Tips for College Admissions

  • Admission Decisions
    Top 10%  Students ranked in the top 10% of their graduating class will be 
      automatically admitted to any Texas Public Institution with the
          exception of the University of Texas (currently top 6%). You must
      meet application deadlines and complete the application as instructed.
    Assured   Admission is based on a combination of your GPA / rank in class and 
    Admissions standardized test scores (SAT and ACT). 
    Review Applications are reviewed in a holistic manner. Courses taken,
      grades, class rank, test scores, extracurricular activities, letters of
      recommendation, essays, etc. will all be considered for admission.
    Provisional Students might be admitted on a probationary status. Completion 
      of summer school with a set minimum GPA might be required in order 
      to be considered for provisional admission. Policies vary.
    Most applications can be submitted beginning July 1st.
  • What is Included in a College Application
    Application This is generally online (see below for where to start). Most
      schools will have detailed application instructions on their website.
    Transcript Submit a current transcript. You will also send a final transcript  
        after graduation. (includes semester grades, GPA, rank, grad plan)
    SRAR Many colleges are now requiring the completion of the Self-Reported
      Academic Record (SRAR). This is a list of courses and associated
      grades that you have completed or will complete in high school.
    SAT/ACT  Scores MUST be sent directly from testing agency. Four score reports
        are sent for free when you register to take the test.
    App. Fee  Unless you qualify for a waiver, you usually pay an application fee.
    Essays Many schools will have a required or optional essay. It is always a 
      good idea to take the time to submit an essay.
    Recs You might be asked to submit a recommendation on your behalf. This 
      might be a letter or a form that a recommender would complete. 
  • Online Applications

    You can complete one basic application to share with multiple schools. 

    Texas Common Application

    Frequently used for 2 and 4 year public colleges and universities in Texas  

    National Common Application

    Frequently used for schools outside of the state of Texas

    Coalition for College

    Proactively represents students of color or in financial need
    Less commonly accepted than The Common App.
  • Application Tips
    Read and carefully and follow instructions. Be thorough.
    Meet deadlines, don't procrastinate.
    Watch for hidden deadlines (honors college, school of business, etc.).
    Use the essay to distinguish yourself. Don’t submit a generic essay.
    Be proud of your accomplishments. It is OK to brag on yourself.
    Be careful with abbreviations. It is better to say National Honor Society than NHS.
    Include all materials that are required.
    Check your student account frequently to verify the status of your application. 
  • Application Fee
    Most colleges and universities will require a fee to process your application.Some
    schools will waive your fee if you qualify as economically disadvantaged. FAFSA 
    is used to determine eligibility. The fee is due by the application due date.
  • Transcripts
    A partial high school transript (after the junior year) should be sent to all schools
    to which you are applying.  The transcript includes courses, semester grades,
    and GPA / class rank.
    1. Request transcript on MHS website or from the registrar in the front office.
    2.  Requests are to be made at least 24 hours in advance.
    3.  No charge for the 1st transcript; each additional copy is $1.00.
    4.  Transcipts will be mailed to colleges from office or sent electronically.
    5.  Transcripts for scholarships will be in a sealed envelope (DO NOT OPEN). 
    6.  Colleges will require a final transcript after you graduate. You will have 
         the opportunity to tell us where you would like that final transcript sent.
    7.  Dual credit transcirpts - It is the responsibility or the student to request that 
         the school who awarded dual credit (ASU or SPC) send your dual credit transcipt
         to the college you are attending after graduation.  Links for requesting
         dual credit transcripts can be found on the MHS counselor website.
  • Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Compliance
    The TSI measures college readiness in reading, writing, and math. Scores are used
    for college placement purposes. Students can use SAT, ACT, or TSIA-2 scores to
    demonstrate TSI compliance. Check with your college to determine TSI requirements.
    Exemptions SAT - 480 Reading,  530 Math
      ACT - Composite of 23 with min. score of 19  in English and 19 in Math
    TSIA-2 Compliance Scores
      Math: minimum of 950, OR <950 with diagnostic level of 6
      Reading: minimum of 945, essay of at least 5; OR
      <945, diagnostic score of 5 or 6 AND minimum essay of 5
    The TSIA-2 is given at MHS and other local testing sites. More info on MHS website.
  • College Admission Tests (SAT and ACT)
    Many students will take both tests and might retest multiple times. It is important to
    know if your school will "superscore." Colleges that superscore use the best section
    scores, even if they were from different test administrations.
      Test Fee:  $60
      Intended to measure aptitude or reasoning (Reading & Writing, Math)
      LISD provides SAT in the school day for all juniors.
      Test Fee:  $88 (with essay)  $63 (no essay)
      Intended to measure achievement (English, Reading, Math, Science)
    Many schools currently have a test optional policy for admissions. Visit with your
    counselor about the pros and cons of opting out of submitting test scores.
  • Scholarships
    There are many types of scholarships available if you are willing to apply.
    Academic Based on factors like GPA, test scores or class rank
    Merit Based Based on something that you accomplished
    Need Based Based on financial need
    Organizational Provided by various organizations for specific criteria
    University Provided by colleges & universities for specific criteria
    Where Can You Find Scholarship Information?
    1. Check with your college or university financial aid office.
    2. Check the MHS counselor website for current local scholarships available.
    3. Scholarship search sites:,
    4. Google is your friend! Start turning over rocks to find what is out there.
    Applying for scholarships is work and takes time. But you won't get $$$ if you 
    don't take the time to apply for it. You should really focus on this in the Spring.
  • Financial Aid
    FAFSA The FAFSA is required for grants, loans, work study programs and
      some college scholarships. The FAFSA application window
      opens October 1st. 
    Completing the FAFSA is a graduation requirement in the state of Texas. 
    LEARN  Our LEARN counselor is available at Monterey two days per week
      to assist you with the college application process, financial aid, etc.  
      Make an appointment to meet with her in the counseling office.  
      Or call the LEARN office to make an appointment at 806-763-4265.
  • Letters of Recommendation
    Counselor Recommendation:  Check to see if a counselor 
    recommendation is required. If a counselor recommendation is required, 
    complete the recommendation "Plainsman Packet" available online
    on the counselor page of the MHS website.  If the letter must be mailed,
    provide a stamped and addressed envelope when you submit your request.
    *** Allow at least  2 weeks for the letter to be written and keep in mind 
    that letters are confidential and not generally shared with the student.
    Teacher Recommendation:  Provide the purpose of the letter, address of
     where to send letter, and provide reference sheet, envelope, and postage.