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The College Process

There are 3 main ways students apply to colleges:

  1. The Common Application, accepted by hundreds of colleges including almost all SUNY schools - www.commonapp.org 
  2. The SUNY Application, for students applying to SUNY schools only - www.suny.edu/student
  3. College-specific applications almost always on-line, usually at - www.nameofschool.edu

If you use the Common Application -  www.commonapp.org: accurately include your counselor’s email for your school report/transcript/recommendation to be uploaded.

[email protected] 

For teachers who have agreed to write a recommendation, “Invite” them to do their part by including their email address accurately (first initial, + last name, up to 8 total characters @svsabers.org) They will then be able to directly upload their recommendation. You can keep track on the website that all materials have been received. Often, the most time-consuming part of completing the Common App is the essay. Seniors do a Common App essay in English class in October.

While the Common App can be used for SUNY schools, if you are applying to SUNY campuses only, you may choose to use the SUNY on-line application at www.suny.edu/student. By including your school’s CEEB code 331463, your counselor will receive an email informing them that you have applied. They can then upload your transcript electronically. Be aware that most SUNY schools require supplementary forms including letters of recommendations and essays. These can be completed after you send in the application. Be sure to check deadline dates. While the capability exists to use this application for NY community colleges, DO NOT. Each campus you include on the SUNY application costs $50, and if you apply directly to the community college, the fee is much smaller or even free.
 
College-Specific Applications
Some colleges have their own applications available. It is best to apply on-line if possible. Be aware of application deadlines. Submit your transcript request in writing to your counselor at least one week before the deadline. You may need to ask that copies of teacher recommendations be given to your counselor, so that all materials can be mailed (or uploaded) together. The SUNY Broome application at www.sunybroome.edu is free. Please inform your counselor when you have applied so they can mail your transcript.

Roles/Responsibilities

Students

  • Become familiar with the college search and application process early on. Start doing tasks — researching colleges, collecting ideas for application essays, making requests for recommendation letters — well ahead of time. https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org is a great place to start.
  • Beginning in October, your counselor will make an appointment to meet with you to discuss your post high school plans. It is important that you keep the appointmentSchedule follow-up appointments when you need to talk to him or her. Be sure to ask your counselor for the help you need.
  • College application season is an especially busy time for high school counselors. Submit any forms that require counselor completion well in advance of due dates. Every college will require a copy of your high school transcript. Many schools require you to submit an essay and letters of recommendation from teachers and/or guidance counselors. With that in mind, initiate those requests first. Give teachers/counselors at least two weeks to write the recommendation. It also helps to provide them with a list of your activities throughout your high school years.
  • You can help your counselor help you by staying on top of the application process. Be organized and figure out a system for keeping track of application components and deadlines. The Collegeboard website has a handy college application checklist. While your counselor has information about admission tests, college preparation, and your education and career options, and can provide you with tools to aid you in the search process. Stay on top of opportunities and deadlines so you can take control of your future.
  • Keep your counselor up-to-date in terms of what you are hearing from colleges. If there are any problems which arise, your counselor can act as your direct advocate with colleges.

Parents

  • Distance and expense are major factors to be considered when choosing a college. Have open discussions with your child regarding any financial or geographical restrictions you may have regarding their college search. www.collegboard.org is a primary source for information regarding a parent’s role in the college planning process.
  • Create a calendar with your child. This should include application deadlines and other important dates. Your child can find specific colleges’ deadlines in College Search (www.collegeboard.org/collegesearch). If your child saves colleges to a list there, he or she can get a custom online calendar that shows those colleges’ deadlines.
  • Visit colleges together. If you haven’t already, make plans to check out the campuses of colleges your child is interested in. Use the Campus Visit Checklist at https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org to learn how to get the most out of these experiences.
  • Encourage your child to meet with the school counselor. This year, he or she will work with the counselor to complete and submit college applications.
  • Offer to look over your senior’s college applications. But remember that this is your child’s work.

Counselors

  • College Search: Your counselor can help you create a list of colleges to research that is based on your interests and on the characteristics of each college. He or she can also help you narrow down that list later on.Colleges have different application requirements. Most require applicants to submit an essay. Many ask applicants to send scores from an admission test, such as the SAT or the ACT. Your counselor can explain the requirements of each college and provide you with information to register for admission tests, if necessary.Your counselor is responsible for sending your high school transcript to the colleges you apply to. Some college applications come with transcript-request forms for you to give to your counselor, or you may simply have to ask your counselor to send your transcripts. If you supply the Common Application or SUNY form your counselor’s correct email address, they can upload your transcript electronically.Most colleges specifically ask for a recommendation letter from a high school counselor. Even if the college doesn’t specify, consider asking your counselor for a letter of recommendation as long as he or she knows you well enough to speak about your strengths and character.

Sources: US News & World Report; the CollegeBoard

Susquehanna Valley Central School District - 1040 Conklin Rd. Conklin, New York 13748 - (607) 775-0170

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