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  • 1. College CountdownA College Planning Guide For WBHS Seniors CLASS OF 2013
  • 2. WEST BLOOMFIELD HIGH SCHOOL 4925 Orchard Lake Road West Bloomfield, Michigan 48323 (248) 865-6720 Mr. Thomas Shelton…………..………………………….……..Principal Ms. Mara Hoffert.............................….…............Assistant Principal Mr. Arthur Ebert……………….…..….…….…….Assistant Principal Mr. Patrick Watson…....Assistant Principal/Athletic Director Counseling Office Phone: (248) 865-6768 Fax: (248) 865-6764 Follow the counseling department on Twitter: Counselorgraff@twitter Mrs. Susan Chang A-COL COUNSELOR ASSIGNMENT EMAIL Mrs. Monica Burgess COM-G Mrs. Karen Brody H-KO Mr. Charles Jennings KP-O Mrs. Lisa Reeves P-SK Mrs. Lisa Graff SL-Z Our goal is to respond to your email within 48 hours. If you do not hear from us within that time, please call the counseling office. Mrs. Hanan Zawideh…………………..College Resource Specialist ……….……….…………….248.865.6720 Ext. 6942**Please note that the information in this publication has been compiled from books, magazinearticles, college Web sites, and college guides. With ongoing changes in admissions, policies, andrequirements, some information may not be current. It is best to check with your counselor, collegeresource specialist, or admission officers of specific schools for the most up-to-date information. WBHS 2012-2013
  • 3. West Bloomfield High School PLANNING GUIDELINES FOR SENIOR YEAR The West Bloomfield High School College Planning Guide is designed to provide basic information regarding the college selection and application process. This guide will not provide the answers to all questions, nor will it address the needs of all students. For answers to specific questions, or for personalized advice, talk to your counselor or the career resource coordinator.1. Attend a mandatory College Prep Seminar to gather information about applying to college. College application steps to success:2. Meet with college representatives that visit WBHS and the surrounding schools each year.3. Finalize a college list.4. Request or download individual college applications or CommonApp as needed.5. Request letters of recommendation. Give the recommender at least 6 weeks to complete your Our school code is: 232-2882. You will need this code for all applications. letter. In order for your application to be completed on time, we recommend you submit your materials to the recommender the last two weeks of junior year or first two weeks of senior year.6. Visit colleges.7. Participate in WBHS’s On-Site Admissions Event and Scholarship Workshop in October.8. Make sure all required college admissions tests have been taken.9. Request ACT/SAT scores through testing agencies to be sent to colleges.10. Complete and submit college applications: Do not miss deadlines! Some majors require you to11. Schedule interviews or auditions, if necessary. commit during the application process, others allow you to be ‘undecided’.12. Attend a Financial Aid workshop at WBHS in December.13. Apply for financial aid/complete the FAFSA soon after January 1st.13. Counselor forms from each college must be given to your counselor.14. Complete WBHS requirements for transcript requests: o Reach 100% completion and print your Educational Development Plan (EDP). o Update and print your resume from o Register on Parchment – request transcript to be sent.15. Notify colleges of your final decision. o Fill out the WBHS Transcript Router and turn-in to counseling office. WBHS 2012-2013 1
  • 4. THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN RESEARCHING COLLEGES o Four- year university or two- year community college o Location – Region/State o Setting – Urban, Suburban, or Rural o School Size/Program Size o Type of School - Affiliation or Religion o Majors, Programs, Specialties o Admission Criteria/Academic Reputation o Costs, Scholarships, and Financial Assistance o Housing o Athletic Programs and Opportunities o Campus Facilities o Specialized Programs o Student Profile, Diversity, Campus Life, and ClubsOnce you have weighed these options, you should begin to gather information and researchcolleges using some of the sources listed below: Research each school’s website and participate in virtual tours at • Michigan College Guide for in-state schools, at Speak with your counselors, teachers, alumni, friends, and current students. • Meet with college representatives at WBHS and college fairs in your area. • Talk with professionals in fields of interest. • List and compare college characteristics along with positive and negative impressions. • Make official campus visits and attend sessions for prospective students. • •From this research you should have at least 5 to 10 colleges that match your interests and needs.Most students apply to at least three colleges. As you narrow your choices, your selectionsshould fall into three categories.  Dream Schools (Reach) Schools that are a reach either academically or financially  Probable Schools (Reasonable) Schools that meet your needs and will likely accept you  Safety Schools (Realistic) Schools will easily accept you and be a good academic and financial match.WBHS 2012-2013 2
