Brunswick Academy College Counseling Handbook for Juniors and Seniors
Deborah R. Owen Director of Guidance firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: 434.848.2220 Fax: 434.848.0950
TABLE OF CONTENTS Guidance and Counseling Statement
The Application Process
Junior Year Time Line
How Parents Can Help Their Juniors
Suggestions for Senior Year
How Parents Can Help Their Seniors
Selecting a College
Useful Publications for Your Research
Visiting a College
Some Guidelines for Preparation for Interviews
Types of College Decisions
Sample Letters for Students
Worksheet for Building a Resume
Writing the College Essay
Typical Essay Questions
Profile Wait-Listing, Transferring, or Taking a Year Off
GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING The Brunswick Academy Guidance/College Counseling Office supports the Mission Statement of Brunswick Academy that reads The mission of Brunswick Academy, in cooperation with our parents and community, is to provide in a trusting environment instruction which affords our students a foundation on which to build their lives. To this end the guidance program strives to fulfill the expectations of the Board of Directors and administration of Brunswick Academy. The focus of the counseling office is to be on college planning for juniors and seniors. Counseling in grades nine through twelve is provided by the guidance counselor in cooperation with the administration, faculty and staff. The guidance counselor works with students who are referred by the administration, teachers, parents, or themselves. In addition, the guidance counselor meets with parents and arranges parent conferences with individual teachers or in a group setting. Parents, teachers, students, administration, or the counselor may initiate these conferences. College counseling services are provided primarily for students in the sophomore, junior, and senior years. Group sessions for sophomores and juniors are held relating to PSAT testing. These include a pre-testing session for preparation and a follow-up session held at night. This follow-up session is not only for PSAT results but college planning as well. Parents are invited to attend this session with the students. The counselor arranges individual conferences for juniors and seniors to discuss college choices and career interests. Particularly for the juniors, parents are encouraged to be present for these conferences. Normally they are scheduled for 3:00 P.M., immediately after the close of school, to enable parents and students to attend together. These conferences help parents and students understand the college planning process for their busy senior year. In order for the parents of seniors and juniors to understand the financial aid process and the forms to be completed, Brunswick Academy parents are invited to attend the financial aid workshop conducted by Southside Virginia Community College. The guidance counselor provides parents with helpful planning materials as well. The guidance department has a resource center. College catalogs, brochures, CDs, and videos are available for colleges and universities within Virginia as well as those in other states. These items are placed in alphabetical order for ease of use. Military information is also available. Families are encouraged to use the Internet to obtain the latest information from the colleges and universities. Two sections of materials are available for student and parent use: one deals with college planning tools as well as financial aid and scholarship information; the other contains career planning information. Students may work individually with these materials. Various brochures are also available to students and their parents. There are PSAT information materials, SAT Registration Bulletins, SAT Critical Reasoning Test Sample Question booklets, SAT Subject Test Sample Question booklets, ACT Registration Packets, and ACT Sample Questions and Use of Results booklets.
The counselor sets up recruiter meetings for college/university representatives or the military to meet with interested students, discuss their programs, and answer their questions or concerns. A list of the appointments is posted to notify students of the appointments. Scholarship information is available in the guidance office. A blue scholarship folder contains information received in the guidance office. Scholarship information is available on the Brunswick Academy website. This posting will make for greater ease for parents and students in obtaining scholarship information. Seniors may bring their completed paper college applications to the guidance office where the counselor reviews them. Most schools are encouraging the use of on-line applications and we support this effort. Students are asked to furnish in writing to the counselor a list of the schools to which they want Secondary School Information sent (an official copy of their transcript, school profile, test scores, and letters of recommendation, if requested). Please note that it is the student’s responsibility to ask Mr. Newsom, teachers, the counselor, or others for letters of recommendation. The student can request that the letters be sent to Mrs. Owen to include with her mailing of the other secondary school materials. Students’ records for the upper school are housed in the guidance office. The record includes grades, community service hours, standardized test results, letters of accomplishment, and so forth. These are available to students, parents, and educators for review. A signed release of records is necessary for mailing them to the desired institution. After graduation, seniors’ files are moved to the graduate files. If students or parents have questions about any aspect of college planning, or any other concerns, they should feel free to schedule an appointment with Mr. Newsom or Mrs. Owen or telephone them. Our desire is to work cooperatively with parents, students, and faculty/staff to bring about desired mutual goals. Brunswick Academy is a family in the true sense of the word and we strive for the best for each of our members. The rest of this handbook is a specific outline for college planning. We want to thank St. Anne’sBelfield School for their assistance with this handbook. Our hope is that it will prove to be a helpful tool to you.
The Application Process Applying to college is a daunting challenge. Where does one begin? It is the purpose of this handbook to remove the mystery of the college application process that causes many parents and students great concern. This handbook will outline the answers to various questions and concerns that families have and, hopefully, will provide the necessary assistance to making the application process easier. A person is not expected to read this handbook from cover to cover; it should be used when needed. The material is organized in the same order in which it will be needed in the application process. Furthermore, it is indexed in such a way that answers should be readily accessible. If there is a topic that is overlooked or that we have not sufficiently addressed, please let us know. If we do not know the answer, we shall do our best to find the answer. The college application process requires hard work and diligence. Students who are serious about the process should develop a realistic list of schools for consideration and obtain materials in a timely manner. If they observe deadlines and maintain close communication with their college counselor, they are more likely to be successful with their quest. Parents can be very helpful in the college application process. This handbook suggests various appropriate ways that parents and their children can work together in this venture. Remember that parental over-involvement encourages student passivity. Neither parents nor counselors can supplant the student’s active engagement and responsibility. Although the formal work of the application process does not begin until the spring of the junior year, preparation for college has been taking place throughout the upper school years, and indeed, throughout the student’s entire school career. Admission to college is the culmination of five years of hard work, appropriate course selection, responsibility for learning, and interests explored and developed. The mission statement of Brunswick Academy reads The mission of Brunswick Academy, in cooperation with our parents and community, is to provide in a trusting environment instruction which affords our students a foundation on which to build their lives. Our school faculty and staff strive to help students learn who they are and how to set goals for whom they wish to become. This should be a positive experience in self-discovery and a valuable opportunity for student, parents, and faculty to work together for the betterment of all. Our goal is to assist each of our students in his/her quest for selecting the most appropriate individual college choice. We recognize the right of each student to strive for the choice(s) that he/she and family select. The goal of the Brunswick Academy College Counseling Office is to help each child be successful and gain admittance to his/her choice of school(s). While we recognize that this expectation is not always possible, we continue to work with the child and his family recommending various options in this endeavor. We look forward to working with each of you through the college application process, and anticipate with high expectations the achievement of our mutual goals. Let’s begin… -3-
Junior Year Throughout the year:
Consider your career interests and plan a career path for the future. Carefully select the most appropriate courses to achieve your goals for the future. Work on achieving the best academic record possible. Choose one or two activities to pursue in depth and look for leadership opportunities. Maintain a record of your extracurricular activities, work experience, and community service. Imagine your resume. How would it look? Begin to create one on your computer and update it as your proceed through the upper school. Monitor announcements of college events and representatives. Try to attend as many sessions as your schedule and interest will permit. Explore websites for college information. Consider www.collegeboard.com, www.vacareerview.org , and other pertinent sites. Monitor the websites of schools of interest. Attend open houses if possible. Schedule an appointment with an admissions counselor at the schools of high interest. Request and take a tour of the campus. Ask pertinent questions. Visit the financial aid office for information. Seek and obtain scholarship information.
In October, travel to Southside Virginia Community College in Alberta, Virginia for College Day to visit with college representatives and collect helpful materials for college applications. In October, take the PSAT. The counselor will provide sign-up materials as well as a preparation booklet at least one week prior to the administration of the PSAT. Actively use the Internet and the resources in the College Counseling office to explore colleges that interest you. Take virtual college tours on the Internet. Make a list of the schools to which you may want to apply in your senior year.
