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All New Applicants- The Process and Timeline

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  • anialwaysanialways 1193 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,210 Senior Member
    """""""""Tips for Writing an Effective Application Essay

    Top two tips: Be yourself and start early

    Choose a Topic That Will Highlight You

    Don’t focus on the great aspects of a particular college, the amount of dedication it takes to be a doctor or the number of extracurricular activities you took part in during high school.

    Do share your personal story and thoughts, take a creative approach and highlight areas that aren’t covered in other parts of the application, like your high school records.


    Keep Your Focus Narrow and Personal

    Don’t try to cover too many topics. This will make the essay sound like a r
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  • anialwaysanialways 1193 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,210 Senior Member
    I am also going to say that I read much more than I can ever post here. So whether you are a student, Parent or a Counsellor, you need to research, a lot. And the High School years are very hectic and challenging, therefore, it is very importanr that an elder is involved in the research as it is very time consuming.

    Also the role of Parents and involvement makes sense as they will be financing the education and so should be well informed as to where their money is going. And I am not saying they choose, just that they can provide a sounding board for brainstorming and sorting out confusion and choices. Students can and should, if they are too independent, do on their own.

    Trust me, my D made her own College list, wrote her essays, filled the Commonapp, organised and kept tab of her timeline, but because we as parents had done our homework, we were confident of her choices, in terms of fit, tuition, program, location, her ability to cope and adjust and at the same time aware of the challenges ahead. Made the whole journey for our family an adventure rather than a journey in to the unknown.

    And that is the reason, long after my D has sort of settled in, I continue to visit CC and try to share my experience with others. I know how complicated it was when we began and how things got sorted out and like pieces of puzzle everything will work out fine for all of you.
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  • anialwaysanialways 1193 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,210 Senior Member
    ""The Qualities Colleges Want

    “What is it that makes you unique, and how will you contribute to the life of our campus?” That’s what admission officers want to know. To gauge what students can bring to their campus, they look for these types of qualities:

    Leadership

    A willingness to take risks

    Initiative

    A sense of social responsibility

    A commitment to service

    Special talents or abilities

    Overall, colleges want a mix of students to create a rich campus community.




    Your Application Shows Your Qualities


    So how do you show colleges what’s special about you? Personal qualities are not easy to measure, but admission officers look at the items listed below for clues to an applicant's character.

    Extracurricular activities: What you do outside the classroom reveals a lot about you. That’s why some applications ask for details about extracurricular activities. But remember, it’s not the number of activities that’s important. Admission officers want to know what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown from participating in these activities.


    Summer jobs and activities: Your summer experiences provide insight into your character. And holding a summer job at a fast-food restaurant can build as much character as attending a prestigious summer learning program. It's all about what you’ve gained, what you’ve learned and how you communicate that.


    College essay: The college essay gives you the opportunity to show the admission officers who you are and how you will contribute to the college campus.


    When admission officers read student essays, they ask themselves, “Would you like this person to be your roommate? Would you like to work on a group project with this person?” The essay can reveal the answers to these questions more than any test score can.


    Letters of recommendation: Recommendation letters can tell a lot about the kind of person you are. A teacher who knows you well can give insight into not just your academic strengths but also the qualities you display in class, such as leadership or fairness.""""""""
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  • anialwaysanialways 1193 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,210 Senior Member
    """How to Get a Great Letter of Recommendation

    Colleges often ask for two or three recommendation letters from people who know you well. These letters should be written by someone who can describe your skills, accomplishments and personality.

    Colleges value recommendations because they:

    Reveal things about you that grades and test scores can’t

    Provide personal opinions of your character

    Show who is willing to speak on your behalf

    Letters of recommendation work for you when they present you in the best possible light, showcasing your skills and abilities.



    When to Ask for Recommendations

    Make sure to give your references at least one month before your earliest deadline to complete and send your letters. The earlier you ask, the better. Many teachers like to write recommendations during the summer. If you apply under early decision or early action plans, you'll definitely need to ask for recommendations by the start of your senior year or before.

    Remember that some teachers will be writing whole stacks of letters, which takes time. Your teachers will do a better job on your letter if they don’t have to rush.



    Whom to Ask

    It’s your job to find people to write letters of recommendation for you. Follow these steps to start the process:

    Read each of your college applications carefully. Schools often ask for letters of recommendation from an academic teacher — sometimes in a specific subject — or a school counselor or both.

    Ask a counselor, teachers and your family who they think would make good references.
    Choose one of your teachers from junior year or a current teacher who has known you for a while. Colleges want a current perspective on you, so a teacher from several years ago isn't the best choice.