  • 5. College Comparison WorksheetSchool & Location Target 1. Safety School 2. Probable School 3. Probable School 4. Dream SchoolPublic/PrivateSizeCity/ StateUrban/RuralAcademicsStudy MajorStudent to Faculty>20 student class %<50 student class %% GraduationCost- Tuition and FeesPrivatePublic In-StatePublic Out-of-StateRoom and BoardFinancial Aid Grant Loan Work Grant Loan Work Grant Loan Work Grant Loan WorkFinancial Aid Package$ Scholarship PackageScholastic Strength School Mine School Mine School Mine School MineAverage GPAAverage ACTAverage SATNational RankingWBHS 2012-2013 3
  • 6. COLLEGE APPLICATION ORGANIZER complete one form for each college College Name:___________________________________ Application type: (circle one) Online Paper Common App Other:_________________ Completed/ Submitted Additional Action Attend College Planning Seminar at WBHS Y N Action Deadline Date Received Needed 100% complete EDP-Print at Y N Complete Resume -Print at Y N Complete WBHS Transcript Router form Y N Request Transcript through Parchment. Allow 15 school days to be delivered Y N Send ACT/SAT scores through Y N Request letter of recommendation. Allow ample time for recommender to complete. Y N Print College Application and begin a rough draft Y N Start writing College Application Essay (1) Y N Start writing College Application Essay (2) Y N Have someone proofread essay Y N Complete final essay Y N Finalize essay and submit college application Y N Confirm that all material has been received through your online account status or email to the admissions office Y N Complete and submit Financial Aid Forms Y N Complete mid-year report, request transcripts, complete router form at Parchment Y N Request final transcript, complete form to make request at Parchment Y N Check your email/online account often as colleges will communicate with you using these two systems Y NWBHS 2012-2013 4
  • 7. College admissions officers will use some, if not all, of the information listed below in their admissions WHAT COLLEGES LOOK FORprocess. However, individual colleges differ in how they evaluate this information. For example, onecollege may place a great deal of emphasis on standardized test scores while another college may not.Colleges look to admit students who will be academically successful at their institutions. Additionally,colleges have other priorities that impact student admission such as the diversity of their student body,the geographical mix, legacy standing, athletics and talent, as well as summer experiences and internships. Academic GPA- Grades in College Prep Courses English, Science, Social Studies, Math, Foreign Language Standarized Test Scores Cumulative GPA- Grades in ALL Subjects A challenging curriculum including Honors and Advanced Placement Classes Courses/grades indicate an upward trend, showing academic growth Teacher Recommendations/ Counselor Recommendations Well- written essays or writing samples Demonstrates a genuine interest in school or program Work/ Hobbies/ Extracurricular Activities/ Experiences/ Diversity/ Community service/Clubs Anything special that sets the student apart Passionate involvement or leadership in extracurricular activities Interview/ Audition (Not always offered)No single factor will determine acceptance or rejection. Some colleges may look at only grades and testscores. Most schools, however, are interested in more than just the academic record. They want to knowabout your accomplishments, interests, and future goals.WBHS 2012-2013 5
  • 8. SENIOR YEAR TO DO CHECKLIST  Ask for letters of  Narrow your list of colleges to  Obtain financial  Finalize and submit  Start collecting SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER JANUARY recommendation. those of greatest interest. Make aid information applications. Some financial records to This may be an sure to have all applications and from each college. colleges have complete financial online essays in progress. Request your Submit all required application aid forms. (W-2, recommendation or transcripts be sent via documents on deadlines in January. Bank statements, written. If written, Parchment. time. Apply only to Social Security provide stamped, schools of interest, records) This addressed envelope but include one or information may be for each college. two “safeties” and requested for proof one “dream.” of eligibility.  Attend college fairs  Meet with:  Send thank you  Keep up your  Complete and and do an online o Your counselor cards to teachers grades. Study for submit (FAFSA) search to gather o Admission and other people finals!! soon after January information on Representatives who have written 1st. colleges of interest. o Present and Past letters of Students recommendation on your behalf.  Start working on  Deadlines for early action are  Search for  Have your parents  Look for decisions college admission generally November 1st. Make scholarships. attend a Financial from any school to application, sure all application Aid Night at WBHS. which you applied especially the essay. requirements are received well for early action. Write rough drafts in advance of the deadline date. Apply for and have them scholarships, grants,  critiqued and and other financial proofed. aid sources.  Go on official  Submit the Student Release  Complete the  Check on your  DO NOT develop campus visits. Notify form to the NCAA Clearinghouse FAFSA forecaster application. Register Senioritis. You will the college of your if you wish to play a college as a practice for and obtain an online need to submit mid- visit. sport. applying for account to check on year and final financial aid. the status of your grades. application.WBHS 2012-2013 6
