All NCCS Upper School students will register for a Family Connection account by Naviance®.
Using the programs in Family Connection, students will be able to link to useful websites, surveys, and many relevant career and college topics. Family Connection will serve as the main access point to receive news updates, college representative visiting schedules, scholarship postings, enrichment opportunities and other important communication from the school college counseling office, so you are encouraged to visit often.
The NCCS Counseling Office now submits through Naviance eDocs all application documents (transcripts, counselor and teacher recommendations, school profile and secondary school reports) electronically to colleges and universities. In addition, faculty members are also submitting their letters of recommendation electronically through the Naviance program. This is a tremendous step in helping our families in the college admission process. This allows us to send our materials directly to those colleges that accept the electronic format and eliminate delays that are evident in the "snail mail" system. In the cases where the college has not gone to the electronic process, we will continue to send out the materials through the postal system. Seniors will still make their requests through their Family Connection account.
For seniors, your Family Connection account will be used to manage, request and send documents requested by college application offices. *Resources for filling out applications are available in the "document library" on the home page of your Family Connection account by Naviance.
Colleges/universities keep an application file with all information they receive from you. Allow yourself time, plan ahead, and be organized and thorough in everything you do for the application. Your goal is to complete applications to at least three schools by October 1 of your senior year.
1 – Applications
Today, nearly every college accepts (and many "prefer" and some even "require") that college applications be submitted online. Specific information about applying to a college can be found on each college's website.
Types of Applications:
- The Common Application
Five Hundred plus (500+) colleges and universities have agreed to accept a generic application called the Common Application. This allows students to submit applications to many schools using the same forms. The Common Application is only available online at www.commonapp.org. Note that, in many cases, the school will accept the Common Application but will also require additional information given by way of a supplement to the application (also found on the Common Application website). Check the school's website for the most current information regarding any necessary supplements. The Common Application form for students applying to college for the fall of 2014 will be online and available starting August 1, 2014.
- Early Decision (ED) Applications
An Early Decision agreement means that if a student is admitted, the student will attend that school (in many cases, regardless of the amount of financial aid offered by the school). Most colleges have three options for Early Decision applicants: they will admit you, defer your admission for further review, or deny your admission. Some colleges may not "defer" from the Early Decision applicant pool, meaning that you will be either admitted or denied (check with the individual college if their stated policy is unclear). Submitting an Early Decision application is a commitment to attend that school if you are accepted; therefore, you may only submit one Early Decision Application, and, if accepted, you must withdraw any applications submitted to other schools. It is the student's responsibility to know the rules ED applications for the school to which they are applying. Some colleges accept a larger number of students from their early decision pool than their regular decision pool. However, a student should only use this method of application if (1) the applicant is absolutely certain that the college is their first choice, and (2) the applicant is absolutely certain that they can afford the cost of attendance (advance conversations with the college's financial aid office may be very helpful in making this determination).
- Early Action (EA) Applications
Early Action plans allow the student to receive the admission decision from a college or university early, but also allows the student to apply to other schools and to wait to make a final decision until May 1. Under this application program, colleges may admit you, defer your admission for further review, or deny your admission. In a few instances, schools accepting EA applications will restrict students from applying to other schools by EA or ED (this sometimes referred to a "Restricted Early Action"). It is the student's responsibility to know the rules of EA applications for the specific school(s) to which they are applying.
- Rolling Admissions
Colleges that use Rolling Admissions evaluate and accept or deny students' admission several weeks following the receipt of their applications. Students wishing to attend a school with a rolling admission plan should generally submit applications early in the Fall in order to ensure that a space will still be available for them to attend this institution. Please note that these schools frequently publish deadlines for application in the late spring, but their freshman classes can be full well before that date.
Complete the appropriate online application. Take your time to complete it to the best of your ability. Do not 'submit' until you have completed the essays and thoroughly reviewed all the information. You can save and return to it later to continue working on it.
For colleges/universities not accepting the Common Application, complete the online or paper application available on the college/university website.
2- Test Scores
It is the applicant's responsibility to request test scores to be sent to the colleges they are applying to. Visit the College Board website to request SAT scores. Visit the ACT website to request ACT scores.
Compile a list of extracurricular activities, awards, community service, and leadership involvement. Every college application requests this information in some form. Complete the majority of your resume prior to starting your senior year. *See a recommended resume style in the 'Resources' folder in the "document library" on the home page of your Family Connection account by Naviance.
4- Letters of Recommendation for admissions
Request letters or forms of recommendation in accordance with the college's/university's requests or requirements. *Instructions for requesting and submitting letters of recommendation are outlined in detail and available in the "Resource' folder in the "document library" on the home page of your Family Connection account by Naviance.
5 - Letters of Recommendation for scholarships
If the letters are for scholarship applications and not for admissions, the letters should be mailed all together in one scholarship package with all requested documents by the Registrar.
*Instructions for requesting and submitting letters of recommendation are outlined in detail and available in the "Resource' folder in the "document library" on the home page of your Family Connection account by Naviance.
*Instructions for requesting and submitting transcripts are outlined in detail and available in the 'Resource' folder in the "document library" on the home page of your Family Connection account by Naviance.
Complete any 'optional' essays in addition to required essays. It is hard for an admissions officer to believe that this school is high on your list if you leave an optional essay question blank. Write the draft of your essays for the application in a Word document. Use every resource available to you to ensure you submit your best writing to express unique information about you with the word count restraints. Cut and paste the final version of our essay into the online application. Writing essays during the summer of the junior year is beneficial.
8- Personal Confirmation
Contact the Admissions Office one week after the document package has been sent out to confirm its receipt and determine if any other items are needed for your admissions file.
9- Update your acceptances on your Family Connection account by Naviance
When you receive your acceptance letter(s), update your schools on your Family Connection account by Naviance. *Instructions for updating your acceptances are outlined in detail in the Senior College Application Checklist posted in the 'Resources' folder in the "document library"on the home page of your Family Connection account by Naviance.
10- Inform the college guidance office of your scholarship/financial aid awards
When you receive scholarship/financial aid award(s), drop off a copy (ies) to the college guidance office. Drop off all scholarship/financial aid award(s) even if you have not made a final decision of which school you are going to attend. We are keep a cumulative list for each graduating class. *Instructions for updating your scholarship/financial aid awards are outlined in detail in the Senior College Application Checklist posted in the 'Resources' folder in the "document library" on the home page of your Family Connection account by Naviance.
11- Final college decision
Update your final college decision by May 1st on your Family Connection account by Naviance. This important update will inform the college guidance office which school will receive a final transcript. *Instructions for updating your final college decision are outlined in detail in the Senior College Application Checklist posted in the 'Resources' folder in the "document library" on the home page of your Family Connection account by Naviance.