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Applying to College

 

When to Apply

Students will begin applying to college the summer leading into their senior year. There are four different types of admissions deadlines students should be aware of: early action, early decision, regular admission, and rolling admission. You can check collegeboard.org or your college admissions website for more information about these deadlines.

 

Early Admission vs Early Decision

Early Decision Early decision applications are BINDING. Students are only allowed to apply to one early decision college because if the student is accepted as an early decision applicant, they must attend the college even if they are accepted to another college with a better financial aid package. Due to the strict, binding nature of this type of application, your counselors do not recommended applying under early decision. Check the college admissions website for more information about this deadline.

 

Early Action – Early action plans are nonbinding. Unlike early decision, early action gives you the opportunity to compare admissions and financial aid offers before committing. You should only apply for early action if you have a very strong interest in the school and can compete with other early action applicants. If you are not accepted under early action or miss the deadline, you are still eligible to be admitted during regular admission. Make sure you read each college’s guidelines carefully, because policies may vary. Check the college admissions website for more information about this deadline.

 

Regular Admission vs Rolling Admission

Regular Admission – This is the most common type of admission. There are no restrictions as to how many colleges a student can apply to and students are not bound to attend any specific college just because they were accepted there first. Most regular admission deadlines are in December or January. Check the college admissions website for more information about this deadline. 

 

Rolling Admission – Under rolling admission, there are no application deadlines. Colleges accept applications and applicants throughout the year and decisions to admit students are made within 4 to 8 weeks. As a high school senior, it is still encouraged that you apply sooner rather than later to these schools to ensure your best possible chance of acceptance. Check the college admissions website to see if they are regular or rolling admissions.


What is an application package?

An application package is typically made up of the items below. Keep in mind that not every school requires all of this information so please be sure to check with the college(s) you are applying to for the items they require.

  • Application Form
  • Application Fee
  • Personal Essay
  • Teacher Recommendation Forms
  • School Report Form/Counselor Recommendation
  • Transcript (9th – 12th Grade)(Courses, GPA, Rank)
  • SAT/SAT Subject Tests/ACT Scores

 

What are colleges looking at for admittance?

Colleges are interested in the information listed below when deciding to admit an applicant. Please keep in mind that colleges differ in how they evaluate this information.

  • Grade Point Average
  • Class Rank
  • Difficulty of courses
  • SAT and/or ACT scores
  • Recommendations
  • Activities/Awards
  • Personal Essays
  • Personal Interviews

General Tips

  • Make sure you know the deadlines and give yourself plenty of time to meet them.
  • Answer ALL questions. If an essay is listed as “optional,” it is highly encouraged for you to still submit an essay with your application.
  • Practice writing the essay and have someone else review your response before submitting the final version. Be yourself, be honest, and do not ramble.
  • Include requested supporting materials (letters of recommendation, resume, scores, transcripts etc.).
  • Make sure you pay the application fee (if required). If you do not submit the application fee, your application will not be considered for acceptance. Please check with your school counselor to see if you qualify for a fee waiver
  • PROOFREAD YOUR APPLICATION BEFORE SUBMITTING!

 

Application Process at Tulpehocken

  1. First, you must create a Parchment Account. This account is created during the spring of your junior year. Parchment account usernames are your Tulpehocken student email and your password is your student lunch code. If you do not have a Parchment account or are having trouble accessing your account, talk to your counselor. Please note: Transcripts cannot be processed unless ordered through your Parchment account.
  2. Next, electronically submit your college application(s) on your own. Applying online usually requires a credit card unless you receive a fee waiver from your school counselor. To submit your application, go to the school website and apply now! After you apply, you should receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive this email, call the school to make sure they have received your application.
  3. Once you have applied, log into your Parchment account and order transcripts to be sent to the school(s) of your choice. Transcripts must be ordered through Parchment because you must sign a Transcript Release Form. This means that you give Tulpehocken permission to share your grades and list of courses with specific schools. Although the guidance office usually sends the transcripts the next school day, it may take up to one week so please pay attention to deadlines. If you have submitted your transcripts but the school does not register them as received, please check in with the guidance office or call the college’s admissions office to make sure the transcripts were sent.
  4. Once you have submitted your application, you will need to send your SAT and/or ACT scores. You can do this by logging into your account. If you take your SAT or ACT in October or November, you should receive your scores in time to be included in regular admissions applications.
  5. Some colleges will require that you submit teacher recommendations as part of your application package. When you ask a teacher, counselor, or boss to write you a recommendation, there is a protocol you must follow. It is highly encouraged for you to ask your teacher, counselor, or boss at least two weeks in advance. If you do not give the individual enough time, they may not be able to complete your recommendation before the deadline. It is also suggested that you provide a stamped envelope addressed to the institution for every request and a resume to assist him/her in writing an excellent recommendation. Most colleges will only want a letter from your counselor. Although your counselor has gotten to know you over the years, it is still very helpful for you to provide a resume to ensure she can write the best recommendation possible.
  6. Another major part in applying for college is submitting your FAFSA. The financial aid application will open in the beginning of October and must be completed to help create your college financial aid package. Please click here for more information on financial aid. For more information about scholarship opportunities, please click here. Scholarships are another component to your financial aid package and an excellent option to a more affordable approach.
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