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. Don't miss the important information about the change in NACAC's Code of Ethics and Professional Practices as well as the personal letter from a SFS Alumnus.
Please continue working on your applications and college essays/personal statements. Remember that the UK and North-America 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 the HS Counselors will be away on DW November 2-10. Mrs. Gilmore will be away November 11-15, and Mrs. Holcomb and Mrs. Mayo will be away November 17-25. We will have limited access to email during our travels.
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 almost 300 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
Please note that we will send supporting documents only after you have completed, sent, and paid for your online application. As soon as we have sent the documents (within 5 work days), we will respond to your email, confirming that it has been sent. A few schools do not yet accept online submission, so these will be sent by courier. You will receive an email informing you of the date and time that your package was sent by courier along with all of the information you will need to track this package.
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 Form
IGCSE Certificate (if relevant)
Mid-Semester also called First Quarter 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:
Most US universities do not require IGCSE results as part of the supporting documents. An exception is the University of California campuses. See more information below.
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 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 ASAP so that we can send them in.
You will find this information on the universities’ websites. Just look for first quarter grades and mid-semester grades. You often find the information under Application Checklist orSupporting Documents. A google search with "supporting documents and university name" is often sufficient.
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 ASAP.
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 (if you took the exams). UCLA ended up rescinding a few offers of admission to SFS students two years ago when they realized that students had not provided their IGCSE results. They viewed that as the students had submitted a false application. So please include your IGCSE results if you took the exams. See screenshot from UC application below.
Important Changes to NACAC's Code of Ethics and Professional Practices (CEEP)
In September, members of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) met at their annual national conference and approved changes in their code of ethics which describes how students should be treated in the college admission process. NACAC (www.nacacnet.org) is an organization representing more than 15,000 professionals at colleges and universities, high schools, and community-based organizations, as well as independent education counselors, and its ethical code is followed by institutions and individuals around the world.
At the national conference, NACAC made changes in its code, called the Code of Ethics and Professional Practices (CEPP), in ways that could have a direct impact on students and their college process.
Background For the last two years, NACAC has been subject to an antitrust investigation by the Department of Justice. The DOJ holds the opinion that some of the rules in the CEPP restrain how and when colleges compete for students. In an attempt to try to settle the DOJ complaint, NACAC removed from the CEPP three provisions that the department believes inhibits competition among colleges, one having to do with transfer students, which we won’t go into here, but the other two having to do with Early Decision applications and the May 1 college decision deadline. Let's discuss those separately.
Changes to Early Decision The CEPP previously stated that colleges could not offer any incentive to students to encourage them to apply under a binding Early Decision program. Examples quoted directly from the CEPP include the promise of special housing, enhanced financial aid packages, and special scholarships for Early Decision admits.
Following votes taken at the NACAC conference in September, that prohibition was removed, effective immediately. This means that colleges could begin to offer students incentives to apply under a binding Early Decision program (Most ED deadlines are November 1st). Early decision is a very serious commitment, and we don’t encourage students to apply ED unless it is a clear first choice and the students and family understand the financial ramifications of applying to a binding program. While it is not likely that colleges will act quickly enough to begin offering incentives this year, it is possible. We ask students to inform their counselor if they receive any unusual solicitations from colleges to apply ED, and we ask that parents also keep an eye out for such offers. We strongly encourage you to speak directly with your counselor before agreeing to apply under any ED program.
May 1 Response Rate May 1 is known in as the US reply date in college admission. It is the deadline for students who have not already done so to commit to a college for next fall. Previously, the CEPP prohibited colleges from trying to “poach” a student who has indicated their intent to enroll in another college — no incentives to change their mind, no last-minute scholarships or other benefits. That rule, also, was removed from the CEPP, effective immediately.
We will not know the impact of this rule change until after May 1. We are hopeful that most colleges will still respect the ethical guidelines spelled out in other parts of the CEPP and will respect a student’s right to make a college choice free from harassment and the stress of confusing offers and counter offers. But we just do not know what will happen.
NACAC Response The CEPP remains a very strong statement of professional ethics and guidelines. It emphasizes NACAC’s belief that "advocating for the best interests of students in the admission process is the primary ethical concern of our profession.” NACAC’s president has asked member institutions to uphold our beliefs, even in the absence of those explicit rules.
The Plan for Now Our plan for now is to keep students and parents informed, keep actively discussing this issue in our various international forums, and keep an eye out for changes in behavior by colleges. Again, students and parents will be a critical source of information for us, and we strongly urge you to let us know if you see any unusual behavior by colleges. If you have any additional questions, please contact your counselor directly.
A 2018 SFS graduate shares his story
This SFS graduate wants Seniors to pay attention to his college selection process and outcome - with much thanks from his counselor, here is Joo Eon Park's email dated Oct. 17th, 2018
Hello Ms. Mayo, It's Joo Eon. I graduated a few months back and I'm currently studying at the University of Rochester.
As you may or may not remember, college acceptances for me wasn't the best experience. After getting a single acceptance letter from the U of R, I seriously considered taking a gap year, waitlisted for other schools, and was expecting to transfer to a "better" school. I believed I deserved better – at least to compensate for all the support I have gotten from others. But only once U of R became a major option for me, did I start realizing how great of a place it could be for my college career.
U of R is great – it's pretty much all I can ask for in terms of education and opportunities. I'm taking music classes, computer science, playing in a rock band for course credit, and trying out this new thing called Audio & Music Engineering. I think more upcoming college students should take a look into U of R's curriculum and not make the same mistake I did of completely ignoring all colleges that were below reach level. It's a great target/reach school for students looking for a flexible curriculum. Plus, it is definitely not a breeze studying here – the academics are challenging and fulfilling. Therefore, I really don't care much for where else I could've been, because I'm very content here. In fact, I feel lucky to be here.
I just wanted to write to you to let you know how I'm doing and also remind you (to remind your students) how things just sometimes won't turn out how you planned it to and that whatever happens there will be great new opportunities. I was really frustrated when I didn't get accepted into my reach universities (and target/safety universities for that matter), because I knew I gave it my best and my best wasn't good enough. I'm sure many of the students will be faced with the same thoughts soon as admission letters roll in. Perhaps you know of a few students that would benefit from looking into the U of R... and if it's too late for the current seniors, maybe some juniors will be interested.
I hope the application process is going smoothly for the current seniors (and will go well for the juniors!). I want to personally thank you for being my counselor and supporting me throughout the application process.
Best, Joo Eon Park
November Seminar Session: Application and Essay Sessions
The counselors will be supporting students with their university applications in seminars on Monday Nov. 18 (7D) and Friday Nov. 22 (2H) for Blue/Red house, and Thursday November 14 (3B), and Wednesday November 20 (1F) for Green/Gold house
What's coming up?
1 November: Deadline for most US EA, ED, REA Applications 1 November: Deadline for University of Florida 1 November: SFS Internal Deadline for University of Washington 15 November: SFS Internal Deadline for the following universities: 1. University of California System 2. California State University System 3. University of Texas 4. Rutgers University 15 November: Deadline for sending your essay/personal statement to your counselor for feedback 30 November: University of California System and California State University System deadline 1 December: University of Texas System deadline - All documentation must ARRIVE by due date 2 December: SFS internal deadline for all North American Applications, UK Applications, and all other applications with deadlines before January 15
The next issue of the newsletter will be posted on Wednesday 27 November.