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girlsInformation for 10th and 11th Graders

Already start your college search? Here are some tips on how you can best prepare:



The Application Process
Over the last decade, the number of applications to colleges has dramatically increased, making the college application process far more competitive than in the past, and making it more important for students to know what colleges are looking for in their applicants. For mid to large universities, freshman admission is often based primarily on the strength of the student’s high school curriculum, performance within that curriculum, and SAT or ACT scores. Special consideration may be given those with truly exceptional talents and achievements in the arts, athletics, and co-curricular activities.

High School Curriculum
Admissions committees need to know that you are prepared to begin study at the college level, and that you have sufficiently challenged yourself through your high school course selection. A good way to demonstrate this is to successfully complete AP and Honors courses. Recommended college preparatory courses typically include:

  • 4 units of English
  • 4 units of social studies
  • 3 units of mathematics (4 units required for engineering)
  • 3 units of science (4 units required for engineering)
  • 2 or 3 units of a foreign language

High School Academic Performance
Universities take note of a student’s progress in grades. It is favorable for applicants to have upward or solid steady trends in their grades as they move through their high school program. Stony Brook looks for students who have excelled in a strong college preparatory program.

Standardized Examinations
Most universities require submission of SAT or ACT scores. In evaluating SAT scores, many colleges place greater emphasis on the Math and Critical Reading sections. Scores on the Writing section are expected to receive more attention in the future.

Supplemental Application
Some colleges and universities, including Stony Brook, have a required or optional supplemental application. This supplemental application may include a personal essay, and questions concerning extra-curricular activities. The activities that students engage in outside the classroom help to predict the success that they will have in a college environment. Universities are looking for students that are self-motivated, able to manage their time well, and are vested in the community. Admissions committees are interested in how prospective students will fit into the campus community socially, as well as academically.

Special Talents
While a supplemental application provides you with an opportunity to highlight your special talents or circumstances, it is often advisable to have your college advisor attach a letter to your transcript discussing these abilities and your potential.

Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation can provide a sense of your capabilities and accomplishments through a voice that is not your own. At Stony Brook, one letter of recommendation from a guidance counselor is required for general admission to the University, and two letters from teachers are required for applicants to honors programs.

Be sure to apply early!
Because of limited space, more and more universities are closing admissions earlier every year. The college application process does not have to be a daunting task if you prepare early and put forth a consistent effort.


Guide to Campus Visits
Campus visits are an important part of the process of determining whether a college is right for you. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your campus visits:

  • Compile a list of questions in advance, and ask the same questions at each school to draw comparisons.

  • Take an escorted campus tour (if possible)! Many school tours are guided by current students who are great resources for getting all the real answers to your questions. Ask them why they chose their university!

  • Attend an information session with an admissions officer. Tell them about your interests and career aspirations, and ask them to answer any questions you may have. Most universities post their information session schedules on their websites.

  • Try to experience life as a student at each university: eat in the dining halls, and visit the residence halls and the library.

  • Engage current students: ask them about their major, their schedules, residence life, and what they do for fun on weekends!

  • Explore the area surrounding the campus: think about whether you would prefer attending a school located within a rural, urban, or suburban setting.

  • Find out if the university has any specific programs for freshmen. Every first-year student at Stony Brook, for instance, enters as a member of an Undergraduate College designed to support and develop their interests, and to assist them in taking advantage of the vast resources Stony Brook has to offer.

  • Pick up copies of student newspapers so you can read about current issues on campus and how faculty and administrators are handling them.

  • Take good notes about each school so you remember all their distinctive features.


High School Programs
Stony Brook offers an exciting variety of opportunities for high school students, ranging from genuine hands-on research to credited summer courses that can jump-start your college career.

  • Our Young Scholars Program gives academically talented high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to complement their studies by enrolling in courses not traditionally included in the secondary school curriculum. Students selected for the Young Scholars Program participate in regular college classes with matriculated Stony Brook students on the Stony Brook campus in the afternoon and early evening.

  • SB's Accelerated College Education (ACE) Program provides students with the academic challenges of a college-level curriculum within the high school setting. Enrollment in ACE courses may provide future opportunities to students, such as the ability to enroll in higher-level college courses or to complete a four-year degree in a shorter amount of time.

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