the date that is in the College Guidance OVice computer. If you do not give us an alternate deadline, we will assume that you do not want your materials to go out until the final deadline. (Sometimes these are in the late spring or even the summer.) the exception: A few colleges explicitly state that they require all parts of an application (your part, the transcript and school report, and the teacher recommendations) to be submitted in one envelope. If a school requires everything mailed together, you should submit your part of the application (completed and with the application fee and any required essays) to the College Guidance OVice five days before the deadline. We will make sure all materials are mailed by the deadline. Remember, we will still need the Yellow Sheet for that school three weeks before the deadline.

I

standardized Test scores

F not well planned, this process can cost you a good deal of money. Each student’s situation and each college’s requirements are diVerent. To plan what scores to send where and when, you will want to consult with your college counselor in the fall of your senior year.

B

The key is to wait until all testing is complete before sending your scores.
Y then, you should have a final list of your colleges, and you can make one request to have your testing sent to all your colleges. An exception to this would be any application due prior to your final testing (early action and/or early decision). See Appendix C for instructions on how to send scores to colleges.

D

What if a college indicates that some of your materials have not arrived?
on’t panic! Here’s how the process works: As soon as your part of the application is received at a college, a memo is generated that lists the parts of the application that are not yet recorded as having been received. Even if your part comes in before the deadline, they don’t wait until after the deadline to see what else comes in, nor do they process the huge amount of mail that arrives around the deadline before sending you the notice. So, very often the piece of your application that they say is missing has actually been received. What should you do if you get such a notice from a school? Contact the college and ask them to check your file to see if the missing material has been received. They may tell you that they are still going through the mail. If so, ask when you should call back to check on the completeness of the application. If they say that they have opened all the mail and they are still missing the material, contact the person/organization who was to send the material (teacher, College Guidance OVice, College Board or ACT testing service) and ask to have the material sent again.

W

application Fee

HILE some application fees are waived if the application is completed and sent online, most colleges require the payment of an application fee for the application to be processed and a decision to be rendered. If you are on substantial financial aid at Loomis ChaVee (your college counselor will notify you if you qualify), you may submit a fee waiver letter with your application in lieu of the fee. Fee waiver letters are available to eligible students with at least a days notice from the College OVice. You will pick up the waivers from the College OVice and

3

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

include them with your applications.

A

Midyear Report Form vs. Winter Midterm Grades

number of colleges request midyear grades and provide a Midyear Report Form for sending them. They do so because many high schools are on a semester system, and when students send in their applications, grades for the first semester are not yet available. Because Loomis is on a trimester system, fall grades are already on the transcripts when they are sent to colleges. Therefore we don’t need to complete the Midyear Report Form. We send a letter each year to the colleges reminding them that we are on a trimester system. When colleges ask for the Midyear Report Form, they are not asking for winter midterm grades. However, if students would like the colleges to which they are applying to see those grades, they should contact the College Guidance OVice and request that they be sent.

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

31

W

Financial Aid
The College Guidance OVice will do all it can to assist you with general financial aid information; however, the most important means of understanding and navigating the process is direct contact with the financial aid oVices of each institution to which you are applying. Deadlines and specific requirements vary from one institution to another. Be a self-advocate. Keep a chart of the deadlines and requirements and make notes of your conversations with each financial aid oVice.

ITH annual college tuition continuing to rise faster than the rate of inflation, more and more families view financial assistance as a necessary component of a college education. The best advice is for families to be informed about the financial aid process — to be familiar with the forms, procedures, terms and deadlines and to comply with each college’s requirements.

F

What Comprises a Financial Aid Package?

INANCIAL aid appears in a number of forms: loans, work study (campus job) and institutional, federal or state grants. Financial aid packages will consist of any combination of the three, almost always beginning with some form of a loan, so the typical financial aid recipient graduates from college with several thousand dollars of debt. Clearly, the greatest variety comes in the form of grant money, and this can be based on need (the diVerence between a college’s cost and what a family can contribute) or merit (unusual ability academically, athletically, etc.). Grants and scholarships are available from the federal government, state governments, the colleges themselves and a vast array of private organizations. NOTE: all male students age 18 and older must be in compliance with the Military Selective Service Act to be eligible to receive any federally-sponsored financial aid.

In order to be eligible for any form of need based financial aid, every college applicant is required to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

I

What Steps are Involved in the Financial Aid Application Process?

N order to be eligible for any form of financial aid, every college applicant is required to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The federal government establishes guidelines, policies and procedures for the determination of what all college students and their families can aVord to pay for their education in a given year. This determination is always made from information provided on the FAFSA as well as student and family income tax returns and, for a number of colleges, from an additional application form, usually the CSS PROFILE or occasionally a college’s supplemental form. Examine each college’s financial aid brochure to determine which forms or data, if any, they require in addition to the FAFSA, as well as the deadlines by which additional information must be submitted.

T

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
HIS form is required by all colleges, typically by February 1. You may complete the FAFSA on-line at www.fafsa.ed.gov. It is important to complete this form as quickly as possible after January 1 so that, if any additional information is required after initially submitting the application, there is time to submit that data before the colleges’ financial aid application deadline. You may use estimated from last year’s taxes, if necessary, in order to complete the FAFSA by the college’s deadline. Once the FAFSA has been processed,

32

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

you will receive the Student Aid Report (SAR). Receipt of the SAR is your indication that the FAFSA process is complete; the colleges to which you’ve applied can now act upon the information they’ve received.

M

CSS PROFILE

ORE than 600 colleges, universities and scholarship programs use the CSS PROFILE to supplement information in the determination of non-federal aid. Registration for the PROFILE can be completed as early as late September and is initiated through online registration at profileonline.collegeboard.com. The registration asks you to indicate the schools to which you will be applying; the PROFILE application will then be designed to answer the questions those institutions have designated. While the PROFILE Registration Guide includes a list of participating colleges, universities and organizations, it is still best to consult each institution directly to determine their exact requirements.

