Moving you forward.
Before you can apply to college, there are books to read, tests to take, colleges to visit, and applications to submit. With so much to consider, it can be hard to know where to start. These resources will help.
- Test Prep
- Application Options
- Paying for College
- Financial Aid
- Visiting Colleges
- NCAA Eligibility
- Pomfret College Network
- Student, Parent, and Counselor Responsibilities
- Suggested Reading
Naviance is a comprehensive web-based program that assists Pomfret students, families, and counselors in the college search and application process. In addition, Family Connection features Method Test Prep which is an SAT and ACT preparation and review program. Pomfret students are given a username and password in the spring of their sophomore year (Form IV). Parents receive their own username and password information during the spring of their son or daughter’s junior year (Form V).
Created by the College Board, the SAT is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. The goal is to provide colleges with one common data point that can be used to compare all applicants. The SAT exam is offered nationally every year in August, October, November, December, March, May, and June. Test Center Code: 07495 | CEEB Code: 070615
Pomfret School is a test site for all above dates
The ACT® test is the nation’s most popular college entrance exam accepted and valued by all universities and colleges in the United States. The ACT is based on what students learn in high school and provides personalized information about their strengths for education and career planning. Find everything you need to know about registration, test prep, scores and more. Test Center Code: 217860 | CEEB Code: 070615.
September 9, 2017 | December 9, 2017 | April, 14 2018.
The TOEFL® (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is the most widely accepted English-language test in the world. This test is often an application requirement of students whose first language is not English.
Test Optional Information
The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) works to end the misuses and flaws of standardized testing. See the searchable listing of over 755 four-year colleges that do not use the SAT Reasoning Test or ACT to admit substantial numbers of bachelor degree applicants.
The College Board
The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT and the Advanced Placement Program. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools.
Pomfret offers two options for students wishing to engage in formal SAT test preparation:
The first option, Method Test Prep, is offered through Family Connection, an online search and application tool available to juniors and seniors. Method Test Prep is a free SAT preparation tool that students can access anywhere the World Wide Web is available.
The second option is Kaplan Test Prep, which administers an eight-session course here on campus exclusively for Pomfret School students. The Kaplan course runs from early February until the end of April. The course consists of eight Sunday sessions, leading up to the May SAT exam. To enroll, please follow the instructions below. The cost, if enrolled by 1/21/17, is $649 (Pomfret students will use a discount promo code: KAS150). If you are interested in information about private tutoring options, or interested to explore ACT test-prep options through Kaplan, please call 978-254-4120 or email Christine Lilley.
To enroll in the on-campus Kaplan test prep course:
- Please go to www.kaplanatschool.com/pomfret
- Under your preferred section, click the green "enroll now" button
- After reviewing the schedule, click the green "enroll" button
- Please follow the enrollment instructions from there
The Common Application
The Common Application is accepted by hundreds of colleges and universities.
The Coalition Application
MyCoalition is a set of free online college planning tools that helps students learn about, prepare for, and apply to college.
UCAS is the organization responsible for managing applications to higher education in the UK.
We strongly urge families applying for financial aid to carefully research college and university policies, particularly whether or not one-hundred percent of demonstrated need is met at each institution. Colleges and universities in the United States are obligated to have a school-specific Net Price Calculator (NPC) on their Admissions or Financial Aid website. A well-completed NPC should give you a reasonable estimate of your cost of attendance at each college you are considering.
1. Apply Early - Don't wait until you get a college acceptance letter to apply for aid, or chances are you will have missed the college’s deadline and most grants and scholarships will be gone. If you're applying to college early, your financial aid deadlines will also be early -- usually in October or November. If you're applying regular decision, your financial aid deadlines usually fall in January or February.
2. Figure out what forms you need to complete – Virtually all colleges require you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for federal and state aid. Some colleges have their own institutional forms, in addition to the FAFSA, while many others require the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® in addition to the FAFSA to apply for non-federal aid.
3. Keep on top of deadlines and details - Missing a financial aid deadline can jeopardize your eligibility. Save time by gathering all of the financial records you'll need (from income tax returns to mortgage information) before you and your family dive into your forms.
4. Consider completing federal income tax returns first - Income information that you report on your tax returns (IRS forms 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ) is used on financial aid applications. While you don't have to file your return before you complete your applications, it will be much easier and faster to finish if you have at least completed a rough draft of your tax return.
