School Counseling » Junior & Senior Class College Information

Junior & Senior Class College Information

Hello junior & senior students! On this page, you will find an extensive amount of information to help guide you along the way in your college admission process.
  • During our group college counseling sessions in the winter of junior year and fall of senior year, we will discuss all of the information below. As you navigate your own individual process and begin to identify the right fit to particular colleges and universities, you will discuss these finer points during one-on-one meetings with your counselor. 
  • In your individual meetings with your counselor, we encourage you to discuss all aspects of your college admission process including such topics as building your senior year course schedule or drafting a list of prospective college options. While your counselor will set regular meetings with you, please feel free to request a meeting with your counselor at any time.
  • As a complement to your group and individual meetings, please keep an eye out for updates and information that are regularly posted in your class’s School Counseling Google Classroom page.
  • While the amount of information found on this page may feel overwhelming, it can be helpful to break down the college admission process into four different stages. If you are able to focus your energies on one stage at a time, it can make the process feel much more manageable. 
    • Search - Junior Year
      • Primarily completing online research & conducting on-campus visits; Expanding your list of potential colleges
    • Application - Summer & Fall of Senior Year
      • Narrowing down your college choices; Drafting & submitting your application materials
    • Decision - Spring of Senior Year
      • Receiving decision letters from colleges and identifying your top 2-3 college choices; Having discussions regarding finances with your family and applying for scholarships; Ultimately choosing the college where you will enroll
    • Transition - Summer Leading into Freshman Year of College
      • Preparing for your move to your college campus; Registering for courses and orientation

All of the information below is listed in alphabetical order.

