Understand Your Offers

Most colleges and universities are in the process of releasing their admissions decisions. As you begin to evaluate your choices be open minded. As you review each of your options keep in mind that you want to choose the school that is going to fit you best academically and socially. Ask your parents and your guidance counselor for input to help you with your decision and review these next steps:


Great news! Your admission offer requires your response and deposit by a specific deadline, usually May 1st. Review your acceptance package carefully. If you’ve received an offer for financial aid and you have any questions reach out to the financial aid office for answers. Finally, submit all the required documents and information by the due date.

If you’ve received more than one acceptance:

  • Look back on any notes you may have taken during your college search.
  • Reach out to any current students you know.
  • If you visited a school, try to remember how you felt while you were on campus. You may want to visit or even revisit any schools you’re considering.
  • Attend “Admitted Students” days. Meet prospective classmates, have lunch at the cafeteria, visit the student center, look at bulletin boards around campus and read the school newspaper. Notice what students are doing— are they studying while eating or chatting and laughing? Talk to them— what’s their favorite and their least favorite thing about the school? Do you feel like you belong?
  • Think about what’s important to you, including price, financial aid, distance, programs, size and spirit, and compare one school to another.
  • Make a pro/con list to help organize your thoughts and ask your parents for their feedback. Consult your guidance counselor as well.


Being waitlisted means there’s still a chance you may be admitted. This outcome requires you take the following steps immediately:

  • Send in the response card as soon as possible and don’t miss the deadline. You will not be placed on the list automatically.
  • If you require financial aid, contact the school to ask whether aid will be available if you’re admitted from the waitlist.
  • If this school is truly your top choice let your admission rep know that if you are admitted you’ll definitely attend. Provide any additional information in support of your candidacy to admissions by phone, email or handwritten note Update them about any new achievements not included in your file.
  • Talk to your guidance counselor and ask him or her to reach out to the school rep on your behalf if they feel it’s appropriate.
  • Evaluate any other choices you may have and send in your deposit by May 1st. Waitlist decisions may arrive after deposits are due at any other school(s) to which you have been admitted. Take note that deposits are non-refundable, so if you’re admitted from a waitlist and choose to attend that school, you’ll forfeit the deposit you sent to the other school.

While the Admission Office may provide you with information about prior years’ waitlists, the number of students admitted varies from year to year.

Delayed Admission

Delayed admission is an offer to start in the spring semester or even the following fall.  There are several things to think about if you are considering this option:

  • What will you do in the gap period?  Options vary from school to school and may include participating in specific programs such as spending time abroad or attending another college or university for that time.
  • If the school you’re considering will not accept transfer credits from another college or university, you will need to talk to a counselor about whether it would be possible to catch up so that you may graduate with your class.  If not, make sure you’re comfortable delaying your graduation.

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Registration Reminder

Today is the late registration deadline for the April 15th ACT exam. 

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Choosing Your School

Most schools release their admissions decisions in mid to late March. You’re most likely waiting for new if you have not already received decisions. If you put together a balanced list of safety, target and reach schools, hopefully you’ll be satisfied with your outcome.

You have until May 1st to evaluate your choices. You’ll want to select a school where you feel comfortable, where you’ll be challenged academically and where you feel you belong.

Tips to help you choose the best school for you include the following:

  • Look through each school’s course offerings.
  • Familiarize yourself with the academic programs available.
  • Get a sense of each school’s personality.
  • Learn about what each school community has to offer.
  • Compare your financial aid packages.
  • Choose the school that you feel excited about attending.

Keep in mind, it’s what you do once you’re at college, not where you attend college that will make the difference post-graduation. Choose a school where you’ll want to be actively engaged academically and in the school community as well.

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Show Them You Are Interested

“Demonstrated interest” is a consideration in the admissions process at many schools. While not as important as grades and test scores, demonstrated interest is one way a school can gauge how serious an applicant is in attending. They do take note and keep track of such interest, so if you’re interested in a school, it’s important to demonstrate your interest.

Juniors, also first and second year students too, there are many ways you can express your interest in a school. Visit the campus and sign up to participate in an info session and campus tour. If you can’t visit, you can register for and take part in a virtual tour and info session. Another way to meet college reps and make a connection is at a college fair and/or a high school visit. Remember to write thank you notes after interviews and meetings to provide any information you ‘d like to share and include any questions you may have.

Another way many schools keep track of students’ interest is by using technology. Schools monitor a variety of things including how promptly students are opening emails, signing up for interviews, how long they’re spending on school websites and even at what point in high school they began looking on their site.

With all this in mind, express your curiosity and interest at any time in high school when you’re researching and visiting schools. While you’re demonstating your interest you are also learning more about different schools and advancing your school research.

