Dear YCIS Students (& Parents)
You have finally arrived, your last year of high school and the beginning of your transformation to adulthood. It has certainly been a long journey and you should be applauded and proud of what you are about to accomplish. The stage is set and your diplomas are ready but you are not there yet. You must now prepare for your next adventure, the next step in your life – The College Application Process.
For the first semester of Year 13, the College Application Process can be viewed as your seventh class. It is demanding, rigorous and along the way you may learn things about yourself that you had no idea. You will be spending the next three or four years in a chosen university, studying a particular major in a specific city and country completing your undergraduate degree. It is crucial that you take time to ask yourself: What you really want out of your University experience? Why have you chosen a specific field of study? Where do you feel most comfortable? These are a few questions you can ask yourself to begin thinking about what your needs and wants are.
The College Application Process can be a difficult process to navigate through. Keeping track of the deadlines, academic entry requirements, document requirements, standardized test, interviews, supplements, personal statements and so on. Each university has its own set of rules and policies that you must abide by, which are stated on the university’s website. It’s vital that you research and familiarize yourself with them. Having said that, YCIS Shanghai has a set of rules and policies that have been implemented to help you and us. Please take time to review this handbook to ensure that you are aware of how YCIS can offer its assistance to you during your University Application process.
We wish you much success and keep in mind that the University Guidance Office is available to ensure that you have a smooth, memorable and stress free application process and transition from High School to College.
University Guidance Office
Table of Contents:
- Goals & Objectives
- Official School Documentation
- IB Predicted Grades
- IGCSE Exam Results
- Reference Letters
- Application Submission
- School Documentation Submission (Electronic)
- School Documentation Submission (Mail)
- Submitting Final Transcript
- Early Application
- Student Timeline
- Student & Parent Contract
Goals & Objectives
This handbook is designed to inform all students and parents about the YCIS policies relating to the University Guidance Office. Please be assured that these policies have been put in place with various university policies in mind.
Following the practices set forth in this handbook will ensure that you have an easy University application process. Your teacher reference will be properly written, your IB predicted grades will be up to date, the preparation of your other documentation will be adequately completed and all of your documentation will arrive at your chosen university in a timely manner.
Failing to follow the policies outlined in this handbook will: delay the submission of the supporting documentation, jeopardize the quality of the supporting documentation and may put your entire application and possible admission at risk.
Official School Documentation
Official School Documentation are documents that the school, YCIS of Shanghai, is responsible for. This includes: Official Transcripts, IB Predicted Grades, IGCSE Exam Results (If Applicable), Counselor & Teacher reference (If Applicable) and any school forms that the university requires YCIS to complete.
It is the responsibility of the student to keep track of the documentation and forms that each specific university requires. Universities require different types of documentation and clearly state what they are expecting on their official website. The university guidance counselor will obtain the school documentation for the student however they are not responsible for informing students which specific documents each university requires.
Official Transcripts – A transcript is a student’s academic record. Including semester grades, a transcript is from Year 10 until Year 13.
The university guidance counselor is responsible for the printing of official transcripts. Students and parents do not receive hard or electronic copies of official transcripts, unless deemed necessary. Un-official hard copies of transcripts can be given to students. Official transcripts, electronic of hard copy, take two working days to process. Transcript requests can be made e-mailed directly to your university guidance counselor
If a student has transferred to YCIS from another school, it is the student’s responsibility to obtain their previous schools transcript. Universities require the academic records, transcript, from Year 10 to Year 13. Students may inform their previous school to e-mail the official transcript to their current university guidance counselor or submit the document to their counselor personally.
IB Predicted Grades – IB Predicted Grades are teacher predictions of the student’s final IB exams. This includes six IB courses, Theory of Knowledge and Extended Essay.
It is the university guidance counselor’s responsibility to collect and send the IB Predicted Grades to each University. Students should not approach teachers to collect or request their IB Predicted Grades. IB Predicted Grades require a week and half to be collected and processed. Students may not request that a teacher change their predicted grade.
If students wish to discuss their IB Predicted Grades please refer to the Assessment Policy in the YCIS Parent-Student handbook.
IGCSE Exam Results – The IGCSE Exam Results are the student’s Year 11 examination results.
If students were enrolled at YCIS during Year 10 & 11, their IGCSE examination results will be included in the sent documentation to the university. YCIS will collect the examination results from the IGCSE coordinator. If students retook an IGCSE exam in November, they must give that examination result to their university guidance counselor. It will take two days to collect and process the IGCSE Examination results.
Reference Letters – A reference letter is written by either a teacher or university guidance counselor that details a student’s abilities, qualities and characteristics.
In order to receive a reference letter student must first complete the questionnaire on Naviance entitled “Reference Survey?” Once completed students must inform their university guidance counselor who will read through the questionnaire to ensure that the questions are properly answered. If the responses provide enough detail and specificity, the university guidance counselor will inform the teacher and send them the student’s completed questionnaire. The teacher will not begin writing the reference letter until they have received the questionnaire from the university guidance counselor.
