• Mr. Jeff Neill

6 September 2020: Seniors

6 September 2020

As we head into the first full week of classes, we hope that you all are doing well!

Most importantly, we want to share with you that, for the time being, we ask that you schedule all meetings with your counselors through Zoom. To minimize contact exposure and to do our part in keeping you all safe, we ask that face-to-face meetings be reserved for emergency or urgent situations only. This means that we ask for you not to drop by the office without having communicated in advance. To schedule meetings, you should use Calendly (Mr. Jeff or Ms. KK) to book appointments, and we will communicate daily Office Hours when we will be available for virtual (Zoom) drop-ins without an appointment. Thank you for your understanding on this very important point!

Here are a number of additional items to be aware of:

  • Appointments. By the end of this week, all seniors must schedule a meeting with their counselor (Mr. Jeff or Ms. KK) to take place within the next couple weeks. We should be meeting regularly, and at this first meeting, we will discuss the frequency of our sessions.

  • Essays & Final Lists. The deadline for main essays (Common App, UCAS, etc) and final college lists is October 1. Please share essays through Google with your counselor, and put all of your final university selections in your Cialfo shortlist and notify your counselor.

  • Essay Sharing. When you share your essays (or anything) with your counselor, be sure that the item is in your shared college counseling folder. Then, within the document, go to File → email collaborators and send us a note outlining what you would like us to do with whatever you are sharing. For example, you can ask for proofing assistance, ideas for how to end your essay better, feedback on a topic, whether or not you address the prompt, etc. Give us some guidance so we can best help you!

  • Make Your Accounts. Regardless of where in the world you are applying, you should prioritize creating and setting up your accounts for your various applications. US applicants should create their Common App or Coalition or University of California accounts by following the instructions in Cialfo; UK applicants should create their UCAS accounts (and use the buzzword GoJags2021). And if you have specific universities elsewhere in the world, you should create your accounts with each institution. If you are unsure, start figuring this out!

  • Graduation. For your planning purposes, DP exams will end on Friday, 21 May 2021, and graduation is scheduled for Friday, 28 May 2021. Many applications will request this date.

  • CIS University Fair. The CIS Africa Virtual International University Fair is Tuesday, September 8. The 192 university representatives from 19 countries are looking forward to engaging with you. We strongly recommend that you take advantage and sign up to attend. Please see this flyer and this short 1-minute video to learn more about the fair. And see this 3-minute video and this infographic to help understand how to navigate the fair.

  • Meto. We strongly recommend that you read the following about Meto and complete their registration form. Meto is a tech-based nonprofit organization that helps students achieve the best possible outcome in their university application process. Currently, the burden is on students to identify good-fit universities where they will apply. However, for students this can feel like guessing because university websites generally do not answer the most important question: what combination of academic performance, financial ability to pay, and extracurricular achievement will make a student competitive for admission? Not knowing the answer to this question can lead students to apply to the wrong universities and miss the right universities. Meto solves this problem for students by reversing the current process: instead of students bearing the burden of identifying good-fit universities, Meto facilitates students being approached by good fit-universities. To do so, Meto collects information from students, shares the information with universities around the world, and then allows the universities to contact students who appear to be a good fit. Students benefit from this new process in many ways. First, students are contacted by universities they might never have found on their own but which are indeed good fits for their interests. Even more importantly, this process helps students be admitted at statistically higher rates when they do apply. When a student is contacted by a university, it means that the university has already looked through the student's profile and has determined that the student seems to be a competitive applicant for admission. It makes sense, then, that when students apply to these schools, they are admitted more frequently than if they had merely guessed which universities might want them. Finally, when a university wants to reach out to a student, Meto connects the admissions officer at the university to the student by email. This means that the student is in direct touch with the admissions officer who will be likely reading the student's application. Developing a good relationship with this admissions officer can positively impact the admissions decision. Meto currently shares student information with ~ 200 universities around the world, from those in the US to the UK to the Netherlands to Ghana to Japan and from the most selective and prestigious universities to those that are not as well known. If you are interested, it is free to participate and your only step is to fill Meto's Student Information Form, which usually takes about 25 minutes. If you would like to hear more about Meto and how you can benefit, the founder and CEO of Meto filmed a video to explain it to you.

Thank you for your attention to these matters! We wish you a great week ahead!

Mr. Jeff & Ms. Katelyn

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