Houston’s Premier PK3 – 12th Grade International Day School

Students and Parents

College Planning & Searching

Type of Institutions

COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES (four-year):
Institutions made up of divisions called schools or colleges.  Geared toward preparation for professional occupations such as accounting, engineering, and health services.  Traditional classroom setting. Offer BA or BS degrees upon completion of program.

COMMUNITY AND JUNIOR COLLEGES (two-year):
Institutions are conveniently located in local communities.  Specialize in college transfer programs often tied to four-year colleges in state or area.  Usually respond to local employment demand by offering courses in needed areas. Offer associate degrees or certificates upon completion of program.

COMPREHENSIVE INSTITUTIONS:
Award baccalaureate, may also award associate degrees; offer graduate degree programs primarily at the master’s, specialist’s, or professional level, although one or two doctoral programs may be offered.

MILITARY ACADEMIES:
Military establishments that combine education and training for the armed forces in large and very structured institutions.  There are five service academies in the US, all of which require serving at least four or six years as officers in exchange for four years of education. The military’s goal is to produce officers who mare well educated both academically and in the workings of the military itself.  Offer degrees upon completion of officer training program.

PERFORMING AND VISUAL ARTS COLLEGES:
Institutions including universities, colleges, schools, and conservatories with programs of study in the areas of music, art, theater, dance, and related disciplines.  Many conservatory programs emphasize auditions and portfolio presentation.  Offer degrees upon completion of program.

SPECIALIZED COLLEGES:
Colleges that concentrate their offerings in one or two specific areas are classified as specialized colleges.  They include the following types of study: agriculture/technical, art/music, Bible/business, engineering, health sciences, military, seminary/rabbinical, and teacher preparation.  Some are two-year colleges; other offer four years of study

VOCATIONAL, TECHNICAL, BUSINESS SCHOOLS:
Private proprietary schools specializing in trades or vocations by offering various courses and occupational programs.  Specialize in skill training (i.e. welding, cooking, hair styling) required for a specific job. Offer certificates upon completion of training program.

Region or Country

NON-US OPTIONS:

Awty is a truly international school with IB or FB students representing over 75 different nationalities. Thus, Awty students often apply to universities in more than one country, for programs taught in English or in another language.

World Universities Rankings:

Good to Know:
Rankings are primarily designed to sell magazines. The same university can have multiple rankings depending on which magazines you read! Please, take time to understand the chosen criteria. For example, you can read about rankings in the following articles:

Some Ranking Websites:


UNITED KINGDOM

Good to Know:
Most students undertake a three-year undergraduate bachelor's degree, featuring a combination of seminars, workshops, and lectures made up of different modules. In Scotland, most arts, humanities, and social science degrees are awarded as MA (Hons) in four years. This is a conventional undergraduate degree, not equivalent to a postgraduate masters. In science and engineering subjects, there are often the choice of a BSc or a masters degree such as MPhys, MChem or MEng. These masters entail a further year of in-depth study but are not equivalent to postgraduate masters.

Helpful Links:

  • British Council - discover UK countries, life in the UK and UK study options
  • Unistats - compare UK higher education courses and find out: What did other students think of the course? How will the course be taught and assessed? What are the salary and employment prospects of course graduates?
  • The Guardian - find the right course for you (subject profiles- universities profiles, UK universities ranked by subject area)
  • The Russell Group - The Russel Group represents 24 leading UK universities, which are committed to maintaining the very best research, an outstanding teaching and learning experience, and unrivaled links with business and the public sector.
  • UCAS - choose what to study and where to apply (calendar, understand, and make the application)

CANADA

Good to Know:
IB and French Bac students are granted one year at universities in Québec so a bachelor's degree in Art, Business, or Sciences may be completed in three years instead of four. French Bac citizens pay Canadian fees at Québec Universities. Programs are taught in French or English in Québec.

