Class of 2018 College Planning

Last week the guidance department hosted it’s annual College Planning Night for Juniors.  The purpose of this event is to provide valuable information to Lowell Catholic’s current juniors and their parents about what they should be thinking about now and as they head into summer regarding the college application process.

We understand that applying to college can be an overwhelming experience, or even just thinking about it can be.  Our goal is to try and alleviate some of the stress and anxiety that can be associated with the college application process.  With that being our focus, we use the Junior College Planning night (and the Senior College Planning night in the fall) to break it down and keep the focus on information that is currently useful.

college-bound

So what should a Lowell Catholic junior be doing right now to prepare for the college application process?

  1. Decide if you want to take the SAT or ACT (and SAT Subject Tests) and sign up to take one in the spring.
    • We recommend taking one of these tests at least twice.  Use free practice tests to determine which one you are more comfortable with, or take one of each and take the one you prefer a second time in the fall.
  2. Begin the college search.  Ask yourself these simple questions to help determine what you are looking for in a college:
    • Academic program – You want to make sure it has your major or programs you are interested in!
    • Location – How far away from home do you want to be?  Do you prefer a city?
    • Size – How many students?  How far are you willing to walk to class?
    • Cost – How will you afford it?
    • Sports/clubs – How will you be involved and keep busy?
    • Support services – Do you want access to free tutoring?
  3. College visits – This is where you will be spending the next four years.  The best way to know if a college is the right fit is to tour the campus!
  4. Begin to narrow down a list of schools that you are strongly interested in.
    • Create a list of target, safety, and reach schools.  Have a balance of all 3 types with a list of about 5-7 schools.
  5. Request letters of recommendation.  You should ask two teachers.  Try to choose one from junior year.  Also, think about the program you want to go into and ask a teacher related to it.  For example, if you want engineering, you should have a math or science teacher write a letter.  Requesting is a two step process.
    • Ask in person
    • Submit a request on Naviance.
  6. Complete your resume on Naviance.  This is important for letters of recommendation!

keep-calm-we-can-help-you-1

Please be sure to meet with your counselor if you have any questions about the process and what should be done right now!  We are here to help you!

2016 PSAT Results

psat

Last month, sophomores and juniors received hard copies of their PSAT scores along with original test booklets.  They have been able to access scores online since December, but the score report gives the counselors the opportunity to explain the scores to them.  The scores are pretty easy to understand, but below you will find a couple of helpful resources.

how-to-make-sense-of-the-psat-report

We strongly encourage students to log on to their College Board accounts because along with seeing scores, thee is an abundance of free resources they can access.  One of the resources we are always talking about is Khan Academy.  When a student links his or her College Board account with Khan Academy, a personalized practice test is created!  The video below provides a quick explanation on how to do it!

Juniors should be preparing to to take the SAT this spring in either May or June.  Click here to view the calendar.  Also, using the PSAT results and free online resources is a great way work on areas of weakness.  They can take a practice test or download an app to answer a question a day.  Sophomores, it is never too early start preparing!

One final note – The Guidance Department is hosting it’s College Planning Night for juniors and their parents on Thursday, March 2nd.  It will be at 6:30 in the auditorium.  This is a great opportunity for juniors to hear about what they should be doing now and into the summer to prepare for the college application process.  We hope to see you all there!

 

 

Looking Back – Mr. Seebode

This week Mr. Seebode, a member of our Science department, shares his high school memories with us!

pasted-image-0

Name: Mr. Seebode

High School: Union Catholic (Scotch Plains, NJ)

What Were You Like in High School:

I am very grateful for the experiences I had in high school! I had a small, but close friend group and did my best to work hard. One thing I loved about high school were the opportunities to be involved in many different activities and classes. I was a 3 season athlete (cross country, winter track, and spring track), involved in campus ministry, and took 7 AP classes during my Junior and Senior Year. I even formed a club called the “Animal Rights and Endangered Species Club” during my senior year to raise money and awareness for the World Wildlife Fund.

Favorite High School Classes:

I loved the science classes I took in High School. Along with AP Environmental. AP Biology, and physic classes that I took during my junior and senior years, I also took 4 science VHS classes: Oceanography, Animal Behavior & Zoology, Astronomy, and Anatomy.

Advice for My Freshman Self

Be present! It is easy to rush from one thing to another in high school and to always be thinking of the next thing. During school, you’re thinking about practice or time with friends. During your practice or extracurricular events, you are thinking about all the homework you have that night. And at night while you are at home, you are focused about the day or weekend ahead. Be present and in the moment. Enjoy practice and extracurricular events when you are practice. Focus in on school when in class. And be completely present with your friends and family to make the most of their presence. High School is a busy time in your life, but it really helps to be present during each part of your busy schedule in order to make the most of every experience!

 

Thanks for sharing with us, Mr. Seebode!