Admissions Counselor Rachel Gordon advises students on how to stand out in the application process

Applying to college is a multi-step process, and sometimes students feel they’ve completed everything when there are some additional – and important – steps to take. These final steps can determine whether you are admitted to your school of choice.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of making sure all transcripts, or updated transcripts, are sent to Florida Poly. In other cases, students may be just a few points off from the minimum test scores we require for admission. Some of those Florida Poly candidates are retaking SATs and ACTs in January and February to try to pull up their scores and have the updated test results sent to us. The minimum requirement at Florida Poly is a cumulative score of 22 on the ACT, and a score of 550 on each section of the SAT. If you take the SAT more than once, we will consider the highest score you made on each section.

Don’t be timid about reaching out to me or the other Florida Poly Admissions counselors. We’re a small office, and it makes a difference to get to know prospective students, so they are more than a name and number. We get to know the whole person, not just your test scores and transcripts. We get to see how well you will fit into the University and its culture. Likewise, you and your family get to know Florida Poly, too. Students and family members feel more confident and secure when we meet them in person. This relationship building helps us make the most informed decision on your application. For example, if there are some extenuating circumstances that may have negatively affected your GPA, we know you well enough to have a conversation about it. As your Admissions Counselor, I am happy to listen and share advice. I am hearing from many students preparing to retake SATs and ACTs, asking about the prep work they need to do for better test results. I tell them to take the practice tests online, and also to turn to the guidance counselors at their own high schools for help and resources.

I continue to hear from students and their families after applicants are admitted. Admissions Counselors often are students’ first connection with Florida Poly, and we will continue to nurture those relationships and be a connection. I just heard from an incoming freshman who is the first student Florida Poly has admitted from Key West, Florida, the southernmost point in the U.S. This Key West High School senior just contacted me to let me know of an awesome idea he has for organizing a club at Florida Poly. He’s so excited about starting college in August 2014, and we’re just as eager to welcome him as a new Florida Poly student.

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