Helpful Links:

  • Study in Canada - discover Canada (life in Canada, cost of living, careers, and programs) 
  • University Study - explore Universities, search programs, plan for universities
  • Macleans - rankings

FRANCE

Good to Know:
The freedom of establishment and the freedom to provide services are cornerstones of the single market, enabling the mobility of businesses and professionals throughout the EU.  Implementing these freedoms supposes the overall recognition of nationally delivered diplomas and qualifications.  Typically in France, the Licence, equivalent to the bachelor's degree is a three-year program.  The master's degree lasts two more years. The Doctorat is equivalent to the PhD and lasts three more years.  Tuition fees range from 200 euros (public universities) to 10,000 euros depending on the school.  Some of the most famous universities in France open their programs to international students with programs taught in English such as:

Helpful Links:


THE NETHERLANDS

Study in one of the safest and top ten happiest countries in the world!

Good to Know:
Dutch universities offer the largest number of English-taught programs in Europe and a vibrant international community.  Fourteen research universities are mainly responsible for offering research-oriented programs in an academic setting. It takes three years to earn a bachelor's degree.  Part of the research universities but distinct in their location and diploma, The University Colleges offer a “Liberal Art style” education.  Thirty-three universities of applied sciences offer programs that focus on the practical application of arts and sciences.  These tend to be more practice-oriented than programs offered by research universities and they prepare students for specific professions.  The tuition fees and cost of living are considerably lower than in English-speaking countries: 2,000 to 4,000 euros for EU students and 8,200 to 14,000 euros for non-EU students.

Helpful Links:

Specialized

NAVIANCE & COLLEGE BOARD:
If your student knows specific majors (e.g., creative writing, aerospace engineering, forestry) or has a strong preference for setting (e.g., urban or a specific region/country), the best place to start is Naviance or the College Board.  Both websites have very specific search engines and as complete information as is available.  Ranking organizations such as US News & World Report, Forbes, Niche, Times Higher Education World University Rankings, etc., are helpful to get a look at well-regarded institutions, but remember that the ranking algorithms and their component parts skew these rankings.  A few places difference may be no difference at all, do not hold true for every major, and may or may not address important issues of fit and match for your student.

 

FINE OR PERFORMING ARTS MAJORS:
If you student hopes to attend university and major in certain performance or artistic-based majors, special application materials and sometimes auditions are necessary.  Music performance, drama, musical theater, visual art, sometimes film and sometimes architecture, require – at the best ranked universities in these fields – auditions, portfolios, or other supplemental materials.  They may not require standardized tests.  If your student is considering majoring in any of these areas please carefully check EACH UNIVERSITY website for admission calendars and requirements, as auditions may be necessary and may require travel.  University majors that should prompt you to do careful investigation of these requirements include:

  • Drama
  • Theater Arts
  • Visual Arts (Painting, Sculpting, Graphic Design)
  • Music (performance, voice, composition)
  • Film (production, screenwriting)
  • Architecture

 

EXTRACURRICULAR FINE ARTS:
For extra-curricular activities like musical groups (performance related) there are online ‘interest forms’ for your student to fill out to get on the radar of the conductors/directors.  Although this process is not technically recruiting, it cannot hurt in the selection process or in the application process to understand your student’s likelihood of participating.

 

RECRUITED SPORTS/ACTIVITIES:
If your student hopes to continue an extra-curricular activity that he/she is passionate about, certain of them may have a process by which the student can be “recruited”.  24 NCAA sports, Dance, Cheerleading and Twill have specific procedures for students to contact coaches and find out if they are of the level to compete on that school’s team.  If you student hopes to compete on the varsity level, the process to earn a spot on these teams can begin as early as freshman/sophomore year, especially for girls.  Except in very select cases, students need to “recruit” the university coach – reach out and get on their radar – rather than the other way around.  The best first place to start is on a specific university team’s page (e.g., Emory University Men’s Volleyball) and look for a dropdown menu that is for “recruits”.  This will have a link to a “recruiting Information Form” that your student should fill out and submit online.  Individual sports like swimming and track and field recruit later, and often these teams publish ‘recruit standards’ on their websites to give potential athletes guidelines for performances that qualify for their teams.  For most team sports and performance-based activities, recruiting videos or inviting coaches to tournaments, showcases, or events will be necessary for coaches to assess the student’s level.

