Mrs. Nixon and students discussing college information

College Counseling

October Class of 2021 College Counseling Newsletter

10/08/2020

Worried about being behind on your college applications?

Think you are done but aren’t sure and want to double check?

PS If you have more questions or need to review other information about college, check out the August and September newsletters as well as the Trojan College Counseling Video Series

Do these things in this order: 

October 9 – 15

  1. CONSIDER THE TEST SCORE POLICIES AT EACH SCHOOL AND SEND YOUR TEST SCORES IF NEEDED! Colleges and universities are all over the board this year with their test score policies, so do your research to see if a school is test optional and/or if they still require scores for certain programs, Honors programs, or scholarships. It is important that you send your scores directly from the testing service through your CollegeBoard and ACT accounts if they are required. Take advantage of the free score sends when you register for a new test. You must send your test scores to each college or university directly from the testing service if you want them to be considered. It takes 2-3 weeks for your scores to arrive to the schools, so you cannot wait until a few days before the deadline to order them. Suggested deadline: October 10, 2020
  2. SEND YOUR TRANSCRIPTS! You have to list Mrs. Nixon as your counselor under “Recommenders and FERPA” (after you waive your rights) under “My Colleges” on the Common Application in order for all of the proper paperwork to be submitted. Do not list anyone from Chatard as your Advisor. If a school does not accept the Common Application, you will need to apply through the college’s website and request your transcript through Parchment. You must request a transcript to be sent to each college or university through Common Application or Parchment.  Suggested deadline: October 11, 2020

 

October 16 – 25

  1. Check in with your recommenders. Be sure you have asked your teachers, coaches, employers, etc. if they are willing to write a letter of recommendation for you. Many recommenders need at least 2-3 weeks advance notice to get all of the letters done. This year, teachers have extra long to-do lists, so it would be polite to not ask more teachers for letters than what your applications require. One letter from a teacher who knows you really well is more valuable than a lot of letters that contain basic information. Enter the person’s name and email address under “Recommenders and FERPA” (after you waive your rights) under “My Colleges” to invite them, and then assign them to each school. Follow up with your recommenders to ensure they are aware of the deadlines for your schools. Suggested deadline: October 16, 2020
  2. Get some sleep. You have been through a lot this year, and you deserve to take some deep breaths. 
  3. Complete your applications. Please do not wait until the last minute to submit your applications. You do not want to miss out on the best chances of admission and scholarship by not submitting your application by the deadline. Most schools have a November 1 deadline, but some in October. Check the websites for each of your schools to confirm the application deadlines. As a general rule, it is best to choose Early Action unless you are 100% sure you want to apply for binding Early Decision. If Early Action is not available, choose Regular Decision. At a few highly selective schools, the admission office may suggest that you wait for Regular Decision if your application could benefit from new academic information. Do not wait for your teacher or counselor recommendation letters to be submitted first. Suggested deadline: October 20, 2020
  4. Check your application status. When you apply to a college or university, they will send you login information to access an online portal. Please look for these emails and log in to view your application status, see next steps, and learn about potential scholarship application or interview processes.You may think your application is complete but be missing materials. Checking your portal will help you verify your application is complete. In related news, it is very important for you to check your email from schools to which you have applied. To make things easier, unsubscribe from emails from schools you are no longer considering. Suggested deadline: October 24, 2020

 

October 26 – 30

  1. FILE YOUR FAFSA: You can begin filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on October 1 at fafsa.ed.gov. You will be reviewed for financial aid based on your 2019 tax information. Many schools have moved their priority deadlines to November 1 or December 1, so please complete the FAFSA as early as possible. The first step is to create an FSA ID; his site details the process to creating one: https://www.investedindiana.org/media/How-to-Create-FSA-ID-2020-21.pdf. If your income has changed drastically from 2019 to 2020, or if you have special circumstances, especially if they are COVID-related, please contact the financial aid office at each college or university for assistance. For FAFSA help, contact InvestED at outreach@investedindiana.orgSuggested deadline: October 30, 2020
  2. Complete the CSS Profile if your school requires it: This is another tool colleges and universities use to award financial aid. It is a College Board product and there is a fee to submit it. You do not need to do the CSS profile unless the school to which you are applying requires it. Suggested deadline: October 30, 2020
  3. DOUBLE CHECK EVERYTHING! Check your application status pages on college websites, log into the admission portals, and check your personal email address thoroughly to be sure you are not missing any elements of your application. Suggested deadline: October 30, 2020

 

October 31

  • DOUBLE CHECK EVERYTHING AGAIN! Check your application status pages on college websites, log into the admission portals, and check your personal email address thoroughly to be sure you are not missing any elements of your application. Suggested deadline: October 31, 2020

 

November 

  1. Search for Scholarships: We recommend fastweb.com, RaiseMe, and CollegeBoard Opportunity Scholarships for scholarship searches.
  2. Let us celebrate with you! It is important for our school data for you to let us know where you have been admitted and what scholarships you have received. Forward emails or send screenshots of admission and scholarship notifications to pnixon@bishopchatard.org. Pro Tip: It is better to do it when you receive it than to save it for when you have heard all admission decisions.