Continue your research through guidebooks and the web. Schedule an appointment with Mrs. Owen. (It would be helpful to have one or both of your parents or a guardian, if applicable, to be present for this meeting. In this way we, hopefully, will all be “on the same page” in terms of planning and expectations.) We shall evaluate your transcript, update cumulative grade point averages (on both the 100-point scale and the four-point scale), review your standardized test record and organize an appropriate standardized test schedule, discuss your career goals and aspirations, discuss your potential college list, learn how the actual application process will work, and relate other areas of interest. Continue to update your resume of your activities, service, and work experience. Bring a draft of this resume to your first appointment. Continue to make plans to pursue study or interests, to do community service work, or to take a job.
Participate in career fairs to learn about various careers. Research career areas. The website, www.vacareerview.org is very helpful. Continue to research schools of interest. Print some college applications from websites of interest to see what is expected on an application. Prepare a list of colleges/universities that are of interest to you. As you identify these schools, make your interest known to the institutions via letter or e-mail. As advised by the athletic director and coaches at Brunswick Academy, write to coaches and others of special interest. Visit colleges/universities during Spring Break or at other times as possible. Note SAT Subject Test (formerly called the SAT II) requirements for schools that interest you and plan accordingly. Consult this guide, your teachers, and your college counselor about an appropriate testing program. Register for the tests, particularly the May and/or June tests as applicable. Check the Financial Aid requirements for schools that interest you. Plan a senior year schedule that will be challenging yet still allow you to pursue special interests. Schedule a final spring or summer appointment with your counselor to evaluate your transcript, update cumulative grade point averages (on both the 100-point scale and the four-point scale), review your standardized test record, discuss your potential college list, and relate other concerns of interest. Take the Southside Virginia Community College placement tests for senior year dual enrollment classes. Monitor local civic clubs for scholarship information in order to be prepared for the senior year. Check by Mrs. Owen’s office for forms used by the seniors.
Now that you have your SAT scores and your cumulative GPA, continue to develop a threetiered list of schools—those at which you are likely to gain admission, those at which you think you will be competitive for admission, and those which you know are a stretch, but at which you think you have at least a chance of admission. (Remember, in the final analysis, the decision as to where you apply is your decision and your parents. Your counselor will assist you in any way to help you apply wherever you so desire!) Visit colleges and universities. Write for applications and financial aid forms or download them from the websites. If you are planning to apply Early Decision, contact teachers and others to ask for recommendations as soon as possible. Be sure to inform them of the due date. If you know which teachers you wish to recommend you, write to them now. Many receive multiple requests; get yours in early! Spend some time thinking about the essay you may have to write. A sample of topics is included in the Essay section of this handbook.
How Parents Can Help Their Juniors • Encourage your child to set goals at the beginning of the pre-freshman year to develop the kind of record that will make possible the widest range of college admission options. While it is true that some students do not become as serious about their choices until their junior year, the official record (transcript) begins with some classes taken during the eighth-grade year. The longer a student procrastinates in doing his or her best work, the harder it becomes to achieve the type of record that might later be desired for the schools of choice. • Encourage your child to keep a running list of activities and use it both as a record and as a diagnostic tool to determine further interests to be explored. • Talk with your child about realistic college options as well as steps in general that students can take to make those options realities. • Encourage your child to pursue special interests and to research actively those institutions that offer programs that will support those interests. • Attend the PSAT Workshop for students and their parents in December to hear an overview of how the college counseling process will work and to ask questions. • Promptly schedule the first college-counseling visit at the beginning of second semester. • Bring to that visit the completed Parent Questionnaire, a document that is extremely valuable to college counselors in providing information unique to parents. It is very important in relating information in the letters of recommendation for your child. • Make clear to the college counselor any special needs, such as financial constraints or family concerns. • Support your child’s desire to visit appropriate colleges during free time. If you visit together, let him/her react before you do! • Listen to your child. His/her aspirations may be quite different from your own. • Encourage your child to take responsibility for the admissions process. When counselors or parents are too directive, students are likely to assume a passive role. • While the primary relationship is between student and counselor, parents should never hesitate to contact the counselor to ask questions, seek clarification, or simply to express concern. Phone calls, e-mails, and office appointments are welcome. • Help your child structure a productive and interesting summer program. • Remember that the college admissions picture has changed significantly in recent years. Many institutions are far more selective than they formerly were! • If your child seems reluctant to discuss college options or seems disengaged from the process, let Mr. Newsom or me know. It is usually far more productive for us to intervene than for you to push. We will be certain to let you know if we are concerned. • Remember that this is likely to be an anxious topic for everyone. Acknowledging that concern will make it easier for your child to talk freely about it.
Suggestions for Senior Year • Meet with your College Counselor within the first month of school to review your list of schools. (Most students apply to three or four schools. Some students may apply to more. That decision is your choice. It is recommended by many counselors not to apply to more than ten schools. Some counselors recommend six schools to increase the chances of being accepted to at least two. We are positive and hope that you will be accepted to all schools to which you apply, but we also have to be realistic in this time of great competition.) • Closely monitor all college representatives who are visiting our school as you may be interested in visiting with them for further information or clarification. Observe postings in the hallway near the guidance and principal’s office for college information. Keep visiting the websites of the colleges/universities in which you are seriously interested for updates and further information. • Remain in active contact with your counselor to address any questions or concerns. • Visit colleges as your schedule permits. Arrange interviews if the colleges to which you are applying offer them. • Maintain a current record of your activities, community service, and work experience in the guidance office. Let your guidance counselor know as you need to update it. (It is also recommended to maintain a record on your computer at home.) . • Make certain you have asked two teachers who know you well to write on your behalf. In general, it is best to ask a junior or senior year teacher. • If there are others, such as a coach or an employer who know you well, ask them to submit a letter of recommendation to be sent by your College Counselor, as well.
• Make absolutely certain that you know the admissions requirements and deadlines for each school to which you are applying! • Continue to take standardized tests according to the schedule you have developed with your counselor. Final Step: • Submit the FAFSA or CSS College Profile, if you will be applying for Financial Aid. • Submit to your college counselor a final list of schools, deadlines, and the names of those persons who will write your recommendations. • Plan a timetable for completing your applications. • Give your closest attention to your essays. Make certain that you have gone over them with your college counselor or English teacher or both before you submit them. • When possible, apply on-line. Always print a copy. • Once the application process is complete, continue to be the kind of student and school citizen that will make you attractive to the schools to which you have applied. • Be certain to notify your college counselor of each decision as you learn it. Let those others who wrote for you know of your acceptances and thank them for their support. • Once you have received all of your acceptances, reply by May 1 to all of them, indicating your choice. Sample letters are included in this handbook. This simple step is not only good manners; it may be helpful to those students who apply after you. • Let your college counselor know if you wish to remain on a wait list.
How Parents Can Help Their Seniors • If you are applying for institutional financial aid, complete the CSS College Profile as promptly as possible. • If you are applying for federal financial aid, complete the FAFSA as it becomes available. (Please see the Financial Aid section.) • Help your child assume responsibility for the application process by expressing interest, raising questions, and responding to requests without taking over the process yourself. • Recognize that the harder we push, the more likely children are to resist. If someone has to be the heavy, let it be the college counselor. • Talk with your child about developing a final list of schools. Encourage him/her to be realistic. • Make plain to your child that you will support every aspect of the process, but that obtaining forms, distributing them to the appropriate teachers, developing a final resume, writing essays, sending SAT scores, and observing deadlines are his/her own responsibilities. • Encourage your child to attend all senior class college meetings promptly and attentively, including the several informational and organizational meetings. • Encourage your child to continue to take advantage of the visits of college representatives. • Encourage your child to share his/her essays with you and with his/her English teacher and/or the college counselor. Remember, however, that the essays must be the student’s own expression. • Once the application process is complete, encourage your child to be the kind of student and school citizen that will make him/her attractive to the colleges to which he/she applied. • Stay in touch with the college counselor if you have questions or concerns. Let your counselor be of help. • Recognize that this is an anxious time for your child, although he/she may not acknowledge it. The more open we are about expressing a realistic confidence in our students, the more supportive of them we will be.
