Autobiography Questionnaire: Before winter break students are emailed a link to begin working on the autobiography form in Naviance. It consists of a large number of questions that are primarily designed to help us get to know you better and secondarily designed to help you reflect on topics and issues that might blossom into college essays or interview discussion topics. The more thought and volume of writing you put into this form, the more we will be able to help you and the better we will be able to portray you to the colleges. The students will complete and submit this form online. We ask students to read over all the questions, allow the questions to percolate, and set aside a good chunk of time over winter break to complete it. When the students completely answer all the questions on the autobiography they click submit. Students need to complete this form before returning to campus from winter break.
First Meeting: You will meet with your college counselor individually for the first time upon your return from winter break. We will not even mention the word college in this meeting; we will simply use the autobiography as a springboard for getting to know you. Students need not prepare for this meeting at all. In many ways, this is your first practice interview, and the setting provides an excellent opportunity for you to begin developing interviewing skills.
“Initial Thoughts on College” Survey: After you attend the first meeting, we will email you a form asking for some of your initial thoughts on the college process. If the answers to most of these questions are “I do not know,” that is perfectly fine. This just helps us frame our next discussion. Parents likewise are sent a similar form asking them for their preliminary thoughts on the college process, to give the college counselor a rough idea of their parameters and topics for future exploration.
Second Meeting: This will be the first “nuts and bolts” meeting where more details of the process will be outlined and discussed. We will talk about some of the characteristics you would like in a college. Some of you will have very specific criteria and some will be more open. Some will come with ideas from others and some will have very little prior understanding or even some misunderstanding of the range of colleges. We strongly encourage students, who can make the time, to visit at least three colleges over spring break. These visits can give you impressions of what you do and do not want to look for in a college, and can help you design your spring research and your summer trips more precisely. Visiting a range of schools (urban, private, rural, public, small or large) is key to your research and your ability to begin to draw comparisons and make concrete observations. For example, avoid only visiting three small liberal arts schools in Maine. (See “Finding Likely Schools.”)
Parent Response Form: At this time we will send your parents a form asking them for their insights, interests and concerns. We have frequently found what parents share with us in this way to be extremely helpful in the process. We ask parents to return it to the College Office by mid-February.
Junior Parents Day: All parents are invited and all juniors are required to attend the College Office’s presentation on the college process. We also invite a dean of admissions as our featured speaker. This is a comprehensive session that gets everyone on the same page in terms of language, understandings, and expectations regarding the next 18 months.
Athletic Recruiting Workshop: Any students interested in learning more about the athletic recruiting process and how it impacts the college process should attend. The meeting is held during lunch in late February.
Complete the College Visits Report Form: Given to you before spring break, this form (found in the Visits and Interviews section) asks you about the impressions you received on your college visits. This information allows us to help you prepare a more targeted (though still quite rough) list for you to consider over the spring and summer.
Third Meeting: At this meeting, we will confirm the list of schools that you have carefully researched and have determined worthy of a summer visit. We would recommend that you visit schools and interview where you are able to do so. The visits should be evenly spread across admissions difficulty. At this meeting, we will also discuss senior course selection, fall testing strategies, and teachers to approach for recommendations.
Essay Writing/ Interviewing Tips Workshop: The college counselors will meet with the juniors in small groups to discuss the process of writing the college essay. The workshops will focus on getting started, appropriate topics, telling your story, lively prose, and understanding the reader.
Asking Teachers to Write Recommendations: Before leaving for summer break, you should ask your teachers to write recommendations. These requests should be made in person and, if the teacher agrees, you should follow up with a thank you email or note. Turn into the College Office the form with your two teachers’ signatures, confirming their willingness to write for you.
College Visits Report Form: This form allows you to look at each college carefully and gives us a clear sense of the choices that you make when you decide to apply to a college or to take a college off your list.
Reread the Middlesex College Handbook
Register by the end of June for SAT or SAT Subject Tests for the August, October, or November test dates, or ACT for the September, October, or December test dates.
Visit, tour and interview at a mix of reaches, possibles and likelies.
Complete the Common Application; the online version will be available at www.commonapp.org.
Write the Common Application activities essay.
Write a complete response to one of the seven 650-word Common Application essay topics.
Complete both the forms and the essays for one non-Common Application school.
Complete your applications to colleges or universities, such as Michigan, Texas, Wisconsin or Colorado, that are rolling admissions institutions.
Complete the “Important Dates and Obligations by College” form found at the back of the Handbook.
Research (if you are interested in seeking merit scholarships) all the merit aid programs at each of the schools to which you are applying, and prepare to the extent possible your applications for those scholarships.
If you are planning on pursuing athletics, complete the following tasks: send each college coach a cover letter, resume and game schedule; complete all athletic questionnaires; send video footage; send transcripts with grades and test scores; arrange for official visits; discuss any financial aid issues with your parents and the colleges; prepare to make a decision on which college to apply early.
College Representatives: College representatives will hold group meetings throughout the fall for interested seniors. On Thursdays, you will receive an emailed schedule of meetings for the following week.
Alumni Interviews: When you have completed the applications, you should contact each school to see if it offers alumni interviews.
Finalize the List Meeting: During this meeting we will review what you accomplished over the summer, confirm your final college list, and discuss your early application strategy.
Polish Essays: Share your essays to your college counselor, English teachers, parents and others for feedback.
Complete Applications: Because you will have returned to school with a completed Common Application and completed essays, completing the applications will not be an overwhelming task. You should complete all applications within two weeks of having the “finalize the list” meeting.
Prior to November
Early Applications: Plan to submit any early applications no later than a week before the deadline. Fill out a College Counseling Office form to formally indicate you have submitted an application, indicating that we can submit school materials on your behalf.
Early Applications Decisions: Report all early application decisions to the college counseling office to discuss your situation and learn what to do next.
Prior to January
Regular Decision and Early Decision 2 Applications: Plan to submit any regular decision or Early Decision 2 applications no later than a week before the deadline. Fill out a College Counseling Office form to formally indicate you have submitted an application, indicating that we can submit school materials on your behalf.
Second Semester Course Changes: Discuss any potential changes in your second semester courses with your college advisor prior to switching courses.
Activities Update E-mail: Send an e-mail to the college counselors to update us on any activities and successes you have experienced since the applications were sent.
Regular Admission Decisions: As you hear from colleges, please fill out one of the green slips in the College Counseling Office.
Waitlist: Discuss your options with your college counselor. Immediately accept your spot on each wait list in which you are interest online or by returning waiting list cards.
Visiting Colleges: You can take up to two days away from school to visit one or two schools to help make your decision.
Having Decided: Having decided where to attend college, you should write thank you notes to the teachers who wrote for you and to anyone else who helped you with the process.
May 1st: May 1st is the National College Decision Day, the universal deadline by which you need to submit a deposit to the school which you plan to attend.