Preparing for College Admissions

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Preparing for College Admissions

  • Parkland Magnet High School

“Your future depends on many things,

  • “Your future depends on many things,
  • but mostly you.”
  • --Frank Tyger

What’s the first step??



  • 15 credits to be a Senior
  • 21 credits to graduate
  • 4 English
  • 4 Math (must include a math above Algebra 2)
  • 4 Science (Biology, Earth/Env, a Physical science and an elective science)
  • 3 Social Studies (World History, Civics, US History)
  • 1 unit of PE or Dance
  • Health and Lifeskills
  • 2 courses in a Foreign Language (4 year college)

Now What?

  • Now What?
  • “When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what just happened.”
  • --John M. Richardson, Jr.

Research College Options

  • There are over 4,100 colleges and universities in the United States.
  • Websites for college searches include. . .

What matters most to you??

  • Distance from home
  • Weather
  • Geography
  • Majors
  • Academic reputation
  • Size (class size and college size)
  • Dorm life
  • Cost
  • Financial Aid
  • Clubs and Sports

What you need to apply to college. . .

  • Application
  • SAT/ACT Scores (FTCC uses Accuplacer scores)
  • Transcript
  • Essay
  • Letters of Recommendation

Where do I get an application?

  • Apply online!!
  • Individual College Websites
  • College Foundation (
  • The Common Application (

Terms to know

  • Early decision: apply early, get accepted early, binding decision
  • Early Action: same as early decision but is not binding
  • Pooled Admissions: all applications are analyzed during the same general time
  • Rolling Admissions: applications are reviewed as they are received


  • First fall test for the SAT is in October
  • Register online at
  • First fall test for the ACT is in September
  • Register online at
  • Differences between the ACT and SAT

SAT Subject Tests

  • Hour long, content based tests in specific subject areas
  • 20 tests across these areas: English, History, Languages, Mathematics, Science
  • Colleges may use them for placement or admission purposes

SAT Subject Tests at Duke University

  • SAT Subject Tests at Duke University
  • Students must take either the SAT and two SAT Subject Tests, or the ACT plus writing
  • School of Engineering applicants who take the SAT must take one of their two Subject Tests in Mathematics
  • Students applying to the Trinity College program are encouraged to take the foreign language SAT Subject Test.

Testing Fees

  • SAT is $49 and ACT is $48 plus writing
  • SAT Subject Tests have a $22 base fee per test date plus $11 for each Subject Test on that date ($22 for Language Listening Tests).
  • Late registration fees apply
  • Request a fee waiver in guidance (2)
  • SAT fee waivers entitle a student to 4 college application fee waivers
  • Make sure you have your scores sent to colleges!!

Test Preparation

  • The best test prep is PRACTICE!
  • Free test questions can be found on:
  • Review previously learned math concepts
  • Read to increase your vocabulary

How do I send my SAT/ACT scores?

  • High Schools do NOT send SAT or ACT scores to colleges. Scores are not included on your transcript.
  • When you register for a test, you must choose which schools you want your scores sent to.
  • You may request additional scores later directly from the testing companies, but normally an additional fee is required.

How do I get a transcript?

  • All college applications will require an OFFICIAL high school transcript.
  • Fill out a Transcript Request Form in the Guidance Office. Mrs. Lucas will return an official transcript to you or will mail it directly to a college.
  • Do not request a transcript until you have completed and submitted each college application!

Letters of recommendation

  • Make good choices when requesting letters!
  • Check applications for recommendation forms or required Counselor Statements
  • Give adequate time for completing a recommendation
  • Provide the recommender with a resume or brag sheet
  • Do not open or re-use recommendations once they are sealed!

Your Personal Resume

  • Start building your resume now!
  • Work on completing your senior brag sheet
  • What sets you apart? (complete worksheet)
  • You don’t have to be great at everything! Colleges want students who will bring something unique to their campus. Focus on something you love and be great at that!

The College Essay

  • Then have someone else PROOFREAD
  • it for you.
  • Your essay should be a good reflection of your personality. Ask friends and family to read it, and if it “sounds like you” then you’re on the right track!

Don’t let this be you...

  • Don’t let this be you...

How do I pay for the application fees?

  • Fee waivers are available if you’ve used an SAT or ACT fee waiver
  • You may get a total of 4 application fee waivers from Mrs. Lucas.
  • College Application Week in November
  • If you do not qualify for a fee waiver, you can still request one from a college if you have extenuating circumstances. Contact the college Admissions Office.

NCAA Clearinghouse

  • If you plan to play sports in college you must register with the NCAA Clearinghouse.
  • Visit
  • See your coach or Mr. Diehl for assistance.

Pay attention to deadlines!!

  • Pay attention to deadlines!!
  • Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on our part!

Common Mistakes. . .

  • Failure to read application directions
  • Incomplete applications
  • Sloppy applications
  • Failure to meet deadlines
  • Applying to only one college
  • Lack of rigorous courses senior year
  • Waiting too late for recommendations
  • Not proofreading essays
  • Not including your name at the top of EVERY page

Financial Aid

  • Types: Scholarships, Grants, Loans, Work-Study
  • Check individual college websites as well as websites such as and
  • Many large scholarship deadlines come early in the fall! (Questbridge and Dean Prim)
  • Check out the Scholarship Newsletter
  • Complete the FAFSA anytime after January 1st.
  • Research College options
  • Schedule College Visits
  • Prepare for the SAT/ACT
  • Work on your Resume’
  • What can you do this
  • ?

College Visits!

  • Nothing compares to seeing a school for yourself!
  • (Use worksheets like the College Visit Checklist and Choosing College Priorities to help you prepare for a visit)

What’s next?

  • College Fair in October
  • Scholarship and Financial Aid Workshops
  • Register for SAT/ACT testing
  • Organize college materials by deadline
  • Visit the Guidance website regularly

We’re here to help!

  • Counselors
  • Chrissy Sergiacomi (last names A-B)
  • Shirley Davis (last names C-G)
  • Stephen Diehl (last names H-Mc)
  • Karrie Tuttle (last names Me-R)
  • Denise McDonald (last names S-Z)
  • IB Coordinator
  • Randy Bourke

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