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Nansemond-Suffolk Academy COLLEGE COUNSELING HANDBOOK 2011-2012


Table of Contents

(Click on a heading to view a specific part of the handbook) COLLEGE COUNSELING HANDBOOK PREPARATION FOR COLLEGE The College Search Timeline 9th and 10th Grades: 11th Grade: 12th grade: FALL: WINTER: SPRING: Remember, “College is a match to be made, not a prize to be won.” Naviance and Family Connection Standardized Testing Timetable 9th Grade: 10th Grade: 11th Grade: 12th Grade: Guidelines for Registering for the SAT’s or ACT with Writing What is the difference between the SAT and the ACT with Writing? SAT/ACT Preparation SAT Test Dates (2011-12) SAT Test Dates ACT with WRITING Test Dates (2011-2012) ACT Test Dates AP Exam Dates, 2012 May 7-16, 2012 2012 AP Testing Dates “Ace the ACT and SAT” THE COLLEGE VISIT COLLEGE VISITATION BEFORE YOU VISIT Go To the College Website Planning the Visit DURING THE VISIT A Good College Visit Includes: What to Learn About Each College Instructional program & facilities: Campus and buildings: Housing & dining facilities: Personnel and health services: Religious facilities: Social and recreational: College costs: College regulations: College atmosphere: THE APPLICATION PROCESS To How Many Schools Should I Apply? “Reach” schools


“Likely” schools Understanding Selection and Selectivity Types of College Selectivity Open Admissions Colleges: Selective Colleges: Highly Competitive Colleges: Types of Admission Applications 1. Early Decision Advantages: 2. Early Action or Early Notification 3. Rolling Decision 4. Regular Decision NSA Procedures for the Application Process NSA Procedures for Submitting Applications The Application Process for the Student The Main Points The Package Sent by NSA Special College Entrance Requirements for Specific Majors: The Competitive Edge COLLEGE APPLICATION DEADLINES – 2011-2012 Midyear and Final Grade Reports THE COLLEGE ESSAY Application Essays "Do's and Don'ts" Do: Don't: Example of a Good Essay: The Harmony of Life THE DECISION PHASE Possible College Admissions Reponses When Senior Grades Change... The Acceptance Process Admissions Notification Accepting an Officer of Admission Declining an Acceptance FINANCIAL AID AND SCHOLARSHIPS FAFSA CSS Profile Scholarships Scholarship Search Websites The Nansemond Suffolk Academy Scholarship Processing Policy: ROTC V-TAG Net Price Calculators RECOMMENDATIONS FOR STUDENT ATHLETES FOR PARENTS PARENTS: TEN RULES TO LIVE BY IN THE COLLEGE SEARCH PROCESS STATEMENT OF STUDENT'S RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN THE COLLEGE ADMISSION PROCESS WHEN YOU APPLY TO COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES, YOU HAVE RIGHTS Before You Apply:


When You Are Offered Admission: If You Are Placed on A Wait/Alternate List: WHEN YOU APPLY TO COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES Before You Apply: As You Apply: After You Receive Your Admission Decisions: NSA POLICY REGARDING SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN CANDIDATE’S STATUS OR QUALIFICATIONS


PREPARATION FOR COLLEGE The College Search Timeline 9th and 10th Grades: 1. Take courses that challenge you. Participate in class discussions and ask questions. A teacher at this level may write you a letter of recommendation. Most importantly, keep your grades up! These grades will appear on your academic transcript which will eventually become the most important factor in a college’s decision to admit you! 2. Become informed on the college admissions process by reading articles posted on Edline and on the NSA website. 3. During your lunch, visit with a few of the college representatives who visit our school. 4. Visit colleges on family trips or as you attend sporting events and start to formulate ideas on what you kind of college you prefer. 5. Participate in extracurricular activities at school and service activities in the community. Engage fully in these activities. Remember, depth of involvement is more important than breadth. Start a resume to help keep track of your activities. 6. Use your summers to explore new experiences. Participate in a summer academic program, get a job, volunteer at the zoo or hospital, read for pleasure, etc. 7. Use the ACT EXPLORE test (9th Grade) and the PSAT (10 th Grade) to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Standardized tests are another important factor in the college decision process. Practice for them! 8. After taking the PSAT, use the My College Quickstart feature to receive individual feedback and practice for the SAT test. 9. Do informal college searches on line. Try www.collegeboard.com. 10. Read. Readers are better prepared for college. They are better writers and they perform better on standardized tests. 11th Grade: 1. Make a tentative list of things you want in a college. Think about basics: location, student body, academic requirements, size, academic structure, majors and campus life. 2. Continue to participate in extracurricular activities. Look for leadership opportunities within your clubs. Remember, leadership is not necessarily reflected in a title. A good leader is someone who is energetic, works well with others and displays a positive attitude within an activity. 3. Practice for the SATs. Use the workbook in your Math Class. Consider an SAT Preparation Class in the spring of the junior year or the summer or fall of the senior year. Check out SAT and ACT practice questions at www.collegeboard.com and www.actstudent.org. 4. Take SAT I’s at least twice. Consider taking the ACT test in the winter or spring of this year, then you can see which test is best for you. 5. Participate in volunteer/service activities. 6. Visit with college representatives at NSA and attend area college fairs or college meetings hosted locally. 7. Ask adults who attended college questions such as: i. Where did you go to college?


8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17.

ii. What did you like about it? iii. What didn't you like? iv. Would you choose the same school again? Why or why not? Watch where seniors attend. Talk to them about their choices. Create a master list of colleges you are interested in exploring and use computer programs such as Naviance and www.collegeboard.com to research these schools. Visit college websites and read college reference guides and catalogs. Visit colleges (See the College Visit section) Remember NSA allows two excused absences for college visits. Consider also using some of NSA’s three day weekends or teacher workdays when colleges remain in session. Prepare an activities resume (personal data sheet) including clubs, sports and community involvement. Look at the NSA College Counseling website for format. In the Spring, request teacher recommendations from NSA two faculty members who can best identify your major personal strengths. If you are interested in the service academies or ROTC Scholarships, begin the application process. Use your summer months wisely: participate in a summer academic program (from 1 week to 9 weeks in length), visit college campuses, do community service work or get job experience and read at least 30 pages daily. Search for scholarship possibilities by using Naviance or Fastweb.com. *Work hard in your courses to keep your academic record strong. During the junior year, colleges like to see growth or continued achievement. Participate in class discussions and consider which teachers know you well and would be able to write an accurate letter of recommendation. Your junior year is the last year colleges see on your transcript until senior midyear grades are sent!

