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  • Application Workshop

    Application Workshops:

    • Session one: Sunday, August 28 | 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. | Location: Library | 2nd floor computer lab 
    • Session two: Sunday, September 11 | 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. | Location: Library |  2nd floor computer lab 

    Common Application:

  • Senior College Counseling Colloquium

    • College Research Resources

      Often, we end our meetings with students with, "Go research these schools and see what you think."

      You may be left thinking, "Huh? Where do I start?"

      The "College Research Grid" (below) will help you begin. If you can manage to complete one of these for each school that you're considering, you'll be in really good shape. You may also wish to generate your own grid based on the things you care most about in your college search.

      Remember that there are many, many resources out there to help you learn about colleges. You must use a discerning eye and some good old-fashioned critical thinking to determine the quality and value of information presented. Some resources we like:

      • The college website: Much of the information in the grid can be discovered within an institution's site.  Although it may not seem very interesting, a college's Course Catalog often provides helpful information about the kinds of classes you must take as part of the core or General Education requirements, as well as giving you detailed information on the courses you'll take to complete a major. Likewise, a calendar of events on campus will clue you in as to what's happening for students and the community. 

      • Students enrolled at the school. Remember you're receiving information from a particular viewpoint, but a tour guide or friend enrolled at a college can probably give you solid insight into the accessibility of faculty, what's going on on the weekends, and the ease of registration or other processes for students.

      • For overviews or characterizations of campus:

      Another interesting way of thinking about college is presented by the Gallup-Purdue Index (below), which emphasizes those factors about a college which are likely to lead to its graduates' future job and life satisfaction. You might consider assessing your college list in light of those standards.

    • College Visit Resources

      Here, you will find various guides to help you as you think about what to look for during campus visits (see attachments at bottom of page).  It is important to clarify for yourself what information you would most like to gain while visiting; these resources may help you in  doing that.

      Our #1 tip for visits: Take a few minutes as you are leaving campus to make note of your thoughts about the place; you may want to do this before you speak to anyone, including parents, about the visit.  Keep a set of notes for each campus and record your immediate impressions and the things that stand out most to you--you will need this later on when visits begin blurring together or you're asked to write an essay about why you'd like to attend the place.

      College counselors may cringe when you say: 

      "I didn't like my tour guide."  It's a legitimate complaint, but it's also important to remember that your tour guide is just one student among many.  Perhaps your tour guide had a big test that day, or was having a roommate issue, or was really tired. Can you look past the tour guide to try to get a glimpse of student and academic culture of the school you're visiting and whether it's a match for you? If your tour guide isn't doing much for you, it's even more important to look around at other students - do they look happy? what are they doing? are they people who seem interesting to you? are they people with whom you'd like to take part in a class discussion ?

      "It was just like Baylor."  Hmmmm.  It is pretty unlikely that the school you've visited is a carbon copy of Baylor. What about the school reminds you of Baylor--is it the brick architecture? the size of the campus? the size of the student body? the close relationships between people on campus? the cozy feeling? It is important for you to think about the qualities of your high school experience that you would like to replicate or avoid in your college experience and be cognizant of those when visiting a school, rather than immediately writing a place off because it reminds you of Baylor (which, incidentally, is likely to have been a place you really love!).

    • Communicating with College Representatives

      During the year, you will have opportunities to correspond with admission representatives from colleges and universities at college fairs, university-sponsored events, and at colleges’ visits to Baylor’s campus. To make the most of these opportunities, it is a good idea to have an idea what to say to them, and how to say it. 

      The attachment entitled "Communicating with College Representatives" covers key points for talking with college admissions folks, both in person and via email. It also includes a list of questions to consider asking when you approach an admissions representative at a college fair or when they visit Baylor.

      **If you don't believe us about the importance of writing email in proper format, take a look at the attached article, written by college professors, for advice on emailing them.**

    • Naviance

      Naviance is your go-to for managing your college application process. 

      You can get to it from here. Your sign-in is most likely your Baylor email address and your password is one that you chose. If you have trouble accessing your Naviance page, please stop by our office.

      As you move through your college search, you should be using Naviance to:
      • Keep the list of colleges you're thinking about.
      • Research the admissions statistics and information about those colleges.
      • Track tasks assigned to you by the college counseling office, like completing surveys or attending events.
      • Keep the list of colleges you're actually applying to.
      • Keep up with deadlines.
      • Request transcripts for applications.
      • Record admissions decisions from colleges.

      There are a few other things you can do in Naviance that you might not know about:

      • Keep a 'to-do' list for yourself.
      • Research careers.
      • Check the outcomes of your Strengths Explorer survey.

      Keeping Naviance up-to-date will make your process flow much more smoothly.

      • Self-Assessment

        Understanding yourself is essential to the college search process, but it's easier said than done. There are aspects of yourself you may not have given much thought to until now, but asking yourself the right questions and really thinking through the answers is one of the best starting points for exploring colleges.  How else will you know what to look for in a college environment?  This page includes links and resources to help as you learn more about yourself and begin to clarify the things that are most important to you in a college. We would recommend trying one survey from the 'Personality and Strengths' category and one from the 'College and Learning Preferences' category.

        Personality and Strengths:

        The Myers-Briggs type indicator is one of the most famous personality tests of all time. It maps your personality on four scales, including Introversion vs. Extraversion, Thinking vs. Feeling, etc.  This is a good starting point for clarifying your preferences in life and your values in interacting with others.  Try this link for a very thorough assessment.