5. Describe any unusual circumstances that might affect your family’s ability to pay for college - If you believe that there are circumstances that aren't reflected on the financial aid forms, contact the college financial aid office directly.
6. Complete all forms accurately, completely, and legibly - Inaccurate, incorrect, or missing information can cause delays in processing your applications.
7. Provide all the information requested on the forms - For instance, if your answer is zero, enter a zero. Don't just leave the question blank. This will speed review of your application.
8. Be consistent on all forms - Use the same name on all financial aid forms. In order to complete your file and assess your eligibility, colleges and the federal government will need to match up your records from several sources. Inconsistencies will slow the process.
9. Keep copies of each form – Virtually all financial aid applications are now submitted electronically, however, you should print a copy of your completed applications as you may need to refer to a particular form if the college asks for additional information.
10. Follow through - After you submit your forms, sort carefully through any financial aid material you receive in the mail or by email, such as confirmations or requests for additional information. If additional information is needed, send it as soon as possible. If you find errors, address them quickly. When it comes to applying for aid, time is money.
Applying for financial aid is as important a part of the college admissions process as applying to the colleges. If you know, or even think that you will need financial aid to pay for college you need to learn about the financial aid application process. Below is a comprehensive but by no means exhaustive sampling of websites that we think can help you negotiate the process of paying for college.
Cappex Compare colleges based on the things that matter most to you, and add your personal notes and rankings. Soon you'll be one step closer to finding "the one."
Career One Stop Search more than 7,500 scholarships, fellowships, grants, and other financial aid award opportunities.
Chegg Browse over 6,000 colleges and universities, and over 25,000 scholarships.
CollegeNet A new way to earn a scholarship: by writing on topics in ways that persuade others to vote for you. And by voting, you can exercise control applying your judgment and values towards the collective choice of winners.
CSS/PROFILE® PROFILE is the financial aid application service of the College Board. Many of the member colleges, universities, and scholarship programs use the information collected on PROFILE to help them award nonfederal student aid funds.
EduPass A guide to studying in the U.S. for international students.
FAFSA Online form for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, required for all college financial aid recipients.
FastWeb Access over 1.5 million scholarships to help you pay for college.
Federal Direct Loans Read about the types of financial aid available from the government and other sources: grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study.
Guaranteed Scholarships The scholarships listed on this page are all "guaranteed". By guaranteed scholarships, we mean those which are unlimited in number, and require no interview, essay, portfolio, audition, competition or other "secondary" requirement. Just meet the criteria listed, adhere to the application deadlines set by the individual colleges and universities, gain admission, enroll, and receive your scholarship or scholarships.
Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority MEFA encourages and enables higher education throughout Massachusetts by providing comprehensive information and products for college-bound students and their families, as well as training and resources for counselors and higher-education professionals.
Niche Search lists of scholarships by choosing a category or get matched to college scholarships you are eligible for.
Petersons Find the school or scholarship that's right for you.
Sallie Mae Provides federally guaranteed student loans.
Scholarships Search Over 3.7 Million college scholarships & grants, about $19 billion in financial aid to help you pay for college.
FinAid The smart student guide to financial aid.
State of Connecticut DOE Program, grant, aid, and loan information from the State of Connecticut.
StudentScholarships An online database to online and offline sources to find new and exciting scholarships for students search for online and offline sources of scholarships for students.
Unigo Find your perfect college.
Seven Tips for a Productive College Visit
College visits are vital in achieving our overarching goal of helping our graduates find their best post-Pomfret path. Unless your child has a very specific academic interest not offered at many schools, we suggest he or she begin the visit process by seeing different types of schools (e.g. a large public research university and a small, liberal arts college) in different settings (urban, suburban, rural) to get a feel of where they will likely fit best. Regardless of a school’s features and benefits, and keeping in mind most schools want to increase the number of applications they receive, taking the following actions will go a long way to making each visit worthwhile:
- See no more than two schools per day.
- Attend the information session and take the campus tour.
- Schedule an interview or a meeting with an admissions representative. If interviews are offered, are they informational or evaluative? Ask if the admissions office can arrange for you to meet students with similar interests, speak with faculty in your intended major, and/or meet with a counselor in the career center.
- Review each school’s Freshman/First-year/Class of 2020 Profile.