Click here for the official NCAA guidance on this process.

A great way to gauge how likely your student is to be at the level to compete on a certain team is to investigate the “Team Roster” page.  Very often each roster member has a bio online, detailing his/her contribution to the university team and detailing his/her high school accomplishments in that activity.  For most team sports (football being the exception), participation on teams outside of school is virtually required to be prepared to participate at the university varsity level.  Coaches of these club teams are often the best contact between your student-athlete and university coaches, and club team events and tournaments are the primary opportunity for university coaches to observe your student-athlete in action.

 

SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES:

From US News and World Report:

  1. Consider class size.
  2. Visit/research disability offices – these are required at every university, but some have more supportive programs than others.
  3. Be aware of your learning style: talk to current undergrads or recent graduates to get a sense of how students are assessed.  Helpful questions to ask include: Can meetings be set up one-on-one with a professor or teaching assistant to demonstrate your knowledge of a topic outside the high-stress classroom setting?  Can students offer to write a report or do a project to demonstrate subject mastery?  Even if you cannot find the answers to these questions in advance, schools that show themselves to have supportive environments in other ways often will have faculty members who are equally supportive and flexible.
  4. Note university core requirements to be sure they do not force continued struggle with specifically challenging subjects (for dyslexia possibly foreign language).

 

Career or Major

*Adapted from the College Board’s Book of Majors

 

What is a major?

Your college major is the subject you will take the most courses in and learn the most about. It’s the area of study that your degree will be in, after you complete the required courses.

As an undergraduate, you will most likely work toward a two year Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) degree, or a four-year Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.S.), or Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree.

Whatever your major is, you will probably take up to half of your courses in the liberal arts, to fulfill what is known as “general education” or “core” requirements. Most students take these general education requirements in the first two years of a four-year program.

How to choose a major

You may have no idea, at the moment, what you want to study in college. A good way to zero in on a major is to think of what interests you and what you are really good at. Examine your academic strengths and the subjects that inspire you to learn.

What activities do you enjoy, either in or outside school? For many students, hobbies and extracurricular activities are as important as class work. Maybe your major will relate to your experience in community or volunteer work, religious activities, scouting, sports, or the arts.

What are your values and your vision of the future? Think about what matters to you and how your priorities may affect your choice of a major. Then, look around and ask yourself how the world affects you. Look inside yourself and look outside at other forces in your life.

When to decide on your major

Many first year students are undecided about their majors. Most four-year colleges expect you to declare your major at the end of your second year. That gives you time to take courses, including the liberal arts requirements, in a number of fields before you settle on a major. For some degrees, you will want to declare a major as soon as possible.

Applied and academic majors

You can divide majors into two big groups- applied majors and academic majors. Applied majors prepare you for a specific career by giving you the knowledge and skills you will need in a particular line of work. Applied majors also prepare you for special licensing, certifications, or other credentials you’ll need in jobs like accounting, teaching, and social work. Academic majors are in the arts and sciences and include the humanities, science, and math. The academic majors don’t necessarily lead to specific careers. They prepare you for graduate studies or for professions in which a wide range of skills and creative talents are valued.

The right major at the right college

Which comes first, your choice of a major or your choice of a college? You should have some idea of what you want to study as you search for colleges because you will want a school with a strong program in that area.

Which comes first, your choice of a major or your choice of a college? You should have some idea of what you want to study as you search for colleges because you will want a school with a strong program in that area.

Concentrations, minors, double majors, and special programs

You may have even more options beside the choice of major. You may select a concentration that allows you to specialize in a topic within your major by taking a cluster of courses in the subject area. Another option is to add a minor to your major. A minor is course work in which you explore another field, but not exactly as widely or as deeply as for your major. Some colleges let you take a double major in related or even unrelated fields. In a double major, you complete two majors at the same time. Another option to consider is a combined bachelor’s and graduate degree. For many of these joint degrees you are accepted into both programs when you apply to college.

