Fairfield College Preparatory School
Junior College Planning Night
January 12, 2012
J O H N H A N R A H A N - D E A N O F G U I DA N C E &
C O L L E G E A DV I S I N G ( L - Z )
R I C K H U TC H I N S O N - C O L L E G E A DV I S O R ( A - K )
Guidance Groups and Individual Meetings
Fall of Junior Year:
Overview of the Junior Year
Standardized Testing– overview and strategy
Identifying Appropriate Colleges
 Identifying
 My Game Plan
 My resume
Guidance Groups and Individual Meetings
Spring of Junior Year:
Standardized Testing
Key Factors in Admission
Campus Visits /Fairfield Regional
College Fair, Date/Location: TBD
**Junior Interview – with advisor**
Senior Course Selection
Summer Strategies
Admission Glossary
Guidance Groups and Individual Meetings
Topics for Fall Senior Year:
• Check-In Meeting with College Advisor
• Finalizing Application Strategy
• Coordination of Application process:
application forms, essay (s),
recommendations, sending testing to
Research and develop prospective college lists:
• Username/email : students’ Prep email address
• Password: student created
• Accounts established for all parents
College Planning Resources
Naviance and the College Advising Page in
the Guidance Section on the Prep website
provides information on:
 Interviewing
 Factors in College Admission
 Glossary of College Admission Terms
 Resume models
 SAT/ACT testing dates & deadlines
Evaluating a Transcript
 Course of Study
→ Most challenging
course load that the
student can manage.
 5 core subjects: English,
→ Limited # of “lighter”
Math, Science, Social
Science, Foreign
 Grade Trends
→ Junior year, 1st
quarter senior year
and 1st semester senior
year are key.
Standardized Testing
*Students register themselves for all SAT and/or ACT exams.*
SAT (SAT I) www.collegeboard.com
At least once in spring Junior Year (Jan., March, May, June)
At least once in fall Senior Year (Oct., Nov., Dec.)
SAT Subject Tests (SAT II)
Some colleges may require (see websites)
Can highlight an academic strength
Spring Junior year dates: Feb., April, June
Fall Senior year dates: Sept., Oct., Dec.
“Tip” Factors
 Teacher/Counselor Recommendations: Highlight
individual academic strengths and personal qualities
 Essay(s):
Reveals self
“Show, Don’t Tell”
 Significant activity(ies):
Will show depth and commitment to personal
interests and growth.
“Tip” Factors (Continued)
 Athletic recruitment
 Special talents or attributes – how to
 Interview (admission counselor, current
student or alumni)
 Supplemental letters (use sparingly)
 Demonstrated Interest
 Essays (From Common App. Supplements)
Application options and strategies
 Regular Decision
 Early Action
 Early Decision
 Rolling Decision
(w/ priority dates)
Finding a College “Fit”
Prospective College List: Personal Preferences
 Size (# undergraduates)
 Geographic Location
 Campus setting (urban,
 Cost
 Financial Aid
 Housing – 4 year
suburban, rural)
Academic focus
Areas of study
Facilities: Library, Research
Labs, etc.
Social Atmosphere
Campus Life, Sports, Arts
Religious affiliation
Support services
Admission Criteria
Graduation +Retention
Outcomes: employment
and graduate schools
Greek system
Prospective College List: Other Resources
 Friends and Relatives
 Guide books
 Rankings
 College Advisor
 Alumni
 Honors and
 Name Prestige
**Consider many
different types of
institutions. Do
not always go
with the pack.
Break new
ground in the
search process. **
Search List
 Up to 15-20
 Research (beware increasing selectivity)
 Place in 5 Categories (as designated in
Naviance): Far Reach, Reach, Possible, Likely
and Safety
 Use Naviance Scattergrams as a guide, but not
as an absolute.
Final Application List
 Up to 10
 Fairfield Prep Average: 8
 Prioritize the list
 Only a “safety” school if you would attend.
 Contact (i.e. demonstrated interest) is more
important with small/medium schools.
The Campus Visit
Campus Visit Options
Campus Tour
Information session
Open House/Special Event
Sit in on a class
Athletic visit
Shadow student
Why is the Campus Visit Important?
 Demonstrates YOUR interest
 Experiencing the campus to help decide if you want
to apply.
 Find the institutions that are the right “Fit”.
Preparing for the Campus Visit
• Visit college website to explore visit options.
• Do your homework before the visit
• Make reservations/appointments for campus
tours, interviews, open houses and meetings
with faculty or coaches.
• Stick to the Office of Admission schedule
• Avoid the Drive-Thru visit, if possible
• Always sign in…Smaller colleges tend to track
this information (i.e. Demonstrated Interest)
What to look for while on campus
General University/College Information
*Read a Campus Newspaper*
Campus Life
Residence halls, cafeteria, parking, student center,
Student Life/Athletics
Clubs & organizations, social life, recreation facilities,
visual/performing arts, varsity athletics
Academic Life
Classrooms, professors, course offerings, internships,
research opportunities
College Planning Checklists
College Planning: Spring of Junior Year
Initial Student/Advisor College Planning Meeting
Research: Web -based resources are best
Contact institutions
Visit Campuses
Attend spring open house programs
Standardized Testing - first/second round
Attend local/regional college fairs
Consider teacher recommenders
Develop an Activities Resume (excellent document to
present at an interview)
 Initial contact with athletic coaches etc.
College Planning: Summer before Senior Year
 Campus Visits
 Refine list
 Consider application options: Regular, EA, ED, Rolling
 Establish Common Application Account after August 1st.
 Determine what application and/or supplement forms each
school requires. (i.e. common application)
 Start filling out applications
 Begin first draft of essay(s).
 Continue to develop an activities resume.
College Planning: Fall of Senior Year
 Check-In Meeting with College Advisor
 Meet admission representatives who visit Fairfield Prep
 Ask teachers to write recommendations.
 Parent/Family Recommendation to Counselor
 Attend College Fairs and Information Night programs
 Finalize essays and applications
 Final campus visits (tours, interviews, overnights, class
visits, open houses)
 Standardized Testing – final round
 Check merit scholarship requirements and deadlines.
 FAFSA/CSS Profile – Financial Aid instruments
Trends in Admission
 Test Optional Colleges
 Fast Track/Priority Applications
 Demonstrated Interest – particularly in schools
deemed “safeties”
Interview (smaller colleges) re-emergence
More Writing on Common Application Supplements
Public School interest on the rise
Requests for Financial Aid rising
Useful Web Sites
 www.collegeboard.com
 https://connection.naviance.com/fairfieldprep/
 www.commonapp.org
 www.fafsa.ed.gov
 www.act.org
 www.ncaa.org
Miscellaneous Thoughts…
 Encourage student to stay in contact with the College Advising
Office. Communication is essential.
 Allow ample time (2 + months) for essay writing.
 Discern all requirements of your list early (Standardized testing
requirements, supplements, essays, deadlines, etc.).
 [email protected] 203-254-4200 ext 2238 (L-Z)
 [email protected] ext. 2502 (A-K)
 [email protected] ext. 2437

Spring of Junior Year - Fairfield College Preparatory School