  • 9. SENIOR YEAR TO DO CHECKLIST  If your colleges  Colleges start  Compare financial aid awards.  Take Advanced  Request final FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL EARLY MAY LATE MAY require mid-year sending Consider appealing to favorite Placement (AP) transcripts be sent to reports or admission, schools for more aid. examinations. the college that you transcripts, rejection and will attend through complete the wait-list letters. Parchment. router info and make a request through Parchment.  Register for  Use this time to  If you are wait listed at your  Keep your grades  Notify your college Advanced find out more favorite school, accept your 2nd up. Colleges may about any outside Placement Exams about the colleges choice school and pay deposits reverse admission grants or scholarships (AP) through the to which you have by deadline. If you plan to stay decisions based on you have been Counseling Office. applied. on the wait list, fill out and senior grades. awarded. send all required forms.  Fill out and  Analyze financial  Send an acceptance letter and  Study for finals.  Finalize summer submit the aid offers. In deposit to the college of choice school or summer job financial aid forms some cases, you and write a polite letter of plans. required by the may consider refusal to others. colleges where appealing. applications have been sent.  You should  Check your status  Watch important dates and  If you find you have  Find out when your receive your with your online deadlines regarding rooming not been admitted college is hosting its Student Aid account as some requests and financial aid. to any college, ask orientation session Report (SAR), colleges only post your counselor for and plan to attend. It noting your online. advice. is a great way to meet eligibility for aid. students and faculty as well as get to know the campus.WBHS 2012-2013 7
  • 10. MICHIGAN COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES PROFILE 2012 Percent Average Average ACT Room & Application Institution Website Size Accepted GPA ACT Range Tuition Board Fee Adrian 1,678 64% 3.30 23 20 - 25 $28,606 $8,796 Adrian College None Albion, MI 1,514 69% 3.40 25 21 - 27 $32,100 $9,260 $40 Albion College Calvin College Grand Rapids 3,873 75% 3.60 26 23 - 28 $26,480 $9,110 $35 Mt. Pleasant 21,220 68% 3.30 23 20 - 24 $10,740 $8,212 $35 Central Michigan Studies Detroit 1,339 44% 3.10 22 18 - 23 $31,440 $8,500 College for Creative None Ypsilanti 18,621 60% 3.10 21 18 - 23 $8,683 $7,896 $30 Eastern Michigan Big Rapids 13,705 54% 3.20 22 18 - 24 $10,440 $9,344 $30 Ferris State U Allendale 21,236 70% 3.50 24 21 - 26 $9,716 $7,624 $30 Grand Valley State Hillsdale 1,400 43% 3.75 29 25 - 30 $21,390 $8,640 $35 Hillsdale College Holland 3,249 82% 3.75 26 23 - 29 $27,650 $8,510 $50 Hope College Kalamazoo 1,403 69% 3.62 28 26 - 30 $37,392 $8,274 $40 Kalamazoo College Flint 1,745 62% 3.70 27 24 - 29 $33,946 $6,660 $35 Kettering U Sault St. Marie 2,600 89% 3.10 21 19 - 24 $9,364 $8,319 $35 Lake Superior StateFor more information click here Michigan College GuideWBHS 2012-2013 8
  • 11. MICHIGAN COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES PROFILE 2012 Percent Average Average ACT Room & Application Institution Website Size Accepted GPA ACT Range Tuition Board Fee $30 Southfield 3,056 51% 3.34 24 20 -27 $25,758 $8,306 Free online Lawrence Tech $25 Livonia 3,169 66% 3.30 22 20 -24 $14,700 $7,430 Free online Madonna U East Lansing 36,058 70% 3.50 25 23 - 27 $11,722 $7,820 $50 Michigan State U Houghton 5,731 75% 3.60 26 23 - 28 $12,615 $8,648 None Michigan Tech Marquette 9,273 72% 2.94 23 20 - 25 $7,248 $8,026 $30 Northern Michigan Rochester 18,920 67% 3.30 22 19 - 25 $9,595 $7,680 None Oakland UniversitySaginaw 8,862 85% 3.21 22 18 - 24 $7,377 $8,000 $25Saginaw Valley State Detroit 3,149 64% 3.43 24 19 - 25 $30,660 $8,390 $25 U of D Mercy Ann Arbor 27,027 40% 3.80 30 28 - 32 $12,634 $9,468 $65 U of M Dearborn 7,224 61% 3.50 24 22 - 26 $9,885 NA $30 U of M Flint 6,959 70% 3.30 23 20 - 24 $8,778 $7,432 $30 U of M Detroit 20,589 76% 3.27 22 19-23 $8,611 $8,696 Free online Wayne State U Kalamazoo 20,054 83% 3.32 22 20 - 25 $8,762 $8,045 $35 Western Michigan UFor more information click here Michigan College GuideWBHS 2012-2013 9
  • 12. COMMUNITY COLLEGECommunity colleges are public two-year institutions that provide excellent opportunitiesfor students. Community colleges have an open door admissions policy. This policydescribes an admission that is open to individuals with a high school diploma or GED andprovide access to higher education. There are many benefits to attending a communitycollege.  Lower Cost  Proximity to Home  Community College Helps Build Confidence  Greater Focus on Instruction  Many Pathways to Goals  College Transfer Options***  High School Grades and Test Scores Vanish  Vocational-Technical Programs  Addresses Needs of Students ***If you are planning on transferring to a four year school, you need to make sure that the courses you take at the community college will give you credit at the institute to which you wish to transfer. For more information about finding a community college in a specific area and/or the many programs available go to: www.macrao.orgAt the Michigan Transfer Network (MTN) you can view transfer course equivalencies betweenmany Michigan colleges and universities. There are over 50 participating institutions and600,000 equivalencies all on one Web site. New equivalencies are added daily with links toparticipating institutions home pages and admissions applications. www.michigantransfernetwork.orgWBHS 2012-2013 10