- Ask specific questions about each school’s selectivity. What was your overall acceptance rate for this year’s pool?What was the acceptance rate for each of your application types? Does your acceptance rate differ for particular majors or programs? How has your selectivity changed in the past three years?
- Ask specific questions about financial aid. Are you need-aware or need-blind? Does your school meet 100% of demonstrated need? How are your financial aid packages structured? What advice do you have for completing your Net Price Calculator? Do you offer merit aid, and, if so, what qualifies me for it?
- Get the best feel you can for each school’s personality. Ask your tour guide questions about student life and get their business card. Go “off-road” to the student center, a performance/game, or the dining hall. Read the school newspaper. Does the school have a range of majors, concentrations, and courses that interest you? Does the typical class size work for you? Are graduate students typically teaching the courses you will take freshman year? Is the atmosphere collaborative or competitive? Will you feel at home – engaged but not overwhelmed? Where do students receive medical care? How do students get around campus?
Suggestions for Campus Visits
- Most tour guides are students who have been hired and trained by the Admissions Office. They are well informed and eager to answer your questions. It is important to remember that the guide’s personality does not reflect the personality of all students on campus. Thus, don’t make a judgment based on that one individual.
- Try to stay as close as possible to the guide, and ask questions about housing, social activities, fraternities and sororities, college spirit, etc. while you’re walking. Make certain you have comfortable shoes, as most tours take 45-60 minutes of constant walking.
- The tour gives you a general overview of the campus, but there is little time to provide in-depth information about facilities that might be of special interest to you. If you are particularly interested in the lab facilities, performing arts, a sport or sport facility, etc., you are free to explore on your own or make appointments to meet with coaches or Department representatives.
- The student center or student union is usually the hub of activity on campus. Make time to avail yourself of the wealth of information provided at the center. Look at bulletin boards for information regarding activities, featured speakers and campus events. If possible, pick up a student newspaper, a listing of organizations and activities, and information on campus and city transportation serving the area.
- The student bookstore provides you with an opportunity to peruse some of the textbooks being used for the current academic session. The textbooks are arranged according to subject area.
- After the tour, return to the dorms. Look for students and ask them questions. Most will be happy to provide information and will tend to be quite candid about their likes and dislikes at the school.
- It is often possible to attend a class in some specific subject area, if arrangements are made in advance through the admissions office.
- Make arrangements ahead of time to meet a coach, department chair or any campus faculty who might shed light on an interest area that’s important to you. Even a brief meeting will give you a contact for further investigation as the application and decision process unfolds.
- Write down the names of people you meet on each campus – interviewer, coach, tour guide. This is good information for further reference.
- Is there a core curriculum required of all freshmen?
- Are most freshmen courses taught by regular faculty or by graduate assistants?
- Are there opportunities for self-designed majors?
- How large are typical freshmen classes?
- Are computer facilities readily available for all students?
- Are there facilities for my creative activities (art studios, darkrooms, etc.)
- What special or unique features does the library have?
- Do outstanding or well-known individuals give guest lectures? How often? How well attended are they?
- Who were some of last year’s speakers?
- What student publications (newspaper, literary magazine, etc.) are there? How frequently are they published? Are they concerned with national and international issues?
- What opportunities are there for students to become involved in community service activities?What is the geographical composition of the student body?
- Are there fraternities and sororities? What percentage of the student body belongs to them?
- What types of housing are available to freshmen? Single room? Double room? Triple or Suite?
- Do most students tend to remain on campus during weekends?
- What is the advising system like?
- What career and personal counseling services are available to students?
- Does the college have a placement office?
- What are some of the regulations that apply to freshmen? To all students?
- Are students allowed to have cars on campus? And if so, what percentage do have cars?
- How willing are faculty members to meet with students outside of class?
- What religious groups exist on campus? How active is the group you might like to join? What activities/programs are provided? Are the functions well attended?
- What kind of orientation program does the college provide? How long does it last? When does it begin?
- Are there exchange programs with other colleges? Exactly how does this work?
- Are internships available? What are Junior Year Abroad options? Is co-op an option? Which of these programs are used most by students?
- Is there an honors program? What are the requirements?
- Ask students how hard they are working. Is the atmosphere intense? Competitive? Do students study together? Is extra help readily available? Who gives the extra help? Is tutoring done on fee basis, or is it incorporated in your tuition fee? Is there a center to help with writing papers, math, study skills, etc.? Does a peer or professional staff monitor the center?