12th grade: FALL:

1. Meet with an NSA College Counselor regarding college selections and be sure to keep your counselor informed about college decisions. 2. Make decisions! To which colleges will you be applying? 3. Register for final SAT I’s, ACT with Writing and for SAT II’s (if required by colleges or universities). We recommend that all seniors take the October SAT Test and/or the ACT with Writing in September or October. 4. Write, edit and rewrite college essays. Get them proofed by an NSA College Counselor. 5. Submit secondary school report forms and applications to the Office of College Counseling. (Be sure to meet the NSA deadlines for turning in applications. 6. Visit colleges. 7. If an interview is to your advantage, try to arrange a personal interview with admissions officers at the colleges to which you will be applying. 8. Keep your Senior grades up! Midyear grades will be sent to colleges in early February. Often, this is the final factor in the college’s decision. 9. Research and complete scholarships. Check on Naviance and the NSA website as the Office of College Counseling will use them to offer scholarship information. 10. Meet with college representatives who come to our area.


‘WINTER:

1. Apply online for financial aid at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Parents should complete forms as soon as possible, usually in January of the senior year. Meet all college financial aid deadlines. 2. Tell your parents to attend the Financial Aid Workshop for help with completing the necessary paperwork. This meeting is held early in January. 3. Midyear report forms should be submitted to the Office of College Counseling. Midyear grades will be automatically sent to all colleges and universities to which you have applied. 4. Check with an NSA College Counselor; review your plans. 5. If you are deferred, talk to a counselor about options and about writing a letter to the colleges to show interest. 6. Send an update to colleges of any significant new activities, accomplishments or changes in circumstances. 7. Continue to check on Naviance and the NSA website for new scholarship possibilities. SPRING:

1. As your decision letters arrive, inform your counselor and continue to think about your options. 2. Review financial aid awards. Speak with the college financial aid officer should questions arise. 3. If you are still undecided, take another visit to schools which have offered you admission. 4. Mail a room deposit to the college you plan to attend (required at most schools as an indication of your intent to attend that institution). Do not deposit at more than one school. You may lose acceptances by double depositing! You must notify your college of your intention to enroll by May 1. 5. Write schools if you will not be accepting their offers of admission. 6. Complete housing and health forms for your chosen college. 7. If you are placed on a waiting list, speak immediately with your counselor about follow-up procedures. 8. Apply for local scholarships which will be posted on Naviance and the NSA website.

Remember, “College is a match to be made, not a prize to be won.”

Naviance and Family Connection NSA provides Naviance Family Connection, a service for students that provides access to various college information. Students can log on to view their college application history and their SAT/ACT scores, take various surveys, research schools and scholarships, contact the college counseling office and sign up for scheduled college admissions visits. To access Naviance, go to either the NSA College Counseling website or directly to http://connection.naviance.com/nsacademy.


Standardized Testing Timetable 9th Grade: 1. ACT EXPLORE Test -- October (at NSA) 10th Grade: 1. PSAT-- October (at NSA) 11th Grade: 1. PSAT – October (at NSA); use the CollegeBoard’s My College QuickStart to prepare for the

SAT. 2. SAT I/ACT with Writing- NSA strongly recommends you take both tests to see which test

fits you better, then take that test again. Specifically once in December/January and once in April or May. 3. AP exams – May 4. SAT II (optional) – May/June – Juniors who are completing AP courses or subjects such as physics or chemistry should take the SAT II’s. If you are interested in engineering and in a physics course, you should take the Physics Subject test. 12th Grade: 1. SAT I/ACT with Writing – September/October – These test dates are strongly

recommended. Students may take the tests again, if necessary, in November, December or January. 2. SAT II – November or December (students should check college information to determine if they need to take SAT II) 3. AP Exams – May All colleges do not require the SAT II tests. We recommend them because they can be used for placement in the appropriate college course. Guidelines for Registering for the SAT’s or ACT with Writing 1. Register online at www.collegeboard.com or www.actstudent.org. Remember your username and password! 2. Name – Be consistent (no nicknames, use your full given name). 3. The SAT I and SAT II may not be taken on the same test date. Up to three SAT Subject tests may be taken on the same date. 4. You MUST take the ACT with WRITING. Many colleges will NOT accept the test without it. 5. Locate a convenient Test center – NSA does not give SAT’s or ACT’s. 6. The Nansemond-Suffolk Academy High School Code is 472-213. 7. Be sure to send your scores to NSA. Seniors, in October testing, send your scores to the colleges to which you are applying.


What is the difference between the SAT and the ACT with Writing? ● The SAT is more of an aptitude test and the ACT is more curriculum based. Click to see the differences between the SAT and ACT tests. ● Click to see how ACT and SAT scores relate. This is a more expansive chart on the SAT/ACT concordance. SAT/ACT Preparation Standardized tests are an important factor in the college admissions process and many colleges use standardized tests as a factor when they award merit based scholarships. SAT preparation is a part of the sophomore, junior and senior year curriculum at NSA. However, additional preparation can benefit a student. We are also finding that many NSA students perform better on the ACT test. We recommend that you consider taking the ACT with Writing, especially if you do not feel that your SAT score reflects your ability. Nansemond-Suffolk Academy does not endorse any specific SAT or ACT preparation service. These are companies in the Hampton-Roads Area: Chris Trudeau SAT Prep: 333-7300 – www.trudeauprep.com Huntington Learning Center: www.huntingtonlearning.com Kaplan: www.kaplan.com Peterson’s: www.petersons.com (an online course is available) Princeton Review: www.princetonreview.com Sylvan Learning: www.educate.com The College Board also offers an online SAT Prep course: www.collegeboard.com SAT Test Dates (2011-12) Dates Oct. 1 Nov. 5 Dec. 3 Jan. 28 Mar. 10 May 5 June 2

Tests SAT I/SAT II SAT I/SAT II SAT I/SAT II SAT I/SAT II SAT I only SAT I/SAT II SAT I/SAT II

Regular Registration Sept. 9 Oct. 7 Nov. 8 Dec. 30 Feb. 10 April 6 May 8

ACT with WRITING Test Dates (2011-2012) Dates Regular Registration Sept. 10 Aug. 12 Oct. 22 Sept. 16 Dec. 10 Nov. 4 Feb. 11 Jan. 13 Apr. 14 Mar. 9 June 9 May 4

SAT Test Dates Late Registration Sept. 21 Oct. 21 Nov. 20 Jan. 13 Feb. 24 April 20 May 22 ACT Test Dates Late Registration Aug. 26 Sept. 30 Nov. 18 Jan. 20 Mar. 23 May 18


AP Exam Dates, 2012 May 7-16, 2012 2012 AP Testing Dates May 7: AP Chemistry, Environmental Science and Psychology May 8: AP Computer Science A and Spanish Language May 9: AP Calculus AB/BC May 10: AP English Literature and Latin: Vergil May 11: AP U. S. History, European History and Studio Art Portfolio Due May 14: AP Biology May 15: AP U.S. Government and Politics May 16: AP English Language and Statistics

