Newsletter

FOR YEAR 13 STUDENTS
Last Thursday of every month! The NIST College Counseling Newsletter provides extra guidance for you. It will be sent to you on the last Thursday of every month until you are done with your applications. Please read each newsletter carefully, and save it in the “College/University” folder on your tablet, so that you can find it easily, and go back to review important information, dates, and deadlines when needed. This newsletter will also be sent to your parents and teachers.

November 24, 2011
Steps to College/University

INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

Message from your counselors
Application sent! — Now what? What’s Coming Up

2
3

4 5-7 8

The Admission Process Revealed
Information Seminar by IDP

Meet the Counselors
Mr. Joachim Ekstrom (Mr. Kim) jekstrom@nist.ac.th Room 4203 Phone Extension: 353 Family Names Ki-Sai Mrs. Brenda Manfredi bmanfredi@nist.ac.th Room 4204b Phone Extension: 204 Ms. Brita Nash bnash@nist.ac.th Room 4205 Phone Extension: 205

Family Names A-Ka

Family Names Sat-Z

Message from your counselors
Most Amazing Seniors,
N I S T

As we are just three weeks from the winter vacation and many of you have some very important university deadlines to meet during that time, we want to take a few minutes to remind you about what needs to be done and when. (If you are in denial or procrastination mode, you can consider this a helpful push from your counselors!) Part A: We assume that you have now… 1. Completed the FERPA agreement on Naviance 2. Added all of the universities to which you are applying – regardless of WHERE they are or when the applications are due – to Naviance 3. Updated the status to “submitted” on your short-list on Naviance for each university to which you have sent the application 4. Finished - or are close to finishing – your university essays. Please note that your counselor will find it hard to proofread your university essays during the last week of school as we will be (spectacularly) busy sending off your supporting documents via Naviance and courier (a few universities do not yet accept online submissions). That still gives you two weeks in which to ask us to look at your draft(s). 5. Finished – or are close to finishing –online applications for the UK and North American universities. These applications include UCAS, Common Application and individual universities. Please note that Naviance shows that 52 percent of NIST university applications have already been completed – CONGRATULATIONS to those students who have already sent off their applications! 6. Ordered (online) your official TOEFL/IELTS/SAT score reports to be sent directly to your universities by TOEFL/IELTS/College Board. This is your responsibility – the counselors do not report SAT or TOEFL/IELTS scores. Lunch-Hour Workshops Part B: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
 Which applications must be sent before the December 2nd NIST deadline?

UK, USA and Canada, and any university with a due date before February 1st and any application that you would like to send early.
 Can my counselor send the supporting documents before I submit my application online?

Unfortunately not. Your section must be received first by universities. It would create chaos, in university admissions offices, if the supporting documents arrived before NIST students created and completed their “files”.
 What do I do if I want to change some universities on my short-list on Naviance?

Please check these choices with your counselor so that we can ensure that you continue to have a good balance of Reach/Fit/Safety schools. Then add the universities on Naviance and cancel the ones that you will not be applying to.
 How many universities can I apply to?

The NIST maximum is 10 – with UCAS counting as one and the University of California campuses counting as one. The exception to this rule is if you and your parents have already spoken with your counselor and given a compelling reason for applying to more than 10 universities. Please note that 6-9 well chosen universities is a good universal guideline.
 Our counselors are such nice people… I’m sure that they won’t mind sending the supporting documents off during their

vacation. Right? We really are such nice people… which is why we provided you with a set of university application deadlines in August. Nowhere on the planet has there been less ambiguity about when various components of the university applications are due. We will actually be on vacation during our vacations, and won’t be able to send any documents for you.
 When I checked my online status at The University of Donald Duck (substitute your university name here) I saw that they

are missing my teacher letters of recommendation and my transcript but my counselor e-mailed to say that (s)he sent it. Although Naviance online submissions are instantaneous, please understand that it takes university admissions office staff some time (anywhere between a few days and a few weeks) to file all parts of the application. Please have patience with the universities as they are receiving thousands of applications. If you get a message indicating that something is missing, your first step is to follow up with the university yourself by phone or e-mail. They may tell you to wait a week while things are filed or they may ask you or the school to take some action… which we will! If the documents are not listed as having been received in one to two weeks, please contact your counselor who will be in touch with an admissions offer. Universities are terrific about permitting NIST to fax or email a document that they have not been able to find after the application-dust has settled. Please be aware that at many North American universities, your application will not be read until late February/Early March. There is time to provide the universities with anything they are missing.

Application sent! — Now what?
You MUST email your counsellor when you have completed and sent an application, so that we can prepare and send the supporting documents to your univerExample Email:
Dear Mr./Ms. Counselor I just wanted to let you know that I have sent in my application to the University of Notre Dame as well as completed my applications to University of Leeds and University of Manchester on UCAS. Please send my supporting documentation. Thank you, Fiona Falcon

What are the supporting documents?
   

Teacher recommendation letters Counselor recommendation letter (for North-America) Academic Transcript (Year 10-12) School Profile

AS WELL AS – tick the box on Naviance that the application has been submitted under EACH
university that you apply to “student has submitted his/her application”

Remember that you are responsible for sending SAT/ACT and TOEFL/IELTS scores DIRECTLY from the testing agency to the universities who require them. How to send SAT scores: http://sat.collegeboard.org/register/sat-score-choice Contact the TOEFL/IELTS agencies directly (online) to have score reports sent to universities who require them.

A few schools do not yet accept online submission, so these will be sent by courier within FIVE DAYS. You will receive an e-mail from Khun Thongkorn informing you of the date and time that your package was sent by courier – along with all of the information you will need to track this package. Please note that this is your responsibility.

What’s Coming Up

Lunch-Hour Workshops

8 days

Enjoy your Winter...