SELECTING A COLLEGE College selection is a process that requires research as reflected in “good old hard work.” With over 3,000 colleges and universities in the United States, many choices are available. The sooner you begin to decide what it is that you wish to gain from your college experience, the more likely you are to develop a list of schools that is right for you. Your goal is to find a school that is best suited to your learning style, your goals, and your personal requirements. Begin this process with an open mind, and take the time to do your research carefully. Generating a list of schools that will be important to you will be the reward of your hard work. If you have done your work well, you will be surprised with your selections. You may even have on your list some schools that you had not heard of before. To begin your research, consider guidebooks, the web, view books, information sessions held at school, and other sources that you believe may be helpful. You may wish to consider the recommendations or opinions of teachers, religious leaders, counselors, doctors, friends, and family regarding schools. Let the topics that follow guide your thinking and stimulate questions. Evaluate the information that you are given. Listed below are questions to consider. The list is not exhaustive; you will have many more of your own. 1. Location
• Distance from home In-state or out-of-state school • Climate • Size of community - rural, suburban, urban • Proximity to other colleges, cities, transportation, and cultural opportunities 2. Type
• Public, private, or sectarian • Four year Liberal Arts • Comprehensive University • Engineering or Technical College • Military School • Professional School 3. Student Enrollment
• Percentage of graduates to undergraduates • Size of freshman class • Male/female ratio • Percentage of minority students • Geographic origin of students • Percentage of Commuter/Resident students -9-
4. Admission • Percentage of successful applications • Mid-50% SAT range—and/or—ACT Composite range • Testing requirements • Is admission need blind, or is ability to pay taken into account?
5. Costs and Financial Aid • Maximum-minimum total costs per year. (In addition to tuition and board, include fees, books, travel, and other incidental expenses.) Difference between in-state and out-of-state rates, if applicable. • Percentage of students with financial aid
6. Academics • What courses are required? • What are the requirements for graduation? • What are the most popular majors? • Is there an honors program? • Does the school offer study abroad? Exchange programs? Internships or cooperative programs? • What is average class size? • What percentage of classes is taught by professors? What percentage by teaching assistants or graduate students? • How does academic advising work? • What characterizes the academic atmosphere? (competitive, relaxed, energetic, etc.) • How is the calendar organized? (semester, trimester, special winter or summer programs?) • What kind of support and accommodations are available for students with learning disabilities? 7. Quality of Life • What is the freshman attrition rate? • What is the four year graduation rate? • What is the percentage of flunk-outs, drop-outs, and transfers? • How safe is the campus? 8. Living Arrangements • Percentage of students who live on campus • Are there sufficient rooms for all interested students? • How are dormitories organized (coed, single sex, special distinctions: athletic dorms, honors dorm, language dorms, etc.) • Are there enforced quiet hours? • Are most rooms singles, doubles, triples, suites? • How are freshman roommate selections made? Do you have any input? • Are students required to eat on campus? • What food plans are available? - 10 -
9. Libraries, laboratories and computer access • How is the library system organized? (one main library or departmentalized by subject area?) • Are all resources easily accessible to all students? • Where do most people study? • How extensive are the hours for libraries and other facilities? • Does the library have open stacks? (i.e., can you browse shelves or are you only able to obtain books by request?) • How accessible are labs to undergraduates? • What hours are they available? • Are computers available to all students? • Are the dorms networked? • What are the foreign language computer facilities?
10. Extra-Curricular Life • How important are athletics to campus life? • What intercollegiate and intramural sports are offered? How easy or difficult is it to become involved? • What are the athletic facilities like? How accessible are they? • Is there a Greek system? What percentage of students belongs? • What social activities exist for those who do not join the Greek system? • What cultural activities take place on campus? • What facilities exist for theater, art, music, and dance? Are these facilities available to students outside these majors? • How many students take advantage of cultural events and other opportunities offered in the community beyond the college? • How accessible to students are facilities outside of the college? • Is the college active in the life of the community (particularly in community service)?
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Useful Publications for Your Research About the Process: These books provide excellent background material and a context in which to approach the college search. Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools You Should Know About Even If You're Not a Straight-A Student, Loren Pope. (An excellent resource for broadening a college search.) College Admissions: A Crash Course for Panicked Parents, Sally Rubenstone and Sidonia Dalby. (Despite the name, this book is useful for students as well as parents.) 50 College Admissions Directors Speak to Parents, Sandra F. MacGowan and Sarah M. McGinty. Letting Go: A Parents' Guide to Understanding the College Years, Karen Coburn and Madge Lawrence Treeger. Looking Beyond the Ivy League, Loren Pope. (An excellent resource for finding colleges outside the Ivy League schools that provide a similar educational experience.) Playing the Selective College Admissions Game, Richard Moll. (An especially useful discussion for parents.) Questions and Admissions: Reflections on 100,000 Admissions Decisions at Stanford, Jean Fetter. (This one's probably for those who just want to know more about how the process works.) Scaling the Ivy Wall, Howard Greene. (Particularly useful for students in learning how to present themselves to best advantage to highly selective institutions.) Selecting the Right College: Over 50 Little Known Tips From a College President, Norman R. Smith. Wagner College Press. Comprehensive Guides: Among the many such guides, the following are especially useful. Barron's Profiles of American College The College Board College Handbook The Internet Guide for College-Bound Students (published by the College Board) Lovejoy's College Guide Petersonâ€™s Guide to American Colleges Narrative Guides: While these guides are not objective, they are perhaps most helpful in providing insight into each institution. The Fiske Guide to Colleges, This is our favorite account of academics, quality of life and social life. It is easy to read and highly informative, pointing to strongest programs and providing suggestions for similar institutions. - 12 -
Rugg's Recommendations on the Colleges. This guide ranks strength of areas of study at a wide variety of institutions. It provides very useful information for the student who is seeking information about potential major interests. Insider's Guide to Colleges: Compiled by Yale students, this one is fun to read, but it is definitely subjective! Guides for Special Needs: College Admissions Index of Majors and Sports Guide to Performing Arts Programs The Winning Edge: A Complete Guide to Intercollegiate Athletic Programs The K & W Guide to Colleges for the Learning Disabled Guides to Financial Resources: The Scholarship Book: The Complete Guide to Private-Sector Scholarships, Grants, and Loans for Undergraduates Don't Miss Out: The Ambitious Student's Guide to Financial Aid Useful Web Sites www.collegeboard.com On this site you can register for tests, send your scores, complete the CSS Profile, complete a personal inventory to develop a preliminary list of schools, and even find practice questions for the SAT Reasoning Test (used for college admissions) and SAT Subject Tests (one-hour achievement tests also used for some colleges, usually for placement in classes, formerly known as SAT IIâ€™s), and find a link to the Fiske Guide. This site is perhaps the best place to begin. This site contains links to many colleges and universities, as well as a program that allows you to compare them. www.usnews.com
This site allows you to access web pages of many colleges and universities, learn about financial aid, and even apply to a few schools on-line. www.collegenet.com
www.commonapp.org This is where you will find the Common Application on line, as well as information about which schools accept it. www.campustours.com Here you can find campus maps, virtual tours, and in some instances, web cams. www.collegeview.com This site allows you to search for schools by name or criteria. www.reviews.com The Princeton Review site, it contains abundant information about the tests, rankings, admission tips, and contains a link to Apply! an on-line application program. www.C3Apply.com Here you will find college applications, tours, searches, financial aid estimators and scholarship information.