“Ace the ACT and SAT” Excerpt taken from “Ace the ACT and SAT” by Laura Jean Allen, pg:14-15, The Next Step Magazine, May/June 2002. Don’t stop for directions. “It’s not so much beating the test; it’s about knowing how it works and practicing so you have your timing strategy down,” says Susan Steron, director of the Sylvan Learning Center in Rochester, N.Y., which offers SAT-preparation programs. Take as many practice tests as you can. Read the directions carefully so you can skip them during the real thing and move on to more pointproducing activities. Practice tests will also give you a feel for the concepts you’re likely to find on the tests, such as basic math formulas and commonly tested words. The PSAT is the official practice test for the SAT. They also give a fairly good indication of how you’ll do on the for-real test. Most people score within 100 points of their PSAT score on the SAT. Start at the beginning. On the practice exams, you’ll find that questions start easy and get tougher as the test continues. Get those easy questions out of the way and finish longer questions later. Don’t spend too much time on a tough question. Plan instead to revisit it after the easier stuff is done. Take a class. If you need more help than practice exams provide, consider an SAT or ACT preparation program. Preparation classes teach you strategy such as learning definitions by association and context instead of just memorizing 3,000 vocabulary words. Become a thesaurus. Cram your brain with strategies, but don’t leave knowledge building completely ignored. Building your vocabulary is a gradual process. Memorizing words won’t help much. (What if the 20 words you study don’t show up on your test?) Surrounding yourself with decent literature can help, though, so read as much and as often as you can.


Learn how you’ll be graded. If you do absolutely nothing on the SAT but mark your name, you’ll get 200 points on each section – a lousy 400 points total. Answer SAT questions incorrectly and you’ll receive negative points – either a minus third or fourth of a point, depending on the section. Answer correctly and it’s plus one for you. Leave it blank and nothing happens. You don’t lose a thing – but you don’t gain any points, either. On both the SAT and ACT, guess an answer only if you’re able to narrow the possibilities. Randomly guessing won’t help, as you’re as likely to guess wrongly as you are to answer it correctly. Guinea-pig section. The PSAT has six sections: three math and three verbal. On the SAT, there are seven sections. That extra section is 30 minutes of either math or vocabulary questions. That “equating” section, as they call it, isn’t graded; rather, the Board uses it to test potential future questions. Concentrate on all the test sections equally; no one knows which section is the experimental one. Send your scores. The College Board will send your SAT scores to the colleges you’ll indicate on the test. The ACT lets you review your scores before sending them (or not) to your prospective schools. Take it over. Decide whether or not to retake the SAT or ACT depending on the weight your prospective school places on the tests. If a higher score means more scholarship money or a better shot at admission, you might consider taking the test over. Don’t stress out too much. Terrified about taking the SATs and ACTs? Don’t be. Colleges know there’s more to you than the exam. The general mindset of most college admissions counselors, we’re told, is that standardized tests won’t necessarily make or break your college career. More important than standardized testing can be portfolios, extracurricular activities, community involvement and your overall academic track record.


THE COLLEGE VISIT COLLEGE VISITATION College visits are strongly encouraged for those schools to which students plan to apply. Like the expression, "A picture is worth a thousand words," a visit is all-important for a family to know what a college or university is actually like. If possible, two visits are encouraged: 1) an initial visit with the family, usually prior to the processing of the application, to confirm the appropriate "match" and 2) a visit during the senior year when the student has the opportunity to stay in a dorm, attend a class or two and see what the social life offers. College visits scheduled during the school week must be prearranged with the Head of Upper School and the student's teachers. College visit forms are available in the front office and should be completed a minimum of five school days prior to the school days missed. Although college visits may be “excused absences,” the absences do count toward the total days absent from classes. Review the NSA Absentee Policy in the Student Handbook for specific details.

BEFORE YOU VISIT Go To the College Website ● Check to see if the college offers interviews and sign up if one is offered (see “The Interview” section to learn more about interviews). ● Use the on-line college catalog to find majors or areas that interest you. ● Read admission requirements carefully. ● Read graduation requirements to find out what courses you will have to take before graduation. ● Study course descriptions (a very good way to compare departments in different colleges). ● Read about expenses and scholarship aid. ● Look at the “Student Life” section to learn about clubs and activities offered. Planning the Visit Talk directly with the admissions office as much in advance of your intended visit as possible (three - four weeks preferably). YOU decide which schools to visit and make the plans to coordinate those visits. Many schools also offer online registration for tours and information sessions. If you do call and speak directly with the someone in admissions, you will be able to do the following: ● Learn if the day and time you would like to visit are convenient. Ask if there are special "visitation" days or "open houses." ● Find out if a separate reservation is needed for a campus tour. ● Ask if you need to bring anything with you. ● Find out what special accommodations might be available, such as meal tickets and overnight dorm facilities. ● Ask about driving distances and times between your home, the college and other institutions which might be on your tour. Get directions and ask for a campus map and a parking permit (if needed).


DURING THE VISIT ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

A Good College Visit Includes: A personal interview (when available) or a group information session. Some schools do not offer personal interviews An official campus tour A visit to at least one class in an academic area of interest * A conversation with a professor in that area * At least one meal in the campus dining hall * An overnight stay in a dormitory * A thorough study of college information Reading a recent copy of the student newspaper Plenty of free time to stroll the campus and observe A conversation with friends who are students at the college * May be done on a return visit during the senior year. What to Learn About Each College Instructional program & facilities:

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

What courses are required? Is there a department in your interest area? Is there an adequate science facility? Is provision made for freshmen to explore their areas of interest? Is provision made for advanced placement? What is the freshman class size compared to the upperclassman class size? Are military training programs (NROTC, ROTC) available? Is it possible to transfer into and out of specialized programs? How is the campus networked? Campus and buildings:

● ● ●

Appeal, size, walking distances Access to the community Campus pride and cleanliness Housing & dining facilities:

● ● ● ●

Is there freshman housing? Roommate assignments or selection Dormitory study facilities Meal frequency, special diets, snack bar, etc Personnel and health services:

● ● ● ● ●

Orientation program Availability of medical, dental and nursing services Location of a hospital Orientation program Job placement opportunities, both part time and full time


Assigned college advisory for course selection, vocational interest, aptitude testing, personal problems, etc. Religious facilities:

School requirements, nearness to your church, campus chaplain and religious clubs Social and recreational:

Does the school provide: social room, union, commons, parties, intramural leisure time activities, fraternities, sororities, clubs, concerts, exhibits, lectures, etc.? ● Where do students congregate/ “hang out” together? ●

College costs:

Tuition cost, room and board costs, travel costs, activity fees and social costs such as fraternities or sororities ● Availability of financial assistance: scholarships, loans, deferred payment plans, work fellowships, grant-in-aids, etc. ●

