Planning for College

Are you a College Admissions Counselor seeking to meet some wonderful students?  Visit our SCOIR calendar and book your visit TODAY!

College applications and deadlines are crucial. To facilitate the application process and ensure a measure of success, the following information should prove helpful.

College Admissions

Colleges vary radically in application requirements; they also vary widely in early decision, early action, and regular decision deadlines. Check all catalogues and applications for deadlines. Most Early Decision applications are due by NOV. 1; you should begin this option in August or September. In addition to the College Handbook, a number of catalogues, brochures, and applications are available in the Career Center. Remember also to go on the Internet and check school websites as a great number of colleges have on-line applications. It is your responsibility to follow the prescribed guidelines and meet all deadlines.

Application Guidelines

  • It is definitely recommended that you apply to more than one school. There is no “right” number of schools to which you should apply. However, if your first choice is very selective, your second choice should be one in which you are reasonably sure you will be selected. NOTE: At some schools the competition is increasing each year because more students are better qualified. When applying, ask yourself the question: “Would I accept someone with my qualifications?” Check the typical SAT and/or ACT scores, class rank, and curriculum of students currently enrolled using the freshman class profile available in the College Handbook, Internet, or school information.
  • Read the application carefully and be sure you understand the questions before you complete any part. Make a copy of the application. Write a rough draft of a copy before writing on the application. When you finish, check to be sure you have answered everything. PROOFREAD, and then have someone else proofread the final copy.
  • If applying to more than one school, complete one application at a time. Be sure to answer the question(s) asked. If an essay is required, you may be able to use one essay for different colleges. Be sure to check carefully when reproducing essays; nothing is worse than putting the wrong college’s name on an essay. Remember, the admission review board reads hundreds of essays daily. Make sure to catch the reader’s attention; see your English teacher or me with any questions.
  • The college requests a high school transcript that is a copy of your grades, G.P.A, courses, and test scores. A SCHOOL RECORD RELEASE FORM must be completed and on file before any transcript may be released. NOTE: One form may cover all institutions application is made to, if so noted on form.
  • Bring the completed application with the application fee (check only) to the Academic Advisor so all information is sent together. There is less chance that part of the application will be misplaced at the admissions office if everything goes together. Completed application form and request for transcript must be made at least two weeks before it is due at the college. It is to your advantage that this information arrives well before the deadline.
  • Colleges vary in their policy regarding letters of recommendations. If your choice requires academic letters of recommendations, it is the responsibility of the student to ask the faculty for the recommendation. Once you have decided who will write your recommendation, please provide those teachers with a Recommendation Request form, available in the Academic Offices, at least three weeks prior to the application deadline. Letters are to be returned to RCS and will be submitted with the application/transcript materials.
  • If you apply online, you must fill out a special TRANSCRIPT REQUEST FOR ON-LINE APPLICATIONS to notify the Academic Advisor to release your records. This purple form is available in the Academic Offices.
  • It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to submit all the required forms before the deadlines set by guidance as well as by the colleges. Apply as early as possible. If your application is not in the Academic Office two weeks prior to the mailing deadlines we cannot guarantee that it will go out on time. Remember – Lack of Planning on your part does not necessitate panic on mine.
  • Some colleges will notify you when your application folder is complete; most will notify you if it is not complete. Since your folder will not be read and evaluated if it is incomplete, contact the admissions office if you have not heard anything one month after mailing your application.
  • Remember, your applications offer you the opportunity to make a good impression or a poor one. Even the most outstanding academic and extracurricular record can make an unfavorable impression if the application is poorly written or carelessly handed.
  • Please ask the Academic Advisor for assistance with the application.


  • Please notify the Academic Advisor as you receive your decisions. This includes acceptances, wait-list, deferrals, denials, and grants and scholarship awards.
  • Senior year does count! Most schools require a mid-year grade report that reflects the first semester senior grades. ALL colleges have a condition to their acceptance that the admission is based on maintaining the academic standards at time of admission and graduation from high school. Upon graduation, a final transcript is submitted to the college you have selected. Senioritis can be disastrous. If there is a significant difference in the academic record at the time of acceptance and the final transcript, the college may revoke acceptance. Do not let this be an option; maintain your academic integrity at all times.

The College Application Process

Most colleges accept or reject you on the basis of three main factors: your academic and extracurricular record; test scores; and subjective criteria such as essays and interviews. Choose a realistic variety of colleges, and be sure to include at least one that you’re fairly certain will accept you.

After determining which schools you’re going to apply to, the next step is actually requesting and filing applications. If the guidance office does not have applications for the particular school on file, write or call the school as soon as possible to request an application. You should also visit the schools’ websites to check on applying or requesting applications online.

Once you have your application materials, you should make a separate folder for each school. It is also important to make a master list of deadlines. It is your responsibility to meet all deadlines! Try to get everything done ahead of time, rather than waiting until the last minute. You should make a copy of the blank applications and fill out a rough draft before completing the original. Remember to make copies of everything you send for your files.

Please request transcripts and/or recommendations from guidance or your teachers well in advance of the deadline. There are many other students requesting these materials, so the more notice you can give, the better. Also, make sure your guidance counselor is aware of the specific deadlines.

Finally, make sure you note how the college wants the materials to be sent to them (i.e., everything together in one packet, applications and transcripts separately, etc). If you would like the guidance office to send everything together for you, make sure you give sufficient notice and have everything handed in well in advance of the deadline.

Good luck to all of you!!!

Resources On The Internet

College Searches

Scholarship Search Engines

Before you start . . . Read carefully and make sure there are no hidden charges. Be careful when you give personal information. Read the fine print when signing on.

Financial Aid