College Search and Admissions
Senior Associate Director of
College Search: Location and Size
• How far away from home do you want to be?
• Consider not only distance, but the cost of travel to and from home.
• What’s the ideal surrounding environment?
• Think about the types of experiences you want to have, and how certain
settings may facilitate those experiences.
• Do you want to have easy access to a metropolitan area?
• Or are you more concerned about having access to great outdoor
• Colleges come in all sizes, and the size of a school is often related to the
academic and social opportunities available to you in college.
• Think about the environment that you feel you learn best in, as well as
what makes you feel most comfortable.
College Search: Academics
Liberal Arts Colleges:
• Well-rounded educational experience.
• These small- to medium-sized schools (under 10,000 students) offer
programs that enable students to explore their academic interests while
honing verbal and analytical skills. Examples: Davidson, Guilford
• Programs are designed for specific careers or concentrations. Examples:
Babson College (business), University of North Carolina School of the Arts,
• These schools are often medium to large in size (5,000+ students), offer a
number of pre-professional majors and programs, and give students a
multitude of options because they have both liberal arts as well as
specialized majors. Examples: Johns Hopkins University, Duke, Elon, UNC
College Search: Student Life
Student Life: In high school, 40 hours of your week are spent in the
classroom, compared with only 15 hours per week in college. You’ll need to
learn to manage your free time effectively.
Things to consider:
• Diversity (racial/ethnic, religious, ideological, gender, geographic, socio-
• Greek life
• Performing Arts
• Community Service
• Study Abroad
College Search: Campus Visit
Campus tours: Usually led by students, tours are a great way to both see the
important parts of campus and also an opportunity to get to hear a student’s
Information sessions: Usually about an hour-long presentation led by a
member of the admissions office, these sessions are a chance to learn about
the school and an excellent place for you to ask questions you may about
different aspects of the school, from academics and activities to specifics
about the application process.
Class visits: Some schools may offer class visits at various points in the year;
check in advance whether or not this is offered and how the registration
Overnight visits: Many colleges offer overnight visits where prospective
students are paired with a current student host. You’ll generally shadow the
student’s day—eating meals with them in the dining halls, visiting their
classes, and spending the night in their residence hall. You usually need to
register in advance for these events, so you should plan accordingly.
College Search: Cost and Other
• Do research beyond the sticker price (tuition + room and board + fees)
• It’s possible for a school to be an academic match and a financial reach.
• Choosing a college in April after you receive your financial aid offer can be
a lot more difficult if you didn’t do research on this before you applied.
• Burden of paying for college education is on the family
• Aid is supposed to supplement the family’s ability to pay
• Cost of attendance (COA) = tuitions + fees + travel + room and board +
books and supplies + misc.
• Expected Family Contribution (EFC)= parent contribution + student
• COA-EFC= Financial Need
• Financial Need = student loans + work-study + federal/state grants +
College Search: Cost and Other Factors
Merit Scholarships can
be used for either
need, or to cover part
of a student’s EFC.
•Parent PLUS Loan
JHU meets 100% of demonstrated need!
College Admission: The
• University/State Specific Application
• Common Application
• Coalition Application
• Universal College Application
College Admission: The Review
•What do the grades mean?
•*Standardized test (ACT,
SAT, SAT II, AP, IB)
• Activities list
• Letters of
• *Talent based
1. Often junior year grades are the final grades that will influence the college
2. Continue involvement in activities that will develop leadership skills; update the
academic and extracurricular portfolio. If you are not involved in extracurricular
activities or work, it is not too late.
3. Register for the October PSAT/NMSQT; register for SAT, ACT and SAT Subject
Tests in the spring.
4. Set up the college application process checklist, college folders and calendar.
5. With your family, begin to learn about financial aid (grants, scholarships, loans,
and work study).
6. Meet with the school counselor to discuss the preliminary list of colleges;
continue to research colleges of interest. Aim for a final list of three to eight
7. Attend college fairs and visit college campuses during spring break and summer
8. Choose meaningful summer activities: academic or enrichment programs,
volunteer activities or employment.
9. Begin preparation for the application process (draft essays, assemble portfolios,
contact coaches if you are an athlete, consider letters of recommendation,
1. Continue to monitor academic progress throughout the senior year… No
2. Continue involvement in activities that utilizes leadership skills; update the
academic and extracurricular portfolio.
3. Take college admission tests as needed: SAT, ACT, SAT Subject Tests, and have
test scores sent to the appropriate colleges.
4. Update the college application checklist and college folders. Write due dates on
the calendar and meet them.
5. Complete all portions of the college application and submit on time. Make
copies of everything.
6. Complete financial aid applications (for grants, scholarships, loans and work-
study). This may include the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid),
the CSS Profile (if required), and the college’s financial aid forms.
7. Set up interviews and plan final visits to colleges.
8. In the spring review offers of acceptance, and compare financial aid packages,
then make a decision of which college to attend.
9. Notify all colleges of your decision by May 1. Send required deposits.
10. Plan meaningful summer activities and pack for college.
• Net Price Calculator: www.jhu.edu/finaid
• FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid is typically a required
document for those who wish to apply for financial aid.
• CSS PROFILE: Prospective students applying for financial aid must submit
the CSS PROFILE online to be considered for institutional (Hopkins) need-