    Consider asking a teacher who also knows you outside the classroom. For example, a teacher who directed you in a play or advised your debate club can make a great reference.

    Consider other adults — such as an employer, a coach or an adviser from an activity outside of school — who have a good understanding of you and your strengths.
    Perhaps most important, pick someone who will be enthusiastic about writing the letter for you.

    If you’re unsure about asking someone in particular, politely ask if he or she feels comfortable recommending you. That’s a good way to avoid weak letters.



    How to Get the Best Recommendations

    Some teachers write many recommendation letters each year. Even if they know you well, it’s a good idea to take some time to speak with them. Make it easy for them to give positive, detailed information about your achievements and your potential by refreshing their memory.

    Here’s how:

    Talk to them about your class participation.

    Remind them of specific work or projects you’re proud of.

    Tell them what you learned in class.

    Mention any challenges you overcame.

    Give them the information they need to provide specific examples of your work.

    If you need a recommendation letter from a counselor or other school official, follow these guidelines:

    Make an appointment ahead of time.

    Talk about your accomplishments, hobbies and plans for college and the future.
    If you need to discuss part of your transcript — low grades during your sophomore year, for example — do so. Explain why you had difficulty and discuss how you've changed and improved since then.

    Whether approaching teachers, a counselor or another reference, you may want to provide them with a resume that briefly outlines your activities, both in and outside the classroom, and your goals.



    Final Tips

    The following advice is easy to follow and can really pay off:

    Waive your right to view recommendation letters on your application forms. Admission officers will trust them more if you haven’t seen them.

    Give your references addressed and stamped envelopes for each college that requested a recommendation.

    Make sure your references know the deadlines for each college.

    Follow up with your references a week or so before recommendations are due to make sure your letters have been sent.

    Once you’ve decided which college to attend, write thank-you notes. Tell your references where you’re going and let them know how much you appreciate their support.""""""""""""""
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  • anialwaysanialways 1193 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,210 Senior Member
    """"""Tips for Preparing Your College Application


    Correctly submitting all the different pieces of your college application is like a test — one you can easily pass. While the process may seem complicated, a little organization and attention go a long way.


    You can apply to colleges online or through the mail. Online applications can be processed quickly and may have built-in checks to ensure all materials are included. Mailed applications are easier to proofread. Either way, following this advice will set you up to succeed.

    Start early.

    Set deadlines for completing essays, collecting recommendations and filling out forms a few weeks before they’re actually required. Mark these earlier deadlines on your calendar and don’t miss them. College websites are the best place to find accurate deadline information.

    Be consistent.

    Using the exact same name on all your forms makes things easier for admission officers. Decide if you want to use a shortened version of your legal name or your middle name, and then always use the same version. Switching names — going from Bill to Billy, for example — increases the odds that your materials will get misfiled.

    Be careful.

    Careless mistakes on your application can hurt your chances of getting accepted. After you finish an application, put it aside for a day and then check it over for errors. If you can, have a teacher or parent proofread it as well. Save and review online applications before you submit them.

    Alert your school.

    You need to let school officials know which colleges you’re applying to so they can send along your transcripts. The people you ask to write recommendation letters also need to know where you’re applying if they’re mailing the letters themselves.



    Completing the Package

    Once you’ve completed your application, follow these tips to make sure all the parts get where they’re going.


    Don’t wait.

    Anything that needs to be mailed, including your application itself, should be sent in several weeks before it is due. This allows time for delivery and processing. Online materials should be sent weeks before the deadline as well.

    Submit once.

    When you apply online, you’ll usually get an automated response saying your materials have been received. If you don’t, contact the college’s admission office. Don’t apply online again or mail in another application.

    Keep copies.

    Make a copy of each piece of each application. Save personal identification numbers, passwords, canceled checks and notes or emails from admission officers. This documentation can save you if a problem arises.

    Get confirmation.

    If you mail applications, put a stamped postcard addressed to your house in each package so admission officers can let you know that your materials arrived. The Post Office also offers a similar “return receipt” service. It may take a few weeks for confirmation cards to reach you.


    If you get a notice saying something is missing, don’t panic. Just call the admission office and calmly ask what steps you can take. This is why you wisely saved copies of everything and sent in your application early!"""""""""





    """College Application Checklist- Use this....

    https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-in/applying-101/college-application-checklist""""""";
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  • anialwaysanialways 1193 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,210 Senior Member
    ""What Is a High School Transcript and Why Is It Important?

    As you’re preparing for college, your high school transcript will most likely be the first piece of information reviewed by a university admissions officer. The transcript is a complete record of all the education coursework, grades and credits you earned in your four years of high school.

