Frequently Asked Questions on College Applications Part 2

This is a continuation of the Frequently Asked Questions post I recently made here. If you have any questions that you’d like to ask, please feel free to post a comment underneath, and I’ll do my best to answer it (if I’m appropriately qualified for that particular question).

5. Are application interviews required?

Not in all cases. Application interviews are optional requirements of degree programs that enjoy some level of popularity. However, this is more rare than common. While application interviews are more commonly required of graduate school applicants, undergraduate degree applicant interviews may be used primarily as supplementary processes. I normally interview applicants who have either unclear school records, unfavorable past behavioral histories, or both.

6. I got wait-listed. What do I do next?

This is a great question and is a determinant of how much you want to enter a particular college or university. This is also a test of your persistence. 🙂 Some students and their parents give up once they receive a “wait-listed” status letter. If you give up, it shows that your level of desire and persistence is not very high. My suggestion is do not give up. Give the admissions office a visit and humbly – I can’t emphasize this enough – humbly ask the staff about the next steps.

Basically, a wait-listed status may mean two things. First, it may mean you have incomplete requirements that you may simply need to complete to change your application status to “accepted.” Or, it could mean that there are limited slots for the degree program you applied to and the admissions office is waiting for those initially accepted to reserve their slots. If, after the deadline, slots are still free, those wait-listed will be entertained.

7. The economy is bad and my parents cannot afford to send me to college. I am not a particularly exceptional student. Are there any scholarship options for me?

Yes, definitely. One of the challenges for me is actually getting more applicants to apply for scholarships. I strongly encourage parents and applicants to read the prospectus, websites or information brochures thoroughly for scholarship opportunities. There are generally three types of scholarships colleges and universities offer. These are:

  • Merit scholarships – As the term suggests, merit scholarships are not applied for; they are usually offered to outstanding students whose excellent academics and leadership potential, as evidenced by strong extra and co-curricular achievements and other qualities, may be indicative of potential success. Examples of merit scholarships include DLSU’s Star Scholars, ADMU’s Freshmen Merit Scholarship, UP’s Oblation Scholars, and DLS-CSB’s BEST Scholars.
  • Talent scholarships – Talent scholarships are usually applied for, but may also be merited. These scholarships are normally offered to students with special talents and/or abilities that may be valuable to the college or university. Examples of talent scholarships are those offered to athletes, artists, chorale singers, and dancers, among others. DLS-CSB’s School of Design and Arts Grant (SDA Grant) is one example of a talent scholarship.
  • Financial assistance – Students who may not have the means to attend their dream school may apply for financial assistance. Normally, the screening involves submission of income tax returns and other documents in order to prove the financial capacity of the family. Moreover, a background investigation may also be conducted to confirm submitted documents. Financial aid grants are typically awarded in percentages off the tuition and fees. Depending on the assessment result, applicants may be granted waivers of 100%, 75%, 50%, etc. Examples of financial assistance scholarships include DLSU’s St. La Salle Financial Assistance Grant, DLS-CSB’s Students on Financial Assistance Grant and ADMU’s Financial Aid Grants.

8. I already studied in college but I want to transfer schools. What do I do? Can I apply as a freshman again, or can I apply for course credits?

Yes, you may transfer schools but you cannot apply again as a freshman. This is because your permanent school record (Form 137) is already with your current school. The permanent record is only one record and this is transferred officially from your last school attended to your next school. This means that if you do not disclose the fact that you already studied in college, sooner or later you will be found out and you  run the risk of being dismissed, as this constitutes as falsification and misrepresentation. In terms of earning credits from your previous school, this will depend on the policies of the accepting institution. They have the freedom to allow or disallow credits from your previous school.

9. Is it necessary that I personally visit the college’s admissions office to apply?

No. There are many ways for you to start the application process without having to personally visit the college or university yourself. Some high school counselors actually conduct batch processing for senior students (e.g., La Salle Greenhills, Colegio San Agustin, Grace Christian College. St. Jude High School, etc.). We strongly encourage students to join the batch processing since this is more convenient.

Another way is to download all the application forms and requirements from the university’s website and complete all the requirements. A representative may then bring the requirements to the admissions office to pay the fee and procure the test permit. This will mean that the representative only goes to the admissions office once as opposed to going twice to buy the form and later to submit the requirements.

Of course, there is always the option of personally visiting the office, buying the form, completing the requirements and returning for the test permit.

10. I received a letter of rejection. Is there a chance that I may be reconsidered?

Never lose hope without trying. Most, if not all, colleges and universities have reconsideration processes. I strongly encourage you to follow their published procedure. The procedure usually involves filling out a request for reconsideration. In stating your reasons, you have to keep it short, simple and straightforward. Do not use ad misericordiam (“paawa”) techniques as admissions officers are very much used to this already. Just be honest and direct about why you wish to enter the degree program you applied for, and also state if you are willing to be rechanneled to your second or third choice.

I hope these prove useful and helpful to you. More FAQs will surely follow. Meanwhile, please post your comments, suggestions, or questions underneath.

Image taken from here.

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