College Application Tips
Tips for Completing a College Application
- The procedures for applying for admission vary from one college to another, but the first step is to visit the admissions website at your college(s) of choice, contact an admissions representative, and talk to your college counselor. Be aware there are early application deadlines for many institutions.
- Complete your own application and write your own essays. Application readers can tell when someone other than the student completed the work.
- Follow all instructions on the application. Keep in mind that institutions will not begin to review your application until all components are submitted. Institutions will have admissions checklists and timelines on their websites – follow these closely.
- Be sure you know the college’s testing requirements. If you are not sure, ask your counselor. Some schools require that test scores be sent directly from the testing company to the college. If you do not remember where you had your scores sent, check your copies of the scores, or ask your counselor. The ACT gives you the ability to send your score to four schools for free, if you indicate the institutions in advance. Take advantage!
- Talk with your counselor about your plans. Early and frequent communication with your counselor is a benefit to you.
- Procedures for applying for financial aid vary from one college to another, so check with your counselor. In all cases, to be considered for aid, you must apply for it!
- Counselors can be most helpful to you if you make an effort to keep them informed of your interests, needs, and plans. Whenever you have questions, ask.
- Remember to use the Trinity High School Code (CEEB)- 181-540.
- College websites and your college counselor are very useful tools. Utilize available resources!
Parent Tips & Tricks for Navigating Your Son’s College Search
College Fair Tips:
- Want to make sure colleges have the correct contact information? Does your student hate when he receives mail that has his name misspelled? There’s an easy fix! Bring printed labels with the following information: full name (not a nickname), mailing address and phone number, high school and graduation year, birthdate, and intended major. Colleges are very impressed by this level of preparation!
- Come prepared with at least one question. Rather than asking “what is this?” we suggest asking about something specific, such as “what makes your institution unique?”
- Start early – many students wait until their senior year to start their college search. We recommend attending college fairs starting in early junior year. This gives students ample time to make informed decisions about all of the educational opportunities available to them.
- Encourage your student to look at some places he may be unfamiliar with. If you feel like a school doesn’t have the program your student is seeking, just ask! You may be surprised by the information you learn, and keeping an open mind is extremely important.
Communication Etiquette with Colleges
- As a parent, we know that you want what is best for your son. However, during the college search, we suggest helping your son, but do not doing everything for him – be a guiding light. Having your son fill out his own application or asking questions to Admissions Counselors is a small, yet important, step in helping him become a responsible adult.
- When you email institutions, please let them know that you are the parent, rather than writing as if you are the student. The Admissions Counselors will really enjoy having conversations with you!
- A tip to relay to your son: be cautious of what you say and tweet! Colleges (and future employers) have social media, and can see what you do. We would hate for your student to jeopardize his future because of inappropriate social media activity.
Tips for the Application Process
- Allow your son to complete his own application. However, ensure your son inputs his given name, rather than a nickname. When students fill out their applications with nicknames, matching test scores, transcripts, and other documents to the correct file can be tricky.
- Fill out applications early! Let your son know that a complete application includes: the application, the application fee, an official high school transcript, and official ACT or SAT scores. Many institutions will also require an essay and / or a letter of recommendation. Be aware that applications are not reviewed until each required document has been received.
- If it has been a significant amount of time since your son completed his application, encourage him to reach out to the institution. Admissions Offices can check on application status and let you know if anything is missing.
Final Tip for Decision Time
- Encourage your student to pick the school that is best for him (and not to pick a school for a friend or significant other). By choosing the school that is the best fit for your son, he will be more inclined to get involved, perform well academically, and persist through graduation. There are no bad schools, only bad fits. Keep in mind: you know your son best. Give him your thoughts on which institution might fit him best, but try to avoid dictating where he can or cannot go. It is important to let your student know that you will support him or her regardless of their decision. Your support, whether he shows it or not, means a lot to your son.
For more information, contact Ms. Kerns (A-K) or Mr. Manning (L-Z). (502) 895-9427.
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