Pell City High School

College Bound Senior Tips

College Admissions Process

Each college will vary as to when they begin accepting applications. Most will begin in the fall, the latest being around the first of October. The best place to find out this information is on the individual college websites. Remember that there are direct links to these on the Counseling Website. Go ahead and narrow down your choices to around five. College Application Week will be the first week in November and many state colleges will waive their application fees. Check the blog for which colleges waived theirs last year. This will serve as a guide. Remember that not all will waive their application fee. Remember what I always say have a backup plan for your backup plan etc. Plan A, B, C, D, and sometimes even E. This summer is a great time to get out and visit college campuses. Go ahead an look up to see when Fall Preview Days are and make plans to attend those. It is never a good idea to chose a college based on a boyfriend/girlfriend or best friend. Communication between you and your family is very important during this time. Are they planing on supporting you financially? This is crucial to your decision making. You are not alone in this process. Your family, your teachers, and your counselors are here to help you. Please utilize help when you need it.

College Admission Representatives

Make sure that you find out the name of your college admissions representative. Make contact with that person when you visit the college, when they come to your school or when you visit the college fairs. This person can help you immensely with the admissions process. Make sure that you impress upon them how badly you would like to attend their particular college/university.

College Essays/Recommendation Letters

Most all of the local scholarships and some admissions applications will require an essay. Go ahead and get a rough draft going. Tell about yourself and why you want to go to college. What unique qualities and experiences do you bring to the table with you? Put it on paper and begin having people proof it for you. Go ahead and be thinking about community members, church members, teachers, administrators that you could ask to write a recommendation letter for you. Go ahead and ask them to draft one for you. Remember to follow up and thank them.


Stay organized! Remember to keep a record of when and where you sent what. Monitor your application process through your college/university portal. Meet all deadlines, put them on a calendar or planner. This year will be extremely busy and these dates will sneak up on you. Remember that you should apply for college before you eat your Thanksgiving dinner and have all scholarship applications in before you open your Christmas presents. (Local scholarships will have varying deadlines and most will be in the spring).


All colleges and universities will need a copy of your transcript. You MUST request these through Naviance. If you need your password reset, simply ask me. Log in to this account often, it can be a great tool on your journey to college.


Establish one central email address and check it often. Don't miss out on an opportunity because you fail to login to your email.
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Sign up for Ms. Smith's Remind 101

This is important for both students and parents to have. I will send out important information and links to sights and applications. To sign up simply text @pchss2019 to 81010.