O

DiVerences Between the Two Applications

THER than the timing of availability, the PROFILE allows colleges to ask more specific and sometimes more comprehensive questions than does the FAFSA. This can contribute to a separate formula being used by the colleges in addition to the “federal methodology” embodied in the FAFSA. Referred to commonly as “institutional methodology,” typical diVerences in the determination of need through the use of the CSS PROFILE or an institution’s own form include the consideration of home equity, a minimum expected student contribution calculated into the family’s ability to pay, and also a broader consideration of family circumstances such as elementary and secondary school tuition payments, medical expenses or other extenuating circumstances.

The majority of all college students need and receive some form of financial aid.

D

Some General Information, Things to Expect and Things to Watch Out for
on’t let the price tag scare you away from applying! Most colleges do oVer financial aid; ask about average financial aid awards to get a sense of how significant their aid program is. Don’t hesitate to pursue financial aid and funds for which you may qualify.

The majority of all college students need and receive some form of financial aid. College financial aid oVicers assess your financial aid forms and application to determine your “demonstrated need”—the diVerence between the college’s cost and what you can aVord. The more carefully you engage in the application process and satisfy all requirements by the given deadlines, the more likely you are to receive a financial aid package that will ensure the feasibility of accepting an oVer of admission. A relatively small number of institutions employ a “need-blind” admissions policy, which means there is no correlation between admissions decisions and a family’s financial need. Some are colleges are committed to meeting 1oo% of demonstrated need in their financial aid packaging. At the same time, others are “need sensitive,” having to make some admissions decisions while being constrained by a limited financial aid budget. Other colleges will leave a gap between the demonstrated need and what they oVer. If a school’s policy is not stated clearly, ask. A few colleges utilize the questionable practice of decreasing their financial aid awards after a student’s first year, sometimes significantly. It is entirely reasonable to ask a financial aid oVicer if their financial aid packages are consistent from year to year and whether they are based on the same criteria in determining a family’s demonstrated need. International students often find limitations on the availability of financial aid. Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible for federal and state programs, but international students can be eligible to apply for institutional or private grants, scholarships and loans. This is a question to

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

33

ask of an admissions oVicer early in the process if you are an international student and financial aid is going to be a significant factor in determining where to attend college. Be sure to speak with your college counselor about shaping a college list that includes those select institutions with substantial financial aid for international students. There are a number of resources available to you in addition to the College Guidance staV. Family Connection contains links to these and other financial aid websites. Additional information and reference books are on file in the College Guidance OVice and in the College Resource Room. Remember that college financial aid oVicers can share the most current information relevant to their specific institution. Listed below are some useful Internet sites for exploring and understanding the various sources of financial aid, and for conducting an extensive scholarship search.

Financial Aid and Scholarship Links
financial Aid Applications: FAFSA PROFILE Scholarship Searches: FinAid FastWeb CollegeBoard http://www.finaid.org/ http://fastweb.com/ http://www.collegeboard.com http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ http://profileonline.collegeboard.com/index.jsp

34

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

Your future happiness and success do not hinge upon where you go to college, but rather on what you do once you are there.

B

Waiting

Y the end of January, you will probably have completed and mailed all your applications. The college application process has been a significant part of your life for the previous six months, and you may ask yourself as you put the last application in the mailbox, “What do I do now?” What you should not do is worry, stress or fret. This can be the most diVicult time in the process, because the applications are out of your hands and the decisions are out of your control. There comes a time when you have done all you can do, and you have to let go and let the people who are going to make the decisions do so. As you wait for your application decisions, it is also important to remember that your worth as an individual does not change one bit because you do or do not get into College X (or Y or Z). That will be hard to remember as you experience the exhilaration of admission or the disappointment of denial, but it is true nonetheless. The qualities of character and spirit that have carried you this far are neither enhanced nor diminished by complex decisions reached by distant admissions committees attempting to choose relatively few people from among many highly qualified applicants. Likewise, your future happiness and success do not hinge upon where you go to college, but rather on what you do once you are there. These observations may seem trite or irrelevant during this emotional time, but we hope you will reflect on them as events unfold.

Your admission to college is contingent on continued good academic standing throughout your senior year.

The one thing that you can do at this point (and that will also help you keep your energy focused positively) is to concentrate on your academic work. You should know that your winter grades may be used in the review of your application. Your admission to college is contingent on continued good academic standing throughout your senior year. We will mail a copy of your final transcript, which will include your spring term grades, to the college you have chosen to attend, and it will be reviewed to make sure that you have maintained the good academic standing on which your oVer of admission was based. If the college feels your work has dropped significantly, it can require that you begin your college career on academic probation or it may even rescind its offer of admission.

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

35

The Letters Have Arrived — Now What?

M
F

ANY students find that they get to know their local postal worker on a much deeper level in March and April of their senior year. Perhaps there should be an additional chapter on how to avoid accosting them with questions such as “Is it here yet?” “Is it a fat envelope or a thin one?” “Are you sure it wasn’t given to a neighbor?” So much eVort and anxiety is devoted to the question of whether or not one will be admitted to college that many people forget that the process of choosing what to do with acceptances, or wait lists, can be just as challenging. Granted, it is a pleasant dilemma, having to choose among a number of attractive options, but it is a dilemma nonetheless, and one that can be exacerbated when diVering financial aid awards come into play.

Choices, Choices, Choices …
IRST, relax, take a deep breath and congratulate yourself! You are likely in a position to make the decision between a number of very exciting options. If you have done your research throughout the process, made visits and asked family, friends, teachers and counselors many questions, you are choosing from a group of schools, all of which are good matches for you. Remember that all decisions have positives and negatives; weigh out those factors most important to you, listen to the reasons delineated in such comparisons and then follow your instincts. Refer to the notes you made and impressions you were given during the year. What stands out most when considering academic and extracurricular programs, housing, location and community? Make use of all the resources still available to you. This can be a time when the opinions of family and friends create conflict. An objective listener will be all the more important. Your college counselor can be a resource to help you sort through all of the information you’ve gathered but won’t tell you where to go to school. That must be your choice. You may need to visit or re-visit one or two schools to be certain of your impressions. Very often the students who are scrambling to make a final decision and are having the most diVicult time of doing so are those who left too many of their college visits until the last minute (i.e., late April). Keep in mind that seniors are only allowed to miss two class days in the spring for college visits. Also, students admitted to a college Early Decision may not miss school to visit it in the spring.