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Registration Reminder

Today is the registration deadline for the April 15th ACT exam. 

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Get Ready For Tomorrow’s SAT

A few thoughts if you’re scheduled to take tomorrow’s SAT.

To minimize your stress tomorrow morning, it’s a great idea to get organized ahead of time. The last thing you need on test morning is a desperate scramble. These are some of the things you can do tonight to get your big day off to a great start:

First, check with your parents to make sure they know when and where you’re scheduled to take the test, and arrange how you’ll get to the test center. Next, gather and pack all the things you’ll need to take with you. Some of the things on this check list are “must-have” items, while others are optional.

REQUIRED: Don’t forget any of the following items or it will be a long ride home!

  • An approved calculator
  • Sharpened #2 pencils
  • An acceptable form of photo ID
  • Your admission or standby ticket


  • Water
  • Snack
  • Sweater
  • Back-up calculator
  • Extra batteries for your calculator
  • Watch (to keep track of time)
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Ask For More Aid If You Need It

Admissions decisions and financial aid offers are arriving. If you and your family determine that the money you are given to pay for college is not enough, you can appeal. Your family’s financial situation may have changed or you may have received more money from another school. Top tips for appealing for more aid include:

Determine if you’re eligible to appeal. Call your financial aid representative to explain your new circumstances and confirm if you should submit an appeal.

Ask for more aid. You can’t receive more aid if you don’t ask. Your family’s circumstances may have changed. Perhaps there has been an increase in your family’s medical expenses, loss of a job or a decrease in pay within your family, divorce, or a natural disaster that affected your family’s situation. You should contact your financial aid representatives to make them aware of your current situation. Because the FAFSA you submitted was based on your family’s 2021 financials it is important to update them with any changes.

You may now qualify for merit aid if your academics have improved significantly. You should reach out to your admissions rep for guidance on the merit aid appeal process. If you’ve already been offered merit aid, a positive change in your academic standing may qualify you for a more generous package.

Understand the appeal process. Details on how to appeal can be found on each school’s website. Specific forms need to be submitted in order to complete the process. Please make sure to follow all steps as required and provide any necessary supplemental documents to support your change of circumstances. If you have any questions, reach out to your representative as soon as possible.

Follow up. Since admissions decision are due by May 1st, it’s very important to follow up with your financial aid rep if you haven’t heard back within several days of your appeal.. Also, be sure to check your email daily and respond to any requests for additional information required to process your appeal.

Ask your top choice school for more. If the financial aid package offered by your first choice school falls short of that offered by another school(s), reach out to your rep to share that information. Don’t be shy to ask if they can match the offer.

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Spring Is College Fair Season

Juniors, start your college search now. Spring is the time that college fairs are scheduled for all over the country, so there is sure to be one you can attend in your town or nearby. College fairs are free and open to the public, but be sure to register in advance. By attending a fair, you’ll be able to become acquainted with a large number of colleges and universities all in one place. Meet admissions reps to learn about their schools and ask questions not only about their school, but also about their admissions process. Sign up now for March and April Virtual fairs to connect with hundreds of schools. You will be able to attend presentations, demonstrate interest and ask questions all without traveling.

By planning in advance, you can get the most out of college fairs. Here’s how:

Research college fairs in your area. Begin by looking through the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) spring schedule. There are state and regional college fairs such as The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation . Look online to see if there is a state or regional college fair near you. Your school district or high school may also have their own fairs planned. Check with your guidance counselor for a complete schedule.

Check out online college fairs. These fairs give you another way to meet and get to know admission reps. Sites like CollegeFairsOnline.com offer these types of fairs. Check their website and others your guidance counselor can direct you to for specific college fair dates.

Register in advance. By signing up ahead of time you will avoid any lines when you arrive.  Sign up for NACAC fairs online and receive your own barcode to print and take to the fair. You will be asked to enter your contact info, academic interests, high school and graduation year.  Your code will serve as your ID for the fair. By scanning your code, college reps will be able to read your information and eliminate the need for you to fill out individual information cards at each booth. They’ll also have your information if they want to reach out to you.

Think about what type of school may be the best for you. Consider the size, distance from home, environment, special programs and areas of study offered. Would a two or four year program best meet your goals?

Get ready for the fair. Find out which schools will be participating. Take the time to go through the list and decide which reps you’d like to visit with and which events you would like to attend. Plan your day and note the start times of special events, then begin with the schools at the top of your list. While you’re at the fair keep an open mind as you walk through the aisles. Visit booths from a variety of schools and chat with their reps. Take brochures and course catalogs to review later when you have more time at home. Get ready to meet with college reps at their booths by having a few questions ready. Ask questions that are school specific and can’t easily be answered by looking at the website. Don’t forget to ask for business cards after your conversations.

