The first step in being accepted to your dream school is applying. Here, we’ll outline how to apply, when, and why. The Foxborough Regional Charter School College Handbook summarizes college applications and admissions – FRCS College Handbook.
- Changes have been made to the Massachuestts State College and University Admissions Standards – download http://www.mass.edu/shared/documents/admissions/admissionsstandards.pdf
The Common App:
- Accepted by many schools, especially in New England
- Can be submitted in writing or online
- Asks simple, straight forward questions, but be sure to read directions
- Two essays required: one short and one long
The Common App:
Colleges which accept The Common App:
Common Application Essays:
- About one of the activities you participate in
- About 200 words
- Should describe personal qualities, not academic achievements
- Choose from one of the five given prompts or a choice of your own
- Must give the reader a good sense of how YOU think about, feel, or experiece the essay topic
- About 500 words
- Should describe personal qualities which appeal to colleges
- Should maintain a single, salient theme
Some school do not use the Common Application. Some have there own electronic submission systems or require paper applications. Be sure that you check on your desired school’s website before completing the common application.
The application itself is not the only piece which must be submitted. There are various other forms that must be sent along with your application, including teacher recommendations, a letter from guidance, and various school reports. Ensure that they are all complete by the due date, along with your application. Be sure to tell Mr. Elsner AT LEAST FOUR WEEKS BEFORE your application is due so that all the information will be up to date.
- Choose a teacher/teachers you trust to give a good recommendation
- Have achieved good grades in this teacher’s class
- Alert the teacher AT LEAST four weeks before the letter is due, and remind them two weeks beforehand that it’s due
- Give the teacher a personal resume to strengthen their letter
- Don’t feel badly if they say no; it’s best if they feel confident they can write well about you
Most schools require standardized test scores for the application. Although there is a place on the common app for these scores, they must also be submitted by the SAT or ACT. To request that your scores be sent, visit the website of the test whose scores you wish to apply for, and follow the instructions. There is a fee for each school scores are sent to.
If you took an AP course, you must also pay to submit those scores to colleges. This is available on the College Board website.
Submitting ACT Scores:
Submitting SAT Scores:
Submitting AP Scores:
Many colleges require that students submit a supplement with their application. This addition may be as simple as citing the major you wish to join, to as long as a few essays. Colleges wouldn’t ask for this information if it weren’t important, so be sure to take the supplement seriously. They have the same due date as the application.
Schools have varying application due dates, and many have more than one. Here’s how to muddle through the mess:
Regular Due Date: This is the final day any application will be accepted at all. Applications must be complete and submitted by this day at midnight, or the school will not consider it. These dates mostly fall in January and mid-February.
Early Action: These applications are submitted earlier than the regular date. Decisions also come in earlier. Applying at this time shows that a student is seriously considering this school, so, if possible, apply to your reach and goal schools for this date. However, do not apply for these if you did not have good grades in your junior year. These dates are typically in early to mid November (note: before final Trimester 1 grades are complete).
Early Decision: Not to be confused with early action, early decision means that, if you are accepted to this school, you will surely be attending. These dates also fall in early to mid November. Use this application only if you are certain that this is the school you wish to attend, regardless of financial aid, housing situation, and major. Once you are accepted through early decision, you expected to commit to attending the college.
Rolling Admission: Schools with rolling admissions accept applications continuously from fall through late spring. For these types of schools, it is best to apply early, as they continue to accept applications constantly, and accept constantly, meaning that they run out of room. These dates generally open earlier and close later than regular admissions.