Eastview High School Guidance Office (952)
|What is the most important factor that
colleges consider in making admission decisions?
The single most important
part of any student's application is his or her official transcript.
Colleges evaluate the high school record by looking at class rank,
the rigor and total number of college preparatory courses taken by
the student. At more selective colleges, other criteria - after the
transcript - might include:
- Standardized test
- Application questions
- Geographic location
- Personal interview
- Alumni relationship
- Activities outside
- Special talents
- Family's ability to pay
The weight assigned
to these other factors varies greatly from one institution to another.
However, there is universal agreement that a student's transcript
- both grades and the rigor of courses taken - is absolutely the
most influential part of any admission decision. At the most selective
schools, where as many as 10 or 15 students are applying for each
spot, the 'other' criteria may become more valuable in the admission
decision simply because many of the applicants will possess outstanding
is the difference between Early Decision, Early Action, Regular
Decision, and Rolling Admission?
Early Decision is
the admission program which is binding/contractual in nature. Students
sign an agreement and commit in advance to attend the Early Decision
college if admitted under its early program. At many colleges the
deadline for receipt of the application is Nov. 1 or 15, and the
student is then notified (Accept, Deny, Defer) six weeks after the
deadline. If accepted under an Early Decision plan, the student must
withdraw all other applications at other colleges.
Early Action is an
option on the same timetable as Early Decision, but the primary difference
between the two programs is that Early Action is not a binding agreement;
admitted students are not obligated to enroll. This option gives
students flexibility in making a final decision because they are
able to apply to multiple colleges and take the necessary time -
visiting campuses, comparing financial aid offers, seeking opinions
and gathering other information - to make a definitive and confident
Regular Decision is
the traditional process in which the student applies by the regular
and final deadline (usually January 1st for most schools), and the
institution responds with a decision by a specified date (usually
April 1st). Regular Action allows more time to complete multiple
applications and also allows more time for the student's counselor
to provide assistance and guidance throughout the decision-laden
process. Regular Action is clearly beneficial for those students
whose candidacies will be strengthened by senior year extracurricular
achievements and an improved academic performance in the final two
describes the application process in which an institution reviews
applications as they are received and, if the application is complete,
offers a non-binding decision to the student usually within two to
five weeks of being reviewed. Students are not required to make a
commitment until May 1 but are encouraged to do so as soon as a final
decision is made. Rolling Admission is a process used primarily by
large state universities where applications are reviewed on a continued
basis up to a regular deadline. In some cases institutions will accept
students as long as openings remain in their class or up until the
beginning of the school year - whichever comes first.
I apply Early Decision/Early Action? Will I have an advantage if
I apply early?
Applying early, whether
ED or EA, is first and foremost a commitment to a college that it is
absolutely your number one choice. There are both advantages and potential
disadvantages to applying early, and the decision is not one to be
entered into without considering all other options. A student who indicates
that he/she wants to apply "somewhere" - without considering
criteria that best match his/her academic interests, career goals,
and personal needs is probably making a poor decision. The important
questions to consider about applying early are:
I carefully researched college opportunities over time and am I
confident that ___________ is my absolute first choice?
the college the best match for my academic strengths, academic
interests, and educational goals?
it natural to envision myself as a student on campus (for four
years) more easily than at other colleges or universities?
financial aid going to be a determining factor in my final decision
on where to attend?
I visited enough campuses to possess a strong frame of reference
my grades and standardized test scores equal to those students
who were accepted at the school during the prior admission cycle?
I have completed all standardized testing required for admission
by the deadline (November is usually the last SAT test date accepted
by colleges with early deadlines)?
the college meet all or most of the criteria I have set in seeking
the best possible match?
I done as much as possible - written communication, visits, interview,
contact with local representative - to make it known to the college
that I possess a thorough understanding of the college and that
my interest in applying early is genuine?