Seniors are only allowed to miss two class days in the spring for college visits.

C

What does it mean to be placed on a waiting list?
OLLEGES often receive many more qualified and desirable applicants than they can possibly admit outright. Because they want to hold on to the possibility of enrolling some of those students in a second round, they create a waiting list of students to whom they can oVer admission if space becomes available. There is no question that you should choose from one of the colleges to which you’ve been oVered admission. You can, however, simultaneously choose to accept a place on a waitlist. Recognize that there are no guarantees; some colleges oVer admission to none of these students, others to a sizable group. Given such ambiguity, you must focus on the colleges to which you’ve been admitted and send in your matriculation deposit by the deadline (May 1). Should you eventually be oVered admission from a waitlist, and choose to accept the oVer, you will likely lose that deposit.

36

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

What to do if you are deferred or placed on a waiting list

I

Write a letter
F you are still interested in the college, you should write a letter addressed to the Director of Admissions or the person who signed your letter and express your continued interest in the school. If the school continues to be your first choice, you should indicate so in the letter. If you have any additional news of interest to report, you should include it in the letter. This may include: updated grades (if your grades have improved, you will want to draw attention to your progress), an appointment of team captain or other leadership position, a role in a play, a successful athletic season, involvement in a community service project, etc. There are other things you may want to do, if appropriate. Check with your college counselor to plan the best strategy.

I I
Because the configuration of loans, work study and/or grants can vary significantly, pay careful attention to the exact breakdown of each financial aid package.

submit additional work
F you are particularly proud of a piece of academic writing, art or other assignment that you feel represents your best work, you may want to send it to your colleges with a notation in your letter explaning the assignment. Also include the reason why you particularly enjoyed the work or why and how its subject matter relates to your intended area(s) of study at that college (if appropriate). N some cases, it may be appropriate to send an additional teacher recommendation. However, do not send another teacher recommendation just to send one; it will not add anything to your file, and it will place an unnecessary additional demand on your teacher. If, however, you have done particularly strong work in a course that represents work done at a higher level than your previous work (either in general or in that subject area) it may be appropriate to ask that teacher to write an additional recommendation. Please ask your college counselor’s opinion before asking an additional teacher for a recommendation. If you do ask a teacher to send one, indicate in your letter to the college that one is being sent along with the name of the teacher sending it.

Consider an additional teacher recommendation

Talk to your college counselor
There may be additional things you can do that are appropriate for you specifically. Your college counselor can help you to determine attributes to accentuate in your application.

I

How can financial aid aVect decisions?
F you qualify for financial assistance, you will need to compare the financial aid packages oVered by each school. Because the configuration of loans, work study and/or grants can vary significantly, pay careful attention to the exact breakdown of each package. Estimate how much debt you will incur by the time you graduate and be realistic about how much you can borrow. Some colleges utilize a significant percentage of loans in meeting your demonstrated need, others include only federally subsidized loans (StaVord or Perkins, for example, where interest does not accrue until six months after a student has left college), and some will emphasize grant money and scholarships. Unfortunately, more colleges will employ the first method, so great care should be given to the review of loans and the resulting debt. If you have not yet received a financial aid oVer from a school to which you’ve been admitted, call that institution’s financial aid oVice immediately. Should there be unavoidable

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

37

Send in your deposit to one — and only one — college by May 1.

delays in receiving financial aid information that will influence your decision, and you need more time, call each of the schools where you have been accepted, explain the situation, and request an extension of the response deadline. There are no guarantees that they can grant such a request, but this may be your best means of comparing your options. Please consult with your college counselor if you are having any difficulties. If you are in need of financial aid and are waitlisted, be aware that most colleges have extremely limited or no financial aid available to students placed on their waitlists. There may be the opportunity to be on a financial aid waitlist as well, but funds may not become available, even if a place in the entering class does.

I
Remember to keep studying! A college can withdraw its offer of admission if your academic performance declines.

Okay, I’ve decided where I’m going to college, so what’s next?
T is imperative that you decide where you want to attend and mail your matriculation deposit no later than May 1, the Universal Candidate Reply Deadline. If you do not send your deposit by that date, you will likely lose your spot at that school. It is also important to understand that you cannot double deposit, or indicate to more than one college that you plan to matriculate. If any of the schools involved discover that you have double deposited, you may lose your oVer of admission to those schools. If you deposit at one school and are then admitted oV the wait list at another school after May 1, you may deposit at the second school. However, you must immediately contact the first school and indicate that you no longer plan to attend. You will likely lose your deposit to that first school. Once your decision is made, you should inform your college counselor. You should also inform all the other colleges that accepted you of your decision. This should generally be done in writing, though each college will make clear in their acceptance letter or accompanying information how best to respond. This letter can include thanks for the time and energy spent in considering your application, and, if you made a noteworthy connection with a member of the staV, a note to that individual would certainly be appreciated. Remember to keep studying! A college can withdraw its oVer of admission if your academic performance declines.

W D

Final Transcript to College of Matriculation
E will automatically send a transcript to the college to which you have indicated you are matriculating. Although colleges give you a form to send with the final transcript, we have our own form. It is unnecessary to give us the college’s form. Please note: We will not send a transcript to more than one college.

Deferred Enrollment

EFERRALS of a semester or year are designed to provide accepted students the opportunity to hold a spot at a college while they explore an interim program between high school and college. A request for a deferred enrollment should be made prior to or at the same time as the enrollment deposit is due. Most colleges do not allow deferred students to enroll full time at another institution; the opportunity is designed for a non-academic programs or employment. Find out the current policies and conditions for deferred entrance, and be sure to follow all instructions so as to ensure your enrollment at a later date. Financial aid awards do not carry over to the deferred enrollment date. You will have to reapply for financial aid if you are granted a year’s deferral and will need to adhere to all of

38

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

the same deadlines for financial aid applications. Conditions vary for those who defer for a semester. Be sure to ask the college about its policies.

