Parents FAQ

    • How many letters of recommendation are needed?

Some schools require no letters of recommendation while others may want two or more. My advice is to secure letters of recommendation from three trusted sources. It is much better to have three letters and not need them than to have no letters and discover that your favorite college requires them.

    • Where can we find scholarships online?

Try this website. I suggest that a temporary email address be created and submitted to a scholarship search site because the amount of junk mail that will accompany the scholarship notices is incredible.

    • To how many colleges should we send applications?

I believe that the range between three and six should fit into the plans of anyone seeking acceptance into college.

    • Why is a resume needed?

The resume can be used to help the people writing your letters of recommendation produce a more robust letter. There are also circumstances where the application has no place for all the student information. The resume is a good vehicle for submitting information that has no other place in the application.

    • What should be the length of the essays?

My advice is a range of 600 to 700 words in your essays. At that length they can be shaved down or embellished to decrease or increase the length if needed to satisfy requirements from a different application.

    • What is the most important thing on the application?

Grades are the most important thing on your application. They are the qualifiers for the application that determine whether it should be considered. The GPA, Class Rank and SAT/ACT test scores are the top three pieces of information required by the college.

    • How do I get transcripts sent to the college?

The registrar at the high school will send the transcripts once they are requested.

    • How are test scores sent to the college?
  • SAT –must log onto and request that they be sent.
  • ACT –must log onto the site and request those scores be sent.
    • How is National Honor Society listed on the application?

Even though NHS has “National” in its name, being inducted into the society is done on the local level. If the student has not been involved in the NHS outside the confines of your high school, they must list their participation in the organization on the local level.

    • What is the proper response to the Dual Credit question on the ApplyTexas application?

If the student is taking or has taken a Dual Credit class they will need to select the response “college credit hours” on page 3 question 1. They must also provide the community college information for the school awarding the college credit.

    • How are essays attached to the ApplyTexas application?

The student must copy and paste the essays into the appropriate areas, without headings (They will have all that information by virtue of pasting them into the correct space). Also, get a look at the essays in the preview window. It may not look the same. If anything is different, the student will need to correct all the changes in the edit view and then look at the preview window again.

    • How are letters of recommendation sent to the colleges?

Letters of recommendation (LoR) are not required by every college. If they say nothing in their application about LoR, send them one letter only. If LoR are mentioned, follow their instructions concerning them.
When using the Common Application, provide the contact information for the letter writers and the application management people will do the rest. With college-specific or the ApplyTexas application, the letters will need to be physically mailed to the university campus. This can achieve this in three ways.
Address an envelope to each college admissions department where applications will be sent and give that set of envelopes to each letter writer. Make sure it has the proper postage. The letter writer can drop it in the mail when they complete the letters.
Address an envelope to each college admissions department where applications will be sent and give that set of envelopes to each letter writer. Provide no postage on the envelopes but have them seal the letters inside and return them to be mailed by the student.
Some school counselors take an active part in sending the LoR. If the counselor at your student’s school does, follow the second step and turn the letters in to the counselor to be sent along with other school information.

    • Should the SAT and/or ACT scores be sent to the colleges if the exam is being taken again?

When ACT scores are sent to the colleges, they will get all the scores anyway. The student can wait for new scores and send them all at once. They can choose to send only one set of scores from the SAT but all the test dates will be sent to the schools. They will know that other scores have been withheld and know that they are scores that someone must want to keep secret so I suggest sending them all for the SAT too. The admissions offices tell me that they will only consider the scores that give the best chance to get accepted. Also, any college that super score will need all the scores anyway.

    • What do I do with the “Anything extra you want to add” section in the Common Application?

Consider that section a freedom of expression area. Tell the admissions committee about anything that is important about school, life, hopes for future accomplishments, anticipation of attending their university, major, career…. Really, anything can go in that space.

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