College regulations: ●

College regulations for all students, for freshmen, attendance requirements, academic requirements, active student council, honor system, automobile restriction and parking College atmosphere:

Friendly, helpful faculty, happy, democratic student body, attitude toward school regulations, dress requirements and general attitude

THE APPLICATION PROCESS To How Many Schools Should I Apply? The number of colleges/universities applied to varies from one student to another. Most seniors apply to four to six schools. When you are being realistic, have studied your options by reading college materials and have visited campuses and talked with college admission counselors, you should be able to “narrow the field” and know where you have reasonable expectations for admission. Don’t be afraid to aim high and apply to “reaches” (see below) provided you are realistic in your expectations of your chances for acceptance. While miracles should not be expected, sometimes “long shots” do come through. Consider submitting four to six applications in total from the following categories: 1. “Reach” schools Schools where you might really like to go but which have highly competitive admissions standards. Sometimes seniors are admitted to these schools due to improvement in grades or SAT’s/ACT’s which occur during the senior year. Apply to 1 or 2 “reach” schools. 2. “Likely” schools


Schools which are highly attractive to you and where you are more likely to gain admission (your credentials are aligned with typically admitted students). Apply to 2 “likely” schools.

3. “Foundation” schools

Schools where the student’s credentials clearly match those of admitted students and where there seems little doubt of admission. We strongly recommend that you apply to 2 “foundation” schools. Remember, college admissions can vary from year-to-year. File your applications as early as possible with the College Counseling Office.

Understanding Selection and Selectivity College admission offices today seem “to sit in the driver’s seat” with college admission becoming more and more competitive. Studies indicate that students have stronger credentials and are more savvy about the process. While we encourage Nansemond-Suffolk Academy students to apply to a school which is their “dream” college, we also know that realistically every student will not be admitted to every college to which they apply and that unfortunately some may not gain admission to colleges they are fully qualified to attend. Therefore, we believe it imperative that parents and students work together to find at least two colleges or universities to which they will apply and which will assuredly grant admission. Visiting these schools is vitally important. Seniors also need to be reassured that these choices can indeed be an excellent “fit” and can provide rewarding opportunities. The counseling staff will be happy to assist families in understanding realistic admission opportunities. Types of College Selectivity 1. Open Admissions Colleges: Accept virtually all students who apply if they have a high school diploma. (All Community Colleges, many Junior Colleges, some 4-year colleges.) 2. Selective Colleges: Offer admission to most of their applicants who meet their entrance requirements. 3. Highly Competitive Colleges: Competition is tough. Even though you meet requirements, you cannot be sure of admission. Acceptance is less than 50%.

Types of Admission Applications 1. Early Decision Early Decision requirements vary from college to college. Check the catalog of your chosen college for exact requirements. Generally the application must be on file in November and you are notified in December. The general requirements for Early Decision are as follows: • You must have completed all standardized tests required by your college (SAT I and SAT II Tests or ACT with Writing). You must have all college test scores mailed directly to the chosen school from the testing company. • You must decide that the chosen school is the one you want to attend next year.


• •

You must agree not to apply to any other school until you have heard from the one you have chosen for Early Decision or you must agree to withdraw applications to other schools if you are accepted. You must agree to attend the chosen school if that school accepts you. There is commitment on your part.

NOTE: If an NSA student is admitted to a college or university under an Early Decision plan, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy reserves the right to refuse to process additional college/university applications AND will request that the student withdraw all other applications to other colleges and universities. If you are not accepted in the Early Decision process, your application usually will be deferred to the regular admissions pool. ● ● ●

Advantages: You will know sooner (possibly by Dec. 1) about your status as an applicant to a college. You will be relieved of the concern of retaking the SAT I. Some colleges accept a higher percentage of students in the early decision phase.

2. Early Action or Early Notification Some competitive colleges have an early notification (i.e. December - February notification) if an application is submitted by a specific date. Read all information closely. If admitted, a student is NOT obligated to attend. Be realistic about both Early Decision and Early Action Plans. Only very strong applicants will typically be admitted under these plans i.e. students who are clearly qualified for the college or university in every way – grades, SAT scores and other criteria. See the Office of College Counseling early in the school year to begin to discuss the possibilities. 3. Rolling Decision Decisions are made on a regular, on-going basis. Usually a decision is rendered within four to six weeks of receipt of all parts of the application. These colleges/universities have specific and clearcut standards for admission, usually involving a formula which uses GPA, SAT scores, and other criteria. When a student meets the standard, he is admitted. When the student does not meet the criteria, he is usually deferred until further senior grades and/or SAT scores are available. Students who are clearly inadmissible are usually denied early on. Use college information packets or college catalogs to determine if a college or university has a rolling plan and if they have a set notification date or timetable. Remember, it is generally advantageous to the student to apply early in the senior year if a rolling decision plan is used; however, remember that students must adhere to the NSA application calendar. 4. Regular Decision Applicants are notified of the college's decision by a specific date (often April 1; sometimes April 15). More competitive colleges generally use the early and regular decision methods of notification.

NSA Procedures for the Application Process


Seniors need to have all of their applications and essays proofed by an NSA College Counselor. Once that is completed, they submit their applications online. After submitting online, a student will notify the Office of College Counseling to send his/her records (transcript, letters of recommendation, resume, secondary report form, etc..) by completing a “Pink Form” for records release. It is to the advantage of the student to apply early. Students must, of course, meet posted NSA deadlines for college applications to provide the Office of College Counseling with adequate time to meet the critically important college deadlines. Many colleges use the Common Application which means you fill out one form and then electronically submit it to as many colleges as you want. Visit the Common Application web site (www.commonapp.org) to sign up. Note: Highly selective colleges which use the Common Application may require supplemental information such as additional essays. NSA Procedures for Submitting Applications The Application Process for the Student 1. Fill in an application online, STOP, PRINT, and bring it in to be proofed (fill out a “Please Proof” form). You can also pull it up online in the Office of College Counseling and have a counselor review it that way. 2. Essays—make sure an NSA College Counselor has proofed all essays using a “Please Proof” form. 3. Submit applications online (or give us the completed paper application to mail). 4. Complete a “Pink Form” at least two weeks BEFORE the application due date. 5. It is the student’s responsibility to determine that the "official" SAT/ACT scores are forwarded from testing companies to the colleges/universities to which the student has applied. Follow directions online at www.collegeboard.com or www.actstudent.org. NSA does NOT send them for you. The Main Points

Once we have checked over your application, you can submit online Once you have submitted the application online, fill in a “Pink Form.” We will not send anything to your colleges without a completed “Pink Form” (Why not? Because we don’t know where or what you need us to send—you have to tell us!) ● Make sure you have sent your official scores to colleges. ● ●

The Package Sent by NSA The College Counseling Office then “processes” the applications, packaging with the following items: 1. NSA transcript which includes coursework, level of course (with Honors and Advanced Placement courses indicated), yearly averages and a cumulative GPA on our 100-point scale 2. College Counselor letter of recommendation which includes teacher comments 3. Secondary school report form (some colleges provide their own forms for the counselor to complete) 4. Teacher letter(s) of recommendation; we strongly encourage students to ask two teachers, preferably from the junior and/or senior years who have taught them in academic subjects, to write letters of recommendation which are submitted to the Office of College Counseling for inclusion in the NSA packet.