I

Alternative Programs
NCREASINGLY, students have become interested in taking a “year oV” from school to pursue a variety of opportunities. Their reasons for doing so are as varied as the programs available and, for many students, the experiences lead to a more comfortable yet energized transition to college. For most, this is really a “year on,” done to incorporate a diVerent approach to learning and unique experiences. Let’s dispel a myth: these programs are not encouraged or condoned as an alternative to going to college altogether. Loomis ChaVee students interested in an interim year or semester should first undergo the full college application process. The period in which most applications for interim programs are sought is from early February on, after most college applications have been submitted, and this is a time when most seniors have the best sense of what their true interests and needs are. Students who intend to undertake an interim program must request a deferral of their enrollment for a semester or a year. Most colleges will require a deposit to hold a place in the class. Like the self-evaluation required in choosing colleges, the choice of an interim program must fit the individual student. There are hundreds of such programs that send brochures, videos and/or representatives to Loomis ChaVee, and there is information in the College Resource Room that details information and telephone numbers for many of them. There are even independent counselors who specifically help students choose and coordinate multiple programs in a given time frame. And Loomis ChaVee is a member school of the internet searchable database www.whereareyouheaded.com (user name: Loomis; password: 2oo2lcs). Interim programs are not for everyone, but for an interested student they provide opportunities for personal maturation and experiential learning.

Loomis Chaffee students interested in an interim year or semester should first undergo the full college application process.

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

39

Appendices
APPENDIX A: Questions to Ask When Choosing a College APPENDIX B: Standardized Testing APPENDIX C: SAT: Preparing, Registering, Taking & Reporting APPENDIX D: College OVice Yellow Sheet and Application Checklist

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

4

Appendix

A

Questions To Ask When Choosing A College
Academic

W

evaluating Your high school Transcript
HILE most colleges do not have grade or testing cut oV points, they do publish ranges in which most of the accepted students will fall. You should discuss with your college counselor the kind of academic record you have compiled; you may also want to request a copy of your transcript to reference as you consider colleges of interest and their criteria for admissions. Try to look at your transcript as an objective observer would see it. Do your grades and standardized test scores correspond? How would you explain any discrepancies there? Have outside circumstances aVected your academic performance? The answers to these questions will help you in choosing colleges where you will be successful academically and where your chances of admissions are realistic.

K

Major
NOWING the subject(s) you will study in depth in college can help you choose the schools to which you will apply. Colleges can have from 2o to over 1oo majors, and you may choose a major that you currently know nothing about. You can begin by considering which subjects you have enjoyed most at Loomis ChaVee. Ask yourself what you like to work on or learn about that might become the central interest of your college work: abstract ideas, real people and real social problems, the remote past, the next hundred years, foreign cultures, scientific or geographical discoveries?

W

how do You Learn?

HAT methods or styles of teaching engage your interests and eVort the most? Are you looking for a traditional or an innovative intellectual atmosphere? Do you need a highly structured academic framework to work eVectively or do you prefer a curriculum that allows for independent projects or has no requirements at all? How important is it to have dialogue with your professors? At smaller schools, you might enjoy more personal attention and better access to equipment and facilities. You may find it easier to get involved in activities outside of class. You would probably have more contact with professors and be more likely to get into the courses you want to take. Larger schools usually oVer many courses in a wide variety of fields. Class sizes probably will be larger, especially lecture courses, and may be taught by teaching assistants/graduate students. Facilities and equipment are likely to be extensive, but used by many people. A final consideration is where you want to be in relation to your peers academically. What degree of academic challenge is best for you? What balance of study, social life, and activities do you prefer? How well do you respond to academic competition? How important is it for you to perform near the top of your college class? Is it more important to be surrounded by very capable and inquiring students even if they receive better grades than you? Would it concern you to be among the more challenged students in your class?

D

Liberal arts or specialized program

EPENDING on your choice of majors, one may be more appropriate for you than the other. A liberal arts and sciences education oVers majors in the core academic subjects, such as English, biology, psychology, anthropology, art history, etc., but can also oVer students the
Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook Appendix

A

Appendix

A

freedom to sample diVerent courses/disciplines. You can study humanities, arts, languages, and the natural and social sciences and, in most cases, you won’t need to declare a major for two years. The liberal arts curriculum emphasizes creative and flexible thinking, persuasive speaking and writing, and creative reasoning and complex problem-solving skills. A liberal arts education will help you understand the world around you and develop your interests, talents, and values. If you enjoy a variety of subjects and want to investigate them further, you should consider a liberal arts college. Unlike most liberal arts colleges, technical schools or large universities oVer the option of majoring in a specialized program (e.g. engineering, journalism, architecture, graphic design). These programs often narrow your field of courses from the very beginning and concentrate on training you in a particular skill area. If you are confident in your career choice, you may want to consider such a program. While these are general descriptions of liberal arts colleges and of larger universities and/or technical schools, there is crossover. There are some liberal arts colleges that have outstanding majors in business and engineering, and there are some major universities which are tremendously strong in English or history. You might also investigate core requirements and distribution requirements, and the ease with which you can take classes in other colleges/ departments within a university.

I

Personal
N addition to considering the academic program when choosing a college, you should consider other qualities of the school (e.g. location, size, diversity of student population, social atmosphere, cost), and to do so effectively you need to understand yourself. Below are more questions which may help you determine the kind of school that is right for you: — How far is a long way from home? Are you ready to give up the type of support your parents provide by attending games and performances at Loomis ChaVee? Are you looking to experience a new environment, diVerent climate, unfamiliar culture or foreign country? — Do you want to be in an urban environment, where there is easy access to the culture of the city? Do you prefer the suburbs where there is less action, but still ready access to the city? Would you be more comfortable in a rural setting where you will be away from the noise of the city and will have access to outdoor recreation and where most of the social life takes place on campus? — Would you rather be a big fish in a small pond or vice versa? You may enjoy more attention in a small school, but you may find more diversity of activities and personalities at a large school.

