As a part of the Roland Park Country School College Counseling office comprehensive approach to helping our students and families we have included resources to help in the college search and application process.
- School Profile
- Four Year College Matriculations
- Standardized Testing
- Personal Essays and Resumes
- Visits and Interviews
- Financial Aid and Scholarships
Albright College American University Arizona State University Auburn University Bard College
Claremont McKenna College Clemson University
College of Charleston
College of William and Mary Colorado College
Florida A&M University
Florida Golf Gulf Coast University Franklin & Marshall College Franklin University Switzerland Furman University
George Mason University Georgetown University Gettysburg College
High Point University
Hobart and William Smith Colleges Hofstra University
Hood College Howard University
James Madison University
Johns Hopkins University
Long Island University, Brooklyn Loyola University Maryland
Miami University, Oxford
Michigan State University
Moore College of Art and Design Morgan State University
Mount Holyoke College
Notre Dame of Maryland University Oberlin College of Arts and Sciences Pace University, New York City Pennsylvania State University
Queens University of Charlotte Quinnipiac University
Ringling College of Art and Design Roanoke College
Saint Joseph’s University
San Diego State University
Sarah Lawrence College
Savannah College of Art and Design Sewanee: The University of the South Skidmore College
Southern Methodist University Spelman College
St. John’s University - Queens Campus St. Mary’s College of Maryland Stanford University
Texas Christian University
The Catholic University of America The College of Wooster
The George Washington University
The University of Alabama
The University of Edinburgh
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of Tampa The University of the Arts Towson University
Trinity University Tulane University
University of Chicago University of Connecticut University of Delaware University of Denver
University of Georgia University of Hawaii at Manoa University of Kentucky University of Maryland, Baltimore Country
University of Maryland, College Park University of Maryland, Eastern Shore University of Massachusetts, Amherst University of Miami
University of Michigan
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pittsburgh at Titusville University of Richmond
University of South Carolina
University of Southern California University of St. Andrews
University of Vermont
University of Virginia
University of Washington
Virginia Commonwealth University Virginia Tech
Washington and Lee University Washington College
Washington University in St. Louis
West Virginia University
York College of Pennsylvania
As a complement to the student’s academic record and transcript, standardized test scores are intended to help admission officers determine whether students can do the work academically in the first year of college. Although more and more colleges and universities have acknowledged that they can make good admission decisions about whom to admit without using test scores – and more than 850 institutions have adopted a testing-optional policy (www.fairtest.org) – testing does remain an important part of the application process at a majority of schools today. It is important to emphasize, however, that it is only one component of a complex equation where the primary focus remains centered on each student’s classroom performance.
TOP FIVE LIST OF THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT COLLEGE ADMISSION TESTING:
1. There are two options for students: the SAT and the ACT. We recommend that students try one of each, and then focus on preparing for and taking whichever test suits them best.
2. Students are responsible for having their results sent directly to their choice of colleges, which is done online through their College Board or ACT Student account.
3. Many colleges and universities will “superscore” test results, combining the highest subsections from all sittings for a best overall result. Colleges that do not “superscore” choose from among submitted scores the single test date on which a student achieved her highest results.
4. When forming a list of colleges to which she will apply, each student should make a note of which schools require Subject Test scores (sometimes referred to as SAT II scores). Some colleges will request specific subjects while others will allow you to choose. Unless a specific test is requested by the college, students should elect to take Subject Tests in areas of strength. It is also helpful to coincide test-taking with the completion of that subject in school.
5. When considering whether or not to apply test-optional to a college or university offering that plan, students are best served by comparing their results with the range of scores reported by the college. Students with scores that fall below an institution’s middle 50% range might consider having a conversation with their college counselor about the possibility of withholding their results. A complete list of test optional colleges can be found at www.fairtest.org. Students are best served by choosing to apply to colleges where their scores fall within or above the reported middle 50% range when score reporting is required.
SENSIBLE SEQUENCE FOR STANDARDIZED TESTING
·Specific circumstances vary for each child and our college counselors advise students regarding what they consider the best testing timeline.
