The college admissions process can be a monstrous task without careful planning and attention. Requests for transcripts, teacher and counselor recommendations and meeting the application deadline are just some of the issues delt with during the already hectic senior year. At Plano though, our dedicated staff works assiduously in assisting students with their quest for a higher education. From preparation with college essays in English class to meetings with guidance counselors, Plano students are by far the most informed on preparing for a higher education.
The college admissions process begins far ahead of one's senior year. Depending on which college a student plans to attend, there are several requirements that students should be informed of. As a general rule of thumb, students themselves should research the specific requirements and expectations necessary for admissions, including:
- Class Credits: eg. # of foreign language credits
- State/National Exams: eg. SAT & Subject Tests, ACT, STARR EOC, TSI
- Extracurricular Activity: eg. Volunteer services
- Entrance Essays: eg. "Describe your aspirations"
- Financial Requirements: eg. Tuition
- Recommendation(s): eg. Teacher or Counselor
- Deadlines and Dates: eg. Early Decision
- School Involvement: eg. School sponsored clubs
Many colleges in today's high-tech society have provided for prospective students a gateway of information through their websites. So do a little research ahead of time to keep your senior year free of stress and hassle!
For students who plan on applying to any Texas college, visit www.applytexas.org for up-to-date information on your favorite college.
College Planning Calendar
Your Junior Year:
- Take the PSAT.
- Attend College & Financial Aid Nights.
- Develop your list of potential colleges and majors.
- Memorize your social security number.
- Be well rounded and get involved!
- Write colleges to get specific information.
- Go on college visits.
- Take the SAT or ACT in Spring.
- Consider a college visit in conjunction with any summer travels you (and your family) may take.
Your Senior Year:
- Reduce your preliminary college list to approximately four to five colleges.
- Get application forms and Financial Aid information (Online for Each College).
- Re-take the SAT/ACT, if needed.
- Visit Colleges.
- Take the SAT Subject Tests, if needed.
- Fill out your Counselor Recommendation Packet, if you will be needing one.
- Check college deadlines carefully.
- Complete and mail the FAFSA form, and if required, the CSS.
Requesting a Transcript
For information about transcripts, go to the Registrar's Page.
Requesting a Counselor/ Teacher Recommendation
Follow the following steps, if you need a counselor recommendation:
- Print the application(s) from the college(s).
- Pick up a Blue Packet from your counselor, counseling receptionist or fill it out online. Be sure to read instructions carefully before filling it out.
- Complete your part and distribute the Teacher Reports. Teachers need three weeks to fill out their part of the Teacher Report. Remember this is not the same as asking them to write you a letter of recommendation.
- Be sure the counselor has all the above information before requesting a counselor recommendation.
- All letters of recommendation (Teacher and Counselor) must be requested through Naviance Family Connection.
- Students must complete their portion of the on-line college application (via Naviance Family Connection) before letters of recommendations can be sent.
Submitting the Application
- All applications should be completed and submitted through the students' Naviance Family Connection.
- If a college uses the Common Application then the application needs to be completed and attached to the students' Naviance Family Connection account.
- Teacher and Counselor recommendation letters must be requested through the students' Naviance Family Connection account.
- ALL transcripts should be requested through the students' Naviance Family Connection account.
For more help with the college application process and Naviance, the student should work closely with their alpha counselor.