  • 13. THE CAMPUS VISIT- THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTEIt is important to visit the colleges you are considering applying to in order to get a feel for the campus,especially if you are planning on applying early action. The number of school visits you schedule willdepend on your time and finances, but you should try to visit schools that will provide variedexperiences.Knowing the importance of these visits, WBHS seniors receive two exempt absences, if properprocedures are taken. Do some preparation Research the college Put together a list of questions Schedule your visit with the college at least two weeks in advance Inquire about campus/ virtual tours Visit when classes are in session Schedule interviews with faculty and admission staff Professors who teach in your area of interest Verify admission requirements with admission staff Visit while classes are in session Sit in on classes, look around, stay overnight if possible Read campus newspaper and bulletin boards for activities Talk to as many students as you can What do they like best? What do they like least? What would they change? How is life on the weekend? Trust your instincts, take notes, write down your impressions Is this where you want to be for four years? Brochures and DVDs can be misleading Questions to Ask Students During Your Campus Visit How much time do you spend studying? How easy is it to get help in a class or get in touch with professors?  Have you been able to get into the classes you wanted to take?  What is the nightlife like? Do people party a lot?  Do most students stay on campus on weekends or do they go home?  Do you feel safe on campus?  How is the food?  What do you wish you had known before coming here?  If you had to make the decision again, would you attend this college?  What is your favorite part about attending school here?  What is the one thing you would change about this school?   WBHS 2012-2013 11
  • 14. MEETING WITH COLLEGE REPRESENTATIVESWhether you meet with college representatives at WBHS, an interview, on-site admissions, college fairs,or information sessions, you have the opportunity to make a favorable and lasting impression. Introduceyourself and look the representative in the eye as you offer a firm handshake. Quite often theserepresentatives are the same people who will read your applications and decide your futureopportunities. Being able to associate your file with a smiling, self-assured individual is helpful.Few schools require on-campus interviews. Some schools do not offer them at all. Some have elaboratenetworks of alumni or students who interview applicants in their home town. If you are applying to aschool that does require an interview and you plan on visiting the campus, call the admissions office inadvance and let them know when you are planning to visit. They may schedule your interview at thattime. Be on time for your appointment Regardless of with whom you Do your homework; learn as Save your first choice school are meeting, the much about the school as interview for last you can prior to your guidelines meeting remain the same Be prepared to ask questions, but not those that are clearly answered in their catalogue or web siteWBHS 2012-2013 12
  • 15. LETTERS OR RECOMMENDATIONA great teacher recommendation can add depth and excitement to your college application. But many recommendations can end upsounding alike if you do not inform the person of your accomplishments. Find the best recommenders and provide them with an updated,comprehensive resume from and any additional information that would help them know what you do outside of theirclassrooms. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY PICK YOUR RECOMMENDERS WISELY FOLLOW THROUGH TO ... It is your responsibility to make sure the Provide specific forms and detailed letter is sent out on time. It is ok to politely How well do they know me? instuctions- online website(s) , mailing remind recommenders of deadlines. address(es). Do they know the things I do outside of their Provide the names of the schools and majors If a letter has been sent to the college, make classroom? you are considering at those schools. sure it has been received. Could they write a glowing recommendation Provide information as to the purpose of the Follow up with a thank you note. Do not email letter on my behalf? recommendation such as Scholarship or or text. A simple card shows you value the admissions specific to a school. teachers efforts as well as serves as a Can they speak in concrete terms about the Provide timelines and deadlines for when reminder if they have not sent the letter. passion and energy that I bring to my work? letters should be submitted. Remember to Ask 10th or 11th grade academics teachers, provide ample time for the letter to be written unless, your field of interest requires . recommendations are to be mailed, provide If otherwise. an addressed, stamped envelope for each school. Provide your detailed Career Cruising resume so your background, extracurricular activities, sports, jobs, career goals, and anything that you would like the recommender to address is available to themWBHS 2012-2013 13