Answering these questions
should assist students in determining if they are in fact making an
informed decision or one based on fear and misinformation. More colleges
are offering early programs and it appears that the number of students
accepted under the early umbrella is climbing each year. It is no surprise
that students are approaching the process with more anxiety and uncertainty
than ever before. However, it should be noted that the higher acceptance
rates for early admission candidates is a reflection of the remarkable
strength of the early applicant pools - not less rigorous admissions
how many colleges should I apply, and what is the "average" number
of applications submitted by Eastview Students?
The average number
of applications submitted by one student in any given year ranges
from three to five. In narrowing down options and developing a final
list of key criteria, it is important for a student to seek as much
variation as possible with his/her final number of applications.
If a student is submitting six applications, then it might follow
that one or two are "stretch" schools, two or three are "target" schools,
and at least one application covers the "fallback" or "safety" category.
In addition, within a group of six applications there might distinct
differences of cost, size, public vs. private, in-state vs. out-of-state,
and other criteria that could diversify a student's range of options
in the final outcome.
The final number of
applications that you submit is up to you after consulting with your
post-high school counselor. Students who submit an excessive number
of applications tend to believe (erroneously) that this will give
them more options in the long run. A high number of applications
usually means that a student has not done the necessary research
(including campus visits) required to develop key criteria and narrow
his/her options. Applying to a large number of schools has
also been known to negatively impact a student's academic performance
during senior year, and having a large number of acceptances in April
usually makes the decision process more difficult, not easier, for
a student and his/her family.
do I start in attempting to find the right match in a college?
What should I do if I don't have a clue?
beginning of the process in the junior year can seem like a daunting
task when one considers that there are over 2,200 four-year schools
in the United States. The diversity of the college world is unique
and offers just about anything a student could possibly need for
continuing his/her education
and more. The first step and
perhaps the most difficult in starting the process is an honest and
thoughtful self-assessment. Before considering schools based on popularity,
name recognition, and rankings - the fallacy many students fall into
- a student should begin to reflect on his/her own strengths and
weaknesses, personal needs, and academic goals. What are you looking
for in a college? In the process of developing criteria and looking
at what criteria should play a defining role in your search, you
may want to think about the following:
are you looking for in a college? Taking time to honestly evaluate
your needs, strengths and weaknesses, and likes and dislikes is
the first step toward making a good match. This should not be an
easy or quick step. In fact, the process of true self-assessment
is maybe the most difficult aspect of the college application process.
your strengths and interests better suited for a large comprehensive
university or a small liberal arts college?
are the relative merits of each for you?
what subjects or academic areas have you achieved the greatest
success at Eastview? Is there an area or subject that you would
like to pursue as a major?
you wish to be in an urban environment, rural setting or suburban/college
town? It is important to distinguish the merits of different environments
and how the mix of learning, social, and cultural opportunities
best fits with your interests and personality.
there a particular region of the country where you would like to
attend college? What are the advantages/disadvantages of being
close to home or far from home? Try to avoid rigid thinking as
you consider location and refrain from judgements based on hearsay.
a variety of campuses in different locations is the best way to
know first-hand which colleges provide the best opportunities for
are the merits of attending a public university instead of a private
college or university, and vice versa?
type of personality are you seeking in a college? For example,
every college has unique mix of progressive elements and tradition.
Some colleges are intense while some are more relaxed; some are
conservative and some are liberal; some are friendly and some are
reserved; some are spirited and some are more serious.
you've determined the criteria that are most important to you,
the hard part is finding the right mix of personality in a college.
I have enough talent as an athlete/artist/musician/dancer to receive
special consideration from an admissions committee or a coach or
director of the particular college? Your first step should be consulting
with your coach or teacher and then discussing your goals with
your college counselor.
These questions are a jumping
off point. More questions are bound to surface as you visit campuses
and begin to develop a reference and a sense of comparison.
forms do I need to file for financial aid and when do I file them?
Every applicant seeking
need-based aid at any college must file the Free Application for Federal
Student Aid (FAFSA). This form is available in the Guidance Office in the fall, or it can be filed
on-line, but may not be filed until after January 1 of the senior year.
Most schools recommend that the FAFSA be filed by February
15 in order to receive full consideration for all need-based aid.