Pre-professional programs

To prepare you for advanced studies, some colleges offer pre-professional programs. These are advisory programs that lead you through a group of requirements that you can fulfill in almost any major. The best thing you can do if you plan to go to law school, medical school, or graduate programs is to get excellent grades in your undergraduate work. You’ll also need to prepare for the appropriate professional school or grad school entrance exam.

Switching Majors

Many students switch majors in college. If you find yourself in a major that you want to change, be sure to check with your academic advisor who can help you sort through electives, choose a major, change your major, and steer you toward completion of your degree.

Planning for now and for later

Think about your interests and talents while you read about the majors. Once you narrow the selection to a few majors, do some research on college programs in those majors. Ask about qualifications of faculty members and availability of resources for instance. You can also visit the websites of professional associations for specific careers and of leading employers of graduates in a particular major. Try to remain flexible. The world is changing so rapidly that jobs in demand when you declare a major may be different after you graduate.

Financing

COST OF ATTENDANCE:

Click here to find out how much that college will really cost. 

The Application Process

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)

UCAS is a portal through which students submit up to five applications to universities in the UK.

Universities set admission requirements and provide comprehensive information via UCAS and their websites to help students research their options. They receive applications electronically from UCAS to review and make admission decisions. They may request an interview on campus or additional testing.

Students need to complete the application form on www.ucas.com by January 15 for most universities/majors. Students applying to medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and veterinary sciences courses, and for all courses at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge have to submit their UCAS application by October 15.

Students have five sections to complete on their UCAS application:

  1. Personal details
  2. Choice of five courses maximum
  3. Education (current and pending qualifications)
  4. Employment (relevant work experience)
  5. Personal statement

The school has two sections to complete: the reference and the predicted grades.

Students will narrow their choices from five to two (firm choice and insurance choice) when they get all of their conditional offers.

Universities confirm the places with students once exam results are received.

Videos, tutorials on the application process, and search engine on the UCAS website.

Apply Texas

From the website: “ApplyTexas was created through a collaborative effort between the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the colleges and universities represented on the site. The goal of the project is to offer a centralized means for both Texas and non-Texas students to apply to the many outstanding postsecondary institutions available in Texas.”

ApplyTexas allows students to apply for admission to any Texas public university, as well as to participating community and private colleges. Rice does not use ApplyTexas, but most other private colleges in Texas do, so if you are applying solely to colleges in Texas, this may be the only application you need! Students should create their ApplyTexas account the summer before their senior year of high school. With this account, students can work on their ApplyTexas application, save, return to it, and apply to other Texas universities without redoing the work. 

Please note: you can submit a full application, WITHOUT ESSAYS or RECOMMENDATIONS, complete with payment, as soon as you thoughtfully and accurately complete the biographical, education, residency and activities sections on ApplyTexas.  Essays and recommendations can be uploaded later.  Submitting the application with payment generates your university-specific login information, which in turn allows you to check the status of all your application materials, including test scores sent from College Board or ACT.org, transcript submissions, recommendation submissions, honors applications, etc.  Completion of the main part of ApplyTexas is what allows the College Counseling Department to send the official materials to your universities.  Do not wait until the night before the final deadline to submit the main part of ApplyTexas because it can take up to 10 business days for the university specific login information to be generated.

 

AUTOMATIC ADMISSION:
Texas guarantees admission to ALL state-funded Texas universities (except UT, Austin) to the top 10% of each Texas high school graduating class. UT Austin caps automatic admission at 75% of their “available Texas resident spaces” which means it occasionally adjusts the percentile ranking that qualifies for automatic admission. For the class of 2018, the percentile is Top 7% and for the class of 2019 it drops to Top 6%. Although Awty does not rank students, your college counselor will let you know if you fall into the automatic admit pool if you are applying to a Texas public university. Automatic admission DOES NOT guarantee you admission to your top-choice major. Admission to a major is done through holistic review.

We strongly encourage students applying to UT, A&M, Uof H and other Texas public universities to get these applications in as soon as possible senior year and well before deadlines!