    When planning for college, your high school transcript is paramount. With this transcript you can show admissions counselors how hard you work, what areas you excel in and which major or type of degree might be best for you.



    When he obtains your transcript, the college admissions officer will look at:

    Your grade point average (GPA) and class rank.
    Be aware that some schools only consider core classes (like English, math, science and social studies) when calculating your GPA (What is a GPA?), while others look at grades for all of your classes.

    The types of classes you enrolled in. AP/IB classes will show that you are serious about planning for college, while a course load of non-academic classes will not impress them very much.

    How consistent your GPA was. When schools are looking for desirable candidates, they want to see that you are willing to work hard, and maintaining a high grade point average shows that.

    Rocky start? Keep at it. Schools also like to see GPA improvement.

    The number of pass/fail classes you took. Earning a passing grade in these classes is often considered a D by colleges. Avoid pass/fail classes so they don’t impact your cumulative GPA.

    Your behavior record, if included. It would only be a factor if there were any negative reports, such as suspensions or other disciplinary actions.


    Include a school profile.
    This is a demographic record of student population, AP/IB classes offered and other pertinent information that is usually required by college admissions officers.


    High School Transcripts: Tips & Tactics

    As you prepare your college admissions applications, request a copy of your high school transcript from your high school counselor or registrar so you can review it for accuracy.

    Check average GPAs at schools you want to attend. You may find a college you love, but if your transcript isn’t strong enough, you might not be a desired candidate.""""""""
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  • anialwaysanialways 1193 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,210 Senior Member
    There is no general consensus on this topic. But I am going to cover it for all the IBDP applicants out there.

    '''''So what’s different about IB courses?

    An IB diploma means committing to a rigorous two-year curriculum in your junior and senior year. Over the course of those two years, you’ll be expected to study six subjects chosen from six subject groups (i.e. language, second language, experimental sciences, the arts, math and computer science, and individuals and societies).

    In addition, IB students engage in the core requirements of completing a 4,000-word extended essay, a theory of knowledge course, and participating in community service. Clearly, the IB curriculum requires a longer-term commitment.



    What Do Colleges Think of IB Applicants?

    As a result of the IB program’s ability to develop critical-thinking skills, independent learning, and research proficiency in students, it is recognized that IB graduates often have stronger reasoning an analytical skills used at the college level.

    Most American universities and schools abroad recognize an IB diploma, and generally provide college credit for the courses taken during the two-year program, provided you complete the entire program. Each university will have varying policies when it comes to an IB diploma, so take the time to check with each college’s admissions office.

    As to whether the IB can help you in the college admissions process, it’s difficult to say. As with any other individual attribute of your college preparation, an IB diploma is part of the larger picture of your application.

    As a general rule, the IB program is deemed to be more international in tone and scope than similar AP classes. Participating in the IB program could possibly help distinguish you from other college applicants if it is part of a strong overall application. """"""""
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  • anialwaysanialways 1193 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,210 Senior Member
    """"""""Your Secret Weapon

    One piece of advice that is frequently given and often overlooked is to focus on developing your writing skills. Not only will this help with your college applications – primarily the all-important essay portion – but it will also help with your future college academic career.''''''''
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  • anialwaysanialways 1193 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,210 Senior Member
    """""""""International Students From India


    According to the Open Door document published by the Institute of International Education, during the 2009-2010 school year the number of Indian college students in America increased 2 percent, or more than 105,000.

    This is a lower growth rate than the previous year, but Indians remain the second-largest international group studying in the US. In fact, Indian students represent 15 percent of all international students.



    International Student Colleges

    What colleges do Indian international students attend?

    Many students find the transition to college abroad jarring, and they need some help acclimating to American life. These students should search out a college with an active Indian Student Association. Boston College, Brown University, Stanford University, Michigan State University and Virginia Tech are just a few colleges with Indian Student Associations.

    If you want to really immerse yourself in American culture, you might want to attend a small college in an urban setting like New York City, Boston, Chicago or Los Angeles. A small college allows you the chance to develop relationships with your professors and take advantage of small classes. You won’t feel like just a number.

    Community colleges might also be a good choice for Indian students. Community-college campuses are diverse and provide high-quality courses at a cheaper price. International students can earn their associate’s degree and later transfer to a bachelor’s degree program.



    Top Schools for International Students

    When attending college in the United States, many international students want to go to a school with a large population of international students to ease the transition.

    Colleges with a high number of international students often have resources like an Office for International Students or school clubs and associations specifically for international students from various countries.

    For example, Harvard University, whose 2009-10 student population was 23% international students, has a bevy of international groups including the South Asian Association, the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, the African Student Association, and the Eastern European Association.