  • 16. WRITING THE ESSAY It may only be 500 words or less, but the admissions essay portion of the college application can mean the difference between acceptance and rejection. Without the essay, admissions officers would have to choose arbitrarily between two or even two hundred applications with identical profiles. The personal essay should demonstrate to the admissions committee how you are different from everybody else. It should provide information about you that a list of test scores, grades, and extracurricular pursuits cannot. Additionally, it should demonstrate your ability to use standard written English, correct syntax usage, and grammar. The essay can also show your creativity and originality. Start early to allow plenty of time to develop your essay. DO…. Make sure you address the question or topic. • Pursue perfection - check spelling and grammar. • If using one essay for multiple schools, keep the school’s name straight. • Use good taste in composing your essay. • Be creative and try to captivate your audience. • Be yourself. Think about what interests you or what sets you apart from others. • Use detail and concrete examples and experiences. • Give your draft to others to read. • Revise and rewrite until you are satisfied. • Try to show interest and knowledge in answering “Why I want to attend this school.” Schools • are more likely to admit a student who has made an effort to learn more about them. • Captivate your audience by making it engaging and memorable. Be honest. If you cannot think of anything to write, do not copy someone else’s essay or make • up a sad story. • Do not repeat what has already been said in your application. Do not include a laundry list ofDO NOT… your activities or awards. • Do not say what you think they want you to say. Be true to yourself. Do not write a scholarly essay. Admissions committees want to learn about you. • Do not have a parent write your essay. The voice of an adult can easily come through. • Do not express feelings of anger or hostility toward others. • Do not thesaurusize. • Do not use generalities and clichés that make your essay unremarkable from hundreds of other • essays read by admissions officials. Details and specifics are necessary. • Do not recycle essays. Make sure you answer specific questions. Do not turn in something because your parents say, “Turn it in early”. Make sure you are • satisfied with the content of your essay even if it takes another week. • • Do not count on spell check or grammar check! WBHS 2012-2013 14
  • 17. TYPES OF COLLEGE ADMISSIONSRegular Admission Rolling Admission/ Early Response Restricted Early or Modified Rolling or Action or Early Regular Decision Admission Early Action Early Decision Notification On-Site Admission NON-BINDING NON-BINDING NON-BINDING BINDING NON-BINDING NON-BINDINGStudents submit an Institutions review Students apply early by a Students make a legally Students apply to anapplication by the applications as they are designated date, usually binding commitment to a institution of preference WBHS On-Sitedeadline and receive a submitted and render November 1st and first-choice institution and receive a decision Admissions Event isdecision in a clearly admission decisions receives a decision well in where, if admitted, they early. They may be October 17, 2012.stated period of time throughout the admission advance of the college’s must enroll. The restricted from applying Held at high schools or on(usually first week of cycle. In general, the regular response date. application deadline is ED or EA or REA to other the college campus,April) earlier you apply, the University of Michigan usually between November institutions. If offered students come with an earlier you may hear of and Michigan State 1st and December 15th with enrollment, they have official transcript, test your acceptance. Modified University offer this result notification in until May 1st to confirm. scores, and a completed rolling admissions may option; there is no December. Students may application to meet with send out their quota of commitment to attend if apply to only one school an admission acceptance early in the accepted. Commitment through this process, but representative. The year, therefore, it is to the decisions by the student, may apply to others representative will students’ advantage to do not have to be made through regular decision. If review all application apply early. until May 1st. accepted to the early material and render a decision school, all other decision on the spot. In applications must be the past, Eastern, withdrawn. The advantage Saginaw, Grand Valley, of applying ED is that more Kettering, and Bowling schools are committing a Green have held on-site significant portion of spots admissions at WBHS. to ED applicants. Application requirements vary from college to college and even year to year. Read each college’s up-to-date web site and application carefully for exact policies and deadlines before you check the box. If you are thinking about applying to a restricted or binding early decision plan, make sure you discuss this with your parents and counselor. A college that looks like a perfect fit in October could be less than ideal in April or August.WBHS 2012-2013 15