·For a majority of students, the arc of learning that needs to be completed in order to hit the target for these tests doesn’t reach its end point until Spring of junior year. Thus, some students might not see the results that they might hope for on their junior PSAT because it’s simply too early for them to have a complete understanding of the material that will be covered on the test, especially in math.
For students who have an accelerated track in math or who have particularly strong aptitude for reading and analyzing what they’ve read, PSAT results may reveal that they could attempt a timeline that begins with SAT/ACT testing in fall
or winter of junior year.
·College counselors will provide advice and guidance regarding how to prepare, and the frequency and timing for standardized testing.
THE COLLEGE ESSAY
Most college-bound students approach the task of writing a personal essay for college admissions with some trepidation and a few questions: How important is the essay? What do colleges look for? How is it used? Who reads it? Here are a few facts and tips that may put the essay into perspective and help you to produce your best effort.
According to one admissions director, "The essay makes the facts in the student's folder come alive for us."
The essay is your opportunity to add character to your application and to provide information that may not appear elsewhere in the other elements that you submit for review. It allows you to reveal your intelligence, talent, sense of humor, enthusiasm, maturity, creativity, expressiveness, sincerity, and writing ability--traits that personalize the admissions evaluation.
Editorial suggestions when it comes to writing college essays, from expert Peter VanBuskirk's well-respected "Best College Fit" website.
The Hamilton College Writing Center offers a slightly humorous take on the major tenets of good grammar, usage, and syntax.
Though many colleges offer websites with tips on writing a compelling college essay, Carleton College has distilled these pointers succinctly. We strongly agree with the advice found here.
Recommendations for a Beneficial College Visit
• Know some basic information about the colleges that you are visiting before you go.
• Make a reservation for your visit. Confirmation information will usually provide specifics about parking, arrival time, and what to expect during your visit.
• In addition to the formal aspects of the visits such as the information session and tour, plan to spend some time on your own visiting the bookstore, eating a meal, or simply walking through the campus to soak up the atmosphere of the campus.
• If possible, visit while students are on campus. If that is not possible, summer visits can still be worthwhile to give you an overall feel for the size, location and academic programs offered at the school.
• While you are visiting the campus, feel free to ask questions! Current students love to give you their opinions about their school.
• Pick up a copy of the campus newspaper to read.
• If possible, introduce yourself to the admissions representative who visits RPCS.
• Dress appropriately. Comfortable walking shoes are a must! No sportswear from other colleges!
• As a senior, you may choose to schedule an interview or class visit. Your college counselor can help you decide about how to approach those decisions. The College Counseling Office offers a mock interview program to help you prepare.
• If you meet with anyone from the admissions office be certain to send a thank you email to that person.
• If you are visiting several colleges on one trip, limit yourself to two colleges per day and mix in some non-college activities along the way.
• Make note of your immediate impressions when you finish a visit. This will help you remember the details of your trip long after you have returned.
• Update your college counselor about your impressions when you return home!
The College Counseling Office serves as the centralized location for information on counseling about financial aid investigation and procedures. There are two primary types of aid: need-based aid and merit-based aid.
Need-based aid is the most common type of financial aid and is awarded based on a family’s financial ability to pay for college. Merit-based aid can be awarded for academic, athletic, service, artistic, or personal talents.
Eligibility for need-based financial aid stems from filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and for some colleges and universities, the CSS Profile. Once aid is determined, it can be awarded in the form of loan, grant, and work-study.
Merit-based scholarship can be awarded by individual colleges and application for those awards will vary based on the institution. Other scholarships through community-based organizations and businesses are also available and the college counseling office maintains a database of current scholarship opportunities.
The financial aid process can be confusing and difficult. We are happy to answer questions and we encourage families to utilize the resources offered by the college financial aid offices where your daughter applies. Information sessions on financial aid are held in the spring during the AIMS college fair and in the fall in a program that RPCS co-sponsors with other AIMS high schools.