BEAM College Application Support: Apply to college, get a free sweatshirt!

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BEAM knows there's lots to do to apply to college and many deadlines to meet. We want to support you just like we've supported BEAM students in the past.

Here's how it works.  You...

  • Do the things listed below by the deadline.

  • Keep us looped in (by coming to office hours or emailing and texting with us).

  • You get into a great college with a good scholarship, and at the end of the year, we'll buy you a sweatshirt (as modeled to the right by the BEAMers who graduated high school in 2018!).

Questions about how this works? Want to discuss how your case is different or special? You can:

Once you've done that, bring the profile in to office hours, or email us a picture of it!

+ BEAM Profile (Sept 23)

ACTION ITEM: GIVE US YOUR BEAM PROFILE, TRANSCRIPT, AND TAXES.

To do the best job we can advising you, we need to know information about you and what you want. To do this, we ask you to give us three things:

  • Your BEAM Profile
  • Your high school transcript
  • A copy of your family's taxes from 2018 (Make sure you black out all Social Security Numbers and Bank Account numbers first)

+ FAFSA/TAP DAYS (Saturdays in October)

ACTION ITEM: FILL OUT THE FAFSA AND TAP APPLICATION AT SATURDAY OFFICE HOURS.

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid and is how you can apply for financial aid from the federal government. The TAP is aid you can get from New York State; you apply for it at the end of the FAFSA.

At Saturday Office Hours during October, we'll have volunteers specifically there to help you fill out the FAFSA and TAP Application. To fill these out, you'll need detailed information about your family's taxes, bank accounts, and anything else they own. You should bring these with you. We will also discuss which of the schools you are applying to require the CSS Profile, which is used by some schools to determine financial aid and is longer and more complicated than the FAFSA/TAP.

If you're unable to come, send us an email and we'll set something else up!

+ College List and Personal Essay (OCT 25)

ACTION ITEM #1: GIVE US THE LIST OF COLLEGES YOU WILL APPLY TO

We want to know which colleges you're applying to to make sure they're a good match for you and what you said you want. After you send it, we'll give you feedback on how you can improve it.

Your list must have at least:

  • 3 reach schools, at least one of which should generally give good financial aid
  • 3 match schools, at least one of which should generally give good financial aid
  • 3 safety schools, all of which should generally give good financial aid

(Don't understand what reach, match, and safety mean? Check out the Starting Your College List Slides from our College Prep Workshop.)

Lost and confused about how to find good schools for you? Let us know and we can work on it together! Think these requirements don't make sense in your case? Email us and ask if we can come up with alternate requirements that work for you!

ACTION ITEM #2: SHARE YOUR COLLEGE ESSAY WITH US.

Almost every college requires that you write a personal essay about yourself, and that takes a lot of work. Essays get better with hard work and revision, so you should be working on this long before November, but at this point, you should have a pretty good draft. At this point, we want to give you pointers on how to make your essay better and show you in your best light. If it's a Google Doc, just share it with us, or if you want, you can email it instead.

+ Recommendation Letters (Nov 4)

ACTION ITEM: CONFIRM THAT YOUR RECOMMENDATION LETTERS HAVE BEEN SUBMITED.

Check for every school what exactly they require when it comes to letters of recommendation. You should ask teachers whether they'll write you a letter of recommendation long before you need them to (definitely before this deadline!), and give them full information about when the deadlines are.

Some different kinds of letters are:

  • Materials from a guidance counselor: the purpose of this is mostly to give the college a sense of what your high school is like and how you fit relative to the average student there. Every school you apply to will require some version of this.
  • Recommendation from a teacher: the purpose of this is to tell how you do academically and what kind of a student you are. Many colleges require two of these and want teachers in specific subjects (usually one from math/science and one from ELA/history).
  • Supplemental Recommendation: this is from someone who's seen you in a different capacity --- at an afterschool program, at a summer camp, or at work. This is usually not required, but optional, and can help the college get a sense of who you are as a person outside of school classes. (If you've been involved with BEAM recently, we can write you a supplemental recommendation!)

+ CHECK IN WITH BEAM (NOV 27)

ACTION ITEM TALK WITH AYINDE OR SYLVIA ABOUT WHAT IS LEFT FOR YOU TO DO.

Once the holidays start, your going to have even more things pulling you from college apps. Our goal is to keep you focused and have a meeting about what is left to accomplish.

+ FINISHING APPLICATIONS (JAN 5)

ACTION ITEM: CONFIRM YOU'VE COMPLETED YOUR APPLICATIONS AND TELL US WHICH REQUIRE THE CSS PROFILE.

At this point, you should be done submitting all your applications.

+ FINISHED FINANCIAL AID APPLICATION (Jan 15)

ACTION ITEM: CONFIRM YOU'VE COMPLETED YOUR FINANCIAL AID APPLICATIONS

Most of your financial aid applications deadlines will be in January and early February. Sometimes schools will have extra information they want you to provide, or questions to ask you. They will mostly ask for this over email, so you should check your email really carefully and regularly during this time, to make sure that you don't accidentally leave any of your financial aid applications undone.

+ TELL US WHERE YOU GOT IN (APRIL 3)

ACTION ITEM: TELL US WHERE YOU GOT IN, INCLUDING YOUR FINANCIAL AID OFFERS.

You should tell us which schools you've heard back from, which ones you got into, and which of them have sent you financial aid offers. If at this point, there are any schools you've gotten into but not financial aid offers, you should call them to see what's going on.

+ TELL US WHERE YOU'RE GOING (APRIL 24)

ACTION ITEM: TELL US WHERE YOU'RE GOING!

That's all!

Here are other resources to help you with your college applications.

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We will be having a party for everyone graduating high school, so keep your eye on your email to celebrate with us in June!