Sent on the last Thursday of each month, the Counseling Newsletter provides extra guidance and information to assist you during the university application process. Please read each issue carefully. The newsletter is also shared with your parents and teachers, and it can be used to help create more dialogue about your future.
In this issue, we will have a look at what the Seniors are doing right now, as well as what needs to be done when you have completed an application. We have included a few important reminders about applications and supporting documents, and we will also discuss the De-stress Session that Seniors will receive through Seminars in November.
Please continue working on your applications and college essays/personal statements. Remember that the UK/US application deadline is only 1 month and 1 day away. This deadline is also in place for all other universities with a January deadline. Please do contact your counselor with any questions or concerns. We are here to help you! Kind regards, The High School Counselors
Please note that Mr. Ekstrom and Mrs. Mayo will be away on DW from October 27 to November 4 and they will have limited access to email. Mr Ekstrom and Mrs Gilmore will be away on a conference November 7-11, but will be able to respond to emails during this time.
What the Seniors are Doing Right Now
Completing their SAT, ACT, TOEFL, IELTS, and various university entrance exams.
Writing College Essays and Personal Statements. A Big Thank you to parents, friends, teachers and counselors who have proofread their work.
Filling out university applications for universities around the world, mostly online, but also in paper form
Saying Thank You to their teachers for agreeing to write their recommendation letters. Teachers wrote 261 recommendation letters this year. Thank you Teachers :-)
I am done with my application, now what?
You need to send you counselor an email every time you have completed one of your applications. This is so that we can prepare and send your supporting documents to the university.
Example email: Dear Mr./Mrs. Counselor, I have sent my application to the University of xxxx. I have marked it as submitted on my short list on Naviance, and I have attached the Essay Verification Form to this email. Please send in the supporting documents. Kind regards, Christian Crusader
Make sure you fill out the information on top of the form (your name, university’s name, type of essay(s), etc.)
Include all essays that you sent with your university application (Common App Essay and Supplements go on the same form)
Read the statement at the bottom of the form and add your electronic signature (here is a guide on how to add your signature on a Mac electronically)
Attach the form to the email to your counselor
Update the university on your short list on Naviance (as illustrated below) confirming that your application has been submitted (completed, sent, and paid for online)
First go to your short list (Colleges I'm applying to" and click "Edit" next to the relevant university as illustrated below.
Tick the box stating that you have submitted your application.
Make sure you choose either "Via Common App" or Directly to the institution"
Mark the application type as either "Regular Decision" Early Action" or Early Decision"
Hit the "Save college application" button
What are the supporting documents again?
Two Teacher Recommendation Letters
Counselor Recommendation Letter
Academic Transcript (s) Grade 9-11 (Grade 12 first semester grades will be sent in beginning of February)
Predicted Grades Report
IGCSE Certificate (if relevant)
Mid-Semester Grades (if relevant)
SFS Academic Profile
Common App Guidance
Do you have questions about the Common App? Before you reach out to your parents and counselors, or google your questions, please have a look at this Common App Guide. The guide is 100 pages long, but you can search by topic. If you wonder what you should or shouldn't put into the "Additional Information Section" or if you wonder if you need to put anything at all in there then please have a look at this Additional Information Section Guide.
A few reminders:
US universities do not require IGCSE results as part of the supporting documents. It is really an additional qualification, and we can choose if we want to send it or not. An exception is the University of California campuses. See more information below.
Your counselor will let you know if he/she thinks it is an advantage for you to send the IGCSE certificate.
You can of course disagree. The final decision is with you. If you don’t want to send the IGCSE certificate then it won’t be sent.
The Predicted Grades will be sent to all US universities as part of the supporting documents.
We send them around November 1 for EA/ED applications, and as part of the midyear report in the beginning of February for regular applications.
Some universities in the US require mid-semester grades (sometimes called first quarter or trimester grades) as part of the supporting documents for EA/ED applications
If your university requires mid-semester grades then it is important that we send them
It is the student’s responsibility to find out if the mid-semester grades are needed for his or her EA/ED application, and let his/her counselor know by the internal deadline which was on Thursday 18 October.
You will find this information on the universities’ websites. Just look for “Application Checklist”, “Supporting Documents”, or something similar.
It is your responsibility to send your SAT and/or ACT scores to your universities.
Counselors do not get involved in this process at all. You can of course ask us for help and guidance, but it is your responsibility to send the scores by the deadline.
You send the scores through your SAT/ACT account. If you are applying EA or ED then you should send the scores this week.
It is your responsibility to send your TOEFL/IELTS scores to your universities.
Contact your counselors if you need help with this.
An important note on the University of California Application
The University of California requires that students submit their complete academic record, which includes all IGCSE results. UCLA ended up rescinding a few offers of admission last summer when they realized that students had not provided their IGCSE results. They viewed that as the students had submitted a false application. So, in other words, please include your IGCSE results if you took the exams. See screenshot from UC application below.
November Seminar Session: How to Manage Stress
November is a very stressful month for Senior IB Students around the world. The counselors will meet with all Seniors to discuss how we can deal with stress. If you want a little preview of the session then watch this two minute video, which explains how stress affects us. Please remember to take time out and relax when you need it. Pushing through at all times will wear you out. Also try to stay physically active, just because you enjoy it and not because you have to. You have enough "have to's" in your life anyway. Remember that a healthy body goes hand in hand with a healthy mind. Do you feel the need to talk about your stress? Try reaching out to people around you such as friends, family, teachers and counselors. Schedule in some time to hang out with friends and family. It is pretty nice to just spend time together. Remember? Not all conversations have to be about school work and college applications. Take time just to be you! Get out of your mind and into your life once in a while. Try the Leaves on the Stream meditation, you will love it! It is 13 minutes long. Want something shorter? Try the 7/11 breathing exercise. It doesn't get any easier than this. Just spend 5 minutes sitting comfortably, counting to 7 when you breath in and to 11 when you breath out. Everyone can do it. Don't underestimate this exercise though. It is extremely powerful, and has a very calming effect on your body and mind in just a few minutes. Still wonder how it works? Here is a video for you which explains it in a really simple way.
What's coming up?
October 27: ACT November 1: Actual Deadline for all US EA/ED as well as U of Florida. November 1: SFS Internal Deadline for University of Washington October 28-November 4: DW November 5: First day Seniors can ask counselors to send supporting documents for their regular applications November 15: Actual Deadline for University of Washington November 16: Last day seniors can ask the counselors to review their college essays November 16: SFSInternal Deadline for these universities:
University of California System
California State University System
University of Texas
University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign
November 19: Last day teachers can change predicted grades November 22-25: Thanksgiving Break November 26: Internal Deadline for all US/UK applications as well as all other applications with January deadlines
The next issue of the newsletter will be posted on Thursday 29 November.