    Colleges for International Students

    In general, you will have luck finding colleges with large international student populations in California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, and Texas.

    You may be surprised to find out that there are 184 colleges with more than 1,000 international students in America. The Open Doors report of 2010 shows that of these schools, those with the most international students are:

    University of Southern California (USC) (7,987)

    University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana (7,287)

    New York University (NYU) (7,276)

    Purdue University (6,903)

    Columbia University (6,833)


    Many international students are drawn to higher education in America because of the liberal arts approach that most colleges take. It can be argued that liberal arts educations produce a more well-rounded individual who knows how to think critically.


    Transitioning to college as an international student is difficult for most people. If you think you might need some extra help adjusting to your new environment, search out schools that have your major of interest and a high population of international students. """"""""
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  • anialwaysanialways 1193 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,210 Senior Member
    Some more help from another link, to get you organised...

    College Applications and the Admissions Process

    College Applications and the Admissions Process
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  • anialwaysanialways 1193 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,210 Senior Member
    Something for Parents

    """"Discuss the Personal and Social Responsibilities of Going to College

    For many students going away to college may be their first time away from home, so it’s important to discuss the social and personal implications they may face.

    Open a dialogue about underage drinking. According to recent studies, more than half of college freshman will face an opportunity to drink within their first week of college. And over 159,000 first-year students are forced to leave school every year for alcohol or drug related reasons. Have a frank discussion with your child about the implications to their success if they participate in it.

    In addition, an important aspect to cover will be how your child budgets their expenses. Decide if your teen will be using a credit or debit card, what their limit should be, and provide ways for them to budget how they spend what they’re allotted.



    College Admissions Calendar For Parents

    Preparing for college does not start the week before moving into the new dorm room.
    Many students want to put off thinking about their college plans for as long as possible. It’s then up to the parents to set them on the path to matriculating at the right school.


    So It Begins: The Freshman Year Plan

    First things first: in order to be accepted to college, a student must complete the high school requirements. By the first month of school is done, students and parents should know which classes are needed to graduate high school and which are needed to enter college.

    These requirements are not always the same. For instance, some four-year universities require two years of a foreign language, while some high schools may not require any foreign language at all. It would be a shame not to realize that until senior year, when it may be too late.

    The best way to stay on track is to visit and create a relationship with the guidance counselor. A counselor is sure to know the high school requirements and will likely have information on classes needed for college.

    It’s a good idea to have your child begin volunteering and becoming involved in extra curricular activities to build his college resume and discover his interests.

    It’s also smart to begin thinking about finances at this time. By saving or planning early, you may save yourself some hassle later.


    Keeping on the Path: Sophomore Year

    Freshman year was a teaser of the next three years of grades, classes and extra curricular activities. Continue to make sure that everything is on track in those areas.

    The second year of high school is a good time to begin researching colleges and attending college fairs.

    Also, it’s never too early to begin studying for the SATs. Students have the opportunity to take it all throughout their junior year, so studying early might not be a bad idea.


    The Almighty Junior Year

    Junior year is usually considered to be the most important year in college planning. Grades from this year are often the last that colleges see when applications are sent out.

    Schedule SAT testing times. The test is very important, so make sure your child studies. And remember that she can take it over as many times as she wants.

    Visit If You Can afford to! Colleges welcome high school students with open arms to tour the campus and learn a bit about the school. Not only will this teach you more about the university, it may also excite your child about going to college.

    Discuss college plans with your child. It’s important to know what he wants out of his college experience. After all, where he chooses to go may affect his entire life.


    The Last Step: Senior Year

    Many college applications are due early in the year, around November. It may be best to begin college applications as early as the summer before senior year.

    Most applications require at least a personal essay. It wouldn’t hurt to have your child write the essay early so that she may re-write until it’s up to her standards.

    Once college applications are turned it, it’s time to wait for the acceptances to roll in. However, make sure that a case of senioritis doesn’t cause your child’s grades to slip.""""""
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  • anialwaysanialways 1193 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,210 Senior Member
    To all new applicants, I do hope it will help with getting started. And the process will look manageable, because it actually is. Only thing required is planning ahead, making a timeline, a Checklist and sticking to deadlines. And work hard and smart during those High School years ie. 9/10/11/12.
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  • hopingforbetterhopingforbetter 794 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 811 Member
    Great post !!!
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  • Tizil7Tizil7 1640 replies46 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,686 Senior Member
    Amazing general guide, anialways!
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  • Mrinal2207Mrinal2207 745 replies34 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 779 Member
    Woah ! Awesome work Anialways. This should help a lot of 17ers and beyond.
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