College Planning Guidelines
Your high school transcript is a record of every grade you earned in high school from grades 9 to grade 12, and that means all your grades are averaged to produce your cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). Colleges also expect your grades to be consistent or improve. Therefore, the effort you make will have an impact on the type of college you
will be accepted to, whether you could be eligible for a scholarship, your major and career
choice… By making smart decisions, you can widen your choices and have endless Possibilities to choose from.
Here’s what you can do:
- “If you expect to go to college later, expect to study now. No one can do it for you.” (The College Board).
- Challenge yourself academically by taking challenging courses and consistently showing your best effort.
- Get extra help if you need it.
- Get involved in sports, art, music, student council) and commit to it.
- Maintain a good behavioral record and keep a good relationship with your teachers.
- They are the ones who will be writing your letters of recommendation.
- Read at least 30 minutes every day, This will really pay off when it’s time to take the PSAT and SAT
College Planning in 10th Grade is all about starting your college planning. Start thinking seriously about your plans after high school. You don’t have to make any major decisions yet. Explore and understand your options for colleges, majors and careers, and find out how to realize them. You will be taking the PSAT in October so you may want to prepare for it. Although your PSAT score doesn’t mean much, you still want to do your best since this will give you confidence for taking the SAT next year and help you identify your points of weakness so you can work at strengthening them. Review your PSAT scores and use My College Quick Start(your access code will be on your score report) for SAT preparation, major, career and college searches.
College Planning in 11th Grade
The college admissions process begins seriously in grade 11. You need to spend a lot of time this year trying to figure out what you want to do with your life and where you want to apply to college. Start by making a list of your abilities, preferences and personal qualities and things you may want to study in college. Start your college search and make a list of the colleges that interest you. During your senior year, you’ll follow through with those plans by filing all the applications and presenting yourself to the colleges you’ve chosen. Make sure your 11th grade teachers know you well and have a good impression of your overall attitude and character since they will most likely be the ones you’ll ask to write your letters of recommendation if they are requested. Plan to take the SAT early in the year (SAT is given 6 times per year: in October, November, December, January, May, and June). If you haven’t prepared for it yet start now, You may also consider taking some SAT Subject Tests as well, since you’ll need to submit two or three Subject Test scores if you plan to apply to highly selective and some selective colleges or certain majors such as Engineering, Medicine, and Pharmacy. If you wait until your senior year, your options will be a lot more limited. So take them in 11th grade then you can retake them in 12th grade if you’re not happy with the results.
College Planning in 12th Grade
Your senior year is going to go by quickly. Within the first few months of your senior year,
you’ll decide where to apply, what scholarships to apply for, and who you’ll ask to write your letters of recommendation. You’ll also begin to complete your applications, write your essays, and possibly retake the SAT or SAT Subject Tests (SAT 2) , and take the TOEFL or IELTS. Meanwhile, you’ll need to make sure you get good grades and take on positions of responsibility and leadership in your extracurricular activities.
If you’re going to apply to selective colleges, most of the application deadlines will be in January, February, or March, but some may have deadlines as early as November or December. It’s a good idea to have a backup plan in case you either don’t get accepted or don’t receive enough financial aid to attend your college(s) of choice. Your admission depends on a consistent or improving academic performance on the final transcript.
College Application Process
When you apply to a college or university you’ll submit several things: an application, high school transcript, SAT score report, TOEFL may be required, letters of recommendation and one or more personal statements or essays. Applying for financial aid is a separate process that requires you to fill out a separate set of forms. You can fill out a paper application or apply online. Most colleges require you to list basic information about you and your family, as well as your GPA, standardized test scores, and any extracurricular activities or awards you earned.
More than 400 college and universities (out of around 3,500) in the U.S. now accept the
Common Application, which you can find at www.commonapp.org. This is a single form that you can fill out and submit to several universities to simplify the admissions process for you so you won’t have to fill out individual application forms for each university you apply to. Similarly, most applications to UK universities for full-time courses, degrees are made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. You will find over 300 institutions listed on the website www.ucas.com. The deadline for international applications is June 30 (about 2 months before the start of courses).Therefore, try to apply by that date to guarantee a place and allow plenty of time to receive replies and make visa, accommodation, and travel arrangements.
The only university in Egypt that has an early deadline for application in March is the American University in Cairo (AUC). This means that you need to have all your documents submitted by then in order to be considered for admission in September. Other universities may have early application periods which allow you to reserve a tentative place and make use of any scholarships, but deadlines are in late July upon receiving the final, stamped transcripts.
Student Responsibilities can be summed up in the following:
- Meet with the College Advisor to discuss university choices. In most cases, this will involve more than one meeting
- Discuss your university choices with your parents. Research choices. Talk with the College Advisor, check university web sites, and take advantage of visiting university representatives.
- Know requirements for admission and application deadlines. Requirements vary from university to university and country to country.
- Take appropriate tests (SAT, TOEFL, IELTS), making sure you register on time.
- If applying to US or Canadian institutions, make sure TOEFL and SAT examinations are taken by the end of January of your senior year.
- Fill out your application forms, in most cases, you can either complete your applications online or download a copy to complete.
- Determine how you will pay your application fees.
- Write your Essay(s) and/or Personal Statements.
- Request letters of recommendation from your teachers and/or College Advisor.