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VISITING A COLLEGE 1. Plan your visit as far ahead of time as possible. 2. Try to go when the college is in session. If possible, include part of a weekend. 3. Call or e-mail for an appointment with the person who deals with applicants from Brunswick Academy. Calling is more efficient if you are scheduling visits to more than one college. 4. Be certain to find out when information sessions are held, whether the school hosts overnight visits, and whether it will be possible for you to visit a class. 5. Try to visit a class in a department you are interested in pursuing and to attend the same type of class at each college you visit. 6. Come armed with a list of questions. 7. Ask whether the college wants you to bring with you a copy of your transcript, test scores, and our school profile. 8. Fill out an interest card to let the school know you have visited. 9. And be certain to • Check out the recreation center. • Check out the bulletin boards. • Pick up a copy of the student newspapers. • Eat a meal where students eat. • Find out about student transportation and take it if possible. • Ask to see a dorm room. • Talk to as many students as possible. Do not let your tour guide be your only source of information. • Browse the most recent yearbook, usually found in admissions offices. • Jot down your impressions when you leave.
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The purpose of interviews is to give colleges an additional way to evaluate you as a candidate, to allow you to describe yourself more fully, and to give you the chance to ask questions which have not been answered by the catalogue or other sources. Although the interview may be important, it is rarely the most important part of your application, and many schools do not require or offer interviews. The interview should be a comfortable and helpful exchange of information, not a mutual thirddegree. You are expected to be somewhat nervous, but it should not seem as if you are taking an examination. Your genuine interest in the school should show. Be honest and sincere. Try to relax and be yourself. Avoid using vague language (“Like…,” “You know…,” “Sort of…,” “Whatever…!”) and try to be precise. If you would like to schedule a mock interview, I would be happy to help. Or, if you wish, why not consider asking a parent or friend to practice with you! Before applying to a school, you will naturally want to determine the school’s interview policy. Interview types may include: Required Interview: This policy speaks for itself and indicates that the school places weight on the interview. Recommended Interview: Often qualified by the word "strongly." If an interview is recommended, by all means take advantage of this opportunity to enhance your chances of admission. Colleges will view this as a measure of your genuine interest in the institution. Voluntary Interview: This interview comes as a result of your initiative and may or may not be given as a part of your evaluation. Be sure to ascertain whether or not this interview will bear on your application. Find out if it will be given by an admission officer or a student intern. If given by a student, it is less likely to receive serious weight, but it may be a very helpful way for you to gain information and ask questions. Alumni Interviews: Some students will arrange for you to be interviewed by a local alumnus. Again, it is very important that you take advantage of this opportunity as an expression of your interest. These interviews are usually held after you have made application, and generally they carry as much weight as one held on campus. These interviews will vary in content, as will those with an admissions officer.
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Some Guidelines for Preparation for Interviews • Be on time and make eye contact. • Go alone. If your parents accompany you to the Admissions Office, they will not be allowed to be with you during the interview, although they may be invited in for the last few minutes. When you first meet the admissions officer, introduce your parents. • Take a current copy of your transcript, test scores, and our school profile. Leave them with the Admissions Office. • Be aware of current national, state, and local affairs. • If asked your opinion, give it and back it up with reasons. • Try to find a way to mention your strengths -- non-academic as well as academic. • Be prepared to answer questions about our school, your record, your test scores, your career plans, your interests, and the contributions you can make to the college. • Do not ask questions that can be answered by reading the catalogue. Rather use the catalogue as a springboard for questions. For example, I noticed in your catalogue that you have a debate team. What other colleges do you compete against? How does one get on the team? • Do not be afraid to ask questions. It always helps to write them out in advance, even if you do not refer to them during the interview. • Feel free to ask about your chances for admission. Be prepared to answer questions like these: • Is our school your first choice? (Unless you are applying as an Early Decision candidate, a good answer would be, "I'm still not sure. I'm here to get more information.") • What other schools are you interested in? • Why have you applied to this school, or why are you interested in this school? • If I were to visit your school for a few days, what would I find is your role in the school community? What are your most important contributions? • Where and when do you find yourself most stimulated intellectually? • What books or articles have made a lasting impression on you or your way of thinking? • Do you have any contemporary heroes? Any historical ones? • What have you read, seen, and heard about this school? What rumors can I confirm or deny? • What are your reactions to various current events? • What is truly important to you? What are your values and ideals? • What are your special talents and interests? (If you're not asked this, find a way to work it into the conversation anyway.) • What is your over-riding consideration in choosing a school? • What do you expect to gain from going to college? • If I could hand you my telephone and let you speak to anyone living, to whom would you want to talk? Why? • How would you describe yourself to someone who did not know you? • If our roles were reversed, what would you like to know about me so that you could make an intelligent and fair decision on my application?
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STANDARDIZED TESTING The Six Types of Tests PSAT/NMSQT â€“ Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test This test is given in October to Brunswick Academy sophomores and juniors. The school registers all students. The format of the test is the same as the SAT Reasoning Test; therefore, it is a useful predictor of SAT scores, as well as practice for the test. Sophomores take this test solely to gain familiarity with this type of standardized testing; their scores do not count. As some of the sophomores will not yet have studied geometry, their math scores are not indicative of how they will perform in their junior year. Juniors take the test as a first step in preparing for the SAT Reasoning Test and as a basis for the National Merit Scholarship competition. SAT Reasoning Test This is a three-hour and 45 minute test that measures the core reasoning abilities students need to do college-level work successfully. These include critical reading skills, mathematical skills, and writing skills. It is not intended to measure academic achievement, although the test has recently been revised to follow more closely the high school curriculum. The test is offered on seven dates throughout the year: October, November, December, January, March or April, May and June. Although there has been considerable discussion lately about the emphasis placed on this test, most competitive colleges and universities still require SAT or ACT scores, described below, for admission. The test is administered by the College Board; when one score is reported, all scores from previous tests are reported. Most colleges will combine testings and use the highest score the student has achieved in each area to arrive at a composite score. Most Brunswick Academy students take this test in May or June of their junior year. Since our exams are in June, some students prefer to test then after a week of preparation and review. Students should register for this test on-line at www.collegeboard.com.
SAT Subject Tests These are one-hour achievement tests (previously known as SAT II tests) designed to measure knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge in specific subject areas. It is possible to take three tests on a given test date. Some 4-year colleges require three SAT II tests; many require no SAT II tests at all. It is imperative that students check the requirements of individual schools in which they are interested in order to plan an appropriate test program. SAT Subject Tests are offered on several dates throughout the year, usually (but not always) when the SAT Reasoning Test is given. Tests are offered in Literature, United States History, World History, Math Level I, Math Level II, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, French, German, Modern Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Not all SAT Subject Tests are offered on all of the test dates. Check the College Board website or the SAT Registration Bulletin to be sure when particular tests are offered. The College Board has eliminated Score Choice, which previously allowed students to decide whether to release their scores for a given test; all scores are now reported. Students should register on-line at www.collegeboard.com.
