Monday, October 31, 2011

Early Action Deadline...Fast Approaching!

Don't forget tomorrow is the deadline for Early Action applications! If you hit submit on your application before midnight tomorrow, you will be considered an Early Action applicant. Supplemental materials such as your high school transcript and letter of recommendation can follow by mail over the next week or so.

Please continue to check the status of your application by logging onto your SeaLevel account. Feel free to contact us should you have any questions or concerns.


Friday, October 21, 2011

College Planning Timeline ... Junior Year


• Meet with your school counselor to make sure you are taking courses that will make you eligible as well as competitive for the colleges you are planning to attend.

• Push yourself to get the best grades possible this year. The payoff will be more colleges to choose from and a better chance for merit based scholarships.

• Pick up the Official Student Guide to PSAT/MNSQT from your high school’s guidance office and take the practice test.

• Find out if your school or county will have a college night (college fair).


• Attend a college fair.

• Begin looking through college guide books in your guidance counselor’s office. Start a preliminary list of colleges that might interest you.

• Start to learn about financial aid. Use the College Board website to learn how it works, and the financial aid calculator to estimate how much aid you might receive.


• Begin to research scholarships

• If you are planning to major in the arts in college (drama, music, fine art) ask your teachers and guidance counselor about requirements for a portfolio or audition.


• Spend time over the holiday making a list of what kind of college you want to attend. Big or small? Far away or close to home? Make a list of the college features that are important to you.

• Begin preparing for the SAT or ACT, if you have not done so already.


• Meet with your guidance counselor to talk about the colleges in which you are interested, what entrance exam you should take, and when to take them.

• If English is not your primary language, decide when to take the TOEFL test.

• Start thinking about what you want to study in college. Use resources such as your guidance counselor, teachers and family members.

• Register for the SAT/ ACT if you want to take it in March.


• Think about which teachers you will ask to write letters of recommendation.

• If you are in Advanced Placement Programs (AP) courses, register for AP exams that will be given in May.


• Register for the SAT/ ACT if you want to take it in May.

• Narrow your list of colleges to a reasonable number. Explore the colleges Web sites, read the brochures and catalogues.


• Plan courses for your senior year. Make sure you are going to meet the high school course requirements for your top-choice colleges.

• Plan campus visits. It may be best to visit a college campus when classes are in session.

Keep in mind that you do not have to do these steps in the order they are listed. The important thing is that you do them in a timely manner.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Top 10 Websites for College Bound Students

College Board & ACT

You will need to create an account at College Board so you can register for the SAT and Advanced Placement (AP) exams. It is also a great starting point to gather and compare basic data on colleges and universities. Information found on this site includes admission requirements, program offerings, cost and much more.

Students who are planning to take the ACT surely will need to create an account. The site also offers information about planning for college, selecting a major and the financial aid process. The ACT also has a blog by students, at every level- from freshmen in college to juniors in high school.

College Confidential

This site is an online community of Admission Counselors, parents and students. In addition to helpful articles on admission and financial aid, it features various discussion boards where parents and students post questions and Admission Counselors respond to the questions. All you need to do is register and you can join the conversation.

College Prowler

This website provides college reviews for prospective students from current or recent graduates. For each of the more than 7,000 colleges listed, you can learn about everything from the admission process to student life. In addition, this site offers a ballpark assessment of your chances for admission at the schools you are considering.

Common Application

Almost every high school senior is familiar with the so-called “common app.” Over the years, this has become a go-to resource for students considering applying to a variety of colleges and universities across the nation. Students complete one main application and essay that can be submitted to multiple colleges. Keep in mind that some schools have supplementary materials that are unique to that particular school that you will need to complete.


If you think you will need assistance with paying for college, become familiar with the website of the Free Application for Financial Student Aid. The website is administered by the U.S. Department of Education. It is a user-friendly resource that is loaded with a variety of information on how to finance your college education. Most importantly, this is where you complete an application if you want to be eligible for Pell grants, Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans and Parent Plus loans.


If you are hoping for a scholarship, this is a great place to start. After registering, you can custom-search a database of 1.3 million scholarship possibilities based on your own individual qualifications and needs. FastWeb also supplies information on jobs and internship programs, and has an active discussion board as well.


FinAid is a website sponsored by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. Some financial aid counselors describe this website as the most comprehensive resource about paying for college. You will find detailed information on different types of loans, scholarships, grants and even military programs. In addition, it has calculators to help estimate the cost of college, calculate expected family contribution, estimate how much you need to borrow.


Any student athlete who dreams of playing at a Division I, II or III school should log onto this site and download the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s guide. This guide will inform you of the rules and regulations that spell out information such as how college coaches can recruit to what SAT or ACT scores a high school athlete must attain. This is also the place where athlete applicants submit a “clearinghouse form” that is used by college coaches for recruitment purposes.


Peterson’s is a great website to find a wealth of information in a single place. You will find data about hundreds of colleges and universities, including criteria for admissions, courses of study and total cost. In addition, the website provides helpful articles on virtually every aspect of the admission process.

The Princeton Review

Even though the Princeton Review is focused on encouraging students to sign up for the company’s test prep program, the site contains a large amount of free content, including articles on applying to schools, choosing a major and finding a study abroad program. One unique feature is the “counselor-o-matic” tool that asks questions about grades, test scores and interests and activities, then spits out a list of “good-fit” schools.