- How is security managed on campus? Is there a security service? An escort service? How do they work?
- How much money will you need per week? What expenses should you anticipate?
- Are most campus activities free of charge? What are fraternity/sorority fees? Are part-time jobs available for students not receiving financial aid?
Questions You May Be Asked During a College Interview
- Do you have any contemporary heroes? Historical heroes?
- If I visited your school for a few days, what would I find is your role in the school community?
- What would your teachers say were your greatest strengths as a person – as a student?
- Likewise what about your shortcomings or weaknesses?
- What kind of self-development do you wish to see in yourself in the next four years?
- What do you feel is the important weak point you would like to overcome in the next four years?
- What is the most significant contribution you’ve made to your school?
- What will be the “good life” for you twenty years from now? Any ideas on this?
- Where and when do you find yourself most stimulated intellectually?
- What is your reason for participating in athletics? What are the satisfactions?
- If our roles were reversed, what would you like to know about me so that you could make an intelligent and fair decision on my application for admission or, better still, on my competence as your interviewer?
- Since you are interested in science, math (where appropriate), why are you interested in a liberal arts college rather than a more technical institution?
- How and in what ways do you expect, plan, and hope to transfer your secondary school contributions, achievements, and activities to the college level?
- Are you really satisfied with your accomplishments, growth, etc? To date?
- What books or articles have made a lasting impression on your way of thinking? Have you read deeply into any one author or field?
- What events would you deem crucial in your life thus far?
- What pressures do you feel operating on you in society to conform? Describe ways in which you and your friends “go your own way.”
- What are your reactions to current events?
- Describe some things that you have really become indignant over in the past year.
- How would you describe yourself as a person?
- What do you feel sets you apart as an individual in your school?
- If I could hand you my telephone and let you talk to any one person living, to whom would you like to talk? Why?
- Have you ever thought of not going to college? What would you do?
- Describe your home environment as compared to that of your closest friend.
- If you were just chosen as the headmaster in your school, what would be your first move?
NCAA Eligibility Center
In order to participate in college athletics at the Division I and Division II level and receive athletically based financial aid, students must register with the NCAA Eligibility Center and meet academic and amateurism eligibility standards.
Whether you're a current student applying to college for the first time or a college graduate looking to take the next step in your academic career, the Pomfret College Network can put you in touch with fellow Griffins who can help you get there.
- Do their best in their time at Pomfret
- Complete their winter questionnaire
- Meet regularly with their counselor
- Keep informed via Family Connection
- Take advantage of our two oncampus college fairs and of fall college rep visits
- Register for standardized tests and send scores to colleges if necessary
- Request teacher recommendations
- Plan productive summers (work, study, intern, attend camps)
- Visit Colleges
- Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center for Division I or II athletics
- Complete their Common Application – essay included – before their senior year begins
- Finalize their “Active” application list in the fall of their senior year
- Submit their portion of each application including supplements
- Pay application fee(s)
- Fill out the student portion of FAFSA
- Give their counselor at least 7 days notice before they submit their first application
- Maintain your perspective . . . your child is changing!
- Complete and submit the Parent/Guardian Questionnaire in Family Connection
- Communicate openly with your child, especially about paying for college
- Let your child drive the college car
- Facilitate college visits
- Provide a credit card number to pay test and application fees
- Submit financial aid information on time (FAFSA and CSS Profile available October 1)
- Provide counsel, not placement
- Draft a broad Preliminary College List
- Review applications of their counselees if requested
- Submit supporting materials: transcript(s), counselor evaluation, teacher recommendations, Secondary School Report, and Pomfret School Profile
- Visit colleges and build relationships with college admissions officers
- Attend national, regional, and local conferences
- Advocate for our counselees as appropriate
The College Board's College Handbook
Peterson's Four Year Colleges
Barron's Profiles of American Colleges
The Fiske Guide to Colleges
Princeton Review's Best 351 Colleges
The Insider's Guide to the Colleges by Yale Daily News
The College Admissions Mystique by Bill Mayher
Colleges that Change Lives by Loren Pope
Looking Beyond the Ivy League: Finding the College That's Right For You by Loren Pope
Letting Go: A Parents' Guide to Understanding the College Years by Coburn & Treeger
Visiting College Campuses by Janet Spencer & Sandra Maleson