 

CHOICE OF MAJOR:
Applications to University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University, College Station, must specify a first and second choice.  Admission to a department or major is determined by holistic review, so it is important to make a strong case for why you are a good fit for that course, school, department, major or program. Experience with complimentary subject matter and experiences, (Think - extended essay, summer activities or classes, Awty clubs, internships, jobs or otherwise) is something that UT and A&M value, particularly for students apply to business and engineering. 

 

LIST OF ACTIVITIES AND RESUMES:
It is possible to enter student extra-curricular activities and time estimates directly onto the ApplyTexas form. You can also upload an “Expanded Resume” through the document upload system.  From the UT Austin Undergraduate Admissions site:  “Your resume should include all your achievements, not just those that didn’t fit on the ApplyTexas application.  That said, if you’re able to list everything on the ApplyTexas application, there’s no need to submit a separate resume.” 

Examples of Expanded Resumes:

 

ESSAYS:
It is important to answer the essay and short answer questions completely. Speak with your counselor about completing optional essays.

 

TEACHER RECOMMENDATIONS:
Letters of recommendation are optional but not required.  They are requested/uploaded through the Document Upload System which is available to students after submitting the main ApplyTexas application.   Honors programs may require recommendations – please check specific honors program websites to determine this.

 

APPLYING FOR HONORS PROGRAMS:
Freshman honors program applications (business, engineering, liberal arts, natural sciences, Plan II, etc.) for UT Austin and A&M are also available on the ApplyTexas website. They do not cost additional application fees but are separate applications and often require additional essays.  Please refer to their admissions websites for detailed information about what they look for and what is required.

 

TEXAS RESIDENCY:
The cost of publicly funded Texas universities is significantly lower if you can claim Texas residency.  Please refer to the Texas state law to help determine if you qualify for in state tuition as a Texas resident. The financial aid office at each university can also be helpful.

Common Application

The Common Application, sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, is currently accepted by nearly 700 colleges. It is a not-for-profit member organization committed to the pursuit of access, equity, and integrity in the college admission process.  The current community of members is a broad and diverse group of colleges and universities – public, private, large, small, religious, and secular – ranging in geographic location from across the United States to around the world.

The primary advantage of the Common Application is that it needs be completed only once; it may then be submitted to any number of participating colleges.  The same is true of the school report and the teacher evaluation portions. 

Some member colleges of the Common Application group do require supplemental forms, which may include an additional essay.  The Common Application can be downloaded by clicking here.

The Campus Visit

We recommend visiting a variety of types of colleges and universities so your student can develop a clear sense of what kind of campus/program best meets their needs and goals. Here are some ideas and suggestions for a college visit timeline as well as some tips for visiting.

EARLY HIGH SCHOOL VISITS - LOOK AT BROAD CATEGORIES AND KEEP IT FUN:

While your student is in 9th or 10th grade, take advantage of nearby colleges or universities to take a campus tour and listen to the admission talk.  There is usually a morning and afternoon session and it is easy to sign up online at the school’s Admissions website. Look for a “Visit” tab. At this point, getting a feel for “big universities” and “small universities” or “college towns” and “urban vs. suburban” campuses is very useful in familiarizing your child with university life.   

In Texas, you and your student can experience a variety of university sizes and environments without expensive travel required:

It’s also worth considering visiting local colleges when you travel. Try not to make college visits the focus of your trip, but if you have a spare morning or afternoon and it’s a high interest school for your child, sign up to do the tour and talk. If you try to see too many schools at this point, they may become overwhelmed and exhausted; it’s best to keep it very low key. Have lunch on campus, people watch, wander through a few department hallways and look at what’s on the bulletin boards, pick up a copy of the student newspaper, but most importantly, follow your child’s interests. When you can tell they’ve had enough, honor that!