5. Student Resume: It is the student’s responsibility to provide an updated resume. There is a

binder in the office in which students should keep an updated copy of their resumes. 6. The NSA School Profile 7. A stamped, school-addressed postcard which the college can return, verifying their receipt of the application package. We log every application into Naviance when we receive a “Pink Form” and log it out of Naviance once the package has been sent. We require two weeks for this process. Special College Entrance Requirements for Specific Majors: Art - Portfolio may be required: usually required at professional art schools. Architecture - Portfolio may be required. Drama, Theatre, Dance, Music - Auditions may determine admission in most programs. Be well-prepared. Be prepared to answer questions about your training and background. An artistic resume would be helpful. Music - Auditions may require sight reading. Possible music majors may also need to send a CD which demonstrates their musical talents. Be sure the sound quality is excellent. The CD will be sent to the music department for review. Engineering - A highly selective engineering program usually requires Chemistry, Physics and Calculus. The Competitive Edge What makes your application special, unique, unusual, worth a second glance? 1. Are you a poet? Submit typed examples of your poetry with your application. Label with your name and Social Security Number (SSN). 2. Are you a musician? Send good quality recordings of your talent on a CD along with your application. Label with your name, SSN and the selections performed. 3. Have you recently written a good paper for English? Make a copy of the paper (teacher comments and all) and mail with your application. Put your name and SSN at the top corner of the essay. 4. Are you an artist? Send a CD with slides of your work or take pictures and include them in your application, don't send originals. Label with your name, SSN and the titles of the artwork. 5. Is photography a hobby? Some dynamic slides or photographs are certain to make an impact. Label with your name, SSN, and the titles of the photos.


We encourage you to make your point in a creative way. Let the colleges know that you are exactly what the colleges are seeking. This is not bragging. It is emphasizing your special talents and it certainly won't hurt.

COLLEGE APPLICATION DEADLINES – 2011-2012 DUE TO COLLEGES All Early Action and Early Decision Applications All Other Applications

DUE TO The OFFICE OF COLLEGE COUNSELING October 3 (Monday) December 1 (Thursday) FINAL DUE DATE FOR ALL APPLICATIONS

ALL COLLEGE DEADLINES WILL BE MET BY THE OFFICE OF COLLEGE COUNSELING ONLY IF THE OFFICE DEADLINES ARE MET BY THE STUDENTS. College/University deadlines are on the college websites. College application deadlines are firm dates; therefore, we insist that students adhere to the NSA college deadlines in order for our office to have adequate time to process applications. We want to do the best job possible for all NSA students.

Midyear and Final Grade Reports The Academy will send midyear grades by early February to all colleges to which applications have been sent. Please note that some colleges such as the University of North Carolina require that the student self report their midyear grades. If the college provides a Midyear Report Form, please submit it to the Office of College Counseling. In June, final transcripts will be sent to the college you have indicated you plan to attend.


THE COLLEGE ESSAY Application Essays The most time consuming portion of an application is often the essay section. Most colleges require one essay, while some require several short responses and one or two-page essays. NSA recommends that students submit at least one essay with each application. A “College Application and Essay Workshop” is held every September to help seniors with this portion. The NSA OFfice of College Counseling also runs an essay workshop in the spring for juniors and junior English teachers work on a college essay in class. Each senior should see the essay as an opportunity to present his or her unique personality to college admissions officers. While essays are never the only determining admissions factor, they can make a significant difference, especially for a student who is on the fringe of acceptance. Significant time and energy should be invested in composing a well-written essay which reveals both writing and thinking capabilities.

"Do's and Don’ts" from How to Prepare a Great College Application by G. Gary Ripple, Ph.D., retired Director of Admissions at Lafayette College and The College of William and Mary and current college consultant. Do: 1. Plan ahead - leave time to write and rewrite your essays - with time in between. This will

allow for fresh reviews and possible revisions of the original work. 2. Tell the truth about who you are and who you are not. 3. Tie yourself to the college; show why you are interested in attending and what the institution 4. 5.

6. 7. 8.

9.

can do for you. Be specific. Go beyond "XYZ College will best allow me to realize my academic potential." Read the directions carefully; follow them to the letter. Consider the unique features of the institution, e.g., a liberal arts college will be impressed with the variety of academic and personal interests you might have while an art institute would be most interested in your creative abilities. Be positive and upbeat and avoid the negatives, e.g., I am applying to your school because I won't be required to take physical education and a foreign language. Emphasize what you have learned, i.e., provide more than a narration when recounting an experience. Write about something you know, something only you can write. Use topics such as: special people who have influenced you, a community service experience, difficulties you have overcome, a unique experience which has impacted you in a positive way, an intellectual experience or an individual project. Make copies of everything, just in case.


10. Some colleges request a paper that has been written for a class and graded by a teacher. You

should save one of your best essays from your junior year for that purpose. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Don't: Force it, be too funny, too sad, too cute, too silly, e.g., "I enjoy playing the piano and guitar but not simultaneously.” Be redundant - essays should not be a rehash of information already provided on other parts of the application or on your high school transcript. Let modesty cover up your greatest assets and achievements. Worry about trick questions. Your readers are genuinely interested in your answers to the questions. Be afraid to confess your anxieties or indecisiveness. Admission Officers enjoy helping people and can be quite moved by the knowledge that you need them. Use any of these ideas (or similar ones): a. "Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary defines courage as “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger..." b. "The following list gives a pretty good idea of the person I really am:" c. "I think it is totally unfair of you to ask me to write about myself because it is so hard to do that it hurts." d. "I think you have no right to ask all these questions because you don't care about the answer - you just look at SAT scores."

