Applying to College

For those who want College Recommendations from me:

  • Choosing who to get to write your recommendations:
    • Some colleges will specify teachers of certain subjects and some might even specify certain years (e.g. Junior or Senior year) - follow those directions carefully
    • Do not ask potential recommendation writers "will you write me a recommendation?" but rather "do you think you could write me a good recommendation?"  Many recommendations ask us to rank you compared to other students that year or across the years we have taught and to place you in the top 1, 5 , 10, or whatever % of those we have taught.  The forms differ but ask about intellectual curiousity, academic achievement, honesty, etc.
    • Think of who has observed you make an impact (positive) on their class, your peers and how you respond to challenges (ideally academic, but personal too) and your growth as a learner.  Ideally you would pick someone who has had you over two years and can attest to your growth as a learner
    • Consider this advice from another counselor: 
  • Deadlines:  
    • For Nov. 1st applications - I need to have all the stuff from you by October 1st, I hope to be done with all early decision recommendations by October 21st. 
    • For January 1st or 15th applications - I would like to have all the materials by November 1st, I hope to be done with all applications before the week of Thanksgiving, December is usually a brutal month for me so don't count on leaving until the last minute.
  • Make sure you complete all the requirements from Northwood, including release form, Naviance materials, linking your stuff to Common App etc.  A lot of the process will be online for many schools so make sure you do your homework first.  Northwood Career Center Website, note links on the left, in particular the third one
  • Give me as much information as possible:  
    • tell me who is writing your other letters of recommendation, 
    • what are your career goals - college and beyond if you have any at this point (can be on Family Connection), 
    • tell me about your high school grades, if you have an unofficial copy of transcript or copies of report cards, that would be swell, 
    • give me a list of extracurricular activities (can be in your resume, include things you did unofficially e.g. helping out family), make sure you mention any leadership roles you held (again can be in your resume)
    • tell me about some challenge (setback, disappointment, failure or crisis) and how you reacted to this
    • tell me about any strength or item you would like me to be sure to mention in my recommendation letter.

Your essay is your chance to get out of the maybe pile.  As such the role of your essay is to make yourself memorable. Do not write about things that are listed elsewhere, write about what is not shown (or fully described) in your application.  Here are some other ideas/suggestions:

Scholarships - if you haven't reapplied for FARMs - do it!!!! It can open so many doors for you.