  • 18. GET ORGANIZED…GET STARTED…..GO!! Before you begin, you must decide on the type of application you will be using such as online, paper, CommonApp . Many schools give students different options to obtain and complete applications. Some of these options include downloading the application, applying electronically, or applying to multiple schools by filling out one application such as the Common Application at It is still possible to call or email a school and ask if a paper application sent through the mail is an option. In addition, WBHS will be hosting an on-site admissions fair on October 17, 2012, for seniors to meet admissions representatives from several Michigan Colleges, apply, get an immediate decision on their application status, as well as find out if they qualify for any scholarships. Whichever option you choose, the steps for filling out your application are the same. CREATE A FOLDER FOR EACH COLLEGE TO WHICH YOU APPLY READ and then REREAD every word of the directions before you begin. HARVARD Make a list of everything that needs to be submitted. Gather all requested materials- Request transcripts/ ACT and SAT scores. Ask for recommendations. Complete needed forms. YALE Pay specific attention to deadlines and allow ample time for recommendations and transcripts to be sent. BROWN Keep a record of when, what, and to whom material was submitted. Are essays required? How long will it take you to write U-MICHIGAN the best essay? Save your #1 schools application for last, but do not miss the deadline as the experience should help you M- STATE improve. Neatness counts! Make a copy of each application and use as a draft. PERSONAL RECORDS Full legal name & SS# Accurate family Information Answer every question and fill in every space.  Extracurricular/Achievements  Honors, Awards & Transcript Complete the supplemental information section of your application, even if it is described as optional.  Work history / Resume  Know your school. Make sure to use the right school Recommendation letters  WBHS address/ Code: 232-882 name; do not list a major that the school does not offer.  Appropriate email address  Tell the truth.  Proof and read again for grammar, spelling, accuracy, and completion. Make sure all requested material(s) has/have been sent and received by the college. Make copies of everything you send. Submit application(s) well ahead of deadline. Confirm that all needed material(s) has/have been received by the college.WBHS 2012-2013 16
  • 19. Completing the Common ApplicationMore selective and prestigious institutions may have membership with the Common Application.This allows students to complete one general application to apply to dozens of differentuniversities. The Common App requires a counselor and two teacher letters of recommendation.Universities participating in the Common App have additional questions that pertain only to theirindividual university that a prospective student must complete.Once you have confirmed that the university you wish to apply to uses the Common App, you areready to get started by visiting the Common App website and creating a username and password school report form should be submitted to your counselor with your router form whenrequesting transcripts. The counselor will complete the report and write a letter ofrecommendation to include with the report. Once you have received confirmation from a teacherwilling to complete a recommendation, ask if the recommender prefers to write the letter/formonline or provide a paper copy. If online is preferred, remember to list the recommender’s nameand email address on the application so an email will be sent to the recommender with a link tocomplete the evaluation and submit the letter.WBHS 2012-2013 17
  • 20. THE WAITING GAMEYou have finished the essays and sent out the last of the applications. Many seniors believe thehard work is over and the remainder of senior year can be spent sitting back, relaxing, andwaiting for the decisions. However, the work is far from over. While admissions representativesare busy making decisions that will affect the next four years of your life, there are still manythings left for seniors to do to increase their chances for admission. If you haven’t had any response from the schools to which you have applied, check your online account for status updates and to confirm that all parts of your • application have been received. If you believe an error has been made, email or call the admissions offices to check on the status of your applications. • Do not become an application-status stalker on the phone. Avoid Senioritis. Every year, colleges rescind offers of admission or put students on academic probation if senior year grades drop. • Colleges expect seniors to complete courses in which they have enrolled. Many applications ask applicants to list senior year courses. If there is a change in classes • from APs to weight training, admissions personnel may ask for an explanation and can revoke an offer of admission if not satisfied with the response. If you win awards or accomplish something noteworthy, let admissions offices know to update your profile. • Be sure to file the Free Application for Student Federal Aid (FASFA) as soon as possible after January 1st. This application must be completed in order to apply for • state, federal, and institutional financial aid. Write thank-you letters to the teachers and counselors who wrote recommendations for you. • Continue or begin your scholarship search. Visit college campuses. • Stay organized and meet important deadlines. • •WBHS 2012-2013 18
