College Application Process
AVERILL PARK HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELING CENTER
This is the procedure followed by the APHS Counseling Center to process applications in a timely and accurate manner. Please read these procedures before you begin any application.
College applications are made up of several components. It is YOUR responsibility to make sure that all parts arrive completed at the college by the application deadline.
APHS COLLEGE APPLICATION CHECKLIST: Students must complete and submit an Application Checklist for each and every college they wish to apply. This signed checklist will be authorization for us to send your transcript.
ADMISSIONS TESTS SCORES (SAT 1, SAT 2, ACT): Some colleges will accept scores from the APHS Guidance Office. Some colleges require that scores be sent directly from the testing company (these are referred to as official scores.) If “official scores” are requested, you must contact the College Board or ACT to have them sent. If you retake a test after we have sent in your transcript, we do not automatically send the follow up scores. Be sure to request that they be sent, or have the testing company send them.
TRANSCRIPTS: You must request that a transcript be sent to a college by completing a College Application Checklist. Also, if the college asks for a mid-year transcript, you need to request that it be sent by us. Once you have decided where you will attend, request that a final transcript be sent there. Transcripts include your GPA for 6 semesters, rank-in-class, courses taken final grades, Regents exam scores, and credits. To be “official” the transcript must be sent directly from us with a school seal and a counselor’s signature.
SECONDARY SCHOOL REPORT: sometimes called the Counselor’s Recommendation, is a summary of your academic, extracurricular and personal achievements written by your counselor. Many colleges have a specific form they use for this. We require a minimum of TEN school days notice to prepare this report. You are asked to complete a senior college information sheet or “brag sheet” ahead of time, preferably before September of your senior year. Counselors use that information in completing their recommendation for you and in making nominations for various scholarship programs.
APPLICATION FORM : The actual application form is completed by you and sent in by you, with the application fee and other supporting parts (if required.) Counselors will gladly look this over with you to ensure accuracy and completeness, but you should send it yourself. Pay attention to application deadlines. The SUNY application may have a School Counselor Form. You should give this form to your counselor with the College Application Checklist. The Counselor will complete a small section on the School Counselor Form and mail it in. Filing OnLine: Many colleges will now accept applications via electronic mail. If you choose to apply electronically, you still need to complete an APHS College Aptlication Checklist.
APPLICATION FEE: This is often overlooked and can hold up your application if it is not sent. Sometimes fee waivers are available. It never hurts to ask.
APPLICATION ESSAY: Some colleges require an essay; for some essays are optional and others do not ask for them. If it is optional, you are strongly urged to submit one. Essays should be typed and should be grammatically perfect (spelling, neatness counts). Do several drafts and edit them with the help of an English teacher or other person. Your counselor is most willing to give you feedback. Before you start to write, check out the reference books and articles in the Counseling Center on how to write a college essay. Usually you are given the choice of several topics. The point of an essay is not just to find out how you write, but also to learn something about you as a person, what is important to you, and how you think. Essays are read, and can often be the deciding factor in borderline cases.
INTERVIEW: In a few cases interviews are required; usually they are optional. If you have the opportunity for an interview you should take it. The impression you make in person can far outweigh what is on paper alone. There are resources in the Counseling Center on how to prepare for an interview. Read them.
TEACHER RECOMMENDATION: Some schools will ask specifically for 2 or 3 teacher recommendations. Some schools will have a special form for the teacher to use, other schools will just ask for a letter. If there is a form, be sure to fill out the part for the student to complete. You need to ask the teachers of your choice if they will do a recommendation for you. You should provide the teacher with the appropriate form or ask him/her to write a letter. You should also provide a stamped, addressed envelope for them to send it in. If you would like the recommendation to remain on file for the year with your counselor in case you need it, tell the teacher to give a copy to your counselor.
Teachers are very busy people. Be sure to give them plenty of advance notice. You may want to ask 1 or 2 of your junior year teachers for recommendations at the end of this year, so that they can do them over the summer.
Colleges expect that teacher recommendations are confidential. Therefore, do not ask a teacher to give you a copy of his/her recommendation.
OTHER: Sometimes a school will ask for a peer evaluation or a parent’s statement. Also you might be asked to send a graded paper from one of your classes, particularly a writing sample. Art students may be asked for a portfolio and performance arts students may need to schedule an audition. Physical Therapy students are expected to submit verification of observation hours. Some schools have a special financial aid page that goes along with the application.
FINANCIAL AID: Applying for financial aid is an entirely separate process from applying for admissions.
PROCESSING FEE: As you can see from reading the above, there is a lot of paper and postage involved in processing an application. The APHS Guidance Office charges a processing fee of $1 per application to cover the cost of the copying and several mailings that go along with each application. If this is a hardship, please let your counselor know. The processing fee should accompany the College Application Checklist.
REMEMBER: A two week notice (10 school days) is required to guarantee processing of your applications. If you bring in a request for processing the day before Christmas vacation, for example, we cannot guarantee your materials will go out in the mail on time.