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CommonApp.Org – Part 3


In the last post, we worked our way through all the sub-headings of The Common Application, ending with the signature and sending off our application. Figuratively speaking.

Now, we’re moving on to the Supplements and Payments sections.

1) Supplements. Not all colleges will use this section, but if they do, it will have either something simple like the CommonApp for you to fill out, or a number of essays. For example, Miami University did not have essays, but they had something for me to fill out which asked which deadline I was applying for, if I had any relatives that had attended Miami, and if I was intending on applying for the Honors program. These are all very simple and do not take a lot of time.

However, the second type of Supplement is the essay. I suggest you look into this very early on because each essay should take at least a few hours of your time. For Kenyon, I have to give them my name, if I’ve visited their college, three essays, and more. The hardest part of this type of supplement is obviously the essays, and you should be making first drafts of these essays as soon as you see them. They need special attention and if you have many, you’ll need to work ahead to stay on track with whatever deadline you’ve chosen. Make sure to get at least three people to edit!

2) The Payments section is simple. All you need is your parent, a credit card (or if you want to do the e-check, that’s fine too) and five minutes. If you or your parent has ever ordered anything online, then you will be fine.

I know that this is a short entry, but that does not mean that your movement through these steps will be similar. Your essays will take up the majority of the time you spend applying, and they will wear you out. But that’s how you’ll know you’ve done it right. So, good luck – I hope you do well on your supplement essays. 😉

The last installment of the CommonApp series will be the School Forms section. Feel free to leave a question or comment below!

Regards,

Krista

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CommonApp.Org – Part 2


Finally! I’m here to update the CommonApp series. Where we last left off, I had the Future Plans section filled out. Now, we are going to work on the rest of the sub-headings.

1) Fill out Applicant-Academics. This section is fairly self-explanatory. The information is everything within your reach – whether you go through your parents, your school, the SAT/ACT websites, or already have it. These sections are just about taking the time out of your jam-packed senior schedule to fill them out.

2) The activities sub-heading is tougher. You’re going to have to set up all of your activities in order from most important to least, and then evaluate whether you should even put it on the application. If you’ve done a lot of activities, those that you haven’t largely invested in shouldn’t be put down. It’s all about priorities in this one. If you need to, make a list of your activities and ask your school counselor for advice.

3) The writing section. Here, you will have to write a brief summary on a school activity, while also writing an essay on a topic of your choice (which is shown in the “Personal Essay” box). Essays should almost never be longer than 650 words. Those who are reading your essay are going through hundreds, if not thousands. They do not want to read a long-winded essay.  It’s up to you which is the best way to approach your essays, but make sure that you get around 1-3 people to look it over. It’s important to get opinions other than your own!

4) Finally, the “Signature” sub-heading. This is where you will learn if you’ve properly filled out your application. This will either tell you the things you’ve missed, or ask for your signature so you can finally send it off. But wait! Before sending your application off, be sure to click the “preview button” in the top right-hand corner of one of the sub-headings. You’ll want to look over your application in the format the college will see it in and make sure you’ve made no mistakes. Once you’ve looked it over multiple times, and am sure of its completion, type your name and send it off. Best wishes, I hope you got in!

Important: Some colleges require more than just the CommonApp, though. This obviously means you won’t be done and will have to check in here again to fill out the Supplements and Payments section. Stay posted for more from The College Chronicles! Feel free to leave a question or comment below!

Regards,

Krista

PS. Here is my list of colleges and deadlines:

  • Kenyon – Jan 15, RD
  • Denison – Jan 15, RD
  • Miami University, Oxford – Feb 1, RD
  • Butler – Feb 15, RD
  • Ohio Wesleyan – Mar 1, RD
  • Hanover – Mar 1, RD
  • Dayton University – Mar 1, RD

*I have taken out both University of Pittsburgh, and University of Cincinnati. I know I wouldn’t attend, even if I got in, and in that case there’s no point in applying. Also, I changed from Early Action to Regular Decision for all my colleges because I didn’t want the colleges to think that I rated them highly on my list. It was better to avoid confusion. Kenyon is no longer Early Decision because I need flexibility within the next 7 months due to my family situation. It’s unfortunate, but it’s okay to change your deadlines as long as you haven’t sent anything in that has stated a deadline!

