College admission is a process of reflection and discovery, one that often challenges preconceived notions and ideas. It is the mission of FA's College Counseling program to effectively guide students through this complex, often daunting, but ultimately rewarding process.
Below is some general information and resources about the college admission process. Please contact Director of College Counseling Corey Fischer with additional questions.
- The College Search Process
- Paying for College
- Standardized Testing
- College Athletics
- Summer Opportunities
There are many steps to the college search process, and each person takes his or her own unique path on this journey. To help you get started, here are some excellent web resources for all of the steps in this exciting time.
The most frequent question college-bound students are asked is, "What do you want to do with your life?" Most students can't answer that question yet --and that is perfectly normal and okay. You still have years to go before you have to pin yourself down to a career. Now is the time to explore options, and the following sites offer tests and inventories to help you do just that. So browse, play, enjoy, and learn a little more about what you can do with your life.
The Myers Briggs Personality Test
Find out what type of person you are before you begin figuring out what type of college fits you. This is a free, adapted version of this test, which other sites offer in full for a fee. Here is another link to a similar site.
What Might I Major In?
This site runs you through a 15-minute "interview," free of charge, to help you focus on your educational goals. It starts with the basics: your GPA, test scores and track record in courses. It then provides six majors for you to consider with plenty of helpful links to explore future careers.
What Can I do with a Major In.....?
Try this site from the career center at UNC-Wilmington. You select a possible major, and it gives you possible careers.
This test will help you explore career interests and strengths, combining your experiences with your education.
Want to know if a particular school requires that you take physics? Want to find out if a school has club water polo? These sites are the places to begin. If you have not yet completed any of the personality tests and career searches listed on the "Beginning to Explore" tab, I recommend trying those out before you hit these sites. You will be better able to define your college search with answers you discover about you and your career ideas.
The U.S. Department of Education has created one of the most useful search sites for college information. You can see details from SAT scores to number of degrees awarded for individual colleges as well as do a comparison search which creates tables for you comparing details from up to four schools. As a government site, this is the most objective search on the web.
The College Board
The College Board is the largest clearinghouse for information on colleges and universities. This site offers a comprehensive college search.
Niche is "for students, by students." It is not affiliated with colleges and offers unbiased information. You can search for colleges based on various criteria, as well as read reviews written by students (always be careful about putting too much stock in one poor review though--keep an open mind).
U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News is home to the famous, and infamous, college ranking lists. Use this site carefully as all ranks are arbitrary and ever-changing. But it does have a comprehensive list of majors to find schools that offer certain programs, so this can be a useful complement to the college search sites.
Peterson's College Quest
Peterson's is another major non-profit clearinghouse of college information. This site is similar to the College Board site.
Search colleges based on various criteria or read some of the rankings such as Green Colleges, Best Value Colleges, Best Regional Colleges, etc.
How do you set up a college admissions tour? What if you can't travel to the campus itself? Answer all of your questions here. Visiting at least three of your choices is very important to give you the truest sense of what you are looking for in your college. Use these links to get this step of the college search process off to a good start.
College Admission Websites
Go directly to the college's website to see when tours are offered and to see if you should sign up online or call for an appointment.
This site links you to the virtual tours of more than 800 U.S. colleges and universities. It also offers links to download the plug-ins needed to view many of the sites.
View "walking tours" of many college campuses. Helpful for getting a sense of what the campus looks like.
Financial aid is available from a variety of sources. Awards are principally based upon need as determined by filling out the FAFSA and CSS Profile (see links below). The person best qualified to give information and answer questions is the financial aid officer of the college to which you are applying. This person will be able to discuss both financial aid as well as college-specific scholarships.
Applying for Financial Aid Step #1: FAFSA
Applying for financial aid is fairly straightforward. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is an online application, and the site will answer just about any of your questions about the process of applying for financial aid.
Appying for Financial Aid Step #2: CSS Profile
Many colleges require the College Board's Profile as well as the FAFSA (see above).
The best place to learn about merit-based scholarships at particular colleges is to contact the colleges themselves. Find phone numbers and web addresses for all colleges and universities to get you started.
Finding Private Scholarships
SallieMae College Answer has the largest scholarship searches on the web plus college cost calculators and a financial aid section. It is a free site that will not sell your contact information to a third party. FA also keeps a list of scholarships opportunities that we receive from organizations.
Another Scholarship Search Site
The FastWeb site allows you to search for private scholarships by category--a great way to get a handle on the hundreds of these types of scholarships out there. You will have to give them basic contact information -- be sure to "uncheck" any offers for mailings if you do not wish to receive them.
A note about private scholarships: When students receive private scholarship money, many colleges are now reducing the amount of institutional grant (money from the college) rather than the amount the family owes. It is a good idea to ask colleges how they handle scholarship funds received, and then determine if it is worth applying for private scholarships.
The world of standardized testing seems infinitely large to many students and families trying to navigate the college application process. Here are some excellent sites to help you make sense of it all.
The College Board
This is your site for everything SAT -- registration for the SAT and SAT Subject Tests, score requests, study aids ...
This is your site for everything ACT -- registration, score requests, study aids ...
This site offers free test preparation materials for all of the standardized tests.
Brush up on your vocabulary -- other than reading, this is the best way to prepare for the English/Writing/Reading portions of the tests!
Fredericksburg Academy supports our student-athletes with their college recruitment and application process. The Athletic Director, coaches, and Director of College Counseling work with each student individually in order to facilitate his or her navigation of the unique aspects of athletic recruitment .
Many college sports have their own websites. These can be useful for learning about the programs and coaches. In order to find them, do an internet search on "college women's/men's (name of sport)" or feel free to ask Mr. Fierst, Mrs. Fischer, or your coach.
If you anticipate being a member of a Division I varsity team you will need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center.
Summer is a great time to enrich your FA experience. You can seize the chance to paint all summer at an art camp, travel overseas with a language immersion program, or study marine biology at the beach. The sky's the limit. By typing "summer programs" into Google, you will get many topic- and region-specific programs. You can also check out some of the specific opportunities for which FA has received information.