Class of 2021: Week of August 3

For the next three weeks, we are going to take you step-by-step through the Common App (CA), the main essay and writing college supplements.


Hello, Seniors,

Tomorrow marks an important date -- August 1. This is the day the Common Application and the University of California application 2020-2021 go live! For the next three weeks, we are going to take you step-by-step through the Common App (CA), the main essay and writing college supplements. If you want to get your CA application, essay, and a few supplements done, you can and you should! The best way to begin the fall of your senior year is with your Common App completed - trust us on that one. 

Please take a few moments to read through this entire email.


Continue to research colleges and finalize your college list
Schedule and complete college admissions interviews, if applicable
Complete most (or all) of your Common Application
Write drafts for your college essay and a few supplements
Send a thank you note to your SFS recommendation writers, and make sure you have completed the teacher reflection form found here
Register and continue to study for any upcoming standardized testing, updates can be found here for SAT and ACT 
Complete and return your Senior Autobiography to Ms. Jackie Morillas, (this assignment was due July 6) 

Ready to get started on your Common App? Let’s go!


Before you start, here is a listing of what would be helpful to have ahead of time:

Listing of extracurricular activities (along with hours per week, weeks per year)
Test scores and test dates (and/or future test dates)
Parent/Guardian information (education, occupation information etc.)
An unofficial copy of your high school transcript is helpful, email for a copy

Please review and refer to the SFS Common App Guide (attached) for general and SFS specific information and also the Common App Reference Guide found here to help you as you begin. 


Create a Common Application account (important to note: the Common App will open back up on August 1)

Complete the following sections: Profile, Family, Education, Testing, and Activities.

Add colleges to your “My Colleges” tab. This should include colleges that you are confident you will apply to 

  • Some colleges on the Common Application require you to self-report your grades/transcript. Here is a listing of those colleges and helpful information on completing that section. We advise you to get a copy of your transcript beforehand, feel free to email for a copy.

Add your college counselor as your “advisor” to your Common App. This means your college counselor can preview your Common App in real time. See item #4, Engage Supporters for information on how to add your college counselor. Remember to allow preview rights.


In addition, the University of California application also opens on August 1. Please see attached UC Tip Sheet for additional information. The application can be found here and additional quick tips can be found here.

IMPORTANT: Mark your calendars for the upcoming SFS summer seminars:

August 6, 1pm EST: A Step by Step Guide through the Common Application
August 13, 1pm EST: Supplemental Essays - Why are they important and how can you write a strong supplement.

It was so good to see so many of you for the summer seminar yesterday on selective college admissions! A huge thank you to Matt Cunningham, Associate Director of College Counseling, for hosting that informative session. The presentation is attached to this email. In addition, here is a webinar recording of the Tulane U presentation on selective admissions for an additional resource.


Roanoke College is hosting a webinar series. Sessions will take place Monday, August 10th through Thursday, August 13th. Each session will last approximately one hour, except for the case study event which will last an hour and a half. Information and registration links can be found here.

Topics include:

Early Decision vs Early Action, August 10 at 5pm
Navigating the College Search Process in the Time of COVID-19, August 11 at 5pm 
The Importance of "Demonstrated Interest" and the Campus Visit, August 11 at 6pm
Essay Writing and the Common Application, August 12 at 5pm
Case Study Event, August 13 at 5pm


We know quick questions arise, especially this coming week with the Common App and UC applications opening up. With that said, each counselor is hosting a drop in time this Thursday, August 6 from 3-4pm. Keep a look out for an email from your college counselor with zoom information. Remember this is for a QUICK drop in. Please feel free to sign up for an appointment should you need a longer meeting time.

As always, please reach out to your college counselor with any questions. Welcome to August! Stay safe. Stay healthy.

In friendship,

The College Counseling Team

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