Hey seniors, we hope you're already planning for college application season. If so, we wanted to share some important information about what you're responsible for during this time, and what your counselors will be responsible for.
1. Completing your own college applications!
(If you notice, this is not listed under Parent responsibilities and that is because YOU should be completing your own applications). Trust us, we have quite a few horror stories we can share about parents completing applications for students #AwkwardEssays #IncorrectInformation So seniors, you can ask them for help but make sure you're managing your applications!
2. You are responsible for adhering to all deadlines.
This includes application deadlines from colleges and also deadlines that the RCHS Counseling Office sets. We get inundated during college-application season, and we're happy to help you (we love this part!) but you've gotta get your documents to us on time! For example, you'll need to submit a BRAG SHEET and a BLUE SHEET a few weeks in advance of when your applications are due in order to guarantee that we are able to write you a letter of recommendation in on time. Fun fact, the deadlines are right on top of the Brag Sheet (that you can download from our website, and we'll give you a copy in class) so don't forget! This helps ensure that we're able to devote a substantial amount of time to crafting a wonderful letter that will aid you in your admissions process. :-)
3. Requesting your transcript
Regardless of where you are applying, you will be using PARCHMENT to request your transcript. If you are applying to a Common-App school, you will request that your transcript be sent to COMMON APP. If you are applying to non Common-App schools, you will request that your transcript be sent to those schools. Need help? Click here.
You will request your transcript a few times during the application season:
Initial Transcripts - typically October or November.... when you complete your applications.
MidYear Transcripts - when grades for first semester are posted (typically mid-January)
Final Transcripts - after graduation.
4. Sending your ACT/SAT scores
Colleges typically want OFFICIAL scores directly from SAT or ACT. They do not typically want to rely on them appearing on your transcript. And neither to you, since they can take months and months to appear on your transcript. So just send them via SAT or ACT. As we've told you, you send them when you sign up to take your tests (for free!) but if you didn't do that, you'll need to log into your College Board (SAT) or your ACT Student (ACT) account and have them sent to the colleges you are applying to. No, we cannot do them for you. They need to come from you to be official. Need help? Feel free to ask, but we can't send them for you.
5. Sending your AP scores
Re-read number 4 because the same thing applies to AP Scores. Log into your College Board account and send them. If you are taking tests during your senior year, make sure to add the colleges you are applying to when you sign up for the test. If you don't, you'll need to send them after you get your scores.
6. Asking recommenders to submit letters of recommendation for you. #ProTip, you should ask recommenders in person if they will be willing to write you a letter. If you give them enough time and if you're generally nice about it, chances are they will say yes! You will typically ask Junior year teachers, or teachers that know you very well. And chances are high that you will need a letter from your counselor too. Please don't send an invitation to write a letter to a teacher or counselor without asking first, it's the polite thing to do! :-)
Seniors - it's never too early to start working on gathering those college recommendation letters!
Counselors often get a lot of questions about this process for Common App. The tutorial below explains exactly how to assign recommenders to your account. Keep in mind that the process for adding a counselor and the process for adding a teacher (or other recommender) are different. You must sign your FERPA release before you can access this page.
Tips for Best Practice
1. It's always nice to ask a recommender if they will write you a letter in person before just putting their email on your account. Once you put someone's email, they will get an auto-generated email asking them to submit a letter for you. So talk to your recommenders in person before sending the invitation.
2. Once you add a recommender's email, you should follow up with them to make sure that they received the invitation. Sometimes students spell the email address incorrectly, or sometimes it can go to a person's spam mail. A recommender cannot submit a letter without having an email invitation, so always check to make sure they receive it.
Make sure you spell your counselor's email correctly too! They're copied below:
Mrs. Burkhardt: Christina_Burkhardt@rockbridge.k12.va.us
Mrs. Pedigo: Rhonda_Pedigo@rockbridge.k12.va.us
Mr. Rapoza: Mathew_Rapoza@rockbridge.k12.va.us
3. Send your recommender invites IN ADVANCE! After you've asked a recommender to write you a letter, make sure you send the invite well before you need it done. Sending it early does not mean that your recommender will need to do it immediately, but it does make sure they are able to access the invitation. Don't wait until the last minute, otherwise you'll leave your recommender scrambling on the last day to submit your info. The process for counselors to submit letters is actually REALLY time-consuming (we have to answer a TON of questions about each student) so the more time you give us, the better! YOU CAN ASSIGN RECOMMENDERS BEFORE FINISHING (or even starting...) YOUR PORTIONS OF THE APPLICATION, so there's no need to wait!
For more tips... view this youtube video!