— Would you consider a single-sex college? Women’s institutions oVer a stimulating alternative to coeducational schools. did you know that the percentage of women who attend women’s colleges and go on to receive Ph.D’s is far greater than it is for those who . attend coed schools; that women who attend women’s colleges earn higher salaries on average than do women who attend coed schools; that many women’s colleges have a consortium relationship with nearby coeducational schools to balance the social atmosphere? — In what clubs, activities and sports, and on what level, would you like to participate? How important is it for you to be recognized for your talents? Does your success in sports or the arts feed your academic motivation? If so, you should focus on schools where your talents are sought after and celebrated. — Is the diversity of the student population important to you? Would you like to go to school with people from other parts of the United States and from other countries? — Do you want to attend a college with a particular religious aViliation? At some schools religion plays a larger role in community life than it does at others, so you may want to

Appendix

A

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

Appendix

A

determine for yourself what level of involvement makes you most comfortable. — Do you want to be a member of a fraternity or sorority? Questions to ask a college: What percentage of students participate in the Greek system? How big a role does it play in the social life of the school community? Are they exclusive or do they include non-Greek members (independents) in their functions? — What the school’s policy on alcohol? Is substance-free housing available on campus? — Are you interested in the availability of any special programs: independent study, honors programs, co-ops or internships, theme housing, study abroad, honor code, ROTC? — What hobbies, interests and talents do you wish to develop in the next few years? Do these demand special facilities, locations, or programs? — What aspects of your high school years have you enjoyed the most? If you could live this period again, what would you do diVerently? Will the colleges you are considering allow you to do that? — What financial limitations must you take into account when planning for the next several years? What is the availability of financial aid at each of your colleges of interest? Remember that even if a particular college’s tuition appears expensive, financial aid may allow its net cost to be manageable. — This is just a sampling of questions you may be asked and find yourself asking over the next few months. The more thoroughly you are able to respond, the more likely you are to choose a college that suits your current needs and future aspirations.

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

Appendix

A

Appendix

B

T

Standardized Testing

HERE is a good deal of anxiety, apprehension and misconception surrounding standardized tests. Many people have voiced their concern that the results of a few Saturday mornings of testing do not reflect a student’s overall academic performance. Colleges would agree with that sentiment but have found that grades and standardized testing together provide a better indication of success in college than either measure alone. The tests are, therefore, an essential part of the college application process. It is important to note, however, that not every college in the United States requires standardized testing for admission. In fact, there are nearly 760 colleges and universities in the United States alone that do not require testing, including such schools as Bates, Bowdoin, Holy Cross, Hobart/William Smith, Providence, Smith, and Wake Forest. Your college counselor will be able to further delineate which test-optional colleges may be appropriate matches for your talents and interests. Below are details concerning the standardized tests that you may be required to take as you complete the college process, when you should take them and what you should do with the results of those tests that you do take.

T

PSAT/NMSQT

HE PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test) was designed as a practice test for the SAT Reasoning Test, and it tests critical reading, mathematics, and writing. You do not need to register for this test. You are signed up by the school administrator in charge of testing to take the PSAT/NMSQT in October of your junior year, and the fee for the test is charged automatically to your student account. In the fall, you will receive a reminder about the test date and the location on campus where you are to take the test. The test results and a breakdown of how you answered each question on the test are sent to Loomis ChaVee in December and are distributed to you with the test booklet that you used in taking the test. This breakdown is an excellent diagnostic tool that allows you to analyze your performance on the test and to identify where to concentrate your eVorts for improvement. NOTE: The colleges do not see your PSAT scores. They do not go on your transcript. The PSAT was designed as a practice test for the SAT, and the colleges are not allowed to require those results from you. If they do ask for your SAT scores, your response is optional. The test also serves as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. NMSQT was created to identify the top testers in the country for the National Merit Scholarship Awards. Students are notified if they are National Merit semifinalists (awarded to those who score in the top half of the top one percent in Connecticut, the 99.5 to 1oo percentile) in September of their senior year and must complete an application to continue in the scholarship competition. Semifinalists are notified if they are finalists that winter. Students who score just below the semifinalist level (approximately the 99.o to 99.5 percentile nationally) are National Merit Commended students and are informed in the fall of their senior year. Scholarships are not available to commended students.

SAT results are not included on your transcript. It is your responsibility to ask College Board to send them to all colleges that require them.

T

SAT Reasoning Test

HE Scholastic Aptitude Test is required by the majority of colleges. Most students will take the test twice: once in May of their junior year and again in October of their senior year. You will register for the SAT Reasoning Test (see Appendix C, Registering On-line for the SAT). NOTE: SAT results are not included on your transcript. It is your responsibility to ask College Board to send them to all colleges that require them.
Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook Appendix

B

Appendix

B

T

SAT Subject Tests

HESE tests measure knowledge in specific subject areas and, depending on when the subject being tested is studied in school, may be taken in the spring of the freshman, sophomore or junior years or the fall of the senior year. Not all colleges require these tests, but there is a good chance that you will be applying to at least one that does. Therefore, it is better to take these tests when appropriate than to find yourself in your senior year unable to apply to a school you are interested in because you do not have the necessary testing. In November of your senior year, you will again have the opportunity to take up to three SAT Subject Tests. Which ones you take, if any, will depend on the results of any prior SAT Subject Tests taken. You may want to repeat some or all of your junior-year tests or undertake some new ones. You will register during the summer for the SAT Subject Tests that you will take in November of your senior year. As with the SAT Reasoning Test, you should register online for the June SAT Subject Tests. We urge you to spend some time researching the test in preparation for the exam. Practice subject tests are available on the College Board website and in the College Resource Room. NOTE: Most foreign language tests are given whenever SAT Subject Tests are oVered (you should check your registration booklet to be sure). Once a year, in November, these tests are given with a listening component called the Foreign Language with Listening test. Language students interested in taking that test can only take it in November. The version of the test without the listening component is not oVered in November. If you take the Language with Listening test, you need to bring a portable CD player with headphones and extra batteries to the exam. This section of the test is best suited to advanced language students. You may have a few SAT Subject Tests under your belt before the junior year if you took Biology, Chemistry and/or Math Level 1 as a freshman or sophomore. Many students plan on taking two other tests in June of your junior year. Most people will take math (Math Level 1, if you have completed Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry or Math Level 2 if you have also completed precalculus. If you have completed Functions or Advanced Algebra, take Math Level 1). The other test should reflect an area of academic strength, such as literature, history, foreign language or science. When you meet with your college counselor in the spring of your junior year, you will discuss your testing schedule and plan a strategy.