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Hanover College


So today I visited Hanover College. The day was perfect too – sun and a constant breeze. It was a nice change. Cincy is usually stagnant and humid. Not enjoyable at all.

While the weather did affect my opinion and mood while on the college visit, I have to say there was a lot of cool stuff about Hanover. Madison, the town Hanover is in, is very similar to my home town – it’s small and very generic, but relaxed and gorgeous. What made Madison even better was the weather, better upkeep, and scenery. It has less hills, and more open field with corn and barns. Luckily though, it still has trees. I don’t think I could live in a place without trees.

One thing I enjoyed about Hanover is that it’s not smack-dab in a town, mingling with it. Hanover has its own sign that leads up into dense foliage and a winding road. It’s beautiful. Then, when you finally get to the top, you have open space with buildings and a few trees.

Anyway, no one was at Hanover besides the freshman class, but it was really nice either way. I might not have gotten to see students in their element, but I think it was easier to get around and talk and learn without everyone being extremely busy. I immediately went to the Office of Admissions, got my papers, and then (after a nosebleed) went on my tour. It all went smoothly, and I think that was great considering how nervous I was.

The tour guide was really nice (I did a one-on-one tour. I figure that’s a better way to make a statement for yourself, but also get more of your questions answered), and he did a good job of showing me the place and asking questions. The best thing about tours, though, is that you don’t have to come up with a list of questions before you go because they come to mind when walking around the campus and listening to the guide talk. I feel like, with interviews, it’s going to be harder to ask and answer questions and there would need to be preparation.

I learned a lot about the different things Hanover has: the classrooms, class sizes, main buildings, activities, and something like the essence of Hanover – which seems to be very historic. The buildings are all fairly similar, big white pillars in front, same square red building all around. It’s very pretty, despite it not being my taste.

The classrooms are also nice. I got shown the largest class – and let me tell you, it looked like it would only seat about thirty-five to forty people. Not bad. Class sizes, by the time you are a senior, are around five people. Sound fantastic enough? Yes.

Everything is actually really well renovated too. The classrooms have very nice desks, comfy chairs, and a good amount of equipment. The dorms are fairly big – bigger than Kenyon’s – and they have a nice place to do laundry that has a TV.

Activities? It seemed that Hanover is big on theater, hiking (they have their very own park on campus), basketball, football, volleyball, and maybe choir. They’re very spirited, which is nice, and I think it’s cool that they also have many bands coming into their school to do shows. Think less party school, more good-ol’-fun school.

To go back to theater and choir, when applying to Hanover, you actually are applying for scholarships which can be in theater, academics, and choir. I’m sure there’s more scholarships, but those are the ones that were mentioned to me considering I do all of those things at my high school. Overall, I think that was really important because it’s easier for the students applying. That’s less paperwork, and very exciting too. Who doesn’t want a chance to get a scholarship?

After the tour I got to sit down with the head of the Psychology department. This was good for me mostly because Psychology is such a broad subject and it’s hard to figure out what part is what you need for the job you have in mind. There’s Neuro-Psychology, which is more about studying the brain; behavior psychology, which is obviously about people, personalities, and responses to their environment; and clinical psychology, which I believe can be very close to behavior psychology if you’re going to be based in becoming an actual psychologist where you sit down and talk out emotional/mental issues.

I’ll be that last one.

The main thing I loved that the head of the department said was that at Hanover they try to get you to take a few classes of all the different types of psychology, just to make sure you get a chance to find what you really like, and then have you declare your major in your second semester of your sophomore year. Also, there is more doing of psychology as opposed to just sitting down and learning about it. Psychology, which often gives the impression of just learning about others, is taught a bit differently at Hanover in the sense that you can also get some hands on experience. There’s even a senior research project that sounds very interesting. I already know what I’ll be doing for my project about if I go there.

Overall, Hanover is probably my second choice. It didn’t get me excited and pumped for college like Kenyon did, but I could definitely see myself going there.

Hanover website.

Hanover on Collegeboard.

Regards,

Krista

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CommonApp.Org – Part 1


So, with the help of my dear friend Isabel, I learned how to work the CommonApp website. It’s safe to say that I had made using it a lot harder than it actually is. Honestly, I love the website. It makes it so much easier to know which college needs what forms, as opposed to having thousands of papers sitting in a folder at home, getting cluttered and mixed together.