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ACT – formerly known as the American College Testing Program An alternative to the SAT Reasoning Test, the ACT tests four academic areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science. The ACT offers an optional writing test, including an essay. Four separate scores plus a composite score averaging the tests are reported. This test is commonly required by public colleges and some private colleges in the Midwest, West and South, and is increasingly accepted by a wide range of others. Students should check whether the test is acceptable at institutions to which they are applying, since it can be an appropriate alternative for those who experience trouble with the SAT Reasoning Test. Students should register for this test via a packet of application materials from the guidance office or on-line at the ACT web site, www.actstudent.org. AP - Advanced Placement Tests The Advanced Placement tests are three-hour examinations based on a full-year college-level course taken in high school. These tests encompass Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, French, Latin, Physics, Spanish, Statistics, Modern European and U.S. History. Students enrolled in an AP course are required to take the appropriate exam. Brunswick Academy does not offer Advanced Placement Courses. TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language and ELPT - English Language Proficiency Test Students whose first language is not English may be required to take either one of these examinations to test their readiness to master college work in English. Both tests are administered by the College Board. The TOEFL may be taken by computer and may be scheduled at any time. The ELPT is offered in November and January. Students should check the requirements of those colleges to which they apply. Which Tests to Take When Allow two test dates for the SAT Reasoning Test or ACT, one in the spring of the junior year and one in the fall of the senior year. Only one testing may be necessary if you are satisfied with your scores the first time. Although you may take the test as many times as you wish, research indicates that scores do not change much after the third testing. Most colleges will accept your highest composite score. Plan an appropriate schedule of testing with your college counselor. Some Suggestions for Signing up for SAT Subject Tests • Take SAT Subject Tests in the spring of the junior year, or the terminal year of the subject tested. If you intend to make an early application, you may take tests on the November date, but you will need to rush your scores to the appropriate institution. If you are applying by regular decision, you may take tests in January, but once again, you will need to rush your scores to institutions that have a January 1st deadline. • Most juniors who take SAT Subject Tests will take them at the May or June testing. Be aware of the sign-up deadline. • Before signing up, check to make sure that the colleges in which you are interested require SAT Subject Tests, and if so, how many they require. • If you are uncertain where you will be applying, consider taking at least one SAT Subject Test in order to be on the safe side. • Always take the test as late in the school year as possible. • Consult with your college counselor and your subject area teacher about which SAT Subject Tests would be best for you to take. Following are some guidelines. - 18 -
Biology: Take this test if you are taking Advanced Biology and earning a B or better. Chemistry: Take this test if you are in Chemistry and earning a B or better. French: Take the French Writing SAT Subject Test if you are enrolled in French II or III and earning a B or better. Latin: The Latin test is offered only in June and December. Take this test in December if you have completed Latin II or III with a B or better. Students who are currently enrolled in Latin and feel strongly that this will be a good SAT Subject Test for them should consider taking it in June of the junior year and taking the SAT Reasoning Test in May. Literature: Take this test if you have a solid B or better in English and enjoy analyzing literature. Math IC: Check the booklet with suggested questions to determine which math test is better for you. Normally one would take this test if you are in Algebra II, Geometry, or Algebra III/Trigonometry. Math IIC: Check the booklet with suggested questions to determine which math test is better for you. Normally one would take this test if you are in Honors Advanced Math or Calculus. Spanish: The Spanish SAT Subject Test with listening and the Spanish SAT Subject Test without listening are available. Let your Spanish teacher advise you on which test to take and when. Spanish testing should be completed in the year in which you finish Spanish II (if NOT taking Spanish III) or at the conclusion of Spanish III. U.S. History: Take this test if you are taking U.S. History and earning a B or better. Extended Time 1. Students who qualify for extended time may apply to take all standardized tests with extended time by completing the College Board Services for Students with Disabilities Form or the ACT Extended Time Request Form. Both forms are available in the College Counseling Office and on-line at the websites of each organization. Forms must be completed eight weeks before the desired test date. A very complete explanation of requirements to receive extended time is easily accessible at both websites. 2. When the College Board or American College Testing Service approve the extended time, students and the school will receive an SSD number and a letter of approval. The approval applies to all tests given by the organization that has granted it. 3. Please note that separate approval is required for SAT and ACT. They are not interchangeable, and each requires a separate procedure. Reminders about Test Taking 1. Check each college for its testing requirements: find out how many and which subject tests are required and the last date that test results will be accepted for the application. 2. Plan your testing schedule carefully; you cannot take both the SAT Reasoning Test and SAT Subject Tests on the same date. 3. Note SAT Subject Test dates carefully. Not every subject is offered on every testing date, and certain subjects are offered on more than one date. 4. Early Decision or Early Action applicants should make every effort to complete SAT Reasoning, ACT, and SAT Subject Tests as early as possible. Tests may be taken in October and November, and the scores rushed, but it is preferable to complete the testing as early as possible. 5. We will send any test scores that you have released to us when we send the school portion of your application, but these scores are unofficial. You are responsible for sending your scores directly to each college to which you apply, including the NCAA Clearinghouse. College Codes are listed in the SAT Registration Booklet and on-line at www.collegeboard.com. Scores may easily be released either by telephone or on the Internet at www.collegeboard.com. - 19 -
Test Registration 1. Students are encouraged to register for all SAT and ACT tests on line. This procedure is far more efficient and reliable than using the paper registration form; however, the paper registration form is available in the guidance office. 2. Our CEEB Number (College Code) is 471-209.
2012-2013 SAT Test Dates and Registration Deadlines Date
October 6 November 3* December 1 January 26 March 9 May 4 June 1
SAT I & II SAT I & II SAT I & II SAT I & II SAT I SAT I & II SAT I & II
Regular Deadline September 7 October 4 November 1 December 28 February 8 April 5 May 2
Late Deadline September 21 October 19 November 16 January 11 February 22 April 19 May 17
Languages: Reading Only Latin SAT II is offered December and June. Spanish SAT II is offered October, December, January, May, and June. * SAT II Language with Listening is offered on this date (Spanish). Fees for 2012-2013 SAT Reasoning Test (formerly called SAT I)
SAT Subject Tests (formerly called SAT IIâ€™s) Basic registration fee = $23.00 Language Test with Listening = add $23.00 All other Subject Tests = add $12.00 each Other Registration Fees (add to total test fees) Re-registration by phone = $15.00 Late registration = $27.00 Waitlist Request = $44.00 Test center, date, or test change = $26.00 See Registration Bulletin OR on-line information (www.collegeboard.com) for further fees for services. SAT Score Delivery Dates Most scores are available online and by phone about three weeks after the test date. Official score reports are delivered about five weeks after the test. Some scores may take longer to report. Visit sat.collegeboard.org/scores for a list of approximate score availability dates.
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2012-2013 ACT Test Dates and Registration Deadlines Date September 8 October 27 December 8 February 9 April 13 June 8
Regular Deadline August 17 September 21 November 2 January 11 March 8 May 3
Late Fee Required August 18-24 September 22-October 5 November 3-16 January 12-18 March 9-22 May 4-17
Fees for 2012-2013 ACT only (NO Writing) = $35.00 ACT Plus Writing = $50.00 Late Registration = Add $22.00 to fee of test you selected Standby Testing = Add $43.00 to fee of test you selected See the ACT packet for registration OR on-line information (www.actstudent.org) for further fees for services._ ____________________________________________ FINANCIAL AID Meeting the rising costs of a college education is a source of concern to many families. Do not assume that you will not be eligible for financial aid. Nothing is lost by completing the financial aid forms, and you will certainly receive nothing if you do not engage in the process. Need-based Aid Most financial aid is need-based, that is, money that is allocated solely on the basis of a family's ability to pay college costs. Demonstrated need is determined by a formula which calculates the difference between what a family is able to contribute and what the college costs will be. Individual institutions and the federal government use different methods of calculating each family's ability to pay; consequently demonstrated need and the amount of aid may differ widely from one institution to another. It is imperative that students contact the financial aid office of each institution early in the application process to discuss any special family circumstances and to be absolutely clear about institutional requirements for application for financial aid. Students who apply for financial aid will be offered a "package" that may include three forms of aid: Grants. Grants do not have to be repaid and do not require a service commitment. Loans. Loans require repayment, but at a very reasonable interest rate. Repayment does not have to begin until students graduate. Work-study. This usually takes the form of jobs on campus for a stipulated number of hours a week with the money earned to be applied to college costs. - 21 -
