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Junior College Guidance

What to consider when choosing a college:

Admission Requirements 

  • High school courses: honors and AP
  • SAT or ACT? What is the median SAT/ACT range? 
  • Extracurricular activities?
  • Is there an Early Decision or Early Action program? 
  • Are teacher recommendations required? 
  • Special programs?  Joint programs? 
  • What is the school’s acceptance rate? 

College Characteristics 

  • Where is the college located (city, suburb, small town, or rural setting)? 
  • How far from home is the college? 
  • What is the surrounding community like? 
  • Is the college public, private or church affiliated? 
  • What is the current student enrollment? 
  • Are students guaranteed housing? 
  • What public transportation is available? 


  • What is the average class size? Largest? Smallest? 
  • Retention rate? 
  • Are classes guaranteed? 
  • Is there an honors program? What are the qualifications for entry?
Social Life 
  • What is the male/female ratio?
  • Ethnic diversity?
  • What percent of the student body lives on campus?
  • How are roommates selected?
  • Student clubs and activities? Athletic programs?


  • What is the cost of tuition? 
  • What are the costs for room and board? Are there any other fees? 
  • How much did costs increase from last year to this year? 
  • Is there a difference in the cost for an in-state and an out-of-state student?

Financial Aid 

  • What percent of students receive financial aid based on financial need/merit based? 
  • What would be a typical financial aid package for a freshman? 
  • What percent of those who apply for financial aid receive it? 
  • What are the financial aid application procedures and deadlines? 
  • Is there a tuition payment plan?


Top Factors in the Admission Decision:                                        Important Factors in Admission Decision:

  • Grades in college preparatory courses  (AP and college level courses)
  • Strength of curriculum (Honors and AP courses)
  • Standardized admission test scores (SAT/ACT)
  • Overall high school grade point average (Average of all classes you took in high school)
  • Essay
  • Student’s demonstrated interest (College visits, attendance and college rep visits at Molloy, mailing list, etc.) 
  • Class rank (We do not rank)
  • Counselor and teacher recommendations
  • AP Subject tests
  • Interview
  • Extracurricular activities
  • SAT II Subject test scores
Junior Year:

All Year:

  • Work on getting good grades.  Colleges look most seriously at your junior grades.
Spring Semester:
  • Become familiar with Naviance to start a list of schools you want to explore. Have several in mind, including “safety”,  “just right” and “reach” schools.  Request admission and financial aid information from the colleges on your list and ask to be placed on their mailing lists.  
  • Begin to prepare for and register for the SAT or ACT.  
  • Choose courses for your senior year that will challenge you.  Colleges want to see that you are challenging yourself, even in senior year.
  • Attend Junior College Night. 
  • Register for the SAT/ACT.  The SAT is given in March, May and June.  ACT dates are in April, June, September, October and December. 
  • SAT II or Subject Tests are not offered on every SAT test date.  Choose the test(s) for subjects you are currently taking so the information is fresh. 
  • Explore summer opportunities, either building on your previous activities or trying something entirely new such as an enrichment course, internship or study abroad.
Summer Break:
  • Visit schools. You can sign up for most college tours online.  If schools offer interviews, schedule them.  If you are unable to visit schools, check out their websites.  Continue to work on your college list. 
  • Think about teachers/counselor you can ask to write letters of recommendation for you.  Remember that ALL teacher/counselors need AT LEAST 14 days to write the letter.  
  • Be mindful of deadlines.  Look at the deadline list that was given in Junior College Guidance for Early Decision, Early Action, CUNY (including Macaulay Honors, Sophie Davis, etc.), SUNY, and Regular Decision. 
  • Begin drafting your personal essays. 
  • The Common Application is available August 1st.  
  • Make a final list of colleges, especially for Early Decision and Early Action. 

Important College Guidance:                                                           Recommendation Letters Guidelines:

October 1st:
  • ALL Early Decision and Early Action Applications MUST be indicated on Naviance by this date.  
  • All teacher recommendation requests for EA/ED MUST be on Naviance by this date.  
  • Student Profiles must be given to teachers by this date.
November 1:  
  • Macaulay Honors Applications must be indicated on Naviance by today.  
  • You must send the link from Macaulay to teachers 2 weeks before the deadline.

December 1st:

  • ALL regular decision applications, including SUNY and CUNY, must be indicated on Naviance by this date. 
  • You must have a final list of colleges by this date.  Common Application schools must be listed on your Common Application.  
  • You must bring in an envelope for all other schools. 
  • All teacher recommendation requests MUST be on Naviance by this date.  
  • Student Profiles must be given to teachers by this date. 
  •  Please remember that these are Naviance deadlines, NOT application deadlines.  You must be responsible for your own application deadlines.
Please follow these guidelines in the order in which they are written.
  1. Colleges generally require 1-2 teacher recommendations and a counselor recommendation. If you need additional recommendation letters, you MUST provide us either a letter or an email from your school, indicating that they require an additional recommendation letter. There will be NO exceptions to this rule.  
  2. In general, the best recommendations consist of the following: They are junior year teachers. They teach a core (Math, English, Science, Social Studies) subject. They have a positive impression of your work ethic, your ability, and your accomplishments. 
  3. You MUST ask the teacher or counselor IN PERSON at least 14 days before your first due date if they are able to write you a recommendation letter. If you do not, they can refuse to write your letter. They may also say no for other reasons. 
  4. You MUST make the teacher/counselor recommendation request on Naviance.
  5. You MUST give the teacher/counselor a copy of your profile in person.  Profiles left in teachers’ mailboxes will not be accepted. 
  6. Always remember to thank your teachers and counselors for writing the letter for you.  A thank you in person or a note of thanks would be appreciated.