College Planning » College Planning

College Planning

Considering College??? Just starting out?? Take a look below for more info:

As a 9th and 10th grader, you will want to build your resume!  You can build your resume by doing well in your classes, getting involved in school/community activities, volunteering and/or getting a job.

 

As an 11th grader, you will want to take the PSAT, a standardized test that prepares you for the SAT.  Later, you will need to take the ACT and/or SAT. 

 

Applying for college can be a confusing and involved process. See the Junior and Senior calendar's for a time line:

 

Selecting and applying for college is a huge step.  There is so much to think about - programs of study, testing, financial aid.  Fortunately, you're not on your own.  Check out MyCollege Options to help you pick the right school for you!  When deciding on a college, you should start to think about potential careers.  Also, check out a list of Companies that Offer Tuition Reimbursement! Questions?  Stop by the counseling office. 

 

Scholarship Center

Attention all students!  Go to the Scholarships Section of this website for a list of scholarships that are available to you!  Also, visit the CollegeBoard Scholarship Search to search for the right scholarship for you.  Although the most scholarships are available for juniors and seniors, freshmen and sophomores should visit this page, too.  There is something out there for everyone! 

 

Financial Aid Headquarters

Wondering what other types of types of aid are available beyond scholarships?  Confused about the differences between subsidized and unsubsidized loans?  We have the help you need!  

Estimate Your Financial Aid: FAFSA4caster is an early eligibility estimator that can help you plan ahead when it comes to paying for college.

Create your road map: EFC (Espected Family Contribution) - Students and their families are expected to contribute to the cost of college to the extent that they are able. Each family situation will vary based upon family income. 

Federal Student Aid: Through Federal Student Aid (a performance-based organization), the U.S. Department of Education awards more than $120 billion a year in grants, work-study funds, and low-interest loans to approximately 13 million students.

 

Letters of Recommendation: 

College applications and some scholarships require you to send in letters of recommendation.  These might be from teachers, your counselor, your employer, or other community members.  Make sure you give careful thought to whom you ask for a letter of recommendation.  You should select someone who knows you well and can write a compelling letter for you.  Allow plenty of time for letters of recommendation to be written and sent.

 

College Application Tips

  • Start with a blank piece of paper and write down EVERYTHING you want an admissions officer to know about you.  Make sure to include more than use your GPA and test score - consider your key personality traits and characteristics.
  • Answer the following questions: How have you taken advantage of the challenging curriculum at your school?  What impediments might have affected involvement?  What stimulates your enthusiasm?  What do you learn on your own time?  What stands out about you?  What are your most definitive characteristics?  How are you unique?
  • Make sure you bring LIFE to the white space.  The overall goal of the application is to read like a book.
  • Essays are the highest ranked non-academic feature of the application.  You should select the best topic for you and highlight a specific detail that demonstrates your distinctive traits.
  • Make sure you fill out ALL parts of the application - don't just write 'see resume.'  Still send in a copy of your resume, though.
  • When considering community service, become involved in an activity that interests you and is unique to your likes/experiences.  Personalized service is much better than "generic" community service just for your resume.
  • Make sure your supporting documents add something new, and that your resume details all your activities, leadership, etc.
  • Individualize your application - it should stand out!
  • Choose references that will speak to your intellectual curiosity, your strengths, and how you overcome obstacles.
  • Make sure your counselor knows what you are highlighting in your essays.
  • Address any "red flags" in your application.
  • Communicate what you do with your free time.  Are you involved in independent learning, intellectual curiosity, commitment and service to others, etc?

 

Essay Suggestions

Writing admissions essays are one of the most challenging parts of the college application.  When evaluating your essay, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you make sense on paper?
  • Did you write with passion?
  • Do you essays reveal details about you?
  • Have you expressed your individuality?  Are you aware of it?

 

College Resources