How to apply for Aid: Every family applying for federal financial aid must fill out the Free Application for Federal Aid (FAFSA). Applications are available in the College Counseling Office and on-line at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The FAFSA may be submitted as early as January 1, and must be submitted by May 1. Since money is allocated as demonstrated need is calculated, it is in the family's interest to submit the FAFSA in as timely a manner as possible. Students applying to private colleges and universities should also fill out the College Scholarship Service Profile (CSS Profile). The Profile must be completed by December 31. Application for the Profile is available in the College Counseling office and on-line at www.collegeboard.com. The FAFSA and Profile both ask questions concerning family income, assets, size, and special circumstances. Obviously, all information must conform to that submitted to the IRS. Some colleges and universities require additional forms and ask that families submit their federal income tax returns. Again, be certain to contact the financial aid office of each institution to which you plan to apply to make certain that you have met all of their requirements. Sources of Need-Based Aid: Pell Grants: Available to all US citizens and to eligible non-citizens attending an approved institution at least half-time as an undergraduate. The amount of the grant is based on a Federal formula that applies to all students and is calculated annually. No repayment is necessary. A FAFSA must be filed by May 1 to be considered for this aid. Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG): These need-based grants are determined by individual institutions and are administered by each institution. Priority is given to students with exceptional need. No repayment is necessary. Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program (formerly Guaranteed Student Loan Program) is comprised of the following three loan programs: Subsidized Stafford Student Loans: Low-interest loans made by the government, a bank a credit union, or other lenders. A student may borrow $2,625 for the first year; this amount increases incrementally with each successfully completed subsequent year. This loan must be repaid after graduation, but the government takes care of the interest payments while you attend school. Unsubsidized Stafford Loans: Eligibility for these loans is determined by a student's eligibility for a subsidized or partially unsubsidized loan. For an unsubsidized loan, the student, not the federal government, pays the interest on the loan while in school. Repayment can be deferred until after graduation. PLUS (Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students): A relatively new program that allows families with a positive credit record to borrow up to the total college cost minus other financial aid. These loans have a 9% interest cap and are operated through private lenders. They can be increased in each successive year of college study. Perkins Student Loan Program: Known as National Direct Student Loans (NDSL) these loans are determined by the individual institutions and are administered by them. Priority is given to students with exceptional need. An undergraduate may borrow up to $3,000 a year; interest rates are low and there is a nine-month grace period before repayment must begin. - 22 -
Federal Work Study: These funds are pledged to help the student as part of the total financial aid package and are administered by the individual institutions. Students work part-time during the school year with all money earned going directly to meet financial need. Merit-Based Aid: Merit-based aid is given for talent and achievement of many kinds - academic, athletic, leadership, and artistic achievement among them. In most cases, an analysis of need is not part of the process of awarding this money. Inquire at the Admissions Office and consult the web site and publications of any institution in which you are interested to see what merit-based awards are available. A number of the web sites listed below also contain information about merit scholarship opportunities. Some Questions to Ask College Financial Aid Offices: • Will applying for financial aid have an impact on your chance of admission? • What institutional financial aid is available? • What percentage of financial aid is based on need and what percentage is based on merit? • How much do costs generally increase each year? • Will financial aid be affected if you receive any additional scholarships from outside organizations?
Scholarship and Financial Aid Web Sites www.fafsa.ed.gov/.
This is the U.S. Department of Education web site which contains the on-line application for federal aid. www.ed.gov/finaid.html.
Here is the site to turn to for any questions in filling out the FAFSA or in
understanding it. www.collegeboard.com.
The CSS Profile can be downloaded here, and in addition there is a wealth of scholarship information available. www.fastweb.com.
An extremely helpful site for obtaining financial aid information and searching for
scholarships. www.absolutelyscholarships.com. www.nslc.org.
A database of over 200,000 scholarships and awards.
National student loan clearinghouse.
The web site of the primary independent student aid lender. Provides excellent information about federal and private loan programs and allows you to forecast costs. Complete the FAFSA and search for scholarships.
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THE APPLICATION General Advice: • Obtain applications as soon as possible. Colleges prefer that you download an application directly from their websites. You may also obtain an application by an e-mail or telephone request. • Consider using the Common Application as it is a great time saver. If an institution accepts it, by all means use it. Part of the Common Application agreement is that institutions will give it the same weight that they give their own application. A list of institutions that accept the Common Application is available at the web site www.commonapp.org. . The application can be downloaded from that site. I also have Common Applications available in the College Counseling office. • Check the Common Application to see if the institutions to which you are applying require a supplement. If they do, request the supplements as soon as possible. Some institutions will not send the supplement until they have received your initial application. • Many applications are divided into two parts. The first is simply informational and includes the application fee. File this part of the application as quickly as possible. As soon as a college receives this part of the application, it will open a file for you and record your interest. The sooner your file is open, the better. • Keep a file of applications. You will find it helpful to start a file for each institution to which you will apply. • Be neat! It is always a good idea to photocopy the application before filling it out so that you can practice. • Always type or word process. • Whenever possible, apply on-line! • Be certain to make copies of all applications, including on-line applications. Student Obligations: • Know the exact requirements of each institution to which you will apply. • Contact the financial aid office of each institution to make certain you know what forms it requires and to let the staff know of any special circumstances. • Request recommendations from two teachers, preferably those who have taught you in 11th or 12th grade. • Complete the top portion of the Secondary School Report Form and the Teacher Recommendation Forms and give these forms to the appropriate people. - 24 -
• Complete Parts I and II of the application. In general, this will include biographical information, some sort of resume of activities and interests, and one or more essays. • Make certain that you have carefully proofread every part of your application. Let someone else go over your applications with you! Accuracy, neatness, and mechanical and grammatical correctness are imperative! • Contact ETS to send your standardized test scores to each institution. • Let your college counselor know as soon as you have filed an application. • Make a copy of each application that you send. • If you decide not to pursue an application on your list, let your college counselor know immediately.
School obligations: • To complete the School Report Form, including a Counselor's Statement. • To send the official transcript. • To send a photocopy of all standardized testing of which we have a record. • To send all teacher recommendation forms and letters. • To include a Brunswick Academy School Profile with each application you send. • To send mid-year grades to each college to which you have applied. • To send a final official transcript to the final choice college. As a courtesy to students who may wish the application to be sent as a complete package, I shall assume the responsibility of sending the entire application, including the student portions, if I receive the appropriate documents no later than two weeks before the due date.
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STUDENT ATHLETES • Students who may be recruited athletes must fill out the NCAA Eligibility Center Form in order to be eligible for campus visits and scholarship offers. • Once you have completed the Eligibility Center Form, available on-line at www.eligibilitycenter.org print out the transcript release form and give it to your college counselor immediately. I shall then send your transcript through junior year. I shall send your final transcript when you have graduated to insure your college eligibility. • If you have ever attended any other high school besides Brunswick Academy, I must submit a copy of that transcript, as well. Make certain that the school has that transcript. • YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR SENDING YOUR STANDARDIZED TEST SCORES TO THE NCAA THROUGH THE COLLEGE BOARD. THE CEEB CODE NUMBER FOR THE ELIGIBILITY CENTER IS 9999. • Work closely with your coach to determine those institutions that are appropriate for you athletically and with your college counselor to determine those institutions that are appropriate for you academically. • Contact those coaches in whose programs you are interested. This can easily be done by e-mail, using the form letter that follows. • The school will send a transcript, a photocopy of any standardized testing you have completed, and a School Profile to any college coach who requests these documents. • Many coaches encourage recruited athletes to apply Early Decision. Only do so if you are 100% certain that a particular college is your first choice. • Because of the likelihood of an Early Application, athletes should request recommendations from teachers as early as possible. • Keep your college counselor informed of all official visits you take and of your status at each institution. We can more effectively be your advocate if you keep us fully informed. • If a coach asks you to commit yourself before you are ready to do so, or if you are genuinely unsure about whether or not you want to commit, we urge you to talk to your counselor before responding. We can help you think through your decision, and frequently we can intervene for you through the admissions office. • REMEMBER: Admissions decisions are made by admissions offices, not by college coaches. You cannot count on an offer of admission until you have received it officially. Be skeptical about any promises made to you, and remember that coaches sometimes change their minds. - 26 -
TYPES OF COLLEGE DECISIONS EARLY ADMISSION: This is a highly unusual plan in which a student who is absolutely sure of his or her college choice may apply in the spring of junior year. The decision is usually made within six weeks, and it is most often a binding decision. Very few institutions offer this plan.