Example of a Good Essay: The Harmony of Life I am first in my class, an all-state football player, weigh 220 pounds, and can lift up small cars, yet I have a secret which I have kept hidden for years. It rages within me, yearning to break free and reveal itself in both shame and splendor. I can contain it no longer. I must shed my inhibitions and proclaim aloud, “ So help me God, I love musicals!” Until now, only my family and those who have had the experience of calling my house in the midst of one of my renditions of the confrontation scene between Javert and Valjean from Les Miserables knew about my passion for musical theater. For years I have endured ridicule from my sisters and their friends who have overheard me belting out the lyrics to “Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler on the Roof while in the shower. Ever since my first musical, Jesus Christ Super Star, seven years ago, I have been obsessed with the telling of stories through melody and verse. My heart leaps when I see that Phantom of the Opera is coming to the local theater, or when Guys and Dolls is appearing on television at one in the morning. Music is the most beautiful and powerful way to relate emotion. Thus, the entire structure of a story is enhanced by presenting action and dialogue through song. The topic of a story can deal with anything from religion, such as in Godspell, to a ravenous, man-eating plant (Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors), but no matter which, music brings to life a storyline and places a production forever in one’s head by providing a harmony to be continually associated with it. Musicals also provide me with an emotional outlet. When enthralled by a member of the opposite sex, I am wont to burst into a performance of “Maria” from West Side Story. After an exhaustive football practice, my lips chant “I’m Free” from the rock opera Tommy; and at my desk, feeling haughty after getting the highest grade on a calculus test, I sing quietly, “I am the very model of a modern Major-General” from The Pirates of Penzance. I can delve into the recesses of my mind and produce a piece fitting for any occasion, and I take pride in this ability. While preparing this confession, a less musically inclined friend of mine happened upon a rough draft of the revelation. As he heartily laughed at me, he asked “Can this be? Can the fact that Michael


Jacobsohn is both an academic and football colossus and a lover of musicals be reconciled?” I replied, “The bald, fat Marlon Brando of Apocalypse Now is the same Marlon Brando in Guys and Dolls. Just as Kurtz and Sky Masterson are one and the same, so does my love for musicals reconcile itself with the other facets of my personality. It is unwise to stereotype, just as it is unwise to typecast.” Inside, I shall sing forever. ~ Michael Jacobsohn Harvard Magazine, September-October 1996


THE DECISION PHASE Possible College Admissions Reponses Once the application has been reviewed by the college or university admissions committee, several possible responses may occur: 1. Admit

2. Deny

3. Defer

4. Wait List

Students should advise the Office of College Counseling immediately of all responses from colleges or universities. Hopefully, if you have carefully considered your list of colleges, you will receive letters of admission. When you receive multiple "admits," carefully screen the possibilities. Come talk to a College Counselor and discuss the decision with your family. Students who are deferred admission or are placed on a wait list, should also consult with a College Counselor. Deferrals may mean that additional information is needed. Colleges should notify you of the resolution of your wait list status by August 1 at the latest. If you are deferred or wait-listed at a college you want to attend, you should write a letter to show continuing interest. See a College Counselor to talk about your options and how to write the letter (we have a form letter you complete). Students who are wait-listed can benefit from advice in appraising the likelihood of moving off of the "wait list" or of improving his/her chances of moving to admission status. Colleges should provide information regarding the history of wait list at their school (# of students on the wait list, # offered admission, availability of financial aid and housing). In certain instances, appeals may be made when proper consideration may not have been given. Students should never indicate that they will enroll in more than one college. NOTE: Be sure to refer to the "Statement of Students’ Rights and Responsibilities in the College Admissions Process" in this handbook.


When Senior Grades Change... (Don’t let this happen to you! Keep working hard all year) Susie Smith 100 Main Street Anywhere, USA 01234 We have received your final transcript and are writing to express our disappointment with your progress during the second semester of your senior year. As you will recall, your letter of acceptance stated that you were admitted to First Choice University on the condition that you maintain the same level of performance throughout the remainder of your high school career. Unfortunately, you did not live up to the terms of your acceptance. We regret to inform you that: 1. We have decided to withdraw your admission to First Choice University. Please make arrangements to attend another institution. If you are able to demonstrate more responsible behavior during your tenure at another institution, we will reconsider your application for a future year. OR 2. We have decided to alter the financial aid package you were offered by reducing the amount of grant aid (which was based on merit) and increasing the amount of work-study and loans. OR 3. We have decided to require you to attend a seminar for at-risk students during your freshman year. Attendance is mandatory. OR 4. We have decided to limit the number of courses you may take during the first semester of your freshman year. You may only enroll in three, rather than four. This may affect the number of years it takes you to complete the requirements for a bachelor’s degree unless you make up work by attending summer session. OR 5. Because of your drop from a B to a D in Course X, we have decided to place you in a remedial English (or math) course for the first semester. OR 6. Because we are concerned about your level of maturity, we have decided to house you in Dorm X rather than the dormitory of your choice. Dorm X is more carefully supervised and study conditions are strictly enforced. Sincerely, Dean of Admissions, First Choice University


The Acceptance Process Admissions Notification Be sure to notify the Office of College Counseling of all admissions results as soon as you hear them. If you are accepted at several schools and cannot decide which one to attend, it is wise to visit each campus if possible, even though you may have already visited once. Using the college catalogs, plan your freshman program at each college to see if it is what you really want. Weigh the costs, then decide. Accepting an Officer of Admission 1. You must notify each college or university which accepts you whether you are accepting or rejecting its offer. You should make these notifications as soon as you have made a final decision as to the college that you wish to attend, but no later than May 1. You have the right to wait to respond to an offer of admission until May 1. 2. According to the National Association of College Admission Counseling, colleges which request commitment to offers of admission and/or financial aid prior to May 1 must clearly offer you the opportunity to request in writing an extension until May 1. They must grant you this extension, and your request may not jeopardize your status for admission and/or financial aid. (This does not apply to students admitted under an early decision program.) 3. Make certain you follow instructions regarding payment of fees, selection of courses and housing reservations. 4. You may confirm your intention to enroll and, if required, submit a deposit to only one college or university. (The exception to this arises if you are put on a wait list by a college or university and are later admitted to that institution. You may accept the offer and send a deposit. However, you must immediately notify the college or university at which you previously indicated your intention to enroll, if applicable.) 5. If you are accepted under an early decision plan, you must promptly withdraw the applications submitted to other colleges and universities and make no additional applications. 6. If you are attending a state college or university, sign up immediately for campus housing since these institutions are often short of housing on campus. 7. Inform the Office of College Counseling of your decision. 8. If you should be requesting delayed admission from a college, be sure to complete the necessary forms and send in any fees. Keep the college informed of your activities during the year and be alert to any deadlines for reactivating your file.


Declining an Acceptance When you reach a definite decision on one college, write the other colleges that accepted you to inform them that you will not be accepting their offer. It is polite to write a letter of withdrawal and it is a positive reflection on you as an individual. By withdrawing your name, you are giving an acceptance possibility to another applicant who may be on the waiting list. Quite simply, the letter should follow this format: Director of Admissions Name of College City, State, Zip Dear Sir: Thank you very much for accepting me to (school) beginning fall 201_. I appreciate the time and consideration given my application. At this time, I have decided to attend (your choice) and would like to withdraw my name from your files in hopes of providing an opportunity for another student. Sincerely, (type your name, your social security number and date of birth)


FINANCIAL AID AND SCHOLARSHIPS FAFSA The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. You must fill this out by the colleges’ deadlines. This is how you get federal money. Many colleges make you fill this out even to receive any scholarships or financial aid from the college. Be sure to review college websites for these deadlines. The FAFSA comes online January 1, and colleges usually require it to be completed by February. Click here for more information.