Next NIST College Counseling News will be in your inbox on Thursday January 26. Kind regards, The Secondary Counselors

The Admission Process Revealed
By Joachim Ekstrom

The university admission process is a mysterious one, and often a cause of anxiety and stress for many students and parents. What is it that determines if you are accepted to your program of interest? Why is one student admitted, and another one not? Are there any secrets that will guarantee entrance to your chosen program? Unfortunately, there are no such secrets, and no such guarantees, but it is our hope that by reading this article some of your questions will be answered, and some of your stress reduced. The admission officers’ job is to promote their programs, and recruit students to their university. They have to select, from a large pool of applicants, students who are most likely to succeed at, and contribute to their university. When selecting the freshman students, universities often try to meet several goals at the same time, such as attracting great scholars and creative thinkers who are able to contribute with innovative ideas and make their campus an interesting place to be, but at the same time maintain an international student body. Another goal might be to get as many students as possible, who meet the minimum requirements, so that they can expand, and add new departments and programs. Goals vary among universities, and sometimes the goals vary from year to year within a university. In addition, admission officers within a certain university very often hold different views on how the goals should be interpreted, and what it means to reach these goals. Many universities place great emphasis on students’ test scores in tests such as the SAT, TOEFL, and IELTS, while others have made tests scores optional. Many university representatives consider the student’s personal statement, to evaluate his or her ability to put thoughts into writing. The essay is, for them, an extremely valuable tool to select interesting students who would bring unique qualities to their campus. On the contrary, many other universities make essays optional. Some universities are very focused on your academic abilities while others think it is more important that you are a well rounded individual with a strong participation in extracurricular activities. Most universities want to attract students with great academic potential, but they often also want interesting students that can contribute well and make their campus an exciting learning environment. Many universities weigh factors carefully, but typically no single factor gets a student admitted; they all make a difference and any of them might be the final push you needed to get accepted.

Admission decisions might not seem fair and reasonable due to the fact that admission officers are forced to make subjective decisions. The factors that make one admission officer excited about your application may not have the same impact on another admissions staff person. As you can imagine, it is impossible to come up with a secret formula that will guarantee a place at the university that you are interested in. Nevertheless, we are going to emphasize some areas that you should be aware of, and that will be beneficial in your application process. As an applicant you should focus more on “fitting in” than “getting in”, meaning that you should be more concerned with finding a university where you would study with students who are similar to you in terms of academic abilities, skills and interests, and where you would also feel at home, than trying to get into an university just because it is highly ranked. Be realistic and spend more time thinking about your “fit” universities than your “reach” universities. The most important thing is for you to feel at home, and be successful in college. Let’s have a look at some of the most common factors considered by admission officers in the selection process. 1. High School Program The courses you take in high school are the most important factor. The admission officers will look at your choice of courses in comparison with other applicants, and in comparison to what is offer at our school. Take courses that are in line with your interests, abilities, skills, and intended university program. Take the most advanced courses as you can manage without getting in over your head. Universities are interested in your potential to do well at their institution, make sure you show them that you are capable of achieving well academically. 2. Grades Grades give an indication of your motivation and capabilities. It doesn’t mean that you should choose courses in which you know you would get a better grade just for the sake of getting high grades; you still choose courses based upon your interests and abilities. 3. Test Scores Test scores are viewed as important, but not as the critical variable in making an admission decision. Even in the US, there are a great number of schools that don’t require the SAT. Students with English as a second language should do the TOEFL or IELTS tests to show proof of their English proficiency. Most NIST students don’t need to prepare for these tests, and they often achieve high scores which look good on their applications. On the other hand, it is also

true that many universities will be satisfied with IB English A1, A2 or B, and will not require you to prove your proficiency in English. 3. Extracurricular Activities The question the admission officers ask here is: “what has the student done with his or her time?” It is better if the student has shown commitment to a few well chosen activities over time, rather than merely joining lots of different clubs and organizations. 4. Personal Qualities and Letters of Recommendation This is a part of the application that can really make the difference between a denial and acceptance. Your personal qualities and potentials are seen in the teachers’ recommendation letters and in your own personal statement (College Essay). Important qualities here are intellectual curiosity, empathy, fairness, and sustained commitment to local or school issues. The admission officers will pay special attention to particularly meaningful reflections upon a significant life experience, or a positive response to a personal setback. Qualities or attributes that students often highlight are dedication to community service, special talents and abilities, travel and work experiences, and unique achievements. These are things that will make many admission officers interested in your application. Finally, a piece of advice to remember throughout your application process: Don’t try to be superhuman, super-sophisticated, super-scholar, or super-something else. Don’t try to manipulate the admission process with hocus-pocus and made-up stories and images of yourself. Such strategies are likely to fail. The admission officers have extensive experience dealing with applications and they know when students are genuine, and when they are not. Relax, take a deep breath, and be yourself! Tell your own, real story, and tell it well.

An ImportAnt SEmInAr For

Bangkok’s Top sTudenTs

The university of Melbourne is currently ranked 4th worldwide for graduate outcomes (QS Rankings 2011) and is ranked 1st in australia (Shanghai JiaoTong World Rankings 2011). Trinity College Foundation studies is a guaranteed pathway program to the prestigious University of Melbourne, Trinity College Foundation Studies program will help you grow as a person and as a student!

The Sheraton Grande Hotel, The Cove Room - ground floor, 250 Sukhumvit Rd, Bangkok. application Fees will be waived on the day. For more information contact:

InForMaTIon seMInar saturday 26 november 2011 3pm–5pm

IDP Education, 4th Floor, CP Tower, 313 Silom Road, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok. T: 662 638 3111 e: info.bangkok@idp.com
CRICOS Code 00709G

www.trinity.unimelb.edu.au/tcfs