Here are the steps you’ll be taking:

1) Make your screenname

2.)Add your list of colleges

3) Look over the specifics of each college – Do any of your colleges require payments? If so, which ones? For how much? Which ones require supplements? I suggest creating a table and writing all this down (with boxes to check off when something specific is completed). It’s always nice to have a hard copy of it.

4) Look at the subheading Future Plans (under the Common App heading) for each college and fill it out. You have to fill this section out separately for each college because each one has multiple deadlines that you’ll have to decide between.

  • Early Decision – sent in early and is binding. If you get into a college under this deadline, you’re obligated to go here.
  • Early Action – sent in early, but is not binding.
  • Regular Decision – is not sent in early, and is also not binding.

Now, with all these different deadlines to choose from – and with multiple colleges – it can be a bit daunting to decide which one you want to send in when. You don’t know how busy your senior year will be, and you definitely don’t want to overload yourself. So what I did was write down each college with all the different deadlines next to it.

  • Kenyon – Nov 15, 2010(ED1)/Jan 15, 2011(ED2)/Jan 15, 2011(RD)*
  • Butler – Nov 15, 2010(EA1)/Jan 15, 2011(EA2)/Feb 15, 2011(RD)
  • Denison – Nov 15, 2010(ED1)/Jan 15, 2011(ED2)/Jan 15, 2011(RD)*
  • Hanover – Dec 1, 2010(EA)/Mar 1, 2011(RD)
  • Miami – Nov 1, 2010(ED)/Dec 1, 2010(EA)/Feb 1, 2011(RD)
  • University of Dayton – Dec 15,2010(EA)/Mar 1, 2011(RD)

I know that I want to go to Kenyon if I get in, so I obviously picked an Early Decision deadline (which also meant that I only had one option for Denison’s deadline, Regular Decision.)

  • Kenyon – Nov 15, 2010(ED)
  • Denison – Jan 15, 2011(RD)

But after that, it was mostly about preference. It all depends on what kind of person you are, how you live your life, and how many colleges you’re applying to.

  • Kenyon – Nov 15, 2010(ED)
  • Butler – Nov 15, 2010(EA1)
  • Miami – Dec 1, 2010(EA)
  • UD – Dec 15, 2010(EA)
  • Denison – Jan 15, 2011(RD)
  • Hanover – Mar 1, 2011(RD)

*Both Early Decision II and Regular Decision had the same date.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

At this point, I’m going to mention that two of my colleges – University of Cincinnati and University of Pittsburgh – are Rolling Admissions. As far as I can tell, it means that you can apply at any time, but they don’t accept if you don’t qualify or if the class has filled up. Now, because of this, many applicants are often wait-listed. I don’t want this to happen, and I’m sure no one else does, because you can never be a good judge of whether you’ll get into the other colleges or not. So, the best bet is to get the applications in early. For me, I’m going to try to get those two applications in around the same time as Kenyon and Butler. Although, if I find I really need to, I can always push it back.

Last note – neither UC or U. of Pitt were a part of the Common App website. I’m not sure if it’s because they’re Rolling Admissions, but this means that you’ll have to go to their own website and make an account there and apply. It’s basically the same as the Common App website, so far as I can tell. I’ll make a post if anything of importance comes up with these two applications.

Stay posted for the next installment – and feel free to leave a question or comment below!

Regards,

Krista

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College Visits – Junior Day at Kenyon


Hey, remember this list?

  • College search
  • Applying to colleges
  • Denison visit
  • Hanover visit
  • Miami visit (added after the last post)
  • Overnight at Kenyon
  • Scholarship search
  • Read Angela’s Ashes & The Kite Runner
  • Do homework that corresponds with above books
  • Work on a poster for Freshman mentoring
  • Get a physical
  • Tennis conditioning & practices
  • ACT Prep
  • ACT – Sept 11
  • SAT – Oct 9
  • Sign up for online college classes
  • Start volunteering
  • Shadow at a library
  • Write a 2500-word story

Basically, as soon as I have a definite date and time for something, I cross it off. It doesn’t matter if I’ve haven’t completed it yet because the task is as good as done if it’s made its way into my cell phone calendar. Or, at the very least I’ve done the first date that it requires. For example, both the ACT Prep and the Tennis practices have multiple dates. I’ve gone to the first ACT Prep class and the first tennis practice a while ago, so I got to cross them off.

