Completion of college applications in the fall of senior year.
College applications are generally completed in the fall of a student’s senior year. TheGuidance Office has applications for many of the colleges their students attend. If we do not have the application your son or daughter needs, you can contact the college and ask them to send one to you. Also check the college’s website. Sometimes you may find the online version of the application is free. Most colleges now prefer that students complete their application online.
All applications require a high school transcript, and most have one or more sections for the Guidance Office to complete. As a parent, you should do the following:
Make sure that applications are completed correctly.
Before your son or daughter completes an application, make a copy to use as a rough draft. Double check the rough draft to make sure that the information is complete and accurate and that the essays are well written. (English teachers are often willing to proofread essays.) Also make sure that all achievements, activities, and awards are included. Keep a copy of each completed application for your files, and note the date it was submitted.
Tip: It’s important that your son or daughter apply to at least one “safety school.” This is a college to which he/she is sure to be accepted, and one that you can definitely afford.
Provide information for recommendations.
If an administrator is going to write a recommendation for your son or daughter, he/she would probably welcome written information and anecdotes with regards to your child’s strengths, interests, talents, leadership skills, and educational plans. Administrators should also be given a copy of your child’s list of “Activities and Awards.”
In addition to administrator recommendations, many college and scholarship applications also require one or more teacher recommendations. Students who need a recommendation from a teacher should do the following:
1. put the request in writing
2. provide the teacher with a list of their “Activities and Awards”
3. give the teacher instructions on what information to include, along with instructions on what to do with the recommendation once it’s completed
4. if the teacher is to mail the recommendation, provide the teacher with an addressed stamped envelope. A thank you note to the person who has written a recommendation would be appropriate and much appreciated.
Even if an application does not require a recommendation, you can still include one. If there’s information that you want the admissions office to take into consideration, you or your son/daughter can also write an essay or letter and include it with the application.
Make sure applications are sent in well before the deadlines.
Guidance Offices have many responsibilities and numerous applications to complete between October and February. Understand that it takes time and thought to complete an application correctly and/or write a letter of recommendation.
Meeting deadlines is very important. Be sure to allow the guidance office approximately 3 school days to process the application and 3 school days for the application to arrive at the college via U.S. Mail. Please be aware that during high volume times, typically prior to thanksgiving break and the winter break the processing time in the guidance office may be extended to 6 days due to the large number of requests.
Tip: Students who are absolutely sure of where they want to go to college may want to consider early admission. Early decision students agree to enroll if they are accepted, and the colleges they apply to make an early decision on their acceptance. Early decision students are usually notified between November and January.
Tip: Many colleges send postcards or e-mails to let students know that they’ve received their application. If you do not hear from a college, you may want to call the admissions office to make sure that they have received everything they need.
Complete financial aid and scholarship application forms.
If you are applying for financial aid, complete the FAFSA and submit it as soon after January 1st as possible.
Make the decision At some point in the spring, you and your son/daughter must make a choice. Do not choose a college before making a college visit.
Financial Aid Information
Financial aid is money that is given, earned, or lent to help students pay for their college education. Financial aid often makes it possible for students to attend colleges that would otherwise be too expensive. Students and parents should, therefore, never assume that they cannot afford a particular college or university.
The four categories of financial aid are grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study. Grants and scholarships are considered “free money”; loans and work-study are considered “self-help” programs.
- Grant - money given, usually because of financial need
- Scholarship– money awarded for exceptional academic achievement, an outstanding talent or skill, and/or financial need
- Work-Study– money earned by working at a campus job
- Loan– borrowed money that must be repaid
Financial aid is most often awarded in the form of a “package.” Packages, consisting of grants, scholarships, loans, and/or work-study, are put together by the college’s financial aid office. Except for merit based scholarships, financial aid is generally awarded on the basis of financial need. Financial need is the difference between the cost of attending a college (tuition, fees, room and board, etc.) and the amount a family can afford. For example, if a family can afford $4,000 and the cost of attending a college is $10,000, the student has a financial need of $6,000. The greater the difference, the greater the need, and the more aid the student is eligible to receive.
While the financial aid process can be very confusing, there is help available. High school counselors have information and forms, and they can answer many of your questions. You can also call any college financial aid office for help. For information on federal aid programs, call The Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3543.
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) – Because most financial aid is based on need, it is necessary to have an objective way to determine how much a family can afford to pay. The FAFSA is the federal form that’s used to determine this amount. The FAFSA asks for information on income, assets, ect. This information is then applied to a formula, and the amount a family should be able to afford (their Estimated Family Contribution or EFC) is exactly calculated.
You should begin working on the FAFSA in December of your son’s or daughter's senior year. For pre-application worksheets or to complete the FAFSA online, go to www.fafsa.ed.gov. If you need a paper FAFSA, check with the guidance office. Submit your FAFSA as soon after January 1st as possible. Financial aid is generally awarded on a “first come, first serve” basis, so get your FAFSA in early.
Approximately 2-6 weeks after you have submitted your FAFSA, you, and the colleges you designated on your FAFSA, will receive a copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR). If you file electronically, you will get your SAR much quicker. Colleges will use the information from your Student Aid Report (SAR) to make up your aid package.
Mount Morris High School’s CEEB code is 333250. This number will be needed for all test registration forms and for college applications.