CSS Profile Some colleges also use the CSS Profile. It is similar to the FAFSA, but more detailed. Click here for more information.

Scholarships Many students and parents have heard the statement that there are "millions of scholarships that go unclaimed each year." While there are many scholarships, most have quite specific eligibility criteria (have certain SAT scores and/or GPA, belong to a certain ethnic group, practice a certain religion or be majoring in a certain area/field). Furthermore, most academic scholarships are awarded to students with A averages and 1200 + SATs and who have strong involvement in extracurricular activities. Scholarships based on a talent (music, art, athletics) go to students with impressive capabilities. Recent NSA graduating classes numbering approximately 80-92 students have been offered scholarships totaling between $2 million and $4 million with a majority of the class members earning at least one scholarship offering. (NOTE: None of these totals include monies – scholarships, grants, or loans – awarded through the financial aid program). Most of the scholarships have been academic; however, a few have been athletic; and many are linked to certain colleges or universities, or to community service and some are linked to the student’s residency or the parent’s employment. (For example, some businesses offer scholarship competitions for employee’s children.) Many scholarships require essays. Generally, the larger scholarship amounts are obtained from the colleges the student applies to and are typically awarded to students who are in the top five-ten percent of the applicant pool or who have some special talent or demonstrated leadership capability. Private colleges are usually more generous in award offerings (Therefore, do not rule out a private college where the price tag initially gives "sticker shock!"). Local scholarships ($100 - $1000) may be awarded for a variety of reasons and students are encouraged to pursue those for which they meet the criteria. Keep in mind that students are often discouraged and frustrated by the scholarship process. They may have to apply for several scholarships in order to win one or two.


Scholarships received by the school are announced on Naviance and the NSA website under “College Counseling”. (Some groups require school nominees for scholarship. A scholarship committee of administrators and faculty select the nominees.) Each year new scholarships are located. We encourage you to ask if your employer, a club or organization to which you belong, or your church or synagogue sponsors a scholarship offering. NEVER PAY FOR A SCHOLARSHIP SERVICE! Scholarship Search Websites http://www.fastweb.com http://www.college-scholarships.com/ http://www.meritaid.com/ http://www.finaid.org/ http://www.scholarships.com/ http://college-insight.org/ The Nansemond Suffolk Academy Scholarship Processing Policy: Scholarship applications (complete with student’s application and essay, if required) must be submitted to the Office of College Counseling a minimum of five working (school) days prior to the published postmark due date. Should a scholarship due date require that the scholarship be received by a certain date, then a minimum of ten working (school) days are required for processing the application. Please make sure you have updated your resume so we can include that in your package along with your transcript, application, recommendation letters, etc. Scholarship records are maintained. Please notify an NSA College Counselor when a scholarship or award has been earned.

ROTC If you are interested in the military, consider the Reserve Officer Training Corps for the Army, Air Force or Navy. These scholarships are awarded on a basis of merit, not financial need. They are competitive and the process starts early. Military scholarships require service in the U.S. Armed Forces after graduation. ARMY ROTC: http://www.goarmy.com/rotc.html AIR FORCE ROTC: http://www.afrotc.com/ NAVY ROTC: https://www.nrotc.navy.mil/

V-TAG The Commonwealth of Virginia offers the TAG (Tuition Assistance Grant) to residents of Virginia who are full-time students at eligible private colleges and universities in Virginia. These scholarships are awarded annually and are currently worth $2,650. Click here for more information.


Net Price Calculators Colleges and universities are now required by law to provide “Net Price Calculators� on their websites. This tool can give families an estimate of what the total cost of attendance at a college might be, including financial aid resources that are available at the school. You will have to input personal information such as tax figures. However, these estimates may not exactly match what colleges do eventually offer in financial aid to a student.


RECOMMENDATIONS FOR STUDENT ATHLETES 1. Start early to look for the colleges academically and athletically.

and universities which are good matches both

2. Each college and university has different procedures for dealing with the student/athlete; however, all colleges and universities must follow the NCAA or NAIA guidelines. 3. The student/athlete must present the necessary academic credentials to be considered! Do not wait until senior year to earn the academic credentials required - go into recruiting as attractive a candidate as possible. 4. Have your parents authorize NSA to release your academic records to athletic departments and/or coaches. 5. Complete the NCAA Eligibility Center form at the end of your junior year. The form is

available on-line at www.eligibilitycenter.org. 6. Solicit the advice of your coach in determining where you may be able to participate. 7. Most colleges post athletic questionnaires on their athletic department website. Filling this out can start the recruiting process. Some student/athletes have successfully "marketed" themselves by a) sending their resume, transcripts and possibly an athletic video to an appropriate listing of college choices, b) calling to see if the packet was received, and c) scheduling an on-campus interview. Avoid being too persistent, but an appropriate level of interest can be advantageous. 8. Attend an athletic or sports camp. Camps provide developmental training and possible exposure. Camps are where many coaches find athletes. According to Jim Carr, Associate Director of the Eastern Invitational Basketball Clinic, "Camp highlights you as an individual. Everything about you is on display at camp - your work ethic, your attitude, how you deal with coaches and teammates, how you play in different situations, especially adversity and your desire and love of the game." 9. Colleges vary in the way they prefer the application paperwork to be sent. Some recommend applying to the admissions office and sending a transcript to the coach. Some recommend sending all application materials to the coach who will deliver the packet to the admissions office. 10. According to Jeanne W. Zingale, Director of Corporate Communications for College Prospects of America, the world's largest athletic marketing service, the "auction effect" can boost desirability. "If you've ever been to an auction, you know that once a bidding starts, you may end up paying more for an item than you had first planned because once you knew that it was valuable to other bidders, it became more valuable to you. This ‘auction effect' operates for all students, but student-athletes should especially keep it in mind. A coach may


not appreciate the services of an athlete or a financial aid offer may not be as high as when other colleges want that athlete as well. This is one of the values of making a wide range of contacts with colleges offering the sport in which the athlete competes, and it is wise to keep these tips in mind." 11. Keep your NSA College Counselor and your coach informed. 12. Nansemond Suffolk Academy’s list of NCAA Approved Core Courses is available on the

NCAA website at www.eligibilitycenter.org. Click on “Resources” and “List of NCAA Approved Courses” and follow the instructions provided. MAKE SURE YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH NCAA ELIGIBILITY AND CONTACT RULES www.eligibilitycenter.org. WHEN IN DOUBT, ASK AN NSA COLLEGE COUNSELOR. Eligibility Center Contact Information NCAA Eligibility Center: Certification Processing P.O. Box 7136 Indianapolis, IN 46207-7136 Package or overnight delivery: Certification Processing 1802 Alonzo Watford Sr. Drive Indianapolis, IN 46202 Web address: www.eligibilitycenter.org Eligibility Center customer service: U.S. callers (toll free): (877) 262-1492 International callers: (317) 223-0700 Fax: (317) 968-5100