  • 21. DECISIONS….DECISIONS…Colleges generally select a certain date as to when decisions will be released unless the college has a rolling admissions policy. Colleges withrolling admission policies notify applicants with decisions as the applications are reviewed. CONGRATULATIONS NO THANKS WAIT LIST DEFERRED DECISION  Accept or decline by  It’s not personal; colleges  With guidance from your parents,  If you are accepted to the deadline noted are trying to make a good counselors, and/or teachers, decide another college you on your acceptance fit both for the student whether or not you want to stay on the might want to accept letter. and the college. wait list. their offer and send your deposit to hold  Send a deposit when  If you really want to  Reply to the school with your decision. your spot. you accept an attend this college, admission to retain contact the admissions  If accepted at another college, you might  Remember to send a your place. office to find out the want to accept their offer and send your mid-year report and requirements for deposit to hold your spot. 7th semester  If you cannot pay transferring after a year transcripts. deposit by the or two. deadline, ask the  Contact the college to emphasize your BOOSTING YOUR CHANCES college if a deadline desire to attend their school. extension is possible.  Visit the college and ask if an interview is  If you decide not to possible. attend a college that has accepted you, let  Take an official campus tour if you have them know as soon not done so. as possible that you are declining their  Inform the school of any noteworthy offer of acceptance. changes. That opens up space for another student  Keep your grades up. that might be on their waiting list  Stay involved in your activities, you might get reevaluated.  Consider sending a letter of recommendation if one was not originally required.WBHS 2012-2013 19
  • 22. SCHOLARSHIPSCollege is expensive, but there are ways to make it affordable. It just takes time and research. There arescholarships for just about anything. Scholarships are awarded to students based on many different factorsincluding, but not limited to, the academic record, leadership ability, talents, racial or ethnic heritage, writtenessays, declared major, or need for financial assistance. Some sources of scholarship aid are parents’ employers,labor unions, civic and religious organizations, professional associations, and other private groups.Since many scholarships are awarded by colleges, students should check the financial aid department of schoolsthey are interested in attending for a separate listing of their scholarships. This same office also administersvarious federal aid programs as well as any institutional funds that the school might have set aside for thispurpose. Most of these scholarships can be found on each school’s website. Some colleges have merit basedcompetitive scholarship programs. Students may have to attend and participate in an actual competition to receivethese awards.Many scholarship websites offer students the ability to search for scholarships that are tailor-made to fit theirspecific characteristics. is one of the best known and most widely respected scholarship sites. Anupdated comprehensive list of free financial aid and scholarship websites can be found on WBHS Career Centerpage. NEVER pay any person or service promising or guaranteeing money for college as many of these avenues arefraudulent.West Bloomfield High School’s Career Center receives and publishes information on a variety of scholarships. A listof available scholarships can be found on WBHS website under Career Center, then click on the newest scholarshiplist. Keep your counselor or the College Resource Coordinator informed of your particular interest area or needswhen searching for scholarship possibilities. As new scholarships are presented, the counseling department willtweet them on a regular basis. Follow screen name “counselorgraff’ for details. Do not always look for the ‘big’money as ten smaller scholarships can add up. Start early and stay committedRemember the following points: Register on various scholarship websites- list of links can be found on WBHS Career Center web page Be willing to compete Be persistent and thorough Make sure you meet all eligibility requirements Follow directions- provide only what is required Plan ahead- some require recommendation letters and/or transcripts Neatness and spelling do count Watch all deadlines Attend a Scholarship Workshop (in October) to learn moreWBHS 2012-2013 20