T

ACT

HE ACT (American College Testing Program) is a test that is produced by a competitor of College Board and focuses on five subject areas: English, math, reading, science reasoning and writing. Most colleges will accept this test in addition to or in lieu of the SAT Reasoning Test or Subject Tests. We recommend that all students who take the ACT also register for and take its optional writing component. Registration materials can be obtained in the College Guidance OVice or at www.act.org. Practice ACTs are also available in the College Guidance Office. Please consult with your college counselor whether or not the ACT is a good option for you.

Appendix

B

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

Appendix

B

T

TOEFL

HE TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) was developed for students whose native language is not English and is designed to measure proficiency in the English language. It is used to supplement or substitute for the verbal portion of the SAT Reasoning Test. While this test is taken primarily by international students (students coming to the United States to study at Loomis ChaVee), students who live in the U.S. but were born in a foreign country may also be eligible. If another language is spoken primarily in the home, it may be appropriate for a student born in this country to take the test. We urge students to take the test once in the summer after their junior year and again in the fall of their senior year, if necessary. Please inform your college counselor if you feel you should take this test. The results are not sent to the College Guidance OVice and do not go on your transcript. To be sure that the colleges to which you are applying receive your TOEFL result, please bring a clear copy of your score report to the College Guidance OVice. We will include it with the transcript materials that we send to your colleges. A few colleges require that you submit TOEFL scores directly from the testing agency.

T

Advanced Placement Exams

HIS program, also sponsored by the College Board, tests proficiency in courses that teach the advanced placement curriculum. The exams are designed to prove that a student has completed college-level course work in high school. The exam is scored on a 1-to-5 scale. Many colleges will accept a 4 or 5, and sometimes a 3, as proof of competency and award a student college credit or advanced standing (the option of skipping over introductory courses) for his/her work. As these criteria vary from college to college, you will need to contact the colleges in which you are interested to find out what scores they will accept. Registration materials are handed out in the classes for which the tests are to be taken. Students must register with Ms. Lombardo before March vacation. There is no limit to the number of exams a student may take in one year, as the exams are scheduled over a two-week period in May and do not conflict with each other. Students can sign up for any of the AP tests oVered, although completion of a course with an advanced or AP curriculum in the subject of the test is advised. Contact your teacher to determine if you are prepared for any of the AP exams. NOTE: Colleges do not see AP results unless you want them to. They do not go on the transcript. If you want the results to be reviewed as a part of your application package, you should send a photocopy of the score report with your application.

T

Special Accommodations

ESTING accommodations are available for students with documented learning or physical disabilities. These accommodations may include cassettes, large-block answer sheets, and/or extended time. The College Board has stringent guidelines regarding a student’s eligibility for testing with accommodations. In order to test with accommodations at Loomis ChaVee, the appropriate documentation must be approved by Mrs. Regan, Coordinator of Academic Support Services, well in advance of the test date.

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

Appendix

B

C
There is no documentation that shows that any one type of test preparation works best for all students.

Appendix

SAT: Preparing, Registering, Taking & Reporting
T
Test Preparation
EST preparation is an area of the college process that generates quite a few questions. Are prep courses worth the time on the student’s part and the expense on the parent’s part? Will a book or a computer program work as well? Which course or book is the best? Can a student improve his or her score without preparing for the second taking of a test? When considering the “to prep or not to prep” question, it is useful to remember the following: — The best preparation is to take your studies seriously, learn as much as you can in all your classes, and to read, both for class and for pleasure. — Because of the increased familiarity with the test format, students tend to improve their score the second time they take the test, even if no additional preparation is done. Because few tests given for classes at Loomis ChaVee are of the multiple-choice style, students are not used to aspects of testing specific to that format. Becoming familiar with the test, its format and structure will increase your ability to focus on reading, analyzing and answering the questions. It will also decrease your anxiety about taking the test. — What works best as a test-preparation plan is a matter of individual preference. There is no documentation that shows that any one type of test preparation works best for all students; you need to assess your own work style. Some students find they work best on their own, scheduling their own time to practice with a book or computer program. Other students work best with the outside stimulation of a tutor or teacher in a classroom setting. You should also consider the areas of the test on which you need to work. For instance, you may have done fine in the critical reading part of the PSAT, but need to refresh your math skills, or maybe you want to concentrate on practicing sentence completion or reading comprehension. Each of the preparation options has its own merits, and you want to be sure they match your needs. Also, be wary of programs that make claims and guarantees of dramatic improvements. Despite their assurances, there is no outside documentation that has verified these claims. A disciplined individual test-preparation regime can work as well or better than a test-preparation course. Again, the key is to determine how you work best and then to balance your preference with the cost involved. — Regardless of which method of test preparation you choose, the eVectiveness of the program is directly related to your commitment to that program. The following are materials available for test preparation. This is not an exhaustive list, nor are we endorsing any of these products; it is simply intended to give you a place to begin your research.