Students must ask their teacher and only if the teacher agrees will they write a reference letter for the student. Please keep in mind that teachers already have a great deal of work and writing a reference letter is an additional workload. Teachers have the right to tell a student that they are unable to write a reference for them. Students can ask any one teacher for a reference letter. If the university they are applying to requires two reference letters, they must show their university guidance counselor where it states that on the University’s website.
Teachers and university guidance counselors are given three weeks to write their reference letter. This starts from the day that the student’s questionnaire was submitted to the teacher by the university guidance counselor. Reference letters are confidential documents and cannot be given electronically or by hard copy to students and parents. Students cannot view teacher reference letters.
If there are any teacher or university guidance evaluation forms from the university, it is the student’s responsibility to provide those forms to either the teacher and/or university guidance counselor once the questionnaire has been submitted to the teacher. The university guidance counselor will help the student in locating such forms however it is the job of the student to research and submit such documentation to the teacher and/or university guidance counselor.
Submitting Final Transcript
YCIS will send the student’s final transcript to the university they will be matriculating to before the last day of the 2nd semester. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the university guidance counselor of which university they will attend. YCIS will ONLY send final transcripts to the university that the student will matriculate to. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the other universities whom they have been accepted to but do not plan on attend.
Student Application Submission
Any student wanting to apply early should notify and confirm with their university guidance counselor at least one month before the application deadline. Failing to do so means students and parents will take full responsibility for the quality of the student application.
The student must inform the university guidance counselor of the universities that they are applying to. In order for the university guidance counselor to provide enough support to the student and the application, students must keep the communication lines open with the university guidance counselor and their parents. Any student wanting to apply regular decision should notify and confirm with their university guidance counselor at least ten working days before the application deadline. Failing to do so means that students and parents will take full responsibility for the quality of the student application.
It is the student’s responsibility to keep track of the university deadlines. University guidance counselors can help the student complete their application but can not submit the application for them.
The university guidance counselors expect students to have completed and submitted their university application a week before the Christmas holiday, if applying to North America, Europe, Hong Kong & Japan.
School Documentation Submission (Electronic)
It is the responsibility of the university guidance counselor to submit school documentation to a student’s chosen university. Submitting documentation electronically to universities takes three working days for the counselor to complete, once everything has been collected. The university guidance counselor will not submit separate pieces of the school documentation to the university, rather all the documentation at once. If students and parents insist that separate pieces of documentation be sent to the university then YCIS takes no responsibility regarding the review of application by the university. The university guidance counselor will only submit documents required by the university.
The electronic submission process is not instant and it will take time for the university to process, sort and update your application status. It is strongly recommend for students to not wait until the application deadline to submit their application as it takes three working days for the university guidance counselor to submit the school documentation electronically.
It is the student’s responsibility to inform the university guidance counselor when the university requires the school documentation. Whether it is two working days after the application deadline, by the application deadline, or within two weeks of application deadline, for example.
School Documentation Submission (Mail)
Any school documentation that is to be sent to the university by hard copy must be sent from YCIS via express courier, DHL, UPS and/or Fedex. The university guidance counselor will collect all necessary school documentation. The documentation will be shown to the student to verify, then placed in an envelope and sealed. Students must provide the university guidance counselor with their university application number so it may be included on the school documentation envelope.
It will take five working days for the counselor to collect and prepare hard copies of the school documentation. Please keep in mind that it is the student’s responsibility to inform the university guidance to begin preparing the school documentation for mailing. The student will also provide the university guidance counselor, if applicable, with their previous schools transcript, certifications or awards that they wish to include in the documentation envelope. The university guidance counselor will only submit documents required by the university.
Students & parents will cover the cost of mailing the school documentation to the universities. After the five working days, students will bring RMB (cash) to the Guidance Office along with a copy of their passport, the mailing address and telephone number. Documentation will not be sent unless students bring the necessary items. Any student documentation is the student’s responsibility and should be mailed by the student.
Year 12 & 13 Student Timeline
The following dates are when the assigned tasks are expected to be completed:
- Inform your university guidance counselor who will write your reference letter.
- Initial University list
- Finish the Naviance questionnaire “Reference Survey”
- Submit rough draft for College Essay to university guidance counselor
- All reference letter requests finalized.
- Completed university list and inform university guidance counselor if you are submitting an early application, Ox-bridge and/or medicine application to UK.
- Students applying early completed their college essays and submitted it to their university guidance counselor two weeks before the application deadline.
- All students have completed their college essays and submitted it to their university guidance counselor for review.
December & January
- Students will submit their application for regular decision.
Student & Parent Contract
By signing below, you are stating that you have completely read the policy handbook and fully understand the information within. You acknowledge that you will abide by the policies and guidelines set forth in this handbook. You understand that deviating from set policies and guidelines may hinder your university application and YCIS will not be held accountable.
Student Name (Print):
Parent Name (Print):
Relationship: Circle one (Mother/Father)