The other form, required
primarily by private colleges and universities, is the CSS
Financial Aid Profile , commonly referred to as simply "the
profile". This form is available in the fall and should be filed
as early as possible.
In addition to the FAFSA (www.fafsa.ed.gov/)and
the CSS/Financial Aid Profile (www.collegeboard.com),
many colleges also require families to complete their school's own
aid form, referred to as an "institutional" form. The institutional
form is generally completed and filed with the student's application.
If a college
requests my quarter grades prior to a final decision, do I need
to request an official transcript? When are 7th semester grades/mid-year
sends semester grades to any college or university where a student
has already submitted an application. Students do not have to request
an official transcript at the semester. Updated transcripts are typically
mailed within three weeks of the end of the first semester.
it necessary to take a test prep course for the ACT/SAT, and when
is the best time to consider such a course?
It is not necessary that
a student enroll in a preparatory course for either standardized test.
In fact, students have numerous opportunities already available for
practice and preparation. Both the PLAN and the PSAT/NMSQT can be used
by students to prepare for the ACT and SAT test. There are free guides
and practice tests, provided by the test sponsors, available in the
Guidance Office. And for the self-motivated student, there
is a wealth of test-prep material available on disk, CD-ROM, on the
Internet, or in book form at your local bookstore.
workshops are not meant to help you develop
the skills being measured.
Instead, they try
to help students demonstrate abilities they already possess. The
insights and confidence that characterize the best standardized-test
takers cannot be taught. Conversely, a prep course will be of no
value to a student who lacks motivation.
If a student is still
enthusiastic about a test prep course after considering all the alternatives,
the best time to take the course is either before the first test
- spring of junior year, or between the first and second times taking
should I do if a college notifies me that my application is incomplete
due to missing information?
Do not panic. As a matter
of procedure, colleges will sometimes generate a "missing credentials" postcard
or letter after an application has been initially processed. This does
not mean that your application will be denied or that you will now
be at a disadvantage in the admission process. It is advised that you
contact the admissions office directly to determine if the missing
information, usually test scores sent from the testing agencies, has
arrived since the mailing of your notification. Remember, Eastview High School does
not send official score reports to colleges/universities; it is the
student's responsibility to request official score reports directly
from the testing agencies.
If after checking
with the college you are still in doubt about missing information,
please notify your post-high school counselor as soon as possible.
is the best time to visit colleges?
The best time to make
a first visit to a college is in the early fall, a time when most
campuses are full of activity and filled with students. However,
several considerations are important in determining the best time
for you to visit colleges. Before finalizing a trip, identify where
you are in the college search process - this determines your purpose
for making a campus visit.
- Will your visits
be used to shop around and compile an initial list of colleges
- Are you visiting
schools in an attempt to narrow down a complied list and decide
where to apply?
- Have you already
applied to schools, and are you in the process of assessing what
college will be the best fit if you are accepted?
- Have you already received
an acceptance, and are you visiting at the school's invitation for
an overnight stay on campus before making your final decision.
Colleges offer tours and
interviews on a year-round basis. So for students who cannot find the
time to visit during the junior year, summer is obviously the best
time to begin visiting.
I would like to contact former Eastview students when I visit colleges,
how do I obtain this information?
Due to laws governing confidentiality,
Eastview is not permitted to supply the names of former students and
their college destination. However, students can access this information
through public records available at Eastview.
I am a graduate of Eastview who intends to transfer from one college
to another, how do I request my official Eastview transcript?
Most colleges and universities
require a high school transcript for students with less than two years
of college credit. A written request - including full name, Social
Security number, Eastview I.D. number, address where transcript is
being sent, and student signature - should be mailed to the Records
Office at Eastview.
do I send test scores to colleges?
Official test scores
must be sent directly from the testing agencies. Eastview does not
send official test scores to any colleges - this applies to both
current and former students. A student may also request scores
by phone (ACT: 319-337-1000 / SAT: 800-728-7267) or on-line at www.act.org and www.collegeboard.com