 

11TH GRADE VISITS - PLAN AHEAD TO MAXIMIZE BENEFIT:
College searching begins in earnest during 11th grade. Your student’s counselor will work with him or her to discuss preferences, pose questions, consider possibilities, and demonstrate how to use search engines like Naviance, the College Board’s “Big Future,” and others to apply filters to their search in order to develop a list. For the most part, there is a great deal of flexibility built into the pathway to an undergraduate degree, though this flexibility can vary from school to school.  It’s important to explore the website of the colleges your student is interested in before planning a visit. Your child may be committed to earning a degree in Sports Management at “University XYZ,” – her “dream” school. However, when she looks at the degrees offered on the college’s “academics” page, Sports Management isn’t listed.  Communicating with the admission office prior to a visit can help unearth other possibilities or pathways to this career that aren’t immediately obvious on the website, and the visit may still be worthwhile.  Doing your homework and research will ensure that your visits are productive.

 

HOW TO REGISTER FOR VISITS ONLINE:
Universities make it easy to register for a college visit and admissions talk.  Go to the college’s Admissions website and click on “Visit,” or “Schedule a Campus Tour,” etc. Most universities will offer a morning and an afternoon admission talk, with an optional walking tour. It is almost impossible to do more than two official visits in one day. It’s important to do the official visit as most colleges track this information as “demonstrated interest,” a factor in determining admissibility.  Limited visits are available on Saturdays, and usually not available on Sundays. Departments within universities also might offer “talks” a few times a week. If your student is really interested in engineering at a particular university, it’s best to call the department, see if they are giving a talk when you will be in town, and schedule the entire visit to include the general admission talk, walking tour, and department specific talk.

 

BEST TIMES TO VISIT:
Keep in mind the climate where you are visiting as you plan. If you are looking at northern schools, consider visiting during the winter as your student needs to understand it will be cold. The Awty school breaks (October, February, and April) are great opportunities to visit campuses, because Awty breaks do not usually align with university breaks, and so you can see the schools in session. Check the college’s calendar to be sure they are in session. The Awty counselors can put you in contact with alumni attending the university you are visiting so you can arrange a meeting to get a “firsthand” account. Visiting during the summer is also great, but understand that the campus will not be as active and busy during summer session.

 

ELEMENTS OF A ONE-DAY COLLEGE VISIT:
College visits can include admissions talks, guided walking tour of university, class visits, specific tours or talks in departments, specific tours of dorms/facilities (e.g. athletics.), and even overnight stays might be possible. ASK!

Admissions talks: Usually includes general information about the university, more specific info about applying to the university including dates and required elements, and financial aid information. This is your opportunity to hear what kind of students they want. Parents can help by taking notes while their student listens. Record the name of the person giving the talk, time and date, and any information that they particularly emphasize. Give your child some time to process the visit.

Walking tours: Led by “student ambassadors,” these are definitely scripted and enthusiastic “sales pitches” intended to highlight the best of the university. However, this can also be an opportunity to get candid information. Encourage your student to walk alongside the tour guide and ask questions about his/her experience at the college. The tour guides are hired because of their outgoing and positive nature and enjoy speaking with potential applicants and their parents. Be sure to write down the name of the tour guide as mentioning him/her in the “Why this university" essay indicates your student was really paying attention and made a personal connection.

Specific Tours/Discussions: Some of the best campus visit moments students have are in the more specific tours. If your student knows he/she wants to major in engineering, sign up (again on the admissions website) for the tour of the engineering school. If your student is considering athletics, sign up for a specific tour of the athletic facilities (offered in some places). Some of the best moments (and great material for college essays for that university) come from specific discussions or comments made in departmental talks (engineering, humanities, liberal arts, etc.). Again, if possible, take notes for your student and let your student really listen and get a feeling for the group or the professor or the students. Your student is searching for fit, which is often not entirely found in quantifiable metrics.

Food: Googling “favorite restaurants of students at (University Name)” gives you a chance to figure out where to eat breakfast (before the tour), lunch (before or after the tour), or dinner (after the tour) to give your student an opportunity to “feel the vibe” at that university, at least a little bit. I like finding a snack or meal after tours/visits, because students often are willing to talk about how they like it over food, whereas getting in the car and driving away immediately gives your teenager the perfect opportunity to put on his/her headphones and tune out to social media. It also lets you have a look at who’s around – professor-looking people with laptops in the cool coffee shop? Groups of students on a Thursday afternoon working or socializing? People watching is valuable on these visits.