Loomis ChaVee’s saT Overview
Loomis ChaVee oVers an SAT program for juniors during late winter and early spring. The program consists of three separate sessions. The first session will provide an overview of both the Critical Reading and Writing sections, and the second session will be devoted to the Math portion of the SAT. Both sessions last approximately an hour and a half and occur in February so that students who wish to study further on their own during spring break can do so with the
Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook Appendix

c

C

Appendix

knowledge gained from the sessions. The third session, oVered after spring break, is a full-length diagnostic test. There will be an opportunity for students to receive feedback within a week after they take the test. Each session is oVered on multiple occasions to prevent conflicts. The program is run by Mr. Toby Harwood, an experienced teacher who once tutored for Princeton Review and who has a well-established history of working with Loomis students. Information about the class will be distributed during the College OVice’s first group meeting with juniors in January.

Method Test preparation
Thanks to Family Connection, each student has “24 / 7” access to both SAT and ACT test preparation through their individual Family Connection account. Method Test Preparation offers lessons in each area of each test, offering short quizzes on material as well as full length diagnostic tests. Students are strongly encouraged to use their Method Test Prep account on Family Connection, particularly during the summer after their junior year.

publications
SAT Reasoning Test and SAT Subject Test practice books, such as The Official SAT Study Guide, published by the College Board, are available on reserve in the College Resource Room, Brush Library, and for sale at the Loomis ChaVee bookstore and in most commercial bookstores.

On the Internet
The SAT Preparation Center at www.collegeboard.com provides resources such as The Official SAT Question of the Day and an official SAT practice test at no cost.

T

SAT Online Registration

HE easiest way to communicate with College Board about your SAT testing is through their website. Once you have established an account, you can register for your SAT tests, check the status of your registration, get your scores and order your scores sent to colleges.

setting up an account
To establish your account, go to the College Board website at www.collegeboard.com and locate “My Organizer” found on the site’s student home page. Select “Sign Up” and provide them with the required information. Note that if you click “yes” for either the “News and Alerts” or “Student Search Service,” the College Board will share your biographical information with colleges and/or college-related companies. This will cause you to receive a great deal of mail. You will receive an email confirmation of your user id and password. Be sure to print out a copy of your confirmation page and put it in a safe place where you can easily access it.

Registering for the saT
To access your account, enter your user name and password and click on “Sign In.” This allows you to proceed with the registration process. In “My Organizer,” under “My ToDo List,” select “Start a new registration” under “My SAT.” You will then be required to enter additional information including your address. You should be careful to use the same name and address each time you register for a test, or College Board may “split your record,” causing you to incur additional costs when you send your scores to colleges. Boarders should use their home address. Please include your Social

Appendix

c

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

C

Appendix

Security Number during each registration, as it will also help College Board keep your records straight. The first time you register, you will then be guided to “My Profile” and asked if you wish to participate in the Student Search Service. Even if you do not want to participate in the service, a response is required to some of the questions before the system will let you move to the next screen. This data is used for College Board’s research purposes, and also because they collect student data to sell to colleges. Therefore, you do not have to answer the questions in this section. If you do not wish to provide personal information, you may select “I do not wish to respond” from among the answer choices. To register for an SAT, click on “New registration.” After completing “My Profile,” you must confirm that you have read the SAT Terms and Conditions before you can go forward with the registration. Please read this section carefully. You are then able to pick the type of test (SAT Reasoning Test or SAT Subject Test) that you wish to take. You must also indicate the high school you attend. It is very important that you include this information or we will not receive a copy of your test results in the College Guidance OVice. If you do not see Loomis ChaVee listed, click on “Search” next to “High School Name” and enter o7o945 in the School Code field. It is also on this screen that you will indicate if you are using a fee waiver or if you will take the test with extended time. Continue to complete the registration by selecting the Test Date and Test Center location. To select Loomis ChaVee as your test center, enter o7715 in the Test Center Code box. If you are a day student, select a second choice near your home that oVers testing on that date. Boarders select Hall High School (Test Center Code o768o) or Windsor High School (Test Center Code o772o). After reviewing your selections, you must pay for the test with a credit card. We recommend that you sign up for College Board’s Question and Answer Service or Student Answer Service. One of these services is oVered on each test date and both provide a summary of your answers that will be useful in future test preparation. The final screen you will see is the Confirmation and Admission Ticket screen. it is very important that you print a copy of this screen as it serves as your admission ticket and has all the information you will need for the testing day. You will not be admitted to take the test without this ticket. If you have any questions about any aspect of the SAT registration process, contact College Board at 6o9-771-76oo or speak with your college counselor. Any questions related to the test day should be directed to Ms. Lombardo.

Y

Paper and Telephone Registration

OU can also register to take the SAT with a paper form available in the College OVice. If you have taken the SAT already, you have the option to “reregister” using College Board’s automated telephone system, 8oo-728-72o7. There is an additional charge for using the telephone reregistration service. If you register using either method, your admission ticket will be sent by mail.

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

Appendix

c

C

Appendix

K

Taking the Test
NOW where you are scheduled to take the test. You do not always get your first choice of test centers. Do not assume that you were assigned to your first choice, and do not wait until the morning of the test to look at your ticket. As soon as you get your ticket, check it for your test center location. If it is not possible for you to get to the site to which you have been assigned, contact Ms. Lombardo. It may be possible to switch you to a more accessible site. (The earlier you request this, the more likely you will be able to switch.) Be aware that College Board charges a fee for a test site change. If you lose your ticket and you discover this before the day of the test, contact Ms. Lombardo and she will give you your Test Registration Number. Bring that number and a proper form of identification to the test center for which you were scheduled, and you will be admitted. If you do not discover that you have lost your ticket until the day of the test, report to the test center for which you were scheduled by 7:45 a.m. with a proper form of identification. (If you are taking the test at Loomis ChaVee, you should report to the College Guidance OVice in Gwendolen Hall). The College Board website and SAT Registration Bulletin (available in the College Guidance OVice) give detailed instructions on items to bring to the test, when to arrive, etc. If you plan to take the test at Loomis ChaVee, Ms. Lombardo may also email you with additional instructions.

