Resources

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.

Resources

School Profile

 

Four Year College Matriculations

Albright College                                                              American University                                                      Arizona State University                                                Auburn University                                                          Bard College
Belmont University
Bentley University
Boston College
Boston University
Bridgewater College
Bucknell University
Chowan University
Claremont McKenna College                                        Clemson University
Colby-Sawyer College
College of Charleston
College of William and Mary                                          Colorado College
Columbia University
Cornell University
Dartmouth College
Davidson College
Denison College
Dickinson College
Duke University
Eckerd College
Elizabethtown College
Elon University
Emory University
Fairfield University
Florida A&M University
Florida Golf Gulf Coast University                                  Franklin & Marshall College                                          Franklin University Switzerland                                      Furman University
George Mason University                                              Georgetown University                                                  Gettysburg College
Goucher College
Hamilton College
Hampshire College
Haverford College
High Point University
Hiram College

Hobart and William Smith Colleges                                Hofstra University
Hood College                                                                Howard University
Ithaca College
James Madison University
Johns Hopkins University
Kenyon College
Long Island University, Brooklyn                                    Loyola University Maryland
Lynchburg College
Lynn University
McGill University
Miami University, Oxford
Michigan State University
Monmouth 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
Rhodes College
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
Stevenson University
Temple 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 College
Trinity University                                                            Tulane University
Union College
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
Vanderbilt University
Villanova University
Virginia Commonwealth University                                Virginia Tech
Washington and Lee University                                    Washington College
Washington University in St. Louis
West Virginia University
Winthrop University
Yale University
York College of Pennsylvania

Standardized Testing

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. Colleges strongly prefer to receive test results (SAT, ACT) directly from the testing services. Students are responsible for having their results sent directly to their choice of colleges, which is done online through their College Board or ACTStudent 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 institutions 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 it’s 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.

Workshops

The College Counseling office at Roland Park Country School offers multiple workshops throughout the year to help students navigate the application process.  Workshops include topics such as:

  • Preparing college essays and resumes
  • Students will also develop a customized to do list to keep their college process moving over the summer months
  • Learning all the necessary steps to update and prepare their Naviance account for their application
  •  Sstudents will register and complete a large portion of the Common Application

Personal Essays and Resumes

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. 

"College Application Essays - Dos and Don'ts" - Best College Fit Blog

Editorial suggestions when it comes to writing college essays, from expert Peter VanBuskirk's well-respected "Best College Fit" website.

"Seven Deadly Sins of Writing" - Hamilton College Writing Center

The Hamilton College Writing Center offers a slightly humorous take on the major tenets of good grammar, usage, and syntax.

Essay Tips from Carleton College

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.

"Common App Essays that Worked" - Tufts University

Many colleges have a similar offering of information on college essays "that worked." This means that these samples served the applicant well in presenting their personality and interests in a compelling way. Here is one example of such a site, prepared by Tufts University. Keep in mind while reading that it was not necessarily the topic of the essay that impressed the college admissions officers, but the way in which the student handled and presented the information.

Visits and Interviews

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. This can be done on line or by phone or internet. 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! (link to questions below) 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 several colleges on one trip, limit yourself to two colleges per day and mix in some non-college activities along the way.

• Take some pictures and 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!

Financial Aid and Scholarships

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.