    • Early Action (I and II) - typically around November 1st
      • Applications are submitted by the earliest deadline and the college sends you their decision earlier (typically mid/late December). You are not bound to enroll at the college if you apply EA and have until May 1 to decide which school you’d like to attend.
    • Restrictive Early Action - typically around November 1st
      • You apply to your school of choice and get an early decision letter, but still without a binding commitment to attend. REA schools restrict applicants from applying to any other institutions via Early Action or Early Decision plan. These early options can be confusing—some schools even have more than one of these options— talk to your counselor if there’s anything you don’t understand. One common exception is that some private institutions (who offer REA) may allow you to also apply to one public institution within your home state.
    • Early Decision (I and II) - typically around November 1st
      • ED is a contract between you and the college; you are contractually bound to enroll at that institution if you are admitted. Because of this commitment, you can apply Early Decision to only one institution. If you’re still comparing colleges and don’t want to limit your choices yet, Early Decision is not for you. Some schools have both an ED and an EDII plan. You can apply via EDII if you are deferred or denied at your EDI school or if you just haven’t made up your mind before the EDI deadline. Both ED and EDII can both provide a competitive advantage in the admission process, but only if you are otherwise academically within the range of students who are generally admitted to that school.
    • Regular Decision - typically around January 15th
      • Applications are submitted by the college’s standard deadline, and you receive your decision letter by a specified date (typically mid/late March).
    • Rolling - typically ranging from August through July
      • Institutions review applications as they’re received and make decisions throughout the admission cycle. Some schools are able to make admission decisions within 2-3 weeks, while others may take 6-8 weeks - this varies by institution. It is usually wise to send your application sooner rather than later as schools can often become more selective in their admission process as they get closer to building their class.
    • Direct Admission
      • Direct Admission is a process where colleges make offers of admission, often with financial aid, to students without requiring them to go through a lengthy admissions process first. Under the direct admissions approach, a college makes an offer of admission before a student has even applied, if they meet certain academic and, sometimes, demographic requirements. In some cases, all a student has to do is graduate from high school. In other cases, students have to achieve a certain GPA or score on the ACT or SAT. Most colleges and universities to offer Direct Admission are nonselective, regional institutions. For more information, check out How Common App Direct Admission Works.
    • Admit
      • Commonly referred to as “Accepted”, you have been invited to the incoming class at that school. Congratulations, this is great news!
    • Defer
      • Think of a deferral as a decision letter indicating that the admission committee simply needs more information. More often than not, a college will be looking to see your midyear grades as well as where you may stack up within the greater context of the applicant pool (once the regular decision applications are reviewed). If more documents are required, a college will specify that in their letter - do not feel obligated to send additional letters of recommendation or an updated resume.
    • Waitlist
      • If you receive an admission letter indicating that you have been placed on the waitlist, it may often be accompanied by a card or link to a website through which students indicate their desire to remain on the active waitlist. Schools will turn to their waitlists if they need to fill their incoming class in any number of different ways. In most cases, schools will not begin to pull from their waitlist until after May 1, after they know how many of their accepted applicants plan to enroll. Waitlist activity varies from school to school and from year to year and can sometimes extend into the summer months.
    • Deny
      • Commonly referred to as “Rejected”, a denial letter means that you have not (and will not) be admitted to the institution. These decision letters are final. In some rare instances, a school may have an appeals process but, more often than not, denial decisions are not overturned. If you are an EA or ED applicant and are denied, you are not allowed to re-apply.
In the late spring of your junior year and in the fall of your senior year, our English Department works with all students on their personal statements (commonly known as the College Essay). In addition to writing multiple drafts, we also recommend that all students have at least one rough draft written by September 1st. Brainstorming a topic can often be a challenge for students - for inspiration, check out the Common App Essay Prompts. Have multiple people (teacher, counselor, parent, sibling, friend) read your statement and be sure to pay attention to detail when editing your final draft.
Juniors and seniors may request an excused absence for college visitations, up to a maximum of three for the academic year. For a one day visit, parents email the Attendance Office ([email protected]) and copy the student’s guidance counselor prior to the visit. When the student returns, proof of attendance is given to the guidance counselor. Failure to present verification will result in academic and disciplinary consequences, the absence will be considered unexcused, and make-up privileges may be forfeited. Any college visitation that requires more than one consecutive school day should follow the same guidelines as Anticipated Absences.
  • The vast majority of seniors will likely be applying to at least one institution via the Common App
  • After August 1st during the summer of your senior year, you can begin working on your Common App (and we strongly encourage you to do so!).
  • Click Here to Create Your Common App Account
  • GPA is reported on an unweighted 4.0 scale. We do not report a weighted GPA to colleges or outside agencies.
  • Class Rank is reported by decile (every 10%). This is a weighted rank. Class Rank is not calculated until the fall of junior year.
  • Contact your counselor for your updated GPA, Class Rank, and Class Size.
  • Students can begin requesting letters of recommendation as early as June of the junior year and during the summer months leading into senior year. It is best practice to formally request a letter of recommendation from your teacher in-person. The vast majority of students should plan to request letters of recommendation during September & October of their senior year. *N.B. - If you ask for a letter of recommendation in the spring/summer, unless you have a specific summer deadline, teachers and counselors are not expected to draft and submit their letters until the return of school in September.
  • All students will receive a letter of recommendation from their school counselor. Students should also plan to ask two teachers for a letter of recommendation. In some special circumstances, only one teacher letter OR more than two teacher letters could be appropriate. In either case, speak to your counselor for advice first. Requesting a letter of recommendation from an outside resource (coach, pastor, employer, etc.) can be appropriate and beneficial if that person can paint you in a different light compared to your counselor or teacher(s).
  • To request Teacher Recommendations within Naviance
    • Go to: Colleges > Apply to College > Letters of Recommendation
    • Search for your teachers by using the “Add Request” button, select “General Request” (unless it is a letter that is being directly addressed to a specific institution (typically a teacher’s alma mater)), then click “Submit Request.”
    • You do not need to submit a formal request for your counselor letter within Naviance.
    • *Be sure to ask your teachers (in person or via email) and receive confirmation from them prior to adding them as recommenders on Naviance.*
  • Former Bishop Feehan teachers (retired or working at a new school) should still be accessible in the teacher list - if not, contact your counselor.
  • All outside (non-teacher) recommendations can either be shared with your counselor and forwarded to the institution OR can be uploaded directly to the Common App.
  • A Hand-Written Thank You Note is greatly appreciated by all recommenders - be sure to write one for all of your teachers!
A word about reported “missing” or “lost” documents from colleges: First, don’t panic. Colleges receive thousands of documents in bulk during their respective application cycles. Many times, they may write to students, or send automated emails, reporting that documents are missing. Oftentimes, the documents are in their office, but they have not yet been opened, downloaded, logged into their computer system, paired with your application file, etc. If this is the case, students should contact the school’s Office of Admission directly and ask them to double check their records. If documents still have not been received or are indeed missing, please contact your School Counselor.
  • Students Login Here
  • Highlighted features to use
    • Future Planning (Home Page)
    • SuperMatch College Search (Colleges > Find Your Fit)
    • Scattergrams (Colleges > Find Your Fit)
    • College Maps (Colleges > Research Colleges)
    • Career Interest Profiler (Self-Discovery)
    • Explore Careers, Clusters & Pathways (Careers > Career Exploration)
    • Colleges I’m Thinking About (Colleges > Research Colleges)
    • Colleges I’m Applying To (Colleges > Apply to College)
  • When applying to colleges via Common App, be sure to Match Accounts (Colleges > Apply to College > Colleges I’m Applying To); In order to do so, you must first complete your high school information (under the Education section) and the FERPA Release Authorization (under the My Colleges tab) within Common App.
  • Create, update, save and share your resume directly within Naviance (About Me > Documents & Notes).
  • Drafting a resume via Google Docs or Microsoft Word (and saving as a PDF) is perfectly acceptable, as well.
  • If you’ve already created a resume for job applications, you may certainly use that for the purposes of college applications and teacher recommendations.
  • If you have a resume specifically for the Fine or Performing Arts, you may either draft a second resume with such things as school activities, service work, and employment history, or you can just add content to your pre-existing resume.
List of Current Test Optional Institutions - FairTest
  • *For use only by seniors and senior parents*
  • Please fill out the Google Forms below at the beginning of your senior year. Your responses will help complement your resume as your counselor drafts your letter of recommendation.
  • *College Transcript Information - Required by all senior students applying to college*
    • Transcript Request Form - Commonly referred to as “Green Sheets”, hard copies of this document can be found in the lobby area of the school counseling office. Counselors require that these forms (one for each college) be submitted by students either in-person or via email TWO WEEKS PRIOR TO YOUR APPLICATION DEADLINE.  
    • First Quarter Reports, Midyear Reports, and Final Reports will be sent out to colleges automatically. Q1 & MY Reports will go to all colleges to which you’ve applied within Naviance and are typically sent approximately 3 weeks after the close of a quarter. Final Reports are sent to the college where you will be matriculating and are sent approximately two weeks after graduation.
For all other transcript requests, please fill out this Google Form.