Reporting SAT Scores to Colleges
It is your responsibility to have your test scores sent to the colleges to which you are applying. they do not appear on your Loomis Chaffee transcript. Once you have completed all your testing and received your scores, you need to send your scores to the colleges to which you are applying. You can contact the College Board in any of the following ways to send your complete testing record to your colleges: online: by telephone: by facsimile: by mail: www.collegeboard.com 6o9-771-76oo will reach customer service. 8oo-728-7267 will contact the automated service. 6o9-771-7681. If you use the form available in the College Guidance OVice, you can fax it to this number. Mail in the fax form to the address on the form. Or mail in the bubble card that came with your test results to the address on that form.

If you have any additional questions about sending saT scores, contact your college counselor.

Fee Waivers
If you are on substantial financial aid at Loomis ChaVee, you may be eligible for a full or partial waiver of the registration fees for any of the previously listed tests. The College OVice will notify you if you qualify for a fee waiver durring the winter of your junior year. PSAT: Eligible students will have their registration fee automatically waived. SAT Reasoning Test and SAT Subject Test: The College Guidance OVice provides College Board Fee Waiver numbers that must be submitted during SAT registration. Waivers are only accepted during the regular registration period and will not be honored for late or standby registrations. College Board requires students who register late to pay the full test fee
Appendix

c

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

C

Appendix

plus any additional late fees. Be careful to use the same name each time you register for the SAT or your record may be split, causing you to have to pay additional fees when you send your scores to colleges. Eligible students (only juniors and seniors may use fee waivers) may have a maximum of two waivers for the SAT Reasoning Test and two waivers for the SAT Subject Test. Each SAT Subject Test fee waiver covers the cost of tests in up to three subjects to be taken on the same date. However, you must register for all three tests during the initial registration. College Board will charge a fee for tests added later, but you can change tests without penalty. The fee waiver will also cover the cost of the SAT Reasoning Test Question and Answer Service or the Student Answer Service as long as you sign up for it when you register for the test. AcT: Eligibility requirements for ACT fee waivers are stricter than College Board’s, and ACT only oVers one fee waiver to be used during either the junior or senior year. Notify your College Counselor if you would like more information about ACT fee waivers. TOeFL: A fee reduction service is available for high school seniors who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are planning to test in the United States. This service reduces the cost of the test by half. Advanced Placement exams: To receive assistance with the registration fee for any AP exams, contact Ms. Lombardo. Application fees: If you qualify for a College Board fee waiver, you may also request that colleges waive your application fees. Give the college office a list of the colleges you plan to apply to at least a week before mailing your applications. You will receive a fee waiver request letter to enclose in your application or mail instead of an application fee payment. NOTE: It is important not to lose your fee waivers or registration numbers. The College Guidance OVice receives a limited number of fee waivers from testing agencies each year, and additional waivers may not be available.

Frequently Asked Questions
What is Loomis Chaffee’s school code? It is 070945 and is used by College Board and ACT. Can I take my SAt Subject tests when others are taking the SAt Reasoning test? Yes. Both SAT Reasoning Test and SAT Subject Tests are oVered on most of the testing dates. (Check your registration bulletin to be sure the test is oVered on the day you want to take it and at the appropriate test center.) The schedule of taking the SAT Reasoning Test in May of the junior year and October of the senior year and SAT Subject Tests in June of the junior year and November of the senior year works for the majority of students. You may have reasons to schedule your tests diVerently. Please discuss the reasons for this change with your college counselor. How many SAt Subject tests can I take in one sitting? Three. Can I take the SAt Reasoning test and SAt Subject test on the same day? No. When will I receive my scores?

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

Appendix

c

About two weeks after taking the test(s), you may log on to the College Board website or call College Board at 1-8oo-728-7267 to hear your scores over the telephone. (There is an additional fee to get your scores by phone. When you make the call, you should have ready your social security number, credit card and the test date and registration number of the test for which you want scores.) Your scores should arrive in the mail about five weeks after you take the test(s).

Appendix

c

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

D

Appendix

College OVice Yellow Sheet and Application Checklist

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

Appendix

d

Index
Application Options College’s Own Application Common Application Application Checklist Online Applications College Evening Programs College Lists Preliminary List College Preference List Group List Balanced List Criteria for Choosing a College Deferral (Admissions Decision) Deferred Enrollment Discipline — Reporting to College Early Action Early Decision Essays Extracurricular Activities Family Connection Fee Waivers Application Fee Waiver SAT, ACT and TOEFL Fee Waivers Financial Aid CSS PROFILE FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid Online Resources Junior Calendar Junior Questionnaire Meetings With College Counselor Midyear Report vs. Midterm Grades Missing Materials NCAA Clearinghouse Parent Calendar Parent Information Peer Recommendations Permission for College Visits Researching Colleges Rolling Admission School Report Senior Calendar Standardized Testing ACT AP, Advanced Placement Exams PSAT/NMSQT SAT Reasoning Test SAT Subject Tests TOEFL
iNdex Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

23–24 23 23–24 Appendix D 24 7 7 9 9 1o Appendix A 19–2o 38–39 27 19–2o 19–2o 22, 26–27 22, 25–26 4, 8, Appendix C 3 Appendix C 32–34 33 32 34 6 7 7–8, 9 31 3 9 4–5 4–5, 12 29 18 8 19 28 17 Appendix B, C Appendix B Appendix B, C 6, 9, Appendix B 6, 9, 3o, Appendix B, C 6, 9, 3o, Appendix B, C Appendix B

Fee Waivers Reporting Standardized Testing Results SAT Test Preparation Special Accommodations Test Registration Teacher Recommendations The Universal Reply Date – May 1 Transcripts Visits to Colleges Preparing to Visit Permission for College Visits College Tours Information Sessions Interviews Thank You Notes Waitlist Year OV Yellow Sheet

Appendix C 3o, Appendix C Appendix C Appendix B Appendix C 28–29 18, 38 21–22, 29–31, 38 9, 11–16 11–12 18 12 12 13–15, 22 14, 16 37 38–39 28, 29–3o, Appendix D

Loomis ChaVee College Guidance Handbook

iNdex

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful

Master Your Semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master Your Semester with a Special Offer from Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.