Application Materials

Applications usually consist of a number of different forms, each of which must be at least partially filled out by you. Some of them must then be given to other people for completion. Here are instructions for completing these forms.

I. College List Forms

The Ramaz College Office requires students to submit a list of the schools to which they intend to apply, signed by a parent. College List forms are available in the College Office. As the advisers will submit supporting credentials through Scoir, the college list is essential for the advisers to accurately keep track of students' applications and to process supporting materials on time.

Students planning to meet any November deadline, whether it is early decision, early action, priority, or rolling, must submit the Early College List form by Tuesday, September 29, 2020. All applicants must submit the regular College List form for all their schools (including the early schools) by Thursday, October 29, 2020. While these lists may be revised if necessary, it may be difficult to ensure timely processing if colleges are added after these deadlines listed below.

  • The Early College List form must be submitted to the College Office by Tuesday, September 29, 2020.
  • The regular College List form must be submitted to the College Office by Thursday, October 29, 2020.

II. Completing Your Personal Part of the Application

Recently, a group of colleges and universities created an organization called the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success. They also created a new application called the Coalition Application. Like the Common Application, the Coalition streamlines the college application process by allowing students to use their application form to apply to multiple schools. The Coalition serves many schools where Ramaz students often apply, including, but not limited to:

Albany

American

U of Arizona

Babson

Binghamton

Buffalo

U of Chicago

Columbia

Cornell

Emory

Franklin & Marshall

Harvard

Indiana

Johns Hopkins

U of Maryland*

U of Michigan

U of Pennsylvania

U of Pittsburgh

Princeton

U of Rochester

Rutgers New Brunswick

Vanderbilt

Washington University

Yale

* The University of Maryland, College Park ONLY accepts the Coalition Application. Therefore, if you applying to Maryland using their Priority deadline (and we strongly advise all students use that deadline), and your other early decision/action school(s) use Coalition, you might choose to skip the Common App and only complete the Coalition App.

  1. Make sure that you proofread very carefully before submitting your application.

  2. Read all the instructions carefully. If you are asked to restrict yourself to a particular space or particular number of words, do so. Remember that the Common Application has firm limits: The personal statement must be at least 250 words and no more than 650. You will have 150 characters (including spaces) to describe each of your extracurricular activities. You may upload from your computer or from a Google Drive account.
  3. The Coalition Application strongly recommends that the personal essay be no longer than 550 words. It does not specifically limit the number of characters a student may use to describe an extracurricular activity. Instead, it asks for a “brief one sentence” description.
  4. The personal essay is probably the most important, and certainly the most time-consuming, section of this part of the application. Start early!
  5. Keep a list handy of the standard information that almost every school requires. Take time to find the most honest, yet impressive way of listing your extracurricular activities and work, volunteer, and travel experiences.
  6. Some Common App colleges – and all Coalition App colleges – require you to self-report your courses and grades from all years of high school. If this is the case, follow instructions carefully. Ask your adviser for help and for a student copy of your transcript for reference.

  7. If you are asked to list your senior courses, remember to list all of them, including Judaic and General Studies. Describe your Honors courses as "Full Year."

III. Early Decision Agreement

If you choose to apply Early Decision to a school, you must indicate that you agree to be bound by the ED guidelines (that you will enroll there if admitted and withdraw other applications).

On the Common Application, this ED Agreement requires multiple steps:

  • In the “My Colleges” tab, open the “Questions” section for your ED school. In the "General" section, for “Preferred admission plan,” select “Early Decision.” Also check “Yes” in the box to say you understand the Early Decision Process and type your name in the “ED Signature” box.
  • In the “Recommenders and FERPA” section, complete the FERPA Release Authorization. Next, scroll down to “Parent,” and “invite” one of your parents to be a recommender, and click the red “Assign” button to send instructions to your parent by email. Remind your parent to electronically sign using the link provided by email. Your ED application will be incomplete without this!
  • Your college adviser will sign the ED Agreement electronically.

On the Coalition Application, the ED Agreement is a downloadable form. Colleges include it at different stages of their application, so keep filling in information until you reach the form, or download it here.

  • You must sign it yourself, obtain a parent signature, and then obtain your college adviser's signature.
  • Next, scan the form or take a picture with your smartphone and upload the document as instructed.

IV. Sending Your Standardized Test Results

It is the individual student's responsibility to have his or her SAT, Subject Tests, or ACT test results officially sent to colleges. Students must login and schedule the College Board (SAT) or the American College Testing Program (ACT) to send score reports to the colleges involved.

As part of your online registration for the ACT or SAT, you can request that your test scores be sent to the colleges you list. You may wish to choose this option when you register for your last standardized test as four college notifications will be included at no extra cost. However, colleges will receive these scores at the same time you do, so you won't be able to view them beforehand. For a fee, you can order score reports from the website. Consult your college adviser about optimal timing.

Allow as much as three weeks for colleges to receive your scores after you request them online. Familiarize yourself with colleges' policies.

It is imperative to save all score reports, correspondence, and acknowledgements of sent scores that you receive from SAT or ACT.