When you arrive: Pick up a directory and a bag (if you don’t have one already) for all the materials you collect during the day. Ask each college rep you meet to scan your barcode so they will have your information. Take notes on what you find interesting about each college.

Follow up. Feel free to send an email to any rep you connect with to ask additional questions you have. You may also want to send a thank you note if you feel you had a meaningful conversation.

Get organized. Organize all the material you collect at the fair. Sort through the brochures and business cards you collect and save the ones you’re interested in. Go online and look further into the schools you liked and make use of their online resources.

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A Few More Things…

SENIORS, while you wait for your admissions decisions, there are a few things you should do:

  • MAKE SURE ALL YOU FINISHED ALL FINANCIAL AID FORMS: If you’ve submitted your FAFSA, you should have received your Student Aid Report (SAR). Check that your SAR is accurate and respond to any requests for additional information right away. If you have completed the CSS/Profile and/or any state applications take care of any requests for additional information. If you haven’t worked on these forms yet, do so now and submit them as soon as possible. Don’t delay because aid is handed out on a first come first serve basis.
  • LOOK FOR SCHOLARSHIPS: There are so many resources available to help you research scholarships. Scholarships have different deadlines, so keep searching for opportunities. There may be more money out there to help pay for your college education.
  • STAY COMMITTED TO YOUR SCHOOLWORK: Don’t get distracted, your grades still count as many schools will ask to see them. Your admission and financial aid offers may be contingent on maintaining your grades.
  • READ YOUR EMAILS DAILY: Schools to which you have been admitted may be reaching out to invite you to special programs and events for accepted students. Be open to all opportunities they send you. If you applied for any scholarships, be on the look out for responses or requests for any follow-up actions on your part.
  • UPDATE ADMISSIONS REPS WITH NEW INFORMATION: Share significant and meaningful accomplishments that you feel enhance your candidacy. If you’ve received any recognition, let them know. For example, if you’ve won an award or contest or have had your work published, take pride and share your good news with your Admissions rep. Athletic, artistic, and musical accomplishments should also be shared. Informing Admissions of your achievements could have a positive impact on your application.
  • APPLY TO ANY ADDITIONAL SCHOOLS THAT INTEREST YOU: There’s still time to apply to schools with both rolling and late admissions deadlines. Perhaps you’ve had a change of heart or haven’t had the positive results you were hoping for, it’s not too late to apply to additional schools. Check with your guidance counselor for a list of schools still accepting applications.

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Where Do You See Yourself?

JUNIORS, beginning your college search process is an exciting time. when you can learn about the many choices available to you. While there are thousands of two and four year schools in the US, you’ll be able to narrow down which schools you should explore further if you devote the time to identify the best type of college for you. Here are some important considerations:


Do you want a college experience that is similar or are you looking for something new? Size, setting and focus sum up the main differences among schools. Small, medium and large schools each have distinct characteristics.

Small schools typically offer greater access to faculty, small class sizes and a strong sense of community. Large universities typically offer more majors, a wider variety of extracurricular activities and clubs, research opportunities and graduate programs.

Do you see yourself in a city or in a country setting? An urban school offers the opportunity to immerse yourself in a city. Part of the appeal of an urban school may be exactly what the city has to offer, such as internships, off campus jobs and arts and cultural events. Rural schools are generally self-contained and usually offer a greater sense of community. Rural settings may allow you enjoy the outdoors. Suburban or small town schools combine a little bit of both— they tend to be self-contained but with easy access to the surrounding community.

Focus really means whether a school is considered a liberal arts, research or professional oriented school. Focus is an important consideration and the main differences in focus include: the range of majors, research opportunities, classes taught by professors versus teaching assistants or graduate students and graduate study opportunities.


Start with college guide books, such as the “Fiske Guide to Colleges”, which offer facts about basic admission requirements such as GPA, SAT and ACT ranges, course requirements, tuition, student body demographics and feedback from current students. Read free online college resource guides, follow college admission related blogs and read newspapers to learn more about schools and the admissions process. Attend college fairs in your area. Look through school websites which provide detailed information about a school’s student body, required curriculum, courses of study, tuition and financial aid, housing and extracurricular activities. Look for academic, athletic and extracurricular programs you’d like to learn more about.  Also, take a look at admissions requirements. Virtual tours are especially important now. Most schools offer tours on their website which allow you to get a good look of the physical campus and what a school has to offer. 


Talk to your parents and guidance counselor to get their ideas about which schools may fit your needs and interests. It may be helpful to reach out to current students and also alum to ask questions and get a better feel for a school’s “personality.” 


After your initial fact-finding, you’ll hopefully have a better idea of the type of schools that appeal to you. There are, most likely, many schools that will be a great fit for you.

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