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College Application Process

Throughout your years at Nashoba Valley Technical High School, our Guidance staff will be meeting with students as groups and one-on-one to discuss life after high school.  One route for students is to attend a 2-year or 4-year college or university.  The college application process is intricate and involves many steps.  Use this page to learn some pointers on how to ensure that your college application process runs smoothly.

Junior Year Checklist:

1)  Sign up for the SAT.  Using www.collegeboard.org, you can sign up for your SAT test.  You will need to create a free profile to do so.  
If you are eligible for free or reduced lunch, you should meet with your guidance counselor when signing up for the exam.

2)  Start researching universities via their websites or by doing a college visit.  You should be looking for schools that have the programs you are interested in, activities/athletics you hope to participate in, and those that fit your own personal criteria of a school you would like to attend.  Visiting a college fair is another great way to learn about many schools all at once.  Great websites to do college searches from are www.collegeboard.org and www.affordablecollegesonline.org


Senior Year Checklist:

1)  â€‹Sign up for the SAT, if you would like to retest again.
If you are eligible for free or reduced lunch, you should meet with your guidance counselor when signing up for the exam.
***The 2016-2017 school year upcoming testing dates are:  October 1st, November 5th, December 3rd, January 21st, March 11th, May 6th, and June 3rd.  Make sure you sign up before the deadline passes, as to not incur additional expenses or miss your opportunity to test.  Seniors should have already taken the test before the March test date, as college applications are typically due well before then.  The March, May, and June tests are typically taken by junior year students as a first attempt.
 
2)  Things you should be thinking about prior and during the college application season:
- Most universities require that you take and submit the official score reports for the SAT.  Some schools will also require that you finish and submit supplemental forms, personal resumes, or additional essays with your application.  Additionally, students applying to art programs may be asked to submit a portfolio and student athletes - attempting to join a college team - may be required to meet the coach in advance and submit game/meet/match footage.  Interviews run by a university's admissions department are also not uncommon.  Be prepared for anything and know information about the schools you would like to apply to.

- Applications:  There are two main ways to apply to college, one is through use of the Common Application.  Over 500 schools are currently accepting the common application each year.  The program allows you to create a profile, fill out your application, and submit it to numerous schools at once.  Creating a profile is free, you just have to go to www.commonapp.org to sign up.  There is nothing wrong with starting your common application early to get most of the fields filled in.  If you create an account, you will get to a page that asks for your school's CEEB Code:  Nashoba Valley Regional Technical High School's CEEB Code is 222333.  

Keep in mind, not all schools accept the common application.  
The second way to apply to a college/university is by use of a paper application or through the specific school's website.  Make sure to familiarize yourself with what process the schools you intend to apply to will be asking you to follow.

- Deadlines:  Always keep in mind that college applications have deadlines.  Especially if you are applying "Early Decision" or "Early Action".  Find out those deadlines in advance and stay ahead of them.  Personal deadlines should be made for writing your essay, speaking with those who will recommend you, and applying to scholarships in a timely fashion.

- Resume:  More and more universities now require a student to create a resume or list all of their involvements (even in the common application).  Starting to develop your resume will be helpful in applying to college and also to jobs during and after high school.  Even if your chosen schools do not require that you submit a resume, the document can still be very beneficial to give to your prospective recommendation letter writers so they have information they can reference.  Make sure to list your activities, sports teams, honors/awards, part-time jobs, community service, etc. along with the time frame during which you were involved and any leadership roles you accepted throughout.

- Essay:  The common application and most other schools require that you complete a writing sample in an essay format.  The common application gives you the choice of writing a piece of 250-650 words about one of five essay topics of your choice.  Although the rest of the common application can be filled out in advance, take time to write the best essay that you can.  Let it showcase who you are as a student, your ability, and where you come from in your experiences.  You are unique and this is the part of the application that lets you show that.  Make sure to use proper grammar and spelling.  Schools that do not accept the common application will most likely still require a writing sample, but the criteria will be specific to the school.  Your English teacher, guidance counselor, and family are great people to share your essay with.  It is always good to have your essay looked over before you hit submit.  **Tip:  If using any application website to apply, make sure to save your essay in a word processing program separately and then copy and paste it in when you are done and it is complete.  Websites do "time out" and you would not want to lose all of your hard work.

- Recommendations:  Take the time to carefully identify three adults that know you academically, professionally, or through your co-curriculars that you think would write you a positive recommendation letter.  Speak with them in advance and ask if they would be willing to write you a letter.  They may ask for a resume or want to interview you before taking up the task.  You should choose people that know you well and can represent you on paper in a positive way.  Make sure to follow through on this step in a timely manner, so that your writer has enough time to follow through on his or her end.  You would not want them to rush through such an important task.  Check into your prospective schools' recommendation processes and make sure that your writer has access to whatever he or she needs to create and submit the letter.  If submission is through a website, and you have to provide your writer's email address (so they can access the submission site), it would not hurt to check in with your writer to make sure he or she was granted access with a web link in an email generated by the school or common application.

- Transcripts:  Please fill out a "Transcript Release Form" in Student Services so that your transcript can be sent out to your prospective schools.  Submit the form to Ms. Judge in Student Services when completed.  Your transcript will be sent to the schools you list.  Sometimes schools will grant a prospective student "conditional acceptance" based upon the student's performance throughout the rest of senior year.  Do not catch "Senioritis", since many schools request final transcripts before fully accepting a student into their programs.

3)  Attend the Financial Aid Night at NVTHS.  This year's financial aid night will be happening in December.  It is a great way for you and your parent(s)/guardian(s) to learn about the financial aid process, how to fill out the FAFSA, the difference between grants and loans, and the expectations of student loan pay off.  Check out this update from the Federal Department of Student Aid of the U.S. Department of Education:  Financial Aid Publication

4)  Research scholarship opportunities.  We suggest that you apply to scholarships that are specially sponsored through NVTHS; one, if not more, may pertain to you.  Please check our "Scholarship Information" section of the Guidance website for more information on those scholarships, and find links to other organizations that assist you in finding scholarship opportunities or offer those of their very own.  Assistance is definitely out there, try to find scholarships that fit your academic and personal profile as a student.


WEB RESOURCES FOR THE STUDENT ON THE COLLEGE SEARCH 

www.affordablecollegesonline.org
 
 Use this site to access information about universities and financial aid.
www.collegeweeklive.com
Use this site to access presentations about universities, chat with admissions counselors, and find out information about financial aid. 

www.collegeconfidential.com
This site is a well-rounded resource and college search tool.  You can access information on scholarships, financial aid, and test preparation materials.  The college search feature will allow you to cross reference all the things you would like to have at your university and help you narrow down your list.

www.collegeboard.org


This site allows you to sign up for the SAT and SAT subject tests, as well as, allows you to search for scholarships.