Working Effectively With Your High School On All Your Application Details
Working with College MatchPoint will complement the support that your high school offers, but you will still need to meet with your school guidance counselor and follow any college application procedures that your high school has in place. We do not generally have any contact with your school, so you are responsible for the following:
Recommendation Letters: Students are responsible for asking your teachers to write letters, as well as for making sure they are delivered to the appropriate schools on time. This includes asking your guidance counselor to write any letters that he/she may be responsible for. Many high schools have very specific guidelines and timeframes for recommendation letters. In general, you should give teachers 3-4 weeks to write a letter. Most teachers will want some type of information (resume or “brag” sheet) that will help guide their letter writing.
The most important piece of advice is this: follow your high school's procedures. If the instructions seem unclear at all, call the high school guidance department to get more information. Many high schools will not send recs until both the parent and the student have completed a brag sheet.
In general, most students need two teacher recs. Ideally, the recs are from junior year, with one from math or science and one from history or English. If the student is applying to private colleges, a third rec can be helpful. Typically, the third rec is from an internship or job supervisor, a club sponsor, coach/choir director/band director, or community service director. It is the student's responsibility to ask for the rec and to follow up with the teacher or other recommender on the rec. Most teachers require 3-4 weeks to complete recs. There will likely be some colleges on your student's list that only want one rec (or possibly none). We typically suggest that, for the sake of ease, you send all recs to all schools.
Ordering Transcripts: Your guidance department will likely have a specific procedure to follow (or form to fill out) to request transcripts, so make sure you know how to get copies of your grades sent to every college that needs them. Transcripts must be sent directly from your high school. For schools that use Naviance, transcript orders are typically made through this online system. Most high schools will not send transcripts until the beginning of September, so we encourage students to request these immediately after the fall semester begins. Don’t wait until the guidance office is facing a backlog!
Test Scores: Once you are done taking standardized tests, you can go ahead and send your test best scores to the colleges. Remember that you MUST send the test scores by the application deadline for each college. You do not need to send both SAT and ACT. Only send the test that you scored highest on. You must order scores online directly through the College Board or the ACT websites--again, watch your deadlines!