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College Planning for Parents

College Visits to AGCS

AGCS CEEB code is 395181

During school hours, we invite colleges to visit our high school students and share information about post-secondary opportunities. We welcome you to encourage your student to attend and learn about life after high school! When Colleges are scheduled to visit AGCS and present to prospective students, we post the information on the bulletin board near guidance office and during morning announcements, we remind students to sign up. Students need to sign up 24 hours in advance and speak with their teacher prior to the date of the visit in order to be permitted to attend.

College Applications

The first step is for your student to research post-secondary education opportunities and come up with their final list of colleges to which they'd like to apply. Visit our Student College Planning webpage for information and helpful links for research.

Guiding Your Student in Researching Colleges

Gathering information about post-secondary choices is a big job! You can help your child narrow down the list by asking guiding questions.

  • Does the college have the program you want?
  • What is the length of time you are planning to study–2 yr., 4 yr., graduate school?
  • Do you want to live in a dorm or commute?
  • Curriculum: which courses must you take? Check out the college catalog; it will tell you specifically.
  • What are the costs? Do you understand loan payments after college?
  • Is the school private or public?
  • Location: urban, rural, the region?
  • What is the size of the school? (small: 1500) (large: 30,000)
  • What are the community life and cultural advantages of this school?
  • What activities will be available at college ?
  • Does the school have a study abroad program?
  • What are the facilities like?

Once the college application list has been finalized, have your student write, call, or e-mail admissions offices of colleges of your choice to get applications. You may also apply online or use the Common Application at participating schools. Have your student completely fill out their part of the application. Make sure they read the directions carefully, check spelling and verify all information they add. This should be done by your student.


Applications: make sure your student pays attention to ALL deadlines, incuding ROTC, Army, Navy, and Air Force

Tests: be aware of the required tests and deadlines for the schools in which they're interested.

State Universities: applications are getting increasingly competitive. It would be wise to get those applications in during October and November (PSU main campus–no later than November). If you have lower SAT scores and grades, it's wise to have back up plans.

Processing time: allow at least two weeks for the guidance office to process your applications. In general, get your applications in before Thanksgiving.

Time of application: do NOT wait for test scores or sports scholarships before applying.

Requesting Transcripts

There are two types of transcripts: Official transcripts are to be submitted with your college application because they have a seal and are signed by your Guidance Counselor. Unofficial transcripts may be used to take with you on college visits, as the seal and signature aren't necessary. 

Transcripts contain courses, grades, cumulative grade point average (grades 9-11), and credits. A school profile, which explains course coding and weighting of courses, is also sent with transcripts. 

To request transcripts, your student should:

  1. Submit the request via Naviance
  2. Download and complete a Transcript Release Permission Form, signed by both student and a parent/guardian, unless the student is over 18 years of age.
  3. Turn the release form into Guidance. Transcripts will be sent within 5 school days of the date your permission form is received. Transcripts will not be sent unless they are requested properly and a release form is received. If you are not a current AGCS student, please email Ms. Alaxson at to request a transcript. Please include the address to which the transcript needs to be sent.

Teacher/Counselor recommendations must be requested in person and via Naviance.

College Admissions

How Colleges Evaluate Student Applications

It's important to be aware of the differences in admission standards among post-secondary institutions. College admissions staff use a variety of factors when evaluating applications, including:

  • Adacemic records (transcript)
  • SAT and ACT scores. Your student should research which tests the college requires and if they require official scores.
  • Recommendations
  • Essays - how well your student communicates and conveys themselves as an individual
  • Extra-curricular record
  • Number of applicants - quotas (eg. regional)

Types of Admission

Early Decision: be aware of deadlines, must be committed to that school

Early Action: earlier deadline, but student does not need to be committed to that school

Rolling Decision: as applications come in, they will be reviewed

Some colleges have standard notification dates


Some applications have fees, others do not, based upon whether you visit the school and other factors. Be aware that these fees can add up! There are also fees to take standard assessments like the SAT and ACT, as well as fees to send score reports. Tuiton payments may be due per semester or monthly. Make certain you have a good understanding of all of the fees involved.