        The Strengths Explorer assessment is available to you through Naviance and helps you identify your three greatest strengths when it comes to learning and behavior.  When you take the assessment in Naviance, you'll also receive a detailed report about what to make of the results.  Most of you will have done this in 10th grade, but it's worth taking the time to go back and look over your results!

        The VIA Institute on Character's Character Strengths assessment takes 10-15 minutes and will provide you with a list of your character strengths ranked. It is a helpful way to think about what you are good at and what skills you want to learn or utilize during the college search process.

        College and Learning Preferences:

        The Fiske Guide to Colleges offers the "Sizing Yourself Up" questionnaire (attached below), which many students have found helpful in the past.  It helps you think through how you like to learn, what kind of students you like to be around, and what kind of setting you imagine yourself inhabiting.  Highly recommended.

        Though their college ranking system is somewhat dubious, U.S. News and World Report does provide a pretty thorough "College Personality Quiz" that will help you think through many facets of the college experience. Why not give it a try?

      • Stress

        Everyone experiences stress in high school (and beyond).  It's important to learn to recognize when you are experiencing stress and to develop some tools for managing it before you get to college. Here are some of our favorite resources for learning about handling stress.

        Personal Guide to Managing Stress from Fostering Resilience 
        Massachusetts Medical Society's Tips on Managing Daily Stress
        Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents by Reid Wilson and Lynn Lyons

        • Working with College Counseling

          The College Counselors meet in groups with 9th and 10th graders during Colloquium.  Juniors are assigned a college counselor in December and begin one-on-one meetings with their counselors in January.

          This is the document our office hands out to 11th graders as they enter the college counseling process (attached below). It is a good idea to remind yourself periodically of these important points, including who is responsible for what:

          Your responsibilities as an Applicant:

          What you can expect from your Counselor:

          What you can expect from the   

          Office of College Counseling:


          ·     Take ownership of your college search.

          ·     Be aware of and meet application, financial aid, and scholarship deadlines.Naviance can help you with this!

          ·     Be informed about every school on your list. Know why you’re applying to each school and be responsible in your research.

          ·     Keep Naviance up-to-date.

          ·     Request transcripts for applications, coaches, and scholarships through Naviance well in advance of deadlines (12th grade)

          ·     Order score reports from ACT or College Board (SAT) by logging into your account.  We cannot send these to your colleges for you (12th grade).

          ·     Ask questions when you don’t understand something.



          ·   Guidance and support throughout the process.  We chose to be college counselors because we like helping students! Please take advantage of the resources our office provides to you.

          ·   Help building your college list.  We use our knowledge and experience to make recommendations so that your list is comprehensive and balanced. 

          ·   An open door and an open mind.  Support for every student and acknowledgement of each student as an individual with a unique personality, talents, background, and interests. We are always willing to listen to any question, frustration, fear, success or disappointment.

          ·   Honesty.  Data and experience help your college counselor understand which colleges and universities are realistic choices and which might or might not be a good fit. Be prepared to receive honest feedback from us with respect to your list, and remember that this is not a judgment of your intelligence, talent, or value as a human being.



          ·   Information about events and deadlines. Remember to check your email and your Class Folder regularly.

          ·   Timely transmission of your transcript and letters of recommendation when you make your request through Naviance by our office’s deadlines (12thgrade).

          ·   Opportunities to connect with colleges through college visits to Baylor, the annual College Fair, College Forum, Case Studies Program and other events.  Please take advantage of these opportunities to meet and talk with admissions counselors.

          ·   Up-to-date knowledge and information.  We visit college campuses regularly and attend conferences with other college and admissions counselors.  This enables us to provide you with updated information and well-informed opinions of colleges and universities you may be considering.




        • Resumes

          Many colleges will ask you to upload a resume of activities as part of their application.  Please see the attached items for more on what information to include on a resume and how to format one. Your college counselor is happy to work with you on putting a resume together!

        • Testing

          Which Test to Take, And When?

          Baylor's Office of College Counseling encourages students to begin taking the ACT and/or SAT during their junior year, and to complete standardized testing during the first semester of senior year. It is helpful for students to talk with a college counselor about which standardized tests they should take and when they should take them. All 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students will take the PSAT during a school day in October (and will be automatically registered for it by Baylor).



          SAT Subject Tests and Who Requires Them

          TOEFL (for non-native English speakers)

          Test Registration:

          Our office offers optional test registration mornings in November to juniors. These are helpful to students setting up ACT or College Board accounts for the first time, or for students who have questions about test-taking.  Instructions for establishing accounts and registering for tests is attached below.

          Test Preparation:

          Test preparation is another topic we receive many questions about.  There are a range of resources available to help students practice and prepare for standardized tests, some free, some quite expensive.  Your family will need to consider cost, format, and time commitment when assessing test preparation options.  Baylor offers some standardized test preparation through Colloquium during the spring of 11th grade. There are countless test prep books available via Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other booksellers. Other resources:

          Khan Academy: Offers free preparation materials for the SAT

          River City Workshops: A local program offering one-on-one and small group test tutoring, as well as group preparation classes.

 Free SAT and ACT preparation.

          Prep Factory: Free SAT and ACT preparation.

        • Helpful Blog Posts

          We find that admissions offices usually have very helpful blogs that give great advice for students going through the college search and selection process. Check these out.

          University of Richmond

          Georgia Tech