 

MINDSET IS CRITICAL:
An important thing to remember is that if your student is stressed, exhausted, overwhelmed, or angry, no college visit is likely to be productive. Visiting a campus is a privilege, it is an opportunity to spend time together, and if it is set up well, it can truly help make choices. Rushing from one to the other sometimes backfires – it can make the whole visit feel unhappy, whether it was actually the school or not. Stacking too many visits in a row can also diminish the value, as many of the admissions talks are virtually the same. Anyone can get bored with the talk if it’s the sixth one in three days. Planning some fun family time in between is helpful.

The following is excerpted from Lisa Medieros’ blog. Given all the specifics addressed above, having the right “mindset” as you go into these visits is just as critical.

1. Avoid Asking Too Many Questions

2. Pros and Cons List

Before we headed out on our first college tour, I purchased two notebooks so my son and I could each list the “Pros and Cons” of each university.

After a while all of these schools start to blend together, so it’s helpful to have a place to reference the specifics on each college. It’s also helpful to notate the date of the tour as he’ll need that for the application. I also jot down the school’s stats on enrollment and acceptance rate so we have that info at a quick glance. 

3. Take A Break From All the College Talk

After a full weekend of touring college campuses, I make a conscious effort not to use the "C" word (meaning college) for at least a week. Let it settle. Let him digest. When the topic comes up again you stand a better chance of having a less stressful and more productive dialogue with your teen. 

4. Let Them Know You’re in Their Corner

It’s a stressful time for us parents, as well. We all just want so much for our kids. They pick up on our stress. It’s important for them to know we’re on their side no matter what happens. We’re on the same team. Remind them that we are here to help and support in any way needed. 

Application Timeline

SUMMER - FALL

  • Narrow your list of colleges to between five and ten. Meet with your counselor. Download college applications and financial aid forms.  Plan to visit as many of these colleges as possible.
  • Create a master list or calendar, which includes tests you need, application due dates, financial aid application deadlines, and other materials you’ll need such as recommendations, transcripts, etc.
  • Request a fee waiver, if necessary.  Send your SAT and/or ACT scores to the colleges where you are applying.
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) if requested.  October 1 is the first day you can file the FAFSA.
  • Complete the CSS Financial Aid Profile, if requested.  The profile is an online application used by certain colleges and scholarship programs to determine eligibility for their aid dollars.
  • Prepare early decision, early action, or rolling admission applications as soon as possible. Colleges may require test scores and applications between November 1 and November 15 for early decision admission. Check college websites for exact information for each school.
  • Ask your counselor and teachers for recommendations if you need them.  Provide them with the surveys requested and fill out the recommendation request form.
  • Write drafts of your college essays and have them checked.
  • Once you have applied, request that your supporting documents (transcript, school profile, recommendations) be sent to the colleges by completing a document request form (DRF) for each college.

WINTER

  • Keep photocopies as you finish and send your applications and essays.
  • Withdraw other applications if you have been accepted early decision.

SPRING

  • Colleges and universities usually give you a decision by the end of March or early April. Inform every college of your acceptance or rejection of the offer of admission and/or financial aid by May 1.  Send in your deposit to one college only. 
  • Keep active in school. If you have been waitlisted, the college will want to know what you have accomplished after you applied.
  • Request that a final transcript be sent to your college.

Testing

International Testing

English Proficiency

United Kingdom

Some programs in the UK require additional tests (medicine- law- Oxford or Cambridge...)

Students register for the test or ask us to organize the test if we can be the Test Center: See here

UKCAT: see word doc

GOOD TO KNOW:
While the U.S. style standardized tests like SAT/ACT are not required, they can help strengthen an application. Don’t hesitate to add them in your UCAS application if they are good/very good.

Sending Test Scores