Some colleges permit students to self-report test scores either by entering scores in the appropriate section on the application or by uploading or emailing a PDF of the score report. Check and follow the instructions for each school to which you are applying.

Again, Ramaz will not forward standardized test results to colleges. Only the student is authorized to release these scores.

V. School Report / Counselor Recommendation Form

Your college adviser will submit your School Report and transcript to colleges, meeting the appropriate deadline for each of your schools. Advisers will know your application deadlines by the Early College List and the regular College List you will submit by September 29 / October 29 (see above).

College advisers will submit School Reports for state school applications by the early (priority) deadlines, even for those students applying early decision elsewhere, so as not to jeopardize chances for admission. Materials for Early Action applications will also be sent by the EA deadlines. Be sure to tell your adviser any decisions you receive. Students admitted under binding early decision plans must immediately withdraw all other applications by writing to each college.

  • For Non-Common Application Schools: As long as you have included the colleges on your Early or regular College Lists, your adviser will submit your transcript along with a School Report on your behalf with the exception of City University (CUNY).
  • USE THE CUNY APPLICATION TO APPLY TO ANY CUNY COLLEGE. Some CUNY colleges permit students to apply through the Common Application. However, CUNY’s system processes these applications with extreme delays. The Ramaz College Office strongly urges all students to use the CUNY online application form.
    Students request counselor and teacher recommendations within the CUNY application. Your adviser will email your transcript and recommendation to CUNY after receiving that request. We strongly encourage you to submit the CUNY application early - in September or October.

VI. Teacher Recommendation Forms

  1. In-house teacher reports are not forwarded to colleges by the College Office. In the fall, you must formally ask the same or different teachers to write directly to the colleges for you. If you haven't already done so, consult with your college adviser about whom to ask for teacher recommendations. Check your applications for instructions regarding the number of teacher recommendations required and whether the recommendations must be given to a teacher of a particular discipline (humanities, sciences, math, etc.). So long as such requirements are fulfilled, it is perfectly acceptable to ask the same teacher(s) to write to all colleges to which you apply.
  2. Use College Office deadlines for college list forms as a guide. For Early Decision/Action colleges, we suggest requesting teacher recommendations by September 29. We suggest requesting Regular Decision teacher letters in October. Do not delay requesting regular decision recommendations beyond November 1.
  3. Teacher recommendations will be submitted online via Scoir. Once your teachers have agreed to write to college for you, it is imperative that you inform your adviser which teacher(s) will write for you by using the appropriate form. Submit this form to your adviser by September 29 (early) or November 2 (regular).
  4. We advise asking your teacher in person to write for you, but we also advise following up with an email so the teacher can keep track. "Dear Ms. _____, thank you for agreeing to write my college recommendation. I am applying Early Decision to _____."
  5. Very important: Thank the teachers who write for you, preferably in writing, and remember to inform them of your college decisions.

VII. Senior Grades Report / Mid-Year School Report

Yes, your senior grades do count!

Particularly this year, due to the coronavirus-related education disruptions nationwide, many colleges will require official first quarter grades. As requested by the colleges, the College Office will submit letter or number grades. These grades will NOT be calculated in your GPA, but they will be an important part of your academic record that colleges review.

Ramaz will automatically send midyear or seventh term grades to all colleges to which you are applying. Colleges may request your midyear grades in January – you may disregard these requests, as the College Office will send your updated transcript after January finals.

Students who have been admitted early are expected to maintain their academic performance at a similar level. Colleges may rescind admission if a student's grades drop off significantly.

VIII. Financial Aid Forms

Do not wait until after you have been accepted to apply for financial aid! Failure to meet deadlines for financial aid applications will result in no aid for the applicant.

Check each college's website for financial aid details and deadlines. It is a good idea to try each college's Net Price Calculator before beginning the financial aid process. This can give you an estimate of the college's cost for your family. Scoir also provides parents with a cost estimator tool.

Students applying for financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is available online: www.fafsa.ed.gov. The FAFSA will be available October 1. Aid applicants may also have to complete the College Scholarship Service's (CSS) Profile Form (application available online at https://student.collegeboard.org/css-financial-aid-profile) in addition to the FAFSA and whatever other forms the individual colleges may request.

Be aware that some colleges require applicants to fill out financial aid forms early in order to be considered for merit awards, as well as need-based aid. Some colleges require the application to be submitted earlier than the regular deadline, often by December 1, in order to be considered for merit scholarships.

Some schools have their own financial aid form that is part of the application. If you intend to apply for financial aid, you should complete this form and submit it with your application.

Please note: Early Decision applicants must also file early for financial aid. We recommend sending in both the application for admission and the CSS Profile at the same time. Check each college admissions office for deadlines and details.

The FERPA Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is legislation that guarantees a student the right to view any document in his or her application dossier. The Common Application and the Coalition Application invite an applicant to waive his or her right to view recommendations.

You will sign two FERPA documents in Scoir:

  • You MUST sign the FERPA Release to allow Ramaz to send any credentials to colleges on your behalf.
  • We strongly suggest that you “grant” the FERPA Waiver because we feel it is important for colleges to know that recommendations were completed with the knowledge that they would not be read by the applicant. Students who object to signing such a waiver should speak to their college adviser.
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