  • 23. HOW FINANCIAL AID WORKSFinancial aid is intended to make up the difference between what your family can afford to pay and whatcollege costs. Over half of the students currently enrolled in college receive some sort of financial aid tohelp pay college costs.The financial aid system is based on the goal of equal access for anyone who wants to be able to attendThe Systemcollege, regardless of financial circumstances. Here is how the system works:  Students and their families are expected to contribute to the cost of college to the extent that they are able.  If a family is unable to contribute the entire cost, financial aid is available to bridge the gap.The amount your family is able to contribute is frequently referred to as the Expected FamilyWho Decides How Much My Family Is Able to Contribute?Contribution, or EFC. The figure is determined by whoever may be awarding that aid, i.e. federalgovernment or individual colleges or universities.The federal government and financial aid offices use need based formulas to analyze your family’sfinancial circumstances taking into account income, assets, and family size and compare themproportionally with other families’ financial circumstances.First, most families cannot just pay the EFC out of current income alone. The formulas do assume thatWhat the EFC Figure Means for Most Familiesfamilies will meet their contribution through a combination of savings, current income, and borrowing.Second, financial aid is limited. The formulas therefore measure a particular family’s ability to payagainst other families’ ability to pay. Loans •Student works to help pay for various college costs. •Student finds part-time •Grants do not have to employment to help meet be repaid. •Have to be paid back. their financial needs •Scholarships are •Low-interest loans are typical •Student gains work usually based on merit. •No interest accrued until you experience while serving start repayment. their campus and Grants and •Payments begin after surrounding communities Scholarships graduation. Work StudyEvery public institution is required to have a price calculator on their website. Using this calculator,Don’t Rule Out Colleges with Higher Costsfigure the amount you will need to attend that university. A more expensive university may still be withinreach, for example, if your EFC is $5,000 at a college with a total cost of $8,000, you would be eligible forup to $3,000 in financial aid. At a college with a total of $25,000, you would be eligible for up to $20,000in aid as your family would be asked to contribute the same amount at both colleges.WBHS 2012-2013 2012- 21
  • 24. HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETESHigh school athletes can have an advantage in gaining admissions to colleges that might otherwise beout of reach and in obtaining funding for college. If you want to play a sport in college, get into thecollege of your choice, and receive a sports scholarship, check out the National College Athleticassociation’s website at The NCAA has rules on eligibility, recruiting, and financial aid.You may also call (877)-622-2321.Athletes need to be certified by the NCAA Clearinghouse for Division I and Division II programs. Thereare many rules with which students and coaches need to be familiar. The academic standards arehigher than basic graduation requirements, and you need to be familiar with the process. You mayobtain this information at www.ncaaclearinghouse,net or call (877)-262-1492. Every recruited athlete must have a Student Release Form on file with the NCAA Clearinghouse. This form is available at Although the NCAA sets minimum requirements, many colleges will additional standards for admitting athletes. For an updated list of athletic requirements and to download student release forms, visit the NCAA website at Here are some helpful websites/publications for athletes: this is a free, interactive web site for student athletes with scholarship and financial aid information, • NCAA rules, and advice from coaches. is another site with scholarship, college search, and other information. • Request a copy of NCAA Guide for the College-Bound Student Athlete at the Clearinghouse website or download it from the website. • is the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Check out the Guide for the College Bound Athlete. • The Blue Book of College Athletics by Athletic Publishing Company. This book provides information on the various sports programs available on college • campuses.WBHS 2012-2013 22
  • 25. HELPFUL WEBSITESScholarships College Planning Career Exploration**For a more comprehensive list of websites please visit WBHS Career Center webpage. ACT/SAT Test Preparation Help West Bloomfields Community Education ACT Test Prep Workshop 248-865-6633 West Bloomfield Township Library Offered in March You can find a comprehensive collection of books and online resources to prepare you for the tests Education/ 248-682-2120Many of these websites require registration in order to gain access to the site. While most sites offer freeregistration, some charge the user a fee for more information. The Counseling Office does not encouragestudents to pay for access to these sites or services; they are listed because they contain valuableinformation which is accessible without incurring a fee. Websites that guarantee more successful testscores, admission to highly selective colleges, scholarships, and financial aid should be viewed cautiously.WBHS 2012-2013 23