EARLY DECISION: Most colleges offer a plan by which students apply before the regular deadline and are notified within six weeks of the decision. November 1, or 15, are the most common deadlines for Early Decision applications, but some colleges use other deadlines and some have more than one Early deadline, so it is imperative that you check this information carefully. Early Decision applications are binding. You may not apply for Early Decision at more than one institution. Early Decision is a good option for those whose records are as strong as they are likely to be and who are absolutely certain of their college choice. It is not a good option if you have any uncertainty about your choice. Early Decision applicants may be accepted, denied, or deferred for consideration with the regular applicant pool.
EARLY ACTION: Some colleges offer a plan by which students may apply early and are notified within six weeks of the decision. The deadline for this type of application is usually November 1, but again it is wise to check carefully. Early Action is not a binding decision, and some institutions allow you to submit more than one Early Action application. Some institutions have implemented a Single Choice Early Action plan under which you may only apply to that school. Be certain to check the requirements of your schools. You may not apply Early Action at one institution and Early Decision at another. If your record is as strong as it is likely to be, this is a good plan to consider since it allows you to continue the application process. Early Action applicants may be accepted, denied, or deferred for consideration with the regular applicant pool.
ROLLING ADMISSION: Under this plan, Admissions Committees meet and make decisions at regular intervals throughout the year. Usually you will receive a decision within four weeks after the college receives all parts of your application. Your chances for admission are greater the earlier you apply, because institutions that use this plan fill their classes as they receive applications.
REGULAR DECISION: Under this plan, you apply by a stated deadline (usually in January or February) and you are notified by a stated date (usually April 15). For all applications, be very certain to determine whether the stated deadline is a postmark date or an actual date. Please note that at Brunswick Academy, we recommend that ALL applications be submitted by no later that December 7th unless there is a compelling reason for so doing. If you have questions about this recommendation, call Mrs. Owen at 434.848.2220.
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SAMPLE LETTERS FOR STUDENTS Always include your name, address, e-mail address, and the date in the upper right hand corner of your letter. You may write either by e-mail or regular mail.
Request for Information from a College or University To the Admissions Office of ________________, I am currently a ______________ at Brunswick Academy in Lawrenceville, Virginia and am beginning to investigate colleges to which I might consider visiting or applying. I have been researching schools and I believe that _____________ is a school that might be a good fit for me. Would you please send me a catalogue and any other information that would be helpful to me in my search? Thank you for your assistance. Sincerely, _______________________________________________________________________
Request for Information from a Coach
Dear Coach _____________: I am a ____________ at Brunswick Academy and am a member of the varsity ___________ team. I have heard about the ________________ team at your school and would like to learn more about your program and to visit _______________ if possible. I am interested in a college that will provide me with a strong academic program and the opportunity to play competitive intercollegiate athletics. For the past ____________ years, I have played ________________at the _______________ (position) level. In addition I have attended numerous camps and clinics during the summer. Through these experiences, I believe I have developed the skills necessary to make a valuable contribution to your team. My coach, ______________, would be happy to discuss my experience with you. I have enclosed a brief resume of my achievements. Thank you for your assistance. Sincerely,
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Request for Information from a Special Interest Person Dear Professor Expert: I am a _________________ at Brunswick Academy and have heard about the ______________ department at your school. I am looking for a college where I might continue my extensive involvement in _______________. I have actively pursued my interest in _____________ both inside and outside the classroom and expect ______________ to be an important part of my college experience. I am enclosing a resume of work I have done in _______________ [and a portfolio, tape, etc. of some of my recent work]. I am hoping to visit your campus in ______________ and would like to meet with you if possible. I have surveyed your (web page, catalogue, etc) and would appreciate any additional information you might send me. Sincerely,
Accepting or Rejecting an Offer of Admission To the Admissions Office of ________________ Thank you very much for your letter accepting me as a member of the class of 200_. I am happy to say that I would like to accept that offer and that I intend to matriculate at _____________ in the fall. (or I am sorry to say that I have decided to attend ____________ instead.) Thank you very much for all your help during the admissions process, especially to ______________ who was especially helpful throughout the process (if relevant). I am looking forward to the next four years (if you accept) or I have enjoyed getting to know ____________ (if you decline). Sincerely,
Please note. Colleges take notice of manners. It is extremely important for those who follow you that you acknowledge each offer of admission and respond to it.
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SAMPLE RESUME General Information Name: Address: E-mail address: Date of Birth: Social Security Number: Year in School: Anticipated Graduation Date: Parents Names: Parents' Phone and Address (if different from your own):
School Information Name: Address: Phone and Fax Numbers: Name of College Counselor:
Academic Information GPA: SAT I or SAT Reasoning Scores: SAT II or SAT Subject Scores: Honors Courses: Dual Enrollment Courses: - 30 -
Extracurricular Activities (include only major activities)
Honors and Awards
Sport: Years played and level: Position: Director of Athletics: Director of Athletics Telephone: 434.848.3779 Upper School Coach: Upper School Coach Telephone: 434.848.2220 Summer or Other Coach: Summer Coach Telephone:
*include if relevant
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WORK SHEET FOR BUILDING A RESUME EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES Activity
Grade Hours Wks /wk /yr Level
ATHLETIC PARTICIPATION Sport/team
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WORK EXPERIENCE AND COMMUNITY SERVICE Activity
HONORS AND AWARDS Honor or Award/Conferring Organization (ex. Student of the Month/Student Council Organization)
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WRITING THE COLLEGE ESSAY Some schools require the completion of an essay. The essay is at the heart of these schools’ college applications. You should give the essay your closest attention and use it as a way to demonstrate not only who you are and what you value but what kind of a writer you are, as well. Listed below are possible essay questions. Take seriously the suggestion to read over these questions and begin to think about them long before you actually sit down to write the essay. You will be surprised how much ruminating in advance will help you when it comes time actually to face the moment of truth. Here are some important points to keep in mind. • Be yourself. • Use your own style. • Plan an essay that is at least one single-spaced page and not more than two. • Do not write on a subject that you think will impress the college. Write on a subject that means something to you. • Colleges want to know who you are. They want to know something about your character and how it was formed. Your essay should let them see you as you really are, not as you think they might want to see you. • If you want to take on a controversial topic, it is probably best to run it by your counselor first. • Colleges receive many, many essays about moments of great athletic achievement and summer trips to Europe. Avoid these topics if you can, and similarly avoid any reference that will make you sound elitist. • Do not skimp on the short questions; they are often important. • Use the first person. • Leave plenty of time for revision. • Avoid the passive voice! • Write at least two drafts of your essay and ask others for their opinions. In addition to your own English teacher and the college counselor, every member of the English Department will be happy to work with you (as will many other of your teachers). • Correct your essay until it is as mechanically correct as you are able to make it. Do not submit it with any misspelled words, typographical errors, or grammatical mistakes. • If you are asked an open-ended question, you may wish to present something in addition to the essay that expresses your talents: an original poem, an original music composition, drawings, or photographs. If you do submit this type of material, find out whether it should be sent to the Admissions Office or to the specific department within the college.
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Typical Essay Questions
1. What political office would you like to hold, and why? 2. Describe a situation in which your beliefs or values were challenged. How did you react? 3. We live with an increasingly global perspective. How will your current knowledge of international issues and cultures influence your undergraduate study? 5. Write a short autobiography stressing the aspects of your life that are most meaningful for you. 6. How did you become interested in XYZ University? Why is XYZ University the right one for you? 7. Drawing on your family/personal circumstances, tell us what you want us to know about you. 8. Discuss some issues of local, national, or international concern and its importance to you. 9. Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence. 10. What plan would you make to improve race relations in the 21st century? 11. Discuss ways that diversity has a positive influence on academics and culture. How will you be able to contribute in this regard in the college environment? 12. What book has influenced you most and why? 13. What mystery do you wish you knew the answer to? 14. What is your favorite word, and why? 15. Describe a fictional character, an historical character, or a creative work (art, music, science) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence. 16. Of all your extracurricular activities, which is most meaningful to you? Why?
