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Class of 2021: College Applications & Transcript Requests

Reported by ryan_vankampen@ipsd.org on 9/10/20

Waubonsie Valley Class of 2021,

Many of our seniors are already hard at work completing college applications. This week the Waubonsie Valley Guidance Department is rolling out a NEW PROCESS FOR COLLEGE APPLICATION PROCESSING AND TRANSCRIPT REQUESTS to students/guardians and we wanted to provide you with information to get started with our new system.

Transition from Naviance to SchooLinks:
First a little background information…over the course of the 2019-2020 school year, 9th through 11th graders transitioned to a new online career and college research tool called SchooLinks— the Class of 2020 finished up using Naviance last year. Now SchooLinks has fully replaced Naviance for all four grade levels. Students will begin college & career exploration in the SchooLinks platform as freshmen and finish their college application process as seniors in the same system.

Using this system allows students to track all aspects of their college applications and manage transcript requests in one place through SchooLinks, which will help students stay organized with the application process. For example, their initial transcript request, mid-year report, recommendation letters, FAFSA, and test score sends are tracked on a checklist for each application which both student and counselor are able to access. SchooLinks also integrates with SSO, eliminating the need for one more username/password to remember.

Requesting Transcripts, Letters of Recommendation & Supporting Documents in SchooLinks
Requesting transcripts and other supporting application documents in SchooLinks is a simple process. Please follow the instructions in this linked document or watch the short demo video for the SchooLinks College Application Manager.
-College Application Manager Instructions (https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1mMtTUrtVRxgUpQHtLYd0vm_7fz8b4wkmiHy718HqS1g/edit?usp=sharing)
-College Application Manager Demo Video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r00fL2Lndjo&feature=youtu.be)


How does SchooLinks work if my student uses Common App for college applications?
• SchooLinks is now integrated with Common App. All recommendations requests are fulfilled in SchooLinks - even Common App Counselor/Teacher evaluations.
• Students will need to link their SchooLinks and Common App accounts.
• Linking Common App to SchooLinks for Students (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jueIOzvkV-I&feature=youtu.be)
• Students will need to complete essays and personal statements in Common App, but all transcript and letter of recommendation requests will be done through SchooLinks.

A few notes about the Common App linkage for students who have already started the process in Common App. Once students link their accounts per the video above, the following will happen.
• SchooLinks will immediately sync their College List from Common App into SchooLinks.
• All completed evaluations would be shown as completed on SchooLinks.
• All outstanding evaluations that have been requested will be shown as "Awaiting Submission" in SchooLinks.
• Recommenders will complete these in SchooLinks.
• Recommenders will be emailed to complete in SchooLinks as if the student just requested it.
• Recommenders will use SchooLinks for ALL Common App forms from here on out.


How should students approach letters of recommendation in a remote environment?
Counselors always encourage students to do the following:
• Check to see if the schools to which they are applying require letters of recommendation. We discourage students from asking for letters that are not required.
• In the past we have shared that it is best to request letters in person, not simply send teachers links to requests. Due to being on remote learning and not being able to have a face-to-face conversation, we are asking students to reach out and directly request a letter through a polite and professional e-mail, kindly asking teachers if they would be willing to write on their behalf.
• Students are encouraged to fill out their “Profile” in SchooLinks and fill out the Letter of Rec Profile sheet on the guidance department website. ( https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByL-dPC3ROHaREk1bnVCdjZ2ZHc/view)


Where can students receive assistance with the College Application Process?
School counselors will be reaching out to students to schedule individual senior meetings throughout the months of September and October. Students are encouraged to reach out to their counselors if they have time sensitive questions or would like to schedule a senior meeting earlier in the school year.

Virtual College Visits and Live Counselor Q&As will be made available through SchooLinks. Students will be able to sign up for these virtual events during non-instructional periods during remote learning.

Additional resources will be posted throughout the year on the Waubonsie Valley Counseling Department website (https://wvhscounseling.weebly.com/), and through social media. Follow @WVCounselors on Twitter and https://www.facebook.com/wvhsguidance.

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