Applying to College

Steps to Applying:

  1. Fill out the application.
  2. Fill out the SSAR if needed.
  3. Check the standardized test policy for your colleges. Go to College Board or ACT and request to have your SAT or ACT test scores sent directly to the colleges you are applying to.
  4. Pay the application fee.
  5. Request transcripts and letters of recommendation if needed through Naviance.

The Common App:

Over 700 colleges use the Common App including UCF, University of Miami, and many other private and public schools. Check to see if your colleges accept the Common App.

You will have to create a Common App account. Common App will allow you to create an account before August 1st. You can then roll over your account to the 2017-18 application year. Common App will preserve the answers you provided to any questions that appear in the six sections of the “Common App” tab: Profile, Family, Education, Testing, Activities, and Writing. All college-specific information will not roll over.

Please note: Do not request letters of recommendations through the Common App. The Posnack School uses Naviance for all document requests.

You can choose from one of the Common App essay prompts. The word limit is 650 words.

2017-2018 Common App Essay Prompts

1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

4. Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma – anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.

5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. 

6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. 

The Coalition Application:

UF uses the Coalition Application, and FSU may be accepting the Coalition Application for the 2017-2018 application year. You will have to create a Coalition account.

Here are the Coalition member schools:

You can choose from one of the Coalition essay prompts. The recommended word count is around 500 words.

The Coalition prompts for the 2017-18 application year are:

  1. Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
  2. Describe a time when you made a meaningful contribution to others in which the greater good was your focus. Discuss the challenges and rewards of making your contribution.
  3. Has there been a time when you’ve had a long-cherished or accepted belief challenged? How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your beliefs?
  4. What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What’s the best part? What advice would you give a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)?
  5. Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.

Colleges that use their own applications:

Some college use their own applications, and you must visit the individual college websites to apply.

Important information about Florida state schools:

FGCU, FAU, FIU, USF, UNF, Florida Polytechnic and other schools require application through their websites and do not require essays.

Filling out the SAAR – Self-reported Student Academic Record:

What is the SSAR?

The SSAR is a record of all of the courses you have taken and grades you have earned. You should have a copy of your high school transcript in front of you when completing the SSAR. Grades should be noted without plusses or minuses.

Which schools require the SSAR?

As of now, UF, FSU, and FAU require completion of the SSAR.

What courses are included on the SSAR?

All academic core courses and electives are included on the SSAR. You should include Hebrew since it is a foreign language, but you do not need to include Judaic studies classes or non-academic electives.

Types of Admission:

Rolling: Some colleges such as UCF, FAU, and FGCU review applications on a rolling basis. The earlier your application is submitted, the earlier the admissions committee will review it.

Priority: Some colleges such as UF and FSU have a priority deadline. You must submit your application by this date to be considered on-time. Applications received after the priority deadlines will be evaluated on a space-available basis only. You do not want to miss the priority deadline!

FSU Priority Deadline: November 1, 2017

UF Priority Deadline: November 1, 2017

Early Action and Early Decision: Some colleges have early action or early decision plans. You apply early – the deadlines are generally sometime in November, and you will have an admissions answer usually by December. EA and ED can be beneficial if you have a clear preference or first choice school. There is an important difference though. Early Action is not binding, and although you get an answer earlier, you do not have to make up your mind until May 1. Early Decision is binding – you must accept the admissions offer if it is given.

There are additional rules about applying to only one school early, and some schools have Early Decision I and Early Decision II. Check your particular college to see the exact policy regarding Early Action or Early Decision.

Regular Decision: Most colleges have a regular decision date. Applications are due by a specific date. The admissions office reviews all of the applications and sends out decisions on the same date.