FOR PARENTS PARENTS: TEN RULES TO LIVE BY IN THE COLLEGE SEARCH PROCESS 1. Be respectful of your son or daughter's ownership of the college admissions decision-making process. It is the student who will spend the years on the college campus, and, therefore, the decision must ultimately be theirs. Students can gain decision-making skills, improve their self confidence and develop perseverance which will help them throughout their lives. Remember, your role is to be supportive. 2. Strive to be realistic regarding your child's abilities and talents. While each student is special and has unique qualities and abilities, it is difficult for a parent to be entirely objective about one's own child! Remember that college admissions is extremely competitive and there are many talented young people. 3. Give your son or daughter the benefit of your wisdom and your experience and tell the student "up front" if there will be restrictions (financial or otherwise) on his/her college options. 4. Remember, the student wants and needs your help in the process but does not need to be overwhelmed with your impressions and ideas. Be available to help when help is solicited. In short, listen more and talk less. 5. Help with some of the logistical aspects of the college-search process. Help to ensure that critical deadlines are met. Plan travel arrangements to campuses, but make the student schedule college interviews (where available) and schedule testing. 6. Be supportive of your child's aspirations, but encourage him/her to be realistic. Help him to select the "best" college choices, not necessarily the "top-name" or most prestigious institution. Most importantly, try not to live vicariously through your son or daughter. 7. When in doubt, ask. An NSA College Counselor is available to help with your questions and concerns. Also, the university-level counselors can offer their insight. It is natural to have questions during this time period. 8. Prepare your child to be independent. Encourage time away from home when your child must be self-reliant. Help establish a checking account and help your child learn to do his/her own laundry. 9. Realize that the college admissions process is a highly stressful time for the student as well as the parent. Take each part of the process a step at the time, and remember that help is always readily available. Young people under stress need even more love and support, despite the fact that they may be very hard to live with during this time!


10. Prepare for the transition to college. The summer after high school graduation, as well as the first semester of college, can be difficult periods. As your son or daughter makes the adjustment from high school to college, avoid over-reacting to new situations; try to sort through the conflicts and issues as they arise.


STATEMENT OF STUDENT'S RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN THE COLLEGE ADMISSION PROCESS Several important rights and responsibilities rest squarely with students. It is important that students and their parents understand these rights and also that they live up to their responsibilities. To assist in this, the National Association for College Admissions Counseling has developed a statement which has been endorsed by the National Association of Secondary School Principals SchoolCollege Relations Committee. Click the link above for more information.

WHEN YOU APPLY TO COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES, YOU HAVE RIGHTS Before You Apply: You have the right to receive factual and comprehensive information from colleges and universities about their admission, financial costs, aid opportunities, practices and packaging policies and housing policies. If you consider applying under an early decision plan, you have a right to complete information from the college about its process and policies. You have the right to be free from high-pressure sales tactics. When You Are Offered Admission: You have the right to wait until May 1 to respond to an offer of admission and/or financial aid. Colleges that request commitments to offers of admission and/or financial assistance prior to May 1, must clearly offer you the opportunity to request (in writing) an extension until May 1. They must grant you this extension and your request may not jeopardize your status for admission and/or financial aid. Candidates admitted under early decision programs are a recognized exception to the May 1 deadline. If You Are Placed on A Wait/Alternate List: The letter that notifies you of that placement should provide a history that describes the number of students on the wait list, the number offered admission and the availability of financial aid and housing. Colleges may require neither a deposit nor a written commitment as a condition of remaining on a wait list. Colleges are expected to notify you of the resolution of your wait list status by August 1 at the latest.

WHEN YOU APPLY TO COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES, YOU HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES


Before You Apply: You have a responsibility to research and to understand and comply with the policies and procedures of each college or university regarding application fees, financial aid, scholarships, and housing. You should also be sure that you understand the policies of each college or university regarding deposits that you may be required to make before you enroll. As You Apply: You must complete all material that is required for application and submit your application on or before the published deadlines. You should be the sole author of your applications. You should seek the assistance of your high school counselor early and throughout the application period. Follow the process recommended by your high school for filing college applications. It is your responsibility to arrange, if appropriate, for visits to and/or interviews at colleges of your choice. After You Receive Your Admission Decisions: You must notify each college or university that accepts you whether you are accepting or rejecting its offer. You should make these notifications as soon as you have made a final decision as to the college that you wish to attend, but no later than May 1. It is understood that May 1 will be the postmark date. You may confirm your intention to enroll and, if required, submit a deposit to only one college or university. The exception to this arises if you are put on a wait list by a college or university and are later admitted to that institution. You may accept the offer and send a deposit. However, you must immediately notify a college or university at which you previously indicated your intention to enroll. If you are accepted under an early decision plan, you must promptly withdraw the applications submitted to other colleges and universities and make no additional applications. If you are an early decision candidate and are seeking financial aid, you need not withdraw other applications until you have received notification about financial aid. If you think that your rights have been denied, you should contact the college or university immediately to request additional information or the extension of a reply date. In addition, you should ask your counselor to notify the president of the state or regional affiliate of the National Association for College Admission Counseling. If you need further assistance, send a copy of any correspondence you have had with the college or university and a copy of your letter of admissions to: Admission Practices Dept., National Association for College Admission Counseling, 1050 N. Highland Street, Suite 400, Arlington, VA 22201 -- National Association for College Admission Counseling


NSA POLICY REGARDING SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN CANDIDATE’S STATUS OR QUALIFICATIONS NSA is a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, and is bound by the bylaws of the association. NSA maintains and benefits from a relationship with colleges and universities based on openness and trust. Following are our policies for reporting discipline to colleges: ● When a college or university asks on the admission application about a student’s disciplinary history at any time during his/her high school career, the student must answer the question honestly in a written statement to the admissions office. ● The student needs to submit a copy of the statement to the College Counseling office prior to sending it to colleges. ● If the infraction occurs after the application has been submitted, the same expectation for notification applies. Students should initiate contact with their colleges within seven days of the disciplinary decision; the student’s college counselor will subsequently follow up with the appropriate colleges/universities, no later than 14 days after the disciplinary decision. ● If a student withdraws, is dismissed or separated, the school will notify all of the student’s colleges of the date of departure within 14 days of the final decision. Prior to the notification from NSA, the student should inform colleges of the reason for the departure. At the time of departure, parents may sign a release form that would permit the school to share further information with colleges. A change in a candidate’s status may include, but is not limited to, absences, a significant drop in grades, honor violations, probation, suspension and expulsion.


NSA College Counseling Handbook 2011-2012