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WAIT-LISTING, TRANSFERRING, OR TAKING A YEAR OFF Wait-Listing: • It is imperative that a student let me know as quickly as possible if he/she has been wait-listed at a school he/she wishes to attend. • We work closely with families to consider other options for wait-listed students, including transfer after the freshman year. • We actively support wait-listed applicants by determining as clearly as we are able how realistic the chances of admission are; by continuing to support the application through contact with the admissions office via telephone calls, additional letters of recommendation, and updated student information; and by encouraging students to let their interest be known though the submission of additional information, including a statement of interest and any academic work of particular merit.
Transferring: • The College Counseling office regularly assists students who wish to transfer or who wish to apply to college after they have graduated. • I am available to meet with students for additional counseling after they have graduated. Should a student request my assistance, I shall send credentials, including letters of recommendation, transcripts, and the record of testing to any institution a student requests. We are also happy to assist students as they research requirements for transfer admission.
Taking a year off: • We recognize that not every student is immediately ready to attend college. • We are happy to assist students as they research other programs and to provide additional information as needed. • We assist in the application for a post-graduate year for appropriate students.
(Please note that the references to “we” refer to Mr. Newsom and Mrs. Owen. The references to “I”/”me” refer only to Mrs. Owen.)
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Mr. C. Brad Farmer, Head of School Mr. F. D. Newsom, Assistant Head of School
Mrs. Deborah Owen, Director of Guidance
Mrs. Fleet Roberts, Director of Admissions
Mr. Gary Bardwell, Athletic Director
Brunswick Academy 2100 Planters Road Lawrenceville, VA 23868-9742
School Telephone Numbers:
434.848.2220 434.848.3779 434.848.3818
School Fax Numbers:
434.848.4729 (Main Office) 434.848.0950 (Guidance Office)
School Code (for ACT and SAT Testing):
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Brunswick Academy Association 2100 Planters Road Lawrenceville, Virginia 23868-9742 Phone: (434) 848-2220 Fax: (434) 848-0950 E-mail: email@example.com
PROFILE Brunswick Academy Brunswick Academy is an independent educational day facility offering Early Learning Programs (ages three and four years) through the twelfth grade. Located in historic Brunswick County near Lawrenceville, Virginia, Brunswick Academy is accredited by the Virginia Independent Schools Association (VAIS). Curriculum Brunswick Academy Primary, Elementary, and Middle Schools Brunswick Academy Primary School includes students in the Early Learning Program (ages three and four years) through Grade 2. Brunswick Academy Elementary School includes Grades 3-5 and Brunswick Academy Middle School includes Grades 6-8. In the Brunswick Academy Primary and Elementary Schools, major emphasis is placed on language arts and mathematics. The curriculum is enhanced by appropriate courses in science, social studies, music, art, computer science, and physical education. The Early Learning classes through fourth-grade classes are self-contained. Grades five through eight are departmentalized. Brunswick Academy Upper School The program in the Brunswick Academy Upper School offers much diversification to prepare students for college or for entering the job market. The upper school curriculum includes: English – Survey of Grammar and Introduction to Literature (formerly English 9), Survey of Literature (formerly English 10), Honors World Literature (formerly Honors English 10), Survey of American Literature (formerly English 11), Honors American Literature (formerly Honors English 11), Survey of British Literature (formerly English 12), Honors British Literature (formerly Honors English 12), Etymology and Composition, Film Appreciation, Critique, and Written Analysis, and English Grammar and Composition (a college dual-enrollment class giving ENG 111-112 college credit); Foreign Language – Five years of Spanish and Latin are taught on site. Mathematics – Business Math, Introduction to Algebra, Algebra A (reviews basic mathematical concepts, Pre-Algebra, and covers a portion of Algebra I), Algebra B (covers a review of the first portion of Algebra I and completes the second portion of Algebra I. If possible, students begin Algebra II concepts.), Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Algebra III/Trigonometry, Honors Liberal Arts Math, Honors Advanced Mathematics, and Calculus (a college dual-enrollment class giving MTH 273-274 credit); Science – Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Advanced Biology (a college dualenrollment class giving BIO 101-102 and BIO Lab101-102 credit); Social Studies – World Studies, World History, United States History, Government, and Advanced Government (a college dual-enrollment class giving PLS 211-212 college credit); Physical Education –Physical Education 8 (with First Aid) and Physical Education 9 (with Driver’s Ed.); Business Education – Introduction to Business, Accounting I, Accounting II, Business Law, Personal Finance, Introduction to Marketing, and Economics; - 38 -
Computer Science – Computer Applications Fine Arts – Chorus, Art, and Fine Arts (required for freshmen beginning in 2006-07 school year) Other – Yearbook, AgriScience A, AgriScience B Grading Scale The grading scale for Brunswick Academy is as follows: A = 95-100 B = 88-94 C = 81-87 D = 75-80 F = below 75 Ninth-grade level courses and above count toward credit for graduation. The only exception to this is PE 8. Honors Courses and Dual Enrollment Courses Honors courses include Honors World Literature, Honors American Literature, Honors British Literature, Honors Liberal Arts Math, and Honors Advanced Mathematics. Seven points are added to the numerical grade of each of these courses. Dual Enrollment courses, through Southside Virginia Community College, include Calculus, Advanced Biology, English Grammar and Composition, and Advanced Government. The final numerical college grade is converted to the equivalent grade on the B.A. grading scale, and seven points are added to that numerical grade. Statistical Calculations Statistical calculations of the student’s transcript are as follows: 1.
Numerical Grade Average (based on a 100-point scale) is derived by adding each of the semester numerical grades and dividing accordingly. This figure is placed in the upper-left corner of the transcript (near the name of the student). Class ranking is based on this figure.
Grade Point Average is based on converting semester numbers to a 4-point scale and following the procedure given above.
A = 4.0 B = 3.0 C = 2.0 D = 1.0 F = no quality points
If a semester grade is 102 or higher (due to the addition of 7 points for honors classes and dualenrollment classes), the grade value is computed at 5.0. The GPA is placed on the transcript to the left of the word “Subjects.” September, 2012 - 39 -
Brunswick Academy College Admission Profile
Number of Graduates Percent in College
Number of Graduates Percent in College
Number of Graduates Percent in College
2012 Number of Graduates Percent in College
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Brunswick Academy College/University Profile of Graduates Four-year Institutions Appalachian State University Averett University Barton College Bluefield College Bowling Green State University Bridgewater College Campbell University Cegep Beauce Appalaches Chowan University Christopher Newport University Clarion College of Pennsylvania College of Charleston College of William & Mary Davidson College East Carolina University Eastern Mennonite College Elon University Emory & Henry College Ferrum College George Mason University Goucher College Grinnell College Hampden-Sydney College High Point University Hollins University James Madison University Liberty University Longwood University Lynchburg College Mary Baldwin College Marymount University Maryville College Medical College of Virginia (now VCU Medical Center) Meredith College Mount Olive College North Carolina State University North Carolina Wesleyan College Northeastern University Old Dominion University Peace College Penn State University Radford University Randolph-Macon College Randolph Macon Woman’s College (now Randolph College) Rutgers University Saint Paul’s College Savannah College of Art and Design Shenandoah University Sweet Briar College The Citadel Towson University U.S. Air Force Academy (Colorado) U.S. Military Academy (West Point) U.S. Naval Academy (Annapolis) University of Florida University of Georgia
University of Iowa University of Mary Washington University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of North Carolina at Charlotte University of North Carolina at Greensboro University of North Carolina at Wilmington University of Richmond University of Virginia University of Virginia’s College at Wise University of Wisconsin – Madison University of Wyoming Virginia Commonwealth University Virginia Military Institute Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University Virginia Wesleyan College Wake Forest University Washington and Lee University Two-Year Institutions: Central Virginia Community College Garrett College Halifax Community College John Tyler Community College Louisburg College Nascar Technical Institute Newport News Apprentice School North Carolina State Agricultural Institute Paul D. Camp Community College Pitt Community College Richard Bland College (Junior College of the College of William & Mary) Southside Virginia Community College Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Agricultural Technology Program Wilson Technical Community College
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