Sophomore Year: It's time to start seriously thinking about college!
All four years of high school are considered when your student applies for college, so make sure they are keeping grades up, taking challenging courses, and getting involved in extracurricular activities of interest to them.
If the high school allows it, your student should consider taking the PSAT in October of sophomore year. The consequences of doing poorly are zero, and the practice can help your family figure out what type of preparation is needed before PSAT and SAT time in the junior and senior years. The PSAT won't be part of your student's college application, but you may want to read why the PSAT matters. If your student is planning on taking the ACT instead of the SAT, ask your school about taking the PLAN.
Sophomore year is a good time to do some low-pressure exploration of the college options out there. If you find yourself near a campus, stop by and take the tour. Also, lots of schools offer informative virtual tours on their websites, including Alvernia. This preliminary research will help your family make good decisions in the junior and senior years.
Junior Year: The search picks up speed!
In October, your student should plan to take the PSAT. We won't ever see your student's PSAT scores, yet a good score on the exam can translate into thousands of dollars in scholarship money. Also, the exam will give your student a good sense of his/her preparedness for the SAT.
In the spring, your student should take the SAT and/or ACT. Keep track of SAT registration deadlines and test dates (and ACT dates). If your student doesn't test well, he/she can spend some time in the summer building skills before retaking the exam in the fall. We consider only the highest scores, and if your student takes the test multiple times, we will recombine scores to give them the highest possible total score. At Alvernia, SAT and ACT scores are tied directly to scholarship amounts.
By the summer after your student's junior year, your family should begin making a list of colleges to which you'll apply. Take advantage of every opportunity to visit a college campus. Alvernia offers summer information sessions for the convenience of our families. Browse the web to learn more about different types of colleges. Read through the brochures your student receives in the spring after taking the PSAT.
Senior Year: Get ready for a busy year!
Come up with a preliminary list of colleges that includes reach, match and safety schools. Decide where Alvernia fits on that list (we are hoping for the top of the list!)
Explore the websites of the colleges that interest your family to learn about admissions requirements. We can help you find Alvernia's requirements!
Check your student's senior year class schedule to make sure they are taking the classes that allow them to meet the admission requirements.
Continue to research scholarships. Apply for scholarships well in advance of deadlines.
If you submitted the FAFSA (which we encourage all families to do), you should receive the Student Aid Report (SAR). Carefully look it over for accuracy. Errors can cost you money!
Don't put off applying because Alvernia has rolling admissions—the available spaces can fill up, particularly in certain programs.
Continue applying for appropriate scholarships.
Attend Accepted Students Day and/or our Spring Open House.
Most schools have a deposit deadline of May 1st, including Alvernia. Don't be late! If needed, you can request an extension.
Keep on top of procuring student loans. Notify us if you receive any outside scholarships (those not awarded directly by Alvernia).
Read all mailings from us carefully. Important registration and housing material is sent in the summer.
Once your student gets a housing assignment, have them take advantage of the summer by getting to know their roommate (email, facebook, the phone, etc). Figure out who will bring what. They won't need two TVs and two microwaves in the dorm room.
To make life easier, we have compiled a list of important dates and admission-related deadlines that you won't want to miss!
June 15: Your student may start their application to Alvernia University at the conclusion of the junior year of high school. We operate on a rolling admission basis, so there is no official deadline to apply for admission.