So, now onto the actual interesting part. I’ve set up all of my college visits – Kenyon, Denison, Hanover, and Miami. Kenyon is the only one that I’m doing an overnight stay at and I have to say that I’m just ecstatic about it. This is my chance to see what it’s really like on that campus. The visits to Denison, Hanover, and Miami are just tours – Denison and Hanover being individual visits. I think that means it’ll be just me and my mom being led around, which is awkward but worth it. If you have the chance I think it’s best to just get as close as you can to your guide – whoever that may be.

When I had been at Junior Day for Kenyon, I was fortunate enough to get a guide all to myself. I got to talk one-on-one with the guide and get a deeper look into the students at Kenyon. Since it was just me, my sister, and my mom, the guide got to talk to us while also interacting with his campus the way he normally would when walking with a friend.

I’m almost positive that the wave he had given to a professor wouldn’t have been done if he had twenty teenagers and parents squabbling around him. Many will say that the wave doesn’t mean a thing, but it does. If he hadn’t waved at the professor, I wouldn’t have noticed her. And if I hadn’t noticed her, I wouldn’t have seen her and her bright smile walking with two other students, chatting as if the dismal weather that day meant nothing.

For many, a big campus is okay and maybe that wave would’ve been pointless for them. For me, however, I thrive when I know every single person I’m around.

Regards,

Krista

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Online Applications


Any current student applying for college knows doing so online is probably easiest. Online applications are free, and my generation is computer savvy and obviously knows how to fill out an online application.

Wrong. I do not have the slightest inkling on how to fill out an online application – and everything is so confusing and frustrating that I might as well just pay the 50 dollars and send in a paper application.

First of all, I’ve signed up for an account on the Common App site…and I’m definitely confused. I added Kenyon to my list of colleges on the website, and I started filling out the stuff it told me to but I’m still lost. Is that all I need to fill out? What about the supplement application – is that going to be on the website too? If not, how do I send them together? Where do I send them to?

And then, there’s more questions. I downloaded the complete first-year application off the Common App website. Did I even need to? If I did, how am I supposed to be filling it out? I don’t know how to work Adobe or any similar program.

So, are the Adobe version of the application and the pieces that I’m filling out on the website the same application, or not?

My brain: WTF?

Regards,

Krista

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OhMyGosh


I’m officially back in Ohio. I’m not too happy about it – I have about a thousand cons and a few pros. My number one pro? I get to sleep in my own fantastic bed.

Cons/To-do-list:

  • College search
  • Applying to colleges
  • Denison visit
  • Hanover visit
  • Overnight at Kenyon
  • Scholarship search
  • Read Angela’s Ashes & The Kite Runner
  • Do homework that corresponds with above books
  • Work on a poster for Freshman mentoring
  • Get a physical
  • Tennis conditioning & practices
  • ACT Prep
  • ACT – Sept 11
  • SAT – Oct 9
  • Sign up for online college classes
  • Start volunteering
  • Shadow at a library
  • Write a 2500-word story

And almost all of this has to be done within the next 25 days. It’s not just a self-imposed goal, sadly. School starts in 25 days, and I have so many school-related tasks I think I’m going to burst.

Or have my head explode like it did when I left the theater showing Inception – but that’s a different story.

Oh, and I guess I can make another list here, despite how long the above one is. I need to show how quickly my list of colleges to apply to has changed.

  • Kenyon College
  • Denison University
  • Hanover College
  • Miami University: Oxford Campus
  • Ohio State University: Columbus Campus
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Dayton
  • University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg

I’m hoping that I’ll stick to this list, but I’ll have to continue to look over them and make sure that these are the ones I want to apply to. Although, I know that truthfully, I only want to apply to one college for sure.

The other colleges that I had typed out in my original post – Fairleigh Dickinson, Wittenberg, College of Idaho, and Syracuse – I couldn’t remember when I listed colleges I was interested in. When I finally realized that, I had to simply admit their lack of importance to me and take them off the list.

Hopefully I’m right about my interest in Hanover and Denison – I’ll write about how the visits went when I get around to making them happening.

As of now, however, I’ve got to go begin the Early Decision 1 application process for Kenyon. Wish me luck!

Regards,

Krista

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