“Senior…” I like the sound of that, and I hope you do, too. I trust you are having a relaxing, yet productive, summer vacation. I am contacting you in hopes of an early start on some matters related to your college applications. Time passes quickly in the fall; you will find this especially true since you will probably be busier and more industrious regarding your academic work than ever before. You should write for information from the schools that you are currently interested in attending. Hopefully you are also visiting colleges and have an interview at some of your possible college choices. Frequent contact with admissions offices demonstrates interest in the school and improves your prospect for admission.
Returning students, log in to your Family Connection account often because once there you’ll find a list of tasks assigned to you, your updated GPA and test scores, a résumé-writing tool and dozens of tools to research colleges on your list. To log in, go to http://connection.naviance.com/northwoodschool; your username is your email address and you chose your password during the spring. Please keep your list of “Colleges I’m Thinking About” up-to-date. Add schools you’re considering and delete schools no longer under consideration. If you’re new to Northwood, you’ll soon receive instructions for logging into Family Connection. Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have trouble logging in.
I have enclosed three recommendation forms, which are to be given to adults who know you well through academics, sports, employment or community work. Give them the forms plus a stamped envelope addressed to me at Northwood. It is important to give the forms to people who have had a chance to closely evaluate you as a student, athlete or employee. These letters are important to your college counselor as aids in writing your official school recommendation. Letters from family friends or local hotshots are usually worthless. All people who respond will receive a thank you note from me, and they should receive one from you as well.
Family discussion of your college choices over the summer is vital and might well be aided by a book like the Fiske Guide to Colleges, which also has an iPad app. You should write or email to any school whose program looks attractive to you. The New Rules of College Admissions edited by Stephen Kramer and Michael London is an excellent overview of the college search and application process. Last year’s Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, by Frank Bruni is an outstanding read for students and parents. If you enjoy listening to podcasts, I recommend the “Getting In” podcast from Slate. It’s outstanding.
You may have heard about the new “The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success,” also called the “Coalition Application.” More than 50 colleges will begin accepting this new application platform in addition to the Common Application. Because it is brand new and untested, we strongly encourage students to mot used the Coalition App, and instead use the Common Application. Because this platform will not link with Naviance, many college counseling offices, including Northwood’s, will send transcripts and recommendations for Coalition Applications via postal mail. By applying on the Common App, students ensure faster delivery of their materials.
You may hear about ZeeMe (www.zeemee.com), a free web-based service designed to help students market themselves to colleges and universities. Some colleges and universities are using ZeeMe, but none require it. Feel free to check it out and use it if you’d like.
All returning seniors (and many new seniors and PGs) already have Common Application accounts. Be sure to “Roll Over” your Common App account. The Common App has a video with simple instructions: https://vimeo.com/172410965. Do not create a second Common Application account.
If you are a postgraduate and were accepted at any colleges/universities or were in contact with any college coaches last year, you should write them and tell them you will be at Northwood and are still interested in their program.
Visit the College Guidance section of the www.NorthwoodSchool.com web site; find it under “Academics.” There you will have links to the college guidance blog, Family Connection and the College Guidance at Northwood Facebook page. Please follow us on Facebook.
Do not submit any applications this summer. All applications must be reviewed by your college counselor before being submitted. No essay is to be submitted unless a Northwood college counselor reads it first. See the enclosed “What Students and Parents Need to Know about Senior Year and the College Application Process” for more important information.
Please note that there will be an administrative charge of $10.00 for each transcript package mailed or faxed to a college after the student’s year of graduation.
If you have any questions regarding these matters, email me (email@example.com). I look forward to working with you in September toward acceptance at your first choice college.
Director of College Guidance