Types of Colleges


  • Public vs. Private
  • Suburban vs. Urban vs. Rural
  • Religous vs. Secular
  • Research, Comprehensive, Professional or Liberal Arts
  • Large vs. Medium vs. Small
  • Distance from home
  • Prominent Faculty and Alumin
  • National Rankings – U.S. News & World Report
  • College/University that changes lives



Admissions Requirements:

Used By Most Major Universities

  • Quality of grades 9-12
  • Rigorous senior year schedule
  • GPA
  • SAT or ACT scores; essay required
  • Grade trends – GPA should improve as time goes on
  • Activites, community service, leadership
  • Cultural awareness & contributions
  • Exceptional artistic talent
  • Educational or economic disadvantage
  • Overcoming personal adversity
  • Writing quality of the personal statement

      Important Factors


% of Colleges Attributing “Considerable Importance” to These Factors

  • 79% Grades in Prep courses
  • 60% Strength of curriculum
  • 60% Grades in all classes
  • 53% SAT or ACT scores
  • 22.1% Essay
  • 17.3% Recommendations
  • 16.9% Demonstrated Interest
  • 14% Class Rank
  • 5.6% Extracurricular Activities

      Admissions Language


Admissions Language to Know

Early Decision – apply early, get accepted early. This decision is binding

Early Action – same as early decision but is not binding

Rolling Admission – applications are reviewed as they are received; applicants who apply early are notified early

Pooled Admission – all applications are analyzed during the same general time; Students find out later if they are accepted (February – April)

Honors Programs and those wanting to be considered for top scholarships need to apply early, usually October 15th, November 1st, November 15th, or December 1st. Check with each college. Honors Program students are usually accepted at an earlier date.

      Junior Year


The Process of Applying...(Junior Year)

  1. Analyze interests, passions, values
  2. Determine the field(s) of study you are interested in pursuing
  3. Research Colleges on the websites or catalogs: compare academic programs
  4. Review factors to consider when choosing a college
  5. Narrow down your choices of colleges (3-8)
  6. Organize college material in folders; Develop a resume including activities, leadership roles, community service and awards earned
  7. Attend Spring College Fairs
  8. Intercollegiate athletics; register with NCAA thesummer after your junior year (
  9. Military academy appointments: start in April of junior year; lengthy process
  10. Visit the top 2-3 colleges you are considering; they have tours and special weekends

      Senior Year


The Process of Applying...(Senior Year)

  1. Complete each application and send it electronically in most cases (October – December) – Write essays as required
  2. Order official transcripts from the Counseling Department (October)
  3. Have your SAT or ACT test scores sent to the colleges you applying to. (October – December)
  4. Visit with College Reps and attend College Fairs
  5. Complete the FAFSA online (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and submit it electronically. Also check the colleges you applied to and complete any additional supplemental forms required for financial aid (January – February).
  6. Visit the campuses of your top 2-3 schools (if you have not already done so)
  7. Many families will want to compare financial aid packages offered by schools before making the final choice (February – April)
  8. Apply for housing immediately after making your decision, if appropriate (February – April)
  9. Put in writing your acceptance to the college of your choice ASAP. May 1st is the National Reply Date Deadline.



Classes are important - may vary

  • 4 years of English
  • 4 years of Math
  • 3 years of Social Studies
  • 4 Science classes
  • 2 years of the same Foreign Language

      College Essay



  • Keep your Focus Narrow and Personal – it’s not about what you have done, it’s about showing who you are
  • Prove It – Develop your main idea with vivid and specific facts, events quotations, examples, and reasons
  • Be Specific – Avoid cliched, generic and predictable writing

Do Not

  • Tell Them What You Think They Want to Hear
  • Write A Resume
  • Forget to Proofread

      Common Mistakes


Common Mistakes in Applying

  • Failure to read application directions; disorganized
  • Incomplete applications and sloppy responses on apps and essays
  • Lack of adequate research on colleges and pre-admission requirements
  • Failure to pay attention to deadlines for college application and scholarships
  • Not visiting colleges; lack of understanding the culture of the chosen college

      College Search


College Search Sites